Newsletter No 5 : Feb 2023

Creating a Fairer, Sustainable and Participatory Economy

To Members and Friends of the Fractal Economy Cooperative (FEC)

Your vote has made a difference in our community.

The second disbursement of gift funds to 5 registered Not for Profit’s (NFP) has been gifted to these lucky organisations, Chrysalis Steiner School in Thora, 2BBB Bellingen’s Community Radio, Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance, Home Care Nursing Training and Bellingen Environment Centre.

It’s easy for NFP’s to receive more gift money by asking your members to join FEC and vote for your favorite NFP organisation.

Events: Bring friends and sign up on the day.

FEC will be presenting its view of a new economy at the Malaami Future Building Event Sunday 26th March 2023 and Thrive Festivals Saturday 4th March 2023 at Bellingen Show Grounds.

 Members of the month: Well, done!

The FEC would like to recognise Tom Howell’s Gardening, Landscaping and Bush Regeneration Business called Gardens for Wildlife. His business has recorded $3095 in total sales from members. If you want some gardening or regeneration work done check out the directory for Tom’s contact details and give him a ring. Don’t forget to say you are a FEC member and Tom will record the sale.

Also, Pat Murphy’s vehicle repairs with his total sales of $4500, he has contributed 3% of this amount back to the community.

Big Thank you to 2BBB.                                                                             

2BBB has generously produced an advertisement to promote what we do at the FEC. The station has run the ad over the last three months of 2022 at no cost.

If you would like to hear it click the link below:

 

 

Dear Members:

Please consider nominating yourself as a Director to the FEC Board of Directors for this year’s AGM: Reply to contact@fractaleconomy.coop with your interest.

The current chairperson would like to increase the number of directors from 5 to 7,

particularly the female representatives.

 

We also have in place the Web/App infrastructure to do the following:

  • Register members, through our website, as individuals, individual sellers, businesses, or not-for-profits (NFP).

 

  • Using our app, record sales between Coop members (recording done by the seller).

 

  • Levy a ‘community contribution’ of 3% on the seller (the recipient of money).

 

  • Individual and Individual Seller members now vote on how they would like to see the gift money used. The allocation of gift funding is totally dependent on how FEC members vote.
  • There are 5 NFP’s registered, waiting to receive your vote Chrysalis Steiner School, Community Radio 2BBB, Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance and Home Care Nursing Training, Bellingen Environment Centre.
  • Businesses and Individual Sellers will be sent an invoice soon to those members who have recorded sales to other members and the 3% of those sale exceeds $10.
  • The funds collected will then be disbursed to the current NFP’s and others that register to receive gift funding. Thank you for your Community Contributions.

 

How to Grow our Membership:

 

Total current membership number is 55 and growing steadily. Find out more and register as a member go to the web site by clicking here  https://fractaleconomy.coop/ .

 

 

Tell your friends and ask your local business/service person if they are members.  

 

To succeed the Coop needs to acquire a critical mass where enough active members will generate sales and community contributions. If you are a ‘hesitant’ member, we encourage you to be one of the proactive ones who create the critical mass. We recognise that people are generally harried and time-stressed, we have taken every effort to ensure your ‘FEC experience’ is as straightforward and trouble free as possible. It is easy and quick to register as a member.  Participate by buying and selling goods and services from/to members. Record such sales with the use of our app; vote to allocate gift funding to your favourite NFP. These processes, and more, are described in our Hands on Guide.

 

Members Feed Back

We invite comment on our future vision of starting a Peoples Bank and Land Trust to buy land in community ownership.

 

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter reply to this email @ contact@fractaleconomy.coop

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Transaction Tax

In the national economy, a transaction tax would be a flat rate tax on every monetary transaction with only a few minor exceptions such as transfers within a family unit. No costs or expense s by businesses will be tax deductible. Purchases of things like shares and currencies will also incur this tax (which pretty much wipes out the speculative transfers of capitalism). In the FEC economy we apply this tax to transfers between members so that we as a collective can do very good and powerful things with it. For marketing reasons, we have renamed this tax to ‘community contribution’.

Commons

We at the FEC do not think that the government is the appropriate collective institution to manage things like banking, taxation and land rental. These can all be taken out of the hands of government. Government should be restricted to policy making in the political realm. What we call the commons is an economic collective. This economic collective does not have the argy bargy of the political life. Outside of the capitalist context, it is the principle of cooperation and mutual aid that pervades the economic life, and it will have a very different structure to government. Because the term ‘public’ is often associated with government, we prefer the term ‘commons’ in reference to this economic collective.

Community Contribution

‘Community contribution’ is in fact the same as a transaction tax as described elsewhere [see Article 2 in ‘Further reading’]. The reason we have renamed the tax is for marketing reasons as people recoil from the notion of paying an extra tax. Tax payments is in fact how we as individuals contribute to the community in order to fund things like public transport, welfare and a functional judicial system. So people should be proud in saying that they pay their taxes. The reason that we have an aversion to the word tax is brought about by corporations who have the ability to make their expenses cost deductible. They load up all costs of dubious things into their income-expenditure calculations that they can get away with not paying a lot of the taxes that are their due. The whole scam trickles down to the rest of the economy and tax avoidance/evasion becomes an acceptable sport. In a true transaction tax, no expenses are tax deductible.

What is a fractal?

A fractal is by one definition ‘An object whose parts, at infinitely many levels of magnification, appear geometrically similar to the whole’. Take the fern leaf as shown in this image:

The first image above is a graphic picture of a whole fern leaf. If we take one of the ‘branches’ of the leaf – as depicted in the boxed section – and examine its structure, we find that the ‘branch replicates in full the pattern of the original fern leaf. The boxed section of the first image, rotated and appropriately magnified as in image 2, show an identical pattern to the whole leaf. If we take yet another ‘sub-branch’ out of the fern in image 2 as depicted in the boxed section of Image 2, we find the same leaf pattern replicated again. And so on.

The Fractal Economy Cooperative takes its name from this feature of fractals – that the part replicates the whole. We believe that what needs to be done in the global economy is the same as what needs to be done in the national economies; and that it is what we intend to do in the fractal economy. This means that we policies in a number of places that should also be practised in the national economy in order to make it a socially just and environmentally sustainable economy: direct democracy in the realm of policy making, direct individual participation in the allocation of public/commons spending; all the practices that make up for what we call commons banking, a new taxation system (which we call ‘community contribution’ for marketing reasons); support for cooperatives over share ownership of companies; a return to common ownership of land effected through the banking system.