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Forum Post: The "New Normal" and our willful acceptance of criminal behavior

Posted 5 years ago on Dec. 5, 2012, 7:52 p.m. EST by elf3 (3892)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Corporations have found how to walk the line of what we will tolerate and how to slowly bring about a "new normal" level of acceptance. Example push gas prices from $ 5.00 up to $10.00 then bring it back down to $7.00 and people will pee themselves with glee that it's not $10.00 anymore. This is happening in every sector of the economy including unemployment, pollution, GMO food, healthcare. We're all being played with and begging for mercy, then we're kissing their robes when they relent some. Didn't history rebel against this system already. Lords and Peasants ring a bell?



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[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33487) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Saying let em eat cake was a mistake in France. What will it be this time around? Boner saying we will not consider raising rates on the wealthy?

[-] -3 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Republicans are all about going kamikaze; the Dems on the other hand seem to think they can fly... flighty, very f*cking flighty. OK, on three, y'all ready?

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33487) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

R U saying republicans don't wear underwear?

[-] -2 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

No I'm saying even with lipstick, pigs can't fly. And that if the Dems gave up their skirts they wouldn't need to wear those thongs.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33487) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

RD your brain stuck on fart?

[-] -2 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

You know... of all of our corrupt Congressmen, Boner is one of the poorest; why do you suppose that is? While Dems occupy ten of the top fifteen positions. What is the aggregate wealth of Congressional Dems versus Republicans? Do you know? Lipstick on a pig, and in your case, you seem to believe they can fly. Well, we will soon find out.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33487) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Is that why Boner sucks up so much to the wealthy?

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

I just don't think he cares; at heart, he may very well be one of the 99%.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33487) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Boner? one of the 99% at heart??? U R Kidding - RIGHT? Mr. I will not consider raising tax rates on the top 2%. aAHhahahahahahaha yeah - perhaps that is why he has his little crying jags - cause he is so conflicted.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Boner's not even 2% of the top in Congress. So I think that may very well be true.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33487) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Financially Boner may be in the 99% ( I do not know ) but his heart and his efforts have been to this day for the top 2%.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

John Boehner - 2012 net worth - 2.7 million dollars.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

On the overall scale of things that makes him middle class; we now have billionaires in Congress.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

$2,7 mil = mdle class? You're showing you partisanship by excusing repub wealth.

But you do know OWS is not against people simply because they are wealthy. We are against those who support the continued exploitation perpetrated by the 1% oligarchs.

Some wealthy (http://patrioticmillionaires.net/) support OWS & our goals, While many within the 99% support the pro 1% conservative policies that OWS is fighting to change.

Get it?

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago


"Middle" is a relative term but on the overall scale today this is not "rich."

If you consider our present direction, all I see is a whole lotta political drama. Either way the world's money mongers gain.

[-] 0 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Loyalty to those who employ him, exactly. But I'm not convinced his heart lies there. On the other hand we have top Dems who are Goldman Sachs all the way.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

OWS is fighting against the money mongers. Our numbers grow daily.

Join us. We will win for the middle class! (which doesn't include those worth $3 mil, although all will benefit from the progressive change we want)

[-] 1 points by RedDragon (-161) 5 years ago

Do you really want to win? You have to grow a political party. The problem is that very few escape the corrupting influence of money; it might be more accurate to state that no one escapes it.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

OWS has already had a profound affect on American politics and pushed one party further to the left.

Not enough, but we've only just begun. We will grow further, our influence will grow as well, and all without getting directly involved.

Can't get better than that.

[-] -3 points by lignite (-303) 5 years ago

OWS has already had a profound affect on American politics and pushed one party further to the left.

Not enough, but we've only just begun. We will grow further, our influence will grow as well, and all without getting directly involved.

Can't get better than that.//////////////////////////////////////////////// Pipe dream and the truth is that this site is all that is keeping ows going (OWS stands for individuals that are jealous of the other half of society that is taking care of their selves by working. ows loons simply want their pockets lined by hard working Americans so they can lay around and continue to do drugs and spew their hate for the rich)

[-] 2 points by elf3 (3892) 5 years ago

man I f-ing hate the rich (well most of them) - their aristocratic uppity behavior is sickening to me. But guess what ? I'm in my mid thirties and work full time. And I don't want their stuff or money, I just want them to stop taking my dignity, stop freezing my wages, stop outsourcing jobs and downsizing staff, stop taking: my time away from family, my tax dollars, my politicians, my environment, my healthcare, my retirement (that I've EARNED by paying into my whole life), my chance at entrepreneurship, my chance for an education or earned upward mobility, stop making products so cheap using slave labor and marking up prices so high, stop driving up housing prices and making land grabs so you can artificially inflate the markets ... and on and on - ps I feel Drugs are for losers and have never touched them. Do I fit your stereotype? F it - you're going to focus on the fact that I admit I hate hate hate the rich and you'll ignore all the reasons I gave as to why.... ps I hate welfare fraud too - chew on that for a while.. I hate most about the rich is they love stuff so much they just love it - like little needy babies - oh how they need it to make them feel whole (their views on life and what's important are backwards) They'll buy a child laborer in China as long as they can make lots of money. They'll buy stock dividends in a country that robs resources and causes starvation in Africa. They'll vote to let a child die by denying coverage as long as their profits go up. They'll try to suppress new medical research and buy up patents so that cures are never discovered. They don't care because they have a deep dark hole to fill - that void in their souls where the conscience is supposed to live.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

You are absolutely wrong. You're Just spreading partisan lies, Tea party talking points and extremist rhetoric.

The govt has begun to address the inequity by dismissing your tea party faux deficit crises, disregarding your bullshit austerity plans, and pushing raising taxes on the wealthy!

Not enough but we are turning a corner in our national discussion/priorities because of OWS, & it's focus on changing the govt approach from helping the 1% to helping the 99%.

You're dreaming or dishonest of you can't see that reality.


[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 5 years ago

Correct, our dependence on corporations means they can condition us with fear relating to depriving us of our needs.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

Not everyone is accepting corporate subjugation. Some people are doing what they can to create their own "New Normal". For instance,

Collective Workplaces Spell Job Security, Fair Treatment and Real-Life Democracy

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 00:00 By Graciela Razo, Truthout | Report


Amid the economic downturn in 2007, economist, professor, and Truthout contributor and advisory board member Richard Wolff laid out a vision for a radical reorganization of labor wherein employees had control of their workplaces. From choosing their work hours to coming to consensus about everyday business operations, employees would act together as their own bosses to combat inequality in the workplace.

The Story of Beyond Care

After facing insecure jobs, low wages and toxic unemployment, Susana Peralta and 19 other women turned that radical restructuring of the workplace into a reality. Their cooperative brainchild Beyond Care blossomed in 2008 as a new way to provide quality employment for their community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The alternative workplace provides a necessary service of part- and full-time childcare where the women are their own bosses and chose their own hours and wages, a welcomed change from traditional workplaces.

"Not only did we create a space with fairer wages, but we found a way to employ our entire community," Peralta, the Beyond Care cooperative president said.

Peralta and her coworkers are exactly what Wolff and his new organization Democracy at Work, a collaboration with Truthout and several other partners, conceptualized for the future of employment. Democracy at Work was born in 2011 after Wolff's weekly radio show Economic Update, supported by Truthout, became syndicated in ten cities and listeners grew desperate for a solution to the abysmal employment and economic crisis.

"People wanted a solution, so we had to answer this demand," Wolff said. "The answer we came up with is democracy at work that would respond to the criticism we're making about the failures of the system to solve its own problems, to the failure of the old traditional socialism to be a model that attracts people and excites them." The fundamental idea of Democracy at Work is to create a society based on workers' self-directed enterprises. Fully egalitarian in every sense, workers run the business, share the assets and create a workspace that runs in harmony with not only its workers, but the entire community.

Wolff's argument is that workers in control of their own workplaces are much less likely to ship their own jobs overseas, underpay employees or pollute their own communities. As workers' enterprises become fully functioning, they benefit those who participate as workers as well as the customers and communities they serve. But before Beyond Care came into full operation, the women worked every day just to promote the business to get its first clients. Because they had to build up the daycare on an idea alone, with no money, it was completely up to them to gain momentum for the business. They put up flyers all over their neighborhood, trying to spread the word about their cooperative. After four years of word-of-mouth promotion and advertising, the collective got its first client. Now, Beyond Care has more clients than it can handle; the childcare center now has to turn down nearly seven clients each week because of its growing popularity. Parents love that their children are learning Spanish and that Beyond Care is entirely democratically run, Peralta added.

The women are constantly attending trainings and are currently working on expanding their services to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Unlike traditional workplaces, pleasing its customer-base is vital to Beyond Care's survival.

"If you work with an agency, you work to please your boss; when you work for a cooperative, you have more incentive to please the customers because your job depends directly on it," said collective developer Emma Yorra.

But perhaps most importantly, Peralta said, is the job security a collectively run workplace provides. No one worries about not having clients or being fired with nowhere to go. There are always clients and work to be done for the community, she said.

"We all have equal benefits and security now," Peralta said. "It isn't just for those of us who started the co-op; we're interested in something that benefits the entire community."

This "radical reorganization and democratization of enterprise," according to Wolff, gives workers complete control of their own workplaces, allows them to decide their wages and work fair hours, just as Beyond Care has been doing for the past four years. In a democratic workplace, no longer do bosses or agencies dictate how much employees should be paid - solving the issue of struggling workers barely able to pay for basic living expenses.

But job security would be the most beneficial outcome of worker self-directed enterprises, adds Jen Hill, co-founder of Democracy at Work. "When people are secure in their work-life, they have the freedom to participate in politics, home life and have time with their families, which would produce a more educated and creative society where everyone has a voice," Hill said. "Generations would be self-expressed, more equal and more secure. The opposite of what capitalism has done for us: insecurity and inequality."

Red Emma's Story

The freedom and democratic control of a cooperative gave the founding members of Red Emma's bookstore in Baltimore, Maryland, the freedom to expand further than a traditional business. Collectivized at the end of 2004, Red Emma's has flourished into a fully sustainable business, complete with a cafe serving fair-trade coffee, a space for political discussions, a free computer lab and a template for others to begin their own collective.

"We wanted to build an infrastructure that creates the world we want to see and a space that allows us to put our politics into practice," said Kate Khatib, a Red Emma's founding collective member. "Emma's is an experiment, a laboratory to see if these things we talk about in our literature actually work, and if not, why doesn't it work? What can we do instead?"

Owned and operated by 14 collective members and a group of volunteers, Red Emma's grew into a product of its own politics, giving each member a say in every aspect of the operation. But Emma's still has a few of the same obstacles many other independent bookshops across the country have. The collective still has times when it struggles with book sales or building repairs.

And although Emma's is an open collective, it takes six months to become a full member. After three months of volunteering for five hours each week and a series of checkpoints and reviews, the collective must come to a complete consensus before inviting someone to join. Then after three more months of working as a provisional member, they are eligible to become a collective member and officially added to Red Emma's ownership documents.

"Collectives offer a way to change the way we think of work," John Duda, another founding collective member said. "It's a space that changes people's expectations of what labor can look like."

Consensus becomes the basis of each workday. Every member and volunteer knows which lightbulb goes where, how much money was brought in that week and where the cooperative's produce comes from (local, family-owned grocery stores) and is encouraged to participate in each business decision.

Weekly collective meetings are run so every participant has a chance to speak. Each member focuses on a certain aspect of Emma's: public relations, book ordering, volunteers and logistics. Direct democracy developed Emma's into one of Baltimore's destination bookstores and into a worker self-directed enterprise that's able to be replicated by other business ventures.

"It's rewarding to see that it is possible to build something that is sustainable, that has a capacity to reproduce itself as an institution," Duda said. "It opens a space where people learn to live a little differently."

Democracy at Work is spreading this template to make it easier for collectives and cooperatives to sprout in cities where unemployment is deteriorating entire neighborhoods. The organization is developing informational videos to make these methods more accessible, and there are plans to organize a training institution where ideas are manifested into concrete business plans.

"We are developing a movement. We have the basic idea. We have a very enthusiastic audience," Wolff said. "It's growing, but the trick is how to find a way to glue people together, give them enough to do that they feel part of something because that's what they want."

Copyright, Truthout.

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 5 years ago

Got news for ya: ain't just corporations establishing a "new norm".

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Im going to guess that power structures have been doing this for a very long time.