Reinventing Local American Corporations
By David Jungblut, Geologist
People out of work or in low level dead end jobs; local banks that served the community are for the most part gone; businesses leaving an area after they contaminated the local environment forcing taxpayers to pay for it; the Wall Street mess and global corporations no longer benefiting the American working class. Towns, townships, cities, counties, states and the country left to find solutions without money from the people who put us in this mess. Local money only a few decades ago would stay in a community and be used many times by local governments and businesses from employers to employees. Now money can enter a local bank that maybe owned by National or International Corporation and local area’s economy may not have an opportunity to use that money again. How do we fix the problems? We reinvent The Local American Corporation.
What I am proposing is that we make new Local American Corporations work on solution to local problems. This new corporations could be set up as semiprivate corporation that can have all local taxpayers owning 50% of the stock, and county, state and national government owning the rest of the stock. The corporations can become totally private and after ten to twenty years buying out the government stock. Another model that can be used and one that may be easier to establish, would be a new public authority that can be converted to public corporate ownership later. Public corporations are used throughout the country to build housing or do special projects. Why not include the local taxpayers in the corporation with stock ownership to promote communities businesses or tackle community problems.
Either model could be used by New Orleans’ where all taxpayers (not just land owners) would receive 50% of the stock equally in a new American Corporation. For example; the New Orleans’ Ninth Ward American Corporation could be formed to tackle the problem of rebuilding that area. This corporation would receive houses and other properties that have been taken over by the government and money from the oil industry for say ten years. A second Ninth Ward company can be started with oil income available for them to tackle another problem after the first goes hundred percent independent.
Why should the oil companies contribute to this new local company? According to a governmental study , up to 45 states have experienced subsidence for varying reasons and one of the stated reasons for the subsidence in the Greater New Orleans Area was the removal of petroleum by the oil industry. The report concluded in 1991 that the New Orleans area is now more acceptable to further subsidence and flooding. One could argue that this conclusion was confirmed during the flooding of New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit. Though all nationally significant energy decisions would remain with the national government some money should be received for local benefit.
Is rebuilding the Ninth Ward in New Orleans a good idea or should we go another direction? Let the people decide. The semiprivate company would be made of taxpayers from this area who would work on the best solutions for this area as a whole. The stock holders would therefore have financial reasons to see that they can work toward for the common good and not just individual benefit. The people would determine the best direction for the Ninth Ward and make recommendations to the local and state governments as to the best direction for the people, city and state as a whole.
Other areas of the country like the inner cities can decide the direction that is best for the location and the people. Where would money come from if the area was not affected by oil removal subsidence? Some communities will be deciding to allow oil companies to drill for oil or not, to place wind or solar on public property and public buildings or not; communities are making decisions that will affect how they live. Why not allocate some percentage to go to local corporations that are semiprivate to be used for the benefit of a local community? The corporation of local people and government would be in a good position to determine future problems that can come up and have solution and money available. Problems from oil include spills to land settlement issues. Solar is safe in my opinion but a lot of solar panels can have an effect on the climate, maybe for the better if we want to lower the total energy that the world must deal with. Wind power is not without problems since it deals with secondary power from the sun and takes out energy from a stream of air after the energy already heated the ground and water before it was removed for commercial use. A few windmills are a novelty but millions are an eyesore on land and ocean. Windmills may have undesirable side effects that are not fully understood at the present time. So there is some risk with any venture and the general population should receive some direct benefit since public property is used.
Other governmental property and assets can be used, like schools. Schools have professional people that can give vast amounts of knowledge to local corporations and understand the personally needs of the area. They can help to educate the unemployed and develop a local work force that can be trained for local jobs in the local corporation as needed. Other newly owned governmental assets can be used for the benefit of local corporations. For example, government buyout corporations like AIG could be used for insurance needs and can supply technical helps of the young and new Local American Corporations at reduced rates, since we are all part owners in the bailout corporations.
The people are paying; the government is planning to give away public land for corporation use. Why not local corporations? When we needed water, sewer and electric it was local corporations and local banking that did the job. Now that we need to rebuild a city or decide the direction of the town, it should be local corporations that “we the people” can control and work with for the better United States.
 Mitigating Losses from Land Subsidence in the United States (1991), by Sinclair, W. C. and J. W. Stewart http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=1796