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, December 26, 2011

RE Scott Lansley's article in the Sun Journal- Dig A Little Deeper!

The latest in my letter writing binge ! 

Dear Mr. Lansley,

I read your article in the Sun Journal, It may hurt, but it's time to suck it up and deal.
As suggested, I am sending you my own thoughts on the matter, and I am not going to mince my words. Since you are a former member of the legislature, you may have helped to create what I see as the source of Maine's economic problems, which is it's government manipulated economy, which has grown to the scale of a full fledged corporate state without anybody saying BOO about it, despite the blatant unconstitutionality of the current entrenched economic system.

This system has been constructed by the legislature over the course of at least thirty years. It is designed to "benefit " the "targeted sector"- those businesses that will fulfill the ideological vision of a small elite sector of Maine, which is marketed as "socially beneficial" as a form of self-justification.

The legislature seeks to attract capital to the state and using this as justification it uses the taxpayer money extracted from the many to finance their world view of the way Maine should be and to provide "the targeted sector" with "quality jobs" which is code for high paid jobs with all the best benefits, often paid for by the general taxpayer, in one form or another.

This effectively functions to deplete the "untargeted sector" of capital to develop jobs for those not so favored by Maine's effective House of Lords. The House of Lords has no understanding for or of the "lower classes" , which they have effectively created by default with such arrogant terms for their favored ones , such as "the creative economy" ( primarily non-profit, which is useful as a channel for re-distributing wealth) and the innovative economy( the brave new high tech of which the House of Lords is exclusively enamored). By default the "untargeted sector"- or that sector which is taxed without being represented , is relegated to "the uncreative" and "un-innovative" according to the House of Lord's narrow world view.

The House of Lords justifies the theft of the working capital of the untargeted sector by the rhetoric that they are working for "social benefit" and so they devise entitlement programs for lower classes whereby they give back some of the stolen wealth with heavy dictates concerning how the returned loot is to be spent by the lower classes and including schemes for ultimately acquiring the estates of those who fall victim to this scheme.

Meanwhile much of the high paid salaries, including paid vacations, and the best benefit packages are paid for by the many to the benefit of the "targeted sector" for which there is seldom a pay back plan- least of all when it comes to corporate welfare.

No one ever talks about this. It is hidden in the dark as the lower classes who have fallen victim to the entitlement schemes become the target of blame for Maine's over spending. The entitlement programs become the last resort for the untargeted sector for whom the House of Lords sees little need to create jobs. in fact the House of Lords robs that sector of it's operating capital which might create jobs as an option to entitlements for the "lower classes". It is better not to provide jobs for the lower classes because if one fails to do so, it will be all the easier to continue to siphon off the wealth of the many into the hands of the few - those beneficiaries of the "quality jobs', which are the only jobs that our House of Lords concerns their pretty little heads about.

Once one starts reading the legislation, as I have, that has been passed over the last thirty years, one realizes that the unconstitutional corporate state is heavily entrenched and that accounting for how much money it is devouring from the general economy is like trying to unravel a tangled knot. Further more it seems as if the next new statute is worst than the last one, as the corporate state grows and grows to the benefit of the chosen ones.

And so every one focuses on the easy target- those poor individuals who are to be faulted, for obvious reasons, but who are the victims of this scheme in a way that is not in the least obvious and is never mentioned.

I agree that entitlement programs need to be cut back but that does not get to the root of the problem. One has to look at the entire system that has created the entitlement programs and that view has to include the privileged sector, that is called the "targeted sector" by our legislature- and that has to include the high cost of corporate welfare, and it has to include an investigation into how much of the taxpayer money and operating capital has been extracted from the general economy to the benefit of a privileged subset- for whom there is no plan to lay claim to their estates.


Note added on December 27 
News about business tax breaks being considered in the budget shortfall is encouraging, although it is too early to know what it actually means
 Business tax breaks in budget panel's sight.


The tax breaks offered to businesses in the newly transformed Pine tree Zone are overly generous with clear hints that the targeted sector will be prioritized as usual but using the tax payer's money as investment funds or promised-in-advance bail out funds for high risks investors is not clearly covered by the term "tax breaks".

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Transparency and the Quasi-Public Corporation.


TWEET THIS ! http://goo.gl/YgfpJ1


I have been again looking  for information on the amount of taxpayer money invested in government chartered private non-profit organizations, such as the SEGF (since 2014 known as The Maine Venture Fund), and once again I have come up with nothing.

These organizations are so dispersed and intertwined with one another that even if one can find mention of an occasional sum of money invested it is as if finding one little piece of a jig saw puzzle.

A few years ago I read The Non-Profit Economy by Burton Weisbrod. Weisbrod discussed three distinct economic sectors- government, private and non-profit. but I do not recall a mention of non-profit corporations which are charted by government legislatures. However there was a lengthy discussion about  entities that have a for-profit part and a non-profit part, with instances found where all expenses would be allocated to the for-profit part of the entity, thereby reducing the tax burden of the for-profit part of the entity by attributing non-profit expenses to it.

In my attempts to discover where one might gain access to the amount of tax payer money invested in government chartered private non-profit organizations ( which appears to conflate all three sectors) , It occurred to me that by chartering the corporation as a private -non-profit corporation, it may be a way around the Freedom of Access to Information Act applicable to the government sector.

I looked up the Maine Freedom of Access To Information Act

Your Right to Know: The Maine Freedom of Access Act

The public’s right to information about government activities lies at the heart of a democratic government.  The Maine Freedom of Access Act (“FOAA”) grants the people of this state a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens.  The act also ensures the accountability of the government to the citizens of the state by requiring public access to the meetings of public bodies.  Transparency and open decision-making are fundamental principles of the Maine Freedom of Access Act, and they are essential to ensuring continued trust and confidence in our government.
http://www.maine.gov/foaa/request/index.shtml
  


This act clearly applies to government agencies and so when the legislature charters a corporation by special act of legislation, in making that corporation a private corporation, it can conceivably protect it from the Freedom of Access to Information Act. The culture in Augusta seems to have established many ions ago that the constitution no longer governs its authority to charter corporations, for which the constitution makes no distinction between a for profit and non-profit corporation. It is often found that although the legislature charters corporations as private, they also maintain that management, or some aspect there of is to be appointed by the government. None of this makes snes to me but one has to view it from the perspective that the constitution has been willfully ignored from the get go and so the expectation of integrity from that point forward is incongruous. So my conclusion is that the quasi public, quasi, private, quasi non-profit, quasi profit, corporation is protected from transparency of operations by its designation as a private corporation, even as it is authorized to utilize tax payer funds for its own purposes.

I was first introduced to the SEGF when I un-characteristicly attended a pitch session for a small business investment opportunity at a JUICE conference. It was there I learned of the 10% taxpayer "roll-over" investment in the Small Enterprise Growth Fund(since 2014 known as The Maine Venture Fund) , which was repeated several times by the panel as if it were a stroke of sheer genius. Even as I was in my mode of mind that attempted to be open-minded about the event, I couldn't silence a loud bell in the back of my mind that went off at the mention of this. Later , when I looked for mention of the 10% investment in the charter for the SEGF, I did not locate it, but it was stated often enough at this event and also likely is in the ensuing email follow up conversation as well.

It was in that follow up dialogue that I learned that the reason I was rejected was because I didn't have a clear "exit strategy", which was needed to satisfy the other 90% investors who demanded such so that they can make a profit. The amount of the investment was so meager that it struck me as perposterous that it should include a plan to sell the business to realize a "pay out" in fact in that year of the stimulus funding I had taken the amount to be a grant, as the small amount involved makes sense only as a grant or a loan, and as it was billed as being given by an "anonymous" investor. Who in their right mind would go into an agreement based upon selling one's business for a pittance of an investment from someone who one knows nothing about? The entire process made no sense to me but that is a story for another day.

However it seems clear to me that there is something wrong with this picture and something wrong with the fact that information about what is really going on with an enterprise that has access to tax payer funding is so un-forth-coming. If the tax payer investment always rolls over, then, under usual expectaions, one might expect that that investment has grown- provided that the taxpayer shares in the profits as does the other 90%. If the investment always rolls over , then each time it rolls over, the amount of investment should have increased- with the exception of losing investments which might occasionally occur. In theory, that might mean that there would be only one initial taxpayer investment that would be growing as an investment as investments are expected to do. But there is no easily accessible information to support that theory. The other theory is that the tax payer keeps on investing in the SEGF every year. One even has to wonder if the legislature negotiates a sub-standard deal for the tax payer in order to make a juicier deal for the other 90%.

Does the tax payer cover all the overhead and salaries of the SEGF, - a private corporation? In that case, why isn't this a government agency? Or better yet , if the legislature wanted to support the existence of a private investment company in Maine, why not do so in the conventional manner of facilitating a start up loan?

If the taxpayer were to withdraw its investment today, would the taxpayer show a profit on the investment made?

These are all questions for which it is difficult to find answers .

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Can De-constructing Maine's Corporate Welfare System Cover Maine's DHHS Budget Deficit ?

I have my head in the sand working our redesigning our website- which now comes up three times on the first page of a google search of "ceramic birds" with similar results for other related terms (thanks to my own SEO efforts) . We are getting a lot of phone calls as a result and so the need to get this job completed is all the more important. As long as my energy is focused there, I am not wanting to change that. I feel a bit remis about not attending to this blog but the vise versa is true when my attention is focused here.

However- when I recieved an email with this report  from Sam Adolpsen of The Maine Heritage Society about the DHHS deficit in which he advocates cutting welfare and "progressive special interests" .
I responded with the following:

Dear Mr Adolphsen,
Is "Progressive Special Interests" equitable with corporate welfare?
How about eliminating the 10% annual investment in the government chartered Small Enterprise Growth Fund, which makes the Maine tax-payers a captive investor in our legislature's designs to transform Maine from God's country to the brave new world envisioned by a class of people that our effective House of Lords has deemed superior to others -using such arrogant language as "the creative class" and "the innovative economy"? This sort of language robs the sector that is being taxed without being represented of its dignity as well as its capital. The legislation is actually a massive re-distribution of wealth scheme but instead of redistributing the wealth to "the people", at least in ideology, it redistributes wealth to a small wealthy elite, that the narrow framework concocted by our House of Lords deems superior to the rest of the economy.

We cannot know what government chartered SEGF is costing the taxpayer because when the legislature chartered the SEGF it stated that the annual report would be submitted to the legislature, even as the Maine taxpayer was signed up to invest 10% of the funds which would always "roll over" to re-invest in "the fund"- contrary to other 90% private "high growth" investor, which demands an exit strategy so that class can make a profit.

I submit that this is a reason why corporations chartered by special legislation are prohibited by Article IV , Part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution. The taxpayer is being forced to invest in the schemes of our legislature and in return all the taxpayer gets is rhetoric about the government "creating jobs".

It is time for the people to demand to know how much taxpayer funds are being invested in the SEGF and the multitude of other government chartered investment corporations which are so well entrenched in our corporate state.

This is WELFARE as well and I would not be surprised to discover that it costs the taxpayer much more than general welfare- but the public is generally unaware of how their tax payer dollars are being spent on corporate welfare to the profit of the few- and many of those few are not even Maine residents.

The corporate state of Maine has become unconstitutionally entrenched over at least thirty years, using the tax payer dollars , signing the taxpayer up as bail out funds for the monied investor, and giving back only rhetoric about creating jobs- and even those jobs are in the service of our legislature's vision of a brave new world designed by them- NOT GOD!- in other words- Godless!


The taxpayer of Maine deserves to know how much of our hard earned money is going to fund corporate welfare. General welfare is set up to acquire personal property from the participants estate but corporate welfare seldom pays the people back.

We can see how well these schemes are creating Jobs from our last place rating on the Forbes list.
Mackenzie Andersen
NOTE
At the time the blog post below was written just a couple of weeks after being signed into law by Governor Baldacci. the law as published  later mysteriously became "the original paper taxt"

I maintained a link to the law as published on my blog but when I clicked on it in Novemebr the entire text had been changed. When I inquired of the legislature's librarian when it had been amended, I was told that it was amended before it was passed into law and signed by the governor. -yet another new defintion of the English language created by our legislature!

The version that existed on line shortly after Governor Baldaccir signed this charter into law gave the Small Enterprise Growth Fund the authority to issue "refundable tax credits" to investors. In the "amended version" that authority goes to FAME.