The 5P5C ($5 Plus 5 Campaign) is exciting and unique in many ways - for example, it is probably the only campaign that commits to:
Not soliciting additional monetary support from you in the future,
Refunding your contribution, or converting it to tangible benefits, and
Benefiting you directly.
The campaign's primary objective is to challenge you to do 2 specific things TODAY:
Personally invite 5 people (family members, friends, colleagues, etc)
Please note that $5 is just a suggested minimum; we will accept contributions below that amount.
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance" (James Madison)
"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world" (Howard Zinn)
"I see lots of funny men; some will rob you with a Six gun, and some with a fountain pen" (Woody Guthrie)
"...an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism ...never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy" (Matt Taibbi)
More than anything else, the 5P5C is focused on information, education & opportunity - especially on things hiding in plain sight.
Imagine for a minute that we all lived in a world where:
Air & automobile travel was only limited to the wealthiest 0.5% (or less) of the population - everyone else was restricted to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles or good old feet OR
The best health care facilities, treatments & experts were only available to the wealthiest 0.5% (or less) - everyone else could choose from herbal family remedies & native doctors OR
Academic (school system) type education was restricted to the wealthiest 0.5% (or less) and their families - everyone else was 'frozen out'
We already live in that world! Not as it relates to travel, health care or education - because those are very visible and/or tangible products & services, the discrimination would be very obvious. For example, do you have access to this Sort of Free Whole Life (Permanent) Insurance Product - No Cash (Premium) Payments, Tax Free Cash Income?
As it relates to DIRT (Debt, Inflation, Retirement/Tertiary Education Savings, Taxes) - it's as if there are 2 completely distinct worlds (countries, states, provinces, municipalities). One world for a tiny privileged few (<0.5%), the other world for everyone else - however highly compensated (including doctors, dentists, lawyers, small business owners, etc).
The genius of this arrangement is that everyone (outside the privileged <0.5%), incorrectly, assumes that we all (100%) are playing by the same rules. How is this possible?
The DIRT components - Debt, Inflation, Retirement/Tertiary Education Savings, Taxes - lend themselves to a 'divide & conquer' strategy in ways that travel, education & health care do not.
You have an idea of your neighbor's options with respect to health care, education & travel; contrast that with any of the DIRT items (to a large extent, you enjoy your privileges and bear your pains/losses quietly).
If Mitt Romney hadn't been a presidential candidate in the 2012 US elections, many people would refuse to believe that it is possible to:
Make as much as US$20 Million per annum with an effective (US) Federal tax rate of <15% - a medical doctor or corporate executive making US$0.5 Million per annum would pay ~30%. Newt Gingrich was closer to the 31% mark on US$3 Million+
Have preliminary AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) of ~US$20.9 Million with estimated Federal tax of ~US$3.2 Million for [Romney's] 2011 tax year reduced to final AGI of ~US$13.7 Million & Federal tax bill of ~US$1.9 Million. Such (tax gymnastic) opportunities are not available to at least 99.5% of the population.
The 5P5C is therefore focused on:
Showing the victims of the ruling elite (<0.5%) the various ways in which they are being ripped off AND
Providing real solutions as well as real alternatives
The 5P5C starts from the premise that:
As much as possible - in matters that affect us - we prefer to have real choices; and we don't like discrimination.
As it relates to 4 important issues that affect us all - DIRT (Debt, Inflation, Retirement/Education Savings & Taxes) - ~99.5%+ have no real choices.
No one wants to be permanently condemned to a 'second class' status (e.g. paying higher taxes that come due immediately, while others [i.e. a privileged few] pay no taxes or lower taxes on a deferred basis). We want a level playing field for ALL.
It is now very likely that (at least for ~99.5%+ of the population) you can play by the rules and lose. Meaning your job can be taken from you, your pension stolen, or retirement savings ripped off; your home equity can be decimated even as you pay to bail out the criminals responsible, your house can be wrongfully foreclosed without restitution, and so on - we think you deserve options (rather than condemnation to permanent [economic] insecurity).
You want your kids to attend the best universities available without incurring 5 - 6 digit student loans ($10,000 - $100,000+)
You want your efforts to have residual value - that will yield maximum benefits to your kids. Jobs don't do that, DIRT (see Point #1 above) items don't do that - only the tools & structures currently reserved for billionaires can help you pass on most of the rewards of your lifetime of labor to your kids. The 5P5C is about giving everyone access to those tools & structures.
Due to no fault (or shortcoming) of yours, every day, someone is actively working overtime to automate and/or outsource and/or offshore and/or privatize your job (or means of livelihood). Such people are also using your tax dollars to facilitate their objective (of undermining your best long-term economic interests) - the profits will accrue to them, the losses to you.
In theory, every one has a vote in the political process - in practice, a tiny elite decide what the political parties are allowed to offer as choices. So, over the long haul, voters have never had any real control of the political process - their elected representatives feel more accountable to the owners and/or controllers of the largest corporations. The 5P5C is about giving people in the bottom 99.5%+ some measure of real control over matters that affect them - via co-operative [through MOPEC] ownership & control of large corporations.
The only recourse that people in the bottom 99.5% have is in the political system where there is a semblance of universal accountability through votes. Unfortunately, the economic system (i.e. through the largest corporations) controls the political process and it [i.e. the economic system] is not democratic - but controlled by existing organized capital (the wealthiest <0.5%). The 5P5C - by organizing the capital of the bottom 99.5% on a large scale, seeks to bring about some measure of recourse, control and accountability on behalf of the bottom 99.5%+
If a criminal breaks into your house to rob you of personal items (electronics, jewelry, etc), there is insurance protection and the criminal if caught, will likely go to prison - your typical [insurable] loss usually ranges from $5,000 - $50,000. On the other hand, if someone among the privileged elite robs you of your retirement savings (e.g. remember Enron employees), blows up your home equity (Wall Street driven subprime mortgage fraud) or outrightly steals your earned benefits through cuts to social security, medicare & similar programs - there is no insurance coverage, no punishment for the perpetrators (who therefore repeat similar heists with impunity), and you will be called upon to pay the perpetrator via bailouts and other subsidies. The typical [uninsurable] loss for the second type of crime ranges from $100,000 - $1,000,000+. The 5P5C is about providing some measure of real protection & recourse for the victimized 99.5%.
Every thing we all do - going to school to acquire formal, academic education, taking on student loans, getting jobs, starting small businesses, paying high taxes, buying houses with a mortgage, saving for retirement and our kids' tertiary education - constrains us to march to the drumbeat of the existing ruling elite (a.k.a. [also known as] existing organized capital). Their structures take from the bottom 99.5%+ (who have to work for a living) and give to the <0.5% that are true capitalists (i.e. make money with money - especially with large pools of other people's money e.g. bank deposits, retirement/pension savings pools, etc). For example, your pension benefits/privileges are slated for cuts even as the Wall Street [mis-]managers of those funds appropriate billions in bonuses & earnings to themselves. The ruling elite pay taxes at lower rates (or at 0% in certain cases) and have numerous opportunities to defer payment for decades. On the other hand, the same people receive billions of dollars in immediate subsidies (supposedly for 'job creation') from your tax payments - even as their activities actually destroy jobs (automation, offshoring, outsourcing, privatization, etc). You have no recourse - it's all legally codified into law (though you do not have the tools/structures to benefit from those [rigged] laws). That is the purpose of the 5P5C & MOPEC - providing access (to billionaire tools/structures/legal/tax benefits) for non-billionaires .