A theory for the Desperados Economy

A series of articles, inspired in ongoing alternative economical proposals, advancing a comprehensive market and monetary framework to inject solidarity to the desperados, and building at the same time the embrio of a new economy. 

07.- Desperado cooperatives

posted Mar 11, 2012, 10:21 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 3:06 AM ]

Unemployed should be strongly encouraged to create their own, legal, micro-enterprises, for profit enterprises, preferably co-operatives. Entrepreneurship should be strongly encouraged. Insulae should provide support, advise and training. As soon as possible, microcredit schemes or investment mechanisms should also be put in place. 

We assume that these co-operatives pass all the legal validations. They have a VAT, sign legal working contracts with the employees or cooperative workers, pass work inspections and pass sanitary inspections. They only differ on how they trade. 

We explain below the economic principles and the money circulation. 

However, Insula Cooperatives may need to work for a time in a mixed economy. That means that only a percentage of the total provisions of materials, services and payslips, will be traded in community currencies. It means also that only a part of the sales will be initially traded in community currencies.

Many countries have a legal limitation to the salary that can be paid in kind. This sets a legal limit to the volume of business that can be run within the new monetary system, in which currencies represent goods but will not comply as legal tender money for a long period.

The only almost absolute prevention is not to acquire debt in the Fractional Reserve Banking world, or limit it to the minimum necessary.

General enterprise model

Nevertheless, to explain the principles, we start with a simple approach, assuming that all business happens with community currency.
  1. Each enterprise issues its own Community Currency worth the redemption of the total sales for the next period. 
  2. It pays with this currency the labour, the raw materials and supplies and the services. 
  3. It uses a part to pay the taxes.
  4. It reserves a part for the foreseen profit. A profit is needed cause we need accumulation to launch new enterprises.
  5. The payees use this money to go to the market and exchange it for currencies representing the goods they need. They exchange it with people that need the goods this company produces.
This is the basic principle.


In practice, if we talk about micro enterprises, this may make the money exchange market too cumbersome, and enterprises may associate to use a union currency along those providing the same kind of products or services.

All Insula businesses work with the same economic principles and the same monetary system. What is described hereafter applies for the Desperado Jobs, the Insula Social Enterprises, the Cooperatives and even the Insula Administration dealing with the taxes and the citizens salary.

  1. The Desperado jobs are paid with bonds representing goods of the Associated Industries they work for. They trade these bonds with other people inside the Insula market.
  2. The Insula Social Enterprises pay their volunteers with their currency. For example, social cantinas distributing free meals pay their volunteers with bonds representing meals. The volunteers exchange them with desperados that have been paid their citizens salary by tax money in order to be able to pay their Insula taxes. At the cantinas, the desperados pay with these bonds for meals.
  3. The Insula administration pays the citizens the citizens salary in tax currency, the highest amount devoted to the unemployed, and collects in the tax currency the taxes from all Insula economic agents.
Priority sectors: Urban agriculture

Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around, a village, town or city. Urban agriculture in addition can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agro-forestry and horticulture. These activities also occur in peri-urban areas as well. Urban farming is generally practiced for income-earning or food-producing activities, though in some communities the main impetus is recreation and relaxation. Urban agriculture contributes to food security and food safety in two ways: first, it increases the amount of food available to people living in cities, and, second, it allows fresh vegetables and fruits and meat products to be made available to urban consumers. A common and efficient form of urban agriculture is the biointensive method. Because urban agriculture promotes energy-saving local food production, urban and peri-urban agriculture are generally seen as sustainable agriculture. The recognition of environmental degradation within cities through the relocation of resources to serve urban populations has inspired the implementation of different schemes of urban agriculture across the developed and developing world. From historic models such as Machu Picchu to designs for new productive city farms, the idea of locating agriculture in or around the city takes on many characteristics [1].

Hydroponics has developed a wide spread industry of hydroponic parts used by the marihuana home cultivators. The same parts can be used to cultivate tomatoes.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

 

Priority sectors: Micro-Renewables

Renewable energy is for many reasons another strategic sector. Micro-renewables programs are eligible for national and European funding, like the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) [3]. 

Micro-renewables has still low barriers for new entrants. Enterprises with a DIY (Do it Yourself) services approach using low cost material like home appliances waste and/or expensive parts bought by the customer are still on time to enter the market with very low capital requirements. Most what is needed is an investment in training and small workshops. 

 

YouTube Video

 

YouTube Video



Priority sectors: Telecommunications 

As recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya have illustrated (and Myanmar demonstrated several years prior), democratic activists around the globe need a secure and reliable platform to ensure their communications cannot be controlled or cut off by authoritarian regimes. To date, technologies meant to circumvent blocked communications have focused predominantly on developing services that run over preexisting communication infrastructures. Although these applications are important, they still require the use of a wireline or wireless network that is prone to monitoring or can be completely shut down by central authorities. Moreover, many of these technologies do not interface well with each other, limiting the ability of activists and the general public to adopt sophisticated circumvention technologies [3].

Rather sooner than later, Desperado Insulae will be the goal of different kinds of attacks by the system. Very early, Insula enterprises should be created to  put in place  alternative telecommunication services that offer communication continuity and safety for the Insula citizens under eventually very severe attacks. These services are to be considered strategic. Transaction services should be guaranteed by them, to ensure economy continuity. 

 

YouTube Video


 

YouTube Video



[1] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_agriculture
[2] Proyecto – Urban Community Farming http://www.smart-urban-stage.com/barcelona/es/ideas-2/proyecto-urban-community-farming/
[3] Commotion Wireless https://code.commotionwireless.net/projects/commotion
[4] FREEDOM BOX http://freedomboxfoundation.org/
[1] Urban Community Farming http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV2VsFqpnW0
[2] Sustainable Urban Agriculture at Harvest for the Hungry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDR2osljpYI
[3] DIY renewable energy. Solar Panel Generator products http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWBrNaW8auM
[4] GO GREEN JAMAICA! DIY RENEWABLE POWER WIND TURBINES AND SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoRBayN8lGU
[5] FreedomBox http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukvUz5taxvA
[6] James Vasile of Freedom Box - Contact Summit - New York City http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbALE4FCS1I



08.- Community Currencies

posted Mar 11, 2012, 9:36 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 3:08 AM ]

New monetary systems

New monetary system proposals are blooming. One thing is clear: we must get rid of the Fractional Reserve Banking system (FRBS).

For the state money, several proposals exist, like the monetary reform proposed by the American Monetary Institute [1] or the very similar NEF Creating New Money - A monetary reform for the information age [2]. In both approaches the state issues the money (Seigniorage) and puts it into circulation for purposes not yet agreed (public spending, replacing public debts, interest-free loans, etc.). Some others, like Digital Coin [3], which foresee a proliferation of barter systems in form of Credit Coin, see the state money as one more amongst other Credit Coin systems, the money issued by the state to pay public spending and collect taxes, ideally with currencies by country, state or city, much in line with a localization of economy.

Anyhow, this "little big bang", when the legal tender money moves away from the Fractional Reserve Banking, is going to happen at the end. I almost all proposals, Parallel and Unofficial Currencies, play a role before and after the reform.

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50 mark from Jewish ghetto in Łódź 1940

There is the increasing use of non-official currencies, quasi-currencies and vouchers, initiated by businesses and communities. Business examples include WIR (the currency of a co-operating group of Swiss businesses). Community examples include several hundred LETS (local exchange trading systems) and similar schemes like Time Dollars and Ithaca Hours [4] [5]. 

 

YouTube Video

 

YouTube Video

There is no need to arrive at the final clarity about how all this will be set in the future. Probably the right balance between state currency and parallel currencies will become a non controversial, very practical, monetary policy issue, once that the Fractional Reserve Banking is abandoned.

What is clear is that the new economy islands will need to work with this new money, having probably several currencies.

Local Exchange Trading System currencies

Local exchange trading systems (LETS), also known as LETSystems, are locally initiated, democratically organised, not-for-profit community enterprises or local for profit companies that provide a community information and transactions services for members exchanging goods and services by using the currency of locally created LETS Credits [6]. Historically, they had a boom at the financial crisis of the 1930's. Hundreds of LETS systems exist today, many promoted by governments. In Africa, MobileMoneyAfrica [7] reports 14 million users.

 

YouTube Video

 

YouTube Video

Ideally, LETSystems should be as little dependant of a central server as possible.

One of the most convenient and consistent definitions of LETS credits can be found at the Digital Coin initiative [3], mainly because it´s a conceptual explanation clean from technical implementation details. In particular, LETS credits have a very comprehensive description in the Document "Digital Coin – Bejond Money" [8] where the definition of the Credit Coin applies especially well. To make the long story short:

  1. Each enterprise (or association of enterprises) issues each year a number of LET CC, or Credit Coins, expressing value equivalent to the foreseen sales.
  2. Every Coin has an expiration date, not too far from the end of the commercial cycle. LET CC cannot be accumulated. They expire.
  3. The enterprise LET CC, or Credit Coins, are only redeemable in goods or services of the enterprise. The value at the Coins is expressed in terms of quantities of goods or services of the enterprise. When the enterprise produces a range of products or services, each of them may have a different price, also expressed in that particular coin or currency. Company ACME expects to sell products they fix to have global value of 1.000 ACMEuros. ACME issues 1.000 ACMEuro coins. Production of product A is 50 units priced 10 ACMEuros each, production of product B is 100 units priced 5 ACMEuros each.
  4. Monetary theory [9] can be applied very straightforward to find out the optimal dimensioning of coins to be issued.
  5. These LET CC are spent to pay all suppliers of the enterprise, labour, machinery, consumables, etc., including the profit, if any. The profit part requires some elaboration not worth expanding here.
  6. The suppliers use this particular currency, as any other currency, freely and anonymously in the market. It is voluntarily accepted (or rejected) based on the trust (or mistrust) of the issuing enterprise.
  7. Finally, the consumers of the products or services of the issuing enterprise will seek these coins in the market, exchanging them with other currencies.
  8. There are two pricings involved in this market, the price of the product expressed in the enterprise Credit Coin, and the price of that particular Coin in the coins exchange market.

The benefits of the LET CC, is that "Credit Coin is directly backed by real products and services, not an artificial intermediary of value like gold or silver. And, the Issuer of Credit Coin is only responsible for providing its own products and or services in return for its Credit Coin, never “money” in any form. This is a very important point. In the Credit Coin System, an Issuer’s ability to honor its credit is never dependent on the general availability of “money” in the economy, the way the ability to pay back bank loans are. The Issuer’s sole responsibility in issuing Credit Coin is that the Issuer must be able to redeem its own Credit Coin with its own products and/or services."

In order to facilitate the coexistence of different currencies at multiLETS economy islands is important is that all LETS currencies express the commitment about redemption of goods or services in the same common format, like, for example, a Ricardian Contract.

Describing digital value for payment systems is not a trivial task. Simplistic methods of using numbers or country codes to describe currencies, and ticker tape symbols to issue bonds, shares, and other financial instruments soon run into shortcomings in their ability to handle dynamic and divergent demands. The seemingly arbitrary variations in the meanings of different instruments are best captured as contracts between issuers and holders. Thus, the digital issuance of instruments can be viewed as the issuance of contracts [10].

In the simplest possible terms, a Ricardian Contract is a formatted document that is both human readable and program parsable. It identifies a Legal Issuer and an Issuance Server, and includes (OpenPGP) keys for those parties. The document is signed in (OpenPGP) cleartext form by the Legal Issuer's contract signing key. A unique identifier is formed by a canonical message digest (hash) which provides an unforgeable link to the accounting system [11].

    In the market cases we have discussed for the desperado islands it works very well.

    1. At the Osmotic pump of value business, volunteers are paid with Credit Coins worth services of the NGO they volunteer for. They go to the exchange market to buy desperado island taxes CC to pay their taxes and get their civil rights.
    2. At the Desperado employment business, workers are paid with CC of that particular enterprise association. They spend whatever they need in these products and with the rest. They go to the exchange market to get CC to buy other goods.
    3. At the internal barter of services business and at the internal barter of goods business, probably all what is needed is the CC used at that market. 

    Electronic community currencies

    There is a long tradition of on-line banking with Community Currencies, and there is plenty of software development and open source available programmes.

    A proportion of desperados will not have the skills or the means to deal with electronic money. The model is conceived as electronic, supported on wallets at PCs, tablets, mobiles or whatever, with very strict data modelling rules, but with a version in paper vouchers as well.

    In fact, and until a number of enterprises is running at the Insula market and the relationships are understood intuitively, probably at the beginning its safe to issue the currency contracts electronically but the circulation is all in paper vouchers. That is, to conceive the Community Currency as electronic by design but with a stamping of the electronic records in paper vouchers.

    An option to be considered is to avoid a central printing and print shop, start with an electronic initial distribution, and let the HOLDERS decide when they convert their money into printed paper vouchers printed at their office or home printers.

    The traditional approach to digital CC is to keep a central database that can be accessed remotely at the PC via the internet, and lately also mobile. The central database keeps a record of all account balances of all participants and the transactions are managed through this database.

    This has several drawbacks:

    1.  It is vulnerable. It can be easily attacked and dismantled.
    2.  It works on totals of the balance, as an annotation on a record by user indicating the current total. The time depreciation and extinction that is so substantial to Community Currencies is poorly managed. All money of the same currency is mixed up whatever its time of issuing. Time is better managed, like in paper, in individual "coins", that have an issuing and extinction date. The contract may change slightly at each issuing. For example, the description of committed merchandises may slightly change by season or year.
    3. Transactions are not anonymous. This is not a severe problem in local currencies.

    There is an intensive development by the crypto community on P2P alternatives of totally encrypted, totally anonymous, totally P2P digital coins, the best known is BitCoin.

    For a local economy, the security requirements are not as high as for electronic money aimed at the global economy. Each Insula decides the security level. 

    Anyhow, at least one of the parts of any transaction is known, that is, the legal issuer that commits his products with the currency. We can take advantage of this to simplify the systems. For example, the full text of the CONTRACT can be provided as a link to a site where the issuer keeps it safe and public. There is no need to sign it digitally, its available at the issuer server.

    There are plenty of possible software and web technologies settings that can be used to support the currency, the accounts and the transactions. W3C approaches and tools are strongly recommended in order to guarantee a clear and homogeneous semantic, that is, what the money actually means, and eventually provide legally valid proofs.

    It also permits transactions with discrete quantities (coins), and transactions that do not necessarily pass any central server. A simple .RTF, .DOC or .ODT document, a document that can be send by email as an attachment to a file, containing an .XML file able to be exported to a personal wallet, or just saved at a particular directory, and digitally signed, will do the job.

    And finally it allows for different levels of security, some of them with very simple and generic implementations like standard digital signature of documents.

    Paper LETS have been traditionally protected against double spending by adding handwritten signatures on the paper vouchers at every new transaction, so that any double spending can be easily and quickly traced back to the "replication branch". The same approach can be taken electronically. Each HOLDER can add its own digital signature of the “coin” or “voucher” as it arrives. Double spending is not 100% avoided, but can be very detected, - as soon as vouchers with the same serial numbers are redeemed-, and easily traced back. Additional security may be added by encryption and authentication of the emails sending coins.

    All what is needed as transaction tool is a common digital signature system at every Insula. 

    Capital, investment and loans

    Sooner or later, the Insula Enterprises will need to do investments of small scale (say a little truck), and increasingly of larger scale. Sooner or later there will be a need of Banks lending money, be it in the form of microcredits.

    After all, the Fractional Reserve Banking crisis, is not a crisis of money circulation. It is a crisis of accumulative creation of money out of nothing. Putting in place Community Currencies dos not solve the problem, just anchors the liquid money into goods, making the gambling more difficult.

    Community Currencies are not suited at all for capital, investment or credit, as they extinguish in the period of one production cycle. Another type of contract is needed. In the Digital coin Draft proposal [12] it is said that "Shares in the enterprise is the obvious answer for venture capitalists. “profits” seeking further investment would be channeled into long term equity investments in Issuers and investments of all types in non-Issuers, including new enterprises lacking a track record that would allow them to be Issuers themselves."

    We have already seen that, even at a one production cycle, these profits are better saved at another type of currency, with the properties of something like BitCoin: detached form concrete goods, detached from a production cycle. This applies even stronger if the value has to travel to another industry and longer terms.

    In the long run, builders of large products or constructions could pay with their own currencies with their own build-in long term timings for redemption [13], obtaining like a smoothed social lending of all participants in the value chain. In the Digital coin Draft proposal [14] it is said that "Instead of additional bank financing, as is the current practice, special ‘Investment Coin’ could be issued."

    However, at an initial stage we will need to import these expensive equipment from the outside world. This requires that the investment currency can be EXCHANGED in the FRB world by FRB currencies.

    In summary, it looks that for Capital, Investment in expensive products to be bought outside, Savings and Loans, we need another kind of currency that:

    1. Is detached from a concrete good or enterprise
    2. Has no extinction date
    3. Can be exchanged in the global market of currencies but is independent of any government
    4. Has to be encrypted to be suited for global operation

    All in all, a good candidate to play that role looks to be BitCoin [15]. Note, anyhow, that BitCoin does not represent any good, does not embody any Ricardian contract committing products or services, and is therefore not suited for internal Insula barter trade. 

    Open-transactions wallet
    Can manage different Ricardian contracts

    Open-Transactions Walkthru from JOG Webmaster on Vimeo.

    BitCoin
    A P2P cryptocurrency for the global market

    YouTube Video



    Crypto-Coin used to spare the profit and sign transactions

    The for profit enterprises or cooperatives operating in the new economy, in a system based on currencies representing goods, the money to pay the profits has to be put in circulation in CC at the beginning of the cycle. Instead of paying the stakeholders, we propose to invest in a Crypto-Coin like BitCoin [15], use them to feed the transactions circuit as a "transaction tax", and redeem them at the end of the sales cycle to pay the stakeholders.

    This transaction tax feeding a parallel circuit at each transaction may provide an additional channel to sign all transactions, to protect against double spending, without the complications of a local P2P crypto-system and without the need of a central server.  



    [1] American Monetary Institute http://www.monetary.org/
    [2] NEF - Creating New Money - A monetary reform for the information age    
    http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/creating-new-money
       
    [3] Digital Coin http://digitalcoin.info/
    [4] Open Money http://www.openmoney.org/
    [5] Complementary Currency Resource Center http://www.complementarycurrency.org/
    [6] Wikipedia - Local exchange trading system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_exchange_trading_system
    [7] MobileMoneyAfrica http://mobilemoneyafrica.com/
    [8] Digital Coin – Bejond Money http://digitalcoin.info/Digital_Coin_Draft_Proposal_Grignon_Aug16_2009.pdf
    [9] Wikipedia - Quantity theory of money http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantity_theory_of_money
    [10] The Ricardian Contract - Systemics, Inc., Ian Grigg http://iang.org/papers/ricardian_contract.html
    [11] The Ricardian Financial Instrument Contract http://www.systemics.com/docs/ricardo/issuer/contract.html
    [12] Digital coin Draft proposal http://digitalcoin.info/Digital_Coin_Draft_Proposal_Grignon_Aug16_2009.pdf
    [13] Mortgages in the Credit Coin System http://digitalcoin.info/Digital_Coin_Mortgages.pdf
    [14] Digital coin Draft proposal http://digitalcoin.info/Digital_Coin_Draft_Proposal_Grignon_Aug16_2009.pdf
    [15] We use coins http://www.weusecoins.com/
    [16] Complementary Currency Resource Center - ccMap http://www.complementarycurrency.org/ccDatabase/maps/worldmap.php
    [17] Regiogeld http://www.regiogeld.de/
    [18] FellowTraveler / Open-Transactions https://github.com/FellowTraveler/Open-Transactions
    [29] Community Exchange System http://www.community-exchange.org/ 
    [30] Community Currency http://communitycurrency.org/ 
    [31] Resources for Community Currency Activists http://www.communitycurrency.org/resources.html  
    [32] Community Currencies: A New Tool for the 21st Century, Bernard A. Lietaer http://www.transaction.net/money/cc/cc01.html  
    [33] International Journal of Community Currency Research www.ijccr.net  
    [34] Cyclos, Open Source Complementary Currency Software http://project.cyclos.org/  
    [35] Cclite, Open Source Currency Software in Perl/Mysql http://www.hughbarnard.org/content/alternative-currency-software  
    [36] Drupal Community Accounting http://drupal.org/project/mutual_credit  
    [37] Moneychanger https://github.com/FellowTraveler/Moneychanger  
    [38] LiteCoin http://litecoin.org/  
    [39] Ripplepay.com https://ripplepay.com/
    [19] Silvio Gesell http://youtu.be/hxdPIOUTd2k
    [20] American Response to the Great Depression http://youtu.be/aaXpNmrFZEM 
    [21] WIR Economic Circle Cooperative http://youtu.be/uQehEGGwy0Q
    [22] Complementary Currency Systems – networkeconomy http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL91125F0E98033F85
    [23] What are regional currencies? http://www.youtube.com/user/regionalgeld
    [24] Building the Core Economy – RSA http://youtu.be/4deABsB3TBU
    [25] Open-Transactions Walkthru http://vimeo.com/28141679
    [26] Open-Transactions, Bitcoin and OT Markets http://vimeo.com/28142096
    [27] What is Bitcoin? http://youtu.be/Um63OQz3bjo
    [28] Introduction to Bitcoin http://youtu.be/ejiqbzqmxSE


    09.- Insula citizenship and monetary system

    posted Mar 11, 2012, 9:27 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 3:09 AM ]

    Desperado registry and citizenship

    We foresee that there will be as many LETS systems in any community (a new economy island) as people find useful: large and small systems, some related to products and some based on hours, some charging "tithes" and some not, some with "credit" limits and others without, and so on. This leads us to the design and implementation of what we have termed multiLETS, which includes the introduction of registries to meet the diversity of needs within the community. However, electronic wallets, to be convenient, would need to be one per person. These wallets would require then a Registry [1] which is independent of the particular LETS used for a transaction. The Registry maintains a list of people who wish to maintain their personal money accounts by using the services of that Registry. The list includes name, contact address, phone number (where appropriate) and a short name tag to help with reporting and recording of transactions (if need). This Registry has to be kept by some authority of the island.

    However, transactions can be made, if needed, in full anonymity, using a LETS so called public key address (an identifier). No one but the Registry will know the correspondence between the person and the address. The registry does not need to know about the transactions. If the transactions are managed by the P2P network, the P2P network has only to certify transactions between public keys.

    In a way, the registration gives the citizenship to the new economy island. The registry could extend ID cards or desperado passports showing your citizenship. Nothing different as the affiliation card to a party or a Union. People could use this passport at voting, debating, posting opinions. The citizens status may be graded or ranked according several civil rights that can be bought paying the corresponding taxes.

    Each island may define who deserves the citizen’s income pay, but a good approximation could be any unemployed person registering. Desperados deserving the full or part of the citizen’s income pay monthly their taxes to renew their full democratic rights.

    People at risk, like people at risk of being expropriated of their homes, may win LETS by participating into actions to support others, and pay a community insurance to guarantee they get all the support when and if their turn comes.

    External supporters, net solidarity providers, may pay their taxes with the LETS they receive as payment for the time spend at volunteering, the goods or money they give as donations.

    In this way, we create a current of "immigration" into the desperado island citizenship.

    Insulae and currencies

    The movement has to find out how to define the landscape and frontiers of each island and corresponding citizenship, together with the rights associated with the citizenship. 

    However, given the importance at the Great Transition of the "Great Localisation and Engagement", chances are that the most effective approach is the geographical approach. The region around a city looks promising. The movement has also chosen the territorial criteria as the preferred criteria for the citizens agora and "asambleas".

    How many currencies to use at each desperado island is a matter of good economy management. Probably a good start is issuing multiple LETS close to the granularity of the solidarity institutions, in order to have a close monitoring period to analyze how it works, to slowly progress towards more abstract barter markets. Even a currency per NGO, association, Union, industry, should not be a problem if we have a fluent exchange market, and if the electronic money uses the same or interoperable personal wallets.

    Probably, exchange rates should not be fixed. Each island may provide with a market, online and physical, for the exchange of the multiLETS employed in the island. This will smooth the management. The desperados will fix the value they give to each of the services represented by each LET currency.

    Taxes and citizens salary

    The fixing of the citizens salary has a very special role to play. At the far end of the desperado citizenship we have to figure out the extreme case of people that have cannot volunteer, cannot get desperado employment, have no services to barter, and have no goods to barter.

    They receive the largest amount of citizens salary. The currency to be used cannot be other than the currency used for taxes, as they do not participate as provider of any other issuing institution. The total amount of citizens salary in form of tax currency received by the extreme desperado cases has to be one part of the value of all net surplus of goods injected to the system by the osmotic pump business. Taxes guarantee that part of these goods is redistributed to the extreme desperado cases. 

    Taxes can take the form of goods donations or money donations to the volunteers from the outside world. Money donations would be converted into the local taxes currency. However, in times of crisis, the quantity can remain low. 

    Much more valuable is the volunteering time. An estimation of volunteering capacity can be taken from the statistics published by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions - Second European Quality of Life Survey – Participation in volunteering and unpaid job – 2011 [2]

    However, the taxes money gives them the unique opportunity to benefit not only form the products and services of the charity NGOs, but also to get products from the enterprises running desperado employments and services and goods at the other barter markets.

    Business plan

    We are not going to make any comment about the political form of the Insula governance. At its constitution, it´s clear that all Social Enterprises, cooperatives and SME associations taking part should take a role. It seems also reasonable that they write a kind of “Carta Magna” describing the principles. 

    The only additional recommendation to be made is that they plan the jump very carefully, in special by making very detailed business plans modelling how the economy will behave in the short and in the longer term. 

    [1] The LETSystem Design Manual - Local Registries http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/design/dm2%5E1.html
    [2] European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions - Second European Quality of Life Survey – Participation in volunteering and unpaid job – 2011 http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2011/02/en/1/EF1102EN.pdf
     

    06.- Insula social enterprises

    posted Mar 11, 2012, 9:24 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Jul 10, 2012, 8:55 PM ]

    Social enterprises

    By Social Enterprises we understand Third Sector enterprises, also called non-governmental organizations (NGO), that is any non-profit, voluntary citizens group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.

    Many reports and studies exist, most of them [1] agreeing that the social enterprise remains a very broad and often quite vague concept. Many reports would also agree that there is space for improvement in the accountability of such organisations [2]. Of course, most will have totally correct audited accounts. However, in average, we have less information or performance indicators about their outcome in goods that are generally not measured in money, and even if they can be expressed in money.

    There is no doubt that this lack of transparency is a strong demotivator for participation. 

    Even very comprehensive reports like the VOLUNTEERING IN THE EUROPEAN UNION [3], contain very little information about the economic dimension or value of this volunteering, given for free. The Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies (CCSS) [4] developed the first-ever internationally sanctioned approach for gathering official data on the amount, character, and value of volunteering. In March 2011, the ILO adopted the Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work [5]. The European Volunteer Measurement Project of the EUROPEAN VOLUNTEER CENTRE [6] is promoting the implementation of the manual in Europe. 

    One exception is the statistics published by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions - Second European Quality of Life Survey – Participation in volunteering and unpaid job – 2011 [7]. Some degree of prudence has been applied as the new social working only partly overlaps with the old one, and can be reconverted.

    It is doubtful that many of the existing Third Sector Enterprises can be used for the purposes of channeling solidarity to the desperados:

    1. Some have fields of interest of different nature (sport is the single most common form of voluntary activity).
    2. Some charity oriented social enterprises are focused on providing solidarity abroad, to other countries.
    3. Finally, many of the remaining Social Enterprises have strong links to banks and other conservative forces and will hardly accept the new rules of the game, not least the operation through Community Currencies.

    It is clear that Insulae will need to found new Social Enterprises, of course duly legalized. They should be crystal clear about their social achievements in terms of providing the desperados with basic needs. All publications should strongly highlight the achievements per month in terms measurable quantities of food, clothes, shelter, energy, volunteering hours, value of barter goods and services. 

    In the deflationary scenario of everyday news, they should offer the good, refreshing, optimistic news of the day, the light providing some hope. 

    They operate, as any Insula Enterprise, with their own Community Currency. To give an example, Desperados eating at a free meal distribution Social Enterprise should pay with the cantina enterprise currency, obtained in the Insula market exchanging citizens salary currency, the citizens salary pay they get from the Insula, in turn obtained from the Insula tax collection.

    Precisely the lack of requirement of law about a proper accountability of the activities of the NGOs should give the legal gap to work as entities of the Insula market operating with Community Currency to "keep track".

    Volunteering

    Currently solidarity works are not paid. Why are volunteers not paid? They do the most valuable social work. Why not pay them with the new money? All NGOs should pay all the contributors with a desperado Community Currency. If nothing else, the volunteers paid with this money could gain recognition in the movement. It could easily be redeemed as political assets, rights to speak, to vote, to provide opinions.

    Volunteering should be paid, in local Community Currency, and the payment cannot be redeemed or reconverted into FRB money. It has to be spent in any service or good of the Insula new economy or else to buy status and rights as New Economy citizen. The procedure to get the citizenship is to pay the corresponding taxes. Paying taxes buys the citizenship in the Insula. Nothing prevents that the tax is close to 100% of the volunteers incomes, keeping in this way the net value of uninterested donation of work, but recognized as civil rights and circulated as local money, thus visible in the economy. It also provides an easy way, if so wished, to regulate the rights at the Insula according the intensity of the contribution.

    At estimating the economic value of volunteer work, the Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work [5], recommends to use the replacement cost approach — because it comes closer to measuring the value of volunteering to the recipient of the volunteer effort, and hence to society at large. It does so by assigning to the hours of volunteer work what it would cost to hire someone for pay to do the work that the volunteer is doing for "no pay". To do so, previously all volunteer works have been assimilated to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) [8]. The best way of keeping these accounts is certainly to pay volunteers the equivalent of this value in Community Currency. Tables can be kept with conversion rates to EUR or USD to facilitate comparisons.  An example of such a table can be found at Values of volunteering work

    Equally, any donation in old money has to be converted into goods by the island authorities, bought in the old economy with the old money, and offered for sale in one of the new economy island for the island LETS. Old money should never contaminate the new economy islands. Goods produced in the economy islands should in principle not be sold to the external FRBS world by any individual island citizen. Exports should be regulated and managed carefully by the island authority.

    Citizens salary

    The water feeding the new economy islands, could be the basic income guarantee (basic income, citizen’s income, Basic Income Earth Network [9]), paid, initially, at least to all desperados. Citizens salary components could be basic salary, family works like child care and education, caring of the elderly, home works, and unemployement. For a detailed explanation see Economy simulation, Salaries and taxes.

    Priorities for the social enterprises: Food preparation and distribution

    Comune di Torino and Amiat have implemented the "Good Samaritan" project [10], which collects uneaten meals from school canteens and products that are still edible form supermarkets and donates them to charity organizations to prevent them from being sent to landfill sites. Every day it is possible to recover 150 kilos of bread and 50 kilos of fruit to prepare approximately a thousand meals.


     

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    Priorities for the social enterprises: Shelter

    There are many approaches to support shelter to the homeless, from practical organization of homeless camps, to architectural, construction and urban designs. Do it yourself teaching of shelter construction with discarded materials is a priority. Great attention should be given to common infrastructures like toilets, showers, cantinas, kitchen, fridges and others. 


     

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    Priorities for the social enterprises: Marketing of Insula services and Desperado jobs

    In the THE END OF MONEY AND THE FUTURE OF CIVILIZATION [18], Thomas H. Greco talks about the competitive advantages that alternative currencies can provide to local companies, and in special SMEs. In chapter sixteen, he talks about a "A Regional Economic Development Plan Based on Credit Clearing".

    • Doesn’t it therefore make more sense to nurture the businesses that are already part of the local economy? Doesn’t it make sense to support those companies that are locally owned or managed and have a stake in the prosperity and quality of life in their home communities? Communities that have a high quality of life, an able workforce, and a clean and pleasant environment do not need to offer bribes to outsiders. Relocalization efforts cannot get very far without the creation of metasystems that support buying locally, selling locally, investing locally, and saving locally.
    • Based on the principles we have outlined, it is now possible to engineer and build exchange systems to carry heavy economic loads within local bioregions and to operate them according to sound business principles.
    • The first stage of the development program might look rather conventional and similar to some “buy-local” programs of the past, but it will be more comprehensive in its social, economic, and political aspects. It begins by organizing solidarity groups that include all sectors of the constituent communities—particularly the locally owned and controlled businesses, municipal governments, the nonprofit sector, social entrepreneurs, and activists. By building bridges between these groups and identifying common objectives, it should be possible to achieve the commitment to do the hard work necessary to move together toward greater regional economic self-sufficiency.
    Desperado Island volunteers and unemployed could definitively help at implementing this. The desperado jobs is one of the components of this range of measures to promote local economy. 

    [1] Social Enterprise: At the crossroads of market, public policies and civil society http://books.google.es/books?id=aDT55bRXAigC
    [2] Accountability and Effectiveness Evaluation in Non-Profit Organizations http://books.google.es/books?id=MFcXIAzgrogC
    [3] VOLUNTEERING IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, Final Report for the European Commission http://ec.europa.eu/citizenship/pdf/doc1018_en.pdf   [4] Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies http://ccss.jhu.edu/
    [5] Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work http://evmp.eu/wp-content/uploads/ILO_Manual_FINAL_English_1.4.2012.pdf
    [6] European Volunteer Measurement Project of the EUROPEAN VOLUNTEER CENTRE http://www.cev.be/113-economic_value_of_volunteering-en.html
    [7] European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions - Second European Quality of Life Survey – Participation in volunteering and unpaid job – 2011  http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2011/02/en/1/EF1102EN.pdf  
    [8] International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08), http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/isco/index.htm
    [9] BIEN - Basic Income Earth Network http://www.basicincome.org/bien/aboutbasicincome.html
    [10] progetto Buon Samaritano http://www.comune.torino.it/ambiente/rifiuti/raccolta_diff/buon-samaritano.shtml
    [11] Open Architecture Network - WORLDCHANGING http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/
    [12] architecture for humanity
    http://architectureforhumanity.org/ 
    [18] Beyond Money - The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, Thomas H. Greco http://beyondmoney.net/
    [13] Poor and homeless get free meals in Athens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZWB2cZ7nDw
    [14] La crisis llena los comedores sociales http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFofH7kBaWU
    [15] Homeless Camp Lakewood NJ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaKEA6tyLYU
    [16] Paul Elkins coroplastic rapid deployment homeless emergency shelter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG0aRjKDnKo
    [17] How to live without money http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=339Xfbm_LkM
    [18] Open Architecture Challenge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_wQ1z9oy1M
    [19] The Nobelity Project http://www.youtube.com/user/NobelityProject/videos

    05.- Desperado jobs

    posted Mar 11, 2012, 9:22 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 3:03 AM ]

    Local economy agents, and in special SMEs, have to be provided with a smooth entry into the new economy. The desperado “job” pretends to provide the bridge. It builds the alliance of the alternative economy with the local SMEs.

    Most companies, in special SMEs would not be able to offer new posts. They would not offer these posts even offered for free, because they would mean an increase in production, with the associated increase in raw materials, and because they have already excess of production capacity and in many cases excess of stock. Even part of the minimal stock is not sold. In food distribution, keeping a minimum portfolio of products is bound to have a percentage unsold and outdated, send to the trash.

    Even if they would like to pay in kind the salary of such posts, most legislation in advanced countries would not allow it.

    A desperado job provides an alternative. A desperado job is a volunteering occupation of an unemployed at an Insula Social Enterprise at activities aiming at achieving the enterprise mission, that is, at getting food, clothes, energy, shelter etc. for the desperados. The Insula Social Enterprise will pay the desperado job with a local currency, for example with a currency that represents a bond on products of shops associated to the Insula Enterprise. 

    Priority job: Support to local commerce, "buy local"

    In the THE END OF MONEY AND THE FUTURE OF CIVILIZATION [1], Thomas H. Greco talks about the competitive advantages that alternative currencies can provide to local companies, and in special SMEs. In chapter sixteen, he talks about a "A Regional Economic Development Plan Based on Credit Clearing". 

    The step one, the take off move, is to provide local companies that associate with such a program with services in the commercial phase in this line of "buy local”. Entertainment (shopping nurseries), services to customers (loading the cars, home distribution of shopping), art performances, publicity, videos, local radio presence, web presence, are simple tasks that can be performed by the less qualified unemployed desperados, if properly organised, and can mean a difference in sales. These services can be paid as external services and mean no official job.

    Publicity is a very expensive resource only available to big corporations. The best brains in marketing of the Insula could work at designing a portfolio of professional promotion campaigns for local industries with creative approaches not based on media, but on the availability of unoccupied time of the desperados. Others could organise, train, dress, the desperados to do the job in a skilled manner. Invent a label that shops and companies can stick at a visible place to show they collaborate with the solidarity works. 

    Qualified desperados could volunteer helping at marketing the services to commerce and industry associations, and organize the local currency systems that can allow for a larger scale second step, aiming at commerce between companies.

    Probably the best legal coverage is an Insula Social Enterprise registered as NGO.

    The idea is that these services are paid with currencies designed as bonds of the associated companies products. Even if the amount devoted by the companies to these bonds is not larger than their current out of date products, it may build up to a substantial value of goods. This zero level kind of agreement, in which the local companies have nothing to lose, can be increased bound to increases in sales. We call these works, organized by Insula Social Enterpises and paid with "product bonds", Desperado jobs.

    Once this first step of positioning Insula Social Enterprises in the marketing of local companies products has been covered, and local industries get used to trade part of its sales through Community Currencies, the second step of setting up a meta-system for brokering or barter trade amongst local producers will come up very naturally. SMEs associations could easily take over. 

     

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    Priority job: Treatement of waste, in special food waste

    Waste treatment is a strategic sector to the movement. It belongs to the end of the lifecycle of all products and involve social, economical and environmental costs. These costs are currently not accounted. They are externalized by the companies producing the products to society as a whole. It’s a socialization of the costs to this and to future generations. Any action in the direction to diminish these costs has at least one merit, it makes the costs visible and accountable, and contributes to a green concept of economy. Any action that can make out of these costs a benefit diminishes the legitimacy of the unsustainable wrongdoing of the economic actors and legislators of today with proofs that it can be done otherwise.

    Waste treatment has been a traditional occupation of outsiders and the poor.

    Waste treatment is now managed by large, mostly public owned, companies, funded with public money, that simply destroy garbage with high energy consumption and dissipate any opportunity of reusing or recycling.

    There are many forms of waste that offer many opportunities for reusing. For example white goods, appliances and devices, furniture, clothes, etc. We will focus on one, because its relation with one of the most urgent needs of the desperados, which is food.

    EUROSTAT estimates that annual food waste generation in the EU27 at approximately 89Mt, or 179kg per capita. Food waste occurs across all sectors involved in food, like Agriculture, Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail, Food Services and Household cooking. The PREPARATORY STUDY ON FOOD WASTE ACROSS EU 27 European Commission (DG ENV) [5] contains estimations about how and how much is wasted at each. One of the recommendations of the report is the "adoption of separate collection of food waste or biodegradable waste, for the household and/or food service sector. Subsidy for the development of separate collection and treatment infrastructure". It contains an inspiring inventory of initiatives. Another inventory can be found at Best practice - Waste management good practice examples, European Commission, Environmental Communication Networks [6].

    For example FareShare in the UK [7], collects food that would otherwise be discarded by retailers, because it is damaged or nearing expiry, and distribute it to a variety of groups in need, including the homeless, the elderly, children and other communities in food poverty. Quantities of edible food waste in the Wholesale/Retail sector are very large and present enormous opportunities to increase this sort of critical activity. Early 2012, the news report that Around Athens and through out the country 250,000 free meals are distributed on a daily basis [8].

    Such a food collection can be considered as part of the deal with the local food industry around the desperado jobs.

    Other industrial uses include transformations to feed animals, industrial use or compost creation.

     

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    [1] Beyond Money - The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, Thomas H. Greco http://beyondmoney.net/
    [2] The FAIRTRADE FOUNDATION http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/products/default.aspx
    [5] PREPARATORY STUDY ON FOOD WASTE ACROSS EU 27 European Commission (DG ENV) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/pdf/bio_foodwaste_report.pdf 
    [6] Best practice - Waste management good practice examples, European Commission, Environmental Communication Networks http://ec.europa.eu/environment/networks/bestpractice_wm_en.htm 
    [7] Fareshare - Fighting hunger, tackling food waste http://www.fareshare.org.uk/ 
    [8] Number of Greeks seeking charity free meals increased dramatically http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/04/22/number-of-greeks-seeking-charity-free-meals-increased-dramatically/ 
    [11] Wastedfood http://www.wastedfood.com/food-rescue/ 
    [12] TASTE THE WASTE http://tastethewaste.com/article/list
    [3] Promobikes, advertising bike http://youtu.be/OlXteB3Jw7k 
    [4] Buy Local in Pueblo, Colorado http://youtu.be/nwqHQCXEBZw 
    [9] Food Rescued for Homeless Shelters http://youtu.be/oZyLWcp_g-s 
    [10] Food waste collection service by Keenan Recycling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwwpLlUYVUw 
    [11] Save the food .com http://www.youtube.com/user/RescueFood4Homeless


    04.- Desperado island markets

    posted Mar 11, 2012, 9:19 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 3:01 AM ]

    Capitalization

    These new economy islands have to grow in the silence of the background of the protest and set trading systems that become no return to the money gambling economy arena. Once these activity areas start as new economy areas, they have to disappear from any economical statistics, and have no reconversion into the ordinary economy. It’s an Outsiders business by definition. 

    P2P principles [1] should be applied as much as possible, so that it becomes vey little vulnerable to attacks to visible heads.

    P2P methodologies would make the return to usual hierarchical systems difficult. Even the expression and consolidation of political ideas should align with P2P methods [2] so that no new bureaucratic "casta" could try to ride the movement.
      
    In order that all this can be connected and capitalize we need to provide the movement and the new economy islands with an alternative monetary system. A new monetary system is the citizens passport in the land of the new economy. 

    In summary, the fusion, consolidation and capitalization of the movement depend critically of the successfully launching a new monetary system (not a new currency) to provide the glue of the new economy solidarity trades and give the means for capitalization. 

    Desperado island markets

    The Insula economies have to be conceived as an osmotic pump of solidarity from the 99% that still have in the old economy, towards the desperados. This solidarity takes the form of action or voluntary services, goods or monetary donations. 

    The desperados themselves should also become active and work on desperado jobs. By difference to the shameless invitation of the governments to engage unemployees into unpaid social volunteering works, even at public servant posts just revoked [3], as an additional means to depreciate the still employed workforce, a unscrupulous invitation to do slavery works to capitalize others ownerships, these jobs would be paid in goods, and would capitalize into desperado ownership. 

    The priority of these economies is the injection of goods, basic goods. Solidarity services cannot be eaten. Therefore, the first priority is to organize things in order to obtain, prepare and distribute:
    1. Food
    2. Clothes
    3. Energy
    4. Shelter for the homeless
    These are the survival priorities for the Desperados. Solidarity works are mainly focused to obtain this collective net result. The Insula reporting should, firstly, show the outcome in these terms, for example, in the number of distributed meals [4]. 

    In order to avoid the birth of any totalitarian embrio, this economy has to be designed as a set of free Insula local internal markets operating on a new monetary system. 

    An internal market for all desperado economy players

    Local industries starting to operate with barter, social enterprises and NGOs, cooperatives, are like small ships navigating over an ocean of legal tender monetary systems serving the interests of the Fractional Reserve Banking sharks. 

    This makes that all efforts revert in the final end into the Fractional Reserve Banking debt creation system. 


    Moreover, Social Enterprises tend to run comprehensive collections of different social businesses, in order to avoid passing the legal tender money cold waters, planning them internally with not that sound criteria, allocating resources with subjective standadrds. Instead, a much more transparent policy would be to break them into consistent businesses, and let the new economy market regulate the value of each of them to the desperado "clients".

    What is needed is islands of internal markets where social enterprise affairs can be traded on an isolated background of a monetary system made out of Community Currencies representing goods. 

    The number of transaction grows exponentially with the number of enterprises, associated local industries, social enterprises, barter markets and cooperatives that trade within that Insula. 


    Barter and localisation of economy

    Barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when the currency may be either unstable (e.g., hyperinflation or deflationary spiral) or simply unavailable for conducting commerce (Wikipedia [5]).

    In fact, there is an unnoticeable continuity between pure bartering and trade with a currency that is closely linked to the concrete goods it does represent. Most bartering websites use anyhow a unit of value to establish an initial comparison of value between the goods offered for exchange.
    In this case, this unit or currency is circulated only on one transaction. 

    Again, there is an unnoticeable continuity between bartering with community currencies circulated at one single transaction or a more flexible trade in which the community currency circulates for a limited number of transactions, because its local trade and the currency has a time extinction. 



    It is all about anchoring the trade on the value of goods and anchoring the trade on local economy. Both are closely related.

     

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    At The Great Transition [1] it is said: 

    “When we talk about localisation and scale then, we are not simply saying that everything should be smaller. Appropriate size is what we are looking for in the Great Transition. Economies of scale are vital for efficient production in some areas. It makes no sense for every town in the UK to produce its own computers. But we have gone too far the other way, and assumed that nothing can be produced efficiently on a local scale. This obviously turns on what we mean by efficiency of course, but the key point is that just as there are economic benefits to producing some things on a large scale, there are major environmental, economic and social benefits from doing many others things on a more human, local scale. There are also very big costs associated with relying only on the large scale.”

    Minimum size units for adequate economies of scale

    Unit
    District
    Region
    Nation
    Continent
    Globe
    Size (miles)
    20 

    100
    500
    2000
    10,000
    Population
    100,000
    2 million
    50 million
    1 billion
    5 billion
    Production Food crops 
    Cash crops
    Housing
    Energy (micro-renewables)
    Energy-efficiency, housing retrofitting
    Building materials
    Processed food
    Furniture
    Hardware
    Renewable energy (wind, hydro, solar)

    Clothes, textiles 
    Small machines & components
    Electronic devices
    Steel
    Oil, gas, coal
    Civil engineering
    Books, films, bicycles
    Vehicles 
    Electronic systems
    Small aircraft
    Ships


    Micro-chips
    Pharma-ceuticals
    Large aircraft


    Distribution
    Fresh food
    Daily supplies
    ‘Groceries’
    Clothes
    Books 
    Cars
    Household appliances
    Seeds
    Bulk commodities, e.g., grain
    Industrial machinery
    Oil, gas


    Services
    Schooling
    GP medical
    House repair
    Restaurants
    Hotels
    Waste recycling
    Universities
    Hospitals
    Public health
    Safety
    ‘High street’ and local banking
    Buses
    Theatre/cinema
    Water
    Insurance
    News Media
    Telecom
    Wholesale banking
    Electricity

    Aviation
    Railways

    Shipping


    It is precisely the sectors that have optimal size of scale at district and region the ones needed to fill the basic needs of the desperados. 

    The process has started already. RIPESS is an intercontinental network that connects social and solidarity economy networks throughout the world. As a network of networks, it brings together continental networks, that in turn bring together national and sectoral networks. RIPESS believes in the importance of global solidarity in order to build and strengthen an economy that puts people and planet front and center. From Lima to Quebec, from Dakar to Luxembourg, RIPESS organizes global forums every four years ad is a nexus for learning, information sharing and collaboration.[6][7]

    Islands of Solidarity Economies start to bloom everywhere. Solidarity Economy is conceived as the socio-economic, cultural and environmental system developped individually or collectively through practices of solidarity, participatory, human shareholders and non-profit development of the human being as the end of economy,  initiatives of association, business, economic and financial, committed to the following principles: 

    1. Equality. Promote equality in relationships and meet in a balanced manner interests of all the protagonists in the activities of the company or organization. 
    2. Employment. Create stable employment, especially favouring the access of people in or at risk of social exclusion, ensuring each person working conditions and decent pay, encouraging personal development and the assumption of responsibilities. 
    3. Environment. Encourage actions, products and production methods that respect the environment. 
    4. Cooperation. Promote cooperation instead of competition within and outside the organization. 
    5. For profit. Solidarity initiatives are primarily aimed at promoting human and social, so they are essentially non-private-profits. The benefits or profits accrue to society by supporting social projects, new initiatives solidarity or development cooperation programs, among others. 
    6. Commitment to the environment. Initiatives are committed to solidarity social environment in which they develop, which requires cooperation with other organizations and participation in networks as a way to experience how solidarity can generate an alternative economic model.[8]
    Priorities: Barter market for the associated industries

    A fundamental sector to be organised as soon as possible is a barter market for local SMEs. 

    As the Internet grows as a means of exchange, it will increasingly liberate people from the formal market and barter and swapping will complement and, in some cases replace, consumption of new and increasingly expensive goods. Already, people sell their own houses and organise holidays, often, without money changing hands in the latter case. But we can also often get tools and fancies for free as people offer up things they no longer need.[11]

    Last year IRTA Member Companies [12] using the “Modern Trade and Barter” process, made it possible for over 400,000 companies World Wide to utilize their Excess Business Capacities and underperforming assets, to earn an estimated $12 Billion dollars in previously lost and wasted revenues.
    In terms of income, Excess Business Capacity represents the difference between actual cash revenues received, and the cash revenues and profits that would be realized, if a business operated at 100% of its capacity.  Most businesses are operating at less than 100% of their potential business capacity.

    Helping the local SME´s to build a barter system to trade their excess capacity and further helping them at the commercial circuit with “buy local”, “buy with solidarity” publicity are the two strong partnerships between the desperados economy and the local SMEs, currently working in the FRB world, that will facilitate them a smooth transition towards the new economy. 

    In the THE END OF MONEY AND THE FUTURE OF CIVILIZATION [14], Thomas H. Greco says:

    The first major task is to launch a “buy-local” campaign in which the economic resources and business relationships within the region are clearly mapped. That database can then be used to assist businesses in finding local sources for the things they buy and local customers for the things they sell. The services of brokers can be employed to help match up supplies with wants and needs. Critical gaps are identified and local entrepreneurs can be encouraged to find ways to fill them, perhaps with support from a local microlending agency. As this process proceeds, the community becomes less dependent upon outside entities and more resilient and self-determining.

    Community Currency Exchange

    Using multiple currencies transaction costs may become high.

    The transaction costs associated with multiple currencies would be low as virtually all transactions could be completed electronically with smart cards, or mobile phones and other internet-enabled devices. In addition, electronic commercial barter would become more prevalent, with companies with excess capacity or inventories trading with other firms in mutual exchange networks. Already there has been rapid growth of these type of non-interest bearing credit schemes in the United States and elsewhere with the growth of the internet and since the financial crisis.[11]

    This is another argument for a system that is conceived as electronic money, in which exchange sites can facilitate the exchange transactions. However, while paper representation of electronic money is being used, the Insula has to make sure that enough currencies exchange posts are available at every physical Insula market. 


    [1] The Foundation for P2P Alternatives http://p2pfoundation.net/
    [2] Why we need a European approach to the Democracy Real mobilizations http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/why-we-need-a-european-approach-to-the-democracy-real-mobilizations/2011/06/09
    [3] La ley impide a Ana Botella cubrir con voluntarios los puestos o tareas de los funcionarios http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1289999/2/ley-voluntariado/ana-botella/funcionarios/
    [4] Number of Greeks seeking charity free meals increased dramatically http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/04/22/number-of-greeks-seeking-charity-free-meals-increased-dramatically/
    [5] Wikipedia Barter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barter
    [6] Portal de economia solidaria http://www.economiasolidaria.org/
    [7] RIPESS http://www.ripess.org
    [8] Solidarity Economy, Carlos Askunze Elizaga http://www.economiasolidaria.org/files/ecosol_dic_ed.pdf 
    [9] Socioeco http://www.socioeco.org/
    [10] Econ4 http://econ4.org/
    [11] THE GREAT TRANSITION http://www.neweconomics.org/publications
    [12] International Reciprocal Trade Association http://www.irta.com/
    [14] Beyond Money - THE END OF MONEY AND THE FUTURE OF CIVILIZATION, Thomas H. Greco http://beyondmoney.net/
    [1] New Economy Barter Markets http://youtu.be/6cS7XpYo6AA
    [2] Time Banks http://youtu.be/-3kJ5QB6Htk
    [3] BCI Barter System Commercial – English http://youtu.be/QpXtlFyDPK8
    [4] Tianguis Tlaloc 1/3 http://youtu.be/_D2fMVysFgk
    [5] Tianguis Tlaloc 2/3 http://youtu.be/hyw1LoxjKm8
    [6] Tianguis Tlaloc 3/3 http://youtu.be/En6yQ71Lcxk
    [13] IRTA http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=749044267549070133
     


    03.- Old times Trade Unions parallel social economy

    posted Mar 5, 2012, 8:13 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 2:59 AM ]

    Historically, the original trade unions organized much more than conditions of employment collective bargaining. They provided a range of benefits to insure members against unemployment, ill health, old age and funeral expenses, professional training, legal advice and representation. They even provided housing through housing cooperatives [1] [2] [3].

    Much of all this has been absorbed by the modern welfare state.

    The unions role has been narrowed to collective bargaining, increasingly a bargaining at global level with the employers’ associations, and further at political level within the stable social dialogue bodies, a part of the global state governance institutions (see the European Economic and Social Committee [4] thus becoming not quite parties, with decreasing affiliation at the enterprises, and Unions Staff increasingly seen as belonging to the privileged class of paid politicians.

    At the current financial crisis it is all these social benefits absorbed by the modern welfare state the ones under the first and strongest assault to pay the state debt.

    The alternative economy islands would need to redo the work that was done two centuries ago. And never give it back to anybody that is not the democratic governance mechanisms invented and used to create them. 

    In particular, it should not be the Unions to lead the process. Unions focus is by definition labour "market". We need to put into the economy all the resources employed, included the external environmental costs, but also all the social contributions to the general well being. To start with, housekeeping labour should be paid, although not through market. To continue with, the voluntary works on community goods and community services. The red cross volunteer, the social volunteer, the NGO collaborator, the basket ball trainer, the Halloween organizers, the charity works, should all be paid. 

    Therefore, the labour situation in the Fractional Reserve Banking world enterprises is not the right observation angle, and therefore the Unions have not the right point of view to take the lead. Our kingdom does not belong to the Fractional Reserve Banking economy world, and our ultimate goal is not to get a job at this economy. 

    Having said that, there are movements, like the GLOBAL LABOR INSTITUTE [5], that have the purpose to support the efforts of the labour movement to deal with the globalization of the world economy and its social and political consequences and, to this end, to strengthen links and networks between trade unions and other civil society organizations with similar or converging interests, particularly in the defense of human and democratic rights and social justice in all its aspects. 

    Program: the beginnings for a program for a new democratic world order exist: for example, various proposals for a social clause in international trade and social charters, or for the taxation of international flows of capital. There also exists a critical analysis of the present capitalist “new world order” in the form of a number of books and articles. There does not exist, however, a coherent program with proposals that would present internally consistent alternatives at various levels (economic, social, political, cultural, ecological, etc.) representing, as a whole, a global alternative. This work remains to be done. The GLI will contribute to developing a program for an alternative society in cooperation with institutions and movements where such work is already taking place, by word or by deed. This program will emerge from discussions with a wide range of organizations and institutions not excluding the social counterparts (selected companies and employers) prepared to cooperate with the labour movement and other partners to secure a democratic and sustainable world society.

    Alliances: depending on the issues, the GLI will seek to facilitate alliances and networks between trade unions and potential partners in civil society, such as organizations focusing on human rights, education, women’s rights, environmental protection, social movements of the rural dispossessed and of the urban informal sector, progressive student movements, community organizations, consumers’ associations and others.

    These links deserve to be reinforced at all levels. 

    [1] International Institute of Social History (IISH) http://socialhistory.org/en
    [2] International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI) http://www.ialhi.org/ 
    [3] Revolutionary History (UK) http://www.revolutionaryhistory.co.uk/
    [4] EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE http://www.eesc.europa.eu/
    [5] The Global Labour Institute http://www.globallabour.info/en/
     

    02.- Alternative Economy Insulae

    posted Mar 5, 2012, 8:11 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 2:57 AM ]

    The movement cannot grow and solidify mainly by putting in writing changes that would need to be implemented by the authorities, as a protesting movement demanding the authorities to do the changes, hoping to convince the majority, although this may help at building consensus thinking around a limited number of proposals, a kind of draft electoral programme.

    There are little hopes that the movement may grow big, strong and consistent enough, and be able to pass the swamp of all traps of the traditional left parties, until reaching a sufficient parliamentary representation, in a peaceful way.

    Much before, the financial casino owners will throw substantial quantities of money and influence into provocation and fascist movements. The desperados anger expressions will provide the excuse. As a last resort, our so called democratic governments will manage to give legal coverage to mass terror.

    Instead, the movement has to gain momentum and gain credibility by providing de facto support, help, solidarity, solutions, for the "desperados" by the means foreseen for the new economy.

    It has to grow by providing islands where the alternative economy demonstrates its usefulness. It has to grow by creating a large scale show case that is difficult to attack without causing on one hand the revolt of the desperados (destroying their last, still legal, subsistence means) and risk on the other hand a total loss of legitimacy at the vast majority of the population. Any attack to the desperado new economy islands has to be perceived by the vast 99% majority as a totally illegitimate and unfair attack. Health services, food for kids, shelter for the homeless, volunteering civil works, and solutions at all areas where social services have now been cut in budget, are difficult to assault without providing the last drop of irritation making the revolt explode.

    This is the big challenge and radical filtering mechanism for the new economy proposals. End with academic papers. Time is over. It is now or never. This is the extreme conditions test bed where the new ideas have to demonstrate their impact.

    These islands have to convince those belonging to the 99%, but still live in the system and vote conservative left, that the transition can be a useful and peaceful and safe transition.

    This will be the moment were the conservative voting may totally reverse, the moment to take parliamentary action.

    It has to be left to the movement's creativity to find out which means of alternate economy to put in place. If anything, we have thousands of proposals, …, in paper, websites, etc. Much of it will be made out of philanthropic solidarity [1]. But much of it will also be about setting up new trading schemes. What is important is that they address burning needs of the desperados. Examples can be the support to the people losing their homes at not being able to pay the mortgages [2], payment of public services [3], volunteering [4], or barter systems [5], or many others.

    However, all these actions are now being implemented as unconnected systems. In many cases, like solidarity actions or volunteering, they volatilize at the moment the action ends or the volunteering service finishes. They would need to leave a deposit that can be capitalized, an asset of the new economy.  This deposit has to be knowledge assets in ways to do things. These pathways are settled at best as market circuits in the new solidarity economy. These roads are build as circuits for a new desperado money. 

    YouTube Video

    YouTube Video


    [1] The Institute for Philanthropy http://www.instituteforphilanthropy.org/re5.html
    [2] Los indignados no logran impedir un desahucio en Sevilla http://youtu.be/pl2GyFDH4lM 
    [3] Movement "I DON'T PAY" is spreading across Europe (english subs) http://youtu.be/tqeTGTU6FFg 
    [4] Voluntariado multiplicado por nuestras redes sociales http://youtu.be/EJy2u_QzBa8 
    [5] Banco de Trueque, alternativa para los más necesitados http://youtu.be/aOYv4O0aPjs

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.



    01.- Backgound

    posted Mar 5, 2012, 6:55 AM by Desperado PEREZ   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 2:56 AM ]

    The means for the Great Transition [1] towards a new economy will, at the end, be political. A party o parliamentary coalition will need to win elections at each country to make it become law with full democratic legitimacy.

    In most countries, the Great Transition will require a constitutional change [2]. A referendum will need to be formulated and won. 

    It will take some time for the current "Indignados", or OWS, or similar movements, to give birth for such a structured party or parliamentary representation and fuel it until parliamentarian victory. 

    The social composition of the protest will change. From the well educated, young, and socially supported average profile of the first wave of protesters, which has lost the future but has means to survive, the protest centre of gravity will move towards the more severe victims of the crisis, the poorest, the less educated, to the older unemployed with no hope, to families with not a single employment, no income, no support, no shelter, to families in which children may suffer hunger. We move from "indignados" to "desperados".

    As desperation of the thrown out, - the desperate, the desperados - , mounts, the movement will have it very difficult to stay peaceful. This example of a desperate unemployed calling a Spanish radio [3], represents well probably millions, and is rising.  Greece riots [4], are only the beginning.

    The desperados are an easy flank for tactics of creation of wars between the poor: immigrants against local, men against woman, Muslims and Christians, employed and unemployed, clean jobs and polluting jobs; they are an easy flame under provocation; they will easily slip into outlaw survival means, and systemic incrimination. We have seen how social degradation comes along with engagement in mafias that provide survival trough drugs and robbery.

    This unavoidable explosion in violent terms, or outlaw means for a living, puts at risk the legitimacy of the movement, makes it much more vulnerable to propaganda and repression, and will make its progress towards the Parliament much more difficult. In the presence of violence, votes of many layers of the 99% will turn towards the social democrats and even the right.

    For these desperados, political debate comes second. A lower level of education facilitates also more primitive reactions. First come the solutions for today. Else, what remains is expressing anger.  

    YouTube Video

    YouTube Video



    [1] The Great Transition http://www.neweconomics.org/publications
    [2] %ATTAC Spain Rubén Martínez Dalmau - La Revolución Democrática http://blip.tv/play/g7VxguuoWgI.html?p=1
    [3] Luis del Olmo escucha un oyente desesperado por la crisis http://youtu.be/TGvKxBUs6fY 
    [4] Greece riots: Athens burns, police fire tear gas as violence flares up http://youtu.be/NljVxqRpbw0

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.




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