Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Perfect Answer to 'What is this Occupy Movement All About?' Question

This Post is Not from Me, it is a Facebook Post from a Friend of Mine:
So a friend recently asked me:
"real question.

when/why did you start supporting this movement? what inequity did you witness?"

I replied with the following:

"I guess that's a pretty tough question to answer in a few sentences, but I'll try to give some detail. The banks were bailed out with literally trillions of dollars for their stupid decisions related to bundling mortgages in CDOs that were so complicated no one even knew what they were dealing with, yet working-class folks are losing their homes. Goldman-Sachs, Wall St., K St. and Corporations in general have undue influence upon our politicians. The income gap has increased tremendously over the past thirty years while lies about how the wealthy spend their money have been perpetrated upon the American people. I guess I would sum it all up as "the people want their power back." I believe the government needs to be accountable to its citizens, and I believe that is less and less so true in the United States. See below for more detail on a portion of why I'm out in the streets.

Our President has surrounded himself with Goldman-Sachs executives and is owned by Wall St. My company (XXX YYYYYYYY) laid off thousands of employees because those Wall St. banksters crashed our economy, no one got a raise for two years, and now everyone is doing the job of 1.5-2.0 people while effectively working for less money. This is all while Wall St executives are making record bonuses and getting multi-million dollar compensation if fired. The company my girlfriend worked for went from 13 employees to 6, and everyone took a 15% pay cut. After looking for another job for months, she decided to focus all of her efforts towards trying to grow her own business, and because of the economy that the banksters trashed, things have been very difficult.

During this time, the Federal Reserve secretly loaned out $7.7 trillion dollars to the banksters, so they could trickle down on us. Somehow this country has become immersed in a false dichotomy of cut vs. tax, and because rich people have redefined themselves as "job creators", people have missed the fact that accord to the CBO, increases in disposable income are likely to boost purchases more for lower-income than for higher-income households. So somehow the rich in this country have convinced us all: 1. We should give them our money when times are tough and when they have more money, it's good for us. The Occupy Movement has already begun to shift this dialogue from Tax vs. Cut to the income gap.

A 2011 study by the CBO 2011 found that the top earning 1% of households gained about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers between 1979 and 2007, whereas the bottom 80% of earners share of the national income declined over this period.

So why does this matter? It matters because the figurative pie of world wealth that they are taking a bigger and bigger piece of does not grow, but the portion of it remaining to feed the rest of us is as a result decreasing. This means that jobs that once paid enough to have a single-earner household pay for a family of four no longer exist. People seem to believe that they one day will be rich, and therefore don't want to mess with the rich, but class mobility has also been decreasing rapidly over the past thirty years.

The Center for Responsive politics released a report estimating that the race for the White House and Congress in 2008 cost a total of $5.3 billion–about 25% more than 2004. Even the freshman Tea Party members are complaining about the percentage of their time they have to spend fundraising in order to compete. If that's true, you've got to pay to play. Those who have the means to donate enormous amounts of money, or more importantly, those who have the ability to bundle huge amounts of money, or control the media (think Rupert Murdoch), have all the power, and the people have none.

What do I suggest?
1. Re-instate Glass-Steagall to help calm down the Wall St. cowboys
2. Publicly fund campaigns.
3. Progressively tax the top tax bracket
4. Close Corporate tax loopholes
5. Tax capital gains as income
6. Don't extend the Bush Tax Cuts
7. Tax Wall St. speculation 0.25%
8. End corporate tax subsidies (including corn/soy/sugar)
9. Make lobbying illegal (in other countries this is called bribery)

Now I do personally hold several other beliefs that I could go over in more detail to you, but I think they muddy the content of the core of why I'm out in the streets. If you want to discuss in more detail, give me a call."

Ben Fisher

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