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Occupy Wall Street

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The Occupy Wall Street movement has come up in another thread, but I thought it deserved it's own. I thought it might be interesting to post some of the images and quotes that have struck a cord in us, whether it's a picture or a video from a mainstream media source or any type of social media. My first contribution isn't uplifting or even current, but I believe these are relevant words from a master-

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I found it kind of funny that where I am currently working in NYC (wall street) and was sitting in the middle of the protest before "it got big" eating lunch with a college in the middle of the protesters. We talked to a few of them. At the time there were maybe 75 tops.

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George Carlin said it all...I was in the city on Saturday,and walked into the protesters heading into Washington Square Park.I think some of us are living pretty good lives,and don't really pay attention to what the government is doing with our money.I heard someone say it's like their our parents,and they know what's best for us.

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This gem is making the rounds right now:

So a British guy, who's country rioted because of a tuition hike that raised the cost to $14.5k a year (about one semester here in the US at a state school) is asking this question

Students riot as Britain hikes tuition

Man, I would've loved to ask that "reporter" how much HE paid for his nationally subsidized education

>= /

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Yeah, I imagine if he'd been there awhile (and isn't a plant from that website), he'd have had time to do some research on why he was there in the first place and delivered the falcon punch question to the British "reporter".

Jello has been and will always be, one of my great heroes. My friend had "No More Cocoons" on vinyl in '87 and we listened to it non-stop = )

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I find it hard to tell exactly what occupy wallstreet protestors are after. I get the impression that they are not happy with goverment corruptness but want their corrupt goverment to get bigger and take care of more social issues. I dont know how making a corrupt goverment bigger helps the problem.

Goverment picking winners(essentially what happened with stimulas/bailouts) threatens free trade. Also goverment is essientially a business. It is a bad business that cant run in a surplus and doesnt invest well.(see stimulas dollars to no defunct green businesses.) Social security is a joke, how do people in their 20s-30s expect to get a return? I also think this has caused an entitlement issue in America. Forcing people to invest in markets(401k) is another way to link politics to wallstreet. How many people wish they could invest in commodities.PMs or real estate instead of mutual funds. I am a registered Independant, that wishes we could downsize goverment keep social programs in place but instead of creating wards of state we could put people in a position through education and training to once again become independant and not rely on goverment to save for their future or put food on their table. Its time Americans fought for their place again and not be complacent to scrape by on goverment funded programs such as medicare or social security.

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This gem is making the rounds right now:

The tax thing, I totally get. It's much easier for the big end of town to dodge taxes, and from what I've seen that's a pretty big problem in the US. But free college? I kind of agree with the reporter. I think in the UK they have (or are about to implement) a similar system to Australia. Most students go to uni for "free", then once you graduate and earn over a set amount (think right now it's $45k/year) you start paying it back. It's like a loan, but it has virtually no impact on any other credit activity and attracts no interest (only rises with CPI). That, to me, is totally fair - if higher education is going to benefit me, via allowing me to earn more money, why should other tax payers pay for it?

Some of the other things being called for are a bit OTT, too. The group as a whole seems to have no definite demands, but certain sections of it are asking for the government to "forgive all debts", "ensure living wage regardless of employment", "raise minimum wage to $20/hr". Please.

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Yeah, talk about going from 'Freedom Riders' to 'Free-Riders.'

Honestly, to be frank, and I mean no offense to anyone, but feels that "'Occupy Wall Street' is playing Checkers, while the 'Tea Party' is playing Chess."*

*It's fun to call the Tea Party = Tea Baggers, etc...but they moved the Right, they swung elections (to be won and lost), dominated the debate over everything doing with fiscal issues, etc. I think it's based off of the fact they were 'created' by out of office Republicans operatives (Dick Army, etc.), basically had their own 'News' Channel (at least until just recently), and had one issue that was bigger than themselves: 'Government is the Problem'.....hmmmm....sounds familar.

2012 is theirs to lose, which probably means they will, no one 'snatches defeat from the jaws of victory' like the Right. I'm betting more on that then OWS swaying 2012 congressional or presidential elections.

edit: Found this article by Matt Taibbi, RollingStone, that gives good advice to those at OWS:

My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Hit bankers where it hurts

By Matt Taibbi

October 12, 2011 8:00 AM ET

I've been down to "Occupy Wall Street" twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

But... there's a but. And for me this is a deeply personal thing, because this issue of how to combat Wall Street corruption has consumed my life for years now, and it's hard for me not to see where Occupy Wall Street could be better and more dangerous. I'm guessing, for instance, that the banks were secretly thrilled in the early going of the protests, sure they'd won round one of the messaging war.

Why? Because after a decade of unparalleled thievery and corruption, with tens of millions entering the ranks of the hungry thanks to artificially inflated commodity prices, and millions more displaced from their homes by corruption in the mortgage markets, the headline from the first week of protests against the financial-services sector was an old cop macing a quartet of college girls.

That, to me, speaks volumes about the primary challenge of opposing the 50-headed hydra of Wall Street corruption, which is that it's extremely difficult to explain the crimes of the modern financial elite in a simple visual. The essence of this particular sort of oligarchic power is its complexity and day-to-day invisibility: Its worst crimes, from bribery and insider trading and market manipulation, to backroom dominance of government and the usurping of the regulatory structure from within, simply can't be seen by the public or put on TV. There just isn't going to be an iconic "Running Girl" photo with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup or Bank of America – just 62 million Americans with zero or negative net worth, scratching their heads and wondering where the hell all their money went and why their votes seem to count less and less each and every year.

No matter what, I'll be supporting Occupy Wall Street. And I think the movement's basic strategy – to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles – makes a lot of sense early on. But the time is rapidly approaching when the movement is going to have to offer concrete solutions to the problems posed by Wall Street. To do that, it will need a short but powerful list of demands. There are thousands one could make, but I'd suggest focusing on five:

1. Break up the monopolies. The so-called "Too Big to Fail" financial companies – now sometimes called by the more accurate term "Systemically Dangerous Institutions" – are a direct threat to national security. They are above the law and above market consequence, making them more dangerous and unaccountable than a thousand mafias combined. There are about 20 such firms in America, and they need to be dismantled; a good start would be to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and mandate the separation of insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks.

2. Pay for your own bailouts. A tax of 0.1 percent on all trades of stocks and bonds and a 0.01 percent tax on all trades of derivatives would generate enough revenue to pay us back for the bailouts, and still have plenty left over to fight the deficits the banks claim to be so worried about. It would also deter the endless chase for instant profits through computerized insider-trading schemes like High Frequency Trading, and force Wall Street to go back to the job it's supposed to be doing, i.e., making sober investments in job-creating businesses and watching them grow.

3. No public money for private lobbying. A company that receives a public bailout should not be allowed to use the taxpayer's own money to lobby against him. You can either suck on the public teat or influence the next presidential race, but you can't do both. Butt out for once and let the people choose the next president and Congress.

4. Tax hedge-fund gamblers. For starters, we need an immediate repeal of the preposterous and indefensible carried-interest tax break, which allows hedge-fund titans like Stevie Cohen and John Paulson to pay taxes of only 15 percent on their billions in gambling income, while ordinary Americans pay twice that for teaching kids and putting out fires. I defy any politician to stand up and defend that loophole during an election year.

5. Change the way bankers get paid. We need new laws preventing Wall Street executives from getting bonuses upfront for deals that might blow up in all of our faces later. It should be: You make a deal today, you get company stock you can redeem two or three years from now. That forces everyone to be invested in his own company's long-term health – no more Joe Cassanos pocketing multimillion-dollar bonuses for destroying the AIGs of the world.

To quote the immortal political philosopher Matt Damon from Rounders, "The key to No Limit poker is to put a man to a decision for all his chips." The only reason the Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world survive is that they're never forced, by the media or anyone else, to put all their cards on the table. If Occupy Wall Street can do that – if it can speak to the millions of people the banks have driven into foreclosure and joblessness – it has a chance to build a massive grassroots movement. All it has to do is light a match in the right place, and the overwhelming public support for real reform – not later, but right now – will be there in an instant.

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Whether or not you support their position, the First Amendment guarantees our right to freedom of speech and our right to assemble, for people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. However, the city is planning an eviction, with police support, to "clean" the park. The park is privately owned, but with the condition that it be open to the public 24 hours a day.

Showdown looms between Wall St protesters and cops - Yahoo! News

Protest organizers are cleaning the park themselves, forced removal by the police is a terrible idea. You can sign this petition to the Mayor if you support them staying, or just to let remind them that the world is watching:

Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) | URGENT: Defend Occupy Wall Street

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We have a well-behaved spin-off group here in Dublin.

On the one hand I applaud a non-violent protest of this sort, but on the other hand I kind of wonder who has the time to stage these sorts of long-term protests - how are they supporting themselves during these open-ended protests that last for weeks? Most people have to hold down jobs, pay the bills, attend school etc. Can't help but feel that it is a luxury to indulge in, either for the comfortably-off or for the 'professional protest' crowd who move from cause to cause.

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1) A better educated populace benefits everyone. We are also already paying for colleges, as state university are tax funded.

2) Due to inflation and buying power, minimum wage is actually lower value-wise than it was in 1971. The argument is a $20 minimum wage would force business owners to raise prices; the problem is that price increase is to maintain their record profits every year. Case in point, gas prices and bank fees-it's not an issue of physical shortage, it's CEOs manipulating prices to maintain profit margins. I understand that in our current economic situation, there is no such thing as 'ethics' when it comes to making money, but these guys shouldn't be surprised that at some point, the people are going to push back.

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Whether or not you support their position, the First Amendment guarantees our right to freedom of speech and our right to assemble, for people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. However, the city is planning an eviction, with police support, to "clean" the park. The park is privately owned, but with the condition that it be open to the public 24 hours a day.

Showdown looms between Wall St protesters and cops - Yahoo! News

Protest organizers are cleaning the park themselves, forced removal by the police is a terrible idea. You can sign this petition to the Mayor if you support them staying, or just to let remind them that the world is watching:

Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) | URGENT: Defend Occupy Wall Street

Already happened here Police arrest Occupy Austin protestors | KXAN.com

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It'd be too big a jump. Minimum wage is supposed to be something that rises gradually, in step (roughly) with CPI/inflation. Just hiking it up to an arbitrary number like $20 would mean nothing but disproportionate rises in the cost of everything.

The list I was referring to before was this: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-for-occupy-wall-st-moveme/

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It'd be too big a jump. Minimum wage is supposed to be something that rises gradually, in step (roughly) with CPI/inflation. Just hiking it up to an arbitrary number like $20 would mean nothing but disproportionate rises in the cost of everything.

The list I was referring to before was this: Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St Movement! | OccupyWallSt.org Forum

That list is what makes me think about becoming a Republican.

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It'd be too big a jump. Minimum wage is supposed to be something that rises gradually, in step (roughly) with CPI/inflation. Just hiking it up to an arbitrary number like $20 would mean nothing but disproportionate rises in the cost of everything.

The list I was referring to before was this: Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St Movement! | OccupyWallSt.org Forum

Holy shit! Just read that....these demands are crazy. I say they need a realistic list of "demands" and have a focus for once. By the way that list is making me question if I am Republican.

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To be fair, it's not an official list, just something proposed by an individual. And the movement is supposed to be neither left nor right.

Around the country today, little offshoot occupations in our state capitals are supposed to be happening. I'll be interested to see how many Australians identify with this movement, and what sort of press coverage it gets.

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175 billion dollar tax-payer bailout in 2008. 32.6 billion paid out in bonuses to bank employees in 2008. Not one of the demands on that list is more ridiculous than that.

I feel that the bailout situation was ridiculous, or more like robbery.

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