Tag Archives: Internet

New Market Models

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We desparately need a discussion about new market models that will actually work in the wake of the post-20th century debt crisis.

Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and now maybe even the US all teeter on the brink of economic ruin in the wake of debt piled on debt piled on debt.

When defaults are finally declared, the resulting cost spiral will inflate the price of everything from shoes to corn to electricity to books to wheels for your car.  The shock may be moderate at first, but eventually we’ll all have fewer dollars in our pockets just as we try to survive.

Most of this debt has been accumulated for one thing:  the security state.

The security state consists of several expenditures:

  • to finance the act of unnecessary wars;
  • to fund the monitoring and control of all people with baseless crimes so that fees and levies can be imposed at a whim; and to
  • to punish and incarcerate citizens when these most basic crimes exceed a even more basic level of tolerance according to our dictators.

In Canada, we’re spending anywhere from $50 to $100 billion PER YEAR on the security state and military infrastructure, and yet we’re officially only fighting in one ‘war’ (Afghanistan).  Why are we wasting so much money – OUR taxpayer dollars – on something that’s so incredibly unproductive?

Iceland seems to have gone in the right direction by telling bankers and the IMF to go F*** themselves.

Ultimately, we need a new approach to new market models.

Eric Blair of alt-market.com interviews Brandon Smith in this piece on Alternative Markets at Activist Post where he shares some of these ideas. The basic definition of an alternative market:

… it is essentially any method of trade outside the establishment-controlled economy. It could be based on the barter of goods and skills, or the proliferation of precious metals to break our dependence on the fiat dollar (or Federal Reserve Note), etc. It could be a network of people across a county or state, or, an agreement between two friends.

And some thoughts about why alternative markets are labeled as underground or black markets around the world:

They are desperate, and I do mean DESPERATE, to keep us from developing our own private economies. If we are successful, we will no longer be in the position of dependency on the dollar or the sham economy. When it implodes, we will be relatively unfazed, and certainly not tearing each other apart. Meaning, their rationalization for martial law goes straight down the drain. The thought of that possibility really pisses them off…

But would alternative markets be enough when our governments are out of control, paying their friends and military buddies off with our money?

Probably not.  So we will also need a Declaration of Debt Independence.  It’s a basic concept that’s about to catch on like wild fire as everyone who’s not in control feels the effects of ‘austerity measures’:  you write into your Constitution (assuming you have one) that the government is not allowed to issue debt exceeding a certain percentage of your GDP (which should be redefined to capture the cost of environmental degradation and other borrowing from future generations), but to also identify that no government would ever be allowed to spend more than 3 or 5% of their GDP on defense, security and military spending (I would also suggest that this include prisons and other forms of incarceration).

At no point should any citizen’s government be borrowing money from bankers when they should be living within their means.  We should be investing in services for our children, not borrowing from their future in a failing effort to cork our insatiable desire for crap.

Public budgets should be for public good:  education, health, parks, trees, the environment, investment in the future, regulation and a sturdy and reliable justice system.

Another alternative market model would be extremely feasible if we owned the Internet, but we’re at risk of losing that too under the guise of security, protection from make-believe hackers and terrorists and porn sharks and other freaks that apparently lurk on every digital corner.  At some point in the future, we should expect the ‘Wild Internet of the West’ to be shut down in favour of a controlled Internet that’s no more illuminating and accessible than TV is today.

This would take a lot of work but more importantly, money.  I’ve been advocating some form of fund-raising effort for some time and would still be at the front of the line if someone were to say they were ready as well.

I can’t do it alone.

If we move on any of the above – and we really have to – hard times will be on their way, but we must stop living beyond our means and we have to shake off the bonds that are being placed our basic rights to communicate, participate and emancipate our day-to-day lives.

So … who’s on board?

The Big Huffington post Sell-out

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Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post has sold out to AOL.

This is a big blow for anyone who saw that independent media could grow and remain independent of mainstream media influence or dollars.  Of course, one might argue that this is something aspire to, but this is like arguing that when Whole Foods sells organic foods, they won’t sell out either (which they did when they caved to Monsanto and said that GE alfalfa is OK).

Adbusters has launched a ‘Huff & Puff It Down’ awareness campaign.  Use the hash tag #huffpuff when telling people about your favourite alternative news and information sites so that you won’t have to rely on rehashed mainstream stuff.

Here are a few alternatives to consider:

http://alternet.org
http://commondreams.org
http://indymedia.org
http://truth-out.org
http://truthdig.org
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree
http://www.rabble.ca
http://www.progressivebloggers.ca
http://www.openfile.ca

Please add your favourites in the comments below.  I’d really like to build a more comprehensive list to share with everyone.

Also, I’ll be starting a stump in Wikipedia titled ‘Canadian Independent Media’ and will let you know when it’s live.

Bell vs TekSavvy Debate on CBC

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As I watch this, I have one question:  when is the CBC going to stop subsidizing Kevin O’Leary?  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  I wonder how much he bilks the Canadian public for so he can say “if you can suck every last cent from users, I’m happy for you.”

What’s not covered in this discussion is the massive conflict of interest that Bell, Rogers and other companies are in when it comes to the delivery of media.

What’s also barely touched on, but is the biggest issue: cost.  According to the TekSavvy rep, it costs $0.01 to $0.03 for a GB of bandwidth.  Charge me that price and I’ll be tickled pink!