Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cooperative Economics/Wisdom Born


What's the Science?
Kwanzaa Principle: Cooperative Economics
Today's Supreme Mathematics: Wisdom Born abbt Wisdom

Another Adult principle here..... Again, a family's finances are in the hands of the adults.

A co-op is defined as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Sounds like Social Equality again does it not? People coming together for one common goal. In this case finances. Financial maintenance is always something that adults need to do, no matter how remarkable the child.

When I was 16, I got my 1st legit job at a clothing store. I really liked that job. But I didn't appreciate that I had to pay to cash my check. Woolworth's charged $5 flat rate to cash a check.... yes Woolworth's... google it.... I wanted ALL my money. Who wouldn't? Well I took my little $80 paycheck to the local bank to start an account. But guess what? My underaged self could not open a checking account on my own. Luckily my father's office was around the corner And he was there. I ran in there and asked him, “Daddy I need you to come with me and bring your wallet!” You had to know my dad to know how he would have responded. But he came and we ran around the corner and he backed my 1st bank account. Here is the thing. He, being an adult, knew how banks worked. He put me on my own account but linked me to his business that also held an account with that bank. He caught all the fees on my bank account. I can only guess at how the bank would have shafted me without my daddy.

And that is the essence of today's principle. We as a people have all we need to create our own Universe separate from the him/devil. If we would only trust each other. I know that is a hefty order. We don't trust each other and for good reason. WE are always looking for “hook ups.” You don't know how many of my personal friends want to come patronize the office where I work. I don't advise it. Not because I'm ashamed of the product we produce, but because I don't trust jokers to pay. They figure they can get a hook up from me... and they can't. I don't ask for hook ups... don't give them either.

When I used to go to church, I used to be a Steward. Which means in addition to looking after the pastor, his family, and the church we collected and counted the money on Sunday. A Destroy Power I was dating at the time used to want me to cash his personal checks on the money and “borrow” gold from the church's coffers. Wasn't his church. I would never do it and we stopped dating. Another dude looking for a hook up.

We also drank the Koolaid and have come to think of the products that WE make as inferior to him/devil. I do a lot of things.... When I'm in seamstress mode. Folks don't want to pay me for the same work they will pay the cleaners for. And I have to wonder why. I have been sewing 30 years. I make nearly everything I wear. Folks can't tell either. So clearly I know what I'm doing. But if I didn't have a day gig... Sewing wouldn't feed me.

I have just been using me as my examples. I am the best Knower of my life and situations. But we as a people need to put that slave mentality to bed once and for all. Because it's kind of crazy to patronize a business where all the employees are Original but the owner is devil and be cool with the product and service you receive but you wouldn't trust those same Original people without the overseer.

I was really encouraged by the push this year to support Black-owned businesses through the holidays. I wonder if folks really did only spend green with Black? Probably not. But it sounded good.

We could do it if we wanted to. There have been several instances of us in the past doing our own thing. There were Black Wall Streets and prospering all Black communities in states all over this country. Back in the Jim Crow era... and be mindful, JC Era wasn't that long ago. My 60+ year old coworker was old enough to participate in that whole separate-but-equal bullshit.... We HAD no other choice but to practice cooperative work with each other. But integration ended that. Black folks were free to take their money to the devil and did. Now the only Original businesses we still patronize are the hair salons/barber shops, funeral homes and churches. The other stuff has not real permanence. Non-Black people have taken over businesses that used to be ours.... When was the last time you saw a Black corner store? Or gas station? Or Liquor store? Even soul food is a front. Asians got that now. Hell, Asians are cheaper than the shade tree mechanics.

The reason why Black owned businesses have to charge more than the other folks is because we don't have access to the networks they do because we haven't developed them yet. Asian people have cornered the market on Beauty Supply Stores. Those stores cater to Black women. It would seem to reason that Black people would have a better Understanding of what our needs are. B.U.T. Asians have cornered the market on the stock. Black people cannot stock stores at the same prices as Asians can. And we will not pay $15 for a product that costs $5 in another store. It's crazy to even ask. I do my own nails... long story. But I go to Sally's to by my supplies. There is an Asian super store that sells nothing but nail products, but when I tried go there to get my supplies, no one wanted to help me and when I tried to interact with the staff, they refused to speak English to me. So I pay 5x as much for my stuff as I would in the Asian place... it's still cheaper than going to the nail salon.

With regard to Today's Supreme Mathematics, the power to make our desires into a reality lies in our own actions. If we want to see Black business prosper, them we have to support them. No matter how you feel about it, we are the only ones who will. And it's not that we don't have money, we make all the other folks rich, but for some reason we refuse to support Each other.