Kalispell Gathering 2006, Part 31

This entry is part 16 of 24 in the series Kalispell Gathering 2006

JJ: Okay let’s get back to the gathering principle. The gathering principle is that the cream of the crop is gathered and produces something new. The people came out of the kingdoms and came to America and when they got here they did not want a duplicate of what King George, France, or what the rest of Europe had. They wanted a system where there was freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, so they created this system where there was much more freedom of movement. What we did was evolve from the tribal system to the kingdom system to the competitive system and this is what we are in right now and in many ways it is not competitive enough. We have not really lived through it completely but we are foreshadowing the next system and what is the next system?

Audience: Co-operative system

JJ: Correct, the co-operative system. The co-operative system is foreshadowed in a lot business we see among us. For one thing we see that employees are becoming more involved. The suggestion box began how long ago, maybe in the early part of the last century. Now we are at the point where they are listening more to the employees at the bottom. Employees at the bottom are now getting the option to buy stock and this makes the employees owners. And this is the way it should be in the co-op system where everybody is an owner. Boise, as you know, is the headquarters for Albertson’s, one of the largest supermarket chains in the world. Until recently Albertson’s in Boise had a goal to monopolize Boise since it was their hometown. They put a lot work, energy and money to make sure that they controlled Boise. They chased out Safeway, Smith’s, they put just about every competitor out of business and it reached a point in Boise where all we had was Albertson’s and a couple little tiny independent stores.

If you wanted to go shopping you had to go to Albertson’s and the prices were very high. People would come from California and say, the prices are higher in Idaho than they are in California, I would say that is because Albertson’s has a monopoly here in Boise because it is their home turf. Well a chain started and it was called WINCO. It is interesting that all the employees had stock and were co-owners, had good health insurance, were treated very well. And the great part about WINCO was their prices were very reasonable, if you took two shopping carts full of the same kind of food one from Albertson’s and the other from WINCO, the WINCO cart would be much cheaper.

It took a while for people to catch on, but now the place is packed with shoppers and now what is Albertson’s doing? They are lowering their prices and coming up with all kinds of schemes, Fred Meyers and Wal-Mart has also come in and so Albertson’s is fighting for their life in Boise where a few years ago they had a monopoly.

What was interesting was what toppled this authoritative grocery store was a small co-operative grocery store. People getting together and deciding to make the employees part owners so they would get more involved. I do not know how this involvement made the prices so much cheaper but you could go to Albertson’s and get oranges for say 90 cents a pound and you would find them at WINCO for 40 cents a pound. The difference was amazing in the price. So this is new system that can come in and beat the competitive system. Now there is competition involved but you have this co-op as the main thrust which toppled this large grocery store chain, Albertson’s.

So co-operation will be the main difference between now and when the new age is fully in. Co-operation will cause the cost of living and expenses to go down so much that we will have a lot more time to the things we like. One of the problems that we have is most people have many creative things that they would like to do but you do not have the time because you are concentrating on making money. Imagine if we could make all the money we needed just working 20 hours a week. If we could do that then we would have the free time to do the other things that we would like to do and when you think about it the products that really add to the value of our civilization are manufactured by about 9% of the people of the world. The manufacturing say of this microphone adds to the value of our civilization. Susan is a real estate agent and she is not adding to the value of anything what she is doing is taking the value and moving it around. Many of us do this in our jobs. We take the things that are backed by hard value and move them around. We have an enormous amount of our employees moving wealth around or working in a bureaucracy that governs wealth. Anyone know what percentage of Americans work for the government? I think it is somewhere around 30%. Do what it is in Denmark Annie?

Annie: More than 30% and those who make $45,000 a year they have to pay 60% to 65% in taxes.

JJ: Probably more than 30% work for governments in most of Europe and that accounts for a big chunk of taxes that is taken out of your income. We are taxed today more than the slaves in the Roman Empire had to pay. It is amazing Annie is so cheerful. So we have about 30% of the people watching, taxing and figuring out how to tax the wealth more and spending the wealth – figuring out how one part of society can benefit another. They do not create wealth or increase wealth. They just try to figure out what to do with the wealth that others create. Many of the bureaucracies are created to just appease somebody. Even in a regular business like HP or Micron could be streamlined and not have so much bureaucracy. The longer a company is in business the more bureaucracy it has. The newer business has a streamlined bureaucracy and the older business operates more like the government does.

Then I think that there is about 5% in farming that are making something that is worth something and about 9% in making something else that is worth something. So you have about 14% of the population making something that is worth something and the rest just moving it around and trying to control it. Let’s say everybody that is moving wealth around or controlling it make something that is worth something and we share that responsibility. We could have double the wealth we have with just working 20 hours a week, especially with the technology we have and new technology is being developed all the time that is decreasing the amount of labor that is needed. If we keep up at that pace then in a few years we would only have to work 10 hours a week. But let’s suppose we only had to work 20 hours a week. Then we could have time to do what we want.

Many people do not want to spend their time writing or reading books, a lot of people would like to contribute to society in another way like using Wayne’s idea of helping with education, or helping with doctors in medical support – doing something that does not require a lot of training. Others could make sure the parks are clean, the point being that if we only worked 20 hours a week many people would be happy to volunteer their time to help in a lot of ways.

Now the Mormon church which I have criticized in the past does one thing that I find very interesting and that is they get a lot of volunteers for labor, and many of the people work 60 hours a week at a regular job. They have these church farms and it is all done by volunteer labor. Teaching is all done by volunteers and preaching is all done by volunteers.

Volunteers do all the jobs of the church, and it is not always efficient but it always gets done. They have a welfare system that is completely volunteer labor so where it might cost the government a dollar to give away a dollar, it costs the Mormon Church zero dollars to give away a dollar. They have a lot of faults in many ways but in this way they have set an example of what can be done with volunteers. These are volunteers that are working like crazy at other jobs. Imagine if we had a society that only had to work 20 hours a week or less and then had all this free time. Instead of having an attorney come in and charge all this money we could have volunteers who could run the legal system and negotiate and settle all kinds of problems. There are all kinds of ways that would save money and would bring our taxes way down and the money that we do give in taxes could be spent more efficiently. That is just a few ideas to start with.

Copyright 2010 by J J Dewey

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