THE CLOSED CIRCUIT ECONOMIC INITIATIVE (C.C.E.I)
*A cooperative, community-based economic venture
* Amplifying local wealth and incomes by re-circulating it in your community
* Progressively eliminating unemployment
* Building an autonomous infrastructure
* Together creating social cohesion and prosperity in our neighborhoods
* Providing collective ownership of the ventures to you and your community
PROMOTING COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS
The Closed Circuit Economic Initiative (C.C.E.I.) is a cooperative, community-based economic venture designed to amplify local wealth and incomes by re-circulating it in your community, while progressively eliminating unemployment and providing collective ownership of the ventures to you and your community.
The CCEI was originally designed to address the flight of wealth from Black (New Afrikan, Afrikan-Amerikan) communities to more affluent ones that actually owned the businesses in Black neighborhoods. This remains one of its core purposes, but it is also designed as a blueprint to begin the process of delinking from dependence upon the U.S. capitalist economy and formulating our own autonomous infrastructure.
We discovered that a single dollar spent in the Jewish community will circulate there for some 35 days; in the Korean community for 23 days; yet a dollar circulates in the Black community for an average of 70 seconds. Yes, seconds. Further analysis revealed this is, to a greater or lesser degree, true of most poor or nationally oppressed communities.
The wealth in these communities rarely, if ever, goes to enriching those same communities. But we have it in our power to change this.
Similar to the electrical charge fulfillment action of a closed circuit capacitor – where circulating electricity through a catalyst in a closed circuit will ultimately fulfill a storing devices capacitance with no need to increase the voltage yield of the charge – it is possible to increase the economic capacity of a community by circulating its wealth in that community for a longer period of time. This capacitance is increased if the community itself controls the economic circuit in which wealth exchanges flow.
HOW WE WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS
To accomplish this end, CCEI activists have prepared fliers & pamphlets (like this one) outlining this initiative in clear, easy-to-understand terms, specifically referencing the unique conditions on the ground in the local communities you hope to begin in. The larger the community, the more impactful it will prove. Activists, organizers and leaders from the community slated for the initiative, along with CCEI activists, will canvas the hood distributing these educational fliers door to door, at churches, mosques and temples, at pool halls, street corners and hood spots, at homie hangouts, salons and barbershops- wherever our People congregate we must be there, answering questions and promoting the value of the initiative and the community.
We will then distribute survey fliers which ask each individual in the community the three top goods and services they most frequently spend their money on each month. This may vary depending on the community, from groceries to gasoline, from laundry-mat service to digital media. Once these surveys are collected, their results compiled and we have the top three goods and services that particular community spends their money on, we’ll have the basis for our first economic venture and a business plan based on the top pics.
BUILDING COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP
Let’s walk through this process together. If we determine through our surveys that food and home suplies is where our community spends most of its money, our first venture in our communities’ CCEI would be a grocery store. Which brings us to our next step: organizing our community. We will convene a series of community organizing meetings with the entire community (as many as are willing to participate) and participating Movement activists to elect economic trustees for the CCEI FUND. One will be drawn from the CCEI and 4 from the community in which the venture is to be based. Depending on the size of the community, the number of Economic Trustees may be increased.
The Economic Trustees will oversee the CCEI Fund for that community and be responsible for depositing funds raised for the Initiative, and making funding transfers to pay for the ventures associated with the Initiative. The Fund can only be accessed by a quarum of Trustees accompanied by community authorization. No single individual will have access to the Fund and the Fund can only be used for the CCEI venture agreed upon via the democratic will of the community. This will ensure checks and balances are maintained and trust is assured.
If we are to truly own the points of economic output and development in our communities, we must secure them with our own money. To fund the grocery store, we will ask each individual in that community to contribute $1 to $2 every 2 weeks (bi-monthly), (along with their names, addresses and phone to enter them in that community’s CCEI Registry) to the CCEI Fund for a 6-month period. Let’s say there are 5,000 to 10,000 residents in the community, along with those local CCEI activists who wish to contribute. Each individual who contributes will recieve a CCEI Certification Card, no matter how small or large the donation. All these funds will be deposited in the CCEI Funds interest earning account, which from our proposed community would raise between $50,000 to $100,000 in that 6-month funding cycle. We use the lion’s share of those funds to purchase (or build) and stock our own grocery store in that Community, owned by that Community’s CCEI Registrants.
We will then hire only those from that community who are unemployed to staff our grocery store. Those CCEI activists and community members with retail, business, accounting, grocery, tax, zoning or real estate law expertise should provide that expertise to ensure the success of these ventures. Those who do will receive a CCEI certificate (and be added to the registry if not already documented) for their contribution(s) to the efforts development and continued success.
Once established, marketing costs should remain fairly low, as patronage is ensured by those who own the venture – the community itself – and we will of course shop in our own grocery store, and encourage others to do so as well before going elsewhere. All the profits, minus overhead, will return to the CCEI Fund. 60% of those profits will be paid out (in equal apportionment) to all CCEI Registrants in the form of a dividend check. The other 40% will continue to gain interest in the CCEI Fund account, but this is only the first point in the circuit.
EXPANDING THE ECONOMIC CIRCUIT
For wealth growth and employment rates to be genuinely impacted by the CCEI, the economic circuit must be large enough to encompass that communitiy’s population of unemployed. To that end we will continue contributing the $1 to $2 every two weeks for deposit into the CCEI Fund. The Community will again come together to determine which Sympathetic Support Venture would be the most effective to include in the CCEI in the next 6-month aquisition period. Once determined, and we have contributed for that entire 6-month period, we purchase our Sympathetic Support Venture*, let’s say a bakery in this case. The CCEI grocery store will purchase its baked goods inventory exclusively from the CCEI bakery. Again the bakery will hire only People from our community who are unemployed.
Again, we repeat the process. In the next six-month period we purchase a second Sympathetic Support Venture, let’s say an organic grain and produce farm, which again hires only those from our community who are unemployed. Grain, flour and produce inventories for the bakery and grocery store will be purchased from our farm – all of these ventures buying and selling to one another while servicing the broader community which owns them.
Again, we repeat the process in the next six months, this time aquiring a small cannery and packaging factory to begin offering our own canned foods and packed goods from both our farm and bakery to our grocer – and on to other consumers. Again, we hire only those from our community who are unemployed. As this proceeds with each expansion of the economic circuit, the local unemployment rate drops, the CCEI Fund grows and the amount of dividend checks paid to CCEI registrants rises, until eventually that community reaches 100% employment, with a secondary revenue stream directly linked to their own consumer choices and labor.
As the prosperity of our collectively owned buisnesses grows, we will reach complete community economic interconnection and social empowerment for the People and their community. CCEI dividend checks may begin as small as .30ct, or .40ct, yet in 13 months could be $30 or $40. The CCEI Fund can than turn its attention to establising a local credit union, where the community can invest in its own interests to promote community prosperity and meet human needs. Here People from the community and Movement can get micro-loans, home and auto financing and standard banking services.
In this way, our communities can become entirely independent of the standard competitive capitalist economy through simply working together, cooperative economies and equalitarian distribution of wealth and ownership. We alter our mode of production from capitalist competition to collective cooperation, and thereby begin to de-link from the unequal socio-economic relationships inherent in U.S. economics as our own autonomous infrastructure emerges. Incarceration, recidivism and crime rates will diminish drasticly as the basis of crime-unequal distribution of wealth, access and opportunity-is itself diminished in our communities. Economic stability and prosperity are the surest ways to ensure our communities are no longer hunting grounds for police and law enforcement to fill the insatiable greed of the Prison Industrial Slave Complex.
All CCEI dividend adjustments will be distributed equally amongst everyone in the CCEI registry, regardless of your contribution level or specialized knowledge, So long as you have contributed to the CCEI, you’ll recieve an equal share of dividends.
Once a full community economic circuit is closed and functional, it can be joined to others in the region, providing an independent socio-economic network, an autonomous infrastructure which truly serves and empowers US. We need only touch the capitalist economy where our own innovation and enterprises fail to meet our needs. Which means we must be always innovating, always thinking. We must work closely with local Sustainable Agricultural Communes (SACs) and New Afrikan Math and Science Center Initiatives (M&SCI’s) to maximize our capacity for self-sufficiency. In truth, the only limitations to the CCEIs ability to meet our needs is our community’s ability to work together and our own imaginations.
By means of the CCEI we can demonstrate that collective ownership and cooperation serves the interests of our communities where the current system has not, and can not. In so doing we establish true transfer culture from which substantive change in the nature and structure of our relationship to U.S. society can be realized.
We hope you will join us in this historic change.
The CCEI is part of the Amend The 13th – Autonomic Infrastructure Mission (A13-AIM)
Closed Circuit Economic Initiative as a flyer (PDF)