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Forum Post: Why Socialism Cannot Save us (From a WS Occupant)

Posted 10 years ago on Oct. 10, 2011, 2:33 a.m. EST by apell1992 (51)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I'm a Wall Street Occupant. I come and go because I'm still in school but I'd never drop out because my education has brought me an understanding of economics, government and history that I fear a loud majority of the Occupants lack.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but how can you seriously (some of you; if you're on my side, please don't respond) try and advocate Socialism and Socialist policies and reform to solve our problems? Are you not aware that it is these very Socialist-leaning, Keynesian, Corporatist policies that have CAUSED all our problems?

And what's even worse are those of you who have told me straight to my face, "Capitalism doesn't work and Socialism doesn't work. What we need is a mix!" Really? You think we live in a Capitalism? What part of government-mandated healthcare, corporate lobbyism (ie: the ability to pay off), withdrawn freedoms, corporate bailouts, free-market-stifling regulations and taxpayer-funded subsidies seem capitalistic to you? A "mix" of Socialism and Capitalism is what we have right now and obviously, it's not working.

Anyone who advocates that Socialist policies and government-regulated departments, please respond. I'd love to engage in a dialogue with you because I agree that something's wrong with this country. However, I'm convinced that a Socialism-inspired solution will only move us backward. Respond so I can explain why.

163 Comments

163 Comments


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[-] 3 points by iswaeen (3) from Skårup Fyn, Syddanmark 10 years ago

Those who argue that pure capitalism is a good solution always ignore the fact that the government protects the property of the owners of capital (through police/military and the right to use force).

In a truly capitalistic world people would have to defend their property themselves. Those in need of resources to sustain themselves would then be free to take their reasonable share of the production capital (land, natural resources, knowhow etc.) No private property, no patents, just the law of the jungle.

Obviously this is a very poor model for society, resembling the wild west and resulting in anarchy. But it is the truest form of capitalism there is.

Think therefore of income leveling taxation and other "socialist" measures as an insurance premium for those who own capital that allows them to be rich, secure and alive at the same time.

I live in Denmark where we have a mix of "capitalism" and "socialism" and it works! It is not perfect and there are surely many things that I would change if I could. But the blatant rejection of socialism and socialistic ideas is uninformed and ignorant. Sorry!

Incredibly stupid things have been done in the name of socialism. But this is equally true for capitalism and virtually every (other) religion. Reality is not black and white but filled with shades of gray. And thanks God for that.

[-] 1 points by beardy (282) 10 years ago

pure capitalism by definition needs government to protect private property

if there are no laws and no consequences, i wouldn't buy your stuff. i'd take it by force.

nice try though

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I don't understand. You don't necessarily need to abandon government protection of your property even in a free market. How is there "no private property, no patents?"

Great to hear it works, albeit not perfectly. My understanding of the free market, however, doesn't allow for flaws. In my mind, it would work perfectly. You haven't swayed me. I still reject Socialism so I must be stupid but I'm still here to argue.

[-] 3 points by GammaPoint (400) from Oakland, CA 10 years ago

A free market cannot actually exist. The demands for perfect competition are too great. Furthermore, imperfect competition to any degree leads to compounding advantages that make future competition even less competitive. It's a run-away solution, like if you place a ball ontop of a pyramid. Any motion causes the whole thing to collapse into a monopoly-dominated feudal society where there is no semblance at all of a free market.

[-] 2 points by davisstraub (52) 10 years ago

"I know that the free market is a self-regulating entity."

Alan Greenspan thought that also, until he realized that he had made his very first mistake ever.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

He couldn't know whether it was a mistake or not because Alan Greenspan never lived in a time when the free market existed.

[-] 1 points by davisstraub (52) 10 years ago

I guess that was his other mistake. :-)

[-] 2 points by josefbh (3) 10 years ago

I have heard a saying: Capitalism is the least sucky alternative available right now. I don't know how much I agree with that but it certainly needs some serious tweaks. What seems to be lacking in the whole scheme of things is any kind of moral center to it. It (capitalism) just seems to do what it does regardless of who and what it crushes along the way. Is there any part of this movement that seeks to get people to focus their purchasing, or consumerism, if you will, in a way that is non-exploitive? For example, encouraging everyone to only purchase goods from companies that engage in fair trade. Where resources were sustainably harvested and the product was made in a non-enviromentally threatening manner and every one along the way was paid a fair wage for their labor? Capitalist in form but humanist in its manners. I believe we should use the web to get the message out about business that fit this model.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

You can encourage anyone to do anything, but in the end, you have the free will to make the choice. I'm of the idea that it isn't wise to allow the government to control the things you buy or the things you sell. The government controls enough already.

If enough people care about the cause of free trade, those companies that don't engage in it will be forced to adapt or will fail. This is the free market bending to the will of the majority of consumers. It self regulates in that way and does not fail.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

The central balancing point of capitalism is that without force - in order to make money you must do what people demand. If you make soapdishes but no one wants them you won't have business so no matter how much you may personally despise futons - if people want them you need to make them. Supply and demand is the yin and yang of capitalism and as Smith pointed out the invisible hand of their interaction forces bad people to do what others want. It in effect takes what some people consider the worst of our feelings and bends it into doing what others want. All without force and violence.

[-] 2 points by JeffBlock2012 (272) 10 years ago

I think we'll always have a mix, and the "art" is in tweaking that mix with the primary objective of raising the standard of living from the bottom up.

Our government is broken and cannot function for "We the People":

"Politics is broken" ~ Senator Bill Bradley's public statement, 1995 when he announced he would not seek re-election, after serving 18 years as a Senator.

and 16 years later...

"The system is broken and dysfunctional...and everyone knows that." ~ Senator Tom Udall, USA Today 9/29/2011

"We Have Lost The Ability To Execute Even The Basic Functions Of Government" ~ Robert Gates - retired Secretary of Defense speech at the Constitution Center

http://www.jeffblock2012.com/Summary.html

We have a catastrophic form of government (as we also do in health-care) which can barely handle yesterday's emergencies. We need a government which can be forward looking at the issues of food, housing, education, health care, transportation, etc....ALL with a 10 to 50 year forward view for "We the People"

Until we transform our political system of government, nothing changes...

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

But we've been working with this "mix" for 98 years and it's led to the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the burst of the housing bubble, the cyber bubble and so on.

Is it not possible that "mixes" are doomed to failure because when you add pieces of Socialism to the pot, special interests become involved which always leads to corruption in one form or another. This "corruption" that I refer to are policies that serve only some of the 100%, be it 20%, 5% or the 1%.

This constant rejection of the free market is what's dooming us. In a free market, every service or good you could ever want is placed before you on a silver platter; it's just your duty to choose from it. Companies are forced to offer the lowest competitive prices, on the line of at-cost sales; they're forced to engage in the most ethical business practices and they're forced to find green solutions to problems because more and more people do NOT want to do business with polluting companies.

[-] 2 points by JeffBlock2012 (272) 10 years ago

pure free market capitalism assumes unlimited resources. With limited resources it become like the game of Monopoly and ends when one player owns ALL the resources and every else cannot afford to rent/buy resources from the owner.

As recently as 150 years to 200 years ago resources seemed unlimited - air, water, land, energy, etc. were all abundant and readily available. That's why we blew smokestacks into the air and dumped waste into our streams. But resources are limited.

And then there's the observation of our incredibly high efficiency due primarily to machines/robots/computers. What if we simply don't need everyone to work? Your "every service or good you could ever want is placed before you on a silver platter" assumes that a free capitalistic market expands to provide (good) jobs for everyone who wants one. The paradox is capitalism rewards efficiency and machines/robots/computers are way more efficient and cost effective than humans. I actually have a robot that mows my lawn! (robomow.com). So what does your free market do with the part of society that can't figure out the "money" part of life, who simply can't find or create a job? Do we let them starve? No, we add social services...and there we are in the mix again...

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Robomow! That's pretty cool.

Anyway, you're wrong to say it's possible to control an entire resource and strangle a populace by manipulating it (paraphrasing but I think that's your point). If one could hold all the air, water, land or energy, you'd be right, but I'm sure you'd agree that that can't happen.

A corporation couldn't even theoretically control all the oil, which is one piece of energy, as there will always be more oil to discover. Regardless of that, even if a corporation gets hold of an entire product, there will always be substitute goods. It will always be the consumer choosing to buy the product, despite the fact that there are alternatives.

For every job that a robot replaces, there is a new job opening up. The problem, however, is that as robots take the easier, physical jobs, this leaves people who were only qualified for easy/physical jobs unemployed. There are fields in desperate need for workers that can never (or not in the conceivable future) be replaced by robots. The problem lies in our education system and workers' inability to fill those roles. As it has been said before, we've only just started inventing.

[-] 2 points by samakhval (3) from Manchester, England 10 years ago

1992 - I'm british and support the Occupy Wall St. 100%. It's what the US has needed for years now, ever since Reagan unleashed an open and unlimited class war on working people and their means of organisation through destroying unions, jailing many of the dispossessed, and depoliticising and/or criminalising dissent in general. The reason every economy in modern history (including, as you say, the US) has been, to some extent, a mix of market and public means of organisation and allocation is simple: the pure free market economy posited by libertarians (via the writings of the likes of Hayek, von Mises, Nozik, etc) is a non-starter and a no-brainer. Capitalism always has entailed and could only ever entail some degree of centeralised ('public')political power in the form of the state, usually put towards a mix of altruistic-functional means (welfare, education and health care for the masses), coercion (law and order), and support (subsidies, investment, bailouts) for the biggest sectors of business and industry (military, agriculture, financial speculators who get burned, etc.). By what means did Thatcher and Reagan 'get government off our backs'? By using the coercive powers of the state (with the assistance of the ideological powers of the media). The idea that capitalism is a realm other than or outside or antithetical to the public/state is farcical. Give up on Economicas 101A: there is ZERO evidence of it being tried and tested in practice. For good reason

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Great to hear some international support. Thank you.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm having trouble determining whether you're endorsing Keynesianism or saying that the centralized power of government is something regretful that we have to live with? Can you be more clear?

And that's interesting that you discredit Economics 101A, because I would think that if it doesn't work, it wouldn't be taught? Or it would be taught as a failure?

[-] 2 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 10 years ago

Corruption has no "ism" or "ist" in it's spelling.

[-] 2 points by Kane (38) from Carson, CA 10 years ago

Anarcho-capitalism will either result in neo-feudalism if it manages to form a coherent structure or it'll stagnate in a permanent state of nature.

"First use" and the nonagression principle are far too easy to game if you have enough capital to fund some heavy civil engineering projects. Control water, control mobility and you can control an entire region. Why am I so sure of this? Instead of studying Rothbard and Mises I studied Civil Engineering.

I'll pass on your "pure capitalist" utopia, thanks for offering though.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Amen.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

So you're arguing that some industries are too vast and require too much capital to be competed against? I feel like I must be niave to find an answer so simple, but isn't that what loans are for? If you understand the theory of survival of the fittest, an industry so imposed by catallactics, without barring new entrepreneurs from entering it is literally destined to be competed against.

Water? Well the free market takes care of that - you either have tap, Poland Spring, Dasani...the list goes on. Mobility? Well what's happening now? You can buy a car or walk or bike and in a free market system, your choice on that issue can't be controlled. So, to be honest, I fail to see your point.

Please don't pass. Continue this argument with me. You're raising some interesting points.

[-] 2 points by Kane (38) from Carson, CA 10 years ago

No, I'm arguing that natural monopolies exist.

We move around in this nation on public roads. If I pave a toll road around your house you have no option but to do business with me or sit in your home and starve. If you trespass without paying my set price I can unleash private security firms to collect damages.

First of all, bottled water is tap water (collected and cleaned on the public's dime) and if someone outside of your service area actually wanted to compete they'd have to ship it on roads, but those roads may not be made available, at the owner's discretion if it was a privately held asset. If a competing transportation system was to be built they’d have to access the existing road network to build it. If the owner chooses to deny them right of way, too bad, he still has monopoly.

Drinking water and irrigation for agriculture is only made possible in many regions through large dam projects, again this is a natural monopoly. There are only so many locations you can collect water in this manner and if privately held, the owner sets the price. If he chooses to turn the facet off, dry up all the surrounding farmland and acquire it for little to nothing it's all perfectly legitimate, it's his property to do with as he wishes (first use) and you can’t ethically force him to do otherwise (nonaggression).

Are you starting to see how you can use vertical integration to enslave a population?

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Our purest legacies as Americans will not come from private enterprise. That's not a historically moral possibility. Innocently, it's like having the Nike swoosh on the Statue of Liberty or Oakleys on Mt. Rushmore. (yes I know those are not public works per se) Or GE on the Hoover Dam. More unsettling, It's only barely science fiction to have pure capitalism. How many people would have to die before the Great Asbestos Empire is overthrown by the League of Better Paid Doctors in this new feudalism?

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

You have choice. If I understand your analogy correctly, you won't buy from products with asbestos. In a free market capitalism, it's the doctors offering a combination of low price and best skills that thrive and make the most profit.

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Arrg. What the...? Oversimplification of my analogy. This is an example. I'm trying to paint this picture. Where is the guy that tells you there's asbestos in there after someone tells him that asbestos is bad? In this particular case which should serve to not be TOO historically unlikely or unrepeatable, he knows he doesn't have a viable alternative, so letting that information out would ruin him. He is too set in his ways or old or specialized to retrain, so it's either - To hell with him, let him starve -or- To hell with you, enjoy your mesothelioma. I mean, wouldn't ANYBODY with a conscience want to step in with their own knowledge to assist in this potentially lethal, volatile situation? Well, like I said before, that 3rd person, that next consumer in line... That's the government. There is no better word for it. Maybe I'll write vignettes for further examples.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

This is a very interesting point. I'd really hate to recant even a piece of my argument so could you just answer some questions? Much like how Zuccotti park is privately owned, wouldn't a privately-owned road be handled in a similar way? In that it's allotted for public use? If not necessarily, COULD it be handled that way? What would determine that?

As for your water argument, the owner of a body of water would be foolish to not capitalize on his resource so let's say he does. He has the option to sell it to whichever bottling company he chooses, so the consumer has the option of buying from whatever bottling company HE chooses. Still, though, don't the different owners of their respective bodies of freshwater compete with one another? It would behoove an owner to recognize that a bottling company can choose to do business with another reservoir. He won't withhold services because he'll lose money.

Yes, you can't force him, but isn't there an incentive?

[-] 3 points by Kane (38) from Carson, CA 10 years ago

Zuccotti Park only exists "as-is" because it was public-private agreement. In exchange for allowing the developers to build a bigger tower they agreed to turn some of their land into a park. Remove the Government from the equation and Zuccotti Park disappears. There is no incentive for an exclusive for profit entity to serve the public in that manner. That's why natural monopolies and specific services are left to Government (or heavily regulated by the Government).

On the subject of water: why would a for profit entity encourage competitors to enter their market? Tap water repackaged and sold exists because the original holder (the Government) doesn't care about competing services; their goal is to serve the public, which makes their stance towards service competitors indifferent. The average US municipal drinking water system provides ~200 gallons*person/day (depending on the region). This is household use; it doesn’t include manufacturing or agriculture. The half gallon/day you drink from bottles (and see as “free market”) is relatively insignificant. Water for hygiene/sanitation and irrigation of green space is the lions share and you're not going to get that off trucks. Most of it moves through pipe systems which require exclusive space (a natural monopoly). Assuming “a competitor will appear” ignores the complexity of routing utilities through roads, other utility lines and private property in a cityscape.

On the subject of reservoirs: in many places there are no available competing reservoirs. The distances involved (along with the corresponding capital costs) with shipping it in the volumes required for agriculture make it an exclusive market. For example, several cities and agriculture only exists in the US Southwest because of the dam system on the Colorado River. Piping it from another location would be outrageously expensive and given the overhead involved, would never be able to compete with a local provider. The “rational” decision for a for profit provider would be to drop their prices below the entering competitor’s operating costs until they go bankrupt, buy their assets and return to setting whatever price they wish for water. Of course by this time they’ve probably managed to buy up most, if not all, of the agricultural land in the region and are operating the general public as serfs on their land… I mean employees.

Apell, look into “truck systems” and “company towns” for working examples of what happens when you combine typically Government provided services and business into a single entity. For people to be happy they need work but they also need access to society and a voice in the process. Free markets only provide the first but do nothing to ensure social access and a voice in the process. Government, if structured properly, can provide the social access and voice that the vast majority desire. Our problems stem from allowing capital to have too much influence in Government. Eliminating Government (anarcho-capitalism) or turning it into a baby floating around in a bathtub (Libertarianism) only will complete the merger between the two, and at great cost for the “losers” in a market system.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I have no rebuttal. You're very knowledgeable on the subject and I'm forced to admit that perhaps road systems and water need to be regulated by the government like they are now. I can't say for certain if you're right but I have no argument to prove you aren't.

Either way, I don't think our nation has a huge problem today with roads and water.

[-] 1 points by jandpschmidt (5) 10 years ago

In my opinion the United States is the last bastion of "Red Tooth Capitalism" where many powerful wealthy individuals (the 1%) care only about themselves and could care less about others who are "Free to Die" as they see it. For many it is a "Me" economy. What is preferable is a "We" economy where there is universal access to health care because most individuals care enough about what happens to others to sacrifice a little so as to help those in need of help. The question should not be whether or not "Socialism" is the answer but merely a stock taking of where you are now and where you want society to go from here. Do you want 9% unemployment - no! Do you want others to die and/or face economic ruin because they cannot afford healthcare - no! Do you want your economic activity dwarfed by speculative trading on Wall Street - no! Yet the US, the wealthiest "Capitalistic" country in the world has allowed this to happen to its own citizens while those living next door in Canada are not suffering as much from these same ills. Is Canada more socialistic than the US? I don't know. Things are not perfect by a long shot in Canada. But one thing is clear to me. Our unemployment rate is 7%, everyone has access to heath care and we do not have an over sized banking system. Where would you rather be?

[-] 1 points by jandpschmidt (5) 10 years ago

In my opinion the United States is the last bastion of "Red Tooth Capitalism" where many powerful wealthy individuals (the 1%) care only about themselves and could care less about others who are "Free to Die" as they see it. For many it is a "Me" economy. What is preferable is a "We" economy where there is universal access to health care because most individuals care enough about what happens to others to sacrifice a little so as to help those in need of help. The question should not be whether or not "Socialism" is the answer but merely a stock taking of where you are now and where you want society to go from here. Do you want 9% unemployment - no! Do you want others to die and/or face economic ruin because they cannot afford healthcare - no! Do you want your economic activity dwarfed by speculative trading on Wall Street - no! Yet the US, the wealthiest "Capitalistic" country in the world has allowed this to happen to its own citizens while those living next door in Canada are not suffering as much from these same ills. Is Canada more socialistic than the US? I don't know. Things are not perfect by a long shot in Canada. But one thing is clear to me. Our unemployment rate is 7%, everyone has access to heath care and we do not have an over sized banking system. Where would you rather be?

[-] 1 points by Facho (2) 10 years ago

I think that for this time we need be a little over this "dialoge" between Capitalism and Socialism, becausse the people in this country is really attache with the private property, I think we need look for the essencials needs like health, education, standard living, and leisure time most be to provide by the goberment in a standard way.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

Socialism is the desire to help ones fellow human

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 10 years ago

I believe that the primary roles of government are security/law, education, regulation, and (to some extent) healthcare (and in that order of precedence). The first and second I don't think any truly reasonable person would disagree with, the third everyone will always argue about and that's unavoidable, and the fourth I include because I don't think any society with even moderate wealth should let an injured or sick man die or suffer outside a hospital just because they don't have the money or insurance up-front. The current (prior to recent healthcare reform) "ER socialism" that we have in this country is just stupid.

Those points said, I do see the value of finding a harmony between socialism and capitalism, but I would propose a vision of that harmony that is very different from the traditional socialist. I'll direct you to my previous post on the subject: http://occupywallst.org/forum/theory-community-not-communism/

[-] 1 points by luparb (290) 10 years ago

There's millions of impoverished people with no land, no means of production, no education, no vehicle, nothing.

They cannot sell their labor because labor has become superfluous through outsourcing and technological automation.

Any reconfiguration within capitalism to reduce the influence of corporations and capitol in politics does not suddenly manifest the demand necessary for more jobs.

What do you propose they do. Starve to death?

I'd love to hear your opinion

[-] 1 points by WorkingClassAntiHero (352) from Manchester, NH 10 years ago

Your thinking on the matter in these old terms is irrelevant and counterproductive. Orthodoxies are what allow for corruption of policies and corruption of government in democratic societies. The fall of our economy was not due to socialist leaning anything. It was due to corporatism that was bought and paid for each election cycle, wherein the business and corporate communities were able to purchase greater amounts of influence with each passing cycle.

As businesses and corporate players got more of what they wanted, their multinational business presence, in conjunction with their insider domination of the electoral process, again in conjunction with their control over foreign and trade policies...allowed them to centralize the wealth while bankrupting public institutions in the process.

If we allow this rhetorical nonsense about isolated orthodox systems being required at all, we'll only fall deeper into our hole.

[-] 1 points by atki4564 (1259) from Lake Placid, FL 10 years ago

Although I'm all in favor of taking down today's ineffective and inefficient Top 10% Management Group 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 support a Presidential Candidate Committee at AmericansElect.org in support of the above bank-focused platform.

[-] 1 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 10 years ago

I think you've confused Socialism with Fascism friend. Two different beasts. What we have is Corporatism as Mussolini once called Fascism. The Big Corps. have used their power to buy the Gov't and turn it into another profit center for their stockholders and managements. By using wide open campaign financing ala Citizens United Corps. can now openly buy politicians off the shelf just like other parts or service. They also use the "revolving door" to have their bought Political shills place ex.Corp. employees into Depts. of gov't they want to capture and regulate and also to promise Gov't employees jobs in the very Industries they're supposed to be regulating, after they retire. So when your looking at DC and all its branches of Gov't today for the most part your looking at Wall st./Corps. This is what I believe #OWS is about. In short its corruption that's the problem.

[-] 1 points by owstag (508) 10 years ago

I neither agree nor disagree; what is it that you would like to see?

[-] 1 points by gekko (75) 10 years ago

hahaha excellent!!!

[-] 1 points by traderone (13) 10 years ago

I get it Wall Street Protesters: "thats not what we are doing, we are not promoting socialism at all, sorry, no, the problem is criminal enterprise and the caste wars which wall street and etc started and perpetuated against us. You are simply using socialism as a straw man argument. we don't stand for socialism and have no interest in it.

Speak the issues of the crimes and the caste warfare and the corporate oligarchy, don't try to change the subject or spin nonsense at us. less than one in a hundred of the people involved have any interest in socialism."

Currently there are crimes in our federal government supported by more crimes on wall street. It's not that capitalism is bad or socialism is bad, but that bad people with huge wealth and power exist under both philosophies.

If we as Americans are going to unite, then you protesters need to expose all the crimes and hypocrisy that exists today, along with arguments to eliminate those issues from our government. It's not hard to find these crimes, or the facts to expose them. What we need to do as a united society is to stop accepting these crimes, and demand uniform accountability and criminal enforcement.

[-] 1 points by jandpschmidt (5) 10 years ago

Nice assessment traderone. Clearly it is attitudes at play that are important here, not the dogma of ......ism vs .......ism. The protesters are not happy with the status quo and I believe I understand why. Gangsterism and cronyism are the enemies, not capitalism or socialism.

[-] 1 points by jandpschmidt (5) 10 years ago

Nice assessment traderone. Clearly it is attitudes at play that are important here, not the dogma of ......ism vs .......ism. The protesters are not happy with the status quo and I believe I understand why. Gangsterism and cronyism are the enemies, not capitalism or socialism.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I agree with you that there needs to be accountability in both the private and public sectors, but when the public sector makes the laws and includes the loopholes that make room for private sector abuse, isn't it the public sector's fault?

[-] 1 points by jandpschmidt (5) 10 years ago

It is the public sectors fault if laws and enforcement are not adequate. However, when the public sector is unduly influenced by the power of big money ... then things may get out of balance ... which is where you are now with 1% of the population getting richer and richer, while the wealth of the bottom 80% is stagnant and decreasing.

[-] 1 points by Barrylyndon (60) from Chicago, IL 10 years ago

You fucking idiot. Socialism is about the workers democracy-ie the people who work at a factory or farm democratically deciding how it is run, instead of living under a dictatorship of their boss.

Keynesian economics has nothing to do with socialism, in fact those policies were adopted by FDR to ward off the threat of socialist revolution, by buying off the working class with limited reforms while preserving the capitalist system overall.

The USA has never been socialist, in its entire history. Return to reality, please.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Thanks for that.

Socialism includes the theory that certain industries would benefit by being "socialized." This is what I'm taking issue with. Sorry I couldn't be more clear.

Keynesian economics, including the theory that the government should interfere and regulate the private sector, is akin to socialism in that it's the government trying to have control, even if it's limited, of the private business sector. Again, sorry I couldn't be more clear.

So with my understanding of Socialism as I have described, is there any room in YOUR reality to believe that government-run healthcare, for instance, fits the bill?

[-] 1 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 10 years ago

"I don't mean to offend anyone....CAUSED all our problems?"

1) The US has lots of problems, but specifically, the 2008 meltdown was the result of free markets doing their thing. It was/is a mutant form of capitalism, to be sure, where bizarre and highly complex risky derivatives and mortgage backed securities are sold wantonly, without transparency, and with complete abandon. They remain unregulated today. Political and economic theories are only that; then flawed humans try to interpret them and bend them to their individual or group agendas. For republicans, traditionally, they've trumpeted the interests of individual initiative over those of the whole. For democrats, traditionally, they've trumpeted the interests of the whole over those of the individual.

The free market allowed banks to sell "No Credit? No Money? No Problem!" mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. That's pure Free Market capitalism at work. The government didn't regulate these transactions. The only difference is that Wall Street and the 1% got bailed out for their massive fuckups, but the (equally stupid) people who bought those houses got nada, zip, zilch. Both were stupid, but only one got bailed out.

2) You don't "live in a capitalism," it's an economic theory. You can live in a capitalist society, but you don't reside in capitalism.

I do agree that the government mandate in healthcare was a mistake, but in 2014, if you're 26 or under, you can stay on your parent's health insurance.

3) "A "mix" of Socialism and Capitalism is what we have right now and obviously, it's not working."

Agreed.

4) "Anyone who advocates that Socialist policies and government-regulated departments....Respond so I can explain why."

You seem confused: "Socialist policies and government regulated departments"? What does that mean? Anyway..."Socialism"--or more accurately, "socialist policies" do, in fact, work. But ultimately it's not about doctrine or ideology (and labels) as it's about priorities and how to direct limited resources. Let's take Finland:

In Finland, they Decided to Eliminate Homelessness. That was a prioritized policy decision: it wasn't wild eyed marxism, it was a choice. They're a capitalist society. They're successful. People aren't lazy and haven't been destroyed by intrusive government. They made a choice and it appears to be working for them. Unlike the rightists in this country, who exalt the individual over the greater good, many countries support their populations. They don't call them entitlements--that's an American construct. Finland? They strive mightily to ensure that their people--whoever they are--have shelter. Are they run by marxists denying freedoms? Um, no, they're very successful economically. Finland is one of the most educated countries on the planet (source: the liberal rag WSJ: http://tinyurl.com/2e5coe), has a "mix" of ideologies, and traditionally rank very high on the "happiness index."

Other Countries make Different Choices. The US decided, for example, to invade a country that didn't attack us based on lies and insidious fear mongering. It cost the country $1 trillion dollars (half of the national debt from WWII to 1980). That was our choice as a country. That money could have been spent on improving education and affordability, or providing housing, or making healthcare more affordable, but instead we went to war based on lies and deception. Those were opportunity costs that resulted from our national priorities.

As for the evils of a "mix" of socialism and capitalism...

...If you don't speak German as a native language, ach! It's the result of government intervention that took over the economy and helped save the world from fascism. If Ron Paul had been president, you'd be sprecching Deutsch in no uncertain terms.

...if you drive a car on the highway, please stop doing that! It's the result of socialist government intervention!

...If you are using the Internet, please stop now! DARPA, a federally funded entity, invented it and that's socialism that you're supporting--cease and desist!

...if your parents or grandparents get a social security check--go quickly, and take it away from them! That's socialism!! Those people are bloodsuckers!!

Lastly, dude, you're post was a bit arrogant when it comes to the rest of the folks down on Wall Street is snarky. Apparently, you yourself, haven't thought through the issues enough to be able to put together a cogent or coherent exposition of the issues at hand. You want to learn and evolve? Awesome. But just because you're in school doesn't mean that a lot of people who aren't don't understand what's going on. They may not always be able to articulate it, but they bloody well do understand inequality when they see it--and ultimately, that's what this is all about.

Peace.

Groobiecat

[www.groobiecat.blogspot.com]

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Thank you for your response. Yes, I agree that there's inequality going on. I didn't mean to seem arrogant but when you feel certain you know what the problem is and how to fix it, it's hard to avoid, much like from those that think on the opposite end of the spectrum who may seem arrogant. It's all a difference in perspective but that I'm sure you know.

In response to your comment on political ideologies, the term "free market," from my view, is just putting a name to an unstoppable force of nature that makes the best characteristics of a transparent corporation be in higher demand than the least favorable ones. In my understanding of it, it's evolution for businesses, so not an ideology any more than photosynthesis is.

The debate on what caused the Great Recession has not ended and may never end, because there are still debates on what caused the Great Depression. I would argue that the economic crisis of 2008 would be most closely attributed to the Federal Reserve.

Can you explain to me why the U.S. economy was what won World War II?

I've never said that nothing but bad come from socialist policies, but better will come from the free market. The road system can be privatized and it would probably do better, as evidenced by the Adopt-A-Road campaign that I believe is nationwide. Roads paved by Coca-Cola and signs donated by Getty? Why not? They get their exposure and we get our roads.

We would still have gotten the internet with the free market system. Just like how we'll still move to solar energy without government subsidies. If it's a good idea, the free market will agree because the free market is governed by popular demand. It doesn't need to be forced.

[-] 2 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 10 years ago

"...attributed to the Federal Reserve." How? Banks provided zero down loans to people who couldn't afford them. Wall Street traded mortgage backed securities that were increasingly worthless. It was a horrendous cycle.

"Can you explain to me why the U.S. economy was what won World War II?"

Um, okay, well, you should look this up yourself, being a student and all, but in a nutshell, the US initially stayed out of WW II. But when we finally decided to "go to war," it's not like we packed up the troops and shipped them off. Our economy was not on a war-time footing, meaning that all the factories had to be retooled to make military equipment and components and ammo. So, basically, the Federal government took over the entire economy, instituted shared sacrifice rations and limits on consumer goods and petrol, and initiated recycling for the war effort.

First, if Ron Paul were president--we'd never go to war because we shouldn't be involved in anything outside our borders, in his view. Second, he would never take over the economy, because intervening in the pure perfect market economy is wrong. Ugh. Thanks for asking about that point--no one ever does.

"I've never said that nothing but bad come from socialist policies, but better will come from the free market."

Did you read my point about Finland? Did you read my point about how the free market led to the meltdown in the first place? It did. That's not conjecture. Nothing was regulating Wall Street and the banking system and it crashed under its own reckless stupidity. We have a mix, but professional super rich idiots gambling and then getting bailed out for it is pretty much the definition of the free market not working.

As for "adopt a highway," well, that's has its purpose, I suppose. If you want advertisements on everything on the planet. Maybe people in the United States do as a whole. Here in VT, they're illegal, and the state is beautiful because of it.

Regarding your point: Honestly, people who don't understand socialism as something other than a talking point and pejorative term bandied about by the right is really frustrating. The narrative that governs this on the right is this truly nonsensical. Not aimed at you, per se, but you really haven't made a case against it at all, if that's your aim, and you haven't acknowledged whether you think the unfettered free market led to the meltdown. If you think it's the fed, explain how, otherwise, acknowledge that you don't know one way or the other.

"We would still have gotten the internet with the free market system."

Pure conjecture. I'm dealing in facts, not guesses, and you should too. The fact that government-funded research revolutionized the planet that's something that you're dismissing by saying it would have happened anyway? That's possible, I supposed, but it doesn't undermine my point, to wit, the government actually provides benefits to people in this country. it's not inherently evil, and frankly, corporations are at least as incompetent. You have no experience in either system, do you? Have you worked for the government? Have you worked in a corporation? Do you know how either functions? Do you understand how a bill becomes law? How regulations are promulgated--or even what they are?

I'm guessing no on all accounts.

You have, I'm afraid, been brainwashed by talking points and free market apocrypha into thinking that the "free market" is somehow a sacrosanct, perfect system, but it's not. It's imperfect, and frankly, if you've ever seen the documentary "The Corporation" perhaps you'd understand why. I'm not going to educate you about that, but honestly--and please don't take this personally--but I can only hope that your fact-free, specific-less viewpoint isn't widely shared or this country is in even more grave danger than it already is.

I'd be happy to discuss more, but really, you need to bring more to the table.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

"You have, I'm afraid, been brainwashed into thinking that the "free market" is somehow a sacrosanct, perfect system"

Blame Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. I do. Good post.

[Deleted]

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 10 years ago

Oops, my bad. I most certainly am not defending Ayn Rand! Sorry for the confusion...

[-] 1 points by patriot4change (818) 10 years ago

All I have ever said is that the Countries we consider to be "Communist" or "Socialist" are soon to SURPASS the U.S. in all categories if we do not FIX our current System. Corporations and Politicians have RAPED and PILLAGED our Country into Bankruptcy in the last 8 years. They have torn down the Infrastructure and Working Class... and I want to know WHY!!!

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

If you're referring to China, it's understood that it's becoming more capitalistic and that's allowed for its expansion. As our government controls more areas of business, it seems we fall farther down the hole.

[-] 1 points by misterioso (86) 10 years ago

the only thing that matters right now is CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, unless you get the big money out of politics, no change whatsoever will occur, this should be the focus of the protests, we need to have honest politicians that work for the public before any thing else can get done, campaign finance reform (ending corporate personhood, kicking the lobbyists out of the Washington) is the perfect starting point. It really is a no brainer that this should be the one thing we can all agree on. Because unless we do this, all those other demands that people have will never be addressed, not in a millions years.

[-] 1 points by RDTHRCKT (47) from Toronto, ON 10 years ago

I haven't read any of the comments below yet, so if I should repeat any of their excellent points, it is from similarity of thought, not copying them.

I will try to give the best possible short answer to your original question ("Are you not aware that it is these very Socialist-leaning, Keynesian, Corporatist policies that have CAUSED all our problems?")

The basic premise of this question is incorrect. The cause off "all our problems" (I will try to use the term as I believe you had envisioned it) has much more to do with the fascist economic model we are currently using, than with the socialist policies trying to be employed to save it (the economic model).

Simply put, what we are seeing governments do, in reaction, to an economic crisis, is to employ socialist policies (that is, some form of government intervention) to right the wrongs of a system more or less modelled on a fascism (The following terms, I think would also fairly describe our system - Capalist Oligarphy, Corporatocracy). It might seem crazy, but the essential answer - the one that so many Americans can not bring themselves to accept, or even talk about - is that to empower the people, you have to empower their collective will via the only instrument available to them, that is, the government; or, as you rightly call it, Socialism

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

We're arguing semantics here. I agree with what you're saying.

[-] 1 points by rmmo (262) 10 years ago

Here is the real problem: there has been a massive "wealth redistribution" that has gone on for the last 30 years. The top 1% now controls over 42% of our entire nation's wealth and the top 10% now controls over 70% of our entire nation's wealth. The bottom 50% now control around 2% of our entire nation's wealth. (University of Southern California Study).

How did this wealth redistribution happen? The middle class is the engine of our economy. The middle class spends their wealth on corporate goods/services and the corporations take that money in as profit. The corporations redistributed the middle class wealth by paying vast majority of their profits out to the executives at the top and shareholders. Middle class wages have stagnated for 30 years while executive wages have gone up 256% in since 1980. We have not seen numbers like this since the great depression. All of our nation's wealth has been redistributed into the hands of the few.

How did this happen? The middle class was roped into replacing wages with easy credit and loans. So instead of paying people living wages, corporations fooled us into thinking we were doing well and could afford things by giving us easy credit instead of wages. Instead of having wages to buy t.v.'s, furniture, etc. we were given easy loans. So the middle class became a debtor class.

There used to be a tax disincentive to paying out all of corporate profits at the top because in the 1950's income was taxed at 90% over a certain amount money ($2 million in today's dollars) and now that tax disincentive has disappeared. In 1950's the highest marginal tax rate was 90%. In 1960-1970's it was 70%. In 1980's it dropped to 49%. In 1990's dropped to 39%. Under George Bush it dropped to a mere 36%. We have had over 30 years of massive tax cuts for the wealthy. There is now no tax disincentive to paying out all of the corporate wealth at the top. And there is no employee bargaining power because now less than 7% of all of private sector jobs are unionized. With no tax disincentive and no employee bargaining power, all of the corporate profits are being paid to shareholders and executives. Why can't you just trust executives to pay people fair wages? In the 1980's our courts ruled that corporate executives only have one duty and that is to maximize shareholder profits. The 1980's ruling single-handedly removed executives from having any duties to their employees, society, or to the company's long-term future.

Executives only have one duty and that is to maximize short-term shareholder profits. And executive compensation is usually directly tied to maximizing short-term shareholder profits. This caused companies to not create long-term growth plans and to instead use gimmicks to increase short-term profits.

In fact, instead of executives using innovation, creation, and growth to increase profits and stock prices, executives know that they can do it through easier methods like laying-off workers and cost-cutting by moving healthcare and retirement costs onto the backs of the workers.

The problems are: 1) deregulation of the banks by the Republican-controlled congress in 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act); 2) hedge funds are exempt from regulation (and are currently causing the world financial crisis by betting against Greece and other Euro nations and the Euro currency); 3) tax system no longer has a disincentive against paying outrageous executive salaries (highest marginal tax rate has dropped from 90% to 36%); 4) commodities market (oil, gold, food, metals) is exempt from regulation and is now a haven for financial speculators (Republican-controlled Congress exempted it in the Commodities Future Modernization act of 2000); 5) the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can spend unlimited funds in campaign elections - Citizen's United case (thus politicians on both sides favor the wealthy/corporations) and 6) the rise of corporate/billionaire propaganda media "news." Because of the need to raise massive sums in politics today, we no longer have a party that represents the people. The Democrats have to chase the corporate and big money donors too.

What can we do about this: 1) re-instate Glass-Steagall Act regulating the banks; 2) regulate hedge funds and the commodities market (because the commodities market is not regulated speculation has caused prices for commodities to go through the roof); 3) get rid of the money in politics (have federally funded elections with clear limits on spending and no outside groups allowed to have ads); 4) get rid of 1980's laws stating that corporations' only duty is to maximize shareholder profits; and 5) regulate "news" channels and newspapers (no more "slanted opinion news" masquerading as hard news) and reinstitute the fairness doctrine across all news outlets to ensure that both sides get equal time.

[-] 1 points by rmmo (262) 10 years ago

Here is the real problem: there has been a massive "wealth redistribution" that has gone on for the last 30 years. The top 1% now controls over 42% of our entire nation's wealth and the top 10% now controls over 70% of our entire nation's wealth. The bottom 50% now control around 2% of our entire nation's wealth. (University of Southern California Study). How did this wealth redistribution happen? The middle class is the engine of our economy. The middle class spends their wealth on corporate goods/services and the corporations take that money in as profit. The corporations redistributed the middle class wealth by paying vast majority of their profits out to the executives at the top and shareholders. Middle class wages have stagnated for 30 years while executive wages have gone up 256% in since 1980. We have not seen numbers like this since the great depression. All of our nation's wealth has been redistributed into the hands of the few. How did this happen? The middle class was roped into replacing wages with easy credit and loans. So instead of paying people living wages, corporations fooled us into thinking we were doing well and could afford things by giving us easy credit instead of wages. Instead of having wages to buy t.v.'s, furniture, etc. we were given easy loans. So the middle class became a debtor class. There used to be a tax disincentive to paying out all of corporate profits at the top because in the 1950's income was taxed at 90% over a certain amount money ($2 million in today's dollars) and now that tax disincentive has disappeared. In 1950's the highest marginal tax rate was 90%. In 1960-1970's it was 70%. In 1980's it dropped to 49%. In 1990's dropped to 39%. Under George Bush it dropped to a mere 36%. We have had over 30 years of massive tax cuts for the wealthy. There is now no tax disincentive to paying out all of the corporate wealth at the top. And there is no employee bargaining power because now less than 7% of all of private sector jobs are unionized. With no tax disincentive and no employee bargaining power, all of the corporate profits are being paid to shareholders and executives. Why can't you just trust executives to pay people fair wages? In the 1980's our courts ruled that corporate executives only have one duty and that is to maximize shareholder profits. The 1980's ruling single-handedly removed executives from having any duties to their employees, society, or to the company's long-term future. Executives only have one duty and that is to maximize short-term shareholder profits. And executive compensation is usually directly tied to maximizing short-term shareholder profits. This caused companies to not create long-term growth plans and to instead use gimmicks to increase short-term profits. In fact, instead of executives using innovation, creation, and growth to increase profits and stock prices, executives know that they can do it through easier methods like laying-off workers and cost-cutting by moving healthcare and retirement costs onto the backs of the workers. The problems are: 1) deregulation of the banks by the Republican-controlled congress in 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act); 2) hedge funds are exempt from regulation (and are currently causing the world financial crisis by betting against Greece and other Euro nations and the Euro currency); 3) tax system no longer has a disincentive against paying outrageous executive salaries (highest marginal tax rate has dropped from 90% to 36%); 4) commodities market (oil, gold, food, metals) is exempt from regulation and is now a haven for financial speculators (Republican-controlled Congress exempted it in the Commodities Future Modernization act of 2000); 5) the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can spend unlimited funds in campaign elections - Citizen's United case (thus politicians on both sides favor the wealthy/corporations) and 6) the rise of corporate/billionaire propaganda media "news." Because of the need to raise massive sums in politics today, we no longer have a party that represents the people. The Democrats have to chase the corporate and big money donors too. What can we do about this: 1) re-instate Glass-Steagall Act regulating the banks; 2) regulate hedge funds and the commodities market (because the commodities market is not regulated speculation has caused prices for commodities to go through the roof); 3) get rid of the money in politics (have federally funded elections with clear limits on spending and no outside groups allowed to have ads); 4) get rid of 1980's laws stating that corporations' only duty is to maximize shareholder profits; and 5) regulate "news" channels and newspapers (no more "slanted opinion news" masquerading as hard news) and reinstitute the fairness doctrine across all news outlets to ensure that both sides get equal time.

[-] 1 points by FUCKTHENWO (280) from RIVERDALE, MD 10 years ago

http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-end-the-federal-reserve-and-what-do-you-replac/

We have so much technical knowhow yet we as a nation operate so inefficiently. Why? There are so many people out of work. Why? We have so much to accomplish. We are in 14.8 trillion dollars of debt. This is the government’s job to figure out. Our current government is inefficient and ineffective. They continue to indebt our country via the Federal Reserve Board. We will not give up until the Federal Reserve Board is fired by the United States government. We will not give up until a constitutional amendment takes the money out of politics.

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.

How do the rich steal from the poor, you might ask?

Think about it like this: wealthy individuals put extra money in the banking system in order to earn more money without doing anything productive. On the other hand, poor individuals borrow money from the bank which they then pay interest on, in order to grow the money of rich people. Much of the middle and lower class inevitably become enslaved to their debt. Is that the free market? An endless cycle of debt? An economy which utilizes wars and exploitation to sustain itself. Fuck naw. That aint right. That aint American.

Whether you'd like to believe it or not, we are all slaves to the mass debt that America has accrued over the years. What will we do? How can we break free?

End the Federal Reserve. It's unconstitutional and damn-fucking immoral.

Some say real free-market economics is the best system, although we've never really seen what it looks like. The current fractional reserve banking system is not the free market. In my opinion the most innovative, necessary, and implementable solution is a resource based economy, when you take the 14.8 trillion dollars of debt into consideration.

Project Earth: A Resource Based Economy Explained http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDhSgCsD_x8

If you love capitalism, but hate the Federal Reserve, ask yourself this: if the current market is a failure, how can you erase the world's debt? We in the US owe the world everything. Not only are we indebted to the world literally, but we, the leaders of the free world, have been leading the destruction of the environment for how long? Do we not owe it to the world to fix it? We have much of the world's resources. We have one of the greatest education system in the world. What are we doing wrong?!?! Why do we not take it upon ourselves to construct a sustainable global economy that is based on the natural resources of the planet and use this economy the repay our debt to the world. I know people love to fantasize about the wealthy and powerful America, but listen, we're indebted to the world! Time to grow a pair and pay the world back. And I know, a resource based economy is “Communist” and “Utopian;” STOP ASSIGNING MEAINGLESS WORDS TO IDEAS. The system is a resource based economy, and it is neither communist nor utopian. It is a progressive economy that is backed by tangible items and utilizes the scientific method to achieve optimal efficiency.

And why should the American people care? Because the United States of America is in 14.8 trillion dollars of debt. The financial system is set to crash, leaving the American people to suffer through years of economic depression. There is nothing Ben Bernanke can do about it, there is nothing Tim Geithner can do about it. The people of the United States did not accrue this massive debt. Our irresponsible, ineffective, and inefficient government hired the Federal Reserve Board so that they could print all of the money in the world. This, my friends is unconstitutional. They printed money to go to war, they printed money to bailout those who were too big to fail.

NO MORE! NO MORE WILL WE FOLLOW SUCH IRRESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP.

END THE FED.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFz1VVXsWRU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe0fGXzKb1o&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lac9O7dHHfo&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k http://www.scribd.com/doc/6400129/End-the-Fed-Nationwide-Rally-Newsletter http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/09/24/the-federal-reserve-vs-the-constitution/ http://dmc.members.sonic.net/sentinel/naij2.html http://drrobertowens.com/2011/09/30/is-the-federal-reserve-constitutional/ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5232639329002339531 http://www.healthfreedom.info/Federal_Reserve_Fraud.htm

[-] 1 points by geminijlw (176) from Mechanicsburg, PA 10 years ago

Great discussion, learning much. I think it is more simple, capitalism can work, but there are some changes to be made in the overall government. This movement has already caused some changes taking place in Congress, reaching some deals, subtle. It shows that when people unite in solidarity for a cause it can change things. I think we need more local and state government in charge of certain functions. Speaking from Pennsylvania, you have to know we have the most corrupt government in the country, so this may seem an odd statement. But, since more people are realizing that we have to participate, this means we will ask for full transparency, townhall meetings each month, and if people want a better life they will have to participate, take an interest, get involved. The only way to stop this madeness is to protest. It worked in Pa. when our legislature granted themselves a huge raise in the dead of night. What an uproar, and like some congressmen who denounce this movement, they did in the beginning in their arrogance, but we did stop their raise. Now they still get it for their pensions, so we will work on that. But this movement can change the revolving doors in congress and in state and local government, if we stay involved.

[-] 1 points by 666isMONEY (348) 10 years ago

socialism is an intermediary stage to communism. a true communist believes in eliminating money.

[-] 1 points by RichardGates (1529) 10 years ago

floating minimum wag evaluated quarterly pegged to inflation and cost $$

[-] 1 points by doru001 (174) 10 years ago

Capitalism doesn't work and Socialism doesn't work. What we need is Third Wave (Alvin Toffler) politics.

[-] 0 points by darrenlobo (204) 10 years ago

The third way is fascism, a blend of capitalism & socialism. Hmmm.....sounds like what we have now.

[-] 1 points by doru001 (174) 10 years ago

That is a Third Wave, not a third way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave_%28book%29

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

That is "a" third way characterized by authoritarianism, militarism, anti-egalitarianism, and all sorts of other nasty hard-right isms.

[-] 0 points by darrenlobo (204) 10 years ago

Actually, fascism is statist as is socialism. It's always been liberty or govt. After all, the communist regimes practiced those same isms & were never seen as rightist.

[-] 1 points by Esposito (173) 10 years ago

Give the kid a cigar!

[-] 1 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 10 years ago

Actually the middle class have been declining since the 70's. This isn't a "Reagan to Obama" policy.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I'm not implying a specific timeline. I'm just examining what I think is wrong with our economy and what I think needs to be done to fix it. Anything to add?

[-] 1 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 10 years ago

sorry, my bad, was actually responding to the British guy about Reagan's policy era. There hasn't been an honest politician in years - thanks for reply!

[-] 1 points by imrational (527) 10 years ago

Socialism obviously isn't the answer because America is divided on it. If 50% of the people are against it, it is not going to be accepted and the movement will fail.

I think we need to find ways and means to check and balance the power of money's influence in our government.

For starters, we need to roll-back some of the protectionist regulations/decisions that have been added, like the Supreme Court rulings that corporations and special interests can donate unlimited amounts to political campaigns.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Nice reference to Citizens United! With you on that.

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Yes. That is pretty much the #1 priority in my opinion. Once again though, I see the second paragraph mandating, for lack of a better word, regulation. So this is kinda (un?)intentional doublespeak saying we need regulations to regulate the regulations? That repealing a deregulation is not a regulation? Does that apply to taxes as well? Because I'd like to hear that dropping the Bush tax cuts is not a tax increase, even though it feels that way. Those tax cuts are as much heroin to the fatcats as buying votes.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Is this to me or to imrational?

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

It was to imrational. You (apell1992) didn't have a second paragraph.

I hear these contradictions quite a bit: "We need to find ways and means to check and balance.../We need to roll back (what are actually de-) regulations...

This is advocating regulation. And there's nothing wrong with it. Just pointing it out.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

thats not what we are doing, we are not promoting socialism at all, sorry, no, the problem is criminal enterprise and the caste wars which wall street and etc started and perpetuated against us. You are simply using socialism as a straw man argument. we don't stand for socialism and have no interest in it.

Speak the issues of the crimes and the caste warfare and the corporate oligarchy, don't try to change the subject or spin nonsense at us. less than one in a hundred of the people involved have any interest in socialism.

most of the ones who use the term don't even know what it is; it would seem you are amongst those as your use is clearly the propaganda rhetoric definition, not the political science definition.

take your republican talking points and toss them in the fire.


http://occupywallst.org/forum/thetruth-socialismcapitalismcommunismmarxism/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-versus-corporatism/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/help-me-understand/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-a-love-story/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/sociology/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/energy-101-solution/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ethics/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/break-your-left-right-conditioning/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/nader-kucinich-and-paul/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/5-facts-you-should-know-about-the-wealthiest-one-p/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-am-homeless-joe-jp-morgan-chase-accidentally-for/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/can-we-end-the-fed/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/teaching-the-occupation/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/this-forum-needs-structure/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-is-not-your-personal-billboard-for-your-politi/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/systems-theory-primer/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/organize-inform-take-action-effect-change/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/better-website-needed/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/stop-playing-the-devils-games/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/nonviolence-the-only-path/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-not-against-capitalism/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/this-is-not-about-political-stripe-it-is-about-bas/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/national-initiative-for-democracy/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-third-political-party-the-movement-of-the-middle/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/300-fema-camps/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-is-a-false-flag-operation/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-this-will-not-work/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/paradigm-shift-now/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-proposal-for-focus/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/stop-the-bullshit-posts-and-get-organized/

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Woah! Relax there. I'm only relaying what I've observed. Take your sass and toss that into the fire, friend! I support the cause, I'm just trying to debate those that have taken on a Socialist agenda.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

less than one percent of the movement, take your debate elsewhere. socialist website. we are not drifting to the right because you think you can play some con scam that direction nor are we drifting off into socialism. neither. you are not participating in a meaningful or useful direction to explore, your just spewing ignorant ideological garbage detached from reality. What you have observed? you don't even know what socialism IS. Your using uncanned far right talking points which are patently ignorant distortions of political science.

[-] 2 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

THEN ARGUE AGAINST ME. I'm here to learn, you condescending jerk. That's what we're all here for. I went to the park, talked to people and for the most part, they argued for "Socialism." I'm not paraphrasing. I'm not using talking points. I'm speaking from what I know and what I've heard.

Holy crap, man. This is a healthy forum. Stop tainting it.

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Socialism isn't an invention. It's a discovery. It's an element of your politics whether you like it or not. Any number of people coming together to form a working set of economics has some degree of socialism and some degree of capitalism among others, and it's an alloy that becomes stronger the more you work it. I'm only going to speak for myself here, but I believe socialism is not a bad word, and if it must be, then so shall all other elements, maxims, and systems of government like capitalism and democracy. If I call myself a socialist, I have those dials turned up because I believe that's what is needed of me. Socialism isn't a system of oppression for the masses. It's a solution to problems like the one we seem to have. But do we need to crank it up all the way to fix political free-marketing? That's the question I ask myself. So debate away. Don't lose hope.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

The idea that we need an arbitrator to engage in business that's completely unrelated to them IS an invention.

Economics is much more simple than it's been made out to be. Yes, if you were to gather people to decide on an economic system today, they might involve Socialist elements but that's only because we've been so ingrained that we need someone to tell us what's safe to buy and what's okay to sell. If we'd only engage in personal responsibility, we wouldn't need that. I argue that it's our duty to be responsible for ourselves and make informed decisions about our purchases. Don't we already do that every day to a degree?

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

No, there is no validity in arguing or debating about socialism. I don't need you to waste my time or anybody elses. Arguing is not learning and i'm not alive to have you vamp my time and energy so that you can manage as a right wing agitator to promote your BS while attacking socialism. You are HERE to troll and push your ideology. I'm here to save the humans with the truth. our purposes are cross purpose- i'm not here for what you are here for.

A healthy forum? lol? tainting it? exactly my point. we don't need a right wing socialist arguer tainting the forum with more capitalism/ socialism false dualism. Step out of the box and quit being part of the problem.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Ya know what, gawdoftruth, just shut up. In less than a day, my post got 130 comments, maybe 60 of which were my responses. Everyone's been open to debate but you so I'm not going to respond to your malicious attacks any longer. I've had people agree with me and people who disagree but the conversation here has been a positive and respectful one. I don't CARE what ideas someone stands for, as long as he isn't a jerk.

If only YOU would step out of your narcissistic box and examine that there are people who disagree with you. If you're so confident of your agenda, then you would have no problem debating it.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

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 courtesy 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.

[-] 1 points by China777friends (75) 10 years ago

The world needs a new theory! Particular network application, a more open world, civilization. Need new ideas to solve the current problem!

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Open like Glasnost or open like no borders?

[-] 1 points by samakhval (3) from Manchester, England 10 years ago

1992 - I'm british and support the Occupy Wall St. 100%. It's what the US has needed for years now, ever since Reagan unleashed an open and unlimited class war on working people and their means of organisation through destroying unions, jailing many of the dispossessed, and depoliticising and/or criminalising dissent in general. The reason every economy in modern history (including, as you say, the US) has been, to some extent, a mix of market and public means of organisation and allocation is simple: the pure free market economy posited by libertarians (via the writings of the likes of Hayek, von Mises, Nozik, etc) is a non-starter and a no-brainer. Capitalism always has entailed and could only ever entail some degree of centeralised ('public')political power in the form of the state, usually put towards a mix of altruistic-functional means (welfare, education and health care for the masses), coercion (law and order), and support (subsidies, investment, bailouts) for the biggest sectors of business and industry (military, agriculture, financial speculators who get burned, etc.). By what means did Thatcher and Reagan 'get government off our backs'? By using the coercive powers of the state (with the assistance of the ideological powers of the media). The idea that capitalism is a realm other than or outside or antithetical to the public/state is farcical. Give up on Economicas 101A: there is ZERO evidence of it being tried and tested in practice. For good reason

[-] 1 points by FUCKTHENWO (280) from RIVERDALE, MD 10 years ago

Please read: http://occupywallst.org/forum/can-we-end-the-fed/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/can-we-end-the-fed/

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.

How do the rich steal from the poor?

Think about it like this. Rich people put extra money in the banking system in order to earn more money without doing anything productive. On the other hand, poor people borrow money from the bank which they then pay interest on, so that they can grow the bank account of rich people. Much of the middle class inevitably become enslaved to their debt. Is that the free market? An endless cycle of debt? An economy which utilizes war to sustain itself. Fuck naw. That aint right. That aint American.

Whether you'd like to believe it or not, we are all enslaved to the mass debt that America has accrued over the years. What will we do? How can we break free?

End the Federal Reserve. It's unconstitutional and damn-fucking immoral.

Some say real free-market economics is the best system, although we've never really seen what that looks like. The Federal Reserve squashed any hopes of a free-market economy. In my opinion the most innovative, necessary, and implementable solution is a resource based economy.

Project Earth: A Resource Based Economy Explained http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDhSgCsD_x8

If you love capitalism, but hate the Federal Reserve, ask yourself this: if the current market is a failure, how can you erase the world's debt? We in the US owe the world everything. Not only are we indebted to the world literally, but we, the leaders of the free world, have been leading the destruction of the environment for how long? Do we not owe it to the world to fix it? We have much of the world's resources, we have the greatest education system in the world, what are we doing wrong?!?! Why do we not take it upon ourselves to construct a sustainable global economy that is based on the natural resources of the planet and use this global economy the repay our debt to the world? I know people love to fantasize about the wealthy and powerful America, but listen, we're indebted to the world! Time to grow a pair and pay the world back. And I know, a resource based economy is “Communist” and “Utopian” STOP ASSIGNING MEAINGLESS WORDS TO IDEAS. The system is a resource based economy, and it is neither communist nor utopian.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I agree. End the Federal Reserve. Amen, Brother.

[-] 1 points by FUCKTHENWO (280) from RIVERDALE, MD 10 years ago

Is that the sentiment down at OWS? Wish I could be there...we need to make ending the fed the #1 priority for the moment.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

There seems to be a big consensus that Ending the Fed is a priority. I know it was for me. That's what I wrote on my sign.

[-] 1 points by jdog (146) 10 years ago

how about making our elected officials accountable - they sign a contract to vote certain ways, etc. If they breach it - fraud - jail. Or so I would hope - not a lawyer....

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I think when you do that, you get into a grey area of free will and an elected official's ability to make choices based on his judgment. People's judgments change all the time. I mean, look at Romney's position on abortion or Obama's position on...almost anything he talked about pre-presidency compared to what he's done during his presidency.

Sure, sometimes their decisions are made for them, but to make them sign a contract penalizes those with honest changes-of-heart.

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither" -Benjamin Franklin

[-] 1 points by jdog (146) 10 years ago

that is a valid point... i'll noodle on it...still might end up as a better balance... don't really know enough about the inside to be able to say. Feel free to educate me. I'll check back tomorrow.

Beat Wishes

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I would also consider changes in technology and changes in thinking that lead to shifts in cultural thinking. For instance, 4 years ago, no one would ever think of saying "Audit the Federal Reserve." But today, the idea is so prevalent among even GOP candidates. The times change, the people change and the ideas change. In fact, the only thing constant in this world, ironically, is change.

Nice discussing it with you.

[-] 1 points by FUCKTHENWO (280) from RIVERDALE, MD 10 years ago

Word, do your thing homie.

[-] 1 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 10 years ago

I'm not afraid of those who believe in socialism or capitalism. I pity them. As there is no complete "-ism" that can regulate moral and political corruption in the hearts and minds of leadership. I have lived in a socialist country where everything from their health care, to it's main industry, to it's news was state run. Do you really want a state controlled media? If you think you have it now, you haven't really lived it. Is capitalism wrong? Is socialism wrong? Corruption is wrong. "-ism" is just a label.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I like your words. When I say Capitalism, I'm actually referring to an economy fueled by the free market. On one end of the spectrum, you have the government in complete control of our economy. On the other end, you allow that silly ol' law of supply and demand to take control.

[-] 1 points by noism (78) from Seattle, WA 10 years ago

lol, it's because I don't have time to argue -isms and ists with college students No offense though to those studying now, I'm proud of our students for standing up to corruption in this country.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

But it's not an issue of -isms. It's an issue of economic philosophies. Suit yourself, though.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Keynesian = corporatist now? Please. Where do people come up with this crap? Then to bring socialism into that mix... Sigh. Yes, his ideas are applied in what are termed social democracies in Europe, but that, again, is not socialism. Keynes was about optimizing certain macroeconomic factors to alleviate the negative impacts of boom/bust captialist cycles on the economy and population. He was a capitalist, plain and simple. Not Milton Friedman laissez faire enough for you right libertards, I know, but corporatist? Corporatism is the handjob given every day to major multinationals by the GOP.

[-] 2 points by Markmad (323) 10 years ago

Not to mentioned that Keynesian economics is the only viable economic theory been apply in every country economy. Why? Because Keynes does recognize that the government it’s the only entity capable to carry out the will of the people honestly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Your argument is a logical fallacy in the form of appeal to popularity. You also make a bare assertion (that government is the only entity capable of carrying out the will of the people honestly) that is rebutted by this very movement.

Keynes famously dismissed the long-term concerns about his economic policy by the casual statement "in the long run we are all dead". Well Keynes is dead and so were the people who followed him to implement his system and we are paying the price for it. It worked out very well for the short term and very bad for the long term because it encourages negative behavior.

[-] 2 points by Markmad (323) 10 years ago

Am not arguing I am stating a known fact based on a Keynesian economic principle which does believe that the State Government is the lesser of bolt evil. Open your eyes and take a good look around to see the dark economic chaos, do you still think that our vicious free market system manipulated by Wall Street will in fact solve our needs and economic problems? No it won’t. Only a rich and powerful government – one that does own hundreds of industries -, governing in conjunction with Wall Street is capable to provide for society. We must design a government that do cares and do provide for human lives, what is the purpose to have a government that doesn’t serve our needs? The only way out is for this irresponsible government to assume control of our national industries and become super rich as the emerging social economies of today. It’s only logical for a capitalistic government to be in business because without sources of income this government is doom.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Facts are not based on principles. They are or they are not.

The only just purpose of any government is to protect the rights of its citizens. Anything beyond that is just an attempt by one group to force their beliefs on others and is tyranny.

Your argument is based on many premises which directly contradict historical evidence.

Following Keynes has destroyed the US and Europe. China is pragmatic so they continually loosen their restrictions on their economy and move more and more capitalistic and they grow while we weaken. They realized what a jewel Hong Kong was once they got it back and are still learning its lessons. We fools of the west high on hubris elevate one past mortal to godhood because he does us the service of telling us lies we wish to hear.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

We live in a Keynesian state. If it worked, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I think I can speak for many when I say that we can't exactly depend on the government to behave honestly. Isn't that what the protests are all about? Governments being manipulated by corporations?

[-] 2 points by Markmad (323) 10 years ago

You’re partially right; yes we do have a Keynesian economic system though being run by Wall Street not the State. The Keynesian economy will allow for the State and private sectors to co-exist in a mix economy. Now do not confuse economy with philosophy, because the economy deals exclusively with production and consumption and nothing else. If you add any other philosophy to this equation such as; political affiliations, objectivism, anarchy capitalism, then is no longer a viable economic system and it becomes by definition a philosophy. Economies under the Keynesian system are quite rich and powerful because they have endless sources of income and can afford to provide all the social benefits we all want and deserve. If you do allow the State government to be in business and compete with prosperity will sure follows.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Economies under his system were rich prior to being run in Keynesian manners so that has little bearing on if Keynesian policies are a net positive or negative.

They have the illusion of endless sources of income. Creating a few zeros at the end of a bank account via QE doesn't create anything it simply transfers wealth to that account at the cost of the purchasing power of every unit of the currency. Its this illusion which destroys stable savings and investments by fueling bubbles (along with manipulation of the interest rate).

Its this illusion of "endless sources of income" which makes people have the false idea that we can afford to provide "all the social benefits we all want" because if asked people want everything and it would take literally infinite resources to provide that.

Real income relies on production of goods or services that are in demand. If you can find out how "endless sources of income" (as in real goods or services) are created by simply changing number in a computer database I would be very interested in see thing.

[-] 2 points by Markmad (323) 10 years ago

There is no illusion about a social government (and I do not mean socialist or communist). I am speaking from personal experience because I did live in a socialistic democratic country (meaning government for the people) where everyone is entitling to a free education all the way through college. Education is not a matter of profit therefore it should be run by the private sector, of course bolt systems of education can and do exist in perfect harmony. I do speak from personal experience; please do not pay attention to the naysayers, about how horrible the free health care system is, that’s not true, I know because I never received a bill from a government hospital. People’s health it’s not a matter of profit.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

No one is entitled to the fruits of another's labor. Ever. The education was not "free" in any sense of the word either.

There are times such policies work with less negatives than they would elsewhere. These times are for areas with relatively strong economic systems due to a strong work ethic and a highly homogenous population. That isn't to say the negatives of such system are not less than the positives - they always are.

The fact that our systems are horribly broken does not mean the best answer is a less horribly broken system. This is what I see you arguing.

And if X is a matter of profit is best decided for the people capable of doing X - they are free to charge what they wish for their services and people will decide for themselves if those services are worth it (ranging from free, to at cost, to any profit margin). This is the only way to be free - not to use force to compel others to do what you might do if you were them.

No force, no aggression, no violence or you simply create a tyranny you happen to be comfortable with.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Honestly, though, if you were a CEO or lobbyist of a corporation who understood that you had the power to make laws to benefit your business, would you NOT take that opportunity? Not meaning to defend Wall Street here, but it's our government's fault that corporations even have the power. They're the ones susceptible to corruption. To WS, they're not even corrupting; they're just using their right to lobby.

Maybe they can be successful, but at what expense? You have a government decreeing what kind of business can be done or how business should be done. Business is an inescapable core of humanity. Why do we need it regulated? It's as simple as me saying, "I will give you this if you give me that." When you rely on the government to control it, you're stuck with price fixers and there's little incentive to innovate to supply your consumer with better or cheaper product.

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

The government is the next person in line... always.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

We can't depend on government to behave honestly when we're so easily manipulated by political games into letting it be corrupted and undermined by the policy of intentional incompetence (i.e. "look at how badly all these government programs perform... that we've defunded and crippled because we hate government"), but we can't depend on any system/institution operating smoothly without at least some level of responsibility and participation from the citizenry. So, this is about waking up, and tearing back control of government from the oligarchy, and making it work again, not destroying it (further).

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Too many people believe that "government" is the problem, the whole problem and nothing but the problem. Government is, in a democracy like ours, and in the words of Lincoln, "...government of the people, by the people, for the people," and we are doing this so it "shall not perish from the earth". We are the 99% We are the People. Government will work for us because we believe in it, and we won't give up on it. It will never work for those who surrender to anarchy. It seems nice, even romantic, but ultimately it's as horrible as the Congo Free State.

[-] 2 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

If we were the government, you'd be right! Unfortunately, the 99% is not represented. Only the 1% with the fiscal power is being represented. I think the aim of these protests is to take the power back. Give the power to the 100% where each citizen is a vote, not each dollar.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Clear, concise, right on, and without a single free market fundamentalist talking point.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Thank you, man.

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

However, when we, the 99% or the 100% are represented by the government, which is ostensibly ourselves, we have created the "big government" the right fears. That's why modern American conservative, and by extension, Tea Party thought is incompatible with this movement in my opinion. They are represented not by a majority of people, but a majority of monied and selfish interests.

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

I guess I meant to say a minority of monied and selfish interests, but since there are a lot more dollars than there are people, I'll stick with it.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

I find the Tea Party and the Occupy movement has much in common that neither side wishes to admit. Sad that - would be one hell of a voting block that would send the establishment in both parties into a tither trying to explain it.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

The 100% will not advocate for a bigger government, though. Am I not proof of that?

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

We aren't a democracy. We are a Constitutional Democratic Republic - that means there are serious restraints on the power of Democracy (and that is a good thing) no 50%+1 should be able to infringe on the inalienable rights of any minority - which is why protections are established in our Constitution and power are divided regionally and per representative.

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

The Tea Party was co-opted with the political equivalent of KY Jelly on day 1 by the very powers we are revolting against. The Tea Party is the party of the Koch Brothers, Sarah Palin, Scott Walker, and all the other Plutarchs and their sycophants. As much as that voting block sounds delicious, it's practically impossible to achieve. It's like trying to throw water out of the boat on one end while your "buddy" is using a pick on the hull on the other.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Sounds like you're advocating consumer responsibility now. "Without some level of responsibility and participation from the citizenry...tearing back control of government from the oligarchy?"

If you're referring to my free market stance as "intentional incompetence," what do you think I refer to my stance as? Do you think I see it as you see it?

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

You're confusing consumer with citizen. Responsibility as one has (or should have) a social expectation of duty, the other is a preference.

And, I was specifically referring to politicians who share your ideology and work from within to prove government is the root of all problems; self-fulfillying prophecy.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.

Remember the only qualification for office is a popularity contest. Most voters do not vote by issues but by emotional and superficial criteria.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I think you put too much of your trust in something that isn't necessarily incorruptible. As long as there are those with a stake in the government, they have a stake in you.

[-] 1 points by Frankie (733) 10 years ago

Some of you guys really need to get away from the GOP/Dems, Progressive/Conservative thing. It's tired, largely BS, and most people are sick of that kind of sh*t. Go look at the FEC reports for political contributions. You'll find plenty of multi-nationals stroking the Dems just as hard.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I don't advocate any particular party. I align myself with ideas, not people. That's why I'm here. I'm trying to debate an idea.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Yeah, the corps stroke both, but policy-wise, it's the GOP that's all about the reach-around. True story.

Seriously, I know the Dems suck just about as bad from both actual policy and hypocrisy perspectives. But that 5% difference is not nothing.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

See, that's odd to me. Typically, it's the GOP who want less government. That's basically the mission statement (ignoring Mitt Corporations-Are-People Romney for the moment). Because it's the Democrats who typically seek for more socializing and government control, it seems to me that they, being the ones implementing regulations and subsidies, are more susceptible to corporate influence.

[-] 2 points by groobiecat2 (746) from Brattleboro, VT 10 years ago

No, this is wrong in so many ways:

1) It's a myth that government grows under democrats and not republicans. Under Reagan--the first ever multi-hundred billion dollar deficits. Government ballooned.

2) Clinton it leveled off. And deficits shrank so that we actually had surpluses.

3) Enter Bush: first president ever to sign a $1 trillion budget deficit into law. He doubled the national debt to over $10 trillion during his tenure. Where was the outrage then? (source: http://tinyurl.com/6fhbrte)

4) As for susceptibility, sorry, no. Corporations hate regulations--all kinds--and that's why they give more to the right. Yes, they give to the left, but republicans are traditionally the party of big business--and always have been. Dems are too now, sadly.

Lastly, if we'd had decent financial regulations in place, there'd have been no meltdown in the first place, because Wall Street banks would not have invested in risky increasingly worthless securities (which should be illegal), and banks would not have offered "No money? No Credit? No Problem" mortgages to people who couldn't pay for them.

I do agree with Frankie that this needs to be about ideas, but people need to know the basics, and that ain't pretty or easy for a lot of folks.

I'd suggest that the right look for common ground and identify differences--honestly--and then a dialogue can begin. Some of that's happening here, but there's a lot of silly ad hominem attack nonsense as well.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Because corps love regulations, right? I know David Koch hates the free market and loves government, it's true...

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Established large businesses love regulation because it increases the cost of startup competition. The established business already has the income for the lawyers and extra people necessary and usually are the ones consulted in the process of writing the legislation. They write the law so that it protects them and harms their competition. This is the economic relationship between business and the state that is encouraged in fascism.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Regulations have done a lot of harm. Don't you see that? It's stifled competition by barring entrepreneurs from entering an industry, which sometimes allow for colluding oligarchies; it's set standards low so they get a seal of approval and a congratulatory slap on the a*s. And it's the regulations in other areas that are lobbied for. For instance, if a particular Pharma company wasn't shoveling money at politicians, government regulation wouldn't prohibit a particular plant.

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

The ENTIRE point is to take the money out of ALL hands. The dems will follow the same damn rules! From a left perspective, it's usually just a non-starter to advocate from the sidelines. We must work from within. When in Rome (US politics), do as the Romans (GOP) do. It's dirty, but there would be no opposition party to the Repubs if not for this. THAT'S THE POINT! End the crap! Both sides, but we pump up the volume on the Greedy Old Pigs, who aren't the least bit ashamed that they have all the connections. That's the truth, carved in stone. I'm not in any way saying that democrats should get away with it, but at least their mission statement isn't a diversion at least and an outright lie in practice.

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

That being said, I really have like no idea what the Democratic party's mission statement is other than "Those guys over there are fucking nuts! Who has two thumbs and opposes those guys?".

It still beats "We don't bother trying to not ruin the country, but at least we will tell you we'll lower your taxes. And if we pass any social legislation, we're just trying to create a mood for our pet religion."

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

You rock. Please keep speaking up here, as much as possible.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I'm nonpartisan. I would take away the regulations whether you're Republican, Democrat or anything else. I'm sorry, could you be a little clearer? I haven't added to this thread in an hour and as you can see, I've been jumping from argument to argument.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Really? Then why is big pharma paying off the current administration to crack down on medical marijuana? I think you've still got some partisan blinders on.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I'm not trying to argue that the two are the same. Because we live in a Keynesian economic society today, our governments are allowed to regulate and interfere in an otherwise successful free market. However, because of corporations ability to lobby and use their "right to free speech" as proposed by the Supreme Court "Citizens United v. Federal Elections Committee," THEY control our government. So: Corporations control Government control Markets control Currency controls the 99%.

The Keynesian school is exactly the opposite of the laissez-faire Austrian school in terms of government regulation (one regulation being socializing industries, hence my reference to Socialism): one says you can have it and one says you shouldn't have any.

And I mean...I said Keynesian once. Did you miss my point?

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Yeah, fine, your central point, laissez faire is awesome. Deregulate everything. Because that's been working so well for us. Milton and Reagan started us down that path and the suffering has been immeasurable. I know, I know, we haven't seen it "pure" free market yet, it will be wonderful when we get there, just a few more pesky life-saving, environment-saving, job-saving regulations and institutions left to destroy.... It will be utopia, man.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Sarcasm, man? Let me take you seriously, here.

Correct, we haven't seen the free market since before 1913, if at all.

Deregulate and let the consumer decide. If you care that your product is being made by children overseas, don't buy that product. If enough people care, the company will be forced to change or dismantle. If you believe in evolution and TRULY understand it, you believe in the free market system. It's the same thing.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Because consumers are always so well-educated and informed, have the time and financial flexibility to implement well-considered purchasing strategies, and always have long-term vision and responsibility in mind while they shop, and would prefer not to feel secure that the can of tuna they're buying is a.) toxin-free and b.) not actually dolphin meat.

Or perhaps consumers could band together and create some sort of group to handle oversight and regulation of the economy based on shared values and priorites. Maybe they could call it "government."

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Let me ask you if you think absolving the consumer from thinking which is what the current system is attempting to do is aiding in individuals formulating coherent and well thought out purchasing strategies?

Which makes better consumers - a system which rewards good choices and punishes bad or a system that tries to remove the very act of decision making from people?

The groups that consumers band together to make are called "Consumer Reporting Agencies" and do a much better job of creating millions of independent regulators that does government where the regulation is controlled by a committee that is appointed by a small number of easily influenced politicians.

Concentrated power not only corrupts faster but attracts the already corrupt. Decentralization of power encourages those who are corrupt to go elsewhere (such as the market where they must supply to demands as opposed to government where they can use force to compel people).

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Oh, well if you don't want to exercise your personal responsibility and want your Big Brother government making your decisions for you, then that's fine. for YOU, maybe, but not for me.

Are you actually telling me that you'd rather your government tell you what's safe and ethical to purchase and what's not? Why do I find so many contradictions among so many of you protesters (not you in particular)? You say the government should let you choose to smoke weed, but you want them to tell you you can't eat dolphin or you'll go to jail? Do YOU need the government to tell you that?

This "government" you speak of is not supposed to limit your personal choices.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 10 years ago

Yes, I do prefer that government has a hand in monitoring food supplies, and airplane fuselages, and dams, and transportation infrastructure, and environmental protection, and child labor laws. I definitely would not leave those things to profit motive or consumer vigilance, no. Yep, I just want a nanny state, silly me.

[-] 0 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 10 years ago

Child labor laws created extra generations of poverty. They were a net negative effect on hundreds of thousands of lives by forcing individual to stay on farms where famine, drought, disease, and a higher rate of injury were the course of the day instead of factories where a steady paycheck and hours allowed families to start planning and saving. (Yes the accidental death and dismemberment statistics for working on farms was and is higher than factory work).

Knowing is half the battle.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

I never thought I'd say this, but if a little consumer responsibility was taken, there'd be no need for things like that. Why do you leave it up to the government to tell you what can and cannot be bought? Why can't you just allow independent parties to tell you what's effective and safe and you take your own risks? What's wrong with being a little informed?

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

Enter: But to assume the Utopia you envision, there would be little to no regulation to tell them they have to at least inform the public what's in it, where it's made or who is getting pennies to make it. Where's the information? This is circular logic. That consumer responsibility is what you're seeing. A movement that seeks to peel back the veneer of deep capital and shine a light on all the happy maggots chewing on our constitutionally granted "general welfare". Because we care about the next person, who may not have the time or the inclination to check for themselves, it's nice to ward off predators, which is what capitalists are, whether they justify it or not.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Fair argument. I've said in the past to people who have caught me in this is that to impose transparency is not necessarily regulation.

Having said THAT, all it would take to try and impose something like this is a Corporate Transparency Act. An act like this would require corporations to do many of the things they do today: save e-mails, reveal tax returns, etc., but other things like provide documentation that describes details such as what your land was previously, how the funds to start up your business were acquired, what products are used, what working conditions are like, etc. Not only would this kind of information help consumers make educated decisions, but it would help foster competition.

Of course, a consumer would not have to go through the tedious work of reading all this information. Because it's available, it would be brought to light much like how it's brought to light today. Independent researchers examine the risks of certain corporate behaviors, determine the effects, present them to the consumers (like they already do), but instead of imposing regulations that bar the company from continuing, let the consumer decide whether it's a risk he or she is willing to take. The first step to retrieving our freedoms is getting back our right to choose and take responsibility for ourselves.

[-] 2 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

What brings this information to light? History IS deregulation. History is lead and arsenic, famine, plague, slavery, diabetes, cancer and all the genocides and wars caused by bad or nonexistent, non-functioning government and disregard for truth and civic welfare. Only with unity, single-minded purpose and strong willed individuals unafraid to carry the torch will we defeat every challenge we face. Thus we are a Union. An imperfect but more perfect union than any corporation, syndicate, or cartel. All the people are invited to this Union, not just the closed-circuit shareholders and the profiteers, but the People otherwise engaged in life. We don't all need to be wolves to survive. We are human. Simply, only human, and we vote one at a time. There should be no wicker man built by corporate money who has the ability to vote but has no soul.

[-] 0 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

It will be brought to light the same way corporate actions are brought to light today. Investigative journalism, independent research. How do you know that Wal-Mart has used child labor? Not because it's illegal, but because someone discovered it and wrote an expose. With a corporate transparency act, it will be even easier to discover these things because they'll need to be proven. They have less incentive to hide it because there should be nothing regulating it but the free market. If the consensus is that a corporate practice is inappropriate, it will be reflected in their revenue. Truth is fine! Truth is fantastic! But let those who disagree, disagree. Let those who disapprove, disapprove. We don't need to be single-minded because to be single-minded will cast out those that think differently. If everyone in the world hates child labor, then a corporation that uses it will fail immediately. Let that happen naturally based on consumer choice and responsibility. If it needs to be forced, then obviously there are dissenters. I personally disagree with it but isn't right and wrong relative? Who is one to say that your perception is the supreme one?

[-] 1 points by Neruda9 (54) 10 years ago

What ensures our constitution stays stronger than any corporation? Who do the journalists work for? Who watches the Watchmen? I am absolutely for a corporate Glasnost act. No argument there. Practically useless when implemented because it will be bought off immediately under the current system. The Free Market may be Apple, but it's also Telemarketing, Four Loko and designer drugs! If my perception is supreme, then so be it, but I'm not shouting anything more than my opinion. My opinion is not more magical than yours, but it allows for the possibility of civilization as we know it to exist. I don't believe more deregulation and less taxes is even CLOSE to what this country needs.

[-] 0 points by jjrousseau714 (59) 10 years ago

Krugman and Stiglitz know the way

[-] 0 points by ijustwantpeopletobehappy (14) from Rolling Hills Estates, CA 10 years ago

1992 - Great post. In my experience, in Los Angeles, the majority of occupiers I spoke to agree fully with you. Do realize that people have been told from birth "this is capitalism" and we need people like you to educate on what these terms actually mean. It gets even more difficult when you get to the different "flavors" of capitalism. Also, people don't understand how economics ties to other aspects of policy. In a free market, drugs would be decriminalized/deregulated as Milton Friedman him self suggested.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Thank you, man. I really appreciate your support. I'm getting kinda bogged down by dissenters here but I know what I know and I know that the free market is a self-regulating entity.

[-] 0 points by ijustwantpeopletobehappy (14) from Rolling Hills Estates, CA 10 years ago

I keep saying, this movement may very well be the market trying to free/correct its self. Its organic and inevitable. It is not pretty, it is not straight forward but neither is birth or any other natural system. The same way, you're a part of something beautiful. The world has never before come together like this. This is global evolution (did not forget the "R"), we're all with you.

[-] 1 points by apell1992 (51) 10 years ago

Ugh. So...yes, man. So yes. All I can say to that. Because we understand the free market AND evolution, we understand that certain ideas catch on and certain ideas fall. Regardless of the path, the strongest ideas will come out alive in the end and will have the ability to bring the change.

[-] 0 points by levelthefield (7) 10 years ago

As long as the dissenters are as thoughtful and willing to engage in serious discourse as you are-- as many have been--it's all good. I came to this forum to try and figure out what this protest is really all about, and it's great to see threads like yours where you and (most) others are actually trying to understand and discuss the core issues...the extremists may be fronting this thing, but for the rest of us, it's an opportunity to toss around and maybe nurture the next big idea that could change the world. Or not. Either way, it's a start!