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Discussing Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street's website gives a little clarity to the movement. Let's discuss their points rather than the people involved.

There has been a lot of chatter lately about the Occupy Wall Street Movement. I recently found their website- The99PercentDeclaration - which give a little clarity to its movement. I thought it would interesting to discuss the points rather than the people involved.

Here is a link to the actual website to peruse at your leisure, but for this week I'd like to talk about the first grievance/solution:

"1. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from Individuals, Corporations, Political Action Committees, Super Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, Unions and all other private sources of money to be replaced by the fair and equal public financing of all federal political campaigns. We categorically REJECT the concept that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest would have a voice. These actions must be taken because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions and ensure their reelection year after year."

To me this sounds like their campaign finance reform point, which I think most people can agree needs to be overhauled. I personally like the idea of a candidate obtaining funds from the people that believe in him/her. With the current policy, I feel like when a candidate is sponsored by a corporation or special interest group that he/she is then obliged to do what said sponsor wants in-terms of policy, contracts etc...

What do you think?

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Vinny Ciro November 03, 2011 at 10:01 PM
My head is going to blow off. On top of the above, Freddie and Fannie want MORE of our money!!! Let's see how our President deals with this..... http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/03/8614713-freddie-mac-seeks-6-billion-more-in-aid
Andrew B. Herzman November 03, 2011 at 11:13 PM
First off, Vinney, poor folks ARE poor because rich people are rich. If a few have 95% of the pie and the rest have to fight over the leftover 5%, how do you expect anybody to have more than a bite?! Second Who wrote the tax code? The rich corporations did! They lobby for those loopholes! They contribute money in order to get their way! Third The corruption needs to stop at all levels (government corporations and BANKS)
Andrew B. Herzman November 03, 2011 at 11:14 PM
The Federal Reserve prints the money and LENDS it to the government at interest, so of course we're always in debt! People say the OW people don't have a goal. There isn't just one goal or problem to take care of! The Corporations need to stop being recognized as individuals so they can't lobby and buy off politicains. The Politicians need to stop taking money and start listening to the people. They also need to stop bailing out banks and corporations! The BANKS need to stop ripping the people off with 15-30% credit cards, $4 ATM fees, $35 bounced check fees, the unwillingness to refinance people's mortgages who are unemployed, etc. This is not a simple problem, but don't get the facts wrong. We might not need "income redistribution" but the rich need to pay their fair share of taxes. The average person couldn't get rich, even if they worked 24/7, yet the rich make their millions off of stock trades, insider trading, market manipulations and other loopholes they get away with, NOT WORK! If you think voting out politicians is the answer, think again! The next round of crooks will take over and do the same unless ALL the corruption is stopped!
Andrew B. Herzman November 03, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Um...how is a regular person supposed to raise millions to run for office?
Andrew B. Herzman November 03, 2011 at 11:21 PM
If the playing field was even and ALL people had to earn their money by WORKING, then everybody would have a chance at the top and there would be no envy.
Vinny Ciro November 04, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Dear Andrew, Your input is passionate as it should be and I truly share your frustrations but what do you suggest? We are saying, for the most part, the same things. The government enables some corporations, some rich and influential people, banks, etc., to manipulate the current system. Currently, it is a rigged game. I agree, the lobbying is nothing more than buying votes and "favors". I agree, NO BAILOUTS for anyone! However, I absolutely disagree with the premise that poor people are poor because rich people are rich. I grew up poor. It had nothing to do with "the Rockefellers" being rich. There are a lot of reasons we were poor, most of which my pride prevents me from sharing. Sure, a portion of the rich people take advantage of folks as do some unscrupulous banks but some "poor" people play the system, too. I don't believe either represent the majority on either side. As far as the rich paying their fair share, who determines what's "fair"? Again, on the other end, why should so many Americans pay zero Federal Tax when they get the benefits of the Federal programs that you and I contribute to? Is that fair? I am for a much flatter tax for EVERYONE. The current tax code absolutely has to change. It creates an inherently unfair environment. Currently, the only way to facilitate that change is to try and elect honest people who will change it. At least that's the only non-violent way I can see. But I guess that's where the
Chris Wendt November 04, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Fairly audacious of you to define "rich" or "poor" for anyone but yourself and your household. Some of us are not at all wealthy, materialistically, yet are rich beyond imagining in our spiritual blessings, our beautiful families, or our God-given talents. Some of 'The Poor' are so out of choice and free will, out of their own sense of beliefs and values. To your point, though in stark disagreement, no one is "poor" because someone else is "rich". That is simply a completely effed-up way of looking at the world.
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:31 PM
What do I suggest? 1. Have the rich and giant corporations pay their fair share of taxes. (Same PERCENTAGE without loopholes) 2. Make it illegal for corporations to donate money to politicians 3. No more bank bailouts with tax money 4. Fine corporations for sending jobs overseas. 5. Tax imports so things made overseas aren't cheaper to make. 6. No more letting China export to us without letting us export to them.
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:36 PM
If people like "the Rockefellers" earned their money by WORKING, I wouldn't have a problem with them being rich. The problem is they get rich off the hard work of others. The "poor" people CAN'T play the system because it's not set up for the poor. You can manipulate your crumbs all you want and make a few extra crumbs, but the rich will always have 99% of the pie. You call that fair?
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:39 PM
Wall Street is just a way to gamble legally. They produce nothing. A stock's value isn't based on a company's value, but its potential value, which can be manipulated by rumors and speculation. Inside trading is common.
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:41 PM
The government takes taxes from uneployment INSURANCE and uses that money to bail out banks that refuse to refinace homes because people are unemployed! You wonder why people are in the streets protesting?
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:42 PM
If a liberal points out something wrong, conservatives will call them a whiner and complainer. If liberals use their right to protest, conservatives will call them an unorganized mob, If a liberal losers their job, conservatives will call them lazy and say it's their own fault. If a liberal makes a speech, conservatives will call it a rant. If a liberal calls for action, conservatives will say "if you don't like it here, leave". It's called belittlement.
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:43 PM
"They're complaining about the fact that Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago, and nobody's been held responsible for that. Not a single person has been indicted or convicted, for destroying twenty percent of our national net worth, accumulated over two centuries. They're upset about the fact that Wall Street has iron control over the economic policies of this country, ...and that one party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street, and the other party caters to them as well. That's the truth of the matter . . . the people think we should NOT have 24 million people in this country who can't find a full-time job; that we should NOT have 50 million people who can't see a doctor when they're sick; that we should NOT have 47 million people of this country who need government help to feed themselves; and that we should NOT have 15 million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home" -Alan Grayson
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Vinny, you need to watch a documentary called "Zeitgeist" www.zeitgeistmovie.com Then you wil see how "the Rockefellers" got rich by creating the Federal Reserve system and manipulating the cash in circulation to their advantage. We should never have gone off the gold system, because that system was FAIR and didn't have things like inflation and interest built in. Ron Paul understands this and needs to be president. He will get rid of the Federal Reserve and the IRS.
Vinny Ciro November 04, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Dear Andrew, Thank you for the link. I will watch this but I already agree with you that we should be on the gold system. Our money is becoming worthless paper. I Also agree that the Fed has to go along with Fannie and Freddie, and many of the other ridiculous "departments" of the government like HUD, Education, EPA, etc. Too much government! By the way, my only point in mentioning the Rockefellers was that the rich of the time did not make my family and I poor :-) Talk to you soon..... I can't agree with the Ron Paul as president. William Buckley is quoted as saying that he was for the most conservative candidate for president WHO CAN WIN. Unfortunately, Ron Paul just can't win. (Unless the polls change radically).
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Ron Paul can't win if people like you keep saying he can't win. We agree on many things, but you are wrong about the Rockefellers. They, along with J.P. Morgan and others, made us all poor.
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Way too many people are brainwashed into thinking that if they work hard and play by the rules, they too can be as rich as Rockefeller. Nothing can be further than the truth.
Vinny Ciro November 04, 2011 at 04:07 PM
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Andrew B. Herzman November 04, 2011 at 04:22 PM
Watch the movie and then try to disagree.
Chris Wendt November 04, 2011 at 04:56 PM
Re: "I already agree...that we should be on the gold system." Have you stopped to consider what the price of a gallon of gasoline or home heating oil would cost under the gold standard? Try $10-$12. They would be selling gasonline in the U.S. like they do in Europe...by the liter! Are you aware of the role that abandoning the gold standard played in ending the Great Depression? Wikipedia entry states: "Economic studies have indicated that just as the downturn was spread worldwide by the rigidities of the Gold Standard, it was suspending gold convertibility (or devaluing the currency in gold terms) that did most to make recovery possible." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression Read about how and why here: http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/12/the_gold_standa.html I implore you both to drop any and all talk of returning to the gold standard!
James M. November 04, 2011 at 05:20 PM
Just more info After the Second World War, a system similar to a Gold Standard and sometimes described as a "gold exchange standard" was established by the Bretton Woods Agreements. Under this system, many countries fixed their exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar. The U.S. promised to fix the price of gold at approximately $35 per ounce. Implicitly, then, all currencies pegged to the dollar also had a fixed value in terms of gold.[1] Under the administration of the French President Charles de Gaulle up to 1970, France reduced its dollar reserves, trading them for gold from the U.S. government, thereby reducing U.S. economic influence abroad. This, along with the fiscal strain of federal expenditures for the Vietnam War and persistent balance of payments deficits, led President Richard Nixon to end the direct convertibility of the dollar to gold on August 15, 1971, resulting in the system's breakdown (the "Nixon Shock").
Vinny Ciro November 04, 2011 at 07:27 PM
Hey Chris, I read the two references, thanks. I am not economically smart enough to fully understand the nuances of a gold standard. However, it just makes common sense to me that there needs to be "something" of tangible value baking up a green piece of paper that some organization printed. Otherwise, we just have to trust that our government and world governments are playing fair and know what they are doing. They lost my trust a while ago.
Andrew B. Herzman November 05, 2011 at 12:53 AM
A gallon of gas would cost 10 cents under the gold system. Dimes would be made from real silver, like they once were. The amount of silver in a dime would be worth $4 in today's dollars...that's a gallon of gas.
Andrew B. Herzman November 05, 2011 at 12:56 AM
Well, if it's in Wikipedia it MUST be true! I have a bridge to sell you. You can look it up on Wikipedia if you want to see it.
Andrew B. Herzman November 05, 2011 at 12:58 AM
Chris, watch the Zeitgeist movie if you want the TRUTH.
Andrew B. Herzman November 05, 2011 at 01:12 AM
At the end of 1933 the gold standard was abolished. If you look at a dollar bill before 1933 it says it is redeemable in gold. You look at the dollar bill today, it says it is legal tender which means it is backed by absolutely nothing. The Federal Reserve makes its own policies and is under little regulation by the US Government. It is a private bank that loans all the currency at interest to the Government, completely consistent with the central banking model that the country sought to escape from, when it declared independence in the American revolutionary war.
Andrew B. Herzman November 05, 2011 at 01:15 AM
According to The Grace Commission Report of the 1980s “..100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their Government.”
Chris Wendt November 05, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Re: " ...it just makes common sense to me that there needs to be "something" of tangible value baking up a green piece of paper that some organization printed. Otherwise, we just have to trust that our government and world governments are playing fair and know what they are doing. They lost my trust a while ago." The tangible backing of the greenback is comprised of a number of items: - the GDP of the US - the US Constitution and our system of laws and jurisprudence - the stability of the US Government - the purchasing power of the US economy in the world market - the favorably unfavorable trade balance we maintain with all developed nations - the amount of US debt other nations (especially China) are holding - our ability to unleash shock and awe, in any corner of the globe at will. Nobody else has all that stuff. Not even half of it. However, and here is the bottom line of your apprehension. It all comes down to an intangible called the Full Faith and Credit of the United States of America. If we ever lose that faith, if the rest of the world loses their faith in us, America, then all bets are off.
Andrew B. Herzman November 08, 2011 at 10:04 PM
- the GDP of the US (is going down while Chins and India's are going up) - the US Constitution and our system of laws and jurisprudence (meaningless now with the Patriot act and the abolishment of Habeus Corpus) - the stability of the US Government (Dems and GOP have never been further apart) - the purchasing power of the US economy in the world market (going down along with jobs) - the favorably unfavorable trade balance we maintain with all developed nations (We import way more than we export) - the amount of US debt other nations (especially China) are holding (way too much) - our ability to unleash shock and awe, in any corner of the globe at will. (not for much longer...that costs MONEY...and that's why the Soviet Union fell)
Andrew B. Herzman November 09, 2011 at 02:24 PM
They sell gas in Europe by the liter because they use the metric sysytem, not beacuse of the price. Canada also sells gas by the liter. Under the gold standard there would be no inflation, no interest and no debt.

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