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#OccupyWallStreet

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Osl8ing

did rusty! just quote a...gasp... libertarian?

Oct 2, 11 3:24 pm
code

How come FoxNews has no coverage of this?

Oct 2, 11 4:53 pm
FRaC

How come FoxNews has no coverage of this?

wut r u

talkin' 'bout?

Oct 2, 11 11:35 pm
Rusty!

 

Oct 3, 11 2:11 am
FRaC

^ shift the blame?  you are allowed on the bridge.  you are not allowed to block the road.

looks like in a fast moving story it took 20 minutes to better clarify what happened.

Oct 3, 11 9:41 am
Osl8ing

Cops have to "allow" people onto the bridge? That must be a post 9-11 thing that I'm unaware of.

Oct 3, 11 9:53 am
FRaC

i think you're reading a bit too much into that, oscillate

Oct 3, 11 10:02 am
Osl8ing

No, I'm playing dumb. As in the wording had to be changed because the first report was midleading by suggesting that the cops are gatekeepers that "allow" people onto the bridge. Same thing you said, no, FRAC?

Oct 3, 11 10:04 am
curtkram

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yrT-0Xbrn4&feature=player_embedded

 

^-- Fox News interview.  Didn't make it on air, and it's 'unlisted' on you-tube (so hopefully the link works)

Oct 3, 11 11:37 am
10

There is a Facebook page of Harvard/MIT students organizing to attend. Many are architecture students!

Please visit

http://www.facebook.com/pages/HarvardMIT_OccupyBoston/159687827454078

to follow the discussion.

Oct 3, 11 2:18 pm

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University, wrote a pretty good opinion piece in the recent issue of Time (Vol. 178 No. 14) titled "No. 3 Why America Must Revive Its Middle Class."

This is by far probably the most interesting quote from the article:

"The Republicans fail to understand are investing abroad not because of taxes but because higher wages in the U.S. are not sufficiently marched by higher skills, as they are in, say, Germany or Sweden. We are, to put it bluntly, simply uncompetitive in many industrial sectors."

While there is an educational component, I'm seeing a lot of American-based companies beginning to move or open up new headquarters overseas— Haliburton is now an Emirate company and Seagate is now a Caymanian company but these are just for tax purposes.

GE, on the other hand, does more business in China and Brazil than it does in the U.S. Oracle hired twice as many employees abroad than it did in the US. And the largest of U.S. multinationals cut upwards of 2.9 million jobs within the U.S. and hired 2.5 million abroad.

The larger picture here is that many companies are not outsourcing in the way we traditionally think of outsourcing— sweatshops, chain gangs and underpaid workers— but are outsourcing to these locations because of larger potential customer base, lower capital costs, better infrastructure and access to highly-skilled workers.

And these companies are paying these overseas employees higher wages than what they would earn in America. And many of these countries have higher taxes and more regulation particular when these companies relocate within the Eurozone.

If taxes and regulations aren't hurting business, we must seriously look at place and education. And then we must seriously wonder why a company would reduce its profit margins to move to even more expensive places with expensive infrastructure and expensive employees?

Oct 3, 11 3:39 pm

Looks like it is gaining steam, we got a direct link to a story from CNN's homepage:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/02/business/wall-street-protests/index.html

Well, for the folks over @ FOX, my guess is they purposely steered clear of interviewing Chris Hedges on Wall Street:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_best_among_us_20110929/

Just watch, the more they attack, dismiss, ridicule and shout @ this movement the more you can be assured they are being threatened.

Oct 3, 11 4:25 pm

Well this certainly an interesting endorsement from George Soros, according to the Washington Post:

"It also got a seal of approval from one of the world’s most successful capitalists, billionaire George Soros, who said the demonstrators had every reason to be angry at the U.S. financial system for jeopardizing their future."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/wall-street-protesters-hope-to-plant-seeds-of-a-national-cause/2011/10/03/gIQAiBmKJL_story.html

Oct 3, 11 11:19 pm
Rusty!

Keith, I'm really digging your enthusiasm over this. The comments on the washington post article you linked to are hilarious. 80% of it is pure hatred for protesters. These kids are doing something right if they can inspire this much fear in the minds of armchair ideologues. 

ooga booga!

Oct 3, 11 11:40 pm
Urbanist

The zombie thing was pretty cool.  I went down there to look for 'em after work but they'd already left.  

Oct 4, 11 12:04 am

Thanks Rusty, I suppose I have been simmering for a few years since the bailouts....and my research into this topic has only reaffirmed my thesis about what is happening in America.

OK, last one and I'll chill on the postings, I am finding Aljazeera an interesting alternative news source lately:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/10/201110322155284271.html

Oct 4, 11 12:17 am
Rusty!

braaains....

I used to work right on Wall St. (not in finances of course). Back in the late '08 there were large protests just outside my window over the just passed bailout plan. Lots of commotion but things fizzled out eventually. 

3 looooooong, painful years later, and this looks a lot more promising. Having 3 additional years of blatant corruption evidence only helps. The timing is perfect. I only wish I was still in NYC.

Oct 4, 11 12:30 am
FRaC

wait a second .. george soros supports efforts to destroy the u.s. economy?  you MUST be kidding me!1!!

Oct 4, 11 1:50 am
Rusty!

Sorry FRaC, you have to up your game at this point. Go read Washington Post comments for inspiration. The butt-hurt is so big, you'll have to go full-retard just to keep up. "Obama Bolshevik pond scum". 1-up that one and you are back in the majors.

Oct 4, 11 2:45 am
jmanganelli

if "going full-retard" is a reference to Tropic Thunder, then I say, well done rusty!, well done

Oct 4, 11 6:47 am

I thought it was a reference to FRaC.

 

Oct 4, 11 10:26 pm
Rusty!

 

Oct 4, 11 10:32 pm

Well, I watched BBC tonight in an interview, Paul Krugman called this action a "movement".

Anyway, front page story on Bloomberg:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-04/wall-street-protests-have-tea-party-potential-professor-says.html

I would say that is pretty impressive coverage for pitching a bunch of tents!

I am delivering supplies this weekend to the brave souls in LA, I have three fellow alumni from SCI-ARC meeting me there.

 



 

Oct 4, 11 11:07 pm
FRaC

Well, I read the Washington Post this morning in a column, Charles Krauthammer called this action a "bowel movement".

Oct 4, 11 11:44 pm
jla-x

  Prepare for the Great Depression Part 2. 

Oct 5, 11 1:45 am
FRaC

oh, joe!

Oct 5, 11 9:55 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

I've watched a lot of media coverage on these protests, and the protestors seem to be all over the map.  I really can gather no coherent message about what they want.  We're really pissed off about... stuff.

Oct 5, 11 4:04 pm
Rusty!

Yes EKE, what could anyone be possibly pissed off about in this day and age. Or does this movement need to be wrapped in easy to digest ideology for you to understand it?

Oct 5, 11 6:48 pm
go do it

the 99%

Oct 5, 11 7:54 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

No, it doesn't need to be wrapped in easy-to-digest ideology for me to understand it.  But, in my humble opinion, for a protest movement to be taken seriously, it needs to present a coherent and understandable message. 

Oct 5, 11 9:02 pm

Hi EKE, yes, there has been allot of talk about that lack of focus.  Please remember this movement is very young, and I bet a more focused message will be articulated organically over time.

But since I have participated in LA, I decided to write my five bullet points of why I am supporting this movement:

- To stop the continual erosion of individual civil rights and liberties

- To stop the systematic failure of the U.S. government to act in the best interest of its citizens

- To prevent excessive influence of the political process by any corporation

- To return to the law and ideals of the Constitution and it's amendments

- To restore the “social contract” of the American dream.

Oct 5, 11 9:10 pm
FRaC

2, 3, and 5 conflict with 1 and 4

and you can just say 'the constitution' since once amendments are ratified they become the constitution - your factoid du jour from a true tea bagger!

Oct 5, 11 10:35 pm

James Truslow Adams, Epic of America, 1931:

"But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

Based on urban planning trends from the 1850s to the 1920s that had a predominate focus on medium- to high-density development and rail car suburbs, Adams' American Dream  circa 1931 was more attainable if one had the will and two legs to pursue those dreams. It should also be noted that he specially calls out "European upper classes" and says the are unable to understand that dream. Somewhere between 1931 and 1955, this romantic notion of a free and willing America turned into a marketing vehicle to sell cars, televisions, appliances and small homes.

Europe has always had the places, the infrastructure and the resources for people to thrive in. But Europe has a "management problem." America, on the other hand, was a clean slate waiting for its citizens to build up an egalitarian country based on merit and will.

 

Oct 5, 11 10:58 pm

Wow James, terrific quote.  I would suggest that excessive consumerism is a very adept distraction tactic.

Oct 5, 11 11:11 pm
Rusty!

I would be more specific in my demands.

  • Return the Glass-Steagall act. Loan and savings need to be separate entities from investment side. I would be concerned if NFL also ran its own gambling service. That's what got us into this mess.
  • Ban on High-Frequency Trading. It adds nothing of value to the stock market, and lets speculation run wild. These micro transactions add up to almost 75% of all daily trades, and are closely guarded proprietary secrets by a handful of corporations.
  • Expand the definition of a corporation. Is it a person or not? Only when it's convenient it seems. Criminal code addresses individual's behavior only. We need a criminal code that specifically addresses corporations. Honest businesses would only benefit from it. 
  • Free "Architecture sucks" t-shirt for everyone!

This list is just off top of my ass. I haven't even touched the assmunchers on savings and loan side of things.  But you gotta start somewhere.

Oct 5, 11 11:12 pm
curtkram

Kieth,

I've been following my local Kansas City protesters some.  The messages seem to get a little off-topic.  I think this movement should focus solely on the relationship between banks/wealth/influence etc. and government and how that relates to policy decisions benefiting only the 1% wealthiest.  That's already a vague scope, but it includes the far right like Ron Paul, the far left like Bernie Sanders, and Tea Partiers.  Issues related to civil liberties, environment, or urban planning are important but I think they're outside of the scope of where this originated.  Those who think people are unable to effect the environment may be crazy, but they're still part of the 99%.  With that kind of inclusiveness, the Fox reporters will start to look even dumber.

Rusty, there has been a lot of talk about a tobin tax or a similar tax that would apply to all financial transactions including micro transactions.  That could effectively end a good chunk of the speculation that's giving us such a volatile market.  As far as corporations go, I saw a sign that said something to the effect 'I'll believe a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.'  I think that definition of corporate personhood should be codified into law.

Also, Maybe James R. would need an "Urban Planning Sucks" T-shirt instead of "Architecture Sucks.  Just a suggestion.

Oct 6, 11 10:19 am
curtkram

Oh, and if the message is still unclear, spend some time at this site:

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

Oct 6, 11 10:28 am
Rusty!

Great website curtkram. Most of those stories make me want to cry.

At this point anyone saying "what's their message" is being willfully ignorant. The 'real' silent majority has finally lost its marbles. Which means we can finally do something about it.

Yes to tobin tax, but not if Golman Sachs is writing it (like they did Dodd-Frank legislation). 

Oct 6, 11 11:43 am
Rusty!

Here's a great 4 minute video someone put together about issues at the core. Agree with it 100%.

Oct 6, 11 12:31 pm

I will believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one.

 

Oct 6, 11 12:42 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

If the message is clearly encapsulated in the web site you posted, the I guess I've got it. "The economy is down, people are hurting, some of them very badly" . Got it. I feel terrible for all the people that are hurting in this bad economy. I know lots of friends that have lost businesses, lost jobs. It's awful. But, beyond reminding us that people are hurting, what is the point of this protest? beyond rage, what are these people saying should be done? that's where I see that there is no coherent message from them. Some are calling for focused banking reform. Fine, I can talk to you about that. but others are calling for the wiping out of all debt of any kind, anywhere. Still others are calling for "free" college education for all, a $20/ hour stipend from the government, whether you work or not, the abolishment of credit reporting, etc, etc. And what is this 1% / 99% stuff? I make a good living, and although I have taken a major hit in the last few years, and I've had to make some pretty big changes, due to some luck and pretty good planning, we've weathered the storm so far. I'm not a banker, or a mortgage broker, or any kind of financier. I'm an upper middle class businessman. So I don't consider myself one of the 1%. Am I part of the 99%? Or am I part of what I suspect is actually the majority of Americans who get up every morning, goes to work, tries to do something great, tries to keep their business and this economy moving forward, and is grateful to be living and working in a country that allows me the freedom and the opportunity to do so?

Oct 6, 11 1:04 pm
Rusty!

Keith, yeah both are great documentaries. Both can be seen on youtube for free (if you had to cancel Netflix).

Oct 6, 11 1:11 pm
curtkram

eke,

The 1% is the wealthiest 1% of America.  If you are not in the 1% of the wealthiest Americans then yes, you are the 99%.  They're marching for you.  You took a big hit, as did your friends, as did the people sleeping near Wall Street.  This economic mess we are in did not have to happen.  Our policy makers, including Congress, and Fed, and President, all political parties including 3rd parties, etc. have not done anything substantial to fix it.  They can't even agree to a simple budget.  There is a theory, which I support, that 1% are using their accumulated wealth and power to protect policies that benefit them often at the expense of the other 99% of us.

What your hearing with cutting debt or free this and that is a conversation.  I would encourage you not to focus on the more ridiculous fringe ideas; rather look at maybe repealing Citizens United and reinstating Glass Steagall.  This is a conversation our elected leaders are not having.  They should be.  And until they get their shit together and try to fix the mess we're in, we the 99% need those kids on Wall Street focusing attention on the problems and the need for a dialogue on how to fix them.

Oct 6, 11 1:34 pm
Rusty!

"Or am I part of what I suspect is actually the majority of Americans who get up every morning, goes to work, tries to do something great, tries to keep their business and this economy moving forward, and is grateful to be living and working in a country that allows me the freedom and the opportunity to do so?"

And number of people who do not even get that kind of opportunity grows every day. Yes some of the 'demands' are downright silly, but not THAT crazy. Ideas need to be flushed out.

Bill O'Riley sent a reporter down there. They interviewed 20 people and decided to air sound clips that sounded the dumbest. I get it, that's how propaganda works. 

I am glad you have weathered the recession better than most. But this is not about personal interest stories. It's about statistics. Yes, that 99% blog is filled by personal stories, but the message you should be getting out of them is the sheer volume of desperation that very much becomes a social pattern.

Like I said, I used to work on Wall St. and I knew a bunch of these trader monkeys. Good guys to go drinking with, but they think in much different ways from what we consider 'normal train of thought'. As soon as bottom fell out in 2008, ALL OF THEM started short-selling on the side, thus ensuring that any market recovery-dips were equally profitable. 3 years later, and they are doing the same shit. It's just as profitable to stay in the recession as it is to exit it.

Wall-street has no interest in economic recovery. Yet they are the ones in charge of saying we are back in the black. A lot of the industries are back to making huge profits, to little or no effect on the assigned market value. Speculators are shaping the markets to their benefits, and everyone else's loss.

It's time to take this privilege away from them. It really is as simple as that. Even if this movement doesn't produce any direct legislation, maybe it can grow big enough to scare the monkeys into thinking about their actions.

This recession could end in 90 days. All we have to do is send wall-street back into the 'cattle auctioneers' territory where they belong.

Oct 6, 11 1:43 pm

I thought this was an interesting site, I first saw it @ The Whitney Museum several years ago:
http://www.theyrule.net/

On the more entertainment side, a good rant by George Carlin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

 

 

Oct 7, 11 2:26 pm
tintt

My demand: Allow self employed individuals to refinance their homes at today's low rates. I can't refinance my house because I have been self employed for less than 2 years. Direct result of yesteryear's lending frenzy that I didn't abuse but now I get to pay for, literally. That's how this society treats its entrepreneurs.

Oct 7, 11 2:40 pm

I walked by the Occupy SF tenet city on Wednesday afternoon.  Took a few pictures but I haven't uploaded them yet.  By Thursday morning, sadly, that tent city was wiped out.  Apparently Seattle's has been demolished too, but people are still protesting and occupying.

I agree with rusty (as usual): claiming to not know what this movement is about is willful ignorance.  It's about the reality of powerlessness that confronts so many people in the middle and lower classes, while the wealthiest of this country are are financially better and better off.  I've been working full time for 16 years, and while my professional standing has grown my economic situation has been stagnant for the entire time, not because I'm not earning more money, but because the demands on my budget have grown wildly faster than my earnings.  The extra money I spend to still barely hang in there benefits the 1%, and the banks and speculators who brought about the very difficult last 3 years are still earning hand over fist with no slowdown.

I don't know how to FIX this inequity, I admit.  But we entrust our leaders to bring about the change we as a majority desire, and getting out the message that change is long overdue  is a great first step.  It helps to see CNN posting income inequality stats on top of images of tent dwellers.

Oct 7, 11 4:01 pm

There is really only should be one demand coming out of the mouths of any & everybody who is pissed off right now (protesters & investors, Occupiers & Tea Partiers alike):  mark to market.

That is, all of the "too big to fail" banks should be forced to mark their assets to market value. Whether it Citigroup, Bank of America, Société Générale, BNP etc. they should all be held up to honest accounting standards and fess up to the public just how worthless their assets really are.  Most of them will fail immediately.  Although that's bad for the handful of execs drawing seven figure salaries and thousands of more honest working people.  The truth is that these banks need to be allowed to fail otherwise they will continue to be a drag on taxpayers throughout the world and there will never be a "recovery" under such circumstances.  

To borrow from my favorite blog:

"We've recently entered the third year of this giant give-away, this wealth transfer that knows no equal, not even close, in world history. And we still let it happen. We even let ourselves be fooled by politicians and media pundits into believing we're in a recovery. As in: there has been one after the 2008 collapse, and it’s now the recovery that’s threatened. And all we need to do is valiantly, bravely but resolutely restore it.

Perhaps people like Ben Bernanke actually think there is or there has been a recovery. He certainly sounds like he does. Here's what he said in Congress this week: "We need to make sure that the recovery continues and doesn't drop back..." And if you look at a set of numbers that you pre-select carefully enough, you might indeed think they paint the picture of recovery.

But if you look at the budget cuts and deficits in countries everywhere, if you watch for example what's going on with unemployment and home prices in the US, and with austerity measures all over Europe, and then you add to that picture the trillions of dollars of public money either at risk or already lost to bank bail-outs, how can you maintain that spells recovery?"  continue reading at theautomaticearth blog

Personally, I doubt that the mark-to-market demand will ever be met.  More likely, the privileged few who cling so desperately to whatever advantages they have will need to be removed forcefully, violently even.  It's just a question of who is the brave soul that will fire the first shot, yo?!!!

Oct 7, 11 4:55 pm

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