Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb
The other way to deal with the situation is just to make things a whole lot more transparent than they are now. I doubt it'd change a whole lot but it'd at least make it obvious who was bought out by who.
Right now there's like zero transparency with the Super PAC / 501 (c)(4) combination. You can donate anonymously to a 501(c)(4) then have that money given to a Super PAC with no disclosure. I was reading that Karl Rove's SuperPac was primarily funded by 3 anonymous billionaires who funneled money into it using a 501(c)(4).
Was reading that in California, the legislation actually discloses how lobbyists are involved with it. It doesn't change how the politicians act though.
"The most salient point articulated at OWS has been to get all of the damn corporate and Wall Street money of out the election cycle so that we can get a range of candidates that represent the will of the people, rather than the special interests. Yeah, I know someone is going to say something about 'Big Labor' now, but Big Labor doesn't have but a fraction of the lobbying muscle that the corporations/financiers do."
I haven't really been following the movements but just the little bit that I have heard about them reminds me of the LNWI camps in Tompkins Square Park in the novel Super Sad Love Story. Anybody else following the protest and read that book get that feeling?
"Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan
Occupy Your Brain!
Occupy Your Brain!
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)
Still- combine the tea party and the OWS movement and you have a sizeable protest against our current system. True, they stand for different things; but clearly Americans are unhappy with the political and economic status quo.
Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.
It's too easy to criticise Wall Street at the moment (and god knows I'm no fan of Wall Street) but a number of you are ignoring that too many Americans have too much invested on Wall Street - most of us have pensions and retirement incomes and mutual funds and stocks/bonds that depend on Wall Street. If Wall Street crashes, there goes the lifetime's savings and monetary resources for hundreds of millions of Americans as well as institutions that have invested their endowments via Wall Street. That's the real reason why the government leaders have worked so close with the banks and finance institutions on Wall Street, rightly or wrongly they don't perceive bailing out Wall Street as catering to specialist interests, but saving the retirement accounts of millions of Americans.
Does Wall Street need reform - yes, but at the same time it can't be crippled by zealots. Nobody was opposing Wall Street when it was making us rich, but when we're poor now we're turning the tables? We would be much poorer without "Wall Street."
On another note: I have a lot of sympathy for some of the protesters. Many young people do feel themselves caught in a trap: encouraged by their elders across the past few decades to pursue education despite the cost, many recent graduates are now suffering enormous debts from school loans while they can't find jobs.
Its going to be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks. Protests are starting to develop throughout the U.S. I know that there is a big one being planned for here and we have been kicked in the chops economically. We don't even have any big banks HQ'ed here any longer.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805
Has the Occupy movement shown up in your fair community ?
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
From Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Are you sure you're not hurt ?
No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
Broke parts take a little longer, though.
From Electric Horseman (1979)
I'm thinking about starting a PreOccupied movement for the 99% of us who have other things to do.
“Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”
Wall Street as a useless pile opf rubble. Its an attempt to stimulate some big needed reforms. Despite what the reactionary, controversy loving media might report, this protest is not an anti-capitalist movement looking to dismantle the foundation of our economy. Its just a bunch of people looking to get those that make LOTS of money to, as many of the rest of us have been doing for some time, sacrifice something for the common good, particularly in our difficult times.
That really doesn't sound too outrageous a suggestion to me.
I would also suggest that the people protesting today were probably not making a fortune off of Wall Street back when times were good. Perhaps I am wrong, but that's just my impression that these are not big investor-types. But regardless, I don't the intent of the protests is to do away with the institution, but just to make it more accountable.
The protests have been in my fair city since two weekends ago. There are still some folks there - its centered near the university so students and others ahve been taking turns covering shifts.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose
From what I am seeing in news reports, it is looking more and more like 'JOIN the BOWEL MOVEMENT!!!' than anything else. At least after a TEA party rally, the grounds are left *spotless*.
The most succinct reason I've seen of why they're protesting is that they're unhappy that trickle-down economics is not trickling down... It just took 30 years for people to really notice.
"We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011
I know alot of my pension is invested in wall street against my will (I had no choice- that's just how it's done) and for the entire time - 12 years - my money has continually underperfomed just putting it under my mattress.
Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.
According to Gallup, just 54% of Americans have stock market investments: "The percentage of Americans saying they hold individual stocks, stock mutual funds, or stocks in their 401(k) or IRA fell to 54% in April  -- the lowest level since Gallup began monitoring stock ownership annually in 1999."
And a high proportion of Americans have little or no retirement savings. It's pretty scary, actually.
I tend to think this is a protest against greed, not capitalism. And yes, there is a significant difference. I think you've got a bunch of people that have been kicked because of the down economy that have looked around and realized that the industry responsible for the decisions creating the housing finance bubble went unpunished (or were actually rewarded as the case may be). They see Wall Street's lack of accountability an example of the have's screwing over the have nots, with the recent actions of Wall Street, lobbyists and corporations in general demonstrating detachment from the reality of their customers and general public. Corporations suddenly being declared 'citizens' for the purposes of political influence, compounded with the SuperPACs and c4's capable to truly purchasing our country's leadership simply exacerbated things.
There are decent-sized protests going on in Austin. Even in little ol' San Marcos here there was a pretty good protest group the other day on the Courthouse Square.
Occupy Wall Street seems to have a branding & focus issue--they really have not defined themselves and as a result, their naysayers have easily been able to define them in their own, less flattering terms. They need to focus their message about what they are exactly pissed off about, and what they see as a solution. Otherwise, they are easy to brand as an uneducated mob protesting for the sake of protesting.
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)