The story of capital and social inequality makes it clear: In a world ruled by capital, young Virgin Islanders and other residents must understand economics and finance.
Understanding capital offers insight into the why of social and wealth inequality, and further offers knowledge and advantage in how to build individual, corporate and communal wealth — which drives Virgin Islands prosperity. Wealth and capital are synonyms. The quality of capital and its management decide standard of living and quality of life.
Furthermore, economics and finance — the study of capital and economic growth — are the route to wealth for the younger generation. In a world driven by capital, these disciplines enable young people to build a prosperous future.
Ideas of mixed economy and socialism are useful models of governance inasmuch as both offer alternative routes to a wholesome society where government and community — as opposed to private individuals — own capital on behalf of society. But pure capitalism remains the most ubiquitous and prevailing idea.
For youths to engage with society, then, they must understand how capital and finance work. An understanding of business and capital will offer insight into the macro environment in which the financial services and tourism industries operate. That will further the vision into what will continue to grow the VI industries, from which all young people will benefit.
Whether skilled or unskilled, a workforce that understands how the economy works at the macro level will better understand how financial services and tourism affect the VI at the micro level when employed by these industries.
Developing financial and business literacy at an early age offers advantage for both individuals and the wider community. A business-oriented education simply means adding business learning to the wider subject field. Teaching the basics of economics, investment and financial management is a great start for all young people. It places their passions and learning into a business mould. Indeed, every skill and profession is a business.
Meanwhile, the relationship with money decides standard of living and quality of life. In a society that depends on trade, financial services and tourism for its economic existence, business learning should be in the DNA of all learning.
How capital works
When adopted early, saving and investing are disciplines that make life navigable in a world where capital rules. There is no escaping the reality that capital drives modern society.
Therefore, knowledge of how capital works is an imperative. This includes understanding various concepts: how cash and debt are created; investing and saving; why debt is central to an economy; how debt drives banking and finance; debt capital as cash flow and driver of local business; bank capitalisation; demand and supply; growth and recession; deficit and surplus; and more.
Such knowledge helps provide the territory with a well-equipped, business-savvy, and efficient workforce. That is only a good thing.