Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 7th, 2009

Increase your standard of living

How much your standard of living should increase so that you may enjoy a sandwich of falafel for $10?  It is not how much you generate money but how far it stretches.

Sir, learn to slow down your investment money: it is man who generate money. Finance and business are too important to be left to the exclusive experts in finance and doing business as usual contended the British economist Schumacher in his classic book “Small is beautiful”; he expressed the necessity for mankind to rediscover a set of values of higher exigencies than just economy.

In liberal capitalism money came to be viewed as an abstract entity that was represented by derivative products that have no practical meanings even to the experts in finance. Thus, the world was glutted with 50 trillion dollars in paper derivatives that were badly managed and controlled simply because this wealth was fundamentally fictitious until the Big Crash; then fiction translated into miseries.

Since 1920’s, money was perceived as an instrument to gain more money or “money generates money” rapidly and easily. Investors had no idea who is manipulating their money or how: they reached the threshold that investors didn’t care who is managing their money or making it fructify as long as fictitious bank statements told them that their bank account has swollen a bit more. This fictitious wealth didn’t represent accurately real activities around the world of economies.

The same process of abstraction was applied to agro-economy. The founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, wrote: “If you use your money as chemical fertilizers then your quick product grows artificially; the land will require more chemical fertilizers the next year for reduced quantity.  This is not a durable method for fructifying your investment or for saving your land of depletion and of quick death.  Now, if you use your money as natural fertilizer by slowing down the output for a durable and natural recycling of the land and organic product then there is chance for a durable economy based on wholesome and lasting sustainable process for healthy products.”

Sir, if you still have money to invest then look around the businesses in your community.  You need to do your due diligence to get acquainted with the employees and personnel.  You need to know that the products are wholesome and sustainable; that the owners and managers of the business know their business, the products, and the needs of the community. You have to make sure that your community is patronizing the products and that the workers are enjoying their jobs, supportive of the products, and working in a healthy and safe working environment.

Sir, learn to slow down your investment money: it is man who generate money.  You need to become an activist for the welfare of your community.  Pressure the government and financial institutions into aiding your local businesses and local banks that serve the community.  Pressure the your law makers to enact laws that prohibit local banks into lending money to “fictitious” non-local institutions that you have no idea or control over their transactions.

Sir, pressure your local banks to include social experts and community activists to the board of directors and in positions to control the transactions to make sure that another trend of “fictitious money” is not spiraling and taking a life of its own.

Sir, make sure that all these control and management tools are firmly established and then you may claim that “the market will be able to stabilize seasonal or emerging fluctuations”, that you may enjoy a sound and wholesome economy that caters to the need and survival of the community well being.

Woody Tasch in his book “Inquiries into the nature of slow money” criss-crossed the country for six months and noticed strong latent demands for alternative solutions; he wrote “people comprehend that for food to have tangible values then agriculture must be diversified and offer advantages to the environment, health, job creation, and community security.” Tasch has started Slow Money Alliance, a series of lending institutions composed of people in agricultures, in agro-business, donators and investors for soil restoration and products grown naturally. Tasch is encouraging philanthropic institutions with an estimated 500 billions invested in stocks to re-invest into 503 (c) 3i (the i is for integral economy) where the money is not intended for profit and not taxed by the Federal government. Philanthropic money need to be re-invested into social fairness in health, safety, and equity.

Slow Money Alliance is applying the new economical paradigm by investing in small agricultural and food enterprises so that thousands can recover jobs in already existing family lands, biological products, and the restaurants of Slow Food.

The European Union (EU) describes Modern Europe; (Nov. 7, 2009)

The European Union is the most striking political and social achievement in the 20th century.  The backbones of most of the UN peace keeping forces around the world are European contingents; the EU is the highest contributor in humanitarian budgets and for reforming obsolete public institutions in the under-developed States.

This post will cover a few statistics and then a short description of the EU administrative and legislative institutions.  The follow up post will cover what is working, then analyzing what need to be ironed out, and then how the world community is expecting modern Europe to lead.

The founding six States are Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and tiny Luxemburg; that was in 1951 with the objective of regulating the industrial output of coal and steel and resolving differences on egalitarian terms instead of purely diplomatic processes using the “community method”.  The treaty for Agricultural Common Policy (PAC) intended to insure food sufficiency was signed in 1962 which encourage exportation.  Total suppression of tariff on borders was abolished in 1968. As Nixon floated the dollars and de-linked it from gold in 1972, the EU of the Six created a mechanism to reducing fluctuation among the six States and called the “European monetary snake”.  In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and Britain were included in the union.  The European Parliament was elected by the universal vote in 1979 by the nine States.

By 1986, Spain, Portugal, and Greece adhered to the union of the 12 States and a unique market is launched for free circulation of goods, people, capitals and services. The fall of the Berlin Wall enhanced this union to expand into the east. The treaty of Maastricht opens the way for a unified monetary system; it expands the power of the European Parliament and contemplates extending foreign policies and defense to the union institutions.

In 1995, Sweden, Austria, and Finland enter the union of the 18 States. The accord of Schengen of 1995 eliminates borders’ controls among the citizens.  In 1999, 11 States adopt the Euro for common money which was introduced on the market in 2002.   By 2004, eight central European States join the EU; they are: Estonia, Hungry, Latonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Cyprus.  In 2007 there was a serious proposal for a European Constitution.

The founding Six States constitute about 50% of the EU population of 330 millions of the 27 current States; over 55% of its total economy amounting to 10 trillion euros.  Germany contains 16.5 % in population, followed by France 13%, then Italy 12%, then Spain 9%.   The economy of Germany represents 20%, France 15.5%, Italy 12.5% and then Spain 9% of the total.  England and France are about equal in population and economy.

The EU established institutions for the union such as The Commission, The European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament (all located in Brussels), and the Court of Justice. The EU is NOT a Federal State; it is a much better political concept that preserves higher democratic representations and elaborate dialogues that enrich the cultural content of any joint agreement among the States. The institutions are being developed and elaborated toward a more effective executive power in times of emergencies such as defense, finance, and foreign policies.  Currently, the EU has a unified security system and unified money with open borders.

The Commission is constituted by representatives of each States; the members are nominated by each State and it is up to the European Parliament to confirm nominated members; the President of the Commission is selected by the European Council and there is a trend to reducing the numbers for efficient collective work; it has weak executive power.

The Council of Ministers has legislative power and may reject the initiatives of the Commission. The presidency rotates among States every semester.  The voting power of each minister is proportional to the State’s population.

The deputies of the European Parliament are elected based on distinct election laws in each States.  The Parliament shares with the Council of Ministers the legislative responsibilities.

The European Council is represented by the States’ government Chiefs; it has the power of selecting the target objectives for the Commission. The High representatives for foreign policies and common security are members in the Commission.

Each State has a justice in the Court of Justice located in Luxemburg.  The jurisprudence of this Court supercedes State’s jurisprudence in matters proper to its competence.




November 2009

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