Thursday, August 7, 2014

Party for Mutualism and Cooperation: 100-Point U.S. Parliament Platform

GENERAL GOALS
  1. Promote cooperation, mutuality, reciprocity, and voluntary action in political society and in interactions between citizens and government.
  2. Promote social purpose, small scale, and locality of enterprise and property ownership.
  3. Build a perfect and complete market free from monopolies and state intervention.
  4. Increase transparency in government.
  5. Build a party that represents the bottom 99%.
  6. Achieve economic independence for the voluntary / cooperative / non-profit “Third Sector”.
  7. Invest in local government (and reduce costs thereof) by networking with non-profit, mutual, cooperative, and community banking, credit, and finance agencies.
  8. Promote mutuality, reciprocity, cooperation, voluntarism, consent, independence, self-sufficiency, and autonomy in interactions between workers and enterprises.
  9. Reduce domestic property losses to foreign banks through increasing local self-determination over banking and investment policies.
  10. Increase the extension of credit to people and businesses.
  11. Improve the access to a wide variety of social, common, and public goods and services, to the homeless and non-homeless alike.
  12. Especially improve the access of housing to the homeless (through reforming homesteading, settling, rental law, etc.).
  13. Grow and promote the self-sustainability of the Third Sector (the sector of voluntarism, cooperation, mutuality, reciprocity, and community).
  14. Allow the peaceful economic secession of bioregionalist states and nations.
  15. Create a peaceful, amicable competition to provide consumers and citizens with the best public, private, common, and club goods.
  16. Build coalitions between independent business alliances, labor unions, trade organizations, economic and industrial unions, social welfare agencies, and charity groups.

GOVERNMENT
  1. Increase voluntary public service, and increase transparency, responsibility, and responsivity between citizens and government.
  2. Increase autonomy and independence of communal, neighborhood, and unincorporated governments and associations.
  3. Increase decentralization, localism, subsidiarity, and diffusion of the authority to make and enforce decisions.
  4. Promote sustainable investment of public funds through credit unions, cooperative and mutual banks, non-profit banks, and independent no-collateral social-purpose financing agencies.
  5. Promote local economic interests through increased cooperation between local associations, enterprises, business alliances, and consumer groups (including locavore groups).
  6. Promote cooperation between advocacy groups, PACs, and political parties and party caucuses that promote consumers' and citizens' interests.
  7. Allow and encourage local communities and private communities to experiment with Land Value Taxation (taxing the unimproved value of land, and the blight, abuse, and unsustainable development of landed property).
  8. Defeat any attempts to tax pollution in an institutional and general manner, and especially attempts to base citizens' dividends on the taxation of pollution.
  9. Promote understanding of bioregionalism and Cascadian independence in government.
  10. Reform jurisdictions and borders to bound watersheds and follow mountain ranges rather than water features.
  11. Grow Cascadian and other bioregionalist economies through creating local business alliances and networks thereof.

BANKING / FINANCE
  1. Perfect competition, and complete the systems of market-oriented distribution.
  2. Free the markets from coercive, monopolistic, and distortive market actors.
  3. Promote equal access to the factors of production as a requirement for free competition in markets.
  4. Prohibit deceptive profit-calculation, externalization, high leverage, debt collateralization, pernicious lending, insider trading, manipulative speculation, and short-selling.
  5. Restore Glass-Steagall (or implement similar legislation) at the federal level, and implement similar legislation at state and local levels of government.
  6. Obtain easy credit and low interest rates through decreasing and eliminating unjustifiable transaction costs and externalization, and through establishing the principle “cost the limit of price”.
  7. Promote cooperation between non-profit and cooperative banks, companies, and financial services agencies.
  8. Extend the federal tax exemption for credit unions.
  9. Require that for-profit enterprises which lack a stated social purpose in their charter, surrender 100% of their profits to a social, community, or citizens' dividend fund.
  10. Build independent and alternative networks and systems of community and social credit.
  11. Promote cooperation between credit-union leagues, cooperative interbank networks, and other non-profit and mutual finance networks.
  12. Prohibit usury and fractional reserve banking.
  13. Permit the establishment of state and local public banks.
  14. Allow experimentation with local and alternative currencies.

HOUSING / PROPERTY
  1. Improve the ability of the homeless to access public and common utilities (including and especially housing).
  2. Increase penalties for deception and fraud by landlords.
  3. Reform homesteading, by reducing the time-frame of duration-of-occupancy requirements, and by abolishing the requirement that property owners practice exclusive ownership.
  4. Sustainably improve the development of abandoned, unoccupied, and underdeveloped commercial and residential properties.
  5. Repurpose any abandoned properties which are not improved for occupation and residency by the homeless.
  6. Sustainably improve the development of abandoned transportation infrastructure properties, repurposing them for occupation and residency by the homeless.
  7. Repurpose some public farm, park, forest, and camping lands for occupation and residency by the homeless.
  8. Provide shelter to the homeless by building cooperative housing, promoting cooperative finance of public housing projects, and restoring and repurposing abandoned properties.

SOCIAL WELFARE
  1. Improve the image and reputation of the homeless and disadvantaged among civilians and public employees, by promoting C.O.R.E. (Clean, Organized, Respectful, and Energetic) values in social activism.
  2. Require the government to pay for any good or service it requires citizens to have in order to exercise basic freedoms (such as state IDs, voter ID, travel documents, legal paperwork and representation, health insurance, etc.).
  3. Improve access to public facilities, by the homeless and the general public alike, by promoting mutual aid and voluntary charitable giving, and cooperation between charitable and direct action agencies.
  4. Work with mutual aid and charity agencies to distribute maps to the public (whether homeless or not) detailing where free food, shelter, public restrooms, and electrical outlets are located.
  5. Improve the coordination and efficiency of delivery of personal social welfare.
  6. Build a mutual aid society by facilitating cooperation between charity agencies, mutual aid networks, benefit associations, and non-profit and social enterprises.
  7. Build a mutual aid society into an Aid-and-Trade association.
  8. Build Aid-for-Work agencies - through coordinating with veterans' and retired persons' groups, social welfare agencies, etc. - in order to improve access to employment, job training, and immediate on-the-job family aid.
  9. Improve access to education through volunteer provision, Aid-for-Work, cooperative education, and restoring abandoned schools.
  10. Fight for the unity of families by re-evaluating standards of child care so as not to judge proper care based on degree of access to certain conveniences wrongfully presumed to be necessary.
  11. Fight for the unity of families by promoting awareness of the corporate personhood implications of birth registration.
  12. Promote the independence, mutualization, and syndicalization of social service bureaucracies, through abolishing all compulsory taxes on all productive behavior (earned income, investment, sales, and savings).
  13. Base all government revenue not deriving from voluntary contributions only upon the penalistic taxation of unimprovement of the value of land.

BUSINESS
  1. Promote sustainable improvements to the development of occupied and unoccupied business offices and logistics properties and private-sector landed property.
  2. Perform the finance, planning, and regulation of business and commercial banking at the state and local levels.
  3. Require enterprises' charters to contain specifically stated social purposes, with compliance assured through the establishment of independent licensing boards and the promotion of regulatory competition.
  4. Improve the social benefit of trade and commerce, by coordinating activity between profit-sharing agencies, social enterprises, fair-trade businesses and organizations, and agencies supporting the creation of social and Citizens' Dividend funds.
  5. Promote the idea of government as a business, by embracing business-oriented solutions to social problems; not through privatization to the private sector, but through “privatization to the non-profit sector”; through social entrepreneurialism, and through non-profit, mutual, and cooperative enterprises, and networks thereof.
  6. Build independent business alliances by recruiting non-profits, mutuals, cooperatives, social purpose enterprises, and charities as members.
  7. Coordinate cooperation between sympathetic enterprises across stages of production: (production/manufacturing, trade, and consumption), by partnering with and promoting wholesale stores, consumers' cooperatives, and purchasing cooperatives.
  8. Build business alliances into coalitions thereof, confederations of cooperatives, cooperative wholesale societies, trade associations, and trade confederations.
  9. Promote coordination with cooperative corporations and cooperative business associations.

LABOR / EMPLOYMENT
  1. Promote the proliferation of egalitarian management by labor in enterprise.
  2. Promote the operation of workplaces on cooperativist, mutualist, syndicalist, and social-purpose-enterprise principles.
  3. Offer tax incentives to enterprises to transition to Egalitarian Labor-Managed Firm, consumer-driven, worker cooperative, and worker-consumer cooperative (i.e., mutual) models.
  4. Support the rights of individual workers to form unions by reviving the Blue Eagle.
  5. Promote collective bargaining agreements which support individual workers' rights, by eliminating the social cost and free-rider problems which result from compulsory unionism.
  6. Augment and broaden the collective bargaining rights of workers and non-workers alike.
  7. Create homeless persons' and welfare recipients' unions, and coordinate activity with and between these unions, and freelancers' unions, and New Mutualist groups.
  8. Revive the International Brotherhood Welfare Association traveling workers' union and mutual aid society.
  9. Wage a general strike in order to end exploitation, and to raise awareness of the Party's coalition building.
  10. Achieve secession of the Third Sector economy from the establishment economy and the Private-Public Partnership.

JUSTICE
  1. Oppose tort reform that inhibits the rights of juries to award compensation to victims as they see fit.
  2. Make large-scale class-action lawsuits possible in order to compensate citizens for takings by government and its beneficiaries.
  3. Abolish mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for non-violent crimes.
  4. Liberalize drug laws.
  5. Remove obstacles to non-violent felons voting, traveling, finding employment, and purchasing and qualifying for health insurance.
  6. Fight tyranny, coercion, and the disproportionate and unaccountable use of force.
  7. Increase public transparency into police activities.
  8. Keep weapons of war (such as tanks and drones) off American streets and out of American skies.
  9. Restore 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment liberties, through augmenting Miranda Rights.
  10. Ensuring that juries and the accused are fully informed of their rights (such as refraining from entering a plea, and jury nullification), and prohibit the suppression of the spreading of such information.
  11. Increase public transparency of the regulation of the legal professions.
  12. Ending the self-management of the legal professions by bar associations and attorneys' guilds.
  13. Ensure that all public officials provide evidence of their identity, oaths of office, and anti-corruption oaths, immediately upon citizen request.
  14. Ensure that judges enter evidence of their anti-corruption oaths in court.
  15. Ensure that judges and prosecutors submit their oaths of office in court.
  16. Ensure that, in court cases, the judge, prosecutor, and witness do not all represent the State.
  17. Promote the idea that indictment on information by the police may not be sufficient for a finding of guilt, especially if there is no Verified Criminal Complaint by a real person of interest who is not the prosecutor or in any way represents the State.
  18. Acquit all persons charged with violating statutes and ordinances, in whose violation no real criminal damage to personal property exist.
  19. Prevent the unfounded dismissal of prospective jurors by attorneys in the voir dire process.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Anarcho-Communists vs. Anarcho-Capitalists: Views on Property


Inspired by a comment by James Weeks II.

Letter to the U.S. House Ethics Committee

The following was written on August 2nd, 2014,
as a response to a Financial Disclosure inquiry
by the U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee
about my 2014 candidacy for the U.S. House in Oregon's 3rd District.





The Honorable Karen L. Haas, Clerk
Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives
Legislative Resource Center
B-106 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-6601



Dear Madam Clerk:
     This is to notify you that I have not yet raised (either through contributions or loans from myself or others) or spent in excess of $5,000 for my campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.
     I understand that when I do raise or spend in excess of $5,000 for my campaign, I must file a Financial Disclosure Statement with the Clerk of the House of Representatives according to the deadlines set out on pages 2 and 3 of the Financial Disclosure Instruction booklet, a copy of which has been provided to me by the Clerk.
     Additionally, I intend to request a waiver of the late filing fee, because my Campaign Committee bank account has not been opened and has not received or spent any funds, and because I did not open a bank account, receive any campaign donations, or even finish verifying my candidate and committee registration until several weeks after the FD Statement was due.

     I failed to file the Financial Disclosure Statement which was due on May 15th, 2014, but I did not do so knowingly or willingly (nor did I falsify any information), because between May 14th and May 26th, I was still in the process of verifying my candidate registration, Candidate ID Number, and the name and ID Number of my Campaign Committee, with the Federal Election Commission.
     After I filled out and mailed FEC Forms 1 and 2 (between March 24th and the 29th, the day they were postmarked), the Federal Election Commission received the forms in April. It received Form 2 (Candidacy) on April 3rd , and Form 1 (Committee) on April 23rd. However, it was not until May 14th – just one day before the Financial Disclosure Statement was due – that I confirmed with the F.E.C. (via telephone) that they had processed any of my paperwork.
     I had spent the previous month and a half checking the F.E.C. website, www.politics1.com, www.thegreenpapers.com, and other websites, to find out whether the F.E.C. had received or processed my paperwork, but I was not able to find any information. I did not discover until mid-May that the way I was supposed to verify this information was to make a phone call to the F.E.C..

     Between May 14th and June 7th, I was in the process of verifying my candidacy with the F.E.C.. Between May 14th and May 22nd, I made multiple attempts to verify that I was registered, and verify my Candidate and Committee ID Numbers. At no point during any of these three phone calls did anyone inform me that I needed to file a Financial Disclosure Statement.
     These three attempts to verify that I was registered occurred on:
  • May 14th, the day the F.E.C. told me that they had received and processed my paperwork. I did not verify either my Candidate ID Number, or find out the correct name and ID Number of my Committee. The F.E.C. did not inform me during the phone call that a Financial Disclosure Statement was due on the following day.
  • May 16th, the day the F.E.C. informed me that I was a registered candidate, and explained to me that the Committee ID I had when I ran in Wisconsin in 2012 still applied to my run in Oregon in 2014. I had not yet discovered whether the name of the Committee had changed or stayed the same. The F.E.C. did not inform me during the phone call that I had failed to file a Financial Disclosure Statement the previous day.
  • May 22nd, the day the F.E.C. told me that the name and ID Number of my Committee would not change. The F.E.C. did not inform me that I had failed to file a Financial Disclosure Statement one week prior; in fact, they told me that I would not have to file any more paperwork unless and until I file to end my committee.
     It was not until May 26th that I mailed FEC Forms 1 and 2 again, in order to make sure that both forms were filled out properly. I did this on the advice of the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.

     On May 15th, the day the FD Statement was due, I had only been aware that I was a candidate for one day. I had not yet performed any of the following actions:
  • Confirmed that I had an active Campaign Committee ID Number.
  • Confirmed the name of my Campaign Committee.
  • Opened a bank account for my Campaign Committee.
  • Contributed or loaned any of my own money to any bank account.
  • Received any campaign donations.
  • Re-sent paperwork to ensure that FEC Forms 1 and 2 were correct.
  • Been informed that I had to file any paperwork until I decide to withdraw my candidacy, aside from re-submitting FEC Forms 1 and 2.

     At the time of this writing, I have still not opened a bank account for my Campaign Committee. I have neither contributed nor loaned any of my own money to any account. I have not received any campaign donations, nor have I exceeded $5,000 in donations. I have also not spent any funds.
     I would like to request a waiver of the late filing fee for the following reasons:
1) I was not able to fully confirm my candidacy – complete with Candidate and Committee names and ID Numbers – by May 15th, the date the FD Statement was due. I made attempts to verify and re-submit this information on the 16th, the 22nd, and 26th; however, I did not verify and compile all the information until June 7th.
2) Between May 14th and May 15th (the day I discovered that the F.E.C. had received and processed my information, and the date the FD Statement was due), I did not open a bank account for my Campaign Committee.
3) I have still not opened a bank account for my Campaign Committee, which has not received any donations and does not have any funds to report, nor to disburse.

     If I had been aware that the Financial Disclosure Statement was due on May 15th, I would have filed and mailed the FD Statement on May 14th. However, I most likely would not have had enough information to complete the form, because I had not yet confirmed that the name and ID Number of my Campaign Committee were accurate, nor did I do so completely until June 7th, more than three weeks after the FD Statement was due. This is why my failure to file the FD Statement was unknowing and unwilling.
     If I had been able to fill out and mail the FD Statement at the moment I discovered that I was a registered candidate (on May 14th), not only would the form have failed to arrive by the May 15th deadline, I would not have even had the time to open a bank account the next day, nor receive and/or spend any campaign funds, nor to inform anyone that I was ready to receive funds.
     As I explained, I was not yet ready to receive funds, because I did not yet know either the name or ID Number of my Campaign Committee. It was not until June 7th that I was able to verify the Candidate IDs, Committee IDs, and the name of the Campaign Committees for both the 2012 and the current 2014 race. This is because the F.E.C. had not been able to provide me with all of this information during the course of the three phone calls and the multiple correspondences by mail, so I had to find this information on the internet.
     I regret that I am unable to include a $200 check or money order, but I do not have a personal checking account, nor any campaign funds with which to do so. Please inform me as to what is the next step that I should take in this process.
Sincerely, Joseph William Kopsick
Signed, Joseph William Kopsick
State: Oregon District: 03
Date: August 4th, 2014

Daytime Telephone: 608-417-9395