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Forum Post: What should the goal be?

Posted 6 years ago on Sept. 29, 2011, 7:13 p.m. EST by GammaPoint (400) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Let's face it, there a tons of things wrong with this world, and all of them need to be changed. But we can't change all of them at once. I feel that we need to back a single demand (or perhaps couple of demands) to focus our attention. Only then will we be able to appeal and gather the interest and support of the rest of the nation (and this is needed if we want to enact real change).

So what should the goal be? There's end foreign wars, end tax breaks on the rich, regulate wall street, prevent American jobs from going oversees, etc etc. But one thing all these goals have in common is that they rely on the goodwill of politicians to enact these things and keep them going. As soon as the movement starts to fade in people's minds, politicians will quickly move to go back on these changes.

What we really need is democracy. With a better democracy we can achieve all of these other goals in time. So what is an achievable means of securing a better democracy?

1). We have to get the money out of politics. I believe it should be the biggest, and non-negotiable, demand of this movement that all federal elections be supported with ONLY public-financing.

2). I think we need to enact some sort of Instant Runoff Voting such that third-party candidates will then be viable and people will get to vote for people whose policies they actually support rather than the "lesser of two evils".

These two issues, if we united behind them, would be achievable in the short-term. They are also non-partisan, and we would get the support from people all over the country, "left" and "right. Hell, even the TeaPartiers should be down with this.

While hard-core activists will always be interested in this as long as it goes for, I feel that if we want to attract the interest of the rest of the population we have to come out with clear goals. And making our elections more democratic is the single goal that would allow us to later accomplish the other goals. It's the "asking the genie for more wishes" request.



"We are the 99%"



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[-] 3 points by granito (21) 6 years ago

Gotta fix congress. Please look at http://fixcongressfirst.org/. Congress is supposed to be the most important branch of government but they've learned they can scapegoat presidents by making them look more and more important when they actually aren't supposed to be. They've been kidnapped by special-interest-groups and won't vote for the good of the people any more.

[-] 2 points by ZinnReader (92) from Encinitas, CA 6 years ago

Yes, the system is broken. And GammaPoint's first point addresses an impotent aspect of this issue.

[-] 1 points by oclisa (74) 6 years ago

Dylan Ratigan, news personality formerly of CNBC, now on MSNBC has kicked off a movement to GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS by offering a very simple Amendment. You can sign the petition here: http://www.getmoneyout.com/ Getting money out of politics will go a long way to fixing at least part of the structural issues that have allowed our country to be controlled by monied interests. Here is the amendment: "No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago
  1. Demand FULL DEMOCRACY by replacing capitalism with democracy. Democracy is a system of freedom and equality, the exact opposite of capitalism's system of privilege and class. Equality means equal votes, equal treatment under the law and economic democracy means equal ownership and equal pay for equal effort.

If everyone was paid equally, we would get paid $127,000 per year. Everyone would be wealthy. There would be virtually no social problems.

Since democracy is a big change, here are some transitional ideas:

  1. CITIZEN DIVIDEND: Make income tax a flat 50% on all income, no deductions. After you pay for govt expenses, use the remaining to pay every adult a $40,000 per year dividend as their share of the planet nature gave to humanity. That will reduce inequality, permanently end poverty and solve nearly every social problem we have.

  2. FREE CREDIT: Give every citizen access as a right to the Federal Reserve discount window so that they can get a zero interest mortgage for a home or car regardless of credit. This will cut your mortgage in half.

  3. SALARIED EDUCATION: Not only should education be free, students should be paid an income while they get educated. Education is an investment, not a consumption item, so students should be paid a salary to get trained.

  4. FULL TRANSPARENCY: Make society fully transparent by requiring full disclosure of all private and public sector information and data in a central database so you have the same level of access to an organization's data as its CEO gets.

[-] 1 points by bjoyce (9) 6 years ago

Gammapoint, in total agreement with you on this; especially if this is to be, as advertised, the other "99 percent," which includes all political stripes— most of whom at least ostensibly believe in the separation of financial and political power.

On this note, I can think of three points, in order of descending urgency:

  1. Public Transparency of Funds and Office. Which includes meaningfully-accessible (organized, searchable, and online) public record of all expenditures and functions of office (lobby, time, etc— if facebook can do it...)
  2. Campaign Finance Reform (restrictions on donations, more public platforms, etc.)
  3. Accountability for Recent Financial Crimes (more or less within banking)

The reason I omit changes in the tax code— which is very essential— is that I think, at this moment, there is neither sufficient consensus, nor the proper groundwork for a poplar understanding of the deeper meaning of taxes, in order for it to be effective.

A good strategy, then, would be to push the three points above; while those involved in the Wall Street occupation to produce a "Literature" (really in every medium) that helps overturn certain fixed ideas; a literature that speaks to a variety of political identities, in an astounding variety of forms.

"Does one really earn a billion dollars; that is, is it really acquired through work?" "Isn't this about power, and its evils of overconcentration, rather just personal earnings in and of itself?" "Have jobs themselves (as distributed access to power) become the scarcity, rather than goods and services?" "How can taxes be viewed as a necessary corrective to the accumulation of financial power (the more you have, the easier— the less work— it is to earn money, etc)?"


P.S. For any locals, I'll be there in a week, if anyone wants to meet in person on these points.

[-] 1 points by bjoyce (9) 6 years ago

The second and third point are elaborated quite nicely in this set of proposals: https://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/

[-] 1 points by shinyheart (27) 6 years ago
  1. Publicly financed elections: http://fairelectionsnow.org/ http://fixcongressfirst.org/

  2. An increase of the top marginal tax rate to something like 90%, so no one can make more than ~2 million dollars, a large increase in capital gains taxes, increase the estate tax, an increase the effective corporate tax rate:

The rationale for separation of powers in government was that the US Founding Fathers didn't trust power concentrated in too few hands. There should be a corresponding check upon the power of concentrated wealth.

We used to have this system in the 50's, when America was more prosperous, more equal, and far less retarded. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/festival/2010/10/video-malcolm-gladwell.html

These two things would accomplish the biggest part of what I want. Although there are many other things I think we should want as well - broadcast spectrum should be treated as public good instead of being private property, Glass-Steagall should be reimplemented, and I think poor people should have more money: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/10/25/the-new-fix-for-poverty-give-cash-to-the-poor.html

Such a program is working to alleviate poverty in Brazil, and it would also work here.

My ultimate goal is a smarter, more compassionate society.

[-] 1 points by GandhiKingMindset (124) 6 years ago

Here's one person's list of 9 clear demands. It also provides alternative option of 1 demand. In both cases, demands are not empty. Proven time tested tactics of active non-violent resistance are reviewed. These would be used if the demands are not met by the stated deadline. COMMENTS WELCOME!!! https://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/

[-] 1 points by bjoyce (9) 6 years ago

Superb list. It may be best if the lists are merely prioritized rather than reduced; preventing squabbling and also permitting the possibility of added gains.

[-] 1 points by ZinnReader (92) from Encinitas, CA 6 years ago

Great suggestion. The goal is known as "economic justice." The idea has been around awhile.

[-] 1 points by AriaLittlhous (18) 6 years ago

The goal is Ending the Income Gap between Rich and Poor, the question is "How". So Demands need to answer a "how" question. I think crowd sourcing an entirely new Federal Tax Code would work. That is, start from scratch, and have every voter vote on every provision electronically. This would be a great start for Direct Democracy.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

Citizens Emergency Coalition Holistic Tribes. We have to C.E.C.H.T the 22. okay thats not truth its a quirky joke. i'm sorry.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

well, yeah, heres a more adult add on to what you just said. we need open source democracy. when you remove lobbying and corporations from the neck and belly of congress, and remove them from the beds of the senators... and etc... You have a body of elected representatives. It wasn't possible 100 years ago to actually do that in a real way. the internet means that now it is. The goal should be to form the metacoalitions and virtual councils of a new fourth branch of citizen driven government which will become the new controlling branch of government phasing out the fed and IRS as the secret fourth branch of government. see where that goes? we need a candidate for every office in this country, an evolutionary political platform only evil fools could argue with, a wiki, and a forum, per each of those offices... and etc. As if we simply are in fact taking back full control and responsibility to run our country. WE THE PEOPLE style.

[-] 1 points by GammaPoint (400) from Oakland, CA 6 years ago


Two things:

1). Please don't demean anyone's comments with phrases like "a more adult add on". Don't do it to me and don't do it to any other member of this movement. It's not helpful and fractures the solidarity.

2). As for your idea, I think it could be the future, but it's too foreign to obtain this "4th branch" of government in the short-term. Old people are going to feel like they are going to be totally disenfranchised because many of them aren't comfortable with computers. Your suggestion may be the natural evolution of the system, but I don't agree that it makes for good short-term demands. Feel free to disagree further. This forum is for the exchange of ideas.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

i'm sorry i don't mean to demean anyone. I'm looking through a prism of a lot of education at a systemic problem with serious strategic and tactical truths involved that most people miss. If what we really need is democracy then we need to take a very clear and lucid look at what is that we can do to create democracy, and thats not just marching on the streets or hitting two core issues. Time after time i run into people who want to get things distilled down and focused and thats awesome, but i am looking at a very large set of problems and very large macro over here which initial presentations like yours continually fail to see. And thats frustrating on my end. Becausei keep putting it out there and people keep coming in with too simple by 9/10s. But i like what you have to say and agree with it, its just going to take once again all of the work to make it real. I don't mean to demean you or anybody, but this entire thing is from my perspective a giant three ring circus of errors and mistakes and confusion and lack of organization and lack of a clear message and lack of predictive causal thinking. Its VERY hard to even be here supporting this. but i have an obligation. and i am thus asking for everyone to kick it up a notch, and join me in a fully adult level of the conversation.

"2). As for your idea, I think it could be the future, but it's too foreign to obtain "this "4th branch" of government in the short-term. Old people are going to feel like they are going to be totally disenfranchised because many of them aren't comfortable with computers. Your suggestion may be the natural evolution of the system, but I don't agree that it makes for good short-term demands." i'm not saying to add it to a short term list of demands. There are two things you do in any shall we say battle and that is fight and feed your supply lines. this is a war of ideas. you people are fighting with memes you found picking your noses in troll chats. You want to change the world you are all going to have to get into textbooks, get on computers, get to adult and real responsibility instead of merely demands. I am tired of hearing now about demands. I want to hear about what the movement is going to do to correct the problem that it is ignorant and ideologically vacant and that i am the only person around who even as much as understands that we don't have a capitalist system but a fraudulent corporate oligarchy playing mind games with thought control. There is ONLY one way out of the matrix and that is to embrace BECOMING INTELLECTUALS. Occupying wall street and failing to do the homework will only make your movement a punk anarchist phenom.