What's cool in the GTIA Portfolio...
With respect to the "nature of wealth", I think that the "quality of life" paradigm in lieu of the "standard of living" paradigm needs to be stressed.

"Quality of life" includes personal happiness for self, family, friends, neighbors, and all others. It includes ownership opportunities for all and everybuddy having the things they need, including health, healthy and loving relations with family, friends, neighbors, and all the people of the world. It includes peace on earth, and it includes a future for all the children of the world.

"Standard of living" implies maximizing the consumption of things.

The current Capitalist dominated system is dysfunctional both from an equity/fairness and economic and natural resource sustainability perspective.

The dominant paradigm in Capitalist financial business operations uses something called the discount rate which assumes that money will be worth less (eventually worthless) in the future, thus creating a necessity to extract profits exceeding a "hurdle" rate leading to unfair and unwise exploitation of both workers and natural resources, and to rampant inflation.

The use of credit is not a good business or personal practice. In business, it should be discouraged because creditors have first claims on net revenues and hold liens on real property and capital assets. For "consumers", the use of credit is unwise because the system is set up to extract profits from interest thus assuring that when consumers use credit that they are losing money relative to inflation. Certainly the current foreclosure crisis in the USA is ample evidence of the inflation and the unfairness and unhealthiness of the mortgage lien process.

Credit Unions and Mutual Insurance companies are in theory attempts to institute non-profit economic democracies for their respective industries. However, because of the need to compete for customers, both of these relatively progressive financial service organization types are forced to play the same game that is basically destructive to individuals, families, communities, and the natural environment. Ideally, credit should only be used as a last resort, much more preferably not at all. We should replace all aspects of the extant financial system with an Equity Union. In some ways, a mutual insurance company is similar to an equity union. However, because such companies are required to realize profits in order to compete for "policy holders" (really investors), the companies that comprise the portfolios of the mutual insurance firms cannot be not-for-profit, can not be mutual organizations themselves.

In a not-for profit Equity Union financial services system based on principles of mutuality working in concert with ethical, wise, knowledgeable, and intelligent community, inter-community, inter-regional, and worldwide planning there would certainly be an important role for financial service workers.

A major impediment to such an Equity Union would be the competitive advantage of the current financial sector and the fear of the friction of change to those individuals and organizations. Dealing with this sector of "the" economy, it would be more feasible with regards to Capitalist resistance and more humane, to orderly and peacefully transition to an Equity Union, coordinated with ecologically sound economic planning.

I am writing and talking about transitioning slowly, methodically, and with the minimum amount of friction and hardship from a dysfunctional financial system, based on self-interest, to one designed to benefit everybuddy.

At risk of understatement, it will take a huge amount of work to educate folks to the need and benefits of such change and to communicate the basic Plan. Transition Planning will also be a very difficult process, but I see no alternative to the current, impending and worsening global economic, political, social, and natural environmental collapse.

The Peoples' Equity Union concept is designed to be a grass roots, popular choice "movement". I am organizing with individuals, workers, and shopkeepers in my neighborhood, adjoining neighborhoods, and through the inter-net to whomever I can attract an interest in the concept.

The focus is primarily local, yet global at the same time. It is my dream, not a hope yet, to encourage a critical mass of people to organize locally around a unifying mission, unifying principles, unifying strategies, and unifying tactics in order to minimize the amount of executive administration at the regional and global levels.

The theory is that neighborhood locales, the neighborhood community/worker hybrid association will have maximum autonomy and will be guided only, in their inter-community and inter-economic sector relationships by regional Planning Boards and a Global Policy Committee.

The goal is to be a true economic democracy: of, for, and by the people.

Tags: Equity, Financial, Life, Quality, Reform, Systems, Union(s), of

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please have a look at my presentation at http://slideshare.net/mukhtaralam for further strengthening the argument for reforming finance instituions especially for mitigating climate change.
Can you tell me more about Equity Union? I am finishing a book about Sustainable Community Finance Systems, and reconnecting with your money and investing locally.
http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html

Mike:

No matter what the situation, whenever there is conversation related to the difference between capitalism and socialism, we inevitably end up with a polarized division between what some would call right and left political viewpoints. Capitalism is seen by some as a free individual's right to own private property and others as a financial system run by corporations. Similarly, some view socialism as a collective community interest in the mutual welfare of the individuals in the community, thereby acting with justice and fairness in implementation of decisions to help the whole. Others see socialism as government ownership of property and monetary policy, banking and centralized elitist oligarchical control over the people (serfs, sheep, slaves, etc...). Right now our country has a combination of both Corporatism and Oligarchical Socialism. The government currently jumps to the needs of multi-corporations. Back room deals are made to benefit elitist politicians in exchange for the benefit of elitist corporate execs. I included a link that is more than thirty years old at the top of this discussion in order to illustrate the complicated tentacles that the current Central Bank has in our corporate system. You and I would both agree that currently the Rothchild (estimates are that the Red Shields own more than half the worlds wealth) and Rockefeller families (owners of an estimated quarter of the world's wealth) have more to do with financial oppression than any other organization or family on the planet. So, my point is that though I agree with many of your Utopian ideas (wish we lived on the planet depicted in the movie Avatar before the humans came to take the unobtainium), the possibility of breaking up the cartel is near impossible. People have tried for thousands of years. See excerpts below of Lou Dobbs explanation of what happened to powerful presidents that tried:

" The Federal Reserve a big, loud, coordinated, conspiratorial lie of omission committed to by every single news outlet in our nation. What is this lie? It is keeping up the false impression that the Federal Reserve is part of our government! The Fed is a private, for profit bank, that controls our government and economy. They control the money supply, inflation, depression, recessions, etc. They are not accountable to Congress, the executive branch or anyone in government. The revolutionary war was started primarily to get away from a similar situation in England where the Bank of England held the same control over their nation. Revolutionaries realized this and they put an end to it. Unfortunately some traitors in the Senate reversed our true liberation and now we have a private bank, fed by government, controlling our personal financial status.

Two presidents tried to stop this outrage, and they were both assassinated. Lincoln was set to bypass the central banks in order to finance the Civil War. The banks were going to charge him 24-36% interest on the loans. So Lincoln had Congress pass a law authorizing the printing of full legal tender. These treasury notes would be used to finance the war. Lincoln wrote: "... (we) gave the people of this Republic the greatest blessing they have ever had - their own paper money to pay their own debts..." Now go and research the person who supposedly killed Lincoln and how he relates to bankers. After Lincoln was assassinated Congress revoked the Greenback Law and enacted the National Banking Act.

John F. Kennedy was the next brave man to take on the Federal Reserve. On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy signed a Presidential Executive Order 11110. This order virtually stripped the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Government at interest. Kennedy declared the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. This order gave the Treasury Department the authority to issue silver certificates against any silver in the treasury. This executive order still stands today. No president since has had the courage to invoke it for it would mean their demise. The US government is a front for the real controllers; the central bankers. What a joke this is like having aloan shark come to the rescue of someone who needs food money for his kids!" - Lou Dobbs

War is the single biggest money making business for the central bankers. We are not in Afghanistan for Osama Bin Ladin. But you know that. This is just an education for those reading this discussion that think it will be easy to implement local control over our economy, land, jobs, life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

What a scam! How do we permit this? We permit this because most people don't know about it...thanks to the criminals in the media. For if the people knew, perhaps Henry Ford's words would ring true and we would indeed take to the streets to stop this crime!

The Federal Reserve is a private bank that owns the sole right to dictate monetary policy for our nation. Almost any good liberal knows that George W. Bush was placed in office by very powerful people, not by the electorate. But most progressives are still unable to admit that B. Obama was placed there by the same gang. In fact, there has not been a truly citizen elected president since JFK. Americans let this happen because Americans are pretty much stupid people. They laugh at intelligent people as they dedicate themselves to being suckers who worship a little flag as opposed to a legitimate government. This is the biggest scam and conspiracy on our planet and we must make this part of our daily discussion. Therefore, if we do not act locally, if we do not get to know the next door neighbor, if we keep arguing over who is bourgeoisie and who is white trash, if we keep pitting Dem against GOP, we play right into the hands of the corporate aristocratic despotic thugs that put us there in the first place. Action MUST be local. Global takeover is already 99% there and the guys running the UN are the enemy. The guys at the CFR are the bad guys. The guys in the White House, Capitol, Board Room, are NOT on our side. The jury has been rigged. Forget globalism. Let's get our towns and cities prepared and educated before Martial Law puts us all in the FEMA camps.Transition Now. Global Policy will be run by the power hungry. You cannot put people in the position of ultimate authority without them ultimately controlling YOU and ME. Sorry for the lengthy blog post but I had a lot to say.
"In fact, there has not been a truly citizen elected president since JFK. Americans let this happen because Americans are pretty much stupid people."

If I may ask again, I'd like to know your definition of stupid. Day to day, I alternate between distracted and divided, if not conquered. Am I too hopeful? Are you compassionate, despite the implied disdain?

Just finished John Gardner's (1963-1964) Self Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society, in which, near the end, he states "This society is suffering not from confusion but from infidelity," having said "We know the values to which we are being unfaithful. [I]f one is concerned about therapy, it always makes a difference what the patient is suffering from."
Yes, I will agree that I should have chose better words. Stupid was Lou Dobbs word. Perhaps, "coerced", "gullible", "star-struck", "drugged", "euthanized".

Hope gave us Obama and compassion let China march in and destroy Tibet. It is time to get angry, to act, to take back our rightful pursuits of life, liberty, and happiness.

Infidelity may be a better term. But getting Americans to analyze the fact that they traded freedom for security, responsibility for comfort , participation for entertainment may need a re-education. You cannot teach values in a government-controlled school system.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygtqaH-hnFs

Take eleven minutes to view this. It gives a brief picture of how the people became stupid. You can call it disloyalty if you want. I cannot support any coercive plan to erode individual freedoms. The bigger the government, the greater the tyranny. Control is always the goal.
Regarding Mondragon


Recently, the "Solidarity Economy Network" published an article that was printed in Time Magazine, about the Mondragon "Cooperative" Corporation (MCC), MCCs recent "letter of intent" with United Steelworkers (USW), and two very small workers cooperatives start-ups in Cleveland and SF Bay. While I applaud the efforts in Cleveland and SF Bay and wish them much success and a more honorable and principled and eventually all-encompassing "growth" than the original MCC, let's not get deluded by wishful thinking and political greenwash.

You must understand the cooptation that has occurred in the Mondragon "Cooperative" CORPORATION (MCC) which started small and highly principled, but has in reality evolved to little more than another predatory Capitalist Conglomerate. Starting as International Cooperative Alliance principled workers cooperatives, MCC has devolved to a Corporation, who according to this PR glitz article, has over 100 workers' cooperatives in a Corporation of 256 Companies. That translates to about 150 Companies, who are NOT workers' cooperatives, and knowing the history of Mondragon, it is a fairly safe bet that those 100 or so are probably functioning now as worker cooperatives in just about name only.

Early Mondragon experience can be a very useful model. But the bootstraps model that the Capitalists, including the lackey Labor Organization, USW, want us to get enthused about is a false promise and destined to fail like the MCC did in truely living out its original mission and intent.

Only a unified Socialism that precludes the corrupting missions and modus operandis of unprincipled Capitalist realities (Capitalism eschews externalities), will allow for the success of an economy that sets out to meet the needs of the people in an inclusive, equitable, humane, wellness oriented, sustainable, and peaceful manner.


Mike Morin
www.peoplesequityunion.blogspot.com
Prevention usury is now an ecological imperative while being a moral obligation since times immemorial.Those supporting usury are likely to support the character of the Fed. I think eliminating usurious finance is critical for the ensuring equity,ecological safety and harmonious local communities ready to face the post-carbon economy.
I don't call it "post-carbon" becasues all life is carbon based.

I call it post peak-oil and post fossil fuel. The lifestyles of the "Western" world is so melded to the use of fossil fuels for all aspects of luxury and survival and irrational interaction and it has arisen in the last three hundred years as an integral part of the Capitalist system which as an extension of Feudal and Imperialist Military hegemony has raped and squandered the North American continent and others in its colonialist pursuits.

I thought that the Capitalist system was reformable, but now I see what a virulent madness it is... Good planets are hard to find and we are almost through with this one. I am riding out my days in the belly of the Capitalist Imperialist beast. I still think an equity union is a superior idea for economic relations, but it will not be of the real world.

I look to the Moslem world for leadership and would recommend that they resist the decadent temptations of Western life. The US Imperialist goal of World Manifest Destiny has been a hard and violent ride. It is now almost over. The meaning of almost is not clear. 5 years? 10 years? 100 years? and there will most likely be no clear line of demarcation defining the end. They will go on with their inanity in an oblivious crusade of the ultimate paradox between evil and righteousness until there is no fuel to fire the ignitions for their chariots of luxury, for their fleets and chariots and thunderbirds and drones of war.

Perhaps the Evilest Empire of All Time, the USA, is very near defeat. Perhaps not. However long it takes to strangle the beast, I know that all that will be left is a squandered planet.

It is a shame, because with rational, equitable, humane, altruistic, education and action the overshoot of population and the scarcity of resource availability could conceivably be dealt with. Instead we are running full speed into the worst period of suffering that Man has and will ever face.

If I weren't so stir crazy from the deafening silence of an irrational people then I would be fretting about how my life will play out in the collapse.

I've tried to make positive contributions all my life, I will continue to try given any chance.


In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
Mike, I am pleased to share that we would be organising an international conference on Interst free Lending for Agriculture, Industry and Environment in New Delhi on 29-30 June, 2010. It would be wonderful to have your comments. Could be send your email address to Delhi based Center For Ecological Audit,Social Inclusion and Governance at ceasig@gmail.com

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