An alternative to wall street economics A new wave economy for the people
White bottle on a shelf with word Roundup on it

Poverty is inexcusable when as many as 45-million Americans are classified at or below the federal poverty guidelines. The Poor People’s Campaign of Rev. William Barber says that 140,000,000 Americans of all colors and races are ‘poor.’

Analysis of the track record of Wall Street’s boom/bust pattern of perpetual economic disaster leads to the conclusion that the system’s brokers make money on the uptick and by selling short do so on the downturn.

The last great recession that began in 2007 with the collapse of the fraudulent Wall Street bundling of spurious mortgages was followed by federal reserve intervention to shore up the very banks that precipitated the crash.

The next recession may be caused by the collapse of the automobile market when the surplus of unsold cars collides with the failed leases used to artificially prop up the disappointing sales of their highly inflated price vehicles. Or, it may come about from the failure of the Fracking Industry to produce enough oil and gas to repay their near-zero interest loans.

The income inequality gap increases annually with the Wall Street Banksters doing their best to keep it in place. In the 1950s the ratio of top executive pay to lowest paid worker was about 50:1, today it is as great as 2,000:1 an unconscionable ratio.

Poverty prevents any buildup of surplus funds simply because every penny is required for daily expenses with no luxury, no vacations, and no savings. Wages are reported to have been stagnant for five decades or more. This income torpidity is aggravated by the huge increases in the cost of everything from housing to automobiles. A trip to the emergency room in the 1970s cost $50 when the same trip today will create a minimum $700 bill.

A spanking new Ford Pickup truck cost $1,950 in 1972.

Our economics are based on the so-called free market, todays phantasy of Adam Smith’s theory that such a market was the outcome of buyers and sellers reaching a price to which both could agree. The concept was based on reaching equilibrium dictated by supply and demand. Nice idea.

The facts are that our economy is based on greed. Sellers wish to maximize their profits by setting prices as high as possible. Buyers, on the other hand wish to buy as cheaply as possible in a marketplace where their choice between a Hyundai and a Honda, a Ford or Dodge seems to be at the identical price point. They even look a lot alike.

While we cannot change the supply-demand conundrum, we can take charge of our fate by considering the benefits of cooperative capitalism. In doing so we can set our wage levels to compete with similar businesses so that our production is not priced out of the market. However, our advantage is that we can enjoy our fair share of the profits generated by our work.

The typical Wall Street (or equivalent) corporation is owned by its shareholders. Each share represents one vote in elections of the corporation. These shares elect the board of directors. The directors hire the executives of the corporation to manage their operations. These executives are obliged to maximize the profits of the corporation for the benefit of shareholders.

In doing so, they enhance the value of the shares on the Wall Street markets.  The pressure on these executives to deliver ever higher share prices is their justification for outrageous salaries.

The Wall Street market is in a constant and perpetual state of flux, especially today when traders churn it with algorithmic programs doing 400 to 500 trades per second. The turnover for a fraction of a penny, done frequently enough, makes some traders wealthier every day. Does the price bear much resemblance to prices struck by buyers and sellers in customary market transactions?

The cooperative form of organization is based on membership. Each subscribing member has one single vote. There is virtually no way for any individual to garner more votes than one. Of course, factions can form among members with conflicting interests and votes can be swayed one way or another. The democratic nature of one member one vote is hard to corrupt when each member has self-interest to protect.

The Mondragon Cooperative of Basque Spain is an example of the long-term success potential of a well-organized firm. Google it!

Most cooperatives were formed to provide a service like telephones or electricity in rural areas where the sparse population meant high unit service expense with little or no profit. The members enjoyment of the new service made up for that lack. Cell phones and the modern electrical grid have reduced the need for such utility cooperatives in most places.

If we accept the concept of a cooperative as a democratic form of organization all we need is a business in which that corporate form can thrive.

The business must have a ‘universal’ and perpetual market in which demand for the products is steady and continuous. It must be a market into which a new producer can enter with minimal expense for promotion and branding with instant acceptance by consumers.

That business is the food business.

This is an industry that is particularly vulnerable to a new competitor at this time because of the serious concerns that many consumers have regarding the safety of what they are offered to eat.

It all starts with Monsanto. Monsanto introduced a new weed killer called Roundup® back 40 years ago. This marvel of chemistry destroyed both weeds and crop plants. To impart Roundup® resistance, the marvelous scientists of Monsanto devised a method using tissue culture to insert a molecule of glyphosate, the weed-killing pharmaceutical (originally patented as an antibiotic) into the DNA of the target plant. Tissue culture techniques allowed the new plant to root and be transplanted into a greenhouse where it matured sexually and reproduced itself. That seed was planted. The new plant could be sprayed with Roundup® that had little or no effect on it.

Of course, the new plant was patented. That patent protection created a monopoly for its owner. The Monsanto marketing plan called for farmers using Roundup® to buy their seed and their weed killer on a contract basis that prevented the use of any reserved seed for next year’s planting. New crop – new seed.

During the 1990s it was established by the land grant colleges that Roundup was absolutely safe to use. It also created the opportunity for a farmer to never be required to disturb the field surface by cultivation - a practice called ‘no-till.’ This opened the floodgates for Monsanto’s Roundup® by allowing the farmer to manage more acres without help. One man could farm 600 to 1,000 acres. All he needed was close to $1-million in machinery which manufacturers were delighted to sell with easy financing terms.

Most of the crops were grains- corn, beans of all kinds, wheat, oats, rye, barley and rice. Even hay crops like alfalfa, clover and timothy were genetically modified so Roundup® could control weed competition. Vegetable growers with vast acreages of irrigated land in California Salinas Valley saw the huge profits to be made when the only labor required would be a few workers at the packing plant and field loaders using machinery. Vegetables and grains alike were genetically modified to allow the use of Roundup® and seed was patented accordingly.

Monsanto bought out hundreds of small seed producers to eliminate competition. Only a few Heritage Seed companies exist.

The point in bringing this to your attention is to inform you that everything you eat has been exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup®.

In early 2018 the writer attended a film production titled Evolution (Monsanto sponsored) at the Ohio State OARDC Campus that was nothing more than a blatant propaganda piece. Half way through the film the writer got up and left the hall, to be accosted by an earnest young man who inquired: “Was anything wrong – could he help me.” The writers’ response was “Hell no, at 86, I am quite capable of recognizing and understanding propaganda.” What triggered my outrage was the chart shown on the film rating coffee as being five or six times more hazardous to health than Roundup®.

Unfortunately for all of us many of the land grant colleges receive huge funding grants from Monsanto. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

The World Health Organization, a division of the United Nations declared that there was a connection with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and exposure to Glyphosate Monsanto’s prime Roundup ® ingredient. Independent researchers worldwide have established similar relationships of glyphosate exposure to autism, Crohn’s disease, and neurological disorders as well as the mutation or malformation of reproductive organs and endocrine factors.

A U.S. Federal Court Jury in California came to a verdict in a Monsanto case awarding $289 Million to Mr. DeWayne Johnson a school groundskeeper exposed for many years to Roundup in weed control. Too bad for Mr. Johnson, his cancer is predicted to be terminal in two years.

It is reported that at least 8,700 similar cases have been filed or are pending from similar victims. The avalanche is just starting. Monsanto just sold out to Bayer a German chemical/pharmaceutical firm now said to be suffering from Bayer’s Remorse.

On the news was a report that a popular round oat cereal was tested for glyphosate residues that were found in excess of EU maximum standards. Health experts have advised for some time that it may be dangerous for anyone to consume grains of any kind.  This is particularly true of bread made from wheat. Monsanto has sold a new concept of harvesting through desiccation. In other words, the green wheat is hurried along in its ripening process by heavily spraying the field with Roundup® when the wheat kernels absorb the chemical and retain it in tissue. Not enough to have already sprayed the wheat field with a pre-emergence Roundup® application, it is followed up with this desecration.

Remember Roundup® includes glyphosate -an anti-biotic. That is exactly the action it has on the human gut biome, killing the essential bacteria that complete digestion and build our immune systems.

The same anti-biotic action is seen in the soil where the normal fauna has been destroyed by 20-years of glyphosate’s destruction of bacteria. Without the symbiotic bacterial-mycorrhizal function plants cannot access minerals. Some scientists predict that this long-term use of glyphosate will render American farms fields sterile.

Thus, we eat belly-filling garbage that is slowly killing us.

Do we need healthy food without pathogens, carcinogenic substances?


Do we need nutrient dense food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients?


Can we get that food? The Ohio Healthy Food Cooperative name tells it all. OHFC has developed growing systems that are designed to provide mineral rich growing mixtures that combine high nutrient composts and moisture retaining materials like coir and Sphagnum peat; North Atlantic Kelp, and silica fines. These systems are irrigated with collected rainwater. Artificial light extends photosynthesis in specially designed greenhouses that store solar energy for release on demand.

Most of Ohio enjoys about 36” of precipitation annually. We have abundant rivers, streams and creeks with flood control dams making small lakes. Lake Erie makes up the north shore of the state. There is no need to import low-quality vegetables from dry states that have evacuated their deep aquifers and impose a huge carbon footprint on the 2,000-mile transportation to eastern markets.

The movement toward naturally grown or organic fruits and vegetables is inexorable. No parents will knowingly feed their children with food that has been grown with glyphosate when the Monsanto Lawsuit tsunami is as heavily publicized as the tobacco scandal was, and the news is widely disseminated.

The traditional food supply chain was grower to broker to retailer. Large stores now buy direct from growers and warehouse their produce for delivery to their own stores. The role of the broker is now disappearing as small independent stores are dislodged from their markets by the competition from the big boxes.

The Ohio Healthy Food Cooperative model is to integrate all these functions in a total package that includes secondary processing to extend the availability of local food year-round.

Food Deserts have been described as neighborhoods in which many residents do not have access to the variety of fresh foods that make up a balanced diet, nor are these foods generally affordable or regularly available. Beyond the question of poverty as a prime reason for this scarcity of good food, is the fact that the merchandising of food is based on high sales volume in sites that have enough buyers with purchasing power to fulfill the market profit objectives.

There is a moral imperative for feeding every child, youth and adult with nutritious food that is safe to eat. The food assistance programs like the EBT card that allows a holder to apply it al most as a credit card to purchase food items is an example to follow.  OHFC proposes that with the attainment of critical mass, that it will be able to augment the amount of healthy food that is available by enabling a credit for additional pounds of veggies. It further suggests a program to be adopted in its OHFC Veggie Café and Juice Bar that will offer hot prepared one-dish meals for take-out by families in need with a state-subsidy to make the program feasible. That same program can be used to provide free food to children 18 and younger on Saturdays, Sundays, school vacations and holidays.

Obviously, there are social impacts involved in the projects. These kinds of investments are rare with a share-corporation where maximization of profit is the legal criterion.

The philosophy of the cooperative is sharing but it must generate profits to do so. The need for some level of equity capital must be met by membership subscriptions. That translates into a massive number of new members. The long wait for someone else to come forward to resolve these hunger and health issues has been fruitless. OHFC has been organized to make it possible for significant gifts to be rewarded with term memberships, recapture of the gift and the payment of dividends to donors. Smaller gifts under $1,000 do not qualify for profit sharing but do award a membership card that can be used to purchase vegetables and fruits at a discount, with rewards points to be redeemed with merchandise.  All small gift donor-card members have their gifts redeemed in five years with interest at 10%. All workers become members on subscription and retain full membership benefits with annual dues payments.