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The DECD and the Micro-economy


The next section of the DECD statute is called  Article 2-B: MAINE MICROENTERPRISE INITIATIVE. It appears to be a devise designed to give the appearance of support for the micro economy- in name only - since the redistributed wealth will be granted to a non-profit organization.

In the context of the rest of this statute, including the section on encouraging globalization through the foreign trade zone and another that excludes of the retail sector from benefits distributed by the tax payer funded Department of Community and Economic Development, this section comes across as barely concealed disdain held by the authors of the DECD statute toward the micro economic sector.

Here we have the DECD generously offering to help the micro economy to train their staffs by giving money directly to non-profit organizations. What did the lawmakers who wrote the DECD statute  imagine the micro economy to be ? A collective component of the economy with only a handful of business types to be determined by the state and easily controlled and organized from above?
Does the DECD imagine that it is qualified to determine what is a"a viable plan for providing training and technical assistance to micro-enterprises? Might I point out that proposing that this can be done through a third party non-profit organization says otherwise?

 Does the DECD think that micro economy businesses have generic skills that require no familiarity with the way the individual business functions? 

And finally if the DECD can directly grant money to global capitalists and the special interests in their "targeted sector"- then why can't the DECD grant the money directly to the micro economy business to train their staff themselves, and who would know better how to train a business staff than the business owners themselves?

The micro economy is an expression of the variety and individualism inherent in the human species. A government run economy is best suited to a collectivist society. The encouragement given to global capitalist through the foreign trade zone is apt to be a direct conflict of interest with micro economy businesses creating jobs within Maine communities as is the case with indelible labeling  The State managed economy will tend be on the side of the most concentrated wealth since the state is inclined to paint everything in large brush strokes that make large scale management manageable.

Throughout the DECD statute, job creation worthy of the benefits distributed by the government bureaucracy are described as "quality jobs", which are, in the world view of the lawmakers who wrote the DECD statute,  jobs for the upper echelons of the economy- with "higher than average pay" and  premium benefit packages. All other jobs by default are "NOT- quality jobs in the eyes of the DECD- as if the DECD can achieve "social benefit" and economic revival by directing all material benefits,  dignity and respect to the upper economic classes and ultimately to the global capitalists.

 What ever happened to the American archetype of the immigrant who arrives with nothing but the shirt on his back and creates great wealth? Does he just miraculously jump from the bottom to the top rungs of the economy? Apparently this is the way our overlords think the economy works best.


§13063-J. Definitions

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. [2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW).]
1. Community-based organization.  "Community-based organization" means a nonprofit organization that has:
A. A viable plan for providing training and technical assistance to micro-enterprises; [2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW).]
B. Broad-based community support; [2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW).]
C. An adequate source of operating capital; and [2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW).]
D. A demonstrated need for funding to provide training and technical assistance to microenterprises. [2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW).]
[ 2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW) .]
2. Fund.  "Fund" means the Maine Microenterprise Initiative Fund established in section 13063-K.
[ 2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW) .]
3. Microenterprise.  "Microenterprise" means a business located in the State that produces goods or provides services and has fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees.
[ 2001, c. 471, Pt. A, §7 (NEW) .]
2001, c. 471, §A7 (NEW).

This section raises questions related to the story I tell at the end of the post, On Being an Anomaly in the Age of The Creative Economy, where in we were invited to network with a non-profit organization which had received a grant to teach how to form little ceramic mud pies out of clay, an organization, which I will here after refer to as the Ceramic Mud Pie Academy.

Was this funding granted to the Ceramic Mud Pie Academy on the basis of this section of the DECD statute?

Was the cluster ceramics industry that grew after my parents pioneered the first ceramics enterprise in the Boothbay Region in the 1950's the basis for "A demonstrated need for funding to provide training and technical assistance to microenterprises."?

If so- Did the non-skill of formulating mud pies out of clay, qualify, in the eyes of the DECD  "experts" as " A viable plan for providing training and technical assistance to micro-enterprises? ?

If the above is true that means that the overlords at the DECD are clueless about the nature of skilled work involved in making ceramics. The fact that my father was taught the craft of slip casting by the world reknown Eva Zeisel and we were taught by him doesn't even make it into the template of the DECD's thinking process.

Perhaps this is a way for the DECD to encourage the micro economy to reformulate , at least in part , as non-profit organizations in order that those with genuine knowledge can be eligible for grants to teach genuine skills and in the process become part of the quasi network of government. These days there is a big problem with that solution- based on the fact that I write this blog, I would never ever be eligible for non-profit status- which is alright by me on the score that I have never ever wanted our private sector business to be a non-profit organization.


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