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Forum Post: This should be the ultimate goal of Occupy

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 6, 2012, 12:43 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Every serious member of Occupy should read the below link in full. There are some real gems quoted from history, plus some serious cooperative models discussed. It clearly details what is wrong with the system that led to Occupy, plus offers a framework for the future Economic Constitution that is needed to supplement our existing political US Constitution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_democracy

Contents

1 Deficiency of effective demand

1.1 Savings, investment, and unemployment 1.2 Monopoly power versus purchasing power 1.3 Enclosure of the commons 1.4 The rise of corporations 1.5 Imperialism

2 Alternative models

2.1 Worker self-management 2.2 Social control of investment 2.3 The market

3 Reform agendas

3.1 Social Credit 3.2 Monopoly power versus public utility 3.3 Democratic cooperatives 3.4 Regional trading currencies

68 Comments

68 Comments


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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20444) 2 years ago

Yes. We need some philosophical thinking to figure out how to re-structure our economic system to make it work for all people and not just the wealthy and corporations. Either more bells and whistles on the current system or something new altogether. An "economic democracy" sounds interesting.

We need to overcome a few things that the current capitalist system requires in order to function such as this wiki piece mentions:

"...unemployment is a necessary structural feature of capitalism, intended to discipline the workforce"

".....Capitalism cannot be a full-employment economy, except in the very short term. For unemployment is the "invisible hand"—carrying a stick—that keeps the workforce in line."[17] In this view, Adam Smith's "invisible hand" (market forces) does not seem reliable to guide economic forces on a large scale."

[-] 0 points by dantes443322 (148) 2 years ago

Do you think America has a 100 percent employable workforce? Face it, there are people who will not work or if they were mandated to work, they would do a piss poor job of it and barely scrape by. Why should the employer and in turn other employees suffer because of these individuals? Apologies if I am reading it wrong.

[-] 2 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

maybe if people had something to build towards, they would feel more engaged by their work. Perhaps it is precisely due to the current setup that those individuals realize the pointless nature of working for another persons profit. Ideally, people would not be jaded by the time they hit 25, realizing what a crock our society is, how much of a house of cards and facade America truly is. The noble society that we hear about growing up changes as you open your eyes, and you realize that we are still only a small step from savages, and that we try to clothe ourselves in morals and civilization, while at the same time, still living off the backs of slaves(both real and wage), just not in our own backyard. Keeping in mind those things, would you want to toil away for another person, someone you rarely see, if ever, and who thinks of you as a just another tool to be used, then discarded once your usefulness is done? Your world is not needed. This is what Occupy is really about.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes, those realizations are required as one matures and becomes fully aware of the true nature of the world. The world has never been a utopia, and never will be. Once a person is fully awake to the harsh realities of the world, they are then faced with two choices...1) to become a jaded cynic, resigned to a life of "quiet desperation" as Thoreau put it, and join the mass herd of sheeple to be led around by their taskmasters in quiet but begrudging servitude or, 2) to be determined to face it head-on and strive to change it for the better.

All social progress requires a long, difficult, and sustained effort by relentlessly determined individuals. But progress is possible. History is on the side of the brave few who have transformed the world for the betterment of all. Without those of vision and determination, we would still be living in caves wearing buckskins wishing for a different reality. But the visionaries, undaunted and determined, lead the way to a better and brighter tomorrow.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20444) 2 years ago

It is called the Social Contract. It's about living in a society with human beings. You're right. There are always shirkers and malingerers but they are a very tiny percent of the population. Many times they have mental illness or physical limitations. The government and the economic system should serve the people not vice versa.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." Gandhi

[-] 1 points by poltergist22 (159) 2 years ago

www.nationalday911.org this could get us started in the right direction, first getting everyone onboard to sacrifice a little (one day a year) get the American people to buy American so people get back to work increasing our income and the Gov'ts income to use to curb corruption and mismanagement then we can buy other products from other countrys,finally getting other countrys to recognize the wealth is out there for everyone...its just an idea OWS should consider

[-] 1 points by Roundtree (37) 2 years ago

Restructure the debt-bias tax code. Eliminate the incentive to put the world into debt - and promote organic growth.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by DiMiTri (134) 2 years ago

Trying to put into place another fix out of the thousands to a dysfunctional system that has only arisen because of a DYSFUNCTIONAL mind is itself a sign of the severity of delusion we humans are suffering from. Our society, in all its many insane and genius facets, is itself a reflection of the state of our collective internal minds. As Einstein himself said- problems cannot be solved in the same state of mind they were created in

ALL the evidence now suggests that our left hemisphere of our brain is a dysfunctional version of the right hemisphere..We are just far to disconnected to even see it since the very organ involved in orchestrating our assimilation of incoming information has been compromised. Countless ancient myths, traditions, religions, ect, outline the scenario fairly accurately. Modern science has now stumbled upon the same thing, and a growing number of scientists are tuning into this (really not new) idea

Once this hits the mainstream in a format that is able to deliver the information to the rational (and deluded) part of our minds that is at the helm in a way that makes sense then we seriously will be in for a massive shift in our world. Really, we already are.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-possibility-of-species-wide-brain-damage-the-g/

Its extremely simple logic. Chemicals we intake and produce are involved in reading the DNA, the blueprint of ourselves, and building cells, organs, tissues, limps, eyes, BRAINS...

And its simple knowledge that if you change what something is made out of, if you change its design, then you are essentially changing how it functions. You cant build a space shuttle out of anything less than the materials it functions optimally with- anything less and it wont be functioning as it should.

Shockingly no one has taken this same logic and applied it to the human brain, which is light years beyond any technology we have created in its sheer complexity and power

[-] 1 points by DiMiTri (134) 2 years ago

Just look at the information and decide for yourself. The only sane thing to do would be to at least check the information if some of it pointed towards us not being as functional as we once may have been. The space shuttle analogy basically says as much.

Once you actually understand the general diagnosis and experiment a bit, you quickly go from "hmm thats a cool idea", to "woah this makes sense", to "HOLY FUCKING SHIT

Our economic systems, social systems, educational systems, agricultural systems, ect, ect, ect, all across the board, have problems for this reason. We have a million minor fixes, and people pedalling all sorts of EXTERNAL fixes for INTERNAL problems. When really all we need to do is change our minds...and then the solutions become self-evident, obvious, and swiftly carried out.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

OWS has many possible injustices to right, but we need to focus on one. Going in too many directions at once weakens the movement and will result in no effective change.

The two key elements that most OWS members have in common are the great inequity in wealth and the unfair influence of corporations, special interests and the wealthy on our government.

The most effective way to fight these two intertwined injustices is to boycott the businesses associated. It does not require camping out, or other poorly perceived forms of protest. Our financial protest cuts deep into the diseased heart of corruption like no other form of protest.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

It may not require camping out, but camping does help focus the general public's attention on the fact that Occupy is composed of very serious and committed people. The movement requires visibility, not just invisible boycott of products. Both would help. Anything should be attempted, short of violence, property destruction, etc . If Occupy did not camp out, but went home and returned in visible protest every single day with growing membership , it could accomplish the same thing. But, imho, there is nothing wrong in camping out on publicly owned land.

I do not agree that the visibility of protest demonstrations are "poorly perceived". Any form of visible protest is designed to draw attention to injustice. It gets attention and wakes masses of people up to the reality of what is being protested. It is designed to make people uncomfortable and, hopefully, to encourage them to join in the effort for socio-political or economic change. All forms of social injustice REQUIRE visibility or they will die a quiet death -- something supporters of the status quo greatly desire. Attempts by status quo forces to portray protest demonstrations as "fringe radicals", anarchists, and other demeaning descriptors are pure propaganda designed to weaken the movement. Protest members understand the strategy, dismiss it, and press on toward their goals.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Getting attention is good, in the right way. But self identified anarchists coupled with property destruction is not acceptable to a very large segment of our population. We can be more creative than that, surely?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

As I said, I agree that violence and property damage should be avoided at all costs as it will destroy any credibility the movement may have. Of high concern is that those opposed to any movement such as Occupy may attempt to infiltrate it by attending protest rallies, etc. and intentionally committing violence/destruction (and/or attempting members to join them) in order to destroy the credibility of the movement. This must be guarded against at all cost by aware/knowledgable members within the movement.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Feb 29 is big chance to join together and do exactly what you're saying in a targeted way at a very specific segment of the 1% . Check this out.... You want actuon? Nationwide action? Here is info on what's happening Feb 29th: http://occupywallst.org/forum/do-you-want-to-curb-corporate-influence-heres-your/#comment-630397

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

we need a system of Direct Democracy over the Internet, tabulated in small local precincts (think Postal Zipcodes) to end the central banking cartel.

We vote directly on budgets: local, state and federal , then average the results and rule or own fate. No more lobbyists, bribed representatives or manipulated agendas.

That is a long term future

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Many, many people believe as you do. I don't know your age, but an entire generation has now been raised within the rise of high-tech electronics and the Internet, and now believe the Age of Direct Democracy should be ushered in. Perhaps they are right.

But consider this one word of caution.

There is a tremendous responsibility required on the part of every citizen under Direct Democracy. Most people can barely get it together to inform themselves sufficiently to make a good choice during elections and referendums. They are simply too burdened with the cares of life to spend the time required to become sufficiently knowledgeable on every issue required for voting today by Congress. If you have Direct Democracy, how will everyone become knowledgable enough to make good voting decisions directly? They would have to know all of the detail involved on both sides of an argument, keep up with how legislation is developed in committees, fully understand the pros and cons of the legislation if passed, etc... Is it reasonable to assume that millions of people, instead of a few Representatives and Senators, could make good, sound decisions in the best interests of the nation under Direct Democracy? I urge you to give serious thought to that. As bad as things are, and as deadlocked and broken as Congress is, try to contemplate what might happen if millions of people were making uninformed decisions without the thorough detail and research required.

Our world has become enormously complex. Consider carefully what might happen if millions of people were in charge of ruling the nation directly. Maybe it would be a good thing, but then again, maybe not. There is a lot at stake, and we can't afford to make the wrong decision regarding governing ourselves.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

I agree with some points here... and the wiki article was also very informative...

However, maybe we should try to walk thru some ideas about how implementing an economic reform would work...

So let's look at one passage here:

"The difference between earnings and prices is typically appropriated by industrial and banking centers of capital through monopoly control of finance and other market resources. Such exclusive entitlement tends to artificially impose conditions of economic scarcity upon the majority of the population."

So what specific plan, and how would it be implemented, would engage in society so that this is sucessfully overcome?

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thank you for reading the wiki article. The article is just a brief introduction to some basic concepts regarding Economic Democracy. The actual crafting of an Economic Constitution and/or Economic Bill of Rights would entail a great deal of discussion, planning, and likely several revisions. Ultimately a finished document would emerge for approval/rejection, but it would not emerge overnight. Just look how long it took to finalize our US Constitution.

But I digressed a little.

Central to the restructuring of American business, and one of the key business models of Economic Democracy, is the Cooperative (aka Co-Op). In the theoretical ideal, the Corporation would be replaced with the Co-Op. In the Co-Op model, all employees are also equal stakeholders in the business. Unlike the Corporate model, the Co-Op cannot be owned by shareholder strangers. The Co-Op is 1 person = 1 vote. Every employee has an equal say in determining the success/failure of the business. Everyone is kept very well informed about decisions made within the business because all decisions that would affect the welfare/health of the enterprise must be voted on by all employees This includes compensation. Unlike CEO compensations in today's corporations, which are usually decided via the board of directors, Co-Op CEO compensation is decided by everyone in the Co-Op.

According to Wikipedia, "In 2007, CEOs in the S&P 500, averaged $10.5 million annually, 344 times the pay of typical American workers. This was a drop in ratio from 2000, when they averaged 525 times the average pay."

In contrast, Executive compensation in cooperatives is usually much smaller because all of the employees decide compensation levels for all employees in the business -- from the lowest to the highest. Typical CEO compensation might run as high as 10:1 or 15:1 -- nowhere near the Corporate compensation of 344:1 or 525:1 as stated above.

One may ask how business expansion would operate without public ownership of shares as per the current publicly-traded Corporate model. Besides the fact that Co-Ops are not publicly owned, this is actually fairly straightforward. Government banks would provide capital loans. Failure to repay would result in bankruptcy or restructuring of the loans. The Co-Op can fail just like any other business model. However, the frequency of failure is likely to be much lower due to the nature of the Co-Op. With everyone sharing equally in the business, there is strong motivation to ensure its success. In today's Corporate model, such motivation does not exist. People are just working for a paycheck and hold no loyalty to the Corporation as the Corporation has clearly demonstrated its lack of loyalty to the employee via downsizing, wage stagnation, reduced benefits, etc.

For further info on the Cooperative business model, please see this Wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative

==============================

I have spent a great deal of time talking about the Cooperative. I have great passion about the model in that I believe it has the potential to correct many of the inequities that we see with today's Corporate dominance. As such, I am unsure as to whether or not I have answered your original question. Please let me know and, if not, I will attempt to try again.

Thank You.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

That is a very good response and info, and I definitely agree that businesses should operate for he good of the employees first, rather than revenue being transferred out to rich stock holders or by disproportionate management bonuses...

Another area I am also interested in, is how to get good ideas like this real tracking in society...

For the same reason the economy is manipulated by monopolistic interests, so also is the public mindset and perceptions manipulated on large scales by various interests, which is the reason the economic problems exist in the first place... to change public mindsets toward real progress is very difficult, because of these formidable oppositional influential interests...

There have been very positive and progressive ideas, people, and movements in the past and present all over, but very difficult to change economies and issues of this scale, without a shift in public perception in these areas...

I guess strategies on how to overcome these persistentantly effective tactics, mindsets, and blocks to progress is something we should look at just as seriously, otherwise important reforms and options are often hindered...

What are your thoughts also in this area?

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I totally agree that it's a big uphill battle. There is a HUGE interest on the part of the wealthy power-elite to maintain the status quo. They have the advantage of having control over media messages and politicians to ensure their dominance over society is maintained.

Although they have enormous power, the one thing they don't have is numbers -- the power of one person = one vote. They are a small minority. They cannot control the power of a concentrated vote of the vast majority. This is the common person's greatest advantage and the ultimate source of aristocratic downfall.

And consider this -- never before in history has there been a medium like the Internet to empower the vast populace to unification. To be sure, the power-elite would greatly desire to control/limit it's reach/influence. But they are hampered/frustrated by this one simple fact -- nobody owns the Internet. Since nobody owns it, nobody can purchase it, despite their control of billions/trillions of dollars. Make no mistake, serious efforts have been and will continue to be made to control it...to weaken its power...because its power to unite the vast population is a severe threat to their control and dominance over people, stocks, and even nations.

So the way to win this thing is to use every tool available (except violence and property destruction) to unite the population. The potential power of exponential expansion of awareness via email distributions, social networks, and other on-line sources is ENORMOUS!!! But it requires a great awakening to possible alternatives, educating the masses that realistic possibilities exist, and harnessing their collective power via petitions and voting to FORCE the changes through. That is the sheer power of numbers at work...and it can be done!!!

When that happens, the American Aristocracy can do nothing. Their Achilles heel will have been arrowed. They will no doubt take up their influence/control elsewhere, perhaps in other economically developing/emerging countries. But consider this too --- we now live in a global information community. When other nations see what we would have done, and how we did it, they can use our method(s) as their inspiration. If this momentum travels around the planet, the World Aristocracy would have to accept defeat. They would have to adjust to the fact that their day had waned.

But also know, that they will always be there looking for an opportunity to reemerge.

The price of liberty, both socio-political and economic, is eternal vigilance.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

So I like the spirit of what you are saying in terms of the public voice and building collective action, etc... power to people...

I do see one area where there a huge gap in the public debate, and that is that the interests are not called on the false arguments that are used in order to advance their agendas... the use of false rhetoric is how bad policy is implemented ... and the specifics of the reasoning errors is almost never fundamentally challenged with any veracity....

It is like there is a battle for the 'public everyman' and right now the 'everyman' mostly does what the tv or social leaders say, and rarely questions or demands correction on false rhetoric in the discussion... that would be 'impolite'... the public dialog in the media is on a tight leash, and is effectively pretty much defanged and neutered, in the name of being 'respectful' even to the interests that are directly obstucting progress...

I think this dilutes public discussion as a tactic - to try to make people look bad or imply public ostracization, for direct questioning of the advantaged interest's arguments in the media and public dialog, and this undermines postive direction...

Unless we can get some teeth over false rhetoric that controls public perception, progress historically tends to only happen 'accidentally' because of specific circumstances, and is rarely effectively sustained...

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I can't disagree with anything you have said. Yes, there is a never-ending propaganda campaign being conducted on the part of the power-elite to "dumb down" the mass population via confusion and misdirection. Keep everyone off balance and incapable of getting at the truth and you secure your power without question.

Just imagine what would happen if the masses who are unaware of the truth could have access to the information that is discussed on these forums. Why, there would likely be a tidal wave of discontent from millions!!! The power-elite would be in full retreat strategy and would have to regroup. And the American People should have access to that information. Thanks to efforts like Occupy, awareness is slowly building. The big challenge is to not have the credibility of the movement destroyed by violence or property destruction before the truth reaches enough people. That is one of the biggest goals of those who would preserve the status quo -- destroy credibility of opposition forces. Do it anyway you can. Portray Occupy as "radical", "fringe", "lazy spoiled-brat kids", etc. so that the general population gives no serious attention to the message and true purpose of the movement. That is a big component of their strategy.

The more people we can reach and make aware of the truth, the closer we get to the goal. It will not be an easy thing to reach people one person at a time, but as more and more people gradually get on board with this, eventually you reach the Tipping Point. From that point forward, things can rapidly change in your favor. The thing to keep in mind is constant focus and unrelenting determination to disseminate the truth to as many Americans as possible. Then the change you have fought for for so long finally happens.

It is all a numbers battle for the hearts and minds of the vast unknowing multitude. Win the numbers and you have won the battle.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

I agree that the more people are informed the better...and the ideas on this forum can help...

There is a problem with all the negative posts and comments on here... are tactics to hinder the discussion...

However, we can take back the discussion and form a forum 'working group', so to speak, to protect important ideas and develop positive ways to engage these issues... we just have to decide to, and begin discussing ways to do this...

Does this sound like a good thing to do? If so, let's do it...

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

A very good idea. How?

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 2 years ago

"Just imagine what would happen if the masses who are unaware of the truth could have access to the information that is discussed on these forums. Why, there would likely be a tidal wave of discontent from millions!!! The power-elite would be in full retreat strategy and would have to regroup. And the American People should have access to that information."

Here's are two fatal flaws in your argument....

1.You assume that everything that is discussed here on these forums represents "the truth" as far as it agrees with your position, and is "lies/propadanda" when it does not. The power elite have been "dumbing down" the population for decades and the left has no exclusive claims to not being dumbed in the process.

2.The discontent of "millions" is not enough to cause a wave of anything. It would take hundreds of millions AND those hundreds of millions would also have to care enough to actually DO something. There's never been a time in history where the general mass population AGREED with, or thought that corruption in government was GOOD or FINE. Never. And yet, here we are, thousands of years into civil governments and we STILL have it. NO one likes it, or agrees with it. but the majority has yet to determine what the most effective and efficient method would be to eliminate it.

OWS, as it currently stands and executes things will NEVER reach a "Tipping Point". It simply does not have enough of the right kind of "influencers", and society has to be "ready" and eager for a social trend to take off in order for it to actually gain traction.

The frustration of the masses is already past the tipping point, it has been for years. BUT OWS has yet to produce a viable "product" with which to remedy the problem. And the longer they take to come up with an easily shared, easily explained, easily understood product=a tool or plan or map or strategy that can be passed from person to person, the LESS successful they will be.

[-] 2 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

I wouldn't say there is a 'fatal' flaw.. there are difficulties to overcome.. there is a difference...

What we want to do is develop our ideas better and move toward progress, not be negative and criticize each other, we can always choose to help the discussion, by engaging in helpful ways...

Saying things like 'never' and 'can't' and 'won't' are problematic...in order for these types of claims to be honest statements of fact, it would require psychic powers to confirm future events that have not yet come to pass... we should avoid these types of negative tactic 'overclaims'...

That being said, yes, there are problems with the growing pains and disorganization in areas of the ows movement, as there have been with probably all movements to some degree, to be fair...

If each of us tries to help - that is what helps... we don't have to go after each other if there are problems in certain areas, we can just choose to bring things around - by being helpful in the discussion... this is not difficult to understand, we just need to do it, and change our way of thinking to not be so adversarial... right?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thank you for your support Listof40. It is appreciated.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Someone had to tell Betsyross. Thanks listof40. Many good ideas have been chopped down in their infancy.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Ok, I'll try to look at it a bit more...

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Ok, even considering some overstatement here... There are some interesting points... I do have to agree with Underdog, as it does sound to some extent to discourage here too tho... 

Anyway, there is a lot here to go thru...

  1. There can be some problems in left thinking too, but I don't want too go into this too much, as it is a little open-ended and non-specific...

The idea that people can't have a good position when they support it is non-sensical... A good idea is a good idea, it's not reasonable to imply something is wrong without specific grounds...  People should not have  to somehow apologize for disagreeing with something, if there was a flawed argument... Not even sure what specific "position/lies/propaganda" is being referred to here... so is hard to address this specific perceived problem area...

  1. Your right that society is not on the same page regarding how to deal with discontent and corruption... 

Does ows have a 'viable product' as you mention...? Well, let's look at a couple points...

First, ows was not necessarily intended as a specific structure initially and have tried to adapt, so we should be too hard them specifically because of this...

As far as society 'being ready', protesting tries to bring things into awareness that are able to be normally submerged by media, or other agendas... and so tries in its process to get society engaged ... so its trying to get society involved, by focusing on important issues...

Does ows point out some important social issues, sure I think there are some important areas they bring awareness to...I think this was the main focus to do this...

I myself would like to see maybe better focus or clarity in certain areas by ows, but they are trying, I'm not going to criticize them for trying...  also think there are many interests that are trying to disrupt this, and then use that disruption as a point of criticism...  

Some of the problems of society getting on the same page is often manufactured by interests who want to create contention... it is unnecessary though, and we can get past it, but it takes the responsibility of everyone, to try to make this happen...

You did seem like u were trying to bring the discussion forward.... but there was some concern with the strong wording - sometimes it can be easy to be reactive with all the rough and tumble in the forum... anyway, if u were trying to help, thanks for some ideas on this...

So do u have specific suggestions for how to improve how society addresses advantaged interests that try to disadvantage or exploit the public?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Some of what you say I can agree with, and some of it I definitely do not and will never agree with...never. Some of what you say reeks of defeatism and resignation. I never give in or resign on something I believe passionately about. And I know I am not alone. Even if I were alone, a person must live with their conscience for the rest of their life. I refuse to be burdened with a guilty conscience for having known what the right thing is to do, in my opinion, and not speak up about it.

I do not believe my arguments are flawed. I believe they are quite sane. I have not come to these conclusions quickly and lightheartedly. They have been slowly developing in my mind for decades. I know what they are and what they stand for.

Each person is entitled to their opinions. That is what these forums are all about. I'm afraid you and I will probably never see eye-to-eye on some important fundamentals. Fortunately, we still live in a free country (for now) that allows discontent.

Oh, and by the way, those millions you are talking about who do nothing have done something, or else the great social changes of progressive history would not have occurred. You seem to be a person of history. What do great movements like Ghandi and King tell you about the millions? About Child Labor Laws and Women's Sufferage? Did all of that come about as a result of a small minority?

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

I agree there seemed to be some discouragement in how Betsyross worded her response...maybe it was not intended to seem that way... not sure...

Anyway, I agree with your points... we are each responsible for trying to help society move forward, and overcome important problems, we should encourage each other in this as much as we can, and in developing and finding that way...

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Total agreement. Thanks again for your support. I believe you and I have some good commonalities here. I know we will probably not agree on everything. Few people do. But it's a good start I think.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Thanks...anytime...

Yes, definitely on the same page on much here... sincerely trying to help on these issues, is what can bring society all together ...

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Cap sales profit is what everyone should be talking about. The economic cure for the crisis.

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Your right global discussion has been very helpful when dealing with all these pesky systems of mass oppression... :p

You're right education is key, and the media can influence it... We need to make friends in as many areas as possible...

Btw, the discussion in this thread is somewhat similar,,, http://occupywallst.org/forum/keep-eating-at-each-other-and-playing-into-party-p/

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

What if automobiles were built without windshields ?

There would be problems .. weather conditions would make driving horrendous.. health problems would arise .. passengers would need special clothing .. rainsuits .. winter parkas .. goggles .. the upholstery would become soggy dirty and rotten .. special fabrics would be needed ..

So should we throw away the whole automobile , or just install a windshield ..a very simple solution ?

With capitalism a simple solution is to place a cap on profits between the points of buy and sell .. this will create a positive change on how the sytem works and the end results.

Cap sales profits, and the wealth will become evenly distributed .. Cap sales profit and wealth will no longer accumulate at the top. Cap sales profits and jobs will be created .. Cap sales profits, should be an OWS objective.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

The problem with your windshield/automobile analogy is that the car has more than one problem. It started out running well, but now it not only has no windshield, the heater/air conditioner is busted, the transmission needs work, and the interior is worn out and needs to be replaced. Plus, the driver is a multi-billionaire while the passengers are either working 50-60 hours a week on "get-by" wages, if they're lucky enough to have a job, or else scraping by without one in survival mode subsisting from day-to-day.

Sooner or later, you have to get another car.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Would the new car have a windshield?

..the billionaire, he doesn't drive. He rides in the trunk where he is warm and dry, and has no idea what's going on in the world.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

To continue the analogy, a new car implies it is in good working condition. Previous problems inherent in the previous car no longer exist. People are once again satisfied and can enjoy a smooth comfortable ride. It is likely the new car has a windshield, but depending on the type of car, such as a dune buggy for instance, the windshield may not be a requirement. It all depends on what is required for the desired purpose of the passengers.

Actually, I think the billionaire is very aware of what is going on. That is why I put him in the drivers seat. It is the passengers who are usually sleeping and, therefore, oblivious to the goings-on of the driver and where he is taking them. They assume the driver is taking them where they want to go. When they 1) wake up and realize the driver had a different agenda than them and, 2) delivered them to a spot in the middle of nowhere and 3), refused to take them where really wanted to go and 4) insisted that they get out and walk then, 5) they form Occupy and start the long walk in the direction they want to go. Determined to reach their original destination, they are on the lookout for another car that they can drive without relying on another billionaire driver. They would have learned their important but difficult lesson that vigilance and wakeful attention to what is going on will prevent another instance of them being hijacked again.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

There is a flaw in your arguement. If the billionaire was driving he would fix the windshield, but since he is in the trunk he just doesn't care about the windshield/passengers.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

So getting back to the original point, you expect the billionaire driver to put a cap on profits (windshield)? Am I understanding you correctly? Maybe we're not communicating.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

It won't be the billionaire to implement a profit cap. This will have to be legislated by government intervention.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Agreed. Legislation is required for "permanent" change. My billionaire was somewhat rhetorical to make a point that the power-elite is unlikely to endorse, and would more likely resist, any change that would impact him/them such as profit caps.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

The original point. A simple windshield would improve conditions as would a cap on profits also improve conditions. The comparison is the simplicity In the solution with the complexity of results.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Almost have it, except for "complexity of results". Can you elaborate/explain that a little more please? Thanks. Guess I'm just dense on this a little.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Profit cap = increased sales = increased demand = increased production = increased employment = improved economy.

Occupy goal = cap profit.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I am having a little trouble with your "place a cap on profits between the points of buy and sell". Are you talking about price fixing? I'm confused how Profit cap = increased sales which leads to the rest of your formula above. I apologize for being dense about this but am just not seeing how a limitation on profit leads to an increase in sales. Are you saying that limiting profit results in lower product price that leads to the rest of your formula? I have had no formal education in economics and am trying to understand you on this point. How is a profit margin determined in the market? Doesn't competition between businesses regulate profit margin? Please help me to understand. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Yes essentially the profit will maintain lower prices and encourage sales. Look at black Friday, as an example, consumers will sleep in your parking lot for lower prices. It's the largest shopping day of the year. But this is not the only positive effect. Just the beginning. Competition is not enough to ensure a proper functioning economy. Just like speed kills and we would think that would be enough to encourage people to drive safe. But it's not enough. Speed limits are needed. Speeding fines.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Ok. Starting to understand you better now. I'll still have to think on this and/or do research. I'm still not totally convinced that Profit Cap is the "silver bullet" that would solve everything. If it works as well as you are defending that would be a great thing. I just tend to think that things are a lot more complex than that and that the country requires "major surgery", to use another analogy, rather than fixing a broken arm (poor example on my part).

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Unfettered profit is more like a severed artery. Stopping the bleeding will save the patients life. A cap stops the bleeding.

[-] 1 points by UncomonSense (386) 2 years ago

Give up the "cap on profits" BS, it's nonsense. What you are talking about is TAXES. Raise taxes to limit profits, It worked really well from WW2 right up to Reagan.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

No. The cap is not a tax.

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

It's time for us to move the movement to ATLANTIC CITY, NJ

The latest casino fat cat, Revel, is making employees REAPPLY for their jobs every 4 years. This way they can eliminate the unions and fire people that are getting too old.

The A.C. boardwalk is perfect for our revolution and the police are very shorthanded and not trained very well. We can camp under the boardwalk with the many homeless people the casinos want to see removed and taken to jail!!!!

We need to occupy the ATLANTIC CITY BOARDWALK and the casino fat cats like Sheldon Adelson the casino billionaire and his wife who support Newt the toad!

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I would rather occupy Honolulu right now. Surely they must need some help down there. Would OWS pick up my plane fare?

[-] -1 points by FreeDiscussion2 (9) 2 years ago

I like that idea. Let the mafia follow you home. One less of you in the ocean. Whats your name again?

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

one of the goals might include letting the people be free to govern themselves, and give them the land back so they can build a home to live in and dont make it any other government agency's business. i.e. get rid of zoning laws. right now a city in texas, san antonio (i think) is the only city in the country with zero zoning restrictions.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

No zoning laws? Those law weren't made by the big bad government. They are all local. Do you really want an animal crematorium set up next to your house? How about a sewage treatment facility? Zoning laws grow out of individual community needs. Changing the federal government or economic system has nothing to do with them. Fix what's broke, not what ain't.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

ya like that is going to happen to the majority, face it our current laws serve the minority, my neighbors dont care what their neighbors yards look like or if they park a car on their grass, its their property. if they want to set up an animal crematorium i would probably move, but id rather have freedom even if it stinks.

[-] 1 points by Nicolas (258) from Québec, QC 2 years ago

It's a possibility. It's a hard thing to build a system that is at once answerable to a large number and also nimble and dynamic, and I don't know that economic democracy wouldn't, as much as I'm loath to use neo-liberal buzzwords, discourage individual initiative. Capitalism can be turned into system of exploitation, and has been, but at it's core it's a pretty clever way to build such system. I still personally think it can be made to work for the good of society's members.

There needs to be real anti-trust measures. There needs to be less ways for dodging risk. Perhaps most importantly, there needs to be an adequately trustworthy source of information on corporations and companies so that customers can punish and reward not merely product quality and price but means of production. The last one, I think, has to be addressed somehow even if economic democracy is implemented. There's no point in people having a say if they can't have access to relevant information, or if the object of their decisions are their main source of information.

Structures and policies can't answer everything either. There needs to be some cultural change too. Management is a useful and needed function in any organization, but it's no kingship, nor inherently superior to other work. The folk who do it need to realize they're just another part of the team, and the workers need to realize that too. And the capitalist at the top of the whole thing needs to realize that ultimately, legitimacy always rests on consent, and not some god-given rights of ownership.

I don't know how we can go about those things. But we sure as hell need to be questioning things and considering other paths, so cheers for giving visibility to one.

Edit. Been reading the wiki entry, and hey, at least the folks involved in it recognize and call out artificial scarcity. Because that's plain fucking evil.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

You raise some really good points. Regarding your "Capitalism can be turned into system of exploitation, and has been," that should be one of the primary goals of the "new order" -- the setup of an Economic Constitution based on Economic Democracy that effectively eliminates, or at least seeks too eliminate, exploitation. It is the innate sense of unfairness and the resulting moral indignation contained intrinsically within the capitalistic system that has given rise to Occupy, and Occupy is not the first movement to arise in history because of the evils of Capitalism.

I know it is a very long read, but I encourage you and all seriously committed members of Occupy to read the link above completely. Let's assume that Occupy grows into a movement composed of not just thousands, but millions, or even billions world-wide. You can't just overthrow the existing system without creating a vacuum -- you have to have a coherent plan to replace it. I believe Economic Democracy is such a plan that can provide a blueprint for the new, fair, system that would take Capitalism's place.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

looks good ... thanks Udog .. ;)

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks for your support.

[-] 0 points by foreeverLeft (-264) 2 years ago

OWS is meeting it's goal. It is low level muscle cover for the Democrat party. A plethora of organizations will act under the OWS banner as we go through this most important election cycle. The SEIU will disrupt the CPAC meet as OWS, at least our friends in the media will report it as OWS, those protestor scamps who are just so tired of it all.

You kids are doing great! :)

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

"The SEIU will disrupt the CPAC meet as OWS".

Just make sure all efforts are made to keep this from turning violent.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Good comment. Thanks.