Corporate Control of Food, Facing Famine & Starvation, Solving the Current Food Crisis
Posted 5 years, 4 months ago (Sunday, August 10th, 2008 at 12:59 pm) by jwsmith
by J.W. Smith
We would like to hear from those who can expand upon these perceptions.
Early corporations burned all the spice trees they could not control so as to maintain the high price of spices.
Modern corporations controlled America’s foreign policy, Destroying the farming industry of poor countries through selling highly-subsidized, thus low-priced, grains to both developed and undeveloped nations.
Under their self-designed monopolization of the world’s food supply, those corporations doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled their grain prices as food supplies grew scarcer.
Under this monopoly structure, specifically designed to suck the wealth out of nations, hundreds of millions now face starvation.
As these people–helpless within the corporate controlled world structure–die, the capitalized value of the appropriated wealth (profits) of the designers and operators of this death trap multiply, in the stock markets, by 10 to 30 times or more.
Their hundreds of millions of appropriated wealth becomes hundreds of billions, those entitled to a secure food supply die, and both catastrophes are due to the Plunder by Trade System and the property rights structure put in place the past 700 plus years, both denying others their proper share.
This was all done under the cover word “privatization” which the power brokers’ perception managers have taught us is is a good thing.
They get away with these outright frauds because advancing technology is so efficient those same powerbrokers and perception managers are able to distribute half the potential gains of technology, bank obscene profits, and the even greater remaining potential gains are not even thought of because the half or so of the potential gains realized is itself very large.
Immense as those unearned profits are, they are only a fraction of the gains in living standards denied the world through the 50% of full potential never realized because technology is monopolized.
How can a nation or region attain security so as to avoid starvation and poverty as faced by 100s of millions today due to intentional destruction of the viability of local farmers and corporate control of world food supplies?
First they must establish local permaculture and avoid corporate control of food supplies. If a nation or a region were serious and organized (for smaller nations this means alliances or federation), they could be self sufficient in food within 20 years even as their soil fertility steadily increases.
Plants providing thread for cloth, such as flax or six foot high hemp, are among the most prolific in the world. So permaculture can be expanded to produce fiber for clothes and exotic threads made from oil or coal will not threaten the environment.
Houses built from rammed earth, brick, or rock with ceramic interiors that will last for centuries is also primarily a local industry.
Within those two local industries, permaculture and housing, are the essentials of a secure society, food, fiber, and shelter. When regional soils are used with attention to protection of nature’s wealth, these necessities of life are not intense consumers of resources.
With no one claiming or receiving unearned wealth, money within this secure social structure represents use values (real values) which are labor values plus rental values of nature’s resources and technologies distributed to all through those rental values funding essential social needs. Taxes disappear and health care, retirement, governments, and more are all funded from those natural flows of money.
We document thoroughly that over half our wealth is ground up within the superstructures of our monopoly system. We then document that an equal amount is wasted in plunders by trade and war. We are now demonstrating that another large share is wasted through the massive sums of unearned wealth being spent on resource intensive endeavors which primarily only structure our time and supports our egos.
All this is built on, and made possible, by our vaunted freedom to travel. As shown above, caring for basic needs is quite easily managed in social restructures that avoids the theft of others’ wealth, the resultant disappearance of the ethereal world of high finance, and the further result of elimination of war
The further waste within the wealthy world which is consuming another large share of the world’s wealth is running uptown for hamburgers, shopping till they drop, having houses full of clothes and shoes that are seldom–or never–worn, kids with closets stuffed with toys they never play with, there are trips overseas, cruises, annual vacations, and on and on. The list of what a modern society is titillated with as they exercise their freedom to travel (conspicuous consumption) is endless and very resource and energy intensive.
At Aptera Electric Typ-1 e – Video Test Drive, you can watch a video of a 300 mile per gallon, three wheeled, two seat, 90mph, Aptera gas-electric hybrid run-a-round, that requires less than 10% the labor and resources to build as today’s average car. Beyond the computer, which is not a necessity, everything in that car was on the shelf, available for purchase, 40 years ago.
On short drives this little run-a-round runs on electricity alone up to 120 miles, is charged each night, and uses no gas. Battery capacity has already been proven (120 miles on one charge), somewhere up to 20 such batteries is surely adequate (golf carts use only six), far more efficient batteries are coming on stream, and the market has priced that electric storage capacity at roughly $2000. So batteries being too expensive is fiction. Simply crank up the newer, highly efficient, batteries, specifically designed for cars, to mass production and the price will be reasonable.
With a lifespan, double that of today’s cars (There is no drive train, the small engine runs only on long trips, and fiberglass bodies are easily repaired) means people throughout the world could have been driving this very cheap, almost pollution free, car the past 40 years.
The efficiencies of a market economy within today’s property rights law, as applied to nature’s resources and technologies, denying others their proper share, are fiction.
The world was sold BMWs, expensive SUVs, pickups and other big cars because companies earned $8,000 apiece on them, only $1,000 on small cars (these statistics on the evening news demonstrating and discussing the Aptera car), and could not have earned over $500 on this little gas electric run-a-round.
Ditto for much of what is sold within the so-called developed world. You can pay $700 for a pair of shoes that cost $3 to produce and ship. Even the cheapest priced shoes, which to me looked much better than that $700 pair, will cost $40 while an efficient economy could distribute them for $15.
Those high prices are due to the monopolization process compounded by promotional, persuasive, titillating advertising and further compounded be a society trained to conspicuous consumption. Not only did our property rights laws as applied to nature’s resources and technologies, denying others their rightful share, evolve out of aristocratic law, so did our system of individual identity.
This exposes the true costs of modern societies, freedom to go anywhere and do anything one wants. Most industries beyond food, fiber, and shelter are built to sustain those freedoms even though the most important needs for a fulfilling life, food, fiber, shelter, family and friends, are near that home.
If all are to share in freedom as understood within the wealthy world, pleasure travels must be rationally spaced. Through equal pay for equally productive labor, a sharing of truly productive jobs (two days per week once the current waste and inefficiencies within the economy are eliminated), and a culture of family, friends, and cheap transportation accomplishes that spacing.
A thirty mile local commute would plug in at night and charge for 30 cents. With about 10% the resources and labor to build and a lifespan of twice today’s cars, both local and regional travel could have been affordable, relatively non polluting, and in place the past 40 years.
Equal pay for equally productive labor and a sharing of productive jobs will have eliminated conspicuous consumption, retained rational consumption, and each person or family would automatically restrict their expenditures to rational travel and pleasures.
Study current freedoms closely. Titillating and extravagant life styles are a major cause of pollution, resource depletion, poverty, and, in a final analysis, to protect that life style, even wars.
This is being carried forward as we speak. Companies consisting of nothing but advertising (they have no factories) are all over the place. Their only purpose is to sell you something at a very high price that has nothing to do with your basic living needs or rational pleasures.
If you had never heard of them, you would never have felt a need for what they had to sell. Those products have common features, you do not need them, they titillate your interest, they feed the ego of you and your peers, and they are enormously expensive.
A friend’s friend bought in-style, wore-out, ragged western jeans for $100. When telling this friend about paying $5 for a nice suit at the goodwill store, the raggedly dressed friend said, “And what do you think of yourself.”
In short, life styles of the middle classes within the wealthy world today is only conspicuous consumption as practiced by aristocracy and the wealthy for centuries. Our conditioning to be aristocrats will be trumped by reality once all are paid equally for equally-productive labor and employed labor time is reduced to the two days per week necessary to provide a quality life.
A Practical Approach for Developing Poor Nations & Regions
Trying to provide an answer to capitalism, socialism, and communism the past 50 years, the Progressive Utilization Theory, Prout, www.prout.org, “integrating economic democracy and spiritual values,” is speaking to full and equal rights for each and every person, very similar to our approach.
Those reading both philosophies may want to add a spiritual approach to this strictly economic approach and perhaps add a full understanding of Henry George philosophy appled across the full economic spectrum and A Socially-Owned Banking System to Prout’s cooperative philosophy.
While waiting for the world to throw off the current beliefs which maintain their poverty, let’s design an emerging-nation development plan utilizing cheap, broadly-available resources that can be accomplished within the current monopoly structure.
Almost all countries have traditional, fireproof, earthen homes hundreds of years old. Most developing nations have large numbers of unemployed labor quite capable of building in the traditional ways and who can build high-quality earthen homes cheaply.
Firing the inside of earth homes creating ceramic walls and floors opens an unlimited potential of beautiful, clean, easily maintained, yet cheap, housing. Some regions traditionally use other building materials such as stone, straw-bale, timber, bamboo, etc.
Local master-craftsmen can train the apprentice home builders, and these newly-trained practitioners can teach others on the job. The teachers would be paid but the workers’ pay would be their training as master home builders.
For example, assuming five workers to a crew on an adobe or rammed earth home, every three or four houses built will result in five more master builders who can return to their home regions, sign up apprentice home builders, and that would continue exponentially and rapidly build quality housing for all that will last for centuries
Other building materials will require differing periods of training to produce master craftsmen, but the principle is the same. (See Hassan Fathy’s book, “Architecture for the Poor,” for an inspiring account of the method that was used to create a total-process system of adobe construction in Egypt.
Having designed and built sustainable housing and major architectural projects in many countries, Phil Hawes email@example.com is an internationally known expert as is Richard Register, ecocitybuilders.org.
Additional industries are necessary to produce doors, windows, plumbing and electrical systems, flooring, roofs, and furniture. These industries will expand in step with the expansion of home building.
Though these homes will be built cheaply, they have full, actually superior, use value. As some projects mature, labor will be paid, while in others the master-builder will train volunteer workers to build more homes for themselves, family, and friends, and are thus paid indirectly, but paid well.
Since real value is being produced utilizing local and regional resources, base money can be created by any nation, or region, up to the value of those homes, businesses and inventory.
That created money and the circulation of that base money is the proper financial source to utilize a nation’s own resources to build infrastructure, industries, businesses, and inventory necessary to service a developing community.
The circulation of that base money will build and operate distribution systems and repair systems and provide wages which becomes the buying power (circulating money, money supply) to purchase the production of those industries.
Simultaneous with building homes, a country or region must develop a prosperous agriculture. Permaculture fruits, nuts, berries, tubers, and vegetables work will with eco-village housing.
Master permaculturists can be trained and returned to their regions to train more just as described above with master builders. Farms, equipment, and the food produced have value and, as it is locally produced and, if circulating money (the money supply) is insufficient, more money (known as base money) can be socially created for that development as well.
All resources should be processed locally into high value-added products both for regional consumption and export. As economic activity and production increases, buying power increases to purchase the new production, and community values rise.
So long as countries or regions are utilizing local resources, money can be created to build industries and infrastructure. Correctly guided, this can even include high tech industries for manufacturing such energy producing equipment as wind generators, small hydro generation units, and photovoltaic cells.
These can convert the naturally occurring, non-fossil fuel forces of wind, waterpower, and sunlight into electrical energy. It is possible to train ambitious local inhabitants to assemble electronic equipment, such as TVs and computers, which can provide a free education via satellite and solar powered WiFi.
However, a developing country or region will soon need technology and industries that, unless the revolution we addressed throughout our books has taken place, are firmly under the control of the imperial centers. It is at this point that regions must federate (ally together) to negotiate with the imperial centers to trade access to resources for access to technology.
To not ally together would result in the locally created wealth being transferred to those imperial centers via unequal pay for equally-productive labor and the many other methods of theft of others wealth.
Local resources will be purchased far below their full value, resulting in the familiar inevitable debt traps for the developing regions sucking up any money that has been created and even taking title to constructed wealth.
The key is cheap, quality, local production of social infrastructure. But the money created must be regionally created and protected against claims by international creditors through an international trading currency (a dual currency trade structure).
Collecting the rental values of nature’s wealth as per Henry George’s property rights (chapters one through five of Money: A Mirror Image of the E economy) prevents capitalized monopoly values, provides development funds, and protects the entire nation from having those values attached to repay debts.
Henry George’s principles of society collecting socially created rental values (You are Quintuply Repaid for Paying Resource Rents (Land Rents) to Yourself (Society)) are essential both for economic efficiency and protection against creditor nations laying claim to a weak nation’s wealth.
The use value is still there but society collecting resource rents and interest on loans prevents those nature-produced values from being capitalized, keeps them out of the hands of creditors, and thus nature’s wealth and socially-produced profits are spent for a nation’s citizens (infrastructure, eduction, health care, retirement, and more).
By all classes being available via satellite or WiFi and studied on home TV, it is possible for the developing world to educate their citizens for 5-15% the cost of conventional brick and mortar schools (Communication Super Highways Educating the World for 5-15% the Cost of Brick and Mortar Schools).
Not only would the youth become well educated, so would many older citizens. wiring those emerging nation’s communication superhighways would give the talented access to jobs and markets in the highly developed world. Apprentice labor working side by side with skilled labor will soon build a skilled labor force as described above on building homes and training permaculturists.
Currency values can only remain stable if a country’s productive capacity is efficient and stable. So a country needs to develop infrastructure cheaply and efficiently and the above building of quality homes, support industries, and communication superhighways cheaply are examples but only a start.
With technology and markets historically monopolized, high technology industrializing is more problematic (this may be changing fast, study our pages and books). The key is maximum production of high-value-added products rather than selling raw resources.
Example: an oil producing nation has the option of refining its oil, producing plastics, etc. The monopolies of wealthy nations are so powerful that such industries will require trading alliances or full federations between weak nations, a step toward the full federation of all nations.
Stevia is 30 times sweeter than sugar, is cheap to produce, cheap to process, and it does not have the health damaging effects of sugar.
William Hayward (firstname.lastname@example.org) has containers filled with Stevia plants, processing equipment, and instructions ready to ship anywhere in the world. Africa also has a couple indigenous sweet plants that may replace sugar. The gains to a society both financially and in health care substituting any one of these sweeteners for sugar is huge.
Most important is sharing with other developing nations the various ways to protect their wealth from being claimed by speculators of wealthy nations.
Hopefully these nations can ally together (federate) to build their infrastructures and protect themselves from monopoly capital. As this simple development plan is put together, other areas of utilization of local labor and resources will become visible.
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