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Author Topic: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')  (Read 6134 times)

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Offline Noelle

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2011, 04:56:13 PM »
For the latter few, like twenty bucks an hour minimum wage(As someone who is used to working near-minimum, my selfish side that isn't too bad), it's a tactic that's been going around in American politics for years.  You sell your point too strongly, and compromise at the table. The Progressive Movement a century ago did just about the same thing.

Minimum wage requires a delicate balance. Go too far, and you're inviting inflation and then you're right back where you started. I don't even make that much now at a full-time job, but I am able to support myself even with a massive student debt hanging over my head. If we went with a system that made college free/much cheaper, I could very easily live on what I make (again: >$20/hour) for a long time. $20 is excessive.

At any rate, going to an extreme is an incredible turn off for anyone in the middle, like me. You're not aiming to convert the extremists on the other side to see your point, you aim for the middle, the people who could be swayed either way, and if something like makes me react in such an extremely contrary way, I can only imagine how others feel when they read this. I can't take the movement seriously if this is the kind of stuff they bring to the table. This is foolish and would get the whole thing laughed into the ground.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2011, 05:45:18 PM »
A lot of those 'demands' are a LOT ways otu there. I doubt that we'll see them when the platform is finally set down. For one.. Post 9/11 you're never getting open borders. Not happening. Ever.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2011, 09:07:02 PM »
Minimum wage requires a delicate balance. Go too far, and you're inviting inflation and then you're right back where you started. I don't even make that much now at a full-time job, but I am able to support myself even with a massive student debt hanging over my head. If we went with a system that made college free/much cheaper, I could very easily live on what I make (again: >$20/hour) for a long time. $20 is excessive.

At any rate, going to an extreme is an incredible turn off for anyone in the middle, like me. You're not aiming to convert the extremists on the other side to see your point, you aim for the middle, the people who could be swayed either way, and if something like makes me react in such an extremely contrary way, I can only imagine how others feel when they read this. I can't take the movement seriously if this is the kind of stuff they bring to the table. This is foolish and would get the whole thing laughed into the ground.

Well, I agree with your assessment of those two points on the list. Off hand, $20 an hour sounds way high as a minimum wage, and it certainly would be if college and mid-range universities were made free of term charges, or much cheaper. And lowering or removing charges on education mostly is a good investment. But the trouble is, if those two points were picked up by the Democrats and really pushed in the elections and the 2013-14 Congress, they would not be joined at the hip. At some point, rather soon, they would be pushed separately - and the reduced college fees (and preferably, lower housing prices) would have a big impact in any country on what is a tolerable minimum wage! So, without any changes to college fees, a minimum wage at let's say $13 could likely be really low.

And both of those points would come under attack from the right as being "a hobble chain on free enterprise" and an excessive load of money controlled by politicians. So to get anything at all, it could be necessary to start with a high-range demand just to really edge it in that these are urgent issues.

Minimum wages are tricky, yes, but they are also difficult to realize as the lower limit everywhere. In practice, there are several ways to evade or force negotiating away of a demand based on a minimum wage clause. You can, like,  sack everyone in a certain sector of the company, and then hire some of them back as franchisers of their own individual work, so that the company is spot buying the work of the employees even if, in reality, they are just as hired as before, only less securely.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 09:30:06 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2011, 08:29:31 AM »
It is interesting watching this movement. It appears to be legitimately growing in size too. It's rather transparent to me at least, that it is intentionally loosely organized, and there is a concerted effort to not hang their hat on any one issue or demand. This is done so as to make it much harder to marginalize and pillory by perceived opponents. But yet they risk obscurity at the same time, by not having a clear leader and message. It's a page right out of the tea party movement.

Being a Libertarian leaning Republican, I am in complete agreement with them that the government should not be bailing out big banks, and big business. But where I depart is when they start talking about 'fair share'. What is a fair share and who gets to decide what a 'fair share' is?

To suggest we not succeed or fail on our own merits risks envy and mediocrity.

Offline Zakharra

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2011, 09:10:40 AM »
 I looked at their list of demands. Some of them are definitely not feasible. Numbers 3,4,5,7, 9,11, and 12 are the worst.

 1 and 3 tie together and could be worked out, but forcing every business to offer a living wage would put a lot of smaller businesses out of business.
 4, someone needs to pay for education. I see no problem with the student paying for at least some of their collage level education.
 5, Unless there is enough of an alternative to replace oil for fuel and coal powered plants -as- alternative fuels are introduced, this is a pipe dream on the national scale.
 7, very unrealistic. Eco-restoration is good, but we canNOT allow the free flow of rivers anymore. Especially here in the West. Too much of our power depends upon hydroelectric generation, not to mention flood and waterway control. The closing of the nuclear plants is also very unrealistic. There's nothing to replace the power they do generate and if we could build some modern nuclear plants, those are a LOT safer than the older generation ones.
 9, that's just national suicide on a security standpoint alone.
 11, this one takes the cake. Complete forgiveness of all debt?  How stupid are they? That would ruins a LOT of businesses, or at the least make it very hard for them to operate with no income from people who have bought things and own them money. Car manufacturers, home builders and financial sellers among some. Not to mention banks, who do offer very legitimate loans. How are they supposed to operate if they are suddenly out of hundreds of millions, billions or trillions of dollars?    Does the debt forgiveness extend to taxes owed to the government? I cannot see them giving that up.
 12, without credit rating agencies, how do you know who is a credit risk or not?

 The other demands are more reasonable, and could be negotiated to a degree, but the others? Sheesh..

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2011, 09:36:24 AM »
I think that the most important thing isn't the actual demands, but the fact that people are getting together and talking about things that are felt at the grass-roots level.  I've seen a lot of disenfranchisement over the last 5-10 years, primarily circulating around the idea that 'it's no use participating because my voice doesn't really matter.'  Watching the traffic on the social networks, this seems to really be mobilizing people into making their voices heard, and showing them that when enough 'little people' get together, those single voices can get incredibly loud.

Offline Zakharra

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2011, 12:02:34 PM »
 Well, about half at least are fairly unrealistic and not possible. World wide debt forgiveness? That's never going to happen.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2011, 12:31:06 PM »
True enough.  I don't see ending the war on drugs being particularly viable, for one thing.  Not unless everything was made legal, and then regulated - but then you'd get the same situation that we have with oxycodone.  The ones that are reasonable bear looking into, though.  For example, while a minimum wage of $20 is ridiculous, an increase would be necessary to bring the current value of that minimum wage up to where it should be.  If you normalize to 1970 dollars, minimum wage simply hasn't kept up.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2011, 12:33:58 PM »
I think, or at least hope, the debt forgiveness is the forgiveness of COUNTRIES who owe the US money who haven't paid any of what they owe to date. I know there are some countries that owe the US money going back all the way to World War II.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2011, 02:47:26 PM »
The movement is apparently spreading too - there was an article in one of the free city papers here about how people are attempting to start an offshoot protest camp in Philadelphia.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Offline Saffron

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2011, 03:16:18 PM »
I don't know if things have changed since you originally posted this topic, but this has been all over the news in Canada. I noticed a story about it the night I read this (which would've been the day you posted it). At least the rest of the world knows? ><

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2011, 03:21:49 PM »
Clearly it's because the rest of the world has no news of its own and only cares about US news.  O:)

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2011, 03:27:19 PM »
Clearly it's because the rest of the world has no news of its own and only cares about US news.  O:)

About time they got with the program and realized the US is the only country that matters. >:)

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2011, 04:12:23 PM »
Actually, the rest of the world was giving it more press than America had been for quite a while.  The thing that I wasn't seeing was TV coverage.  I watch the local news every morning while the little Oni is getting ready for school, and I started watching some of the 24 hr news channels, actively looking for news about it after seeing articles on a New Zealand website.

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #65 on: October 07, 2011, 02:51:12 PM »
Did everyone see the statement released by them a few days ago? I thought it sounded a whole lot more humanistic and a whole lot less crazy than "$20 an hour minimum wage".

[noembed]As read by Olbermann[/noembed]

And here is the transcript for people who can't watch the video:

Quote
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies. As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: That the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members. That our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights and those of their neighbors. That the democratic government derives its just power from the people but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the earth. And that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality run our governments. We have peacably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bail-outs from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give executives exhorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in workplaces based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labor, and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers' health care and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products, endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save peoples' lives or provide relief, in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully kept people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners, even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.

To the people of the world, we, the New York City general assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power. Exercise your right to peacably assemble, occupy public space, create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone. To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all the resources at our disposal. Join us and make your voices heard.

Offline Torch

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #66 on: October 07, 2011, 03:37:48 PM »
I see a lot of "they, they, they, they, they" and not a lot of specificity.

Exactly which corporate entities are at fault for each of these crimes against humanity, according to these folks? The vague use of the word "they" over and over again just dilutes whatever argument is presented.  Exactly who is "they"?

Not to mention, I'd bet even money that if the unemployed folks in the OWS crowd were offered a job by one of those evil corporations, they'd take it in a heartbeat.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #67 on: October 07, 2011, 05:33:53 PM »
I see a lot of "they, they, they, they, they" and not a lot of specificity.

Exactly which corporate entities are at fault for each of these crimes against humanity, according to these folks? The vague use of the word "they" over and over again just dilutes whatever argument is presented.  Exactly who is "they"?

Not to mention, I'd bet even money that if the unemployed folks in the OWS crowd were offered a job by one of those evil corporations, they'd take it in a heartbeat.

Well if you want a specific name on the charge of monopoly in Agribusiness a good one to start with is Monsanto. Some of their tactics and methods are downright scary. The company has gone out of it's way to corner the seed stock market.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #68 on: October 07, 2011, 05:44:43 PM »
Bernanke is another name that's been making the rounds.  He's under fire for the bailout and some dodgy tactics when Merril Lynch and Bank of America were merging.

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2011, 05:52:17 PM »
... and KFC's suppliers with their chickens, on the animal cruelty... >.>

I suspect that the use of the generic 'they' was not so much because they don't have anything to back themselves up, but it's because if the statement had included specific names and examples, it would have been a whole lot longer than four minutes. Additionally, I feel that it would have given these corporations (and the opponents of Occupy Wall Street) a target for them to argue semantics and distract from the baseline message of the statement.

And I don't think that they are saying, Torch, that they are anti corporation or anti job. They are anti corruption. They would take a job, sure, from one of the corporations they are protesting, but they are saying that they would like it to be a fairly compensated, safe, sustainable job. I really don't see a problem with that goal.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2011, 05:59:20 PM »
If you want a name for the Robo-signing hijacking of mortgages..what about BoA?

I think they danced around naming names to avoid being sued. Because I don't know about BoA but the lovely understanding folks at Monsanto would sued at the drop of at a hat.. not to mention the Beef Producers of America (who sued Oprah once..)

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #71 on: October 07, 2011, 08:06:04 PM »
Oprah's a big supporter of pseudoscience and bullshit.  I don't know why the Beef Producers sued her or anything about the suit, but I wouldn't assume it was unsupported anymore than I'd assume that the Beef Producers of America are saints.  She's done a lot of damage giving Jenny McCarthy a soapbox to rant about anti-vaccination from, she doesn't have credibility.

As for their list of "theys," if you lump every negative action any corporation has ever taken together and then list it off like that, it looks pretty bad.  Now what if we wrote a similar post without citations making a general statement about how bad "the people" are?  They kill innocent civilians.  They rob banks.  They molest children.  They cheat on their wives.  They lead cults.  They start ponzi schemes.  They don't put the seat up after they've gone to the bathroom.  Well, clearly we can't have them voting!  Give all the power to corporations!

One solid thing I can say about OWS:  they don't seem to have a lot of facts at their command to back up their statements.  Some of their "they" assertions would probably be exposed for the absurd claims that they are if they got more specific with them.  For example, the "poisoned food supply thing" sounds disturbingly like pseudoscientific organic food propaganda.

These people couldn't even sort through facts well enough to determine whether or not Radiohead was going to perform at one of their protests.  This quote from that link is especially telling:  "it can be difficult to seperate rumor from fact in an open source movement."
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 08:15:17 PM by Jude »

Offline Torch

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2011, 08:21:39 PM »
... and KFC's suppliers with their chickens, on the animal cruelty... >.>

I suspect that the use of the generic 'they' was not so much because they don't have anything to back themselves up, but it's because if the statement had included specific names and examples, it would have been a whole lot longer than four minutes. Additionally, I feel that it would have given these corporations (and the opponents of Occupy Wall Street) a target for them to argue semantics and distract from the baseline message of the statement.

And I don't think that they are saying, Torch, that they are anti corporation or anti job. They are anti corruption. They would take a job, sure, from one of the corporations they are protesting, but they are saying that they would like it to be a fairly compensated, safe, sustainable job. I really don't see a problem with that goal.

Neither do I, and I can't see anyone arguing that point. Isn't that what anyone wants?

And I appreciate the specific examples, especially the one I was not aware of (Monsanto). I still feel the message in the statement is too broad and too vague to be much good to anyone, other than a general rallying cry of "let's stick it to the Man". Painting every corporation with the same brush doesn't allow for the positive advancements individual corporations have made to serve their employees and shareholders, and I can give a personal example.

Mr. Torch's former boss was the COO of the 3rd largest retail securities brokerage firm in the country. She was also an out lesbian who, with her long term partner, was raising two children. If that's not an example of diversification on two fronts (sex and sexual orientation), I don't know what is. Racism in corporate America? I give you Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express since 2001, and a man of color. I could go on, yada yada, tit for tat.

Every example of corporate greed and corruption can be countered with a positive one of change and growth.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2011, 08:25:05 PM »
http://www.madcowboy.com/01_BookOP.000.html

She made a COMMENT about beef raising practices during the period of the 'Mad Cow' issues. The fun part is there are LAWS in place that anyone who makes 'defamatory' remarks about the food industry (such as Beef Producers) that are used to prosecute those who expose hazardous practices and dangers in the industry.

Yes Virgina, the food producer industry in at LEAST a dozen states has made it a crime to be a whistle blower now.

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2011, 08:50:21 PM »
She may been acquitted in the courts, but not because she was spreading good information, it was because she didn't commit libel (which requires knowingly spreading bad information).  Her comments -- and the entire segment -- were alarming and stupid; she said something about mad cow disease making AIDS look like the common cold.  Note that no legitimate scientific authorities were brought in to weigh in on their rampant speculation.  Lyman is a vegan and activist, not a doctor.  His only degree is in agriculture.  This is typical for the Oprah Winfrey show.