Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Peace be with you,
In an effort to avoid being called Scrooge this year I gave the entire "Space Beagle" staff a few days off to celebrate Christmas so we haven't posted anything for a few days. However, since this is an open-minded blog (as long as you don't want to increase taxes!!!) with a diverse work force every holiday is being celebrated here -- Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and of course Festivus. Space Beagle did not send "Seasons Greetings" cards this year in lieu of a contribution to the Human Fund in your name http://www.msgr.ca/msgr-2/festivus%2005.htm :)
Of all these holidays it is Kwanzaa (created in 1966 in response to the Watts area riots in Los Angeles, California) that catches my interest this year from an economic policy standpoint based on its seven (7) core principles:
1. UMOJA (oo-M)-jah)-Unity. We help each other.
2. KUJICHAGULIA (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah)-Self determination.We decide things for ourselves.
3. UJIMA (00-JEE-mah)-Collective work and responsibility.We work together to make life better.
4. UJAMMA (oo-JEE-mah)-Cooperative economics. We build andSupport our own businesses.
5. NIA (NEE-ah)-Purpose. We have a reason for living.
6. KUUMBA (koo-OOM-bah)- Creativity. We use our minds and hands to make things.
7. IMANI (ee-MAH-nee)-Faith. We believe in ourselves, our ancestors, and our future.
Please consider the principle of "Ujima" for a moment with its focus on "collective work" which is not really defined in the sources I have seen so let me offer this cautionary note. The economic model of "collective work" is a misnomer because it simply does not "work" based on the collective farms I experienced in the Soviet Union during my trip there in 1986. The only thing the Soviets did collectively was to stand in line waiting to buy whatever the central planners approved for production that year. As the old Soviet joke goes -- "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us........." For all those celebrants of Kwanzaa let me encourage you look to this free market publication for inspiration -- http://www.africanexecutive.com - instead of via the principle of "Ujima".