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Forum Post: Economic Bill of Rights (The Second Bill of Rights)

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 4, 2011, 7:40 p.m. EST by SocialDem16 (83)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I think this would be an great idea for a demand and it includes a whole array of seperate demands and makes them constitutional rights.

Here is an excerpt from FDR's 1944 State of the Union Address:

"It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”[2] People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.

For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world."

This would gaurantee the rights to employment, with a living wage, freedom from unfair competition and monopolies, housing, medical care, education, and, social security. Essentially this would make a lot of what is going on today unconstituional and would put government in its right place, above the market overseeing, with the people actually controlling the government, and thus indirectly business.

I am honored to be a part of this! You all have inspired me! I will continue to come down every weekend to show my support and will bring more and more people with me everytime. The excitement is building and spreading among the 99%! The revolution has begun!

All Day All Week Occupy Wall Street! Tom



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[-] 2 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 12 years ago

Devils advocate here: Define "decent" living please. Does that include Netflix, Iphones, Internet access, cable or desserts?

[-] 2 points by Im1percent (30) 12 years ago

OH, Right to Recreation....That's a good one!

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 12 years ago

Yeah this is all insane and attempts to implement this feel-good nonsense would make our current situation many times worse. Does anyone really ever examine the consequences of actions or do they just judge everything by its intentions alone?

[-] 1 points by kilroy (58) from Orlando, FL 12 years ago

Amen! Just add Sovereign rule over the economy and elimination of money in the political process.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 12 years ago

Let's add - The right to walk into a store or service provider and take whatever you want without paying for it.

[-] 1 points by mgiddin1 (1057) from Linthicum, MD 12 years ago

Please don't take this as an insult, but - just like the hardcore libertarians or Tea Partiers want to hearken back to the Founding Fathers, isn't this just hearkening back to a time and a philosophy that's somewhat more recent? And perhaps as wrong-headed?

Why are we rehashing the same frigging tired ideas? Anyone?

[-] 1 points by hippledipple (6) 12 years ago

....tell the people to get out signs that say, "print the money, an control inflation or remove the requirement that we use your dollar"....if you require the people to use a certain type of currency, an then do not supply enough currency, it brings what you have today, no matter if its communism, capitalism, socialism...it does not matter what it is, it will happen....they want to limit the currency so they have control of your destinys...

[-] 1 points by FransiscoDAnconia (17) 12 years ago

-Separation of government and economy. (no bail outs, no TARP, no minimum wages, no FCC, no EPA, etc...) -Allow all individuals operating in Free Market to exercise their Individual Rights free of government interference or burdens. -Elimination of the 16th amendment ~Elimination of income tax and institute (at the least) a low consumption tax with the goal of voluntary taxation very long term. -Return to Constitutional Principles and a reassertion of our rights as individuals. On the same point; A reassertion of the proper powers of the government: ~To protect the rights, as defined in the US Constitution, of all individuals (ex: Repeal Patriot act). ~Specifically to protect each individual from Force and Fraud (Ex: Police used force on peaceful demonstration -or- Bank lied/misrepresented the terms of a loan your purchased). ~To Limit the powers of government to within the defined parameters specifically spelled out as in the US Constitution. (Ex: Article 1 section 8) As is interpreted by founding documentation and judicial precedence. -Elimination of all programs run by the government which are not delegated as specific executable powers under Article 1 Section 8 or a previously implied power. Examples: ~ A slow (20-40year) phase out of social security with the end result of total elimination. ~The Elimination of the DOE and relegate the CHOICE of public schooling to individuals and then states. -Demand Declarations of war with clear goals when sending troops over seas for military operations. No exceptions. -Prevent government from interfering with peaceful assembly, but protect the right of each individual to choose NOT to participate if they so decide and/or to be required to provide aid to such assembly through law, tax or any other force backed measure not of the free choice of the Individual. -Demand that the Federal government assert its power to regulate immigration and to apply RATIONAL and REASONABLE rules regarding immigration/emigration OVER the states, specifically: ~~Anyone may enter and become a citizen in a reasonable time frame (2-5 year probationary period) excepting the following: ~They are a known terrorist, enemy of the state and/or have plans to commit acts of violence against the United States. ~A person is carrying a dangerous communicable disease with no proper/reasonable means of controlling its spread and has no intention of seeking medical treatment to deal with the contagion. ~They have committed a felony in another country which is a recognized felony in The United States of America. Anyone may exit, without penalty, tax, fine or other punitive application of law so long as none of the following are met: ~The emigrant is fleeing prosecution for a crime they are reasonably suspected to have committed or been a part of. ~The emigrant has been judged to have broken the law and is fleeing punishment. ~The emigrant owes a legally determined judgement to another. ~~~The emigrant is seeking to join the ranks of a declared enemy of the United States. This was off the top of my head, feel free to elaborate.

[-] 1 points by michael123 (25) 12 years ago

Hey guys, I'm an Occupy Wall Street artist and I would like to invite you to my Occupy Wall Street art show called SPANK THE BULL: AN OCCUPY WALL STREET MANIFESTO, which is in the form of an Interactive Theatre.

You can view my art show by going to...


[-] 1 points by traderone (13) 12 years ago

I agree with all of these things, and more. We are Americans and we deserve these rights. We have fought wars for these rights, and they need to be a foundation of our government, and not the hypocrisy that exists in our government today. Start by exposing the banking system that still allows our banks to legally trade credit default swaps on sovereign bonds with your savings. Which do you fear more: Banks that continue to risk their capital which exposes them to the same financial meltdown of 2008 or the generation of baby-boomers who have been smoking marijuana for the past 60 years? If you are an "organically certified" marijuana farmer, then you deserve the exact same protection from the FDA as all other farm produce. But the hypocrisy of our government ignores this protection to have safe products when it comes to marijuana, while providing protection to all the big pharmacy corporations that pay to elect our representatives. I support this economic bill of rights, as long as they apply to EVERYONE in America, and not just the selected few who have the cash to pay for them.

[-] 1 points by Octangle (17) 12 years ago

SocialDem16, Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. I too have posted here and I was amazed at some of the negativity that I heard because of my social democratic ideals. "You're going to scare away the people," seemed to be the gist of it. (many were also positive)

People on the left need to stop being afraid to express their views and fight for a better country. A large portion of this nation's ills come from the rightward tilt this country has taken in the last 30 years. (deregulation, less progressive tax structure, American Empire wars, etc.) We need solutions, and solutions require people to state their views and discuss them, regardless of whether they are perceived to be too left. (or too right, or whatever)

I put some of my ideas--they are not meant to represent the views of OWS or anyone else, they are just meant to be one man's view of what a social democratic movement, which is the answer I believe in, might look like--here:


I hope you like it. Thank you for your input. And thanks for fighting for America!

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Thank you for the kind words! It's nice to see like minded individuals!

Just like you stated, these are my views and shouldn't be interpreted as representing the views of OWS. The part that annoys me the most, as being a social democrat, is having social democratic ideals dismissed as communist and/or socialist. A social democracy takes the elements of capitalism and the elements of socialism that work and put them into one system - it improves on both! And I will most certainly check out that link - thanks for your input and sharing!

[-] 1 points by BringBackGlassSteagallAct (67) 12 years ago

You all are great! I feel the only way we can get back on safe financial footing again is to close the Enron Loophole for oil speculators and bring back The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prevented the current banking and insurance scams/loopholes. After all, it worked great until late 90's when Congress threw it out. Since then, like prior to 1933, we are experiencing what out country went though then, total Wall Street greed with no penalties, its all legal now...Thanks to the architects of our new system in 1999, Clinton and Senator Gramm.. Cheers to all that are involved! Jim

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

I think you should post your own thread. You obviously feel strongly about it and would love to discuss it some more. Love seeing passionate people on this forum.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 12 years ago

Sounds like you want the government to socialize certain industries.

[-] 1 points by leftistperson (95) 12 years ago

I love the idea.

President Wilson did it in the USA in December 1917, when he nationalized (socialized) all the railroads in the country, and created the US Railroad Administration.

There is no part of the Bible that says it's a sin to nationalize or socialize certain industries.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

I think people are truly scared that nationalizing, for example health care would lead to an army of SS Doctors that would come to their houses and hold their family hostages. It is a scary view and one that needs to change. Nationalized is not evil when it is controlled by a democratic government therefore the government and any industry it controls get their power through the people.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Honestly, yes that is my ideal. If we adopted a single payer system health care system like Canada, we would save $400 billion dollars annually in tax payer money. A centralized system holds down costs. We would be out of debt in no time! Not to mention health outcome measures for Canadians in general are better then insured Americans (if free market was better, that wouldn't be the case).

[-] 1 points by unended (294) 12 years ago

While that's probably not a bad idea (particularly health care and banking), an economic bill of rights does not require the nationalization of any industries.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

No it doesn't which is actually a plus becuase it allows a government to experiment with different systems, allowing for some flexibility and ways to improve on current systems. However, if it falls short of 100% coverage (universal health care serving as an example), it will be held unconstitutional and will require the government to improve on their system or adopt a new one.

[-] 1 points by unended (294) 12 years ago

Or the government can step in and provide what private entities and corporations are unwilling or unable to. A government can provide a job with a decent wage just as easily as, if not more easily than, a business can.

It's just a question of priorities!

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 12 years ago

True, all these rights can be guaranteed, and although I'm all in favor of taking down today's ineffective and inefficient Top 10% Management Group of Business & Government to make such guarantees, there's only one way to do it – by fighting bankers as bankers ourselves. Consequently, I have posted the Strategic Legal Policies, Organizational Operating Structures, and Tactical Investment Procedures necessary to do this at:




if you want to support a Presidential Candidate Committee at AmericansElect.org in support of the above bank-focused platform.

[-] 1 points by freemind (5) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

Your plan is intriguing. What I don't understand is how, with a total capitalization of about $150 billion, and lending with 10% reserve, you can absorb any more than ~ 6% of the current total household and non-financial business debt in the U.S. (about $25 trillion total as of 2Q2011).

Second, I don't see how your fundamental structure is materially different from current banking structure or objectives. As best I can tell you just one to move the money from one group of banks to a new group of banks, but have not changed any of the principles of banking.

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 12 years ago

True, the initial impact from this first $500 in capital contributions per member will only to take control of 6% of total capitalization (maybe even only 3% in this first round), and thus only allow for the formation of their “new” Home Town Bank of 65,000, and related 48 “new” Businesses. However, what I didn't say, because it would have made a long summary too long (for the “new” economists here), is that part of the Tactical Investment Procedure for every Member is that 25% of their Individual Product Purchases from these 48 "new" Stores must be deposited as Additional Paid-In Capital into their “new” Home Town Bank of 65,000 thereafter, and thus into their related “new” Individual Investment Account containing those 48 “new” Business Investment Groups. Consequently, assuming these 48 “new” Stores Per Town of 65,000 take 6% of Current GDP at $15 trillion (per bea.gov) as well – that is, as a result of those Individual Product Purchases (which, I admit, may be a bit generous) – then that's $3k Annual Reinvestment Per Member/Per Year (or $60Trillion GDP 6% Market Share / 4,600 Home Town Banks / 65,000 Members Per Bank 25% Mandatory Reinvestment Rate = $3k Reinvestment Per Member/Per Year). To be overly conservative in our estimate, let's lower that to $2k Reinvestment Per Member/Per Year (or $500 more per quarter in “new” capital contributions per member to their bank). As such, this $500 Quarterly Capital Contribution Per Member will allow each Home Town Bank to make “new” Quarterly Business Loans of another $320M, and thus take control of the entire local economy of 65,000 over 16 quarters (or 100% / 6% Reinvestment per Quarter = 16 Quarters). However, to be conservative again, let's double that to 32 Quarters (or 8 years) to redeploy today's Top 10% Management Group of Business & Government, and their related businesses, so that they are now under the control of the Bottom 90% of Workers as Limited Creditor Customers of their “new” Home Town Bank of 65,000. However, it isn't quite that simple because the economy is about 50% Local Investment Groups in Wholesale, Vehicles, Services, Education, Retail, and Housing, and another 50% Global Investment Groups in Commodities, Technology, Manufacturing, Insurance, Justice, and Banking, so this would have to be a nationally coordinated forced buyout of today's Top 10% Management Group of Business & Government, and their related businesses, by ALL 4,600 Home Town Banks of 65,000 Members, and their related 48 “new” Business Investment Groups. Note, as the expansion occurs over 8 years more of today's competitors in each industry will be caught in a forced buyout. Consequently, the number of “new” Business Investment Groups in each Home Town Bank will increase in proportion to the number of competitors in each Industry today. For example, n any given Town of 65,000 today, there is 4-5 closely-related competitors in a given Industry (such as McD's vs Wendy's vs Burger King vs Checkers); therefore, the number of “new” Business Investment Groups in each such closely-related Industry over this 8-yr expansion period would go from 48 (1st round) to 96 (2nd round) to 144 (3rd round) to settle around 192 (in the 4th and final round). Consequently, faced with such a coordinated national socioeconomic buyout (at a decent price) over 8 years, the ENTIRE Top 10% Management Group of Business & Government would have no choice but to make contact with their “new” Home Town Banks for equitable and fair negotiation of their plight at the end of Round 1. Otherwise, their Home Town Banks could force complete bankruptcy upon as a result of highly loyal 65,000 Members who are seeing their Wealth and Income doubled as a result of this Strategic Legal Policy. Bottom line, we want to be fair and equitable in negotiating with today's Top 10% Management of Business & Government because if we're not then we're no better than the brutes they are today. Which leads to your 2nd question: What's the difference between us and them at that point?

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 12 years ago

The difference between us and them at that point is that 2/3's of today's Wealth and Income that was previously concentrated in the hands of today's Top 10% Management Group of Government & Business is now decentralized into the Individual Investment Accounts of all 100% of the people according to whatever Levels of Occupational and Generational Experience they democratically decide upon in their 192 “new” Business Investment Groups Per Closely-Related Industry above (that is, formed according to their current Occupations). Of course, the greater their Occupational and Generational Experience, the greater their Generational Voting Power. But again, it's not quite that simple because they would be divided into 50% Local Investment Groups in Wholesale, Vehicles, Services, Education, Retail, & Housing and 50% Global Investment Groups in Commodities, Technology, Manufacturing, Insurance, Justice, and Banking, and we'd have to be somewhat generous to today's top 10% management in the above 50% Global Investment Groups in order to obtain their Knowledge Power, which can never be taken, only given, if as technical as they are in these 6 sectors. Nevertheless, having a 2/3 concentration of Wealth and Income in the hands of the Top 10%, as we have today, results in bouts of instability (or cycles) because the Bottom 90% of Workers are basically deceived, via advertising, etc, by the Top 10% to create “new” bubbles in various rolling sectors of the economy, (such as the 2008 mortgage bubble, the 2000 tech bubble, etc). Creating continuing and period rolling bubbles like these are great at creating wealth and income for the top 10%, but result in periodic systematic robbery of the bottom 90% as they fall for the hype and overextend themselves financially, as evidenced by economic history. Consequently, all we are really eliminating is the instability (or cycles) created by these “bubbles” of the top 10%, especially the banking “bubbles”, the most devastating, which occur once per Generation (such as the 2008 mortgage bubble, the 1990 savings & loan bubble, etc). Consequently, to eliminate this periodic and systemic victimization of the Bottom 90% of Workers (by Occupational & Generational Experience) we decentralize, and thus diversify, all wealth and income across all 100% of the people. Bottom line, all 100% become sophisticated investors as a result of their Generational Voting Power in their related Business Investment Groups, and thus will be much less likely to fall for any further hype in the hope of bubbles for the top 10%. There are a great many other substantial differences as well, particularly in 75% productivity improvements, and related 75% lower prices, but what do you think so far, before I continue I discuss the 75% productivity improvements, and related lower prices?

P.S. Thank you for asking such a logical follow-up question, that is – among the vast number of questions yet to be asked, but which I have been thinking and planning for over the last 10 years.

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 12 years ago

Let's propose another FDR period reform, the Glass-Steagall Act!

[-] 1 points by emanonman (36) from Lahaina, HI 12 years ago

YES!!! Thank you for posting this!

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

You're welcome! I can't seem to get anybody's attention through facebook/email. I suggest that if anybody supports this to write General@OccupyWallst.org and hopefully we can get some attention. I definitely have to go down there again and this time push this and hand stuff out. It would make our movement coherent, but with the reach of ALL of our demands.

[-] 0 points by Cyborg (4) 12 years ago

You have a right to your life, a right to liberty, and a right to your property. Anything else is a privilege.

[-] 2 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

That's your opinion, and I can easily say your right to life, liberty and property is a privilege too. Governments created those "rights" (the don't exist naturally), just like they can create the rights discussed here. Be careful with how you word subjective opinions as if they were objective.

[-] 0 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

"endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" means that they are natural rights and do not flow from the government and cannot be revoked by the government. All other thinks are privileges that the government gives you or takes away at their discretion. For example, there is no right to drive, just the privilege the government gives you once you pay the fees and pass the tests. They can revoke the privilege for failure to obey the laws.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Did you just really try using religion and faith in place of logic and reason? I am done with you lol.

Maybe you should look at the words of Jesus than, who thought excess was sinful and that the poor should be the most protected because they are the most volunerable. Here is a qoute from Jesus (even though I don't like arguing religion, but mine as well since you went that route), "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just". It's nice that Protestants misinterpreted his words to mean material excess is a good thing and the individual comes before community. The more you have, the better chances of getting into heaven. Nice that people have to justify having three extra cars, 10 rooms in a house with only 3 person family, enough food to throw away ten pounds a day without it hurting your pocket and so on

[-] 1 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

The writers of the Declaration of Independence must have been a bunch of religious lunatics and had neither logic or reason. I'm done with you as wee. LOL!

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

And no, they were highly influenced by the current thought of their day, which had a lot of religious elements. If Thomas Jefferson was alive today, he wouldn't base his views on natural law and/or religion. Btw Thomas Jefferson was even cynical about capitalism and thought materialism would come out of their creation and was scared that people would equate happiness with material wealth - he knew that was dangerous!

[-] 1 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

I would rather believe that I was born with rights than the alternative that they are on loan from Uncle Sam. You are welcome to you beliefs of lack thereof.

You also have no of of proving your assertion that if the framers were alive today that they wouldn't have religious convictions. You are spouting your own beliefs and not logic or reason.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Okay maybe should've said in my opinion, but I base it on the fact that rights are not talked about as given by god these days, it is more what is right and what produces better outcomes. The school of thought has changed a lot since then.

And continue to smoke your jesus sticks and believe in things like the tooth fairy and Santa Clause....while I'll use my reason. During a famine, you can avoid eating meat one day when that's all around and starve because it is good friday and I will eat that meat and survive. :)

[-] 1 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

The school of thought has changed a lot since then for some or many, but not for all.

Since you obviously were offended by my statement that rights are natural and flow from out creator; and have obvious disdain for religion and God and all believers, I will just say may God have mercy on your soul and extricate myself from this conversation. Neither of us will change out position on this issue.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Listen, I do not have a problem with the statement, but I do have a problem with the fact that you pick some rights, but ignore others by basing everything on the what was in the Declaration of Independence (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and what has became known as our Bill of Rights as if it was the whole truth of what "God" provided. Like I said, I can't tell ya if there is a God or if there isn't, so I reserve my judgment for when I am dead (I guess that would be the only way to "prove" God's existence), but will continue to live a moral life by treating others the way I would like to be treated, and not because a God said it was bad or good. With the complexities of his creation, you really think God would approve of people under your control dying of a curable disease? And this is considering the fact that that disease has a cure that exists? People in this country are faced with that fact everyday and people like you justify not giving that person treatment because they "didn't work hard enough to receive that privilege". So while you continue to go to Church and prey to God every Sunday and hope it will get you into heaven, I will continue to do what is right because I can recognize it as such. I think the part that disgusts me about your strange and twisted belief system is that you use God (and if your Christian the Jesus that you believe existed would not approve of anyone denying something to someone that they need to survive because they didn't work hard enough) to justify denying people something that is a necessity in this day and age and can mean life or death. May your God have mercy on your soul and I wish you well in all endeavors.

[-] 1 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

I wasn't limiting the rights to those in the declaration, but using it as an example of rights vs. privileges and was not excluding the bill of rights. OTOH, bill of rights is subject to interpretation and certain rights have been restricted or eliminated. I feel that the TSA has trampled all over the 4th amendment by forcing what I consider to be unlawful searches. Others may disagree. The second amendment has been interpreted more than one way. Does the right belong to the individual, such as the other enumerated rights, or to the militia? I could go on, but I'm sure you see where I'm headed, although you certainly might disagree.

Actually I haven't been to church in decades, other than for weddings and funerals and the like. Although I have a firm belief in God, I don't have a need for organized religion. I believe that my faith and actions are sufficient. So the basic difference between us is our fundamental belief in a supreme being.

Now I'm not sure where you come off accusing me of denying medical care to anyone. You are obviously making assumptions that because I believe in god I would deny care. I really just don't understand that leap of logic.

Sorry, I just remembered that I left this discussion.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

and you still haven't commented on the fact that Jesus' teachings and believes were in line with many liberal ideals, for example food stamps and disability checks.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

For these to be objective truths you have to prove that there is a god and that he provided these in the world. So can you prove it? No, you can only have faith. I debate logic and reason only, sorry. There is no such thing as natural rights.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

and btw, you are not only claiming that god provided these rights, but also claiming that the founding fathers knew that these rights were given by god? Next you are going to say Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were the next coming of christ lol. And btw, if you had a right to "life" (natural law theory) wouldn't that require a government to provide health care, since you know, life is a right.

[-] 1 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

Can you prove that God doesn't exist? I doubt it. You have only your lack of faith. Your loss, I guess.

Obviously, the fact that the framers had faith in God, who you claim doesn't exist, makes the Declaration and Constitution null and void. If people had more faith in God and less in government, this would be a better place. I also didn't know that having faith in God disqualified one from being a part of the OWS. I suppose that once you exclude people of faith that 99% gets down to what? 30%?

[-] 1 points by kuuura (19) 12 years ago

What are your points in all these arguments exactly? Is it that OWS hates religious people, faith can get us through, the rights listed above are privileges, or what? Because that doesn't help us foster growth or move towards progress at all. Are you planning on promoting a different way to secure the rights or privileges above, or are you literally just going to derail the entire time to make the movement seem anti-religious or weak in concept because you have the ability to nit-pick random, unimportant crap? This is not constructive. If you don't like the movement, critique us on a level that makes logical sense, don't just inject yourself and attempt to cause a disruption where its not necessary.

[-] 1 points by schnitzlefritz (225) 12 years ago

You trying to pick a fight. I merely denoted the difference between rights and privileges and used the Declaration of independence as a frame of reference.

I didn't realize that having faith is God and believing, like the framers, that was from where rights originated was such a controversial and offensive position.

[-] 1 points by kuuura (19) 12 years ago

I'm not trying to pick a fight! I just don't know why you made such a big deal about rights vs privileges!!! its honestly just nitpicking.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

First, my views do NOT represent OWS, they are MY views! Second, before you jump to conclusions, I am agnostic, not athiest, so just like I think you cannot prove there is a god, I don't think you can prove that he/she doesn't exist, so I do not claim either. Both claims are equally as faulty because neither nor can prove its claim.

And no it doesn't make it null and void. It can base them on morality based on treating others the way you want to be treated. And we should be talking about the Bill of Rights, not the declaration of Independence because that's where these rights are listed and where are our protections come from.

It is a very dangerous route to take when you argue things based on religion. There are many different religions in the world that conflict. Who says yours is right? Maybe you were special enough to be born in an area that practices (in your view) the right religion so you can go to heaven, but the poor Chinese boy that was raised Buddhist is going to hell.

[-] 1 points by leftistperson (95) 12 years ago


Why do you think that the "natural rights" are the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to property??

What biological law says that?

Is that a biblical determination?

[-] 1 points by chigrl (94) 12 years ago

Ever read the constitution? Or passed 8th grade social studies?

[-] 1 points by leftistperson (95) 12 years ago

In fact, those rights are socially and historically determined. So, new rights can be added to those "natural rights", once society envolves. Including the right to a decent home, the right to free healthcare, and the right to free education.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

right on the money leftist!

[-] 0 points by teddyr (159) from Bronx, NY 12 years ago

Wow, this person is way off the track. Who is going to provide all of these rights?

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

If you owned three houses and only used one, and you live on an Island and a neighbor becomes broke and needs a place to sleep, would you not give him a key and tell him to warm up in one of your houses?

If you have an overabundance of a cure for disease A and your neighbor, who didn't work hard enough to afford the cure gets sick and needs it to get better, would you not give him some of your cure, or would you say, "he didn't work hard enough so let him die".

If a starving friend comes to you for 5 dollars for food, would you not give him that 5 dollars, not knowing when the last time he ate was or would you say, starve you lazy bastard?

My point is, if you possess enough for the minimal survival of all people on your Island (nation in our case), it is your obligation to provide it. My moral code is strict and caring about my fellow man is my highest priority.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 12 years ago

Seriously, man. I understand what's the "right" thing to do and what's "nice," but these policies infringe on free will. Look forward to a response.

[-] 1 points by teddyr (159) from Bronx, NY 12 years ago

No it is not my obligation to provide crap to anyone. If I want to give someone something I will. Do you have 2 cars? I want one want the better one.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

I want to drive on the left side of the road, but I can't because of laws and getting hit by oncoming traffic, doesn't that affect free will?

Free will is limited by government and by all laws, so how would they be different. Yes it is the right thing to do and it is nice, but it also what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom and that is civilization. Just like we are civilized enough to have traffic laws, we are civilized enough to provide simple necessities, so our people don't starve, die of a curable disease, and have the ability to improve on themselves with education.

Teddy, you sound like a very mean individual? I would love to see you personally deny them those things and see (if you believe in God and such - I'm agnostic, so I just treat others the way I like to be treated) how fast that gets you into heaven. I examine the perspective of others equally as mine in order to avoid selfishness. I guess I was just lucky to be raised the way I was.

[-] 1 points by teddyr (159) from Bronx, NY 12 years ago

Oh I can size up a person's path in life quite quickly. Not I won't deny them the basics of life, but I will provide a way for them to earn the food and water. How else will people learn from their mistakes if we keep rewarding bad decision?

[-] 1 points by freemind (5) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

You continue to confuse "free will" with liberty. Free will is not limited by governments and laws, but liberties can be.

[-] 0 points by freemind (5) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

Sadly, the logic is fundamentally flawed. The essential premise that, "individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence" is in itself conflicted. Economic security comes with dependence. The economic welfare and security you seek and advocate can be equally realized for all only in a communistic structure. That would require that all assets held by anyone be surrendered to the State commune, then equivalently redistributed by the new State's deciding powers. Further, maintenance of that level of economic security would depend upon both the participation and success of the commune's members, and subsequent distributions from the State's guiding leadership. Hence independence, free choice, rights of ownership and other personal liberties that we, as Americans, enjoy today would be surrendered for assurance of economic welfare. Simply, we cannot have both the independence we value and the assured economic welfare you desire at the same time. One must yield to the other.

[-] 0 points by jdog (146) 12 years ago

What FDR says here is total BS: How can I have a right to something that someone else has to provide? Who is gonna force who to provide those rights?

[-] 2 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

This isn't BS because there are countries where this is enshrined in their constitutions and they rate year after year as the happiest countries in the world. You sound like the typical selfish American.

[-] 1 points by freemind (5) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

And which countries are those ? Can you provide a reference to where these rights are enshrined in their constitutions?

[-] 1 points by jdog (146) 12 years ago

I asked 2 questions. You do not seem able to answer the questions without facing up to the problem with socialism: It enslaves people by forcing one to work for another. Try answering. You might learn something.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

I was sleeping, so I did not see this until today. Instead of 2, I will give you 4, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, and Spain all have explicit protections. And the source, http://www.pse.ens.fr/demenil/EUconstitution.pdf. And btw, you don't think capitalism enslaves the people? lmao

[-] 1 points by jdog (146) 12 years ago

these are the 2 questions:How can I have a right to something that someone else has to provide? Who is gonna force who to provide those rights? I think maybe you were responding to someone else with the 4 countries....

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

You technically don't have a right to vote as a human being and since we live in a democracy, the government grants you that right, so why can't we provide other rights, more notably the ones in this thread. So elaborating further, in this sense, the federal government forces the states to administer the voting. Do you think this is a bad thing? Well if you support democracy you have to answer in the negative. What I'm trying to say, if the outcome is good, the "force" behind it becomes just.

[-] 1 points by jdog (146) 12 years ago

if the outcome is good, the "force" behind it becomes just - not always true. If I rob the neighbors and give the money to the homeless, it was still wrong

[-] 1 points by freemind (5) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

Belgium: Article 23 of Title II of their Constitution does mention many of the rights you note, with the following provision: "taking into account corresponding obligations, economic, social, and cultural rights, and determine the conditions for exercising them". I am, however, unfamiliar with any assurance of those rights in Belgian law. Using employment as an example, employment is by contract and labor laws are strictly enforced, but I know of no legal guarantee of employment. Unemployment benefits in Belgium are provided so long as the individual affected has worked for at least the currently specified minimum period. Current unemployment rate in Belgium (Eurostat) = 6.8%.

Greece - Article22; "Work constitutes a right and shall enjoy the protection of the State, which shall seek to create conditions of employment for all citizens and shall pursue the moral and material advancement of the rural and urban working population." Reality - Greece is presently undoing many of their assured State employment obligations in an effort to survive as a country. Current unemployment rate for Greece (Eurostat) = 16.7%

Portugal: Article 58 states"(1) Everyone has the right to work." and then later "(3) It is the duty of the State, by implementing plans for economic and social policy, to safeguard the right to work,..." There is no guarantee of work, just the Constitutional statement of the State's obligations to pursue policies (legislatively) that will lead to full employment. Current unemployment rate in Portugal = 12.3%.

Spain: Article35 "All Spaniards have the duty to work and the right to work, to the free election of profession or office career, to advancement through work, and to a sufficient remuneration to satisfy their needs and those of their family, ..." Not enforced or supported as a right. Current unemployment rate in Spain (Eurostat) = 21.2%.

A key point is to understand the fundamental difference of how Constitutions are constructed between nations. In the U.S. our "rights" as specified in the Constitution are strictly upheld by our Judicial system. What is stated as a right in the constitutions of many other countries is a desire and a preamble to legislation towards realizing that desire -- what are stated as "rights" often are not assued as we understand them. With the exception of Belgium, the employment situations in all those other countries is in much worse shape than the U.S., and there is no evidence that I can find that supports that workers are assured employment. The practical reality is that, outside of communism, there is no assurance of work.

As for your question about enslavement -- that is not the word I would choose. But to your point, it is an issue of dependence not the fundamental social organization of an economy. At the opposite extreme of capitalism would be communism, which I would suggest is more enslaving than what we enjoy or suffer today.

[-] 1 points by amanoftheland (452) from Boston, MA 12 years ago

Greece is on the verge of economic collapse they have been mooching off the harder working states of the euro zone for years, Portugal and Spain are not too much further behind. You should have picked a better group of countries than these economic failures. and besides your hero FDR was one of the biggest socialists in American history that just a plain fact. Social security for instance, forced insurance its anti free will

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Every law affects free will so this is not different. I don't care if FDR was a "socialist" and to tell you the truth, he wasn't a socialist, he was a social democrat - big difference. Sweden and Iceland have extensive social programs and rate as the happiest countries year after year. There are examples of social democracies that are rating better then our country year after year.

[-] 1 points by freemind (5) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

It's not a matter of "free will", it is a matter of liberties and real, protected, enforced rights. Most Western EU countries do have extensive social programs. Since half my family today lives is Western Europe, I am intimately familiar with their social and cultural standards and norms. I for one would choose what we have here, today, over what they have. The fact that they "rate as the happiest countries year after year" means little -- happiness is judged relative to cultural and societal norms and is an inherently biased measure. There is no reliable way to compare happiness given the cultural and social gaps.

The bottom line is if you want the assured welfare you have advocated, then you must accept increased dependence on the provider of that welfare and relinquish a portion of your independence in exchange. I for one would prefer my liberty and independence. I am confident that I can care for myself and my family given the freedoms I am assured today.

[-] 1 points by amanoftheland (452) from Boston, MA 12 years ago

Talked to a guy from Sweden a few weeks ago, he had nothing good to say about Swedens economic environment, he told me the his father paid about 62% of his income in taxes in part because Sweeden pays a Huge membership fee to the euro zone, even though they still have the kroner. Also he did mention he waited 2 days in the hospital to have his broken sternum looked at. Social Democrat you do know they were the progressives before that. basically communists

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

You can't generalize based on something a "guy" said. That is not scientific and your generalization does not hold weight. Put him in America for 10 years and then ask him how he feels about Sweden - I'm sure he will be singing a different tune! The Canadian health care system is amazing and health outcomes for their citizens are better then Americans who have insurance. I don't care if I pay 75% of my income in taxes, as long as I have health care, education and a good government retirement program who cares!

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 12 years ago

Non sense! The doctors would have checked and agreed that there is no urgency and can be safely postponed for 2 days. Are Swedish happier bunch than Americans ? Damn, yes.

[-] 2 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

Just an interesting note, statistics show that there is a higher fatality rate following certain surgeries in Canada and American's were quick to jump on those stats and use it as an example of American health care supremacy. Well hate to break it to them, but the truth was, in Canada, they don't kick you out of the hospital 2 days after the surgery, so when you die, they record it as a consequence of the surgery. In America, private insurers want you out as fast as possible (they want their dirty profit!), so when you die at home because they will only cover inpatient care for 2 days, they don't always record the death as a consequence of that surgery. However, keep in mind that Canadian health care is actually producing better health outcomes, in comparison to their American counterparts (that have insurance) and at way lower costs for the government and the people.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 12 years ago


Highlight: "Dr. Amy S. Kelley of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City pointed out that Medicare reimbursement rates for surgery are highly lucrative, suggesting that "surgeons and hospitals are often financially motivated to operate, regardless of the patient's preferences or goals."

a) Is there an incentive to make money ? Yes. b) Can somebody use it to make money ? Of course. c) How frequent is this scam surgery ? It's very hard to tell, as most of them are not investigated at all.

1/3rd of all elderly patients received surgery in the year of their death. It's almost unbelievable, but since I am well aware of the greed to make money in American economy, I would say at least 25% of all these surgeries could be avoided. This is how medicare is going bankrupt, I guess.

[-] 1 points by amanoftheland (452) from Boston, MA 12 years ago

the guy said he was looking to start a business in HK because Sweden was too expensive, Thats all I know about Sweden.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

You can't generalize based on something a "guy" said. That is not scientific and your generalization does not hold weight. Put him in America for 10 years and then ask him how he feels about Sweden - I'm sure he will be singing a different tune! The Canadian health care system is amazing and health outcomes for their citizens are better then Americans who have insurance. I don't care if I pay 75% of my income in taxes, as long as I have health care, education and a good government retirement program who cares!

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

And btw, a Universal Health care system would save us $400 billion in taxes a year :). So in a sense, taxes would go down! If you want write me a message, so I don't forget, and I'll find the source for you. Might take me awhile, I threw out my hard copy and have to go through my research.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

You and everyone else that uses the world Socialism or socialist loosely need to stop. Just like Obama, a pretty damn moderate president is socialist? I am sure adopting Mitt Romney's insurance plan was really socialist.

[-] 1 points by SocialDem16 (83) 12 years ago

I will include Japan too, just so there is a non-European country