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This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus; [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making; [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few; [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings; [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible; [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.

The next step will be to develop a specific list of goals and demands. As one of the millions of people who are participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I would like to respectfully offer my suggestions of what we can all get behind now to wrestle the control of our country out of the hands of the 1% and place it squarely with the 99% majority.

Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Let me know what you think.  Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don't have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.

We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we've been hoping for, waiting for. If it's going to happen it has to happen now. Don't sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Originally posted to Michael Moore on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:23 PM PST.

Also republished by I follow Michael Moore @ the Daily Kos.

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  •  I'd revise this one thing: (53+ / 0-)
    making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth

    That seems to suggest that a five-year-old, as a registered voter, would get to go to the polls and vote.

    Restricting the franchise to adults seems to me like a pretty sensible thing to keep around.

    Why not just make it so that every American citizen becomes a registered voter on his or her 18th birthday?

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:30:54 PM PST

  •  sounds perfect!! i love it!!! (11+ / 0-)

    the registered to vote the moment of birth threw me off for a moment, but then i realized that it didn't mean letting people vote before they are adults, it just made sure they weren't going to get fucked out of their voting rights

    I would not be just a nuffin'. My head all full of stuffin'. My heart all full of pain. I would dance and be merry. Life would be a ding-a-derry. If I only had a brain. - Scarecrow

    by Anton Bursch on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:34:23 PM PST

    •  The problem is that this is the Constitution... (4+ / 0-) it's important to be very precise linguistically.

      Because I guarantee you that if this amendment were passed as-is, someone would come along and say that little five-year-old Johnny should get to vote because, hey, it's right there in the Constitution that he's a registered voter!

      And of course he's going to pull the lever for whoever Mommy says to vote for, particularly since he can't read yet, so Mommy's going to have to go into the booth with him and make sure he knows where the "straight ticket Republican" line is.

      Why not just make the language more precise?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:38:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i don't think it's meant to be literal (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, FG, aitchdee

        I would not be just a nuffin'. My head all full of stuffin'. My heart all full of pain. I would dance and be merry. Life would be a ding-a-derry. If I only had a brain. - Scarecrow

        by Anton Bursch on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:53:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So you phrase it such that (0+ / 0-)

        every person who is a US citizen is eligible to vote as of of his/her 18th birthday in all elections conducted in and pertaining to her/his place of residence.

        You might have to mandate a nationwide specific period of time during which votes can be cast (e.g., for early voting), restrict voters to a single voting-eligible residence during each election period (i.e., not be able to vote here & then move somewhere else & vote there), and set up a national eligible voters' registry to monitor compliance. But I think the details can be worked out.

        snarcolepsy, n: a condition in which the sufferer responds to any comment with a smartass comeback.

        by Uncle Cosmo on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:42:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)
      the registered to vote the moment of birth threw me off for a moment, but then i realized that it didn't mean letting people vote before they are adults, it just made sure they weren't going to get fucked out of their voting rights

      People don't get fucked out of their voting rights because they get them when they're 18 ...

      •  you can't vote unless you register (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, davehouck, aitchdee

        and if you can't register then you can't vote

        i don't think the idea of being registered to vote is meant to be literal.  i agree with the spirit of the idea.

        I would not be just a nuffin'. My head all full of stuffin'. My heart all full of pain. I would dance and be merry. Life would be a ding-a-derry. If I only had a brain. - Scarecrow

        by Anton Bursch on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:53:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Problem is your address could change from the time (0+ / 0-)

      you were born, to when you are eligible to vote. That's the biggest hindrance in our system. Every voter must be  tied to a physical address. Poor people who move a lot are always disenfranchised in our system.

  •  A good list of goals. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, Neuroptimalian, megisi, Kurt Sperry

    But, the corporate personhood abolition seems like a much better idea than it actually is.

    It would have to be pages long to make any sense.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:35:18 PM PST

    •  I don't know that I agree with that. (6+ / 0-)

      It seems to me that a simple statement that corporations don't have the rights of citizens, and then including the standard last line of the amendment empowering Congress to determine what privileges corporations do have, would be enough to relegate most of those pages to the US Code.

      That said, I do think there would be some conflicts between such an amendment and the First Amendment's right to assemble and petition that I think might need to be sussed out before the exact wording of the amendment was finalized.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:43:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that then corporations (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        couldn't enter into contracts, sue or be sued, etc.

        Non-persons don't have access to courts.

        It's not clear what problems it would solve anyways.  The real problem is the unregulated flow of money.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:01:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what the addition to US Code would solve. (5+ / 0-)

          It could codify corporations' access to the court system.

          The difference is that right now, Congress is stymied by the presumption that corporations do have equal rights to people, while not having the natural biological restrictions that people have on them (i.e., they don't die, they can be in a million places at once, etc.). So we get rulings like Citizens United, based on the idea that a corporation has free-speech rights.

          What this does is reverse that presumption—so that it's presumed that corporations don't have the same rights as people, but that they can be given some legal standing that will functionally enable them to do much of what they need to do.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:10:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Citizens United was bad because of its equation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            of money with free speech.

            The personhood requirement for court access is constitutional in nature.  Congress can't grant a tree the right to bring a lawsuit.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:13:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can't congress grant standing? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Or is that why an amendment would be needed for zygotes to have personhood.  It seems like congress can create standing, or at least the courts can, because in the case of corporations the constitution doesn't explicitly grant them standing.  I agree about the problem of taking away corporate personhood, and I think you're probably the one that convinced me a while back.  Could you clear up my confusion here?

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:19:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You still have to be a person. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Litigants have to be subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court.  Personal jurisdiction is a constitutional requirement based in due process.  It's a requirement independent of anything Congress says.

                Standing is related to the cases and controversies clause--essentially there has to be something of actual value at stake, and a party must have a real stake in the outcome.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:09:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But then how did corporate personhood happen? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Was that just a matter of the courts saying, basically "Corporations don't make sense if they aren't people, so we're going to consider them as such for (certain) legal reasons."

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:53:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Statutorily created legal fictions. (0+ / 0-)

                    One can do away with corporations' rights to abuse the process via state statutes, which govern incorporated entities.  I'd start in Delaware.

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:18:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  They already don't exist via the new amendment (0+ / 0-)

            It's the U.S. Constitution. Nothing else can be done.

            Not to mention that corporations are a lot more than just Wall Street. They're the self-employed, non-profits, unions, even OWS operates through a corporation.

            Get the money out of politics and leave out the nonsense.

          •  Outlaw corporations. n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

            by Agent420 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:14:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  just make a list of what rights an "existential" (0+ / 0-)

        person has -

        I think it's about holding corporations accountable and and chartering them with a mission -

        it's a pretty short list - you're right JamesGG

      •  Exactly...corporations need rights. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN, Jane Lew, Situational Lefty

        The problem now is that Corporations get all the rights that humans have. We need to flip the definition so that they get only narrowly-defined rights that are necessary for their economic function.

      •  There were almost no corporations (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in existence when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified...corporate personhood has nothing to do with the right to assemble and petition the government, except in the sense that you need millions of dollars to support a modern lobbying operation....but I think the whole idea is to get away from that.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:24:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, ColoTim, Kurt Sperry
      Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America

      You can make any money making business look like they're losing money, just ask MLB or GE.

    •  Let's adopt the ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, CoExistNow, DawnN

      ... general policy direction and let the courts and Congress work out the details. The statement's power and the message it sends is the nugget here.

    •  I think it would be quite simple. (7+ / 0-)

      "The word 'person' shall never be construed to include corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, or any other similar statutorily created entity."

      As much as I would love to add language to specifically define a person as a single human being from the moment it first draws breath", we would probably be wise to save that battle for another day.

      The Democratic Party: Keeping Their Powder Dry Since 1968.

      by punkdavid on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:55:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's actually wrong (0+ / 0-)

        the point of corporate personhood is to allow an incorporated enterprise to have a checking account and own property separate from the individual accounts of the owners....otherwise a group enterprise (as is the case in a general partnership) has to have everyone a co-owner of the bank account, property, etc. It is actually quite useful for corporations to be allowed to own things and to litigate business matters in court...however, there is no reason for them to be granted rights of citizenship or human rights (such as those in the Bill of Rights).  What we need to do is distinguish "artificial persons" from "natural persons" and limit the formers' rights to the limited ones needed for the corporation's purpose.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:39:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I understand the point of corporations. (0+ / 0-)

          My language was drafted in about 1 minute.  Clearly tweaks could be made to effectuate the needed results.

          The Democratic Party: Keeping Their Powder Dry Since 1968.

          by punkdavid on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:03:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That is just an escape hatch for the rich to be (0+ / 0-)

          able to walk away from a failure and not loose too much money that they cannot start another scam.

          Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

          by Agent420 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:19:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  We don't need to abolish, but to (0+ / 0-)

      clarify what "personhood" is....that equal protection should not require us to treat artificial persons (state-created corporations) the same as natural persons (also known as "human beings" or "people"). It's not that complicated...

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:13:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish there was room for Item 11 (16+ / 0-)

    Open a not-for-profit publicly owned bank that specializes in financing business operations and emerging technologies.  It would give small businesses an expansion option besides venture capital, and it would limit the ability of firms like Goldman-Sachs to starve the economy in order to render punishments onto its political opponents.

    I love your list.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:37:16 PM PST

  •  Good contribution to the discussion (17+ / 0-)

    The big hole I see in your list of demands is there's nothing about unfair trade and the broader issue of globalization. (although you do address corps moving jobs overseas.)

  •  Hey Mike, I like your ideas (25+ / 0-)

    but lets not forget two major areas of concern that need addressing, the role the Federal Reserve played and continues to play in our economy during and after the crash, and the credit ratings agencies and their corrupt pay-to-play business model that facilitated the crash of 08.

    Just a though, otherwise I dig this idea. It broadens the conversation.


    #OccupyWallStreet ~ I will protest when and where I damn well please. I have the constitution in my pocket. That is my permit.

    by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:45:56 PM PST

    •  you are suggesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      perhaps the need for financial regulation?

      I agree - it is important that we not only mete out justice to the transgressors but work to ensure that the loopholes and ideology that helped facilitate this exploitation be addressed.

      "a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes a form of madness" -Debord

      by grollen on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:22:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would extend that to include the bigger picture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Perhaps add: Monetary reform will be pursued in  support of a sustainable economy that benefits all citizens in a low-growth to zero-growth economic environment for the indefinite future.  

      Oil and other energy constraints are now rendering the continuous economic growth paradigm obsolete. Financial capital cannot grow indefinitely under compounding rates of return (i.e. exponential growth of monetary claims on real goods and services) when the real economy CANNOT grow because of physical limits to growth, especially primary energy based on fossil fuels.

      Our monetary system is based on debt - all money is originated as a loan somewhere.  The promise of future economic growth is the collateral for the loans used to originate today's money supply.  If the economy can't grow, the money system implodes with cascading defaults.  We've already seen the tremors.  Debt is a FEATURE not a bug in our global economic system.

      Hard choices must be made to get rid of usury and predatory financial capitalism exemplified by reckless banking, speculation, cronyism and general rent-seeking on Wall St.  The financial system must be brought to heel and into alignment with an economy that serves the common good.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:24:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Immediately make all campaign contributions.. (7+ / 0-)

    to be transparent -- something the Supremes said was allowed, and something the Pres said he'd do, then ....  nothing.

    This is something that can be done pronto, a Constitutional Am. will take a long time  (probably).

    •  Not nothing...Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      shot down an attempt to legislate new rules in the aftermath of Citizens United, because they prefer maximum opacity in campaign finance.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:42:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All of that is well and good, but (9+ / 0-)

    in the short-term OWS needs to jam all the officially-sanctioned violence perpetrated on OWS during the last couple of weeks back up the oligarchy's ass.  Before it's all conveniently forgotten by the media.

    I suggest a "SHAME!" movement of silent protests targeting all officials who dispatched militarized police forces against peaceful protestors:!

  •  Nowhere (0+ / 0-)

    If it remains leaderless.

  •  Pretty much the same list that's been going (3+ / 0-)

    around for months.  This must mean you're proposing, as many others have been doing, going to the demand stage.  Can't hurt.   I just have three words:
    Federal Reserve system.

    •  Actually, the Fed isn't on this list but on others (0+ / 0-)

      which is interesting to say the least.  And the Fed not being on Michael Moore's list, I would wonder his reasoning for that.   This will be one of the key struggles within the movement relative to demands, I predict anyway.

  •  Suggest rethinking #3. (9+ / 0-)

    Expanding the revenue base to include all earned income is fine if the rate is lowered enough to be revenue neutral for the Social Security system.  Simply bringing in more dollars to a system that has already been and will continue to surplus for another couple of decades is doubling down on this Greenspan bait and switch.  

    A highly progressive federal income tax based on all income and elimination of most deductions and a decent inheritance tax would take us a long way towards greater income and wealth equality.

  •  I wish you would make some more (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, cotterperson, melo

    tv like TV Nation and The Awful Truth.  Maybe Current would go in with the BBC or CBC on it.

    It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

    by msstaley on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:53:01 PM PST

  •  Occupy K Street (11+ / 0-)

    Thanks for everything, MM!

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:53:40 PM PST

  •  Take Spain as a lesson: OWS had (8+ / 0-)

    better go somewhere specific... and fast.

    Spain just elected a conservative government and guaranteed austerity.  Conservatives won by a long shot.  Why?  Because the people are afraid, they are losing hope, and they didn't see a good plan.  Aimless fear breeds conservatism.

    #OWS is doing a great job raising consciousness.  But that is not enough.  If we don't want to end up like Spain, with a  President Romney (or god help us, President Gingrich), OWS needs to channel the people's fear into progress -- toward a set of tangible policy goals.  Ministry of Truth's specific set of points from a week or so ago is a great start.

    "This is not class warfare. It's math." - Barack Obama 9/19/11

    by DaveV on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:01:27 PM PST

  •  All good things (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, DawnN, Johnny Q, melo

    If you stop and think about the Vision Statement, the nine points are all intricately intertwined.   For a society to be free, democratic, and just, people must come together, we must take individual responsibility, these things can't happen without mutual respect and toleration, and so on down the line.

    But when it comes to the Proposal for 10 Things, each of them would do some good by itself.    There's no need to wait for a platform or a party to embrace all or most of the proposals.  Any of us can focus our efforts on getting just one thing done.

    This community is so effective when it's united - hopefully we won't spend our energy arguing about the small points, when there are so many big things that can happen if we work together.

  •  great list - have one to add (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katiec, Little Red Hen

    require broadcasters and print media supply the source and proof of FACTS when presenting material to the public. There should be legal responsability to fact check all information presented as fact!

    ummm how do you add a signature?

    by bunkai on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:03:22 PM PST

  •  Great platform. This is progress. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davehouck, hippie bitch, melo

    This is progressivism.

    "This is not class warfare. It's math." - Barack Obama 9/19/11

    by DaveV on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:03:50 PM PST

  •  I think it's a good list, but OWS isn't able (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    According to Fish, FG

    to vote on it.  It's one of the problems with a street movement with no leadership or structure for recognizing or creating consensus.  It's time to get one of those.

    My wife says I couldn't have done it. And leave my wife out of this.

    by Inland on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:05:46 PM PST

  •  Break up the TBTF. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, grollen, cotterperson, esquimaux

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:08:02 PM PST

  •  The realities of a better tomorrow are visible.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kamakhya, melo

    But the battles to achieve them are still ahead of us...

    Despite the horror of the police and local government actions of violent disrespect and criminal stupidity, I have never been so proud to be an American...

    Knowing that we are no longer sitting on the sidelines watching the greedy power-hungry people stomp on our personal dreams while trying to throw our National Pride over a me hope though small right has been growing...

    One thing I would want is...we have laws for truth in advertising...we need laws for truth in politics...

    “And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by JMoore on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:12:48 PM PST

    •  At present those laws for (0+ / 0-)

      truth in advertising are almost never enforced..."truth in politics" would be impossible unless we did away with the First Amendment. It would be nice, though, if we could actually see false advertising, like all those bogus "nutritional supplements" and fat-burning pills, "free credit reports" and the like, eliminated.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:59:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Truth in advertising laws were repealed years ago. (0+ / 0-)

        Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

        by Agent420 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:34:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, every now and then (0+ / 0-)

          somebody gets a slap on the wrist for going overboard in advertising claims...recently Reebok settled for $25 million when it was found that there was zero evidence to support the advertised benefits of their "toning" sneakers. There have been other high profile cases, including Splenda sweetener (which had to change its "made from sugar" slogan) and others. But it never goes as far as banning the product, even when the product is totally bogus.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 04:23:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for pointing that out to me but, (0+ / 0-)

            every single ad on tv is a lie to some extent. Most are subtle, but many just don't even pretend to tell the truth as the chance of being convicted is one in a million and all they have to do is raise the price and nothing has changed except we have less money in our pockets.
            Don't get me started on direct advertising of medicals on TV. That is a crime against nature. They advertise with spring scenes with flowers, cute animals, soothing music and idyllic scenes and in the background there is a kind voice telling you the many side effects including several ways the drug could kill you. What does the drug cure? Hangnails or something equally stupid.
            Did you know that they just came out with a new drug that cost $150,000 per dose. What does it cure? Does that matter? Unless it turns me 20 an I get to keep all my knowledge, it is so irrelevant to anything in my and billion of lives.

            Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

            by Agent420 on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 09:26:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Most importantly: get rid of the filibuster (5+ / 0-)

    so that we can have real democratic accountability and the public understands who is pushing what issue and who is blocking which. In 2010 people were sick of gridlock yet voted for the party responsible for the gridlock, because the filibuster makes it difficult to see who is the villain.

    Progressives need to get the chance to implement progressive policies when in power, for example single payer health care. Then GOP cannot undo it if it proves popular like it has in all other rich nations.

    Getting rid of the filibuster is a necessary step to enact the policies you suggest. For example, there is now way that Glass Steagal will be restored with the filibuster in place.

    Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

    by Joe B on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:17:38 PM PST

    •  they could get rid of it anytime they want. It's a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rule, not a law. Democrats and republicans want it to stop laws what each camp considers crazy. Republicans use it without hestitation. Democrats on the other hand... have been sort of spineless.

      Standing up for men and their interests does not constitute misogyny.

      by SetaSan on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:07:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Turns out it's easy to be a "Thrifty German" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB, melo, esquimaux

    When you have an evil socialist government providing you with a lot of tools for saving, and reasonable societal constructs that protect you from totally non-evil exploitation.

    Who woulda' think it?

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:18:55 PM PST

  •  Like these, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, cotterperson, DawnN, ballerina X

    don't forget, just being out there and still pushing, no matter the ultimate goals, is the main part of any movement.

    Movements are about movement.


    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:22:24 PM PST

  •  Carbon Tax / Carbon Tariffs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, mightymouse, melo

    A carbon tax that is engineered properly would speak to items 2 & 8.  Localize supply chains and production of more durable and potable goods.  The planet needs this.  We need this if we are to move towards a sustainable present.

  •  Hard to argue with that list (5+ / 0-)

    I'm sure that it's anathema to every Republican and they'll fight tooth and nail against it... which of course makes it great in my book!

    Pulling it off is gonna be very tough indeed.

    But there's that old expression... How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:29:43 PM PST

  •  Good list (19+ / 0-)

    I like the idea of starting big with campaign finance and restricting it to public financing. Campaign finance lies at the root of the corruption of both parties and is the most important issue, imo. I would also add restrictions on the length of time a campaign could be run to a matter of weeks. I would have in place a fallback plan for private financing, borrowing heavily from France, e.g.

    1. Public funding based on minimum share of votes (France, Australia, Germany)
    2. Limit election campaigns to 6 weeks (Australia, UK)
    3. Strict limits on the contribution amounts from all sources and NO contributions from corporations allowed (France)
    4. Ceilings on total campaign expenditures (France, UK, Israel)
    5. Provide free campaign broadcasts to parties participating in elections and prohibit paid political advertisements. This is the most substantial form of public funding for France, Israel, and the UK.

    Here's an interesting comparative analysis of the campaign finance laws of various nations.

    Plus I would crackdown on the revolving lobbyist door.

    "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
    Platform of the "New" Neoliberal Democratic Party
    Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

    by Sanctimonious on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:35:28 PM PST

  •  And universal healthcare a la single payer n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Healthcare IS one of the issues most mentioned in the Occupies.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by Shockwave on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:37:45 PM PST


    and, yes, I'm shouting.

    And to all the Obama-Haters-Gonna-Hate who have no fucking clue that CONGRESS MAKES LAWS and the only way citizens can change the laws they make is to CHANGE THE CONGRESS:

    I have no doubt that handing all three branches over to the   Republican Crime Syndicate by writing in "Michael Moore" will deliver that magical pink sparkle unicorn you so desperately need!

    Extra added bonus: Prez Gingrich's SCOTUS nominees -- PLUS  instead of "your childrens can learn", your grandchildrens can clean toilets - Woo-hoo!

    The only path forward for this nation is the UTTER DESTRUCTION of this Republican Party.

    by NamelessGenXer on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:39:02 PM PST

    •  If people that would not have (0+ / 0-)

      voted vote for Michael Moore for president (which is, IMHO, kinda stupid...I think blanking it would be a better way to flip off Obama), it won't change the electoral result...I think it would be great to have people vote for progressive congressional candidates instead of blanking the down-ballot races as so many did in 2008. But definitely people need to vote (and they can even secretly vote for Obama without letting their OWS peeps know they're doing something uncool...that's the benefit of the ballot box...)

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 08:07:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't vote for anyone who hasn't pushed for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kurt Sperry, hangingchad

    these two things:

    1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed;

  •  Terms of Evolution (5+ / 0-)

    Trying to figure out how these terms would actually come about, I am reminded of reading history that concerns progress over centuries.

    We might object, "centuries!"  We don't feel like we have centuries, or even years.  We should get progress now.

    Indeed we should.  

    But where this starts is with local communities and people who never get into Michael Moore documentaries or in any spotlight.

    Local Democratic groups and any other groups that vote on platforms and primary candidates have been cautious in an abundance of realism over the past several decades.  

    We The People, as former students who used to think of economics as boring, have only recently found a reason to be interested in the dynamics of financial governance.  

    Thus, the problem is to sustain a drive to reinvigorate interest in that which governs us through our consumerism and to wake up to the way the dots connect.  

    It would be great of Moore would produce a documentary on the way our own need for comfort and entertainment are creating the profits that are used against us when they aggregate into multi billion dollar and trillion dollar assets.  

    As I look at this, I think of the problem involved in educating the public in the average community where the decisions are really made that affect who is in Congress and in the state legislatures.  

    I think this is a long term problem with very difficult problems related to conveying messages and raising consciousness.  

    All of the above proposals have merit and deserve serious consideration, but in all practicality, are likely to only be moved on in any way if some sustained effort at public education can come about.  

    The Occupy movement is doing a fantastic job of raising some awareness, but the system took probably centuries to get where it is.  To change it into what it should be will require a lot of practical effort at a whole lot of levels.  

    The effort Moore has put into articulating the principles above has to be much appreciated.  These and related issues will be debated as this thing moves forward in some form or fashion.  

    That would seem to be the definition of evolution, and if it becomes a new level in the consciousness of mankind, there is hope for the future whether there is specifically identified leadership or not.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:43:41 PM PST

    •  "probably took centuries"? (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe we need to start studying history...the current mess is mostly due to changes in just the past few decades. If you want to talk centuries, you may as well talk millenia, because part of the problem is just plain ol' human nature (lust for power, greed, the capacity for fooling ourselves)...but overall, the big problem right now is the abandonment of government regulation of Big Business and the ideology of Reagan, that people should trust Big Business rather than their own elected officials...

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 08:14:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wait, What? Which Occupy Wall Street? (17+ / 0-)

    It has been stated over and over again, there is no one OWS, each speaks for themselves, etc, etc.

    So how and where did this happen?

    This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

    Is there now some group of 40 people that includes MM taking leadership of the movement?  May we ask who they are?

    To which GA was this "proposed"  and what was the result? Do all the other GA's get a say in this?

    On another note what  ever happened to the OWS congress supposed taking place next July 4?

    Occupy Wall Street Protesters Propose A National Convention, Release Potential Demands

    Happy Thanksgiving MM...I can smell that new movie gravy already....

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    by EdMass on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:43:56 PM PST

    •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog, mightymouse, valion

      Two thoughts came immediately to mind ... the one you quoted: where did these 40 people come from and how did the become the ones "whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement"?

      And secondly, the absolute brilliance of the movement so far has been it's apparently organic nature, springing up all over the country simultaneously. Impossible to whack the mole because another one pops up over here, then over there. No one can stomp it out.

      In my opinion this list of "demands" is premature and the list itself co-opts the possibility of bringing more conservative voters into the OWS process. But maybe thats the point. If so, I will be very disappointed.

      Flame away ...

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:08:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, this doesn't sound right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mr. Moore, you need to clarify what you mean or restate it.

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

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:10:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good luck waiting for an answer. n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK, MKSinSA, annan, Kickemout
    •  Time to Evolve. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, annan, FeltzNook, melo

      In the protest we are leaderless, and everyone speaks for themselves. We DO NOT need to surrender that to move to the next sttep. Not at all.

      This is the time to transition into a National Movement, with a real agenda. This is the call to create that evolution within the movement.

      This is not about creating a heirarchy - but about representing our goals and communicating them in order to then take the ACTION steps to achieving them.

      We can come to consensus, and have Representatives to speak for the collective, when and ONLY when a consensus is reached.

      Speaking from my own Occupation of my Spare Bedroom, where my computer is set up, I for one think each of these is an excellent and progressive start - and I'd like to see ever single item on this list become reality, as soon as possible. Not as a vague future goal - we need change now.

      {{{{Happy Hands}}}}}

      "When gratitude replaces judgment, peace spreads through your body, gentleness embraces your soul, wisdom fills your mind." - Neale Donald Walsch

      by Cinnamon on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:36:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also, wasn't it MinistryOfTruth who said that once (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK, MKSinSA, annan, BenderRodriguez

      your movement has developed a mission statement that it has jumped the shark?

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:37:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OWS has close to 90 Work Groups (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hangingchad, annan, fayea

      Vision & Goals is one of them and has 329 "members" listed, though how many of those are actively in their meetings, I dont know.  The way the NYCGA websites are set up, each WG has a Page with alll kinds of stuff in it. I like to read the Minutes in the Docs as they can be very informative. Its all in there.

      Do good from the heart and fight like hell. ~cosmic debris

      by Lady Libertine on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:47:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its called a working group and they have them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, UnaSpenser

      The GA can ratify proposals from working groups and submit them to the national GAs to thier working groups. who can provide a national GA to ratify  national OWS proposals.

      "I reffuse to eat Satan sandwiches or wraps."

      by hangingchad on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:45:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know, Michael ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EquityRoy, cotterperson, AnnieR, fayea

    ... it's rare that I can sign on to a laundry list without quibble or qualm, but this list works for me. It's excellent.

    In reading the vision statement, it made me sad to realize that we need to re-affirm what should be sacred principles to every American, regardless of political stripe.

    To borrow from the immortal Bunk Moreland, "Makes me far we done fell."

  •  I think starting a jobs program of some sort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    with a living wage similiar to the FDR plan for infrastructure.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:45:53 PM PST

  •  Go for the jugular: Take Bank Money, Lose My Vote (3+ / 0-)

    Just force the politicians to choose who they want to work for, and make them prove it.

    It's going to be pretty hard to say "I need Finance's money so I can run ads so I can win votes" when taking the money loses you more votes. A politician running with that line will just demonstrate it's really about the money for them.

    At least we'll be clear who is willing to take a risk to represent us.

    And if you want to grow Occupy Wall Street to the point where The Powers That Be can't use their well-honed techniques: media misrepresentation; infiltration; nurturing division; outright force for suppression... it's easy.

    Just get everybody out, when they can, to stand in front of their home, to the closest main drag, near where they work... wherever daily life brings them, holding up a sign: "Congress, we know you are taking bribes."

    This has the advantage that people who simply can't get to demonstrations (like bread-winners, the too poor, the elderly, etc), or are too constrained to take the time or risk, can easily find five minutes or five hours on any given day to stand where people can see them. Imagine seeing people with this sign wherever you go.


    Even if media and politicians pretends it ain't happening (and they'd have to pretend, because they would see it everywhere they go) everybody else would know.

    You can see the argument for this method of protest strongly and clearly developed in my essay from last June "National The King Is Naked Week",

    "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

    by Jim P on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:47:47 PM PST

  •  Agree. I don't think we should let this election (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, Miggles

    season go by without making some kind of statement or demand like that.  Take the money and no vote.

  •  There's already a demands work group (4+ / 0-)

    in New York. Be a part of the meetings if you want to contribute. The demands work group has this: We can create jobs with a massive New Deal to rebuild our infrastructure.

    I suspect you don't read your comments though. I can't remember ever seeing a response.

    •  He doesn't name his (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement
      And I can't find any reference to his  group or it's meeting minutes on the main site. That's kinda weird, at least in my experience. That stuff usually gets posted pretty quick.That's kinda weird
      •  I think millionaires ought to butt out of this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ballerina X

        What is driving him to try to have an influence on the demands, for example? The need for self-importance? Butt out and let it happen.

        •   He should participate by all means, (0+ / 0-)

          but this doesn't seem to be participating. If he felt this was a legit action within the context of OWS, it would be issued that way. His working group would be named, his proposition would be posted on a forum along with the minutes of this 4 hour meeting and not just through his celebrity matrix of website connections. I recall the call to convention guy and how that went down. Curious.

    •  Sounds like he was involved in a meeting (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe not your meeting, but he did say he was involved in a meeting with 40 people. Maybe you should join his meeting instead of complaining about his not joinging your meeting.

      Anyways- what's stopping your meeting from releasing your own demands?

  •  no health care system is free, it's not possible (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, annan, katiec, SoCalSal

    best to phrase it as "remove all financial barriers to comprehensive health care", which is what a properly designed single payer system does when money goes into the kitty according to your ability to contribute and there is no payment at the point of service (all health care is pre-paid).  Saying it's "free" just raises the hackles of the other side, and more importantly is simply not true.  The phrasing for education should also be similar.

    •  I don't see the problem with calling it free. (6+ / 0-)

      The fire department responds to my calls for free, but of course they are funded through taxes.  Same for schools, and that is what is intended for health care as well.  Also, putting in long explanations like "remove all financial barriers..." just puts people to sleep.  No offense, but our side frequently loses at this point by forgetting to keep stuff in simple, explainable terms.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:42:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree that there is no harm in saying "free" (0+ / 0-)

        First of all it's not true, and second it gives the other side the ammo they need to destroy you.  I agree that you don't want long explanations.  When I speak about single payer, which is often, I always start with a story, which opens the conversation for a deeper examination of the phrase "removing financial barriers".  If you can come up with a quick framing I'm all for it.  Just don't say "free".  It's wrong on all levels.

    •  Too literal (0+ / 0-)

      I think at some level people are aware that it's not free in the absolute sense of the word, but you think of libraries as free and fire departments as putting out fires for free, so calling for free health care when you mean free at the point of delivery, is not that much of a stretch. The larger definition does not fit well on a bumper sticker or a sound bite.

    •  So? Let the morons heckle. It is free (0+ / 0-)

      If it is free at the point of service then it is free. Same way our parks are free. Same way our libraries are free. Same way our highways (most of them anyways) are free. Same way our police/fire service is free.  Why bow to the other side's nonsensical framing?

  •  Glad you are part of this dialogue. (4+ / 0-)

    Some good ideas in the 10 you suggest.  Some are more possible sooner and some are long term goals, in my view, but it does not hurt to fight for the future now.

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil. Government belongs wherever evil needs an adversary and there are people in distress who cannot help themselves." (Robert F. Kennedy, Speech, Athens, Georgia, May 6, 1961).

    by TomP on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:57:56 PM PST

  •  I can't agree with a couple of points. (6+ / 0-)

    1. I can't agree that everyone has a "right" to employment.  This would be a deal breaker for all those who scream that Unions exist so that nobody can be fired.  At some point, you need enough voters to get this stuff passed, and I don't think everyone should have a guarantee of employment.  There are people who are unsuited for work because of issues beyond their control - disability would be the main reason, but I'm sure there are others.  There are certainly a number of people who would take that as a guarantee that they can be as awful or lazy as they want and they'll still have to be tolerated and employed.  That not only puts a burden on the business owner but also customers and coworkers who have to deal with this person.  There should be protections for those who want to work and assistance for those who can't, but I cannot see a "right" to work that isn't balanced by a "right" to not have to work with them.

    2.  I'm uneasy at the idea of the Constitutional amendment that would specify that Societal and the General Public interests should come before corporate interests without mention of private interests.  We have laws preventing takings, but they have been couched as public goods even when they were then given to other private entities (I believe New London, Connecticut was the Supreme Court case that shocked many).  I would much rather have something that says that the Constitution will be amended to where a corporate interest cannot be judged more important than the right to clean air, clean water, clean food.  If a corporation will take those things from people (for example, by mining operations or fracking) then full and complete compensation must be rendered, the amount of which must be decided by third parties with no ties to either side of the debate.

    3.  Heck, while we're at it, how about a regulation that the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches must abide by all laws, rules and regulations that they pass for the rest of the country.  No more of this special privileges for Congress, lack of ethics laws for the Supreme Court and the ability of the Executive Branch to claim privilege without an open hearing.

    •  well thought through....only a little quibble (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the "right" to employment can be worded in such a way that people can't be discriminated against.  Reality is that you can't FORCE people to work, and there are people in the .01% who don't need to work.  

      that needs to be thought through more.  I think there should be something (to the other comment I made) where the Fed/monetary policy, trade policy, etc. has to react once unemployment hits a certain threshold.

      On the judicial branch, congress, etc... there should be more stringent rules about pay increases, benefit increases, campaign finance, and judicial ethics.  I agree with that.

      •  If you do get fired for waatever reason you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        could be placed in a less desirable job such as roadwork, picking fruit etc..  until you find other employment. Have a national temporary/seasonal job placement service.

        If you cannot work cause your sick be trained where you can stuff envelops or some such and make it a profitable thing for that person to help them sustain themselves if able.

        Just thinking out loud, one day I will be blind and will need help.. have an offer to move to Canada and may take it.

        "I reffuse to eat Satan sandwiches or wraps."

        by hangingchad on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:53:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you are wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Alice in Florida

      I think everyone should have the "right" to work.   What I take this to mean is that anyone who wants a job and is willing to do the job, show up on time and follow the rules should have a job.

      This is a good use of our money.   A much better use than a lot of the nonsense our government wastes money on now (foreign wars, energy subsidies, etc.).

    •  did say "guarantee" employment, said "has a right" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      very different.

      Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

      by UnaSpenser on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:05:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Federal Reserve OMC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katiec, hangingchad, fayea

    we need to add a demand that removes undue influence of big banks in the operation of the federal reserve.  Today, the so-called Open market committee comprises members who are appointees of the largest banks.

    Also - along those lines - the fed has two mandates.
    1.  price stability
    2.  full employment (meaning low unemployment - around 4% or so)

    something has to trigger an action on the part of the Fed when unemployment hits a threshold - like 8% or so. Today - the Fed does not take #2 very seriously.

  •  Hell to the yeah!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Love you Michael.  Thanks for everything you do.

  •  The problem is income and wealth inequality, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katiec, AmyVVV, MKSinSA

    I don't think this list does enough to address it.

    Maybe #2 and #6, but we need corporations paying their workers more and maybe paying their senior management a little less.

    We need banks to write down some of their 2.7 trillion in bad loans and give homeowners underwater a little bit of a break.

    And the same thing goes for student loans, it simply costs far too much to get an education and the cost bears no reasonable relationship to a graduates income potential when they get out of school.

    I also think that while some legislative focus is good, that this is a movement about Wall Street, and yet most of the demands are for changes in government.

    Why can't companies bring jobs back to the U.S. instead of just paying a penalty if they transfer more jobs overseas?

    We can easily compile a list of all the jobs that have been transferred overseas in the past 10 years and petition companies to bring them back and petition Wall Street to lend in order to rebuild the business infrastructure that we have lost.

    I would like to see some demands focused squarely on business.  Seeing Congress' success rate lately in passing legislation, I think we would get more change in Congress, by showing Congress that change can happen without them.

    •  What about our responsibility? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, gramofsam1
      Why can't companies bring jobs back to the U.S. instead of just paying a penalty if they transfer more jobs overseas?

      This is also the problem. The answer is simple, labor is cheaper abroad. The costs are lower and those savings (however disproportionate) are realized as cheaper goods for you and also as profit for the company.

      There's a serious disconnect here. We want things for cheap but we won't recognize our responsibility in it as well.

      As I said in another post, there is an element of the public gets what the public wants.

      Market fundamentalism is something both parties ascribe to and we're conditioned to think it's ok. But we're partially to blame because we like having a lot of things and having them for cheap. We don't bother to think about this because it's inconvenient but deep down we know it's true.

      •  Yes, labor is cheaper abroad, but we didn't have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to open the door to cheap labor in the manner that we have over the course of 30 years, and of course, when you have wage stagnation and the middle class has been dipping into its personal credit line and home equity just to keep the same standard of living, it is really hard not to want lots of cheap things.

        Yes, the public gets what the public wants, but so does a crack addict, and no one wants to have to hit bottom to change.

        •  standard of living (0+ / 0-)

          What does that mean exactly? That's kinda my point here.

          ...when you have wage stagnation and the middle class has been dipping into its personal credit line and home equity just to keep the same standard of living, it is really hard not to want lots of cheap things.

          What I'm talking about is making sure we have what we need first and foremost.

          Now affordable healthcare for citizens is something I think we need. Quality, affordable education is something I think we need as a community, as a citizenry as a country. Corporations and the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes to allow for this.

          Now in your statement it's important to qualify what those cheap things really are. What is a need and what is a want? 300 channels on your iPad (made with the blood and sweat of Chinese workers on poor wages) is not a need. The latest Made In China or Taiwan J. Crew sweater is not really a need. For many looking sweet is a need. SO let's go even cheaper and go Uniqlo or H&M. Hmmm, I wonder where those clothes are made of. But globalization can't be stopped, and I agree it does need to be managed. But now we're talking about two different things.

        •  Please know (0+ / 0-)

          that I agree that income inequality is an absolutely vital issue. I only mean to point out that we all carry some culpability on some level and that too needs to be addressed. Humanity and the future depends on it.  

          I would bet dollars to donuts that many users online here like to shop online for goods and that they would choose to buy it from an online retailer where they can avoid paying sales taxes. By doing that we rob states of vital funds. I'm sure that includes a lot of goods that really fall into the 'want' category, not really the need. That's one just one example.

          On the issue of income inequality, George Packer's essay in the latest Foreign Affairs titled, "The Broken Contract" Inequality and Social Decline" is a very good read.

          OWS needs to occupy the Democratic party as much as Wall Street really. Both parties have enabled the financial sector to run amok.

          •  The Broken Contract - Inequality & AmericanDecline (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Forgive my grammar, my train of thought has outpaced my typing.

            Here is an excerpt from the essay:

            By contemporary standards, life in 1978 was inconvenient, constrained, and ugly. Things were badly made and didn’t work very well. Highly regulated industries, such as telecommunications and airlines, were costly and offered few choices. The industrial landscape was decaying, but the sleek information revolution had not yet emerged to take its place. Life before the Android, the Apple Store, FedEx, HBO,
            Twitter feeds, Whole Foods, Lipitor, air bags, the Emerging Markets Index Fund, and the pre-k Gifted and Talented Program prep course is not a world to which many of us would willingly return.

            The surface of life has greatly improved, at least for educated, reasonably comfortable people—say, the top 20 percent, socioeconomically. Yet the deeper structures, the institutions that underpin a healthy democratic society, have fallen into a state of decadence. We have all the information in the universe at our fingertips, while our most basic problems go
            unsolved year after year: climate change, income
            inequality, wage stagnation, national debt, immigration, falling educational achievement, deteriorating infrastructure, declining news standards. All around, we see dazzling technological change, but no progress. Last year, a Wall Street company that few people have
            ever heard of dug an 800-mile trench under farms, rivers, and mountains between Chicago and New York and laid fiber-optic cable connecting the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
            This feat of infrastructure building, which cost $300 million, shaves three milliseconds off high-speed, high-volume automated trades—a big competitive advantage. But passenger trains between Chicago
            and New York run barely faster than they did in 1950, and the country no longer seems capable, at least politically, of building faster ones. Just ask people in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin, whose governors recently refused federal money for high-speed rail projects.

            We can upgrade our iPhones, but we can’t fix our roads and bridges. We invented broadband, but we can’t extend it to 35 percent of the public. We can get 300 television channels on the iPad, but in the past
            decade 20 newspapers closed down all their foreign bureaus. We have touch-screen voting machines, but last year just 40 percent of registered voters turned out, and our political system is more polarized,
            more choked with its own bile, than at any time since the Civil War.

            There is nothing today like the personal destruction of the McCarthy era or the street fights of the 1960s. But in those periods, institutional forces still existed in politics, business, and the media that could hold
            the center together. It used to be called the establishment, and it no longer exists. Solving fundamental problems with a can-do practicality—the
            very thing the world used to associate with America, and that redeemed us from our vulgarity and arrogance—now seems beyond our reach.

        •  People want their iPads, and they don't want to (0+ / 0-)

          have to pay $1800, which would be the price if Apple manufactured then in the US rather than in Asian sweatshops.  (I pulled that $1800 number out of my behind, but you get the idea!).  

          And lots of OWS supporters fall into the category of having bought iPads and other electronic goodies at prices that are only possible via Asian sweatshop labor.  Seems that phenomenon would be a hard knot to untangle, and I question how popular it would be to untangle it if it meant paying a MUCH higher price for those electronic goodies.

    •  Banks are often financial zoombies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster

      and aren't generally in a position to wave debt.

      •  Yeah, unfortunately, that seems to be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the way banks behave.

        But the problem is that on the mortgage front, banks simply aren't even acknowledging that they have almost $3 trillion in debt that needs to be waved.

        Even Bill Clinton has been advocating this, the idea that banks should forgive the "bubble" value of the bad real estate loans they made.  It would help everyone because if they don't, real estate is going to be depressed for many, many more years.

      •  If you're not wealthy (0+ / 0-)
        "Debts between the very wealthy or between governments can always be renegotiated and always have been throughout world history. … It's when you have debts owed by the poor to the rich that suddenly debts become a sacred obligation, more important than anything else. The idea of renegotiating them becomes unthinkable."
        -David Graeber

        That saying.

        If you owe the bank a $100,000 (say a mortgage), the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $10,000,000, you own the bank.

  •  The Right to Privacy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cinnamon, Miggles, grollen, esquimaux

    should be part of 10 (c).  This should include not only the right to whatever medical care you and your doctor determine is needed and the right to have whatever sort of consensual sex you want with consenting adults, but also the right of ownership of your own information, whether it's your email, your vital statistics, your phone records, your image, or the information you provide to the businesses you contract with.  It's yours and they don't have the right to sell or do anything else with it without your express permission.

  •  HEre here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Can we add one?

    Force Members of Congress to have the SAME ACCESS to healthcare the general public does.

    •  Pretty much covered (0+ / 0-)

      by the single payer system, no?

      "When gratitude replaces judgment, peace spreads through your body, gentleness embraces your soul, wisdom fills your mind." - Neale Donald Walsch

      by Cinnamon on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:27:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many of them (0+ / 0-)

      buy into a federal employee plan with the typical ~70% subsidy.

      Others get Medicare.

      Some get coverage from a spouse's plan.

      Some get retired military coverage I believe.

      There is no special health insurance for Congresscritters.

      They can pay to access a Congressional doctor.

  •  Hip hip - (0+ / 0-)

    HOORAY! Hip hip Hooray!  Hip hip Hooray!  Three cheers for Michael!

    "I don't mind you being rich. I mind you buying my government!" -- Medicare for All -- "Justice delayed is justice denied" for the 99%

    by EquityRoy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:13:22 PM PST

  •  wish i could rec this 1 million times n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Your list is far too tame. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Occupiers are way ahead of you Mike.  Your "10 Things" will just tinker with a completely fucked up system.

    Don't try to use your celebrity status to channel this movement into a narrow, reformist agenda.  We can and are dreaming much bigger.  You can get behind us or get out of the way.

    My two cents.

    The politics of direct action is based, to a certain degree, on a faith that freedom is contagious. - David Graeber

    by An Affirming Flame on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:16:19 PM PST

    •  I don't know what your "much bigger" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, JustinBinFL

      is, but if it is the anarchist nonsense I've been hearing from some involved with the movement, then you can count me (and many others) out.

      •  If you don't know then just ask (0+ / 0-)

        instead of assuming anarchist nonsense.

        He's right about one thing, the vote is going to bring any real change. This is a reality dawning on people all over the world.

        The game is rigged. If you're looking to just tinker with it, don't expect much change. The rot is deep and it is widespread. It's not just the usual suspects, we'd like to think it was that simple. Democrats too have done their part in this massive transfer of wealth.

        You can see the rot in the judicial branch as well. Money is speech. There is a revolving door between Wall St and Washington (both parties) and the former could not run amok the way it has if the latter didn't open the way for them.

        But I can tell you this, social upheaval is coming and you won't need OWS to pass out ht pitchforks.

        Voting in another Democrat isn't going to change much.
        Again, the rot is deep and it's widespread.

        At best we'll scrape by and pass the ticking time bomb to the next generation. As we speak, the status quo is quivering under its own self-deception. The debt crisis abroad and here point to some serious problems and the consequences will be dire.

        •  ..the vote ISN"T going to bring any real change.. (0+ / 0-)

          I meant to write.

          •  So all this change is going to happen magically? (0+ / 0-)

            well, Ok.  If that's the basket you want to put your eggs in.

            •  Yes, merlin is on his way (0+ / 0-)

              "If that's the basket you want to put your eggs in."

              right back at you.

              If you want to put on your uniform and cheer for your side without acknowledging the dirty deeds committed on your side, then by all means. Coddle away. That's what the other side does too. If you want to apologize for the failure of leadership over and over and prop up a system that is deeply rotten and widespread, then by all means. Keep choosing the lesser of two evils meanwhile in the background both parties are feeding from the same trough.

              Democrats caved to the game long ago, they've done they're part in this massive transfer of wealth. How about that Jon Corzine? MF Global? Clinton & Glass Steagall? They do love Bill on Wall Street still.

              Lots of inconvenient truths eh. You don't want to hold your politicians feet to the fire because they're wearing your team uniform, by all means. Do the same thing over and over again. What's that definition of insanity again?

              So go ahead and simply enable them, they'll continue to enable Wall Street and the party goes on and on.

              We want real change we can believe in. We don't want to coddle anyone anymore. We don't want soaring rhetoric and gimmicks. No more inconvenient truths.

    •  So where is YOUR list of big dreamy ideas? (0+ / 0-)

      Let's hear it. I am guessing there is something about breaking windows in there.

  •  My Addition - Repeal the Patriot Act... (4+ / 0-)

    Rolling back the clock on surveillance and extra-legal activities of the government. More transparency and less secrecy in the relationship between our government and the people it works for.

    Great list.

    •  One more addition - Dissolve the US Senate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      While we're at it.  Just sayin'.

      "I don't mind you being rich. I mind you buying my government!" -- Medicare for All -- "Justice delayed is justice denied" for the 99%

      by EquityRoy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:20:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama's not down with that. (0+ / 0-)

      We're also in an age where there isn't enough emphasis on privacy. A reverse 1984, we're giving our privacy away in this day and age. Hopefully there is a strong enough backlash to wake people up but it may be too late.

  •  We need a second Constitutional Convention (0+ / 0-)

    Those three amendments won't fix the Senate's unrepresentative structure.  

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:23:51 PM PST

  •  as long as "paper ballots" include voting by mail, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    According to Fish

    I am all for 10.a. The state of Washington has extremely high voter turnout because they have vote by mail. It will also put an end to all the voter ID nonsense.

    The language in 10.a. needs to be more forceful - stating "No citizen over the age of 18 can be prevented from voting in a federal election. Period." Because of socio-economic status or lack of government ID or any other BS reason.

    The Felon exclusion in the constitution actually needs to be REPEALED.  Our Justice System is currently way too racist with regard to who or who is not convicted of felonies. The felony exclusion disproportionately affects and discriminates against poor people and minorities.

    Finally, I think 10.a. just needs to be clarified to say that it only concerns elections for FEDERAL office holders.  I am not sure the Constitution can dictate how state and local elections are conducted???  

  •  Sign Me Up (0+ / 0-)

    I would add one thing to the electronic voting idea:

    We should have paper ballots. That are punch cards, that can be run through an electronic voting machine, have the vote "displayed" on a screen to check for errors, and then you hit the final button to cast the vote, making it official.

    The voter gets both the screen printout, and his original ballot to keep as receipts of his vote, should there be any question. The local election office also gets a printed copy - only after the voter hs hit the final "vote" button.

    This would allow votes to be tabulated in real time, allow for paper records - and no  "hanging chads" or ambiguity.

    "When gratitude replaces judgment, peace spreads through your body, gentleness embraces your soul, wisdom fills your mind." - Neale Donald Walsch

    by Cinnamon on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:24:23 PM PST

  •  The SEC levies a small fee (0+ / 0-)

    on all transactions that funds the SEC.

    including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).
    •  make an end volatility fee (0+ / 0-)

      part of the problem with the economy is that big banks and companies like goldman sachs don't make any money when there is no volatility.  It is in their interests to destabilize the economy.  You could take this out of their interest by adding an investment fee that would only be painful if you trade in large volume every day.

    •  Wouldn't Wall Street just (0+ / 0-)

      pass this fee onto investors (which is you and me in our 401K plans, etc.)?

      •  I think it the case that ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... most 401Ks likely hold stocks for long term growth, the way that mutual funds and other institutional investors do; thus the total tax paid on their trades would be exceedingly small.  These type of investors are not the focus of this tax, and they would be contributing only a very small portion of the revenues raised by such a tax.

  •  Please Add a Transaction Tax on Trades (8+ / 0-)

    Wall Street traders need to be brought mildly to heel.  Put a sliding excise on all trades:  10% on trades held less than 24 hours; 8% on trades held more than 24 hrs. but less than one week; 6% more than 1 week but less than one month; 4% less than 3 months; 2% less than 6 months; 1 % less than 1 year.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:29:16 PM PST

  •  To add (3+ / 0-)

    The still deeper problem is the debt (slavery)/consumption model we live in. The fact is that people are living beyond their means, that includes the common person. You can't ask for change if we ourselves can't change.

    We consume and we go into to debt. We want, want, want.

    We glorify Steve Jobs but don't consider at all the damage the "Apple Economy" does, especially the social costs here and abroad. We wouldn't buy blood diamonds but when it comes to workers rights in China (appalling, labor leaders are thrown in jail, tortured, no social safety net in China) we don't bother to think about it. We like having things for cheap, that's why companies go abroad for labor right? We get it for cheap, they make it for cheaper and rake in profits.

    There is an element of the people get what the people want here. We want a lot of things and we want them for cheap but we don't want to think about the hidden costs.

    Sustainability has to be the mantra for the future and it's not just about alternative fuel. Remember it's reduce, reuse and then recycle. A lot of people do the third and pat themselves on the back. Fact is there is a priority there. Reduce (consumption), reuse and then recycle. I can only imagine what state of the world/environment would be if every country consumed as much as we did all at the same time.

    This will be lost on most people, always easier to just point the finger at something else.

    •  Hey , I know that song... it's (0+ / 0-)

      I'm talking to the man in the mirror
      I'm asking you to change your ways
      No message could have been any clearer
      If you want to make the world a better place
      Take a look at yourself and..... make that change

      "He is no fool who forsakes things that he cannot keep, so that he might gain things that he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

      by looking and listening on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:34:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Top 1/10 of 1 percent earn 1/2 all capital gains (0+ / 0-)

    in a given year. There should be a trigger to substantially raise the capital gains tax on this group when such an imbalance occurs.

    It should be raised anyway, but the taxes collected from targeting these individuals might be able to pay for something like "Medicare for All" or lowering the age requirement for Social Security to give young people a much better chance of finding a job.

  •  How about we finally address global "free" trade? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    According to Fish, grollen

    This is the new normal.  The American standard of living has collapsed as intended, and the rich got richer.  This is the end result of 15 years of outsourcing.  20% real unemployment, to keep wages low, is a feature not a bug.

    How long are we going to allow the lies of the WTO and the global "free" traders?  Why do we ignore blatent currency manipulation?  Why is tariff still a dirty word?  Occupy Wall Street?  How about we Occupy the American economy and demand a fair minimum wage and standard of living?

    Minimum wage laws in the face of open global free trade simply encourages outsourcing.  The lack of single payer healthcare also encourages outsoucring.  Everytime a company sends a job to Malaysia the US corp eliminates the entire benefits package (because Malaysia pays it on their end) and pockets that entire savings in addition to the reduced employee visible salary.

    It's time to recognize that our standard of living is falling, and we need to reverse our trade practices and bring jobs home.  Real manufacturing jobs, real entire industries with all the support jobs that go with them.

    We need our industry back Michael Moore.  We need Detroit back, and it's time to call for tariffs.  Free Trade has failed the 99%, as intended.

    As intended.

  •  Articulation! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    According to Fish, Anna M

    At long last!

    I can get behind all of that. Some of it will be harder to get than others. All of it is worth fighting for. All of it is worth articulating.

    I support OWS. But that doesn't mean I support every dumb idea someone has about it.

    by kenlac on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:41:05 PM PST

  •  I think we need to consider a new way to select (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quasimodal, mightymouse

    our reps. The way we do it now, those folks are self selecting which means that they are starting off with a pretty big ego. And they need to have some charisma and they have to spend all of their time fund raising.

    I propose that we kill the need for fund raising by providing free air time. The government owns the spectrum both radio and tv. And the government can demand that the people who license these must provide time for the people to campaign. It may be that it starts at 11:00 but it can involve community activists as well putting forth their requirements for the candidates and the candidates can respond to those lists of questions and such.

    Congress is at 9% approval rating - within the +/- of making herpes more popular than congress! - Webranding

    by glitterscale on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:42:15 PM PST

    •  The main problem I see with public financing (0+ / 0-)

      is how do you limit who gets access.

      It is similar to the problem you are seeing now with the Republican debates where certain candidates are not invited while others are.   Who gets to decide who gets the public air-time and money?   You still need lots of money for a campaign staff, offices, etc.

  •  Part of the reason Occupy has support of millions (6+ / 0-)

    No specific demands or policy prescriptions have been officially set out. You are posting here on a progessive leaning blog and even here there were flame wars over some of the policies you are recommending. Many of those millions that you envision being supporters will quit being supporters over elements of your vision.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:45:09 PM PST

    •  A movement that can be whatever face (0+ / 0-)

      you want to put on it so that it attracts the most people is no movement at all in my opinion.

      •  Yet this non-movement is having quite an impact (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MindRayge, Wendy in FL, Sun dog

        In my opinion it is enough for now that they are shining a light on imbalance; that we are all victims of a political and economic system that privileges the 1% over the rest of us.  By all means, activists should take advantage of this awakening to attempt to persuade people to their preferred solutions; but I don't think it is helpful to try to brand those solutions as "OWS originted and/or approved".

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:32:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brian B, Catte Nappe, Sun dog

          Much of the "solutions" being tossed around are the same strawmen and pinatas and 30,000 foot level conceptual loaded terms that lead to 6 minute poo-flinging "debates" on "HardBall" or "Hannity" or what not.

          Worse, we will end up with the same clown-car of talking heads, pundits, experts, "strategists", and politicians taking over and burying everything until we are right back to where we were - headed to hell in a hand-basket.

          There are worthwhile items on the various lists. But not granular enough in the detailed workings. Not to mention that for many sites there are city or county specific issues. Problems that are existent in rural locales as opposed to cities or metro areas. And so on. There is so much work to be done just in terms of problem identification let alone tearing down all of the obfuscations that hide the underlying problems.

          For example of obfuscated problems we have to address are ones created by the politicians such as the "deficit" problem and the solution space being "austerity". With the reality is that "austerity" is a solution looking for a problem. Yet, the true problems that result in the "deficit" go unsolved. The same is true of many of the "solutions" I have seen floated around in demand lists and such masquerading as a "demand" when they are really solutions looking for a problem.

          Of course, there is the global nature of Occupy and our role in that too.

          It is not too early to talk about solutions to problems. I just don't think we are more than barely started on the problem identification phase and the learning and education phase.

          •  Not to mention the messenger (0+ / 0-)

            The fact that so many here think that presenting a list of quasi-legislation written by Michael Moore as official policy of OWS is going to somehow help the movement reveals a pretty deep disconnect.  This whole thread is so much twiddling.  Not that the progressive ideals being discussed aren't legit but Moore pretending that he's a key player in some new Continental Congress kind of moment is f'ing silly.  It will make for a few good moments in his next movie though.  

            "I have known Herman a long time. He's a very attractive, very articulate person." -Newt

            by Sun dog on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:24:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely love # 9! (0+ / 0-)

    That would go a long way towards making jobs stay in the USA.

    Here's my feedback on the rest:

    I love everything and I would change the following:

    #2 Penalty tax for moving jobs outside of the USA if that company is making a profit: This could have some unintended consequences. This does not stop what I call erosion within an industry. Let say such a law goes into effect and half an industry has already moved jobs and operations to a low priced country. As a company that still has operations in the US, I may find that competing with my competitor (who has lower priced foreign goods) has significantly lowered my profit. Instead of managing smart and collectively reducing costs with the help of my USA workers, I don't change the way I operate and I show a loss. BAM, I shut down operations in the USA and move my operations to the same place as my competitor.
    I would suggest that you look into another solution that was suggested by Warren Buffet back in the 2003 Import Certificates.

    The concept is genius because it plays into how executives make decisions: If it cost me more to make it outside of the country then I will make it here because my spreadsheet tells me so.


    Good Luck! This next phase is exciting.

    •  Germany thanks America for its support for #9 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chipoliwog, FreeWoman19

      Modern Germany's codetermination legislation that gave workers a decisive voice in the companies they worked in came into being partly because of the US-sponsored Marshall Plan. The Worker Councils that were abolished by the Nazis were re-established under the Allied Control Council (US, UK, USSR, France) during the reconstruction of Germany to aid the de-nazification process.

      And the US supported the Coal and Steel Codetermination Act of 1951 (the daddy of all later codetermination legislation) because many of these companies had openly supported the Nazis earlier. Codetermination was believed to insure against any recurrance of facism.

      So, Germany thanks you for your support in this, America. It has worked out quite well for Germany and its workers.

      For more information about Germany's codetermination laws, see this intro in English:

      If money is speech, then speech is money and I should be able to pay my bills with witty social commentary, astute political analysis or good old blarney

      by heiderose1 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 01:59:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good Proposal Mike (0+ / 0-)

    these ideas would probably re-instate the 'American Dream' as an achievable goal once more.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:48:33 PM PST

  •  I have not been involved in OWS (0+ / 0-)

    because it had no stated principals or core beliefs and no goals.    I think it is very dangerous to advocate for a group or movement that refuses to state what it stands for and what its goals are.

    If OWS were to adopt this vision statement and goals, I would be more than glad to sign on and work hard towards getting the goals implemented.

  •  Universal Declaration of Human Rights (6+ / 0-)
    Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948


    THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Article 2.
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4.
    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 6.
    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

    Article 7.
    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Article 8.
    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

    Article 9.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    Article 10.
    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    Article 11.
    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

    Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 13.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    Article 14.
    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 15.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    Article 16.
    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    Article 17.
    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    Article 18.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 20.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

    Article 21.
    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

    Article 22.
    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    Article 23.
    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    Article 24.
    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Article 26.
    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

    (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

    Article 27.
    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

    Article 28.
    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

    Article 29.
    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 30.
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

  •  I want term limits (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckshot face

    Term limits can reduce the corruption and greed that goes with getting re-elected. Make senators and representatives a part time job without benefits.

    •  From what I have seen term limits (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are not a solution to any problem.   In fact, from what I've seen it just causes government to be even more dysfunctional.

    •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

      If we have term limits but don't do anything about lobbying then the lobbyists will be running the place even more than they do now. They will be the only ones with experience.

      To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

      by kareylou on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 04:15:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not at all. We have term limits in CA (0+ / 0-)

      It hasn't done NOTHING to reduce corruption. Actually it makes the corruption much worse. Every new assemblyman who comes into the capitol will need the help of the permanent staffers to help them navigate the system. The permanent staffers become hugely influential, like the court eunuchs of old. Also- the new assemblymen don't know enough about writing legislations. Frequently they will just take the legislations written by the lobbyists verbatim. Also- where do these assemblymen go after their terms are over? Frequently they are hired by the corporations as a reward for carrying water for them.

      Term limits is a solution to nothing.

  •  Dialog not demands (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckshot face

    Slow and steady.
    Our country isn't ready yet.

    Facts are that most people outside of this blog have no idea what fulfillment of those demands will mean for their life.

  •  Tax stock transactions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    Just a tiny tax (maybe 0.05%). Krugman supports this, and it will keep the people on Wall Street from stealing our money with lightning-fast computer trading programs. These programs do nothing to make the stock market more rational (which more traditional forms of arbitrage are supposed to do), but just skim the money off the top of the stock market when everybody else trades.

  •  Feedback on number 10 (0+ / 0-)

    I think that 10 may benefit from some of the things that Jack Abramoff recently enlighted us with.

    I would consider that any amendment could also drive out electoral corruption with some of these elements:

    1) No private meetings between special interest groups and lawmakers. All feedback to law makers occur in public forums. Public participating in the forums must use Roberts Rules of Order or get ejected  (this keep forums from degenerating into shout fests.
    2) All elected officials and staff must put investments in a blind trust.
    3) No congressional immunity for Insider Trading or using privileged information to gain profit.
    4) No job offers for elected official or staff and friends and family for five years after holding public office.
    5) No speaker fees for five years after holding public office.
    6) No political consulting for five years after public office.
    7) No book deals for 5 years after elected office
    8) No third party political ads during an election year. All political ads are restricted to debates with questions voted before hand by public.

    I could go on and some of these might seem extreme but I offer them as food for thought.

  •  All 10 suggestions (3+ / 0-)

    are good.  I especially welcome 10 a and 4.

  •  Bad idea (0+ / 0-)

    That list looks like the same old, same old progressive agenda that has been in place for year, with a few tweaks to account for the recent and ongoing financial crises. OWS has caught the imagination of the youth because it seems to represent something new and different. Trying to organize under a list of demands like this will destroy that.

  •  I like it, but (0+ / 0-)

    registering to vote at birth?

    How can you be a registered voter if you're too young to vote?


    Would the anti-choice crowd want to register at conception?

    "a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes a form of madness" -Debord

    by grollen on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:17:14 PM PST

  •  Item by item: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, FG

    1. Yes.
    2. Too easily loopholed. Need to find another way to penalize outsourcing.
    3. I would be satisfied with raising the cap, but maybe you're Overton-Windowing here.
    4. Yes.
    5. Yes.
    6. Yes but maybe not quite as high priority as some of the other things.
    7. Strictly speaking, this does not exist in "the rest of the free world," e.g., Germany. Otherwise yes.
    8. Crucial, but a separate issue. Too weighty to be hitched to this wagon.
    9. YES!
    10. Yes, yes and yes.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:17:26 PM PST

    •  Item by item by me! (0+ / 0-)

      A tad too idealistic, so it needs a bit of tuning...

      1) TAX STOCK TRADES: 100% agree, and don't forget to call it a "Tobin Tax"

      2) TAX JOB MOVERS: can't be done, nor should it... it should not matter if jobs cross borders, as long as the overall employment rate remains low. Instead, I'd argue that the top income tax bracket be indexed to 30% (or whatever) plus the unemployment rate.

      3) REMOVE CAP ON SOCIAL SECURITY SO WEALTHY PAY MORE: makes sense, but then we'd also need to remove the cap on the amount of $$$ you get BACK from social security, so it's still fair to everybody

      4) GLASS-STEGAL: 100% agree

      5) INVESTIGATE WALL STREET BANKS: 100% pointless... the banks are insulated by an army of lawyers. If the Goldman Sachs investigation taught me anything, it's that these guys REALLY know how to rig the game. Our energy is better spent simplifying the regulations so the NEXT batch of cheaters find it harder to cheat.

      6) REORDER SPENDING PRIORITIES: Good idea, but the devil's in the details

      7) SINGLE PAYER: not happening at the national level... it would be best to have rules to allow it to be easier to implement on a state-by-state basis: like allow block grants to states for all vets/poor/elderly/natives, like what Montana wants to do.

      8) REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES: agree, but need specifics. How about instituting cap-and-trade?

      9) EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP OF BUSINESS: is 10,000 too large? why not 1,000?

      10ai / ii) NO CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS: Not possible. Corporations, unions, charities, individuals will ALWAYS find a way around this. We're better off with a "floor" instead of a ceiling. Meaning every candidate automatically gets a specific amount to campaign with. That takes money MOSTLY out of the process.

      10aiii) ELECTION DAY WEEKEND: 100% agree

      10aiv) AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION: 100% agree

      10av) PAPER BALLOTS: 100% agree

      10b) REVOKE CORPORATE PERSONHOOD: Disagree, mainly because I fail to see what effects this would have. If a company doesn't have free speech, then neither does a union or a charity... because legally all 3 are "corporate" entities. Besides, more damage is being done by individuals on talk radio excercising their individual speech rights.

      10c) SECOND BILL OF RIGHTS: Mostly disagree. If education is 'free,' we're gonna be up to our ears with useless Puppetry PhDs. Up to High School should be free, beyond that its free IF you take up a degree that measurably serves the public interest (doctor, teacher, engineer, etc). Also, if you consider employment and health care to be "rights," then you sap "responsibility." Keeping yourself in good health is your RESPONSIBILITY, so overall costs are down. Likewise, learning new marketable skills every year is a RESPONSIBILITY so you can keep up with the global marketplace, and not become a drain on your family and community.

  •  Michael, I sent you an email (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Situational Lefty, David PA

    I think the time is ripe to bring forward the group who developed a consensus and meet a few whom I mentioned.

    anyway I am going to present this to our local GA tomorrow.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

    by RWN on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:18:05 PM PST


    By OCCUPYING A COUCH on election day?

    Wake the fuck up, people!


    The only path forward for this nation is the UTTER DESTRUCTION of this Republican Party.

    by NamelessGenXer on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:46:03 PM PST

  •  good! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CupaJoe, Situational Lefty

    How about stopping the war, too?

  •  Uncle Tupelo wrote the theme years ago: (0+ / 0-)

    We've got two kinds here
    Those that bleed the blood
    And those that work to will it

    Blessed be the icemakers, for they shall chill my drinks

    by GenXWho on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:55:13 PM PST

  •  Why, we are going to Valley Forge, my friend-- (0+ / 0-)

    We are heading into our first full winter and, like the American troops at Valley Forge, I see an opportunity to emerge stronger. The things you've set here dovetails all too well with what I wrote in my diary--

    --and now I fear I may have wasted my time! ;-)

  •  I think I've read this before... (0+ / 0-)

    I was reminded of this the other day, driving home from Michigan and my Fathers's funeral. The bridge at Port Huron leads to the shortcut home to Boston across Canada.

    Many years ago, other young people - not vastly different than many of the Occupiers - gathered in Port Huron to discuss their world. That discussion produced the Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society.

    I bring this up merely for historic perspective. I have done the same thing with other liberal and progressive ideas from the last century, and even the one before. Things like labor and credit unions, cooperatives, etc. The whole culture and framework of progressive infrastructure that built the great American Middle Class - which, in turn, produced many of the kids that wrote this statement.

    The fight now is about the Next Progressive Century. The Next Progressive Movement that will create and sustain a new American Middle Class.

    The complete text is here.

    They had this to say (notice their concern, nearly 50 years ago about the 1%) about the Economy:

    The Economy

    American capitalism today advertises itself as the Welfare State. Many of us comfortably expect pensions, medical care, unemployment compensation, and other social services in our lifetimes. Even with one-fourth of our productive capacity unused, the majority of Americans are living in relative comfort -- although their nagging incentive to "keep up" makes them continually dissatisfied with their possessions. In many places, unrestrained bosses, uncontrolled machines, and sweatshop conditions have been reformed or abolished and suffering tremendously relieved. But in spite of the benign yet obscuring effects of the New Deal reforms and the reassuring phrases of government economists and politicians, the paradoxes and myths of the economy are sufficient to irritate our complacency and reveal to us some essential causes of the American malaise.

    We live amidst a national celebration of economic prosperity while poverty and deprivation remain an unbreakable way of life for millions in the "affluent society", including many of our own generation. We hear glib reference to the "welfare state", "free enterprise", and "shareholder's democracy" while military defense is the main item of "public" spending and obvious oligopoly and other forms of minority rule defy real individual initiative or popular control. Work, too, is often unfulfilling and victimizing, accepted as a channel to status or plenty, if not a way to pay the bills, rarely as a means of understanding and controlling self and events. In work and leisure the individual is regulated as part of the system, a consuming unit, bombarded by hardsell soft-sell, lies and semi-true appeals and his basest drives. He is always told what he is supposed to enjoy while being told, too, that he is a "free" man because of "free enterprise."

    The Remote Control Economy. We are subject to a remote control economy, which excludes the mass of individual "units" -- the people -- from basic decisions affecting the nature and organization of work, rewards, and opportunities. The modern concentration of wealth is fantastic. The wealthiest one percent of Americans own more than 80 percent of all personal shares of stock. From World War II until the mid-Fifties, the 50 biggest corporations increased their manufacturing production from 17 to 23 percent of the national total, and the share of the largest 200 companies rose from 30 to 37 percent. To regard the various decisions of these elites as purely economic is short-sighted: their decisions affect in a momentous way the entire fabric of social life in America. Foreign investments influence political policies in under-developed areas -- and our efforts to build a "profitable" capitalist world blind our foreign policy to mankind's needs and destiny. The drive for sales spurs phenomenal advertising efforts; the ethical drug industry, for instance, spent more than $750 million on promotions in 1960, nearly for times the amount available to all American medical schools for their educational programs. The arts, too, are organized substantially according to their commercial appeal aesthetic values are subordinated to exchange values, and writers swiftly learn to consider the commercial market as much as the humanistic marketplace of ideas. The tendency to over-production, to gluts of surplus commodities, encourages "market research" techniques to deliberately create pseudo-needs in consumers -- we learn to buy "smart" things, regardless of their utility -- and introduces wasteful "planned obsolescence" as a permanent feature of business strategy. While real social needs accumulate as rapidly as profits, it becomes evident that Money, instead of dignity of character, remains a pivotal American value and Profitability, instead of social use, a pivotal standard in determining priorities of resource allocation.

    Within existing arrangements, the American business community cannot be said to encourage a democratic process nationally. Economic minorities not responsible to a public in any democratic fashion make decisions of a more profound importance than even those made by Congress. Such a claim is usually dismissed by respectful and knowing citations of the ways in which government asserts itself as keeper of the public interest at times of business irresponsibility. But the real, as opposed to the mythical, range of government "control" of the economy includes only:

    some limited "regulatory" powers -- which usually just ratify industry policies or serve as palliatives at the margins of significant business activity;
    a fiscal policy build upon defense expenditures as pump-priming "public works" -- without a significant emphasis on "peaceful public works" to meet social priorities and alleviate personal hardships;
    limited fiscal and monetary weapons which are rigid and have only minor effects, and are greatly limited by corporate veto: tax cuts and reforms; interest rate control (used generally to tug on investment by hurting the little investor most); tariffs which protect noncompetitive industries with political power and which keep less-favored nations out of the large trade mainstream, as the removal of barriers reciprocally with the Common Market may do disastrously to emerging countries outside of Europe; wage arbitration, the use of government coercion in the name of "public interest" to hide the tensions between workers and business production controllers; price controls, which further maintains the status quo of big ownership and flushes out little investors for the sake of "stability";
    very limited "poverty-solving" which is designed for the organized working class but not the shut-out, poverty-stricken migrants, farm workers, the indigent unaware of medical care or the lower-middle class person riddled with medical bills, the "unhireables" of minority groups or workers over 45 years of age, etc.
    regional development programs -- such as the Area Redevelopment Act
    which have been only "trickle down" welfare programs without broad authority for regional planning and development and public works spending. The federal highway program has been more significant than the "depressed areas" program in meeting the needs of people, but is generally too remote and does not reach the vicious circle of poverty itself.

    In short, the theory of government "countervailing" business neglects the extent to which government influence is marginal to the basic production decisions, the basic decision-making environment of society, the basic structure or distribution and allocation which is still determined by major corporations with power and wealth concentrated among the few. A conscious conspiracy -- as in the case of pricerigging in the electrical industry -- is by no means generally or continuously operative but power undeniably does rest in comparative insulation from the public and its political representatives.

    The Military-Industrial Complex. The most spectacular and important creation of the authoritarian and oligopolistic structure of economic decision-making in America is the institution called "the militaryindustrial complex" by former President Eisenhower, the powerful congruence of interest and structure among military and business elites which affects so much of our development and destiny. Not only is ours the first generation to live with the possibility of world-wide cataclysm -- it is the first to experience the actual social preparation for cataclysm, the general militarization of American society. In 1948 Congress established Universal Military Training, the first peacetime conscription. The military became a permanent institution. Four years earlier, General Motor's Charles E. Wilson had heralded the creation of what he called the "permanent war economy," the continuous use of military spending as a solution to economic problems unsolved before the post-war boom, most notably the problem of the seventeen million jobless after eight years of the New Deal. This has left a "hidden crisis" in the allocation of resources by the American economy.

    Since our childhood these two trends -- the rise of the military and the installation of a defense-based economy -- have grown fantastically. The Department of Defense, ironically the world's largest single organization, is worth $160 billion, owns 32 million acres of America and employs half the 7.5 million persons directly dependent on the military for subsistence, has an $11 billion payroll which is larger than the net annual income of all American corporations. Defense spending in the Eisenhower era totaled $350 billions and President Kennedy entered office pledged to go even beyond the present defense allocation of sixty cents from every public dollar spent. Except for a war-induced boom immediately after "our side" bombed Hiroshima, American economic prosperity has coincided with a growing dependence on military outlay -- from 1941 to 1959 America's Gross National Product of $5.25 trillion included $700 billion in goods and services purchased for the defense effort, about one-seventh of the accumulated GNP. This pattern has included the steady concentration of military spending among a few corporations. In 1961, 86 percent of Defense Department contracts were awarded without competition. The ordnance industry of 100,000 people is completely engaged in military work; in the aircraft industry, 94 percent of 750,000 workers are linked to the war economy; shipbuilding, radio and communications equipment industries commit forty percent of their work to defense; iron and steel, petroleum, metal-stamping and machine shop products, motors and generators, tools and hardware, copper, aluminum and machine tools industries all devote at least 10 percent of their work to the same cause.

    The intermingling of Big Military and Big Industry is evidenced in the 1,400 former officers working for the 100 corporations who received nearly all the $21 billion spent in procurement by the Defense Department in 1961. The overlap is most poignantly clear in the case of General Dynamics, the company which received the best 1961 contracts, employed the most retired officers (187), and is directed by a former Secretary of the Army. A Fortune magazine profile of General Dynamics said: "The unique group of men who run Dynamics are only incidentally in rivalry with other U.S. manufacturers, with many of whom they actually act in concert. Their chief competitor is the USSR. The core of General Dynamics corporate philosophy is the conviction that national defense is a more or less permanent business." Little has changed since Wilson's proud declaration of the Permanent War Economy back in the 1944 days when the top 200 corporations possessed 80 percent of all active prime war-supply contracts.

    Military Industrial Politics. The military and its supporting business foundation have found numerous forms of political expression, and we have heard their din endlessly. There has not been a major Congressional split on the issue of continued defense spending spirals in our lifetime. The triangular relation of the business, military and political arenas cannot be better expressed than in Dixiecrat Carl Vinson's remarks as his House Armed Services Committee reported out a military construction bill of $808 million throughout the 50 states, for 1960-61: "There is something in this bill for everyone," he announced. President Kennedy had earlier acknowledged the valuable anti-recession features of the bill.

    Imagine, on the other hand, $808 million suggested as an anti-recession measure, but being poured into programs of social welfare: the impossibility of receiving support for such a measure identifies a crucial feature of defense spending: it is beneficial to private enterprise, while welfare spending is not. Defense spending does not "compete" with the private sector; it contains a natural obsolescence; its "confidential" nature permits easier boondoggling; the tax burdens to which it leads can be shunted from corporation to consumer as a "cost of production." Welfare spending, however, involves the government in competition with private corporations and contractors; it conflicts with immediate interests of private pressure groups; it leads to taxes on business. Think of the opposition of private power companies to current proposals for river and valley development, or the hostility of the real estate lobby to urban renewal; or the attitude of the American Medical Association to a paltry medical care bill; or of all business lobbyists to foreign aid; these are the pressures leading to the schizophrenic public-military, private-civilian economy of our epoch. The politicians, of course, take the line of least resistance and thickest support: warfare, instead of welfare, is easiest to stand up for: after all, the Free World is at stake (and our constituency's investments, too).

    Automation, Abundance, and Challenge. But while the economy remains relatively static in its setting of priorities and allocation of resources, new conditions are emerging with enormous implications: the revolution of automation, and the replacement of scarcity by the potential of material abundance.

    Automation, the process of machines replacing men in performing sensory, motoric and complex logical tasks, is transforming society in ways that are scarcely comprehensible. By 1959, industrial production regained its 1957 "pre-recession" level -- but with 750,000 fewer workers required. In the Fifties as a whole, national production enlarged by 43 percent but the number of factory employees remained stationary, seventenths of one percent higher than in 1947. Automation is destroying whole categories of work -- impersonal thinkers have efficiently labeled this "structural unemployment" -- in blue-collar, service, and even middle management occupations. In addition it is eliminating employment opportunities for a youth force that numbers one million more than it did in 1950, and rendering work far more difficult both to find and do for people in the forties and up. The consequences of this economic drama, strengthened by the force of post-war recessions, are momentous: five million becomes an acceptable unemployment tabulation, and misery, uprootedness and anxiety become the lot of increasing numbers of Americans.

    But while automation is creating social dislocation of a stunning kind, it paradoxically is imparting the opportunity for men the world around to rise in dignity from their knees. The dominant optimistic economic fact of this epoch is that fewer hands are needed now in actual production, although more goods and services are a real potentiality. The world could be fed, poverty abolished, the great public needs could be met, the brutish world of Darwinian scarcity could be brushed away, all men could have more time to pursue their leisure, drudgery in work could be cut to a minimum, education could become more of a continuing process for all people, both public and personal needs could be met rationally. But only in a system with selfish production motives and elitist control, a system which is less welfare than war-based, undemocratic rather than "stockholder participative" as "sold to us", does the potentiality for abundance become a curse and a cruel irony:

    Automation brings unemployment instead of mere leisure for all and greater achievement of needs for all people in the world -- a crisis instead of economic utopia. Instead of being introduced into a social system in a planned and equitable way, automation is initiated according to its profitability. American Telephone and Telegraph holds back modern telephone equipment, invented with public research funds, until present equipment is financially unprofitable. Colleges develop teaching machines, mass-class techniques, and TV education to replace teachers: not to proliferate knowledge or to assist the qualified professors now, but to "cut costs in education and make the academic community more efficient and less wasteful." Technology, which could be a blessing to society, becomes more and more a sinister threat to humanistic and rational enterprise.

    Hard-core poverty exists just beyond the neon lights of affluence, and the "have-nots" may be driven still further from opportunity as the high-technology society demands better education to get into the production mainstream and more capital investment to get into "business". Poverty is shameful in that it herds people by race, region, and previous condition of infortune into "uneconomic classes" in the so-called free society -- the marginal worker is made more insecure by automation and high education requirements, heavier competition for jobs, maintaining low wages or a high level of unemployment. People in the rut of poverty are strikingly unable to overcome the collection of forces working against them: poor health, bad neighborhoods, miserable schools, inadequate "welfare" services, unemployment and underemployment, weak politician and union organization.

    Surplus and potential plenty are waste domestically and producers suffer impoverishment because the real needs of the world and of our society are not reflected in the market. Our huge bins of decomposing grain are classic American examples, as is the steel industry which, in the summer of 1962, is producing at 53 percent of capacity.

    The Stance of Labor. Amidst all this, what of organized labor, the historic institutional representative of the exploited, the presumed "countervailing power" against the excesses of Big Business? The contemporary social assault on the labor movement is of crisis proportions. To the average American, "big labor" is a growing cancer equal in impact to Big Business -- nothing could be more distorted, even granting a sizable union bureaucracy. But in addition to public exaggerations, the labor crisis can be measured in several ways. First, the high expectations of the newborn AFL-CIO of 30 million members by 1965 are suffering a reverse unimaginable five years ago. The demise of the dream of "organizing the unorganized" is dramatically reflected in the AFL-CIO decision, just two years after its creation, to slash its organizing staff in half. From 15 million members when the AFL and the CIO merged, the total has slipped to 13.5 million. During the post-war generation, union membership nationally has increased by four million -- but the total number of workers has jumped by 13 million. Today only 40 percent of all non-agricultural workers are protected by any form or organization. Second, organizing conditions are going to worsen. Where labor now is strongest -- in industries -- automation is leading to an attrition of available work. As the number of jobs dwindles, so does labor's power of bargaining, since management can handle a strike in an automated plant more easily than the older mass-operated ones.

    More important perhaps, the American economy has changed radically in the last decade, as suddenly the number of workers producing goods became fewer than the number in "nonproductive" areas -- government, trade, finance, services, utilities, transportation. Since World War II "white collar" and "service" jobs have grown twice as fast as have, "blue collar" production jobs. Labor has almost no organization in the expanding occupational areas of the new economy, but almost all of its entrenched strength in contracting areas. As big government hires more, as business seeks more office workers and skilled technicians, and as growing commercial America demands new hotels, service stations and the like, the conditions will become graver still. Further, there is continuing hostility to labor by the Southern states and their industrial interests -- meaning " runaway plants, cheap labor threatening the organized trade union movement, and opposition from Dixiecrats to favorable labor legislation in Congress. Finally, there is indication that Big Business, for the sake of public relations if nothing more, has acknowledged labor's "right" to exist, but has deliberately tried to contain labor at its present strength, preventing strong unions from helping weaker ones or from spreading or unorganized sectors of the economy. Business is aided in its efforts by proliferation of "right-to-work" laws at state levels (especially in areas where labor is without organizing strength to begin with), and anti-labor legislation in Congress.

    In the midst of these besetting crises, labor itself faces its own problems of vision and program. Historically, there can be no doubt as to its worth in American politics -- what progress there has been in meeting human needs in this century rests greatly with the labor movement. And to a considerable extent the social democracy for which labor has fought externally is reflected in its own essentially democratic character: representing millions of people, no millions of dollars; demanding their welfare, not eternal profit. Today labor remains the most liberal "mainstream" institution -- but often its liberalism represents vestigial commitments self-interestedness, unradicalism. In some measure labor has succumbed to institutionalization, its social idealism waning under the tendencies of bureaucracy, materialism, business ethics. The successes of the last generation perhaps have braked, rather than accelerated labor's zeal for change. Even the House of Labor has bay windows: not only is this true of the labor elites, but as well of some of the rank-and-file. Many of the latter are indifferent unionists, uninterested in meetings, alienated from the complexities of the labor-management negotiating apparatus, lulled to comfort by the accessibility of luxury and the opportunity of long-term contracts. "Union democracy" is not simply inhibited by labor leader elitism, but by the unrelated problem of rankand -file apathy to the tradition of unionism. The crisis of labor is reflected in the coexistence within the unions of militant Negro discontents and discriminatory locals, sweeping critics of the obscuring "public interest" marginal tinkering of government and willing handmaidens of conservative political leadership, austere sacrificers and business-like operators, visionaries and anachronisms -- tensions between extremes that keep alive the possibilities for a more militant unionism. Too, there are seeds of rebirth in the "organizational crisis" itself: the technologically unemployed, the unorganized white collar men and women, the migrants and farm workers, the unprotected Negroes, the poor, all of whom are isolated now from the power structure of the economy, but who are the potential base for a broader and more forceful unionism.

    Horizon. In summary: a more reformed, more human capitalism, functioning at three-fourths capacity while one-third of America and two-thirds of the world goes needy, domination of politics and the economy by fantastically rich elites, accommodation and limited effectiveness by the labor movement, hard-core poverty and unemployment, automation confirming the dark ascension of machine over man instead of shared abundance, technological change being introduced into the economy by the criteria of profitability -- this has been our inheritance. However inadequate, it has instilled quiescence in liberal hearts -- partly reflecting the extent to which misery has been over-come but also the eclipse of social ideals. Though many of us are "affluent", poverty, waste, elitism, manipulation are too manifest to go unnoticed, too clearly unnecessary to go accepted. To change the Cold War status quo and other social evils, concern with the challenges to the American economic machine must expand. Now, as a truly better social state becomes visible, a new poverty impends: a poverty of vision, and a poverty of political action to make that vision reality. Without new vision, the failure to achieve our potentialities will spell the inability of our society to endure in a world of obvious, crying needs and rapid change.

    Then the problem was "affluence", and how to share it.  How to expand the American economy so that the world could share our bounty.

    But the fundamental issues remain sadly similar, a wealthy elite controlling the economy for their own gain.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by BobBlueMass on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:05:24 PM PST

  •  Occupy Roush Fenway Racing (0+ / 0-)

    Monday morning Jack started laying off 1/3rd of his work force.

    he's laying off 15 year loyal employees a couple years from retirement!!

    I so want to get 100 people to go march on his complex in Concord, NC.

  •  I trade stocks and I pay taxes... #1 is bogus... (0+ / 0-)

    and fwiw..  since my profits from trading are short term gains.. I pay the normal high personal income rate on my profits...  

    what is being proposed is a tax on the mechanism of earning.. ie a per share tax on trades... this is just a simple tax grab and no more valid a basis of taxing that say taxing a teacher every time he/she grades a paper... or taxing any worker for each mile they drive to and from work...

    those are not taxable events any more than the individual process of making a stock trade.. they are just the process by with profits are earned... and those profits are taxed

    Once science, logic and facts are rejected, reasoned discourse is no longer an option; politics is based on power and with-us-or-against-us tribalism.. - PlutocracyFiles

    by Derffie on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:17:30 PM PST

    •  That's some odd logic. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, FeltzNook, icemilkcoffee

      It's similar to a sales tax. Why am I taxed on buying a candy bar, but you aren't taxed on buying a share of stock? Because you might make a profit on it later?

      "Every day is a good day to point out hypocrisy"...PvtJarHead

      by Giles Goat Boy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:12:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly.... (0+ / 0-)

        .. if you were to purchase that candy bar for resale then you wouldn't pay a tax...   but if you later sold that candy bar and made a profit.. you would then have to pay a tax on those earnings...

        Once science, logic and facts are rejected, reasoned discourse is no longer an option; politics is based on power and with-us-or-against-us tribalism.. - PlutocracyFiles

        by Derffie on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:58:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  for the same reason whole sales aren't taxed (0+ / 0-)

        but retail sales are.  Someone purchases an item whole sale with intent to resell it to a retailer, who then sells it at a retail price.  Only for the last transaction is the buyer taxed.

        Note that for each middle-man sale and retail sale the seller is taxed on the resultant profit.  But the buyer is only taxed for the ultimate retail transaction.

        (Note: A "value added" tax, is like a sale tax, except a tax is imposed on the buyer for each middle-man sale, as well as the ultimate retail sale.  But in practice, the middle-man value-added tax is passed along to the next transaction, ultimately to the buyer of the ultimate retail sale.)

        Buying a stock is not a retail sale, so the buyer is not taxed.  However, the seller is indeed taxed on the resutant profit.  It's more like a whole sale.

        And sellers of stock are taxed at different rates, depending on how long they hold the stock.  If they held it only a short while, then they are taxed at a higher rate, because such activity is considered speculation.  If they hold onto the stack for a long time before selling it, then the sale is taxed at a lower rate, since such activity is considered investment.  For example, if you want green tech to take off (and don't want it to be totally reliant on government) you'd want to encourage long term investment in green tech companies (rather than short term buying/selling), which is why govt taxes long term investment at lower rates; to encourage long term investment activity in industries and the economy in general.

        But if you want to tax buyers of stock, then go ahead and add that to the OWS list of demands.  I'm merely explaining the differences between retail sales, whole sales, and stock sales, and the different means of taxing each kind of sale.

        •  You've done a good job explaining (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Giles Goat Boy

          the difference between buying and selling something and making a capitalistic transaction.

          your details are much too confusing for anyone I would like  to work with.

          -9.50/-7.59 - "Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?" -Tracy Chapman

          by Situational Lefty on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 11:02:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Okay ... call it a "fee" ... n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I had no idea teachers grading papers could (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      cause financial instability like short term trading could.

      Also we are indeed taxed more or less for each mile of driving. We pay gas tax and also registration fees. We pay cigarette taxes and liquor taxes. Activities that have a negative impact on the society are indeed taxed.

      •  so only things that um cause .... (0+ / 0-)

        .. financial instability are taxed?   I own a house and it's taxed...  did I cause financial instability buying it?  

        Once science, logic and facts are rejected, reasoned discourse is no longer an option; politics is based on power and with-us-or-against-us tribalism.. - PlutocracyFiles

        by Derffie on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 04:51:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well now that you mention it, yes (0+ / 0-)

          You did live through 2008, didn't you?

          Which is not to say that everything that is taxed is a risk for financial instability. Some things are taxed just because we need revenue for a functional government.

  •  Constitutional Amendment "a" (0+ / 0-)

    that's what it's all about... with corporate money putting on elections, you get corporate money represented by legislators beholden to the corporate money that elected them.  With publicly funded elections, you have at least a chance at legislators willing to represent the public that elected them.  If this country can afford to toss away billions a week in the Graveyard of Empires called Afghanistan, it can afford to secure actual democracy here at home.  If it can't, the whole fuckin' thing is a scam and needs to be overthrown and replaced with something that does, as per Thomas Jefferson.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:37:25 PM PST

  •  Whoa! Don't go writing legislation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sun dog

    Demand results, eg:

    Eliminate massive profiting from congressional service and dependence on massive contributions for campaigns.

    Make banks with government-insured deposits boring and reliable.

    Maintain and supplement public employment during contractions in private employment
    during prosperous times, don't allow huge increases in the debt.

    Make food, housing and healthcare available to all in a practical and achievable way.


    DON'T get suckered into specifying how; certainly not at this point.

    But, as someone pointed out far above: you probably aren't reading any of this anyway

  •  Spot on. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    While I can think of other things I'd like to see in a list of reforms, I'm afraid they would dilute the excellent list Mr. Moore posted here.

    IMO, the single most important part of the reforms in this post is the elimination of campaign contributions. Freeing our lawmakers from the need to pander to moneyed donors is the first step toward empowering them to come up with objective, thoughtful solutions to the problems our nation faces.

  •  I'm rocking out with #10 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I like the whole scrapping corporate personhood thing as a constitutional amendment.

  •  i'd love to see all of these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    ... why not? At the moment OWS is our best hope.

  •  Corporate Form Cannot be Used by Political Actors (0+ / 0-)

    This means that the main benefit of the corporate form -- limited liability for investors -- is only available to entities that forgo seeking to influence the outcome of elections, legislation or regulations.

    If an entity wants to be involved in politics, then let every participant in that enterprise -- every shareholder -- be each fully and independently liable for all debts or other liabilities of the entity.  Let each shareholder put his or her entire personal wealth at stake in every thing the entity does.

    So that there is equal justice under the law, all criminal defendants -- white collar as well as blue collar -- must use court appointed free public defenders.  

    A five percent tax on advertising and on all real estate transactions greater than $1 million.

    A steep tax on pollution.

    And election days are holidays for which all workers get paid so long as they show they voted.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:13:03 PM PST

  •  The OWS statement is missing a connection (0+ / 0-)

    it is important to associate the mission of OWS with US Constitution protections, rights and statements.  The present version does not do this and it should because if OWS does not seize the Constitutional compliance frame of this issue, it will leave the Constitutional view and abdicate that position to the right wing crazies, Tea Party astroturfers and Republicans.

  •  Revisit (and pass) the Equal Rights Amendment (0+ / 0-)

    It's shameful that we don't have guarantees that everyone must be treated equally.  BTW, at this point I'd really think we should not just have equal rights for women, but for all people.  Equal right to marry, equal right to vote, equal right to do other things that are currently being denied.

  •  Michael, thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for this list. Let me suggest an addition:

    11.  An immediate federal jobs program akin to the WPA and CCC to put 10 million Americans to work.  This would increase aggregate demand enough to jump start the economy and get us out of the current depression.  Don't forget, 1934, 1935 and 1936 were years of rapid economic growth, largely due to the WPA and CCC.  


  •  Great vision, I'd add WPA now for green energy (0+ / 0-)

    infrastructure, painting rooftops and other surfaces white, replanting our forests etc. to the things we want. A modern WPA could also work on other pressing infrastructure issues that benefit everyone in terms of water, soil, transportation, school building modernization, weatherization, earthquake retrofit of public buildings.

    Michael, ignore the comments who say you shouldn't participate and add your voice to the movement. You have every right to do everything you want to do. I don't resent you. I'd be doing the same thing you are doing if I was as successful as you have been and had the resources to participate full time. Nice work on this and overall.

    Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

    by Bob Guyer on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:30:25 PM PST

  •  Fine. It's a political platform. (0+ / 0-)

    Get it adopted by some organized political entity and run for office based on it. Why should you and your ideas be immune from the same scrutiny by the polity as any other political aspirant?

  •  Great ideas (0+ / 0-)

    However something needs to be added regarding ending all the war carnage and closing some overseas military bases.  Reduce the military-industrial-complex welfare program.

  •  Just Two Things (0+ / 0-)

    All this is in the right direction, but we could cure most of this with just two things:

    (1) An international minimum wage of at least $2.50/hour and rising each year until it matched the U.S. domestic minimum wage, and,
    (2) A 10% uniform tariff for everything made outside the country but consumed here.

    Right now you and everyone else is making almost exactly one-half what we should be because of "free trade". Our wages are down by 8% since the '70s but worker productivity is up 80%.

    Meanwhile, unemployment is 0.9% higher since the 1970s (when manufacturing peaked), meaning that almost 1.5 million people are out of work just due to bad trade policy.

    It is our national policy to send wealth-producing jobs overseas and keep wages down. That's why tens of thousands of people are out in the streets.

    And, since wages are down taxes are down. But wasn't that part of the plan?

  •  In total agreement... especially No. 9, (0+ / 0-)

    which I've advocated for years as a way to limit corporate malfeasance.

    Also, I'd like to recommend the following film, which is viewable on line:

    Kick apart the structures - Seth

    by ceebee7 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:44:44 PM PST

  •  wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    man I would love to live in a country where all of those things came to pass.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:21:47 PM PST

  •  Some issues... (0+ / 0-)

    #1)  Totally for everyone paying their fair share of taxes, but the last part of his statement is incorrect.  Profits on Wall Street are taxed like any other...that's a capital gains tax?

    #2)  This will do nothing but force more products imported from overseas.   Add a tariff if you're trying to protect against imports.   Furthermore, why would any foreign country invest/build a business here (and provide jobs) with this kind of tax??

    #8)  The greatest technological advances in the 20th century came from private industry.   I've never understood how the Federal government would or should suddenly intervene and "develop the next energy source".  Government can provide tax incentives to give new sources of energy a fighting chance to develop (like tax credits on electric cars), but that's about it.  The American population is going to have to get off of their personal addiction to oil which, actually, was helped out when prices got high (car companies suddenly switched to producing the most fuel efficient automobiles).

  •  interesting list michael (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    I could add more such as: 1) getting money out of politcis, 2) revoking corporate personhood.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 09:08:22 PM PST

  •  disagree with some, but most ardently (0+ / 0-)

    number 2. Protectionism will get us nowhere. Sorry. However, insist that if the PTB want free trade that we have free trade for everyone, not just the labor force (include doctors, lawyers and bankers). They'll rethink policies really fast when they're competing for their jobs.

  •  I think OWS needs to start a process (0+ / 0-)

    wherein it endorses, positively or negatively (i.e., encourage voting against the candidate and singling him or her out for supporting the 1% and the status quo), candidates for office.

    I would assume the OWS would endorse Elizabeth Warren, but from there on it may not be easy to find candidates to endorse.

    I would require a 2/3rds vote to endorse, either way, a candidate.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 09:34:19 PM PST

  •  If you want to go East don't go West (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Where does OWS go from here is a question I have been trying to get my head around too. I am very comfortable with the vision statement as reported here by Michael, and his agenda seems fine as well.

    But I think the movement needs to keep things even simpler and I have a suggestion.

    We have witnessed at least 30 years of conservative striving through supporting the best with idea that would make us strong. We reduced taxes and removed regulation with the explanation the best would soar and the benefits would trickle down. We can all see the result.

    My suggestion is we literally adopt trickle up. We are only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. I don't think the strong need protection - since when did a weight lifter build muscle by pumping feathers? But even the strongest weight lifter is only as strong as his weakest sinew. If he pops a hernia do we throw him out? We should rather give him free medical care. And that is not just for the best. We add to his burden, thus making his strength real, by giving free medical and education to everybody.

    My idea is we look to support the weakest and neediest as a first priority with the idea that as they are able they will carry a stronger burden and the benefits will trickle up.

    Instead of a race to the bottom through austerity and budget cuts we start a race to the top through investing in needs. What OWS focuses on is the construction of a strong nation as opposed to cutting costs to a balanced budget to maximize profits.

    This may sound a bit airy fairy but in my mind is very simple and very practical. Instead of shopping at the big box stores where prices are cheap take on the extra burden of shopping at the mom and pop stores that do not make the strongest profit. Instead of focusing education on grades alone focus it on the needs of those who are failing. Slow it down or retool it for the neediest student. Let the smart students skip a grade.

    Damn - laptop battery dying.. gotta post it now.

  •  First thing it needs to do is get back on positive (0+ / 0-)

    message. All the talk about pepper spraying and clashes threatens to scare people out of participating.

  •  Million Man March - Occupy DC (0+ / 0-)

    all the occupy movements should converge on DC and occupy congress and WH. take back our government by occupying the seats of government. demand those 3 amendments are passed b4 occupation ends.

  •  too early.. (0+ / 0-)

    Gunfire down the block woke us up..
    My wife is back, not so much..
    Michael..just a thank you for all your films that have given a voice/exposure to the 99% throughout your film and book
    life. Starting with Roger and me...I remember standing in line with my wife and 2 kids for the only Denver venue to show Fahrenheit 9/11. You are our Woody Guthrie of film..Truth with a dash of ironic humor "kills fascists"
    I await your film  take on the Occupy Movement reaching Charlotte and Tampa...
    It always cracks me up when our opponents are reduced to sputtering.."but he's fat."
    here ya go brother..


  •  Its Easy For Me To Say, (0+ / 0-)

    being scared to death of these SWAT teams myself, but we ought to be taking inspiration once again from the brave people in Tahrir Square.

  •  I love the amendments! (0+ / 0-)

    something I think that is very necessary. So-called conservatives want to do things like ban gay marriage and control spending though a balanced budget amendment, you know instead of congress actually doing it's job of handling appropriations responsibly.

    Amendments made in that fashion would do more good for the general welfare right now than any legislating could. Well, frankly legislating would be enough if the obstructionists would not be obstructionists.

    I just wish the 1% would be content with what they have and just freaking move forward. I don't understand how they don't see that treating people fairly and justly, while its own reward, makes it so they could make more profits without having to destroy America as we know it. This is a culture war plain and simple. The wealthy 1% don't like how free we are as a people are and want to limit that freedom by not paying a fair wage. If people were just paid more, we would pay more into everything including buying things to make the economy move. Instead, they would rather get their grubby hands on the equivalent on more candy so they can refuse to share while throwing a tantrum.

    I mean what else are they trying to create other than serfdom when a frontrunner suggests that poor kids should clean up after the rich kids in school. Never mind the stigma and how they would be treated--how is that equal opportunity when you are labeled through no fault of your own before you age even hits the double digits.

    How about instead of treating our children, who are suppose to be our national treasure, our future, like workers that need to be pushed into the work force faster, we instead invest in their future and pay people like union janitors to do hard/ dangerous work like that and give them a freaking raise, they have to deal in child poo and vomit :(

    But we seem to have lost the language of investment as anything more than another Newt scam with the illusion of doing good while actually making things worse.

    We've been doing democracy since ancient times, corporations are the problem. If they want a better shake down they should make their own country not hijack ours.

  •  Now we're talking... (0+ / 0-)

    "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose. It's how you ladle the gravy." - Felix Ungar

    by Verbalpaintball on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 04:19:36 AM PST

  •  More to the point than "Where does OWS go from (0+ / 0-)

    here?", where does each of us go from here?

    Get up from your keyboard.
    Be the change you want to see in the world.
    Everything starts with YOU.
    What are you doing on Black Friday?
    If you're not joining your local Occupy camp, why not?

    Agree with the Vision and Top 10.  Focus needs to be on election finance and voting if we want this to be a peaceful revolution.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 04:46:14 AM PST

  •  How about an end to selling public assets (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icemilkcoffee, dear occupant

    Politicians have been selling off public assets such as public schools, roads, security, parks, maintenance, etc to Wall Street and private contractors who pay low wages and no benefits. We must end public/private partnerships- they are licenses for corruption.

    All public service jobs should be provided by the government and workers provided with civil service protections.

  •  from someone who has written legislation, (0+ / 0-)

    let me tell you that regulators can screw up a free lunch with anything vague.

    free education:   to what level?   and what do you mean by free?  You mean publicly funded education, which is tax payer funded.  

    Money is not speech?  Did you forget that?  

    Corporations are not people.   Thom Hartmann made a simple suggestion to insert the word "natural" in front of the word "person" in the current version in the constitution that the supreme court mangled to give corporations inferred constitutional rights.

    What about all of our natural resources and minerals?  Who died and gave them to corporations?    

    Big, big job - but you do need to go somewhere.  


    Yes we can, but he won't. Banks Got Bailed Out. We Got Sold Out!

    by dkmich on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:26:03 AM PST

  •  Another point... (0+ / 0-)

    Have your brought in Bernie Sanders, Taibi, Thom Hartmann, Krugman, Stiglitz, Reich, (pick someone) who can help with this?  Someone who knows the ropes?   Someone who can simply your words?   If you are long and wordy, you become John Kerry and nobody hears you.    If you are short, it becomes open to everyone's interpretation.  Rock and a hard spot.   Good luck.  Our children's futures are in your hands.

    Yes we can, but he won't. Banks Got Bailed Out. We Got Sold Out!

    by dkmich on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:29:09 AM PST

  •  Amendment D (0+ / 0-)

    d) A constitutional amendment that guarantees a human right to privacy and self-determination.

    Think about it. Abortion, religious liberty, gay-rights and gay marriage are just some of the more prominent "controversies' that really revolve around the right of self-determination. The right to live one's life as one chooses is paramount in any politically just society. And it is a right that has been caustically eroded by years of social engineering by Republicans using these controversies for electoral profit.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:32:11 AM PST

  •  OK, But WHAT Is Your Leverage?? (0+ / 0-)

    Michael, I am totally with what you're saying here.

    But listing objectives/demands is not the same as making them happen. and what's the timeframe?
    10? 20 years? We don't have that kind of time.

    As I've been saying here for years now, There's only one way to bring the giant down.

    The large corporations causing the most havoc care about one thing only: MONEY.

    Why did B of A back off on their plan to charge a monthly fee for debit card use? Because the people rose up, called it Bullshit, and en masse began pulling their money out of B of A and putting it in local credit unions!!

    Helloooooooooo? Earth to consumers/political activists? Do you now understand that writing to "your" congressperson regarding these issues is useless?

    MONEY-CENTRIC ACTIONS and more, much more art/music/theater/propaganda regarding the farce our nation has become has to be done-- starting now.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:56:40 AM PST

  •  Add Proportional Representation to the reforms (0+ / 0-)

    proposed in that first proposed Amendment and I'd be more inclined to support it.

    As long as First Past The Post rules the day none of the other reforms will matter.

  •  Regarding the FICA tax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If all Americans paid the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings couldn't FICA tax rate could be lowered while still ensuring the sustainability of Social Security? This would result in a significant tax cut for those who now fall under the FICA cap (and are paying FICA taxes on 100% of their income), and many others who are now paying the maximum FICA tax, but are not in the top tax brackets.

    What am I missing here and why have I never seen this argument made when discussing lifting the cap on FICA taxes?

  •  I can live w/out "consensus" - how about openess (0+ / 0-)

    - NO proposal to be voted upon without being on the internet for 3 weeks,

    - IF anyone amends or changes 3 words or the true false value of any clause, write your own proposal.

    - counter proposals must be on the internet for 2 weeks before the vote.

    - Votes are 1st on the agenda, and the voting part of agenda can NOT be changed. (fucking vote yes, vote no, vote to table - get it over with )

    - 3 for,  3 against, 1 minute each - the VOTE

    - voting can be online.


    I've been on the fringe of this "consensus" thing for decades in all kinds of different environments -

    "consensus" turns into just new and improved Machiavellian bullshit where those who are MOST willing to waste everyone's time in boring fucking meetings alienate and piss most people off with interminable process,

    all the while claiming the nobleerer selflesser gooderer mantle of "consensus" -

    and ending up with the same bullshit results we get from congress -  those most willing to operate in shenanigans and those most willing to waste everyone's time win! well, except with "consensus", instead of 425 reps voting you end up with 9 people voting, cuz everyone got fed up and left.

    screw "consensus"

    vote, win or lose, and get shit done.


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 06:09:15 AM PST

  •  How about just be the responsible American... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you're supposed to be?

    I don't need to "occupy" anything. I've been active in society my entire adult life, from handing out Gary Hart literature in 1984 when I was a high schooler to my present adult life, where I'm active in various facets of civic life.

    And now this "leaderless" movement has Michael Moore as its apparent leader? Seriously?

    You folks might want to rethink that.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 06:12:26 AM PST

    •  How did that (0+ / 0-)
      handing out Gary Hart literature in 1984
      work out for you?
      •  Yes, he lost. What's your point? (0+ / 0-)

        If you'll remember, the man he lost to, Walter Mondale, didn't do particularly well against President Reagan.

        No offense intended to Mondale, who's a decent human, but Hart almost certainly would have done better. Would he have won? Probably not, but that wasn't my point.

        Bill and Hillary Clinton were active in George McGovern's ill-fated 1972 presidential campaign. I guess they should have given up then, right?

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 08:37:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Whats' to rethink ? (0+ / 0-)

      You put up some silly strawman and then suggest we "rethink" it.

      Neither Mr. Moore nor any commenter (except you) is suggesting that he is the leader of the OWS.

      The you mention Gary Hart? Is Mr. Hart supporting OWS or, like Michael Moore, contributing to the movement.

      You go ahead and support Gary Hart. I will continue to support the efforts of Michael Moore. I will suggest that Mr. Moore has made a larger impact than Mr.Hart and will continue to do so.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 04:58:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  9/11 Wars + Tax Cuts + Bailouts = Recession (0+ / 0-)

    I think this post by Eric Heels does a great job in pulling facts together to counter propaganda:

  •  Don't forget Gerrymandering, it's important (0+ / 0-)

    In the election reform you have to do away with gerrymandering.  Even if you have public financed elections, if you don't do away with gerrymandering, 90% of the elections will be predetermined before the 1st vote is cast.

  •  That list (0+ / 0-)

    cuts the Democrats out. Hell, it makes them against us.

    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:05:55 AM PST

  •  It goes to Washington (0+ / 0-)

    OWS goes to Washington where the problem started.  

    Without Washington's go ahead, the financial disasters would never have happened.  

    Without Washington's go ahead, companies would not have found it profitable to outsource millions of jobs.  

    And so and so and son.  

    The fight starts in Washington, D.C.  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 07:18:08 AM PST

  •  Not one movement but many. As many as it takes. (0+ / 0-)

    Occupy Wall Street isn't a revolution or even the seeds of a revolution but rather a germinal provocation that gives each of us and/or all of us the opportunity to reflect on capitalist values as individuals and as a collective society and geopolitical entity.

    My daughter and I have had long conversations on ideas that are sparked by the Occupy Wall Street efforts in our area. We wondered what would happen if 100 occupiers in our city occupied foreclosed-upon homes, ate meals en masse at locally owned diners and cafes, made signs from materials gleaned from Dumpsters, and engaged in other actions that stole business from "box stores" and put business in the pocket of locally owned and operated businesses.

    Or what if we descended upon a food pantry, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter and spent a few hours making a huge, newsy impact in impoverished areas? Or gathered casually in the parking lot of a business that pays its workers minimum wage and gave the workers an extra dollar an hour that day?

    The beauty of the OWS movement is that it is what we make of it. Rather than a leaderless protest, it's a leaderful people's movement for change with not one vision but many. As many visions as it takes.

  •  10 things we need... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and should not have to protest for. We have lost our representative democracy the 1% has blocked all access, all means to address our grievances. We need to take it back, it's called democracy. Without our consent the Goldman Sachs of the world, who think they are inevitable can not 'rule the world'. It's not their world to destroy for their useless profit, they need to give it back. These 10 things would be a good start. They are not radical, impossible or 'the enemy of the good'.  They are as a famous man once said just Common Sense.

    I would add to this list, restore our civil and human rights and repeal the odious Patriot Act that enables the Security/Police State, and the privatized for profit goons both here and everywhere that they declare in our 'geopolitical national interests'. Homeland Security my ass. Where's my habeaus corpus?                  

  •  We need to be more focused. (0+ / 0-)

    I think we need to be realistic. It would be ideal to get many of the things you listed done, but I think this movement can be a lot stronger and have a lot more clarity if we try and do it piecemeal. Polling shows that people agree with many of the things OWS wants and are in your list, but somehow do not support OWS (I believe because of the lack of clarity in what it is that OWS wants).
    Start with the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expiring. Make that the central theme for awhile at all occupy movements and make Democrats get behind that and run on that or lose support, because being realistic, they are the ones who are going to have to make sure it happens. We must have control to get these things done. After that, move to Glass Steagall. After that, etc. etc. etc. I believe that uniformly looking at one singular issue at a time, we can have better focus and gain more momentum. Force the narrative to be about each of these things, individually as they are brought up, rather than the dominating stories being about occupying a park, police brutality (which is important and wrong, but is making the focus on the protest, rather than the goal).

  •  It would be nice.... (0+ / 0-)

    to have an amendment granting non-discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation as well. We've been fighting that battle for even longer.

  •  Amend the Constitution? Try reading it first. (0+ / 0-)

    Go to if you want to know why. The framers understood the dynamics of a revolution and its democratic government. If you haven't read Art. 1 Sec. 5, or Article 3 Sec. 2, those are powers that Congress already has but is not using. It can pass legislation to get money out of politics, and it will when voters are organized to elect only members who will get that job done.  

  •  Check out (0+ / 0-)

    in about 4-8 weeks.

    John Paul Zucotti:

    "I have not yet begun to occupy!"

  •  NOTE: Analysis vs. Demands (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ballerina X, Musial

    I heard a Labor History professor say that Occupy Wall Street, like successful early 20th Century Labor movements had a good ANALYSIS of the current situation in America and that having the right ANALYSIS is a terrific starting point.

    Before launching into proposals for change, it seems helpful to build consensus and common ground with our fellow Americans about the analysis.

    Any suggestions on what that list of bullet points might look like?

    •  Point #1 (0+ / 0-)

      Get clear about what's going on.  This means learning about the current constitutional crisis. The Supreme Court has abandoned its traditional deference to Congress, under the "political question doctrine" and now dictates the conditions for elections. Of course, property does not equal speech and Buckley must be overruled. But Congress must do this in comprehensive airtight legislation. Congress already has the power under Art. 1, Sec. 5, and Art. 3 Sec. 2. It's not a question of individual rights, but of Article 1 powers, of reclaiming Congress as a democratic institution through our vote. Get related to the framers and why they gave Congress such powers. Organize voters to demand that  candidates for Congress pledge their office to enacting such legislation.

  •  Is it me or... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is Mr. Moore souding like a self-hating, rich man?

  •  A few more to consider (0+ / 0-)

    Aggressively progressive inheritance tax; end the dynasty system.

    Aggressively progressive wealth re-distribution tax on companies who excessively compensate executives and board directors.

    Close legal loopholes for white collar crime. Treat white collar crime like violent crime; massive damage caused by malicious, willful action should result in life sentences. Gross negligence should also be punishable. Prosecute and enforce long, hard time in general prison populations for white collar crime.

    Freeze on sub-prime mortgage foreclosures. One time levy on the banking industry to finance a one time review and restructuring process for sub-prime mortgages sold between 200x and 200y.

    Financial transaction taxes (1%) including a higher tax (5%) for gambling in derivatives.

    Phase in a prohibition on trading on derivatives too complex to regulate.

    Establish Commerce policy and laws to reverse and prevent mergers from producing companies too big to fail.

    Establish FCC rules to greatly diversify media ownership.

    $ for EPA, specifically for regulatory enforcement.

    $ for SEC, especially for derivative regulatory development and enforcement.

    $ for mandatory IRS audits of high income individuals and corporations.

    Re-direct carbon energy subsidies to sustainable energy production.

    Restrict lobbying to only providing/presenting information in public, limit lobbying time and prevent dominance by business interests. Hard time for lobbyists and govt representatives who break these rules, especially in cases where lobbyists produce legislation.

  •  I would recommend that we take steps (0+ / 0-)

    to end the two-party system. Where are the Green Party representatives, the socialists, the libertarians, and so forth. I think a national discussion should begin on switching to proportional representation. If we had better representation of disparate opinions, I don't think we would have such a boom and bust cycle of "conventional wisdom."

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst [a]re full of passionate intensity." Yeats: "The Second Coming" (1921)

    by Ticonderoga on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 10:55:02 AM PST

  •  Michael, that is all very well and good, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

    It misses the important issue of the day, namely that my Butterball Turkey is some kind of halal-blessed terrorist threat. Oh Butterball, how could you. So Norman Locklear in appearance, with your golden, crispy skin, you are just so American, yet we now discover the threat of the Caliphate and Sharia Law was hiding in your giblets all along.

    PS - be sure to tell your conservative relatives that the blessing can be undone by stuffing the bird with unpopped popcorn. Hell, if they'll believe in terror-babies, they'll believe that.

  •  and perhaps the best way to accomplish (0+ / 0-)

    all of that is to take the next leap...from Occupying Wall Street to Taking Back Congress...only by putting power back into the hands of the People by have the People's representatives actually take over the power structure...will any of these things actually be accomplished.

    The next phase, in my opinion, should be a TBC action (Take Back Congress) from those who would oppose these things (i.e. the status quo).

  •  RE: paper ballots (0+ / 0-)

    While I basically agree with about this, I do understand that for people with disabilities paper ballots are very difficult, if not impossible, to use There has to be a way that not only enables them, but also encourages them, to vote while guaranteeing the privacy and security if their ballot.

  •  No.. (0+ / 0-) the trade tax, the penalty tax for outsourcing, reinstating Glass-Steagall, ex post facto criminalization and devolving corporate governance to non-equity holders.  Yes to everything else.

    A quant and damned proud of it.

    by Cera on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 01:32:38 PM PST

  •  re Michael Moore's plan for Occupy Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

    Great policy ideals Michael! Isn't this essentially asking for a national, broad-based liberal political party?

  •  These demands are very conservative. (0+ / 0-)

    Our demands should go much further than this list of bourgeois reforms.  

    We need a radically different world based on the fundamentally different social relations.  A world in which it is the associated producers who exercise power on a free and equal basis.  

    Herding people in this direction, into to the arms of the left wing of the ruling class, is exactly the wrong approach.

    We want a new world, not a few more crumbs from the master's table.

    We should rid our ranks of all impotent thinking. All views that overestimate the strength of the enemy and underestimate the strength of the people are wrong. -- Mao Zedong

    by GiveNoQuarter on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 02:02:31 PM PST

  •  drop all the wordy bullshit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    stop trillion dollar f-35 program,

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 03:28:41 PM PST

  •  Don't think so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You're exactly what the movement doesn't need. Recycled 60s guy. Your the "leader" they don't have, antithetical to the movement's intentions and methods. Your absence from leadership is the movement's proudest accomplishment and strongest weapon. Stop trying to fuck it up.

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson

    by moon in the house of moe on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 03:39:14 PM PST

    •  Hey chum, it's not your movement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Nor is it Michael Moores'. The difference is that he isn't suggesting that you shouldn't participate.

      I went to a local occupy protest. The majority of the participants were in aged 40-70, the very recycled 60s people you denigrate.

      It isn't your call, buster, to say who can and can not participate.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:09:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This 50-something (0+ / 0-)

      recycled 70s gal agrees with you, mithom.  I wish that Mr. Moore would see this as a lovely opportunity to sit back watch things unfold.

      Sure, #OWS needs a coherent message.  And the list isn't awful.  But, when the movement finds a leader, it shouldn't be Michael Moore.

      Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

      by CJB on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:44:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes of course! We need an age limit! (0+ / 0-)

      We can't have any recycled 60's people! or recycled 70's and 80's people. Or 50's people for that matter. We need a sign written in QR "You must be this young to go on this ride". We all know old people can't be trusted to protest against Wall Street, right? And anyways, this movement's success hinges on our hating old people! That's it That's our proudest achievement- hating recycled old people!

    •  You understand nothing. (0+ / 0-)

      An organic, self-organizing movement like OWS needs all the help it can get, and a widely known voice like Moore's can only help strengthen it and carry it to wider audiences.

      I don't see him trying to co-opt the movement or trying to impose himself as a leader. He's doing what a responsible, well-intended person with his resources should do.

      You, on the other hand, present as a juvenile mind more concerned with appearances, or an image of a movement consisting only of people who fit your naive, narrow fantasy. And as Slatsg observed, Moore isn't advocating the exclusion of those who don't fit his personal ideal.

      Grow up.

  •  Occupy The Courts - January 20th, 2012 (0+ / 0-)

    Dear Michael Moore,,

    I hope you will pay attention to this event on January 20th, 2012.
    I hope you will participate in it!

    There is a very large demonstration being planned for January 20th, 2012 at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle, - and at every Federal Courthouse in the United States.. There are many groups organizing and "gearing up" for this demonstration. I will be promoting and advertising it. This "occupy movement" has only just begun.  I suggest you figure out your plan of action and response;  The rules of engagement;  -  Need a way better understanding of what is going on;  -  than during WTO in Seattle.    Treat the people like they are the enemy, and they will become it

    I feel the occupy movement does have a basic underlying message;  Stop  letting money decide political elections; And regulate corporate lobbying (and all lobbying) making it a public forum. Right now lobbying is mostly two old white guys sitting across from each other in an office. "They"  have probably worked with each other or went to the same school;  And "they" have promised you a job when you get out of politics, -- tripling your present salary!.  The "lobbyist" used to be a "politician", it worked for him!.  Who owns who? -  That's a "Person-hood".

    "I" was at the WTO protests in Seattle Washington, (with thousands of "other" really awesome "people", and a few "freaks") when a bunch of "anarchists" started busting windows with crowbars. We surrounded them, and they got in a circle with their crowbars. I tried to get the "Seattle police" to come arrest "these anarchists”,  that were only fifty feet away and threatening violence and breaking windows… The "Seattle police" would not budge from their “police line”, making all of "us" the "enemy".... (There were thousands of "union" and "other" people sitting and standing in the street, - it was a relatively peaceful protest until the windows started breaking…).  " I" am not the "enemy".

    January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!

    Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this date — Occupy the Courts — a one day occupation on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of the 89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can.  (I am inspired by Doctor Martin Luther King who said; "a true revolution of values", ...  "there comes a time when silence is betrayal".,  "people are not gonna be silenced".).   Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

      Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at:

    It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics

    Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, massive organized wave advocating a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

    Please sign the petition!

  •  11. Reaffirm OUR Right to Trust BUT Verify (0+ / 0-)
    Stolen Right:  Without a bullet fired or an election, bureaucrats have relegated vote tallying over to corporations.  These corporations have trademarked and therefore proprietary software, which are not auditable.  All we have are pathetic tiny paper receipts in some cases to verify our votes.  Some places are lucky enough to have optiscan ballots which are quite readable.

    Corporate Controlled Vote Tallies:  The audits are nothing but a spot check in time and are a charade.  How does standing 15 feet away from a person feeding paper into a machine ensure the integrity of a voting system.  The audits of actual ballots--when they exist--are far too late and any Las Vegas security person who find laughable.

    Shoddy Machinery:  The GAO, Brennan Center for Justice, and California, as well as former republican registrar of voters Bruce Funk, have shown how our voting systems are junk.

    EASY SOLUTION:  The power and financial control of the future is in the hands of one vote per HUMAN-type person (not the corporate variety), and so it is acceptable that we do what Regan advised TRUST BUT VERIFY.  Therefore, we can reaffirm our right as citizens to double check vote tallies at each voting precinct BEFORE they ballots are transported.  

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 03:51:15 PM PST

  •  Economic Justice = HOMESTEAD Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

    Please see my recent diary (or search Kos: Homestead) on the root cause and a solution to the current wealth/income mal-distribution/injustice.  Homesteading dates from Lincoln's Homestead Acts in 1862, and we really need one now.  It is a way to get real economic justice, levelling the playing field for all, without taxation.

    Kos readers could put this in front of the nation: There is a White House petition, but it needs signatures by Nov. 30th. Michael, please check it out and spread the word - with your help, this approach could solve the structural problem of Capitalism Gone Wild.

  •  Suggest banks pay REPARATIONS (0+ / 0-)

    retroactively, for actions that violated the spirit of Glass-Steagall, and treble damages for sub-prime mortgage fraud.

  •  This is the very first movement that has actively (0+ / 0-)

    claimed everyone who should be more than a bit concerned about their success. The problem is that the "kids" have institutionally frozen out most of those who would participate. The people's mic, although dramatic, is still not as good as a normal mic. Hard of hearing people miss a lot of the details. Decisions made by individual GA's usually aren't communicated very well to those unable to attend that GA.

    In Portland, the GA's are still being held outside in rainy, cold weather. That eliminates all but the most die-hard and hardty. The live-streaming is as good as that technology allows it, but still not good enough to follow at home - and those guys are truly heroes for trying to make it work.

    For reasons not entirely clear management and accountability of donated funds might as well be done by the banksters. Until there is an effective system in place managed by people who know what they are doing, further fundraising is not going to be productive.

    I've done every thing I can to help this movement really work, but I don't know what else I can do.

    Bring them all home NOW. There is no longer any excuse.

    by llbear on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:12:50 PM PST

  •  Finally, some common sense! (0+ / 0-)

    Everything you suggest is gold IMO.  My favorite is:

    5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots
    although around here, that kind of talk might get you banned.

    I support the Occupy movement and applaud them for not going the way of the Tea Party (i.e. selling out to the Republicans) and my only suggestion would be for OWS to continue to operate independently of both major political parties.

    Thank you for your efforts and keep up the good work!


    There are some remedies worse than the disease. - Publilius Syrus

    by cowgirl on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 05:24:44 PM PST

  •  Priority! Constitutional Amendments! (0+ / 0-)

    Mr. Moore:

    I agree completely with the need for the constitutional amendments, and would underline the fact that without them any substantial improvements are only transient until the corporate powers take them back.

    How do we do this? This is something my husband and I would work for.

    Thank you for your ongoing vision.

    Who wants to be well-adjusted to injustice? What kind of human being do you want to be? --Cornel West

    by Clarity1 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 06:23:57 PM PST

  •  Clark,Lytle, Geduldig & Crandford (0+ / 0-)

    Nancy Pelosi is standing up for Occupy Wall Street.

    The former House Speaker wrote an email to potential donors on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee asking for financial support.

    In the e-mail, obtained by the Washington Post on Tuesday, Pelosi cites a memo from a Washington lobbying firm, Clark Lytle Geduldig & Crandford that has proposed an $850,0000 plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street.

    "If you need further proof that Congressional Republicans are putting big Wall Street banks before middle class families, look no further than an explosive memo prepared by former John Boehner staffers-turned-banking lobbyists," writes Pelosi.

    If GOP lawmakers vote "no" your taxes go up. "Yes", you get a tax cut. Which way do you think Congress should vote?

    by anyname on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 06:58:28 PM PST

  •  Fantastic (0+ / 0-)

    These all sound wonderful

  •  If you are opening the Constitution, may I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    recommend the USA turn to a full parliamentary system, a unicameral legislature, with the President and ministers having to be members of and obliged to maintain the confidence of the legislature. The Westmister model, minus the upper house. It works!

    "...stories of past courage can define that ingredient..... But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul." JFK Profiles in Courage

    by ontario on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 09:13:58 PM PST

    •  Eliminating the "House of Lords" (Senate) would (0+ / 0-)

      restore proportional representation. No more would Wyoming have the same political strength as California which, IMHO, is an outrage.

      Congress could truly become the "House of the People".

      "Democrats treat dogs like people and Republicans treat people like dogs."

      by Templar on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 06:07:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Selling off public assets to private interests (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dear occupant

    like our schools, libraries, water works, parks, etc. should also be strictly verboten.

    Anarchist bartender poets for beer, verse, and disorganization.

    by degreesofgray on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 01:24:34 AM PST

  •  To a Global Cooperative Forum of Everybody (0+ / 0-)

    The conversation about Occupy Wall Street is the conversation about the future of humanity, either a chaotic madhouse, or a systematized sanity culture of prior unity and intrinsic egolessness.

    The Ordinary People's Way of Global Cooperative Order, is a concept proposed by Adi Da, the World-Friend.

    Excerpts from the book:

    1.35     What needs to be supported everywhere is cooperative, participatory existence for the entire human population globally—and the establishment of a Global Cooperative Forum to express and implement that reality.

    1.36   A Global Cooperative Forum representing humankind as a whole would operate based on the principle of “prior unity”—meaning an acknowledgement of the fundamental unity of humanity and of all existence.

    1.37   The human family would be represented at a Global Cooperative Forum by morally-enlightened leaders capable of moving the world population into a separatism-transcending view, and, thus, into modes of cooperation.

    1.38   On the basis of the working-presumption of prior unity, such a Global Cooperative Forum would deal with all the urgent issues that humankind has in common.

    1.39   There are, at the present time, nation-states, but nation-states would need to allow and cooperate with the Global Cooperative Forum that represents humankind as a whole. That is the only politics that is viable for humankind now.

    1.40   The nation-state configuration of the world is a leftover of the “tribal” past, in which larger regions of humanity were separated from the others and, generally, just kept their distance from one another.

    "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

    "Only everybody-all-at-once can change the current chaos." - Adi Da

    by sanitydotcom on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 02:11:31 AM PST

  •  Restore the usury laws. Allowing banks to (0+ / 0-)

    charge rates that are more than a couple of points above their inter-bank rate is criminal.

    "Democrats treat dogs like people and Republicans treat people like dogs."

    by Templar on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 05:43:07 AM PST

  •  One modification to Constitutional ammendments (0+ / 0-)

    Change ELECTION DAY to ELECTION WEEK. For the most part almost everyone has at least one day off out of seven.

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 05:46:35 AM PST

  •  i'm wrestling with my discomfort with this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ballerina X

    since it hit the rec list. maybe some of you can help me work this through?

    i recc'd the diary and many of the comments. i was actually the 500th rec. there are some really well thought out ideas including the diarists' and
    i embrace michael moores' participation as i do everyone else's.

    but i find myself feeling, well..............uurpy.

    i can't pin it down. maybe it's the slight self congragulatory nature of the statement that he met with 40 activists ? maybe it's the fine line between sincerity and self promotion? maybe it's the fact that he doesn't stick around to shepard his diary? maybe it's because he's promoting his website? maybe it's because he felt the need to post this diary, while folks who are in the actual working groups, do not post diaries discussing their work, as far as i know? maybe it's all of these things?

    i'm sitting at my father-in laws desk. he's a republican and his views are obviously different from mine. he's a fox news follower. last night we spent 3 hours talking about the ows movement. he was curious about the difference between what i was telling him and what he has seen reported, so i took him on a journey from the beginning.

    videos of liberty plaza, the women being pepper sprayed, sgt. shamar thomas, interviews with intelligent people of all ages and ethnicities, mic checking, scott olsen, the 84 yr. old woman pepper sprayed, police brutality accross the country ending with the ucd pepper spray incident and the walk of shame.

    he was floored. he's a vet of the korean war and was particularly bothered by the violence against peaceful protestors. it bothered him a lot.

    i congragulated him and welcomed him as an official 99%'er when i rattled off 15 issues ows is protesting and he agreed with every one without hesitation.
    i was very proud of him.

    so there is a lot to be thankful for on this thanksgiving day and a lot to be hopeful for as dark as these days are for so many of us. we will prevail. we must prevail.

    i thank all the occupiers and frontliners who are sacrificing so much to push this movement forward. i thank everyone, who in his or her way, is doing what they can to support this cause. everyone has a place and a purpose and of course. so does michael moore.

    so maybe i'm just too sensitive. maybe i'm reading too much into his words and actions. maybe i just need to fill my belly with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, unbutton my pants and hope the packers beat the lions (i'm a bears fan). yeah, that sounds like a plan.

    happy thanksgiving everyone.

    Shame is the New Black.

    by dear occupant on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 06:30:34 AM PST

  •  Occupy The Hearts and Minds of the Nation! (0+ / 0-)

    Michael you have set forth some very reasonable and practical steps towards reclaiming the power of the people in this country.

    At Occupy Seattle we have been discussing these same issues. It is truly amazing how most occupiers agree on these subjects. Without knowing it, we have all been speaking with the same voice, despite the negative assertions of the corporate media who claim that we are all confused and directionless.

    And, yes, it is a long and complicated list which we may not be able to express in a quick witty sound byte/ advertising slogan. The best we have so far is, "We Are The 99%!" At least that slogan is inclusive and unifying.
    It does not, however, express what we are working for as a movement.

    Our political approach is much more sophisticated than a Madison Avenue-style ad campaign could ever be. The issues we are facing are complicated and do not allow for quick easy sound bytes. I am OK with this current state of affairs. In fact, this gives me hope that it will be much more difficult for some political party to co-opt our message.

    But I agree with you that the time has come for specific proposals and demands. Occupy Seattle folks are heading to the state capitol on Nov. 28th. We will be there to join with other groups from throughout the state who will be converging in Olympia to demand that social services be maintained and that corporate tax loopholes be eliminated.

    I say, "Take Our Protests To The People Who Are Making The Decisions That Effect Our Lives On A Daily Basis."

    This includes the local police department, the mayor's office, the city council, county government, the governor and state legislators, the federal government and corporate leaders.

    In order to confront power, we must have a clear plan and objective. We know that we all want economic and social justice. How that is achieved is still an open question, but demanding political reform is going to have to be part of that picture.

    Protesting injustice is both patriotic and inspirational.  It's pretty obvious what we are against, but what exactly are we for? What are our solutions to these serious economic and social problems?

    I think your proposals are a good step in this direction.

    Our demands for justice must be backed up by political and social power - we need folks out in the streets. With a two pronged approach (on the streets and in the halls of government) we might actually have a chance to change things for the better.

  •  Go to (0+ / 0-) 2012 will be the year a Congress was elected that got money outta politics. Very doable.

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