Aren't you tired of living in a society where executives make over $400 000 a year, but pay their handicapped workers $2.50 an hour?
Aren't you tired of having a monetary system where every single dollar you have, is a debt someone owes? That is why it has "Federal Reserve Note" printed on it. A "note" (in financial terms) is a debt. Why do we buy our food, clothing, housing, etc with debt? When you go to work, and earn your paycheck, you should have an asset, not a debt. Incurring debt with every action has a name, it's called indentured servitude. Every dollar you earn and spend, is another debt someone has to pay off, with interest.
Those of you who, like me, grew up in Pennsylvania should know the history of "company towns". The history of the Molly McQuires, coal strikes, and police violence towards those who fought the injustice. Every day that those miners worked, they got paid less than the company charged for rent, food and clothing. Since the company owned the mine, the stores, and the houses, they set all the prices. To me, it sounds like we are now living in a "company country". The Government sets the wage scale, while the corporations set the prices. And us workers, consumers, get to comply, or go without.
Do you realize that in our modern society, we pay more of our time and effort to the State than even the Feudal Lords of the Dark ages claimed? Under the Feudal system, each serf was required to give 3 months of his time and work to The Lord of the Manor. Today we give up nearly 25% of our cash to the State and Federal governments in the form of income taxes. We pay 4-8% (depending on the State) as a Sales or General Excise Tax. Plus fuel taxes, carbon taxes, healthcare taxes, employment taxes, road taxes, the list goes on and on. And what do we get for all of our money? Rusty bridges, potholes, the most expensive health care in the world, highest fuel costs in the world, decreasing life expectancies, and poison in our food, water and air.
I'm sure by now, you've heard how renewable energy is the future. If that's true, then why does the State with the highest percentage of renewable energy production, have by far, the highest energy costs? It's simple, the system has been rigged against us.
Let's look at how renewable energy is being rolled out here in Hawaii. Let's say you are a normal electric consumer, and want to join the solar revolution. Considering the climate here, it's a pretty sound investment. If you install solar panels, and a grid tie system on your house, HELCO will credit your bill with every KWH your system produces, at wholesale prices. So all day while you're at work, you meter may run backwards, slowly. But when you come home at night, turn on the TV, lights, cook dinner, etc. you get the opportunity to purchase the electricity you generated, at retail prices. Wholesale price for electricity here is approx. $.12 per KWH, retail is nearly $.35. So, just to break even, you have to produce nearly three times your usage. Let's say that you do produce more than three times you usage, guess what? The utility will not pay you a dime. They just credit your account against your future usage. Does this sound like a system that benefits "We the People"? Why pay $10 000 to $15 000 to install a solar system, if you're still buying electricity for your own usage? It would be far better for you to add $3000 to the install costs, buy batteries and an inverter and cut the wire to the utility company (of course you would not need the grid tie part of the system). Once setup, a solar system takes almost no maintenance. With the 25 year lifespan of solar panels these days, $20 000 (for a top of the line system) means a yearly electric bill under $1000. With 5 years free.
My plan is to do it myself, and show others how they can adapt the principles I'm using, to suit there own needs. For those that know the terms, consider this an "open source" or "Creative Commons" project.
I own three acres of land, and am currently building cabins for our shelter. I have solar panels, batteries, inverters and a generator. I am totally off grid, and staying that way. I have a lot of fruits started, but not yet enough to pay all the bills.
As of now, I have the following growing:
Bananas (two types, Williams and Dwarf Apple)
Guava (Strawberry and regular guava)
Keawe (mesquite, not edible but for future grilling and charcoal use)
I want to add:
Squash and a legume for "Three Sisters" style agriculture.
More native Hawaiian plants
Construction grade Bamboo
I also have a lot of Native Hawaiian plants that I wish to protect.
The Ohia being the most important of them. Also the Ti and Koa.
The medium term goals are to add in a wood fired oven (for pizza especially, but also other baking, drying, roasting, etc)
A glass/ceramic kiln
And a Forge.
For the forge I will also need charcoal, so the kiln does double duty.
A few more cabins to rent out. Both for added income, and to provide affordable housing.
The long term goal, to expand on my friend Whitney's blueprint, and bring it forward to help change how society operates.
What the $5000 I'm asking for will go towards:
First and foremost, $1300 will go to getting my mortgage caught up, and a month ahead.
$300 will go towards gas so that I can get rock and mulch to build more raised beds. And also to harvest bamboo for more building material.
$200 will go towards getting my GET (General excise tax) stamp, and booth rental at the local farmer's markets.
The rest, will go towards ongoing monthly running costs, while I grow the produce for the market. My total costs monthly, are approx $600. So the remaining money will allow me to keep my bills current, while waiting for the crops to come in.
I thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
- Sarah Barendse
- Dawn/Siana Albertson
- Matthew VanWhy,
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