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Forum Post: Five Percenter Ready to Join, IF ...

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 12, 2011, 6:28 p.m. EST by Rico (3027)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have spent a LOT of time here trying to figure out what OWC is about (see http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-has-happened-to-us), and I have learned a LOT. My distorted impression of the movement has been changed, and you have my support. I am a conservative, and I plan to try and convince all my associates to keep an open mind and listen to what you have to say. I think ALL of AMERICA can benefit from what you're doing IF you heed some advice.

There is general support in OWC for getting the money out of politics because they recognize that THIS is how the system gets corrupted. I hope everyone STICKS to that conviction even AFTER they learn the some of the largest donors are UNIONS rather than corporations (see http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php). It doesn't matter WHO's corrupting the process with their money, they ALL need to be STOPPED. If they have a case, make it with US, not with our elected representatives in a back-room deal where money changes hands. Personally, I ALSO support a Federal Election Fund and a BAN on ALL outside money in elections as well. Let's get ALL the money out so WE control the Government (see my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ )

There are some folks that are just complaining "things are bad, so we need to change something," without any real understanding of HOW we got here, what ROLE each of the parties (INCLUDING individual Americans... see my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/inconvenient-truths-america/ ) played in the mess, and what we might do to correct things. Lot's of opinion, but little fact, and these people damage the credibility of the overall movement. PLEASE get them under control.

Some have identified the "boogeyman" to be the Federal Reserve, but I haven't found a SINGLE person who seems to actually UNDERSTAND the history of National Banks in America, WHY we set up the Fed mostly free from Congressional oversight, or WHY it MUST operate with a high degree of secrecy MUCH LESS what it actually DOES ( See http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-is-money/ for some good discussion). Again, lot's of opinion, but little fact, and that too damages the credibility of the movement. PLEASE get these people under control.

Finally, there are a select FEW who are attempting to paint the "rich" and the "banksters" the same way the Jews were painted by the Nazi's in order to marginalize a large segment of society. I am constantly having to remind folks that Bill Gates runs the largest charitable foundation in the history of the world and that he and Buffet have convinced 35 OTHER billionaires to give most of their wealth away as well ! Not ALL wealthy people have harmed us, and folks need to be careful to talk SPECIFICALLY about problems that need to be solved rather than marginalizing a segment of society using overly broad generalizations. PLEASE figure out how to get rid of the WITCH-HUNT language and tone. You MAY have to EJECT some of these people just like the Tea Party had to eject the RACISTS early on.

All that being said, there ARE some VERY well informed people here with VERY good ideas that I support UNCONDITIONALLY. I hope THESE people emerge as the leaders and are able to CONTROL those that do the movement harm !

Finally, I think that the "Get Money out of Politics" message is a VERY good unifying message for OWC. It's hard to imagine ANY American who would disagree this has been a problem, and you'd be making HISTORY and benefiting ALL OF AMERICA if you can make it happen !

I respect the passion, knowledge, and rational approach that many people here exhibited in our discussions. I'm REALLY glad I spent some time here getting to know some of you rather than listening exclusively to the media.

May the Wind Fill Your Sails.

EDIT: For those just joining the thread, I have been changed more than I imagined possible. Please read my comments starting at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-297372 for details.

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355 Comments


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[-] 7 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 2 years ago

I am probably a lot more pro - union than you are, but if we support one person, one vote, one donation & no corporate donations, yup, it means no corporate donations, period.

I am glad to see a post like yours, it would be great if this movement unites people in this country to change some things for the better.

[-] 0 points by BenjaminFranklin (45) from Honey Brook, PA 2 years ago

I have posted this link way too many times. Here it is again because it seems like a great marriage with OWS.

I LOVE NY!

http://www.getmoneyout.com/

[-] -3 points by barryboomer (-2) 2 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voPEVnNd3Wo Check out my New Song and Video called "WE'RE THE 99%". Thanks, Barry david Butler bdbutler@centurylink.net

[-] 5 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I agree. I am so glad you spent the time to check this all out. Everything you have said here is the way I feel too. I have been especially vocal about getting money out of the political system. The thing I keep telling people over and over is 1% buys their representation, 99% are left with the scraps.

But we need your help too! The "you" you speak of is you too!

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Don't take my inability to go "public" as meaning I'm not working on your behalf.

I am but one ship in a fleet of many. If I publicly hoist the Jolly Roger and start blasting, I'll be sunk faster than you can say "Not one of US!" It's much better to remain "one of US" and employ subtle persuasion rather than be sunk before I'm heard !

You guys can help by trimming back your language to the UNIFYING message of "GET THE MONEY OUT" and leave the more DIVISIVE stuff until AFTER we GET OUR VOICE BACK and can engage in Democratic debate without all the corrupting influences interfering... the way it's SUPPOSED to be done !

[-] 1 points by CafPop (45) from Rochester, NY 2 years ago

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57323527/congress-trading-stock-on-inside-information/

Action taken on this issue is the perfect way to start getting money out. Make sure to check out the video for full effect of what I'm talking about. This need to be the primary issue to support above all others.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Related 60 minutes segment at http://youtu.be/x95uC_wzUX4

Similar content from Harvard Law prof Lawrence Lessig : http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/law-professor-lawrence-lessig/

Congress is already moving to contain the damage: http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/15/politics/congress-insider-trading/index.html

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Thats what I am hoping will happen too. We'll fix the rest later. But I would like to see Wall Street brought to justice ASAP. This is long past due.

[-] 3 points by smate1 (72) 2 years ago

The key is getting all $ out of elections...period! It is the one movement both sides can unite on. As long as we debate the fine points the media will continue to divide us. We can argue the fine points later. FOCUS!

[-] 1 points by 4435columbo (7) 2 years ago

Why not set a $ limit for campaigning,1 million each, that way, if they can't mislead people with glitz, they have to resort to attractive policies.

[-] 1 points by smate1 (72) 2 years ago

Whatever the amount, so long as the politicians don't have to go out and prostitute themselves for the $. That is the only way we the people will ever get our voice back.

[-] 3 points by coolnyc (216) from Stone Ridge, NY 2 years ago

I love you Rico. No money from ANY special interest - corporations, unions, churches, any group with an agenda. Elected officials should represent the people who vote for them. Not only is this a universally appealing rallying cry, it is a necessary first step before any of the other changes are even possible. Agree with all your other observations - although I don't yet know enough about the Fed to understand your point there. Thank you!

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

Edward Griffin wrote "The Creature From Jekyll Island" many year ago. It is the story on how and why the FED was created,. He was trying to educate people on who was behind the FED and why the FED is not a good thing: http://goldmanbanksters.com/about-us/federal-reserve/ at the bottom of the page. The FED is not part of the government. The FED is a cartel of banking interest. The United States has done without a central bank before. Central banks are there to create debt.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sheesh! Yet ANOTHER example of pointing to an opinion they agree with to "substantiate" their argument ! This seems to be a modern trend. Our colleges aren't allowing these kind of "references" in formal papers are they? I sure HOPE not!

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

This forum is not a formal paper. What is wrong with siting easy to understand information. What do you refute about the allocation that the FED is a cartel of banking interest. Can you name the actual owners?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OHMYGOSH ! Who do YOU think "owns" the Federal Reserve ?

The "actual owners of the Federal Reserve" are .... <drum roll> ....The People of the United States of America !

The Federal Reserve System was created by the Federal Reserve Act of in 1913. It's chartered under Chapter 3 of Title 12 in the Federal Code.

Title 12 of the United States Code outlines the role of Banks and Banking in the United States Code. You can read Title 12 INCLUDING Chapter 3 addressing the Federal Reserve Bank at http://uscode.house.gov/download/title_12.shtml .

Some of my other posts discuss WHY the Federal Reserve was INTENTIONALLY set up FREE of political influence and why they MUST operate behind a veil of secrecy to do their job. See ...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84390

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84515

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84643

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

I will read your sources, but it is private, not owned by the People of the United States of America !

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Not private at ALL. Please read the Federal Law.

[-] 1 points by ssassy (83) 2 years ago

If it's not private, why do we pay interest to the Federal Reserve?

http://www.petitiononline.com/fedres/petition.html

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

I don't need a the list of Amendments ... your first list.

The FED is tricky because the way it was set up, and how it loans the money to the Federal Government with interest.

There are 12 different Federal Reserve Banks around the country, and they are owned by big private banks.

The stockholders in the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks are the privately owned banks that fall under the Federal Reserve System. These include all national banks (chartered by the federal government) and those state-chartered banks that wish to join and meet certain requirements. About 38 percent of the nation’s more than 8,000 banks are members of the system, and thus own the Fed banks.

Do you trust Wikipedia?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes, I generally trust Wikipedia. In matters I know a LOT about (because of my profession), I have noticed that the "self-policing" process works pretty darned well. Furthermore, I never STOP at Wikipedia, I only START there; it's VERY useful to get an overview of almost ANYTHING accompanied by links where I can learn more. I also "Google" a LOT ;o)

[-] 1 points by coolnyc (216) from Stone Ridge, NY 2 years ago

Thanks Sewen - I'll git meself more educated!

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

I really like Bill Black, he worked on the S&L debacle.

Bill Black: Economic Collapse Part 1-5 , He is a no nonsense guy and I like the way TRNN conducts their interviews: http://goldmanbanksters.com/heroes/ (1/2 down page)

[-] 1 points by coolnyc (216) from Stone Ridge, NY 2 years ago

It's late and I'm tired stupid, but tomorrow I will check out all your resources. Thank you so much!

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

I have created on-line Video journals, because I was always loosing articles and videos that I wanted to pass on to friends. There is some overlap, but each Journal tries to group videos and articles by their topic. There are hundreds of hours of great documentaries: http://www.change-gov.com , http://www.just-gov.com, http://www.goldmanbanksters.com . I don't make any money off the videos, I have a simple donate button, the original directors should get all the credit.

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

Just for kicks. I don't know if you watch Max Keiser, but I was just placing one of his videos in a web page and I had to watch it again... he is great!

Max Keiser takes offense to Goldman Sachs story Part1 of 2 (07/16/09) [8:40]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSwWy4E6I04

[-] 3 points by TheMismatch (50) from Lafayette, IN 2 years ago

I'm glad to hear you've kept an open mind, and that you're encouraging your associates to do the same. It'd be patently incorrect to paint Occupy as a bunch of people looking for a handout- I haven't seen or heard hardly anyone (trolls not included) asking for free stuff. When I went to DC to protest, it was the same story. People who'd worked for 30+ years at a company only to have their job evaporate to fund an executive's bonus; people who'd invested responsibly only to be lied to by their investment broker and have their savings go belly-up... these people don't want handouts. They want accountability for wrongdoings. But being able to become successful in this world- that's something I think a lot of people strive for, and that's a healthy aspiration.

I'm rambling. First major point- we do need to end Big Money's influence in politics, regardless of who it comes from. This could be the most important issue Occupy tackles, and I think it's going to be the issue we define ourselves on.

Second, you're right about having to trim the hedge eventually. I'd feel comfortable with a few more weeks of more or less unchecked growth, but eventually, we are going to have to take a step back and actually coalesce into something defined. And that's going to mean that some, hopefully those with the most divisive language, are going to have to calm down or ship out.

Third- Is there somewhere that people could learn about the Fed in an accurate, succinct, and nonpartisan fashion? I'd ask on the boards here, but I'm afraid I'd just get "Its the devil burn it down", and that doesn't help anyone.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wikipedia is always a pretty good start (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System). The zealots on either side tend to cancel, and the links to references and related topics are valuable in chasing down the details.

The modern Fed can't be understood without ALSO understanding the international financial structure set up at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Monetary_and_Financial_Conference).

At Bretton Woods, Keynes argued AGAINST establishing the dollar as the international reserve currency and advocated an IMF instrument called the Bancor. He probably took this position because he foresaw the Triffin Paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triffin_paradox) which notes that the actions required to maintain the international reserve currency often run counter to the best interests of any single sovereign nation.

Once you understand the ramifications of the being the world's reserve currency, you'll understand that the Federal Reserve is serving the WORLD, not just the US, and a lot of what they do will make more sense to you. Consider for example, that as the world's economy has grown, the number of dollars required to sustain that economy must also grow. Thus, we "print" a lot of dollars, and the normal way to do that is by issuing debt instruments like Treasuries.

We have enjoyed decades of benefits by "owning" the reserve currency, but we've put off addressing the Triffin Dilemma for so long, the system is busting at the seams. For this reason, there is a plan to transition off the dollar (http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/10/markets/dollar/index.htm) to Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) issued by the International Monetary Fund based on a basket of currencies rather than the dollar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Drawing_Rights). These SDRs represent for all intents and purposes, the "Bancor" Keynes suggested at Bretton Woods.

Transitioning off the dollar will be hard, but once it's done, we will FINALLY be free to manage our currency with more emphasis on the US economy rather than the

Fascinating stuff, and CLEARLY more complex than most folks here understand !

[-] 1 points by TheMismatch (50) from Lafayette, IN 2 years ago

Oh wow, that is a wealth of information. I'll start as soon as I'm finished moving. Thanks! In fact, for being so helpful, have a Point. lol. :)

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well!

You're the first person I've EVER seen to acknowledge Triffin's Dilemma. I wonder if you'd acknowledge that the Federal Reserve holding almost 5.3 trillion of our National Debt, in the form of treasuries, that tax payers pay interest to, which is then used in Modern Money Mechanics aka fractional reserve banking, to disburse, oh, say 16 trillion worldwide to foreigners, instead of to taxpayers, I don't suppose you think that's a conflict of interest? After all, the Treasury DOES make all it's deposits INTO the FED. Technically speaking, that's taxpayer money being used to do that.

I understand what you're saying about the Federal Reserve established as, basically, the World's currency issuer.

That doesn't make it right or serving in our Nation's interest.

Course, the world wide crisis we're seeing right now is essentially an international Triffin's dilemma.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Oh, it most definitely IS a conflict of interest; that's the whole POINT of the Triffin Dilemma, is it not? Frankly, I think it's CLEAR we should have followed Keynes' advice at Bretton Woods, but in our POST-WAR ARROGANCE we decided WE should be the reserve currency. It was FINE as long as we were the ONLY functioning economy after WW II (all competitors blown up), but it started to come apart around 1971 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_Shock) [Before all you GOLD LOVERS jump on the events in 1971, please READ Krugman's comment aboit how meaningless gold IS at the same link].

We ARE trying to move off the dollar as the reserve currency, but it's going to take quite a while to do so. We'll get there, and when we do, we can focus on our LOCAL needs rather than those of the global economy. Doing so too quickly will cause a LOT of economic calamity. It is SUFFICIENT, in my opinion, that the move has started.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Rico,

Just so you know, I'm not a gold lover. I am more of a silver bug though, since it makes sense to me regarding it's dual use as currency and as an industrial commodity. But that's besides the point.

Anyway, I've got a very bad feeling that no matter what we do, the events unfolding in Europe are going throw some very serious monkey wrenches into that transition plan. I wrote up an essay on what I see happening. I'm probably wrong, maybe I'm right, but there's some very serious issues due to the International Triffin's dilemma that's getting unwound. And given the political situation, I can't see that being unwound in an orderly manner.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/yall-are-going-to-get-blindsided-youve-been-warned/

Have fun with it. Dispute it, dissect it, what have you. I appreciate intellectual rigor in debates.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep, I know there are a LOT of people that think we MAY not get out of this one. The overarching problem seems to be that Europe formed an ECONOMIC union, but left the POLITICAL union as an open issue. In my (only partially informed) OPINION, it seems they'll either have to abandon the Euro (with calamitous effects) OR start edging toward the UNITED STATES OF EUROPE. Let's hope for the later rather than former !

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Hmmm,

I noticed that you seem to be much more of a Keynesian. I'm much more of an Austrian (in terms of finance).

That means we can argue till the cows come home. :)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Granted, but you MUST agree that there is room for REASONED debate without characterizing the "others" as "evil."

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well, one of the things that's expected in mass populist movements like this is that there will be demagoguery, because people's emotions will get in the way of their reasons. That's to be expected. Overall American society hasn't been doing so well in the last 5 years, so we're approaching the fever pitch. I personally don't have any issues with the 1% because I actually aspire to the 1% being an inventor and an entrepreneur with my technologies. I do have an axe to grind with sectors of the 1% who get subsidies, taxbreaks from crony politicians, create cartels that are anticompetitive, and in general dodge the natural free market's creative destruction with tax payer money. I still am a believer in free markets.

That said, I have studied quite a bit about the history of the Fed, and I do sympathize with some others who hold more conspiratorial viewpoints on it.

But that's not so much an issue for me so much as the efficacy and philosophy of the Fed. I mean, come on, we're both engineers, so what matters in the end is results, right? If it works, keep it. If it doesn't work, has flaws, works poorly, either improve or throw it out and replace it with something else.

For me, well you already know that I'm of the Austrian camp, so obviously I'll see economics as cyclical, and I don't like interfering with it. In a past life I worked with systems and control systems. A recession to me is merely a system cycling down before going back up. Up down, measured, reasonable, etc. Recessions clean out the gunk, allow large companies to recede and open new opportunities for new enterprises and startups. For me, a recession is the best time to start a business because it disciplines the entrepreneur. Anyone can make money during an up time. Being good means making money during a bad time.

Obviously, I have not been a fan of how Keynesian methods work. For me, that's like over exaggerating both ends of the cycle, so instead of measured peaks and troughs, we get... super cycle credit BOOMS and massive cycle credit WINTERS. And of course the incumbent inflations and deflations, scandals, corruptions, and sadly, the suffering gets extended far more than would have been had the cycle not been tampered with. That inevitably screws with people's savings and investments, and with their very lives.

I don't like that.

Like I said, since we're both polar opposites, we can argue till the cows come home. :)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

And they 'aint comin' home soon ;o)

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Sheesh. I just hope the upcoming super cycle credit winter doesn't kill em while they pasture.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

LOL! Don't worry, I'm Keynesian, so I'll just make more ;o)

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

And this one's round 2 of what an imagined argument would be like.

I think you'd enjoy it.

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

http://youtu.be/GTQnarzmTOc

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

I don't know how big a fan you are of rap (I enjoy it)

But, I'd imagine an argument between us would be like this.

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

http://youtu.be/d0nERTFo-Sk

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OK, these are HILARIOUS ! I LOVE "Intellectual Humor."

I've already snagged them and am sending them around.

By the way, I drafted a proposition. See http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal

[-] 1 points by groobiecat (41) from Brattleboro, VT 2 years ago

Well, a couple of things. First, great that you've got an open mind. Second, careful how you paint people. There are a lot of folks on both sides who have varying levels of understanding of the problems. And while the banking and monetary problems are the concretizing, unifying ones, there are much bigger issues at play here that require an understanding of the philosophical and political considerations.

At the base, is the basic division between people who are, on the one hand, (generally) very laissez faire about policy, finance, and social programs--these folks tend to be much more focused on "exalting the individual" for lack of a better phrase.

On the other #OWS end, the movement is much more focused on needs of the greater good over those of the individual, and believes that government can and should play a role in their lives.

Now, how resources are allocated, taxed, and distributed; very important to have banking experts, and yes, not all rich people are the enemy. But there needs to be an understanding and coming together about the core issues and priorities.

To rise about the old "left/right" paradigm, which you seem to be willing to do (bravo!), we need to look at things in terms of priorities and resources. Are we interested in having a country that offers support to those who are most in need while still being successful? (think capitalist/socially responsible Finland and Germany - http://groobiecat.blogspot.com/2011/10/laissez-unfaire-thoughts-on-national.html) Or are we a country that wants to continue to adhere to increasingly divisive goals and strategies of living that only benefit the most fortunate?

SUGGESTION: One way to bridge the gap between the theoretical and applied--and how that relates to broader philosophical considerations would be as follows:

#OWS convene a meeting of philosophical, political, and subject matter experts from across the spectrum to flesh these issues out. So, people like you, people like Krugman or Reich, people like Ron Paul's economics adviser--and other people as well. A subcommittee that can flesh out the key areas of agreement and disagreement.

Thoughts?

Peace.

Groobiecat

[ There's an #OWS election process here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/come-to-the-nyc-general-assembly-on-10-15-12-to-st/ ]

[ There's a draft Declaration here: https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/ ]

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The REASON I suggested the "movement" moderate some of it's more radical views and concentrate on "Get the Money Out of Government" is because that is IN AND OF ITSELF a PRECONDITION to CHANGE. As long as MONEY dictates our POLICIES rather than the Will of the PEOPLE, NONE of your desired changes can come to pass.

ALL Citizens can AGREE we need OUR VOICE BACK, so there's SOME CHANCE we could make it happen if we can FORGET our OTHER differences for a while.

Once we have our VOICE BACK, we can DEBATE the course forward.

Trying to RECONCILE all our other complex differences BEFORE we get our VOICE BACK simply splits us into FACTIONS that have no POWER !

[-] 1 points by groobiecat (41) from Brattleboro, VT 2 years ago

I agree with most of that, but getting money out of politics isn't so easy now that the supreme court has opened the flood gates to endless corporate donations to campaigns.

This is not going to change anytime soon, and that's the sad truth of the matter. I think it might take a constitutional amendment to reverse it, and that's about as easy as getting Ron Paul to back Obama's jobs plan. It's not an even remotely realistic "first goal" upon which everything else is predicated. Some of the other declaration draft items are, however. And the convening of a "congress" with "delegates" is also a good idea that #OWS is pursuing.

I believe it's impossible not to have "factions." There are deep philosophical differences between what #OWS wants and what the laissez faireans want, and I don't think ignoring that is a good idea. The movement is growing every day. It's not going to stop growing because RP's folks want "in."

The simple truth is this: RP supporters and #OWS should debate; nothing wrong there. But rather than #OWS coming to RP, RP supporters need to acknowledge #OWS and its goals. I see a great deal of arrogance in how they view this, and what's needed instead is humility....

[-] 0 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Google 'Money As Debt'. 45 minutes. A lot quicker than a stack of economics books. The politics is at the end and they advocate a ruinious, insane fix. Please consider that the way to fix it is by obeying the constitution. Still, it's the best explanation out there that I know of. Should be titled, "How the money system works".

Enjoy!

[-] 3 points by ComplexMissy (291) 2 years ago

Well said, thank you for your support.

[-] 2 points by WorkingClassAntiHero (352) from Manchester, NH 2 years ago

I am a unionist. I believe that labor should not only organize but have the right to negotiate contracts with their employers in their best interest. Having said that, I'm largely in agreement with you. In my opinion, corporations generally have the most corrupting influences in government, but beyond the corruption itself, it is the influence that carries it.

This being the case, more than simply getting corporate corruption out of government, removing institutional influence of any kind is more the key. If a union or political movement or even corporation wish to have their will carried to power, let it be with the collective support and voice of people, rather than their money and elbow rubbing. Lets also put lobbying reforms in place to ensure that all interests advocating for or against a particular proposal or piece of legislation have their meetings with elected representatives recorded and published for public review and put an end to the revolving door between private institutions and their respective regulatory agencies.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

EXACTLY. I think you said it BETTER than I did !

Note I'm ALSO in favor of a COMPLETE review of ALL the little special interest laws we've created under the current system. What GOOD does it do to simply get the MONEY OUT if we don't ALSO go clean up the CRAP they managed to get passed INTO LAW ? First among these... that TAX Code ! It's hard to even FIND anything in their that's NOT from one SPECIAL INTEREST or another !

WE DESERVE BETTER.

[-] 2 points by FuManchu (619) 2 years ago

Also get religion out of the government.

[-] 1 points by ssassy (83) 2 years ago

Please! In order to protect the freedoms OF all religions, we must protect ourselves FROM all religions. Secular government; Period.

[-] 1 points by michaelfinko (71) 2 years ago

Beyond that we need a Separation of State and Politics, or government will ALWAYS be BLOATED.

You can never eliminate politics and politicking, but you CAN separate it from the government administrative unit that administers and executes the will of the people (i.e. decisions).

Specifically, this means taking out all social issues (healthcare, welfare, unemployment, etc), environmental issues, business issues/support, technology, science, etc. A super slim, trim government (i.e. boarder patrol, government administrative salaries, infrastructure, K-12 education, etc.) with a positive fiscal balance (not a house of cards) will THAN allow people to focus on the MUCH MORE IMPORTANT issues of: social, environment, technology, science, culture/arts, etc.

Make all theses issues taxable on a voluntary basis (up to 100% of salary for up to 100% of services) and you will have a GENUINELY SUSTAINABLE government. More importantly you will have NOT POLARIZED citizens because you are offering FLEXIBILTY, the ONLY way to unlock the MASSIVE benefits of DIVERSITY.

Right know, society is SO POLARIZED due to COMPLETE inflexibility, as a result you see a 'Super Committee' who refuses to make a decision that will reduce the number of votes they receive in the next elections, because they can't keep promising ever increasing expenditures or more tax breaks.

br, Michael

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep... and an END to it's institutionalization into things like the "married" deduction and so forth. (sorry for the late response... just saw your post !)

[-] 2 points by deluu (6) 2 years ago

To be honest, I don't even think it's really a 1% thing as much as the way the system has grown and has become self perpetuating.

I don't believe there are people at the top who planned for this to happen, it was just a few greedy people tweaking one law and then another and then everyone got caught up in it.

Payroll/benefits is the biggest cost for pretty much any business.. But once one company cuts costs they get to lower prices and of course people almost always buy the cheaper item. So, other companies have to follow suit to stay competitive.

I don't think it was planned it's just the snowball effect (with several snowballs.)

I completely agree with the OWS. Just wanted to make sure you know it's not a "witch hunt."

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

There is much wisdom in what you say, especially your comment, "people almost always buy the cheaper item." You're dead on. People need to understand there is a SOCIAL cost associated with always buying the cheaper item, with using computerized self-check lanes, etc. You might be interested in my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/

P.S. Sorry for the REALLY late response... I was reading through the thread and just noticed your well reasoned post !

[-] 2 points by deepthroatloan (38) 2 years ago

Why don't you come forward as a 1% er and support this publicly? That would be great.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

There are reasons I must remain anonymous. I will work behind the scenes to try and get the folks I associate with to support what's happening here, but they are not going to do that until your message emerges as one that all Americans can stand behind.

[-] 2 points by badconduct (550) from Ottawa, ON 2 years ago

The Fed still needs to be audited. You can't let them live in secracy without any form of accountability.

I don't have a problem with capitalism or democracy, I have a problem with direction that society is taking in general. Our corporations are hell-bent on the explotation of population and environment for profit. Something needs to change and people need to be held accountable for their actions. Bush needs to be tried for war crimes so that future generations don't assume they can take vigilante justice on the neighbour of the guy who may or may not have burned their house down.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The Federal Reserve's balance sheet complete with explanations is available at http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/bst_fedsbalancesheet.htm.

What the Federal Reserve does NOT like to publish are the names of the organizations it is supporting. Their charter is to stabilize our currency, and they are authorized to intervene in ANY financial organization, international or domestic, as required to do that. Unfortunately, if they TELL folks who they are helping, the entire world panics and pulls their money from the troubled institution, thus defeating the very reason they intervene... to prevent panic !

As to why Congress shouldn't be able to control the Federal Reserve, take a look here http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A and you'll see that some of the all-time biggest contributors to congressional campaigns are folks in the housing industry (realtors, electricians, carpenters, etc). Does anyone here think these folks had no role in the continual raising of the Conforming Loan Limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that helped fuel the housing bubble ? What do you think would happen if the same Congress, pushed by Banks, Housing, and other special interests could direct the Federal Reserve as well ?

If there is to be Congressional control of the Federal Reserve, we FIRST need to get ALL the corrupting money out of play THEN would need to set up a select sub-committee that operates VERY much like those that oversee the CIA, NSA, etc. The details of WHO specifically the Federal Reserve is helping CANNOT be made widely public for the reasons given above.

Folks need to understand that there are SOME things that cannot be made widely public (military strategy, intelligence, policies of the Fed, etc), and need to establish conditions that facilitates their ability to TRUST the folks that manage these areas of Government on our behalf. Getting ALL the money out of politics is a necessary precondition to reestablishing the trust of the People in their Government.

[-] 1 points by badconduct (550) from Ottawa, ON 2 years ago

I like this: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10#

It shows who is and isn't making money. We make too much money off the trade of money, and not enough off the production and advancement of technology.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's one of the more useful links anyone has posted thus far. Thanks !

I STILL say, however, that you'll never get any of this changed until we get the money out of the system so our elected officials represent US rather than the SPECIAL INTERESTS.

[-] 1 points by badconduct (550) from Ottawa, ON 2 years ago

Your believes are your believes. The fact is, it needs to change.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Some other things to consider regarding the way the data at your link is portrayed...

The "record profits" of American companies is coming largely from OVERSEAS operations as the DOMESTIC economy is STALLED. Unfortunately, MANY are in the habit of comparing INTERNATIONAL profits to DOMESTIC wages and employment. Surely the DOMESTIC employees of these companies are not SOMEHOW ENTITLED to an "equal share" of ALL INTERNATIONAL PROFITS, correct ?

[-] 1 points by badconduct (550) from Ottawa, ON 2 years ago

So you are suggesting that the unemployed pack up and leave the country?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Actually, I have an idea inspired by the recent campaign to move money from the big banks to credit unions. See http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Of COURSE NOT ! I'm simply saying that folks need to have their FACTS straight if they want to be EFFECTIVE. The problems that got us INTO this employment mess ( accompanied by links to census data) can be found at http://occupywallst.org/forum/inconvenient-truths-america/

WE CAN FIX this, but it's going to be VERY hard. My wife and I went out yesterday to SURVEY four major retailers where we live trying to FIND a product MADE IN THE USA. We failed. We couldn't find one. This situation is OUR fault, and we SERIOUSLY need people to start LOOKING at those "Made in _" tags if we want JOBS.

[-] 2 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok. thats cool. but it does not address the disparity built into a fixed wage labor market and an economic structure that cannot exist without a floating currency. if you are really in support you need to address why everybody else gets to adjust for inflation on a day to day basis but labor cannot, and you take the profits of that gap. can you address that?

[-] 2 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

i think it would be great if yo uwould take the time to educate us about the history of banks. please do explain why it has to operate in secrecy i haven't heard that one before.


http://www.oligarchyusa.com/

http://www.istockanalyst.com/finance/story/5390832/some-fascinating-stats-about-our-corporate-oligarchy

http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/category/21st-century-challenges/ethicsandeconomics/

According to a 2008 article by David Rothkopf, the world’s 1,100 richest people have almost twice the assets of the poorest 2.5 billion (Rothkopf, 2008). Aside from the obvious problem – that this global elite has their hands in everything from politics to financial institutions – …

http://theprogressiveplaybook.com/2011/09/occupywallstreet-an-american-tahrir/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ght22PnCXy0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/wisconsin-is-ground-zero_b_825321.html

http://last-lost-empire.com/blog/?tag=global-corporate-oligarchy

To the extent that we, the people, are removed from control over our lands, marketplaces, central banks, and media we are no longer empowered. In practice, those few who do control the land, central bank, media and "free market" are the real rulers of our corrupt and declining "democracy."

Due to propaganda from a corporate-owned and edited media we are kept from knowing, much less debating, the nature of our system. Due to a central bank owned by bankers, media owned by a few global concerns, and trade regime controlled by global corporations (i.e., one designed to remove the people from control over their markets and environments) the vast majority have become little more than latter-day serfs and neo-slaves upon a corporate latifundia.

To restore a semblance of effective democracy and true freedom Americans, and people around the world, need to re-educate themselves as to the true nature of their political and economic systems. Toward this end, OligarchyUSA.com is dedicated to providing old and new information, books, links, reform ideas and debates not easily found or accessed today in establishment media.

OligarchyUSA.com is but one more site and sign of the times as ground-up counter-revolutions arise around the world... all in response to a forced and freedomless globalization of a ruling global elite perfecting their top-down plutocracy and revolutions of the rich against the poor. In short, democracy is no longer effective today. For this reason, it is toward a restoration of truly effective and representative democracies, and natural freedom, that this site is dedicated.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/organizational-map-2/

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

(You, in particular, are one of the people who he's talking about who are discrediting the movement.)

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

sorry, i am the one whos on it, whos moving things forward, i'm not discrediting anything.. i represent facts and truth and science knowledge.

[-] 3 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I spent hours one night recently reading your proposal to "move away" from money toward an "economic singularity" that will make it possIble to manufacture all goods locally, even cars and televisions and computers, using Star Trek replicator robots.

After reading all of that, I had a very sour taste in my mouth. I showed up as a potential supporter and your completely serious, crackpot proposals discredited the movement in my mind.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

you have not made any case to that proposal or argument that is meaningfu lagainst it, just launched and ad hom. i'd say that your mental blocks are your problem.

If you have any honesty or integrity you will actually either give up this line of BS... or actually go point for point on why you don't think the proposal would work.

[-] 0 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

:D

We're actually not that far from that reality. I'm an inventor, and part of the Maker movement, essentially the open sourcing and decentralization of manufacturing. I've got a makerbot, combined with a foundry, as well as machine tools that have come down massively in costs.

I'd say we're about 25 years from a reality approximating that.

[-] 3 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

I've worked several years in logistics for a corporation that manufactures critical components in a third of the world's turbochargers.

You're correct that there are opportunities for more localized manufacturing and replication of simple goods. However, this approach is generally at odds with the logistics of unique, complex items -- for example, mail logistics. There is a reason that FedEx uses two or three major centers in the entire US for processing. There is a distinct advantage to economy of scale and that is the reason that a growing percentage of manufacturing is done, and will continue to be done, in third world countries.

Economic singularity is a movement diametrically opposed to efficiency. The cost of implementing it, while practical in specific localized situations, is unrealistic on a large economic scale on many logical levels. Large companies are a necessity to economic growth, they are here to stay, and they will continue to get larger. We ought to recognize that reality while acknowledging Rico's suggestions for how their clout ought to be reasonably mitigated.

[-] 3 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yet again I'm very disappointed by the representatives of this movement on this web site. I'm also a tech junkie, an innovator, a technologist, the CTO of a tech startup. But are we going to talk about realistic ideas for making our government more responsive to our concerns or are we not?

[-] 1 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

I'm not a representative of this movement. I'm curious to see what it is about exactly.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

economic singularity is not opposed to efficiency quite the opposite, it will be more efficient by orders of magnitude.

again i don't know where people get these ideas, or why they feel like its fine to ignorantly spew rather than bother to go learn the truth in systems theory and game theory. in fact corporations are wildly inefficient and localization is increasingly more efficient for assorted systemic reasons.

[-] 1 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

It really depends what we're talking about here. This can't be meaningfully discussed without going into particular complex examples. When labor is cheaper than automation, when labor unions resist automation, and when governments manipulate the free exchange and transit of goods, systems have to adapt away from this ideal of singularity.

It depends on whether we're discussing simple or complex goods and where the materials for those goods can be procured. On a growing scale of global demand, logistics tend to become far more complex over time rather than more simple.

Give me an example, and let's bring in the mathematicians.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

labor won't be cheaper than automation, esp looking into the future.

systems theory and game theory both show that in fact localization is orders of magnitude mor efficient for everything; energy, food, industry. transporting things in and of itself is a giant waste of resources. And corporate packaging. and all that plastic. and everything is built to fall apart anyhow in order to be replaced, and on and on.

Saying economic singularity would be less efficient prove you don't understand what economic singularity is or why it would not only be more efficient but game changing.

we don't need math to show this, there are applicable principles here which are fairly absolute. Capitalisms apologists like to imagine that (faked) capitalism is a very efficient system. the reverse is true. its a grossly inefficient system, it wastes pretty much everything.

It wastes the very resource it consumes by creating intentionally substandard garbage so that said objects are replaced. any high school physics student can make a light bulb that lasts forever or a battery that holds a charge a hundred times longer than energizer. Light bulbs burn out because they are designed to. batteries lose charge because they are designed to. contrary to the idea of competition, the industry giants got together and set the bar low. Everything faked capitalism produces is more of the same. everythigns designed to break down and fall apart in order to be replaced. The list goes on and on and on. the imagined efficiency of faked capitalism is just that- imagined.

[-] 1 points by OWSNewPartyTakeNY2012 (195) 2 years ago

maybe psychically possible in 25 years but social awareness will probably move slower then that. maybe 50 years maybe 100 unless you guys have something so good that it can strait up shift the paradigm. Like the internet.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

I'm an inventor too, (well really more of an innovator, I haven't made a zero-point generator or anything). Got a Tormach and a bunch of other stuff. Still, this Resource Based thing seems to be an amorphous concept, depending on who is proposing it. It makes some huge leaps of logic, not explained since I first saw a video on it quite awhile back.

[-] 1 points by sinthytech (30) 2 years ago

I think the 5% has great ideals like end the fed reinstate certian laws to regulate banks. That is all fine but this movement should not be ran by the 5%.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Not sure exactly who you're responding to here, but I'll assume it's me...

The mere post of an idea does not indicate I am trying to "run" anything. In addition, you should be evaluating ideas based on their merit, not their source.

[-] 1 points by nullapars (10) from Sacramento, CA 2 years ago

I am with you all the way, see my earlier post I am re posting here. We need a common demand, something simple that United We Stand for. We should call for a constitutional convention to change the way we choose our leaders and that makes it ILLEGAL TO GIVE MONEY TO POLITICIANS PERIOD. Take the money out of the system and we take away the weapon the rich have used to hijack our system and cause this mess. This is the way for the 99% to take back our government. The elected officials will never do it so we must. It's a simple message that is easy to understand and hard to be against. TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS make all forms of campaign contributions and political donations illegal. A specific message the media has to cover because everyone is demanding it. Right now the message is unspecific and that is going to kill the movement. No other single change could solve so many of our problems. Anything short of this wont work. Imagine how things would be if this were accomplished. I also think we need to get rid of the electoral college and implement term limits for everyone in congress. More info at http://uws1.weebly.com/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

We need to take back our political power, but we ALSO need to learn to use the consumer power we already have. Every purchase is a "vote" for a company, and we shouldn't be toting for those that are not responsible citizens of our society.

I combined the shopping guidelines we formed in a forum post here and hosted them at http://bit.ly/DoYourBit where the would be more accessible and sharable via social media. Take a look and, if you agree, spread the http://bit.ly/DoYourBit link as far and wide as possible using e-mail, tritter, facebook, etc. We need a LOT of people on board if we are to have an impact!

[-] 1 points by assasin (25) 2 years ago

get politics out of reality

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Please also see the awesome video I link to in my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-want-my-government-back-now/

[-] 1 points by fwankie123 (490) from Immokalee, FL 2 years ago

You want REAL change? - Occupy Congress! We Need New, Bold, Innovative Laws!

Make Campaign Finance Reform the dominant political issue in 2012. Get the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 750 and H.R. 1404) passed into law where political candidates for federal office would raise a large number of small contributions from their communities in order to qualify for Fair Elections funding. Contributions are limited to $100.00. Strictly voluntary by the candidate to avoid legal issues.

Require new FCC regulations granting 100% FREE air time to all federal candidates who obtain sufficient petition signatures and/or votes to get on the ballot and participate in the primaries and/or electoral process.

Once you start electing politicians that have voluntarily taken a maximum donation of $100.00 and are not tied to special interests, you will begin to get a more responsive federal government that will actually carry out the will of the people.

You can begin to solve big problems in an open and rational way. Solutions like...

Create a fair federal tax code. The marginal tax rate ought to be raised to 50 percent on income between $500,000 and $5 million, 60 percent on income between $5 million and $15 million, and 70 percent on income over $15 million. There should be a 2 percent annual surtax on all fortunes over $7 million. The estate tax should be 55 percent and kicks in after $2 million. Capital gains should be taxed at 35 percent. End the home mortgage deduction on all homes over $750,000. Corporations should be taxed by a variable amount based on the percentage of payroll going to US workers. A small business employing 100% US workers should be taxed somewhere between 15-20% while a company that has completely shifted its production overseas should be in the 50% range. Eliminate corporate loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies and end offshore tax haven abuse.

Break up the biggest banks. Reenact Glass-Steagall. Abolish credit default swaps. Derivatives must be traded on transparent exchanges. Tax all Wall St. financial transactions at 1%. Damp down speculation and raise $400 billion a year.

A ten-year federal program that involves a New Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to create millions of jobs rebuilding America that includes infrastructure banks run by engineers, not politicians to extricate ourselves from the Great Recession now and increase productivity later.

Seriously address the housing crisis where one in four mortgages are underwater in America. The Congress should give bankruptcy judges the right to amend mortgages in order to pressure lenders to reduce principle owed.

End the wars. Reduce the military budget by half ($275 billion).

Medicare For All. Allow Medicare to purchase drugs directly. Give the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) more authority to drive down medical costs.

End the "revolving door" of politicians and their staffs from ever becoming becoming lobbyists and prohibit all federal public employees, officers, officials from ever being employed by any corporation, individual or business that they specifically regulated while in office.

Increase upward mobility in an increasingly stratified society, the federal government should pay tuition and fees for all students, part and full time, who are enrolled in two-year public institutions in the United States.

[-] 1 points by tomcat68 (298) 2 years ago

But how will Barack and Michelle afford to Fly around the country in separate jets to meet up with their campaign tour Buses

This would mean they might actually have to ride on those buses state to state.

Yes the Obamas are part of the 1% if ya didn't notice. why don't we hear more about the Biggest spender in American history? the 1% of the 1%.

[-] 1 points by polo (63) 2 years ago

if you take ALL donated money out of campaigns then only the very wealthy will be able to run and you will get an even more elitist system

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

See my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ It describes a Federal Election Fund to fund campaigns. The only money required by the candidate is that required to collect the needed number of signatures.

[-] 1 points by polo (63) 2 years ago

Do you not think it will be much easier to get 1,000,000 signatures if you have $100 million dollars, then you can travel more easily and start campaigning much faster. You can't ban people from spending their own money. Furthermore, how much should each person get from the fund, it can't be unlimited or it has the potential to be abused. I find it hard to believe elitism will every be removed entirely from our system. There will always be people with more power and/or more money than the general population

[-] 1 points by nsd72 (31) 2 years ago

Interesting piece. I'm fundamentally conservative too, but with a twist. Do you think this would help:

I'm in London, been speaking to the occupy people here. I've worked for a decade in the field of social justice/wellbeing. Seems to me that although there are many voices here, there's a common thread that links all protesters: whether it's justice, greed, the economy, jobs, pay, the future... what this is really about is how we treat each other (& the world we share).

Remember the Peace Sign, & how by capturing the zeitgeist it attracted millions of followers in the 70s? Why don't we adopt a new symbol that captures today's zeitgeist that acts like a sort of umbrella for all our views?

This would give the current amorphous, multi-celled mass enough identity to bring some cohesion and more impact. But like the symbiotic jellyfish, you can hack it into pieces and it will survive... so they can't take it down and there's an underlying purpose and methodology that they can't dispute.

What's that identity? It's summed up in the phrase "I care about mankind and the world our children will inherit." And the underlying methodology is wellbeing-focused - because we all deserve wellbeing and improving wellbeing has tremendous social, economic and political consequences.

Not trying to sell anyone anything - just seems to me the 99% lack a uniting symbol so please come back to me with your comments. The symbol I propose is called the tocamu (see tocamu.com) and you can read/copy & paste a one page sheet to your friends if you want to (click to enlarge to readable size): http://www.tocamu.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Unite-Letter.png

Wouldn't it make sense if this army marched under one flag?

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I am concerned that this movement is going to get stuck. Because it is saying everything. Which is the equivalent of saying nothing. The question is - how to reach the middle of middle America. When this movement refuses to come out with a clear message. How is this movement ever going to overcome the MSM distortion that middle America is hearing? Unless this movement gets focused on a message?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Agreed, and as I noted above, it needs to be a UNIFYING message.

WE WANT OUR GOVERNMENT BACK !

Once we have our government back, we can use an UNCORRUPTED Democratic process to settle our OTHER differences. If we INSIST on arguing over our minor differences NOW, we become FACTIONS with NO POWER ... JUST the way the STATUS QUO prefers ! Sooooo many of the problems we have had are traceable to the purchase of power by special interests. It's a good place to start,

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

What we continue to have is a "no message" message. This movement is saying everything, which is the equivalent of saying nothing - to the general mainstream public beyond the park.

Sen. Udall has introduced legislation that seeks to overturn the damaging effects of Citizens United. Which would then pave the way for Campaign Finance Reform. Without the overturn of Citizens United, the 99% have nothing. I'm sure you already know this! Just putting it out there.

My suggestion - I know this is a dirty word in the OWS world, but, we need FOCUS. Focus on Citizens United.

What this movement needs to do is EDUCATE and INFORM supporters and the general public about the importance of overturning Citizens United. The MSM is surely not going to educate and inform the public about it. It is against their best interests. Most American's, sadly, do NOT KNOW what Citizens United is! I know this is appalling and horrifying. But that is the situation we are dealing with. Because the MSM will NOT TALK about it. It is up to this movement to flood this message - Overturn Citizens United, Support Sen. Udall's Campaign Finance Legislation.

If this movement does not get that message out, who will? OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED. Otherwise, WE HAVE NOTHING! What is the point of any of this?

It will not matter how many bankers might get put in jail. Or any other progress we might make with the other "demands". The underlying problem will still be with us.

We need to work on an effective strategy to message Sen. Udall's legislation. This movement needs to flood the park with guest speakers to discuss the importance of overturning CU. Get Sen. Udall to the park!! Get others to guest speak about CU. Without that, we've got nothing.

http://tomudall.senate.gov/?p=blog&id=970

I know this movement doesn't want to be political. But, it needs to get its head out of the clouds and get REAL. Do we want REAL change, or are we going to let this opportunity pass? Are we going to let this bill collect dust in the House because nobody knows about it? Are we going to let the BIG money kill this bill, like it kills all of the others that would seek to benefit the 99%?

This legislation is a big step for DC. They are hearing us with this legislation. A few of them anyway. Is it posturing? How can we know if we don't PUSH this issue forward? Are they sincerely trying to help our country? I hope so. Are we going to ignore their step forward? I hope not. We need to get to work on pushing this legislation to overturn Citizens United now!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I believe the CITIZENS UNITED decision was that insofar as well allow INDIVIDUALS and UNIONS to donate to campaigns, corporations can as well. They were ruling on a GAP in the current law. I believe if we ban ALL donations, their is no conflict with corporations.

Note my proposal to ban even INDIVIDUAL contributions was driven by a desire to avoid disenfranchising the poor. They can't contribute even $10 !

By the way, as long as we DO allow contributions by unions, corporations should be allowed to. I want ALL of them out of the process !

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I agree. But I don't think campaign finance reform can happen until CU is overturned with a constitutional amendment. CU said that money is free speech and cannot be limited by Federal Election rules. More or less.

Another issue.
http://occupywallst.org/forum/is-this-an-anrchist-movement/

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 2 years ago

Amen, Dood.

Campaign Finance Reform. Boom.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. It's really that simple isn't it ?

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 2 years ago

Well, it's good place to start.

[-] 1 points by justina5 (1) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Hi, I am a Journalism student at NYU. Your change of mind regarding OWS seems interesting, and I am wondering if I can talk to you a little more for a news story (that's not going to be published - don't worry). Shoot me a private message? (Not sure if that thing works though)

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes, I am a “conservative.” I am over 50, and I have been a voting Republican my whole adult life. The “Republican” box I occupy is forced on me by the two-party system; I'm more properly described as a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian. Note though I am a Christian, I despise the religious right.

My opinion about OWS changed because there ARE a small number of thoughtful, rational, and respectful people who were willing to engage me in this forum. Rational and respectful discourse is the very foundation of this Grand Experiment, founded in the Enlightenment, and based on the idea Man can govern himself with Reason and Respect. Several of my views have changed via this civil discourse, and I hope I have changed or broadened the views of others in equal measure.

First, I had not paid due attention to the influence money holds over our Democracy until people made me look. Once I looked, I found its corrupt hand in every aspect of our system. As I noted elsewhere in my forum comments, I care little WHO is corrupting our representatives or how NOBLE their aims may be, it's wrong; if they have a case to make, they should make it with us lest we suffer government of the people, by the special interests, for the special interests. The stain of money goes much deeper than the mere corruption of one elected official or another, it undermines the faith of the people in their government as a whole. If you are familiar with the dilemma Plato addressed in The Republic, you understand the need for trust in government. Money corrupts that trust, and this is a greater problem than the specific cases of corruption plain for all to see.

Another perspective I have changed due to my interaction here regards taxation. I no longer support a "flat tax" and now prefer what I call a "Ladder to Prosperity." The bottom 30% pay nothing. The 30-50% pay a bit more, the 50-75% pay yet more, and the 75-100% pay the most. Though I fall in that top bracket, I now understand that some face challenges I have never known, and they NEED a leg-up. At the same time, however, I do not believe a Democracy can survive a voting majority that pays no taxes at all and can vote themselves benefits at no cost. Hence the 30% figure. It could perhaps be 40%, but never more.

I now also agree that there is a problem growing in our capitalist society regarding employment and wealth. I disagree with the notion that the rich are somehow evil, but there is at least one systemic problem emerging that needs to be addressed. Contrary to popular belief, the rich didn't "steal" their wealth, they created it via capital investment. A quick look at the divergence between labor and productivity that started with the introduction of computers and robotics show how they are gaining so much wealth. These machines are slave labor willing to work for naught but electricity, and they are displacing an ever increasing segment of the workforce. I have only two ideas to address this emerging trend described so well by Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano" (circa 1952). The first is to simply make people see what is happening and demand service by humans wherever possible. The second is to somehow promote Employee Stock Ownership so the workers can share in the wealth created by capital investment in computers and robots; these corporations were FOUNDED on the efforts of the workers, and it was their work that attracted the capital, but they are not sharing in its rewards. Research shows that Employee Stock Ownership does nothing but improve employee morale and company performance, so I see no reason not to explore solutions along these lines.

Finally, though not related to any specific discourse here but the overall process of examination it spurred, I have changed my stance regarding marijuana. Though I do not approve of it's use, I see direct parallels with Alcohol Prohibition; people continue to use it in spite of the law, we're emptying our treasury and filling our prisons with non-violent offenders, and we're fostering violent crime both here in and our neighbor to the south. This war was lost long ago, and California has shown us a better way their war on cigarette smoking; tax the product and direct funds toward education of the product's dangers.

I have become an "activist" of sorts due to my interactions here. I spend significant time and energy debating the topics explored here within my circle of conservative associates, and they too have changed their perspectives a bit as a result. I have written my representatives encouraging change and received mostly positive responses. I view my interactions here as having improved and tuned my perspectives, and I'm glad I took the effort to come here and exchange ideas with OWS supporters.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

It would improper to say my interactions here have all been positive. Indeed, I have an expanded concern for our Democracy and the ability of Man to satisfy the Faith of our Forefathers in our ability to self govern.

First and foremost, I am dismayed by the number of people unwilling to engage in civil dialog. The most important thing a Man can say in civil discourse is, "That's a good point, I hadn't thought of that." Unfortunately, our society has become so polarized that every disagreeable fact or argument is immediately dismissed as idiocy, the utterance of a shill, or the manipulation of a troll. People are not listening to or learning from one another, and they are not treating one another with respect. A reasonable outcome of discourse is "The facts aren't clear. This is a matter of opinion, and on this, we must agree to disagree." An angry "You're an idiot" is not appropriate, respectful, or constructive. Respect appears rare, and we cannot run a Democracy without it. I fear our Founding Fathers would be very disappointed in the TONE of our discourse.

Second, I am shocked by the quality of reference people use to substantiate their opinions and positions. Too often, a link to a YouTube video or blog of someone stating the same opinion sans supporting fact is cited as a "reference" in discussion. No number of people who share an opinion can make Truth from Fallacy, and the mere existence of media discussing ghosts, UFOs, extraterrestrials, astrology, etc. proves only that there is money to be made in discussing such things, not that these things are Truth. There is a pronounced lack of willingness to research facts, evaluate sources, or apply critical thinking to the myriad opinions found on the Internet. People also appear to have a profound inability to absorb information in anything but sound-bites and twitter-isms no matter the complexity or subtlety of the topic at hand. If I have learned anything in my 50 plus years, it's that subtlety and complexity abound all topics of import, and I fear our Founders would be dismayed at the QUALITY of our discourse.

Finally, I am dismayed by the general desire to externalize our Nation's problems without due regard for the contributions of We the People. It is said that, in a Democracy, we get the government we deserve. Likewise, in Capitalism, we get the corporations we deserve. When we borrow money to buy foreign goods, we make the lenders wealthy and lose our jobs. We the People are responsible for much of what ails us. I am encouraged by the recent campaign to move from large banks to credit unions, NOT because I "hate" the banks but because I see the People are now starting to understand the need to "vote" with their dollars. We the People have made great strides in thinking "green" when we purchase, and we need to think with equal passion about our VALUES in every single business transaction of our daily lives. Don't buy from corporations that pay meager wages, manufacture overseas, or only stock foreign products. Walk away from the computerized self-check lane and demand service by real people. Press "O" when a computer answers the phone. More expensive and inconvenient to be sure, but these actions show our values are WORTH something to us. There is great SOCIAL cost to consider beyond mere sticker price, and corporations WILL change in response to our voting dollars.

I don't want to end on a negative tone. I count my gains as far outweighing the frustrations I have encountered here, and I am thrilled to find so many ENGAGED in our Democracy, even if I find their reasoning and manners sometimes lacking. This, I suppose, is what Democracy looks like.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

As for my profession, I am a particular type of Engineer known as a "System Architect." The systems I architect must remain unnamed, but my job requires I find the "Zen" of a problem and use its “momentum” to craft a counter-force solution that, when mated to the problem, yields a desirable whole.

I have held a "system" focus my entire life and have gone through deep periods of study in music, harmony, melody, economics, politics, philosophy, religion, and physics (from quantum to relativity and string) at various stages in life.

Like most, my blessings and curses emerge from a common source; for me, it’s a compelling desire to understand the "big picture" of life and creation. I am an autodidact, and I believe in the value of auto-didacticism; I seek knowledge where my thirst for understanding leads, and I do not place myself, my fellow Man, or the world into comfortable boxes.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.


Mahatma Gandhi

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Isn't it remarkable how the Beauty and Goodness of the Human soul emerges when confronted with the choice to kill or listen? We've seen it again and again... Gandhi, Tienanmen Square, the Arab Spring, and now OWS. This is Democracy in its most pure form, and I'm not sure anything is required beyond simple gathering behind the common statement, "This is wrong, and it shall not stand."

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

So right, my friend, there are many dualities that are always at play. They ebb and flow with the current of our lives. And they are ALWAYS there when you look. When we are subjected to conflict we are forced to react, it's a strong motivation. And when we are motivated we take action.

We see wrong and our natural instinct is to right it. Justice is not just some discovery we made when looking in some dark corner somewhere, it's in our DNA.

It was only natural while being rational, we would realize that Justice could easily understood through empathy. In fact, it was an outgrowth of period in human evolution when the golden rule became known some thousands of years ago.

We need to, above all else, seek the Truth. But we don't get there without doing the work. And, we will see some things can't be known, not completely. It's all important and always worth the effort. It will make this movement strong since it really is each of us together.

I advocate everyone fact check and check the biases at the door. Listen and learn. Research and learn. Post and learn. Protest and learn.


And keep on learning, we are onto something big.

Thanks to ALL !!!!

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

This really is an excellent affirmation for the 99% movement.


As many begin to realize the beauty of such a movement, they will begin to understand how this is happening and why it will continue to grow.

We live in the information age. The real challenge is always to find out where the TRUTH is the middle of it all. But, it's there right at our fingertips. And, unlike any generation that preceded us, we have a better chance to sort it out. When we seize the Truth we are armed with ideas as strong as the Declaration of Independence.

Reason is our best ally to finding the Truth in things. It requires great effort and should never be generalized. Our founding fathers knew very well about these affairs.

Jefferson was a genius who not only read constantly but read in different languages. He was not only the president, and the author of the Declaration of Independence, and US constitution, but also, an inventor, scientist, and botanist. He was truly enlightened and lived in the Age of Reason.

He whispers to us now, just as Gandhi, and MLK do. We are standing on the shoulders of these giants and we are only a few key clicks away from contacting any one of them and hearing what they have to say.


...............................................WE ARE THE 99 %


Rico, great thread, you are here, and you are part of us. We need your thoughts.

Keep on Posting!!! ........: ) : ) : )

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

And thank YOU for your beautiful language. There is power in words, and yours carry much.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

My pleasure. : )

[-] 1 points by OQPi (162) 2 years ago

I agree with you. I will say, however, that there will always be people tainting a movement with stupidity- any movement. Unfortunately, they are often times the loudest. So, we need to learn to either educate them or ignore them.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. It's unfortunate. Some folks see a crowd and just jump right in for fun to rabble rouse and disrupt things. Look at the crap that happened in Oakland. Unfortunately, many will paint this movement based on the actions of a few. It sucks, but it happens over and over again. Many are trolls, but many others are just idiots caught up in mob fever. Perhaps the best folks can do is try to ensure that the LOUDEST voices are the unifying voices of rational and persistent hope for what America can become.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 2 years ago

I agree with you Rico...except the Federal Reserve part or that somehow secret entities operating within our government are benign and always operate for the good of the American populace..

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

The problem with the federal reserve is that the people in charge are abusing their power. The problem isn't the federal reserve being separate from the government. Because obviously a ton of people in government abuse their power all the time. Hence how we have the Patriot Act which violates the constitution which they're supposed to uphold.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I don't think any of us can say whether the Federal Reserve is corrupt. Why? Because the influence of Money in all halls of government causes us to distrust all leaders. We cannot run a Democracy in which the people cannot have faith that their Government is being run with their best interests at heart. Remove the money.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

But it's obvious when your government is corrupt. Like when they have already passed laws that make bribery legal... and lobbyists help draft legislation sometimes. And they're infringing the rights they're supposed to uphold. Blind faith is not a good idea. Believing they have your best interest at heart is different than seeing it.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. THAT'S the fodder for change. All our other differences can wait.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

I'm glad we agree on such an important issue. I've had that thought for a while. Sometimes your enemy's enemies can be your friends. We can worry about healthcare, abortion, education, immigration and etc... later. Nothing can get done properly when corruption is involved. Get that out and we can solve the other problems afterwards. This is our only way to get it accomplished. Restore what the USA is supposed to be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sa_OQgWiPA You know what I mean.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Hey! I think we have an agreement ! Yahoo!

I'll debate everything ELSE with you using the UNCORRUPTED Democratic process, but let's first TAKE OUR GOVERNMENT BACK !

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

Hell yeah man! I am actually going to dedicate the rest of my time at this approach. In all honesty it pisses me off that there are 2 pro communist people with a red flag that march in our large group that doesn't want communism at all. In fact here in Omaha, where we have a really good local economy, but we still do see a lot of negative effects here, we have jobs but we just want the bullshit to get out of the government and return to what capitalism is supposed to be. Not the kind that has hijacked it and takes it to extremes. We welcome everyone in our group, but these 2 people make me angry every time. Those 2 people make us look bad every time they march with us too. It's the few that I think took us down from 1,000 on our first march to about 200 on all of our others. Not that they shouldn't have an opinion. But I'm not going to go to a tea party meeting and hand out a picture of Mexicans jumping the border while having an abortion. You know what I mean?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Hallelujah and Amen Brother !

Our ONLY objective should be to TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT.

Once we have an UNCORRUPTED Democratic process, we can USE it to settle our other differences the way our Founding Fathers INTENDED. As long we we INSIST on arguing over our OTHER differences, we become FACTIONS with NO POWER... JUST the way the STATUS QUO likes us. That's why they MAKE UP these trivial "wedge" issues... to DIVIDE us !

I WANT MY GOVERNMENT BACK !

P.S. Omaha? I'm going there for Thanksgiving ! Maybe I'll see you there !

P.P.S I think we should WELCOME our Mexican neighbors. They're good people who work hard and exhibit better "Family Values" than most Americans. I find our xenophobia and racism regarding our southern brothers ABHORRENT !

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

We have talked about doing marches in South Omaha to gain a larger community interest. But marching downtown around the Federal Reserve and the Government building is the most fitting. It might happen soon but there are people specified to be working on outreach. Also another point I should make is that we have to do our marches on Saturdays because a majority of us are hard working Americans. We are lucky enough to be in a city with a great local economy. We still see a lot of the corporate bullshit... like laying off long time workers because they are"too costly and have benefits, so these companies hire people for part time hours with no benefits to replace the skilled workers because it's cheaper. It's a growing trend, it's even happening in my company is owned by a major company. Those orders came down from the top. Here's a video of the first march here in Omaha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNt-jJZvVpA

I also want to add that the way people look at mexicans is horrible as well. It's ridiculous that it's acceptable to some people. Did you ever see Dennis Kucinich get angry during a debate on this issue?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFabLp-Jcbg&feature=related

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Awesome ! I generally trust the sensibilities of middle America... the coasts are too freakin' weird ! ... must come from all that city livin' ;o)

I'm EXCITED to see people engaging, even if I disagree with some of what is being said. This is what Democracy LOOKS like !

I'll plan a day to come down and meet some of y'all in person when I'm in town.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

I am happy to see that everyone is coming to the consensus that

CORRUPTION NEEDS TO END

And we all know the corruption is money in politics. Campaign Finance Reform. The leftest liberals and the furthest right conservatives can agree. Now let's get this accomplished together and settle our other differences later. Because right now we have a common threat: Corruption in politics which is causing a shrinking economy and a devaluing US dollar.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

the rich and the elites are covictims of a broken system.

it is important to see ourselves as providing services to them also.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPR3GlpQQJA

I have been active here since the very beginning, and since the very beginning I have been trying to make some core points. These points clearly have not been digested or fully understood by the mob, and so I'm going to try to make a further attempt here again. 1. Merely protesting in the streets will not bring change. In fact merely protesting in the streets is in fact a means to the end of avoiding the real work of a revolution, which consists of the evolutionary solutions, answers, problem solving process, and new political alignment we create. 2. This forum is absolutely disorganized. It won't be read by most people and it won't and can't function as a core organizational system. 3. Back at the very start of this, I petitioned the admin to add multiple sub forums and a wiki. Multiple sub forums were promised but have never arrived. I think that this tells us that the intention actually of this forum is message control and containment. The entire purpose really of this forum has always been to keep us spinning in disorganization. We are hanging out on a forum that expressly exists to actually keep us confused and disorganized. 4. The real work of a revolution isn't going to happen on forums, it needs to happen in a much more organized fashion using collaborative software. 5. The assorted other details about how to collaborate, how to work open source direct democracy, how to focus in on science instead of isms, how to become hyper rational about this, are details which are essential and crucial, without which we can predict the movement to fail. 6. Technically speaking we are not 99 percent, we are one tenth of one percent attempting to represent the 99 percent. Our core mission must be to communicate to and with the 99 percent, and get them to join us. This forum will not accomplish that and neither will any of the other main websites. 7. You can follow other people out to other wikis and other websites, where they will try to get you to get involved with what they want and their program, but frankly speaking, there is no other website and no other operation out there which understands the complexities involved with meaningful organization. In short, everyones being led to get involved here there and everywhere else, scattering the movement in directions which ultimately do not gain us critical mass, criticial momentum, or critical systemic lucidity. 8. I have managed to get a wiki put up and have already put on that wiki evolutionary details which make it more organized than anything else. I can't do this alone. There are 10 or so wikis now out there, most of which were created in response to my pleas for a wiki, and several of which are in domains owned and operated by some corporation, (wikia, etc) And which we can thus assume will simply be closed, shut down, or deleted if they become useful to the movement. 9. Probably at least half of the invites you have to go participate at some other site are people who are scamming everyone to waste time and energy, distort the movement, co opt it, and etc. When you walk off into a closet ask yourself how you know that the closet isn't created by some fed, or by some republican, or by some democrat, in order to sway things in their direction. 10. The only meaningful strategic option we have for real change in this country is to create a new third party, and take every political office in this country. 11. Once that is done, we can have an article 5 convention. If we have an article 5 convention before getting rid of the oligachs, that just opens the genie from the bottle for them to abuse that process with their corruption and evil.

For these reasons, I beg of you to please immediately join me on the wiki. We need to have all of these details and all of these ideas put together in an organized fashion, rather than posted in a long scrawl which will never be read.

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/THE_99%25_POLITICAL_PARTY

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.followthemoney.org/?gclid=CMbY87bB-qsCFUPt7Qod9HE8mQ

http://maplight.org/us-congress/guide/data/money?9gtype=search&9gkw=list%20of%20campaign%20donations&9gad=6213192521.1&9gag=1786513361&gclid=CP61oYbB-qsCFQFZ7AodcTF0jw

http://www.opensecrets.org/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/our-new-wiki/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/non-violence-evolution-by-paradigm-shift/

[-] 1 points by owsnapalm (3) from Ancaster, ON 2 years ago

This post is 100% correct.

The political election process is run utilizing public dollars in Canada. This is one of the main reasons that the big banks in Canada did not have the political clout to try to merge together in the 90s. This is also the main reason that NONE of our banks required a bail-out in 2008.

None of this is rocket science. Get private dollars out of politics and everything else will follow from that.

[-] 1 points by NYr4Life (1) from New City, NY 2 years ago

I agree. The first step is to make sure we are a democracy again. The 99% cannot be represented if special interests (labor unions or corporations) can legally bribe politicians!

[-] 1 points by nawi (24) 2 years ago

I'm so happy to read your forum/post. The 99% will be even better if we become the 100%.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

And you'll be more EFFECTIVE if you can STOP trying to debate all those things that divide us, liberal vs conservative, etc. If this continues, you will break into FACTIONS that have no POWER... just the way the STATUS QUO likes.

Once we have TAKEN OUR GOVERNMENT BACK, we can use the UNCORRUPTED Democratic process to settle our OTHER differences.

[-] 1 points by nawi (24) 2 years ago

Agreed! My biggest question is how to get around the supreme court's Citezens United decision. It essentially makes the elimination of money in our elections and legislative process impossible because of it's triumph in solidifying the legal fiction that corporations are people. How do we take back our country when our highest court has decided that the word "people" - as in "We The People" - means something other that living, breathing human beings? Don't get me wrong. I'm not devoid of hope. I'm a liberal who has many friends and family who are conservative. But even if we all band together, how do we get around a legal fiction almost written in stone? Do you see this as a problem as much as I do?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I THINK they only said that IF we allow SOME to contribute, we have to let ALL contribute. Unfortunately, Corporations are legally "persons" ! I don't think there's a problem as long as NOBODY can contribute. I'm not a lawyer, however ;o)

[-] 1 points by nawi (24) 2 years ago

I guess I'm not that optimistic on that front. Don't forget - "people" is not the only word they changed the definition of. They also changed the definition of the word "speech" to mean money. That said, at this point, getting the "money" out of politics would literally mean getting the "speech" out of politics - which would clearly violate the constitution, regardless if it was for some or all. I hate to say it, but I really do think that this is all going to boil down to the Citizen's United case and the Supreme Court.

[-] 1 points by antipolitics (127) 2 years ago

I like it. "Get The Money Out Of Politics"

Question, do you think Tea Party-ers support this notion as well?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes. I AM a Republican leaning toward the Tea Party, and most of my friends agree they could get behind this idea of TAKING OUR GOVERNMENT BACK.

See my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

[-] 1 points by Nitrox32 (2) 2 years ago

wow, Well composed well thought out and with a plan.. If only there were more just like this.. but the uneducated will be blindly guided and the uneducated (about politics) is the majority or else we wouldnt be in this situation. Government and politics is like legal terminology. designed to confuse. We know what we want and its not what we have we just dont know the fancy lingo.

[-] 1 points by Nitrox32 (2) 2 years ago

wow, Well composed well thought out and with a plan.. If only there were more just like this.. but the uneducated will be blindly guided and the uneducated (about politics) is the majority or else we wouldnt be in this situation. Government and politics is like legal terminology. designed to confuse. We know what we want and its not what we have we just dont know the fancy lingo.

[-] 1 points by JohnB (138) 2 years ago

Hi Rico!

I agree with you 100%. It's pretty simple really - one person, one vote. Not one dollar, one vote. Fix that, and you have real democracy.

I have been saying since the beginning - you can have a radically free market and radical democracy. They complement each other very well, as long money is out of politics.

Although I disagree with you about the Federal Reserve (a centralized, private and secret (i.e. unaccountable) single corporation that has almost absolute power over our economy and money supply), we need to TABLE that discussion until we have our democracy back. Let the people decide what they want or do not want to do with the Fed.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Once we have a REAL Democracy, we can all use the UNCORRUPTED process to debate our differences whether they be liberal vs. conservative, gold vs notes, etc. The first and most IMPORTANT step is to TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT.

See my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

[-] 1 points by JohnB (138) 2 years ago

I'm in total agreement. :-) Healthy debate between all Americans is a good thing. Lets take our government back and start talking with each other.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes. Hopefully we can bring back the concept of "RESPECTFUL DISCOURSE" or a lest some SEMBLANCE of same !

[-] 1 points by OnePeople (103) 2 years ago

I'm not sure if I agree with the government controlling campaign funding, I prefer to have it done with limited donations by individual contributors only. Shouldn't resonating with the majority of the voters means you have a better and more sustainable campaign.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

See my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

We not only need to get the money out, we ALSO need to trash this two party system. We need more CHOICES. My proposal ensures that ANY candidate able to collect 1,000,000 unique signatures of registered voters gets funded by a TAXPAYER fund. If 1,000,000 of my fellow citizens thinks a man/woman has something to say that I should hear, I'm WILLING TO LISTEN. Lord knows we NEED some new ideas!

Some have argued that my proposal will be expensive. I disagree. There is NO REASON for our elections to cost so much money. We can use CSPAN and PBS and even SOME network time (under their "public service" obligation) to broadcast speeches, debates, etc to get the IDEAS out to the public. All that remains is a comparatively SMALL cost of funding travel so the candidates can go out and talk to people one-on-on. What we WON'T be funding are attack adds, etc.

[-] 1 points by OnePeople (103) 2 years ago

however, might that not limit the people from entering into elections who's names aren't widely recognized. This makes it much more difficult for those who want to challenge the incumbents. I wouldn't want a system where it makes it even harder than it already is to challenge incumbents.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OK, so what would the number be? 100 signatures from registered voters?

At SOME POINT, we have so MANY candidates that NONE get any reasonable AIR TIME on CSPAN, PBS, and Network Public Service spots. At present we get to hear mostly TWO candidates. My proposal should expand that number SIGNIFICANTLY. I don't NEED 100 candidates, I'd be pretty happy if we had 10 !

[-] 1 points by OnePeople (103) 2 years ago

I was just saying, that if it's individual contributions, the required number of signatures is moot. They can use the resources they have, create cost saving measures if they don't have as much, and try to gain a following. All without corporate or special interest contributions for anyone, which already puts them on a much more even level then what we have now.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The POOR can't afford to make donations and would remain DISENFRANCHISED. A Federal Election fund REMOVES money as a deciding factor in elections. Perhaps we just have to agree to disagree here ;o)

[-] 1 points by OnePeople (103) 2 years ago

Hmm good point, I'll have to think further on that issue. Though I still think it would be a good step in the right direction.

[-] 1 points by 53PercentDude (29) 2 years ago

I stand in solidarity with the primary purpose of the #OWS protesters. That message being that 99% of us are subjected to serve the 1% who control the wealth of the country, and for that matter, the wealth of the world.

Beyond that message, the purpose of the protests becomes very distorted and disorganized.

Some want the wealthy to be extorted and have them turn over their fortunes in the form of excessive taxation. This won’t happen because those people have the means to expatriate their wealth and they are the ones who create jobs in this country. Do we really want more jobs moving to China, India and Mexico?

Some want forgiveness of student loans. That just isn’t going to happen either because there’s signed contracts of indebtedness. You’ll have to pay off your student loan that you signed for, just like I had to do!

Some want free health care. Who’s going to pay for it? Obamacare will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. If it’s upheld, I guess that I will be paying for it along with others in the 53% who are currently paying taxes. I’m in the middle class, living from paycheck to paycheck and I’m not quite sure that I can shoulder any more burden than I am currently carrying!

Some have lost their homes due to foreclosure. There are numerous stories that I have read that are indeed heartbreaking. I bought a home that I could afford and I signed up for a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage. I have not leveraged the equity in my home with a second mortgage or any equity lines of credit; although in the past it has been tempting to do so. When I was laid off from my job in 2009, I then took any job that I could land so as to avoid the humiliation of collecting state unemployment benefits. I worked two jobs that paid not much more than minimum wage and did numerous side jobs to keep the boat afloat. Keeping the roof over the heads of my family was my first priority. Through the grace of God and through deliberate perseverance we have managed to stay current on the mortgage on our home.

Some just want a free ride without having to work at all. Again I ask, who’s expected to pay for their subsistence?

[-] 1 points by 53PercentDude (29) 2 years ago

As I stated before, I stand in solidarity with the primary message of #OWS but I feel that a concise and understandable message is not being communicated effectively. No one really understands what this movement is all about other than the protesters have it in for the wealthy! This isn’t a right-wing nor a left-wing movement. Republicans and Democrats all drink from the same corrupt trough. Today, Republicans vs. Democrats are like Coke vs. Pepsi. It’s all the same! They’re all scumbags!

Let’s keep it simple, remember KISS (keep it simple stupid). Let me suggest some topics that we should all be demanding from our elected officials and from the money masters, that have been, up until now, effective in silencing our collective voices. Here’s the simple topics that I suggest that will have a profound effect on us being able to implement the changes that we are looking for:

ONE - END THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole power to “coin money and regulate the value thereof”. This power is now currently held by private bankers. The “Federal Reserve” is as much “Federal’ as “Federal Express”. “END THE FED” should be the loudest message.

TWO - END THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX and the Internal Revenue Service.

We should adopt a value added tax (VAT) based on consumption OR a simple flat tax on income with no exemptions or deductions.

A VAT that exempts un-prepared food and medicine expenses would be fair to all. The more that you consume, the more that you pay! If you can afford a yacht, a private jet, a mansion on the beach and dining at a lavish restaurant, then pay the corresponding taxes. If you can only afford a picture of a yacht, an airline ticket to go and see Mom at Christmas, a studio apartment and an occasional meal at McDonalds, then your taxes would be much less.

A flat tax on income should be just that! No deductions, no exemptions, no matter how the income is derived. Everyone pays the same percentage and all corporations pay the same percentage. Anyone’s tax return should just be one page with no more than 25 or 30 pages of regulations.

Doing this would immediately eliminate lobbyists and corrupted politicians!

THREE - END ALL WARS AND FOREIGN OCCUPATIONS.

By doing this, just watch how soon we can begin to tackle our looming national debt. Our military should only be used to secure our borders and to protect us from aggressors who may try to breach our borders.

FOUR - IMPOSE TARRIFS ON PRODUCTS THAT ARE PRODUCED AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY U.S. CORPORATIONS USING LABOR OF OTHER COUNTRIES.

Just watch how quick the jobs will return to the United States from China, Mexico, India and other countries! “Made in the U.S.A.” should once again be the coveted standard that it used to be!

OWS, adopt these four points. Speak with one voice! Be clear and concise with respect to what you are demanding! Demanding these four points will solve other ancillary demands that you are voicing, but are coming across as static and incoherent whining!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

THE FEDERAL RESERVE

You are MISTAKEN in your assertion that the Federal Reserve Bank is private. Please READ Title 12 Chapter 3 of the US Code at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode12/usc_sup_01_12.html. ALSO consider reading the description at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-1552100128.html. I quote:

"Designed by Congress and subject to congressional authority, the Fed is a politically independent and financially self-sufficient federal agency... The Fed's primary policy-making group is the seven-member Board of Governors. Appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, members serve for one fourteen-year term only. A member who is appointed to fill an unexpired term may be appointed for an additional full term. From among the seven members, the Board's chairman and vice chairman are also appointed and confirmed by the president and the Senate for four-year terms."

On a side note, people who want to understand the Federal Reserve must ALSO understand the Bretton Woods agreements, how the objections of the economists to the dollar serving as the RESERVE CURRENCY were overruled, and how the resulting Triffin dilemma has contributed to the situation we (and the WORLD) find ourselves in today ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triffin_dilemma ).

TAXATION

Flawed as it IS, the current TAX system is an ELASTIC system that provides the ability to encourage savings and investment (PRODUCTION) and/or spending (CONSUMPTION). You advocate ELIMINATING the ability to BALANCE incentives, and that would be a MISTAKE. In addition a pure VAT tax as you advocate is REGRESSIVE insofar as the poor spend a LOT more of their income than the rich.

All this said, I AGREE we need to simplify the tax code. The code we HAVE is nothing but a historical collection of SPECIAL INTERESTS and there's not even a HINT of "Equal Protection under the Law" or "Due Process" to be found (see my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ ). I ALSO agree with a FLAT TAX applied equally to individuals AND corporations with ZERO deductions/credits/loop-holes etc, but we need to exempt the bottom 30% of wage earners (but NO MORE; we can't run a Democracy when a PLURALITY of the population pays NO taxes and can vote themselves whatever they want WITHOUT suffering even the SMALLEST cost).

WARS AND FOREIGN OCCUPATIONS

I hear you brother, HOWEVER, the USA is the worlds largest super-power and, thanks to our LEGACY CAPABILITIES developed in WW I, WW II, the Cold War, etc, we are the ONLY ones who can EFFECTIVELY project power WORLDWIDE.

Until such time as 100% of ALL people born in this world are less than PERFECT, there WILL be bullies on the playground who pick on the kids smaller than they. While we might WANT to stay out of the conflict, the fact is, we're often the ONLY ones who can step in and HELP. I find a MORAL IMPERATIVE to do so. We consume the VAST majority of world resources and CREATED the current world order. We have benefited GREATLY in this role, and I think it IMMORAL to not USE our wealth and power to HELP people. We HAVE made mistakes over our history, but BY AND LARGE, we have been a BENEVOLENT super-power. We have even fought for MUSLIMS being persecuted by CHRISTIANS, and poll after poll in Afghanistan and Iraq indicates the people think their life is BETTER now.

All the above being said, I would LOVE to see us CLARIFY the term "WAR" in the Constitution to mean "ANY action by the US Government that results in the deployment of ARMS for ANY REASON."

IMPOSE TARIFFS THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS OF U.S. CORPORATIONS

There are SO MANY things wrong with this idea, it's hard to even decide where to START a commentary. Let's just touch on two OBVIOUS problems...

First, by imposing tariffs on ONLY the US Corporations, you are making US companies less competitive. You would, for example, make computers made by Apple, Dell, and HP more expensive than computers made by Sony, Acer, etc. That doesn't seem too SMART to me.

Second, if you impose tariffs on imports ACROSS-THE-BOARD, you will HAMMER our RETAIL sector that provides many of a remaining JOBS. My wife and I surveyed four local retailers yesterday, and could NOT find a SINGLE product that said MADE IN THE USA. As a result, a broad tariff on imported goods will be tantamount to raising prices ACROSS-THE-BOARD. We better get some CHOICES on the shelf BEFORE we start taxing imports. This entails the CONSUMER find and BUY US PRODUCTS whenever they can. See my discussion at http://occupywallst.org/forum/inconvenient-truths-america/

I do NOT intend to INHIBIT your efforts to think of solutions, I'm ONLY providing you some feedback. PLEASE keep trying !

[-] 1 points by Noid (22) 2 years ago

What they really need an offical fourm where mods can be apointed.

[-] 1 points by since1982 (25) 2 years ago

Yes, this movement is just as much for the rich as it is for the poor. Whether it's from corporations or unions, money and politics should not mix.

[-] 1 points by Greentara (205) 2 years ago

Well written! Thank you!

[-] 1 points by KerryRawe (47) 2 years ago

You are exactly the type of "one percenter" that should be an example to the rest. Kudos for your sensible post.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I fear campaign finance reform will just be circumnavigate by money shuffling

as it always has been

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

In the proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

I argue for completely eliminating ALL campaign contributions and using a Federal Election Fund instead SPECIFICALLY to avoid the money-shuffling you describe.

I ALSO propose to ban ALL contributions and "perks" to ALL elected officials once in office.

[-] 1 points by ILikeDemocracy (66) 2 years ago

thanks for that refreshing, encouraging message.

I agree with what you have to say and am excited to see that from the perspective of a conservative, getting the money out is a favorite.

it is mine too. I think it is the pivot point from which everyone's particular issues will have a chance to be raised, debated, and negotiated based on one person, one vote.

let's get the money out... corporate money, union money, all of it... out!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

The richest 1% seem to take it for granted that social conservatives are all about preserving their place in the higherarchy, but I'm not so sure Jesus would have supported that position. He might have wanted the money changers thrown out of the temple, and I wouldn't be suprized if a lot of social conservatives agree with Him.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

If social conservatives find enough in common with our are aims to join us they are very welcome. But I haven't heard any great demand for the inclusion of members of the richest one percent. What we're talking about here is people who's net worth exceeds ten million - not a lot of bodies to swell the picket lines.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Oh wait, then I'm not a 1%'er after all ! I thought I only had to exceed $1 Million. Does that make me a 10%'er or something ? ;o)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

It doesn't make you part of the problem as far as I'm concerned. What we oppose are those who are amassing unprecidented fortunes! Billions of dollars - enough to rival the entire net worth of whole nations. I have nothing against people living well on the profits of hard work. But hedge funders making tens of thousands of millions of dollars, while millions are being evicted. There's a limit!

[-] 1 points by anotherone773 (734) from Carlyle, IL 2 years ago

All donations from any group must go. A corporation or a group of union lobbyists are no different. They still corrupt the system one way or another. And we need 0 corruption.

Also important to note, we are not against all 1%ers. Only the bad ones. If you earned your money in a positive and fair way most of us will not have a problem with you.

However if you stepped on others to climb the ladder of success or exploit others to continue your success then many will have a problem.

Otherwise welcome to the other side.

[-] 1 points by Gylliwynn (56) 2 years ago

If you want to bring liberals and conservatives together on this, which I think is a great goal to have, then you need to educate them a bit more on how our country got into this mess in a way that EVERYONE can understand. Please read this article that came out two days ago by an economist who articulates and offers a damn good, realistic solution to this confusion. The masses NEED to vote in the next presidential election and in order for them to be convinced we must have Obama sign a legal and binding contract stating he will repeal the nine economic measures listed in the article BEFORE the next election. Then send this out to everyone involved with OWS, even if you refuse to vote. The masses NEED to be educated about how this mess occurred so their causes can become more defined. http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-wall-street-movement-and-coming-demise-crony-capitalism/1318341474

[-] 1 points by workingmanblues (4) 2 years ago

Do you feel as if you deserve being in the 1% margin due to your own merits, or were you just dropped in the position with a golden spoon in your mouth?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sorry for the late response.... this just popped up in my notification queue after the "Error 503" fix !

My father got drunk and drowned when I was 1. My mother dropped out of high school, had her fist child at 16, developed mental problems and committed suicide at 40. I struggled for a good while then dropped out of high school and joined the military to learn a trade. I have no college degree, yet have ascended to to highest ranks of my profession where my peers all hold Masters and PhDs, and I have a couple of patents to boot. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents were immigrants from Scandinavia and they told me "we all start out as working slaves but with hard work and savings, we can buy our freedom." That advice worked well for me. I have put three kids through college without assistance or loans, all are doing well, and I will retire with an income over double the national average at age 55.

[-] 1 points by thomas888 (4) 2 years ago

They want you all to move your camp site.How about moving camp to another location.Is there any area grounds in the area more than one location you know places to camp not so close to down town?Where you all could perhaps get permission to camp at, like if it was a concert festival etc meeting place perhaps private land close by to relocate to?Sombody has to own some land around there thats on "We The People", the 99% side.Or are you all going to not comply and try to hold your ground?I would vote to relocate camp and regroup more will join in with you any way,will need more room a bigger camp site any way. Is there any area grounds in the area more than one location you know places to camp not so close to down town?Where you all could get permission to camp at, like if it was a consert etc meeting place perhaps private land close by to relocate to where its alright to put up tents and have campers brought in like a camp grounds,fair grounds perhaps.With utilities etc.

[-] 1 points by RussTNail (2) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Everyone else has already said everything, I just want to say good useful post. So many of these have turned into ridiculousness, thank you for taking this seriously. I support the idea to get ALL money out of politics. It's the way to go. Let's get it done guys.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Russ,

I have formulated a proposal that I hope captures the fact that this is a PATRIOTIC movement in the Grand Tradition of our Fore-Fathers. I think y'all can get EVERY AMERICAN behind this NOBEL goal.

See http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

[-] 1 points by ssassy (83) 2 years ago

You inspired me to post on this site. I have been a voyeur from day one, but not an active participant outside of making donations to the cause. It is extremely refreshing to hear that someone on the outside took the time to learn about this movement. The one thing I would add to your post is that both D's and R's collectively put us in this ditch. What I am hoping and fighting for most is a new beginning in American politics. This truly is a movement to benefit all Americans.

If the wealthy want to stop being demonized, they could start paying better wages. It is a choice, what is happening here. I don't care how much money Gates gives to charity. He builds his products in China. Build the middle class of this country! If the wealthy want to prove they are not with Wall St. and the government, create some jobs! I have a master's degree, seven years experience, two jobs and child support, and I can barely afford to put 200 away in a college fund for my son (which if things stay THIS way I'm sending him to trade school instead!), and 100 into a ROTH account in hopes that I might SOMEDAY be able to retire. I have NO savings, and about the only luxuries I have are getting my nails done and a gym membership! My rent is 50% of my main job's take-home pay, and I had to declare bankruptcy two years ago because of the housing bubble. I owned a condo that fell 110,000 in the red, it needed work done, I had no equity because I was mortgage poor and upside down, and the condo association kept raising the monthly fees. Skank of America, who bought out by Cuntrywide, WOULDN'T foreclose on me because my home was a 'toxic asset.' I tried to work with them for a year to find a solution, had managed to pay an extra 3000.00 in principal, and invested roughly 3000.00 on repairs when I bought it. In all, the three years I owned the condo, I invested roughly 65,000.00 to walk away with nothing. To add insult to injury, after paying 3500.00 to my lawyer, the BK court cleared me of my savings; a whopping 5500.00. I didn't live there rent free, either. I moved when I stopped paying because I believe in doing the right thing, and to live there for free would have been stealing to me. I remember how proud I was to buy that condo, despite the loan being written in language that said 50% of my income was an acceptable figure to pay for housing, as I believed I was living the American dream. Boy did I misunderstand the promised rewards of working hard! The dream is a nightmare for most of the 98%. The sad part is, I'm doing well in comparison to most. Please, tell your wealthy friends, the profit share of LABOR is at its lowest point in history. The wealthy become wealthy through capital investments, and that is their advantage. However, they stay wealthy through labor. It is a choice to exploit people. At what point does another billion dollars matter? If you have 5, will having 10 really change your everyday life?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree, the Democrats AND Republicans are just the same wolves in different clothing. Where in the COnsitution does it say we're a "TWO PARTY" system ? I make a proposal here http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ that would fund ANY candidate who collected 1 million signatures from registered voters. I think it's time we are allowed to hear a wider range of ideas. I also advocate getting ALL money out of the political system. Some say it can't be done, and they'd be right if we leave a LITTLE money in... folks will drive a truck through the legal openings. ZERO money is more enforceable than a LITTLE.

I'm not sure what to say about "corporations should pay better wages." In my experience, companies pay wages in direct proportion to one factor, and that's the relative scarcity of your skill set versus their need for that skill set. That's why I make so much in spite of my lack of a degree; I have worked very hard to develop a skill set that allows me to connect what I do directly to the companies profits, and I CONSTANTLY remind them of the business I generate for them. On an ironic note, the big financial corporations everyone hates are actually the BEST at sharing their record profits with their employees.

When folks here say "corporations are making record profits but wages have remained flat," they may be MISSING a HUGE factor in the equation. These days, MOST of those record profits are being made overseas. If I have a company with 1,000,000 employees worldwide, yet only 100,000 work in the USA, should ALL my worldwide profits be equally divided across my 100,000 USA workers ? Of course not. Watch out for this when you see people quoting statistics... corporate profits are from the companies' WORLD-WIDE operations while the WAGE figures are from the US Department of Labor... US employment only. Also note that our tax structure ENCOURAGES companies to keep profits earned overseas in their overseas operations rather than bring them home. This is why you hear folks in Congress talking about a tax cut to "repatriate profits of American corporations." Unfortunately, in today's climate, a "corporate tax cut" isn't going to fly, so those profits are going to stay overseas.

Even if America's corporations brought all their profits back to the USA, I'm not sure they would invest them in American jobs. Our jobs went overseas BECAUSE we Americans decided the BEST product is ALWAYS the cheapest one and buy on sticker price alone. This made Wallmart HUGE, forced airlines to eliminate peanuts and charge for bags, AND forced manufacturers to send their jobs overseas lest they be put out of business. The news about Solyndra, who received some large federal loans, is a case in point; they went bankrupt because they couldn't compete with the Chinese who are cranking out cheap solar panels by the zillions. We SERIOUSLY need consumers to think about the TOTAL COST of a foreign made product INCLUDING the lost jobs RATHER than buy based on the sticker price alone.

Your condo story makes me fuming mad. I think you understand that you made a mistake signing up for so much debt, and you're taking ownership of it. The way the bank and the "system" treated you, however, after you got in trouble was CRIMINAL. All I can say is that my heart goes out to you, and I hope the new Bureau of Consumer Protection will help prevent OTHERS from suffering through what you went through. It's just WRONG.

Yes, the rich get richer through capital investment. What you're forgetting is that, these days, the "labor" they employ is increasingly represented by computers and robots. I work in engineering, and you wouldn't BELIEVE the number of jobs I've seen disappear over the years thanks to computers (secretarial, technical publication, drafting, and even some low level design jobs). YOU'VE seen it too... computers answering phones, ATM's, on line banking, and even self-checkout stands at the supermarket, not to MENTION all the robots in manufacturing. This "slave labor" works for nothing but "food" (energy), and it's heavily "exploited" by the rich to GREAT profit. In my opinion, we have YET to fully understand the socio-economic impact of all this "computerized slave labor," but we better start thinking about it RIGHT NOW.

I feel your pain. Please remember, however, that the record profits of American corporations are INTERNATIONAL profits that are NOT the product of American labor, that much of the labor they "exploit" is actually computers and robots, that they are ENCOURAGED to keep their profits overseas by our tax code, and MOST OF ALL, that we CAN'T increase American employment if the PUBLIC keeps buying so darned many FOREIGN MADE products !

[-] 1 points by OldDucker (23) 2 years ago

As far as the FED goes, NONE of the 19th century banking panics were even close to as severe as the crashes caused by open market FED intervention. Then consider that the dollar, relative to it's 1913 equivalent, is worth 4 cents. This is a massive theft from the american people. The FED's dual mandate is to maintain employment and the value of the dollar. Are you going to tell me with a straight face that it's doing a good job at either?

[-] 1 points by HMSinnott (123) 2 years ago

Thank you for a thoughtful and well considered post. I agree, it does no good to demonize people, we should get the money out of politics and find a way to empower those with talent and vision to achieve success while giving the ordinary person an honest shake and an opportunity to succeed themselves.

For money out of politics, this is a good start: http://www.getmoneyout.com/

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I believe that money will become less and less affluent in election

as the masses realize anyone may publicize on the internet

[-] 1 points by barthw52 (41) 2 years ago

My opinion for the number one demand for OWS

GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS!!!

[-] 1 points by Argentina (178) from Puerto Madryn, Chubut 2 years ago

Cool, you have just WAKE UP yourself.... welcome to the real world

[-] 1 points by JeffCallahan (216) 2 years ago

OWS will not succeed unless the people who represent the movement start conducting themselves like professionals. Stop using fowl language, dress and talk like professionals.

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

I completely agree with no money in politics. In today's world, a person running for office has more free ways of reaching the people they wish to reach than ever before. Get money out - union and corporate.

But, I would like a lesson on the history of this nation's banking system. The Fed is a corrupt beast that benefits the elite and manipulates the country's economic system in what some would say with nefarious intent.

An example is allowing banks to borrow at near 0% (in the lie that they need it to lend out) and then letting these banks turn around and purchase US bonds and earn tax payer interest on it. Not only are they not lending to the people, as promised, they are bilking the system and using it against us.

I have a cursory understanding of the Fed. I was a finance major and worked in the finance industry. I know their stated purpose. Please explain to me how they aren't a negative.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Start with the Charter of the Federal Reserve in Title 12 Chapter 3 at http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title12/12tab_02.tpl

You might also look at the links in some of my other posts on the topic: http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84390

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84515

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84643

This one's a bit tounge-in-cheek, but if you're in finance, you might share my suprise that a POPULIST movement is advocating a TIGHT money policy !

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-87535

If you're in finance, you should ALSO be one of the FEW who understand the vaporous nature of money. The REAL economy is in the exchange of value. Money is just an abstraction used to expand the trade space (I don't have to find someone who has the dog I want who ALSO wants the cat I HAVE, I can simply "SELL" my cat and "BUY" the dog). Zillions of peoples LIVES depend on COMMERCE, so why on EARTH should it grind to a standstill just because we ran low on the TOKENS we use to conduct it ? An Elastic Money Supply insulates us from the problems that sometime arise when too many folks are holding onto tokens or there just isn't enough of them to support the amount of commerce being conducted. When this happens, we "print" some more tokens and put them into circulation. It has no impact on the REAL value of goods being exchanged, so it has little impact on the average "Joe," but it SCREWS folks who have ACCUMULATED a vast hoard of those tokens (the "value" of a token is transitory and temporal).

[-] 1 points by gtyper (477) from San Antonio, TX 2 years ago

Rico,

I understand what you're saying on commerce and to a point I agree. But when it is fiat money that isn't tied to anything, there is no inherent value. The system now allows for rigging and creation of money from nothing.

The Central Bank was pushed many times in our country's early history. And it was defeated. It the truth behind the system we have now is it was the platform of opposing candidates - but the system was developed by the same original framer. A player in the major banks.

What we have now allows us to print money to fund government folly. Wars that have no end. Programs that have no actual benefit. Etc. Etc.

I'll read your articles tomorrow. Right now, I'm exhausted. Pizza time!

[-] 1 points by htorres1107 (24) 2 years ago

Posts like these from conservatives are what I'm talking about! Kudos to Rico for keeping an open mind and getting his information first hand as opposed to getting it from the conservative/mainstream media echo chamber :)

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

"Finally, there are a select FEW who are attempting to paint the "rich" and the "banksters" the same way the Jews were painted by the Nazi's in order to marginalize a large segment of society."

I think you have a good point there.

"I am constantly having to remind folks that Bill Gates runs the largest charitable foundation in the history of the world and that he and Buffet have convinced 35 OTHER billionaires to give most of their wealth away as well !"

Their "wealth" is being used for the globalist agenda; depopulation. They make it sound good when they talk about vaccinations but many of those vaccinations are for sterilization and harming people's immune systems.

An example of how Bill Gates pitches this to people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WQtRI7A064

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OHMYGOSH ! Do you REALLY THINK the world can CONTINUE expanding it's population WITHOUT LIMIT ??? We're running out of RESOURCES already and are doing IRREPARABLE DAMAGE to the ENVIRONMENT by our SHEER NUMBERS !

If we can't get the people of the world to STOP MAKING SO MANY BABIES by simple appeal to their COMMON SENSE, then we're going to have to ENTICE THEM or MAKE THEM !

I say, "GO BILL, GO !"

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

You know,

Having watched the country of my parents modernize, and seeing the corresponding drop in fertility rates, I'm of the opinion that helping others get rich is a far more humane contraceptive and longer lasting population control.

But that's just me.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree. In fact, the stats say we don't even need to make them rich, we just need to send them to college. Even USC will do. ;o)

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

Humanity can tame the Earth and visit into the stars. No need for us to revert back to animals that have to die off when we don't find a green pasture. The universe is our home!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You're watching too much Sci-Fi dude. Until we get "warp drive", we won't be visiting any "stars" other then our own, and that's iffy even then at this point. There is ZERO scientific basis behind "warp drive," "transporters," "holodecks," or even "sub-space communication." I share your dream, but it's not really a very practical "OUT" for the Human Race. We better start taking care of EARTH, it's our only HOME for the foreseeable future.

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

Mars would be the first step for space colonization. It's not sci-fi, it's just been pushed to the side by the powers that be. If Kennedy had a full two-terms, we may have made it to Mars already!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm a big fan of space exploration. All I'm saying is we're gonna be on good 'ole Mother Earth for a LONG TIME, and we'd BETTER starting taking CARE of Her !

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

What do you think of this?

NAWAPA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTissXa48yg

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

We DID a lot of similar things to what is shown, and it wrecked more than a little havoc on the planet. It was understandable... we were at the PEAK of our engineering skills and had not yet AWAKENED to the fact that we live in a SYSTEM, and can't make such VAST changes without unintended and usually NEGATIVE consequences.

This is all VERY off topic, so I'll not respond on this thread any more.

Good tidings !

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

OK. Good night.

[-] 1 points by anonrez (237) 2 years ago

Thank you for your articulate and considerate post! Americans of all political stripes need to band together and get behind this cause - it's in our own self interest.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 2 years ago

Welcome to the revolution.

[-] 1 points by Bizinuez (120) from Raleigh, NC 2 years ago

I'm with you, Rico. There are many unions that do not represent their members much better (or at all better) than the corporations that we work for. Come on out. It's an ongoing conversation. Like thebeastchasingitstail said, I'm probably more pro-union than you, but there is room for this in our discussion.

Bring friends!

[-] 1 points by Riott (44) 2 years ago

Glad you took time to see the 'universal' thought that brought most of us here. Some are still taking the 99% vrs 1% way to literally. It's more of a mind-set. What this movement needs MOST of all is a narrow, focused message and a leader to represent it. Preferably, somebody running for presidency so that these voices will be represented.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I'm very interested in this post, because from your level of knowledge you sound as though you actually are part of the one percent, not just one of the wannabbes we hear so much from.

I have mixed feelings about your message. The answer is not simply a matter of analysis, although it may not seem that way to you. There are millions of Americans suffering. Suffering is something you may not have much expierence of, but it makes people angry. Those are facts as pertanent as whether the federal reserve is or is not evil.

There are billions of people in the world suffering, while some control fortunes so large they could spend a million dollars a day and never run out of money. That is injustice, sir, and you're simply wanting the indignation of those people to go away, without redress of grievances, is just as unrealistic as you believe some of their demands to be.

Money out of politics alone will not solve the problem. The corporate charter is organized crime and needs to be abolished - to be replaced by a genuine free market. The American system is currently as far from a free market as you could get, short of living under Stalin. We have grievances, sir, and we will see them addressed. The last ten years have been an orgy of corporate corruption and we are fed up. We are willing to die to see this system fundamentally reformed. Furthermore, those guilty of crimes need to be held accountable in a court of justice, another system now corrupt to the core in this country. An independent legal system must be restored to hold those gulity of corporate crime accountable.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the corporate system, through it's inflexible drive toward no human benefit other than profit has become an insurmountable obstacle to solving dire global problems that threaten the very survival of humanity, such as global warming. No sir, the status quo cannot be allowed to go on until it destroys us all.

If all this sits well with you, then as far as I'm concerned you're welcome aboard.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Suffering, when the result of ones own actions, is a good thing insofar as the person lives to learn from his mistakes. It's like the pain that teaches us not to put our hand into fire.

Let's contain the discussion to the USA for now rather than attempt to fix the whole world's problems. First, let's put some meat behind the statement "we are suffering" using the 2010 census data.

Our median / mean household income is $50,046 / $68,259, our median / mean family income is $60,609 / $79,338, and 84.5% of us have health insurance ( http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_DP03&prodType=table )

65.1% of us own our homes while 34.9% rent. The median value of owner-occupied residences is $179,000, down from a peak of $197,500 in 2008 (about 10% loss in value due to the melt-down). Of the owner occupied homes, only 67.8% have a mortgage, and their median monthly cost is $1496 per month ($17952 per year). 32.2% of owner occupied homes are owned free and clear with a median monthly cost of $432 ($5184 per year). The 34.9% of us that rent incur a median month cost of $855 ($10,200 per year). ( http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_CP04&prodType=table )

Compare those income levels to those housing expenses (and note the vast majority of Americans DO in fact have health insurance). The large gap between income and housing expenses explains how we're buying so MANY of these neat consumer gadgets (smart phones, iPads, etc). Does ANYONE find it ironic that the market capitalization of Apple (who makes toys that people CHOOSE to buy) is larger than that of Exxon (who provides energy that people MUST buy) ? America is hardly suffering en-mass, particularly in comparison to the standard of living enjoyed by the bulk of the world !

America has a significant employment issue, and we have recently learned that our financial system has evolved so quickly that our existing regulatory framework is inadequate. THESE are the problems that need to be fixed.

The employment issue is largely of OUR OWN MAKING. We the People are the ones who racked up record levels of debt buying products from China because they seemed cheap. Unfortunately, nobody added the inevitable SOCIAL COST of buying so many foreign products when they decide to buy the "cheaper" product. The result is that we make very little in the US anymore. Nobody MADE us buy all these Chinese products using our Visa cards, we did it of our own accord with a notable lack of any social conscience.

As far as the banking system goes, we've seen upheaval in the financial and political world with each new advance in telecommunications technology which extends the reach and nature of both. Financially, we have accelerated the velocity of money (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocity_of_money) beyond anyone's imagination and created all sorts of new financial instruments that have outpaced our ability to monitor and regulate what's going on. A great point example is the rating agencies who were so overwhelmed with instruments flowing through the door that they were using computer algorithms and ended up rubber-stamping all those mortgage tranches "AAA". Their algorithms were obviously flawed, but who on EARTH (literally) was CHECKING that ?

I have some fixes in mind, but this post is already too long ;o)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've head all that before ad-nauseum. It's your mistake to be born Black in Mississippi for example. If we all had equal opportunity we wouldn't be out here. Find a new line for a change. This one is both boring and chilling in it's lack of empathy.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Don't like a few INCONVENIENT TRUTHS and facts, I see.

We have problems that need to be fixed, but your OVERLY DRAMATIC characterizations are good for NOTHING but fueling EXTREMISM which I suppose is your objective. We need some fixes, but we DON'T NEED to DISCARD the ENTIRE SYSTEM.

In my opinion, you and yours DISCREDIT this movement.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

On the contrary, it is you that are the extrmist if you think the current system id basically Okay. It may be okay for you, but there are a lot of us uot here who disagree with that assessment. Clearly the plan here is to watter down the message until it can be contained within "the bounds of thinkable thought" that are dictated by the satus quo, and eventually made to fit into the existing system, which is itself extremism of the highest order. The earth can no longer support the dominion of your greed and lies! You, sir, are the extremist!

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Rico has actually been open minded enough to engage in conversation, find common ground, and stated environmental concern. He also agreed to set aside discussion of divisive disagreements until some later date. I am personally impressed and I hope you can embrace his support. I am not a troll, or Rico's friend. We had one discussion that stayed very calm, and ended on a point of agreement. Name calling does nothing to garner support or move the discussion forward.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I didn't say everything is OK, I very SPECIFICALLY said there are some problems that need to be fixed. All I did was deflate some of extremist rhetoric using facts, a form of information for which you clearly have no regard.

Anyway, don't let me slow you down.. Let's see what you can change with unsubstantiated opinion and hyperbole !

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Sir, you know nothing about me. It would be nearly impossible to overstate the mess this system, as it is, has brought us to. I respect your opinion, but you must get it out of your mind that people are not impassioned. You seem to think that passion has no place in the equation, when in politics it's the whole equation.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Passion was INDEED the whole equation... under the 3rd Reich.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

And PLEASE, if you MUST go on wasting OUR time with THESE posts, kindly STOP emphasizing every PREDICTABLE opinion with CAPITOL letters as IF that makes your TIRESOME distribes somehow eloquent.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

And in the civil rights movement, and the protestant reformation, and every other political movement of note. I think you may be projecting when the Thid Reich comes so easily to mind. By the way; for a hard working, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, self proclaimed 1%er, you sure seem to have a lot of leisure time on your hands. Could that just be some kind of front?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Touche! You're right. I have this open in a little window on a second monitor, and I spent so much time responding, I had to work until 2:00 AM just to get stuff done ! I gotta stop letting this distract me so much or I'm gonna get sick!

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 2 years ago

The media is portraying the occupy wall street protesters as smelly hippies or people without a clue. So thats what I thought too. Then, I happened to see a copy of this program on Youtube. I suggest that anyone seeing this link watch it, because it convinced me, a die hard conversative and tea-party member, to be here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU&feature=relmfu

I watched that start to finish. Now I get it and Im here and part of this. Essentially, occupy wall street and the tea party are angry about the same things but coming at the them from two different directions. Now I know Im not just a tea partyist, but also an occupier of wall street. And I think its the method of the occupy wall street protesters that will make more difference. Please watch as I did, if you aren't sure what lead to this.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 2 years ago

With respect to your comments on the FED I think the best description of the FED is as a monitoring system setup by people who trust neither banks nor politicians. And I will grant you that the initial purpose of the FED, like the SEC, was laudable. The goal being to prevent the disastrous bank collapses that characterized early American banking and ensure that a single monetary currency facilitated national transactions. The problem is regulatory capture.

As one Wall Streeter recently said:
“For Washington to not demand anything when it saved us, even stuff that we know is for our long-term good, was one of the stupidest moves in modern times … I feel like I should go over and hug Tim. It’s a shame we can’t pay him, ’cause that’s a guy who really earned a big-time bonus.” See: http://politics.salon.com/2011/09/21/ron_suskind_confidence_men/singleton/ The last few chairmen of the FED have done, in my opinion, more for Wall Street than any other and it seems done little to actually prevent the kind of speculative damage that the FED was setup to control. Greenspan was in favor of revoking Glass-Steagall and he, Paulson, and Geither have all lobbied hard against any of the rigid oversight that is necessary to avoid the kinds of damage we have seen.

So in that sense I have sympathy for those who say "Eliminate the Fed" as these days it seems to be the problem not the solution.

[-] 1 points by PeoplehaveDNA (305) 2 years ago

Wait I read you wrong the Fed needs to be at least audited!!!! Whether for our internal gov't departments, Congress and the Treasury. Secondly you got to question why the fed is not nationalized and enjoys the status of a private organization that prints the US's money and puts the US further into debt so easily. Since 1913 the money has been printed by the FED and controlled by the FED in secret not supervised by any part of our government. To have a complete secretive central bank where you don't even know who owns this bank or how much money is being printed or out there, and how much inflation is out there is insanity and extremely dangerous!!!! I understand nervousness about the End the Feder crowd but I am telling you that the Fed is extremely dangerous for this country unless it is nationalized, soon we are in trouble. Bernake has no idea what he is doing look up Fed partial audit 16 trillion then you will know why people are pushing soo hard for this. The constitution says that Congress can coin money let that extend to the fiat currency. Nationalize the Fed or end it already but don't forget that it is a foe.

[-] 1 points by Idaltu (662) 2 years ago

Maybe some of the money that changes hands in order to buy politicians can be stopped with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act.

[-] 1 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok. thats cool. but it does not address the disparity built into a fixed wage labor market and an economic structure that cannot exist without a floating currency. if you are really in support you need to address why everybody else gets to adjust for inflation on a day to day basis but labor cannot, and you take the profits of that gap. can you address that??

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

There is no way to address it, it's built into the system. These days, prices can be changed with the stroke of a keyboard. Labor prices take longer. In general, however, wages DO follow inflation (and deflation). You're probably correct that business ends up getting to profit from all this, but not permanently, and I can't think of any way to change that other than to regulate prices and wages directly. That's been tried a number of times, and it has failed MISERABLY every single time.

Nobody, including me, has ever said our Capitalist system is perfect. Democracy isn't perfect either. We try to fix the shortcomings where we can, but both have some inherent flaws that we can't realistically address without destroying that which we're trying to improve. Capitalist Democracy isn't perfect, but if you look at the standard of living it has created, it's done pretty well, and there's nothing better out there (yet).

[-] 1 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok. thats cool. but it does not address the disparity built into a fixed wage labor market and an economic structure that cannot exist without a floating currency. if you are really in support you need to address why everybody else gets to adjust for inflation on a day to day basis but labor cannot, and you take the profits of that gap. can you address that?

[-] 1 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok. thats cool. but it does not address the disparity built into a fixed wage labor market and an economic structure that cannot exist without a floating currency. if you are really in support you need to address why everybody else gets to adjust for inflation on a day to day basis but labor cannot, and you take the profits of that gap. can you address that?

[-] 1 points by RichardGates (1529) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

ok. thats cool. but it does not address the disparity built into a fixed wage labor market and an economic structure that cannot exist without a floating currency. if you are really in support you need to address why everybody else gets to adjust for inflation on a day to day basis but labor cannot, and you take the profits of that gap. can you address that?

[-] 1 points by Poplicola (125) from Jersey City, NJ 2 years ago

This isn't an attack on the rich. There is nothing wrong with being rich. There is a problem with being rich and stealing from the poor. There is a problem with few people controlling the wealth, and to that end there is a problem when those who control the wealth are not helping their country and society progress.

David Walker, former US Comptroller General and chief of the GAO, warned before the 2004 election that if large economic changes were not made, by 2009 the United States and its taxpayers would not be able to afford the interest payments on the national debt. A study authorized by the US Treasury in 2001 found that in order to keep servicing the debt at its current rate of growth, by 2013 income taxes would need to be raised to 65%. If the United States cannot afford to pay the interest on its debts, that would be the final stage of economic collapse and hence result in a total textbook bankruptcy. The systematic crisis would in turn spread to the rest of the world.

How did this happen? Why is the US national debt $14,819,350,000+? Of the 203 countries in the world today, only four (!) do not owe others money. The collective external debt of all the governments in the world is now above 40 trillion dollars and this number doesn’t include the massive about of household debt in each country.

The whole world is basically bankrupt. But how? How can the world as a whole owe money to itself? Obviously, it’s all nonsense. There is no such thing as ‘money’. There are only planetary resources, human labor and human ingenuity. The monetary system regulated by Federal Reserve is nothing more than a game… and an outdated and dysfunctional one at that. Those in positions of social power alter the rules of the game, at will. The nature of those rules is guided by the same competitive, distorted mentalities that are used in everyday “monetary” life, only this time the game is rigged at its root to favor those who run the show. For example, if you have 1 million dollars and put it into a CD at 5% interest, you are going to generate $50,000 a year simply for that deposit. You are making money off of money itself… paper being made from other paper … nothing more - no invention - no contribution to society – no nothing. That being denoted, if you are a lower to middle class person, who is limited in funds, and must get interest based loans to buy your home or use credit cards, then you are paying interest to the bank, which the bank is then using, in theory, to pay the person’s return with the 5% CD! Not only is this equation outrageously offensive due to the use of usury (interest) to ‘steal from the poor and give to the rich’, but it also perpetuates class stratification by its very design, keeping the lower classes poor, under the constant burden of debt, while keeping the upper classes rich, with the means to turn excess money into more money, with no labor. That reality aside, there are other games in the system which have worked for decades, but are just now starting to bloom into the inevitable mathematic disasters that should have been anticipated 100 years ago. The point is, our system is broken. Simple policy change will not solve our debt problem. We need to alter the governmental paradigm if we wish to repay our debt. We need to end the Federal Reserve Board.

This is not a liberal or conservative issue. This is a matter of upholding the Constitution. Congress gave over the power of the purse in 1913 to a quasi-public-private bank called the Federal Reserve which manipulates global currencies. This is wholeheartedly unconstitutional, and at this point it's become immoral.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Take a look at the chart titled "Average Household Income" located at http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph . Notice that the average annual income of the non-rich did not decline as a result of the rich increasing their wealth. The rich didn't "TAKE" that wealth from anywhere, they CREATED it.

Take a look at the productivity graph at the bottom of http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/01/a_graph_im_trying_to_understan.html and you'll get a hint at ONE way that the extra wealth was created. Notice the productivity and wages curve start to diverge at the very point in history when computers and robotics entered the scene. This is a classic result of CAPITAL INVESTMENT, a key role of the investor. This ability to increase productivity without having to pay more is what makes products cheap, and we all reap the benefit of cheaper products.

ANOTHER way to create wealth is by STARTING businesses and INVENTING new products. Apple serves as a VERY good example of a company that has created ENORMOUS wealth simply by the invention of products people want to buy. Note their market capitalization is up there by Exxon !

If you want to understand the Federal Reserve in today's global economy, you MUST expand your scope of knowledge. See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84390 but ALSO please consider the CAUTION I mention here http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84643

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

I agree that the value of human labor was affected by advances in robotics, however, you need to expand the view to include the impact of inflation on the value of earnings and the cost of living, and compare the scales of pay. I think the bottom fell out for the middle class when Clinton signed the Bush negotiated NAFTA. Prior to that we survived the introduction of assembly lines and robotics because business still needed people to work in the US.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree that "Free Trade" by exposing us to cheap products from countries that do NOT share our standards of business (labor, pollution, etc) was and remains a sham. Sometime back, I used to advocate we put a "standard of living" tax on imports based on the economic conditions and business standards of their country vs ours. We could then give that money to organizations in the selling country to help ELEVATE them to our standards. I'm not sure how this would work, but at least we'd be pulling the world UP to our standards rather than dragging OURSELVES down to theirs just to keep some jobs !

On a related note, my wife and I went out this weekend with the SPECIFIC intent of trying to find some products made in the USA. We visited four nationally known retailers, searched the isles, and could find nothing made in the USA. We even ASKED folks in the store to show us one thing in the store made in the USA. They just looked at us with blank stares.

It would be AWESOME if we could take a page from the Women's Movement of the 70's and burn PILES of foreign made cell phones instead of bras (I only have ONE bra, and I'm not burning it ;o). Unfortunately, we NEED these devices now, and we don't have any CHOICE but to buy them from off-shore. I was thinking maybe, just maybe, we could get Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Google (who made the Android code many of us use) and Apple to PLEASE make a US Phone. We'd have to let them know we'd be willing to pay a little more, but it would perhaps they'd "join the cause" and we'd have a start ? After that, we could do the same thing with computers and TVs ? Who knows, maybe clothes would happen next ?

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Try to hook up with a 100 mile food group near you to start. Some areas have co-ops that deliver meat and veggies from local farms. Let me tell you, I went to an Amish store and bought a chicken for soup...there was almost no fat and the taste was sublime...haven't had soup like that since I was a kid and we had our own chickens. It was slightly higher in price than a grocery store chicken, but considering there was less waste in the form of fat, it was probably very close.

I was on a business trip a couple of years ago and wanted some unique local items as gifts for family and friends... Every trinket in every shop was imported from china. I ended up getting a locally made musical instrument, and postcards made by a local photographer.

I go to the salvation army or a garage sales to buy used American made dishes and cookware rather than paying for anything made in China. I simply do not trust the quality of their metals, ceramics, or glass for things that touch my food. You can still find furniture made in the US, though I don't know about the fabrics. Go to craft fairs and buy locally produced items. If we support the endeavors of our neighbors, it keeps our local money in our communities. And always look for that made in the US label when you're shopping. No, we don't always have a choice, but exorcise it when it is there...

[-] 1 points by sewen (154) 2 years ago

If you can get past the lady with the gravel these are pretty good videos: David Walker (1/25/10) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnzOo7Dvk6Q

I.O.U.S.A. -- One Nation. Under Debt: http://www.just-gov.com/national-debt/ (half way down page)

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 2 years ago

Agreed, it is the system, and not any people (nor any specific people), which is the problem, but we need a comprehensive strategy that implements all our demands at the same time, and although I'm all in favor of taking down today's ineffective and inefficient Top 10% Management SYSTEM of Business & Government, there's only one way to do it – by fighting bankers as bankers ourselves. Consequently, I have posted a 1-page Summary of the Strategic Legal Policies, Organizational Operating Structures, and Tactical Investment Procedures necessary to do this at:

http://getsatisfaction.com/americanselect/topics/on_strategic_legal_policy_organizational_operational_structures_tactical_investment_procedures

Join

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/StrategicInternationalSystems/

if you want to be 1 of 100,000 people needed to support a Presidential Candidate – myself – at AmericansElect.org in support of the above bank-focused platform.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

This movement will attract and should definitely eject the drum beating, 20 something University student White male scape goaters, Capitialism= evil loonie toonie brigade and Classical Socialism apologists. In other words, the inverse loonies of the loonies the Tea Party attracted. lol [BTW, left wing University students, Communism= evil, for real, not just in a published study conducted at Columbia University, by your pseudo- Socialist professors, ok? =) I attended a Columbia University Program, where it was presented, through a book, handed out in class, that the White middle class was dominant and privileged ,in US society, maintaining privilege and dominance though explicit and implicit codes of communication. In other words, the White middle class, not billionaires or millionaire politicians, run the US and the White middle class is responsible for all the problems in the country, not the people actually running the country....Yeah, right....uh, huh] That pointed out, this movement does attract a diverse crowd; in terms of sociological definitions of race, class, religion, by perhaps most importantly, in thought and idea.

This movement points out the devastation and poverty caused by Wall Street and Corporate America, but surely we all played our part in the decline of the USA. Institutional investment companies managed money for unions and invested that money in activities that destroyed our jobs and activities that grew foreign markets. We all purchased Chinese goods, did we not? MBAs, like me, but not me personally, didn't lift a finger when factory jobs went abroad, right?

Even though I did not make the decisions to send the jobs abroad, I would have done the same exact thing, faced with the same decisions and facts, seen and faced by US Execs; seeing that the American people didn't care, in the least, where a product was made, so long as the price went down, so long as teachers unions could make money, through institutional investment companies. Knife goes in, jobs go out, so long as it is not me and my family is ok. This sound familiar? So we all played a role or potentially would have, given the opportunity, in causing our problems. It is just that Wall Street and CEOs managed to make a lot of money, through this and we ended up screwed.

Now, it is of the essence that we do create a plan to create diverse commercial enterprises, to create high paying careers, we need to get the birth rate of the USA up and immigrants on our shores. [In order to ensure that MBAs can sustain the benefits from efficiencies and innovations, weather the slings of competition and best optimize shareholder value from activities within our National market. In order words, U.S. population growth= my best chance to live up to my fiduciary duty, while making lie better for everyone investing in the USA.. =) ]

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wow ! I just now found your excellent post ! We are of like mind.

I am amazed at how few people understand just how much power they HAVE to shape the capitalist system by their simple choices. The most hopeful thing I've seen from this movement thus far is the campaign to move money from big banks to credit unions. I am hopeful NOT because I hate big banks, but because THIS is how people exercise their power over a capitalist system, and some seem to finally "get it." See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ and let me know if we really agree as much as I suspect.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

Hi Rico. I have to admit, I did not think that Federal Credit Unions would be all that I was told, but I can't believe how much better Federal Credit Unions treat me. When I get my career going, I am going to increase my dealings with my local Federal Credit Union and I really appreciate how I am treated. I am going to go off of the OWS web site now, but I am going to read thorough your post tomorrow.Even if we don't agree on all things, it is a privilege to read what you have to think and I am sure that I will be better off for understanding your perspective. S! MJ

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep... I'm 100% credit union and have been for decades. Note I am ALSO a lender on Prosper.com, so I'm a bit of a small bank myself ;o)

[-] 1 points by enough (589) 2 years ago

Thank you, Mr. One Percenter, for your support. You may want to take a look at this short article about the Federal Reserve and its deleterious impact on Main Street Americans. We do not need a stealth plutocracy in this country.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/triumph-of-the-plutocrats/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm consistently amazed at how often folks think a pointer to an opinion that agrees with them actually serves as a citation or reference in a rational discussion. Is that what they're teaching in college these days? I sure hope not!

If you'd like, I can post some links that "prove" aliens occupied the leadership positions around the world shortly after the events at Roswell.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Just read the headlines out of the EU. The fate of countries is being decided by which central banker will own them. Wake up!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wow, THAT'S an interesting interpretation of the Euro-Zone debt crisis !

How EXACTLY do you think they got INTO the position of being so far in debt ? Do you think MAYBE, just MAYBE, the Greeks spent more than they could afford and have an abysmal record of collecting their own taxes to boot ?

Is it POSSIBLE that MAYBE in joining the Euro-Zone and SACRIFICING control over their own currency that SOME of these countries made a MISTAKE ? If Greece was still on the Drachma, they would simply use their OWN Central Bank to print the money and pay off the debtors. This is the traditional method used throughout history, and before all you ANTI-FED guys jump in, I'd like you to note how this BENEFITS the citizens of Greece engaged in LOCAL commerce. Is it a WONDER that Britain, one of the nations with the MOST banking experience, did NOT adopt the Euro and retained sovereign control of it's currency?

Also recall that ALL of these "bail-out" discussions in Europe include a VERY stiff "haircut" for the investors who bought the bonds. The "RICH" will be losing a LOT of money in this deal, and their ONLY crime was lending money to countries like Greece who now declare they can't afford to pay it back. The cost of all those nifty BENEFITS the Greek people voted themselves is now being renegotiated ex-post-facto. That's a pretty sweet deal, no ?

Note, by the way, I PERSONALLY own some funds that own Greek debt, and I AM losing money (though not much... I've kept MOST of my investments in US companies and never bought into the "overseas investing" trend to deeply).

Finally, there's a VERY wise adage in the business that says "Borrow a Million, and the Bank owns ME. Borrow a Billion, and I own THEM." The Banks are less in control of the situation than you seem to think; they're hoping to get SOME portion of what they loaned back. The FULL amount went off the table on day one.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

in answer to your questions:

Overspending (because they could borrow). Yes. Yes. Yes. I disagree, it robs them, it doesn't benefit them. Yes. No, it's not a sweet deal. The creditors will attempt to impose 'austerity', and it will get ugly. Greece is going to default. Agree with the rest of what you said.

The Greeks have had the value of their economy spent out from under them by their government, and now they are being put into perpetual debt servitude, and now that servitude will be dictated by their creditors. They would have been better off never joining the EU and giving up their sovereignty by losing control of their currency, I know you agree on this, and that is why England never did it.

Fiat money allows governments to borrow from central banks and put the debt on the heads of its citizens. Using debt for money instead of an asset silently destroys property rights in money.

The same thing has been done to the U.S. The same fate awaits. It is inevitable now. Things are going to get ugly here, too. The entire banking system is upside down somewhere around ten times the nominal value of all assets on earth. Over a Quadrillion in 'toxic derivatives' are still being held at book value by banks all over the world. The banks are walking a tightrope without a balance pole. Erase it all by creating more fiat to make it all just go away, and the true value of the counterfeit is revealed, so the system collapses because the 'con' part of the con game is blown. All they can do right now is 'mark to fantasy', pretend everything is all right, and hope none of them experiences a run on their zillion-to-one overleveraged reserves.

And likely, when it does crash, we'll get a global reset.

In the meantime, the economy of the world is wrecked, with all the follow-on effects that has on societies. People's lives wrecked, careers gone, savings gone, families broken. Historically, governments give their citizens something a lot more immediate to be scared of, to prevent them from burning the capitols and stringing them from lamp poles. War. Lots and lots of war.

We can stop it. But not with more paper money and more debt.

It's not my debt. And I'm not paying it.

It might not be a good idea to be too heavily invested in government bonds. Bond is the root word for bondage. As people wake up, they are going to make the same declaration I did above. They are going to repudiate this odious debt. They will not pay it.

If you have wealth, and you see this coming, it might be a good idea to stash some precious metals and tradeable items, and have an escape route to an area far from any big city.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

LOL ! Re: "bond" vs "bondage" I LIKE that !

As for stashing my wealth, I'm OK, come what will.

Many folks on this site may not like this statement, but I'll say it anyway... "I'm a Christian, and I fear not for my mortal being. Life is a Gift of contrast replete with love and hate, suffering and joy, and success and failure, but it has no meaning beyond the experience it provides. There is Eternal Life waiting for all."

I know, I know, it's all "superstitious" sounding and all, but my Faith gives me Hope and let's me endure my burdens, such as they are, without getting too caught up in them.

I'll be OK. Some change will do me good ;o)

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Well thank you for taking the time to reply.

[-] 1 points by NachoCheese (268) 2 years ago

I think his point regarding the fed IMO is that it as a point is too divisive for a moniker as large as "the 99%" and therefore should be left as a "we can respectfully disagree" and instead focus on issues that we can find agreement on.

[-] 0 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

I understand the point. But the money issue trumps everything else. Leave it, and all the Pandora's box problems come right back.

I don't expect this issue to become one of 'the demands'. I'm trying to push the awareness factor past the 20% mark, after which it will take on a social power all its own.

I've known about this issue for 20 years, got stacks of economics books about it, and I never thought I'd see the day when this issue would get public attention, it was buried so deep. The internet has broken the matrix.

In the past, the mob would get angry and be stampeded by some charlatan, and always be conned into demanding a change that left them worse off, maybe dead. This time, maybe it will be different. The paper money printers have done a pretty good job of convincing everyone how badly we need them to print money and loan it to us at interest, while keeping their operations secret. When you look at it on the face of it, it's just plain absurd. Here we are in so much debt that we can never pay it, our younger generation's prospects for a prosperous future have been utterly destroyed by it, and we owe it to .... the PRINTER?

I'm just trying to point the way. The propaganda machines are in full production mode, trying to divert attention away from the cause, and the cure. The internet has blown away the restrictions on information, and hopefully we can come out of this with a chance at freedom and prosperity.

Each person I can get to watch Money As Debt for free on google, is a triumph. The word is spreading. Let's hope it's not too late. Peoples' lives are being destroyed by this, and it's appalling what a simple ruse it really is. It's so absurd most people don't believe it at first. You might as well be telling them Santa Claus doesn't exist!

[-] 2 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Money as Debt is a very very good educational video. I've seen it recommended by a lot of economists in Universities. I just posted it here as an internet teach in resource.

And yes, I agree fully, it's at the root of the economic crisis, and even more magnified now with the events unfolding in Europe.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/internet-teach-in-money-as-debt-by-paul-grignon/

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Thanks!

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Your welcome. By the way, if you look a couple of posts above, I posited the concept in as simple terms as possible. One of the things that has frustrated me was how to explain our debt based monetary system in a way that anyone can understand. So I came up with the following riddle. Obviously, I've grossly oversimplified a very complex system, but I wanted to be able to teach the essence of it. Let me know what you think of the riddle.


Imagine you have a cup. This represents the Economy. Imagine you have a pitcher of water. This represents the Federal Reserve.

You pour 1000 units of water into the cup. This represents supplying the economy with money. You demand 1100 units of water back. The 100 units of water is interest.

Tell me how can the cup return 100 units of water back (interest), when only 1000 units of water was put in.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Thats probably not right, is it?!!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I'm pretty average intelligence I would say. I followed your riddle. It made me think but not overly. My conclusion is that the interest would never be repaid. It would have to be a zero interest loan and the 100 would have to be forgone.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Yeah, I saw that. To explain that the interest money has to be borrowed into existence with yet more interest too, meaning that literally it can never be paid back.

I'm not sure the other person caught on, though.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Maybe it's still too difficult? Or maybe I'm just an afficionado of riddles. I used riddles back when I was a science teacher to stimulate my students to think out of the box.

Anyway, if you've got any analogies that would work as a teaching tool, I'm all eyes.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

I don't know how you could simplify it any more than that.

The Money As Debt video is 45 minutes long, and its the most simplified explanation of how our money system works that I've ever seen. Though I strenuously disagree with their proposal at the end. Still, it's a whole lot better than a dry economics textbook. It gets the point across to people that are allergic to reading.

The word is getting out. Such a simple ruse, and for over a century not one in a thousand knew how it worked. Simply amazing.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

You can thank the internet for that. :)

I'm personally looking forward to the future. Irrespective of what's happening, financial crisis wise, etc, these are the trends I keep seeing over and over and over again that are taking heart. Buckminster Fuller said it best, that to spot a future trend, to see if it's decentralized, and takes place in the background.

Decentralization of Information - internet hyperaccelerated it from indy presses, book publishers, cable TV and radio

Decentralization of software - Open source movement

Decentralization of hardware - Open hardware movement

Decentralization of manufacturing - Maker movement

Decentralization of food - Guerilla gardening movement, local farms movement

All we really have left is decentralization of government, and the biggest kahuna of all, of money. If bitcoin, the Ithaca hours system, community currency movements are any indication, all crisises in the future are only going to hyperaccelerate this.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Thanks for your bright outlook! I agree, but the unwinding of the central controllers' fear-based memes along with events spinning out of their control appears to be pushing them into a panic move.

Don't forget that almost every single time in the past when the money system neared collapse and the people became agitated, government stepped in and gave them something more immediate to grab their attention; WAR. Another alternative is to impoverish the people to the point where they will beg to be saved, and they will have a nice handy solution all prepared and ready to go.

So the race is on. If enough people are wise to the game, the people won't stand for it. There are plenty of bad examples in history to tell us what might happen if we lose the race.

Have you ever stopped by The Daily Bell?

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well, regarding war, I'm taking a bet. My bet is it won't be made possible. I actually put up an essay on my analysis of the European crisis and it's impact on us. It's actually very scary. BUT, after you go through it, you'll see why I don't think war is going to be possible anymore.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/yall-are-going-to-get-blindsided-youve-been-warned/

I could be/probably am wrong, BUT I'm betting that a full credit decimation from a derivatives black hole will do a lot to stop that possibility. Course, there is a window, which is any attempt to do war MUST be done before the collapse of the derivatives market. I'd say that's about 6 months.

Let me know what you think. I experienced a catastrophic economic collapse when I was in ARgentina 10 years ago. That's what got me started in investigating the banking and financial system, resulting in my study of the Federal Reserve.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

WOW!

I agree with every word of that essay, 100%.

I also agree with the probability of timing on war. War is also made slightly less likely because the internet is blowing up the fear-mongering hatred of Muslims, an awful lot of people aren't buying it and they're tired of all this stupid killing already. And then there is the nuclear risk, which also helps damp down the chickenhawks a little.

In your essay, the only other point I would have raised is that the $1Quadrillion in derivatives is somewhere near ten times the value of every asset on the globe. You know, just to illustrate to people how hopelessly insolvent the entire banking system is. I've been saying, sure it's all just numbers, they could wave a magic wand and just disappear it like they did with the S&L crash; but this time the numbers are so big that they would blow their con, people would realize they've been working for toilet paper, and it would be game over. So, they are trying to paper it over slowly, allowed all the banks to mark their assets at imaginary values, and hope nobody panics.

Another aspect of this is that, besides the widespread falsification of foreclosure documents (another whole issue in itself), one thing the banks are doing is holding off on foreclosure, because when they foreclose, they have to show the drop in value on their books. Most banks, if they foreclosed on all the properties that are in delinquency, would have to close their own doors the same day. And that's why Fannie and Freddie, which hold most of the real estate paper in the country, are part of the government. But even they are so far upside down there is no way out for them.

The conclusion is inescapable (to me anyway). We are headed towards a worldwide currency crash as you described, and likely a worldwide depression.

I believe your experience living through this in Argentina gives you a personal insight into what happens when people lose half their net worth overnight.

PLEASE join us at The Daily Bell. And please share your experience and insights with us there.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

But then, where do all the toys come from??

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Elves. And you can talk to them, too, at The Daily Bell!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

There you are Professor Hank! I lost my notifications a few days back when I had to re-register for some reason!

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Hi there! I've been away for a few days anyway. Work, you know.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Well, I'm glad I found you again. There was some person I ran across that thinks that ending the Federal Reserve probably wouldn't be possible because it is too tied up with the IMF and other world banks. What do you think?

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

P.S. See the conversation above this one. Now that person is a teacher, I'm just an angry engineer!

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

:)

You flatter me too much. I'm actually an engineer and an inventor who used to teach science in a science musuem during high school. Basically, I keep finding myself having to boil difficult concepts down into plain language. Could be quantum physics, or finance.

Fun as hell though. So, at the Daily Bell, I can submit an article there?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Tau or Pi guy ?

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Perhaps, once they get to know you, but there's no limit on comments. I've been using the handle 'Hoss' (because someone said in response to one of my comments, 'Whoa there, Hoss. Take a deep breath.' So I changed my name to that, hehe.) That site has the best, most intelligent commentary added to the daily articles anywhere on the net, in my opinion. And they hit this issue and others with a very unique, interesting method of analysis.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

quadrawack?

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Yep.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

That was very interesting. Someone to talk to on your own intellectual level must be nice!
My conclusion to his riddle was that the interest would never be repaid. It would have to be considered a zero interest loan. Then I read further where you explain that it is borrowed again and now my head hurts! Sounds like a reflection in a mirror, it just keeps going on forever. How come they can't do it my way and just give them a 0 interest loan?

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Why? Because then they couldn't have us all running on our little hamster wheels trying to keep up!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

So we're all rodents! I think I'll go burrow myself in the woodchips for a while.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Keep in touch!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I watched Money as Debt! All I can say is Holy Mother of Bank Lending Crazy Talk! I have so much to tell you and ask you about, but I can't do it now. I have to sort and staple 300 book orders for my son's school tomorrow! Such is my life. : )

So please respond back so I can find you tomorrow! Your devoted student! April

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

I'm sending you a private message.

[-] 0 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

The IMF can to go down the toilet with it. It is used to exploit smaller countries, and guess what? We pay for it. The other world banks, let them print all the toilet-paper money they want. When they want to buy something from us, they can do it with gold or silver-backed currency.

Did you get a chance to see that video? Money As Debt?

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I knew you would ask me that! I should have fessed up myself at the beginning. I'm so embarrassed , I have not watched it yet. But I will get to it! I did watch a few parts of Zeitgiest. Which kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sorry for the late comment....

Do you spot any problems after watching some of the ZeitGeist material ? I watched it and found my self agreeing with the underlying premise but came away baffled at some of the logic being advanced in these forums under its moniker.

I agree 100% that knowledge, civilization, society, etc are living breathing organisms that evolve over time. I think that's a darned good way to visualize the long march of history.

What concerns me is the idea that we can "leap ahead" in our evolution by trying to force evolution in a direction we think best. The very beauty of the evolutionary model is that it adapts and learns from experience, and it seems arrogant to assume we know enough NOW to tell it where it should go LATER. Do you follow? It's a bit like messing with the Human Genome because, in our arrogance, we think we know what's "best." In reality, of course, we will simply impose our VALUES onto the genome and mess it up.

Does any of this make sense to you ?

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

No worries! I had to scan the post to remember what we were talking about here. What you say makes total sense. Evolution will happen naturally. Otherwise, its not really evolution. Is that what you mean?
I noticed earlier you were talking about getting the money out of the political system. I think that this would help to open up the debate to allow entry for additional political parties. Maybe you said that too, and I missed it. I was just doing a quick scan.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

My proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ was specifically intended to get the money out AND define a method of funding candidates that would break the power of the two party system.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Many people agree with this. The question is how to get the OWS organizers to help move the group forward towards this end. They have the power of the pen on the main news page. They control the GA. I have yet to hear or see a serious attempt by the OWS ptb to mobilize the group towards what everyone is screaming out about. Get the money out of politics. I mean, they were able to mobilize people to get to the park in the first place. Now its a free for all? They are perfectly capable of guiding this thing towards this message - Get the money out of politics. Everyone is screaming for it. So, why? Granted, I am not in NY. But I cannot figure out why this is never discussed at the GA. To even debate/vote on it. Your thoughts?

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Heh, yeah, that's a scary one. Money As Debt is much more instructional. But Zeitgeist does a good job of shocking people out of their apathy. I handed out probably 500 copies of that movie to people stopped at traffic lights on street corner sign waves in 2007. During the Ron Paul campaign. Hehe.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

You are so funny! I bet you just loved scareing the wits out of those poor unsuspecting people!

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Ha, well I never saw any of them again. So I don't know whether any of them watched it. But I bet a few of them got awakened.

If you want to read something scary, read the posts above, follow quadrawack's link to his essay.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Hi Professor! System is glitchy today. I couldn't pick up your private message and I can't send one either.
I have been doing some research about the Fed. So I can sound smarter when I talk to you!
Maybe you have seen this before. But tell me what you think. http://theassailedteacher.com/2011/10/09/why-the-end-the-fed-cause-is-bad-for-occupy-wall-street/

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

You are sorely mistaken about opponents of counterfeiting being ignorant of the history of the national banks.

Taking the power to rape the populace by counterfeiting out of the hands of a corrupt government and handing it to secret owners, and issuing it as debt we all have to slave away perpetually to never pay off, might slow the rate of money creation (until it doesn't slow it) until everything crashes anyway (like right now), but it does not argue in favor of counterfeiting per se.

So your argument about the Fed falls flat on its face. It has wrecked the country and we are now headed towards a worldwide depression because of it, and the impoverished people are being set up to beg for an even bigger abomination in the form of a worldwide central bank, owned by the same secret owner groups that have bought up governments for centuries.

Your argument does not argue in favor of why we should be indebted to this monster, in exchange for it creating money our of thin air and then loaning it to us.

President Andrew Jackson said in 1836, during the banking crisis of his day:

"Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out."

Jackson did kill the bank charter. It was the only time in our country's history that there was zero debt.

At all other times the debt was used as an instrument to spend, then tax, with the banks taking profit the whole way.

Yeah, let's talk a little about banking history.

[-] 2 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

I guess maybe Rico was only trolling. Crickets chirping ....

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

No, I was summarizing my experience here. I really don't have time to keep checking back in. I only came here to try and learn more about your movement so I wasn't operating solely on what the media fed me.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

If you would like to go back to Jackson's time, then I suppose we can also take back the vote from women and buy some slaves. Get real. We live in a global economy. We DECIDED to be the reserve currency against the better advice of economists, and with that role can the need to print dollars (and lots of them).

For more detail, see my posts above at

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84390

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84515

http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-84643

[Deleted]

[-] 0 points by IChowderDown (110) from Dallas, TX 2 years ago

Great post friend. I have many friends that are extremely wealthy and all do give back financially and personally. I agree with you on all that you have written and believe the group really are targeting the Elite that's killing the world. The very wealthy should have no fear and embrace the movement as these concerns are ingrained in them to. There will always be the odd bad apple that should not speak out of disrespect, but the anger is starting to mount, and this line should be addressed soon so that a small minority doesn't point fingers to the innocent. i have added a good link explaining the Federal Reserve as a Private Hybrid Cartel, Why you should be scared of the Fed Reserve Cartel. This is an insightful video,http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6507136891691870450#

[-] 0 points by recallScottWalker (20) 2 years ago

senate republicans commit treason by killing 2 million jobs yesterday

[-] 0 points by Lork (285) 2 years ago

Oh you mean you support us for supporting the Flat Tax Scam? You are DEFINITELY a 1%er I can tell. As for Bill Gates...didn't he ship a sizable chunk of OUR jobs to India?

http://www.pcworld.com/article/118029/two_words_from_bill_gates_computer_science.html

http://www.cwalocal4250.org/outsourcing/binarydata/sell-out.pdf

I will copy and paste my response from this thread -

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-flat-tax-is-unfair/

"If the Flat Tax rate were ever instituted it would be horrid. It would actually lead to LOWER taxes on the rich!

Example Country -

Suppose the Flat Tax did get implemented. Everybody pays 35% of their income. With the addition of living expenses, sales taxes, etc. and the stagnant or declining wages of the poor and middle class, the new 35% flat tax takes their toll on the middle class and the poor get shafted worse. The rich - untouched.

So the middle and poor class demand lower taxes. So taxes go down to 10%. Now the government LOSES money because -gasp- the rich are paying only 10% of their income! With the revenue from taxes lost, the country is forced to turn to "austerity" and the government has no money to operate their regulatory agencies and provide basic social services that conservatives love to take for granted. The government is "starved" and the condom breaks.

So it's either

A. Kill the middle class and make it just Rich and Poor.

or

B. Kill the government and turn into a full blown corporatocracy of Rich and Poor.

Either way - the rich win. The government is a condom (albeit a thin and permeable at times condom) to protect the middle and poor classes in -some- way. So they hate the government because the rich are the STD. The middle class -can- be used, but you take too much from the middle and the middle will scream to the government. Plus - damn those dirty social climbers! How dare they!? So the rich don't necessarily hate the middle class but they hate the "audacity" that the middle even exists. And the poor? Well not even the middle class gives a shit about the poor what with their "big dream to be rich someday!" so the poor are completely "harmless".

It's a great scam they're running here.

And btw - no it is not -spoiled- to demand higher rate of taxes from someone who makes $10 mil a month let alone a year. Especially since they are the same people who stole our jobs after buying our government for round after round after round of Rape Trade Agreements. Yeah that's right - RAPE TRADE!"

I doubt that some of the people here are truly the 99%...after all it looks like Obama is trying to use this movement for re-election again.

I have no doubt in my mind that you are a 1%er however.

[-] 2 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

Please don't distract from Rico's post by putting words in his mouth. If you want to win, you need to get some 1%ers on your side.

[-] 0 points by Lork (285) 2 years ago

gandhi - He is also FOR the Fed do you realize that?

Or is that the hunger talking? It is sad that you are running out of food yes...but unfortunately some uninformed idiot -will- take him seriously. So should we become the current Tea Party just to win? How is that actually winning?

As for the fed scroll down to quadrawack's post.

Also also - The 1%ers profit off our suffering. There ain't no WAY they'll let us stop them. Example - "Cuddly Billionaire" Warren Buffet who actually suggested the Flat Tax and is soaking up enough limelight to start himself up as a career politician like every rich guy who gets bored with life.

[-] 2 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

He didn't say he was for the Fed. He said for it to do what it does, it needs to be secret. That is the role of regulating stability in the money supply. It's people like Buffett for whom organizations like the Fed are formed. Buffett shorted the English Pound several years ago. Had someone done the same in the US on the same scale, the Fed would keep the economy from collapsing. To disallow the Fed, you need to either disallow someone from buying/selling large amounts of your country's currency at once (thus undermining confidence in the currency), or accept the risk of a collapse. That's a fact. No opinion inherent.

[-] 2 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Why should the value of the money rely on a fraudulent con?

[-] 1 points by Lork (285) 2 years ago

Then push for regulating the Fed.

The way they're running now...secrecy is -far- from what they need.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJqM2tFOxLQ

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Interesting post as I never mentioned the flat tax in this post. I am, however, a HUGE supporter of a wholesale revision of the Tax Code. Much of what's in there is the DIRECT result of money "INVESTED" in our "Representatives" by one special interest group or another.

If we are going to get the money out of politics, then we should also consider trying to UNDO the damage that money has done to us in the past. The Tax Code is a darned good place to start. Even at the PERSONAL level it's LOADED with both social (i.e. "married" doesn't include domestic partners ), and financial (deductible mortgages) (dis)incentives that don't belong there. We don't even need to TALK about the crap that's in there for different industries and sometimes even SPECIFIC corporations. It's disgusting, and hardly fit for a country founded with the idea that we're ALL entitled to "Equal Protection Under the Law."

I do actually support some form of flat tax, and I think it should be imposed on ALL individuals AND corporations regardless of WHERE they earned the income. I'd be willing to zero the taxes for folks below some certain income INSOFAR as the percentage of people paying NO tax is not allowed to exceed 30% (we can't have a functioning democracy in which a plurality can vote themselves benefits without having to incur one cent of the cost... it just won't work).

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

I have to agree...I bought a modest house because I foresaw the layoff that eventually came about, and because of this, my interest paid was so low a standard deduction always came out as the better one. Only people who have a significant mortgage benefit from that interest deduction.

[-] 1 points by Lork (285) 2 years ago

Flat Tax would be horrible you kidding me? "Fair" Tax is even worse...

Oh! And remember that most of the uber rich make most of their income from capital gains and dividends -

http://www.npr.org/2011/09/19/140599307/does-buffett-rule-add-up-for-obama-deficit-plan

Also - The NPR article is a bit misleading. 50% is still very regressive compared to the post-War era. (where it was 90%)

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-flat-tax-is-unfair/#comment-70544

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/96summer/p96su10.cfm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,155487,00.html

So let's see...back when taxes were "high" we had a moon landing, the creation of the highway system and the microprocessor for three things. Therefore it did -not- kill investment.

Also - you'll see the most regressive tax area to be somewhere around the late Coolidge and the early Hoover era. (Even more regressive than we are right now by around 10%)

I think you know where I am going here.

Meet The Great Depression

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/depression.htm

There is just no excuse. The 1% have no excuse at all.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/flat-tax-fair-tax-and-9-9-9-oh-my/

Also - See Double Irish and Dutch Sandwich.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

What? I SPECIFICALLY said I want to tax ALL income of corporations regardless of source. I ALSO said I'd be willing to EXCLUDE the bottom 30% or so of people from ALL Taxes. I did NOT say what LEVEL I thought the taxes should be set to. I think that's all pretty PROGRESSIVE.

I think we're closer to agreement than you think.

For the record, I will point out that you are using simple correlations to derive causal relationships that are not implicitly true. America was the ONLY game for about 40 years after WW II; all our "competitors" had been blown to bits. In this climate, nobody had a CHOICE but to stay in our local game AND we could tax the heck out of anyone we wanted without worrying they would leave (go to post-war Europe? Really?) OR that we would damage the competitiveness of American Business. It's a VERY different world now. When you tax the rich, they often leave (ask Britain). When you tax American Corporations, they either leave or their competitiveness on the world stage is reduced. The problem is MUCH more complex now than it was in the 1960's. There's no comparison.

I'm NOT saying we shouldn't tax more, I'm only saying that correlation and causation are two different things. I WILL say, however, that we're going to be CAREFUL about how we tax, or we MAY suffer unintended consequences.

In another post, I mentioned that technology allowed the financial sector to "innovate" faster than our ability to keep up in terms of regulation. I think a SIMILAR phenomenon has occurred relative to the emergence and regulation of large multi-nationals. I think they "play one country against the other" to some extent, and a reasonable response would be for the nations of the world to work out some international accords to PREVENT the multi-nationals from using borders to avoid taxation and regulation. Unfortunately, MANY people in this country will scream "ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT !" and start predicting the Second Coming. Sheesh.

[-] 1 points by Lork (285) 2 years ago

Ah my bad then. I guess this was an argument over semantics then because you said "Flat Tax". (Flat usually means even when it comes to taxes.)

And yes you are right. Multinationals sound closer to the "One World Government!" they keep screaming about and yet they still call any form of protectionism "Barbaric! Stone Age! Shutting ourselves from the world like hermits! We NEED China for might!" and so on.

Indeed, we must be careful. Had the flat tax been applied to income exclusively or consumption exclusively and etc. it would seriously hurt small businesses, the middle class...and the last bit would fuck the poor haha.

Sorry for the misunderstanding then my bad.

[-] 0 points by Mariannka (63) 2 years ago

I am amased at how Occupy works. Would like to have your input on the movement to understaqnd it better. I am asking you to answer 10 questions and I am happy to share results if you are interested. Please, take some time for it: Thank you! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q3NF7QB

[-] 0 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Rico,

Regarding the Federal Reserve banking system, let me see if I can boil this down to the simplest possible explanation. Here's an analogy.

Imagine you have a cup. This represents the Economy. Imagine you have a pitcher of water. This represents the Federal Reserve.

You pour 1000 units of water into the cup. This represents supplying the economy with money. You demand 1100 units of water back. The 100 units of water is interest.

Tell me how can the cup return 100 units of water back (interest), when only 1000 units of water was put in.

That is why many of us have a major, major beef with our monetary system, how it functions, and what it does.

[-] 3 points by NachoCheese (268) 2 years ago

Simple analogy, simple reply (not insulting...just stating fact):

Because the economy is not a static value that your cup represents, but rather creates wealth from productive efforts...hence the term "to MAKE money".

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Which I understand, but remember, that's 1000 units in circulation, yet 100 units have to be paid back.

Who issues that 100 units, when the pitcher didn't issue another 100 into the system?

That's the problem. Wealth from productive efforts have to be monetized, but the initial issuer only put in 1000.

[-] 2 points by NachoCheese (268) 2 years ago

hence thay are created. again, the economy is not a static value as represented by your cup.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Who creates them? The pitcher or the cup? Because remember, the pitcher demands back 100 units... of water, or collateral. I understand it's more complex than that, but I'm putting this in simplest terms without cutting out too much value.

The value is created. But where does the 100 units come from to go back when the initial input was only 1000 units. Does the cup return it in the form of a part of it's glass wall for collateral? Or is the cup ALLOWED to manufacture 100 units of water, which today would be illegal, since the Fed has the monopoly on who creates money.

[-] 2 points by NachoCheese (268) 2 years ago

no problem, this is the problem with complex topics as simple analogies...

the economy creates the additional wealth. are you asking as though an extra 100 units of currency are required by this scenario?

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Exactly. In the entire system, it was assigned 1000 units of currency. The economy creates additional wealth. But there is still only 1000 units of currency circulating. Where is the other 100 extra units of currency, when the pitcher only put in 1000 units. I hope I'm conveying this simple concept clearly. I understand value. The question is what's used in the trade, and how did it get there.

[-] 2 points by NachoCheese (268) 2 years ago

I am understanding you, and honestly I'm not sure (economics is not my wheelhouse), but I think you are wanting to take this somewhere, while you do, I will go ask an economist I know...

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

YES!

Thank you! I've studied the Federal Reserve and Fractional Reserve Banking (Chicago Federal Reserve Bank's Modern Money Mechanics Manual" for a long time, and one thing that frustrated me was trying to convey the concept of debt as money to people.

That's why I've tried to boil the concept down as simple as possible. But you get it!

Man, I'm glad now. :D Thank you.

[-] 3 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

The simple answer is that the dollar is not the only medium of exchange. The US govt doesn't only accept dollars. It accepts gold, for example. And gold is produced directly by mining activity, a form of economic growth.

Other governing authorities ("countries") issuing other mediums of exchange value their mediums ("currency") vs. the dollar. If the US produces more economic growth per dollar than that country's medium of exchange, the value of the dollar vs. their currency will increase and the dollar will have more buying power against the other currency.

If the Fed increases the money supply 100%, the value of a dollar will fall by 50%. But the value of goods in the US will still be the same when bought in other currencies.

A change in the money supply does not change the value of what a good is. It may affect what someone is willing to pay for a good in that currency.

Supposing there are 1000 dollars in the US. I pay 500 of them to someone in China for Chinese goods. The value of all goods in the US exceeds $1000 but as long as that currency is being held in China, the US has reduced the money supply by 50%. This would cause deflation in the cost of goods in the US. Therefore, the Fed increases the money supply to regulate the cost of goods.

The reverse would happen if China buys back US goods, increasing the money supply in the US. This would cause deflation. Therefore, the Fed decreases the money supply.

The thing that gets complicated, though, is that China is lending that currency back to the Fed.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Can you translate this into the analogy of the cup and the pitcher? Cause what I was doing was using a teaching tool to demonstrate the basics of money as debt. Which is what our monetary system is based on.

[-] 2 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

The cup/pitcher analogy doesn't work unless you assume a zero-sum game in economic growth. There is a water maker, and it's called economic activity.

The phenomena of Bitcoin is a better analogy.

[-] 2 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Assuming that economic growth is a zero sum game works when we take into account that we live in a world with finite resources. Resources are changed with human labor to form value, which obviously results in less of that resource. So the analogy is still valid.

[-] 1 points by HankRearden (476) 2 years ago

Economics isn't a zero-sum game, but there is only a single issuer of FRN's. And only one way they get issued. As loans. With interest. So to pay next years' interest, you have to borrow some more into existence. At interest. Ad infinitum. That's the point.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Hey Hank, I've added to the analogy/riddle. It's below. Let me know what you think.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Problem is, the watermaker is separate from the pitcher. The pitcher is the sole and single arbiter and maker of the currency. In our society, the watermaker would be called a counterfeiter, and the FBI would be on to shut it down post haste.

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

Sorry to but in, but quick question. If the cup equals 1000 and isrequired to pay 1100 back, then isnt that 100 put back into the economy, creating inflation where the value of 1000 now equals 1100... And isn't that howwealth is created and why wealth = debt? And this is how the system motivates us to work so we have to always play catch up?

[-] 1 points by LogTax (71) from Swifton, AR 2 years ago

I'm actually replying to a point made further down, that the forum doesn't let me reply directly to. quadrawack makes the point that economics is a zero-sum game because we have finite resources. However, that only becomes a zero-sum game once all resources are utilized - until that point, new wealth can be created from the previously untapped resource. We are not yet at that point. For that matter, we may not get to that point: we are learning to use smaller and smaller amounts of resource to do things, which clearly extends the length of development, and we are also making astonishing developments in material technologies - approaching something like the old alchemical dreams of transmutation. It'll still be hard to get a hold of some elements, but you'll be able to make almost anything else - including computers and lasers - from rock and biomass. Ultimately, the limited resources are space and time.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Very good! You're getting closer to how the system works. Let's throw in fractional reserve banking into the mix. The cup puts 1000 back into the pitcher by a monthly payment method. That's all it can put back, because like I said, the initial issuance of currency into the cup is just 1000. The pitcher's rules state that it can lend out at 10X the deposit. So now, the pitcher injects 10,000 units of water into the cup. At 10% interest, it demands back 1000. But since there's only 10,000 units in the cup, the cup can only repay back 10,000. So, with that 10,000, the pitcher then reinjects 100,000 units into the cup, with interest at 10,000. Total now owed by the cup, 110,000.

Now multiply that concept by a hundred thousand, and you've approximated the pattern of the dollar since 1913.

And remember, the cup represents the economy. It's an analogy to our planet. We live with finite resources that are acted on by human labor to create value. That value results in a decrease of those finite resources. So the overall difference between resource - economy is a difference of zero. Hence the term zero sum game.

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

An argument I often hear against the zero-sum concept is that we are constantly creating new value and new wealth by our intellect, i.e. Intellectual property rights. How does this fit into your analogy, and do you think our intellect can create new wealth and that our minds is what really generates wealth in this country?

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well it's our minds plus some resource. If we take software, it takes minerals to make chips, oil to make plastics, natural gas to generate electricity. Even financial services, it takes cement to make buildings, coal and iron to make steel for those buildings, gasoline to move people, natural gas or uranium to make electricity to supply the power for computers, and trees, electricity, diesel, and chemicals to make paper. No matter what we do, one way or another, we involve the use of natural resources to power our daily lives. Even eating. It takes oil to make fertilizer, diesel fuel, diesel to move food, coal and steel to make tractors, electricity to run markets.

Unless we come up with a way to transform pure thought energy into matter, we are dependent one way or another on resources.

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

Thanks. :)

[-] 1 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

There are forces that control the Fed (the pitcher). Those forces are affected from the inflows and outflows from the cup(s). The pitcher may be the sole arbiter, but free market demand may force an equilibrium in supply over the long-term. The Fed's role is to sustain itself.

What happens when perceived value doesn't match official value? What form would that black market take?

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well, if we take the cup to represent the planet, there are no other planets that we're trading with. So inflows and outflows remain within the cup. The free market will of course demand that it needs more currency in order to match the economic activity. But, since the cup represents the planet, which is finite in resources, we can essentially say that yes, it is a zero sum game, so overall resources = overall economic activity.

However, the pitcher is a lot like the water maker (computer). So it can keep injecting water ad infinitum via Modern Money Mechanics, aka Fractional Reserve Banking.

The cup, since it only has that initial 1000 units of water, even though it has to pay back 1100 units of water, can only pay back 1000 units. So with fractional reserve banking, the pitcher has a ratio of 10X the deposit. So the pitcher injects 10,000 units of water into the cup, with the demand that 1000 units be paid back in interest for a total of 11,000 units. Obviously because only 10,000 units were put into the cup, the cup can only pay back 10,000 units. With that 10,000 units, the pitcher injects 100,000 units with an interest of 10,000 units back. And so it goes on, ad infinitum, until the cup realizes the following:

Overall economic activity is getting more expensive, due to diminishing resources (peak oil, peak mineral, peak food) Also, with so many units of water sloshing around the cup, the price for those resources is expensive (money supply larger than amount of goods and services = inflation). So, the water is used to price real estate (real estate price bubble inflation), commodities, food, and stocks. (overall inflation)

But the interest payment BACK is constant. By now, the pitcher was able to issue 1 quadrillion in total units of water (total amount of loans + derivatives in the bubble) at 10% interest. I'm not putting in world debt level, which is 40 trillion, because at these numbers, it's relatively insignificant.

So, 1 quadrillion is 1000 trillion. Or 1 000 000 000 000 000. The overall economic activity of the cup is only 56 trillion, or 56 000 000 000 000. 10% of the 1 quadrillion is: 10 000 000 000 000, or 10 trillion.

If we take a parcel of the cup, the USA, with a 16 trillion GDP, 10 trillion is 2/3's of it's entire GDP.

That's a massive number that can never be paid back. However, debt levels have risen so large that interest payments are approximating GDP's of entire nations.

As I've stated before, it's a very simplified model, to be used as a teaching tool to convey the basic concepts.

Anyway, that's where we are today, with situtations known as Sovereign Debt Crisis, or US Deficit crisis, etc.

Hence the reason some of us are pretty pissed with the Federal Reserve and the fiat money banking system.

[-] 1 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

You're generally correct. National debt as 2/3 annual GDP is unnecessarily large and has consequences. And that percentage is getting larger. It might not be insurmountable to pay back, and convenient to pay back at a different time based on global exchange rates. This latter argument is made by the current administration.

Your model is helpful to a point, but perhaps a bit iffy because overall economic activity is in fact getting CHEAPER due to EXPANDING resources and increasing demand in the third world will drive further price declines. Yes, currently energy costs are high due to massive commercial growth in India and China. But peak food is a myth. Should we start running out of space to grow things, we could support hundreds of billions of people merely by harvesting algae and insects to make superfoods. Peak energy is also a myth over the long term due to rapidly increasing efficiency in solar power and the vilified, untapped potential for nuclear energy. Computer resources continue to grow following Moore's Law and information resources follow significant geometric growth patterns.

Fundamentally an economy becomes strong when it produces goods that outpace demand, and weak in the opposite circumstance. This is the real issue driving manipulations in monetary policy.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well, algae and insects aren't currently in the system yet. I have to make do with what we're currently using. To say that a possibility is a current contributor is, IMO iffy. Also, the reason I state Peak food is because globally topsoil levels have been declining at massive rates with industrial farming methods, which are also fossil fuel intensive. As for solar, it only encompasses about .01% of our total energy supplies, so until that changes significantly, the primary factors, well the biggest primary is peak oil, which effect transportation, agricultural, product, energy generation, etc. And computers still have to be powered by electricity, the bulk of which is still generated with fossil fuels. And when you think about, the underlying primary factor under all civilization, under all economics, is energy supply, aka fossil fuels. We've tapped out all the low hanging fruit in the last hundred years of the petroleum age. The rest can only be tapped when oil prices remain at a high price point, which makes it economical to extract, and that high price point depresses economies.Not to mention we have a rapidly industrializing/modernizing world. The rest are catching up. That exacerbates overall energy requirements.

Again, it's not perfect, I understand that, but I have to take into account now and the next ten year trends, not possibilities. We haven't had any major breakthroughs in terms of energy that can compete with oil's energy density or it's multiple usage ability (energy, products, etc).

[-] 1 points by gandhirocksmysocks (26) 2 years ago

Points taken. I see you didn't intend to echo "peak [fill-in-the-blank] theory" per se, and your rising costs trend theory does fit with the current technology and industry.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Translate that into the analogy of the pitcher and the cup. Like I said, this is a teaching tool. The idea is to convey the basics in a way anyone can understand.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I just want to say, like many other on this thread, that this analogy is so over-simplified as to be meaningless. My background is in Engineering, and I often run into folks wanting my guys to explain something in "layman's" terms. We try, but there are some things that are inherently complex and just can't be reduced to one-liners as people desire.

You can TRY to make simply explanations of quantum mechanics (and many do), but they are useless except to give folks the warm and fuzzy feeling that they understand something they don't (usually for "gee-whiz" entertainment).

Economics is a very complex field for which they award Nobel prizes. It's OK to form simple mental images for your own satisfaction, but you must RESIST the temptation to try and MANAGE or CHANGE fundamental aspects of the economy using those simple mental pictures.

This goes back to the trust issue. There are aspects of our world that are simply beyond the ability of all Americans to fully grasp. Most lack the time, inclination, and "insider information" needed to become experts in Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, and Economics. We thus end up "hiring" folks to manage this things for us, and we MUST be able to TRUST them. That's terribly difficult to do when there's so much corrupting money being passed around.

Don't assume the Economy or any other aspect of National Policy is within your grasp unless you have a TON of education and access to "insider" information (i.e. classified briefs). It's ARROGANT. Rather, make sure you have the absolute best people in the world managing these things for you, and make sure they're working for YOU, not some special interest who's channeling them millions of dollars.

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Well,

I'm also an engineer, and I would hotly contest that anything so complex cannot be explained in terms that anyone can understand. That is part of my job.

Also

Considering we have Ben Bernanke at the helm of the Federal Reserve, whose activity is to manage the economy to keep inflation low and employment high, who's from Princeton, and has ample staff resources...

Let's see what results we have.

Gold in 2003 - about 400 per ounce

Gold in 2011 - about 1600 per ounce

Silver in 2003 - about 7 per ounce

Silver in 2011 - about 30 per ounce

Unemployment levels 2003 (using government data) - 6%

Unemployment levels 2011 (using government data) - 9-10%

Unemployment levels 2011 using other metrics (people discouraged, underemployed) 16.8 %

% of Americans living at Poverty levels

2000 - 11.3%

2011 - 15.1%

Dollar inflation: An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 will cost you $116.78 today. An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 will cost you $457.67 today.

And in conjunction with all of this, this is a chart of total agreggate M3 (money and credit) in put into the system.

http://nowandfutures.com/images/m3b_long_term.png

It's not surprising how far the devaluation of the dollar has gone.

So...

How is the Federal Reserve doing again at it's job? I'd say very badly.

Don't take my word for it. Here's a compendium of links and resources.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-top-100-statistics-about-the-collapse-of-the-economy-that-every-american-voter-should-know

And here's a highly recommended explanation on how debt as money works, recommended by college economists, like Prof. Dr. Mathias Binswanger, Professor of Economics University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland; Katherine Austin Fitts, who was US assistant secretary of housing, as well as the head of Hamilton Securities Investment Bank.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/internet-teach-in-money-as-debt-by-paul-grignon/

Again, don't take my word for it. The words are here:

http://www.moneyasdebt.net/

Given all the recommendations from experts in finance and college/university level economists, and having viewed it, again, I hotly dispute that our banking system is so complex that it can't be understood on basic terms.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I just wanted to add than anyone who feels they would be better off in 1913 has my permission to return there at the first chance. As for me, I prefer my long lifespan, excellent medical care, awesome cars (air-conditioning, GPS, satellite radio, self-parking, etc), international travel on airplanes, movies and music downloaded from the Internet (and the Internet in general, of course), digital cameras, mobile phones (not to mention the "smart" ones), and so forth. Come to think of it, my 2011 dollars are buying a LOT of great things, and they seem to be pretty darned VALUABLE !

I'm also hoping the Federal Reserve prints ZILLIONS of dollars. The Chinese are ALREADY pissed at us for doing "Quantitative Easing" because we INSTANTLY DEVALUED their Treasury holdings (and ALL holdings of the RICH in general) AND made their imports MORE EXPENSIVE. In fact, when a Nation is in debt, the HISTORICAL WAY OUT has been to PRINT MONEY which harms the RICH most of all. Imagine if we PRINTED a ZILLION Dollars and DISTRIBUTED it to the PUBLIC ! They could ALL pay-off their MORTGAGES. The RICH would be REALLY pissed, but everyone would be OUT OF DEBT ! Muhahaha !

I'm joking of course, but the fact is that POPULIST MOVEMENTS like this one USUALLY favor a LOOSE monetary policy so they can retire DEBT. Its the RICH that want TIGHT monetary policy because they DON'T WANT their HOLDINGS to be DEVALUED !

The Chinese must LOVE hearing that the American Public, as deeply in DEBT as it is, wants to INCREASE THE VALUE of the DOLLAR and pay them back with dollars EVEN MORE VALUABLE than those we BORROWED ! As for me, I say, "Go Fed, Go!" Screw all those folks hoarding piles of cash. LORD KNOWS they 'aint the "average Joe" !

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

If you print money to cover debt, aren't you creating more debt, because the government has to borrow from the federal reserve to print more in the first place? Dosent that cause inflation and business covers its added cost by raising prices by stagnating wages? This means the worker incures the most cost of this debt to wealth system because profits are valued over rewarding labor. I think the arguement against the fed is that it is private and it works for private interest, not the public. Also, instead of debt lending to generate wealth, allow currency to backed solely by the word of the US government, and government loans are always interest free. Then have a bunch of economist manage that dynamic for thevsame reasons the fed does today. The argument is not their function, it is their interest.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The Federal Reserve is NOT Private. It is an agency of the United States Government. I'm AMAZED by how few seem to know this.

The Federal Reserve was created by law back in 1913. It is one of those "agencies" (like the IRS) with powers vested from both the Executive (Treasury) and Legislative Branch (coining the currency). Title 13 of the Federal code covers Banks and Banking. The Federal Reserve is chartered under Chapter 3. You can see ALL the Bank and Banking law under Title 13 at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sup_01_12.html. Simply click on Chapter 3, "Federal Reserve System."

I'm BAFFLED regarding where people are getting their information on MANY of the topics I see discussed here. It's like everything everybody "knows" is really just an opinion they heard somewhere. Does ANYONE check whether the things they're told are true ?

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

The federal reserve is privately owned. It is private property. Not public. The whole genius you find in the federal reserve is precisely because of this fact. That is why it is a federal reserve note. A private institution lends to the government, generating debt in the form if interest payments, plus the ability to create wealth from fractured lending. If the federal reserve was the government, the government could not borrow from itself to be able to print more money. This is a fact. The death is weather or not this system of wealth creation works, or if we need to rethink the system. And this system does work, so long as the rest of the economy is dependent on the US, like after world war two. But unless the US wants to conquer the world so she can rebuild it again, this system has reached its limits.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OK, now I assume you're simply trying to convince readers of a falsity or simply refuse to let fact affect your cherished opinions. Readers can get the whole story on the Federal Reserve http://www.federalreserve.gov/pf/pdf/pf_complete.pdf

The answer to the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) "Who Owns the Federal Reserve?" can be found here: http://federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_14986.htm

Here I quote from the "Encyclopedia of Business and Finance," 2nd ed., 2007, Morgenstein, Melvin. which is available at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-1552100128.html :

"Designed by Congress and subject to congressional authority, the Fed is a politically independent and financially self-sufficient federal agency... The Fed's primary policy-making group is the seven-member Board of Governors. Appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, members serve for one fourteen-year term only. A member who is appointed to fill an unexpired term may be appointed for an additional full term. From among the seven members, the Board's chairman and vice chairman are also appointed and confirmed by the president and the Senate for four-year terms."

Continuing from the same source in order to further illustrate the falsity of your statement regarding the Federal Reserve LITERALLY coining money ON BEHALF of the US Treasury.

"Other activities and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System include the following: ... Cooperative efforts of the U.S. Treasury and the Fed. For example, the Fed acts as the Treasury's fiscal agent by putting paper money and coins into circulation, handling Treasury securities, and maintaining a checking account for the Treasury's receipts and payments."

I have provided pointers to the Federal Law that charters the Federal Reserve, and a recognized finance encyclopedia as well as some of the Fed's own materials (which I won't count because I'm sure you'll say they're nothing but lies). Care to offer up any CREDIBLE sources (not other folks repeating your opinion) that support your assertions ?

Just out of curiosity, does all this crap about the Federal Reserve come out of the Ron Paul community? If so, I'm going to be REALLY disappointed... I kinda like the guy (I'd NEVER vote for him, I just like his personality).

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

I think the finically self sufficient aspect met be where I am confused. If the government does not control its purse strings? Also, how the bill was passed, who has been appointed, and what say the public had intevcreation of the fed lends credibility to the view that they work for an agenda that is not democratic in nature. Aim not trying to confuse other readers. I am just arguing my point so I can get the most out of our discussions. I just want to let my views out so, if am wrong, you can help me to correct them.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The Federal Reserve charges the commercial banks for the services it provides as an agency of the federal government. This is a lot like the Park Service charging you to enter the National Parks... Fee for Service. Nothing sneaky here.

As for the Federal Reserve not being "Democratic" it's just an AGENCY like many of the OTHER agencies in the US. Government. Just in case you don't know what the Agencies are, they are largely independent entities that operate with powers VESTED (or "delegated") to them by several branches of the Government. The IRS, for example, is an AGENCY that has the power to WRITE law (vested by Congress), the ability to ENFORCE law (vested by the Executive Branch), and the ability to TRY and CONVICT (vested by the Judicial Branch). The Federal Reserve is less complex. It has has the ability to coin money and regulate the Value thereof (vested by Congress). Most say the Federal Reserve also has some vested powers from the Executive Branch (Treasury), but those powers were themselves created by an Act of Congress (1789), so repeating them seems a bit redundant (to me anyway).

The Federal Reserve is just as "Democratic" as any of the Agencies in the US Government, in fact, it's a heck of a lot more democratic than the IRS (in my opinion) which has powers vested from all THREE branches of Government that are clearly SEPARATED in the Constitution !

Finally, why is everyone so FASCINATED by the Federal Reserve ? Why doesn't anyone talk about the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) that include the Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), Financing Corporation (FICO), Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae), etc ?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in PARTICULAR played a MAJOR role in fueling the the real-estate bubble that brought the system down. in 2008, we PUT THEM BOTH into conservatorship and absorbed responsibility for their $5 TRILLION portfolio of mortgage guarantees and debt. We committed to back them with $200 BILLION in taxpayer money... the LARGEST BAIL-OUT of the crisis BY FAR.

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 2 years ago

Death = debt...

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

As an Engineer, I assume you understand the difference between correlation and causation, correct? I can't tell.

[-] 1 points by Lork (285) 2 years ago

quadrawack is it okay if I copy and paste this and repost this? (and I shall credit you of course)

[-] 1 points by quadrawack (280) 2 years ago

Sure! Teaching is something I've always valued. Please do.