Why I changed the name of Butterflies and Rocketships to The Individual vs the Empire.
The duty of social media is to observe truth and social responsibility- Salva Kiir Mayardit
I published my most recent Substack post Can non-profit fundraising be used for public education post the enactment of Maine's Industrial Partnerships Act? on Newsbreak
After a couple of days, the stats show that Newsbreak approved the post for publication but is not distributing it:
No in-app views tell me that Newsbreak is not giving the story distribution. “Other views” is a mystery demographic. Newsbreak describes it as all other views from web traffic not included from search or share. Since the day before yesterday when I took the screenshot, impressions and other views have both gone up by 3, not much but enough to suspect that distribution is back to the one-to-one ratio of impressions to views. The new views come from the “other” category. It just doesn’t happen in a public stream that every impression gets a view, and so the public stream is probably not the source of the “other” views.
I do not see Newsbreak as supportive of what I see as the role of media in an interactive society with disinformation being routinely streamed into the public dialogue.
An article on the upcoming Pine Tree Zone legislation titled The Pine Tree Zones and wealth inequality received greater distribution than Can non-profit fundraising be used for public education post the enactment of Maine's Industrial Partnerships Act?, but relative to the distribution numbers reported by other NB content creators, the distribution of the Pine Tree Zone story is extremely low. How the Industrial Partnerships Act repurposed public education also received low distribution although I think it is a centrally important and timely story in Maine. NB publishes my stories, giving them more exposure than they would otherwise receive, but barely, and so Newsbreak’s significance is diminishing in my own independently generated algorithm-the wavelength originating in the quantum depths of the collective unconscious.
I want to shoot higher. I have decided to go all out for Substack. It makes perfect sense to do so. Substack is the voice of the independent. I am an independent researcher. Andersen Design is an independent company as well. Independence matters.
How do you like that!? I am echoing Gorgio Armani now, who stressed the importance of independence amid speculations about what he is doing with his company. Who would have thunk? The only reason Gorgio Armani is in my wavelength is that one day out of the blue, I decided to check my LinkedIn notification, which I practically never do, and there it was! Eleven searches from various levels of Gorgio Armani from the founder on down, a serendipitous coincidence I just happened to check out LinkedIn notifications that day!
On Substack, no editor or algorithm is dictating what one can put out into the world. Years ago, when I first started blogging I encountered many persons telling me that I cannot be a writer if I do not have an editor. I wondered how an unpaid writer is supposed to afford an editor. I eventually came to see this opinion as meaning that one cannot be a writer if the hierarchy has not granted permission to say what one says, an oppressive cultural attitude emergent from a centrally managed state that diminishes self-esteem among the populous.
Once someone told me that since I did not have an editor, they would not read what I wrote. In that view, only those who have been permitted to speak by an external hierarchal authority should be heard, an attitude reflected in the refusal of non-profit research organizations to engage with the independent researcher, a story I told in the original version of the Pine Tree Zones Story. Independent research can go where others fear to tread because the independent researcher is not beholden to the hierarchy.
Writing platforms governed by algorithms are another arm of the centrally managed corporation. Many advise the creator to deliver to the algorithm what the algorithm wants as working for the man is replaced with working for the algorithm. While the side-hustle is perceived as an escape from the corporate hierarchy, it is being subsumed by the top-down hierarchy. The latest rapidly proliferating development is that the independent creators are expected to bring new subscribers to the platform and some are predicting that recruiting subscribers will become a requirement for distribution by the algorithm.
The algorithm wants us to go out into the world and bring our contacts to them! Huh! Why not do that for me instead? What does the platform do for me? Not much! The platforms are fighting a numbers war for dominance, but as the numbers go up the reading experience of the platform goes down and the sense of community becomes chaotic.
In many diverse venues, the voices of people are rising in protest of working for the bossman. Large swaths of society have had enough of wearing the gray flannel suit for BigCorporation.Inc. Even in Maine, where it has long seemed that the public accepts whatever Simon says, when Simon recently said that community colleges are providing job training for selected industries, Simon received an overwhelmingly negative reaction on Facebook and one commenter called out the baby boomer generation for destroying the economy.
The entire bb generation did not do that. It is more accurate to say that wealth inequality happened during the boomer generation when the government took over centrally managing the economy in the manner of a development corporation, only the government development corporation wrote the rules in a game in which it was also a player and formed special interest partnerships with private partners, using the workforce as a pawn in trade negotiations.
The government marketed the program as “job creation” packaged as a public benefit, but as the program ran, income per dollar value was incrementally extracted from the jobs created. In the days before the program, a single job provided for a family including paying for a home, an automobile, and a college education. As the program persisted over time, it took two jobs and then two jobs and side gigs and a passive income to pay for what one job provided before the program was installed
The workforce has had enough and isn't taking it anymore! The oceans are rising and weakening old worn-out paradigms from their base. The lyrics of the master troubadour of my generation, Bob Dylan, rings true across the shifting sands of generational change. (I would quote him now but for fear of being sued, with NFTs in the picture, the algorithm knows all!)
The most successful Substack creator is Judd Legum whose email stream is Popular Information. Judd Legum’s philosophy resonates with my own, He is also a researcher but he is targeting a wider demographic than my local focus. I believe the local focus is an important and powerful instrument of change as the centralized order is wobbling on its stilts in this stormy vortex of change that has descended upon us in divisive times. If society is not to be governed from the top down, it will grow from the roots up and instead of an expanding megalopolis, differentiated communities will emerge as matrixes. Imagine many unique and interacting matrixes of decentralized cultural activity instead of every town, molded and governed from above using the same template over and over again. That was the original model of the USA- the states as vortexes were sovereign and the central government’s powers were limited to what is enumerated in the Constitution.
Last night in a Green Party zoom meeting one person referred to this overly centralized world as ”the empire” I like it. I co-opted it!
The About Page of Popular Information begins with a quote from James Madison about the importance of a popular media- as in not controlled by a hegemony:
“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.” — James Madison
In the Madisonian sense, “popular” means “of the people”. Can non-profit fundraising be used for public education post the enactment of Maine's Industrial Partnerships Act? adds the Andersen Design story to the river of stories by people interacting with the empire, flowing across social media as the empire disperses across the tides like seaweed floating in the ocean after the storm.
I share with Judd Legum being an independent researcher and using an analytical method in crafting a story. Beyond that, his orbit is in high-profile political circles, at one time working for the Clinton campaign, My orbit is working with the local Green Independent Party and a lifelong inherited alternate culture background with long historical roots, exemplified in Andersen Design. Each person has to use what they have as the raw material of the craft.
Chamber of deceit, is a story by Legum about the US Chamber of Commerce’s about-turn on supporting the infrastructure bill.
The Chamber claims increasing the corporate tax rate "would harm America’s competitiveness in a global economy and make it a less attractive place to invest." But the massive tax cut in 2017 did not spur a surge in corporate investment in America. An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that the decrease in statutory tax rates in 2017 "held investment down rather than stimulated it." This is because most corporations pay for investments with debt and interest on the debt is deductible from profits. Lowering the corporate tax rate makes these deductions less valuable.
That’s a very inciteful point! But let’s add the local perspective!
Legum is talking about federal taxes but most corporations are getting generous corporate welfare packages at the state level, such as the Pine Tree Zones exemptions that can transform the Seed Capital (refundable) Tax Credit into a subsidy calculated on a percentage of the corporations capital investments. A few years ago the credit was 60% of the investment. Then it went down to 50% and currently it is 40%. If the corporation can get those kinds of subsidies at the state level paid with debt with interest deductible at the federal level, and they have their tax lawyers to figure out how to pay less, perhaps it is not the rate of federal taxation that matters the most but the rate of subsidization received at the state level.
In Maine subsidization is based on a percentage of the investment, In the Major Business Headquarters Expansion Act, signed by Governor LePage on July 27, 2017, the limit that corporations can realize from the tax credit under any one certificate is sixteen million dollars, for creating 1250 jobs in Maine and investing 35 million in Maine, but for the corporation to realize the full potential of the tax credit, which is based on 2% of the corporation’s global investments, creating jobs anywhere in the world, the corporation has to invest 800, million anywhere in the world and 35 million of it in Maine, to have almost 45% of the Maine investment subsidized by Maine taxpayers.
The Major Business Headquarters Expansion Act is the global capitalist world order codified into Maine statutory law. How many times can the global corporation repeat this deal in other locations? The deal LePage made is available for national or global corporations. Businesses that have only Maine locations need not apply. What a deal for Maine! What a deal for all the other places subsidizing Global Inc!
Let us not forget that the establishment of the centralized economy of Maine was justified with the words in the 1976 Governor’s Task Force report recommending that two complimentary corporations be chartered by the Legislature, The Maine Capital Corporation, and the Maine Development Corporation.
The Maine Business context then was that Maine had a small business economy that was growing faster than in any other state in the Union. Andersen Design was one of those companies.
The statute chartering the Maine Capital Corporation included the following rationalization:
The Legislature finds that one of the limiting factors on the beneficial economic development of the State is the limited availability of capital for the long-term needs of Maine businesses and entrepreneurs. In particular, the lack of equity capital to finance new business ventures and the expansion or recapitalization of existing businesses is critical. This lack of equity capital may prevent worthwhile businesses from being established; it may also force businesses to use debt capital where equity capital would be more appropriate. This creates debt service demands which a new or expanding venture may not be able to meet successfully, causing the venture to fail because of the lack of availability of the appropriate kind of capital.
This impediment to the development and expansion of viable Maine businesses affects all the people of Maine adversely and is one factor resulting in existing conditions of unemployment, underemployment, low per capital income and resource underutilization. By restraining economic development, it sustains burdensome pressures on State Government to provide services to those citizens who are unable to provide for themselves.
To help correct this situation, it is appropriate to use the profit motive of private investors to achieve additional economic development in the State. This can be accomplished by establishing an investment corporation to provide equity capital for Maine businesses and by establishing limited tax credits for investors in the corporation to encourage the formation and use of private capital for the critical public purpose of maintaining and strengthening the state's economy. (emphasis by author)
Tower of Power come tumbling down! Enough is enough!
In an article titled How This Substack Writer Scaled to 150,000 Subscribers and Now Earns at Least $350,000 Per Year, J, J, Pryor writes about Jeff Legum and says:
What does he write about?
Judd’s slogan probably sums it up best:
“News for people who give a damn.”
Judd Legume has the right balance. He is successful because he put a meaningful purpose at center stage and then crafted a smart money-making strategy around it. I need to do the same. Jeff Lugim’s independent stream of income makes him truly independent from the hierarchical grid. Way to go!