Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Post-Peak Oil, Climate Change and Green Jobs

Post-Peak Oil, Climate Change and Green Jobs

PVs and Wind are somewhat of an illusion. Neither supplies the voltage and amperage needed to do the great majority of the electrical work that our society has grown accustomed to.

The key to a bountiful green building economy is the reversal of the thirty, fifty, one hundred year trend of sprawl development in the United States.

By rebuilding neighborhoods and reallocating goods and services to those renovated neighborhoods (made walkable, meaning that the great majority of Americans will be able to get what they need within walking distance of their homes), we can succeed.

Such a tremendous dedication of resources will be a boom to the building trades and will create the effect of reducing automobile usage by 80% in the next 20 to 40 years. Neighborhood commercial, community and work/telecommute centers will be centrally placed in what are now alienating, automobile dependent, strictly residential areas, alleviating the problems associated with post-peak oil and climate change and bringing with it the quality of life associated with communities and neighborhoods, that most individuals and families currently lack.

If we do this, we can take the opportunity to retrofit for weatherization, passive solar design (heating and cooling), electronic environmental controls, solar assisted hot water applications, limited PV and wind applications, etc.

Also, if done correctly, we can make changes in ownership arrangements that are much more fair and just, and work towards an equitable distribution of wealth among neighborhoods.

Please do contact me so that we can establish a working relationship and together build a great future for the building trades, for youth and children, for the world.

In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
Eugene, OR

Restructuring Financial/Economic Systems

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 workers, borrowers, 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.

We must replace the current equity trading systems, corporate conglomerate corporations, insurance companies, and usurious banking systems of the Capitalist status quo with a worldwide Peoples' Equity Union with branches in every community/neighborhood.

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

Housing and Property Ownership

Concurrent with financial systems reform, where equity sharing and not-for-profit equity collaboration would replace the current financial paradigm of for-profit equity investing, equity trading, and usurious credit arrangements, we need to evolve to a different system with respect to residential and other real property occupation arrangements.

In lieu of rent or leases, people should be allowed to acquire equity in their abodes and business properties. For example, in the case of an apartment, if one paid $500 per month to a property management firm, let's say $50 per month would go to property maintenance, and another $40 to administration fees, insurance, etc. This would leave the resident with $410 of accumulated equity added to their account each month. If we had a large cooperative housing organization (preferably world-wide, and preferably the only form of property ownership) then when someone had to move or wanted to move, they could take their equity with them to the new property.

With regards to mortgages, they are horribly usurious and should be banned. The scenario related above would also replace the current system of financing "home ownership loans".

A huge problem that we are facing now is the terrible inflation in the market values of real property (and capital assets, for that matter). If we pooled our equity, pooled our assets, and collectively wrote off our liabilities, then we could significantly write down the market values of real and capital assets.

More on Equity Union(s)

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 would serve the needs of the people.

In local and inter-community equity unions, equity sharing would be the modus operandi. People with funds being held in equity unions would have the option of sharing in primarily worker owned community betterment projects based on the principles of quality of life, equity (which means ownership, and also means equality), humanity, and sustainability (which means there will be an economy and natural resources for the youth and the children, and for generations to come).

If the inflation spiral can be removed (and the cost of real and capital assets brought back to earth), then indigent and poor workers could hope to increase their equity holdings and quality of life assets and equity investors could hope to get their money back. Some endeavors, beyond poor workers enrichment, would be not-for-profit. That is, profits made beyond a pre-determined return to the poor workers, would be re-invested in more such worker/community betterment hybrid businesses (preferably cooperatives).

Equity investments in community businesses could not be sold to others, but could be bought back at par value (the price of the share of the stock when it was invested). Such would be discouraged, and disallowed if it was a qualified low-income/low wealth equity investor, who may, or may not if they were allowed to collect (limited) personal dividends.

Equity Union branches in low income/low wealth neighborhoods would be allowed to set up a (501)(c)(3) to receive donations to an equity fund for their neighborhoods, to be kept in a local Equity Union and the funds allocated (equity grants) by a Board committed to community betterment and the likely success of the endeavor(s).

Mike Morin
Eugene, OR, USA
(541) 343-3808

Equity Union – An Example
Getting Started

Hi Mike,

(rest of letter deleted)

[By the way, I presently have more income than is best for my
lifestyle, and now have recently gotten my hands on some extra money.
I'm not used to this situation. Do you have any suggestions about
where to 'invest' for the greater good, keeping in mind that my main
concerns remain first 'global heating', and then generally shorter
paths to possible eutopias vs. possible extreme dystopias?]


Hi Dan,

(rest of letter deleted)

I, too, have some discretionary funds that I would like to put into trust
for public service and altruistic endeavors. Perhaps, you and I (and others if we can find them) should investigate creating a local Peoples' Equity fund. My idea on that is to see if we can open a group trust account in a Credit Union, where each trustee would have an individual account, yet allocations to community betterment projects could be done collectively, with each individual signing off on the amount that they want to dedicate to the project.

The idea would be that we would "invest" in community betterment projects with the care that we would expect to only get the par value of our "investment" back or we could choose to make individual and/or collective tax-deductible or maybe tax credit eligible contributions to "qualified" 501(c)(3) community betterment organizations (CBOs)

CBOs could be not-for-profit, non-profit or both.

That's enough for now.

What think?


Africa-South America Summit in Venezuela Cements South-South Collaboration


Congratulations on the steps of the peoples of the south to consolidate their competitive position an try to relinquish their financial subservience to the Capitalists of the North. It is a positive move to extricate economic activity from the parasites of the north who only own paper and consume real goods produced by the workers of the south and east. Although China is physically in the North, I think that is an ally that you want to cooperate with as well as oil and gas rich Iran and Russia and surrounding countries. Many others too, until you isolate the Capitalist NATO hegemony and force them into unity and cooperation with your higher moral and ethical approach to economy.

We workers, here in the north (the USA and elsewhere), would welcome the freedom from the unfair dominance of banking interests and landlordism and warlordism.

Thee all should focus on whatever comparative advantage that you have within your communities to build internal, relocalized wealth and sovereignty. Ecological economic redevelopment based on needs, especially of the poor and based on village sovereignty, inter-community, and inter-regional unity and cooperation and based on the principles of inclusion, humanity, equity, quality of life, environmental/public health and wellness, sustainability, and peace.

I think that you should strongly consider changing the name of your initiative. A Bank is investor owned and loans imply a usurious relationship to the borrower. You would be well advised to adopt an equity sharing modus operandi and call your initiatives EquitySur, EquityASA, and EquityWorld.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blog Post to AFL-CIO

Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has extended the olive branch to US Labor and Leaders.

We need to work in unity and cooperation with our brothers and sisters around the world, which includes acceptance of and participation with the Bolivarian Movement (ALBA) and their financial arm BancoSur and extended into Africa BancASA as a "fair trade" alternative to the World Bank and IMF. The extension of such to all communities would go a long way towards giving us the ability to plan and implement an ecological economic democratic redevelopment plan based on the needs of all workers, communities, and the poor.

To face the the crises of financial meltdown, resource constraints, and population pressures, we need to fundamentally restructure the financial/economic system.

The fundamental mission and principles need to be inclusion, humanity, equity, quality of life, environmental/public health and wellness, sustainability, and peace. We need benevolent direction in forming an economic democracy that recognizes the need for village/neighborhood sovereignty and equity, inculcates, fosters and facilitates inter-community, inter-regional and world unity and cooperation.

We need a financial/economic system that is dedicated foremost to meeting peoples' needs and reasonable wants and replaces the greed and hoarding based Capitalist system of exploitation of people and resources that takes unfair advantage of accumulated competitive advantage to benefit from such and from equity trading, usurious loans and inequitable property and asset holding practices with an Equity Union, a financial/economic system that fosters and facilitates equity sharing for community betterment programs and projects.

We need to fundamentally change the ways and means in which resources are allocated to and within communities and within and among economic sectors.

I will follow this post with a brief synopsis describing in some detail the fundamentals of such an equity union.

Thank you.

In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
Peoples' Equity Union
Eugene, OR
(541) 343-3808

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is "Capitalism" Failing?

Hi Dan,

Thanks for writing.

I came across the Minsky article on-line and skimmed it.

The prediction that Capitalism would self-destruct originally came from
Marx, or so many say.

You would get ancient (1932) arguments from insidious Capitalists who
infiltrated the Socialist Party of "Great" Britain, that Marx was wrong
(based on recoveries that happened from previous recessions or panics) and
today's version of those Oxford (b)Rats would point to the recovery that
followed the Great Depression (ignoring the horrors of World War II and the
continuing military build-up and population/unemployment "relief" of active
military service in "skirmishes" like Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq,
Afghanistan, etc. - of course such "Keynesian" stimulus of the economy is
hardly "free enterprise", but the issue that we were discussing was
"Capitalism" not "free enterprise"). Most of us, had our wits about us and
pointed out that it was wars and military build-ups and actions that "saved"

I don't think that will happen again. It looks like Obama is going to reject
the escalation that the Generals and Military Industrial Complex want in
Afghanistan, and if we stay on the case, eventually, maybe, they will
withdraw all the USA insurgent troops from occupied countries. I don't sense
that the people of the USA have the will to escalate to a full-blown
insanity, and since we don't have the youth manpower, if such was the route
taken by the "Economic" Generals then it would be a missile to missile war
that would have the danger of becoming nuclear. Anyway, despite the
ridiculous grumblings over North Korea, there really doesn't seem to be much
potential for a Western "theatre" this time, especially given the leadership
on climate change most recently taken by Hu Jin Tao and Obama's seemingly
sympathetic harmony.

Hope is hard to find and Hu's proclamation was brief, but he did mention
that development need be focused on the common people. If Hu is accepted as
World Leader in this regard, then that is an obvious step in the correct
direction regarding the evolution to a socialist world. However, a small
proclamation does not a fundamental economic change make. No specifics from
Obama and other "Western"/"Northern" leaders whether they are willing and/or
know how, and can get their bosses and their minions to cooperate in such a
fundamental/radical change in the economic modus operandi.

I do know this. Capitalism is dead and the only way that I see to a recovery
is the pooling of equity and assets, the writing down of the ridiculously
inflated prices of real and capital assets, and using that opportunity to
shift to an economy that focuses on human needs and equity sharing rather
than profits for the relatively few with usurious loan and unscrupulous
equity trading and investing as is extant in the system today.

We also need to move to an economic system that does not eschew
externalities (social, environmental). A planned ecological economy based on
the sovereignty of the local village/neighborhood, inter-community and
inter-regional unity and cooperation, which allocates resources to and
within communities and within and among economic sectors, based on the
principles of inclusion, humanity, equity, quality of life,
environmental/public health and wellness, sustainability, and peace based on
the concepts of cooperative communitarianism, mutualist organizations,
socialism, and economic democracy would be the model.

We do not have a dearth of declarations in the last generation.

We have:

The Earth Charter
The Ten Key Values of the Green Party
The Seven Basic Principles of the International Cooperative Alliance
The Belem Declaration and
Jeremy Rifkin's Declaration of Interdependence...

Thanks again for writing.

Keep in touch.


Guns, Friends, and Oppression

Right on, Vanessa...

At least you and I see it the same, and I do know that we're more than a
minority of two.

The question is, how much more than two are we, and how would we
communicate to and organize that world majority to disable the US War Machine, once and
for all, and for good.

It has not been in the headlines in the Google Commercial Pyramid News, has
not been reported in the local Register (for the) Guard, but occasionally I
do new searches on Hugo Chavez as he seems to be one of the brightest hopes
among recognized world leaders, and the Capitalist Press is reporting a $2
billion (small by USA Standards of Living) "arms" deal (mostly for short
range missiles) with Russia. It seems a shame that Hugo's (as it is a
bigger one in the USA) efforts to help the poor have to run into such "cold war
mentality" opportunity costs.

Think about what we could do with respect to community betterment with that
two billion, and what is the "defense" budget in the USA (approaching a
$trillion a year). It's absurd, but Mr. Frias would be hard to convince to
try another "holy experiment", wouldn't he/they?

But somehow, in this age of communications, why can we not convince all
that the course that we are on is SOOOOOO.....COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE and so
abysmally tragic in the face of the challenges confronting the human legacy?

By the way, did you ever see the irony in the name of the Venezuelan
contactthat you gave me WAL(ter) MART(inez)? Just crossed my mind today, when
someone mentioned K(enyon) MART(in), he's a basketball player, I think.
Anyway, if someone is playing practical jokes on me and you, it is totally
inappropriate, because I am completely committed to peace work. Not that a
far Leftist like me could now say that he represents the potential
trajectory of the USA Government, or even represents a majority view of the
people of the USA, but I think it is important that peace through socialism
become an established mission throughout the world, including the USA.

So, if my letters to Walter are in vain (he has yet to answer one, but he
is not alone) then please get me another ALBA, BancoSur connection. The
Peoples Equity Union initiative is too important to be falling on deaf ears and
blind eyes, and it really does "constitute" a peace plan between the
Capitalist "Private" (would allow them to become Quasi-Public) sector and
the Socialist Public one(s).

I can't guarantee Socialists/Communists protection from persecution. The
police in Eugene, Oregon, USA have been forthright about the differences
between them denying my First Amendment (Free Speech) Claims, being that
in a "public" domain, I am allowed to express whatever opinion that I choose
(though there is some controversy as to whether how loud I can get, which
is somewhat ridiculous in that they allow so much NOISE and other sorts of
pollution (including squandering) go unabated constantly in this land where
the police are afraid to bother the very loud, who are minions of a
legitimized Capitalist Criminal Class (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, junk food
distributors and dealers). but that I am ABSOLUTELY RESTRICTED FROM
EXPRESSING DISSONANCE OF ANY SORT (usually my criticisms have been about
the decadent and inhumane manifestations incorporated in their arm of
Capitalist "trade") in a PRIVATE "Place of Business" (including when the local
merchants take over public space to carry out their ridiculous traditions
of false hipness (They're large scale Capitalists who like to play a phony
hippie game that they're small scale artisans (don't get me wrong, I'm all
for small scale artisans but that isn't who these people are...It is a
relatively rare talent who can make their living with artisanry these

I can't promise Socialists/Communists protection from persecution because I
know our history and I know my history, but the authorities know (and
here's the tricky part, always have known), that I am an unarmed Quaker, who would
prefer to be the leader of the Peoples' Ami rather than the Peoples' Army,
who would not intentionally lead otherwise good folks to take up arms
against the status quo.

Arlo Guthrie, a Great Friend, once queried Richard Nixon, who CLAIMED to be
a Quaker, concerning covert listening devices, "What else don't you know?"

Jokingly, I answer for "Dick": That's impossible, man, how can I tell you
what I DON'T know...;-)

Anyway, the following is the truth. On September 10th, 2001, I called Hugh
Davis, a Great Friend, and left a message on his phone calling him "Hugh
Lockerbe" (for reasons that I will not now take the time to explain), and
not so well, the rest is a rather tragic and ongoing episode in our human

Enough for now.

In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Response to World Socialist Party Regarding AFL-CIO

Thank you for the heads up on Trumka.


He takes over a very ineffectual AFL-CIO, who as we know from our Labor History and personal and familial experience struggled mightily to form, only to retreat to the allowed role of collective bargaining and have over the years seen this compromised position eroded so terribly as to have to acknowledge almost a complete lack of a Labor Movement in the United States (and elsewhere?)...

Just minutes after I read your piece on Trumka, I got an e-mail from the AFL-CIO, inviting me to join their movement. I joined saying that I am a Union member (I am the Chief Organizer of the Peoples' Equity Union, not (yet?) a member of the AFL-CIO. When asked to specify, the only category that fit was "other".

You see, when checking out a rather long list of affiliated Unions, it became very clear that the Union has a (very decimated) body, but no brain whatsoever. I will elaborate on this point, when I discuss what I watched of Trumka's speech.

Included was a series of videos of Trumka's "acceptance" and leadership speech, which I watched the almost the first two (of about seven), enough to allow me to offer the following observations.

Trumka concedes the ownership of all resources to the Capitalists and Corporations, including the press. "But you can't own us", he defiantly growled to a crowd that looked like Sweeney's Union of Office Workers. No contention, only that Organized Labor "built a "middle class" by "fighting" and would do the same again (i.e. rebuild a middle class by fighting). His facial expressions revealed he knew the absurdity of his claim.

My questions for Trumka and thee all, relate to these two areas of consideration.

First of all, would a true labor movement concede ownership to the Capitalists?

I think that you all would agree that the answer is no...

Secondly, was it a middle class that we built or a dysfunctional Capitalist empire?

True, once upon a time, some if not many of our families moved via Union and non-Union gains of "post-war" (it was to a large extent the continuance of a military industrial complex as a base of the expanding economy) abundance based on the assumption of infinite available resources to fuel infinite economic growth (abstractions) into this "great American Middle Class". Some if not many could eventually work their ways into positions of petty Capitalism and/or Corporate participation in the ownership drive of Capitalist global hegemony. Certainly, many of us were put into positions where we were allowed to take mortgages (on what once were relatively affordable properties).

But the American dream has died for most and Trumka's call for its revival (in other words) is ridiculous.

Let's assess the term "middle class". I find it offensive. First of all, it assumes that it is something less than noble to be "working class". I am proud to be a worker, but I doubt joining an organization such as the AFL-CIO, which accepts the rules of the Capitalist game, is going to allow me to gain equity in what is a fundamentally inequitable and "out of sight" and irrational economic system.

Secondly, defining the goal as reaching a higher class, but not quite the highest, explicitly accepts a legitimacy of a ruling Capitalist Class.

We must say no.

Where the Union brain must step in and become coordinator of the body is in the definition of a mission for one big (world) union and the fundamental principles that underlie that mission (inclusion, equity, humanity, quality of life, environmental/public health and wellness, sustainability, and peace).

We must ALL understand that the economic system never was (and never should be) run by invisible hands. Given resource constraints, equity and population concerns, we all need a union of heart, mind, and body to plan and implement an ecological economic redevelopment within the aforestated mission principles.

We need to somehow come to consensus for methodologies for reimagining, reorganizing, restructuring, reforming, reallocating, rebuilding our communities. Such will take a fundamental reassessment of the way that we allocate resources among and within economic sectors and to and within villages/communities. Inter-community, inter-regional, and world unity and cooperation is and will be essential.

I have, in a way, joined the AFL-CIO, because as an old record album from the sixties was titled ,"I Salute the Body Politic".

I have great respect and empathy for labor movements throughout the world and the terrible sacrifices and partial gains that such have made beneath the shackles of overlords and their ways of oppression.

Let us start and eventually finish our finite existences on this planet by declaring peace.

It's not all we're saying
but give peace a chance...
- John Lennon

In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Comparative Economic Systems - Community/Worker Ownership and Benefit

It has been a long time since I studied Comparative Economic Systems (in the 70's) and, needless to say, much has changed in the former Soviet Union sphere, and not much was ever known and/or documented in the "Western world" about "economic systems" in the Peoples Republic of China and in Cuba and other places. Much of what we hear or ever heard about changes in China, especially since the passing of Mao must be filtered through the lens of Western propaganda. With respect to Cuba, we get both reactionary Capitalist propaganda and eutopian socialist propaganda (such as the organic gardening and farming movement).

With regard to China we get charges of "State Capitalism", with respect to Cuba, we get promising reports of cooperative communitarianism in action.

Suffice to say, there is no perfect model, nor in a dynamic world rife with the horrors and continuing horrors of human history, could we expect such.

I hope that there are people on this list that remember and understand more about the economic systems in the second (Soviet sphere) and third (China, Cuba, and others) world when they were functioning at their best and their deterioration and/or adaptation in relation to the Capitalist pressures that have been applied. Such could lead to some interesting discussion and perhaps, at the risk of losing my ultimate cynicism, move us forward towards world unity in the hope of realizing an economic democracy.

From this point on, I want to discuss attempts to democratize the economy in the Capitalist world. There have been attempts at succession in the form of utopian communities such as New Harmony and various others that I can't remember to name. There have been attempts to compete, with mutual organizations (one person/one vote), the most salient being credit unions (which are very far from exemplary because they are in the business of making loans (reduced usury is still usury in a Capitalist Financial System which is fundamentally usurious)) and mutual insurance companies, which by their very existence in the Capitalist system have to compete for "investors" and therefore, and by definition of the workers' cooperative, can only hold Capitalist portfolios (for-profit companies).

There are marketing cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, and producer cooperatives (not really owners' cooperatives because they are (or were?) found mostly, if not exclusively, in the farming sector and it is well known about the history and existence of the dominance of the credit sector relative to farms. Such producer cooperatives really can't be considered workers' cooperatives because of the nature of their relationship to wage labor (particularly burdened by seasonality).

There appears to be an effort, if not a tiny minority of success of workers' cooperatives, in Capitalist Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. I say this because of the existence of offices of the International Cooperative Alliance in these areas.

The ALBA Initiative may be a promising one, with the initiative of the Bolivarian Latin and South to form the Bancosur (or Bank of the South) as a counter-action to the World Bank, IMF and hegemonic usurious domination of the dollar. The one exception that I take to Bancosur is that they are calling it a Bank, implying that there is an investor class, although it being perhaps State Monies garnered fron Nationalized Oil Companies and other such firms, and that it will make by definition usurious loans. If they are loans, they are by definition usurious and equity sharing arrangements as I have proposed via a Peoples Equity Union would be preferable, more equitable, and more constructive.

Furthermore nationalizations are border arbitrary and based on a certain amount of State Fascism and confiscation. While, the argument can be made that such is necessary in the face of the unfair Competitive Advantage, inequitable, and ecologically irresponsible practices of neo-liberal International Capitalists, the ideal is not the nation-state, but the locale, the village, the neighborhood. I think that our world leader, Hugo Chavez, is hip to this, having read about his understanding and appreciation of Maoist principles.

I wonder how we, in the Financial North, escape from under the crush of Centuries of Capitalist domination, especially in light of the fact that we have such a relatively large minion of ownership class/consumers amongst us. They are not likely no listen to, or try to understand, an economic system based on human needs not their selfish gain and one with a mission and principles of inclusion, humanity, equity, quality of life, environmental/public health and wellness, sustainability, and peace for the purpose of ecological economic redevelopment.


A very famous recent experiment in economy of scale has been the Mondragon Cooperative Society in the Basque Region of Spain. Suffice to say, as they continued to expand, they ran into non-cooperating Capitalist pressures, coupled with the overall deteriorating economic conditions in the Capitalist world, it has caused them to buckle; to compromise their ideals, and to begin to experience business failures.

In the United States and elsewhere, Corporations sometimes offer Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) Plans to workers, thus making workers into small-time Capitalists. Such workers probably tend to hold these relatively small holdings closely. So, if the Corporation is faring well then the workers reap some of the benefits of being Capitalists (dividends and to a much lesser extent profit-taking on speculation and equity trading). In the past twenty years or so, particularly in the Midwestern United States Capitalists have negotiated increasing use of ESOPs in lieu of wages to sell obsolete capital to workers (including management).

There have been some initiatives to organize workers into workers' cooperatives in the failing mill regions of northern New England to sell the obsolete capital to the workers' cooperatives. Semi-fortunately, they were repeatedly advised by a Consulting Group in Boston, not to buy. However, when the mills closed they were left out of work.

In a quasi-syndicalist "movement" by Labor Unions in Capitalist Europe, the Unions in some countries bargained for or legislated equal representation with the Capitalists on the Boards of Directors of Corporations. This is called co-determination. In the United States, the only known or well known instance of Union Representation on a major Board of Directors was ONE SEAT given to the UAW as part of the US Government bailout of Chrysler (before they were bought by Mercedes).


Summing up, I implore you all to consider the Peoples Equity Union concept, working together with the Bancosur as the model for fundamental economic restructuring.

Community Betterment everywhere!

If we work together, finally we can realize a world of unity and cooperation based on such purpose not the defeat, extinction, exploitation, and dominance of others and their resources as has been the modus operandi of the Capitalist Colonialist status quo.

Mike Morin
Peoples Equity Union
(for Community Betterment)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

With Respect to Food Policy and Programs

Dear AGRA Kenya and AGRA Ghana et al.

As brother/sister communities in a world of potential unity and cooperation dedicated to meeting the needs of people within the confines of a finite planet, I applaud your initiative.

At least one caveat: as we aim to move from industrialized oligarchies and Finance and Market dominated paradigms of Agriculture, so much the colonialist mentality of the "first world", to a world which is free from such domination where local needs are primary and ALL areas strive for relocalization of production and distribution of the food resource (and other necessities), remember the mission and basic principles of inclusion. humanity, equity, quality of life, environmental/public health and wellness, sustainability and peace.

You need to see your initiative as one consistent with a cooperative communitarian/mutualist/socialist world effort to wash off the irrational and self-serving shackles of Capitalist Market hegemony that enslaves the world over.


Anyway, the "first green revolution" was Financed by Ford and Rockefeller and USAID, with a partial good intention to feed the planet, but also with the intention to monopolize the means of production, inputs, etc.

Gates is MS-NBC/GE, he is the biggest Corporate Capitalist of our times, and one should approach his intentions with caution.

A good Friend bemoans that with all the mergers and acquisitions of the last generation, that we will soon be ONE BIG CORPORATION. My response is that Maybe that is close to what we need to be, but mind thee all, a company that is not-for-profit, and non-profit where it needs to be, and is dedicated to meeting the needs of all folks on the planet within the mission and principles that I have stated previously. And a company that can not allow unscrupulous operators to eschew their personal responsibilities

Mike Morin

Economic Paradigm Change and World Equity Union

Thanks for chiming in, Steve.

Yes, if only we knew 30 years ago, what we know now...

We did have much more of a window of opportunity before the disastrous inflationary onset of supply side economics.

Repopulating farmland with smaller farms and a unified world policy of moving towards self-sufficiency in all regions needs to occur.

Two major obstacles to our potential for human progress are:

1.) The resistance that the greedy and self-interested holding what they believe to be a competitive advantage in a genocidal, ecocidal, suicidal economic game manifesting itself in either honestly naive, but more likely disingenuous "free-market/invisible handed" fanaticism...who refuse to come forward to cooperate with a plan and implement modus operandi based on human needs and the reality of a finite planet.

2.) The terrible inflation caused by the supply side economics generation which has driven the cost of real and capital assets outside the reach of almost all, who might want to take an economic risk within a mythical entrepreneurial opportunities environment (e.g. buy and operate a small farm).

The only solution that I see to this latter problem is the formation of a world equity/assets unions which would allow us to write off the inflated "market rates" to the level where a new generation of communitarian/mutualist/socialist commerce can be started.

In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
World Peoples' Equity Union
Eugene, OR, USA
(541) 343-3808

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Concerning Post-Peak Fuel, Climate Change, and Automobiles

We can only hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fossil fuels usage by 50 to 80% over a period of many years.

Although some say that it is already too late to try to radically reduce, and others say it is immediately urgent, it does not take an abundance of common sense to comprehend that we are not going to change personal and collective behaviors overnight, not even to a great extent within the next 2 to 5 years.

But if we can hope that we have time to change things significantly over the next generation, then we can proceed as if what we write, say, and do, CAN make a difference.

I believe that one area (not the only one) where we can make a substantial difference is in the use of the personal automobile.

I have not had an automobile for ten years, and previously drove seldom. I rented a car for one day in that ten year period, rode with friends in trips to go exploring and/or hiking about ten or 15 times during that period. I mostly walk, sometimes ride a bus, and occasionally ride my bicycle.

My ecological behavior is a product of many years of comprehension, lifestyle learning, and much carefulness in my personal decisions. HOWEVER, I also understand that I am in a fortunate position in that my time is my own and the location that I have chosen to reside is relatively unusual, especially for the sprawl city in which I live, (Eugene, Oregon, USA)- which would be more appropriately named Roadmania... relatively unusual in that I can get almost everything that I need within walking distance of my abode (it does help some that my needs/wants are relatively scant).

However, recognizing what a super-novatic fluke the automobile is in human history (100 mere years with the acceleration of its absurd domination in the last 60 years)could open tremendous opportunity to lower greenhouse gases and free up the use of fossil fuels for more priority (and reduced within those priorities)purposes .

We need to set as a goal in the USA to reduce the use of the personal automobile by 80% in the next 20 to 40 years.

This can be done by explicitly fully committing to a plan and implement modus operandi of Private (Quasi-public) and Public allocation of resources to reorganize the people, reallocate goods and services production and distribution, and rebuild neighborhoods so that all citizens can get what they need and reasonably want within walking distance of their homes.

Not only will such ecological economic redevelopment help serve the twin crises of post-peak oil/gas and climate change, but it will go a long way towards improving the quality of life for all, allowing us to re-establish true community in our neighborhoods. If done correctly, it can also help greatly to rectify the equity and humanity problems that we now suffer from in modern life.

In Peace, Friendship, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
Eugene, OR, USA