The Change We Need: DIY on a Civic Scale

I’ve been working a lot lately to imagine what Government 2.0 might look like. One of the most inspiring and thought-provoking stories I’ve read recently might not look like a Gov 2.0 story, but it is: Island DIY: Kauai residents don’t wait for state to repair road.

Their livelihood was being threatened, and they were tired of waiting for government help, so business owners and residents on Hawaii’s Kauai island pulled together and completed a $4 million repair job to a state park — for free.

We’ve gotten used to what Frank DiGiammarino of the National Academy of Public Administration recently called “vending machine government” – the idea that we put in our taxes and fees, and get out services: $28 for a driver’s license, $1 million for a mile of interstate highway, $1 Trillion for a war or a financial rescue.

In fact, governments, like corporations, are vehicles for collective action. We pay a government, or a business, because it’s an efficient way to tackle projects that are larger than a single person or group of friends can take on. But let’s not forget that we ourselves are the raw material of collective action.

Traditional communities still remember how to do a barn raising. Those of us who spend our time on the internet celebrate wikipedia, but most of us have forgotten how to do crowdsourcing in the physical world.

The internet provides new vehicles for collective action. A lot of people pay attention when social media is used to organize a protest (as with the recent twitter-fueled protests in Moldova.) But we need to remember that we can organize to do work, as well as to protest!

Especially striking in the story are the cost and time-savings:

“It would not have been open this summer, and it probably wouldn’t be open next summer,” said Bruce Pleas, a local surfer who helped organize the volunteers. “They said it would probably take two years. And with the way they are cutting funds, we felt like they’d never get the money to fix it.”

And if the repairs weren’t made, some business owners faced the possibility of having to shut down….

So Slack [owner of a kayak tour business in the park], other business owners and residents made the decision not to sit on their hands and wait for state money that many expected would never come. Instead, they pulled together machinery and manpower and hit the ground running March 23.

And after only eight days, all of the repairs were done, Pleas said. It was a shockingly quick fix to a problem that may have taken much longer if they waited for state money to funnel in….

“We can wait around for the state or federal government to make this move, or we can go out and do our part,” Slack said. “Just like everyone’s sitting around waiting for a stimulus check, we were waiting for this but decided we couldn’t wait anymore.”

Now, I’m not saying that we can crowdsource ourselves out of the financial meltdown, at least not easily. The financial engines of the world are powerful and complex, and were starved of fuel. Maybe we needed some of the big government interventions we’ve seen in the past few months. But let’s not let them blind us to our own capacity to solve the problems before us.

Now is the time for a renewal of our commitment to make our own institutions, our own communities, and our own difference. There’s a kind of passivity even to our activism: we think that all we can do is to protest. Collective action has come to mean collective complaint. Or at most, a collective effort to raise money.

What the rebuilding of the washed out road in Polihale State Park teaches us is that we can do more than that. We can apply the DIY spirit on a civic scale.

Aneesh Chopra, the Secretary for Technology of the Commonwealth of Virginia, recently told me why he liked the term “commonwealth” better than “state”: commonwealth emphasizes the value that we create by coming together. Technology provides us with new ways to coordinate, new ways to govern and to regulate, but we should never forget that these are merely means. The end is a better society. And that starts with us.

We need to rediscover government as an enabler, not a solution provider; as a platform for our own innovation, a lever for our own work, not as the deus ex machina that we’ve paid to do for us what we could be doing for ourselves.

If you know of other great civic DIY stories, let me know. I want to feature technology in my Government 2.0 activism, but I also want to feature the simple DIY spirit.

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  • http://lebleu.org Guillaume Lebleu

    A great story of civic DIY is the work of Michael Linton with Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) and Open Money (http://openmoney.org), which started in the 80s and allowed people to continue to trade and create wealth despite having no money of the kind our banks create.

  • http://twitter.com/timekord martin king

    Tim,

    In the corporate space I find the same behaviour – I call it “learned helplessness”.

    We are now far enough into the 21st century to be able to look back historically and see a generalised late 20th century large scale industrial culture of centralisation & consumerism.

    I’m hoping that we will see new 21st century behaviours based on collaboration and DIY – think global and act local.

  • http://presilience.org Cliff Figallo

    Damn f-ing straight, Tim. To the extent that we can redefine local government (my personal focus) as an enabler and open communicator, our local communities will become more able to recognize where the government’s responsibilities and capabilities end and the community’s begin. For as things continue to change on many levels, stories like the one on Kauai will become commonplace.

    Why aren’t there better collaborative portals for local government and citizens to use for planning, coordination and communication? Gov2.0 must dissolve walls and boundaries between public and public servants if we’re going to adapt at the pace of 21st century change.

  • Marty Schoffstall

    I live in work in a barn raising community (near Lancaster, PA), my grandparents generation spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, and some of this does happen. But it is encultured, and that takes time, and leadership is required, and quite frankly commutarian, humble leadership works best.

    I teach “stuff”, and it is ultimately more effective for me to go into a community and teach a class in the kitchen of a church with a concrete floor, and then go and pickup the trash for a community event, then to write a memo.

    As our non-consumer future unfolds (a non-Obama vision one, and hopefully not a James Kuntsler predicted one), I’ve been in dialog with commutarian co-leadership as to what “essential services” are we going to provide this year that we haven’t in the past.

    And I agree – at the local level – which is all I have the belief in at this moment.

  • http://dangreenblatt.com/blog Dan Greenblatt

    I think that the comparison to large corporations is an excellent one. Outdated tools, broken processes, and legacy systems which just just don’t make sense any more given the direction the world is moving. Unfortunately, there’s no capitalistic notion of survival of the fittest within our government, at least by any definition of fit which best serves the population.

    DIYcity (http://www.diycity.org) is a great example of a organization that, like the residents of Kauai, is solving real problems with a volunteer workforce, albeit digitally. By leveraging open data sources and publicly available APIs, we’re building free solutions which address problems that governments spend gobs of money to fix. It’s rooted in the notion that the residents of a city are empowered with all the tools and data they need to make their city healthier, more efficient and overall better places to live.

  • http://stephaniegerson.weebly.com stephanie gerson

    “Those of us who spend our time on the internet celebrate wikipedia, but most of us have forgotten how to do crowdsourcing in the physical world.”

    hmmm…..how about the increasing emergence of alternate reality/collaborative production/community games? (clearly, we lack a language with which to talk about these phenomena, but that’s another story.) perhaps the initial orientation was towards entertainment and art, but it’s broadening to encompass community service and civic action. SF0, improv everywhere, and Learning To Love You More come to mind, but more explicitly oriented towards civic DIYness (which I know you know about) is Citizen Logistics’ Groundcrew:

    http://groundcrew.us/

    and then there’s one of my personal favorites, Carrotmob, which is explicitly oriented towards consumer governance:

    http://carrotmob.org/

    I look forward to reading your synthesis!

  • http://blog.marialavis.com Maria Lavis

    Tim, great piece, and I have some great DIY stories I can dig up for you.

    This idea harkens back to the “it takes a village” spririt. Industrialization and city living, although it brings people together, can often be alienating, and finding community, and forming community action can be a challenge for many in this societal structure. Governments help to do that, but there is only so much they can do.

    I think social media can go far to help bring people of like minds together, and be a spring board for the kind of action you speak of. For sure. It’s a great idea, an even greater one to develop.

  • Brett

    I’ve always been a proponent of Anarchy – not the mad, lawless destructive kind that everyone thinks of, but the real political movement that believes ,given the right circumstances, people can govern themselves: working together when the need arises, leaving well alone when required, and settling differences in the interests of all parties concerned.
    We’re still not personally cultivated enough for it though, but the story cited certainly appeals to me.
    Just as ‘jobbing’ is slowly disappearing, so too will large, unwieldy government. We’ve needed government to manage these huge tasks for us, but technology is allowing us a view into, and involvement in these tasks.

  • Falafulu Fisi

    Tim, you’re a fan of wealth distribution, socialism and big government, aren’t you? It means that you’re a state-worshiper.

    President Reagan once said:

    Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.

    This is true for all time. Private industries can solve the problems if left alone by the government and not try to micromanage them via legislation, everywhere.

    Tim said…
    In fact, governments, like corporations, are vehicles for collective action.

    I would say, that government is a vehicle for legalized coercion. People don’t have a say on how much they would like to pay tax for. They’re being dictated by the state of how much they should pay. The state says to its citizens regarding paying taxes, comply or else.

    Tim said…
    We pay a government, or a business, because it’s an efficient way to tackle projects that are larger than a single person or group of friends can take on.

    As I stated above, that private industries will do it better if left alone by the government.

    May, you should find the following sites Tim, which are very useful in confirming in what President Reagan had said, that the government is not the solution to our problems, but government is the problem:

    - Cato Institute

    - Mises Institute

    - Ayn Rand Center

    I hope you enjoy reading some of the materials from those sites, which promote the adoption of reason, personal responsibility and individual rights.

  • Martin Haeberli

    Tim,

    Thanks for this post. I saw Dewayne Hendricks’ post today re the tent city in Sacramento being razed, and thought about the question of whether or not, in the alternative, the people there could not be given the opportunity to homestead and build their own houses, with some help and guidance – one would need land, and materials, but the residents of the tent city certainly appear to have plenty of time on their hands.

    Of course, such a project might also threaten the current interests of homebuilders, etc, but it seems like a better solution than just “don’t live here, find someplace else”.

    Kind of like “Habitat for Humanity” for the homeless…

    Best,

    Martin

  • http://twitter.com/ernieyacub ernie yacub

    As mentioned by Guillaume Lebleu above, community currencies like LETS are DIY money. These recirculating mutual credit currencies on an open money platform are a systems approach to barn raising and in their recirculation, create common wealth.

  • http://connecteur.blogspirit.com Marc Tirel

    As mentioned by Ernie Yacub & Guillaume Lebleu the DIY “Currencies” is about to emerge on a worldwidescale.
    An example : The future of money: DIY Currencies: the Craigbucks http://tinyurl.com/c9ahj2

  • http://www.slowblogger.com hyokon

    “There’s a kind of passivity even to our activism.” What a great phrase!

    Thank you for the great story. This is what we need in Korea as well.

  • http://dwaynephillips.net Dwayne Phillips

    Will the local government now refund the $4M in taxes? Seems only right to me.

  • http://www.1x57.com Amy Senger

    This is a great post, Tim. The DIY ethos is one that should be embraced. Sometimes I think it’s easier for folks who don’t work for the gov’t to drive change, as legal restrictions seem to fetter those who try to be change agents, both inside and outside their organizations. The Civic 2.0 model offers a powerful vehicle for collective action, perhaps more so when coupled or done in concert with the efforts of those within gov’t organizations.

  • raivo pommer-www.google.ee

    raivo pommer-www.google.ee
    raimo1@hot.ee

    London bankkrieg

    Erst wurde der Bonus gestrichen, dann die Stelle des Ehemanns. Der Wert des Aktienvermögens ist geschrumpft und der Wert des Hauses in London um 20 Prozent gefallen. Was die Ferienvilla im Süden noch wert ist, will Laura lieber nicht wissen. „Sparen ist angesagt. Es müssen so viele Leute haushalten, dass Sparen jetzt cool ist“, meint Laura trocken, um dem Finanzdesaster der Familie etwas Positives abzugewinnen. Sie übt neue Bescheidenheit und hat die Einladungen für ihre Geburtstagsparty auf dem Computer selbst getippt.

    Nicht jeder kann oder will sich auf die „neue Armut“ in der Londoner City so einstellen wie Laura. „Hätte ich früher gewusst, wie dramatisch schnell sich die Welt ändern kann, hätte ich das Geld nie so leichtfertig ausgegeben“, sagt Nancy mit Reue. Ihre Ehe wurde auf dem Höhepunkt der Hausse vor der Finanzkrise geschieden. Ihr wurden die Hälfte des Vermögens, Ehegattenunterhalt und Zahlungen für die Kinder zugesprochen. Doch ihr Ex-Mann steht angesichts der Finanzkrise vor einem Scherbenhaufen mit Jobverlust und Vermögenseinbußen. Er kann und will den vereinbarten Unterhalt seiner ehemaligen Frau nicht mehr zahlen.

  • http://www.zonegrippeaviaire.com Lyne Robichaud

    I really enjoyed your post about the civic spirit of DIY.

    Zonegrippeaviaire.com, based in Quebec, Canada, is a DIY story (I suppose in French we would say «Débrouille-toi-tout-seul».

    This site, run by common citizens, provides open information about pandemic surveillance.

    Quebec Government hired the firm BCP – among several projects – to set up a secret ‘Pandemic Watch Portal’, only accessible to 20 officials from Health and Human Services (ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec). BCP received up to $725,000/year since 2005.

    This information was revealed to the public in May 2008, when reporter Denis Lessard from La Presse investigated (via the Access to Information Act) about Quebec’s bird flu surveillance activities. (Here is an English translation of this article : http://tinyurl.com/dffuab.)

    The president of BCP, John Parisella, is also the actual communication consellor of Prime Minister of Quebec, Jean Charest.

    DIY Zonegrippeaviaire.com translates bird flu and pandemic preparedness breaking news in French and blogs about these issues. The community of practice feeding the site Zonegrippeaviaire generates an average of 50 posts per day. The official gov site Pandémie Québec (http://www.pandemiequebec.ca/fr/actualites/actualites.aspx) publishes less than 12 news per year.

    Quebec Governement rejected DIY Zonegrippeaviaire in June 2008. Officials said social media are ‘not credible and not mature enough’. This decision is based on a document (written by Services Québec), entitled «Les médias sociaux et la communication du risque» (Social media and risk communication). This document was not published by the government. It was obtained via the Access to Information Act: http://tinyurl.com/9fd6p4

    This document concludes: Invest little time and money, and wait untill social media achieve both greater maturity and credibility.

    And exactly when that will be?

    In the meantime, Quebecois newspapers propagate the media myth of the immature citizen (http://bit.ly/SXDe). [Translation] ‘Sure thing, it’s not tomorrow that we will see bloggors from Quebec play the role of citizen-reporters writing novel news, and being invited to press conferences, as it is the case in Europe and in United States. I think the model of citizen-media is not here.’

    And why exactly is that so?

    I don’t believe that Quebecois citizens are more immature than any other citizens of the world. There are several excellent political bloggors in Quebec, and I think they are doing a great job as citizen-reporter. As my collegue bloggor Crawford Kilian (Crof’s blog) mentioned last week: Being an active member of the Flublogian community of practice is a “tough job, probably beyond the capacity of a single individual.”

    http://lynerobichaud.blogspot.com/
    http://www.zonegrippeaviaire.com
    http://twitter.com/Lyne_Robichaud

  • http://www.collabforge.com Darren Sharp

    In Australia we’re doing some interesting things with collaborative tools like wikis to help governments in local planning, stakeholder engagement and community consultation. In 2008 the City of Melbourne launched the Future Melbourne Wiki as a means to get the public to collaboratively draft the city’s future strategic plan. The project was the first of it’s kind in the world and provides evidence of government acting in the capacity of citizen enabler as you describe.

  • http://www.johnturmel.com KingofthePaupers

    ” the DIY “Currencies” is about to emerge on a worldwidescale. An example : The future of money: DIY Currencies: the Craigbucks http://tinyurl.com/c9ahj2

    Jct: Best of all, when the local currency is pegged to the Time Standard of Money (how many dollars/hour child labor) Hours earned locally can be intertraded with other timebanks globally!
    In 1999, I paid for 39/40 nights in Europe with an IOU for a night back in Canada worth 5 Hours.
    U.N. Millennium Declaration UNILETS Resolution C6 to governments is for a time-based currency to restructure the global financial architecture.
    See my banking systems engineering analysis at http://youtube.com/kingofthepaupers with an index of articles at http://johnturmel.com/kotp.htm

  • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

    Dwayne -

    The whole point was that the government didn’t have the money. So refunding the $4 million that this was supposed to cost doesn’t make sense.

    What does make sense is figuring out more things that the government doesn’t seem to get around to that we can do for ourselves.

    I find the libertarian contingent to be chief among the culture of complaint. Stop big government, you say. Yet you’re not solving the problems that you say we don’t need government for.

    When I see a libertarian uprising fixing roads, home-schooling children, picking up the garbage and recycling, replacing streetlights, etc., I’ll be ready for the end of government.

    There’s no question that government is inefficient and often ineffective. But the same is true of much private enterprise.

    Pope John Paul II had some great advice (at least I’ve seen it attributed to him): “See everything. Ignore a lot. Improve a little.”

    These folks in Hawaii went out and fixed a problem that mattered to them. What big problem are you tackling right now?

    Me? I’m trying to bring the best practices of lightweight application development, open source, open data, and open innovation, social media and Web 2.0 to government, to make it more effective and responsive.

    I’m also generating my own power, growing my own vegetables, riding my bike rather than my car whenever I can, and supporting other people who are doing good things for our society. That includes not just support for non-profits, but investments in companies that can help make this a better world.

    I do believe in private enterprise as a great force for good. But it can also be a force for evil, as we’ve seen in the events leading up to the financial meltdown. Absent government, we don’t see John Galt, we see the warlords of Somalia and Wall Street.

  • http://ccmag.net Mark Herpel

    Excellent Article.

    Mark

  • bowerbird

    instead of organizing ourselves to do the jobs that
    our government _should_ be doing but is _not_,
    how about we organize to get a new government?

    how about we organize to throw the bums out?

    how about we organize to get rid of those bankers
    who just robbed the public treasury of $700 billion?

    because, in the absence of some kind of control,
    the resources that we contribute as do-it-yourself
    will just be drained off by the thieves in the system.

    i’m sure _that_ is not what you want.

    but look at what happened recently with _pacer_.

    when we decided to take things into our own hands,
    the people who were supposed to be doing it _for_ us
    actually ripped away our ability to “do it ourselves”…

    likewise, i’m sure if i went and started planting some
    flowers in the park down the street, i would be stopped.

    and what good would it do me to scan an orphan book
    when i would just be _prosecuted_ for putting it online,
    whereas rich-kid google can actually make money by
    selling it to me? where is the justice in _that_ system?

    bottom-line, there’s far too much _corruption_ in our
    systems to ask anyone to donate any energy to them.

    we must clean the leeches out of the woodwork first.

    -bowerbird

  • S. Longino

    Bowerbird; I don’t know where you live, but in seven cities that I’ve lived in, private citizens planted flower beds in public parks.A woman in my neighborhood took it upon herself to break out the ruined asphalt covering a street island and transformed it into a showcase for native plants. The city gave her recognition for doing it.

    In Los Angeles several years ago, an artist repainted a freeway sign to make it more understandable. When the reporters asked DOT if they were going to prosecute, they said; “No, we’re going to thank him.”

    It’s like refusing to do the dishes in the sink because your house needs painting. Yes, we must change our government, but we can’t put everything else on hold until that happens. better learn how to multi-task!

  • bowerbird

    s. longino, what about _pacer_?

    do you know what happened there?

    -bowerbird

  • raivo pommer

    raivo pommer-www.google.ee
    raimo1@hot.ee

    BA BANK KRITIK

    Die Bank of America hatte sich im vergangenen Herbst am Blitzkauf der Investmentbank Merrill Lynch verhoben. Im Zuge der Finanzkrise hatte sie zuvor bereits die Hypothekenfirma Countrywide übernommen, die als mitverantwortlich für die Kreditkrise gilt. Der Staat griff der Bank bisher mit allein 45 Milliarden Dollar an direkten Hilfen unter die Arme.

    Merrill Lynch habe im ersten Quartal ohne Berücksichtigung von Kosten der Übernahme zum Gewinn 3,7 Milliarden Dollar beigetragen, so die Bank. Die Erlöse verdoppelten sich zum Jahresauftakt auf rund 36 Milliarden Dollar, die Vorjahreszahlen beinhalteten aber Merrill Lynch und Countrywide noch nicht und sind daher kaum vergleichbar.

    In den vergangenen Tagen hatten unter anderem J.P. Morgan Chase und Goldman Sachs Milliardengewinne vorgelegt. Selbst die zu den größten Krisenverlierern zählende Citigroup hatte ihr Ergebnis klar verbessert und vor Dividendenzahlungen sogar wieder schwarzen Zahlen geschrieben. Analysten warnen trotz des positiven Trends jedoch, dass eine endgültige Erholung der Finanzbranche noch nicht sicher sei.

  • http://twitter.com/earthintelnet JZ

    I look forward to seeing more of these types of stories.

    My conceptual contributions related to this have been a 2004/2005 proposal called “Re-configuring the Global Organisms’ Operating System Through Mobile Democracy” (http://tr.im/i6V5).

    Other related idea presentations:
    http://tr.im/irBF
    http://tr.im/irBA
    http://smart-city.re-configure.org

    Jason Liszkiewicz
    Executive Director, Earth Intelligence Network (501c3)
    http://www.earth-intelligence.net
    http://twitter.com/earthintelnet
    http://re-configure.org
    CyberScout HyperLink Table 2007-2009 = http://tr.im/jg3Z
    http://link-bomb.re-configure.org

  • http://twitter.com/emjayess matt j. sorenson

    This spring’s flood fight in Fargo/Moorhead & the Red River Valley is a pretty good example of citizen/volunteer action (heard ’round the world)

  • Frank Ch. Eigler

    Tim, how do you resolve the tension you are
    probably feeling at having promoted governmental
    solutions to problems earlier, but now seeing
    the charmed light of self-reliant solutions to
    analogous problems?

  • http://tim.oreilly.com/ Tim O'Reilly

    Frank -

    I’ve been promoting the same thing all along: that we need to figure out how to make government more effective. A key part of that, for me, is how it acts as an enabler rather than an end-to-end solution provider.

    There is a cadre of narrow thinkers who seem to believe that you’re either for government or against it.

    I believe that government is one way that we as a society work together on common goals that would otherwise be unserved. That being said, I also believe that government, like any large organization, needs to be shaken up from time to time.

    Fortunately, we have a new administration that seems to think the same way.

    I don’t agree with everything they are doing, but I do believe they know that government needs to be reinvented, and that technology can help. I do too.

    There’s a huge amount that government can learn from open source, Web 2.0, and DIY. It’s not just using the products of these movements (though that’s also helpful) but also learning from their best practices.

  • von raivo pommer

    raivo pommer-www.google.ee
    raimo1@hot.ee

    SLOW- MOTION

    Federal regulators on Friday will privately begin telling the 19 largest US financial institutions how well they performed in stress
    tests to assess their soundness.

    Regulators trying to stabilize the financial system also will release the test methodology they used, which could provide clues about which banks may be in trouble – but also could could unwittingly roil the industry.

    The results of the stress tests won’t be publicly released until May 4.

    The slow-motion rollout is intended to blunt market reaction to the news of which banks are healthy, which ones could fail if the recession worsens and which need more money to survive.

    News reports, including a confidential outline of the tests first reported by The Associated Press this week, have led analysts to start handicapping which banks could fail. The speculation will intensify with Friday’s release of the test methodology.

    I’m worried about the overreaction – people selling every bank short and pulling out all their deposits and hiding their money in the mattress,” said Scott Talbott, a lobbyist with the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents the biggest financial firms.

    Regulators are striving to release enough information about the stress tests to inspire confidence. But they don’t want to give analysts so much detail that they can run their own tests on the banks before the official release of results.

  • raivo pommer

    raivo pommer-www.google.ee

    raimo1@hot.ee

    FINANZSKANDALE

    Im Dezember 2005 befreite der amerikanische Finanzinvestor Lone Star die deutschen Gewerkschaften von einer zu groß gewordenen Last: der Allgemeinen Hypothekenbank Rheinboden (AHBR). Die Beteiligungsgesellschaft der Gewerkschaften (BGAG) musste einen „negativen Kaufpreis“ von fast 900 Millionen Euro zahlen. Ohne diese Mitgift hätte die „Heuschrecke“ Lone Star die marode AHBR nicht übernommen. Die Zinsschieflage der AHBR hatte seit dem Jahr 2002 Stützungsmaßnahmen über mehrere Milliarden Euro erfordert, die größtenteils aus den Gewerkschaftskassen geleistet werden mussten.

    Dem Verkauf der Hypothekenbank ging die Veräußerung der Bausparkasse BHW an die Postbank im Herbst 2005 voraus. Die BGAG und der Beamtenbund verkauften ihre BHW-Pakete von 39 beziehungsweise 36 Prozent an das Bonner Institut. Das BHW hatte bis dahin die unternehmerische Führung bei der AHBR inne und diese auch konsolidiert. Mit diesen Veräußerungen schlossen die deutschen Gewerkschaften ihr Kapitel der Gemeinwirtschaft ab. Bereits in den achtziger Jahren kam es zu gefährlichen Zusammenbrüchen beim Wohnungsbauunternehmen Neue Heimat oder der Einzelhandelskette Coop. Doch das Ende der Gemeinwirtschaft – der Gewerkschaftskonzern BGAG galt zeitweise mit mehr als 80.000 Mitarbeitern als eine der größten Wirtschaftseinheiten Deutschlands – besiegelte die Zinsschieflage der AHBR.

  • Fin

    I too give praise to the Hawaiians that repaired the roadway into their state park. I am waiting for the State of Hawaii to ride in on high horses and condemn the repairs as unsafe and re-close the park. They can’t have the citizens starting to do things for themselves. No, Officials were elected to do these things and only they have the knowledge, resource and skills to spend $4 million dollars on an eight day road repair.

    A corporation would have repaired the road to its factory in order to keep revenue flowing. A state should repair a road to its state park, because all those businesses relying on the park for their livehood pay taxes only when the park is open.

    This instance illistrates why I wish for minimal government. The size of a government determines the size of the mistakes that it can make. Canada has a wheat marketing board that brokers all of the wheat produced in Canada. If they make poor trades in the world commodity markets, all farmers in Canada suffer, as well as the portions of the economy supported by agriculture. No one corporation or person in the USA has the ability to corner the market and sway it so significantly as the Canadian Wheat Board does in Canada.

    My wish for Aneesh Chopra is that he convince Congress to publish online every bill and amendment introduced for concideration. How much of the TARP/bailout/stimulus legislation saw the bright light of public scrutiny prior to passage? Who had the time to read it much less data mine it before it was a done deal? Say, shouldn’t voter registration be done on-line (or by walking into a government office)? It’d cut down on the ability to ‘vote early and often’?
    Shouldn’t campaign fundraising be 100% accountable as computers can certainly handle all of the data these days.

    There are simple technology policies that aren’t cool and sexy that need to be implemented, not just having the White House able to twitter the whole country when BO has a family event.

    And start publishing Craft again, Tim. You didn’t refund the remaining amount on my subscription. Or did you have to make a tough ‘corporate’ decision with my money to protect yours?

    You’re playing in the big game now.

    Be careful with your decisions,

    Fin

  • Fin

    What a poor job of editing my previous comments! My apologies.

    A better summary of my thoughts.

    The State of Hawaii could have made an emergency repair to the road instead of looking foolish for not exploring options other than letting concerned citizens make the repairs themselves. And yes, they should reimburse those citizens, not $4 million, but certainly an appropriate amount. They performed duties delegated to the State.

    Smaller Government = fewer poor decision-makers. (it would also make poor decisions more obvious)

    Everything in government should be on-line. Campaign contributions and all.

    Libertarian and conservation ideals are not opposites. One is a governmental choice, one is a philosophical choice. Both can and should co-exist.

    My daughter liked Craft Magazine. She misses it.

    It’s a harsh world out there sometimes.

    Keep doing your best,

    Fin

  • http://groundcrew.us Joe Edelman

    Stephanie (hi!) mentioned it above:

    http://groundcrew.us

    We are ready to make these kinds of things happen. So just watch the little video on the site and give us a call!

    Guillaume, above, is an advisor. I love that our people are already all over this comment thread!

    –Joe
    CEO, Citizen Logistics
    http://Groundcrew.us

  • John Wright

    If it walks like a piggy, talks like a piggy, by golly it’s a PIGGY!

    BofA and it’s CEO Brian Moynihan reminds me of that song by John Lennon and George Harrison titled “Piggies” I invite you to listen to this song on youtube and see if it appropriately fits.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXdKlpBOvs0&feature=related

    Have you seen the little piggies
    Crawling in the dirt
    And for all the little piggies
    Life is getting worse
    Always having dirt to play around in.

    Have you seen the bigger piggies
    In their starched white shirts
    You will find the bigger piggies
    Stirring up the dirt
    Always have clean shirts to play around in.

    In their ties with all their backing
    They don’t care what goes on around
    In their eyes there’s something lacking
    What they need’s a damn good whacking.

    Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
    Living piggy lives
    You can see them out for dinner
    With their piggy wives
    Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

    Wright vs. Bank of America Lawsuit at: unitedlawgroup.com

    When I filed my lawsuit against Bank of America, myself and United Law Group thought of the many others out there in the same situation. It was then that we decided to educate the public on what these piggy banks are doing, as well as unite us all together as one voice. Please help me turn this David vs. Goliath modification process, into a Goliath vs. Goliath.

    Please stand with me and United Law Group and send an email to Bank of America that states that we will no longer tolerate their potentially illegal, fraudulent, irregular and abusive business methods.

    Divided we might have fell America, but united we must stand!

    Please send your email directly to Bank of America and include the following:

    1. Your name
    2. Your complaint concerning your experience with Bank of America.
    3. Please end your email “I support John Wright vs. BofA Lawsuit!”
    4. Please send a copy of your email to johns-wright@hotmail.com
    5. Please send your email to both BofA link below and the CEO email

    BofA Linked Email:
    https://www3.bankofamerica.com/contact/?lob=general&contact_returnto=&state=VA

    CEO Brian Moynihan:
    brian.t.moynihan@bankofamerica.com

  • Elana Leoni

    Great article Tim. I recently heard you speak about this concept at DrupalCon. It inspired me to write a blog on how this DIY spirit can be used to transform the state of our education system.

    http://www.edutopia.org/opensource-drupalcon-do-it-yourself-education

    I welcome yours and your colleagues comments.

    All the best,

    Elana
    @elanaleoni