14. Durable products, food, water shortages: CaFMaC Fixes Everything

Chapter 14: Common sense fixes: food production & water shortages across the US


 Just the glimpse of another kind of economy can be enough to energize the fight against the old one.
– Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything



*   *   CaFMaC Fixes [almost] Everything   *   *

PRIORITIES (continued)

Section 45.       (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The Cooperatives Bank of America will strongly encourage development of credit unions and food unions.


The Congressional blather version:                A co-op bank whose depositors vote on its major business decisions and are paid interest on savings and checking account balances shall be known as a credit union. A co-op grocery whose customers purchase a membership entitling them to discounts on their grocery purchases shall be known as a food union. The Cooperatives Bank of America shall strongly encourage development of credit unions and food unions.


Section 46.       (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Every co-op selling things in the USA has got to produce stuff that is either useful and contributes to the common good or which people really want even if it’s useless foo-foo. If a co-op fails to meet these conditions the CBA can close it down. Small private businesses that compete with co-ops and each other don’t have to make useful stuff, it’s their choice.


The Congressional blather version:                Every co-op and not-yet-abolished corporation operating in the United States shall be permitted to exist strictly contingent on condition that it is providing a useful product(s) and/or a definably useful service(s) which has 1) demonstrable utility which contributes in some measure to the common public interest and 2) for which there is bona fide and demonstrable demand. The Cooperatives Bank of America may bring suit to dissolve any co-op or not-yet-abolished corporation that fails to meet these requirements, and the burden of proof regarding “definably useful,” “demonstrable utility” and “bona fide and demonstrable demand” shall rest with the co-op or not-yet-abolished corporation, as applicable. Entrepreneurial sole ownerships and partnerships serving less than five percent (5%) of their market sector in competition with co-ops and not-yet-abolished corporations shall be exempt from this Section, and the CBA shall measure and annually publish its comparative findings on the relative merits, successes and failures of these enterprises vis-à-vis co-ops.


Section 47.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) If a co-op claims a product it makes is durable and will last at least ten years, it damn well had better last durably for at least ten years. 2) Cheap products designed to soon break so you have to go buy another one are outlawed in the USA, and you can be sure anybody caught foisting such crap off on the rest of us is going to be real sorry he got caught. 3) Every American is going to learn again that old American slogan “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”


The Congressional blather version:             Durable-good products produced by manufacturing co-ops shall indeed be durable and, in general, designed for a usable lifetime of not less than ten (10) years. Designed-to-break products are hereby banned in the United States, and not less than ninety-eight percent (98%) of all products sold as durables shall meet the ten-year minimum standard. Any person convicted of knowingly designing or selling a made-to-break product or otherwise violating this standard shall be sentenced to one year in Gambling School. Introduction of this long-term durability standard into the American marketplace shall be well publicized as displacing the former practice of artificially boosting quarterly profits by cost cutting to cheapen products so that they quickly wear out and require replacement. Any co-op found in violation of these standards shall be summarily dissolved and its assets auctioned. All co-ops engaged in manufacturing shall promote the historical American slogan “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”


Section 48.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Before a new co-op can start doing business, it must find somebody to put all its waste byproducts to good use. 2) Every co-op must accept its own products back for recycling when they’re finally worn out. 3) All (meaning absolutely ALL) plastics produced or used in the USA must be recycled so they’re kept out of the environment. 4) All (ditto) organic and food wastes generated by agriculture- and food-related co-ops in the USA must be composted and used to enrich soils, with a goal of eliminating seventy percent of chemical fertilizers within ten years.


The Congressional blather version:                Every co-op shall find a receiver(s) or user(s) for its manufacturing wastes and non-usable byproducts before it may commence business, and all manufacturing co-ops shall accept their own products back for recycling, either by themselves or by contracted recycler(s). The Cooperatives Bank of America (CBA) shall establish an organizational unit exclusively dedicated to facilitating the finding or creating of receivers/users for such wastes and byproducts and to establishing laws, regulations and incentives of every nature to that end, including recycling one hundred percent (100%) of all (meaning all) plastics produced and/or used in the United States. All co-ops and other businesses operating in the United States shall recycle or arrange to recycle one hundred percent (100%) of all waste byproducts they generate among their outputs, heretofore defined in economics as “externalities,” produced by their manufacturing or service processes, as applicable, including capture and conversion of nontoxic organic remainders and food wastes of every manner and description to compost usable for soil enrichment.


There is hereby established a national goal of achieving within ten (10) years a quantity of natural organic compost sufficient to replace chemical fertilizers on seventy percent (70%) of all family-owned and operated farms in the United States, plus as many co-op farms as possible. Achievement of this goal shall be the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture with advice and oversight by the National Interest Advisory Council.


Section 49.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Co-ops that produce food crops must put highest priority on edible vegetables for Americans. 2) Second priority is on surplus food crops that the State Department may give away, instead of money, to poor foreign nations that really need food, and have democratically assured human rights to their people for at least twenty years. 3) Foreign nations that don’t meet these simple requirements will not receive squat from the USA. 4) Giving away U.S. tax dollars as foreign aid is dead, dead, and don’t you doubt it. 5) You really ought to take time to read the blather below to understand our other new American priorities for the growing of food crops, because they most certainly will affect you at the table and at the gas pump.


The Congressional blather version:              Those co-ops which are engaged in agricultural production, with guidance and oversight by the Environmental Protection Agency supported by the Department of State and Department of Agriculture, shall place:

1) their first priority on producing sufficient human-consumable vegetables and other plant-based food crops to meet the optimum nutritional needs of United States citizens;

2) their second priority on producing human-consumable vegetables and other plant-based food crops for governmental purchase and export, to cushion American farmers’ transition to the new agricultural economy while simultaneously helping meet the food and nutritional needs of other nations that are in clear need of supplemental food and nutrition as may be determined, and permitted, by the Department of State, beginning with the poorest and most in need and at no charge as a gift from the people of the United States, provided that such nations shall be operating under democratically elected governments which have for not less than twenty (20) years assured the human and political rights of all their citizens and that no nation failing these criteria shall be eligible for U.S. assistance of any nature, and further provided that such nutritional assistance shall be in lieu of monetary foreign aid which is hereby abolished and discontinued across the board;

3) their third priority shall be conversion of feed grains to dairy products, eggs and poultry meat for human consumption;

4) their fourth priority shall be on conversion of feed grains to pig, sheep and goat meats for human consumption; and

5) their fifth priority shall be on conversion of dairy cattle to meat for human consumption after their useful life for dairy products is completed. No priority shall be placed on production of beef cattle. To implement major reduction of flatulence arising in unthinkable clouds as the economically highly efficient third stage of throughput from beef cattle across the United States and, though unaccounted by economists, coincidentally entering the planetary atmosphere to worsen global warming, the National Interest Advisory Council shall set annual limits for sales of beef in the United States. Export of beef cattle from, or their import into, the United States is hereby prohibited, and conversion of human-edible crops to biofuels is hereby abolished summarily. Any co-op or other entity found to be in non-compliance with these national priorities shall be dissolved, its assets auctioned, and its managers sentenced to not less than sixty (60) days in Poverty School.


Section 50.       (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Monoculture and industrial scale farming and food animal production are abolished over the next five years. 2) Chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs in the American food supply are outlawed. 3) Converting private lawns to gardens is strongly promoted, and all government subsidies for agriculture are summarily abolished. 4) Rust belts and other wasted areas will be converted to innovative food production to help ensure plentiful food for all Americans. 5) Just as our federal government led us out of the Great Depression caused by financial speculative greed, our federal government is now going to lead the way in a major, drastic overhaul and nearly complete change of the really dumb ways we’ve been producing our food in the USA.


The Congressional blather version:                Co-ops engaged in agriculture shall, subject to regulations promulgated by the Cooperatives Bank of America (CBA), with advice and oversight by the National Interest Advisory Council (NIAC) and the Cooperative Research and Technological Development Administration (CRTDA) created by this Act, immediately undertake all necessary actions to 1) terminate within five (5) years all crop monoculture and the industrial-scale practices associated with crop monoculture, 2) terminate all large-scale animal production practices, so-called CAFOs, which separate food animals and fowl from constant and lifelong contact with the natural earth habitat, and 3) totally and without exception insulate completely the United States food supply from every (meaning absolutely every) chemical which does not naturally occur in nature.


The nation’s dependence on chemical agriculture is hereby abolished. All use in animal feed of antibiotics, growth hormones and similar known pharmaceutical risks to human health and childhood development is hereby forbidden and declared illegal. Every co-op engaged in any aspect of the U.S. food supply chain shall, among its other activities, promote personal home vegetable gardening, including conversion of lawns to gardens, and shall provide gardening classes, advice and assistance to private citizens who respond to mandatory ongoing co-op promotions of personal gardening. Excepting only certifiably family owned and operated farms of five hundred (500) acres or less, governmental subsidies of every nature to food providers of every nature, including but not limited to direct payments and tax breaks, are hereby abolished, and all federal and state laws and regulations now in violation of this provision are hereby superseded and shall be immediately revised accordingly.


The CBA, NIAC and CRTDA shall place utmost urgency on incentives to develop massive production levels of hydroponic agriculture and fish farming, with accompanying productive innovations, in vacant big box stores, other abandoned large buildings and factories, and in so-called rust belts wherever these modern industrial ruins exist throughout the nation beginning with the extensive abandoned industrial belt extending from south Chicago through Gary, Indiana. This project, to be known as the Rust-to-Riches Initiative (RRI), shall target a goal of meeting twenty-five percent (25%) of the nation’s food need within seven (7) years.


With Sections 37 through 50 it is the intent of Congress for the federal government to exercise that responsibility, for which government exists, to proactively guide economic activity in the United States along paths which are immediately beneficial to preservation and strengthening of political democracy and which directly promote universal economic wellbeing of all citizens by engaging the beneficial aspects of both competitive and cooperative commercial endeavor; to convert most commercial activity in the United States as quickly and thoroughly as possible to a cooperative model grounded in the natural personal incentive of employee ownership, genuine competition and other natural incentives; to renounce and avoid hereafter the human exploitations and other negative consequences of extreme and untrammeled ideological capitalism blindly pursued for unbounded profit and materialistic values as if it were the only possible alternative to the totalitarian versions of communism experienced over the past century; and to end the perennial abuses deriving from human greed, primarily and foremost in but not limited to, the banking and financial sectors, by limiting banks’ business functions to the very few actually needed for citizen wellbeing, and by restoring the connections between nature and food production, to the benefit of the common good of the nation and of equal treatment and opportunity for all U.S. citizens. Congress further hereby declares that we, the nation which had the genius to create the vast factories and industrial establishments now abandoned and known as rust belts stretching for miles on end, shall also be the nation which displays the genius to restore these vast wasted investments to productive uses fruitfully serving the nation’s people.


Section 51.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The CBA is going to make and enforce new rules for honest, open, understandable reporting of financial information by co-ops, banks and all other businesses in the USA. Violators will be terminated.


The Congressional blather version:       The Cooperatives Bank of America shall promulgate standards defining required transparency of financial data collected, managed and reported by all co-ops, banks, and other business organizations of every nature, including sole ownerships and partnerships, pursuant to abolishing traditional obfuscation by business organizations of financial data and reports to avoid tax obligations and to mislead parties with a valid interest in their true financial status. The Cooperatives Bank of America shall report any finding of violation of these standards to the U.S. Attorney for prosecution. Any co-op or other business entity found to be cooking its books or otherwise deceiving society, of living beyond its means by expropriating the resources of others, or of other actions contrary to the public interest, shall be summarily terminated and its assets auctioned.


Section 52.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: American citizens and organizations that have money hidden in foreign bank accounts will be found out and given a choice to 1) bring their money home and fully pay all back taxes plus fines and penalties, or 2) pay the back taxes, fines and penalties anyway, relinquish their U.S. citizenship and get out.


The Congressional blather version:       The Cooperatives Bank of America, fully and directly supported by the Department of State and Department of Defense, shall pursue full and complete revelation and transparency of accounts of U.S. citizens and organizational entities of any nature whatsoever having wealth hidden in Swiss banks or in the banks of any other nation or entity on earth, and shall exert quite very considerable persuasions upon those entities and governments to be forthcoming in reporting the dollar amounts in such hidden accounts and the names, addresses and phone numbers of their U.S. owners. Upon a finding of such hidden wealth each identified human owner of such hidden wealth or human controller of organizational hidden wealth shall be given a choice to 1) move the full amount of such wealth to a bank located within the United States and thereby made subject to U.S. transparency laws, taxes and back taxes plus fines and penalties, or 2) after paying the taxes, back taxes, fines and penalties, relinquish U.S. citizenship and all rights pertaining thereto including residency in the United States for life. Any owner that is an organization shall, in addition to applicable fines and penalties, have all its U.S. assets confiscated and its further operations banned from U.S. soil forever.


Section 53.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The CBA will strongly promote a National Cisterns Project designed to turn around the silly concern that has been allowed to develop over supposed water shortages in much of the water-blessed USA. 2) Cisterns will catch the free rainwater all over the USA. 3) With common sense governing the project, installing new water mains and diverting whole rivers will be outlawed. 4) Throughout the USA dams will be removed, natural river flows and wetlands will be restored, and watering lawns will be made illegal.


The Congressional blather version:        The Cooperatives Bank of America shall provide major incentives for co-ops to engage in the business of water storage and distribution. High priority shall be placed on a National Cisterns Project (NCP) featuring, and not limited to, public education concerning private homeowner cisterns designed to dispel the prevailing monumentally vast public ignorance of cisterns, and on amending equally ignorant local zoning ordinances to require quick, easy and cheap construction of both poured-concrete and pre-fabricated cisterns for all new housing and commercial buildings, as well as subsidies for retrofitting existing structures with cisterns, to be filled by naturally distilled rainwater captured from the roofs of such housing and commercial buildings. Public education on simple chemical-free cistern water filtration and water pump maintenance shall be expeditiously implemented. Water pump and pre-fab cistern manufacturing by co-ops in every U.S. region and subregion shall be encouraged by the CBA.


Implementation at governmental initiative shall be first undertaken as demonstrations in areas of the United States most seriously experiencing long-term drought, declining aquifers and/or traditionally limited rainfall, and shall be progressively expanded into areas with more ample annual rainfall. Diversion of rivers for irrigation of historically arid lands is hereby abolished and declared illegal. The Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers shall within five (5) years be fully restored to their natural flow, and resulting municipal water deficits, if any, not yet alleviated by newly installed cisterns shall be offset by massively expanded water conservation policies and practices including major reduction of evaporation from municipal open-air reservoirs. Beginning in the sixth (6th) year such full-flow restoration shall be systematically extended to all U.S. rivers, and removal of all dams that degrade and destroy essential natural wetlands and natural fish migrations shall be completed by the twelfth (12th) year throughout the United States. With sincere gratitude for the nurturing rains provided by Divine Providence in whatever quantities Divine Providence chooses to send, lawn watering is hereby abolished in the United States and any person convicted of violating this prohibition shall experience thirty (30) days in Gambling School.


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READERS COMMENT: Your ideas are invited for dealing with the issues addressed in this post. These posts attempt to present new perspectives – THIRD OPTIONS – to move beyond the conservative-liberal divide that is so poisoning our national sense of shared community. New and wiser options are always available to make life in America better for all the people. What are yours? Be concise, use up to 200 words. Have a swell day.


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