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Terez
10-15-2011, 03:20 AM
I have a feeling that some Theorylanders are probably hedging bets as to who would be the first to start a thread about this. I mean, protests going global and we're not even talking about it, so I figured I'd be the one. I'm going out to my local event this morning and I drove to Jackson for a GA meeting the other day. Unfortunately it was not very leaderless nor very organized, and you guys know me...I'm good at organizing and all, but hardly a leader because I piss people off pretty easily just by being aggressive about my ideas, so I don't know if I will do that again. But I will show up with a body, and I'm thinking about going to Walmart and getting materials for a sign. Trying to decide what I want the sign to say.

In case you didn't know, today is the agreed-upon day to take the protests global, though there has already been some gathering across the world. There are already protests going in the eastern hemisphere (and the slice of Europe that isn't in it).

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2011/10/201110154143743457.html

I've been keeping up on Twitter (the #ows search is addictive) and watching livestreams. I watched several raids live, including the Boston raid, though the coverage of that one was disappointing, and most of the good video came out afterward from people inside the park who couldn't stream from their phones. OWS proper defying the clean-up eviction yesterday morning was pretty thrilling, too, though the aftermath was a little on edge. I slept through that (couldn't go to bed until I knew the results of the clean-up effort and the show of solidarity that was recruited on Twitter...it was exciting watching more and more people show up to defend the camp).

GonzoTheGreat
10-15-2011, 03:59 AM
But I will show up with a body, and I'm thinking about going to Walmart and getting materials for a sign.Walmart is selling "do not buy at Walmart" signs?
Brilliant move, that.

Terez
10-15-2011, 04:32 AM
Walmart is selling "do not buy at Walmart" signs?
Brilliant move, that.
Nope, just raw materials. ;)

OWS isn't a boycott, obviously. Supply and demand is a good thing; corporations hoarding wealth rather than reinvesting or raising employee income, not so good. Boycotts won't fix the problem; only policy change can do that. Well, boycotts can have impact if enough people participate, but the energy has to be tapped and organized first, and again, boycotts aren't really the answer here.

Basel Gill
10-15-2011, 08:30 AM
The OWS crowd does need a bit more organization/leadership. The comments that I have seen from the protesters seem to be all over the map about what the protest is about and the specific goals. A crowd without direction can turn into a mob quickly. I'd like to think that unfocused violence isn't on the agenda.

Res_Ipsa
10-15-2011, 09:10 AM
Kind of funny.... occupy wall street basically a sit in for a few months.


Look at the difference of media coverage of these and the tea party.

Davian93
10-15-2011, 10:00 AM
Kind of funny.... occupy wall street basically a sit in for a few months.


Look at the difference of media coverage of these and the tea party.

Its almost as if one of the two doesnt have an entire news corporation sponsoring and organizing it.

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/images/item/fox-20090408-opposition2.jpg

GonzoTheGreat
10-15-2011, 10:20 AM
I'd like to think that unfocused violence isn't on the agenda.Of course it isn't.
Now, it is true that there actually is no such agenda at all (what with them being leaderless and unfocused), but violence is not on the agenda. It may be started by the authorities, though. Just as the Egyptian army started violence against the Copts when that became expedient.

Sinistrum
10-15-2011, 10:56 AM
ut I will show up with a body, and I'm thinking about going to Walmart and getting materials for a sign.

I teeheed at this. I realize Terez understands the distinction between the mob mentality "capitalism is bad mmmkay?" stance that most of the OWS protestors take and wanting to make some tweeks to a system. But as the previous sentence hints, I don't think the vast majority of protestors get that. So while not ironic to Terez herself, her action of going to walmart is very much so with regards to the over all movement. I suspect she is not alone in purchasing her protest supplies from corporations like Walmart. I also suspect that the majority of people who did so then turned around and protested the entire system that they just fed with their purchases.

Honestly, I think the OWS bunch is nothing more than a collective of leaderless, directionless whining about a system that most of the benefit from regardless of whether they currently see it or not and that they have absolutely no hope of changing. I think it speaks volumes that in every article I've read so far (none from Fox News mind you) there hasn't been a single articuable idea about how they go about changing the things they are protesting against. They are real great at complaining and finger pointing, but not real great at offering concrete and practical solutions. Boil OWS down to its basic premise and its nothing more than a bunch of people who are angry that life isn't fair. You might as well protest that bastard sun and its insistence that it rises in the east every day for all the good it will do.

Sarevok
10-15-2011, 11:05 AM
Hmmm...

Seems this is one of the rare cases that I agree with Sini on a political issue. :o

fdsaf3
10-15-2011, 11:14 AM
My roommate is very involved in the Occupy Minnesota movement. I don't know if this is universal, but I read through the process they adopted to make formal resolutions yesterday. Simply put, it's ridiculous. Everyone gets a vote (since there is no leader, obviously), and if the proposal gets 90% of the popular vote it gets adopted. If not, they break into smaller subgroups to discuss what needs to be changed. Then there is another vote. If *that* doesn't get 90% approval, then there's an open mic. Everyone gets a chance to speak. Once everyone talks who wants to, there's another vote. If *that* doesn't get approved (I think it's a lower percentage, but I'm not sure), then the discussion can either be tabled or continue.

It's so convoluted and unnecessarily complex that it baffles me how anyone in this movement thinks they are going to achieve anything.

I will say that some of the literature being handed out in Minneapolis is good. There's a flyer being handed out which tells protesters of their rights, and I've actually seen a few people asserting their rights to police officers who were, shall we say, perhaps not acting with the best interest of the protesters in mind. For the most part, I just don't see how this is going to produce any long-lasting change.

On the other hand, I kind of like the protests. I think there is a kind of general, widespread anger and frustration present in a lot of youth in this country. The reason the movement is so fragmented is because there are a lot of people with a lot of grievances who have no ability (so they think - don't assume I agree with this) to ameliorate them as individual groups. Again, with respect to the Minnesota branch of this movement, it's really cool to see fragmented groups banding together to form a collective whole. I don't know what the ultimate resolution to this is going to be, but it's cool to see it happen.

Basel Gill
10-15-2011, 12:17 PM
Of course it isn't.
Now, it is true that there actually is no such agenda at all (what with them being leaderless and unfocused), but violence is not on the agenda. It may be started by the authorities, though. Just as the Egyptian army started violence against the Copts when that became expedient.

I know. However, there is that little problem with unintended consequences. It's not enough to be mad and get together. Lack of a cohesive point is just a recipe for a mess.

Frenzy
10-15-2011, 12:56 PM
They've been outside my work at City Hall for a while now, which is amusing because there was an Occupy San Jose before there was an Occupy Oakland, or an Occupy San Francisco. I think that's why thePD hasn't really done much about them. San Jose has such a small dog Napoleon complex is downright hysterical.

Of course, the protest is at City Hall and not, you know, 3 blocks down in the financial part of downtown. Probably because CH is only a block from San Jose State. heheh

Terez
10-15-2011, 02:17 PM
Did my first real protest today in Biloxi, and got sunburned. Not a lot of people here yet, but we don't plan to go away. Our GA meeting was awesome. Jackson's GA meeting I went to on Wednesday, not so much. (I still might go up to Jackson tomorrow and support, though I'm not sure I can afford the gas.) We didn't have a lot of people out there, but we're not quitting. We had no idiots. We had one anarchist, but he was rather articulate and also not as extreme as you would expect from an anarchist. Furthermore, we got tons of people honking at us, raising fists in support, thumbs up, etc. Very few hecklers. The Tea Party even showed up to find out if we had common ground (and we decided that we did).

The movement isn't completely directionless, and while there are a lot of ignorant people out there on the streets - god, wouldn't you be surprised if there weren't? - there are quite a few non-ignorant folks as well. For example, see this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA1py9erpVk) made by Victoria Jackson. The first minute or so is stupid; skip it. But she was actually stupid enough to interview smart people. Unless she's a Colbert-type job and no one knows it. I've been debating it on Twitter, and there are definitely ignorant folks on both sides of the debate (I address both; there's a lot of bunk stuff floating around in the social media).

The power of the movement is its visibility right now, and the way it's caught on across the world. I understand that it's a bit different for the Dutchies, though, so not surprised to see Gonzo's and Sare's opinions. My friend Sander spoke up on that over at Malazan; he doesn't think the Dutchie protestors make much sense, though he allows that it's different for Americans.

Terez
10-15-2011, 02:27 PM
I know. However, there is that little problem with unintended consequences. It's not enough to be mad and get together. Lack of a cohesive point is just a recipe for a mess.
There is a cohesive point, and it's pretty loud and clear. (See NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/opinion/sunday/protesters-against-wall-street.html?_r=2).) We're protesting Wall Street because we recognize that they are the real power in this country - and that is the problem right there. Can't get any clearer than that. As for specific policy change, there are a lot of ideas on that, obviously. We have socialists and anarchists and libertarians and even the freaking Tea Party. Not the organization itself, but people who have realized that their movement is essentially dead and that they need to do something to revive it, or try another way to accomplish their goals.

Some clear ideas on policy change that you'll see repeated a lot: campaign finance reform, with only public funding allowed. This is not a new idea; it's just one of those ideas that never goes anywhere because we have no real power in this country unless we take to the streets. Higher taxes on the most wealthy - those who can best afford it - and more efficient lawmaking (which should be a natural product of campaign finance reform). None of these policies are official because the main point of the movement aside from the protest against the oligarchy is to start a conversation about it, and destroy the apathy that is a result of the fact that we're not actually being represented by our elected officials.

Basel Gill
10-15-2011, 02:43 PM
I'm on board with campaign finance reform certainly. One of the reasons Wall St. is so powerful is that the politicians make it possible for them to be that powerful by getting into bed with them.

I think I'll always object to higher taxes because:
1. They are wasting the money they already get.
2. If Wall St. is evil because of the concentration of wealth, then concentrating it in another entity will not fundamentally fix that issue.
3. Unfettered capitalism is just as bad as unfettered socialism, I think we can agree and point to historical references on that one, BUT...those horrible rich people hire other people to perform jobs. People that make average salary do NOT grow the economy or hire people. Doesn't mean I like it, but that's life. There will be haves and have nots in any system.

NOW...if there were some way to ensure that higher taxes actually went where they were supposed to, then I think there would be much broader support. I don;t feel this has as much to do with money than it has to do with trust. One side doesn't trust corporations and one doesn't trust the government. There is one big difference in these two entities that makes my decision for me.
Government, when it exceeds it's mandate, serves to do nothing but perpetuate itself. It does not create, but consumes.
Businesses, create goods, services, jobs and more wealth. Am I going to reap the benefits of all this money, likely not, but one can sustain itself and the other cannot. When the balance tips too far, its all over.
So...I'll take my chances with the asswipe rich people. Greed is a constant whether it is palatteable or not. Use it to your advantage.

Brita
10-15-2011, 04:20 PM
I But I will show up with a body, and I'm thinking about going to Walmart and getting materials for a sign. Trying to decide what I want the sign to say.


I like "The People are Too Big to Fail".

Sarevok
10-15-2011, 05:04 PM
In related news:
Occupy Rome turns to rioting. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15319924)

Basel Gill
10-15-2011, 05:12 PM
In related news:
Occupy Rome turns to rioting. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15319924)

So...like I was saying...

Davian93
10-15-2011, 05:12 PM
I like "The People are Too Big to Fail".

And if they're typical Americans, its actually literally true.

Terez
10-15-2011, 05:35 PM
I'm on board with campaign finance reform certainly. One of the reasons Wall St. is so powerful is that the politicians make it possible for them to be that powerful by getting into bed with them.
After seeing almost every one of them go over, you have to wonder how much choice they have. They can either play the game, or lose the next election and let some other talking head play it to get elected.

I think I'll always object to higher taxes because:
1. They are wasting the money they already get.Military-industrial complex being a really, really huge factor in this. Also inefficient and wasteful lawmaking in general. See Obamacare, the 'compromise' health care plan. Most efficient would be single payer, which will never, ever fly in a bought Congress. Who loses out in that deal? Insurance companies, for one, the impact being greater the closer one gets to the underwriter. Let's say execs can retire with the profits already made, maybe with a tax, maybe with a severance package, and lower-level folks can re-employ with single payer non-profit system, probably with better benefits. Who loses out then? And of course, there's the inflated cost of health care due to for-profit insurance, not to mention for-profit hospitals. Number two occupation in the 1%: medical. What percentage of that is doctors, do you think?

If Wall St. is evil because of the concentration of wealth, then concentrating it in another entity will not fundamentally fix that issue.Huge, huge difference between corporations that are in no way beholden to the people, and the government which is theoretically controlled by We the People. Yeah, it's not. That's what the protests are about.

ETA: Was going to say, any benefit to the people from the evil, wealth-hoarding rich is for the most part entirely accidental. If they could screw us more, they would.

Unfettered capitalism is just as bad as unfettered socialism, I think we can agree and point to historical references on that one, BUT...those horrible rich people hire other people to perform jobs.Those horrible rich people are out to make a buck, and for the most part, they're not special and there's nothing about their job-creation that can't be duplicated by honest folk out to make a reasonably comfortable living by doing something good for society. Wealth-hoarding is accepted only because we are numb to it, because we believe it's the American Dream to be able to squalor in luxury while our fellow Americans struggle, or to sit on ridiculous amounts of capital while the world burns. Furthermore, more than half the jobs in the US are small business jobs, and a good number of the 1% don't provide jobs at all - they just gamble their capital and artificially inflate prices, or they profit excessively off of job-providing institutions that could easily survive without them.

People that make average salary do NOT grow the economy or hire people. They only do the work that keeps corporations alive, and buy the products that make corporations possible. If it goes on much longer, then the people will rise up by creating competitive non-profits with progressive ethical standards and reasonable incentives. The defiant bloodsuckers can go cry in China, or Colombia, and good riddance. They can probably move quicker than we can, but we'll survive.

Doesn't mean I like it, but that's life. There will be haves and have nots in any system.I don't believe this is true. It may be that some will always have more, but it's a matter of degree we're talking about here, and my definition of 'have nots' are those who can't support themselves and don't have any means of getting help. Just because we can't achieve true equality doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve the current state of things. You could have made the same argument against labor reforms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I won't regress any more than that, but I could.

NOW...if there were some way to ensure that higher taxes actually went where they were supposed to, then I think there would be much broader support.The broad support is already there. The vast majority of Americans support higher taxes on the rich - the definition of 'rich' being those who can truly afford it.

As for the rest of your post, I think I already covered it.

Terez
10-15-2011, 05:48 PM
I like "The People are Too Big to Fail".
I might do that one next time. I made a sort of complicated sign for today. I made the important bits really big so passing cars could read them, and in smaller print I had the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, up to 'Safety and Happiness'. A Tea Party quote, of course. ;) I guess I should take a picture of the sign or something. Since there were so few of us I'll probably be on the local news tonight, assuming they cover us at all. They did come out, but they weren't very impressed with us. We weren't either, but we're impressed with OWS, not because everyone out there is brilliant, but because they're determined and dedicated, and they have opened up an opportunity for all of us, if we choose to take it.

Alternatively, we could just go back to saying there's not anything we can do about it. Apathy is a communicative disease, impossible to shake without looking crazy. Just be glad some other folks got out there and looked crazy for us, to the point that it has now become pretty normal. Plenty of influential people out there chipping in support (including Neil Gaiman (http://occupywriters.com/), for what that's worth!) because they know that now is the time, and they don't want us to give up.

Terez
10-15-2011, 05:50 PM
And if they're typical Americans, its actually literally true.
Now don't forget the average Walmart customer! Yay for cheap and sleazy food!

Terez
10-15-2011, 05:53 PM
In related news:
Occupy Rome turns to rioting. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15319924)
Not surprising, considering the numbers. But...

The militants were challenged by other protesters, the BBC's David Willey reports from Rome. "No to violence!" they shouted and tried to restrain them.If we keep saying it, maybe people will get it. So long as police deal with people like these militants instead of attacking peaceful protesters, everything will be okay. And despite a few unfortunate incidents, it seems like most cops in the US are being pretty cool about this. They're the 99% too.

Sinistrum
10-15-2011, 07:09 PM
If it goes on much longer, then the people will rise up by creating competitive non-profits with progressive ethical standards and reasonable incentives.

I don't believe this is true. It may be that some will always have more, but it's a matter of degree we're talking about here, and my definition of 'have nots' are those who can't support themselves and don't have any means of getting help. Just because we can't achieve true equality doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve the current state of things.

And while we're at it lets wish for world peace, an unlimited energy supply, and everyone getting an ice cream cone after dinner. Liberal perceptions of reality and human nature are so silly. Variation in human capability and limited resources will always ensure that there will always be haves and have nots. There are those who are good at life (mostly comprising of those rich people you want to call horrible and steal from) and those who are not (mostly comprising of the people doing the protesting) and those groups will always have to compete for the finite amount of resources we have. Until you either find a way to upgrade at a genetic, physical, and cognitive level the lowest common denominator above what they are currently capable of or produce resources ad infinitum to where acquiring them takes little to no work and creates little to no danger of them ever running out, nothing will ever change.

Kicking up witch hunts against the successful and forcibly taking what they produced themselves doesn't accomplish anything. The history of the last century should be more than illustrative of that (Russia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.) Its nothing more than an emotionally satisfying bandaid designed to cover up the real problem, that being the fundamental nature of reality and the shortcomings of the people who live in it. And no matter what kind of changes you institute in man's governing structure, those factors will always re-assert themselves. There will always be rich and there will always be poor. The only thing we can ever do is give people the liberty to be able to determine for themselves which catagory they will fit in within the confines of an ultimately unfair, unjust, and apathetic universe.

Terez
10-15-2011, 08:44 PM
And while we're at it lets wish for world peace, an unlimited energy supply, and everyone getting an ice cream cone after dinner. Liberal perceptions of reality and human nature are so silly.
So it has always been said. And yet, change happens.

Variation in human capability and limited resources will always ensure that there will always be haves and have nots.
Well, that depends on what sort of resources you're talking about. And the type of jobs that need doing happen to fit pretty well with 'variation in human capability'. And as much as the right would like to pretend that people who are poor really deserve it because of bad choices, in general it has more to do with lack of opportunity. We have the resources to ensure that everyone can do their part and live moderately comfortable. It's not about limited resources, but about how we go about divying them up.

There are those who are good at life (mostly comprising of those rich people you want to call horrible and steal from)
Labor can be 'stolen' every bit as much as capital can be 'stolen'...and it usually has as much to do with luck as it has to do with capability and hard work.

and those who are not (mostly comprising of the people doing the protesting)
Of the base group who showed up today in Biloxi, at least half were moderately successful. Not rich, but not suffering either. But yes, the people doing the protesting are largely those who have time to dedicate to it. That doesn't mean that there aren't tons of people out there without the time who support what we stand for.

Until you either find a way to upgrade at a genetic, physical, and cognitive level the lowest common denominator above what they are currently capable of or produce resources ad infinitum to where acquiring them takes little to no work and creates little to no danger of them ever running out, nothing will ever change.
Seems like a baseless assumption to me. Most people want to work, not just to make a living, but to contribute something to the world. It's not a selfless desire, nor does it purport to be; contributing something to society makes people self-satisfied, as is evidenced by the fact that people are happier in jobs that contribute something important. There's a lot of work apathy in the working class, but that's because the situation is so hopeless for so many.

Kicking up witch hunts against the successful and forcibly taking what they produced themselves
You mean what their workers produced?

In any case, socialist policies work best when people choose them and implement them willingly. Nobody is pushing for an authoritarian regime here, so the examples you gave aren't really relevant.

The only thing we can ever do is give people the liberty to be able to determine for themselves which catagory they will fit in within the confines of an ultimately unfair, unjust, and apathetic universe.
The only way you can do that is Gattaca-style genetic engineering. People shouldn't have to suffer because they were born without the capability to rise into the middle class, because our society is carried on the backs of such people. Hard work should be rewarded whether it is particularly skilled or not. I'm not talking about huge rewards; I'm talking about the ability to live moderately comfortably.

Res_Ipsa
10-15-2011, 09:55 PM
I would like all you intellectually honest folks to join w/ me in condemning this hateful language.

Works for the LA unified school district and thinks Zionist Jews should be run out of the US. (She rights standup for Ahmadinejad when not at protests)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMjm4LxFa1c&feature=player_embedded

OHhh and this dude really takes the cake...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Y9CARUwio&feature=player_embedded#!

This is what happens when you give an idiot a mic and a sense of entitlement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lik2fujAo2Q&feature=player_embedded#!
http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/10/aag2.jpg
http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/10/aakfull.jpg

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/10/aaafull.jpg

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/10/aae.jpg

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/10/aaf.jpg

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/10/aae.jpg

Davian93
10-15-2011, 10:13 PM
Clearly those are right-wing plants...or the result of an overzealous staffer.

Res_Ipsa
10-15-2011, 10:38 PM
Clearly those are right-wing plants...or the result of an overzealous staffer.

this guy too?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaZF4FJ2eUA&feature=player_embedded#!

Sei'taer
10-15-2011, 10:42 PM
Clearly those are right-wing plants...or the result of an overzealous staffer.

Actually, it's mostly libertarians that want te end the fed. I have(libertarian) friend on FB that is deep into the protests and he keeps saying the main points of the protests here and in nashville are about ending the fed and throwing the 16 trillion in debt we owe to them. They aren't a gov't agency anyway, even with the name and the security and all that.

He said anyone who wanted to discuss the protests with him should feel free to friend him. His name is Roscoe Bean, but we all call him Bo. Send him a message and tell him you know me and want to discuss the protests and you'll be in. he's also a pretty prominent comedian around here, as well as an art teacher and artist. Cool guy all the way around.

Anyway, I don't agree with enough of what they are protesting to participate. It's too much like our political parties. I have to go with who I dislike the least...which is really hard right now because I don't like any of the fuckers.

PS Got me a new computer today...y'all like it?

The Unreasoner
10-15-2011, 11:40 PM
The entire OWS thing is ridiculous. But so is the Tea Party.

So I have to conclude that both are simply emotional outlets, and the only common ground within either is anger. Certainly neither side has any sort of game plan. If 'Wall Street' came out tomorrow and said 'you win, what do you want?' ...they would have nothing. There are some pretty severe ideological fissures within this 'movement' too, so I don't foresee a list of demands showing up any time soon. Sure, they can go around being 'visible', but what that might accomplish is vague. They do serve as a convenient reminder that there are good and bad ways to deal with frustration. As does the Tea Party.

All in all, 'occupying' Wall Street seems about as well thought out as occupying Iraq. No game plan, no clear idea what victory entails.

And of course, the arming of enemies/shopping at walmart.

fdsaf3
10-16-2011, 01:41 AM
here's what I don't get. You have (at this point) thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands, across the world standing up and saying "this system is broken; I am upset about it". Rather than acknowledge that this frustration is legitimate, society seems to be saying "unless you have specific cause-and-effect reasoning and a detailed endgame, this protest does not count".

It's bullshit. It's great if a protester can say "we are protesting action X to accomplish goal Y", but absent of that goal, I don't see that the protest is invalid.

Terez
10-16-2011, 08:21 AM
Hey Res...you missed one (http://blog.newvoices.org/?p=9399): (ETA: here's another good article (http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/10/2011101510466829989.html) from AlJazeera English)

http://blog.newvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/IMG_20111012_141115-1024x764.jpg

Terez
10-16-2011, 08:25 AM
Actually, it's mostly libertarians that want te end the fed. I have(libertarian) friend on FB that is deep into the protests and he keeps saying the main points of the protests here and in nashville are about ending the fed and throwing the 16 trillion in debt we owe to them.
Of course, a libertarian would say that. There are a lot of people out there who think this way, but the main point of the protests everywhere is to protest the broken system and the fact that Wall Street rules our country. I'm sure there is probably a lot of libertarian influence in the TN rallies, though. From what I've seen keeping up with the news from all the protests, there are more socialists than libertarians, and more capitalists (with certain modifications) than anything else.

Res_Ipsa
10-16-2011, 08:55 AM
Hey Res...you missed one (http://blog.newvoices.org/?p=9399): (ETA: here's another good article (http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/10/2011101510466829989.html) from AlJazeera English)

http://blog.newvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/IMG_20111012_141115-1024x764.jpg

I know, the joke is entirely on the coverage of the Tea Party compared to Occupy Wall Street whereby there is no exposition on the former but rather sketchy conclusions of racism as a motivating factor.

GonzoTheGreat
10-16-2011, 09:48 AM
I know, the joke is entirely on the coverage of the Tea Party compared to Occupy Wall Street whereby there is no exposition on the former but rather sketchy conclusions of racism as a motivating factor.Well, the Tea Party is also financed and organised by a bunch of right wing billionaires. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case with OCW, neither from the left nor the right.

Of course, if Terez has been paid a couple of hundred grand, then I'm not entirely sure she would share that with me.

Terez
10-16-2011, 09:57 AM
I got a free bottle of water, provided by one of the protesters.

Brita
10-16-2011, 10:36 AM
here's what I don't get. You have (at this point) thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands, across the world standing up and saying "this system is broken; I am upset about it". Rather than acknowledge that this frustration is legitimate, society seems to be saying "unless you have specific cause-and-effect reasoning and a detailed endgame, this protest does not count".

It's bullshit. It's great if a protester can say "we are protesting action X to accomplish goal Y", but absent of that goal, I don't see that the protest is invalid.

I agree with this. I would not ever presume that I have the knowledge or experience to know how to fix the problem. But this does not mean that I should not stand up and say I am frustrated, just because I happen to be a nurse and not an economist. The hope is the economists and politicians will recognize the frustration, support the movement, and the powers that be will recognize the need for policy change.

In the past, when the populace didn't know exactly how to fix it but knew it needed fixing, they just wiped out the 1% and started again, ie French Revolution. I am sure we can all agree the current method, as scattered as it is, is much better.

Terez
10-16-2011, 10:43 AM
I know, the joke is entirely on the coverage of the Tea Party compared to Occupy Wall Street whereby there is no exposition on the former but rather sketchy conclusions of racism as a motivating factor.
I think the Tea Party crowd really came to most people's attention during the 2008 elections, when McCain was having these town hall meetings. I remember the big deal was that he just listened to hateful rhetoric and tried to play it to his advantage...he never called them out on it. It's one thing to have hateful idiots wandering around in the crowd; another thing entirely to have a presidential candidate support it by not speaking out against it. Oh, he did later on, after he was criticized for it, but he missed his opportunity, and no one on the right criticized him for that.

Mort
10-16-2011, 10:52 AM
I agree with this. I would not ever presume that I have the knowledge or experience to know how to fix the problem. But this does not mean that I should not stand up and say I am frustrated, just because I happen to be a nurse and not an economist. The hope is the economists and politicians will recognize the frustration, support the movement, and the powers that be will recognize the need for policy change.

In the past, when the populace didn't know exactly how to fix it but knew it needed fixing, they just wiped out the 1% and started again, ie French Revolution. I am sure we can all agree the current method, as scattered as it is, is much better.

This.

Anyone seen the mini-documentary ? Called Right here all over (http://vimeo.com/30081785). About the occupy wallstreet but with a little different angle. Pretty interesting.

Terez
10-16-2011, 10:52 AM
PS - I realize the official Tea Party didn't form until after then. Admittedly I tend to lump all the rightwing activists together when it comes to stuff like this - agitation along lines of racism and the like, the birthers, etc. It all blends together for me. I feel like OWS is more truly populist precisely because of the fact that the movement refuses to embrace any one idea about how to fix things - it's collectively more of a statement against our inability to participate in our democracy. That just happens to be tied up in the fact that money rules our country, and money rules the world. Especially in the US, the campaign finance issue exacerbates the problem. So that's why the Tea Party didn't catch on in the same way - it was aimed at the wrong target. People keep saying that about OWS, but it's not true.

Sinistrum
10-16-2011, 10:56 AM
here's what I don't get. You have (at this point) thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands, across the world standing up and saying "this system is broken; I am upset about it".

Um because without any sort of practical solution attached to the gripes, the protests boil down to nothing more than a temper tantrum. That's great they are upset. So is your average two year old when you take a toy from them that they want in the store. Instead of taking to the streets and venting their frustrations at an amorpheous and hardly monolithic group they refer to as "horrible rich people" how's about they offer something up to fix what they are upset about? Oh wait, maybe because what they are upset about has no solutions, that being the fact that life isn't fair.

Well, the Tea Party is also financed and organised by a bunch of right wing billionaires. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case with OCW, neither from the left nor the right.

Oh really?

http://news.yahoo.com/whos-behind-wall-st-protests-110834998.html

Seems an awfully big coincidence that both George Soros and Michael Moore's money just happened to make it into the OWS coffers.

Terez
10-16-2011, 11:09 AM
Oh really?

http://news.yahoo.com/whos-behind-wall-st-protests-110834998.html

Seems an awfully big coincidence that both George Soros and Michael Moore's money just happened to make it into the OWS coffers.
Your news is outdated (http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/13/did-george-soros-fund-occupy-wall-street/), aside from not having any facts to back it up in the first place. The 'indirect ties' to Soros turned out to be not even really indirect ties - just indirect associations that don't amount to anything. As for Michael Moore, he may have given some money to the group in NYC, but their funds are grassroots funds, and Moore is just one of many contributors. Most protests won't see a dime of his money.

Terez
10-16-2011, 11:19 AM
Here's my picture in the local paper (http://www.sunherald.com/2011/10/15/3509364/occupy-biloxi-event-attracts-a.html)'s online gallery:

http://media.sunherald.com/smedia/2011/10/15/21/54/S9zEs.St.77.jpg

Sei'taer
10-16-2011, 06:24 PM
Of course, a libertarian would say that. There are a lot of people out there who think this way, but the main point of the protests everywhere is to protest the broken system and the fact that Wall Street rules our country. I'm sure there is probably a lot of libertarian influence in the TN rallies, though. From what I've seen keeping up with the news from all the protests, there are more socialists than libertarians, and more capitalists (with certain modifications) than anything else.

You'd have to talk to him about that. I haven't been to a rally or even thought much about going and I'm not enough of a libertarian to know where he's coming from. I do read his debates with other people though, they're hilarious and pretty informative.

Res_Ipsa
10-16-2011, 08:48 PM
Here's my picture in the local paper (http://www.sunherald.com/2011/10/15/3509364/occupy-biloxi-event-attracts-a.html)'s online gallery:

http://media.sunherald.com/smedia/2011/10/15/21/54/S9zEs.St.77.jpg

a) what is with the wilson?
http://smallestuser.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/home-improvement-wilson21.jpg

b) new to protesting?... you need short slogans that are catchy (I think family guy did an episode where Lois runs for political office). While well intentioned there is no way anyone can read all of that, and the pic is too small!

c) We are not a democracy.

Terez
10-16-2011, 10:56 PM
new to protesting?... you need short slogans that are catchy (I think family guy did an episode where Lois runs for political office). While well intentioned there is no way anyone can read all of that, and the pic is too small!
It wasn't intended for the small words to be read by everyone. Just the big ones. People close up could read the whole thing...or just the first few words of the smaller print, which would identify it to less clueless people as an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.

We are not a democracy.Well no shit, Sherlock.

Res_Ipsa
10-16-2011, 11:06 PM
Well no shit, Sherlock.

So why does your sign say "bring back democracy"?

In point of fact all the little entitlement babies at these protests are screaming we are a democracy and 99% rule or bust. For the record, I am in the 99% and I think you all are just whining about why you feel you have a right to the good life.

Terez
10-16-2011, 11:13 PM
In point of fact all the little entitlement babies at these protests are screaming we are a democracy and 99% rule or bust. For the record, I am in the 99% and I think you all are just whining about why you feel you have a right to the good life.
Of course you do, because you bought into the demonization of social government policies perpetrated by the Reagan administration. That doesn't make your opinion anything to do with sound economics.

Reading a book by Jeffrey Sachs called The Price of Civilization. Does a pretty good job of breaking down where we went wrong. Really, it started with Carter, but Reagan really pulled the plug, and his destructive policies have been embraced in a rather bipartisan manner since then. And of course, the influence of big money in politics has increased drastically.

Res_Ipsa
10-16-2011, 11:29 PM
Of course you do, because you bought into the demonization of social government policies perpetrated by the Reagan administration. That doesn't make your opinion anything to do with sound economics.

Ahh the standard response of the "enlightened",someone bought into something and is incapable of thinking for themselves. You are just giving me the playbook answer. For the record I have always been involved in small businesses (my mother owned quite a few small businesses) even when my dad was still a US Marine. I paid my way through undergrad working full time jobs. I very much doubt your own economic experience relates to "sounder" economics. It just sounds like you went to college and thought you know everything because you read a book by an author that admires Paul Krugman and Keynes before him. So without getting into the proverbial pissing match, I think I have a good basis for my economic theory having been involved in the private sector.

Reading a book by Jeffrey Sachs called The Price of Civilization. Does a pretty good job of breaking down where we went wrong.

I have read The End of Poverty and by this review: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903703604576589090204327736.html I have no reason to believe The Price of Civilization breaks from his mold. I have a very good generalization for your type of thinking: Europa. It doesn't really even have to be strictly European but rather its an idea that the US is fundamentally flawed and we must look to the amazing social(ist)democracies for enlightenment.



Really, it started with Carter, but Reagan really pulled the plug, and his destructive policies have been embraced in a rather bipartisan manner since then. And of course, the influence of big money in politics has increased drastically.

You are giving me a broken clock answer. Meaning you are right on a minority of things but wrong otherwise. That is the real issue of money politics, if you want to direct your anger at anyone, direct it at the government. I happen to agree the money interest in government is corrupt but I am not a wholesale advocate that the US system is fundamentally flawed. Last time I checked this is still the only country where you can be anything you work hard enough for. Granted, you have no guarantee of getting there but it is only the pursuit that is guaranteed. Your own perception that success should be guaranteed is indicative of your admiration for Marx, but like Marx requires the generosity of your benefactors and is just a snow job.

Terez
10-16-2011, 11:42 PM
Ahh the standard response of the "enlightened",someone bought into something and is incapable of thinking for themselves. You are just giving me the playbook answer. For the record I have always been involved in small businesses (my mother owned quite a few small businesses) even when my dad was still a US Marine.
My grandfather owned one of the most successful small businesses in my region. What has that got to do with anything?

It just sounds like you went to college and thought you know everything because you read a book by an author that admires Paul Krugman and Keynes before him.
Actually, Sachs doesn't seem to admire Keynes much, and doesn't advocate the Keynesian model at all.

I have a very good generalization for your type of thinking: Europa. It doesn't really even have to be strictly European but rather its an idea that the US is fundamentally flawed and we must look to the amazing social(ist)democracies for enlightenment.

Not at all. Our taxation and social spending policies between WWII and Reagan are a better model for a sound economy, for various reasons. If you want to argue about it, then argue based on the facts and don't bother with propaganda.

That is the real issue of money politics, if you want to direct your anger at anyone, direct it at the government.
The government is bought, and we all know it.

Last time I checked this is still the only country where you can be anything you work hard enough for.
Check again.

Kimon
10-16-2011, 11:45 PM
Check again.

What, you mean in Canada I wouldn't have had my occupation determined by some bureaucrat randomly pulling a slip of paper out of an evil hat of government issued professions?

Res_Ipsa
10-16-2011, 11:53 PM
My grandfather owned one of the most successful small businesses in my region. What has that got to do with anything?


Everything, apparently since I have "bought" in to a Reagan economic model and am incapable of my own thinking.

Actually, Sachs doesn't seem to admire Keynes much, and doesn't advocate the Keynesian model at all.


Ok, where is your support for that? One could argue Sachs is a "green" economist but at the same time his method is the same as Kenyes, an increase in government involvement in business.



Not at all. Our taxation and social spending policies between WWII and Reagan are a better model for a sound economy, for various reasons. If you want to argue about it, then argue based on the facts and don't bother with propaganda.


Ok, what facts would you like to debate? Our economic policy from Wilson on has been a disaster of inflationary economics and entitlement programs.





Check again.

Really? Education is free, anyone can get loans and in point of fact the greater the level of poverty the greater access to loans and grants. You are not guaranteed success by any means but no where is that the case.

What, you mean in Canada I wouldn't have had my occupation determined by some bureaucrat randomly pulling a slip of paper out of an evil hat of government issued professions?

I saw that episode of Futurama.

fdsaf3
10-17-2011, 12:23 AM
Um because without any sort of practical solution attached to the gripes, the protests boil down to nothing more than a temper tantrum. That's great they are upset. So is your average two year old when you take a toy from them that they want in the store. Instead of taking to the streets and venting their frustrations at an amorpheous and hardly monolithic group they refer to as "horrible rich people" how's about they offer something up to fix what they are upset about? Oh wait, maybe because what they are upset about has no solutions, that being the fact that life isn't fair.


....it still surprises me after this long that you expect to be taken seriously when you post stuff like this. I think what frustrates me most is that you're taking every opportunity to denigrate this entire situation by labeling it as a temper tantrum without taking a second to think about the legitimacy of the protests. Oh well.

As I said before (and nothing you said really addressed what I posted, you merely attacked the idea of a protest), not having concrete plans or a solidified endgame doesn't mean that these protests aren't valid. It's surprising how many people with different viewpoints are standing up and saying "the political system isn't working". Here in Minnesota, people from the left, right, and independents are coming together to try and figure out solutions to problems inherent in the current system.

I'll put this into an allegory you might understand and/or agree with: I was driving this weekend, and I missed the turn I needed to take to get where I wanted to go. I didn't know exactly the right set of turns to get to my destination, but I knew that continuing on the path I was on would only get me farther away from my destination.

Get it?

Or take another real-world example. Our founding fathers didn't know exactly what they wanted when they sat down to make this country. Their first attempt with the articles of confederation were a total failure, so they met again to revise them. A few months later, they came out with an entirely new system of government. No one went in saying that the accepted solution was the one they wanted, much in the same way that the people protesting now don't necessarily have one specific aim or goal. If you would have taken the time (and I apologize if you have; based on your previous post, I gather you have not) to get to know the more intimate details of what's going on, you'd know that (again, I am speaking only for Minnesota) the protesters have specific aims they are striving to accomplish. The media might not have picked up on some of the finer details, but there are people here who [/i]are[/i] working towards accomplishing specific goals. Maybe take a few minutes to watch a stream, check out a live feed, or head down to the protests in your city and see what these people are all about.

It's misleading and entirely missing the point to equate these protests with a temper tantrum. A two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum can't express in words why they are upset. These protesters can. There are some really valid and eloquently stated reasons to be pissed off if you live in this country. It's your prerogative to look at this however you want. But for the sake of this discussion, I just don't understand why you can't use a bit more tact and civility.

Terez
10-17-2011, 01:14 AM
Everything, apparently since I have "bought" in to a Reagan economic model and am incapable of my own thinking.
It requires buying into because it has no facts to support it. Ideology is the only thing supporting it.

Ok, where is your support for that? One could argue Sachs is a "green" economist but at the same time his method is the same as Kenyes, an increase in government involvement in business.It's a little more nuanced than that. Keynes has some very specific methods that Sachs does not agree with. Government involvement in business ≠ Keynesian economics. See this article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/time-to-plan-for-post-key_b_609473.html) (originally published in Financial Times) for more detail.

Really? Education is free, anyone can get loansLoans are not 'free'.

and in point of fact the greater the level of poverty the greater access to loans and grants.The grants are, for zero income, usually only enough to cover tuition. Nothing about housing, food, books, etc. And while it's great and all that you worked your way through college, the fact that this is so widespread probably helps to explain why college classes are often dumbed down to the point that they are less challenging than high school classes. One of Sachs' main points is that there are a lot of tech companies in the US that would like to give jobs to Americans, but have to outsource because Americans don't have the requisite skills. Obama wrote about that in his second book, too - apparently Google has that problem on a fairly large scale.

You are not guaranteed success by any means but no where is that the case.Again, just because equality can never be achieved perfectly does not mean that we should not do what we can to strive for it.

Sinistrum
10-17-2011, 01:40 AM
....it still surprises me after this long that you expect to be taken seriously when you post stuff like this.

Whether you or anyone else takes me seriously is utterly irrelevant. See, in order for me to be concerned with you doing so, I'd first have to believe that I have any hope of convincing you that what I'm saying is the truth. If there is one thing I've learned in my brief existence, it is that pointing out that someone is being foolish rarely, if ever, dissuades them from persisting in that foolishness. Since I have no such delusions, well, then there must be another reason for me posting right? I'm not the one to set you straight on the nature of the universe. I do, however, find it amusing to point out that nature and make people like you squirm over it from time to time. Your above comment means I can score yet another one for me in that regard. Otherwise, you wouldn't be getting so snippy.

I think what frustrates me most is that you're taking every opportunity to denigrate this entire situation by labeling it as a temper tantrum without taking a second to think about the legitimacy of the protests.

And what legitimacy is that? The only one I seem to be able to derive is that there are a lot of people attached to them. Another thing I've learned in my brief existence is that just because a lot of people happen to believe something doesn't make that something true. If that were the case, then the world would be flat, wine would turn into blood, and apparently socialism would be a good idea. Other than that, its nothing more than the usual hodge podge of liberal complaints about the nature of the universe, complete with the typical delusional attitude that you can change that nature simply by either denying it or complaining about it.

I was driving this weekend, and I missed the turn I needed to take to get where I wanted to go. I didn't know exactly the right set of turns to get to my destination, but I knew that continuing on the path I was on would only get me farther away from my destination.

A more appropriate analogy would be to miss your turn, blame the driver next to you because he distracted because he drives a nicer car than you, drive your car in front of him and refuse to move until he admitted how evil he was and turned himself into the cops while giving you his car to get to your destination, despite the fact that it was you who missed the turn. That sums up these protests a lot better than your analogy.

A two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum can't express in words why they are upset.

Um bullshit. The reason all but the most developmentally delayed two years throw temper tantrums are quite apparent. It almost always involves either taking something away that they attempted to misappropriate for themselves or preventing them from doing something that they wanted to do that was harmful to themselves or others. The bottom line behind temper tantrums in children is selfishness and a sense of entitlement. The protestors for all your attempts to grant them sainthood, are no different in that respect. Additionally, most two year olds throw temper tantrums because they are absolutely powerless to change the reasons why they can't have what they want. The only response available to them is to throw a hissy fit. Once again, the protestors are exactly the same.

Again, just because equality can never be achieved perfectly does not mean that we should not do what we can to strive for it

And here is what that equality would look like, since this is the only kind of "true" equality humanity is capable of.

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

Adjusting the scale upward is impossible. We as a sentient species are not immune to the second law of thermodynamics however, so you can always adjust it downwards.

Terez
10-17-2011, 01:58 AM
And what legitimacy is that? The only one I seem to be able to derive is that there are a lot of people attached to them. Another thing I've learned in my brief existence is that just because a lot of people happen to believe something doesn't make that something true. If that were the case, then the world would be flat, wine would turn into blood, and apparently socialism would be a good idea. Other than that, its nothing more than the usual hodge podge of liberal complaints about the nature of the universe, complete with the typical delusional attitude that you can change that nature simply by either denying it or complaining about it.
You could have said the same thing about the civil rights protests of the 60s, or the labor reforms of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not everyone in those protests was the brightest crayon in the box, but in the end it didn't matter, because their cause was just.

GonzoTheGreat
10-17-2011, 03:32 AM
c) We are not a democracy.I know that you live in a corporate dictatorship. That's precisely what the protest is about, isn't it?

The protesters are liberals, they want to be free. You may like being a slave, but they don't.

That's why they want democracy.

PS No, democracy is not just the old "men with property can vote, women, slaves, foreigners and other cattle can't" traditional type. Even though it sometimes seems that's the right wing ideal.

Terez
10-17-2011, 07:27 AM
Announcing the Occupy National Convention:

https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/home/the-steps-to-non-violent-revolution

Davian93
10-17-2011, 07:44 AM
c) We are not a democracy.



A Democratic Republic (the current US setup) is indeed a form of democracy...just as the ancient Athenian model was and just as a Constitutional Monarchy can be (like in the case of the UK or Netherlands).

Ivhon
10-17-2011, 07:55 AM
I have the potential to be whatever I want to be in any number of countries - not just the U.S.

I can have better education and better health care in dozens, a higher standard of living in several and more happiness in God knows how many.

Granted, I would not be living in countries that could destroy civilization several times over. Which is what I guess makes the US exceptional.

Brita
10-17-2011, 08:06 AM
Last time I checked this is still the only country where you can be anything you work hard enough for.

Oh man, it's this kind of self-centred, self-congratulatory US hoora that makes the rest of the world shudder. Really Res? No where else? And certainly not any socialist leaning country, eh? Mate. Old chap.

Davian93
10-17-2011, 08:47 AM
Oh man, it's this kind of self-centred, self-congratulatory US hoora that makes the rest of the world shudder. Really Res? No where else? And certainly not any socialist leaning country, eh? Mate. Old chap.

You're trapped by that Socialist glass ceiling and you dont even know it. So sad. ;)

Last I checked, the US is the only nation on earth with rich entrepreneurs...prove me wrong. Having money is actually illegal in Canada and other Socialist havens. Last time I tried to cross the border, they actually required me to provide a bank statement and list of assets. Had it been over $1 million, they would have refused entry into the country.

fdsaf3
10-17-2011, 01:00 PM
blah blah blah

Oh shoot, I've stayed away from this discussion board (and in particular, I've refrained from participating in these kinds of threads) long enough to forget that Sinistrum is the only person on these boards who understands human nature. Oops! And here I was thinking that my knowledge and experience entitled me to an opinion. Boy was I wrong. All I can say is that I'm glad I have you to set me straight.

Brita
10-17-2011, 02:08 PM
Oh man, it's this kind of self-centred, self-congratulatory US hoora that makes the rest of the world shudder. Really Res? No where else? And certainly not any socialist leaning country, eh? Mate. Old chap.

You're trapped by that Socialist glass ceiling and you dont even know it. So sad. ;)

Last I checked, the US is the only nation on earth with rich entrepreneurs...prove me wrong. Having money is actually illegal in Canada and other Socialist havens. Last time I tried to cross the border, they actually required me to provide a bank statement and list of assets. Had it been over $1 million, they would have refused entry into the country.

Oh shoot, I've stayed away from this discussion board (and in particular, I've refrained from participating in these kinds of threads) long enough to forget that Sinistrum is the only person on these boards who understands human nature. Oops! And here I was thinking that my knowledge and experience entitled me to an opinion. Boy was I wrong. All I can say is that I'm glad I have you to set me straight.

Hee hee hee. The sarcasm abounds!

The Unreasoner
10-17-2011, 05:07 PM
here's what I don't get. You have (at this point) thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands, across the world standing up and saying "this system is broken; I am upset about it". Rather than acknowledge that this frustration is legitimate, society seems to be saying "unless you have specific cause-and-effect reasoning and a detailed endgame, this protest does not count".

It's bullshit. It's great if a protester can say "we are protesting action X to accomplish goal Y", but absent of that goal, I don't see that the protest is invalid.
I didn't say it didn't count. The frustration is certainly real. I just think that this thing (and the Tea Party) are really just emotional outlets. I don't necessarily see anything wrong with venting though. I just want people to acknowledge that that is all it is. In essence, I agree with Sinistrum that the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are 'temper tantrums', though I would probably try to be less insulting in my word choice.

The system is certainly broken. We are all upset about it. I don't think Wall Street is the enemy though. And you are right: the fact that very few people are protesting doesn't mean the cause isn't just. But these so-called 'populist' movements of the Tea Party and OWS are really just stalling. Of course, the Tea Party has been far more damaging to America than OWS so far, but just give it time.

At first I was so horrified by the OWS (and the negative attention it would inevitably generate for the Left) that I thought they were instigated by the Right in order to demonize liberals. But as far as I can tell, it was started by liberal Canadians. I only hope that OWS considers it's PR, or that Obama maintains a healthy distance, or things will get much worse with a 9-9-9 plan, or with whatever Romney has up his sleeve.

fdsaf3
10-17-2011, 05:41 PM
I wasn't referring to anything you said, Unreasoner. I was referring to what I've heard on local news about the questionable legitimacy of the protests absent of unified goal which would cause the protests to end.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but all my understanding and experience comes from the Minnesota branch of this movement. And in that respect, the reason there's not one goal for the protests to accomplish is because it's a coalition of groups with disparate goals.

I guess that if thousands of people stand up and say "this system is broken", they are all throwing simultaneous temper tantrums. Thousands of people acting immaturely and irrationally is obviously the simpler explanation than the fact that they are responding to an external stimulus which galvanized them into action.

The Unreasoner
10-17-2011, 05:53 PM
I guess that if thousands of people stand up and say "this system is broken", they are all throwing simultaneous temper tantrums. Thousands of people acting immaturely and irrationally is obviously the simpler explanation than the fact that they are responding to an external stimulus which galvanized them into action.
Lol. I don't think I'd go that far. Although I detect some sarcasm there. Obviously there is some rationality here, but it is, like the Tea Party, an attempt to capitalize on (legitimate) frustration.

Again, I don't think that there is anything wrong with venting. I just think it is important to note that this is only the first step.

Some protestors clearly are more informed than others. I just think the lack of precision in the message detracts from the efficiency. Allowing environmentalists and anti-Semites to pollute the message really perpetuates inefficiency. Just like the BS birther movement and opposing raising the debt ceiling damaged the Tea Party's credibility.

fdsaf3
10-17-2011, 06:46 PM
Yep, sarcasm. I realize it can be very difficult to detect sarcasm on the internet, though.

For the record, I don't disagree with what you're saying about the precision of the message and the level of informedness among the protesters. There are people I've met who are there just to be there. But the overwhelming sense I get from talking to people is that they genuinely believe they are forging a lasting change to the social and political power structures which have crippled social advancement for the majority of people in this country. Whether or not that's true is another issue.

The Unreasoner
10-17-2011, 07:26 PM
Yep, sarcasm. I realize it can be very difficult to detect sarcasm on the internet, though.

For the record, I don't disagree with what you're saying about the precision of the message and the level of informedness among the protesters. There are people I've met who are there just to be there. But the overwhelming sense I get from talking to people is that they genuinely believe they are forging a lasting change to the social and political power structures which have crippled social advancement for the majority of people in this country. Whether or not that's true is another issue.
It is difficult to detect sarcasm.

A number of people I respect believe that OWS is doing important work. My girlfriend is doing it. She's even sleeping in the tents and has a sign talking about statehood for Palestine. Although I've been dropping lunch off this week for her and her friends, possibly pointing out the incompleteness of the idea of 'this is the image of democracy'. It is, to some extent, dependent on the charity of others. While I am not narrow-minded enough to take this idea as a literal one-to-one metaphor, opponents of OWS will leap at this point.

There certainly are problems that need fixing. Maybe OWS is a necessary entity to open up the discussion. Perhaps its confused nature is vital to its goal: if nothing else, it forces people to ask (and answer) "What should they be demanding?"

I appreciate the fact that the Tea Party and OWS both have members that are true believers of the cause. Whether or not they will succeed in fixing America's many problems (or at least in making an honest start), we will have to LAFO (Live And Find Out).

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-17-2011, 07:32 PM
Hard work should be rewarded whether it is particularly skilled or not. I'm not talking about huge rewards; I'm talking about the ability to live moderately comfortably.


My biggest issue with the protests is precisely these two points:

"Hard Work" is NOT something the 99% are willing to give. Not by a long shot. People are inherently lazy and want to do just enough (or less) to get by.

"Moderately comfortably" cannot be defined OR agreed upon by the majority of Americans who live below the $100,000 line.

When someone tells me they cannot make ends meet as they are streaming live video from their iPhone and then bitch they can't afford health insurance or pay their bills...well, try again to convince me you are living within your means and are not able to be "comfortable".

tworiverswoman
10-17-2011, 08:02 PM
Vietnam was left to its own devices precisely because of disorganized, grass-roots protests much like OWS. This is both a good and a bad example of how this kind of thing CAN direct a country's policies... Good because it shows that simply standing up and saying "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more," if enough people do it long enough, does in fact cause the Powers That Be to take notice and alter their course.

Bad because it resulted in the destruction of so many of the helpless after we fled the scene.

However, in those days, the protest was pretty firmly directed at the government. This protest is more about the money rather than the government, although the government policies are pretty much driven by money.

Sure, Sini, life is inherently unfair and yes, there will ALWAYS be a sharp divide between the rich and the poor. Rich people are necessary - any country that tries to implement confiscatory taxes will shortly discover that all their wealthiest citizens have moved away - and taken their money with them. I remember when the Beatles left England, because at that time they were being taxed at some horrific rate. 95%, according to Wiki. "They can afford it..." NINETY-FIVE PERCENT? What did the government THINK would happen?

Nevertheless, it's a fact that the ratio of highest pay to lowest pay in a given organization has gotten seriously unbalanced. No one expects the janitor to make as much as the CEO of a multi-national company, but when the Janitor takes home about $25,000 a year and the CEO takes home over a $BILLION, plus hidden perks and tax shelters, it's clear (at least to me) that money no longer represents anything that resembles "relative value" anymore. Fifty years ago, that janitor might have taken home $10,000, and his CEO might have gotten roughly $200,000 (President Kennedy's salary would have been $100,000 per year plus $50,000 for expenses, except that he refused to accept a salary....)

So, yeah - add me to the list of people who would really like to see a few changes though I'm too ignorant to know what would work.

The one really major change I would like to see in the way our government works is the total outlawing of unrelated riders on bills being passed through Congress. They pervert the process, as far as I'm concerned.

GonzoTheGreat
10-18-2011, 03:01 AM
It is difficult to detect sarcasm.Yeah, right!

See? Words ^ also sarcasm.

Case in point:The one really major change I would like to see in the way our government works is the total outlawing of unrelated riders on bills being passed through Congress.At first sight, that seems like a good idea. Then you wonder "who would decide whether or not those riders are unrelated to the bills", and you remember that's the blokes who are putting them in in the first place. Good example of sarcasm.

Terez
10-18-2011, 08:04 AM
My biggest issue with the protests is precisely these two points:

"Hard Work" is NOT something the 99% are willing to give. Not by a long shot. People are inherently lazy and want to do just enough (or less) to get by.
Provide some evidence for this, and we'll talk. Particularly, provide some evidence that compares and contrasts the willingness of the 99% to work to the willingness of the 1% to work.

fdsaf3
10-18-2011, 08:07 AM
Provide some evidence for this, and we'll talk. Particularly, provide some evidence that compares and contrasts the willingness of the 99% to work to the willingness of the 1% to work.

The 1% are rich, the 99% are poor. Obviously the only way in which this is true is if the 1% worked their asses off and the 99% sit around and loaf, bitch, and demand to be catered to.

The proof is in the pudding. Or, rather, the bank accounts.

Terez
10-18-2011, 08:11 AM
Quoted again for fixing.
People are inherently greedy and want to pay just enough (or less) to get by.
Truth!

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-18-2011, 08:56 AM
Those are NOT my words. Why are you altering my quote?

Juan
10-18-2011, 09:31 AM
I think it'd be amazing and I'd be very happy if everyone in the world could live in mansions with robots as servants, all the luxuries, never have to worry about lack of food or water, etc.

Sadly enough, though, that's not practical and it will never be reality because it's simply not possible. Some jobs are more valued than others and therefore merit higher compensation. Usually these jobs tend to be those that require more skill and therefore not as many people can do.

The solution is not blaming the rich and trying to justify taking from the rich by force what belongs to them. Nor is it bitching about this [sad] reality bc you're jealous of what others have.

GonzoTheGreat
10-18-2011, 09:43 AM
Then again, letting the rich buy up all the politicians they want because you're not willing to put any limits on campaign contributions doesn't seem to be a really well working solution either.

Juan
10-18-2011, 09:53 AM
I was bored waiting for my computer to restart, so as shocking as it may be, I actually read one of Gonzo's posts. This one wasnt as bad.. If you keep it up, maybe I'll reconsider my skip over Gonzo's posts policy, though you may or may not care.

Responding on my phone, but thankfully my reply is short:
Actually, there are limits. Nice try.

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-18-2011, 09:55 AM
I think it'd be amazing and I'd be very happy if everyone in the world could live in mansions with robots as servants, all the luxuries, never have to worry about lack of food or water, etc.



Well, yeah, we should all have that, right? 'Cuz if it exists, I am entitled to it!!!

Juan
10-18-2011, 10:01 AM
Lol I said I'd be happy if people had that presumably because they earned it.

No one is entitled to that stuff, but I got the sarcasm. Made me smile haha

Gilshalos Sedai
10-18-2011, 10:04 AM
Dunno if anyone's posted this yet, but this is ultimately what made me start to look at the protests in a different light.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/12/1025555/-Open-Letter-to-that-53-Guy

Juan
10-18-2011, 10:25 AM
I like how he places a lot of emphasis on the word kid to try to make the guy lose credibility and give himself some.

Btw I don't really like that.

As to the post itself, it was pretty. But the few solutions he offers are impractical, but that's a huge discussion by itself.

Gilshalos Sedai
10-18-2011, 10:30 AM
I don't care about his solutions. And uh... the guy IS a kid. But that may just be because I'm feeling my age today.

Actually, the parts I agree with is that that guy should be working that hard to get ahead, not break even.

Juan
10-18-2011, 10:41 AM
I agree with you there. But here's the thing:

He should get ahead, yes. But as we know in real life, should doesn't mean will. So he wants to ensure this an give a guarantee. So who ensures he gets ahead? The government? How?

Again, beautiful words, no practicality or applicability to real life.

GonzoTheGreat
10-18-2011, 10:45 AM
We don't want the Americans to get ahead. We Europeans very much preferred it when we were the most advanced region, and we would like to return to that situation. If Juan's "Americans need to work 60 hours a week, just to provide enough income for one person" can help with that, then what's the problem?

Me, I've always considered it stupid that right wing politicians in my country seemed to want to compete with the Chinese (South Koreans, Taiwanese, whoever the low paid foreign workers of the moment happened to be). Instead, it made far more sense to me to want to compete with the best and highest paid groups, so that we could become even richer instead of poorer.
But then, I'm a liberal. I do not want ordinary people to be effectively poor.

Davian93
10-18-2011, 10:52 AM
Well, yeah, we should all have that, right? 'Cuz if it exists, I am entitled to it!!!

Robots for servants are all good and well...but I want my flying car damnit!

http://blogs.courant.com/helen_ubinas/jetsons.jpg

Gilshalos Sedai
10-18-2011, 10:59 AM
Robots for servants are all good and well...but I want my flying car damnit!

http://blogs.courant.com/helen_ubinas/jetsons.jpg

Completely off-topic, but you'd like #5, Dav.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19496_6-classic-kids-shows-secretly-set-in-nightmarish-universes.html

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-18-2011, 11:00 AM
Dunno if anyone's posted this yet, but this is ultimately what made me start to look at the protests in a different light.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/12/1025555/-Open-Letter-to-that-53-Guy

I assume you are pointing more to the response than to the picture.

First, let me say right off, I believe in the right for folks to protest. I believe in the right to voice opinions.

My issue is still the confusion over what is being protested. It makes the whole movement look, well, dumb. I understand the point of "leaderless" and applaud the idea of it...trying to support the whole movement by proving it can be done without red tape and leaders. But the problem is, it DOESN'T.

Ok, in response to the article (the response):

Quote from the link:

If a family could live a good life with one wage-earner working a 40-hour job, then the American Dream was realized. If the income from that job could pay the bills, buy a car, pay for the kids’ braces, allow the family to save enough money for a down payment on a house and still leave some money for retirement and maybe for a college fund for the kids, then we were living the American Dream. The workers were sharing in the prosperity they helped create, and they still had time to take their kids to a ball game, take their spouses to a movie, and play a little golf on the weekends

Here is my response. Define good life. I have a part time job, 3 days a week, by choice. My husband works 40 hours. And by golly, we pay our bills, we have two cars (paid for btw and less than 4 years old, both), we own our home (with a mortgage that we pay), we own a SECOND home that is for sale, we have retirement plans, 401k plans, we have health insurance...a choice of two, mine and my husband's employers, we go the the movies, we have NFL season tickets, we go on vacation twice each year. We have a child who is well fed, diapered and well clothed. We are saving for private school for him. I have money in the bank for an emergency, as well as a savings in addition to retirement.

Am I just lucky? Or did I work damn hard and plan for it? Maybe both. I also live in the state with one, if not the highest, unemployment rate in the country, and foreclosures up the wazooo.

Here is the catch. I don't drive a $40,000 car. That isn't "living comfortably" that is excess. I don't currently have an iPhone, that isn't LC, that is excess. I don't get my nails done every week, I don't pay $150 for my haircuts, I don't buy the Coach purse. I don't eat out 2x a day 6 days a week. I don't buy diamond earrings. I don't go out drinking every weekend. I limit my Starbucks to 2x a week. Oh yeah, and I don't smoke.

Lucky? Hard worker? Both? You bet. I sure am not interested in sharing what I HAVE with someone who wants to have everything I do, and still wants MORE.

Ivhon
10-18-2011, 11:03 AM
Robots for servants are all good and well...but I want my flying car damnit!

http://blogs.courant.com/helen_ubinas/jetsons.jpg

I used to want a flying car.

But then I saw how many assholes can't drive in 2 dimensions and now the idea makes me shudder

Sei'taer
10-18-2011, 11:10 AM
Pretty interesting look at the differences and similarities of the two movements.



Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party: Compare and Contrast

One looks cooler. The other smells better. Do they agree on anything?

By Jacob Weisberg|Posted Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, at 7:16 PM ET

The Tea Party movement began on Feb. 19, 2009, when Rick Santelli, the CNBC financial journalist who reports from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ranted against the government bailing out homeowners who couldn’t pay their mortgages. The Occupy Wall Street protest got going two and a half years later, when editors at the anti-corporate Canadian magazine Adbusters were inspired by events in the Middle East to call for a mass demonstration against the financial industry on Sept. 19, 2011.



Those origins tell you a lot about how the two movements differ. The Tea Party has remained a purely American affair, while Occupy Wall Street strikes a global posture. The Tea Party began spontaneously, when a guy on TV got mad about freeloaders. Occupy Wall Street was planned over email by experienced organizers. The Tea Party is a revolt of the haves; Occupy Wall Street a revolt of the have-nots. Yet there are points of commonality between them. Both are angry about what they see as economic unfairness—the Tea Party over deviations from free-market principle, the Occupiers over excessive adherence to it. Both are hostile toward society’s elite, though they define that elite differently. Both are frustrated with the American political system.

Advertisement





Let’s go a little deeper into the comparison.



Grass-roots authenticity: Critics of the Tea Party have been quick to point out the ways in which it has been driven from above. Fox News used its megaphone to hype and encourage the Tax Day protests that were the Tea Party’s first big outing. Its personalities Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin became darlings of the movement. Wealthy conservatives like the Koch Brothers bankrolled the Tea Party while Republican politicians tumbled over each other to glom on.



It’s hard to see a parallel here to Occupy Wall Street, which has no major media champion or institutional support. Reuters published a weak story today attempting to link the liberal financier George Soros to the movement though a tenuous connection between his Open Society Institute, a San Francisco non-profit, and Adbusters. But Soros says he’s never heard of Adbusters and Adbusters says it hasn’t received money from Soros. Labor leaders want in, but so far haven’t had much impact on the protests.



Message coherence: At this point, it is pretty clear what the Tea Party view of the world is: smaller government, lower taxes, less spending, and less regulation. One can’t say the same about Occupy Wall Street, which raises a wide variety of complaints: Bankers should be punished; they should be paid less; government should regulate them more aggressively; society is becoming more unequal; people are out of work; money should have no sway in politics; capitalism isn’t working; etc. But Occupy Wall Street is less than a month old, and at a similar point in its emergence, it was much harder to say what the Tea Party stood for beyond “freedom” and the Constitution. OWS leaders, such as they are, have promised that more specific demands will emerge. The problem is that many of the Occupiers’ most trenchant complaints, like excessive pay for CEOs, don’t translate readily into a political program.



Impact: The energy generated by the Tea Party helped produce the big Republican swing in the 2010 election. But the influence of the Tea Party within the GOP also led to the nomination of unelectable candidates who arguably cost Republicans the Senate. Probably the Tea Party’s greatest achievement to date is keeping House Speaker John Boehner from agreeing to a debt-ceiling deal with President Obama that would have included a modest tax increase. Overall, the movement has made the Republican Party more rigidly right-wing without producing any substantive accomplishments. Its influence may now be on the wane. The GOP seems poised to nominate a candidate the Tea Party doesn’t like. Occupy Wall Street is probably at an earlier stage of its lifecycle, but already pointed toward a similar role: energizing the liberal base and pulling the Democratic Party to the left, without making anything in particular happen.






Style: Where the Tea Party is anarchic in principle and conservative in style, Occupy Wall Street is anarchic in style and liberal in principle. Tea Party rallies are dominated by middle-class, middle-aged white men who pack up their coolers and go home at the end of the day. The Occupy Wall Street encampment, which I visited a couple of times last week, is more like a Phish concert that forgot to end. The Tea Party, remember, was launched by a guy in a suit on the floor of a financial exchange; it’s the backward-looking movement of people worried about losing their place in society. Occupy Wall Street was spawned by a poster of a ballerina perched atop Wall Street’s bronze bull. It is the image-conscious, forward-looking movement of people worried that they may never live in the kind of country they want. Occupy Wall Street looks cooler. The Tea Party smells better.



Structure and Tactics: The Tea Party has evolved toward a hierarchical decision-making structure; OWS insists on a horizontal, consensus-driven one. Both movements are nonviolent, with deviations. Tea Partiers created an ugly scene at the Capitol last year and were accused of using racial epithets and spitting at members of Congress. OWS protestors have come into conflict with the police, and been criticized for creating squalor and nuisance in Lower Manhattan. Their tactics include civil disobedience, confrontation with authority, and a willingness to get arrested—something Tea Partiers aren’t interested in doing. This has already proved effective at drawing attention and sympathy. An episode of brutality by a New York City police officer with a can of pepper spray greatly expanded the profile of protests.



There is not much that the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street agree about other than that they are not like each other. Because of their huge cultural and ideological differences, both groups object to the comparison. But as spontaneous, unpredictable movements reshaping the political landscape, they have more in common than meets the eye. The parallels are much stronger than either prefers to admit.


Does anybody know where I can find anything that shows what the OWS wants and how they plan to make it happen beyond the protests? Just curious to see what it looks like. I've found a few things, but it seems to vary greatly depending on the region the protest is in.

Davian93
10-18-2011, 11:22 AM
Pretty interesting look at the differences and similarities of the two movements.






Does anybody know where I can find anything that shows what the OWS wants and how they plan to make it happen beyond the protests? Just curious to see what it looks like. I've found a few things, but it seems to vary greatly depending on the region the protest is in.

Like most populist movements, they dont really know what they want...all they know is that the current situation is bad and they want it changed/fixed.
Populist uprisings are one of the more dangerous aspects of democratic government. Though they've tended to topple more autocracies over the years than democracies...given the former's penchant for misrule.

Terez
10-18-2011, 11:34 AM
I like how he places a lot of emphasis on the word kid to try to make the guy lose credibility and give himself some.
A lot of (pro-OWS) people commented on that, and the guy responded and said it wasn't meant to be derogatory.

Terez
10-18-2011, 11:43 AM
Does anybody know where I can find anything that shows what the OWS wants and how they plan to make it happen beyond the protests? Just curious to see what it looks like. I've found a few things, but it seems to vary greatly depending on the region the protest is in.
I posted a link to the announcement (https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/home/the-steps-to-non-violent-revolution) for the Occupy Wall Street convention a few pages back. No one commented on it. It has a list (https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/) of standards for delegates and a list of the most widely-supported demands, plus a plan to enforce them. The listed demands are tentative because the purpose of the convention is to democratically decide what our demands are. This info is widely available but people who would rather marginalize and demean the protesters (not you) don't actually look for it.

Sinistrum
10-18-2011, 12:38 PM
Just some things I wanted to respond to from that article.

Do you really want to live in a society where just getting by requires a person to hold down two jobs and work 60 to 70 hours a week?

The entire premise of the article in response to the photo falls apart when you remove the assumption that there is an alternative to that statement.

But not everybody is as tough as you, or as strong, or as young.

Yeah and?

Does it mean that the single mother who can’t work on her feet longer than 50 hours a week doesn’t deserve a good life?

She deserves the life she can make for herself. Only she can decide whether its good or not. If working 50 hours a week doesn't afford her a "good life" and that is all she is either willing or able to work, then yes, that does in fact mean she doesn't deserve a good life. You don't get to get the "good life" on the backs of someone else simply because you're unwilling or incapable. Doing so is doing nothing short of taking away the chance for that other person to have a "good life" because that means they are working not only to support themselves but also you too. That is the essence of communalized responsibility for the lives of others. Instead of everyone getting the "good life," everyone just ends up in the shitter.

If a family could live a good life with one wage-earner working a 40-hour job, then the American Dream was realized. If the income from that job could pay the bills, buy a car, pay for the kids’ braces, allow the family to save enough money for a down payment on a house and still leave some money for retirement and maybe for a college fund for the kids, then we were living the American Dream. The workers were sharing in the prosperity they helped create, and they still had time to take their kids to a ball game, take their spouses to a movie, and play a little golf on the weekends.

So I guess everyone is entitled to this now, regardless of whether they have the talent or work ethic to achieve it huh?

For instance, I want everybody to have healthcare. I want lazy people to have healthcare. I want stupid people to have healthcare. I want drug addicts to have healthcare. I want bums who refuse to work even when given the opportunity to have healthcare. I’m willing to pay for that with my taxes, because I want to live in a society where it doesn’t matter how much of a loser you are, if you need medical care you can get it.

So why do they deserve health care again? And what's stopping you from paying more voluntarily if you want to throw money at this people without dragging me along for the ride? I know this comment is meant to illustrate how liberal the author is but I think it speaks volumes on the topic of OWS. It does because the liberal mindset of "it doesn't matter whether you're a loser or not you should get x,y, and z" is directly related to the protests. That statement above is probably the purist and most honest statement of liberal ideology I've ever seen. It a statement of pure entitlement.

Look kid, I don’t want you to “get by” working two jobs and 60 to 70 hours a week. If you’re willing to put in that kind of effort, I want you to get rich

Once again, this ignores the practical reality that not everyone can do this and get rich. Working sixty hours flipping burgers or scrubbing toilets isn't the same as working sixty hours performing open heart surgeries. The reason some types of labor are valued more than others is that anyone can do things like flip burgers. Quite frankly, I happen to think I make a better damn burger myself than any employee of McDonalds could ever make for me. And as such, their labor making that burger is no where near worth me paying the prices I would on a McDonald's hamburger in order to give them a "living wage." Constrast that with the heart surgeon. Not everyone has the intelligence, coordination, and focus necessary to develop the skills it takes to perform open heart surgery. I sure as hell wouldn't attempt to perform such a procedure on myself or anyone else. The people who can are elite and there work is worth exponentially more to me should the need for me have heart surgery arise (perhaps from eating too many of my delicious homemade burgers). They are above the burger flippers. They are better for (and better than) and more valuable to society than the burger flipper. And they deserve to have that value rewarded above and beyond the burger flipper. If that means the burger flipper scraps by because that's all he can or wants to do and the heart surgery lives in the lap of luxury (when he actually has time to enjoy it) then so be it. That is as it should be.

Sei'taer
10-18-2011, 02:07 PM
I posted a link to the announcement (https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/home/the-steps-to-non-violent-revolution) for the Occupy Wall Street convention a few pages back. No one commented on it. It has a list (https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/) of standards for delegates and a list of the most widely-supported demands, plus a plan to enforce them. The listed demands are tentative because the purpose of the convention is to democratically decide what our demands are. This info is widely available but people who would rather marginalize and demean the protesters (not you) don't actually look for it.

I missed it. I've really only been skimming the whole thing though.

bowlwoman
10-18-2011, 02:48 PM
it started with Carter, but Reagan really pulled the plug

Repped. Repped to high heaven. Repped to Infinity +1.

Gilshalos Sedai
10-18-2011, 02:58 PM
Once again, this ignores the practical reality that not everyone can do this and get rich. Working sixty hours flipping burgers or scrubbing toilets isn't the same as working sixty hours performing open heart surgeries. The reason some types of labor are valued more than others is that anyone can do things like flip burgers. Quite frankly, I happen to think I make a better damn burger myself than any employee of McDonalds could ever make for me. And as such, their labor making that burger is no where near worth me paying the prices I would on a McDonald's hamburger in order to give them a "living wage." Constrast that with the heart surgeon. Not everyone has the intelligence, coordination, and focus necessary to develop the skills it takes to perform open heart surgery. I sure as hell wouldn't attempt to perform such a procedure on myself or anyone else. The people who can are elite and there work is worth exponentially more to me should the need for me have heart surgery arise (perhaps from eating too many of my delicious homemade burgers). They are above the burger flippers. They are better for (and better than) and more valuable to society than the burger flipper. And they deserve to have that value rewarded above and beyond the burger flipper. If that means the burger flipper scraps by because that's all he can or wants to do and the heart surgery lives in the lap of luxury (when he actually has time to enjoy it) then so be it. That is as it should be.

I object. I make better hamburgers than you do.

Mort
10-18-2011, 03:20 PM
A problem with detailing exactly what the movement want, and how it should be done, is that they want enough people behind the movement. By only saying: "This is bad", without telling how to fix it, you gather more people to the cause.

A lot of people don't like Wall Street. Few would support taking them out back and execute them (I think?).

Mort
10-18-2011, 03:38 PM
http://boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/427036777.jpg

The Unreasoner
10-18-2011, 04:13 PM
I used to want a flying car.

But then I saw how many assholes can't drive in 2 dimensions and now the idea makes me shudder
Hahaha....
Youngling Rep


On another note, it seems that one huge problem is that there just isn't demand for the jobs people can (and are willing) to do. 99% of people are replaceable. I know I am. The precious few artists/entertainers, true innovators, and fundamental investors really have little need for most of us. And it is ridiculous to say that 60 hours of work from me is equal to 60 hours of work from Bill Gates or Trey Parker or Mark Zuckerberg. The fact is that most demands can be met more efficiently today than they could be 20 years ago. Which sort of sucks, especially for those of us in the service industry. But forcing the so-called 'evil rich people' to hire us instead of using a (more efficient) software program seems tantamount to extortion.

Terez
10-18-2011, 05:47 PM
1. Do you know how many billions in stagnant capital the biggest corporations are sitting on?

2. No one is suggesting equal pay. We want to decrease the wage gap, not eradicate it.

bowlwoman
10-18-2011, 05:58 PM
Do you know how many billions in stagnant capital the biggest corporations are sitting on?

I have some idea when my husband's company "strongly encourages" employees to take mandatory vacation days in September so when earnings come out at the beginning of October (fiscal quarter and/or fiscal year), some of the PTO liability is reduced, their cash pool is larger, and their financials look better to shareholders and analysts. It's stupid.

Sukoto
10-18-2011, 06:33 PM
I am financially stable at the moment. I got here partly because of government services like student loans and partly because I took a risk, went to an expensive graduate school and took on a lot of debt so I could get the job I now have. I wasn't tricked. I went into all of it knowing I would have to pay back the loans even though I had no guarantee of getting a job. I recognize that I am fortunate. I met my wife at graduate school, and her parents have helped us many times financially just because they wanted to. My wife graduated with no debt. We both found good jobs in the same area. All of this didn't come just because of hard work. It was a lot of being in the right place at the right time.

If I have a point, it's that some of the anger at Wall Street or at the government is entirely understandable. With someone like Eric Cantor in a position of power, and with individuals pulling in annual salaries higher than my small company's 10-year revenue, how could you not be angry? There's just something about it that doesn't seem right. But not all the anger is understandable. A large chunk of the U.S. population is still employed, not going through foreclosure and living comfortably. It's still possible, and even highly probable, for most people to live a "good life" without coming from a rich family or being a genius. So all the rhetoric about the middle class being squeezed and the cards being stacked against us doesn't resonate with a lot of people in the 99%.

Sinistrum
10-18-2011, 06:54 PM
1. Do you know how many billions in stagnant capital the biggest corporations are sitting on?

And this is wrong of them because? Its their money. They are free to use it or not how they see fit. Oh wait, do you actually think you're entitled to a share of that? By that argument, I might as well advocate raiding the average American's savings account for the "general welfare." After all, you "hoarding" that capital is doing just as much good for our nation as what the corporations are doing. How dare you be greedy and just sit on it when there are losers out there who need health care.

2. No one is suggesting equal pay. We want to decrease the wage gap, not eradicate it.

So if I can cook my own cheeseburgers and they are better than the ones the poor guy at McDonald's cooks but I can't perform my own open heart surgery, where is the rationale for increasing the value of the burger flipper's work and decreasing the heart surgeon's? The wage gap is directly related to the over all value of the work and the replacability of the one doing it. And the vast majority of workers are either unskilled or minimally so and therefore are easily replaced

Gilshalos Sedai
10-18-2011, 06:57 PM
So if I can cook my own cheeseburgers and they are better than the ones the poor guy at McDonald's cooks but I can't perform my own open heart surgery, where is the rationale for increasing the value of the burger flipper's work and decreasing the heart surgeon's? The wage gap is directly related to the over all value of the work and the replacability of the one doing it. And the vast majority of workers are either unskilled or minimally so and therefore are easily replaced

Isn't that kinda the problem? They've all been replaced by robots?

Bryan Blaire
10-18-2011, 07:34 PM
have an entire news corporation sponsoring and organizing it
Well, I can see the Tea Party having one behind it. They want less taxes, corporations almost always seem to want less taxes.

I would think if the Occupy Wall Street movement wanted corporate support, that would kinda be like trying to cram your own sexual organs into your butt… Totally self-defeating (and probably really painful).

their rights
Knowing your rights is always good. They probably should have checked on that before going out there and needing a flyer like that. Especially if your township requires a permit to protest and you can be arrested for not having one. Cops laughing as they arrest you while you are asserting your right to free speech and peaceful protest isn’t that fun, especially when they are right and you were breaking the law.

I don't know what the ultimate resolution to this is going to be, but it's cool to see it happen.
Yeah, that’s what some of the victims of some of the other “peaceful” revolutions probably thought when those they supported into power turned back around and took most of their stuff. Hope your resolution is what you ultimately want. ;)

*************************************************

That was as far as I got in my responses before I realized it was all a waste of time. OWS is a waste of time, because it isn't even really directed at the right target, and it's "international" flavor is in complete opposition to the "Wall Street" concept, which is a US only location. Now, if they changed their name to something like the "International We Hate International Stock Markets and the Richest People in the World," then at least they'd be accurate. The Tea Party is also a waste of time, because they also don't understand the very government they are claiming to want less of.

Here's what I've noticed about OWS: Several actors and actresses have voiced their support, and apparently some have even shown up to give moral support at some protest locations, and they've been well received and Hollywoodists are generally fawned over everywhere, so unless someone can give me a report where a OWSist threatened them with a rock or something, I have no reason to believe that this didn't happen there too. Don't believe me? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/02/occupy-wall-street-celebrities-_n_991066.html
Give me a F-:eek: break! Most of those people are multi-millionaires and they show their hypocrisy blatantly with this type of male bovine :eek:. Some of them pull down $10+ million for a single film. A film! I understand it is stressful and if the film sucks, they may never work again, and it requires some serious intensity, emotional understanding and control, but in the end, they are paid to be in a video that nerdy kids get ridiculed and tortured in school for doing: dressing up and pretending to be someone else. If they love the other 99% so much, why do they hire extremely well paid accountants to do their taxes in a way that lets them keep the most money they are capable of, instead of just paying the "full amount they owe"? Why have we not seen an actor or actress of this caliber that supports the "liberal ideals" up and chuck their entire haul for a single film to the United Way, Special Olympics, Planned Parenthood, any of the many adoption foundations or orphanages, or, if they believe the Federal government of the US can do so well (I assume that since they constantly support the Democratic party, they must believe in at least one part of the Federal government) just pay it all extra in taxes? The closest I came was Nick Cage for World Trade Center movie to the charities for WTC survivors, etc. Why do actors and singers organize and support charity actions where they get others to donate, rather than just doing it all for free and donating the money themselves?

Why has there been no OWS rally to have all their big time supporters donate their "excessive" funds to the federal government to spread out for food stamps, etc?

Another simple question: if all the Democratic party members truly believe that the federal government does so much good, why don't all of them consistently pay more in taxes than is required? Are any of the liberals here at Theoryland willing to fess up to paying more taxes than is required on tax day? Does anyone refuse their tax return in favor of the government having just a little more money to operate to make life in the US better? Has anyone started sending checks with "My family's portion of the US debt" to help pay it down?

A non-partisan question: Why the hell is any American President allowed to keep any money they make due to the fact that they are or were one of our President's? They get health care, retirement, personal security and other benefits until they die because of this. Why should they also get to keep money made due to memoirs of the Presidency or speaking engagements where the draw is "former President X". Why should they get to keep money from books or any other created works made or published during the Presidency? Those sell better because you were elected. You get paid a salary for being President, along with the benefits. Why should you get more? Especially when all the Presidents say "We want the US people to do better."

Why does it seem like people here are only willing to accept doing more when it is in the form of everyone else is also being forced to do so (in which case, I call male bovine :eek: on you truly wanting to do more in the first place)?

It's all hypocritical donkey-balls.

BTW, if you have the nerve, there are a couple of ideas to take back to Occupy Wall Street to get them to implement, and it allows "liberal leaders" to actually take the initiative and show the rest of us the better way to live. Hold your own leaders accountable before you start coming out and touting that everyone else is drek for not doing it before you and your leaders force them to.

Res_Ipsa
10-18-2011, 07:41 PM
1. Do you know how many billions in stagnant capital the biggest corporations are sitting on?

Echoing Sini, it is their money, and also you display a certain naivety by that argument. A) It displays an entitlement mentality echoing your own collectivist ideology, and B) it also displays a lack of actual knowledge concerning business and investment. In point of fact most corporations are leveraged to the gills in debt, that is just how corporations do business these days. What capital reserves the big ones do have are reinvested. The oil companies have the lowest of all businesses in terms of profit to dollars spent; margins with no guarantee considering they have to lay out BILLIONS with no guarantee of oil. Wall Street Firms have a great deal of capital for obvious reasons as that is the name of the game and how they engineer purchases. C) How do you think the stock market works? It is those huge reserves of cash that allow mom and pop to retire, not mom and pop's money.

2. No one is suggesting equal pay. We want to decrease the wage gap, not eradicate it.

You do not deserve 15+ dollars an hour to flip a burger. A union worker who pushes a button on an assembly line does not deserve 100 dollars an hour in benefits. With the former they get paid at a level that is commiserate with their work load and the latter is because the government is pro union at the expense of the business, auto industry anyone?

You are entitled to NOTHING that you and the majority of like minded feel you are. If you have not noticed, the kids doing the protest look exactly like they should be working in a McDonalds. They all have piercings, tattoos, long hair and are generally part of the crowd that wants things handed to them. There might be a few normal kids but those are the ones who went to college, like yourself, to learn about injustice without actual knowledge. As the saying goes, there are some things so stupid that you could only learn in college. You will think this is generalization or counter that revolutions are often the young college kids, but in reality it is just a bunch of kids who know nothing, and adults who should know better swayed by the inherent inherent greed of a generation that has known no adversity and still feels it deserves a silver spoon. It is easy to get caught up in it when you exercise no reasoned logic and instead call upon others to join in your guttural cry for entitlements.

Frankly, you are counting on the support of the "99%" that are nothing but a bunch of whiny entitlement worshipers. Free college, free healthcare, you name it. Your side is not right, your side is relying on a primal hatred of those who are wealthy. It is sad.

All that I can see from these protestors is that they are A) Angry, and B) Have no unified voice as to real demands; in short, a mob. You direct your anger at the wealthy simply bc they are an easy scapegoat and Obama embraces them bc they divert attn from government malfeasance. If you want to direct your anger at anyone, it should be the government. However, they are the ones that give you the free stuff, and we all know you do not bite the hand that feeds you.

If you are the 99% (and you are not) that is why I am fine with the concept that numbers alone do not make you right. Considering yours is an idea predicated on greed/envy and anger (without meaning), you can keep it.

PS
In the US, the disparity of wealth is an illusion precisely because we are so damn rich; 50 out of 75 trillion of the worlds cash reserves is in the US or in its corporations. What you have here are those who have not done well in life and feel they should or the bottom % who always wondered why they get stepped on because it could never be their fault.

http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/agD82NUZGK2RRlHHA7Cfng--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9aW5zZXQ7aD0zNTA7cT04NTt3PTUxMg--/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/Reuters/2011-10-16T001337Z_01_BKS10_RTRIDSP_3_USA-WALLSTREET-PROTESTS-BOSTON.jpg

Guy Fawkes masks makes you crusaders against injustice right?

Sinistrum
10-18-2011, 07:41 PM
Isn't that kinda the problem? They've all been replaced by robots?

So what are corporations supposed to do? Role back the clock on technology? Eat the additional costs of hiring workers instead of going automated simply because of some misguided notion that people are somehow owed a job?

Why does it seem like people here are only willing to accept doing more when it is in the form of everyone else is also being forced to do so (in which case, I call male bovine on you truly wanting to do more in the first place)?

Funny how that works. I guess its a lot easier to be a bleeding heart when you're doing it with someone else's time, effort, and money.

Gilshalos Sedai
10-18-2011, 07:49 PM
So what are corporations supposed to do? Role back the clock on technology? Eat the additional costs of hiring workers instead of going automated simply because of some misguided notion that people are somehow owed a job?


Dude, why the hell are you taking me seriously?


I was being ironic. Robots were supposed to make our lives easier.

Ooops.

fdsaf3
10-18-2011, 08:17 PM
Knowing your rights is always good. They probably should have checked on that before going out there and needing a flyer like that. Especially if your township requires a permit to protest and you can be arrested for not having one. Cops laughing as they arrest you while you are asserting your right to free speech and peaceful protest isn’t that fun, especially when they are right and you were breaking the law.

I like how you simply assume that people protesting are breaking the law without any justifiable reason to do so. It's not like anyone participating in the protests are intelligent. Oh no, we can't make that assumption. We must assume that everyone involved in the protest is a good-for-nothing freeloader who just likes to bitch and moan!


Yeah, that’s what some of the victims of some of the other “peaceful” revolutions probably thought when those they supported into power turned back around and took most of their stuff. Hope your resolution is what you ultimately want. ;)


Keep the "yours" to yourself. I am not a part of these protests. To my knowledge, I have not taken a side as far as where I come down. I started off posting in this thread by trying to show that some of the common misconceptions being spread by the media are misleading and/or wrong. If I mistakenly gave the wrong impression about my interest or participation in these protests, my bad. Let me officially say that I am not affiliated with them. I honestly don't know how I feel about the issue. I think there are compelling ideas, but I'm not sure I agree with the methods used (among other things).

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-18-2011, 08:23 PM
Quoted again for fixing.

Truth!

Once again Terez, why did you intentionally alter my quote? Please either delete it or specifically remove my name from it. Those are NOT my words

Bryan Blaire
10-18-2011, 08:38 PM
I like how you simply assume that people protesting are breaking the law without any justifiable reason to do so. It's not like anyone participating in the protests are intelligent. Oh no, we can't make that assumption. We must assume that everyone involved in the protest is a good-for-nothing freeloader who just likes to bitch and moan!

I like how you assume that I'm somehow against you directly and respond in that fashion. :eek:

I like how you assume that what you stated is what I wrote. Here's a recap of what I wrote in simpler terms: There probably shouldn't really have been a need for that flyer, but it's good that there was one at least. It sucks when you think you know your rights and it turns out you don't and you get arrested for it. ;) Hope that spells it out for you. BTW, been right around protests before where that has happened, so it isn't like I'm just shooting my mouth off.

Keep the "yours" to yourself. I am not a part of these protests. To my knowledge, I have not taken a side as far as where I come down. I started off posting in this thread by trying to show that some of the common misconceptions being spread by the media are misleading and/or wrong. If I mistakenly gave the wrong impression about my interest or participation in these protests, my bad. Let me officially say that I am not affiliated with them. I honestly don't know how I feel about the issue. I think there are compelling ideas, but I'm not sure I agree with the methods used (among other things).
Hey, you realize that you said what I quoted, right? Let me re-quote you so that you can make sure it was actually you, let me know if I mistakenly misquoted you and I'll redo the quote:
I don't know what the ultimate resolution to this is going to be, but it's cool to see it happen.
Was that you?

You said it's cool to see it happen, right?

That means you are interested in seeing the ultimate resolution, right? Am I mistaken in that? I simply posted my observations of what has happened with others that probably thought it was "cool" to see a "peaceful revolution" happen and wanted to see the resolution. ;)

You realize there was a mountain of other crap to respond to. It is telling that you only responded to what you obviously felt was personal. Maybe you can pass some of the other stuff along to your friend that is actively participating like Terez is, rather than passively posting things.

Terez
10-19-2011, 04:11 AM
Once again Terez, why did you intentionally alter my quote? Please either delete it or specifically remove my name from it. Those are NOT my words
It's a common internet meme to 'fix' people's quotes for truth, and we do it here all the time. You're the first person on Theoryland who has ever complained about it.

Davian93
10-19-2011, 07:59 AM
I enjoy watching several TLers white knight for multi-national corporations that would have them killed if it meant another 1 cent per share in profits in the 4th quarter. Its fun.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 08:10 AM
Quoted again for altering statements!

People are inherently lazy and want to do just enough (or less) to get by.

Half-Truth, Half-Lie, All Alteration and Missing the Point!

The real truth is that humans are animals and, like all animals, will expend exactly as much effort as is required to get what they want, because they need it or desire it. If they think they can find an easier way to get it than would normally be required, they will resort to those measures, such as theft, as seen in the animal kingdom over kills for food, or scavenging (pretty self-explanatory). In humans, this also takes the form of populist movements demanding access to things that the populace wouldn't normally have, regardless of whether they are actually supposed to have those things or not. This is called legalized theft and is either because of wrongful denial of access or wrongful access to goods and services to which they have not earned through their own energy expenditure, most often garnered through social entitlement programs where the person has to meet no legal compliance (such as obeying the laws if the country that is providing the assistance) or obligation (such as free work done on the government's behalf for 5-10 hours a week).

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 08:12 AM
I enjoy watching several TLers white knight for multi-national corporations that would have them killed if it meant another 1 cent per share in profits in the 4th quarter. Its fun.

Like Hollywood? Or NBC? 'Cause lest we forget, NBC is owned by GE, te horrible tax-evader, but we can trust everything we see on NBC News, yes? Or on the Internet news sites that run on their servers, etc.

I enjoy watching supposedly rational, moderate claiming TLers break down into raving lunatics arguing for agendas that really do nothing for them and ignore rational arguments aboutthings that can actually be done.

It's also fun to watch people argue over political systems that they have interest in but display little knowledge about or will to get involved in. Here's a hint, there are ways of getting candidates onto political ballots without being a political party member, but it may take some work and legal research. You don't have to take the current political situation lying down, but it will take work, and if you aren't willing to do that (assuming you aren't legally prohibited by your job - due to government employment or other service), then you aren't any better than the average apathetic American, you've just shown you whine and complain more publically.

GonzoTheGreat
10-19-2011, 08:27 AM
This is called legalized theft (read: social entitlement programs) and is either because of wrongful denial of access or wrongful access to goods and services to which they have not earned through their own energy expenditure, most often garnered through social programs where the person has to meet no legal compliance (such as obeying the laws if the country that is providing the assistance) or obligation (such as free work done on the government's behalf for 5-10 hours a week).That legalized theft is also called taxation. Without it, you would not have any laws. Instead, you would have only total anarchy.

If you like that, go to Somalia. If you don't have the courage to try your luck in such a situation where you would only face "not legalized theft", then you might want to consider facing reality and accept that taxes are a necessary part of living in a human society.
Or you can gripe about it and pretend that with enough hand waving everything will be all right if only all taxation were abolished.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Gonzo, did you read the freaking part where I wrote "wrongful denial of access"? Did that phrase confuse you? I realize I put a parenthetical in there where it shouldn't have been. I'll correct that, but I'm thinking you didn't actually read what I wrote. I give a lot more credence than you do to the concept of the truth often being somewhere in the middle between two points of opinion. ;) You just spout off your opinion and assume it's right.

I'm also not claiming that an end to taxation will be of benefit, or even that an end to social programs will be of benefit. That's something you keep puking up on me. You'll note that I didn't write that, right? You still read and comprehend English, right? I don't think it is your first language, so you still are up on me there. However, nothing I pointed out is untrue and no amount of hand wringing and denying reality will change that fact for you.

Also, unlike your claim that without taxation you could have no laws (which is not true), the real truth is that without taxation, you could have plenty of laws, they would be completely unenforceable though and therefore hold no weight to the populace (if there was even a populace and you weren't just making up laws for yourself) and be broken all the time, much like exactly what currently happens even with taxation in the US currently. Everyone just assumes that you can write yet another law that won't be enforced to fix it here, instead of realizing that there is a completely different problem afoot.

Mort
10-19-2011, 08:38 AM
http://i.imgur.com/rbHOZ.jpg

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 08:52 AM
Something I'd actually like to know, I guess mostly from Terez, since she is apparently the only TLer actually participating directly in this movement is "What exactly do you really want to see change because of this? What is your number one goal for being a part of the movement?"

I'd also like to hear what others thing this moment could accomplish.

GonzoTheGreat
10-19-2011, 08:52 AM
Bryan, there is, as you may know, quite a lot of debate over what is "wrongful" and what isn't. And over what is a "social entitlement program" too, for that matter. By simply saying no to all of them you do give a rather strong impression of being in the "no to taxation" camp.

You could, of course, come out and name some of those programs you want scrapped. How about the socialist health care that veterans get? They got paid for their service, they can use the proceeds of that for their own hospital bills now, can't they? So, do you want this bit of legalized theft ended, or do you want it to continue?

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 11:02 AM
Had a long post get eaten, will have to try again later.

Gonzo, since you are analyzing my posts for me, please quote where I said "No" to social programs, such as VA health care, please. Just the quote, that will be sufficient to prove your point. If you could also provide the quote where I suggested or implied, or even outright stated, that any of them should be scrapped that would also be much more in keeping with proving your point.

As well, I would suggest reading the other many posts I have made in this topic and actually provide some well-reasoned counters to all the other things I've written, rather than your standard attempt to pin me down on things I didn't actually say, unless you are in agreement with what I suggested, in which case posting your agreement will indicate your reasonableness rather than showing you are just reacting to comments only made in your own mind.

GonzoTheGreat
10-19-2011, 11:37 AM
Bryan, I think that the main part of our current disagreement is a misunderstanding. Probably a large part of that is my not properly understanding what you're proposing to about the entitlement programs you referred to, and how you want to decide what does and does not fit that bill. However, that is (probably*) off topic, so I would suggest that we leave it.

I do agree that without clear goals, it seems rather unlikely that OCW will achieve its goals. That is a bit of a weak spot in the movement.
I do not think that they'll do any worse than other protest movements in democracies, though. Generally, protests get ignored anyway, so having that happen here too won't be exceptional.

* Depending on what OWS wants. And since they themselves don't know, it is a bit hard to figure out precisely what the topic is in this thread.

Davian93
10-19-2011, 12:00 PM
Had a long post get eaten, will have to try again later.

Gonzo, since you are analyzing my posts for me, please quote where I said "No" to social programs, such as VA health care, please. Just the quote, that will be sufficient to prove your point. If you could also provide the quote where I suggested or implied, or even outright stated, that any of them should be scrapped that would also be much more in keeping with proving your point.

As well, I would suggest reading the other many posts I have made in this topic and actually provide some well-reasoned counters to all the other things I've written, rather than your standard attempt to pin me down on things I didn't actually say, unless you are in agreement with what I suggested, in which case posting your agreement will indicate your reasonableness rather than showing you are just reacting to comments only made in your own mind.

Can I keep my socialized VA medical care and stipend?

I kinda like both and the former pretty much saved me when I was unemployed with no healthcare.

Ivhon
10-19-2011, 12:31 PM
Can I keep my socialized VA medical care and stipend?

I kinda like both and the former pretty much saved me when I was unemployed with no healthcare.

Nope. Robbing my hard earned tax dollars.

In the future, I'm afraid I'm gonna just have to let you die. I'll miss you and everything, but really your parents just didn't work hard enough to make you better. And you pretty much slacked too.

Off to McDonalds!

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 12:38 PM
Can I keep my socialized VA medical care and stipend?

I kinda like both and the former pretty much saved me when I was unemployed with no healthcare.

Davian, I will answer your question when you do the same thing as Gonzo: quote where I said "No" to social programs, such as VA health care, please. Just the quote, that will be sufficient to prove your point. If you could also provide the quote where I suggested or implied, or even outright stated, that any of them should be scrapped that would also be much more in keeping with proving your point.

As well, I would suggest reading the other many posts I have made in this topic and actually provide some well-reasoned counters to all the other things I've written, rather than your standard attempt to pin me down on things I didn't actually say, unless you are in agreement with what I suggested, in which case posting your agreement will indicate your reasonableness rather than showing you are just reacting to comments only made in your own mind.

Ivhon
10-19-2011, 12:55 PM
Davian, I will answer your question when you do the same thing as Gonzo: quote where I said "No" to social programs, such as VA health care, please. Just the quote, that will be sufficient to prove your point. If you could also provide the quote where I suggested or implied, or even outright stated, that any of them should be scrapped that would also be much more in keeping with proving your point.

As well, I would suggest reading the other many posts I have made in this topic and actually provide some well-reasoned counters to all the other things I've written, rather than your standard attempt to pin me down on things I didn't actually say, unless you are in agreement with what I suggested, in which case posting your agreement will indicate your reasonableness rather than showing you are just reacting to comments only made in your own mind.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that you said or inferred something you didn't, BB. The argument brings up a major problem with Tea Party/current libertarian thinking. Very few people - and Im not suggesting that this applies to you at all - are willing to give up the socialized programs that benefit them individually. You saw this frequently in the 2010 election rampup, "GD socialized government redistributing my wealth....DON'T TOUCH MY MEDICARE!!" VA benefits fall in the same category. We pay our soldiers for their service - granted, not as much as we pay our mercenaries - they should use that money to pay for health care just like the rest of us use our paychecks to do so.

Now, before you all start jumping my shit for daring to suggest that we take away VA benefits, understand that I am pointing out a problem in libertarian (to avoid the perjorative of tea party) argument. I believe strongly in a social safety net (not a social luxury net) and I know first hand how important the benefits the VA provide are (I think one of the great snow jobs of the Republican party is the whole "we are for the soldiers" lie - they spend on the military true, but not on the soldiers. Go Dick Cheney).

EDIT: The big problem is that one kindof has to take an "absolutely no social safety net. Let him die." stance - where NOTHING gets redistributed or you don't. And if you don't, then you are left with the question of who gets to decide what is appropriate social benefits and what is "forced robbery." Everyone, of course, will think that their values are the only important ones and any values that clash with those are "stupid, ignorant and uninformed." Which is America in our times, now, isn't it?

fdsaf3
10-19-2011, 01:12 PM
I know there's a vocal plurality of people in the Minnesota branch of this movement who are helping to get everyone registered to vote. There's a message that you need to be part of the political process before you can really complain that the system isn't working for you.

I know it's a small thing, but getting young and unregistered voters to the polling booths on election day could provide a pretty substantial change to the results of the election.

And I'm not saying that this will skew results to the left, and I'm especially not saying that results of elections ought to be skewed to the left.

Frenzy
10-19-2011, 01:23 PM
EDIT: The big problem is that one kindof has to take an "absolutely no social safety net. Let him die." stance - where NOTHING gets redistributed or you don't. And if you don't, then you are left with the question of who gets to decide what is appropriate social benefits and what is "forced robbery." Everyone, of course, will think that their values are the only important ones and any values that clash with those are "stupid, ignorant and uninformed." Which is America in our times, now, isn't it?

That's the problem with reactionary thinking. Things are bad down this path, so let's go completely opposite because that'll be ever so much better. When reality is that a balanced, middle of the road approach is probably the best solution.

The biggest problem i have with the Libertarian ideology is that it relies on people to do the right thing. Which has been demonstrated ad nauseum to be wishful thinking. Doesn't mean you should try though, i suppose.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 01:39 PM
Well, at least Gonzo's was, as he addressed me directly. I apologize Dav for assuming your post was directed at me simply due to the quote without you actually addressing the response to me.

I respect that we can't just completely drop everything, and I don't think we should just go around arbitrarily choosing who no longer gets benefits (although to be honest, after working in the gov't, I have come to believe this is how some beneficiaries are actually chosen in the first place: arbitrarily from the pool of candidates), but I think that in our country, you can't just target Wall Street and say "They bought Congress," because there are plenty of little companies traded in the penny stock market or never make the NASDAQ but are still traded there at the stock exchange that really have nothing to do with the situation, but if you start cranking down on "Wall Street," you may be arbitrarily be cranking down on them too, and that just ruins crap further. There needs to be some actual thought behind this stuff. It reaches into many facets of America, and before people start wanting to just rip chunks out (like the Tea Party and OWS), there needs to be some knowledge on just what gets affected and how it truly is affected. I've already acknowledge that the Tea Party (and many other groups like them) don't actually understand what they are spouting. Sure, some in the group do, but just like a person is smart, a mob is stupid, a group is also generally dumber than the sum of its parts.

Problems are here in the system, yes. The system is also somewhat circular, so if you start inserting and cutting out the wrong portions of the circle and splicing new parts in, you end up with a situation like a bad molecular experiment: bacteria that eat plastic and can infect humans at a lethal rate when all you wanted to do was make them produce insulin precursors. There's a reason I said that just being angry isn't good enough, let's get some good understanding of what's actually wrong and a real idea of where we need to go, rather than everyone just rattling off the same old ideologies. Some things have to be working, because we aren't dead in the water, but EVERYTHING has to be capable of being blamed, whether it is business, government, and even the populace of the US and no one, not a single stitch or segment of any of that can be considered off limits.

Ivhon
10-19-2011, 01:46 PM
Problems are here in the system, yes. The system is also somewhat circular, so if you start inserting and cutting out the wrong portions of the circle and splicing new parts in, you end up with a situation like a bad molecular experiment: bacteria that eat plastic and can infect humans at a lethal rate when all you wanted to do was make them produce insulin precursors. There's a reason I said that just being angry isn't good enough, let's get some good understanding of what's actually wrong and a real idea of where we need to go, rather than everyone just rattling off the same old ideologies. Some things have to be working, because we aren't dead in the water, but EVERYTHING has to be capable of being blamed, whether it is business, government, and even the populace of the US and no one, not a single stitch or segment of any of that can be considered off limits.


This. With the corollary that nobody has ALL the answers

Davian93
10-19-2011, 01:50 PM
The biggest problem I see is that a good chunk simply dont believe that the system can be fixed and/or they simply dont want to see it fixed as they'd rather watch the world burn.

Even getting a large majority to agree that something NEEDS to be fix is nearly impossible in the current political landscape. Its hard to fix something when many are actively attempting to destroy the very thing you'd like to fix.

Terez
10-19-2011, 02:21 PM
This. With the corollary that nobody has ALL the answers
One thing you will hear repeated a lot among protesters is that this is all about starting a conversation that our leaders can't ignore. We can say the same things we've been saying for years but, because of the opportunity these protests have given us, we can say it a little more loudly. Because of the energy of this particular protest, we actually have a chance to make something happen. There are some things we can all agree on - even Sini agrees that big money in politics is a problem, apparently...he just doesn't believe the protests will change anything. And I think it's that kind of apathy that has allowed things to get this bad.

Chris Hedges is becoming one of my favorites. Every now and then he says something I'm not sure I agree with, but he's pretty dead-on most of the time:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/a_movement_too_big_to_fail_20111017/

I'm reading a few of his books simultaneously and he's been predicting mass protests for a long time, as have a few others I've read. Even Jeffrey Sachs did that, in his book that came out shortly after the protests started. Mass protests don't just happen because it's the cool thing to do; they happen when the people are angry.

Another cool page I ran across today:

http://www.redneckparty.org/

"What is OWS protesting?" is not a very helpful question to ask. It's pretty obvious that OWS is protesting economic injustice. "What can we do about it?" is (and should be) a collective question, for OWS, and for us (and optimally, for our elected leaders too). Also not helpful is saying things like "OWS is a waste of time" as a means of prefacing your questions about what the movement is and what it can accomplish. You can either take the movement for what it is - an opportunity - or you can belittle the protesters to no end (aside from prolonging the obvious problems).

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 02:32 PM
So which politicians are the ones listening? Obama, right, the millionaire man who has the plan? Give me a break. He's the very first person that should have put his money on the line for a bail-out. The least he could have done was started an inquiry into criminal charges against the bail-outees.

I'll ask the question directly to see if it gets dodged again: Terez, you, as an active participant in the Occupy "Insert Location Here" movement, want what, exactly? Economic equality and other buzz words are all fine and dandy sound bites though essentially meaningless, so WTF do YOU actually want to get from this? Everyone gets the same pay regardless of job? Everyone gets a 50K stipend a year, but pays 50K a year in taxes?

Also, my educated assumption is that if all the multi-millionaires popped all their pay for each of their next movies directly into the coffers of the US Treasury, even with the waste the the gov't does have, it would still provide greater benefit to te American people than the current directionless OWS protests will.

Terez
10-19-2011, 03:08 PM
So which politicians are the ones listening?
I did say 'optimally', you know. They'll listen eventually, because the people aren't just going to go home and give up so long as economic injustice remains a serious problem. But no, there's no hint they're listening right now, at least not from their public comments. Common sense, however, says that the smarter ones are trying to figure out how to come out on the right side of this revolution.

I'll ask the question directly to see if it gets dodged again: Terez, you, as an active participant in the Occupy "Insert Location Here" movement, want what, exactly? Economic equality and other buzz words are all fine and dandy sound bites though essentially meaninglessIt's only meaningless to you. Fortunately, this revolution doesn't depend on me explaining to Bryan Blaire what my ideas about economic injustice might be. The conversation is happening among the intellectual elite in this country, and fortunately, Bryan Blaire's 'educated assumption' means jack shit when almost 400 Columbia University professors (for example) are on board. Economists are talking about it, debating publicly. Fortunately, most of the intellectual elite seems to have the best interests of the common man in mind. I will be out there doing what I can to make sure the movement stays alive, grows even, but policy debates on Theoryland are not going to be codified into law.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 03:14 PM
Ah, okay, so TLers will never understand your super-educated arguments. And you wonder why people don't look to you as a leader. Good luck.

Res_Ipsa
10-19-2011, 03:16 PM
Someone posted this on Facebook. I got a chuckle out of it.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/316258_10150440144505961_509440960_10720770_901150 050_n.jpg

Terez
10-19-2011, 03:16 PM
Ah, okay, so TLers will never understand your super-educated arguments.
LOL! You do love circular logic, don't you? Sometimes I think you forget what you say from one post to the next.

And you wonder why people don't look to you as a leader.
Do I? Thanks for letting me know...

Brita
10-19-2011, 03:21 PM
Ah, okay, so TLers will never understand your super-educated arguments. And you wonder why people don't look to you as a leader. Good luck.

I don't want to put words in Terez's mouth, but for me the whole point is that I have NO idea what needs to be done, I am a nurse (and a damn good one) and NOT an economist. But when I know that the top thinkers in this field are talking and collaborating because of the pressure from the OWS movement, I am encouraged and hopeful. Because they may have some answers that I wopuld NEVER be able to provide, but hope for.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 03:28 PM
Well, you either think your reasons are above the rest of TL, explaining them would be a waste of time (in which case, what was your point in even bothering to post this, trying to make yourself look good by "keeping the movement alive", because it would have utterly collapsed without the post), you can't articulate them, don't have them, or want to keep them hidden for your own reasons... I'm sure there are others, but a lot probably go back to the waste of time idea.

Nah, you're right, you know you are arrogant and aggressive, you did already admit to at least one and the other is obvious to those that interact with you (as is my own). ;)

Have fun sweatin' for the cause!

Terez
10-19-2011, 03:31 PM
I don't want to put words in Terez's mouth, but for me the whole point is that I have NO idea what needs to be done, I am a nurse (and a damn good one) and NOT an economist. But when I know that the top thinkers in this field are talking and collaborating because of the pressure from the OWS movement, I am encouraged and hopeful. Because they may have some answers that I wopuld NEVER be able to provide, but hope for.
This, except that I'm reading as much as I can on right now, so I wouldn't say I have 'no idea' what should be done - just that my opinions are pretty flexible, and I don't think that my personal opinions will amount to much in the end. I do think that debate among the non-elites such as ourselves is important, but I'm trying to concentrate my debate time in local news outlets at the moment, and some of the more widely-read national news outlets. It's a great opportunity for discussion, and general raising of awareness, but I learned a long time that 'arguing with Bryan Blaire' is a waste of my time. I generally find arguing with Sini to be far more productive (that is to say, slightly more productive than banging one's head against a brick wall).

Terez
10-19-2011, 03:33 PM
Well, you either think your reasons are above the rest of TL
I have already explained my reasons to the rest of TL. Some get it, some don't. You're projecting your own notions of self-importance onto me. And I'm not the one that lowered the quality of the discussion in this thread.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 03:34 PM
I don't want to put words in Terez's mouth, but for me the whole point is that I have NO idea what needs to be done, I am a nurse (and a damn good one) and NOT an economist. But when I know that the top thinkers in this field are talking and collaborating because of the pressure from the OWS movement, I am encouraged and hopeful. Because they may have some answers that I wopuld NEVER be able to provide, but hope for.

Ouch. Well, sorry, I don't think that any of us are beneath being able to provide answers or solutions or working this stuff out, and heck, maybe come up with things that Terez or anyone else that wants to get active could take back to start getting some pressure on lawmakers for real with. I'm not one for aimless hope.

Oops, sorry, I forgot, all I can come up with is my low-brow wall stupid ideas, I've got absolutely no edumacation at all because I come from a backwater like Texas, not the rest of the sterling educational enlightened South, Brita. Don't bother discussing with me, I can only waste you time with my drool-inducing diatribes, and not once in this entire thread did I post a single idea that could be any kind of solution or "Band-Aid" for anything to help get us going again, nor point out apparent hypocrisy among supporters that provide lip-service and little else. Don't bother with me, I'll just be drooling over in the corner with the unenlightened.

Ivhon
10-19-2011, 03:43 PM
I think the "what do you want out of the movement" question is a fair one.

Unfortunately, around here that tends to be followed up with either reductio ad absurdum assumptions on a general statement (i.e. "you think janitors should be paid as much as CEO's" followed by some citation of someone out of 300 million adult Americans who actually does believe that) or demands for a detailed and specific plan to achieve those ends followed by refuting each point or discounting the entire argument if said detailed plan cannot be provided.

That last bit is odd to me, because I can tell if there is something wrong with my car even if I don't know exactly what it is and sure as hell dont have a clue on how to fix it. Why should the economy/politics/everything else we argue about here - which is typically infinitely more complex than a car - be any different.

Not suggesting that you would be using the tactics described, BB. That's just how things roll around here.

Terez
10-19-2011, 03:51 PM
I think the "what do you want out of the movement" question is a fair one.
It is, from people who want to have real discussions.

Not suggesting that you would be using the tactics described, BB.
He already has, in this thread.

Terez
10-19-2011, 03:54 PM
I enjoy watching supposedly rational, moderate claiming TLers break down into raving lunatics arguing for agendas that really do nothing for them and ignore rational arguments aboutthings that can actually be done.

It's also fun to watch people argue over political systems that they have interest in but display little knowledge about or will to get involved in. ...

Oops, sorry, I forgot, all I can come up with is my low-brow wall stupid ideas, I've got absolutely no edumacation at all because I come from a backwater like Texas, not the rest of the sterling educational enlightened South, Brita. Don't bother discussing with me, I can only waste you time with my drool-inducing diatribes, and not once in this entire thread did I post a single idea that could be any kind of solution or "Band-Aid" for anything to help get us going again, nor point out apparent hypocrisy among supporters that provide lip-service and little else. Don't bother with me, I'll just be drooling over in the corner with the unenlightened.
.

Terez
10-19-2011, 04:02 PM
http://images.onset.freedom.com/ocregister/gallery/lt2tsl-b78863470z.120111014150515000g7v12pk9d.1.jpg
http://dailybail.com/storage/calvin-hobbes-crony-capitalism.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=13186324 62255

tworiverswoman
10-19-2011, 04:13 PM
The fact is that most demands can be met more efficiently today than they could be 20 years ago. Which sort of sucks, especially for those of us in the service industry. But forcing the so-called 'evil rich people' to hire us instead of using a (more efficient) software program seems tantamount to extortion.A "more efficient" software program like the ubiquitous voice menu programs I run into every damn time I need to call a big corporation? The ones that consume at least five to ten minutes of my time wading through "press one" "press five" "press one" "press two" "press five" etc. while all you want to do is ask a question that a HUMAN receptionist could probably answer in 15 seconds. Or who could connect you to someone who COULD. And gods help you if you push the wrong number. I've always had to start all over.

Do you know ANYONE who doesn't hate those things?

What they tell ME is "Your wasted time is meaningless to me, so piss off." CEOs could give a rip - they have "Executive Assistants" to place their calls and waste time wading through the endless back and forth.

Too many American jobs have gone "pfft" in the last few decades. Most of them weren't replaced by software, but by moving the whole shebang to a 3rd world country that pays people a dollar a day. While I agree that this does amazing things to the bottom line of a corporation's Profit Statement, what it also does is leave large numbers of citizens un- or under-employed.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I have a decent job that pays my mortgage and a few luxuries to boot. I also don't spend much on things that a lot of people feel are necessary. But I know how lucky I am - and I know that my situation is subject to change without notice should my employer decide he needs someone who doesn't argue with him all the time. ;)

Whiners? Well, yeah, I guess. But some of the anger is JUSTIFIED. I remember some of the arguments on this forum when the Wall Street bail-out idea was first being discussed, before the government had agreed to hand out some big chunks of change to help prop up the floundering corps. Not one of the arguments ever touched on how we would react if the bail-outs were used STUPIDLY. Who would have dreamed that the first funds spent would be on bonuses to the people who had created the mess to begin with? Please don't say "well the bonuses were promised so they had to be paid." Had the companies been allowed to fold, would those bonuses have been part of the bankruptcy pay-off plan? Unlikely...

There's a scene in "The Incredibles" where Mr. Incredible is working for an insurance company, and is being called on the carpet for actually HELPING the customers. I laughed and nodded when I saw it, because we've all always felt that that was how it really is. One of my friends worked for a while on the Trouble Desk of a large financial corporation and told me that Management actually does make it very very difficult for the employees to do their job the way the customer wants it to be done. Sometimes it's a matter of clumsy procedures, sometimes it's badly constructed software, sometimes it's unneeded red tape... it's an assortment of things that all together combine to make it very hard to help the customer get his complaint resolved. Deliberate? Maybe, maybe not. But nothing was being done to make them better, either.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 04:16 PM
Hey, Terez, did you actually read what I wrote about the actors supporting this? Or the millionaire politicians? I couldn't possibly have been those hypocrites I was talking about, not the "1%" playing at supporting the "99%", right? No, I clearly could have only been talking about you. There was no way that statement was anything other than aimed at you... There's also no way that because my job is part of the system I could have any interest in helping change it from the inside, like coming up with ideas on how to help my own agency slice off between 40 and 80 million bucks.

Ivhon, I understand what you are saying. I also realize how I personally have argued in the past. I also haven't been around this place much in probably two years. I'm also trying to actually see how well my own ideas can reconcile with people actually interested, and bring a somewhat insider perspective to the concept. I know it would be very poorly looked on if I participated in person and I actually think I can do good things here, especially if I can climb the ladder higher in my "quest" to serve the public.

Terez
10-19-2011, 04:19 PM
Some good letters to the editor (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/opinion/what-main-street-thinks-about-occupy-wall-street.html?ref=letters) in NYT.

Ivhon
10-19-2011, 04:22 PM
Ivhon, I understand what you are saying. I also realize how I personally have argued in the past. I also haven't been around this place much in probably two years. I'm also trying to actually see how well my own ideas can reconcile with people actually interested, and bring a somewhat insider perspective to the concept. I know it would be very poorly looked on if I participated in person and I actually think I can do good things here, especially if I can climb the ladder higher in my "quest" to serve the public.

Soooooo you are walking all over the little people as you backstab your way to CEO so you can buy a senate seat or the Presidency?

Right on...

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 04:25 PM
I have a feeling it was a joke, but just to be clear, I can't hold elected office, so I can't be the nation's CEO...

Ivhon
10-19-2011, 04:29 PM
I have a feeling it was a joke, but just to be clear, I can't hold elected office, so I can't be the nation's CEO...

Quite the joke. Ivhon is in his aspect of peacemaker today. I think Im scheduled for destroyer aspect on Sunday.

EDIT: We can now add Shivhon to Ra'vhon as my divine titles.

Brita
10-19-2011, 04:35 PM
Ouch. Well, sorry, I don't think that any of us are beneath being able to provide answers or solutions or working this stuff out, and heck, maybe come up with things that Terez or anyone else that wants to get active could take back to start getting some pressure on lawmakers for real with. I'm not one for aimless hope.

Oops, sorry, I forgot, all I can come up with is my low-brow wall stupid ideas, I've got absolutely no edumacation at all because I come from a backwater like Texas, not the rest of the sterling educational enlightened South, Brita. Don't bother discussing with me, I can only waste you time with my drool-inducing diatribes, and not once in this entire thread did I post a single idea that could be any kind of solution or "Band-Aid" for anything to help get us going again, nor point out apparent hypocrisy among supporters that provide lip-service and little else. Don't bother with me, I'll just be drooling over in the corner with the unenlightened.

Ummm, OK? I'm not even sure if you're angry at me, or what I said to merit this response. In fact I am a little...taken aback, to say the least. I don't even know what the "ouch" is for. Was it the capitals? All I was trying to do was emphasize my absolute lack of knowledge in this area. Or was it the damn good nurse thing? Which is just me tooting my horn, a bit of humor actually. Yikes!

EDIT:

I don't want to put words in Terez's mouth, but for me the whole point is that I have NO idea what needs to be done, I am a nurse (and a damn good one ;) ) and NOT an economist. But when I know that the top thinkers in this field are talking and collaborating because of the pressure from the OWS movement, I am encouraged and hopeful. Because they may have some answers that I would NEVER be able to provide ( :o ), but hope for.

Does that give it the right flavour?

The Unreasoner
10-19-2011, 04:42 PM
That was as far as I got in my responses before I realized it was all a waste of time. OWS is a waste of time, because it isn't even really directed at the right target, and it's "international" flavor is in complete opposition to the "Wall Street" concept, which is a US only location.
While I agree that Wall Street is not the enemy (Wall Street does a lot of good invisible to most, and is far from a homogenized entity anyway-such a general and varied target is one reason OWS does not and cannot have a precise and clear goal) the amount of power it has over global markets does render it a sort of global force/location.
The Tea Party is also a waste of time, because they also don't understand the very government they are claiming to want less of.
This.
Why the hell is any American President allowed to keep any money they make due to the fact that they are or were one of our President's? They get health care, retirement, personal security and other benefits until they die because of this. Why should they also get to keep money made due to memoirs of the Presidency or speaking engagements where the draw is "former President X". Why should they get to keep money from books or any other created works made or published during the Presidency?
I can't tell if this is serious or not. Or are you pointing out that money made on the 'I was the President' front shold render some of the Presidential benefits unnecessary? I would think security would be necessary, and I doubt we would save much if we scrapped it all.
1. Do you know how many billions in stagnant capital the biggest corporations are sitting on?

2. No one is suggesting equal pay. We want to decrease the wage gap, not eradicate it.
I think Res addressed this pretty well with his response. Although he could have been a tad more polite.
Echoing Sini, it is their money, and also you display a certain naivety by that argument. A) It displays an entitlement mentality echoing your own collectivist ideology, and B) it also displays a lack of actual knowledge concerning business and investment.
This, and the rest of your post Res, I am largely in agreement with. While occasionally I find that agreeing with you is the first sign of some needed soul-searching on my part, every now and then I remember that you actually are a reasonably reasonable guy. With great taste in cartoons.
So what are corporations supposed to do? Role back the clock on technology? Eat the additional costs of hiring workers instead of going automated simply because of some misguided notion that people are somehow owed a job?
I actually think this is a real problem. A relatively small one now, but one bound to grow. Eventually, everyone's needs will be able to be met with only a few contributors. What then? How could capitalism continue, if everyone's needs (and maybe wants as well) can be met without demanding anything for it? When the consumer has nothing the provider would want? Should resources be witheld on principle?
Once again Terez, why did you intentionally alter my quote? Please either delete it or specifically remove my name from it. Those are NOT my words
Good luck.
If you like that, go to Somalia. If you don't have the courage to try your luck in such a situation where you would only face "not legalized theft", then you might want to consider facing reality and accept that taxes are a necessary part of living in a human society.
But what if I want the chaos of Somalia and to live in California?

I see paying taxes as a privilege, and a duty. But also (like scholes) as a game: loopholes are there for a reason, after all. I am aware that this might make me a hypocrite/illogical, but I think I'm okay with that.
the LotR picture
(Youngling) Rep.
What exactly do you really want to see change because of this?
It's been asked. I'm no longer sure I expect an answer. My girlfriend is 'occupying' my city, and her sign demands statehood for Palestine. I'm sure Wall Street will get right on that. Of course, she's a little crazy: the last time we broke up, it was over me still being Catholic when the Catholic Church is not selling all of its art (including the Sistine Chapel) in order to give more money to the poor (while she may be right, my main point was "I'm not the Pope," which I thought was a reasonable one).
I do agree that without clear goals, it seems rather unlikely that OCW will achieve its goals. That is a bit of a weak spot in the movement.
I do not think that they'll do any worse than other protest movements in democracies, though. Generally, protests get ignored anyway, so having that happen here too won't be exceptional.
The lack of clear goals wouldn't normally be a problem, but the GOP will politicize OWS, and associate it with Obama. While Obama is far from an ideal President, he is, at the moment, a 'douche among turds.' And if the GOP successfully peddles the notion that lack of coherence in the protests equals a lack of a plan in the Administration, things will get worse, I would think. The media has already covered how student loan debts are poorly presented. If student loans define the movement to a significant extent in the public's mind, it will be all to easy for the GOP to attack OWS as 'spoiled liberal college brats'.
* Depending on what OWS wants. And since they themselves don't know, it is a bit hard to figure out precisely what the topic is in this thread.
Lol. And yet we've reached 8 pages. This is what Theoryland is all about.
And have Youngling Rep.
Because of the energy of this particular protest, we actually have a chance to make something happen.
Lol.
nobody has ALL the answers
In an abstract sense, this may be the main point of the protests: lack of clarity itself could be a tangible theme. Along with anger. And 'the environment'.
A "more efficient" software program like the ubiquitous voice menu programs I run into every damn time I need to call a big corporation? The ones that consume at least five to ten minutes of my time wading through "press one" "press five" "press one" "press two" "press five" etc. while all you want to do is ask a question that a HUMAN receptionist could probably answer in 15 seconds. Or who could connect you to someone who COULD. And gods help you if you push the wrong number. I've always had to start all over.
Oh I agree. That point you responded to was more of a different worry on future modernization. I went into more detail above in response to Sinistrum.
Too many American jobs have gone "pfft" in the last few decades. Most of them weren't replaced by software, but by moving the whole shebang to a 3rd world country that pays people a dollar a day. While I agree that this does amazing things to the bottom line of a corporation's Profit Statement, what it also does is leave large numbers of citizens un- or under-employed.
Even those replaced by software weren't really always done better by software, or at least not yet. As you noted. The unfortunate thing is, the current realization of 'modernization' optimizes the wrong parameters: the bottom line. While the bottom line is a great thing to boost, proper optimization should focus on getting the job (whatever it may be) done 'perfectly' first (perfect being a necessarily vague term). The bottom line will follow such perfection. While a robot may be able to prepare haute cuisine well, consistently, and (eventually) cheaply, it cannot do it 'perfectly.' Dining is an intimate and personal experience, and only a human chef can provide the requisite element.

But as I said, modernization is still being defined. The unfortunate reality is that the current concept of a 'job well done' is 'a job done cheaply.' Which leads to infuriating automated responses, lower product quality, and treating third world countries as inhuman robots to delegate work to.
Whiners? Well, yeah, I guess. But some of the anger is JUSTIFIED.
Absolutely. But I will say again that even righteous anger only goes so far. And not far at all if the anger is all there is.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 04:53 PM
Quite the joke. Ivhon is in his aspect of peacemaker today. I think Im scheduled for destroyer aspect on Sunday.

EDIT: We can now add Shivhon to Ra'vhon as my divine titles.

No way! LOL

And thou canst comest to the Ren Faire after becoming the Destroyer.

fdsaf3
10-19-2011, 05:55 PM
And this is wrong of them because? Its their money. They are free to use it or not how they see fit.

You are probably going to think that A) I'm an idiot left-wing socialist trying to convince you that I am entitled to a corporation's money, or B) that I am posting purely with the intent to piss you off without offering anything of merit or value to this conversation. I'll take my chances.

I mean this in all sincerity, though: there are valid economic reasons it's not in the best interest of anyone that a corporation sits on billions of dollars in capital reserves. Now, I am not a master economist. In fact, I've only taken a year's worth of economics courses, so my understanding of these issues is not deep. But from a monetary policy perspective, hoarding money in this economy is exactly what we don't want people or corporations to do. That's why the interest rate is so low - we disincentivize saving to increase money circulation.

Of course, this is not an ironclad law which we must adhere to. It's an economic theory which you can take your side on (and I'm guessing I know which side you will come down on). But don't act like the only possible reason someone would be frustrated that a corporation has billions of dollars in reserves is because we the people feel entitled to it. There are other reasons, and arguably good reasons, for feeling that way.

Juan
10-19-2011, 06:26 PM
@fdsaf

You're right in that businesses not investing the money they have is not good for the economy. The issue is that it is THEIR money.

Luckily for you, I do understand economics. Especially macroeconomics. And you do know that consumer spending is about 70% of the economy? So when people are not spending their money and are instead saving it, are scared because of whatever reasons: maybe they fear their money would be ill-spent (a legitimate business' fear), theyre doing even more harm to the economy by "hoarding" their money.

Yet, you don't see me screaming for these people to be forced to spend their money.

Should businesses spend money? Yes.
Should consumers? Yes.
Should either be forced to? No.

I'm sure you'd be angry if I forced you to spend your money, whatever the reason. So let's not be hypocrites and apply double standards.

Davian93
10-19-2011, 06:56 PM
I have a feeling it was a joke, but just to be clear, I can't hold elected office, so I can't be the nation's CEO...

Come on now...that Hatch Act prohibition is more like friendly advice, not federal law.

Davian93
10-19-2011, 07:00 PM
@fdsaf

You're right in that businesses not investing the money they have is not good for the economy. The issue is that it is THEIR money.

Luckily for you, I do understand economics. Especially macroeconomics. And you do know that consumer spending is about 70% of the economy? So when people are not spending their money and are instead saving it, are scared because of whatever reasons: maybe they fear their money would be ill-spent (a legitimate business' fear), theyre doing even more harm to the economy by "hoarding" their money.

Yet, you don't see me screaming for these people to be forced to spend their money.

Should businesses spend money? Yes.
Should consumers? Yes.
Should either be forced to? No.

I'm sure you'd be angry if I forced you to spend your money, whatever the reason. So let's not be hypocrites and apply double standards.

Of course, the concept of not paying their employees, outsourcing work overseas and sitting on massive capital reserves may be good for the next quarter's profit statement, its a terrible long-term strategy when it comes to creating and sustaining a viable business plan. Bottom line is that a business needs customers and if every business functions in this way, they eat away at their own potential customer base.

But I agree, legally it IS their money and they CAN do whatever they want with it...no matter how short-sighted their current plan is.

fdsaf3
10-19-2011, 07:52 PM
@fdsaf

You're right in that businesses not investing the money they have is not good for the economy. The issue is that it is THEIR money.



There is no dispute of that. Nothing I said disagrees with you on that point.

Luckily for you, I do understand economics. Especially macroeconomics.

Yes, that is lucky. I consider myself a micro guy. :)

And you do know that consumer spending is about 70% of the economy? So when people are not spending their money and are instead saving it, are scared because of whatever reasons: maybe they fear their money would be ill-spent (a legitimate business' fear), theyre doing even more harm to the economy by "hoarding" their money.

Yet, you don't see me screaming for these people to be forced to spend their money.

Should businesses spend money? Yes.
Should consumers? Yes.
Should either be forced to? No.

I'm sure you'd be angry if I forced you to spend your money, whatever the reason. So let's not be hypocrites and apply double standards.

I never said anything about forcing anyone to spend any money on anything. I really don't know where you got that impression. I've noticed a trend on the internet when arguing things like this (and I'm not saying you are especially guilty of this, so don't take this personally). Essentially, there seems to be an overreaction followed by a mischaracterization of the position of whomever you disagree with. Or think you disagree with. I also happen to think that people on internet forums discussing these topics disagree as an instinctive reaction and habitual arguing rather than a true desire to debate the issue itself. But, I digress.

Essentially, my point to Sinistrum was that there is a legitimate argument to be made from the perspective of economics that a corporation sitting on billions of dollars is bad for the economy. This was a direct challenge to his characterization that the only reason someone involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests would care about those billions of dollars is because they felt entitled to it.

That's really all I said. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how that's applying a double standard to anything.

Juan
10-19-2011, 09:10 PM
@fdsaf
Maybe I should've specified to whom what parts of my post were directed to. But basically some was a response to you, some was a response to the extreme wackos that actually think that and think the govt should play such a role. Or even the people whining about companies doing this, but not consumers. If you're gonna whine about one, whine about the other. Wasn't meant to be a response just for you.

@Dav
If they have employees, they're getting paid. Not having employees or getting rid of some is a different matter. And yes sitting on capital is bad. Investing their money is better. But again it comes down to confidence. If consumers think it's dangerous or better to not spend their money on whatever, and instead save up money... That rationale works for businesses too. Why would they invest if they thought the current economic situation would cause losses? Etc etc. Again, let's be practical.

Davian93
10-19-2011, 09:12 PM
If they have employees, they're getting paid. Not having employees or getting rid of some is a different matter. And yes sitting on capital is bad. Investing their money is better. But again it comes down to confidence. If consumers think it's dangerous or better to not spend their money on whatever, and instead save up money... That rationale works for businesses too. Why would they invest if they thought the current economic situation would cause losses? Etc etc. Again, let's be practical.

I agree...the lack of confidence was a major factor in the Great Depression too. Right now, nobody wants to take the first step. Still, the current strategy is not a good one.

Bryan Blaire
10-19-2011, 09:23 PM
Ummm, OK? I'm not even sure if you're angry at me, or what I said to merit this response. In fact I am a little...taken aback, to say the least. I don't even know what the "ouch" is for. Was it the capitals? All I was trying to do was emphasize my absolute lack of knowledge in this area. Or was it the damn good nurse thing? Which is just me tooting my horn, a bit of humor actually. Yikes!

EDIT:
Does that give it the right flavour?
While I'm glad it got your attention, no, I didn't intend for you to think I'm upset at you. The first part of my response was to your actual statement. The ouch was that I'm a bit disappointed that you think you could never equal the "intellectual elites," because I think you easily could. I think almost anyone here at Theoryland actually could, and possibly do it better than most "intellectual elites" (yes, I even put Terez up above most of those folks). Some of them are truly impressive, some of them just think kooky things that no one else would have, which simply makes them creative. Generally, the difference is the isolated nature they take and the reliance of a lot of them on the names of the colleges they graduated from and that they have time to publish books. You will find many economic intellectual elites at the tops of most international corporations, we just usually don't call them that because they work for a company, not the academic intellectual complex and they actually get reviled for putting some very clever economic plans into place, because they make money for themselves and a company, and not the universities or think tanks that the "intellectual elite" work for. There's that old adage that "Those that can, do, those that can't, teach." That likely doesn't apply to all of the "intellectual elites," but to be honest, it likely does apply to some.

I'd also point out three things:
1. If they are so intellectually elite and can solve this crisis, wouldn't they already have been attempting to do so all the way back when the economic "sky" was falling, and if they have, isn't is a bit disingenuous to imply that it is the OWS protests that spurred their thinking? If they haven't been trying to solve this crisis all the way back when, are we sure these are really the guys we want trying to solve this, if they couldn't figure out that the bailout wouldn't work and we'd need to actually to do something else instead? And if they did know that, why the heck wasn't there a louder shout to the President and Congress of "Don't do it!"?
2. If this is really a "By the people, for the people" type movement, why is there so much opposition to the idea that "we the people" can do this? Wouldn't something like this be the best forum to actually show that "we the people" really can do this whole government fixing the problems ourselves thing?
3. If we don't have all the information needed, then how can we be guaranteed that the "intellectual elite" do? How in the world can we be sure that the "intellectual elite" aren't actually biased in a way that isn't going to truly turn the country economically the direction we want?

The second part of my post was just to expand on Terez's assertion to you and the board that discussing anything with me is futile and doomed to failure. I mean, I'm never reasonable and don't have the intellectual capability of understanding other view-points, and because I want to see logical pattern and historically proven results, not just feelings that it's better or worse this way or that, or wanting to change things just to change them without any true information on their viability, as well as not blindly agreeing to assertions that a point of view is valid and your interpretation of the facts are automatically the only valid interpretation and the point of view is clearly obvious, I am clearly of sub-human nature and not worth your time.

That last bit is odd to me, because I can tell if there is something wrong with my car even if I don't know exactly what it is and sure as hell dont have a clue on how to fix it. Why should the economy/politics/everything else we argue about here - which is typically infinitely more complex than a car - be any different.

Ivhon, you are a very smart person. You've got a major secondary degree. You could easily learn to fix a car. There are actually instruction manuals on how to do it as long as you are willing to read them. It isn't any different than economics, except that you are never going to have a "new" proven fix, but you can definitely get a sense of economic history. Yes, there are a lot more variables, but they aren't "infinitely" greater. In reality, you could probably create a computer modeling system to take most of the variables into account (which, given that my father already did something similar for his own PhD, has already been done numerous times by different people), but the "people" variables are always going to somewhat unpredictable (business should be somewhat more predictable provided you don't change the business fundamentals). It takes more work, but if the "people" really want this, they don't have to rely on others. :D

While I agree that Wall Street is not the enemy (Wall Street does a lot of good invisible to most, and is far from a homogenized entity anyway-such a general and varied target is one reason OWS does not and cannot have a precise and clear goal) the amount of power it has over global markets does render it a sort of global force/location.

While it has power over global markets, those same markets also have power over Wall Street. This has been shown directly in the last week, where Wall Street markets fluctuated up and down based specifically on uncertainty and lack of stability in the EU. None of that makes Wall Street any better the target, especially considering the varied ways that world governments handle corporations, so they've learned to "abuse" all the loopholes in the varying laws of the governments to keep their maximized profits. TBH, I'm not sure that I want our government being pressured to take any actions based on anything other than how corporations operate in the US. Just like we didn't have the right to unilaterally destroy a foreign government/power, we don't have the right to start trying to dictate to other countries how they must handle corporations.

I can't tell if this is serious or not. Or are you pointing out that money made on the 'I was the President' front shold render some of the Presidential benefits unnecessary? I would think security would be necessary, and I doubt we would save much if we scrapped it all.
I'm dead serious, but you have it directly backward. I don't believe they should personally benefit from being elected President, other than those benefits they are entitled to due the position (such as the health care, security, etc). They shouldn't be getting free plane flights, making money off books created during their term of service, because those would have had to be created on "service time," which would imply they misused their time to write the book instead of being President, making money off books that they wouldn't have been able to write unless the American people had elected them, or making money for speaking when the draw is that they are an ex-President. All of that money, because it was generated by service to the people, should belong to the people, and therefore be paid into the government coffers. We'd make money this way, and it would likely help solidify that Presidents weren't going to be making a lot of money because they were President after their election. It could improve the number of honest public servants in the position.

I actually think this is a real problem. A relatively small one now, but one bound to grow. Eventually, everyone's needs will be able to be met with only a few contributors. What then? How could capitalism continue, if everyone's needs (and maybe wants as well) can be met without demanding anything for it? When the consumer has nothing the provider would want? Should resources be witheld on principle?
It has been a problem ever since the idea of a robot replacing a human for labor was realized. However, it is unlikely that without other technology beyond robotics, we will actually reach a point where everyone's needs will all truly be met. If we remain on Earth, which certain groups want to try and make sure we do, then real estate truly will sky-rocket in value, and will likely become the new basis of an economy, because you will still need real estate to do more than just house people (food, resource procurement, manufacturing and others). Now, if we truly get to a point where all needs can be met, then there's two things I can see happen (and of course, there are likely a multitude of others, let your minds run wild): 1. a new economy of thought and creativity will be formed and you will garner "pay" in some fashion by using your brain or 2. we'll simply adopt the Star Trek: the Next Generation system: you can simply do almost anything that you want and have the mental capability to do, there really is no economy.

It's been asked. I'm no longer sure I expect an answer. My girlfriend is 'occupying' my city, and her sign demands statehood for Palestine. I'm sure Wall Street will get right on that. Of course, she's a little crazy: the last time we broke up, it was over me still being Catholic when the Catholic Church is not selling all of its art (including the Sistine Chapel) in order to give more money to the poor (while she may be right, my main point was "I'm not the Pope," which I thought was a reasonable one).
I agree that your GF's sign is kind of an odd request for Wall Street to fulfill. However, I somewhat agree with her on the art issue. I think that if a lot of churches would put more money into charities (even ones found distasteful by the conservative sects), a lot more problems would be much less problems. :D I'm not sure that there's a way to actually sell the Sistine Chapel, and while churches don't need to be ostentatious, they do generally need some kind of gathering areas, which does require access to real estate, whether that be people's homes, renting halls, or having actual established locations, not because I think that Christian worship actually requires crowds, but simply that like all "communities," it works better as a community if you can gather to share with each other.

Davian93
10-19-2011, 09:34 PM
While it has power over global markets, those same markets also have power over Wall Street. This has been shown directly in the last week, where Wall Street markets fluctuated up and down based specifically on uncertainty and lack of stability in the EU. None of that makes Wall Street any better the target, especially considering the varied ways that world governments handle corporations, so they've learned to "abuse" all the loopholes in the varying laws of the governments to keep their maximized profits. TBH, I'm not sure that I want our government being pressured to take any actions based on anything other than how corporations operate in the US. Just like we didn't have the right to unilaterally destroy a foreign government/power, we don't have the right to start trying to dictate to other countries how they must handle corporations.

Just wait until Europe's banks collapse again thanks to this renewed Greek debacle...we'll be dragged along for the ride. I'm not making a point here, just lamenting the inevitable. Another recession HERE WE COME!

not because I think that Christian worship actually requires crowds, but simply that like all "communities," it works better as a community if you can gather to share with each other.

How does that passage go..."when two or more are gathered in MY name, etc etc"

I agree it doesnt require a crowd and HE was very clear on that aspect...2-3 people is a "church" for all intents and purposes...still, the crowd is nice.

GonzoTheGreat
10-20-2011, 03:47 AM
I respect that we can't just completely drop everything, and I don't think we should just go around arbitrarily choosing who no longer gets benefits (although to be honest, after working in the gov't, I have come to believe this is how some beneficiaries are actually chosen in the first place: arbitrarily from the pool of candidates), but I think that in our country, you can't just target Wall Street and say "They bought Congress," because there are plenty of little companies traded in the penny stock market or never make the NASDAQ but are still traded there at the stock exchange that really have nothing to do with the situation, but if you start cranking down on "Wall Street," you may be arbitrarily be cranking down on them too, and that just ruins crap further.I do not think that any random protester out in the street can enact laws that begin cranking down on all companies traded on Wall Street, so your worry seems a bit unnecessary.

Congress could of course write such laws. But then, you would sort of hope that they know what they are doing. If they don't, and screw over all those companies as a result, then Wall Street should've bought a better quality Congresscritters.

Terez
10-20-2011, 08:04 AM
Dunno who this Lemony Snicket guys is, but I like him:

http://occupywriters.com/by-lemony-snicket

yks 6nnetu hing
10-20-2011, 08:41 AM
Just wait until Europe's banks collapse again thanks to this renewed Greek debacle...we'll be dragged along for the ride. I'm not making a point here, just lamenting the inevitable. Another recession HERE WE COME!

if only the stock market people would stop betting on the worst possible scenario and the media would stop with the doomsday news and instead report on reality, then maybe those corporation pointy-haired bosses would figure out that it's actually not going that badly and they might hire some people.

Also, hi, it's been a while!

Also also, don't diss on the Greek, they're progressing, they're no longer paying pensions to 120 000 dead people every year :p

Davian93
10-20-2011, 08:45 AM
if only the stock market people would stop betting on the worst possible scenario and the media would stop with the doomsday news and instead report on reality, then maybe those corporation pointy-haired bosses would figure out that it's actually not going that badly and they might hire some people.

Also, hi, it's been a while!

Also also, don't diss on the Greek, they're progressing, they're no longer paying pensions to 120 000 dead people every year :p

I can honestly say I've never been a fan of Greek.

Mort
10-20-2011, 02:57 PM
Just wait until Europe's banks collapse again thanks to this renewed Greek debacle...we'll be dragged along for the ride. I'm not making a point here, just lamenting the inevitable. Another recession HERE WE COME!



Really glad that Sweden don't have the Euro right now. It lessens the blow a bit.

Dunno who this Lemony Snicket guys is, but I like him:

http://occupywriters.com/by-lemony-snicket

He sounds almost reasonable... OMMAGAWD, IT MUST BE A TRAP!

Terez
10-22-2011, 09:42 PM
There are a bunch of people posting on this tumblr (http://westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com/) thing saying that they are part of the 1% (though some of them are probably only in the 5% technically). That pic I posted re: fdsaf's quote earlier was from that. Most of them say something like 'tax me more!' and this new one is my favorite by far:

http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltfrd2ACkj1r4cz2xo1_500.jpg

DahLliA
10-22-2011, 10:10 PM
T's pic made me actually go and find out what the 1% is and googling got me to this article (http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105).

written in May, the last paragraphs seem a bit eerily clairvoyant :p

Terez
10-22-2011, 10:14 PM
I've been reading a lot of stuff written in the last few years that seems clairvoyant. Many authors, particularly economists, have predicted mass protests in the US.

DahLliA
10-22-2011, 10:23 PM
I've been reading a lot of stuff written in the last few years that seems clairvoyant. Many authors, particularly economists, have predicted mass protests in the US.

you don't really have to be a genious or psychic to figure that would happen.

I'm excited to see if you guys who are protesting now are able to drag the apathetic sheeple-majority along or not.

probably wont be easy to have to fight against Jersey Shore and MTV, but unless the mass protests are massive enough you'll just be ignored I think.

could always try a good, old-fashioned lynching of a few business-men/politicians though. that usually fires people up :p

The Unreasoner
10-23-2011, 04:54 PM
I was at a party last night, and there was a large group of OWS kids there (it was my gf's friend's party, so go figure). But I got to talking to some, and they all seemed fairly reasonable, lucid, and determined. But they were disturbingly dogmatic, and kept echoing the ridiculous notion that this protest is different, this protest will work, this protest is special. And none of them seemed to have a plan. Or even much of an idea about how to form one. One guy said they would recruit the 'best and brightest' to develop a new economic system, but I'm not sure if he realized how much that sounded like a ridiculous platitude.

Another thing that disturbed me was how few of them seemed to care that OWS has an image of aimless incoherence. It's probably best seen with this:
I'm for support from any side that feels frustrated at how things are

I mean, to them, this is an appropriate sentiment. But I am disgusted by it. Thoroughly repulsed. I feel like the more I hear bullshit like this, the more I need to work towards silencing these lunatics, so that these (real) issues will get a fair hearing, and not just get dismissed by people expecting rationality from dissenters.

I also met a TL lurker. We talked for a while, then chilled together after the party. It was pretty cool. His favorite posters are Felix and the collective, if anyone cares. He's also a foodie. And he figured out who I was after half an hour. I may post on this more (it was a pretty cool night), but not here.

And @Zach (or is it Zack?) I know you don't lurk in non-WoT much, but if you read this: what's up? You'd better keep your promise on those doughnuts. And register, for God's sake. Terez will love you.

Res_Ipsa
10-24-2011, 10:37 AM
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s720x720/316426_10150871859265442_891215441_21135364_203884 583_n.jpg

made me laugh, I like the truther death-star pun dude

Terez
10-24-2011, 12:14 PM
This one was posted by a guy (http://timiacono.com/) who supports OWS:

http://timiacono.com/wp-content/uploads/11-10-21_hire_me1.jpg

A stereotype with not much actual relevance to OWS, but still funny.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 12:39 PM
As a former hiring manager, I will openly say that appearance (clothes, cleanliness, not physical appearance) were a fairly large factor on my decisions. If you come to an interview all disheveled and look dirty, odds are you just built a wall that you now need to overcome for me to consider you.

A large amount of Tattoos, a ton of piercings, weird hair (like pointy punk mohawks) dont help either.

Looking professional won't get you a job but it not looking professional certainly doesnt help you get one.

fdsaf3
10-24-2011, 12:47 PM
Did you guys read the story about OWS protesters having sex in public? It seems like a smear piece designed to get the general public opposed to the protesters (as if they aren't already). Let me track down a link and post it.

Bryan Blaire
10-24-2011, 01:02 PM
Did you guys read the story about OWS protesters having sex in public? It seems like a smear piece designed to get the general public opposed to the protesters (as if they aren't already). Let me track down a link and post it.

Well, considering that most major news outlets are part of the very big businesses that OWS is supposed to be opposed to, that wouldn't surprise me much. I don't think that all media/news is going to be that monolithic, but it's surprising there isn't more bad press out there about it than there is.

If people really want to complain about the economics of the US, could we discuss the effects of oligopolies in business with regards to prices?

Davian93
10-24-2011, 01:08 PM
If people really want to complain about the economics of the US, could we discuss the effects of oligopolies in business with regards to prices?


Its ashame monopolies aren't illegal anymore...or collusion.

Wait, they are...we just dont enforce either these days.

Just the banking industry:

http://motherjones.com/files/images/big-bank-theory-chart.jpg

Bryan Blaire
10-24-2011, 01:24 PM
Well, collusion is only truly illegal if written, and with e-mail... ~checks CIA and NSA hacker banks~ Nah, we couldn't get to that... Plus, hacked e-mails are always fabrications, right? Couldn't use those to prove something is true or false in a court.

In the end, collusion would require the Executive branch to do it's job, and in this instance, that wouldn't get them more money to keep running for office... Wait, the head Executive is only allowed to run for two terms and the rest of us aren't even elected, most only answerable to their own bosses, not the public... The problem couldn't be in the governmental system itself, could it? It does everything perfectly as a bureaucracy, and it could never be altered by the President...

Juan
10-24-2011, 01:33 PM
Something to think about: specifically remembering the AT&T and T mobile merge that was stopped.

I think it's funny that the FTC and the DJ are so concerned with consumers (and the possibilty of lower quality, higher prices etc and how that affects CONSUMERS) and all that good stuff. While a legitimate concern, and I happen to agree with it (in part), how about competition of US companies with other international big companies. For example, the US companies all use their own money and budgets for investments, etc, while basically every other country in the world subsidizes their companies so that they can compete with the US ones. For example, Deustche Telekom receives substantial aid from the govt. While I'm not saying this is a good thing they're doing, I'm saying, why does the US often (even perhaps with good intent) hurt themselves as a country by preventing US companies to fully compete with foreign companies. While the Europeans aren't much of a future threat as it stands, the highly subsidized Asian companies are. They will out compete US companies at this rate because of the vast amount of federal aid they receive.

I'm not taking a stance here, I'm just pointing out something I've noticed that Americans typically have a blind eye for, and am willing to bet many of you haven't given much thought to since like the FTC and DJ are essentially solely concerned with the traditional consumer.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 01:36 PM
For example, the US companies all use their own money and budgets for investments, etc, while basically every other country in the world subsidizes their companies so that they can compete with the US ones.

All the airlines receive subsidies
All energy companies receive subsidies
All agro-business receives subsidies
We basically nationalized our auto industry outside of Ford...who we just gave MASSIVE low-interest loans to.
etc
etc


Here you go: $92 Billion in corporate subsidies in 2006 alone (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8230)

This hasn't gotten any better in the last 5 years. The US government massively subsidies lots of businesses as do the state and local governments.

Bryan Blaire
10-24-2011, 01:40 PM
All agro-business receives subsidies


Heh, not saying it is true, but it would be kinda interesting to look into just how many subsidy blocks are actually being paid for the same property because they are run through separate agencies or even Departments.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 01:42 PM
Heh, not saying it is true, but it would be kinda interesting to look into just how many subsidy blocks are actually being paid for the same property because they are run through separate agencies or even Departments.

It definitely would be. I love when these subsidies are for NOT growing a certain crop. That's just awesome.

Juan
10-24-2011, 01:48 PM
Agriculture receives a lot, yes, but other industries not so much. Not nearly as much in proportion to what other foreign companies receive.

Sei'taer
10-24-2011, 02:06 PM
Its ashame monopolies aren't illegal anymore...or collusion.

Wait, they are...we just dont enforce either these days.

Just the banking industry:

http://motherjones.com/files/images/big-bank-theory-chart.jpg

Where does the federal reserve figure into that little graph? It should be considered. The more I read about it, the more I think that Paul might be onto something when he talks about doing away with it.



"Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders."


– The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s

If you're going to throw this on the shoulders of huge money organizations, then you have to include the largest one in the country. This is something I don't think OWS cares very much about. If they do, they certainly aren't saying much about it.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 02:14 PM
But, but, but...we'd actually have to issue our own currency as a nation instead of having a semi-private organization do it for us.

Are we ready for that?

Sei'taer
10-24-2011, 02:21 PM
But, but, but...we'd actually have to issue our own currency as a nation instead of having a semi-private organization do it for us.

Are we ready for that?

Semi-private? I think not.

This is the article that really started to make me look deeper into a lot of things.



Another Nobel Prize Winning Economist Implies We Should End the Fed

Posted on October 11, 2011 by WashingtonsBlog



Top Economists Slam the Fed


I noted last year that Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz strongly dislikes the Fed:


Joseph Stiglitz – former head economist at the World Bank and a nobel-prize winner – said yesterday that the very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with conflicts that it is “corrupt” and undermines democracy.

Stiglitz said:


If we [i.e. the World Bank] had seen a governance structure that corresponds to our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a corrupt governing structure.

Stiglitz pointed out that – if another country had presented a plan to reform its financial system, and included a regulatory regime that copied the makeup of the Federal Reserve system – “it would have been a big signal that something is wrong.”

Stiglitz stressed that the Fed banks have clear conflicts of interest, since the banks are largely governed by a board of directors that includes officers of the very banks they’re supposed to be overseeing:


So, these are the guys who appointed the guy who bailed them out … Is that a conflict of interest?

They would say, ‘no conflict of interest, we were just doing our job. But you have to look at the conflicts of interest”…


The reason you talk about governance is because in a democracy you want people to have confidence … This is a structure that will undermine confidence in a democracy.


(Stiglitz supports the Wall Street protests).

Former Fed officials agree. For example, the former Vice President of Dallas Federal Reserve said that the failure of the government to provide more information about the bailout signals corruption. As ABC writes:


Gerald O’Driscoll, a former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said he worried that the failure of the government to provide more information about its rescue spending could signal corruption.

“Nontransparency in government programs is always associated with corruption in other countries, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be here,” he said.

In fact, many high-level economists have blasted the Fed for bungling virtually everything it does.

Top Economists: End the Fed


Indeed, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard and many other economists have called for an end to the Fed.


Yesterday, the New York Sun reported that another Nobel economist may have implied that the Fed should be abolished:


Thomas Sargent, the New York University professor who was announced Monday as a winner of the Nobel in economics … cites Walter Bagehot, who “said that what he called a ‘natural’ competitive banking system without a ‘central’ bank would be better…. ‘nothing can be more surely established by a larger experience than that a Government which interferes with any trade injures that trade. The best thing undeniably that a Government can do with the Money Market is to let it take care of itself.’”


And this:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/10/bill-gross-class-warfare-by-the-99-of-course-they%E2%80%99re-fighting-back-after-30-years-of-being-shot-at.html

Davian93
10-24-2011, 02:28 PM
The President appoints its Board, the US gov't receives its profits but the gov't does not have direct say on its day-to-day decisions and the running of the Bank.

Thus, its "semi-private".

Terez
10-24-2011, 02:30 PM
Where does the federal reserve figure into that little graph? It should be considered. The more I read about it, the more I think that Paul might be onto something when he talks about doing away with it.
It's one of the few things he goes on about that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

I'm reading Stiglitz's take on the crash right now. Done with Sachs - I quit reading him when he started preaching about overconsumption (not that I don't agree with him - it was just boring).

Juan
10-24-2011, 02:41 PM
Speaking of, one of the two latest Nobel prize winners in economics after years of study said the welfare systems, such as those implemented in Europe, are detrimental to the economy. I believe it was Thomas Sargent who concluded this.

Just more ECONOMIC proof against welfare. Not feelings and morality, but concrete proof.

As to the federal reserve being get rid of... I'm not completely sure it's a good idea... Nor if it's a bad one. I've just started thinking about it recently, I'll have to think about it some more before I formulate an educated opinion.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 02:44 PM
Speaking of, one of the two latest Nobel prize winners in economics after years of study said the welfare systems, such as those implemented in Europe, are detrimental to the economy. I believe it was Thomas Sargent who concluded this.

Just more ECONOMIC proof against welfare. Not feelings and morality, but concrete proof.

As to the federal reserve being get rid of... I'm not completely sure it's a good idea... Nor if it's a bad one. I've just started thinking about it recently, I'll have to think about it some more before I formulate an educated opinion.

Detrimental to the economy but very advantageous to the standard of living for those needing said program.

I'm pretty sure everyone with 2 working brain cells was aware of that. Its kinda like saying that touching the break pedal is detrimental to a car's acceleration.

Juan
10-24-2011, 02:53 PM
You'd think so. But the same people advocating welfare programs then bitch about how the economy is bad and they wonder why.

Btw welfare programs actually lower standard of living to the economy as a whole. So no.

Davian93
10-24-2011, 02:54 PM
You'd think so. But the same people advocating welfare programs then bitch about why the economy is bad and they wonder why.

Which is why its important to come up with a proper MIX of social programs and economic practices...kinda like the mixed economic model we've been using for nearly 80 years now. Social programs may act as a drag on the economy but they are not the main reason for the current economic issues.

Juan
10-24-2011, 03:03 PM
People often advocate a balance. I dont like that word. I like mix better. Balance seems to imply 50/50. Idk what you would include in your mix, though.

And no I'd argue one of main reasons is low confidence.. For both regular people and businesses. Doesn't help that the federal govt, federal reserve, and the media keep acting like there's a huge problem. If they were to pretend everything is just fine and dandy, people would spend more and the increased spending expands the economy in the short run.

Sei'taer
10-24-2011, 03:24 PM
The President appoints its Board, the US gov't receives its profits but the gov't does not have direct say on its day-to-day decisions and the running of the Bank.

Thus, its "semi-private".


It's funny, because it depends on who you ask and how they interpret the fed. I happen to think the are privately owned and for profit. Looking at their statements on lending, borrowing and insuring, they sure aren't doing it for even money or the loss of any money. They also supposedly are overseen by the gov't, but that seems to be somewhat of a misdirection as far as I can tell. Couple that with the fact that all of the shareholders are privately owned banks and that leads me to believe they are privately owned, no matter whet their policy statement happens to say. You can say a lot, it's what you leave out that means something.

I don't want to argue it though, so we'll say it's semi-private to make you happy.

Cor Shan
10-24-2011, 03:37 PM
I want to go to one of these protests just to hold up a placard that says something like:

I got 99 problems but a percent aint one.

The Unreasoner
10-24-2011, 04:00 PM
I want to go to one of these protests just to hold up a placard that says something like:

I got 99 problems but a percent aint one.
LOL.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't OWS originally Canadian? Were the initial protestors tourists? Immigrants? Puppets?


Also, where is Goldman Sachs on that chart? Investment banks are far more influential than commercial ones.

And: Yet another housing option. First thoughts?

Mort
10-24-2011, 05:13 PM
LOL.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't OWS originally Canadian? Were the initial protestors tourists? Immigrants? Puppets?


Also, where is Goldman Sachs on that chart? Investment banks are far more influential than commercial ones.


I first heard of it when they started protesting in New York, thought patient zero came from there ;)


And: Yet another housing option. First thoughts?

Pants. Blueberry muffin.

Terez
10-24-2011, 05:46 PM
The initial call to action came from a Canadian-based magazine with a significant American readership. There might have been a few Canadians among the original protesters, but not many.

GonzoTheGreat
10-25-2011, 03:33 AM
People often advocate a balance. I dont like that word. I like mix better. Balance seems to imply 50/50.Only if they are equally heavy, and the two arms of the balance are equally long. If not, then other proportions would be required to provide a balance. That's not really rocket science, it was over 2,200 years ago that Archimedes explained the workings of the lever.

Edited to add: You may be more familiar with this practical application of balance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seesaw).

DahLliA
10-25-2011, 01:04 PM
I want to go to one of these protests just to hold up a placard that says something like:

I got 99 problems but a percent aint one.

win

Bryan Blaire
10-25-2011, 08:10 PM
To go along with the idea of getting more people involved in policy decision making, I would ask any American citizen that truly wants to be involved in their governmental process to begin reviewing the following two web-sites periodically (and for info for our non-American citizens), because they are the sites that do one of two things: state the regulations as they are currently utilized by the Executive branch of the US government (i.e., how your government actually works - or doesn't, depending on your point of view - beyond Congress simply voting things into law) and to preview new proposed regulations and allow comments on them for policy makers to review prior to allowing them to be put into place.

eCFR (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=%2Findex.tpl) (Code of Federal Regulations in electronic format)

Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov/#!home) (New proposed regulations for the Federal Executive branch)

I really hope that some of you that are truly concerned with how the US government operates are already doing these things and know about these sites, but if you don't and are interested in trying to make a difference (regardless of your chosen political philosophy), please, get involved in this process.

To give you an idea of the involvement currently, in a nation of 330 million+ people, only 65,000 comments were made on Representation Case Procedures and that was the top amount of comments. This gives us a percentage of 0.00078788% of the US population making a comment, assuming that only 1/4 of the US population actually has the ability to make a comment.

These are fairly complexly written in lawyer speak, but given the nature of some of the things you can make comments on, you may find it important enough to wade through all the gobbledy-gook, because these regulations are the guidance for how decision-making in the Federal government Departments and agencies works.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 07:24 AM
But, but, but...plain language initiative and something, something.

Sei'taer
10-26-2011, 09:15 AM
I love it that the big news today is the OWS riots in Oakland...gee, there's not a riot in Oakland every week or anything.

Yellowbeard
10-26-2011, 12:28 PM
Atlanta cleaned out their protesters today.

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/occupy-atlanta-protesters-to-1209963.html

Green Man 22
10-26-2011, 02:05 PM
The real problem isn't Wall Street, it is the federal government. Doesn't matter which side you prefer (D or R), they both want to spend your money like there is no tomorrow, and they don't care that they spend far more than they collect in revenues. They will sell us out to corporations and special interest groups (again both liberal and conservatives) for votes or increased power. Until the American people are willing to vote for someone other than the establishment, we will never see true change.

Just curious, but does anybody who supports the Occupy Wall Street movement have any thoughts on the bailouts of the automotive and banking industry? I work in the banking industry, so I think I have a much different opinion than most, but I would like to hear what the perception is.

Crispin's Crispian
10-26-2011, 02:22 PM
Matt Taibbi wrote a little about it just yesterday:

From Wall Street Isn't Winning, It's Cheating (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/owss-beef-wall-street-isnt-winning-its-cheating-20111025)

STUPIDITY INSURANCE. Defenders of the banks like to talk a lot about how we shouldn't feel sorry for people who've been foreclosed upon, because it's they're own fault for borrowing more than they can pay back, buying more house than they can afford, etc. And critics of OWS have assailed protesters for complaining about things like foreclosure by claiming these folks want “something for nothing.”

This is ironic because, as one of the Rolling Stone editors put it last week, “something for nothing is Wall Street’s official policy." In fact, getting bailed out for bad investment decisions has been de rigeur on Wall Street not just since 2008, but for decades.

Time after time, when big banks screw up and make irresponsible bets that blow up in their faces, they've scored bailouts. It doesn't matter whether it was the Mexican currency bailout of 1994 (when the state bailed out speculators who gambled on the peso) or the IMF/World Bank bailout of Russia in 1998 (a bailout of speculators in the "emerging markets") or the Long-Term Capital Management Bailout of the same year (in which the rescue of investors in a harebrained hedge-fund trading scheme was deemed a matter of international urgency by the Federal Reserve), Wall Street has long grown accustomed to getting bailed out for its mistakes.

The 2008 crash, of course, birthed a whole generation of new bailout schemes. Banks placed billions in bets with AIG and should have lost their shirts when the firm went under -- AIG went under, after all, in large part because of all the huge mortgage bets the banks laid with the firm -- but instead got the state to pony up $180 billion or so to rescue the banks from their own bad decisions.

This sort of thing seems to happen every time the banks do something dumb with their money. Just recently, the French and Belgian authorities cooked up a massive bailout of the French bank Dexia, whose biggest trading partners included, surprise, surprise, Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Here's how the New York Times explained the bailout:

To limit damage from Dexia’s collapse, the bailout fashioned by the French and Belgian governments may make these banks and other creditors whole — that is, paid in full for potentially tens of billions of euros they are owed. This would enable Dexia’s creditors and trading partners to avoid losses they might otherwise suffer...

When was the last time the government stepped into help you "avoid losses you might otherwise suffer?" But that's the reality we live in. When Joe Homeowner bought too much house, essentially betting that home prices would go up, and losing his bet when they dropped, he was an irresponsible putz who shouldn’t whine about being put on the street.

But when banks bet billions on a firm like AIG that was heavily invested in mortgages, they were making the same bet that Joe Homeowner made, leaving themselves hugely exposed to a sudden drop in home prices. But instead of being asked to "suck it in and cope" when that bet failed, the banks instead went straight to Washington for a bailout -- and got it.

Sei'taer
10-26-2011, 02:27 PM
The real problem isn't Wall Street, it is the federal government. Doesn't matter which side you prefer (D or R), they both want to spend your money like there is no tomorrow, and they don't care that they spend far more than they collect in revenues. They will sell us out to corporations and special interest groups (again both liberal and conservatives) for votes or increased power. Until the American people are willing to vote for someone other than the establishment, we will never see true change.

Just curious, but does anybody who supports the Occupy Wall Street movement have any thoughts on the bailouts of the automotive and banking industry? I work in the banking industry, so I think I have a much different opinion than most, but I would like to hear what the perception is.


I can answer for me.

I'm not a part of the OWS and honestly, I wouldn't want to be. I think they are protesting some of the right things, but in the wrong places. Our problem should be with gov't, not with Wall St. Wall St has taken advantage of what the gov't gives them. They pay a lot of money for it, so why shouldn't they. It's something that won't stop until someone gets control of the gov't and changes the way Washington operates. Stopping Wall St isn't going to change anything because it'll just fall to the next guy to take advantage of it. The real problem is Washington.

I have thoughts on the bailouts. They never should have happened. None of them.

Ivhon
10-26-2011, 02:34 PM
I can answer for me.

I'm not a part of the OWS and honestly, I wouldn't want to be. I think they are protesting some of the right things, but in the wrong places. Our problem should be with gov't, not with Wall St. Wall St has taken advantage of what the gov't gives them. They pay a lot of money for it, so why shouldn't they. It's something that won't stop until someone gets control of the gov't and changes the way Washington operates. Stopping Wall St isn't going to change anything because it'll just fall to the next guy to take advantage of it. The real problem is Washington.

I have thoughts on the bailouts. They never should have happened. None of them.

who would the next guy be? Takes a lot of money to buy the government...

EDIT: In response to the frequently heard "Wall Street/Rich People are not to blame, they are just naturally taking advantage of the system. Blame Washington" argument, isn't that only half the picture? After all, Washington is only doing what those in political power have been doing since the dawn of political power - i.e. protecting individual power. Fixing Washington isn't going to change anything because it'll just fall to the next guy to take advantage of it.

The problem is not black and white and never ever is. Government needs to be reformed and how. So does Wall Street. So does the entitlement culture that we the people walk around with (in part derived from the advertising of Wall Street to drive unsustainable consumption). Simply pointing the finger at Washington isn't enough, because the next load of politicians will be bought just as easily as this one. We must as well reform the financial system that has learned that it has no responsibility to anyone but its executive board.

Zombie Sammael
10-26-2011, 02:51 PM
I can answer for me.

I'm not a part of the OWS and honestly, I wouldn't want to be. I think they are protesting some of the right things, but in the wrong places. Our problem should be with gov't, not with Wall St. Wall St has taken advantage of what the gov't gives them. They pay a lot of money for it, so why shouldn't they. It's something that won't stop until someone gets control of the gov't and changes the way Washington operates. Stopping Wall St isn't going to change anything because it'll just fall to the next guy to take advantage of it. The real problem is Washington.

I have thoughts on the bailouts. They never should have happened. None of them.

I can only speak to my experience of the UK. I don't claim to know enough about the US to be able to comment on the situation there.

That said, in the UK the reason why the bailouts happened was because if they didn't we were (apparently) mere hours away from cash machines running dry and people losing their savings beyond the guaranteed limit. They were a desperate attempt to preserve something resembling status quo. I personally would agree with Sei'taer that we shouldn't have done this - not without some pretty major hard bargaining about regulation - but whatever happened, some sort of government intervention was necessary. This is a direct result of the actions taken in the UK and around the world to deregulate the banking industry during the late 1990s, an essentially free market policy, but one from which the only surprise is that it took this long for the system to collapse.

Now, that left us in a larger than usual amount of national debt. There is an argument about how much. I have heard it claimed that adjusted for inflation, without the bailout we were in a better position than we had been since World War 2. Unfortunately, in the UK at least, we then elected a right wing government, thus handing them the pretext to savagely and ideologically cut our precious public services, treat disabled people like crap, and dismantle the NHS.

To my mind, this happened for two reasons: the failure to regulate the banking system and the reckless actions of the banks themselves. Government is responsible for failing to regulate, the banks are responsible for being irresponsible. The people paying the price, however, are us, the little guys. The banks have held the government hostage by saying that if they try to regulate they'll go abroad, and the government have seized the opportunity to behave like Tories always do. This is what people are angry about, and this is what the protests are all about; the simple injustice that the rich (financial sector) and the powerful (government) get away with their failure while the rest have to suffer.

So I'd suggest that you're not wrong in that government is responsible for this crisis, but you are wrong that the problem isn't banking and finance. In this country, government has already shown that it simply will not listen and the supposed moderating element is impotent, so we protest the financial sector. The 1% screwed up massively, so why should the 99% take the hit?

Davian93
10-26-2011, 02:59 PM
So, maybe next time...don't vote Tory?



Socialize the Risk
Privatize the Profit

Sei'taer
10-26-2011, 03:14 PM
who would the next guy be? Takes a lot of money to buy the government...

EDIT: In response to the frequently heard "Wall Street/Rich People are not to blame, they are just naturally taking advantage of the system. Blame Washington" argument, isn't that only half the picture? After all, Washington is only doing what those in political power have been doing since the dawn of political power - i.e. protecting individual power. Fixing Washington isn't going to change anything because it'll just fall to the next guy to take advantage of it.

The problem is not black and white and never ever is. Government needs to be reformed and how. So does Wall Street. So does the entitlement culture that we the people walk around with (in part derived from the advertising of Wall Street to drive unsustainable consumption). Simply pointing the finger at Washington isn't enough, because the next load of politicians will be bought just as easily as this one. We must as well reform the financial system that has learned that it has no responsibility to anyone but its executive board.

I wouldn't say that wall street is clean and pure as the wind driven snow. They have to accept blame also, but they also have to be prepared to live on their own without gov't help. They have the balls to make these huge risky deals because they know that Washington is going to save them. If you fix Washington, then IMO wall street will have to fix itself or all of them stand to lose a lot more than just the piddly shit OWS wants to take from them. As SDogs article points out, we have bailed them out and bailed them out and bailed them out and they know that they don't have to worry about going under because they have Washington in their pockets. If you get Washingtoon out of their pockets and make them stand on their own, then it would get better...maybe not fixed, but when the groups that make the really shitty decisions fail and lose everything and lots of people go down with it, then the next guy is going to be a little more careful about what he does.

There's no quick fix for this and sitting in a park in Oakland holding a sign isn't going to help (my opinion again). It's going to take somthing a lot harsher and deeper for the change to come.

I figure some politician will come along and make the OWSers feel good and gloss over everything they want and keep operating the same way. Like you said, we need a change in gov't. I don't know how to do it and wouldn't even have a clue where to start, but if you fix one, then the other will most likely fix itself.

Gilshalos Sedai
10-26-2011, 03:23 PM
You could try Bryan's links.

Just saying.

Terez
10-26-2011, 03:35 PM
The real problem isn't Wall Street, it is the federal government.
Which do you think is the real power, here? I posted this a few pages back, but I'll post it again:

http://images.onset.freedom.com/ocregister/gallery/lt2tsl-b78863470z.120111014150515000g7v12pk9d.1.jpg

Sei'taer
10-26-2011, 03:35 PM
You could try Bryan's links.

Just saying.

I already use them. I'm one of the 65,000! I think I posted them here a year or so ago, but I can't remember. It might have been FB or one of the other sites I go to.

Zombie Sammael
10-26-2011, 03:38 PM
So, maybe next time...don't vote Tory?



Socialize the Risk
Privatize the Profit

I didn't. I voted Lib Dem. It's funny, at the time I thought they were at opposite ends of the political compass, or something.

I wouldn't say that wall street is clean and pure as the wind driven snow. They have to accept blame also, but they also have to be prepared to live on their own without gov't help. They have the balls to make these huge risky deals because they know that Washington is going to save them. If you fix Washington, then IMO wall street will have to fix itself or all of them stand to lose a lot more than just the piddly shit OWS wants to take from them. As SDogs article points out, we have bailed them out and bailed them out and bailed them out and they know that they don't have to worry about going under because they have Washington in their pockets. If you get Washingtoon out of their pockets and make them stand on their own, then it would get better...maybe not fixed, but when the groups that make the really shitty decisions fail and lose everything and lots of people go down with it, then the next guy is going to be a little more careful about what he does.

There's no quick fix for this and sitting in a park in Oakland holding a sign isn't going to help (my opinion again). It's going to take somthing a lot harsher and deeper for the change to come.

I figure some politician will come along and make the OWSers feel good and gloss over everything they want and keep operating the same way. Like you said, we need a change in gov't. I don't know how to do it and wouldn't even have a clue where to start, but if you fix one, then the other will most likely fix itself.

Protesting doesn't do an awful lot, but it does send the message that you're not happy. I remember the anecdote about Dr Spock and the Vietnam War every time someone says it doesn't do anything, and that's a clear sign that it can and does.

I think the thing to do to achieve that change would have been to allow the banks to collapse and deal with the fallout of that. But at the time that idea was completely unthinkable. As much as we talk about government and industry as if they're separate, when they have as much control and influence on our lives as they do, they're really all part of the same system propping each other up. Cut one leg off the tripod....

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 03:45 PM
Which do you think is the real power, here? I posted this a few pages back, but I'll post it again:

http://images.onset.freedom.com/ocregister/gallery/lt2tsl-b78863470z.120111014150515000g7v12pk9d.1.jpg
I thought this was a statement on how the protestors are in the wrong place, not on the 'real' power.

Although, to be fair, I don't think Congress is any more (or less) the real 'enemy' here.

Mort
10-26-2011, 04:54 PM
In the mean time, the Death Star PR team has responded to Luke Skywalker's "I am the 1 %" (http://deathstarpr.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-luke-skywalker-really-99.html)


As the "Occupy" movement sweeps the Galaxy, more and more people are coming forward to speak out against "corporate greed", "political corruption", "enslaving" people to make gigantic "Doomsday weapons" (we prefer "Liberty cannons that shoot freedom beams"), and the Empire "unfairly" blowing up people's planets. But who are these people really and where exactly do they come from?

Mort
10-26-2011, 05:13 PM
I don't really have a problem with a CEO earning 1000x more than the hired lineworker. Is it a ridiculously large sum of money? Yes. Is the CEO worth that much money? Maybe. Some are and some probably aren't. It's for the company to decide.

What I see as a problem is the people who has to work long hours just to see ends meet.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 05:53 PM
Civil protest is one of the most important tools of the citizenry when it comes to expressing displeasure. That's one of the reasons its specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights under the First Amendment. As any grade school student knows, the British military cracked down on public gatherings to stifle unrest.

Sure, voting is more effective but when it comes to a situation when neither option is a good one to vote for, you start having this sort of assembly to express grievances.

Terez
10-26-2011, 06:22 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/25/us/politics/approval-of-congress-drops-to-single-digits.html?ref=politics

Davian93
10-26-2011, 06:29 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/25/us/politics/approval-of-congress-drops-to-single-digits.html?ref=politics

If it were any other country, I'd say we were looking at a possible violent uprising/revolution...but I simply cannot imagine it happening in the U.S.

Sinistrum
10-26-2011, 06:30 PM
What I see as a problem is the people who has to work long hours just to see ends meet.

So you have a problem with the real world and very fabric of reality? Well. Good luck solving that one. I'm sure all those guys parading around in downtown Manhattan can help you with that. Have to be a few theoretical physicists that can come up with a way to alter reality to suit our needs or theologians with a direct pipeline to whatever force set it all up to where existence requires hard work and is mostly consisting of pain in there somewhere, right?

Green Man 22
10-26-2011, 06:34 PM
I have worked in the banking industry for the past 10 years, albeit all in smaller community banks. I remember the bank bailouts like it was yesterday.

The federal government wanted to prop up the larger financial institutions to keep them from "going under." My smaller bank was in a strong enough financial condition to receive TARP funds, but the bank rejected them for two reasons: 1) we didn't need the funds as we had a very strong capital position and 2) there were way too many government strings attached to the TARP money.

Although the TARP funds were purportedly interest free loans, they really weren't. The government forced their way into a preferred stock position, demanded significant dividends, and then charged fees when banks wanted to pay back the funds.

When the financial markets were struggling, the bailout movement by the government got rolling with the bailout of AIG. In the $85 billion bailout, the vast majority of funds went to make whole investors who had foolishly bet on default swaps related to the housing market. When you make a stupid investment you are supposed to lose your shirt. This bailout was driven by the Treasury Department and Goldman Sachs (who are kind of interchangeable since everyone at the Fed and with the Treasury are from Goldman Sachs). Goldman had a significant investment in AIG (I believe about $20 billion) which was in jeopardy before the bailout. This bailout was atrocious. After letting Bear Stearns go under, the government intervened to help their buddies at Goldman Sachs and keep them from losing a ton of money. The only problem was that a huge portion of funds (~$30-40 billion) went into AIG and directly out again to make whole "foreign investors" (banks in Europe who made the same stupid bet).

After this bailout, the next government contrivance was the TARP fund (Troubled Asset Relief Program) which was reportedly to keep other large financial institutions from failing. It is really interesting to see the vitriol directed at banks by some and the assertions that the banks got a free ride on the taxpayers. There are a couple of misconceptions on that front.

1. All of the Banks that took TARP funds needed the money.

This was patently false. The largest banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo did not need the funds. There were some concerns, but ultimately these institutions did not need or want the money (or the fees and strings attached). There were definitely some banks who needed the money (like Goldman Sachs), and the government didn't think it prudent to only have the banks that needed funds to take them, since it would identify the problems. The government even went as far as threatening the CEO and board of directors of a large regional bank with a full IRS audit (extremely costly) if they didn't take the funds.

2. The banks took the funds and just padded their profits with them.

Again, this is just not true. Almost every one of the larger institutions paid back all funds, plus a lot of fees, resulting in strong profits for the government on their participation in the program. Here is a recap of the five biggest bank recipients of TARP funds:

Bank of America – Received $45 billion. They fully repaid all funds plus ~$4.6 billion in fees. They got $25 billion in the original TARP, and an additional $20 billion when they took over Merrill Lynch upon the government's request. The $20 billion was fully repaid in less than one year, with ~$2.7 billion in total fees to the government (equivalent to a 15% interest rate). The other $25 billion was fully repaid in just over one year, with ~$1.9 billion in fees (equivalent to 7.5% interest).

Citigroup – Received $45 billion. They fully repaid all funds plus ~$12.4 billion in fees. They took approximately 2 years to fully repay this amount, so their fees were equivalent to a 13.8% interest rate.

JP Morgan Chase – Received $25 billion. They fully repaid all funds plus ~$1.7 billion in fees. They repaid their TARP funds in about 7 months, with fees equivalent to 11.7% interest.

Wells Fargo – Received $25 billion. They fully repaid all funds plus ~$2.3 billion in fees. They took a little over 1 year to repay, so their fees were equivalent to a 9% interest rate.

Goldman Sachs – Received $10 billion. They fully repaid all funds plus ~$1.4 billion in fees. They repaid their funds in about 7 months, with fees equivalent to a 24% interest rate (the government probably had to be harsh to dispel critics of the AIG fiasco).

So the top 5 bank recipients of TARP funds received $150 billion in funds, and repaid all of them, with total fees of ~$22.4 billion, which is approximately a 13.34% return on investment.

The funny example to me out of the bailouts is Ally Bank, is a subsidiary of Ally Financial (formerly GMAC). You have probably seen their cute ads on TV championing consumers rejecting any and all fees from their banks. As an internet bank, they have no physical presence so they don’t have much in the way of overhead costs (and I doubt they have many employees either). The irony here is that GMAC received $16.3 billion in TARP funds and has only repaid ~$2.7 billion, meaning they still owe the American taxpayers ~$13.6 billion. They have been paying fees, $2.3 billion to date, which is equivalent to a 7% interest rate. So they are still being subsidized by the taxpayers.

So to recap, many of the largest banks in the US were forced to take money they didn’t want, required to pay interest rates that were nearly double the market interest rates (most banks were lending at 5-7%), and they weren’t allowed to pay the funds back until the government told them they could.

How would you like to be forced into buying a car, paying a 10% interest rate, and being told that in addition to the fact that you have a ridiculous interest rate, you also can’t pay off the loan? Ridiculous, but true in what happened to some of the larger banks.

So be kind to your local banker, whether they work at a community bank or at a larger national bank. We really aren’t bad guys.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 06:51 PM
So when an entire industry fvcks around for a decade and then comes up short...then comes begging hat in hand for a federal bailout, they were actually ~gasp~ forced to comply with some terms that weren't agreeable?!?

Shocking.

For one, had the bailout not occurred, Sachs and a couple other banks would have gone under and started a cascade effect on the rest of the industry and all those toxic assets would have dragged BoA, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc down into the ocean. Oh Fvcking well that they had to deal with some terms they didn't like. Last I checked, they've been turning massive profits the last few years regardless of this terrible burden.

Green Man 22
10-26-2011, 07:08 PM
So when an entire industry fvcks around for a decade and then comes up short...then comes begging hat in hand for a federal bailout, they were actually ~gasp~ forced to comply with some terms that weren't agreeable?!?

From what you said, I gather you didn't read my post. The banks didn't come begging, hats in hand. The government came knocking and coerced them into taking the funds that they didn't need or want. They also didn't allow them to repay the funds until they (the government) felt like it. Which was between 7-12 months for most of the big banks.

For one, had the bailout not occurred, Sachs and a couple other banks would have gone under and started a cascade effect on the rest of the industry and all those toxic assets would have dragged BoA, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc down into the ocean. Oh Fvcking well that they had to deal with some terms they didn't like. Last I checked, they've been turning massive profits the last few years regardless of this terrible burden.

You can guess that a cascade effect would have happened, but from looking at the financials of these banks, that doesn't make any sense. The only one that would have gone under would have been Citibank. Their depositors and borrowers would have been mostly covered under FDIC (the ones that wouldn't be covered would be the top 1%, so I assume OWS wouldn't care about them) and would have transferred their accounts and loans to other financial institutions. The fact that most of the big banks were able to repay such huge amounts within such a short time puts the lie to their "need" for the money.

The point isn't whether they have been profitable with the burden, the point is that they didn't need the !#$!#$ money! They didn't want it! Did the people who took out huge mortgages to buy homes right before the bubble get forced to take those loans? Were they forced to pay double the market rate? Were they told that they couldn't make any principal payments until the bank felt like it?

There was a lot of scummy stuff going on in the mortgage market. Some of it was banks, some of it was brokers, some of it was RE agents, and some of it was borrowers. Pointing the finger at one for the ethical problems of all four just doesn't make much sense.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 07:14 PM
From what you said, I gather you didn't read my post. The banks didn't come begging, hats in hand. The government came knocking and coerced them into taking the funds that they didn't need or want. They also didn't allow them to repay the funds until they (the government) felt like it. Which was between 7-12 months for most of the big banks.

The good banks didn't...but the crapped out banks did. The industry as a whole caused the issue in the first place by deliberately mislabeling the credit worthiness of various securities. Also, as a banker, you of all people should understand that there are oftentimes restrictions placed on how and when loans are repaid.

The point isn't whether they have been profitable with the burden, the point is that they didn't need the !#$!#$ money! They didn't want it! Did the people who took out huge mortgages to buy homes right before the bubble get forced to take those loans? Were they forced to pay double the market rate? Were they told that they couldn't make any principal payments until the bank felt like it?

Of course nobody forced them to buy those homes...just as nobody forced banks to repackage those bullshit mortgages as securities, slap a AAA credit rating on them and flip them before they exploded....all the while reaping massive profits. A couple massive banks were overleveraged along with AIG and it blew up in the entire industry's face.


As for the cascade...that's exactly what happened the last time the financial industry was that leveraged...we all call it the Great Depression. Investment is about confidence and seeing a couple of major banks go under right after AIG would have shattered that confidence. Add in the mortgage crisis (that we still havent seen all of) and it would have been brutal.

Green Man 22
10-26-2011, 07:36 PM
The good banks didn't...but the crapped out banks did. The industry as a whole caused the issue in the first place by deliberately mislabeling the credit worthiness of various securities. Also, as a banker, you of all people should understand that there are oftentimes restrictions placed on how and when loans are repaid.

While it is true that restrictions and prepayment penalties are sometimes imposed, that is a function for the banks to appropriately allocate the funding source to match the loan. Banks also can't force anyone at the point of a gun to take out a loan (which is essentially what the government did). The reason behind prohibiting repayment was purely political.

And yes, it is true that some crappy banks took funds and then still went under (hence the closure of so many banks). All I have to say to that is that is what you get when the government is administering the program. They blindly handed out funds with very little due diligence and it bit them hard. My point was more that the anger towards the banking industry is usually directed at the huge national banks, and they didn't cause any of the losses from the TARP funds.

Of course nobody forced them to buy those homes...just as nobody forced banks to repackage those bullshit mortgages as securities, slap a AAA credit rating on them and flip them before they exploded....all the while reaping massive profits. A couple massive banks were overleveraged along with AIG and it blew up in the entire industry's face.

The default swaps and mortgage back security business was a bunch of crap, no doubt. That was a scheme along the lines of Enron and Arthur Andersen. Banking is basically a stable industry, and there really isn't a way to innovate without just taking on more risk. All of the product innovations of the past few decades are simply the same old products repackaged with slightly higher profits and much higher risk.


As for the cascade...that's exactly what happened the last time the financial industry was that leveraged...we all call it the Great Depression. Investment is about confidence and seeing a couple of major banks go under right after AIG would have shattered that confidence. Add in the mortgage crisis (that we still havent seen all of) and it would have been brutal.

Again, that is your take on the situation. Fear does drive people to do some stupid things. Citibank was the closest one to going under from the big banks, and even they repaid most of their TARP funds pretty quickly. The government intervention into the mortgage and banking industry has only prolonged and worsened the housing crisis. I forgot to mention that the two biggest recipients of TARP money (not counting AIG) were Fannie Mae ($104 billion) and Freddie Mac ($65 billion), both government sponsored entities. Neither one has repaid any of the TARP funds (they do pay some dividends), and they likely never will.

Thanks for your take on the issue. I appreciate hearing what people think, especially when it is reasonable. Most people that I talk with about this just rant and rave without any facts or details.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 07:49 PM
I have an easy first step that would help all this and its just 4 simple words:

Bring Back Glass Steagall


Thoughts?

Davian93
10-26-2011, 08:09 PM
Fear does drive people to do some stupid things.

Do you recall how Morgan Stanley and Sachs stock prices were doing as a result of that fear right before the bailout? Both were DOA if not for those funds just like Merrill being given to BoA.

IMHO, the biggest issue with the bailout wasn't so much the gov't taking a direct hand in the financial industry...but rather they didn't add more requirements onto those capital infusions. Those banks should have been obligated to actually use that liquidity instead of sitting on it.

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 08:10 PM
You can guess that a cascade effect would have happened, but from looking at the financials of these banks, that doesn't make any sense.
Since you work in the banking industry, you will remember the former Salomon traders that almost threw the entire global economy into disarray in the late 90s. Markets practically seized. It wasn't even much of a liquidity problem at first: fear drove it all. It created a liquidity problem. And the hedge fund had a trillion dollars in derivative exposure (with only ever a few billion in capital), something not generally seen when looking over a company's financials. And, do you really want to put the fdic insurance to the test? On that scale?
The point isn't whether they have been profitable with the burden, the point is that they didn't need the !#$!#$ money! They didn't want it! Did the people who took out huge mortgages to buy homes right before the bubble get forced to take those loans? Were they forced to pay double the market rate? Were they told that they couldn't make any principal payments until the bank felt like it?
I think the banks had 'human nature insurance' protecting them from any real risk on the last.

But to some extent you're right: a lot of the banks didn't need the money, or could be allowed to fail without too much damage to the system. But fear turned the Fed into a pressure cooker, and the GS guys pitched a doomsday scenario, to increase the odds for intervention on their behalf. And the government bought it. Haste may make waste, and fear sped everyone along. So the bailout was never going to be perfect. It was like a hasty battlefield cauterization or something. No time for stitches. And the government didn't think they had the time to come up with a better plan. So some banks got money they never needed or wanted, and AIG got perhaps a bit too much.

Small, independent banks probably would have weathered the crisis (provided it's clients still had jobs), but I think you are underestimating the interconnectedness of the large investment banks, and even commercial banks as well, especially when some were basically renting out their credit ratings to high-risk hedge funds.
There was a lot of scummy stuff going on in the mortgage market. Some of it was banks, some of it was brokers, some of it was RE agents, and some of it was borrowers. Pointing the finger at one for the ethical problems of all four just doesn't make much sense.

Sure. But when the dust clears and only a handful of people are still standing, it is understandable to point at them, however accurate or inaccurate it might be.

And, I may be a hypocrite here, but it is more than a little disturbing that I was able to make a good bit of money betting on Goldman Sachs in 2009. Not a straight bet either, but on Goldman Sachs in a series of spreads, and always with the hedge being a bank that took relatively little money.

Davian93
10-26-2011, 08:28 PM
But to some extent you're right: a lot of the banks didn't need the money, or could be allowed to fail without too much damage to the system. But fear turned the Fed into a pressure cooker, and the GS guys pitched a doomsday scenario, to increase the odds for intervention on their behalf. And the government bought it. Haste may make waste, and fear sped everyone along. So the bailout was never going to be perfect. It was like a hasty battlefield cauterization or something. No time for stitches. And the government didn't think they had the time to come up with a better plan. So some banks got money they never needed or wanted, and AIG got perhaps a bit too much.

If just the bad banks had gotten those funds, do you think anyone in their right mind would have put their money in those banks? There would have been a run on every bank that received funds causing them to collapse. That was probably the smartest part of the bailout. Sucked for banks like BoA but whatever...it would have sucked more had those banks gone under.

Sei'taer
10-26-2011, 08:31 PM
I have an easy first step that would help all this and its just 4 simple words:

Bring Back Glass Steagall


Thoughts?

You want thoughts? Here're mine. It's not as much fun to watch as whiteyball.

Mort
10-26-2011, 08:48 PM
So you have a problem with the real world and very fabric of reality? Well. Good luck solving that one. I'm sure all those guys parading around in downtown Manhattan can help you with that. Have to be a few theoretical physicists that can come up with a way to alter reality to suit our needs or theologians with a direct pipeline to whatever force set it all up to where existence requires hard work and is mostly consisting of pain in there somewhere, right?

It would be odd if I would have a problem with imaginary things, wouldn't it? ;)

And reality can be altered, that's the fun part about living in it.

The Unreasoner
10-26-2011, 09:42 PM
It would be odd if I would have a problem with imaginary things, wouldn't it? ;)

And reality can be altered, that's the fun part about living in it.
If you think reality can be altered...

And @Davian
I agree that the blanket treatment was best. But some don't, and I wanted to acknowledge that. The banks I was thinking of (the ones that could be allowed to fail) were the independent (and smaller) banks. They would in no way survive a run/someone shooting at their assets, but that's beside the point. The big banks though are too interlaced to expect anything other than a cascading collapse. Which is why my point was really a bit circular: any bank that didn't need money was probably not a major bank, as by being a major bank it is more vulnerable to being unable to unload bad assets fast enough, especially if everyone knows you have them. Which in turn drives the prices down on even the bank's good assets, which then affects other institutions with those securities. So yeah, it would cascade pretty quick.
But small banks, even if they were wiped out long and painfully, couldn't substantially affect the markets on their own. And many of them would be significantly less diversified. And of course, even the positions no one wants might be unloaded by small banks, because they would be substantially smaller in size. So it might even be possible for them to survive.

Green Man 22
10-26-2011, 10:55 PM
Do you recall how Morgan Stanley and Sachs stock prices were doing as a result of that fear right before the bailout? Both were DOA if not for those funds just like Merrill being given to BoA.

Actually I was very aware of Morgan Stanley and its stock price plunge, but it wasn't going anywhere. Every single financial stock was tanking, regardless of financial position. Morgan Stanley had a strong financial position, regardless of the stock price, and I knew of several customers who were buying as much stock as they could. One guy bought $2 million and more than doubled it in a couple of weeks. People trading on market movement were panicking, true. But people who know how to analyze stocks didn't panic on Morgan Stanley.

IMHO, the biggest issue with the bailout wasn't so much the gov't taking a direct hand in the financial industry...but rather they didn't add more requirements onto those capital infusions. Those banks should have been obligated to actually use that liquidity instead of sitting on it.

It is hard to make requirements to lend though. You have no idea how many businesses come looking for significant loans that have declining revenues and losses in the past few years. They need financing to keep their business afloat, but they represent an inordinate amount of risk based on their financial condition. The vast majority of loan losses are from the small business portfolio, because they have the least margin for error and are the most impacted by the economic downturn.

GonzoTheGreat
10-27-2011, 04:27 AM
From what you said, I gather you didn't read my post. The banks didn't come begging, hats in hand. The government came knocking and coerced them into taking the funds that they didn't need or want.I would invite you to read the following quote from someone who actually works in the banking industry:

The federal government wanted to prop up the larger financial institutions to keep them from "going under." My smaller bank was in a strong enough financial condition to receive TARP funds, but the bank rejected them for two reasons: 1) we didn't need the funds as we had a very strong capital position and 2) there were way too many government strings attached to the TARP money.This proves that if a bank wanted to, then it could reject the funds, and the strings attached to them. Thus, the claim that the banks were coerced into the deal is false.
Assuming, of course, that the alleged expert knows what he's talking about. I can't judge the validity of that assumption, I have to admit.

maacaroni
10-27-2011, 07:32 AM
The real problem isn't Wall Street, it is the federal government. Doesn't matter which side you prefer (D or R), they both want to spend your money like there is no tomorrow, and they don't care that they spend far more than they collect in revenues. They will sell us out to corporations and special interest groups (again both liberal and conservatives) for votes or increased power. Until the American people are willing to vote for someone other than the establishment, we will never see true change.

Just curious, but does anybody who supports the Occupy Wall Street movement have any thoughts on the bailouts of the automotive and banking industry? I work in the banking industry, so I think I have a much different opinion than most, but I would like to hear what the perception is.

The reality here was that Governments had to bail out the banks. They had to otherwise there would massive runs á la 1929 and we would have had a depression instead of a pretty hefty recession. It was the right thing to do.

The problem was that banks were overleveraged to almost idiotic levels and that sub-prime mortgages were fired out left, right and centre by mortgage brokers on commission to do so. There was no overwatch, no risk management. The 'market would fix all'.

What happened next, we all know, was a domino effect of debt contagion. First it was individual debt - massive house foreclosures, then it was banks and corporations - Lehman Bros, AIG and Northern Rock and now it is Nation States in Europe.

What is galling is that the self-same banks/corporations think they've gotten away with it and think it is business as usual, I notice that bonuses are returning to pre-Credit Crunch levels. The politicians in their pay (ok, those they lobby!) are now advocating a return to laissez-faire and play the tired old 'too much government' tune. They trawl out the word socialism but don't seem to mind the socialising of risk by a nation state of their debt - the market will fix all, my arse!

So, to answer why they are at Wall Street and other financial centres and not at parliaments/congresses is that they want to go to where the problem originates. They feel that too many politicians are too intertwined with Banking and will merely pay them lip-service. By going straight to the heart of the beast, the protestors show that they are not happy with the status quo and that meaningful change must come.

(Oh, and one of the reasons why governments bail out automotive industries is that they need their skills to mass produce in times of war. It is a national interest thing.)

Bryan Blaire
10-27-2011, 08:43 AM
Maacaroni, it's all well and good to go after the "Heart of the Beast," but the populace is incapable of truly affecting or hurting the beast with a protest. Money-makers don't have to listen to you when you keep making them money by purchasing goods, using credit and paying loans (and even if you aren't buying things like food and water directly, whoever is likely uses banks to transfer the money around and we know that corporations that you buy from use them). OWS has been raising money, and it is likely more than they are shelling out from day to day because I think in the end people that get involved generally want to help, but if there is carry over and they put it into
any type of account, then they are still feeding the system. If someone donates money with a check, they are still feeding the system.

If you truly want reform, you will have to target the
governmental system and if need be, get new people elected. You could also go and find a way to have a media attack on "Wall Street" in some kind of moral play, with the realization that "big media" mostly belongs to big business.

I posted a bunch of stuff in the Median Income thread about the concept of income equality that people don't seem to want to touch yet. Maybe we'll eventually get to the roots of some of the beliefs on these subjects and can actually start working toward a well-informed, rational consensus in the US (I think the world is a bit of a reach).

Mort
10-27-2011, 08:52 AM
If you think reality can be altered...



Haha, I don't know what you are reading into that line.

maacaroni
10-27-2011, 09:27 AM
The point is that by occupying Wall Street, it becomes news and legislators are more likely to take notice. If this becomes a cause celebre, Obama has a better chance of increasing income tax on the oligarchs.

Bryan Blaire
10-27-2011, 09:35 AM
People do get that Obama isn't a legislator any more, right? In the end, he can propose laws, get people to sit down, try to get cooperation, etc, but he will not be the one that passes the law and he can't order a tax increase, that has to be written into law. He could probably do a lot more good right now (assuming there is good to be done/something illegal going on) simply by ordering the IRS and other regulatory entities to step up their investigations and audits on "big business" and start an investigation into the actions of the banking industry, since those things he has direct power over an doesn't have to wait on Congress for. If there is really mischief going on, it should be able to be uncovered. Unless the head Executive is just as bought as everyone is alleging Congress is.

On the subject of increasing taxes: Are Obama and all other politicians going to be paying the increased taxes, or will they put some more loop-holes that let then wiggle out of "their fair share" in yet again? Why hasn't he (or anyone calling for this) contributed more than the required tax amount already?

Ivhon
10-27-2011, 09:44 AM
People do get that Obama isn't a legislator any more, right? In the end, e can propose laws, get people to sit down, try to get cooperation, propose bills, etc, but he will not be the one that passes the law. He could probably do a lot more good right now simply by ordering the IRS and other regulatory entities to step up their investigations and audits on "big business" and start an investigation into the actions of the banking industry, since those things he has direct power over an doesn't have to wait on Congress for. If there is really mischief going on, it should be able to be uncovered. Unless the head Executive is just as bought as everyone is alleging Congress is.

Of course this brings up one of the biggest problems in the system. The President doesn't have to be bought by Wall Street - just too afraid to do anything. After all, elections are won by marketing, Wall Street knows marketing even more than politicians, thanks to the activist SCOTUS ruling, corporations are people too - just better people because there is no limit to what they can give. So essentially EVERYBODY in politics has to kiss Wall Street's ass because that is where all of the marketing and free speech in this country is quantified.

So we have a legislative branch that has legislated power to Wall Street. A judicial branch that has essentially said that money doesn't corrupt politicians (?!?!?). And an executive branch that is either in bed with or too pussified to stand up to Wall Street.

Davian93
10-27-2011, 09:46 AM
He could declare martial law, suspend Posse Comitatus and rule with an iron fist.

Fear, fear of this battle station will keep the local states in line.

Bryan Blaire
10-27-2011, 09:51 AM
So what would help with this? Term limits on SCOTUS might work, but then again, I think the same should be in place for members of Congress. As people live longer and longer, a life posting can be a serious issue (I've made that point before about the permanent tenure status granted to certain positions within the gov't bureaucracies), though it is usually only acknowledged as such when the decisions being made are against your preferred train of thought/feeling/logic/world view.

Dav, quit trying to suspend my right to posses!

Ivhon
10-27-2011, 10:03 AM
So what would help with this? Term limits on SCOTUS might work, but then again, I think the same should be in place for members of Congress. As people live longer and longer, a life posting can be a serious issue (I've made that point before about the permanent tenure status granted to certain positions within the gov't bureaucracies), though it is usually only acknowledged as such when the decisions being made are against your preferred train of thought/feeling/logic/world view.

Dav, quit trying to suspend my right to posses!

I think that there should be term limits for SCOTUS - but then Im a rabid anti-constitutionalist, aren't I?

Unfortunately, relative to the issue of campaign contributions, I don't have an answer. I am a firm believer in judicial precedent. It is necessary and needed. Unfortunately, the Roberts court has pretty much killed the idea of respect for judicial precedent, so what we will have is the bogging down of the courts by bringing challenge cases to every political standpoint every time there is an ideological shift on the court. And of course, implementing term limits would only exacerbate this.