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“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”~ Martin Luther King Jr.
I am a small business owner and have been stopped in my tracks by Amazon and the price difference between my products and my competitors’
When I first started my business four years ago, quite a few people who wanted to help me sell my products on Amazon approached me—I accepted and I worked very hard for little return.
After selling 100 units, I pulled out. Our prices seemed high for those who shop regularly on Amazon. Since then, I have worked hundreds of farmers markets. People who appreciate small local handmade products didn’t bat an eye at our value.
I have since deduced that there are two types of customers—those who shop on Amazon, and those who understand the danger Amazon is to small entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s one or the other; as Amazon grows, so does the amount of customers finding value in lower prices and delivery within two days.
The cost of this movement is human connection and the American dream.
Consumer consumption is at an all time high—the state of the world creates an illusionary desire to submerge ourselves in things we think will make us feel better. Cheaper anything means more money for more stuff. As long as we are searching for fulfillment through products, we will forever continue the capitalistic circuitry that is ruining opportunities for healthy competition within many industries.
We have to create a new system—the time is now.
The people who work for Amazon are the oil within the machine; yet, the employees of Amazon are unifying for the purpose of their working rights. The mere fact that Amazon workers need to unify speaks to the holes in capitalism—this is what Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of in his speeches.
The truth is, Amazon is only worrisome if not met with equal and opposite resistance from small businesses, subsequently introducing the rebellious idea of sharing intellectual property with our neighbors—rather than holding an idea as if it is merely our own, and then capitalizing on it.
We have to change this process if we are to equalize earning potential through earned compensation, intentionally creating funnels through which small businesses can grow and thrive while creating an economy where people can level the economic playing field. Jeff Bezos doesn’t get to make money from my business and he shouldn’t make any money from yours either.
There is a solution.
As someone who understands the importance of small businesses and the potential they have to uplift people and their communities, I have decided to give away my intellectual property—for free. I am giving up my patent for the purpose of helping anyone who wants to start a business of his or her own.
Farmers markets and handmade artisan markets are a hidden gem in our economy. On average I earn $450 per market after costs. It is important to mention I live in Oregon, where handmade businesses are celebrated and supported. The farmers market circuit in Oregon is enormous; I have found my favorite markets and I am sticking with those for my personal business. There is room for more booths that might offer my products at all farmers markets across the country. I would love to see other market businesses do the same.
As citizens of America, we need to unify—we need to grab this opportunity to change the systems that aren’t working for us. We need to care about our communities and the people within them—finding a sense of liberation away from the establishments that are taking our consumer power and benefiting only a few.
When we purchase products from local farms and artisans, we return the power of a sustainable economy to the community. When we begin to create products that are a new kind of commodity, we empower our local economy and build bridges between the consumer and the seller—taking power away from those who don’t share their wealth. If those who hold the wealth won’t share it, we must stop putting our hard earned money in their pockets.
Humanity is seeking communion within our community economic structures. We need to change how we have been doing things and implement new ideas and new ways to sustain our families while we grow our economic structures from the bottom up and not the top down.
It’s time we begin sharing our intellectual property, liberating each other and ourselves from the systems that do not help us become better humans.
Yes, I will potentially lose millions by sharing a product I currently have inventive rights to, but truly, I don’t care. Helping our country become more unified is so much more important than my bank account. I am listening to the voice of Martin Luther King Jr. and I am answering a higher call to create an innovative system that benefits many, not just the few who capitalize from our families’ daily needs.
“I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few, and leave millions of people perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperity.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
We can all participate in this rebellious movement. If you have a small business that has proven its economic viability, I urge you to share it and your intellectual property, for the purpose of creating a new way of being and buying. When we share our ideas with our neighbors, we liberate ourselves from separation—creating a way to unify the communities in which we live and love.
If not us, who? If not now, when?