Here's a story that vindicates the use of co-operative research and development systems. Unfortunately though, I can't tell from this story whether they are using a complete not-for-profit system. The speaker mentions a pending patent on designs at one point, but is it a open source/free use patent? Who knows? But it should be.
TED.com: Britta Riley - A Garden In My Apartment
My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well... I’ve worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate’s distribution of long straws is wildly capricious. (Buffett Says ‘Capricious’ Economy Requires Charity (Update1) by Hugh Son, Bloomberg, June 16, 2010 16:17 EDT)
This statement was made as part of a joint proposal with Bill Gates to encourage other wealthy individuals to pool some of their fortunes for charitable purposes.
Bill Gates's wife Melinda urged people to learn a lesson from the philanthropic efforts of the family that sold its home and gave away half of its value, as detailed in The Power of Half. On December 9, 2010, Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook's CEO), signed a promise they called the "Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge", in which they promised to donate to charity at least half of their wealth over time, and invited others among the wealthy to donate 50% or more of their wealth to charity.
Gates and Buffet have for many years been in the top three positions for richest men in the world--30 years for Gates. Like alcoholism and other addictions, it has taken those who have amassed the most wealth and not only hit rock bottom but stayed there for years to realize the damage that their actions have caused and have begun working to correct them.
the US legal system is a religious institution run by profiteering gluttons--not a honest non-for-profit public service run by philanthropists--and like the religions of yore it has amassed a very large and strong army to ensure it maintains in it's position of power. though there are undoubtedly some honest 'peacekeepers' within our national police force, it is a police force... not a peacekeeping service. the police force is just a finger on the hand of justice, and it is the police forces' task to aid in the enforcement of laws and to help ensure those who threaten the sanctity of their religion are penalized, not to protect people from those who wish to harm others (though that happens too).
the officers of our police forces work in close concert with those more closely intertwined with the judicial system to see to this. they regularly ensure that prosecutors are equipped with the right information and reports to guarantee a conviction, despite any factuality of the accusations against those charged with violations of law. this can be evidenced by the fact that almost all convictions result from guilty pleas, and most of those are from plea bargains... where a prosecutor oversells their case and threatens horrifically harsh treatment should the defendant not plea guilty; and now, not later (in order to get the conviction before the defendant can even attempt to prepare a defense, or even understand what is happening).
in return, a conviction--even one underhandedly coerced during plea bargaining--guarantees the arresting officer faces no risk of any retribution for lying in reports or arresting innocent people without due diligence, or probable cause. so, if they make an arrest, it's in their best interest to do whatever they must to help the prosecutor obtain a conviction. it is not in their best interest to remain honest, submit reports with only absolutely truthful statements, or to ever omit fault if they errored in any way, shape, or form (this is also true of various other State/Gov positions: social workers, accountants, basically anyone whose position is assessed by documented results they are responsible for producing, rather then by polling those whom they interact with or by monitoring their effectiveness via a disconnected third party/parties).
as a citizen, unless exceptionally wealthy, once you have been handcuffed or charged with a crime you might as well assume you'll be mistreated by the system and eventually convicted; whether you are guilty of the crime accused or not. after all, those responsible for acquiring those convictions are almost always voted into their positions, and they can lose their jobs if they don't meet their conviction quotas. fairness within the judicial system is neither openly monitored, nor used as a gauge to determine who deserves their position... be they judge, prosecutor, or police officer. otherwise, only voluminous public outcry or the reasonable suspicion of a severe crime can guarantee the exposure of those individuals guilty of the crimes described here.
it's rather ironic that the very people most effected by the unfairness and dishonesty that occurs within our justice system are the same people either intentionally excluded from having any say in how it works, or are simply less likely to participate in deciding because of their social position in life.
the system is designed, though probably not intentionally during it's inception, to encourage abuses to occur and to protect those who act abusively within the system.
this all being true, and being well known for well over 30 years, it begs to be asked: how does the occupy movement suggest the situation--concerning the prominence of corruption within our society--be addressed? similar to an apology not being appropriate without a change in behavior to help assure the offense doesn't reoccur, pointing out a problem is pretty pointless if a solution is not offered alongside it.
naturally, the solutions become as evident as the problems as soon as those interested begin to look for them rather than focusing on whining about the problems.
the only problem i'm personally still unsure how to address is the problem of not having any of the money necessary to implement the solutions. i only have 400 dollars to my name at the moment, and in today's society none of our overall problems can be solved without some substantial cash being thrown at them. should i win the lottery tomorrow, i would be happy to donate the total amount to this one cause. pity i don't gamble.
on the subject of sustainability, and the need for our global societies values to be altered to not only allow for but encourage sustainability: for sustainable practices to be 'built in' to our every behavior. it seems to me that it's best to simply reverse the system that has allowed our values to become so skewed in the first place. it was capitalist ideals, greed, that drove the wedge between man and the earth, and it will be philanthropical ideals that will bring man back into natures fold.
cooperate, not for profit--as a corporation does--but to promote sustainability and equality in every aspect of life. build non-profit cooperative schools, car manufacturers, insurance providers, hospitals, automotive service centers, recycling plants, solar power plants, fisheries, farms, building developers, music labels, film producers and distributors, employment agencies, et cetera.
any necessary business can succeed at providing better products, at a lower overall cost, while also providing higher quality employment to more people, as a non-profit cooperative than as a greedy for-profit corporation. the only question is whether to build them as member operated or employee operated organizations; and that will most often differ in accordance to the customer/members contact with the org. a farm is best run by those who participate in it's functions personally, while a grocery needs the input from it's members to determine what products it should buy, and from where.
also, like the for-profit business model today which uses the International Monetary Fund to promote the use of it's model globally, a Non-Profit or Cooperative Monetary Fund can be created with the pool of excess funds from the overall cooperative and non-profit community, which can then be used to fund the global development of yet more cooperatives: buying and converting for-profits when there isn't room in a current marketplace for what could be a very beneficial cooperative.
this, by the way, was how communism was supposed to work. only with communism a government was used as a middle man; with the job of acquiring property, businesses, and banks, and then redistributing ownership over these things to the people... however the greed and selfishness of those in government lead them to hold onto that which they acquired in order to promote and maintain their positions of wealth and power. the model i've described does not allow for such foolishness to occur; so long as all cooperatives are limited in size, and allowed to function as an individual entities; while still maintaining the support of the larger community.
billboards? manipulative or deceptive advertisements or commercials? copyrights? most business law? most gov regulation and oversight? unemployment? high crime rates? excessive drug use? excessive sales of antidepressants? high suicide rates? terrorism? these things have no place in a sustainable society.
[Click here to read reference article.]
[Click here to read reference article.]