My website here, Rhode Island Media Cooperative, is intended to be a news and media aggregator for Ocean State progressives who want to be independent of the two party system on the national level and who feel like criticizing the Democratic Party is not just healthy but necessary to rebuild our country. You can find here a bunch of unique perspectives that are totally different from the lamestream media.
The ultimate goal of this webpage and organization is pretty simple but bold: What says that we can’t have what Bernie Sanders was talking about? Citizens United and the entire history of the post-World War II state of Rhode Island shows you can buy a government. Why don’t we just make it happen right now on a voluntary basis and cut the middleman, the state, out of the picture?
The Rhode Island Media Cooperative is a group that utilizes the IRS T-organization business laws to create an enterprise that will help people who work in freelance media and other parts of the 1099 “gig” economy (adjuncts, non-union teachers, Uber drivers, etc.) with two very important resources they do not have access to, health insurance and retirement planning (this is not a scam to sell you either, by the way).
While the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has opened opportunities for many people, there are some flaws in the program that are only going to get worse in the next few years. First, we have right now a political situation wherein we could see another effort to repeal it or modify the law to impact care for various demographics.
Second, the so-called “Cadillac tax” that is going to have massive implications for people when it is rolled out in 2018. Columnist Dean Baker writes “Beginning in 2018, the ACA imposes a “Cadillac tax” on healthcare plans that cost more than $10,200 a year for a single individual. The intention of the tax is to discourage plans that cost a lot up front but don’t make patients contribute much at the point of service — through copays and the like… There are two problems with the logic of this tax. First, the reason most expensive plans are expensive is not the generosity of the benefits; it is the health condition of the participants. Most of the plans that would be subject to the tax have a disproportionate share of older workers with higher medical expenses. So the tax won’t primarily punish executives with luxurious, cushy plans; it will punish older workers who are more likely to have health issues. The other problem with the tax…is that it assumes people would seek out more cost-efficient care if they paid for it out of pocket. But new evidence…indicates that when people have to pay at the point of service, they often ignore necessary care. They don’t just skip frivolous or purely optional treatments; they choose their wallets over their well-being… [T]he Cadillac tax will transfer costs from the more healthy to the less healthy. Both also rely on a disproven view that patients will be cost-efficient purchasers of medical treatment.” [Emphasis added]
That is a real problem that will impact anyone who is not on an employer-provided healthcare plan. But there are options provided by T-corporations that can be utilized to get around this.
There is a serious systemic shortage of retirement options available for people in the 1099 “gig” economy. What should I look for in a retirement plan? How much does it cost to start one? If I join a group can we create one that might have a better success? Where should I/we go to start one? There are so many questions that it can seem daunting. But we have at hand folks who have worked in the human resources and benefits sector for decades at various institutions, from Fortune 500 companies to hospitals to universities, that can provide guidance and help you navigate this maze.
From here, one can use a cooperative model to build an agency that would get employment for membership while supporting our various independent efforts.
Cooperatives historically have arisen from times of economic downturn and high unemployment. The story of Mondragon in Spain is a great example, there you had wine vintners literally pool their resources, their wine, into one barrel and sell it through cooperation. We have thousands of people without any sort of job security who would be perfect for this sort of thing. We can create a social democracy through this that will not be impacted by who is elected to office! Let’s have our cake and eat it too!
We are going to start out by trying to hold what could be a panels and workshops for film makers, journalists, artists, and other people who do these sorts of things. However, I say could because we need to build both interest within a potential customer base and instructor rolls.
So our strategy is going to be to start at the end of the day with our keynote speaker and move backwards with room reservations. As we get instructors looking to do panels and people who want to attend, we will reserve the time at the space and begin marketing efforts for the event. We have a truly awesome keynote speaker, by the way, so to build interest.