The Ati-thesis , Marxism

"By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[3] Friedrich Engels, in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, argues that state capitalism would be the final stage of capitalism consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state.[4]"

Quoted from Wikepedia

Monday, May 20, 2019

Marco Rubio Identifies the Underpinnings of an Emerging Economic Order of the 21st Century

Business Insider recently published an article about the Scandinavian Nations having one of the highest divides between the haves and the have nots. According to the justifying rational for the large divide in the distribution of wealth, between the many and the few, as advanced contemporary welfare states, the masses in Scandinavian countries have no need to own property. Property ownership, in this rational, is only necessary for the entrepreneurial class, which supposedly invests in business.

I haven't researched what goes on in Scandinavian nations to the depth which I have done so for Maine, but suffice it to say that what I know about Maine as a result of independent research is not common knowledge distributed in the media. Extrapolating the information gap between independent research based on reading the statutes myself and what I would know about if relying solely on the media, to the entire world, it follows to suppose that common knowledge about anything anywhere is controlled by a shadow government. Whether or not the Scandinavian entrepreneurial class is really investing in business is an unknown, but thanks to a new report by Senator Marco Rubio titled American Investment in the 21st Century, it is no longer unknown in the USA.

Marco Rubio's report addresses a major shift in the economic order occuring around the turn of the century. He begins with a description of the economic order to which we have become accustomed and is still generally assumed to be the way our economic order works:
Our first objective is a description of the assumed institutional arrangement of the U.S. economy. This is most clearly described as an intuitive understanding of the flow of money, a kind of “economic order” that the economy follows, which often operates in the background of public discussion of economic matters. It proceeds like this: financial institutions, such as banks or credit unions, lend money to businesses, who use the money to invest in projects and activities in the course of competition with other businesses. Workers receive wages from their employers, which they use to provide for their households, buying consumer products from other businesses and saving for their families’ future in banks and retirement accounts. Financial institutions then lend their savings back out into the cycle, which starts all over again with greater productive resources than it had to begin with. American Investment in the 21st Century by Marco Rubio pg 13
Rubio's report, documented with many statistics, identifies a newly operative economic order in which the role of macroeconomy business has shifted from that of investors in the economy to lenders to the economy. This shift has come about in response to shareholder primacy, as the dominate economic ideology within the macro economy since the 1970's. By this is meant that shareholders returns take precedence over earnings invested into new business growth. Instead of investing in non-financial business assets, such as equipment and labor, non-financial businesses are investing in financial assets (stocks) and the role of business in the macro (non-financial) economy is shifting from investment to lending. From there Rubio surmises that there has to be a borrower (investor) somewhere in the equation, and that it has to be government.
There must be a borrower. The sectoral balances described above are an accounting identity that must sum to zero. It is here that the rise of corporate lending in the U.S. has important implications. If the U.S. were to accept the permanent financial position of private business as net lender, then by definition it must have some other sector be its investor,and by process of elimination we wind up very quickly looking to the federal government to play the role. " American Investment in th e21st Century by Marco Rubio pg 20
A primary subject of this blog has been independent research into Maine economic development statutes and history,  since 1976 when Maine became a centrally managed economy. Analysis identifies the new economic order in Maine as a wealth redistribution economy composed of government and non-profits versus the part of the economy outside the wealth redistribution economy, which is identified as a free enterprise economy. I say "versus" because by definition a centrally managed economy cannot have anything existing outside of it, not being centrally managed.

Burton Weisbrod's "The Non-Profit Economy" was published in the eighties when the economy was considered to be composed of three separate and distinct sectors, the public, private and non-profit, but today all three can be merged into one. a perfect example of this state of affairs is the Maine Technology Institute, which was chartered by special act of legislation as a public charity, providing grants to the private sector for the purpose of developing products for the commercial market. The board of MTI is authorized by statute to make a private profit and to acquire ownership of intellectual property rights. In Rubio's analysis this is an instance of the government being the investor, if not the borrower. MTI is financed in part by public taxes and the rest remains vague, with the Department of Economic Development often willfully opaque to the public, as is the culture of public-private relationships. According to the MTI statute, all of this is IRS compliant. Perhaps it shouldn't be.

As large fortunes are accumulated by a small top sector of the economy, the holders of private fortunes create non-profit foundations. The funds are coveted by government, which along with the boards of non-profit foundations redistributes wealth. All of the corporations chartered by the Maine Legislature since the state became a centrally managed economy, provide that the corporation can accept money from "any source".

In Rubio's language terms, wealth redistribution is called investing or allocating funds. The Senator has not yet identified that it's not only government allocating funds (investing), it is also the non-profit foundations. Wealth redistribution does not, in itself, create wealth. It is only the free enterprise sector which creates wealth, by necessity, since by the operative definition used by this author, free enterprise, is that part of the economy excluded from the wealth redistribution food chain, as well as its governance. With wealth redistribution comes control over aspects of the traditional business function of wealth creation, not necessarily understood as it relates to specific businesses by the boards and bureaucrats and/or law makers of wealth redistribution institutions. Often there is an attempt to change the role of business from that of creating wealth to that of creating "social justice". An example of this is minimum wage, once a fair job training wage available to all sectors of the economy, is now being construed as a living wage entitlement, and a living wage is no longer associated with an earned wage, representing an exchange of value between employer and employee. This is a spin off of the problem identified by Rubio when, in the 1970's, the macro-economy adopted the ideology of shareholder primacy. That meant that instead of investing earnings in business, more earnings were distributed among shareholders. In turn that meant that worker wages did not increase, as available resources for increasing worker wages went instead to shareholder payouts, and the gap between the haves and the have nots grew wider.

However the solution undermines  nonfinancial non-corporate or micro-economy businesses  most often thought of as small businesses, which remain  net borrowers reinvesting in business growth but do not have as available access to government subsidies covering the cost of worker training as their macro-economy counterparts. A better solution would be to target the minimum wage increase to the sector which is prioritizing shareholders over business investments and/or receiving government subsidies to cover worker training expenses. That may be a moot objective in Maine since the exchange for corporate welfare involves hiring x number of workers at above average wages and benefits as determined by the State. In that case, minimum wage is not an issue, but inflation might be.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Is Maine's Industrial Partnerships Act based on the Scandinavian Model?

Camoin Associates used Esri data compilation software to produce a master plan for the Boothbay Peninsula.The software allows one to run reports for a designated radius of any address  I tried it out for our business, but found hat it doesn't have data relevant to our field. One report. called "tapestries" categorizes demographic segments, but if you believed their segments to reflect reality, the only thing people buy in today's world are electronics. The truth is more likely that the electronics market is the only data compiled. I soon became bored with reading the homogenized descriptions of different classes of people.

I have heard it said that recorded history is selective, limited by the stories historians elect to tell while true history encompasses the whole spectrum of generational cultural interactions. The Camoin Report was created by running reports with the Esri data compiler and that is its limitation. Neither the Esri data, nor the Camoin Report includes issues uniquely specific to the Boothbay Peninsula. It reports what is common knowledge about our region. We have an aging population. We need to attract a younger generation and to develop year round jobs, and of course, our assets are defined by our looming non-profits, Coastal Gardens Inc, and Bigelow Labs with a special mention for the Country Club, all of which defines the demographic segment that the Camoin Report acknowledges in service of the group which paid them 79000.00 to create, from afar, a master plan for the Boothbay Peninsula,

The report barely mentions that we have a migrant working community descend upon us every summer and that they are primarily young people. The report does not recognize the migrant young workers as a source of potential youth who could move to our area on a more permanent basis. The report makes recommendations based on the same agenda advanced by the State. It barely mentions that the tourist industry has monopolized our housing, but instead recommends extending the shoulder seasons of the tourist industry. The report does not mention that the Boothbay Peninsula has a developer buying up properties every where and transforming everything he touches into something that serves the upper income vacationer demographic. The report does not say that the Peninsula is a target of re-gentrification, that would replace an existing rural culture with a suburban culture. The report does not mention the proximity of the Boothbay Peninsula to the municipality-authority of MRRA. The report does, however, mention the GATEWAY 1 CORRIDOR ACTION PLAN, created the same year that the municipality of MRRA was chartered by the Maine Legislature. In this transportation plan Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor are classified as "micropolitan' areas, which means a suburban area.
A micropolitan area contains an urban core of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000, population.
The core urban area is not exactly the same thing as the incorporated city limits.  For example, both the City of Anniston and the City of Gadsden have less than 50,000 population, but Anniston and Gadsden are both legitimate OMB metro areas.
Definition of urban
: of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city
Definition of rural
: of or relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture Miriam Webster Dictionary
The report does not explain that the nearby town with the odd name, for a municipal corporation, of "The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority", is authorized by its legislative charter to  redevelop the entire Midcoast region.
§13083-G. Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority established; goals
The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is established as a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the State to carry out the purposes of this article. The authority is entrusted with acquiring and managing the properties within the geographic boundaries of Brunswick Naval Air Station. [2009, c. 641, §1 (AMD).]
The authority is established to facilitate the rapid development of the properties within the geographic boundaries of Brunswick Naval Air Station. In order to achieve this objective, the authority shall make every effort to: [2009, c. 641, §1 (NEW).] (emphasis mine)
§13083-I. Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority; powers; membership; obligations
1. Powers.  The authority is a public municipal corporation and may:
   (emphasis mine)
The municipal corporation of MRRA is known not as a municipality, not as a town, but as an "authority"over the surrounding region, as its name states. It is reasonable to speculate that the Boothbay Peninsula is targeted to be redeveloped as a suburb and recreational retreat for the town of Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority. Existing populations, not useful to the MRRA's purposes, will be nudged to relocate or move into modular housing and the demographic for which the Camoin Report is written will move in. The only jobs that make living on the Boothbay Peninsula affordable are in the upper sector of the economy. In the wealth redistribution economy of Maine, this often means tax subsidized jobs, arranged by the State. To realize the full benefits of the tax subsidies, a corporation needs to be in a Pine Tree Zone, like MRRA. While Industrial Partnerships might train high school students on the Boothbay Peninsula for state approved jobs, such jobs are concentrated in tax exempt Pine Tree Zones. The GATEWAY 1 CORRIDOR ACTION PLAN will transport workers living in designated suburb communities to the Pine Tree Zones.That is called REdeveloping the Midcoast region. Simon says "Out with the old! Clap! Clap! In with the new!"Clap! Clap!

No! The Camoin Report does not tell you this.

Today it is difficult for a business to locate on the Boothbay Peninsula unless abundantly capitalized because housing is so expensive. Our company will need to re-establish a production facility where we can train workers to produce our own techniques but I doubt it will be possible to do so in Boothbay. Ever since Maine State Inc took over managing the Maine economy only jobs paying the highest wages are considered to have value, but one cannot afford to train workers at the highest wages- and the minimum wage escalating with inflation seems like a very unstable way to go. Free-enterprise friendly New Hampshire makes more sense, but here I am, still here, through God's mysterious will. I am already raising our prices on a regular basis to keep up with the attack by Maine State Inc on Maine free enterprise via its inflation-escalating, inflation-escalated minimum wage. The irony of an economy having only one sector of value - that sector which provides "above average" income, is that when it is finally arranged by the artificial means of wealth redistribution, for all the inhabitants of Maine to be making an "above average" income- it is just the average income and it is in fact a stagnant economy. However it will not be that, it will be instead the economy of the haves and have nots with a great and almost impassable divide between. This is the type of society that exists today in Scandinavia, where, data compilers tell, the people are the "happiest in the world". According to a recent article in Business Insider, Why Socialist Scandinavia Has Some Of The Highest Inequality In Europe", the top 10% of wealth holders in three Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) hold between 65 and 69 per cent of those nations' wealth.

The explanation given by the supporters of socialism is that entitlements are the opiates of the masses. Opiates keep people happy:

"Strong social security programs, good public pensions, free higher education or generous student loans, unemployment and health insurance can greatly reduce the need for personal financial assets. Public housing programs can do the same for real assets. This is one explanation for the high level of wealth inequality we identify in Denmark, Norway and Sweden: the top groups continue to accumulate for business and investment purposes, while the middle and lower classes have no pressing need for personal saving."Why Socialist Scandinavia Has Some Of The Highest Inequality In Europe"

That sounds like the operating philosophy in Maine. If you pacify the people with entitlements they will not want opportunities to grow as unique individuals; Who needs unique? The new world order is all about collectivism, a tapestry of demographics compiled by carefully selected data. The government can manage the collective growth and segment opportunities as is the conceptual function of the Industrial Partnerships Act. This is in fact quite horrible, since there is no value at work in the system except materialism but in wholesome individuals there are many other factors which have to be balanced with materialism. As the old adage says. Man does not live by bread alone, but the socialist system seeks to control humanity by the distribution of the metaphorical bread. All you have to do is sacrifice your relationship to God, family, and the meaning of life. It's easy peasy!

§3303. Industry clusters of the Industrial Partnerships Act identifies which sector of the economy meets the "state approved careers" qualifications. You probably don't need to have it posted here to guess what it is:
5. High-priority occupations list.  The Center for Workforce Research and Information annually shall publish a list of high-priority occupations, which are those occupations that have been:
A. Identified by the Center for Workforce Research and Information as providing opportunity for employment in jobs with high compensation; [2017, c. 110, §30 (NEW).]B. Recommended by the State Workforce Board; and [2017, c. 110, §30 (NEW).]C. Approved by the Governor or the Governor's designee. [2017, c. 110, §30 (NEW).] (emphasis mine)

In §3304. Industry partnerships, the emphasis is on "connecting disadvantaged adults and youth to careers;" and "a diverse pool of persons seeking jobs, including veterans and individuals with barriers to employment, such as persons who are economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, youth, older workers, ex-offenders and others; " , And yet, "the "high priority occupations list", the jobs that meet government approval, are " jobs with high compensation". How is Industry Partnerships going to take people off the welfare roles and place them in the highest paying jobs in Maine? Easy peasy again! Since in a wealth redistribution economy, everything orbits around the state, the state can just write into its corporate welfare negotiations that X number of the employees hired, to meet the corporate benefits quota, will be sourced from the social welfare roles. This may not be as problematic for the employer, if the employer is already hiring unneeded staff to meet the quota for receiving corporate welfare benefits. No problem except to the quality of the work environment and damage done to the undesirable free enterprise sector which relies on minimum wage as a training wage, which will certainly escalate as policies mandated by Industrial partnership increasingly go into effect.

Those  "quality jobs"- or in the new language "state approved careers" - are advantaged by a little help from lavish tax payer subsidies, granted to the owners of the means of production to cover capitalization, operations, and worker training costs, because the owners of the means of production are in "the top groups [that] continue to accumulate for business and investment purposes, while the middle and lower classes have no pressing need for personal saving" as quoted from "Why Socialist Scandinavia Has Some Of The Highest Inequality In Europe", The top groups are angels who only profit incidentally to the public benefit that they selflessly serve, as writ to law in the UNconstitutional charter of the FAME corporation, which can never be repeated too often; (as in this blog

            Words from The Financial Authority of Maine corporate charter: 

The authority will serve a public purpose and perform an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers and duties conferred upon it by this chapter. Any benefits accruing to private individuals or associations, as a result of the activities of the authority, are deemed by the Legislature to be incidental to the public purposes to be achieved by the implementation of this chapter. [1985, c. 344, §5 (AMD).]
The middle and lower classes have no need for personal savings [or personal opportunities or any other kind of  individualized personal choice] because the wealth redistribution system is keeping them in place with rations.

And so it all falls into place, why in Maine, the centralized economy is not just about redistributing capital for opportunities for the top groups (quality class) to get richer, but to likewise keep growth from occurring from the the roots. That is why qualification for public housing is tied to income caps per unit, creating a dilemma in which if the occupant increases income by a very small modicum, he loses his housing. The intent of such a public policy is perfectly clear, but there are unexamined dillemnas built in Industrial Partnerships human worker reprocessing programs, unexamined because they fall outside of the range of Maine State Incs singular value- money. 

If the occupant of public housing accepts a job in a "high priority occupation', which on the scale  of Maine State Inc's value system is high priority because it provides high compensation, the occupant will have to move out of his housing. Although the high compensation granted by the high priority occupation would afford the occupant pricier digs, there is no guarantee for the permanency of his new occupation unless Maine State Inc writes it into its corporate welfare negotiations. 

But how long can Maine State Inc guarantee to the worker that he will be guaranteed employment at his new highly compensated occupation? It is not likely that it would be for more than a year. Taking in the excluded human factor, a disadvantaged person being artificially catapulted into a highly advantaged occupation, might not feel that he belongs there, for a multitude of reasons, and so would question his job security which comes at the cost of sacrificing his housing security. Maine State Inc does not support the quality of job which would make for a more natural growth transition for the disadvantaged. That sector is by definition, the free enterprise economy. The wealth redistribution economy of Maine discourages business entrepreneurship at the bottom of the economy, but, for a multitude of reasons, not recognized by the Maine State Inc values system, people at the bottom of the economy are more apt to feel that they fit in a business owned by their own peer group. 

Mikkel Clair Nissen An anti-socialism activist from Denmark, likes to say that people in Denmark have self regard but no self-esteem, Self regard says "I am entitled to such and such and so and so". Self esteem says "I am worthy of  such and such and so and so". One is a political ideology. The other is earned security firmly rooted from within. The same anti-socialism activist from Denmark claims the people in Scandinavian countries are the happiest in the world because they are all on antidepressants. When a society provides all material needs but growth and opportunity is blocked, or controlled by the government, for most of the people, providing antidepressants to the people becomes an "essential government function". I have no idea if this is yet incorporated into Maine Care. Maybe if I dig deeper I will find this essential function incorporated into the Industrial Partnerships Act. Stranger things have been found in the Maine statutes. 


Maine's Industrial Partnership Bill - Where Does it Lead?


Senator Eric Swalwell recently announced his candidacy for US president. I found the following in his stands on the issues page. I have not yet researched other candidates on this issue.
In my view, the opposition to this federal act has it right

Eric Swalwell on Corporations

2013 Voted NO on workforce training by state block grants & industry partners.
Congressional Summary:
    Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act or SKILLS Act:
  • Reauthorizes appropriations workforce investment systems for job training and employment services.
  • Requires a plan describe:
    1. strategies and services to more fully engage employers and meet their needs, as well as those to assist at-risk youth and out-of-school youth in acquiring education, skills, credentials, and employment experience;
    2. how the state board will convene industry or sector partnerships that lead to collaborative planning;
    3. how the state will use technology to facilitate access to services in remote areas;
    4. state actions to foster partnerships with non-profit organizations that provide employment-related services; and
    5. the methodology for determining one-stop partner program contributions for the cost of the infrastructure of one-stop centers.
  • Repeals title VI (Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities)
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
    National League of Cities op-ed, "H.R. 803 fails because it would:"
  1. Undermine the local delivery system that has been the cornerstone of job training programs
  2. Establish a program that is based on political boundaries (states) rather than on economic regions and local labor markets, or the naturally evolving areas in which workers find paying work
  3. Eliminate a strong role for local elected officials but require that they continue to be fiscally liable for funds spent in their local areas
  4. Change what was once a program targeted to those most in need--economically disadvantaged adults and youth and special population groups like veterans, migrant farm workers, and low income seniors--into a block grant to governors
  5. Contribute to the emerging division between those American's who have the requisite skills to find employment and those who do not. (emphasis mine)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Maine's Industrial Partnership Bill - Where Does it Lead?

The season for electing town selectmen is underway locally. I live in Boothbay but since a public private economic development group (JECD) has been implemented on the peninsula which finances itself by taxing both municipalities, it is fair game to ask questions of candidates for Boothbay Harbor selectmen announcing their candidacy in letters to the editor of the Boothbay Register.

I started writing this blog back around 2007 because I observed that in the Maine media, economic development policy is reported propaganda style, one point of view presented, almost exclusively of all others. This media policy extends to major politically transformational economic development acts of legislation, or better said, the failure to publish stories and information before and after such acts are passed. The Industrial Partnerships Act of 2013, is an arguably totalitarian measure which threatens to solidify the central management of everything in Maine by the public-private state.

Shortly after passing the Industrial Partnerships Act, which authorizes the State's "quality jobs" sector to use the high school educational system as tax payer funded job training, the Maine Legislature passed an increase in minimum wage of 60% by next year and there after increasing as inflation increases. What could be more stupid? Or if not stupid, then motivated by a downright diabolical intent to drive out the remaining free enterprise economy which is competition to the taxpayer subsidized public-private state of Maine? Minimum wage is a traditional means by which free enterprise can train workers on the job.

It may sound to some ears that I am over dramatising, but my perspective is founded on studying the last forty years of states enacted economic development policies, for the last twelve years. A most shocking revelation is that policy is as much about keeping the bottom down as it is about enriching those at the top. I will support my conclusions in context. I have a long story to tell, based not only on twelve years of researching the laws institutionalizing the public-private-state ownership of the means of production, but from the experiences of a small entrepreneur interacting with the system from top to bottom. I have read the rhetoric and experienced the system in practice.

As an entrepreneur whose home and roots are in Maine, and whose industry is clearly not intended to be located in the USA in the  plans of the global world order governing Maine's corporate state, I have to ask what madness causes me to remain in Maine, other than that in Maine lies my rootedness and that matters, but I must ask myself, am I the same as the jews who saw what was happening in Germany in the 1930's and steadfastly remained none the less? The prospect of a continually increasing minimum wage is devastating to a business such as ours which trains its employees on the job, which is one of my favorite aspects of this business. Job training is expensive, but when one is working with original and unique techniques, at least part of job training has to be done on the job.

In the realm of current possibilities, the most obvious inflation stimulator is the talk of raising the national minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Minimum means the minimum that an employee can be paid and so that means that all wages must rise in kind. The Maine Legislature has long excluded the retail sector from its wealth redistribution benefits because retailers do not offer "quality jobs" as defined by the Maine Legislature. The Maine Legislature has one measure and one measure, only, for the meaning of "quality", which is, "a quality job is one that pays higher wages and benefits." Period. The only reason anyone works or lives or breaths, according to the state, is for purely monetary reasons. The retailing sector, excluding the coveted Amazon, does not meet the "quality" standards of the Maine State corporation, and so is excluded from wealth redistribution benefits (excepting national or global retailing giants like Amazon). What this means is that the increase in minimum wage will hit the retailing industry the hardest, and in turn the cost of everything sold in retail venues will increase accordingly. If the increase is implemented nationally, minimum wage in Maine will reach the stratosphere as minimum wage is coded to automatically increase with inflation. To keep up with wages increasing automatically with inflation, prices will continue to rise to pay the cost  Its a good thing money is handled digitally today, or else our parking lots will be jammed with the wheel barrows needed to transport the money to purchase a can of Campbells Soup!

Initially, I do not expect to have my questions answered  by the candidates. All candidates and community leaders agree on what our local problems are and when someone runs for a position they confirm that they agree, which is supposed to infer that they can and will do something about those problems but there are never any real solutions and very little differences on the table. Everyone says we need year round jobs but no one in the "community leaders" class has any ideas about how to encourage year round jobs. The JECD recently published a release about its new "business incubator', but it did not have any substance, to speak of, other than a coincidental resemblance to the State's Industrial Partnerships Act, which is why I raised a question about the Industrial Partnerships Act to one of the candidates, who declined to answer because he knew nothing about it, being that the Industrial Partnerships Act has received no coverage in the media.

I am going to layout how I see the problem. It begins with the fact that Maine has become a state dominated by the wealth redistribution economy. The entire "quality jobs" sector, as a product of the Maine Legislature, is based in wealth redistribution and has little to do with wealth creation beyond the surface. This is evident in the fact that the state mandates wages and benefits in the "quality jobs" sector to be "above average", and barters with wealth redistribution benefits to obtain compliance from private sector beneficiaries of state wealth redistribution. The equivalency between what an individual employee is paid and what the employee brings to the company is overridden in government mandates molding the transactional exchange as X number of jobs at "higher than average" wages and benefits in exchange for access to central management's wealth redistribution food chain. Access to wealth redistribution is keyed to the number of employees a privately owned company hires at state mandated wages- none of it having to do with the employees impact on wealth creation by the private company.

Speculatively, if a privately owned company is governed by the same materialism, aka profit motive, then the value of the individual employee in relationship to what the individual employee is paid, is replaced with meeting the quota of number of employees hired at upper-end wages in order to gain access to tax-payer subsidized benefits. If the CEO's of the company maintain a remote distance from the nuts and bolts operations of the company, it may simply be easier to measure profitability collectively pursuant to meeting government hiring quotas for benefits, than it is to assess the value an employee contributes in relation to what the employee costs the corporation on an individual basis. It is possible to pay attention to both but the larger an organization becomes, the greater the impact of personal politics and transactional relationships within the corporation, and the more likely that these relationships will be impacted by the pot of gold at the end of the wealth redistribution rainbow.

Private corporations are part of the wealth creation sector of the economy but as the wealth redistribution philosophy grows larger, it merges with large corporations in transactional exchanges and marginalizes the free enterprise sector, hereby defined as free enterprise because it is outside the wealth redistribution culture. Although large corporations loom large as economic development engines, it is impossible to distinguish how much of their profits are derived from wealth redistribution. Factoring in the hidden combined effect of tax exemptions and refundable tax credits, it has become policy that large corporations are authorized by the public-private state to levy a tax on the people as the world speeds ever faster down the road to the borderless global corporate state.

My Dad used to say that the family is the only institution that stands between the individual and total control of everything by the state (totalitarianism). My Dad grew up on a farm in Iowa. I understand the ceramic business in the home as a reinvention of the archetypical family farm, which is true also of Andy Warhol's Factory, and Carl F Horowitzs craving for a homogeneous (white) America. The common thread in all three is the creation or preservation of a world in which the individual has a meaningful and local sense of belonging - the antithesis of the centrally managed world order as implemented in Maine's Industrial Partnerships Act of 2013. In a centrally managed state, all serve the state, and not the other way around, contrary to the persistent marketing of the corporate state as serving the public benefit. The individual is lost in the public equalizer. The state, as emergent from its core purpose- that of centrally managing the economy, serves the profit motive, as do all public corporations. The beneficiaries of the profit motive are the state, and perhaps more so, the private partners of the state, who have their rights to ownership of all things, including intellectual property rights, stashed a way in safe places, but handy, as needed.

There was no media coverage of the Industrial Partnerships Act when it was under consideration, when it was passed, or ever since, Whatever the public doesn't know is unlikely to be an object of public resistance. And whatever the media talks about, or doesn't talk about, defines the political talking points of politicians.

The (Maine) Industrial Partnerships Act of 2013, combines social welfare and corporate welfare into one seamless economic development system, implemented through wealth redistribution policies. The policies of Industry Partnerships are expressed as high flying do-gooder goals, cloaking from public perception that the corporate state, like all public corporations, serves its own interests to the exclusion of all others, to the exclusion of the free enterprise sector.

The following discussion examines a portion of the Industrial Partnerships Act, which has as its purpose "helping" the people at the bottom, but not helping the people to realize their own dreams and purpose in life, but to implement them in the service of the public private state. This opinion is a conjecture on my part but based on years of examining the economic development statutes that constitute the legal structure of Maine's public-privately owned corporate state. All economic development statutes are written to the exclusive benefit of special sectors of the economy. Some legislation gives a nod to Maine's waterfront or farming industries but the main focus is the health care and new or high tech industries, falling under the heading of "innovative".

While, in a changing world, there is an obvious need to adapt economies to new technologies, factoring in other structures within the total system, it is reasonable to speculate that the motivation for favoring the latter industries is that possibility that the owners of these industries, the public-private state, have a chance of making not mere millions, but billions. This speculation is consistent with the one measure by which the corporate state measures value, and its bottom line, the profit motive.

Additionally, in support of the view that this is a system designed to serve the profit motives of the owners of the means of production and not the diversity of motives within the people, is that the Industrial Partnership bill includes repurposing of a highschool decree as a training certificate for "state approved careers".

The Lofty Goals of Maine State inc:

§3304. Industry partnerships

1. Objectives.  The objectives of an industry partnership are to:
G. Inform and collaborate with the career and technical education centers, the boards of the local workforce investment areas designated pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Public Law 113-128, youth councils, business-education partnerships, secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, parents and career counselors for the purpose of addressing the challenges of connecting disadvantaged adults and youth to careers; [2017, c. 110, §31 (AMD).]
 H. Help companies identify and collaborate to address common organizational and human resource challenges, including, but not limited to, recruiting new workers, retraining dislocated workers, hiring foreign-trained professionals, retaining incumbent workers, implementing a high-performance work organization, adopting new technologies and fostering experiential and contextualized on-the-job learning; [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).]
I. Develop and strengthen career ladders within and across companies, enabling entry-level workers to improve skills and advance to higher-wage jobs; [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).]
J. Help companies in an industry partnership to attract potential employees from a diverse pool of persons seeking jobs, including veterans and individuals with barriers to employment, such as persons who are economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, youth, older workers, ex-offenders and others; and [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).]
K. Strengthen connections among businesses in industry clusters, leading to cooperation beyond workforce issues that would improve competitiveness and job quality, such as joint purchasing, market research or centers for technology and innovation. [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).]

Translating the Code:

In paragraph G it is directed that every institution in society will be harnessed for the purpose of "connecting disadvantaged adults and youth to careers". It stands as authorization to use all societal resources to train workers in service of public-private-state corporation, financed by the taxpayers. Workers are needed by the public-private state to fulfill its profit- making goals. The beauty of this system from the perspective of its owners is that the workers can also be used to capitalize the means of production, owned by the public-private state, because the means of production "creates jobs' and is "for the public benefit". 

Wow! This calls for posting my favorite quote again- from that UNconstitutional special act of legislation chartering the Financial Authority of Maine:*
Words from The Financial Authority of Maine corporate charter: 
The authority will serve a public purpose and perform an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers and duties conferred upon it by this chapter. Any benefits accruing to private individuals or associations, as a result of the activities of the authority, are deemed by the Legislature to be incidental to the public purposes to be achieved by the implementation of this chapter. [1985, c. 344, §5 (AMD).]

Paragraph H 
has much the same goal as Paragraph G, with the introduction of  "hiring foreign trained professionals", a must for coordinating the Maine economy with the new borderless global world order. Later on, in the section on education, it is twice stated that "English will be taught as a second language" **, supporting that Maine is being tailored to coordinate with centrally managed global economy.  New people will be arriving speaking a foreign language which will replace English as the first language in Maine, a former State in the Union. Maine has been moving away from that identity for quite some time now.*** If we are lucky they will be aliens from outer space, to at least keep it interesting.

Paragraphs I and J
are also a repetition of the purpose defined in Paragraph G except that the focus group changes from "
disadvantaged adults and youth" to " diverse pool of persons seeking jobs, including veterans and individuals with barriers to employment, such as persons who are economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, youth, older workers, ex-offenders and others" 

One is starting to see why health and human services is included in economic development bill going by the name of "Industrial Partnerships". Maine State Inc is going to train all the people on social welfare to be workers for the public-private state corporation. 

As per the Doctrine of  Fascism by Benito Mussolini, Nothing exists outside the state , which explains why, in practice, local non-profit socialist organizations discourage any form of business ownership at the bottom of the economy and work diligently to help all sign up for every entitlement program offered by the State, as if signing up for entitlements is the new standard of fiscal responsibility. Once the lower echelons are hooked on welfare, more legislation can be enacted demanding that welfare recipients, of all types, "work for welfare", which has notable similarities to slaves working for living rations, aka, property maintenance costs of their owners. We already see rhetoric distributed into our media, main stream and social,  calling for welfare recipients to "work for welfare", which bypasses minimum wage laws.  Not only welfare recipients who are "able bodied adults" but people suffering with health issues should be made to work for medicaid. Programs will be implemented to train the bottom of the economy as workers in the industrial armies of the public-private state, in which the means of production is owned by public-private interests, aka, the oligarchy, but capitalized by public subsidies. As the state governed by the Industrial partnerships Act progresses, the Act will be amended so that the state can assign "careers" rather leaving that to individual choice. and the  transition from a free society to a totalitarian grid will be complete.

So what is the alternative to central management? 

This is a discussion for a separate post but here are a few on the fly suggestions, .

We all know what the defense of the keeping the status quo will be: "Everybody is doing it", we have no choice, and we didn't know it was happening until it was a done deed"

OK! First alternative is to have some foresight!

Take back Home Rule

Grow our economy from the roots up instead of the top down.

And finally, if local municipal economic development is accepted as a municipal service, or as a private non-profit service, it should:

  • Provide a  service available to any level of entrepreneurship within the community. 
  • A community economic development service should be free of special interests and discourage back room deals to acquire ownership of businesses or own the intellectual property rights, in fact it should provide education about protecting one's ownership rights.
  • If connections are established with State of Maine resources, it should be in conjunction with proper notice of Intellectual Property Rights issues associated with state resources.
  •  Camoin Associates used a data analysis software by ESRI. It would be less costly to purchase a group subscription and make it available for local use by the local entrepreneurial community, as a library resource and/or some other terms.
  • The data base application used by Camoin Associates is available as a free trial. The application has to rely on established data, most likely accumulated by the government, but that leaves a lot of local knowledge off the map. There is a feature for incorporating one's own data. There in lies a potential to develop a more unique and locally driven portrait of our community than that which can be created by remote consultants, or in the language if Industrial Partnerships,"hiring foreign-trained professionals", a term which can be liberally translated to mean, hiring anyone from a non-local pool, be it New York, or China. Such "foreign trained professionals' must rely on the statistics in the reports generated for any community by the ESRI database used by Camoin Associates, to create a master plan for our community for a small fee of $79000.00, purchased for the Peninsula by the JECD spending organization.
  • One thing I have found missing through out the entire economic development system in Maine is any support for running a KickStarter Project. This would give an economic development resource a competitive edge to all other economic development resources in Maine and can be very interesting as well. 
  • Instead of focusing on big businesses, encourage a dynamic community of small entrepreneurs. How likely is it that the Peninsula will attract big businesses when we are so close to the star of the Pine Tree Zone, tax exemptions galore, that municipality that functions as an instrument of the State - MRRA, jokingly referred to as the the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority?
Also See: 

Is Maine's Industrial Partnerships Act based on the Scandinavian Model?


* The statutory charter for the FAME corporation is UNconstitutional pursuant to The Maine State Constitution, Article IV , Part Third, Section 14 , which states:

Section 14.  Corporations, formed under general laws.  Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained; and, however formed, they shall forever be subject to the general laws of the State.

** There is convincing evidence that the "first language" of Maine will be Chinese, since, also in 2013, the Maine Legislature sold of piece of the University of Maine to the Confucius Institute, parlaying it as a quaint little language school, although it is fair to nickname it is a global capitalism university. In January of 2019 Colleges moved to have the Confucius Institutes closed down

In earlier years the main criticism of CIs, as the institutions are known, came from professors and centered on concerns about academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Concerns about the importation of Chinese state censorship -- as in the case of the reported censorship of materials at a Confucius Institute-sponsored conference in Europe in 2014 -- dominated the conversation. Emblematic of this strain of criticism, the American Association of University Professors issued a report in 2014 urging colleges to close their CIs or renegotiate the agreement to ensure academic freedom and control. The AAUP report asserted, "Most agreements establishing Confucius Institutes feature nondisclosure clauses and unacceptable concessions to the political aims and practices of the government of China. Specifically, North American universities permit Confucius Institutes to advance a state agenda in the recruitment and control of academic staff, in the choice of curriculum, and in the restriction of debate."

*** Again in 2013, the Maine Legislature passed JOINT RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE STATE OF MAINE AND THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA , declaring both Maine and the People's Republic of China share a most important relationship supported by our common values of freedom, democracy, rule of law and commitment to a free market. This violates United States foreign policy, relations with mainland China. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Carl F Horowitz, Merges False Equivalencies with Authentic Insights.

I was recently engaged in an online conversation in which an article titled The Corporate Alliance with Political Radicalism: A Great Deal of Ruin in a Nation by Carl F Horowitz was brought up with the following quotation:
Why are so many corporations, especially those that provide information technology, promoting political radicalism? A growing number of people, at least on the Right, must be wondering about all this, especially as the business community continues to line up in solidarity against President Donald Trump. For it hardly can be denied that the corporation, partly out of self-interest and partly out of conviction, is becoming an adjunct of the hard Left. And equally to the point, the hard Left is becoming an adjunct of corporations. This alliance is anything but benign. In the long run, it even may jeopardize the existence of the United States. 
I had no idea what the author was saying, mainly because in the above, Mr Horowitz speaks in labels and I am not familiar with his code. I scanned the first few paragraphs and determined that Mr Horowitz is referring to the resistance to Trump's immigration agenda, when he uses the identifier, "the hard left". The pure identification of the "hard left" with opposition to Trump's immigration policies defines Mr Horowitz as the "hard right" and highlights anti-immigration as the most cherished value of the "hard right".

A few days later I decided to read the article. The purpose of the article as stated at the beginning, is to uncover the core purpose for which the corporate world sides with the "hard left" against President Trump, in the world view of the author.

Mr Horowitz has a background as a Washington DC Consultant. In 2001 Mr Horowitz published a paper on Immigration and crime  opposing multiple sources of research which concluded that there is no evidence supporting that immigrants commit more crimes than native born citizens, arguing that the research lacks cultural depth. The only way to refute research is with further research but Mr Horowitz's argument is prone to speculation rather than discipline. Mr Horowitz's paper states "Many immigrant crimes are not reported, and possibly in greater proportion than the crimes that the U.S.-born commit." There may be some truth to the first part of the rational but the second part is only a "perhaps". Whatever arguments are to be made for unreported criminal activity, there is no reason to suppose that the same is not true for crimes by the native born. The reasons and type of criminal activity may differ but unreported means below the radar, suspected, not substantiated. Since one can zero in on any culture looking for the hidden truth, there is no way to substantiate that hidden truths are more prevalent in one culture than in another.That is not to suggest that Mr Horowitz speculations are unconvincing, but that his speculations are made in support of a comparison between one group of people and another, but there are no speculations being applied to the comparison group and so there is no comparison to be made. What is patently true is that Mr Horowitz has held his beliefs about immigrants for a long time. As The Corporate Alliance with Political Radicalism: A Great Deal of Ruin in a Nation progresses, it becomes apparent that Mr Horowitz's beliefs are based in his need to protect the supremacy of his own cultural identity. Mr Horowitz never identifies what that cultural identity is but pursuant to his repeated inclusion of the race qualifier in his argument, it is fair to extrapolate that the culture which needs to be protected in Mr Horowitz's world view is white America.

When Mr Horowitz refers to the "far left", he means anyone who does not support Trumps immigration policy, which he perceives to suit large corporations.  Mr Horowitz's portrait of the corporate motivations makes a convincing account of the mindset that drives the global corporate state, the same that has become deeply entrenched in Maine over the last forty years.

By comparison Horowitz says that "Radicals, by contrast, act out of emotional self-interest. They crave total multiculturalism in one nation" The first part of the sentence is true, but Mr Horowitz fails to include the right wing radical in his code. I respond emotionally to Trump's border policies and so by that measure alone, I meet the Horowitz's qualification for the "hard left", so dear are the anti-immigration policies to the hard right. However my visceral response has nothing to do with multiculturalism. My reaction has to do with humanity, My identity with America are with the values of humanity common to all. A child torn from parents sickens me to the core. This is the human dimension which I have found absent in my encounters with supporters of Trump's immigration policies, who argue "rule of law" with the same mechanics that Germans were reported to justify their response to the genocide under Hitler's rule by the argument that they were "just following orders".

Mr Horowitz writes that the hard left craves multiculturalism which he conflates with a will to throw out national sovereignty, an apparent projection on Mr Horowitz's part. Mr Horowitz associates corporate rhetoric which holds multiculturalism to be an environment fostering innovation, as a cover for a hidden agenda in which "corporate executives must establish and enforce a policy that tries to squeeze every last vestige of racial and ethnic homogeneity out of their respective companies". It is easy to support the connection between diversity and innovation. An influx of different ways of being is indeed a stimulus for different ways of thinking, but it is clear that if one desires to maintain "racial and ethnic homogeneity", the twain shall never meet. However, Mr Horowitz's argument occludes America's history as a melting pot,and the fact that when the white race arrived in America, there was a pre-existing Indian race.

Mr Horwitz portrays the corporate response to the combined refugee crisis and the separation of families as a US border policy, by companies such as AirNub and Facebook, as an attempt to "drive out country’s historical identity and (by implication) force employees to go along." Although the support offered to ease the human suffering of refugees and other immigrants at our border may be a case for compassionate corporatism, Mr Horowitz compares it to “cultural Marxism.”, which defines the capitalist-worker relationship as nothing more and nothing less that exploitative. This may certainly be true in some cases but is by no means a rule. Further more, Mr Horowitz conflates all businesses with publicly-held companies, which must, by law, prioritize profit over all other values. In today's world new legal models have emerged such as the benefit corporation which allows a company to legally balance profit with other values. Companies without stockholders have that option already, but, Mr Horowitz's argument consistently falls back on collective generalities, which occlude the individualism which the American political philosophy protects. Ironically Mr Horowitz described corporatism in the cultural Marxism model as "in their pursuit of profit, pay their workers poverty-level wages for long hours, viewing them as nothing more than means to an end. As a consequence, workers become alienated from work, family, and society.", begging the response:  What can be more alienating from work, family and society than the separation of children from parents?

When Mr Horowitz launches into the evolution of Marxism, he makes some valid points:
In three key ways, Marxists have gone off the original script. First, they regularly use law, policy, and the courts as a means of building socialism. They are willing to pursue “bourgeois parliamentary reforms” of the sort Marx disdained, especially in such areas of material well-being as pensions, health care, and housing. Second, they recognize that capitalists, at least with a certain amount of coaxing and threatening, can evolve into natural allies. In other words, capitalists may wind up absorbing the lessons of their critics to the point where they are not so much capitalists as financial agents of revolution. The Corporate Alliance with Political Radicalism: A Great Deal of Ruin in a Nation
Like everything else Marxism has evolved. Those who try to qualify Marxism by its origins live out side the transformation continuum in which of all political philosophies merge and reemerge, reinvented.

Mr Horowitz's description of racial politics informs why the white nationalist movement has grown strong in the wake of the Obama administration, insightfully explaining the conditions which lead to the white nationalist back lash.

In the section titled Global Salvation Inc., Mr Horowitz identifies the global corporate world order, as a world without borders. Mr Horowitz associates the profit motives of a borderless corporate world and opposition to Trumps border policies, but makes it perfectly clear that the corporate order has no agenda except profit. It is not left, it is not right, it does not care about racism and it does not care about multiculturalism, it cares about political policy or movement which will advance its profit making goal, wanting no government intervention. and thus no borders between countries, Borders give way to countries and countries create government.

The brand name chosen for global corporate state by Mr. Horowitz is "Global Salvation Inc".  As some readers know, I have made it my point to record the history of Maine GSI AD* since the corporate state was deemed into existence in 1976 through the actors of Governor Longley and his extra special board of the wealth power elite of Maine, selected to "lead the Maine Legislature" in replacing  Maine's constitutional government with the corporate state, run by and serving the interest of public-private relationships. From the start and every step of the way the activities of the corporate public-private state were deemed to be selfless acts done in the service of the public good:

Words from The Financial Authority of Maine corporate charter: 
The authority will serve a public purpose and perform an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers and duties conferred upon it by this chapter. Any benefits accruing to private individuals or associations, as a result of the activities of the authority, are deemed by the Legislature to be incidental to the public purposes to be achieved by the implementation of this chapter. [1985, c. 344, §5 (AMD).]
Mr Horowitz tells of a very close relationship between Google and the Obama administration with over 250 employees leaving one to work for the other, and a "more than incidental use" by Google of White House Office of Science and Technology.

As Mr Horowitz moves away from the immigration issue and discusses global corporatism, his thinking becomes less binary. He gets closer to the central issue of our times, when he writes this:

Capitalism Alongside National Identity: The Prospect
Difficult as it is to resist the temptation, it is important not to panic or get cynical. Business still does many terrific things that we take for granted, certainly a lot more often than socialism. And not every businessman has joined the multicultural ride. That said, capitalism may be planting the seeds of its own demise, putting national identity in harm’s way. This is not a new observation. Seventy-five years ago, Austrian-born Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, in his classic book, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy,22 argued that capitalism is ultimately unsustainable. Unlike Marx, he did not welcome this outcome. But he feared that it would come to pass anyway. In brief, Schumpeter argued that the monopoly-seeking tendencies inherent in capitalism would alienate the general population, but that rather than resort to revolution, voters would elect anti-capitalists to office who in turn would transform their economies into social democracies.
It does appear, on the surface, in this contemporary moment, that the world, and the USA are evolving into social democracies. I see that as a perceptual binary obstruction to the multiplicity of directions in which the world can evolve. The binary choices do not offer a promising outcome so let the binary give way to the multiplicity, which is to say, in diversity, there is hope.

*Global Salvation Inc AD

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Big Company, Small Company

Beauty matters because it expresses love. The job of the craftsmen, when completely emerged in the process is to find and create beauty.

I took a break from writing this blog to focus on writing a proposal for a much larger company than our own which had requested that we present a luxury line. In the end, I will not present the proposal to the company because the company has refused to sign a simple non-disclosure agreement, a necessary preliminary step, from a designer's perspective. Andersen Design is a design company and cannot ignore the fact that we live in the cyber age wherein large companies eat small ones. The non-disclosure agreement is a basic and minimal  protection, comparable to the terms of agreement one must sign in order to use the services of a website. The spokesperson for the company framed the relationship as about "their platform" but, it is also about our designs and ability to produce them. In our view, a partnership is a two way street, one in which each side presents its own terms in order to reach mutual terms of agreement. I said so to the spokesperson, who did not want to relinquish the partnership identifier nor to relent on the refusal to sign a NDA agreement. The platform sells to the individualized buyer, but business relationships are structured using the central management model. Today a refusal to sign a standard NDA agreement might be because the Platform owner maintains that it, alone, makes the rules, but the Platform may one day decide to branch out into producing its own products and into mergers and acquisitions, as Amazon has done This has to be a consideration for a small company, when entering into a partnership with a larger one. So back to the drawing board. How does a small company survive on its own terms in today's world?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hand Making Ceramics in the USA, The Medium is still the Message

I was raised in a ceramic business in the home, which was different from its surroundings, making myself and my siblings, outsiders inside the classroom environment. When school closed and summer commenced, an alternate reality emerged, a world in which my family's art was sought after by a wide range of humanity. I felt welcomed by the foreigners and an outsider among local peers. Later when I left home for  NYC, circa 1966, I found myself surrounded by welcoming peers, a difference between night and day. It was New York City at the pinnacle of the flower power era when Greenwich Village was wall-to wall youth culture

As you can imagine this formulated a peculiar psychology, so strange, that even I didn't recognize it!
From Levittown
To Maine in 1952
Page from Jim Harnedy's book on the Boothbay Region. The 200 year old barn which was the first home of Andersen Design was torn down after we moved to East Boothbay

A while ago a high school acquaintance told me that what our family did was thought so unusual, when we moved into the neighborhood and put out a sign and ran a business from our home. It was my job to watch for customers, while walking the beams of the 200 year old barn where the swallows flew through an open space in the roof. When visitors arrived, I jumped from the beams and ran down the hill to alert my parents. I remember it as an era of personal freedom, but that personal freedom was a choice made by my parents when they moved from a Levittown styled community in Ohio to Maine. They chose the path less travelled in their time, which in those days was something that could be done in Maine. Then they carved a path against the medium of plastics to design and produce hand-made ceramics.

That was in 1952. when Andersen Design was born out of a unique philosophy, focused on creating a hand made product affordable to the middle class. The hand made making process was the ground out of which our art grew, literally the ground where the raw materials of the ceramist are are found.

By the time I arrived in NYC in 1966. Marshall McCluhan was as popular as the happy face, which came later.  McCluhan's time was the age of electricity. McCluhan held that most people perceive the content and not the medium. He identified those who can see the medium as artists, in whatever their chosen field of practice. Today they are called visionaries. In The Medium Is The Message, McCluhan wrote:"The artist can correct the sense ratios before the blow of new technology has numbed conscious procedures."

Today we live in the digital age with an ever accelerating rate of change. Entrepreneurs become multi-billionaires when they perceive the medium and how it will change the world. The medium is the messenger of change, and today part of the change the new medium has brought about is the billionaire syndrome, accompanied by the widening divide between classes, which is not only the content of the digital medium, but a new political medium as well, producing its own content. written in the statutes instituting sequential order in conformity with the will of global masters.

Every new medium, be it electricity or data, produces new processes and replaces old ones. Ceramic making is a process, rooted in antiquity, enduring through ever new mediums without changing its essence. One could be tempted to say that my parents resisted change when they chose the hand crafted ceramic process, but there was no change to resist in the making of ceramics. It is an art and a  technology which has existed since the dawn of civilization.
"Percussed victims of the new technology have invariably muttered clichés about the impracticality of artists and their fanciful preferences. But in the past century it has come to be generally acknowledged that, in the words of Wyndham Lewis, “The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present.” Knowledge of this simple fact is now needed for human survival. The ability of the artist to sidestep the bully blow of new technology of any age, and to parry such violence with full awareness, is age-old. Equally age-old is the inability of the percussed victims, who cannot sidestep the new violence, to recognize their need of the artist. To reward and to make celebrities of artists can, also, be a way of ignoring their prophetic work, and preventing its timely use for survival. The artist is the man in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. He is the man of integral awareness" Marshal McCluhan, The Medium is the Message, 1964 

McCluhan defines medium as extensions of our bodies and our senses, be it an iphone or a brush. The hand made process removes layers of extensions and connects to the continuity of human experience through time. All great civilizations have been great periods of art and culture which has included ceramics. The making of ceramics engages the maker in a meaningful medium, not merely the content emerging from the medium in the form of objects, but the making process itself, which is at once the medium and its content.

One of a Kind Happy Face Mug, Form by Weston , Face by Brenda in the 1950's
In 1966 Andy Warhol was doing production as an art form and becoming the darling of the New York art world. Warhol's studio, known as the Factory, was a den of iniquity, where silk screened art of soup cans and portraits of celebrities were produced. The Factory was both a culture and a hand made work process. It was in a sense an urban business in a home away from home for its inner core and circle of followers.

In the same extended period, that Warhol painted soup cans, images emergent from the medium of commercialism, my father designed simple functional forms like the hand crafted chowder bowl. The reader can have both worlds by filling the hand crafted chowder bowl with some yummy Campbell's soup!

The classic chowder bowl pre-dates the iconic Campbell's soup can by Warhol
While commercialism reflects collectivism, the hand made forms produced by Andersen Design called out to the individual. Collectors collected Andersen as an expression of their personal taste, not as a trend, borne out by the fact the market appeal has attained classic status, enduring through time.

Back in the urban environs of New York, my parents peers of a former time, were designing for companies with factories which produced the designs. Later those factories would relocate to countries with low wage labor markets, while Andersen Design's production remained in America and successfully competed against foreign-made imports.

Andy Warhol's art factory was inseparable from the human culture which inhabited it.  Warhol's factory was an urban extension of a farm, the original business in a home, as much as it was a factory. and so the factory was more than a factory, it was a scene, which brings us back to McCluhan, when he associates the medium, as the background. The scene at the factory produced an abundance of creative content, not only silk screen artwork, but music and film and poetry. Warhol directed other artists to create his works but he was also involved in a hands on relationship with the creation of the art, and in that way Andersen Design and Andy Warhol's factory are similar concepts. As owners of our own "factory" we have never stopped being hands on involved in the process, be we need to work with others to produce a line of over 200 designs, and because producing a line of slip cast ceramics is a very complex process  requiring a team, working synergistically together.

Mark Kostabi and Jeff Koons, carried on the Warhol art as production tradition but pride themselves on never touching the artwork produced in their factories. If there is a human culture associated with their productions, it never reached the cultural notoriety of Andy's factory. Koons and Kostabi are more like designer-CEO's than artists in the meaning embedded in that identity by McCluhan. They are the sequential followers of Warhol, but at once, as commercial as a soup can, seeing only that art can be produced in a factory, but missing the deeper cultural import of Warhol, who created a farm for a dysfunctional family in the Biggest Apple in the orchard of urbanism. The significant message of Warhol is in the cultural medium he created.