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Occupy Wall Street / Occupy K Street  
von WingDing (US), Last modified: 2011-10-16, 03:07  like dislike  Spam?  
Thanks for sharing those links.  #623587
von Lisa4dict (US), 2011-10-16, 13:36  like dislike  Spam?  
We're living in "interesting times."
As I posted before the big question is "What's next?"  The solution can't come from the political / government quarter anymore.  The structures are too inflexible and mired in process.  
Business governance is completely divorced from ownership and risk is distributed so widely and diligently, that there is no incentive there.  And the guys at the top get fat rewards whether they succeed or fail.  
An economics professor we know said that "economists are very good at analyzing why things happened, but lousy at predicting what's going to happen next."  So there's not going to be much help coming from them, either.  [Even if every politician will find someone to tout a pet theory to his/her taste.]
One thing the article didn't mention was that banks are still proceeding with foreclosures.  Simply because that's what they have always done and they have no mechanism to establish any other debt resolution procedures.  Counties are giving the banks sweet deals on property taxes and maintenance ordinances.  They even pay to maintain bank own properties with taxpayer money.  So there's no incentive to change their policy there either.  
The press complains that the protesters don't have a uniform program or demands.  They fail to see that these aren't the top-to-bottom organized demonstration they're used to.  This isn't someone declaring a common cause and calling for followers to join in.  
This demonstration is more like a marriage row.  Once the proverbial dishes are flying, all the accumulated hurts, perceived instances of injustice and quite a few ill formulated and sometimes unfounded accusations get dragged up and tossed into the fray.  Dissecting and analyzing the matter won't cure the fact that things are in a shambles and there's no easy fix.
this movement is gathering momentum  #623619
von uffie (GH/KI), 2011-10-16, 15:47  like dislike  Spam?

In a democracy demonstrations are the people's last resort when politicians fail them. Perhaps this will force governments into a re-think.

In Germany, this is possible. The Green Party is on the rise and they have taken some of the ideas on board. I don't believe it is going to resolve the problems, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Agree with Lisa, trouble is nobody knows how to fix this. And all the G20 summit could come up with is that governments should give banks more money. Governments = tax payers.....
Lisa4dict  #623637
von WingDing (US), Last modified: 2011-10-16, 20:26  like dislike  Spam?  
What's next? I don't know. There are a few things to consider though. Democracy in the US is clearly broken. The two governing parties are essentially the same. So the only way forward that I can see is for a new party to emerge, but talk of a new party has been irrelevant for a long time. The reason why, in my opinion, is because the vast majority of Americans simply have not been paying attention to the political situation. Hell, many of them still don't understand the threat of global warming and are suspicious of science. If they could have their way, the vast majority of citizens would choose to simply obey a benign authority. They don't like governing themselves and prefer to obey an authority. So the politically aware and active citizenry are left trying to estimate how much pain and corruption the vast majority of Americans are willing to accept before they rouse themselves to participate in a new political movement. Is OWS the beginning of that movement? A movement where enough of the general public is able to cut through the rhetoric of the plutocrats and take up the work necessary to restore democracy? I hope it is because I'd rather not have to wait for conditions to get even worse before people start looking for honest leadership among themselves, as opposed to the current political class, and then get off their asses and get involved in the work needed to repair our politics. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out. I am happy to see that people are becoming aware of the issues involved and that does give me so hope.

P.S. Glad you enjoyed the links.
ufriend  #623641
von WingDing (US), Last modified: 2011-10-16, 20:27  like dislike  Spam?  
In a democracy demonstrations are the people's last resort when politicians fail them. Perhaps this will force governments into a re-think.

I agree. The political system in the US has been broken for a while. The knee-jerk reaction of the American public has been to simply vote for the other party when the political conditions became intolerable. The problem with that tactic has been that it has simply resulted in more of the same. Barack Obama, for the most part, is a simply a continuation of George Bush Jr. Many Americans are finally waking up to this reality. The only logical next step is to protest and organize a movement for political change since a political solution won't be found through the existing political parties.
von uffie (GH/KI), Last modified: 2011-10-16, 19:14  like dislike  Spam?  
the weakness of a two-party system is that no real change can be affected. But it can take a long time for a smaller outsider to become established. This has happened in Germany with the Greens and "die Linke".

It has taken the Greens some thirty years to make real progress. In the process they have become more mainstream but are still different enough (I think so anyway). The "Linke" is a continuation of the former East German ruling party and obviously still finds enough supporters in the east of the country. And just of late, the Pirates have come along. In the last local elections they spent about 55,000 Euros on their campaign and gained 9% of the votes. The big parties spent millions....  

The American system has to be opened up to let in more parties, but as long as it takes heaps of cash, the only people who can afford to run for elections are those that are supported by various industries and lobbyists.
ufriend  #623657
von WingDing (US), Last modified: 2011-10-16, 20:27  like dislike  Spam?  
The American system has to be opened up to let in more parties, but as long as it takes heaps of cash, the only people who can afford to run for elections are those that are supported by various industries and lobbyists.

The system allows for multiple parties, but the problem is the way campaigns are financed in the US. If I had my way, I'd have 100% publicly financed elections. Each valid candidate would receive free air time and the same amount of campaign money. That attempt at a solution to the corruption problem in American politics, however, has been removed by the conservative Supreme Court who ruled that money is speech. The more money you have the more speech you can buy. There's absolutely no inequality in their eyes in that system. It's a political system rigged for manipulation by Rupert Murdoch, corporate conglomerates, and oligarchs. By the way, I'd rather have a coalition government than the corrupt democracy Americans are suffering through at the present.
von uffie (GH/KI), 2011-10-16, 23:16  like dislike  Spam?  
I must admit, I can't even begin to comprehend your Supreme Court's decision
ufriend The German system, as far as I can tell, isn't much different  #623708
von WingDing (US), Last modified: 2011-10-17, 00:16  like dislike  Spam?

Currently, the overall annual amount that can be allotted to the parties is €133 million.[1]  Parties receive funds in proportion to the latest election results plus a partial matching of €0.38 per donated Euro for private donations up to €3,300.  The parties, in return, must submit yearly financial statements to the legislature.  In these, only contributors of more than €10,000 per year must be named.  Private individuals may deduct 50 percent of their donations below €3,000 (twice that for joint returns) from taxable income, or claim a tax credit of €825 (€1650 for joint returns).  There are no limits on private or corporate contributions.

Aside from a prohibition on influencing the voters on Election Day in or near the polling place, Germany has no federal legislation on political advertisements.  Political speech may be robust, but it is not exempt from the governance of the criminal laws, and these contain stringent provisions against various forms of hate speech, insult, and defamation. There are no limits on campaign spending.
wingding  #623725
von uffie (GH/KI), 2011-10-17, 08:13  like dislike  Spam?  
I believe this public financing is in place to ensure some neutrality i.e. parties are not unduly influenced by donors. That's the theory - in practice the main parties rely on money from the business world. AFAIK, the vast majority of the big German companies do this. But, and this is an important but, the main hurdle is the 5% share in the votes and a smaller party can achieve this without huge monies as long as they have good support.
Incidentally, I think new - and sometimes established - parties gain much support just by saying what they don't want - rather than coming up with fresh ideas of how to do it better. Being in opposition is much easer than governing.

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