This is from http://ic.org
.Kansas City Mutual Aid Society
Greater Kansas City Area, Kansas, Missouri, United States
(Greater Kansas City includes areas of both Kansas and Missouri)
Grahovac Mutual Aid Society
No Fee or Time Obligation to Join or Maintain Membership
What is it? -- Volunteering that can pay you back.
Corporate Attorney and Business Development Executive Paul Grahovac has led an inner-city urban farming volunteer group in Kansas City, Kansas since January, 2010. Before that, he volunteered 150 Saturdays for Habitat for Humanity. He remains a member of the Habitat Family Selection Committee.
Now, he is seeking those who want to volunteer for the gardening, house rehab, and independent-living activities listed below for the benefit of people seeking a lower-cost and more sustainable lifestyle . . .
. . . AND who also want to benefit from such volunteer group efforts on your own independent-living projects -- for your own lower-cost and more sustainable lifestyle.
For historical precedent, see Barnraising http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_raising
For similar current social phenomena, see Fellowship for Intentional Community at www.ic.org
(co-located residential cooperative groups).
See also the references to the Los Angeles Skills Pool and the Mormon Church mutual support program below.
• Urban Farming Organically-Grown Vegetables
• Cooperative Vegetable Soup Kitchen Dispensary
• Inner-city residential selection and financing information
• Joint KCMO Police Department Community Policing Program
• Residential building rehab support -- labor and information
• Wood and biomass harvesting for at-home gasification plus advice on buying and help with installing low-cost gasification systems -- providing clean-burning, renewable, off-grid, gas heating and hot water for little or no continuing cash outlay -- with the option of running a gasifier-fed generator for off-grid electricity
• Information and labor support on low-tech, low-cost solar energy options
• Access to personal and professional services pool for cash-less services -- based on the proven >15-years Los Angeles Skills Pool at www.nobarter.orgHow does it work?
It works, because it is non-taxable -- there are no agreements or obligations created. You volunteer with the risk that what you contribute may exceed what you ever receive. There is even risk that you will never receive anything. There are no rules or expectations, and so there is no one enforcing rules or managing expectations.
You volunteer out of the goodness of your heart for a cause you believe in, and you can only hope that when you seek help, some of the volunteers will pitch in for you. The only thing operating in your favor is your reputation for helping others. People tend to help those who have helped others. (continued)
It has to be this way. Otherwise, it all becomes a contract barter exchange, and the Internal Revenue Service will demand that every person pay the IRS income tax on the value of everything they have received from the group -- even though no money is exchanged.
Fortunately, we know this will work, because the Mormon Church has been doing it since The Great Depression of the 1930s to make sure their unemployed members do not go homeless and starve. They now have over 400 vegetable farms, associated canneries, and the two largest cattle ranches in America. All of it is run on volunteer labor and no one creating or receiving the wealth pays income taxes.
The Los Angeles Skills Pool has extended the idea to the full range of personal and professional services. www.nobarter.com
Paul Grahovac has paid the required fees and joined the LASP to further understand how it works. Joining includes a commitment not to divulge the administration, but suffice it to say Grahovac's Mutual Aid Society will operate on the informal basis described above rather than on the basis of a more structured administration.
If you have a service, craft, or product to contribute, please come forward. For example, Paul Grahovac offers his legal services and business expertise as well as his urban farming and construction skills on a voluntary basis as part of the Grahovac Mutual Aid Society. You can join for free at this website:www.meetup.com/Grahovacs-Army-of-Volunteers-Gardening-with-Urban-FarmersWhy are you doing this?
Although I am a successful corporate attorney, business development executive, and construction product manager, and I have never been unemployed, my father, who was a highly-skilled tool-and-die-maker for General Motors, lived in fear of unemployment all his life.
Although he was never unemployed, his years growing up in a peasant family in Croatia taught him always to be planning for the worst. I learned that by osmosis.
Now that we all have experienced the worst since The Great Depression, we all realize each of us could be homeless in a matter of months . . .
. . . And a significant part of the electorate wants to keep our government from helping us in any way.
So, we need to help ourselves. That means a low-cost house in the inner-city that we can own or be able to keep in the event of unemployment, building up our non-cash capital of work experience, and building the largest reservoir of volunteer support we can generate. Grahovac's Mutual Aid Society provides a way to achieve these goals.
Then there is retirement. Many Americans are facing an under-funded retirement, because the Great Recession ruined their retirement accounts. So, they are looking at postponing retirement or possibly never retiring until death. This effort gives them an opportunity to receive services and to contribute to whatever extent they are capable.
For the young among you, don't think improvements in the economy will save you from retirement problems. Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman recently identified the probable consequence of the ever-present anti-government sentiment in the American electorate: Termination of Social Security and Medicare for the elderly. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/opinion/24krugman.html?_r=1&src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB
If you don't know what life was like for the elderly before the enactment of Social Security and Medicare as part of the New Deal in the midst of The Great Depression of the 1930s, you need to do some research.
Social Security and Medicare are clearly socialism programs, and when the opponents of socialism come into power, you can be sure they will be seeking to eliminate Social Security and Medicare.
I think it could be done better.
I hope that many organizations such as the Grahovac Mutual Aid Society spring up. If you want to start one, I would be glad to network with you on promoting it. Also, if you want to provide input to what I am doing, I will always listen.