Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How To ReCapture Your Michigan Home Town

 Whew!  Wild, Free Spending Michigan Liberals 
Finally Brought Under Control by Tea Bag Governor

MeanMesa visitors all know about the sardonic little law that the Governor of Michigan has just implemented.  Basically, it provides for the Governor to decide that any Michigan municipality is in "economic distress" and then place an appointed (by the Governor, of course) "emergency manager" in charge.

The "emergency manager" carries with him the provision in the bill which "neutralizes" any significant action on the part of the elected commission which used to run the town. 

What commission actions are not "neutralized?"

The local commission retains the right to call meetings to order, read the minutes of the last meeting, and adjourn the meeting.  Everything else falls to the purview of the "emergency manager."  The new "top dog" viceroy of all the "emergency managers" in Michigan just signed the bill authorizing his new, uh, powers into law, that is, he just authorized his own "appointment" over his own signature.

For any visitors not entirely comfortable with such a thing, Google the term "autocrat."

Of course, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has only the best interests of his state in mind as he grabs all this power.  After all, someone has to move in to straighten out all these little towns who have been so, so, so very intent on wrecking Michigan's budget.  Further, we all know that, not matter how painful it might turn out to be, this means controlling every little dab of cash which might remain in the "city coffers."

The story gets worse.  

Once one of these "emergency managers" seizes power, not only the past performance of the little burg can be effortlessly usurped -- eliminating teacher and fire fighter contracts, local school budget "largess," modifying over indulgent city services such as garbage collection and dog catching -- but, future "fiscal errors" which the previously independent town might make can also be "redirected."

Egad!  Shades of the Cheney Secret Energy MeetingIs Michigan going to war?  Sort of... but not in the Iraq "WMD" model.  Maybe more like the Libyan "Attack Your Own Citizens" model.

Future city contracts can, of course, be dictated by the little town's new autocrat, also. After this process rolls along for a few months or years, we will see certain "uniquely qualified" outfits happily ensconced in "just the right places" to suck the last few drops of blood out of the little victim in one of Snyder's "Michigan Spring Vampire Festivals."

Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, Can Be Done

Although the community's total surrender and submission is probably what the newly elevated, ruling tea bag had in mind, there may be another option.

From the UK's The Telegraph 
Link to the whole article here.

Struggling US towns print their own currency

(image source)
Communities across America are bypassing the dollar and creating their own currencies in an attempt to help both consumers and businesses struggling in the recession.

The idea, borrowed from the Depression era when the currencies were known as "scrip", is designed to boost local spending and keep money circulating within the community.

Typically, a group of businesses print a new currency which shoppers can then buy at a discount – typically one dollar will cost 90 to 95 cents – and spend at full value with participating companies.

Some of the currencies have been around for years but the recent economic downturn has encouraged others to follow suit. According to some estimates, there are now more than 75 local currency systems across the country.

Others include the Ithaca Hours in upstate New York and the Plenty in North Carolina.
Under US law, small communities can produce their own currency so long as it does not include coins and does not resemble federally-issued money.

The currencies are not a tax dodge as the income to participating businesses is liable to tax.

In Traverse City, Michigan, more than 100 businesses accept Bay Backs, among them restaurants, B&Bs, a doctor, accountant and even a tarot card reader.

Around $2 million worth of BerkShares – the most established local currency – is circulating in the Berkshires, a rural area in southern Massachusetts.

The beautifully-illustrated notes portray local "heroes", including the author Herman Melville, the artist Norman Rockwell and a tribe of Mohicans.

"It reformed the way many business owners and residents think about their local economy and helped educate the community on why shopping locally matters," said Susan Witt, a member of the BerkShares board.

In Detroit, where unemployment stands at 22 per cent, three businessmen are distributing more than $4,500 worth of Detroit Cheers for customers to spend in any of a dozen shops.
"The world is just now reeling from economic chaos. In Detroit, that's how we always roll," Jerry Belanger, a local restaurateur and one of the trio, told the Detroit News.

"There's no question in my mind this has real value," said Billy West, co-owner of a furniture design company that accepts the Cheer.

"I can get a good meal, I can get a beer, I can help another Detroit business. That is money to me." Pittsboro, North Carolina, is reviving the Plenty, created in 2002 and now being exchanged by a local bank at the rate of $9 for $10 worth of Plenty.

"We're a wiped-out small town in America. This will strengthen the local economy," Lyle Estill, president of Piedmont Biofuels, which accepts the Plenty, told USA Today. "The nice thing about the Plenty is that it can't leave here."

Americans are not alone in creating their own currencies to cope with the credit crunch. Lewes, the famously independent-minded county town of East Sussex, created its own pound last year. There are now 31,000 Lewes pounds in circulation and more than 130 traders accepting them.

In the German city of Magdeburg, more than 200 businesses accept the Urstromtaler, one of an estimated 16 regional currencies in the country.

Economists disagree on the usefulness of local currencies but history shows that even the most bizarre can catch on.

Joshua Norton, a British-born San Francisco eccentric who proclaimed himself emperor of the US in 1859 and started issuing his own money to pay his debts.

Despite such dubious provenance, the notes became widely accepted currency in the city.

A Plan Emerges From Snyder's Tea Bag Brew

So, if you are one of these Michigan municipalities, and if you don't feel particularly anxious to plunge your town into Snyder's medieval looting scheme, there may still be a way out of the mess.  Follow the lead of the locals in the article.

Scrounge together $20,000 bucks, rent a one room "local bank," purchase a couple of used ATM's which can convert Snyder Federal Dollars into your own local currency and go for it.  It will take a couple days to contract the nearest, local print company to start cranking out bills with your own design on them, but after that, you'll be in business.

Let Snyder's new viceroy handle all the Federal Dollars, but institute your own local budget based on a currency you can actually control.

We should also note that, while the example presented here implies that Snyder's scheme will be primarily targeting small town which are unable to defend themselves, big cities will also be in the cross hairs of this tea bag's "emergency management" gun barrel.

Tiny little "Smithville" may be one thing, but cities such as Ann Arbor are an even richer prize.

The "Visigoth Tea Bag Horde" from Lansing may look unstoppable at first blush, but stick to your guns.  Like tea bags everywhere, once the talking points are all used up in the first volley, what's left will be confused "patriots" fumbling around in wheel chairs listening to FOX News.
Who knows?  Maybe you will be able to finance the Governor's recall campaign with "Smithville Freedom Bucks."

Want To Read More?

A previous post on MeanMesa

And, from the Michigan State AFL/CIO

No comments:

Post a Comment