Oct 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm #1280324
@cwayman1Locale: East Tennessee, US
Ok, so can somebody explain what these protests are ACTUALLY about? WITHOUT political name-calling? So far, these are the basic points that I'm getting:
-the protests are against government-aided bank bailouts because the banks misused the first round of bailouts.
-the government needs to stop helping the wealthy 1-2% of Americans just because they help fund the government.
-corporate money needs to get out of politics
-government needs to shorten the gap between rich and poor
-democrats hate republicans and republicans hate democrats, but that's not even the original purpose of the protests
-who started them?
-are they heavily influenced by one particular political party, or is it a legit mixed group of concerned individuals?
-are they funded (partially or fully) by either the government or outside organizations?
-if the protests are against government bailouts, and certain political groups are also against government bailouts, why are there not more political groups hopping in on this? or are they?'
again, please keep your comments as un-bashing as possible.
ClintOct 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm #1788090
See the official demands below, some are rather humerous.Oct 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm #1788094
I don't know where you got that "official" list. Clint, I think this speech by rapper Immortal Technique explains better what the movement is about. It's about young people with no jobs and no good prospects (offshored!) pointing out the obvious – the interests of the financial industry and politicians are diametrically at odds with the interests of we the people. Which makes for an interesting conundrum with so much we have wrapped up in 401ks, mutual funds, etc.
http://qik.com/video/44583274Oct 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm #1788096
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I see it as a general "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it any more" approach. We have a lot on our plate:
Apathy on all the above
What really chaps my hide is the practice of partisan politics at the expense of the country. With all we have going on, it is NOT the time to be quibbling. I say, get to work or get out.
In the words of Bob Dylan,
"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."
Straight answer to what some of the protesters have to say:
"Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants."Oct 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm #1788097
Cayenne RedmonkBPL Member
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Very young movement, still under development, actively seeking input from various sources.
Things moving slowly as they try to be inclusive of views and opinions.
The banks stole our future. People are upset. No jobs available, People are now finding occupations.
Until the future is brighter, no reason to move.Oct 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm #1788100
@pyeyoLocale: pacific northwest
1. In 1986 James McGill Buchanan won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics, Buchanan's work initiated research on how politicians' self-interest and non-economic forces affect government economic policy. His public choice theory is often used to explain how political decision-making results in outcomes that conflict with the preferences of the general public.
2. We have no realistic term limits for politicians.
3. We have no realistic reform of banking practices. [The Dodd-Frank Bill versus the SEC]
4. The average age of a US Represntative is 59, a Senator is 61.
5. Senior citizens experience twice the voting power as the younger third of voters.
6. A CEO's salary in the US is out of proportion with the rest of the world.
7. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court made any attempts at meaningful campaign reform non-existent.
I cut this out of another thread but it seems appropriate hereOct 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm #1788101
What's it about?
people are mad that we have the best government money can buy
that's my biased opinion
it's interesting to compare to the tea party – some similarities – but the tea party got hijacked by the elite, wealthy, right wingers.
it'll be interesting to see what happens in the near futureOct 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm #1788106
@tremeloLocale: San Jacinto Mountains
whatever your opinion, do not let the corporate media lead you to believe this is a political institution (occupy). this is not about democrats & republicans anymoreOct 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm #1788117
I don't have any factual knowledge to back this up, but the protest is about…Oct 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm #1788126
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
*A dry run was done in NYC the summer prior to protest city-level and federal – level cuts around the time of the 2 Aug budget vote in Congress:
The protest is like "gremlins"; go after 1 and 10 more pop up.
Add, the ability to organize anonymously on no budget, probably due to experience planning all those raves away from the prying eyes of law enforcement … kind of ethereal.
(*edited with new info from HP 11-12-2011 linky above, just didn't want to update and ignite a heated thread)Oct 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm #1788131
Dale hit it on the head.
My take is a tad different though somewhat the same:
The working and middle class has been under class warfare for the past 20 years or so. The gulf between the "haves" and "have nots" has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. The wealthy that make up the upper echilon are not paying their fare share of taxes. Wall St. has been plundering America and us working and middle class citzens have been paying the brunt of it. I am tired of watching banks charge me fee after fee, whether it is raising an interest rate on one of my credit cards or not willing to work out some mod on my home loan because my house is $70,000 underwater. I am tired of them looking for any loophole they can when The Government shuts them down on another. I am sick of seeing poor and mentally ill walking the streets with no place to sleep. I am tired of seeing hungry folks going to foodbanks because they cannot afford to feed themselves. I am tired being tired.
I am tired of the young fighting wars that were based on lies. I am tired of the news everyday. I just want a better place to live. If that means taking to the streets to show your displeasure, than good on you! Until people make their voices heard this will continue.
I am a staunch liberal and live in la la liberal land. One thing I do dislike is when everyone has to prostest over well just anything. I live near Santa Cruz and nothing makes my blood boil when I see "rich" college kids protesting for the sake of protesting than getting a job and contributing. This on the otherhand is a worthy cause.Oct 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm #1788134
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"This on the otherhand is a worthy cause."
+1 your entire post. I sense that it is representative of a nation wide awakening that eventually will cut across all the petty lines that divide us. It can't be done by a liberal, or any other, elite, but must come from the bottom up. Hold onto your hats, folks, the times may finally be a changin'.
Interesting that one major source of inspiration is the Arab Spring, from a region that we have helped brutally suppress for decades. What goes around comes around. Karma-vipaka.Oct 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm #1788136
Agree Tom.Oct 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm #1788138
James that was well written BTWOct 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm #1788141
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
It's a bunch angry people trying to push very generic liberal politics in a very powerful and unique way. That's the simplest way to put it.
They are upset with wall street controlling our government, but they want to force the government and give them more powerful to stop wall street. The same government that is so easily bought out by wall street. Doesn't seem very logical…
There are also a few "end the fed" guys walking around.Oct 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm #1788143
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
Interesting article and comments.Oct 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm #1788156
From what I can tell its a bunch of well intentioned misinformed kids.
They say they want to end corruption between government and banks/corporations but they want to give the government more power to legislate more regulations.
They talk about democracy (USA is not and never has been a democracy) but want to instill lots of communist/socialist things like a guaranteed living wage regardless of employment. Universal healthcare and put insurance companies out of business.
$20 an hour minimum wage? How much would a big Mac cost if the minimum wage was $20? Probably $10.
They complain about corporations on twitter with their iPads.
I agree that corruption has gone too far and some thing needs to be done. But these children if they are ever to be taken seriously need to find someone with a brain and organize their movement.
As far as the rich paying their fair share. What would you suggest? Most wealthy people pay ~50% of their income to various taxes. It's the corporations that don't pay taxes and that needs to be stopped the only way to do that is to abolish the IRS and instill a flat tax or a nationwide sales tax. This is the only way to insure that everyone pays their "fair share" IMO you should be taxed on what you spend not what you make.
And those college kids who can't find a job? They should have learned a skill before going to college. There is a shortage of skilled tradesmen in this country. Of course that would require actual hard work something that most young people these days know nothing about.Oct 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm #1788160
Jesse come live in the SF Bay Area… $20 does an hour does not get you very far. Though you'd be in punk rock heaven :)Oct 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm #1788162
I'm sure as an auto mechanic I'd make more in the bay area. But the real question is why is the cost of living so high there? Could it be the ridiculous regulations you guys have to deal with? California is a great example of what happens when big government runs amok.
[OT]As a automobile hobbyist and auto mechanic the worthless regulations in the name of clean air would keep me away. Not that I'm against emissions regulations but a actual automotive engineer should be consulted on the regs instead of some suit and tie geek who knows nothing about how an engine produces emissions.[/OT]Oct 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm #1788169
Jesse you would make more, however it is not because we are heavily regulated, even though we are. The population centers of California are all centered on the coast, ie San Francisco, LA, and San Diego and those areas are the most desirable places to live. It is about jobs, climate, beauty, and the quality of life here that makes it desirable. You would mess (can't say words I want to say) pants if you knew what I payed for my home. Hey come to our BPL gathering Presidents Weekend you have a place to stay!Oct 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm #1788172
As in recent articles in Wall Street Journal, New York Times,…, the richest 400 people (e.g. Warren Buffet) in the US pay 15% of their income in federal tax
Middle income people pay 30%
Approximate – that includes federal income and social security and medicare
The richest people should pay a little more, like 40% or 50%. It wouldn't be a total solution to our deficit, need to do a number of other things also. There have been a lot of times in recent history where the richest people had to pay that much and the economy including the richest people did very wellOct 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm #1788177
I'd love to come out. Its about a 33% chance I can go but we'll see. What is the plan? I work m-f and could take off a Monday or friday maybe (big maybe) both. Depends on plane ticket price. I'm spending all my money on my car right now.
Edit: $411 for a ticket to SF. not happenin unless there's a cheaper flight to another airport.
I probably wouldn't be too surprised at the price of your house. You'd be more surprised at mine. 20 minutes outside atlanta 1,000 sq ft .5 acre lot $87,000. Of course I couldn't sell it for 60 right now. But the important thing is that I have a roof over my head and a payment I can afford.Oct 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm #1788232
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
Follow the money……
And I think it's only fair to point out the difference between taxing capital and taxing income. They're not the same.
If you want to tax capital at a higher rate, say equal to the tax on income, just say that, I think.Oct 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm #1788236
There's no reason income from investments should be taxed at a lower rate than wages.
Except that a few super rich people make large political contributions.
Most income from wages is spent at businesses. Most income from investments is reinvested. Money spent at a business is worth more to it than investments, because they have to pay back investments, with interest.
If anything, to stimulate the economy we should reduce taxes on wages, not capital gains and dividends.Oct 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm #1788257
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"As in recent articles in Wall Street Journal, New York Times,…, the richest 400 people (e.g. Warren Buffet) in the US pay 15% of their income in federal tax
Middle income people pay 30%
Approximate – that includes federal income and social security and medicare
The richest people should pay a little more, like 40% or 50%. It wouldn't be a total solution to our deficit, need to do a number of other things also. There have been a lot of times in recent history where the richest people had to pay that much and the economy including the richest people did very well"
Yahoo news said,
"The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office."
So are you saying that it is okay to treat people differently under the law?
Or that is is okay to treat certain groups unequally?
I would call it prejudicial treatment of different groups of people — I think that is the definition of discrimination.
The right way is to make every adult citizen pay the same dollar amount. That is equal.
Or perhaps more equal would be to tax every family the same dollar amount.
If you want a percentage tax, then all Americans pay the same tax rate, and then we cap it at a certain income, such as $108,000, which is what Social Security does.
If the Yahoo news report is accurate, 10% of the people are already carrying 70% of the load.
Here is the 2010 Federal income tax rate
I have a friend who is in the top 10% of wage earners.
They yearly property tax on his house is $62,500 per year.
My property tax is $1,700 per year. I use more public services than he.
In states with state income tax the wealthy pay more.
In states with sales tax, the wealthy pay more tax dollars, because they purchase more.
etc, etc, etc.
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