Your Questions About Internet Marketing Association

Thomas asks…

Should We Expect a Rise in Co-Op Based Personal Economics?

The alternatives would seem to be trying to fix a broken system, that is on fire, and totally dysfunctional, and utterly unable to receive any information from outside it’s broken self.

or

We can just do nothing and slide down the drain as the whole US economy and all US power in the world slides down the drain, so at least we didn’t waste any effort trying to do anything to save ourselves ..

or

We could start building personal networks of Co-Op based economics.

There are 1000 kinds of Co-Ops (food, clothing, toys, books, tools, fuel, vitamins, whatever).

A sovereign individual who is in some way productive could join one or several co-operatives and make it a policy “I never buy anything from anybody that doesn’t buy anything from me.”

These would all be considered restraints of trade, under the Sheman Act, the Clayton Act, the Robinson Patman Act etc, but with the government collapsing under its own weight and into it own corruption and filth, it is very unlikely that they will send a team of DOJ lawyers to your house to monitor and convict you of the crime of economic survival. Remember you have a right to a jury trial. The other folks on the jury might be doing the same thing or getting ready to.

So, the sovereign individual, by necessity, operates maybe not so much in accordance with each and every rule that was popular in 1940. Necessity is often a legal excuse, and sometimes even a justification.

Trading communes could link up, so many specialized communes can trade through hubs. This is on a members only basis. Membership is protected by freedom of association guarantees in the First Amendment, that’s why some country clubs still get to pick and choose their members. Trading communes are like clubs not like public markets. They are more like intra-nets or LANs than they are like the Internet.

To stay viable they need two things — They need legacies — fairly large ones — help defray their very frugal but unavoidable administrative and legal expenses. There are tons of rich people in USA. Some believe in the sovereign inidividual concept. They want to see more of it, instead of a sluide into socialism and finally into anarchy. So legacies are a possibility. If PBS and NPR can get them, why not Economic Self-Reliance Communes?

The other thing that’s needed is exports. But not exports to China. Just to outside the Commune. Stuff has to be created within the commune and sold to outsiders for gold, or cash that is immediately converted into gold. This is called Merchantilism — and it was the entire basis of the economic success of USA during the period 1787 till 1887. It does work. And the exporting is easy — just take the stuff down the block, sell it at a farmer’s market, sell it on Ebay, or Craig’s list. It’s exporting because it is merchantilist trading with an outside economic actor.

Hard cash is needed even by sovereign individuals because they can’t make their own patent pharmaceuticals. They have to trade with the world for that. They can’t do their own surgical operations. They can’t build their own computer chips. So, for some things there has to be disposable hard cash. That means the Commune must have a source — Legacies and Exports.

Three basic choices (1) fix an unfiaxable system (2) passively go down the drain with it or (3) unplug from it and start an alternative economics — a new reality, when the old one won’t do.

In management this third option would be an example of the Blue Ocean Strategy, first made popular by the Boston Consulting Group.

It’s for smart people.

So thank goodness for the First Amendment — not every highway has to be a public highway.

Networks of Trading Communes linked together by quality control, well designed goods, and free flow of information — everybody in the system gives good weight — liike Bob Dylan said — when you live outside the law you MUST be honest.

This does not bring down capitalism. It does not bring down socialism. It bypasses both with harm to neither. It’s inherently convivial — live and let live. Exercise your liberty or you don’t merit its continuance!

barry0912 answers:

I respectfully differ with Bored Goblin: if employee ownership can work in a company as large as Publix Supermarkets, and it works well enough that Kroger tends to avoid going head-to-head against Publix, the only Krogers left in Florida being standalone drugstores, then I see no reason that hospitals and manufacturing firms cannot follow the cooperative model.

Some years ago on MacNeil/Lehrer instead of doing the usual Hallmark Card boilerplate Thanksgiving story an economist did a report on the economic history of the Pilgrim and Puritan colonies: They failed as Corporations because the workers did not achieve their maximal productivity for the benefit of absentee owners, they failed as collectives because the free riders floated along at the expense of the producers, but succeeded as cooperative ventures where the rewards of productivity were more equitably portioned, thus giving the workers greater incentive to work hard and well.

Robert asks…

Does this news article about textbook piracy make any sense?

A textbook case of piracy
By Alex Beam
Globe Columnist / September 9, 2008
I was heartened to learn that college kids are wielding the same Internet piracy tools they used to bring down the recording industry to download textbooks. Although the textbook oligopolists are fighting back mightily – the Association of American Publishers uses Covington & Burling, a take-no-prisoners law firm in Washington, D.C., to hunt down malefactors – there are at least two sites still around offering books: Textbook Torrents tends to be shut down, and moves around the Web, but the last time I checked, thepiratebay.org was offering such books as – well, you’ll see.

As a writer, how can I support this? I should be an absolutist on copyright protection for all books, magazines, and newspapers. But I’m not. The publishers have disgraced themselves, and they are paying the price. Three-hundred-dollar textbooks in the hard sciences are not unusual, and the companies are selling to a captive audience. Hundred-dollar add-ons, masquerading as digital workbooks, or problem-solving sets, are not uncommon.

Publishers love to put out bogus “new” editions to drive a stake though the heart of the used textbook market, which was gaining its second wind at online auction sites. It’s not as if calculus changed since Newton invented it, is the rallying cry you hear from student activists.

How do I know textbook publishers are nothing but pirates in pin-striped suits? Because when the fast-buck artists take over a company like Houghton Mifflin, they never talk about how proud they are to be publishing Philip Roth and J.R.R. Tolkien. They know they are going to make a killing in the profit-choked textbook division, which gorges on the goodwill of parents who want their children to be properly equipped for college courses.

Now most textbook publishers are going digital, and Amazon is promising a larger-format Kindle reader for the student market. The publishers say that iTexts, which often cost less than $100, save students money. But their opponents, led by a coalition of Student Public Interest Research Groups, point out that the password-protected digi-texts put the sword to the used-book market so despised by the publishers.

Congress has gotten into the act, legislating more “transparency” in textbook pricing in the just-passed Higher Education Opportunity Act. It looks like a jumble of half-measures to me. If it had any teeth, the publishers would be squawking madly.

A young Northeastern University student named Shawn Fanning wrung billions of dollars of excess profits from the record companies when he invented Napster. Yes, it’s true that recording “artists” now gouge young people 10 times more aggressively at the concert turnstiles than they ever did at Tower Records stores, which no longer exist around here. But Steve Jobs found the right price point for music at iTunes. Between the pirates and the publishers, we’ll find our way to the right price point for textbooks, too.

Now it’s time to arbitrage . . . tuition.

Don’t steal this book
Inevitably, a reviewer will call John Hanson Mitchell, author of “The Paradise of All These Parts: A Natural History of Boston,” a latter-day Henry David Thoreau, not necessarily a compliment. Call him what you will – in real life, he edits the Massachusetts Audubon Society magazine Sanctuary – he is a smart guy, walking around, paying attention. I’d name his genre nostalgic realism; Mitchell certainly knows where this city and its many peculiar institutions come from, and he understands modernity as well.

I love that his brother owns a boat named after Richard Henry Dana, and that it doesn’t have an engine – there’s Boston in a nutshell. I think this book will take its place next to Walter Muir Whitehill’s “Boston,” with engravings by Rudolph Ruzicka, as one of the treasured Hub tomes of our time.

Able was I . . .
Ere I saw Alaska? Send in your Sarah Palin-dromes! A palindrome is a phrase that makes sense read forward and backward – e.g., “Madam, I’m Adam.” I think there’s a lot to work with here: Is Levi vile? Close, but no cigar. I’ll buy the winner a used copy of the kind of book that Governor Palin wanted to keep out of her local library – “Huckleberry Finn,” perhaps.

Alex Beam is a Globe columnist. His e-dress is beam@globe.com.
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2008/09/09/a_textbook_case_of_piracy/?rss_id=Boston+Globe+–+Living+%2F+Arts+News

barry0912 answers:

Don’t you hate people that spell loses as “looses”

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