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Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-27-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
Professor S
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Default Occupy Wallstreet

I was wondering what everyone thinks about this movement? Personally I'm torn. I think the movement identifies serious and real issues, but my fear is that the solutions that will be found will be government-based and therefore just make the problems even worse.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-27-2011, 01:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

I went for a couple of days to Zuccotti Park for a few hours at a time and it's definitely interesting there. A lot of lively conversation going around. Some more sane than others, but basically it's a lot of like-minded people of different ages and races standing up for something...and unfortunately drum circles, but what can you do?

I agree with you in that it seems like lots of the problems are governmental and systematic, and I don't see how that changes very easily, but at least this movement is trying to pointing that out. It's still tough to say what will come out of it, but I support the idea for sure.

I thought this article has a pretty good statement about what exactly is wrong while pointing out misconceptions about why people are protesting. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...ating-20111025
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-27-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

I admit I haven't read too much into or kept up very well, but from my perspective it looks like the protesters are very angry and have very valid criticisms and concerns...but I haven't seen or heard of any possible solutions they have put forth.

Do they actually have a plan, or any demands that they want met? Obviously they feel that the distribution of wealth is severely skewed (and it is), but what exactly do they want done about it?
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-27-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Do they actually have a plan, or any demands that they want met? Obviously they feel that the distribution of wealth is severely skewed (and it is), but what exactly do they want done about it?
Therein lies my distress. These protests seem to be a reflection of a general, primal consensus that "something ain't right", but to most of the protesters what that is ranges from completely blaming corporations to completely blaming government. My problem with protests like this are that they tend to only engage an individuals reptilian brain, and that encourages shallow thinking based on emotion and not complex thought. My hope is that people take the opportunity to really examine our current economic system as a whole, and not simply attack the wealthy, but ask what is currently in place that has allowed the wealthy to grow so much more quickly over the last 15 years than everyone else?

"For every problem there is always a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong." ~ Mark Twain
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-27-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

Well... it's certainly an interesting movement, but without point or purpose, I don't see it going far. There have been comparisons to the tea party, but I doubt it will have a similar political impact.

From what I can surmise, the protesters are angry about increasing income equality - to that, I would say two things.

1. It's true:


(CBO)

Recently (as in yesterday or today) CBO estimates do indicate the richest 1% have seen their income increase exponentially more than any other income tier. Why? Hard to say. I have a theory that if you take out the richest 1% of that 1%, the increase would dramatically decline (i.e. the rapid increase is due to a select few high-earners).

2. Everyone is better off than in the past:


(From a study done by two profs from Notre Dame & U Chicago)

3. Would taxing the richest 1% on the first chart at a higher marginal rate have any effect on the second chart? I really doubt it. There's a disconnect between these two issues, but because of politics, they're intertwined.

Anyway, I think the Occupy Wallstreet movement should be attacking cronyism - an issue liberals and conservatives could possibly agree upon.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-27-2011, 07:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Anyway, I think the Occupy Wallstreet movement should be attacking cronyism - an issue liberals and conservatives could possibly agree upon.
This. Unfortunately, people are trying to make this about punishing the wealthy instead of evening the playing field to allow for greater income mobility. It's amazing how we continue old arguments without finding solutions.



If you boil the arguments down, one believes in the power of people to better themselves, and the other simply wants to make people more comfortable in their inevitable meager existence.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-28-2011, 01:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

I enjoy the concept of Occupy Wallstreet. People keep saying there is no easy solution and it is going to take time. We've been hearing that for a while, and it makes you wonder if we need a big event to propel the necessary changes forward.

Historically, you have major political unrest followed by civil war; your country gets taken over by another country; you introduce a new political party (back when this option was relevant).

And we are more global than ever. The US problems are the world's problems.

I'm just saying, I hope we continue to feel the air of energy and political unrest, because I much prefer this energy to sheer apathy. Give it time and some real thinkers will emerge with a solution. I feel like you're bound to recruit more problem-solvers when you have wind under your sails.

I can't think of any more plays on the English language or metaphors to pepper my post with. So I'll disclaimer by saying Obama is full of shit. But we do need change.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-28-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

I think this movement is underestimated by a lot of people. In part, this is because the mainstream media coverage has been shamefully bad. But also, because many of the people who should be protesting are the people who can't afford to leave their jobs to do so.

As I see it, the main roadblock to progress between protesters and those on Wall Street (and frankly, a large portion of congress) is a difference in psychology.

Most successful individuals tend to give themselves credit for everything they've earned, and think people that are unsuccessful must be lazy, apathetic, or otherwise undeserving. Less successful individuals tend to see the cards stacked against them. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, history warns that telling the masses to eat cake is a bad idea.

The Occupy movement, in my opinion, is about more than just economic reform. Obviously, a lot of people are frustrated that the list of demands seems somewhat nebulous. Part of it is that we haven't had a large demand for social reform in a long time, so a lot of different groups are trying to get their concerns tacked on. But I think many of the changes being asked for are quite popular and some will stick.

Something I would like to highlight is some of the police tactics that are being used to clear out parks of protesters.

A two-tour Iraq vet protesting in Oakland that was hit by either a rubber bullet or a tear gas canister is undergoing brain surgery today as a result. After he was hit, a riot cop ran up and through a flash bang into the crowd of people trying to provide him medical assistance. Dozens of people complained of police using rubber bullets, police called them liars until people started posting pictures of the bullets found in the park the next day.

Meanwhile the police union in Oakland is threatening to sue protestors who injure cops when not one cop was injured by a civilian (though the opposite was true), the people throwing stuff are a tiny minority, and cops have no legal way of suing individuals. Despite all of this, the DoJ has officially stated they won't even be looking into the matter. Most major news outlets didn’t even report the clash between police and protestors on their websites until thousands of people on Reddit and other social networks started a campaign to harass them about it.

Isn’t it fascinating that when riot cops in Egypt used tear gas and batons to clear out Tahrir Square our own government condemned it, but our protests (which have been more peaceful) bring no such attention despite tear gas, rubber bullets, and batons all having been used?

But enough about that.

What I’d ultimately like to see:

• Money being removed from politics.
• Corporate lobbying power diminished.
• An end to corporate personhood.
• Adjust average hourly earnings for inflation (hasn’t increased in 50 years).
• Better hiring incentives and significant consequences for firing workers while raising executive pay.
• Harsher punishments for white collar crime (with great power comes great responsibility, not impunity).
• Limits on executive bonuses, raises, and incomes.
• A complete audit of the Federal Reserve.
• Revelation of the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act and/or its abolishment.
• Legislative/Congressional reform (takes too long to pass important legislation).
• Demilitarization of America’s police forces.
• Sensible reforms to the drug war.

Good read about the financial side of concerns:

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-...t-2011-10?op=1

Last edited by thatmariolover : 10-28-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-28-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

TML, you make some good points, but your solutions are the exact type of top-down, centrally controlled "reforms" that helped get us into the place we are in now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatmariolover View Post

What I’d ultimately like to see:

• Money being removed from politics.
How would you do this? Who pays for the campaigns, who decides who pays? Actually, in this age of free and available information I am very sympathetic to this idea, but a lot of thought needs to be put into it to avoid abuse and further corruption.

Quote:
• Corporate lobbying power diminished.
Only corporate lobbying power? What about other large, powerful organizations that wield large amounts of lobbying power and influence? Should only corporations have their voice silenced?

Quote:
• An end to corporate personhood.
Depends on what you mean by personhood. I would say that if we treat them like a person, we need to treat them no differently than we would an individual, meaning if we bail out a corporation we bail out individuals.

Quote:
• Adjust average hourly earnings for inflation (hasn’t increased in 50 years).
So if we force companies to increase pay, what happens when these companies eliminate the position? Current minimum wage laws have already cost teens and the elderly thousands of jobs. Isn't a wage dictated by the market better than no wage at all?

Quote:
• Better hiring incentives and significant consequences for firing workers while raising executive pay.
Why would a company hire someone they don't need regardless of incentives? A $5,000 tax credit doesn't even sniff at the cost of hiring a new employee.

Quote:
• Harsher punishments for white collar crime (with great power comes great responsibility, not impunity).
Agreed, in principle.

Quote:
• Limits on executive bonuses, raises, and incomes.
Why? Is their raise going to prevent new jobs that companies don't need?

Quote:
• A complete audit of the Federal Reserve.
Agreed.

Quote:
• Revelation of the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act and/or its abolishment.
Please explain the "secret interpretation" part.

Quote:
• Legislative/Congressional reform (takes too long to pass important legislation).
How so? The devil is in the details.

Quote:
• Demilitarization of America’s police forces.
Explain

Quote:
• Sensible reforms to the drug war.
100% agreed.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 10-28-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatmariolover View Post
What I’d ultimately like to see:

• Money being removed from politics.
• Corporate lobbying power diminished.
• An end to corporate personhood.
• Adjust average hourly earnings for inflation (hasn’t increased in 50 years).
• Better hiring incentives and significant consequences for firing workers while raising executive pay.
• Harsher punishments for white collar crime (with great power comes great responsibility, not impunity).
• Limits on executive bonuses, raises, and incomes.
• A complete audit of the Federal Reserve.
• Revelation of the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act and/or its abolishment.
• Legislative/Congressional reform (takes too long to pass important legislation).
• Demilitarization of America’s police forces.
• Sensible reforms to the drug war.

Good read about the financial side of concerns:

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-...t-2011-10?op=1
Removing money from politics is an interesting suggestion ... it would certainly piss off the unions and major corporations ... other than that, I'm not sure what effect it would have on our current political system. It's worth noting that the consequential parts of McCain-Feingold were struck down by the Surpeme Court, so I'm not sure how far any of this reform would go.

What do you mean by adjusting the average hourly wage for inflation? Do you mean adjusting the minimum wage? The average hourly wage has increased over the past decades if you reference the chart I posted above. The increases are measured in real terms as well, so that nullifies inflation.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-02-2011, 08:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-03-2011, 01:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

The occupy protester camp in Vancouver reportedly has a bad rat infestation. Also its getting a lot colder out now and wet too. Maybe that'll teach them to occupy a job instead
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-03-2011, 01:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

Quote:
The occupy protester camp in Vancouver reportedly has a bad rat infestation

Good. They don't have a reason to be there anyways. We're not in the US. I hope those idiots freeze.


Personally, i think all of these Occupy Wall Street douchebags should occupy a library, and read up on how to actually stir social and political change, rather than being smelly, obnoxious jobless weirdos. Get educated, get a plan, take proper steps.

And on the other hand, the business owners getting all "well maybe I'll just close my business down and then fire 150 people. Let's see what that does." Very fucking mature, rich Dempublicrats. "If you raise my taxes, I'll quit!".

That is the new American way. Fuck all that "American ingenuity and stick-to-it-ivness". Now it's good 'ol fashioned "American taking your ball and going home."
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-03-2011, 08:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Originally Posted by Typhoid View Post
And on the other hand, the business owners getting all "well maybe I'll just close my business down and then fire 150 people. Let's see what that does." Very fucking mature, rich Dempublicrats. "If you raise my taxes, I'll quit!".

That is the new American way. Fuck all that "American ingenuity and stick-to-it-ivness". Now it's good 'ol fashioned "American taking your ball and going home."
At least you're always fair when talking about America

Businesses look at every expenditure as a cost. Taxes are simply another line item that needs to be accounted for. If you raise taxes on a business they are left with only a few ways to make up the loss:

1) Increase the cost of their product or service
2) Reduce profits to owners/investors
3) Reduce compensation to employees or reduce unneeded employment

The third option will always be preferred because 1 and 2 can be disastrous for a company (just ask NetFlix and Bank of America). Remove emotion from the equation. Businesses employ for one reason: They need the employee to maximize their profit potential. Any other reason is nonsensical and irrelevant because it is not based in reality.

So we're left with a simple choice: Govern out of anger, fear, and populist policies that do more damage to our economy... or work with reality and help job creators instead of attacking them publicly and through policy.

And for the record, Canada has a lower corporate tax rate than the US, and I believe they are looking to lower it further, but you'd know better than I.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-03-2011, 05:36 PM   #15
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Pre edit edit: In all seriousness, don't take me the wrong way. I'm just attempting to have a face-to-face conversation over text, not start some argument or derail a thread or anything.

Quote:
At least you're always fair when talking about America

You take me far too seriously when I say ridiculous things, then don't take me seriously at all when I say things that should have worth and value.

I seriously do think the Occupy _____ is a waste of time. If those people want change, educate themselves. Take proper steps, you know.

Quote:
And for the record, Canada has a lower corporate tax rate than the US, and I believe they are looking to lower it further, but you'd know better than I.

What I simply meant was that the Occupy Vancouver/Toronto started because of Occupy Wall Street. What harms you doesn't [necessarily] directly effect us in the same way. This is why our dollar has gained on the US dollar, and surpassed it a number of times. Albeit by pennies, but still. If we were directly tied, our dollar would have stayed well-below the American dollar. Instead we've constantly been creeping up to parity, and [slightly] surpassing it.

I'm not oblivious to the fact that our countries are indeed symbiotic, at least on our end - however what disturbs me is that the people occupying areas in Canadian cities are seemingly oblivious to the fact that in the end, it might harm us as a country. We are not the US. It's fine and dandy that your people are fighting for social change and I'm all for that. Wealth should indeed be shared in a broader bracket. But my people shouldn't have to fight for your social change. All or nothing. If my people are going to Occupy Vancouver so that your people get their message heard louder, my people (hell, yours, too) should also have some riots going for Greece and all that euro bullshit. This is a joke. I do not think they should do that.

The reason we in Canada probably have/need a smaller corporate tax rate (I'm currently trying to find the rate itself) is because we have 1/10th the population, therefore we have (let's assume) 1/10th the corporations. Being that corporations do indeed actually create jobs with some form of wealth in a centralized location (A city, opposed to rural people with rural jobs), we want to entice more of them to come here. The way you do that is to lower taxes. And I can see them lowering it a little more in Canada, with the talk of raising American corprorate tax rates, because then some corporations will surely (I assume is the goal) come north and set up here, and hire Canadians.


I'm not going to break this down, but just because I was looking for it, just a little quip:

Quote:
American: Federal tax rates on corporate taxable income vary from 15% to 35%.
Quote:
The basic rate of Part I tax is 38% of your taxable income, 28% after federal tax abatement.

For Canadian-controlled private corporations claiming the small business deduction, the net tax rate is 11%.

For the other corporations, the net tax rate is decreased as follows:

19% effective January 1, 2009
18% effective January 1, 2010
16.5% effective January 1, 2011

Edit: After wikipedia-ing, I found this lovely string of hilarious things.

Quote:
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district. The protests were initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters.
Quote:
The Adbusters Media Foundation is a Canadian-based not-for-profit, anti-consumerist, pro-environment[1] organization founded in 1989 by Kalle Lasn and Bill Schmalz in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Quote:
The foundation describes itself as "a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age."
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