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  •  and Whole Foods might be the only place.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danps, Alice Marshall, debedb, David54

    .... in the neighborhood to get fresh organic fruits & vegetables, meat that isn't saturated in antibiotics, and milk from cows that aren't dosed up on rBGH.  

    I take it you didn't see the video with the young black guy who lived in Oakland all his life and was yelling at the BBs to stop trashing his neighborhood?  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:47:45 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Which neighborhood? (0+ / 0-)

      As I mentioned, trashing residential neighborhoods is obviously bad. But we agree that corporations aren't people, right? Then harming a corporation isn't like harming a person. And harming corporate property isn't like harming personal property.

      Whole Foods is an evil, predatory corporation. They never go in to poor neighborhoods, and they are never the only grocery store in any neighborhood. People who work there call it "Whole Paycheck" because it would take their entire paycheck to shop there.

      •  Whole Foods is a symptom of.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice Marshall, rcnewton

        .... the inability of communities to organize successful food co-ops.  

        San Francisco has Rainbow Grocery, and I seriously doubt Whole Foods would even think of setting up shop within a mile of there.  

        The East Bay has one tiny little food co-op in West Oakland, in roughly the same neighborhood as the West Oakland BART station.  That's a decent start but it's utterly insane that we can't develop a food co-op system here on a scale to compete with Whole Foods.

        It's not as if anarchists can't build stuff: 924 Gilman St. was originally called the "Anarchist Community Center" until the name "924 Gilman" stuck because it was an easy way to remember the address.

        That's the demarcation between people who can be taken seriously and people who can be written off: whether they're willing to put in the effort to build something lasting.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:06:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good (if tangential) point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The capitalist system does its best to destroy people centric businesses, which is why you see scams like Amway on a national scale, but no real co-ops.

          •  we had this discussion once.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            .... (in person), that the key problem is undercapitalization, and the legal structures within which capital can be made available to new startups, and the issue of how "valuation" accrues to member shares.  

            It's very difficult, and requires substantial effort, to set up any kind of business in which capital does not equate to voting power one way or another including via indirect mechanisms that may not be apparent at first.  

            The plywood producers' coops of the Pacific Northwest were a case in point: as they succeeded, the valuation of the companies increased, and the price of a member share (worker owner's share) increased accordingly, to the point where it became unaffordable to new members.  At that point they started hiring regular employees.

            There are ways of doing it, but they are not well known, and take the involvement of lawyers with specialist knowledge.  However it so happens that in the Bay Area right now there are people working on this, and the outcome may be something like a generalized solution that can be applied like a template.

            At that point it will become a more commonly-available option and we should see it put into use more widely.


            As for Amway, political connections helped it avoid getting busted as a pyramid scheme, and the rest as they say, is history.  That plus the fact that scams by their nature tend to be attractive: they're designed that way.  

            People who aren't skeptics by nature, in this case who don't firmly believe "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is," are easy targets for scams.   Particularly when a scam has a religious component.  Amway does: right-wing Christianity is part of the program.  Bernie Madoff did: a bunch of pious Jewish sentiments and even recommendations from Rabbis. Someone who claims to hold the same core beliefs as the victim, is more likely to be believed.  

            When given the choice between "work hard and earn a living," and "work less and earn a fortune," many people much of the time will choose the latter.  The absence of working class solidarity further compounds the problem.  All of this could be solved by education, but for that, we'd need to take control of Boards of Ed.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 05:50:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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