Chicken Micro-lending

While reading
Fast Food Nation I came up with an idea, which I am seriously considering putting together.

There are abandoned poulty houses in Arkansas. Like a lot of them. Tyson Foods, a huge chicken processor, shrewdly owns chickens but no chicken farms- they pass on all the capital risk and labor to independent contractors, usually small farmers. These contractors generally have to take out a huge loan, spend $150k on a poultry house, and about half of them go bankrupt. That’s a lot of abandoned poultry houses.

Soo… remember Banker to the Poor and the Grameen Bank? They have a fisheries project- there was a giant abandoned fishery and they took it over, staffed by small businesspeople loaned money by the bank. So why couldn’t we do that in Arkansas?

Of course, as with all of my projects, I am always looking for guidance or volunteers. If you know anything about finance, nonprofit organizations, chickens, or the business of poultry production, drop me a line!

Steps to accomplish this project:

  1. Contact Eric Schlosser
    (author of Fast Food Nation) for a quick pointer to his sources for the actual locations of these bankrupt farms
  2. Contact local AR banks and see who has the best deal on abandoned poultry farm foreclosures… preferably near unemployed people
  3. Research the legal structure of the Grameen fisheries project-
    • How is it connected to Grameen Bank?

    • How much do the debtors own of the fisheries?
  4. Contact the micro-lending programs in AR and get their involvement
  5. Market & Logistical concerns:
    • Who would the resulting chickens be sold to? Maybe a side loan involving small restaurants?
    • How does one transport chickens and chicken products economically on a small scale?
    • Is the chicken market as a whole improving or degrading?
    • Is the organic chicken market improving share?
    • What are the tradeoffs in making a chicken operation organic? Free range?
    • Could we alternatively combine this effort with agricultural research? Companion farming? Alternately, GM chickens?
  6. Environmental concerns:
    • How do we minimize / reuse the waste generated by a chicken farm?
    • How do we guard the local water supply from pollution?
    • Can we grow the chicken feed on the lot? How about a crop which improves the soil?

  7. Write some grants!
  8. research recruitment methods of Grameen to get people to run this thing

House of Bush, House of Saud

House of Bush, House of Saud begins with a politically explosive question: How is it that two days after 9/11, when U.S. air traffic was tightly restricted, 140 Saudis, many immediate kin to Osama Bin Laden, were permitted to leave the country without being questioned by U.S. intelligence?

Isn’t that interesting? Almost as interesting as the “why are we in Iraq” question.

Well? To combat terrorism? There was and is no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Queda. Really! Look it up! To defend against WMDs? Have you read the news lately? I mean from sources that have actual information in them; not just quotes from drug-addict hypocrite Rush Limbaugh.

Go! crack a book! Prove me wrong!


Perfectly Legal

In a nutshell- why you are poor, why the rich stay rich, and why you are a big dumbass for not paying attention to tax structures!

Author David Cay Johnson spells out exactly the statistics and their implications for why you pay so many taxes and what the heck you can do about it.

And don’t worry, plebes; he took out all the long words and did the math for you, because math is hard! Let’s go shopping Barbie!
Web link of note: Perfectly Legal

Perfectly Legal (tax shelters for the rich expose)

It’s a book about the subsidy of the taxes of the super-rich (over $10M a year) by YOU, the middle-class taxpayer.

By percentage, the very rich pay much less taxes than you… and less than ever before.

The super rich benefit from the same services you pay for, and pay less for it… and they also, as a block, influence your government to get rid of services that you use that they DON’T benefit from. Like social security, or public schools.

And you just sit there and take it, because

  1. you don’t read
  2. you don’t vote
  3. you don’t write your congressperson
  4. you don’t tell your friends about things like this
  5. you don’t care in general

I’ll see you fools later when I need to mock you some more!