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AMERICA 2.0: From Private Greed to Public Service;
From Complexity to Simplicity

By Jay Hanson, 10/6/2009 (minor revisions on 5/22/2012).

This paper is hereby placed in the public domain and may be reprinted without further permission.
This file is archived at http://jayhanson.us/america.htm
A PDF version is at http://jayhanson.us/america.pdf

As the name implies, process politics emphasizes the adequacy and fairness of the rules governing the process of politics. If the process is fair, then, as in a trial conducted according to due process, the outcome is assumed to be justor at least the best the system can achieve. By contrast, systems politics is concerned primarily with desired outcomes; means are subordinated to predetermined ends.
William Ophuls, ECOLOGY AND THE POLITICS OF SCARCITY REVISITED, 1992

There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.
Chris Hedges, 2011

The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.
James Madison, FEDERALIST #57, 1787

ABSTRACT: The Market is NOT Efficient

The bad news is that peak oil marks the beginning of the end of capitalism and market politics because many decades of declining net energy [1] will result in many decades of declining economic activity. And since capitalism cant run backwards, a new method of distributing goods and services must be found. The good news is that our market system is not efficient! Americans could be wasting something like two billion tonnes (metric tons) of oil equivalent energy per year!!

In order to avoid anarchy, rebellion, civil war and global nuclear conflict, Americans must force a fundamental change in our political environment. We can keep the same political structures and people, but we must totally eliminate corporate-special interests from our political environment. A careful review of the progressive assault on laissez faire constitutionalism and neoclassical economics, from the 1880s through the 1930s, explains how this can be done legally and without violence. These early progressives showed how we can save our country. All that is lacking now is the political will. I call this adjustment of our political environment America 2.0.

The reason that America 2.0 is so important and should be implemented as the first in a series of many political reforms is because its constitutional politics (politics that changes politics). The modification that I am proposing would fundamentally alter the nature of politics in America.

To achieve America 2.0, we must first separate and isolate our political system from our economic system so that government can begin to actually address and solve societal problems rather than merely catering to corporate interests. The second step is to retire most working American citizens with an annuity sufficient for health and happiness, as government begins to eliminate the current enormous waste of vital resources by delivering goods and services directly. This would allow most adults to stay at home with their families but still receive the goods and services they need to enjoy life  while greatly reducing natural resource consumption.

America 2.0 is based on the biological principle that people respond to environmental cues. If one changes ones environmental cues, then one also changes ones behavior. If the voting public and political decision-makers only receive cues designed to mitigate our crisis, then all choices they make will be aimed at mitigating that crisis. This is an extremely simple way to implement a science-based government.

After America 2.0 has been implemented, all the choices made by elected officials will be, by best calculations, good for the public. Officials will decide among a selection of public goods. Corporations will become the public utilities that they were before 1860.

PREFACE

To the free man, the country is a collection of individuals who compose it ... He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.
Milton Friedman, CAPITALISM AND FREEDOM

We may well call it the tragedy of the commons, using the word tragedy as the philosopher Whitehead used it: The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.
Garrett Hardin, THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS

The criterion of profit has shaped our political decisions since the founding of our country, but now that we are facing peak oil, new scientific systems criteria must replace profit or our civilization will collapse [2] like so many others have throughout history.

In order for America to survive this crisis, a moderate, doable modification to our political environment is required. This paper does not attempt to describe a complete system to replace state-sponsored capitalism and market politics. My modest goal here is to show a way forward which could avoid the worst.

THE BAD NEWS

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Net Energy Cliff Which Leads To The End Of Capitalism

Our present business-as-usual model, which requires endless economic growth and endless job creation, is no longer physically possible because net energy will decline for many decades! What is net energy?

One seldom thinks about the energy that is consumed in systems that supply energy  such as oil-fired power plants. Energy is consumed when exploring for fuel, building the machinery to mine the fuel, mining the fuel, building and operating the power plants, building power lines to transmit the energy, decommissioning the plants, and so on. The difference between the total energy recovered from the mining process, minus all of the energy consumed, equals the net energy (in other words, the net amount of energy actually available to society to do useful work). For more on this, see netEnergy.pdf.

Prior to peak oil, producers could compensate for the falling net energy fraction (illustrated in the figure above) by simply pumping more conventional oil. However, conventional oil production "peaked" in 2005, so it is now physically impossible (thermodynamics) to increase net energy as we have in the past. In other words, producers are now geologically constrained and can no longer compensate by pumping more conventional oil. This means that the energy available for economic development will decline for decades!  How will decades of falling net energy impact the global economy?

Historians will say that peak oil marked the end of the second free trade episode. If we dont abandon capitalism now, we will be forced into another global war over resources:

By the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century, world commodity prices were the central reality in the lives of millions of Continental peasants; the repercussions of the London money market were daily noted by businessmen all over the world; and governments discussed plans for the future in light of the situation on the world capital markets. Only a madman would have doubted that the international economic system was the axis of the material existence of the race. Because this system needed peace in order to function, the balance of power was made to serve it. Take this economic system away and the peace interest would disappear from politics By the end of the seventies the free trade episode (1846-79) was at an end The origins of the cataclysm lay in the utopian endeavor of economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system.
Karl Polanyi

THE GOOD NEWS: The Market is Not Efficient

Economics is the publishing of political agendas that are hidden within known-false assumptions. If one accepts these assumptions then one accepts the hidden agendas.
Jay Hanson, 2012

Yes, that is correct: The market system is NOT efficient! [4] Our present way of distributing goods and services wastes enormous amounts of natural resources, but gigantic resource savings are possible. As an illustration, lets make a rough estimate of per capita food energy requirements and current waste:

If we wanted our government to distribute food directly instead of using the market, how much energy would be required to produce and deliver provisions to each and every American?

Adults need about 3,000 nutritional calories of food each day. Lets allow 30,000 calories to produce and another 3,000 calories to deliver food to every American. Thats a total of 36,000 calories per day.

Just how much energy did the American market system actually consume? In 2006, Americans consumed an average of 231,008 calories per day, so 231,008 minus 36,000 equals 195,008 calories wasted each day. This simple calculation suggests that Americans could be wasting something like 2 billion tonnes of oil equivalent per year! [5]Thats FAR more oil wasted than all the oil produced in the Middle East!

If we change a few of our founding beliefs and assumptionsand reorganize politicallymore than enough energy remains to mitigate the worst.

FOUNDED ON TRAGIC ASSUMPTIONS

The United States was founded on several assumptions. A key assumption, which led to several others, was that the sum of individual interests was equivalent to the common interest. In practical terms, this meant:

Today, we know that our founders were fundamentally wrong on this point. The lesson of The Tragedy of the Commons[6] is that the sum of individual interests is NOT  the common interest. In his 1968 classic, The Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin explained why freedom in the commons brings ruin to all:

Visualize a pasture as a system that is open to everyone. The carrying capacity [7] of this pasture is ten animals. Ten herdsmen are each grazing one animal to fatten up for market. In other words, the ten animals are now consuming all the grass that the pasture can produce.

Harry (one of the herdsmen) will add one more animal to the pasture if he can make a profit. He subtracts the original cost of the new animal from the expected sales price of the fattened animal and then considers the cost of the food. Adding one more animal will mean less food for each of the present animals, but since Harry only has only 1/10 of the herd, he has to pay only 1/10 of the cost. Harry decides to exploit the commons and the other herdsmen, so he adds an animal and takes a profit.

Shrinking profit margins force the other herdsmen either to go out of business or continue the exploitation by adding more animals. This process of mutual exploitation continues until overgrazing and erosion destroy the pasture system, and all the herdsmen are driven out of business.

Most importantly, Hardin illustrates the critical flaw of freedom in the commons: all participants need to agree to conserve the commons, but any one can force the destruction of the commons. Although Hardin describes exploitation by humans in an unregulated public pasture, his commons and grass principle fit our entire society.

Private property is inextricably part of our commons because it is part of our life support and social systems. Owners alter the properties of our life support and social systems when they alter their land to make a profitfor example, when they cover land with corn or concrete.

Neighborhoods, cities and states are commons in the sense that no one is denied entry. Anyone may enter and lay claim to the common resources. One can compare profits to Hardins grass when any number of corporationsfrom anywhere in the worlddrive down profits by competing with local businesses for customers.

One can see wages as Hardins grass when any number of workersfrom anywhere in the worldcan enter our community and drive down wages by competing with local workers for jobs. People themselves even become commons when they are exploited (are made the best use of) by other people and corporations. Everywhere one looks, one sees The Tragedy of the Commons. There is no technical solution to the problem of the commons, but governments can act to limit access to the commons, at which time they are no longer commons.

In the private-money based political system we have in America, everything (including people) becomes the commons because money is political power, and all political decisions are reduced to economic ones. In other words, we effectively have no political system, only an economic systemeverything is for sale. Thus, America is presently one big commons that will be exploited until it is destroyed.

WHAT CHANGES? ECONOMICS

It occurred to me that the key difference between 'process politics' and 'systems politics' is the nature of the legislation which ultimately becomes law. Our present political system can exhibit 'systems politics' by basing new legislation on studies designed to improve the lives of all Americans. AMERICA 2.0 is the first step in moving from 'process politics' (competing individual interests) to 'systems politics' (competing common interests).
Jay Hanson, 2011

What changes is that we move from a profit criterion public policy, which cannot mitigate absolute energy scarcity, to a systems-analytic criteria public policy, which can mitigate absolute energy scarcity. We move from a special interest form of government, which cannot mitigate our common misery, to a common interest form of government, which can mitigate our common misery. In short, we move from economics to politics.

America 2.0 is based on the biological principle that people respond to environmental cues (information). If one changes ones environmental cues, then one also changes ones behavior. On the first Earth Day in 1970, a spectacular change in environmental cues occurred in our country! Americans sent a powerful message to our Federal Government that corporations were out of control. Here is how our legislators responded as explained by Jeffrey D. Clements:

After a century of industrialization, Americans had by 1970 had enough of corporations using our rivers, air, oceans, and land as sewers and dumps, leaving most people and communities with the costs and giving the profits to shareholders. One day in April 1970, twenty million Americans of every age and political party came out into the streets and the parks to celebrate the first Earth Day. They demanded a better balance between corporations and people and better stewardship of our land, water, and air. Look at the photos from this first Earth Day and you will see families with children, men in suits and ties and neatly dressed women, working- and middle-class Americans, people of all ages and races.

These millions continued a longstanding American principle of guarding against concentrated corporate power that might overwhelm the larger interests of the nation. This nonpartisan tradition goes back not only to Franklin Roosevelts New Deal, not only to Theodore Roosevelts Square Deal, but to the founding of America. James Madison, a chief architect of the Constitution, wrote in the early 1800s that incorporated Companies with proper limitations and guards, may in particular cases, be useful; but they are at best a necessary evil only. Always willing to be more colorful, Thomas Jefferson said that he hoped to crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
 
In the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson and his allies battled against the partisan activity of the Second Bank of the United States, a corporation. Jackson pressed the urgent question of whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions: Even President Martin Van Buren, hardly a radical, warned of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities:8

That first Earth Day in 1970 again awakened our government to the necessity of restoring the balance of corporate power and public interest, of those who control powerful corporations and the rest of Americans. With a Republican president in the White House and bipartisan support in Congress, the extent of reform that quickly followed in the months and a few short years after the first Earth Day remains astonishing:

* First Environmental Protection Agency
* Clean Water Act
* Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments
* Clean Air Act Extension
* Toxic Substances Control Act
* Safe Drinking Water Act
* Wilderness Act
* Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
* Endangered Species Act
* Marine Mammal Protection Act
* Resource Recovery Act
* First fuel economy standards for motor vehicles

These 1970s reforms were long overdue. For a time, they worked extraordinarily well and made a profound difference in the quality of life of the vast majority of Americans. No longer could dumping untreated sewage and toxic waste in our waters be considered a standard business practice; no longer could corporations walk away from hazardous waste and chemical sites; more wilderness areas preserved more of our birthright and that of future Americans; new laws rejected the industry view that we just had to live with the discharge of brain- and organ-damaging lead from millions of cars and the spread of lead paint in every building in the land; access to clean, safe water was assured for far more Americans; and so much more.

The market did not do this. We did this by acting as citizens in a republic. [8]

The keys here are to base new legislation on studies designed to improve the lives of all Americans and for government to deliver goods and services directly. If the voting public and political decision-makers only receive cues designed to mitigate our crisis, then all choices they make will be aimed at mitigating that crisis. This is an extremely simple way to implement a scientific government.


A simple Example (click to open)

 

A more-realistic example (click to open)

 

If we change the environmental cues on the National level, we change the behavior of all Americans.

After America 2.0 has been implemented, all the choices made by elected officials will be, by best calculations, good for the public. Officials will decide among a selection of public goods. Corporations will become the public utilities that they were prior to 1860!

AMERICA 2.0: The Essence

I hope we shall take warning ... and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Logan, Nov. 12, 1816

Thomas Jefferson, along with James Madison worked assiduously to have an 11th Amendment included into our nations original Bill of Rights. This proposed Amendment would have prohibited monopolies in commerce. The amendment would have made it illegal for corporations to own other corporations, or to give money to politicians, or to otherwise try to influence elections. Corporations would be chartered by the states for the primary purpose of serving the public good. Corporations would possess the legal status not of natural persons but rather of artificial persons. This means that they would have only those legal attributes which the state saw fit to grant to them. They would NOT; and indeed could NOT possess the same bundle of rights which actual flesh and blood persons enjoy. Under this proposed amendment neither the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, nor any provision of that document would protect the artificial entities known of as corporations.
Dr. Michael P. Byron [9]

In order to prevent collapse on the downside of the net energy curve, Americans must force corporate-special interests completely out of our political environment. A careful review of the progressive assault on laissez faire constitutionalism and neoclassical economics, from the 1880s through the 1930s, explains how this can be done legally and without violence. [10] These early progressives showed how we can save our country. All that is lacking now is the political will. I call this adjustment of our political environment America 2.0.

The modification that I am proposing could reduce natural resource consumption by something like 90% and greatly reduce, or possibly eliminate, civil violence caused by the inevitable post-peak-oil-economic collapse.

Our present method of distributing goods and services works something like this:

The market system is the most-inefficient organization in the history of the planet!

Why not simply have government pay someone to pick up that loaf of bread at the bakery and deliver it to the consumer? This is a form of distribution that would eliminate the banks, most of the other businesses, and all the stores. Most Americans would no longer need a car to commute to work or run to the store! However, some private businesses that provide critical services would still be operated but at our governments direction.

We could use the same efficient method of distribution for everything that Americans really need. Shoppers would order provisions online, in the same way that Amazon or Netflix works now, and then their orders would be delivered the next day. And a medical care caravan could regularly drive through neighborhoods, filling teeth, giving checkups, and so on.

But first we must separate and isolate our political system from our economic system so that government can begin to actually address and solve societal problems rather than merely catering to corporate interests. Besides wanting to sell their ephemeral products and services to an unsuspecting public, corporate-special interests also want to prevent the state from solving social pathologies because they can profit from treating the symptoms. These special interests can do no better because they are machines programmed to create profits! [11]

The second step is to retire most working American citizens with an annuity sufficient for health and happiness, [12] as government begins to eliminate the current enormous waste of vital resources by delivering goods and services directly. This would allow most adults to stay at home with their families but still receive the goods and services they need to enjoy life.

Unless something is done now to prevent it, America will face anarchy, rebellion, and civil war on the downside of the net energy cliff. In order to maintain public order, the state must do one thing: take corporate-special interests totally out of politics. [13]

The urgency, necessity, and practicality of this proposal should be apparent to all sectors of society if they could be brought to understand how our social systems are depleting our physical systems. I am convinced that if Americans were given the honest science and engineering behind what needs to be done, the vast majority would willingly make a peaceful transition to a sustainable retreat.

ALL corporate-special interestseven universities, charities, and churchesdepend on perpetual economic growth for their budgets, but the laws of thermodynamics tell us that perpetual economic growth is physically impossible. Therefore, ALL corporate-special interests must be removed from the political environment.

The first simple step is to remove the personhood Constitutional protections from corporations, which could probably be done by the President acting alone, via his police powers. Certainly it could be done by the Supreme Court or Congress if they had the political will to do so. Once corporations are firmly under democratic controlin essence, public utilitiesthe federal government can begin correcting the abuses of capitalism as gracefully as possible. We want to preserve and include the great achievements of capitalism while removing its pathologies.

What follows are six political steps, listed in order of priority, that are designed to mitigate the societal disruptions of the net energy cliff:

  1. Pass the following Amendment to the US Constitution:

    Section 1 [Corporations are not people and can be regulated]

      The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

      Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

      The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

    Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]

      Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

      Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

      The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

    Section 3 Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

  2. Make it a federal crime for corporations to advocate anything (including, but not limited to, advertising) in the mass media.
  3. Make it a federal crime for anyone employed by a corporation to lobby elected or appointed officials directly or indirectly.
  4. Mandate public financing for elections.
  5. Assemble teams of the countrys best and brightest medical doctors, scientists, engineers and other thinkersbut no representatives of religious groups, economists, or other corporate-special intereststo recommend public policy. (We do not need a Manhattan Project for economicson how to save the corporations and their outrageous profits; we need a Manhattan Project on how the country can survive the net energy cliff!)
  6. Encourage public debate on proposed changes.

(Number 5 above is the key difference that I am advocating. Public policy recommendations would come from medical doctors, engineers and scientists who are looking at the entire system instead of from a room full of fat salesman trying to sell worthless shit to an unsuspecting public. Its based on the recognition that if one changes the environment in which political decisions are made, one changes the political decisions.)

NATIONAL GOAL: Healthy and Happy

The goal of our society should be to make our citizens healthy and happy while using as few natural resources as possible (especially energy). The methods needed to attain this goal can be determined by teams of medical doctors, scientists and engineers. Capitalism should be dismantled as gracefully as possible and any natural resources that are not required for health and happiness, should be left to nature.

My guess is that with modern technology, probably less than 5% of the population could produce all the goods we really need. A certain number of qualified producers could be selected by a peer group to produce for five years. The rest can stay home and sleep, sing, dance, paint, read, write, pray, play, do minor repairs, work in the garden, and practice birth control.

SELF-DETERMINATION

Any number of alternative cultural, ethnic or religious communities could be established by popular vote. Religious communities could have public prayer in their schools, prohibit booze, allow no television to corrupt their kids, wear uniforms, whatever. Hippies could establish communities where free sex was the norm. Writers or painters could establish communities where bad taste would be against the law. Ethnic communities could be established to preserve language and customs. If residents didnt like the rules in a particular community, they could move to another religious, cultural, or ethnic community of their choosing.

In short, the one big freedom that individuals would have to give up would be the freedom to destroy the commons (in its broadest sense). Couples would be allowed only one child. And in return, they would be given a guaranteed income for life and the freedom to live almost any way they choose.

What is the "Gross National Happiness"? (click to open)

TACTICS

Mob in America

Mob In The Square in Romania Which Led To The End Of Communism

The changes I am proposing can be accomplished without rewriting our Constitution or violence. The two quotes at the end suggest tactics that worked for the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements. Sign-carrying activists should fill the streets of D.C., like the mob in the square in Romania, [14] until the city is gridlocked. Activists should just stay there until the powers-that-be concede.

I expect that organizing this movement will take a few years. Its asking a lot. It cant happen overnight. We know that with cliffing net energy, our society is just going to keep getting worse and worse until something big changes.

Lets hope the big change is something progressive instead of a new President For Life, who has a prayer breakfast every morning where he makes up lists of evildoers that are to be rounded up and shot. (Thats still my most-likely scenario. We came close with W.)

No progress is possible until we can GET THE CORPORATE-SPECIAL INTERESTSALL OF THEMOUT OF OUR POLITICS AND OUT OF THE MASS MEDIA!

Jay http://jayhanson.us  http://www.dieoff.com 


You dont communicate with anyone purely on the rational facts or ethics of an issue... It is only when the other party is concerned or feels threatened that he will listenin the arena of action, a threat or a crisis becomes almost a precondition to communication... No one can negotiate without the power to compel negotiation... To attempt to operate on a good-will basis rather than on a power basis would be to attempt something that the world has not yet experienced.
Saul Alinsky, RULES FOR RADICALS

The big corporations, our clients, are scared shitless of the environmental movement. They sense that theres a majority out there and that the emotions are all on the other sideif they can be heard. They think the politicians are going to yield to the emotions. I think the corporations are wrong about that. I think the companies will have to give in only at insignificant levels. Because the companies are too strong, theyre the establishment. The environmentalists are going to have to be like the mob in the square in Romania before they prevail.
William Greider, WHO WILL TELL THE PEOPLE

Capitalism is a money-based political system which creates dissatisfaction, while converting natural resources into garbage, in exchange for IOUs, which will be worthless when the oil production plummets and the country goes up in flames.
Jay Hanson

Above Capitalism quote explained (click to open)

#OccupyKona


[1]Life on Earth conforms to universal thermodynamic laws. We mine our minerals and fossil fuels from the Earths crust. The deeper we dig, the greater the minimum energy requirements. The most concentrated and most accessible fuels and minerals are mined first; thereafter, more and more energy is required to mine and refine poorer and poorer quality resources. New technologies can, on a short-term basis, decrease energy costs, but neither technology nor prices can repeal the laws of thermodynamics:

Decreasing net energy sets up a positive feedback loop: since oil is used directly or indirectly in everything, as the energy costs of oil increase, the energy costs of everything else increase tooincluding other forms of energy. For example, oil provides about 50% of the fuel used in coal extraction. Every day, about 85 million barrels of oil are burnt.[ http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption ] Every day, less oil exists on planet Earth than the day before. The handwriting is on the wall: capitalism is running out of energy! Here is a small, silent animation which will illustrate the net energy principle: http://jayhanson.us/oil.html

 

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Imagine having a motor scooter with a five-gallon tank, but the nearest gas station is six gallons away. You cannot fill your tank with trips to the gas station because you burn more than you can bring backits impossible for you to cover your overhead (the size of your bankroll and the price of the gas are irrelevant). You might as well put your scooter up on blocks because you are out of gasforever. Its the same with the American economy: if we must spend more-than-one unit of energy to produce enough goods and services to buy one unit of energy, it will be impossible for us to cover our overhead. At that point, Americas economic machine is out of gasforever. More on energy basics at http://dieoff.org/page175.htm

[2] http://dieoff.org/page134.htm

[3] This net energy graph is an educated guess to illustrate the the fall in net energy. Precision here is impossible because the data is not available. Several oil drum pieces on net energy can be found at: http://netenergy.theoildrum.com/

[4] Although economists claim the market is efficient, they actually mean efficient distribution of benefitsNOT the efficient use of materials. Economic efficiency is completely different than materials efficiency.

[5] Here is an oversimplified example to give us an idea of how incredibly inefficient the market system really is. Suppose that the only thing Americans had to do was to eat. How much energy would be required to feed them?

In 2006, Americans consumed about 334,600,000 BTU per capita, per year. [ http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tablee1c.xls ] This converts to about 84,317,785 nutritional calories equivalent per year [ http://www.onlineconversion.com/energy.htm ] or 84,317,785 / 365 = 231,008 calories per day. But adults only require something like 3,000 calories of food energy per day to survive, so it seems we, very roughly, waste something like 231,008 - 3,000 = 228,008 calories per day, per capita.

Studies show that food grains produced with modern, high-yield methods (including packaging and delivery) now contain between four and ten calories of fossil fuel for every calorie of solar energy. So we will allow ten calories of energy to grow and process each calorie of food delivered, so 3,000 * 10 = 30,000 calories per day is required to keep an adult alive. Thus, 228,008 - 30,000 = approximately 198,008 calories are still being wasted each and every day, by every American.

Lets allow the equivalent of 3,000 nutritional calories (about 1/10 gallon of gas) per day, per capita to collect and deliver food and water to each and every household in the country, so 198,008 - 3,000 = 195,008 calorie equivalent wasted per day, per capita in the US.

The estimated population of America on Sept. 22 2009 was 307,511,668, [ http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html ] so 195,008 *307,511,668 * 365 = 21,887,999,529,837,200 nutritional calories wasted every year in the US, or 2,188,799,953 tonnesover two billion tonnesof oil equivalent are wasted each year in the US feeding people! (In 2006, oil production in the Middle East was only 1,221,900,000 tonnes! [ http://tinyurl.com/mfwndm ])

Every year, the market system in the United States, wastes almost a billion tonnes more oil than is produced in the Middle East! Obviously, there is more to life than eating, but equally-obviously, the market system is the most inefficient organization in human history!!


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[ Link to Excel spreadsheet. ] [ Link to high resolution image. ]

[6] http://tinyurl.com/ycg7wss

[7] An environments carrying capacity is its maximum persistently supportable load (Catton 1986). If the load exceeds capacity, then the environment is damaged and carrying capacity is reduced. http://dieoff.org/page74.htm

[8] CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It, Jeffrey D. Clements, Bill Moyers, http://www.amazon.com/Corporations-Are-Not-People-Rights/dp/1609941055   http://www.jayhanson.org/_Politics/EarthDayToCitizensUnited.pdf

[9] http://tinyurl.com/c28c87

GANGS OF AMERICA: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of America,
Ted Nace, 2003,2005, http://www.amazon.com/Gangs-America-Corporate-Disabling-Democracy/dp/1576753190

Differences Between the Classic Corporation (Before 1860) and the Modern Corporation (After 1900)
ATTRIBUTE
CLASSIC CORPORATION
MODERN CORPORATION
Birth Difficult: requires a custom charter issued by a state legislature Easy: general incorporation charter allows automatic chartering
Life span Limited terms No limits
Shape-shifting Corporations not allowed to own stock in other companies; restricted to activities specified in charter Corporations free to pursue acquisitions and spin-offs;
Mobility Usually restricted to home state No restrictions
Adaptability Restricted to activities specified in charter Allowed to pursue multiple specified lines of business and initiate or acquire new ones at companys discretion
Conscience Actions constrained by shareholder liability and by threat of charter revocation Fewer constraints due to limited liability, disuse of charter revocation, and tort reforms
Will Managerial action hampered by legal status of minority shareholders and of corporate agents Legal revisions enable consolidation of managements power
Size Limited by charter restrictions Asset limits removed; antitrust laws generally not effective
Constitutional rights Functional only Steady acquisition of constitutional rights


http://jayhanson.us/gangsOfAmerica.pdf
http://jayhanson.us/Gangs_2.pdf

Here are some organizations, books, and web resources that share the same goal -- ending corporate governance: http://www.ratical.org/corporations/ReadingLinks.html

This time line of corporate personhood (the gain and loss of rights and powers) is particularly interesting: http://www.ratical.org/corporations/ToPRaP.html

[10] The Progressives are still making constitutional changes. THE SECOND BILL OF RIGHTS: FDs Unfinished RevolutionAnd Why We Need It More Than Ever, Cass Sunstein, 2006;
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Bill-Rights-Unfinished-Revolution/dp/0465083331

THE PROGRESSIVE ASSAULT ON LAISSEZ FAIRE: Robert Hale and the First Law and Economics Movement, Barbra H. Fried, Harvard University Press, 1998;
http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Assault-Laissez-Faire-Economics/dp/0674775279

THURMAN ARNOLD, SOCIAL CRITIC: The Satirical Challenge to Orthodoxy, by Edward N. Kearny; http://jayhanson.us/thurmanArnoldSocialCritic.pdf

THE FOLKLORE OF CAPITALISM, Thurman W. Arnold, Yale University Press 1937, CHAPTER VIII: The Personification of Corporation http://jayhanson.us/thePersonificationOfCorporation.pdf

REACHING FOR HEAVEN ON EARTH: The Theological Meaning of Economics, Robert H. Nelson, 1991; http://www.amazon.com/Reaching-Heaven-Earth-Theological-Economics/dp/0847676641
http://jayhanson.us/_Economics/gospelOfEfficiency.pdf
http://jayhanson.us/haleAll.pdf

[11] http://jayhanson.us/c1.html

[12] Human health and happiness are the products of our biology and environment.

[13] In order to understand why people act as they do, at a minimum, one must understand politics among social animals. See http://jayhanson.us/p1.html

[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Revolution_of_1989

This paper is hereby placed in the public domain and may be reprinted without further permission.

This paper is the culmination of almost 20 years of studyworking almost full timeto understand why our civilization is self-destructing. My brevity here is not due to my lack of understanding or scholarship.

This file is archived at http://jayhanson.us/america.htm
Jay Hanson, October 6, 2009