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The 99% Declaration

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Integral, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

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    Full text:

    Spoiler :


    WHEREAS THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION PROVIDES:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


    BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

    WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the PEOPLE, shall elect and convene a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY beginning on July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia.


    I. Election of Delegates:

    The People, consisting of all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18, regardless of party affiliation and voter registration status, shall elect Two Delegates, one male and one female, by direct vote, from each of the existing 435 Congressional Districts to represent the People at the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in Philadelphia. Said Assembly shall convene on July 4, 2012 in the city of Philadelphia.

    The office of Delegate shall be open to all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18. Election Committees, elected by local General Assemblies from all over the United States, shall coordinate with the 99 Percent Declaration Working Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/the99declaration/) to organize, coordinate and fund this national election by direct democratic voting. The Election Committees shall operate like the original Committees of Correspondence did before the first American Revolution.

    II. Meeting of the National General Assembly and Deliberation:

    At the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, the 870 Delegates shall set forth, consider and vote upon a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES to be submitted to all members of Congress, The Supreme Court and President and each of the political candidates running in the nationwide Congressional and Presidential election in November 2012. The Delegates of the National General Assembly shall vote upon and implement their own agenda, propagate their own rules and elect or appoint committee members as the Delegates see fit to accomplish their goal of presenting a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES from the 99% of Americans before the 2012 elections.

    III. Proposed Petition for the Redress of Grievances:

    The PETITION OF GRIEVANCES shall be non-partisan and address the critical issues now confronting the People of the United States. The Delegates shall deliberate and vote upon proposals for the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES in consultation with the People as the delegates to the first two Continental Congresses did. Below is a suggested list of grievances respectfully submitted by the OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration. The final version of the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES voted upon by the Delegates of the National General Assembly MAY or MAY NOT include the following suggested issues:


    1. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from Individuals, Corporations, Political Action Committees, Super Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, Unions and all other private sources of money to be replaced by the fair and equal public financing of all federal political campaigns. We categorically REJECT the concept that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest would have a voice. These actions must be taken because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions and ensure their reelection year after year.


    2. The immediate reversal, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the "Citizens United" case by the Supreme Court, which equates the payment of money by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions to politicians with free speech. We, the People, demand that institutional bribery and corruption not be deemed protected speech.


    3. Prohibiting all federal public officials and their immediate family members, whether elected or appointed, from EVER being employed by any corporation they regulate while in office and/or holding any stock or shares in any corporation they regulate while in office until a full 5 years after their term is completed.


    4. A complete lifetime ban on accepting all gifts, services, money, directly or indirectly, to any elected or appointed federal officials or their immediate family members, from any person, corporation, union or other entity that the public official was charged to regulate while in office.


    5. A complete reformation of the United States Tax Code to require ALL citizens to pay a fair share of a progressive, graduated income tax by eliminating loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies (e.g. oil, gas and farm) and ending all other methods of evading taxes. The current system of taxation favors the wealthiest Americans, many of whom, pay fewer taxes to the United States Treasury than citizens who earn much less and pay a much higher percentage of income in taxes to the United States Treasury. We, like Warren Buffet, find this income tax disparity to be fundamentally unjust.


    6. Medicare for all American citizens or another single-payer healthcare system, adjusted by a means test (i.e. citizens who can afford it may opt-out and pay their own health insurance or opt-in and pay a means tested premium). The Medicaid program, fraught with corruption and fraud, will be eliminated except for the purpose of providing emergency room care to indigent non-citizens who will not be covered by the single-payer program.


    7. New comprehensive regulations to give the Environmental Protection Agency expanded powers to shut down corporations, businesses or any entities that intentionally or recklessly damage the environment and/or criminally prosecute individuals who intentionally damage the environment. We also demand the immediate adoption of the most recent international protocols, including the "Washington Declaration" to cap carbon emissions and implement new and existing programs to transition away from fossil fuels to reusable or carbon neutral sources of power.


    8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the "healthcare" industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream AND a truly progressive income tax code that does not allow the wealthy and corporations to evade taxes through excessive deductions, subsidies and loopholes. We agree that spending cuts are necessary but those cuts must be made to facilitate what is best for the People of the United States of America, not multinational and domestic corporations.


    9. Passage of a comprehensive job and job-training act like the American Jobs Act to employ our citizens in jobs that are available with specialized training and by putting People to work now by repairing America's crumbling infrastructure. We also recommend the establishment of an online international job exchange to match employers with skilled workers or employers willing to train workers in 21st century skills.


    10. Student loan debt relief. Our young People and students are more than $830 billion in debt from education loans alone. Payment and interest on these debts should be deferred for periods of unemployment and the principal on these loans reduced using a corporate tax surcharge.


    11. Immediate passage of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration and border security reform including offering visas, lawful permanent resident status and citizenship to the world’s brightest People to stay and work in our industries and schools after they obtain their education and training in the United States.


    12. Recalling all military personnel at all non-essential bases and refocusing national defense goals to address threats posed by the geopolitics of the 21st century, including terrorism and limiting the large scale deployment of military forces to instances where Congressional approval has been granted to counter the Military Industrial Complex's goal of perpetual war for profit.


    13. Mandating new educational goals to train the American public to perform jobs in a 21st Century economy, particularly in the areas of technology and green energy, taking into consideration the redundancy caused by technology and the inexpensive cost of labor in China, India and other countries and paying our teachers a competitive salary commensurate with the salaries of employees in the private sector with similar skills.


    14. Subject to the elimination of corporate tax loopholes and exploited exemptions and deductions stated above, offering tax incentives to businesses to remain in the United States and hire its citizens rather than outsource jobs and reconstruct the manufacturing capacity of the United States. In conjunction with a new jobs act, reinstitution of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps or a similar emergency governmental agency tasked with creating new public works projects to provide jobs to the 46 million People living in poverty, the 9.1% unemployed and 10% underemployed.


    15. Implementing of immediate legislation to encourage China and our other trading partners to end currency manipulation and reduce the trade deficit.


    16. Immediate reenactment of the Glass-Steagall Act and increased regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry by the SEC, FINRA and the other financial regulators, and the commencement of a Justice Department criminal investigations into the Securities and Banking industries practices that led to the collapse of markets, $700 billion bail-out, and financial firm failures in 2007-2008.


    17. Adoption of a plan similar to President Clinton’s proposal to end the mortgage crisis and instead of the Federal Reserve continuing to lower interest rates for loans to banks who are refusing to loan to small businesses and consumers, the Federal Reserve shall buy all underwater or foreclosed mortgages and refinance these debts at 1% or less to be managed by the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (and foreclosure task force described below) because 1% or less is the interest rate the Federal Reserve loans to the banks directly who hoard the cash rather than loan it to the People and small businesses.


    18. An immediate one year freeze on all foreclosures to be reviewed by an independent foreclosure task force appointed by Congress and the Executive Branch to (in conjunction with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ) determine, on a case by case basis, whether foreclosure proceedings should continue based on the circumstances of each homeowner and propriety of the financial institution's conduct.


    19. Subject to the above ban on all private money and gifts in politics, to enact additional campaign finance reform requiring free air time and public campaign finances to all candidates who obtain sufficient petition signatures and/or votes to participate in the primaries and/or electoral process, to shorten the campaign season and to allow voting on weekends and holidays.


    20. An immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and a substantial increase in the amount of funding needed for veteran job placement and the treatment of the physical and emotional injuries sustained by veterans in these wars. Our veterans are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate and we must help now.


    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that IF the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES approved by the 870 Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in consultation with the PEOPLE, is not acted upon by Congress, the President, and Supreme Court, to the satisfaction of the Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, said Delegates shall organize a THIRD, COMPLETELY NON-PARTISAN, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY to run candidates for every available Congressional seat in the mid-term election of 2014 and again in 2016 until all vestiges of the existing corrupt corporatocracy have been removed by the ballot box.


    I'd like to open this thread for the discussion of the declaration's tentative principles.

    My own initial thoughts:
     
  2. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    I am kind of disappointed that the delegates are limited to one male and one female from each Congressional District. To make sure all persons' interests are represented, shouldn't the assembly also include one corporation and one limited liability company from each Congressional District?
     
  3. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    My comments...
    I'm curious why there's so much anger at US multinational businesses when 2/3 of the profits come from outside the US but expect more jobs in the US. It's where companies are experiencing growth and if you take more but don't give anything in return in return (IE take away write offs but lower marginal rates) to spur growth then nothing will develop in the US.

    The Chinese manipulation thing is easy to say but requires multilateral negotiations across many nations. It doesn't appear many countries are willing to go that route.
     
  4. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    How is this a 99% declaration? Was it submitted by one guy with a website? Or did a greater amount of the 99% submit this? As far as I can tell there is no real uniform. And I think they'll be disappointed when they find out that only a small minority are on board for this.
     
  5. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I'm fundamentally against most of it. One of the basic points that is overlooked by the whole anti-corporation movement is that most of the stock in those corporations is owned by retirement plans. Destroy the ability of the corporations to make a profit and their stock value falls. Stock value falls, retirement plans are wiped out. Retirement plans are wiped out, and it results in negative feedback through the economy. Great Depression II. :(
     
  6. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    A few things about that:

    To the extent that corporate executives loot the corporation, shareholders (retirees) lose out.

    Over the last decade, despite decent profits, stock prices have ended up flat, thus robbing retirees of a decade of growth.

    Under the current tax system, those that holds their stocks in tax-sheltered retitement accounts musty pay taxes at ordinary income rates as capital gains and dividends are distributed out of the plan. Those who hold the stock in non-tax-sheltered accounts get favorable tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
     
  7. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    I like #1, banning political contributions. Most of the other points are kind of stupid.
     
  8. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    1) 19) I would have said, rather: No organization of any form may use money to influence a political campaign or donate to a political campaign except the political party that the person is a member of. No organization may donate money to a political party. No person not eligible to vote for a political office may donate anything other than their own labor to a candidate for that office. All cash or donations other than personal labor shall be capped at $200.

    I have mixed feelings about public finance. And so no decision on that at this time.


    2) Definitely. And impeach the jerks that voted for it as well.


    3) 4) Good enough.

    5) Generally good. But I don't think that they thought out just what they are trying to accomplish very well.


    6) Absolutely. But as Integral said, politically tricky. How to get there from here isn't really clear.


    7) Good enough for a start.
    The more I see of cap and trade the less happy I am about it. Carbon tax I could get behind.


    8) Fair enough. Devil is in the details though.


    9) 13) Sounds good. They need to get a cleaner picture of what they want to accomplish though. And consolidate some objectives.


    10) Generally good.
    I would propose instead that what we need is just more direct public finance of higher education. Most of these loans should never have been needed in the first place. Make higher education cheep, and this problem goes away.


    11) Good enough. But I would also refocus permanent immigration on those people who have the most to offer economically. If you get a university degree in the US, you should be able to stay. If you have a university degree from a good school elsewhere, you should get preferred status. If you bring capital into the country, you should get preferred status.


    12) 20) Generally good goals. But need to be evaluated carefully. It's time to be out of Iraq. And Afghanistan is probably a lost cause at this point.


    14) Cleaning up and getting a good corporate tax scheme seems to be something that hasn't really been well explored. What works? What doesn't work?


    15)
    How about just letting an offset of the advantage from the currency manip? Just take from them the benefit of doing it across the board.


    16) Of course. But that's not really going far enough.


    17) 18) This is a day late and a dollar short.
    It has it's problems. But seriously, we'd be far better off today if TARP had done this. We need to wipe out some debt. How do we go about doing it?






    I don't really understand this objection. Yes, a lot of what the multinationals do is now overseas. But that makes the anger at them understandable. Much of that work could be done here and exported. But instead the companies rushed out of the country. That's a lot of cause for anger.

    The rush to export jobs exceeded the economic justification for doing so. It really to a large extent was to screw over American labor. Why shouldn't people be mad?
     
  9. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    I agree. It seems as if they simply don't understand that. They have a simply idealistic view of the world and that involves a 1% of bourgeois ruling over the 99% of the country that is so poor and depressed. They make it sound as if there is a bright line between the rich and the poor and they fail to realize it just isn't that simple. They also make the assumption that the United States is in a state of decay. It really isn't that bad and there will always be a bit of unemployed and the current rate of unemployment really isn't that high and no one wants a very socialist system. It's also silly to protest in front of the NYSE because the people in that building want the economy to pick up more than anyone else. But much of the ideas, as voiced by the protesters, will obviously not help the economic situation and should therefore be ignored.

    They are a leaderless organization so I refuse to acknowledge this "document" typed out on google docs as a formality. I also love their use of the internet and cell phones. Yes, tell the guys at google and apple all about the crimes of corporatism.

    From occupywallstreet.org:
    The problem with their movement is right in the text. No one wants change from the bottom up except for the slim amount who are participating. We do need wall street, we love wall street. We love consumerist America and we love buying things. We want to get rich and we love the fact that it is possible to get rich. Problems in the US don't need to be solved in a revolutionary matter. A simple change in policies is all it takes. But who wants to tell a bunch of young people they can't have their revolution? And if they studied history at all they'd realize things never turnout quite how they imagined them to be.

    If you look at their website you'll see something along the lines of "92.5% of respondents either somewhat or strongly supported the protests with most respondents indicating strong support". This is a BS poll. Most Americans support taxing millionaires, not the overhaul of the current system. They might claim most Americans support the movement, but no one really knows what the hell they want so it's difficult to assert that claim.
     
  10. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Nothing in the plan would destroy, or even impeded in any significant way, the ability of corporations to make profits. Your argument is a strawman.
     
  11. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    I think he isn't really talking about the declaration, but the general notion that seems to be emitted from the protesters that the stock market is wrong. How relative is the declaration to the actual protests? Can this be answered?
     
  12. Dreadnought

    Dreadnought Deity

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    These rebellious dissidents shall not be negotiated with! Repeal this declaration or face the suspension of habeas corpus for you and your families.
     
  13. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    :lol: How do any of these impede profit except for those that are rent-seeking?
     
  14. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    The first clause or whatever it's called, states:
    Who are the delegates going to be? How will they gain nomination if not through political parties? How will they be elected? Will there be primaries or something of the sort to choose delegates? Will only 99% protesters be partaking in these elections or will everyone? Isn't it obvious that either way, only the occupiers will be voting for this and therefore the delegates will misrepresent the actual interests of the people.

    The declaration doesn't seem very objectionable although there are some issues. One being addressed above.
     
  15. Dreadnought

    Dreadnought Deity

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    The fact that one candidate has to be of each sexuality is mind-boggling. It's like another form of affirmative action.

    :p Sheesh, first they want to vote, now they want equal representation!
     
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    It's a little unclear. The anger is at Wall St. But no one is calling for the abolition of Wall St. Just returning it to a set of rules where Wall St serves the economy, rather than the economy serving Wall St.

    Wall St, as a generic term for the financial service industry, is collectively companies engaged in the business of financial intermediaries. Middle men, if you will. What financial intermediates (of various description, including the stock markets) do is to take money from people who have more than they need for their current use, and want to invest it in something, and make it available to companies and individuals that have a use for more money than they currently have. For this service they of course deserve to make money.

    However, the problem is that they have used that central position and leveraged the power so much that they can skim far more money out of the economy than their services warrant. And that is a very large part of the problem that the average American faces on a day to day basis now. It is unsustainable. And it is unfair. And so OWS is right to protest it.

    But no one is suggesting getting rid of all of it.
     
  17. amadeus

    amadeus Serenity now!

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    Typical bolshie-populist nonsense. As a member of the 99%, I want no part of this.

    The part about criticizing Chinese currency manipulation made me chuckle, though. It shows how much the OWS are sheeple, led by their political leadership to believe the Big Bad Reds are doing something nefarious with their currency while the Federal Reserve, Good and True, never ever manipulates our currency.
     
  18. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    Having a man and a woman does not guarantee equal representation. It's not like the interests of women are different from that of men. Two men can equally represent the same group of men and women, without this needless hole. There is also the possibility that there might not be a suitable female delegate (or male) to take the position, but this will require one to be chosen anyway.
    Who is doing this? How do we stop it?

    It's just something I'm sure many people interperate when they read the sentence:
     
  19. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    What is the point of a convention without enough skirts to chase? This isn't Occuppy Airport Mens Room Stall.
     
  20. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Wall St as a whole is doing this. We stop it by reining in the power. Make the companies smaller. End their preferential treatment. Set limits on their behaviors.




    But none of their demands were to nationalize the banks or eliminate Wall St.
     

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