the occupy youtube channel............hundreds and hundreds of videos.........
how about we start "occupy the recycling of petrodollars"..........because you can end the fed........but until you end the recycling of petrodollars you have not accomplished anything..........
Doc Holiday wrote on Fri, 11/4/2011 - 8:19 pm (in reply to...)
Count de Monet wrote:
Alinsky 101. The trick for the professional organizer is to convince the masses that it was their idea.
Yah, bingo, you found part of the plan:
According to Alinsky, the organizer - especially a paid organizer from outside - must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a situation. Alinsky would say, "The first step in community organization is community disorganization."
Also see: What Would Alinsky Do- Why Occupy LSX need to quit St Paul's | Left Foot Forward
But now the initial buzz appears to be fading, and they are in danger, like the anti-war protesters of Parliament Square, of becoming 'part of the furniture'
As part of my public service, here is some background on OWS:
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters
Adbusters , 13 Jul 2011
==> 1st message:
by Broski on July 14 2011, @03:41 pm
Yes, I think this is a great idea!
Also see: Activists to Occupy Financial District's Liberty Park Until Demands Are Met – Operation Empire State Rebellion Begins | AmpedStatus (June 13th, 2011 )
AmpedStatus Network | Gary Roland | Activity
FBI Arrests Suspected LulzSec And Anonymous Hackers | Fox News
LulzSec is a splinter group from the "hacktivist" collective Anonymous, a loose collection of cybersavvy activists inspired by WikiLeaks and its head Julian Assange to fight for Internet freedoms - along the way defacing websites, shutting down servers, and scrawling messages across screens web-wide. While Anonymous is largely a politically motivated organization, LulzSec's attacks were largely done "for the lulz" - Internet slang meaning "for the fun of it."
==> Is OWS just a weird self-organizing system that went viral and touched a nerve, or is this some really twisted hoax?
According to a Global Investment Strategy Special Report, the Occupy Wall Street movement symbolizes the fact that political extremism is rapidly becoming mainstream.
But is it really extremism?
Consider the following, from BCA:
The Occupy Wall Street movement is rooted in the secular decline of the American middle class. Judging from the GINI coefficient, the distribution of income is more unequal in the U.S. than OECD countries in general. Moreover, real wage growth in the U.S. has stagnated since 2000, while education and healthcare costs have soared. High education costs have serious social repercussions since they are a strong drag on upward class mobility.
While it is currently impossible to boil down the Occupy Wall Street movement to a single issue, it is a symptom of deepening social strife, political polarization and spreading discontent in the U.S. These are ingredients that, if left unchecked, can lead to potentially radical shifts in policy made to score political points with the extremes, rather than to address underlying economic problems. Both the extreme right and left of the political spectrum will be energized by genuine social discontent – which can nonetheless translate into completely opposing policy preferences – leading to further political polarization. If the clash between left and right intensifies, policy making will become even more difficult. This would mean a heightened political and policy risk premium on equity prices among all G7 markets.
Imagine what the total wages would look like if the Clinton years were taken out. I am surprised that it took this long for the Free Trade policies of Republicans and Democrats to destroy the middle class. As an aside, the total amount of student debt now exceeds 1 Trillion $. It cannot be eliminated by bankruptcy, hope they are enjoying their Ipads.
I am never clear why far right stuff is always mainstream but mildly leftist stuff is extremist.
Wall St. is just the poster child for income disparity. Look at the net worth of your congress men and women.
Best explanation I've read of how the income disparity became so wide.
As a side note, had lunch with a former Congressman a few months back. Asked him in his opinion how many folks on the Hill actually understand how the economy and job creation works. His response: "It's about 50/50″
I'll let you draw your own conclusions
October 22nd, 2011 at 2:17 pm Income inequality is an unavoidable byproduct of American exceptionalism. We can fix more problems if we allow people to get rich solving them. I'm in the 99% and I don't care how rich the 1% are. My standard of living is better than that of royalty 100 years ago.
Occupied Media: Interview With Doug Henwood (10/15/11), #OWSEmail ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
Occupied Media's next installment in its #OWS interview and teach-in series is with journalist and radio host Doug Henwood. Mr. Henwood is the author of Wall Street (now available for free download), a work consistently mentioned on a short list of must-read books for those wishing to understand the financial crisis and, more recently, the issues central to the OWS movement. Mr. Henwood blogs at lbo-news.com and hosts the critically-acclaimed radio show, Left Business Observer. His weekly newsletter is a must-read for anyone interested in OWS, as are his recent blog posts (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here).
For years Mr. Henwood was one of the few voices promoting the very issues OWS has now forced onto the national agenda. I've really appreciated how his ideas about the movement have evolved - one gets the sense that he is sincerely trying to understand OWS on its own terms rather than interpreting it through a fixed ideological lens. In my opinion, he is raising the important and difficult issues facing our movement (many of which were discussed at this recent debate hosted by Jacobin).
We couldn't be happier that he took the time to speak with us and I'm sure everyone will find him to be as engaging and informative as we did.
L. Szymanski Ohio October 19th, 2011 6:41 am
While working hard at a new small business, trying to be supportive of my engineer husband looking for work now for almost 3 years and watching all of our retirement, 401-K, investments and savings dwindle to nothing, I am not angry per se at anyone who is "rich". They work hard for their money, too, And while there is undoubtedly some leanings toward the rich with tax advantages, various policies that offer unequal benefits to continuing on their path to even more riches, I am most resentful that our society has produced greed and the lack of common sense as our holy grail. The resulting devastation wrought by these two things alone has quite literally upset the entire economic world and millions of lives and no one, it appears is being held accountable.
We have trusted authorities to do the right thing- to uphold laws and regulations, to have honor and respect for the money entrusted to them in our taxes, in our investments and savings, in the basic value of our homes and our Social Security and Retirement programs- all now at considerable risk. OUR money has been shamefully gambled with by Wall Street bankers, squandered on countless imprudent government programs, and no one is accountable. What has happened is wrong and the only people "paying" for it is the common man, the small business owner, the young who will bare this burden for decades as they watch everything they have hoped for and invested in decline in value disproportionately to the risk because an entire group of businesses- investment and banking firms, decided it would be better to ride a wild, ludicrous path to more wealth than most of us will ever even imagine - all the while using OUR MONEY and the of value of OUR homes that for many, is everything they have in the world. And no one, so far, has been prosecuted as a criminal for their actions. Just because a gun wasn't used doesn't mean it wasn't a crime.
Anger? Yes, its out there - but it should be directed at the men and women that orchestrated the theft... the bad decisions, the makers of extremely poor policies in various positions in our government using GREED for votes and POWER to promote the imprudent pushing of home sales and mortgages and their paper values in larger and larger bundles into the hands of investors- across the world.... who bought the hype hook, line and sinker..... for years....and incurred unbelievable debt using these investments as collateral on more debt....like never before- until it all collapsed under its own morbidly obese weight.
Who's responsible? The government for pushing banks to lend to unqualified people? Yes. Investment firms for pushing bundles of these paper dragon investments on through the maze of eager participants on the gravy train? Yes. People who naively listened to banks approve them for thousands of dollars of home value they KNEW they could ill afford in reality? Yes.
So we are all to blame? Yes, to some degree... but... the major players- the investment firms, the government, the mortgage banks... THEY made the most money- billions of dollars pushing OUR paper around- and its we the public, who have lost the most, our homes, our jobs, our security and no one is being held morally or legally responsible! You bet we are mad! Not at "the rich".... but at our Regulators who didn't do their jobs, at our bankers, who risked unnecessarily- OUR MONEY for their personal benefit, and we expected these people to have integrity and honor, to have moral ethics and to RESPECT the dollars they "play" with every day as REAL hard-earned dollars from REAL people.
This, I think, is what OCCUPY is about- the leftist hippies, the socialists who have nothing, who risk nothing and usually want something for nothing... are along for the protest like they have always been- offering no real solutions- they just like to hear themselves whine and complain. The problem is us- all of us- and WE THE PEOPLE need to start paying attention, asking the hard questions, and DEMANDING accountability from everyone in OUR government and in OUR investment and banking worlds. GREED and INCOMPETENCE, by its very nature, are historically rampant in leaders who talk a good game of Hope and Change, but when they get up to bat, they strike out. If we allow these people in powerful positions to continue to produce poor results, risking OUR MONEY and our FREEDOMS, OUR JOBS..... we are ultimately responsible for the fate we deal ourselves.
Me? I walk quietly but I CARRY A BIG VOTE!
Mark Chappaqua, New York October 19th, 2011 7:33 am
Curiosity, expression, fraternity characterize the OWS happening more than anger. Yes, there is heated objection to various current socio-economic conditions. Wealth distribution, allocation of public expenditures, large government & large corporation cronyism, environmental gloom, join a mix stirred by youthful angst and more seasoned disappointment.
Let's let these associations continue with an absolute minimum of confrontation.
Agreed, but the anger is righteous and this protest is not going away. Too many people are suffering and the injustice is too large. The politicians are run by money, that must be cleaned up or we will end up like all the other permanent oligarchies in the world, if it is not too late already. We have a population that was raised to be free and proud, and now are living as if we should be grateful to be allowed to participate in the economy at all. That will not be allowed to stand without a fight. I have a great interest in the alternative economy, which is growing, but money is indeed the legal tender needed for medical care, housing, clothing, the basic necessities. This country will not be abandoned to unchecked greed and injustice that is applied not only to minority groups, but to the vast majority of people living here. It doesn't make sense, think about it. The younger generation coming of age now feel it the most, they are confronting it head on, and so are reacting and leading the way on these issues now. The politicians are doing absolutely nothing.
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/14/2011 15:18 -0400
Submitted by Brian Rogers of Fator Securities
A Few Thoughts On The Occupy Wall Street Movement
"The machinery by which Wall Street separates the opportunity to speculate from the unwanted returns and burdens of ownership is ingenious, precise and almost beautiful. Banks supply funds to brokers, brokers to customers, and the collateral goes back to banks in a smooth and all but automatic flow. Margins - the cash which the speculator must supply in addition to the securities to protect the loan and which he must augment if the value of the collateral securities should fall and so lower the protection they provide - are effortlessly calculated and watched. The interest rate moves quickly and easily to keep the supply of funds adjusted to the demand. Wall Street, however, has never been able to express its pride in these arrangements. They are admirable and even wonderful only in relation to the purpose they serve. The purpose is to accommodate the speculator and facilitate speculation. But the purposes cannot be admitted. If Wall Street confessed this purpose, many thousands of moral men and women would have no choice but to condemn it for nurturing an evil thing and call for reform. Margin trading must be defended not on the grounds that it efficiently and ingeniously assists the speculator, but that it encourages the extra trading which changes a thin and anemic market into a thick and healthy one. Wall Street, in these matters, is like a lovely and accomplished woman who must wear black cotton stockings, heavy woolen underwear, and parade her knowledge as a cook because, unhappily, her supreme accomplishment is as a harlot."
- The Great Crash: 1929, John Kenneth Galbraith, First Published 1955
The More Things Change…
It's amazing to read the quote above from John Kenneth Galbraith's great book on the stock market crash of 1929 and consider where we are today. Despite the fact that the events above happened over 80 years ago, it's plain to see that the modus operandi of Wall Street writ large has changed little. Smoke, mirrors and heavy doses of propaganda laden obfuscation are required to keep the masses complacent and ignorant of the dangers Wall Street places on the shoulders of ordinary people. Virtually unlimited leverage for investment banks? Check. CDS markets traded over-the-counter and away from any transparent exchange? No problem. CMOs and CDOs as healthy vehicles to efficiently distribute and allocate risk? Foolproof. It all works fine until it doesn't. Enter stage right, the crash of 2008.
The average American citizen is quickly falling behind their global peers in terms of education levels and many find the topics of economics and finance far too dense to comprehend. So it's no small accomplishment that the enormous amount of taxpayer bailouts and Fed monetary injections have finally awoken the American middle and lower classes up to the reality of a terribly unbalanced financial system. This awakening is currently represented by the Occupy Wall Street protests. However, lest you think these protests will simply go away once winter sets in, think again. Even if the official Occupy Wall Street protest dissipates in the next few months, the word has gotten out and the message is finding an interested audience that fails to conform to traditional political boundaries.
How Occupy Wall Street Will Change Things
Suddenly, all over this country students are questioning their economics professors about the standard dogma they are being taught which is visibly failing all around them. How can the PhD.'s preparing tomorrow's generation of finance and economic leaders continue to teach Keynesian doctrine with a straight face? How can they possibly defend the bailouts and the Fed's enormous hand in manipulating asset prices as anything even remotely resembling capitalism?
As these students graduate and begin their own careers over the next few years (assuming they find jobs in the first place) they will enter the workforce much more aware of the slight of hand that has taken place whereby organic growth was replaced with extremely dangerous debt growth. Then they'll stop and think about their own student loans and how the non-dischargeable nature of those loans chain them to the very system they are questioning. These students will be heavily in debt, face few good job prospects and will thus have plenty of time on their hands. Hello political volatility.
And what about the lower and middle classes? It really doesn't matter what your political affiliation is, if you make less than some magic number defined as "rich", say the $250k that is currently bandied about, neither political party is really working for you. Both parties have contributed wildly to the overspending that currently burdens our fiscal and monetary accounts. Both parties are deeply in bed with the banking industry. Arguing over who supports Wall Street more is simply a matter of degree. Both parties support the monetary intervention of the Fed and the inflation that has slowly rendered our country uncompetitive since 1971, a role the Fed was never originally envisioned to play.
If you're unemployed due to your job being shipped overseas, have been kicked out of your house by a robo-signing bank, worry about the tax burden your kids will face down the road, concerned that your public or private pension will be woefully inadequate to maintain your current living standards or have mountains of non-dischargeable students loans owed to Sallie Mae, you should be paying close attention to and likely supportive of the OWS movement.
Repubs vs. Dems: A False Dichotomy
Vote Republican? The Repubs increased debt from around $5.6tr in 2000 to over $10tr by 2008. They also passed the massive social entitlement program Medicare Part D without any mechanism for actually paying the tab. The party of small government and fiscal conservatism you say? Yea, right.
Vote Democrat? The Dems supported the bailout of the banks, the funding of ruinous foreign wars started by the Repubs, the re-nomination of Ben Bernanke as the head of the Fed and appointed to the highest offices of White House influence - the very architects that helped create the global financial disaster we currently face. Summers, Geithner, Rubin and many others have had President Obama's ear since day 1. You think those guys are advocating a solution which would see the banks actually take write-downs and losses as any other business would have to? Not likely.
Both major parties spend enormous time and money maintaining their own power bases of large, wealthy campaign contributors to try and outspend their competition in the next election. When they win, they serve their campaign contribution masters well with the hopes that this process will be rinse, wash and repeat the next time around. Both parties support no term limits. Both parties support liberal campaign finance laws. Both parties kowtow to Wall Street.
So what's a disenfranchised, frustrated, out-of-work lower or middle class citizen to do?
Here Comes the Third (And Perhaps Even Fourth and Fifth) Party Movements
The Tea Party was the first threat to the status quo. I happened to be watching Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC back on February 19, 2009. It was brilliant and really captured the mood of those of us who had always imagined our economy to be truly capitalistic. Instead, as soon as the uber-connected banks faced the threat of actually losing money, they called their good buddies in DC (in many cases former co-workers) and demanded a payout or else the world will end. Naturally, Congress feared the campaign contributions would end so they quickly wrote a $700bn check.
Of course the first TARP vote failed, but they needed that cover to save a bit of face. The powers that be were never too worried that they couldn't scare the financially ignorant in Congress into coughing up some dough. Vote doesn't pass, market tanks, many pants are wet in DC and ipso facto, the money flows. Many of us were outraged and Mr. Santelli crystallized the moment.
This led to the Tea Party. But for the status quo, the Tea Party was easy to diffuse. Sprinkle in a few right-wing ideologues spouting fire and brimstone and the mainstream voter will be justifiably turned off. The modern Tea Party, just like the one back in Boston in 1773, weren't inspired by social issues, they were inspired by economic issues. And yet, the status quo and mainstream media has been extremely successful in painting the modern Tea Party movement as nothing more than rebellious right wing Republicans looking for something more conservative than the mother ship Republican party.
Occupy Wall Street, in my opinion, represents a refinement of the original Tea Party rant and the next political movement to be inspired since 2008. This movement represents the point where it's no longer just financial insiders like Mr. Santelli that understand the graft and corruption that is our current system. No, this movement is solidly being peopled by folks from a broad array of life experiences, political stripes and philosophical leanings. It will be much harder for the status quo to dilute this message. Harder, but not impossible.
Phase II Coming To A City Near You
I keep thinking about Gandhi's great quote, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." It seems to me that we are at the end of the 'then they laugh at you' phase. Watching CNBC lately, the snarky comments from the talking heads have eased off quite a bit and now they are reporting live from Zuccotti Park with a more serious tone. At the same time, the city of NY seems to be reaching the end of its tolerance towards the movement.
Next step is the 'then they fight you' phase. This is when things will get interesting. Arrests will be made, traumatic video of cop-on-protestor violence uploaded to Youtube and people you've never heard of will suddenly emerge as leaders in this growing movement. How will this affect the upcoming election? It's impossible to predict but it's going to be interesting to watch.
The bottom line is this thing is going mainstream and although the message isn't completely clear or concise, Americans all over the country are beginning to sense the turning point this movement represents.
2012 Presidential Election
Obama recently tried to embrace the OWS movement. I find this extremely hypocritical given his role in sustaining the very institutions the group is protesting against and his frequent trips to NY to raise some more Wall Street money for his re-election war chest.
How about the Republican candidates? Most are dismissing the protestors even though the basic premise of the movement is a more fair and balanced (pun intended) system for all Americans. After vast injections of campaign finance money, the Repubs have come to believe that the banking industry is a much better constituent than mainstream Americans. At least the banks have money to finance their campaigns. They seem happy to ignore the circular argument that the government creates money to loan to the banks at 0% so that the banks can then loan that money back to the US government with interest and virtually guaranteed capital gains and then give some of those interest payments/capital gains back to the politicians in the form of lobbying/campaign finance funds to ensure more no-cost loans and bailouts. What a beautiful business model!
Ron Paul, of course, gets the joke very well. But the media is working overtime to ignore Ron Paul at every turn lest the American public actually start to understand the logic of his positions. So as much as I'd love to see the guy win, I still think Ron Paul is a man ahead of his times. Rather than lead this movement from the front, I think it's more likely that his philosophies will serve as the inspirational base for future leaders.
The Genie is Out of the Bottle
What eventually became the Arab Spring is spreading and quickly becoming a Western Winter. Protests in Europe and America are growing in size and intensity. Awareness of the unfair and crony-capitalistic nature of our current political/financial system is spreading. Americans of all economic, geographic, philosophic and political stripes are questioning the very foundations upon which our "prosperity" has been based for decades. Slowly they are realizing that they were always playing a rigged game that they were never designed to win. As you'd imagine, this is not sitting so well with them and some are starting to stand up and make their voice heard. Don't think for one second that this is going to stop. Americans by the millions are losing their homes, their jobs, their savings and their futures.
In their brilliant book about the history of US generations, The Fourth Turning, William Strauss and Neil Howe called the current phase of history we are passing through as a 'Fourth Turning'. Their characterization of this phase is as follows,
"A CRISIS arises in response to sudden threats that previously would have been ignored or deferred, but which are now perceived as dire. Great worldly perils boil off the clutter and complexity of life, leaving behind one simple imperative: The society must prevail. This requires a solid public consensus, aggressive institutions, and personal sacrifice." -The Fourth Turning, Strauss and Howe, 1999
Whether the protestors realize it or not, their role in history is an important and necessary one. They are shining a disinfecting light on much of what is wrong with our current economic/political model. Major changes are coming, many of which would have seemed unimaginable only a few years ago. Class warfare, generational warfare and perhaps even military warfare are coming next. As extreme as these views might seem, just study history a bit and you will see that every great empire falls this way. We will be no different. And when it's all said and done, a straight line will be drawn from Rick Santelli's rant, to Zuccotti Park to whatever comes next. Eventually a more vibrant, dynamic America will emerge from this chaos and pain. But that's the 'then you win' phase. And we ain't there yet.
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40-year low in America's view of Wall Street - CNN.com
Editor's note: Lindsay A. Owens is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University and a research associate at Stanford's Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality. Her paper, "Confidence in Banks, Financial Institutions and Wall Street, 1971-2011," is forthcoming in Public Opinion Quarterly. She is also a contributing author to the new book, "The Great Recession."
(CNN) -- The Occupy Wall Street protest may be the answer to a favorite question of social scientists ever since the bank bailouts of 2008 -- where is the social movement? Americans are famously willing to tolerate a relatively large amount of income inequality (especially compared to our European counterparts). Americans love meritocracy, and are typically quite happy to see hard work rewarded, even to the tune of millions of dollars, as is often the case on Wall Street. But there is a catch - we want the rules of the game to be fair.
Recent scandals involving Wall Street banks and financial institutions, headed by some of the world's most well-paid managers, executives and analysts, have many Americans asking themselves whether this game is rigged. It is this sense of injustice, coupled with economic insecurity, that animates changes in Americans' attitudes toward Wall Street. It's not just a small number of Americans, those who are actually "occupying" Wall Street, who feel such injustice. That's just the tip of the iceberg.
In a paper forthcoming in the journal Public Opinion Quarterly, I examine Americans' attitudes toward banks, financial institutions and Wall Street over the last 40 years and look at historical trends in how Americans perceive the honesty and ethical practices of bankers.
Animosity toward Wall Street is at its highest level in at least 40 years. Americans have never exactly loved Wall Street stockbrokers or bankers-but we certainly didn't always hate them. Why this increasing hostility? The answer is a "perfect storm" of financial turmoil and a series of major scandals on Wall Street.
The public has been down on big Wall Street banks and financial institutions for some time now. The General Social Survey, administered by the National Opinion Research Council, has asked Americans about their confidence in banks and financial institutions since 1973. Between March of 2006 and March of 2010, the percent of Americans with a great deal of confidence in banks and financial institutions plummeted 19 percentage points, from 30 percent to an all-time low of 11 percent. According to a similar trend from Harris Interactive, the percent of Americans with a great deal of confidence in the people running Wall Street had already reached an all-time low of just 4 percent by February of 2009. These figures are not just a reflection of Americans' dissatisfaction with the size of their bank accounts - they also reflect the increasing belief that Wall Street is playing a game that only the bankers can win.
Economic hard times, such as global recessions, do tend to bring about small, but noticeable drops in the public's confidence in Wall Street, just as we might expect falling confidence in a military that is losing a war.
But when economic downturns coincide with major scandals, as in the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s and our current dilemma, the biggest changes in public confidence result - changes that may have contributed to the protests we are seeing on Wall Street today. In other words, Americans really begin to get angry when there is evidence of systematic foul play.
To be sure, material hardships such as unemployment rates in the 9 percent range and the continuing high levels of foreclosures and bankruptcies undoubtedly set the stage for a public outcry. But this outcry has a distinctly moral tenor. The sentiments of the Occupy protestors holding signs reading "Blame Wall Street Greed," "People not Profits" and "Wall Street was the Real Weapons of Mass Destruction" certainly echo the wider American public's sense of moral indignation.
Just 26 percent of Americans in an April 2011 Harris poll thought the people working on Wall Street were "as honest and moral as other people" (for a point of comparison, the percentage was 51 in 1997). In that same poll, 67 percent of Americans agreed that "most people on Wall Street would be willing to break the law if they believed they could make a lot of money and get away with it."
Ultimately, whether Occupy Wall Street is a watershed moment or a momentary disturbance remains to be seen.
The key question, however, is whether the bubbling populist outrage evidenced in Occupy's "We are the 99%" signs will translate into populist-friendly politics. The Buffett Rule, calling for millionaires to pay taxes at higher rates than their employees, is one, albeit timid (as the political scientist Larry Bartels has recently articulated), indication that the new political calculus involves tapping into this brand of populism. Elizabeth Warren's Senate campaign is another.
At minimum, the visibility of the Occupy Wall Street's movement should bring renewed attention to a political and economic issue the majority of Americans on Main Street agree upon-something's not quite right on Wall Street and something has got to be done about it.