Archive for the Services, Sales or Trade Category

Trumpian Economic Report 2020

Posted in Book Reports, Cartoon Comics, Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Legal / Laws, Multimedia Communication, news, Organic Development, portraits, relationships, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2019 by Drogo

Artisan Vs. Commercial Market Selling

By Drogo Empedocles – January 2020

In a Trumpian economy most of us are forced to be beggars even when we offer work in return for money, due to an excess of labor not needed or desired by the rich. Trickle-down Reaganomics has failed us, and is still being pushed on us by Trump and all corporate politicians who sold out. We must resist falling to the attacks causing the destruction of our lives and plan to not just survive but rebuild a better world for our children.

Trump’s tax plan benefits the rich, and diminishes the middle class. The estate tax is gone now so that rich children can inherit all their parent’s wealth freely without earning it, while poor children suffer without deserving it. Personal exemptions have been removed. You can still itemize donations, but the standard deduction bar was raised with an overall .5% tax rate reduction. Those basic changes might negligibly benefit lower incomes, but average to upper middle class households are losing thousands on whole due to other changes in the tax plan.

I lost some financial support despite my working through the holidays on several projects. I won’t be able to do as much free or low-budget work with others, until i can secure more income to cover my own expenses at least. my income is only $700 a year recently, so i feel like i get by with quite a little actually. I only currently use one sound program most weeks, and focus on word (writing) programs, which have glitches between formats, but i am able to publish that way. So for over a year i have only been using two editing programs.

Most people should know that any work has a price; and so my work is for sale, as with any artist; we need means to live so we try to sell prints and originals if we can. If people do not know how to want to share money with others, i am not sure how i can help them except to remind them by bringing it up sometimes. I focus on my work more than sales, because i do it for the work not the sales. If i am asked to be more of a sales person i would not do it. i dont know if stating that i will keep doing my own work the way i want no matter what will reduce interest in investing in me or increase it long term; but i really do not see many options to sustain my career legacy. I may get some temporary side jobs like working for Census, but even if i got a huge increase in income what matters to me is what is created with what i have ultimately.

SCOD social capital has increased overall i believe, which is hard to define since it is not income based. I am close to founding a tristate network for hosting art, music, and writing events; but the design is mostly socially dependent, using properties in WV, MD, and VA. The financial components like ticket sales and payments are totally based on how many people i can get to coordinate together. we currently have several proposals still being formed, for multimedia broadcasting and sharing local events, i can pursue these negotiations without financial losses. ive felt on the verge of something big over the years, but i never know when the tipping point will come because … and this is the hard part to talk about, the complex dynamics of partnerships.

I am proud to ‘beg’ with something of quality to offer in return. When you buy my work, you support many other people; because I collaborate with and buy from other artists and friends. To anyone that thinks I am begging by being honest that I do not earn much, I argue that bragging about how good your work is and saying you have been ‘financially successful’ by taking more than you need is worse than begging because to me that could be considered just as unworthy of support. Getting money from other people is not proof of deserving money, it is simply how people pay their bills. Also I am not just begging because I offer plenty of services and products in various fields. I am simply saying why I could use more income, as opposed to those who do not need more for basic living. I have many jobs, and i do them. I tend to give things away for free and make reasonable deals to work with lower income people.  I apply to better paying jobs, but I do not get them, and when i have had them before i cannot keep them for psychological reasons, one being i cannot stand authoritarian control because i desire to fight back against bosses the same as I would with any willful cruel or ignorant jackass; but when we trade self-respect for money we suppress our resentment which can fester and build to a break-down or illness.

I will not spend time defending myself by arguing against assholes, they are not worth my time. I am too expensive for them because they cannot pay me enough to work for them, and it is easy enough to block them and delete their petty comments. Their attempts to troll me are pathetic when i can shut them down easily. It is amazing that people will ‘friend’ me only to wait for chances to attack, without ever once being kind.  These are the type of people that would tell homeless street musicians to “get a job” too.

If fees are low enough with time i can advertise more without major losses on more websites; in hopes to get at least a few sales. Social reception is usually less than enthusiastic on a whole from audiences on platforms. Amazon is the best example ive had because ive been using it for years, i struggle to get a few sales a year even when i post the links and talk about them etc. I know it is not because my books are not as good as ‘Diary of a Whimpy Kid’ or ‘Captain Underpants’ which are best sellers, it has to do with commercial control of the market at the high levels. I mean sure we could argue whose art or story sucks more, but with enough exposure anti-authoritarian subversive books like ours do well with children and ne’er-do-wellz, which are a large portion of the population.

Ironically most of the people who buy my books are part of the vanishing middle class; not the lowest or the highest earning. There are more lower middle class people so they do buy more books, compared to the few upper middle class people who are interested in my books. I have had people with large incomes talk with me for hours, and i gave them books and they still did not buy any, so spending money has more to do with personalities than wealth; which is why those with less wealth will spend more if they have an income, which creates financial flow and opportunities in an economy.

All of these opinions of observations are reasons why many of us are not satisfied with status-quo commercial politics. We want more leaders like Bernie Sanders and progressives on the right or left who can be held to account by their voters who are also the majority of their campaign financing. We cannot afford allowing corporate sell-outs to further rig our own economy, environment, and country against us.

[ see also Lucas Chancel, World Inequality Lab ]

 

PBS & NPR Corporate Funding

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Creativity / Imagination, Ethics & Morals, Multimedia Communication, news, POB Audio, POB Video, Politics, Services, Sales or Trade, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2019 by Drogo

Corporate Propaganda Influence on ‘PUBLIC’ Broadcasting

PBS is routinely threatened with significant budget cuts by Republican U.S. Congress attacks. Republicans oppose government public funding for broadcasting in favor of capitalist commercial corporate crony ownership over content. The right-wing war against journalism and documentaries labels them as ‘left-wing’ is because of their fear of public opinion. Most people (see the history of unions) have concerns that go against the grain of corporate power and pollution, so it is in corporate ownership’s interest to reduce democracy in favor of plutocracy. Environmental and peace programs threaten corporate profits, and both corporate-run neo-lib-con parties of our 2-party system will not tolerate sharing their national wealth hoarding in favor of resource desecration. [See Climate Change & Current Extinction Rate

Some members of PBS self-audit and comment on the problem of increasing corporate influence. PBS ombudsman Michael Getler reported “on what seems to be ethical compromises in funding arrangements, and lack of real transparency for viewers caused, in part, by the complicated funding demands needed to support public broadcasting.”

The LA Times reported on the billionaire John D. Arnold production of ‘Pension Peril’, which blamed pensions for California state economic losses. “In another such case, a PBS unit that funded independent documentaries canceled a film about the Koch Brothers last year, fearing the reaction of one of its major donors, David Koch. That underscores the cynicism of the steady withdrawal of public funding from PBS since the Reagan administration. It’s another example of the old story of big government getting off the horse, so big business and the wealthy can saddle up.”

Salon article headlines by David Sirota read “When did PBS become the Plutocratic Broadcasting Service? Proof our public media is doomed: Former Enron trader John Arnold is using the network to wage his war on pensions. Our most prominent public media outlets are becoming instruments for special interests to launder their ideological agenda through a seemingly objective brand. Starved for public resources, these outlets are increasingly trying to get their programming funded with money from corporations and wealthy political activists – and that kind of cash comes with ideological expectations. It doesn’t have to be this way. To preserve some modicum of independent journalism, Congress could simply provide the same amount of resources for public media as other advanced democracies do. Congress could then bar PBS from accepting corporate and special interest funding.”

According to Wikipedia – The following corporations have funded PBS programs: Exxon Mobil; Liberty Mutual ; Suburu ; Canon Inc.; Chevron ; Bank of America Corp.; Intel ; Monsanto ; Toyota ; Merrill Lynch ; General Motors Corporation (GM); Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad; GlaxoSmithKline ; British Petroleum (BP); Merck ; Pfizer Inc; Siemens AG; Dow Chemical Company; McDonald’s ; Columbia Forest Products…

A Truth-Out article titled ‘The Corporate Dictatorship of PBS and NPR’ reads, “On November 7, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act. The act set up public broadcasting in the United States, by establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which led to the creation of the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, and National Public Radio.”

The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 states – “It is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes… it is necessary and appropriate for the Federal Government to complement, assist, and support a national policy that will most effectively make public telecommunications services available to all citizens of the United States.”

The original purpose even as stated by President Johnson was that ‘we the people’ declare that we want more than just material wealth; we want spiritual, ethical, or environmental quality of life. Reaganomic’s ‘trickle-down’ ideology slashed funding accountability since the 1980’s political deregulations for corporate oligarchy. Public broadcasting institutions now rely more and more on corporate and billionaire cash to operate, which is why PBS and NPR now filter what they play on their airwaves, so that they don’t anger their wealthy backers.

“David Koch has donated upwards of $23 million to public television. And when you donate $23 million dollars to public television, you get more than just a tote bag or a coffee mug – you get to dictate the on-air programming.” – Jane Mayer of the New Yorker

Regarding the PBS & NPR budget diagrams below, i doubt the overall budgets reflect the funding by corporations TO MAKE all the programs. They may only show the purchasing and distribution funding within PBS and NPR, not the corporate manufacturing money invested into the products they then purchase and distribute. Also “Individuals” may include plutocrats who donate large sums on behalf of their companies, as there is no evidence of a cap on individual member donations.

 

 

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Alkistis Agio Philosophy

Posted in Health & Fitness, Services, Sales or Trade, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2019 by Drogo

Why I recommend Alkistis Agio Method of Therapy

“Alkistis life coaching methods are different significantly from others in the commercial market, and work better for me as philosophy does for therapy. I like being able to talk to her about psychology and mythology on various issues. Her tone is more compassionate and her demeanor more wise than average motivational speakers. It was a pleasure working with her on experimental music concepts; we were able to talk about contrasting and matching, and collaborate to make a finished up-tempo trance DJ project with Greek inspired pop music mixed with her guided meditation vocals. Her methods work for me every time, because I always feel better after listening to her.”

– Drogo Empedocles

Alkistis Agio Website

Alkistis Agio Youtube Channel

Confidence Dance Mix with Alkistis

09_siphnian-treasury

 

 

Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering

Posted in Education / Schools, Events / Celebrations, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, jobs, news, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Day, Month, Year, Time – Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering – You are invited to the Victorian Townhouse of the Honorable S.P. (near Market Street) __ Third Street, downtown Frederick, MD; to read anything of your choice for apx.10 minutes, and our informal group will discuss for about the same time as the reading. Tea will be served.

Democratic voting on name of group, which selections to read, whether to record, and date of next meeting.

[for actual current details contact SCOD members]

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

The ‘Board and Books’ Club

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, jobs, Multimedia Communication, Pub Library, Roleplaying / Reenacting, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by Drogo

Urban Used Book Store and More

Before the apocalypse, some of us had opened a shop in the city for a place to sell what we made, to keep a collective library, and for a local hang out for geeks like us. We called it “The Board & Books” and it was an eclectic social community for all classes of gamers, intellectuals, artists, actors, musicians, and book lovers. We served some food and drink, but it was under the table to avoid needing to renovate and pay fees to code, to keep our expenses low since income was minimal mostly from monthly membership. If you stayed for more than an hour we asked that you pay to stay as long as you like, and that was incentive for return visits to get your money’s worth and have a chair and board to “call your own”. Walking sticks, paintings, and other home-made crafts of all kinds were welcome. On some days a smoking club would rent it, and we locked the door and responded only to the secret knock and call.

Our tiny shop version of the Pipedream Pub was called “The BOARD and Books” because we had at least one table to start with for playing games, writing, and studying books on. Table boards were also used for drinks and food when in private club sessions. The collective library was for our members to place books they liked or wrote, including old and new books. There were also prices on most of the books, on the odd occasion that someone wanted to own it for their personal private hoard. We even managed to sell a few poems.

We had old and new carved wood on display: walking sticks, canes, wands, sculptures, board panels, etc..

We had a converted piano made into a harp, flat-wide-screen digital monitor, and book shelf.

piano desk

Random paintings came and went. Art, music, and books were often traded.

Beamer and Tom made an awesome wooden table from old antiques and local barn boards.

railway-table-by-toyo-kichen-style-o

After a few years membership increased and so rates were raised to pay the bills and make some net profit, until Armageddon. During WW3 there was too much economic depression to charge much, and when the urban infrastructure became bad enough we had to close shop in the city, and focus on the Pipedream Pub in the country.  Many of the items and books from the shop were moved to the Pub library and hearth hall.

[ part of SCOD FALLOUT 2020 series script ]

Thank You Letter to Loved Ones

Posted in Economics, relationships, SCOD Status Update Reports, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2018 by Drogo

by Drogo Empedocles

Thank you to my loved ones. I say ‘loved ones’ instead of supporters, because ‘support’ emphasizes an engineering role towards production of projects alone, but I want to make clear the importance of emotional support roles that do not need to be concerned with financing and the basics of survival, but can embrace many factors necessary to thrive (joy, contentment, excitement, encouragement, etc). Friends, family, and fans are all very important success elements in human lives. I feel love even for strangers that support my work, because by showing support and affection for my art, writing, music, and designs of any kind they are validating an extension of myself; much like having children or pets are expressions of existence. The Arts are about expressions of our lives (animus), as they take energy to create. Art may not be alive the same way as biological organisms, but art works have psychological presence which can validate our personal feelings, our entire lives, or even the ontological concept of Life itself.

My patrons financially supporting me include family and friends specifically on Patreon: Beamer, Chuckles, Aeyla, Wim. Thank you for helping validate my life. I was blacklisted and shut-out of the main-stream job market due to my anti-authoritarian rebellious attitude towards creativity, self-expression, and desire for freedom at a young age in grade school. Those that believe in competition may not have ended a decade of soccer playing as a senior on the losing team, and perhaps have not been embarrassed enough to destroy egotistical ambition, even when based on hard work and practice. Part of my reason for publishing my old school art and writing is not just to show progress, or even hopes at shared nostalgia (which I do value greatly); but more importantly for other people, I want to support the role of modern art movements to validate the worth of every individual life, no matter their skill, for the sake of sustainable co-existence in civilization. Everyone is worthy to be recognized as an artist, one who can express themselves using their own bodies and other mediums. What people do with their art is subject to public views of course, but a right to peaceful life once we are born should perhaps be more a priority in culture than it is. Many out-dated terms like ‘earning’ often do nothing towards civil rights in society, where one percent can ‘earn’ millions of dollars, and refuse to share with millions of people. In economic theory of a limited supply of currency, this makes no sense to extract national wealth and only allow the most selfish to have it.

Despite my own personal problems and failings, which are many, at this point in my adult life I have paid off all of my debts (college & car), and helped other people as well, in my own ways. My non-profit group SCOD may have no income to pay members, but it is made of all those every associated with it, inspired by it, and who inspire SCOD projects. There are so many important projects still possible, as SCOD School remains free; if we were to charge eventually it would solidify staff and pay using a business model with office secretaries for bursar, treasurer, and accountancy; and lawyers for all legal matters. Yet economic theory is still very hotly debated in our minds, even after years of many personal transactions among members, paying bills is a fundamental challenge to creativity and free-will. Our projects are not always financially successful, but we have redefined success itself in the Arts to allow for organic sustainability, regardless of monetary systems or politics. I would like to now list and describe some of my own projects, which often tie into SCOD and involve cooperation with others.

Book, Blog articles, poem communications, Designs, Art, Music, etc… [to be continued…]

Audio reading of letter, recorded by Drogo on Mixcloud