As a testimony to the power of corporate media to confuse and obfuscate the issues, I keep hearing people say they don’t know what the message of Occupy is.
- Is it the criminal transference of our national wealth upwards to the 1%?
- Is it the corrupt revolving door of corporations and government, where executives and lobbyists become politicians, write legislation that affects their own corporate interests, and then return to the corporate world to reap the benefits after their political terms?
- Is it the skyrocketing cost of education, (enriching only the bankers) saddling college graduates with back-breaking debt by graduation, only to discover that their only job opportunity is flipping burgers?
- Is it the despicable practice of profiteering in the health industry, which leaves citizens to die once their money runs out?
- Is it the ongoing degradation of our only planet by a small group of powerful wealthy corporations?
- Is it the hunger, starvation and world-wide suffering caused by this same small handful of entities?
- Is it the fact that top hedge fund managers make more in 1 hour than your family will make in 47 years?
- Is it corporate personhood, which confers upon corporations all the rights of a human citizen with none of the responsibilities?
- Is it the ongoing racism, sexism, and homophobia in America, and the constant scapegoating of these groups by Reich-wing politicians and pundits?
- Is it the control of what was once a democracy by the wealthiest 1% of our citizens – thus transforming it into an oligarchy?
The answer is that all of the above are symptoms of a system that is dysfunctional.
The answer is that what we want is simple: Peace, equality and freedom.
The answer is that the outdated, greed-based system is corrupt and is being crushed under its own weight. A relative handful of greedy multi-national criminals control the banks, the big corporations, big religion, and most world governments — and we are now working to build a more fair, healthy civilization for ALL. I doubt if anyone knows the exact steps required to get to a more fair, equitable society, but we have the wisdom to know some of the steps to get started! Below are a handful of specific steps towards creating such a civilization.
- the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act to again separate investment banking from commercial banking
- a constitutional amendment to revoke corporate personhood and overrule Citizens United
- a move toward a “true cost” market regime in which the price of every product reflects the actual ecological cost of its production, distribution and use
- a political system that is corruption proof: publicly funded elections, no corporate donations, complete transparency, verifiable voting (not the secretly programmed corporate owned machines so prone to hacking and “error”); and a multiple party system that reflects the true variations of opinion
- a “Robin Hood tax” on all financial transactions and currency trades
- a ban on high-frequency “flash” trading
UPDATE: Naomi Klein questioned a large group of Occupiers via email to respond to the question, “What do they want?”
The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.
No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
No wonder the police are kicking the shit out of Occupiers everywhere – we’re getting a little too close to pulling back the curtain.
UPDATE: Addictinginfo.com has an article with the following clear list of what OWS wants:
1. Increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
2. End the wars and bring our troops home.
3. Repeal Citizens United and approve a constitutional amendment against corporate personhood.
4. Restore Glass-Steagal and strongly regulate and break up the big banks.
5. Get money out of politics by banning private funding of elections by corporations.
6. Protect labor unions and American workers.
7. Rebuild America’s infrastructure.
8. Invest in education.
9. Defend Social Security.
10. Stop spending cuts and start investing in America.
11. Create jobs.
12. Invest in alternative energy sources so we are no longer held hostage by oil.
13. Pass Medicare for all.