Loomio
Thu 14 Jun 2018

Best investment

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Simon Carter Public Seen by 345

Crowdfunding exercises to buy an interest in a wind turbine for example is not unusual, in other words the 'project' comes first, but how about the other way round where people invest regularly in a growing portfolio of shared assets?. If that were to be set up (existing examples please?) what would probably be the best first investment, the long term goal being to provide universal basic assets for members?

LM

Liam Murphy Fri 15 Jun 2018

Hi Simon - There are few existing examples in my 'area'. Registered Commons (https://www.registeredcommons.org/faq/#f20) and C3S (https://www.c3s.cc/en/) are beginnings for 'cultural/creative (ie copyrightable) assets. https://www.loomio.org/g/qeHQ6KCh/culturebanks-copyfair-?utm_campaign=new_comment - is doing exactly as you propose. Citizens Wealth Funds also seem to be a close approximation to what you are talking about. I'd suggest that the first question to consider - if actually engaged in doing this - is: 'What legal form of (common) ownership is needed to make the initial investment possible?' (see this link for one solution - I'm sure there are far more in the P2P Wiki): https://medium.com/@McDapper/the-civic-trust-e674f9aeab43

Universal Basic Assets (UBA) is a difficult concept, since assets alone (assets being a capitalistic term?) can result in costs or income, depending on the asset and its context. So, UBA's need to be accounted for in advance - financially and socially - as assets which represent only 'cost' will be very difficult to establish (arguably). Until we're done with 'disinterested' money altogether and have 'pure' currencies ('current-sees' as Arthur Brock calls them) - we'll still need asset categories which provide financial wealth to sustain 'Basic Assets' ( guessing you mean stuff like water, air, land, food, knowledge etc?)

Once a legal form is decided, I'd suggest the best 'first investment' would have to be one which people were either willing to contribute to for free en masse (what is that asset?) or otherwise, had potential to generate revenue in order to further the UBA project. (The people who best understand this process are probably getting out of corporate culture and know how to set up mutual banks and societies - How to 'reach out'?....)

All best,

Liam

#culturebanking

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Darren Sat 16 Jun 2018

I've been looking at getting people to invest in land via community share offers.
I've got a few friends with capital that are willing to invest in the right bit of land - been looking for a while now, a fair few nice places have fallen through.

The 'project' I have in mind has a couple of parts. A community benefit society to buy the land and hold it in 'trust'

And a land management co-op that manages on site activities.

More details/ideas around this are discussed here

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Simon Carter Sun 17 Jun 2018

I ask the question because of an idea to build a federation of worker coops where all surplus is put into an investment pot. Those who benefit from this pot will do so as a consequence of using these businesses, As such the pots development is not dependent upon direct investment, but simply redirected spend. It's basically a mechanism to hollow out capitalism by investing profit (surplus) in shared assets (commons), so renewable energy projects, food cultivation (aquaponics, permaculture), community owned broadband, land trusts etc. What I'm trying to establish is if early joiners were widely dispersed, what would be the best first investment to allow distribution of proceeds?. The ultimate goal is to provide stuff for free to members reducing our dependency upon money.

LM

Liam Murphy Sun 17 Jun 2018

Absolutely Simon - My point is that the best 'first investments' do need to be investments which make money - as we are nowhere near reducing dependency yet.. The reason I propose using Intellectual Property to create common wealth is that people can immediately own and control it and "IP is the oil of the twentieth century'. 'Banking Land' and other resources comes at immediate cost. IP comes with immediate profit/surplus (to invest in land etc)

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Simon Carter Sun 17 Jun 2018

To be honest Liam I have followed a lot of your posts, but have not grasped exactly what you are saying so have tuned out mostly. If you think we have 'common ground' however, I'm all ears. That applies to anyone else. My goal is simple, to spend the last phase of my working life (I'm 57) earning a modest living whilst doing something with real purpose. Doing my bit to help us move toward a post capitalist society would seem to fit the bill.

For me that does mean a focus on what we need without having to earn money to buy it. Wherever possible I would look to remove money (& profit) from the equation. Capitalism is a system based upon fear, the fear that it could be us who is left to literally beg for our survival, on the streets with nothing to eat. That is a reality for more & more people. Remove that fear by ensuring universal basic needs are met & all the fear melts away, along with the power of all the control mechanisms of an increasingly authoritarian state.

LM

Liam Murphy Sun 17 Jun 2018

Simon,

It’s not you who will fix matters, or me. (50 and 57). It’s people 40 years younger than us. I have shown some of the over elaborated debate in these pages to people far younger than me and people who I consider far more intelligent than me. Most say they have no idea what is being spoken about most of the time and most have no desire to. I’m less worried about you tuning me out...

It is though, a great shame that we agree on the problems but not the solutions.

The idea of money free solutions is an idea more easy to adopt in your 50’s than in your 20’s ( I know you know this). Tune me out by all means but please don’t tune out the idea of young people taking ownership and responsibility for their creativity and intellectual property... what else do they have? Certainly not much, in fact, in law, in common.. but they do have that.

I will continue to tune in - much as I am often infuriated by the opacity of the discussion.

All best

Liam

LM

Liam Murphy Mon 6 Aug 2018

Good to see you at Conway Hall Simon - Can I ask a quick question? Does your 'pot' cover the inward investment needs of the worker coops you want to invest their surplus? I can see that things like affordable energy, broadband, land itself and (maybe) food might help them, but struggling to see their incentive to donate funds otherwise.. I guess you are assuming they will have covered all 'costs of sales' or running costs before off loading surplus? It sounds like a potentially dwindling fund unless there is clear benefit in feeding it. Also, is this the same idea as a 'Citizen's Wealth Fund'? - a public mutual bank basically..?

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Simon Carter Tue 7 Aug 2018

Not sure if this is directed at me, you may have got your Simon's mixed up as I didn't attend the Conway Hall event, but to answer your question if it is, there is no 'inward investment'. I did actually read a very interesting blog post by someone who did attend the Open Coop event who was speculating if something new was germinating within the coop world. I would argue that if it is, it is to be found within the multi stakeholder coop. That could feed into a citizens wealth fund where the understanding is that shopping in the usual way, beyond paying living wages and business over heads, is intended to generate profit with the express understanding of building this 'pot' for the benefit of all. There is a lot of new interest in worker coops, but the motivation of personal self interest remains the same if profit is distributed solely between the workers. Wealth needs to be shared far and wide. Not for profit means for service.

LM

Liam Murphy Wed 8 Aug 2018

Hi Simon,

I did indeed mistake Simon Grant for you! Begs pardon all round..

Multi stakeholders are equal in eyes of law and can jointly own intellectual property by making their production public or common.

Look for ‘ Culturebanking: IP and The Commons’ entry (being edited now) in P2P Blog. It is exactly the common fund you are proposing...

It also advocates tax as goods and in kind under license.

Hoping you will tune it back in!

All best,

Liam