I’ve been Demonstrating … yesterday told a reporter with the Huffington Post “I’m here because tax policy is unfair and energy policy is foolish and short sighted.”
The real demand is for economic democracy. Political democracy is meaningless in the face of a non-democratic economy.
President Obama was a community organizer and professor of Constitutional Law – not an economist or an environmentalist. His biggest mistakes, I think, were hiring Geithner, Sommers, Bernake – men from Wall Street – and Stephen “Clean Coal” Chu, rather than economists like Krugman, Stiglitz, Costanza, Daly, and energy people like Lovins and McKibben. (Yes he hired Van Jones, but Jones is history.)
The “Extended Text” appears on Page 1 of a handout I have been distributing. I also sent it to Pres. Obama, Rep. Holt, and Senators Menendez and Lautenberg.
Occupy Wall Street – Demands
1. Reinstate Glass Steagel, with stronger protections for people. Separate investment banking and commercial banking. To protect the privacy, financial integrity and intellectual property of American citizens, all customer service roles in which bank accounts, credit card accounts, and other financial information is visible must be subject to American law enforcement agencies and American Courts.
2. Reverse Citizens United. As established in the 13th Amendment, people can’t own people, therefore corporations, which people may own, are not people. The people who work in corporations have the right to free speech, assembly, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and other protections as guaranteed by the Constitution. The corporations themselves, however, being nothing more than a dynamic set of contracts, have no such rights.
3. Democracy not Aristocracy. 1 – Take the money out of politics. Eliminate campaign contributions above $2000.00 from individuals and all campaign contributions from corporations, political action committees, unions, etc. Fund campaigns with tax revenues. Require broad-cast television and radio and cable news networks to provide equal time to all candidates.
4. Democracy not Aristocracy. 2 – Service ought not be a path to wealth. Close the Revolving Doors between government and business. Our gvernment is of the people, by the people, and for the people, not for the politicians and their friends. People should aspire to hold elective office out of desire to help the citizens, not a desire to get rich or help their friends. Enforce a 4-year ban on moving from an elected or appointed role in federal, state, and local government to lobbying in any jurisdiction or working as a news commentator on television, radio, and cable news networks. Require all candidates for elected office, elected and appointed office holders to identify their income and assets, and divest themselves of holdings worth more than $1.0 million or place such holdings in a blind trust.
5. Clean & Green Within 18. Develop and implement plans to shift, within 18 years, from fuel and waste based energy systems, such as coal, oil, methane, and nuclear power to 100% process based systems, wind, water, solar, geothermal, biofuel, and efficiency. Fund this shift via taxes on the fuel and waste based systems and the progressive income tax as detailed below.
6. Strengthen the EPA. Like the FBI, ATF, and other Federal law enforcement agencies, the EPA protects citizens. The fox can not effectively guard the henhouse. As BP demonstrated in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill, corporations will act to protect shareholders NOT stakeholders. Therefore, local, state, and federal law enforcement and protective agencies, such as EPA, FBI, etc must act quickly and decisively in the event of accidental or natural disasters.
7. Fair & Progressive Tax Policy. Reinstate a dramatic progressive tax code which taxes high incomes and wealth and spurs investment and well-being. People get rich by hard work, talent, luck, and by other people buying their products, or by inheriting wealth because an ancestor worked hard, was talented and lucky, and people bought his or her product. The wealthy should help the society that helped them. Tax revenues should fund law enforcement, national security, education, health care, elections, and the communications and transportation infrastructure, as detailed in the Income Tax section, below.
8. A Healthy Economy Split up corporations that are “too big to fail” into corporations that are not.
9. Medicare for All. Medicare to provide health care for all citizens, including the President, members of the Congress, the Judiciary, their families, and their staffs.
10. Protect Domestic Industries and American Citizens. Products of foreign state supported industries, such as the Chinese photovoltaic solar module industry, are to be tariffed at the rate by which they are subsidized. Rather than gut union benefits, provide union benefits across the board.