Posted 9 years ago on Nov. 18, 2011, 12:36 p.m. EST by AdamForChange
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
In response to a prior forum post, I don't think OWS is about DEstabilizing America, quite the opposite: America has been operating in an unstable fashion for decades, it's time the governed express our lack of consent to keep the status quo. Opponents like to point out that the movement lacks a head, or a set of goals universally held by its supporters. But what is it you're reading and hearing from the people at these events, in the US and worldwide?
We understand that "the rich" could be any one of us, with enough effort and drive. We aren't saying "no one should be rich," however, the distribution of wealth in this country (and many others) is the problem. Yes, there are charitable, humanitarian millionaires, and we thank these warmly for their efforts. Those aside, there are still others that do not contribute to such good works, because they feel they are entitled to keep their hard earned money. We often hear "entitlements" when talking about health care, like paying for a surgery is the same as buying a mansion or a big screen TV: saving the life of your mother or son is not elective. To the supporters of the Occupy movement, I would pose three goals (we like 3's don't we?) that I believe many of the population of the U.S. could stand behind.
Tax brackets and rates must be distributed progressively to ensure that everyone contributes what he or she is able to help repair our nations debts. Look at historical tax brackets post World War II (low 20s% at bottom, over 90% at top bracket). Let's really look at what Reagan-area cuts did too: bottom bracket went from 14% in 1981 to 15% in 1988. And how'd the top bracket do? from 70% to 28%. It doesn't take an economist to see who benefit most. Additionally, all income should be lumped into the same basket: things like payroll taxes that penalize people for earning their incomes through work rather than investment are inherently unfair.
End the deliberate destruction of democracy that occurs during census years, when the two parties decide, like chess players, which pieces to sacrifice to make targeted gains. I'm referring of course to the redistricting procedures, where "safe-seats" are created in Congress to ensure this district stays Democratic, or this one Republican due to the census indicators that make these areas better for one or the other. Make this an apolitical task of the census bureau, or some isolated federal level agency that is not headed by anyone appointed by one party or the other.
Abolish the electoral college to allow the people to truly each have an equal vote in national elections. People living in states that are predominantly one party may as well throw their votes right in the trash because they will never be reflected in the electoral votes for presidency. How is a "winner take all state" in any way a model of how our democracy could work?
I don't mean to seem reductionist, or say "This is all the OWS movement means," only that it's a start. In two days, NYC had 30,000 people come out and shut down major commerce centers. It takes only 25,000 (within 30 days) to submit a petition to the President's office (https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions). So let's get started...
What do we want? Citations of laws changed are most useful, or agency policies, or what have you. Let's get the ball rolling.