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Voting With Our Money For Reverse Globalization

Mapping the Real Deal


by Jason Eaton, President, Middlebury Solari

Transcript of Speech at the WBAI 99.5 Pacifica Radio Public Forum Reframing 911: Alternatives to Endless War Given on 9/13/03 at the Riverside Church in New York City

"I am here today to fight for freedom, your freedom and my freedom. I wish to remind you that you already possess all the money and power necessary to determine the future of your community. While your vote for President of the United States may not be counted fairly, I remind you that you have, on average 37,000 votes per household that will be counted.

While I am here I will also tell you that you can multiply those votes 2.5 times to yield 92,000 votes in your community. Furthermore, you can cast your votes not just every four years, not just every two years, but rather everyday you cast a portion of your annual allotment of votes. Everyday you choose who gets the money and power that passes through your hands. I am speaking about voting with your money. I am talking about simple choices you make each day, which have a huge cumulative impact on your community. I want you to become fully aware that what you do with your money will determine whether the world is owned and controlled by an elite group of global investors, or by the people who live in each particular place. I suggest you begin to vote for yourself, your family, friends and neighbors. I suggest you optimize your financial transactions for your own benefit.

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The idea of a Solari is both simple and complex. At the most simple level, that which the consumer must understand, there are only two basic steps: Buy Local and Invest Local. These two actions create a positive feedback system that will increase local wealth. What it does is align the incentives of the members of a community in such a way that when the local businesses do well, we all do well.

Allow me to illustrate with an example. In my hometown of Middlebury, VT there is a Tavern called Two Brothers. It is owned by two brothers whom I went to high school with. In my town there is also a brewery called Otter Creek Brewery after the river that runs through town. Both of these companies are closely held by the founding owners.

Imagine for a moment that the Solari in Middlebury were to arrange the sale of shares in both these companies to the community, and that I have purchased some of each. I now have an arrangement whereby that act of walking into Two Brothers and ordering a pint of Otter Creek Ale is not only in my own best interest " but also benefits my friends and neighbors. My purchase has filled a demand, and in doing so, has brought a portion of the profits back to me as dividends and/or capital gains. It has benefited the other shareholders " including the founders. It has created jobs in my community: the bartender, the doorman, the realtor who leased the building, the brewers, the delivery drivers, the farmers who grew the hops and barley, and the recyclers who will collect the empty bottles. Not only can I own shares of Two Brothers, but of every local company that has a hand in making it possible for me to go downtown after work and have a beer with my friends. Through the act of owning shares in these local companies, I have created profits for myself, and jobs, income, and growth for my community. Perhaps I'll be greedy and order a second pint.

Let us consider the alternative: I could have saved some money by going to the Mobil Station on the way home, picking up a six-pack of Budweiser, and going home to veg-out in front of the TV. Who would that benefit? Anhuser-Busch, Exxon-Mobil, the media giants, and the global investors who own them. My act would have had the effect of making the rich richer, and the poor, poorer.

By making a market for place-based investment, we can create the structures and incentive systems to redirect global capital to serve communities. It is okay for people to be greedy and self-serving in this system. Under the Solari Model the relentless pursuit of wealth and power is embraced and redirected.

It is like the martial arts practice of Aikido. Rather than oppose your enemy head on; step off center, blend with the attacker's energy, and redirect it in such a way as to do no harm. It is the application of the principal of loving your enemy.

Solari is an idea about using the current system to implement change. Solari does not require any help from Washington D.C. We don't have to pass any laws, topple any governments, or move any mountains. We need simply to begin to act in our own best interest.

Rich and powerful global investors get a hold of our money in many ways. We feed the very system we oppose through our purchases, bank deposits, debts, investments, and taxes. What we must do to take back the power is to take back our money. I suggest to you that it is possible to have a peaceful revolution through direct action. I suggest we ought to:

- Move our purchases to locally owned businesses.
- Move our bank deposits into small locally owned banks or credit unions.
- Move our debts to be held locally, and, as much as possible, eliminate debt by swapping it for equity.
- And move our investments into local assets.

The task of moving investments into local assets is the business of Solari. In moving sums of capital into place-based investments, we must take care that local control is not lost to big players. We achieve this by using an A/B share model. That is to say: the Solari would issue shares in two classes:

- A shares have voting rights and a nominal value.
- B shares carry the economic values: dividends and capital gains, but have no voting rights.

While anyone can own B shares, only those people living with in the Solari area may own voting A shares. In this way, the Solari is able to access global capital while maintaining permanent local control. It is this aspect of local control that makes Solari different from other corporations. By maintaining the Solari as a community controlled entity, it is possible to bring much needed transparency and accountability to our financial systems.

We all know of Enron, WorldCom, and their book cookers Author-Andersen. Yet, we are personally powerless to hold them accountable. With place-based investing, you are transacting business with your neighbor. These are the people in you neighborhood. If they engage in fraud….you know where they live. It would be painful indeed to suffer the repercussions from stealing from your neighbors. Not only does this offer new means of redress, such as economic sanctions, but a strong social deterrent.

In summary, let me remind you that this idea of place-based investing " the Solari idea " is about taking back the money and power that we have ceded to multi-national corporations. Not only is it the right thing to do, it the more profitable thing to do. Solari is the most significant capital gains opportunity in America. Solari is a solution to what is fundamentally wrong with the system. It is a solution freely offered to each of the 72,000 communities in the U.S. Solari uses existing financial systems to transform an overly centralized system of money and power to a decentralized " place-based system in which communities take back the money and power " for the people."



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Catherine Austin Fitts is the President of Solari, Inc.(, a founding member of ( and member of the Advisory Board of Sanders Research Associates ( Ms. Fitts is former Assistant Secretary of Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner in Bush I and a former managing director and member of the board of directors of Dillon Read & Co. Inc. She is currently litigating with Ervin and Associates (acting on behalf of the US government) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development related to John Ervin's efforts to stop responsible financial management in the US government mortgage insurance portfolios.

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