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
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:*
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).]
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?
* 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.