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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Maine Legislature's Official Support for Taiwan and the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement

As a matter of reference, I am posting this statute passed by the Maine Legislature in 2013 and transmitted to President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan and to the Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston.

The Taiwan Relations Act of the United States was signed into law in 1979 permitting "unofficial" relations between Taiwan and the USA:

In addition to this provision, the TRA provides for the continuation of “unofficial” diplomatic ties between the two societies. Washington maintains an “unofficial” embassy in Taipei (the American Institute in Taiwan or AIT), while Taipei operates an “unofficial” embassy in Washington, D.C. (the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office or TECRO). Both sides also operate “unofficial” consulate offices. These entities manage travel documents, facilitate communication with local authorities, and represent their respective governments when negotiating commercial and other agreements Policy Brief Series: The Taiwan Relations Act- the Wilson Center

The relations are maintained as unofficial in order not to offend the One China Policy.

Maine is not the United States, but none the less, enacting this declaration into law is an official act. There is legal wiggle room (such as Maine is not a state government but a public-private corporation).However, one wonders why the Maine Legislature would transgress a United States foreign policy. Were there back room deals in the works?

Since Maine became a corporate state in the 1970', under the Longley Doctrine, the Legislature and the administration function more like the heads of a state corporation than a government by and for the people of Maine. "Manufacturing" by the state corporation often means prototype manufacturing,only for products which will eventually be produced in global low cost labor markets and that market is dominated by state manufacturing at The Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of Maine. The study written in support of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, and resting on selective facts and data, is also produced by the University of Maine, which is a significant arm of Maine State Inc.

This declaration by the Maine Legislature calls for Taiwan to be included in the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement. Donald Trump has since pulled the US out of that agreement but it is likely not the end of the story as other administrations can make other decisions.

I am posting this here as an reference point. I came across the testimony in Citizen Trade Policy Commission, dated September 15, 2016. This is another project of the Maine Legislature. Although it is called the "Citizen" Trade Policy Commission, I couldn't help but notice that all the citizen testimony was against what the board of the corporate state was proposing.

There is reference to a study:The Trans-Pacific Partnership:The Economic Implications for Maine by Catherine Reilly deLutio and Philip A. Trostel

Both the study and the citizen testimony look time consuming to read but I have decided to dig into this.

At first glance I do not see any mention about this resolution passed by he Legislature of  Maine, three years previous to the testimonies, which seems significant enough to mention.

 WHEREAS,  the United States and the Republic of China, known as Taiwan, share a most important relationship supported by our common values of freedom, democracy, rule of law and commitment to a free market economy; 
 andWHEREAS,  President Ma Ying-jeou has worked tirelessly to uphold democratic principles in Taiwan, ensure the prosperity of Taiwan's more than 23,000,000 people, promote Taiwan's international standing and further improve relations between the United States and Taiwan; 
andWHEREAS,  Taiwan and the United States, and especially the State of Maine, share a historically close relationship, marked by tourism, strong bilateral trade, educational and cultural exchange and scientific and technological interests; 
andWHEREAS,  Taiwan is a member of the United States Visa Waiver Program, which reflects the friendship, trust and cooperation shared between our 2 countries and makes travel between Taiwan and the United States for business and tourism even more convenient; 
andWHEREAS,  the United States ranks as Taiwan's 3rd-largest trading partner; Taiwan was the 16th-largest trading partner of the United States in 2012; and bilateral trade in goods and services between the United States and Taiwan reached $85,000,000,000 in 2011; 
andWHEREAS,  New England exported approximately $1,400,000,000 in goods to Taiwan, of which Maine exported approximately $15,500,000 in goods, mostly in machinery, transportation equipment and paper;
 andWHEREAS,  negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the United States are an important step towards strengthening bilateral trade and entering into a free trade agreement between our countries, thereby increasing Maine's exports to Taiwan and creating greater bilateral investment and technical collaboration; 
 andWHEREAS,  President Barack H. Obama and the leaders of the 8 other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries announced the achievement of the broad outlines for a 21st-century agreement on November 12, 2011, in which Taiwan has expressed a keen interest to participate, in order to establish close links between economies, enhance competitiveness and benefit consumers; 
andWHEREAS,  the Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for United States exports and many of Maine's total exports went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region; the export of Maine goods supports an estimated 21,000 jobs; and 2010 data indicate that 1,347 companies exported goods from Maine; 
 andWHEREAS,  Taiwan is the 17th-largest trading economy in the world and is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, which promotes free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region; 
 andWHEREAS,  the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the world's key instrument for responding to climate change, and a concerted global effort to combat the challenges posed by climate change requires that Taiwan also be included in the work of this convention, and Taiwan has expressed a keen interest to participate in the global effort to address climate change; 
 andWHEREAS,  it remains in the interest of the traveling public that Taiwan be included in the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, since Taiwan is a key transport hub in the Asia-Pacific region; the Taipei Flight Information Region, under Taiwan's jurisdiction, covers an area of 176,000 square nautical miles with 1,350,000 controlled flights passing through annually; now, therefore, be it
 RESOLVED: That We, the Members of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Legislature now assembled in the First Regular Session, on behalf of the people we represent, take this opportunity to affirm the friendship between Maine and the Republic of China; and be it further
RESOLVED: That We support the signing of a United States-Taiwan bilateral investment agreement and a free trade agreement in order to further strengthen Maine-Taiwan trade relations, and We support Taiwan's participation in international organizations and agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership; and be it further
 RESOLVED: That suitable copies of this resolution, duly authenticated by the Secretary of State, be transmitted to President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan and to the Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Should a "Broad Public Charity" Be Required, By Definition, To Serve The Middle Sector ?

Petition Maine Technology Institute to offer Fiscal Sponsorship

§15309. Liberal construction
This chapter must be construed liberally to effect the interest and purposes of the institute for an improved science and technology capacity-building effort in the State and must be broadly interpreted to effect that intent and those purposes. [1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]SECTION HISTORY
1999, c. 401, §AAA3 (NEW).

I am still at only 3 signatures supporting this petition !

The Maine Technology Institute is a public non-profit charity with the non-profit purpose of supporting companies that develop products for the commercial market.

2Purpose The institute, through a public and private partnership, shall encourage, promote, stimulate and support research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products and services in the State's technology-intensive industrial sectors to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of the sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and to create new jobs for Maine people. The institute is one element of the State's economic development strategy and will contribute to the long-term development of a state-wide research, development and product deployment infrastructure. [ 1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]

When our ceramic slip casting company was rejected as a social enterprise by a fiscal sponsor, the language used on the application was cited as the reason. The board interpreted the word, "production" as signifying that we are only in it for the money, I recalled that the non-profit charitable purpose of MTI uses the words "development activity leading to the commercialization of new products".  I knew such words would not have helped my situation- Not indeed. In that situation, I should have used the words "making process" instead of "production" and it could have made all the difference in having our vision of an American ceramic slip-casting network granted access to foundation funding. However, I used the word "production" and so the board decided we are only in it for the money- as if a Western ceramic design company, which is only in it for the money, would even consider manufacturing in the USA!

Fiscal Sponsorship means that the fiscal sponsor can sponsor as projects, other organizations which do not have 501(c)(3) status, providing that the purpose of the project is consistent with the 501(c)(3) status of the fiscal sponsor. Then the projects are qualified to accept tax deductible contributions, which means the project can apply for foundation grants. There is no cost to the taxpayer, which cannot be said for the current only function of the MTI, public non-profit charity, serving as an instrument of the State of Maine.

In our case, when I was rejected by another fiscal sponsor for my inappropriate language, I knew that what was inappropriate for one fiscal sponsor is not stated strongly enough for another. Our company's purpose is a direct match for MTI's non-profit charitable purpose. However, MTI, as "broad" a public charity as it is deemed to be by statute, does not offer any services to benefit the broad economy of Maine and specifically to benefit all Maine made products, which all fit the non-profit purpose of MTI, provided they are continually developing new products for the commercial market, and continually improving their technology, whatever that technology may be.

The only service offered by MTI is to grant matching funds to companies which are already significantly capitalized. While Maine Made Products is a state program and MTI is a state non-profit charitable corporation, one side of the state does not offer services to the other.

Could this be because the special act of legislation that chartered MTI as a non-profit public charity, also authorizes its board to own intellectual property rights and to make a profit?  The board governs the charity. If there is no profit to be made for the board in serving the broad economy of Maine, why should it do so?

 2.Organization.The board has all the powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by law, necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the functions, duties and responsibilities of the fund, including, but not limited to:
G. Owning intellectual property, licensing intellectual property and negotiating for and collecting royalty rights or otherwise realizing a return on investment made under the fund and all programs of the institute when appropriate in order to promote the interests and investments of the State in furthering science and technology; and [2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §7 (NEW); 2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §18 (AFF).]

While Fiscal Sponsorship is not enumerated under Powers of the Institute, it is permitted under "Other Powers" . Since Fiscal Sponsorship does not cost the taxpayers anything, there is no reasonable argument why a function which expands the services of the Maine Technology Institute to the broad public should not be offered under the prevailing terms of its charter:
§15304. Powers of institute
14. Other powers.  Act or do anything necessary or useful for carrying out any of its powers, duties or purposes.
As in serving as a "broad public charity"

I am not supposed to say what I just said! Incredulously, it has not been spoken anywhere that I know of, since MTI was chartered under the Angus King Administration.  Everywhere in Maine, the code is that no one speaks out in criticism of the hegemony.

To date, I have only 3 signers of my petition. Who will provide two more signatures so that this petition can be listed publicly on You don't have to be from Maine to sign this petition. Just remember the saying goes "As Maine goes, so goes the nation" and with a public private hegemony established in the US administration- You betcha,it does!

Now is the time to take action to redirect the course in which we are headed!  This policy grants the same "relief from hardship" to the middle, which the Longley Doctrine granted to the upper crust four decades ago, as it "increased the burden on the state"- which meant "increased the burden on the middle sector.