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View Diary: Taibbi: My Advice to WS Protestors w/update on picture (157 comments)

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  •  Taibbi's list looks like small ball to me (42+ / 0-)

    He's focused on Wall Street in microcosm.  I'd like to see OWS focused more on the big picture of the American economy.  Ending the corruption of government by big campaign donations is critical, but Taibbi's solution is too little, since money is fungible.   We should demand a financial transactions (Tobin) tax to cut down on churning in financial markets and begin to bring money back to government from Wall Street.  We should be demanding an increase in the progressivity of the tax code, to make the rich pay more.  We should be demanding a rise in the minimum wage and universal health care, to begin to rebuild the middle class.

    Tinkering on Wall Street would represent a failure of this movement even if all Taibbi's demands were granted.  The movement needs to be about rebuilding the middle class and freeing government of the corrupting influence of money.  Taibbi doesn't appear to get that.  Bernie Sanders does.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. --Meteor Blades

    by Dallasdoc on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 05:47:07 AM PDT

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    •  and don't forget these (16+ / 0-)

      insane and criminal wars and a "defense" budget that dwarfs other countries' military expenditures in the world combined.

      Just what are we defending with these gross figures. Oh ya, the inherent rights of the 1%.

      The Universe is strange enough, you don't have to add hocus pocus

      by rsie on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:28:07 AM PDT

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    •  Triage (6+ / 0-)

      Taibbi's recommendations do indeed focus on Wall Street, but it is kinda like the blown up soldier that comes into the medic tent.  You have to stop the most obvious bleeding first and then you can start to treat the other underlying problems.  

      And I agree that the most important message of OWS has to be rebuilding the middle class, which in my opinion starts with income inequality.  

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:28:30 AM PDT

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    •  His list would be a good start (16+ / 0-)

      It would be a major break from the status quo.  Just yesterday, Congress passed (w/  enthusiastic WH support), 3 "free trade" bills negotiated by the prior WH.  It's a tradition now--a George Bush administration  negotiates these deals, and then a Dem POTUS shoves them through.

      Obviously, I'd prefer a Tobin tax, single payer, and a higher marginal rates.  For now, however, I'd be thrilled to get half of what Taibbi's suggesting.  

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:30:37 AM PDT

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    •  Agree. Taibbi worship can go too far. (5+ / 0-)

      He's got great fun phrases and smacks his targets around good, but isn't always wise, imo.

      I like DallasDoc's list is much better.  But all such lists will be too small for addressing the magnitude of the issues around inequality.  It's gonna take awhile to sort things out.  Interesting that the media and RW are leading the call for "specifics."

      As if 99 to 1 wasn't specific enough.  Or 1% owning 40%.  Or 10 jobs to China for each 1 job here.  

      •  hmm, dallasdoc or Taibbi? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I like them both.   As I said, I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for choosing the list.   The issue of the 99% is much broader than Taibbi's list, but if we had to pick our number one villian, it would be GS and the banks.   He would know where to strike a fatal blow.

        Yes we can, but he won't.

        by dkmich on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 07:25:05 AM PDT

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    •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
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      J M F, hockeyrules

      his list is way too specific and some of the items are, frankly, bizarre.  who asked him for advice anyway?

      My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

      by Cedwyn on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 07:50:01 AM PDT

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    •  pass the jobs bill - should be on the list! (1+ / 0-)
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      people need jobs.  the economy needs people to work.  our country needs infrastructure.  

      pass the jobs bill.

    •  I would also like (3+ / 0-)

      them to talk about globalization, and how that is screwing the middle class.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 08:42:24 AM PDT

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    •  "Rebuilding the middle class"?? (8+ / 0-)

      Well, that would put the lie to the notion that the "middle class" got there all by itself, through "hard work and savings," and that the poor are poor because they're lazy.  Remember, this was the mythology that accompanied the rise of capitalism in the 1950s and 1960s, with its dissing of the beatniks and the hippies.

      Are we to say that, this time around, middle class get privileges over the poor because we "rebuilt the middle class"?  We can't have a real capitalist economy, because the real capitalist economy is deep into its decline phase.  So we're going to have a simulacrum of a capitalist economy, with a "rebuilt middle class"?

      Come on, dallasdoc.  Criticizing petty reforms, you suggest another irrational capitalist system to replace the one we have now.  It's not "realistic," and it's not even enough.  Let's start with the notion of SUSTAINABILITY.  We can't sustain the banks, because they're bankrupt, having gambled away 400% of global GDP on now-worthless securities.  The red ink that would otherwise appear on their balance sheets is hidden through accounting fraud, propped up through government bailouts.  When they die, and they will die, we'll need a new economy.  Let's call for a global debate on what that would look like.

      "The solution is not 'Main Street, not Wall Street,' but to change the system where Main Street cannot function without Wall Street." -Slavoj Zizek

      by Cassiodorus on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 10:19:03 AM PDT

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      •  Oh my Cass, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ocular sinister, Cassiodorus

        My retirement is doomed.    This misery is going to continue through 2020.    OWS should bring back the misery index.

        Yes we can, but he won't.

        by dkmich on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 01:21:45 PM PDT

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      •  Good call man - exactly what I was thinking (2+ / 0-)
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        zett, Cassiodorus

        when I read that comment above: the scale is too small.

        Let's call for a global debate on what that would look like.
        *emphasis added

        The solution cannot be about propping up the U.S. middle class ONLY, but must instead work on equalizing income globally. That would foster actual global harmony and make the U.S. safer.

        Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. - Alan Watts On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

        by ocular sinister on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 01:53:21 PM PDT

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    •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)
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      cpresley, dkmich, zett, Jagger

      He's acting as if this a movement to "reform Wall Street" as a financial sector, and it's much, much broader than that.

      It's not that his ideas are bad, but I think he's missing the bigger picture--the anger over the fact that our entire system has been deeply corrupted by corporate influence, so that it is now only functioning for a tiny elite.

      There was a great program on On Point (a public radio show) a couple of day that was all about OWS, and they had several long-term protestors as guests.  All were clear that they did not "speak for the movement" but if one thing is clear, it's that OWS is about the failure of the whole system, and the consequences because of that failure.  They spoke about everything from skyrocketing tuition to the wane of unions to the industrialized food system that is now run by a few big monopolies.

      I don't think he really gets what this is about--maybe that's why he was "against it" to begin with.  I see the whole thing as kind of defiant display of "no, WE are the People" despite the stranglehold of Wall Street on our "official" political system.  It's a demonstration of democracy-in-action that is in itself a meaningful statement of protest, and I don't see how the message could be any more clear.

    •  I like his ideas but we should include (4+ / 0-)
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      elwior, dkmich, milton333, Chi

      1)campaign finance reform (not just lobbying reform)
      2)financial transaction tax
      3)tax the rich
      4)end the wars

      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 11:25:32 AM PDT

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