Building a Solidarity Economy

No gracias, IntelFor almost a year, the DataCenter has been tracking Intel corporation’s international pursuit of government subsidies and tax breaks. Our research, prompted by Intel’s successful request for an additional $16 billion dollar Industrial Revenue Bond from Sandoval County NM to modernize its Rio Rancho facilities, is informing Albuquerque-based Southwest Organizing Project’s campaign to replace corporate globalization with locally controlled, sustainable, community-based alternative economic institutions.

Since the 1970’s when Intel began expanding outside California, the chip-maker has become a powerful political player garnering billions of dollars in property tax breaks, grants and giveaways while influencing national and state laws taxing corporations. Now Intel is seeking tax breaks and financial incentives in China, India and Malaysia to support its growth overseas.

Corporate property tax breaks often come at the expense of school systems dependent upon this source of income. When the tax incentives provided by Sandoval County, New Mexico, to Intel in the 1990s further depleted the finances of the Albuquerque school system, Rio Rancho—home of many of Intel’s employees—split away to form its own school district. The company made this split possible with a $30 million donation for the new school district’s new high school. Albuquerque school children were left behind while Rio Rancho’s would become more privileged.

Southwest Organizing Project’s intent to promote alternative economic institution building based on a Solidarity Economy is one way to halt the destructive practices of corporate globalization. A Solidarity Economy sustains the community rather than enriching corporate stockholders at the public’s expense, building upon the reciprocity linking individual interests to the collective interests. Venezuela is promoting a Latin American trade policy premised upon a Solidarity Economy as an alternative to the neo-liberal economic policies of NAFTA, CAFTA, CBI, the FTAA and the WTO. This much we know: “Another World is Possible.”

For further information see: Southwest Organizing Project