As a big fan of capitalism, I am fascinated by the concept of crowdfunding, whereby individuals network and pool their money via websites to support potentially profitable enterprises initiated by savvy entrepreneurs.
It’s small-scale venture capitalism!
Perhaps the best known crowdfunding enterprise is Kickstarter, which offers a chance for citizens to directly fund projects or business of interest to them. In fact, there are a few Tea Party projects that have been funded via the website that may be of interest to Legal Insurrection fans.
One listing is Black Tea, a feature-length documentary film that tells the stories of Black Americans affiliated with The Tea Party movement.
Then there is Occupy vs. Tea Party – Web Reality Show, and the project creators say that Chuck Woolery wants to host the program and Ted Nugent has expressed interest in the show. The concept is to pit Occupy vs Tea Party participants against eachother in challenges, eliminating team members “Survivor” style. It should make for fascinating viewing.
However, Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge reports on an even more innovative application of this concept: The use of crowdfunding to rescue bankrupt cities.
Central Falls, the Rhode Island city that filed for bankruptcy two years ago, is seeking to finance a park project through a crowdfunding website rather than the municipal-bond market.
The city of about 19,000 wants $10,044 to put five trash cans in Jenks Park, which is currently “littered with garbage and debris,” according to the campaign on the website Citizinvestor, a site where residents can fund municipal projects. The initiative so far has $295 through 11 donations.
The decision to circumvent capital markets may foreshadow similar steps by other cities when they exit court protection, such as San Bernardino and Stockton in California and Detroit, which filed a record municipal bankruptcy in July….
This approach certainly seems promising, but clearly some bankrupt cities really don’t deserve more funding from any source.
I’m rarely speechless, but I’m having trouble putting my emotions into words after reading the latest report on the Detroit pension situation. Now, I admit it: I’m kind of naïve. Usually when I see an underfunded pension, I think to myself “poor pensioners — undone by a combination of stupid tax rules, volatile stock markets and mismanagement by trustees who tried to restore depleted fund assets with an investment approach you might call ‘desperate optimism’.” Thus, I was not entirely prepared for the new revelations about the Detroit trustees’ custom of handing out annual holiday “bonuses” to workers, retirees and the City of Detroit. Between 1985 and 2008, they handed out roughly $1 billion this way. Had they been invested, one estimate says those funds would be worth almost $2 billion today — or more than half the current shortfall in the funds.
However, as our Congress seems currently unable to pass a budget of any sort (#BlameHarryReid), I wonder if this approach can be scaled up slightly….and soon!
Here’s an idea: Shut down the entire government (including the White House and Congress), and let us crowdfund our favorites. I have a big check I would like to send to some Green Berets and Navy Seals! Others can donate to Michelle Obama’s vacations, if they choose. I can’t imagine why the Democrats wouldn’t go for this “pro-choice” approach.DONATE
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