SOS #57    J. Morris Hicks    (6-12-20)  
How to Eliminate Poverty
Our current "SYSTEM" will never get it done!

This SOS Memo was inspired by Charles Blow's column in the NY Times yesterday. He was focusing on what will be needed in the new civil rights act that is being discussed in Congress. He leads off with these conclusions about how our government should address these problems:
  • Feel-good gestures from politicians and the police shift no power. 
  • Real change lies within a system overhaul.

Finally, a mainstream columnist is talking about system overhaul.  Mr. Blow goes on to describe the discussions now underway in Congress as coming up woefully short. He writes:
At this point, politicians are still playing safe, being risk-averse while calling it radical.
They want the appearance of substantial action while leaving the substance of society untouched. They want to appear responsive without taking full responsibility.

Poverty is the problem. Wealth inequality is the problem. All the things that lead to and attend poverty and wealth inequality are the problem.

It is  encouraging  to see mainstream journalists writing about the absolute necessity for a sweeping overhaul of our grossly unsustainable way of living on this planet.  Yes, we must eliminate poverty and wealth inequality in our system of living in the future. We have the resources to do it, but it is doubtful that we will.

We need a new system. In my mind, the elimination of poverty and wealth inequality is a by-product of a properly designed, Earth-friendly way of life for all humans. As I have been suggesting for years, and what Mr. Blow is now suggesting - is that the USA is a pretty good place to start. 

The poverty situation is grim here in the USA - yet in many parts of the world, it is much worse. As our global population continues to grow by almost seven million every month, things in general will only get worse. Want a visual? Here is what poverty in America looks like today for millions of our fellow citizens. We must do a whole lot better. 

If we continue with our current system, there will be more depletion of natural resources, more species extinction and more rapid heating of the planet. Simultaneously, things will continue to get steadily worse for a large portion of the world's population. In order to prevent that tragedy, we definitely  need a whole new system of living. 

Here are the latest poverty numbers on our small blue planet - a place that is a paradise for the privileged and a hell on Earth for billions of others:
  • As for the USA, according to census data, poverty rates by ethnicity are: 25%, 21% and 18% respectively, for Native American, Black and Hispanic - followed by White and Asian at 10% each.
As we report  in our book, Outcry, we are hearing a host of urgent alarms from nature and from our scientists - alarms that go far  beyond   poverty   and  wealth inequality  in the United States. And, in the book, we conclude that a vastly more efficient way of living must replace what we have today in our country - with one that can provide a model for the rest of the world to follow.

Addressing Sustainability Issues.  As we ponder systemic solutions for poverty  and wealth inequity - we mustn't forget Mother Nature in our thought process. 

One of her primary demands is that we rapidly transition to consuming just a small fraction of the natural resources that we humans are consuming today.

As that plays out over the next few decades, there will be much fewer jobs in the design, manufacturing and distribution of all those consumer products that will no longer be needed in a future, ultra-green "system" of living that is acceptable to nature. 

That said, most people with knowledge of basic arithmetic will quickly grasp the fact that fewer jobs driven by the above would also drive millions of additional people into poverty for the first time. 

That's why we must totally re-design our overall system of living and governing - along with creating a new economic model that rewards less  consumption of stuff and incentivizes more actions that actually result in improving the natural biosphere on which all life on Earth depends.

We actually address that very dilemma in Chapter 11 of Outcry as we introduce an idea for a new way of keeping score that will guarantee our deference to Mother Nature in ALL of our activities, whether they be for work or pleasure. That chapter is entitled, Earthonomics Replaces Capitalism in a completely re-designed human habitat that guarantees food, decent housing, education and healthcare for ALL of our citizens. 

Image from Chapter 11 of Outcry

We also introduced the concept of a Biospheric Health Index (BHI) for every adult in our new, totally-green environment of the future -  with the highest possible score being 900. As with our credit scores of today, our BHI would be adjusted monthly based on each individual's contribution to improving the health of the biosphere  that keeps us alive  and; therefore, contributing to raising our chances for long-term survival as a species. 

You guessed it, those people with the highest BHI will enjoy the most privileges, luxuries and prestige in our envisioned ultra green society of the future. We explain how that works in Chapters 7 through 11 of Outcry. With a properly designed civilization of the future, n o one will become rich and powerful by maximizing the production of unnecessary STUFF on this planet.

Here's a simple definition of an envisioned way of how we might keep score in the future, using a word I created:


A way of keeping score on planet Earth that rewards all actions to improve the biosphere and punishes those that inflict damage. In this system, the actions of individuals and nations will be met with rewards or with punishments as appropriate. 
The Bottom Line.  We must have systemic change in the way we live throughout the developed world. Our current "system" of living must be replaced. But we, as individuals, are unable to replace the overall  system.

For that, we will need collaborative governments around the world. How can we help jumpstart that collaboration? By doing all we can to spark the much-needed global conversation regarding  the "title" question in this slide. We all need to urgently start talking about it.

What can you do?   Get OUTCRY  and start helping to promote the urgently-needed global  conversation  about the  need to completely replace our current systems of living, governance and economy (score-keeping) on this planet. 

We don't have all the answers in our book, but we do have lots of questions that must be answered - if we are to have any chance whatsoever of surviving as a species.  

We  encourage  you to host book parties to discuss with people you care about. Ask me to join those discussions via Zoom. Send everyone you know to for some free "big picture" information that all humans need to understand. 
This is not a drill. We are in trouble and we're all in this together. Let's exhaust all possibilities for finding a solution to the dilemma in which we all find ourselves. 

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

PS:  Our book, for a host of environmental reasons, is only available as an e-book on Amazon. As such, it contains hyperlinks to hundreds of references and videos.

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You can join my mailing list and/or find all of my previous postings by visiting the SOS Memos page on my website Here are a few of them:

As always, I am just trying to spark a global conversation about what is needed. By sharing a vision of what I believe is possible, I hope to influence others to think bigger, better and bolder. 

As for speaking, I continue to search for mainstream audiences who may have an interest in learning more about a realistically hopeful vision for our future - and their role in making that vision come true. During the pandemic, let me know if you'd like to set up a Zoom virtual talk with your group.

In the months ahead, I will continue to focus on the urgent need for a totally reinvented greening of our civilization - beginning with a model in the USA that could be applied globally over the next fifty years. 

Upcoming talks : There are lots of open dates on my calendar as my next scheduled public talk is  at Camp Plant-Stock in Black Mountain, NC, in August, a "live" week-end affair that is now being converted into an online, virtual event. 

As for the specifics of my topic, I invite you to  contact me directly  about how I might tailor my presentation to best suit an audience you may have in mind: 

Universities,  churches,  think-tanks, legislative bodies, environmental  organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs, PTA's  and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

What else can you do to help? Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are crucially necessary for saving our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my  "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why  Mama ain't happy.

3. Here are a few more GRATOLA-related blogs that you can share with your most powerful friends, leaders, journalists and movie producers.

Click here for links  to all blogs and SOS Memos since 2016

Until next time, just remember...

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.

This SOS Memo series was created by:

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

In the past two years, I have spoken at a  VegFest in
Fort Myers, at  in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, the   College of the Holy Cross  in Worcester, MA, a  Plant Powered Manhattan  event in New York, at a lakeside health conference in  South Haven, Michigan, in Buffalo, NY, at the University of Scranton, at Dr.  Fuhrman's  Golden Gate Health Getaway  in California and at the Healthy World Sedona Health and Sustainability Conference in AZ.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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