Beyond the Elections

Among the most stunning aspects of the recent elections are the numbers and what they reveal about our country. This is really important…

Since the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960, which had a voter turnout rate of 63%, the percentage of eligible voters who actually turn out to vote has decreased steadily. By 1996, the year Bill Clinton was re-elected President, it was down to 49%. In 1992, when Clinton was elected the first time, there was a 55% turnout. Since 1996, turnout has edged up; in 2016, this most recent election, it was close to 58%.

During off-year elections, when we’re electing people to Congress, turnout has gone from 46% in 1966 to 36% in 2014.

No matter who actually gets put into office this year—some argue that Hillary Clinton should be inaugurated since she won the popular vote by almost 2%—that person will still have received the support of less than 30% of eligible voters. In other words, 70% of the adult population—those who didn’t vote plus those who voted for the other candidate—does not actively favor whoever becomes president.

When a minority of the voters in our country can put into a person into office who will gain immense power and authority in spite of his lack of support from the majority, we have the makings of tyranny. This has become the dynamic of our two-party system: two massive money machines, each gathering and spending over a billion dollars every couple of years, with little incentive to expand the franchise beyond the minimum it takes to put its own people in power.

Although all the pundits continue to exclaim over the wild-ride campaign of Donald Trump, who seems to have candidly attacked both parties, the fact is he did little if anything to engage more or even new voters. He will become the next President with around 28% of the eligible voters’ support. This does not help us build or maintain the world’s largest democracy. A new way forward must be found.

We advocate entrepreneurship as one means to restore, reform and continually improve an engaging democracy: by creating enterprises based on solutions to problems and the delivery of benefits to customers with clear needs and desires, we create the future through positive, productive action. New ventures can pay living, sustainable equitable wages. New ventures can reignite entire industries, creating jobs, and sharing wealth. New social ventures can, and do, choose to do these things as a priority and as part of their ongoing business mission, and they do it in ways with integrity that respect and honor all people, all diversities, all participants.

INCOMMN is the coming together of enterprise development and social justice economics, with a healthy proportion of a new political agenda: support an independent movement by electing non-partisan people to public office, by building on the Bernie Sanders model: elect solutions, not political parties.


InCommN Reborn

We’ve reconsidered, reconfigured, recreated, and relaunched INCOMMN. It’s entirely new: new vision, new mission, and new urgency.

Stunned by the 2016 election results—in fact stunned by the entire election season that seemed to run from early 2015 until November 8, 2016—we know we need to launch a new voice with a new message.  

Our lead goes deeper into our thoughts on this horrifying, almost two year long frenzy we’ve just survived—although with what outcomes we won’t know for a while. But first some more about our recreated INCOMMN.

INCOMMN has always been worker-owned and managed with best workplace democracy practices. We’ve always been—and continue to be—a social venture: our primary goal is to have a positive, beneficial impact on our communities and our society; INCOMMN exists to identify, assess, and solve significant problems such as economic and social inequalities, threats to the environment, the critical need for renewable and sustainable energy, and the various guises of social injustice such as racism and sexism.

INCOMMN subscribes to a “slow money” economic principle; we reject the pursuit of short-term high profits, seeking instead long-term, slow, stable and sustainable growth and profit that returns benefits to communities and the region. It’s the relentless pursuit of short-term, outsized profits—“fast money”—that has created the 2008 collapse and recession, the loss of jobs in manufacturing, the economic stagnation of the U.S. “Rust Belt”, the flight of companies to offshore production, and the flight of capital to offshore low-tax havens. Trillions of dollars and millions of jobs have left the country, leaving behind decaying infrastructure, collapsed communities, impoverished towns, and destroyed families.  

Now is the time for INCOMMN to double down on our values and practices and making them our only mission. INCOMMN will support workplace democracy, social entrepreneurship, community resilience through sustainability, and local (and regional) investment for regional economic development though “slow money” ventures.  We will do this through our writing and messaging, by mentoring social entrepreneurs, worker-owned cooperatives, and other enterprises seeking to change our world for the better by creating the future we need and desire.


Business Calendar

The Business Calendar presents an annotated collection of business and enterprise oriented events throughout Western Massachusetts. 

The Categories of events that we’re gathering include

  • Networking: Chamber of Commerce events, Creative Buzz in Greenfield, the Plug into the Creative Economy events in Holyoke and more.
  • Learning: Workshops, Classes, and Seminars of interest to business people, entrepreneurs, students, and others.
  • Community: Private and public meetings that will interest you. Examples include the monthly meetings of Valley Venture Mentors, Tedx Shelburne Falls, the recent Annual State of the Region Conference, and anything else we find that we think will interest you.