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Thinking Outside The (Crab)Barrel 

Steven Lemon

1 April, 2013

Speaking of misappropriation of one's own money...
I have been trying to figure out how to make some sense of why the problems we have been discussing so much have resulted in so few real solutions. I think that the main themes (or should I say excuses?) seem to be:

  1. Blacks just don't work well together because of our lack of information and experience),

  2. Blacks don't have the money it takes to execute the same programs that almost every other group routinely uses,

  3. Blacks don't invest much because we are afraid of losing the little money that we DO have,

  4. It takes a whole village to move even a few of us forward, and

  5. Blacks seem to need a leader before we can actually get much done.

    I don't subscribe to those views, even though the following statements appear to pay lip service to #5, but in deference to the thousands that do, and to also serve the interests of the handful who think as I do, I have devised the perfect (in my imperfectly reasoned opinion) project that will include both groups and more.

    I am going to unilaterally (leaders sometimes have to do that) open membership to the Greenwood Investment Club to a maximum of 1,000.

    To admit the inhabitants of Excuses, USA we will initiate the following features:
    (1) Provide tons of information to, by and for our members on a regular basis. What information? Well, that will be determined by the questions the members have.

    (2) No money? Membership in the club is now set at ONE DOLLAR AND TWENTY CENTS PER YEAR. It would cost at least THIRTY cents to send in the membership fee, so I recommend remitting a check or money order to the secretary instead of using credit cards. In any event, no funds are to be sent until at least 500 member have joined. That should give everyone a chance to save up the fee. I know some will say "What can you do with so little cash money?" and I agree, but I think once the ball starts rolling and some great project ideas are presented, some members will see the light and choose to contribute to their capital account. Besides, I tried asking for $120 per year and no takers so what have I got to lose?

    (3) The only way to lose (or gain, for that matter) money is to add money to your capital account (Not required) and have it spent on unprofitable (or profitable) projects.

    4. It may take  a village, but that village will number no more than 1,000, and decisions will be made BY the vote of "the village" (should that be "da hood"?) and every member's voting strength will be ONE VOTE plus his capital balance. Just as in the real world, decisions will be made by those with skin in the game. The more skins, the more voting power.

    5. I still don't think we need a "leader" in order for us to move forward as a group, but as I have said before intelligent people do not need leaders. PROJECTS and MISSIONS do.
    I initiated this project and until I resign or get voted out I will lead this PROJECT.
    Leadership positions will be selected by the first 125 members, and on an annual basis thereafter.

    Individuals who still need a leader or don't want to follow the one we choose are invited to ignore this message and stick with what you have that is working so well for you.

    Now, for those who, like me, don't relish the idea of 1,000 people controlling a game in which they have no skin (or ten cents worth at most):
    A. While each member will have one vote, members may add to their capital account as much or as little as they choose, with no requirement to contribute anything at all other than the original $1.20.

    Vote power will be calculated by dividing the whole dollar amount in a capital account by the price of membership (ten cents). That way a $1.20 capital account will have 12 votes and the ten centers will still have their one.

    Members will have the opportunity to change the membership fee every time a vacancy occurs or every month until membership totals 1000.

    Capital accounts will only be used to fund projects and club admin costs will be paid from membership dues. In other words, you MUST contribute to a capital account or your voting power will never rise above 12.

    Also, when it comes time to distribute profits or losses), the capital account holders will reap the benefits or suffer the losses. Eighty percent of any profits will be distributed among the capital accounts, ten percent to the membership and ten percent retained for admin expenses. This way, dues paying members won't have to worry about the fat cats misappropriating their money and the fat cats won't have to sweat the risk averse members sharing profits gained as a result of THEIR risk taking. It's a variation of "No work, no eat". Or at least some will eat burgers (hopefully steak) while others will scuffle for the table scraps.

    Everybody is happy.

    All members would still be able to decide what projects to pursue, which leaders to elect and what to do with profits, only the ones who have money invested will share the lion's share of profits and everybody else will get to see how it all comes together, even if they don't participate. The very least that will happen is that everybody learns something.

    I think it is a brilliant plan. If you are thinking this is a screwy way to do business, that is the way corporations and partnerships do it all day every day and into the night.
    I watch them through the keyhole.
    It is quite a turn on.

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