Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street comes up with a list of demands

Some good, some way out of paradigm. MMT to the rescue!


googleheim said...

I think that Obama should go down there and talk to some of these people, have a beer, and invite some of them to DC on the white house lawn.

He'd might just get re elected

wh10 said...

Darn it. Why'd they have to put #8 in there????

Oliver said...

Maybe a group of economists around say Jamie Galbraith could write them and ask to replace the debt term in #8 with something about full employment, or even a combination of the two, e.g. balanced budget at full employment. the rest is good!

Matt Franko said...

"11. Immediate passage of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration and border security reform including offering visas, lawful permanent resident status and citizenship to the world’s brightest People to stay and work in our industries and schools after they obtain their education and training in the United States."

What did the Koch brothers write this for them?

Dont they realize that this is part of the problem?

Is this for real Tom? or just from some nutters on the periphery of the OWS rebellion? If not, they're done imo, gone the way of the Tea Party.

Oliver said...

Matt, I don't know what the dream act is about exactly, but what is your problem with the part that you highlighted?

Matt Franko said...

These foreigners are often imported via "employment agencies" that in the old days were called "slave traders".

I'm against human slavery in all forms.

There is no need for the US to import any labor at all right now with 14m+ people out of work.

All these programs do is enrich the labor brokers who arrange for the people to come over here, and allow the multinationals to save a few points on their labor costs here in the USA; as if it wasnt bad enough that they ship the jobs that they can overseas, this is a way that they can force Americans out of their own jobs right here at home.

This is not like the old days where someone came over here to stay with a family member and assimilated, it is big, corrupt business.

And btw, dont these foreign countries need these skills back at home?


Oliver said...

I see. Nevertheless, I think foreigners are generally the wrong place to look for economic answers, which is how I read the proposal. The reason they come, is because they are hoping for a better life and, seeing as we still have borders, we may as well channel the flows by making them legal and favour those who are most obviously beneficial.

mike norman said...

The brainwashing of the citizenry by the financial elites has been done with such effectiveness that people routinely argue against their own interests without even knowing it. OWS will not go away, but sadly, it won't bring about the solutions to our numerous crises either.

beowulf said...

Matt, I agree with you. Personally, I think they should stick to their knitting and focus on economic issues... perhaps add campaign finance as well, like Larry Lessig says, nothing gets reformed until campaign finance gets reformed.

Trying to do everything means you end up doing nothing. Focus and come up with a two or three item litmus test. This is the point made again and again in Jon Walker's rather awesome history of the Prohibition movement. The Anti-Saloon League had a single goal and a simple litmus test (that ratcheted up over time as they achieved interim goals); support their goals and a politician had their support (regardless of party), oppose them and they'd find and support someone to run against you. Doublecross them... well that never ended well.

Only the NRA has that kind of focus today and that's why they're so damn strong regardless which party holds the White Houe or Congress. Democrat or Republican, any incumbent who hits their pro-gun mark has their support. Any who oppose them WILL be challenged by a well-funded opponent.

The Red Capitalist said...

Exactly what the critics were hoping for: a list of demands that appears to have been drafted by a band of 8th graders.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a positive development and the creation of a third party will be needed.

#15 should be dropped.

Demand for direct democracy and its mechanisms should be added.

Would campaign finance reform require a constitutional amendment?

Tom Hickey said...

"Would campaign finance reform require a constitutional amendment?"

Based on recent SCOTUS decisions, it seems so. Beowulf can speak to that more authoritatively though.

beowulf said...

"Would campaign finance reform require a constitutional amendment?"
Short answer, it depends on what you mean by "campaign finance reform". Its like ex-Navy SEAL Richard Machowicz's great saying: target dictates weapons, weapons dictate movement.

If what you want is to limit free speech rights (which as the Supreme Court interpretes it) means, essentially the right of any individual or corporation to spend whatever they want on a political race, that requires a constitutional amendment. Which, to pass, requires 2/3rds of both Houses and 3/4ths of the state legislatures to approve-- THAT is like hand-towing a howitzer up and down a mountain.

The Supreme Court has allowed clean money schemes like Arizona's where candidates can voluntarily limit their own campaign fundraising and, in exchange, they receive a stipend from the state (or perhaps someday, the Federales) to fund their campaign. The idea is you can't turn down the volume of bought candidates, but you CAN turn up the volume of clean candidates. Passing a bill that appropriates money in this way must pass both Houses of Congress and to get through the Senate will need 60 votes. After which, the appropriation must be renewed annually. Now you're making progress, you have a mule train to haul the artillery piece.

A I suggested to Larry Lessig a couple weeks ago, you could turn the last proposal inside out and gave a tax credit to the campaign VENDORS of clean money candidates (e.g. TV station who ran ads at no cost to candidate would be given a tax credit equal to the fair market value of an equivalent ad buy). That bring you into the world of tax expenditures, which have two unique properties. 1. Tax bills can pass the US Senate with only 50 votes (plus VP tiebreaker) by using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process. 2. Tax breaks don't have to be renewed annually like appropriations. Once they're on the books the inertia of the system makes them tough to repeal. That route is like a helicopter hauling your howitzer over the mountain.

Clearly the first step is to figure out (if at all possible) how to achieve your goals through the tax code. The idea is tax activities you don't want (e.g. tobacco sales) and give tax credits to activities you do want (e.g. hiring disabled veteran).

Anonymous said...

Thanks beowulf. Glad we don't face this problem in Canada.