Congressional Budget Office now admits catastrophic debt ‘crisis’ inevitable for America
(NaturalNews) From the behavior of both sides of the political aisle in Washington, you’d think that the nation’s unsustainable debt is no big deal. Otherwise, lawmakers would be clamoring to get a handle on it. But as it is, only a small, small group of fiscal conservatives is working to not only get a handle on the national debt, which is spiraling ever faster out of control, but to reform the entitlement spending that is driving the debt higher.
Obamacare is just the latest massive entitlement that is quickening the pace of America’s bankruptcy, which is why the fiscal hawks are moving to defund it. The same forces who passed that monstrosity, however, are now working overtime to not only keep it the law of the land but to make sure America goes broke funding it.
Is there anything that can impose reason on the unreasonable? Well, the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ non-partisan fiscal watchdog, is trying. But there is only so much the CBO can do.
Like a broken record, the warnings keep coming
In its latest budget projection, which covers the 10-year period between 2013 and 2023, the CBO offers yet another dire warning that lawmakers ignore at there – and our – peril. The agency says that, based on its current projections, America’s large and growing debt – can you guess? – is unsustainable.
“[A] large and continually growing federal debt …would increase the probability of a fiscal crisis for the United States,” says the report.
What’s more, CBO says that if current laws and policies don’t change, the federal debt could reach 100 percent of GDP by 2038 (it is currently about 73 percent).
CBO also projects that healthcare spending by the federal government “will grow considerably in 2014 because of changes made by the Affordable Care Act” (Obamacare).
Of the current federal debt-to-GDP ratio, the “percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007.”
If laws remain the same, CBO said that it expects federal debt held by the public to decrease slightly, relative to gross domestic product, over the next several years. But after that, deficits would begin growing once more, in no small part due to the government’s major healthcare programs (think Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP).
“CBO projects that the federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038, 25 years from now, even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy,” the report said.
The word “crisis” appears numerous times in the report, as the CBO explains the negative consequences of burdensome debt. At some point, the report says, investors would begin to doubt the government’s willingness or ability to pay U.S. debt obligations, making it more difficult or more expensive for the government to borrow money. Even before that happens, the high and rising amount of debt “would have significant negative consequences” for both the economy and the federal budget.
And it just gets worse from here
More bad news:
– As the debt-to-GDP rises, there will a larger risk of a major fiscal crisis as well, because investors could begin demanding much higher interest rates to finance the federal government’s borrowing.
– More debt equals less flexibility in Washington to utilize tax and spending policies as a response to unexpected issues or occurrences, like a new recession or a major war.
– Most assuredly, interest payments on the government’s rising debt would necessarily increase – and substantially so – to become one of the budget’s biggest line items, if not the largest.
– As the government borrows more, private investment will fall off, “because the portion of total savings used to buy government securities would not be available to finance private investment,” CNSNews.com reported.
Our world continues its inexorable march towards total and complete freedom.
As we had anticipated, humanity is throwing off the chains of slavery and finding itself being liberated at a truly astonishing rate. A miraculous process continues to unfold where we are seeing very tangible results coming forward into the public consciousness, despite a massive mainstream news media blackout.
Almost every other day some new, amazing development emerges to positively confirm major and dramatic changes are upon us as never before. The momentum of these successive events is building to such a fever pitch, the end result will be a great shift of the paradigm which we call our reality. This shift is absolutely inevitable now.
What we now see developing in our world is the return of personal power within each and every one of us. This power comes from the understanding and recognition we are completely sovereign beings with God-given, unalienable rights which no man, government nor corporation can put asunder. Those unalienable rights include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as laid down by our Founding Fathers in the great document known as the Declaration of Independence.
Regrettably, those God-given rights have been under attack ever since the Founding Fathers established our great nation. Through a slow and methodical campaign by the Crown of England (the City of London), the international banking cartel and the Vatican, we have witnessed the tables turned to a point where America has become a virtual police state and our rights have been ground into the dirt.
Although many assume the United States of America is a “free” country, the actions of our government, the political elite, the wealthy aristocracy and the multi-national corporations over the last 140 years belies the ideals of freedom as envisioned at the birth our nation. The words of German politician and writer, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe have never rang more true: “none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who believe they are free.”
The United States and the entire world remain controlled by one very key tool of enslavement –– the availability of money. And nearly all the money in the world today has been reduced to mere worthless paper, or fraudulent numbers upon a bank’s computer screen.
To that end, the world economy and its many currencies have been systematically hijacked and are now solely based upon the foundation of debt. In fact, debt is the engine which drives our global economic system and without the debt/credit relationship, the world economy as it is currently constituted, would cease to function.
Thus we have reached a most critical point in the modern world history where a debt-based economy and its related fiat currencies simply must go. Neither can sustain themselves any longer nor do they adequately serve the needs of a rapidly evolving human race. In their place must come a wholly new system based upon lasting value, sustainability and fairness for all.
And that is precisely what is happening at this very moment.
A very determined effort from a contingent of brave, noble people and alliances is working feverishly behind the scenes to transform our world economy for the better. And now, we are seeing the results coming out into the open in a series of historic steps which are unfolding. Ultimately there will be an unveiling of many landmark initiatives such as the Global Currency Reset, the World Global Settlements, the Global Collateral Accounts and the Restoration of the Republic, among many others.
It is truly remarkable to behold all of which is occurring in our world.
THE FALL OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
The year 2013 has already been one of the most historic and revealing years in the history of mankind. And we still have a whole quarter left to go. The amount of revelations which have come from heretofore secret societies and clandestine institutions has been nothing short of staggering.
As we dive further down the proverbial rabbit hole to uncover an understanding much more closely resembling a truth, we find the same story repeating itself again and again. That story is –– all roads lead to Rome. The Roman empire of Constantine, Cesar, etc. never really went away. It just moved into the Vatican and has remained there ever since to rule over the entire world in secret, hidden to nearly everyone on the planet.
Almost immediately, the new Pope seemed intent on displaying a much different public profile than his predecessors when he returned back to pay his hotel bill, chose not reside in the lavish Papal apartment and to take the bus rather than luxurious limousines. Then, on Easter Sunday, March 29, 2013, in an surprising break from tradition, Pope Francis went to a youth prison to wash the feet of Muslims and atheists in an emulation of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
THE ABOLITION OF WORLD-WIDE DEBT
News emanating from the Vatican then took yet another noteworthy turn on July 25, 2013. Jaemes McBride of DivineProvince.org, the de jure Postmaster General of North America, held a special free live webinar. He proceeded to make a number of amazing announcements regarding the world economic condition and the Vatican, which has thus far gone unrecognized by the mainstream media. (See video archive below.)
Shift Happens! ~ July 25, 2013
“We’re seeing that there is this shift that is happening. We made it, that we won. We’ve been fighting for years to discharge the debt. And we did that,” he stated on the live webinar. “As of July 1, 2013, we do have global debt forgiveness. All the accounts and claims have been settled,” he added.
For years, Mr. McBride and others have been negotiating with Vatican and the Crown of England to release the burden of world-wide debt from the people of th world. He claims he was able to accomplish this feat by obtaining the coveted Seal of St. Peter from the Vatican which gives him authority to effect changes to the laws.
Divine Province has also gained control of the Global Estate Trust, “previously held by the Vatican and the Crown by default, having successfully assumed control and claim of the commission and powers of the Apostle Peter without challenge for centuries”.
According to Mr. McBride, although the global debt discharge became official on July 1st, the world rulers requested a three year period until the old system is completely fazed out.
“There is a transitional window. The powers that be and the banks and everything have a window to make this transition so as not to excite chaos,” he explained. “They have a three year window that they plan to exploit.”
However, Mr. McBride was adamant this three year window was simply an arbitrary number which can be severely reduced by the awakening of the people of the Earth to the truth through a process of education and awareness.
“Divine Province and Jaemes McBride, along with the labors of all who are committed and passionate for freedom and Natural Law, have broken the spell and power of the Vatican and Crown (City of London), and its presumptuous claim on the land and assets of the world as being under their sole and ultimate control, being managed by its structured hierarchy (which extends down to governors, cities, and towns worldwide).
The Vatican and Crown established the thoroughly incorporated, international commercial system throughout the world that has severely debilitated justice, governments, and the People’s wealth, power, and standing; by holding and controlling their divine estates in bankruptcy/dishonor, covertly treating them as lifeless subjects under commerce and numerous debilitating presumptions and adhesion contracts, and exploiting them and their souls as chattel for trade and profit.”(Also see Jaemes McBride’s & Ed Rychkun’s book “The Divine Province: Birthing New Earth” for much more detailed information. Also linked here.
In essence, this letter states any or all of these parties can be held accountable and sued for war crimes or crimes against humanity. Although, given their long history of malfeasance, it would be unwise to assume the Pope and the Vatican will be politely stepping aside as their numerous crimes are revealed to the world’s people.
In addition, numerous other resignations of priests, bishops and clergymen have also been quietly announced for September 1st. We can expect to see more resignations forthcoming from many other public officials in the very near future.
James McBride of Divine Province on As You Wish Radio August 10th, 2013
A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON ON MONEY
“The truth shall set you free, but first it may piss you off,” it has been said. Frankly, the truth is hard to come by.
Admittedly, there is no real accurate historical account of how the world found itself in such a desperate state of enslavement to the Vatican, as it has been so well concealed. It is safe to say it has been accomplished by a very meticulous, elaborate and devious plan in order to bring the entire world under the Vatican’s collective thumb. Therefore, to tell the story it is necessary to piece together a wide variety of information from a number of sources. And these sources don’t always agree.
With an economic system based upon debt and a worthless fiat currency, where does the value of the US dollar come from? Many will be shocked to learn the truth behind how our financial system has been set up and has operated since the official implementation of the privately owned Federal Reserve in 1933.
The short answer is the value for our money is obtained directly from you and all Americans who have been born in the US since the 1930′s. The value is drawn from our life force, our good will as consumers, spenders, wage earners and taxpayers. Thus, we can see where a term such as “human resource” figures into the equation.
Our life force is represented by one very important document which is then used as an instrument of value to back up the worth of the US dollar and to act as collateral against the fraudulent, illusionary US debt. That instrument of value is the birth certificate.
Naturally, this system has been instituted very slowly over many years in a strictly covert fashion. It has relied upon the ignorance and low level of consciousness by the people in order for it to take root. And it begins at the moment of birth and entangles us until our last breath upon this Earthly plane.
When parents sign off on a birth certificate for their new born child, they are authorizing him or her to be entered into the system as a bona fide debt slave. At the same time, each of us is issued a line of credit sanctioned by the world-wide economic system and ultimately controlled by the Vatican.
That credit amounts to anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars within the confines of the system and only accessible via a financial institution, insurance agent, public utility, medical care provider, etc.
Your birth certificate, in turn, is tied to your social security number and becomes the method by which the banks draw upon to establish a line of credit when you come of age to open a bank account, a credit card, apply for a home loan, car loan and/or educational loan, etc. In fact, nearly every business relationship you enter into with a corporation, whether it is a cell phone contract, cable TV, telephone, electrical power, water service, insurance, health care, loan, traffic ticket, lawsuit –– you name it –– all tap into the same credit system.
In effect, these banking institutions are lending you your own credit and then charging you an exorbitant amount of interest for the use of it. If you default on a loan, the banks or the corporations then have the legal right to confiscate your home, property, car, etc. or take you to court for payment.
All of this is accomplished because the Vatican believes it has been bestowed the Divine right through the Papal bull to have dominion over all land, property, valuables and even your own body and your children through their possession of the birth certificates. In their eyes, the people of the Earth are merely debt slaves or paupers, and thus, must not become a burden to the Church. And as such, slaves have no rights, have no say in the matter and by law, cannot own anything. In other words, slaves are property and not human beings. (See video below for more Vatican secrets from Jordan Maxwell.)
Vatican Secrets EXPOSED! Jordan Maxwell | in5d.com
Yet here we stand, in the year 2013 and we are witnessing the disintegration of this entire corrupt and insane system. And we are now actually getting to see how its demise is being accomplished.
Granted, most people of the world will be shocked to the core to learn the true and absolute powers which lie within Vatican City, the Holy See and the Pope. The Holy Roman Empire has been the most powerful force on the planet for over 2,700 years. The Vatican has wielded indisputable temporal power over world affairs for centuries, including over the US as it sits at the very top of the pyramid when it come to the pecking order of planetary rulers.
Therefore, the very fact they have now authorized the discharge global debt is one of the greatest milestones in the history of the world.
THE BANKRUPTCY OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER
Ironically, as the world’s people are released from all debt obligations, the USA, Inc. shadow government, also known as Washington, DC will not be afforded the same privileges. The USA, Inc. has been over laid on top the original Republic envisioned by the Founding Fathers by an act of Congress known as the Organic Act of 1871, which established the Washington, DC/District of Columbia corporation.
Despite the illegal formation of this corporation, the Republic of the united States for America, as it was originally intended to be still very much exists. The USA, Inc., the entity responsible for the national deficit, is now bankrupt and we are now witnessing its free fall.
–– As if to further confirm the discharge of the debt and the bankruptcy of the USA corporation, a series of strange events began to unfold over the weekend of August 3rd and 4th.
Very likely the numerous embassy closings by the US State Department and the refusal of HSBC Bank to retain other foreign embassies as customers are intricately related to the ongoing bankruptcy of the world corporate governments.
Make no mistake about it, the penal system is part of the international slave trade where prisoner bonds are bought and sold like livestock on an underground market. The very fact the US Attorney General would make such a pronouncement is clearly directly tied to the discharge of the global debt.
Although most sources attributed the outage to some kind of major technical glitch, it is important to note a malfunction of this magnitude had never occurred in the entire 42-year history of NASDAQ, easily the most technologically advanced exchange in the world.
–– Ironically, tech titans Google and Amazon, as well as, media conglomerate, the New York Times, all had similar outages during the month of August. It is highly likely these other technical failures are not merely coincidental but perhaps part of a series of warning shots to the global elite. It should be noted, the heads of Google, Amazon & the New York Times all have been active members of the Bilderberg group.
Yet, even with a threat of world war, we are seeing more and more of the globe uniting to stand directly opposed an international cabal whose support may have now dwindled down to a mere eight member countries including: the US; Canada; France; England; Israel; Turkey; Saudi Arabia; and Qatar. Another clear sign the game has dramatically shifted. We have come to the point where nearly the whole of the planet has mandated we must begin the move towards a world of peace.
CONCLUSION: THE FINAL PIECES FALLING INTO PLACE
Clearly we are seeing the collapse of an old paradigm no longer sustainable within our rapidly evolving reality. From this point on, we can expect big and spectacular changes to become the norm.
Unfortunately, it appears as if the sheer scope and scale of the Global Currency Reset and all its many components was a far grander and more complex undertaking than any had anticipated. The numerous technical issues which have cropped up recently with NASDAQ, Eurex and the co-ordination with other financial systems such as Forex as well as the newly created International Currency Exchange (ICX) have proven it to be so.
Many, many reports have suggested numerous attempts of the GCR have been done without success thus far. We must now conclude there may still be several important pieces to this puzzle which must align themselves for the Reset to be finally launched. Yet we must appreciate the many steps which have already been accomplished and thus we can confidently determine we are very, very close to completion.
With all of this extraordinary amount of activity, it should be abundantly clear by now we are dealing with a much, much bigger undertaking than revaluing one or two currencies. We are deep within the process of a total global phenomenon unprecedented in human history. As we sit now, humanity is at a critical stage of evolution. We have reached the point of no return.
It is interesting to note the numerology for the date of August 31, 2013, the ending date before a new paradigm kicks in on September 1st –– 8 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 0 + 1 + 3 = 18. Then if broken down to single integer – 1 + 8 = 9. Nine is the symbolic number for completion.
If you have been following this story for some time, you have also likely noticed a great deal of conflicting and confusing information has peaked to an all time high. Understandably, you may have reached a point where you are ready to throw your hands in the air in a state of exasperation.
As events accelerate towards a crescendo, we may well be in the midst of what scientists have often referred to as the Chaos Theory. In this instance, reality begins to accelerate into an increasing state of chaos. Eventually, it reaches what appears to be an out-of-control stage. At this point, a dramatic shift occurs taking reality to a much higher level, or a more evolved state of being.
Do not be surprised if the world appears to get even stranger as we venture from an old paradigm into a new. From an old, outdated way of being to an entirely, expanded new one.
One of the greatest detriments to change is fear. As we have discussed in many previous news articles, fear can be a extremely debilitating condition which robs us of our innate power. We must resist the temptation to fall into a state of fear as we come to this critical stage in the future of the Earthly experience, despite the threats which seem to emerge from everywhere.
Ultimately, realize these are tests for us to overcome and all are merely an illusion. They are not real. In the process of overcoming our fears, we will accelerate our evolution that much more quickly.
We have outlined a great deal of very profound changes coming into our reality at this present time. These changes are directly the result of an awakening of consciousness within the human experience.
We must understand, all changes start from within. The world is not happening to us, we are directly affecting the experience we are having by our own thoughts and beliefs. All the conditions on the Earth, whether negative or positive, are the makings of the human mind.
Realize how magnificent a time we are living in as we are now witnessing the world transforming right before us. A long, sordid chapter of slavery, subjugation, fraud and fear is thankfully coming to a close. Directly in front of us lies a much more spectacular and enhanced human experience. And it is here now for the taking.
This time period which was long ago prophesied has been referred to in many different ways such as the great shift of consciousness, Heaven on Earth, or the Golden Age. Whatever label it goes by is of least importance, rather it is the feeling it engenders within which makes all the difference.
For sure, many, many challenges lie ahead us. Yet, ten times as many blessings will become accessible to you and your family like never before as we move forward.
Indeed, the time has come to begin to reap the harvest. And what a bountiful one it will be.
Like Shopping at Local Businesses? Now You Can Invest in Them, Too
A newly formed company based in Seattle makes it easy to put your money to work in the local economy.
posted Jul 17, 2013
The team at Community Sourced Capital (left to right): Brent Cochran, Rachel Maxwell, Meryl McDonald, Casey Dilloway, and Alex Mondau. Photo by Community Sourced Capital.
Community Sourced Capital is a newly formed lender that aims to apply the crowd-sourcing model to encourage the growth of locally owned businesses. The company’s founders—Rachel Maxwell, Casey Dilloway, Brent Cochran, and Meryl McDonald—say they were inspired by the growing desire to support local businesses among their friends and neighbors.
A balance between making a profit and building local businesses is essential to CSC’s business model.
“The hardest part is often not attracting shoppers once the project is off the ground,” Dilloway said, “but securing capital to get it started.”
All four founders are graduates of , the brainchild of entrepreneur and conservationist Gifford Pinchot III and his wife Libba, and the first business school to offer an MBA in sustainable business. It was while searching for an entrepreneurship project that they noticed a gap in the thinking about how people can best support the local economy.
In 2012, the four decided to do something about that and founded Community Sourced Capital. They worked in a shared office space in a converted furniture store in the historic district of Pioneer Square, just south of downtown Seattle. Their idea was to harness the power of the connections that tie local people together—both on social media and in the physical world—to find people willing to loan money to small local businesses.
Lenders make funds available in $50 blocks, up to a maximum of $250 per project, and are acknowledged by the receipt of a pale-blue square card bearing the CSC logo, which identifies them as “Squareholders.” The funds are then made available to borrowers at zero interest, and loans are paid back at a rate based on the company’s revenue. CSC makes loans of up to $50,000.
After repayment, Squareholders can withdraw their funds or purchase a square in another project, allowing them to keep their money at work in their community.
In a number of ways, Community Sourced Capital’s business model departs sharply from that of traditional lenders. Because the staff of CSC aims to create a model that resembles the sharing of money between friends, borrowers are not required to provide collateral. By keeping capital within the local economy and basing their lending in personal trust, they hope to strengthen ties between businesses and their communities.
“The loans are simple enough that owners won’t get weighed down in complications,” Maxwell said, “which doesn’t make sense for a $50,000 loan anyway.”
And then there’s that part about zero interest. That may seem too good to be true, but president and director Casey Dilloway explains that CSC’s loans aren’t entirely free. Borrowers pay a campaign fee and a flat monthly membership fee when using the CSC platform, a system that Dilloway believes is more equitable than traditional lending schemes, as the fees allow CSC to make a profit without burdening their borrowers with interest payments.
That balance between making a profit and assisting its clients is essential to CSC’s business model. As a “social purpose corporation”—a company with social goals written into its articles of incorporation—CSC has a mission that goes beyond just making money. As the company’s mission statement puts it, “CSC provides a simple way for community members to lend money to the local businesses where they find the most value. Our unique take on crowd funding aggregates many small loans and turns them into one big loan for a business. We call those small loans Squares and the lenders Squareholders.”
In May 2013, CSC successfully funded two projects: Bainbridge Island-based Eleven Winery’s campaign for the planned automation of its bottling process, and Harmon Brewing Company’s new restaurant location at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. Both campaigns raised $20,000 from more than 60 squareholders.
As of mid July 2013, CSC has two active campaigns. For one, they hope to raise $15,000 to enable the Adrift Hotel on Washington state’s Long Beach Peninsula to add solar hot water and rainwater catchment systems and thereby lower their environmental impact. That campaign was less than $1,000 away from full funding at the time of this writing. The second campaign is for a Seattle deli called Delicatus, which aims to raise $9,000 to purchase new refrigeration units, beverage storage, and new hardware for their sales system. That campaign has already raised more than $6,000.
David Rutherford wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media project that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. David is a blogger and a graduate of Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
Workers at Evergreen Energy Solutions, a worker-owned cooperative in Cleveland, Ohio.
Social pain, anger at ecological degradation and the inability of traditional politics to address deep economic failings has fueled an extraordinary amount of practical on-the-ground institutional experimentation and innovation by activists, economists and socially minded business leaders in communities around the country.
A vast democratized “new economy” is slowly emerging throughout the United States. The general public, however, knows almost nothing about it because the American press simply does not cover the developing institutions and strategies.
For instance, a sample assessment of coverage between January and November of 2012 by the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States, the Wall Street Journal, found ten times more references to caviar than to employee-owned firms, a growing sector of the economy that involves more than $800 billion in assets and 10 million employee-owners—around three million more individuals than are members of unions in the private sector.
Worker ownership—the most common form of which involves ESOPs, or Employee Stock Ownership Plans—was mentioned in a mere five articles. By contrast, over 60 articles referred to equestrian activities like horse racing, and golf clubs appeared in 132 pieces over the same period.
Although 2012 was designated by the United Nations as the International Year of the Cooperative—an institution that now has more than one billion members worldwide—the Journal’s coverage was similarly thin. More than 120 million Americans are members of co-operatives and cooperative credit unions, 30 million more people than are owners of mutual funds. The Journal, however, devoted some 700 articles to mutual funds between January and October and only 183 to cooperatives. Of these the majority were concerned with high-end New York real estate, with headlines like “Pricey Co-ops Find Buyers”
The vast number of cooperative businesses on Main Streets across the country were discussed in just 70 articles and a mere 14 gave co-op businesses more than passing mention. Together, the articles only narrowly outnumbered the 13 Journal pieces that mentioned the Dom Perignon brand of champagne over the same time frame, and were eclipsed by the 40 Journal entries that refer to the French delicacy foie gras.
Another democratized economic institution is the not-for-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC), roughly 4,500 of which operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Such neighborhood corporations create tens of thousands of units of affordable housing and millions of square feet of commercial and industrial space a year. The Journal ran no articles mentioning CDCs in 2012 and only 43 over the past 28 years—less than two a year. Meanwhile, the word château appeared in 30 times as many articles, and luxury apartments received 300 times as much coverage over the same period.
Not surprisingly, the growing “new economy movement” championing democratization of the economy has itself received even less coverage, despite growing citizen involvement on many levels. Over the past year, major national, state and other conferences focusing on worker-owned companies, cooperatives, public banking, nonprofit and public land trusts, and neighborhood corporations were oversubscribed, reflecting the growing interest in these forms. The Journal, however, gave scant coverage to the movement.
Thousands of other creative projects—from green businesses to new forms of combined community-worker efforts—are also underway across the country but receive little coverage. A number are self-consciously understood as attempts to develop working prototypes in state and local “laboratories of democracy” that may be applied at regional and national scale when the right political moment occurs. In Cleveland, Ohio, for instance, a complex of sophisticated worker-owned firms has been developing in desperately poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. The model is partially structured along lines of the Mondragón Corporation, a vibrant network of worker-owned cooperatives in northern Spain with more than 80,000 members and billions of dollars in annual revenue.
Since 2010 legislation to set up public banks along the lines of the long-established Bank of North Dakota has been proposed in twenty states. Several cities—including Los Angeles and Kansas City—have passed “responsible banking” ordinances that require banks to reveal their impact on the community and/or require city officials to do business only with banks that are responsive to community needs. But municipally led responsible banking initiatives appear to have received no attention in the Journal, whereas the newspaper published seven articles this year discussing President Obama’s birth certificate.
The limited nature of the coverage can also be seen in particular cases. Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is a highly successful consumer co-op with $1.8 billion in sales for 2011, allowing it to share $165 million of its profits with its 4.7 million active members and 11,000 employees. Organic Valley , a Wisconsin-based cooperative dairy, generated more than $700 million in revenue for nearly 1,700 farmer-owners. From January through October 2012, the Journal referred (briefly) to REI in just three articles; Organic Valley rated just one mention. In combination, REI and Organic Valley appear in the Journal only as often as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, a breed of dog that turned up in four entries in the Journal’s pages this year.
Further perspective on the coverage is offered in the way in which “hot topics” are presented, and others of greater economic significance played down. Co-ops in the U.S. generate over $500 billion in annual revenues. The global market for smartphones is estimated by Bloomberg Industries at $219 billion—less than half as large. Furthermore, there are 20 million more co-op members than smartphone users in the United States. The Journal, however, published over 1,000 print articles that included the terms “smartphone” or “smartphones” from January through October this year—more than five articles for each piece mentioning co-ops (many of which, as noted, were about upscale Manhattan apartments.)
The print coverage of the Journal was analyzed by the Democracy Collaborative of the University of Maryland through the online database ProQuest. Although the assessment focused on the Journal, the nation’s preeminent source of news for economic and business affairs, a preliminary review suggests that other national media outlets devote a similarly minuscule proportion of space to the exploding “new economy” sector. This highlights the need for greater media exposure regarding important developments toward a more democratic, sustainable and community-based economy.
Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism, is a Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook. Keane Bhatt is a research associate of the Democracy Collaborative.
A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit
By Tim Ryan
In one of the most optimistic books to come out of Washington during these trying times, Congressman Tim Ryan presents us with an inspiring and hopeful view of our country’s future — and a roadmap for how to get there. Across America, people are feeling squeezed, exhausted, and running faster and faster while falling farther behind. The economy continues to struggle, wars rage on, and every week brings news of another environmental disaster. Everything seems broken and people feel helpless to make a difference. Despite this bleak outlook, there are strands of quiet hope and confidence. People are beginning to take action in a new way: they are slowing down, paying attention, and gaining an awareness of the inner resources at their disposal.
This new way is based on the timeless and universal practice of mindfulness, the natural capabilities of our brains and minds, and the core American values of self-reliance, stick-to-it-iveness, and getting the job done. And it’s manifesting in every sector of our society — it’s helping sick people work with their pain, school children improve their learning, veterans heal from trauma, and CEOs become more inclusive and effective leaders. All these benefits — and more — are supported by scientific research on mindfulness that is regularly reported by the mainstream media, such as ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.
In A Mindful Nation, Congressman Tim Ryan — an all-American guy from the heartland who is also a thoughtful, committed leader — takes this story about the benefits of mindfulness to the next level. He connects the dots between what’s happening with mindfulness in the classrooms, hospitals, boardrooms, research labs, and army bases across the country by sharing his interactions with experts in education, defense, health care, criminal justice, and the environment. A Mindful Nation paints a picture of emerging solutions that both benefit the reader and address the societal difficulties we are facing. Ryan’s folksy, warm, and encouraging voice uplifts us and shows that there is something we can do right here and right now to help ourselves and our country.
Both inspiring and pragmatic, A Mindful Nation shows how the benefits of mindfulness apply to the current challenges that affect each of us in our own lives and in our communities, and thus have implications for our society as a whole. With a hard-nosed understanding of politics, government budgets, and what it takes to get something done, Ryan connects a practical approach — lead with the science, show the savings and show how this can help us educate our children to be competitive in the world arena — with a hopeful vision for how mindfulness can reinvigorate our core American values and transform and revitalize our communities.
About the Author
Tim Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, at the age of 29, and is currently serving in his fifth term representing Ohio’s 17th Congressional District. He maintains a strong commitment to the economic and social well-being of his constituents in northeast Ohio. He serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as its Subcommittees on Readiness and on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He also serves as a member of the House Budget Committee and co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus.
Congressman Ryan has a daily mindfulness meditation practice. He has been an outspoken advocate for promoting mindfulness practice as an aid to dealing with the variety of complex problems facing the nation. During his tenure in the House, he has helped to get mindfulness and social and emotional learning programs established in several schools in his district. He also spearheaded a conference at a medical school in his district on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Before being elected to Congress, Ryan served in the Ohio State Senate, as president of the Trumbull County Young Democrats, as chairman of Earning by Learning in Warren, Ohio, and as a congressional aide.
What are Ithaca Hours?
Ithaca Hours is a local currency system that promotes local economic strength and community self-reliance in ways which will support economic and social justice, ecology, community participation and human aspirations in and around Ithaca, New York. Ithaca Hours help to keep money local, building the Ithaca economy. It also builds community pride and connections. Over 900 participants publicly accept Ithaca HOURS for goods and services. Additionally some local employers and employees have agreed to pay or receive partial wages in Ithaca Hours, further continuing our goal of keeping money local. for more information, go to: http://www.ithacahours.org/ and, from the founder: Ithaca HOUR Factsheet
Since 1991, over $110,000 of Ithaca HOURS (11,000 HOURS at $10.00 per HOUR) have been issued. Six denominations: 2 HRS, 1 HR, 1/2 HR, 1/4 HR, 1/8 HR, 1/10 HR. Includes a commemorative HOUR, the first paper money in the U.S. to honor an African-American.
Thousands of people, including 500 businesses, have earned and spent HOURS.
They have made millions of dollars value of trades with HOURS, representing hundreds of job-equivalents at $20,000 each.
HOURS are thus real money– local tender rather than legal tender, backed by real people, real labor, skills and tools.
Most HOURS have been issued as payments to those who agree to be published backers of HOURS, listed in our bimonthly directory HOUR Town. Every year they may send the coupon again to receive a bonus payment– which gradually and carefully increases the HOUR supply.
11% of HOURS are issued as grants to community organizations. Over 100 nonprofits have received grants totalling over 1,500 HOURS ($15,000) since we began.
5% of HOURS may be issued to the system itself, primarily for paying for printing HOURS.
Loans of HOURS are made with NO INTEREST CHARGED. These have ranged $50- $30,000 value.
HOURS are legal. Professor Lewis Solomon of George Washington University has written a book titled “Rethinking Our Centralized Monetary System: the Case for a System of Local Currencies” (Praeger, 1996) which is an extensive case law study of the legality of local currency. IRS and FED officials have been contacted by media, and repeatedly have said there is no prohibition of local currency, as long as it does not look like dollars, as long as denominations are at least $1.00 value, and if it is regarded as taxable income.
HOURS are protected against counterfeit. They are multicolored, with serial numbers. The 1995 Quarter HOUR and 1997 Eighth HOUR use thermal ink, invented in Ithaca, which disappears briefly when touched or photocopied. The 1993 Two HOUR note is printed on locally-made watermarked 100% cattail paper, with matching serial numbers front and back. The 1996 Half HOUR is 100% handmade hemp paper. Our District Attorney has declared HOURS a financial instrument, protected by law from counterfeit.
HOURS expand the local money supply
HOURS promote and expand local shopping, with an endless multiplier
HOURS double the local minimum wage to $10.00, benefitting not only workers but businesses as well, who find new and loyal customers.
HOURS enable shoppers to afford premium prices for locally-crafted goods and for locally-grown organic food.
HOURS help start new businesses and jobs
HOURS reduce dependence on imports and transport fuels
HOURS make grants to nonprofit community organizations
If you have pledged to participate in Buy Nothing Day next Friday, November 25 but don’t think you can go for the Buy Nothing Christmas then I have another pledge for you to take: participate in Small Business Saturday. When you head out to do your holiday shopping next Saturday, November 26 avoid the big box national chain stores and shop at your local small business instead.
Although this is only the second year for the event, it is already quite popular among the Facebook crowd. The official Small Business Saturday Facebook page has more than 2.2 million Likes. People don’t just like the site, they are also discussing it. At this time more than 260,000 people are actively talking about the day.
If you want to know why you should shop local when you might be able to find a better deal at your local big box store then let me share with you a statement that New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg made in advance of last year’s inaugural Small Business Saturday.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together, and we’ve always sought new ways to support them – something that became even more important when the national economic downturn began.” Source: American Express
Here it is a full year later and the economy is still struggling. The nation’s small business owners are the key to the recovery and the more that we can do to help boost our local economies, the better the national economy becomes.
If you’re not moved by the spirit of the day, perhaps a small financial incentive will convince you to shop local next Saturday. American Express cardmembers can register to receive a one-time $25 statement credit if they use their American Express card and spend at least $25 at a small business on November 26. Of course this offer comes with several terms and conditions that must be met so make sure you read the fine print first.
American Express doesn’t have the shop local movement cornered with its Small Business Saturday. Portland, Oregon has set up a program of its own: Little Box PDX. If you live in the Portland area simply visit one of the locally owned shops listed on the website. Take your receipt from that store to another store on the list and receive a 10 percent discount.
What are your plans for next week? Are you going to participate in Buy Nothing Day, hang out at local shops for Small Business Saturday or go for the gusto and pledge to have a Buy Nothing Christmas?