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Forum Post: Goals of the Occupy Wall St Movement?

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 29, 2012, 3:59 p.m. EST by dmitriy167 (6)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Hello all,

I've been to a number of Occupy protests in NYC and sympathize greatly with the movement. A few months ago, I felt the need to come up with a document compiling some changes we'd all like to see. Feel free to have a read, post it around, bring it to your local occupations, and change it in whichever way you see fit:

PART 1/3 To all assembled in New York City and elsewhere in the nation and in the world, and to all citizens thereof: In order to solidify the meaning of our movement and to give the people a beacon to gather by, we propose this document to call its goals our own.

The current state of affairs in the politics, the economy, and the society of the United States is grim. Our politicians do not act as a voice of the people and instead as the voice of their largest contributors, the multinational corporations, and create laws to benefit them at the expense of the people who elect them. They turn a blind eye and sit idle as gross injustices are carried out against the people whom they swear to protect. They take bribes and gifts, and then further the agendas of their benefactors in return. The corporations are beholden to their stockholders, but without adequate regulation, many pursue hostile actions against the people and their will. They export jobs and pollution overseas for their own profit while leaving the people unemployed and in crushing debt. They form monopolies to take control of our markets, and when the people have no alternatives, sell their goods and services at unreasonable prices or qualities. They use our armies and our soldiers to occupy foreign lands for profit. The banks use the people’s assets for investments carrying enormous risks, engage in predatory lending to further their own profits, and demand government relief while leaving the people without their homes and belongings.

Our legislative and judicial systems are too beholden to corruption to ever relieve the people of these grievances. If nothing is done, the people will become enslaved by this system, and the very concept of a free society will be destroyed. We therefore declare that we will not work within this system, but will instead work to dismantle and reform it. We demand a new Bill of Rights, first proposed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944:

I. The right to a useful and renumerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; II. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; III. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; IV. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination at home or abroad; V. The right of every family to a decent home; VI. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; VII. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, and unemployment; VIII. The right to a good education.

As our political system is so corrupt as to lack the capacity to enable these rights, it must be reformed with the following new laws:

I. In order to prevent bribery and equalize the voices of the candidates, mandatory, exclusive, and equal public campaign financing shall be appropriated by the U.S. Government; II. In order to prevent bribery and undue influence, an abolition of financially-backed lobbying by any organization comprised of multiple persons or having a profit motive shall be passed; III. In order to prevent bribery, from the moment of registration, and in the case of service, for life, no funds or gifts may be received by the candidate or current or former public servant unless they originate from the US Government or from funds appropriated thereby. A pension or post within the U.S. Government will be appropriated for the support of the public servant until the end of his life, and to compensate him for the loss of these freedoms. IV. In order to prevent the voice of the people from being co-opted by external influence, indirect elections of federal public servants shall be abolished; V. In order to prevent apathy and abandonment of office, public servants, as all other federal employees, shall be rendered a pre-determined number of days of absence from service, barring necessity. VI. In order to prevent legislative stalling, proposals acted on by the Senate and House shall be passed by a simple majority vote, except as otherwise provided for by the U.S. Constitution. Filibustering or other attempts to block a vote shall be met with removal from office.

4 Comments

4 Comments


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[-] 1 points by dmitriy167 (6) 2 years ago

SEE PARTS 2/3 AND 3/3 AT THE START OF THE COMMENTS

Squeezy123, one issue with exporting jobs overseas is that a significant portion of the income that is made does not come back to the US and does not get taxed. Thus, it's really debatable that this benefits more people than it hurts because there is a well-known multiplier effect from this return. I'm not even getting into some of the less-savory reasons companies export manufacturing: lax or nonexistent safety regulations, labor laws, and emissions standards. There is very little oversight of these in the present system.

On the subject of unions, I think they are a symptom of weak labor laws. Having worked with them myself, I can attest to the fact that there is indeed an excessive amount of unfair leverage that they have, but if we had more fair regulations and wages to begin with, this system might not gave gotten out of control to cause a dis-balance in both directions. It's unfortunately also true that many non-union shops have exploited workers.

[-] 1 points by squeezy123 (5) 2 years ago

I am confused why sending jobs overseas is a bad thing. Seems to me that losing a couple thousand jobs to produce something cheaper so that millions more people can now afford that thing is actually a good thing. It benefits more people than it hurts. Plus, people in other countries wouldn't take jobs as cheap as they do if their new jobs didn't improve their economic standing. So we end up lifting people in other countries out of relative poverty rather than spending money on unions who demand more and more money year after year without realising that the more strain they put on their employer, the less competitive their employer becomes. The only outcome of a situation like that is that the company goes belly up and the union workers get nothing.

[-] 1 points by dmitriy167 (6) 2 years ago

PART 3/3 As energy and transportation policy has been likewise corrupted by the influence of moneyed actors, the following laws must be enacted:

I. In order to protect the environment, its natural resources, and to avoid the funding of despotic regimes, all government subsidies to fossil fuel-based energy business shall be abolished. II. In order to develop energy alternatives and the national industry, funds freed from the subsidy abolition shall be used for re-investment into energy research and development, and for the creation and funding of relevant private and public scientific bodies. III. In order to reduce congestion, improve travel time, and protect the environment, funds shall be appropriated for public and private transportation development.

As the state of our society is in peril, the following laws providing for its welfare and labor must be enacted:

I. In order to care for the ill without causing unreasonable debt, the U.S. Government shall create its own single-payer health insurance policy, available to every U.S. citizen and lawful resident, providing for basic and necessary medical needs and preventative care. Any person can purchase supplemental insurance, if he or she so desires, from private providers. II. In order to promote higher learning while providing affordable education, federal funding for current state universities shall be drastically increased, and funds shall be appropriated for the creation of new universities and other institutes. III. In order to promote the fair treatment of workers and to strive towards full employment, a mandatory maximum work limit of 40 hours per week shall be established for all occupations. A mandatory minimum of four weeks paid vacation shall be provided for all occupations. Expenditures and losses on vacation incurred by businesses shall be reimbursed by the U.S. Government either by tax credit or direct compensation. IV. In order to provide adequate housing to all legal residents and workers in the United States, an abundance of free and subsidized housing shall be provided for individuals and families according to their incomes and histories, in exchange for public works labor, for those who are able. V. In order to provide adequate renumeration for all workers, the federal minimum wage shall be raised according to minimum living standards and indexed to consumer prices.

As our current immigration policy is abused to allow for the exploitation of foreign lawful and unlawful workers and the displacement of domestic positions, the following laws must be enacted:

I. In order to promote fair and legal immigration to the United States, policy shall be reexamined to allow for easier and more efficient entry for temporary workers and potential permanent residents. II. In order to ease pressure on illegal immigrants already in the United States, all persons in the United States will be considered legal for a grace period, and will be allowed to obtain documentation of their new permanent resident status. During and after this period, the Department of Homeland Security shall be provided with vastly enhanced security and surveillance capabilities along the United States borders, and will arraign all persons attempting to pass undeclared. III. In order to protect the employment of legal labor, employers shall be responsible for the verification of the legal status of their workers, and a database providing identifying information shall be made available for that purpose. A business found to have employed an illegal worker shall have its license or corporate charter revoked, and those responsible shall be charged with the felony of harboring illegal aliens. IV. In order to prevent the exploitation of workers brought to the United States legally, the H1 program shall be modified to restrict workers’ wages and salaries to a minimum of four times the official poverty rate, or one and a half times the prevailing wage or salary for their positions, whichever is greater.

[-] 1 points by dmitriy167 (6) 2 years ago

PART 2/3 As the military is our peacekeeping force, it must be treated with the utmost respect, and must never be used in vain or to justify a profit motive, the following two laws governing its use must be enacted:

I. The U.S. Military must relinquish the role of police of the world, and therefore, any occupation, use, or presence of force by the United States in the territory of another nation must be approved by Congress in a declaration of war, or in the case of a multilateral action, by the United Nations Security Council. II. In order to remove the influence of the Military-Industrial Complex on the actions of the military and the U.S. Government, weapons or components thereof for use by the U.S. Military shall be produced exclusively by the U.S. Government, and must not be given or sold without the approval of Congress.

As the current economic system has enabled the corruption of the government and the diminishment of rights of the people, it must be reformed to reverse this diminishment. The following laws must be enacted:

I. In order to relieve the threat of monopolization from the economy of the United States and actors therein, federal taxes are to be levied progressively, as determined by continuous formula, with respect to income for individuals and profit for businesses. Discrete tax brackets shall be abolished. II. In order to pursue the ideal of full employment, appropriate import tariffs are to be levied on goods and services, so as to equalize the cost of the workforce to the producer or contractors thereof. All current international trade agreements with the participation of the United States shall be reanalyzed and rejected if necessary. III. In order to prevent corporate interests from influencing monetary policy, the Federal Reserve as a private corporation shall be abolished, and its functions incorporated into the U.S. Government. IV. In order to prevent the people’s assets and debts from being used for risky investments by the banking industry, the Glass-Steagall Act separating investment and commercial bank assets shall be fully reinstated. V. In order to prevent the exportation of pollution, the importation of dangerous or poor-quality products, and the exploitation of overseas workers, goods imported into the United States, and their means of production overseas, must comply with all U.S. environmental, safety, and quality regulations. VI. In order to inform consumers, products sold in the United States must carry a list of the national origin of their components. VII. In order to prevent unreasonable price manipulation for profit, natural monopolies where the demand is inelastic shall be subject to consumer price regulations.