Thursday, November 24, 2011

A response to #occupy

Survey Reveals Occupiers’Values
by Joshua Sager

A recent survey found that Boston’s occupiers share a number of common values and support several major issues, despite having a lack of centralized demands. The “Occupy Boston Issue Survey” received responses from just over 260 occupiers. The survey posed sixty questions to determine the views of occupiers on a wide variety of issues, ranging from tax policy to defense, in order to determine the aggregate opinions of the occupiers. It reached participants via email lists, Google Groups, Facebook, and Twitter. A frequent criticism of the Occupy movement is that the occupiers have expressed no central set of demands. Some critics have concluded that the lack of defined demands signifies that the protesters are not protesting anything at all. However, the survey finds that ten issues and beliefs have near-universal support among occupiers. They are:

1. Revoke corporate personhood so that corporations have no ability to interfere in elections.

Agreed. Most people associated with the Tea Party and most Conservatives agree that corporations are ‘people’ with limited lifespans, or they are not. Can’t be both. However, as long as donations are transparent, corporations have the right to be involved in their governance also.

2. Remove the “revolving doors” that contribute to the corruption of the regulatory process.

Restrictions concerning jobs people may take after government services already exist. Further, arguments that the most experienced in private sector being banned from gov work deprives gov of the best minds. In general, the Tea Party and Conservatives agree on this - however, less government also results in less opportunity for regulatory manipulation.

3. Institute a progressive tax code which both removes loopholes as well as makes the rich and corporations pay their “fair share”.

A. We already have a progressive tax code; B. Corporations pass taxes onto consumers so increasing their taxes just increases how much consumers ‘contribute’ to gov via secondary and less transparent means. Also, define ‘fair share’. The top 1% pay 45% of all income taxes now - how much more should they pay? 50%, 70%, 99%? When a top tax payer has to pay 70 or 99% of every new dollar earned, why bother earning any more?

4. Re-institute the Glass-Steagall Act and place stricter regulations on capital leveraging.

Agreed. However leveraging is only part of the problem. Derivatives were/are used to ‘hedge’ risk and attempts to regulate them as insurance failed. Further attempts to do so have met with stiff opposition in Congress by DEMOCRATS. Although Republicans also prevented meaningful reform in this area.

5. Increase the transparency and accountability of the Federal Reserve.

Agreed. Candidate and Congressman Ron Paul has made several efforts in this regard and has been prevented by both parties.

6. Institute election reform so that money can no longer be used to buy elections.

Either corporations are people or they are not. If not, then there are other alternatives to preventing them from influencing elections - HOWEVER, the right to petition the gov for redress of grievances applies to all entities and people governed.

7. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraq is all but over and Afghanistan would resemble Cambodia’s killing fields if we left abruptly. Most conservatives are having a hard time continuing support for Afghanistan given how the effort is being mismanaged at this point by Washington. If the plan isn’t changed, bring them home.

8. Invest in clean energy development and increase environmental regulations.

The EPA now regulates our breathing. How far do you want it to go? Regulating our shit? Clean energy costs 5 to 10x the current cost. Without gov subsidies, ‘clean’ energy would be so uneconomical as to end virtually all economic growth. ‘Investments’ by gov have been corrupt and ‘ill-advised’ - at best.

9. End the drug war and institute rehabilitation programs for non-violent offenders.

Illegal behavior is illegal behavior. Punish the criminal. As for the drug war. Gov uses it now as a revenue source. You want bad behavior to stop, make it painful. The problem is that most people think taking ‘recreational drugs’ is ok. It’s as stupid as getting drunk, but individual rights are not ‘stupid’ safe. Do the first, screw the second.

10. Protect unions and increase worker safety protections.

Unions are parasites - if people want them, let them vote for them, without card check, with right to work laws. And public worker unions - forget about it.