FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Excerpt: "Americans assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed ... Why? For exercising their right to free speech and assembly - protesting the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the top. And what's Washington’s response? Nothing."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)



Why We Must Occupy Democracy

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

23 November 11

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns



The First Amendment upside down: Why we must Occupy Democracy.


ou've been seeing this across the country … Americans assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed … Why? For exercising their right to free speech and assembly - protesting the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the top.

And what's Washington's response? Nothing. In fact, Congress's so-called "supercommittee" just disbanded because Republicans refuse to raise a penny of taxes on the rich.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court says money is speech and corporations are people. The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision last year ended all limits on political spending. Millions of dollars are being funneled to politicians without a trace.

And a revolving door has developed between official Washington and Wall Street - with bank executives becoming public officials who make rules that benefit the banks before heading back to the Street to make money off the rules they created.

Other top officials, including an increasing proportion of former members of congress, are cashing in by joining lobbying power houses and pressuring their former colleagues to do whatever their clients want.

Millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street and in executive suites aren't contributing all this money out of sheer love of country. Their political spending is analogous to their other investments. Mostly they want low tax rates and friendly regulations.

Why else do you suppose tax rates on the super rich are now lower than they've been in three decades, and why - even though the long-term budget deficit is horrendous - those rates aren't rising? Why else do the 400 richest Americans (whose wealth is larger than the combined wealth of the bottom 150 million Americans) now pay an average tax rate of only 17 percent?

Why do you think Wall Street got bailed without a single string attached - not even being required to help homeowners to whom they sold mortgages, who are now so far under water they're drowning? And why does the financial reform legislation have loopholes big enough for bankers to drive their Ferrari's through?

And why else are oil companies, big agribusinesses, military contractors, and the pharmaceutical industry reaping billions of dollars of government subsidies and special tax breaks?

Experts say the 2012 presidential race is likely to be the priciest ever, costing an estimated $6 billion. "It is far worse than it has ever been," says Republican Senator John McCain.

If there's a single core message to the Occupier movement it's that the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top endangers our democracy. With money comes political power.

Yet when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with all this, they're told the First Amendment doesn't apply. Instead, they're treated as public nuisances - clubbed, pepper-sprayed, thrown out of public parks and evicted from public spaces.

Across America, public officials are saying Occupiers have to go. Even in universities - where free speech is supposed to be sacrosanct - peaceful assembly is being met with clubs and pepper spray.

The First Amendment is being stood on its head. Money speaks, and an unlimited amount of it can now be spent bribing and cajoling politicians. Yet peaceful assembly is viewed as a public nuisance and removed by force.

This is especially worrisome now that so many Americans are in economic trouble. The jobs recession grinds on, seemingly without end. Homes are being foreclosed upon. Qualified students cannot afford college. Or they're forced to take on huge debt loads they can't repay in a jobless economy. Schools are firing teachers. Vital social services are being axed.

How are Americans to be heard about what should be done about any of this if they are not allowed to mobilize and organize? When the freedom of speech goes to the highest bidder, moneyed interests have a disproportionate say.

Now more than ever, the First Amendment needs to be put right side up. Nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake.


Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on publicradio.com and iTunes.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+63 # pernsey 2011-11-23 10:33
ABSO-FRIGGIN-LU TELY!!!

We need to occupy our democracy...eve rything Robert said is spot on!

OCCUPY OCCUPY OCCUPY!!!
 
 
+57 # BradFromSalem 2011-11-23 10:39
If the entrenched powers felt in their hearts that what is happening in America with the disparity in wealth was good and honorable, the Ocuppiers would not have met such resistance. The 1% know that what they are doing is wrong, and they are afraid. They are afraid that the 99% is as ruthless as themselves. One always sees their own worst traits in their enemy. They are afraid that because of their smaller numbers, the 99% will suddenly round them up and steal their wealth. That we have another way to view Democracy, a peaceable and fair view is totally out of their realm of possibilities

As the 1% and especially their flying monkeys get more worried, their tactics will turn more fierce. People stand tall and lock arms we can hold them off, we are the 99% (except for the flying monkeys)
 
 
+3 # Martintfre 2011-11-23 11:29
Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams
 
 
+36 # BradFromSalem 2011-11-23 12:24
And Edison tried hundreds of combinations before arriving at a working light bulb.

The past does not dictate the future, it informs it.
 
 
0 # Lolanne 2011-11-26 11:57
The past does not dictate the future, it informs it.

Absolutely true, LL, assuming we are willing to look at the past clearly and honestly and actually SEE what is there rather than just seeing what we want to see. That is increasingly difficult, given the spin machines that provide what so many people consider "news."
 
 
+20 # John Gill 2011-11-23 12:30
Thanks Martin for sharing this quote. The Founders often expressed their concerns for the future, and by arming today's patriots with such quotes, you can only strengthen their position when they are faced with those who would twist the idea of individual liberty into a justification for a corporate oligarchy. I cannot think why you
received negative response, Martin. Possibly, if you had posted something along the lines of "Democrats good! Republicans bad," you would have been praised. People, Please do read, and please do think.
 
 
+10 # Martintfre 2011-11-23 13:26
Thanks John, you would be amazed at the tings I get negative responses on.

Apparently I am not to blame democrat politicians for writing bail out checks - only republican bankers for cashing them.

Maybe If I just tell half truths - like blame republican politicians for writing the bail out checks I'd be more popular - truth is not a popularity contest.
 
 
+8 # Ken Hall 2011-11-23 22:02
The bailout was a Bushco giveaway. Dems went along but the deregulation that brought on the crisis, and the bailout that made the billionaires whole, was a conservative engineered version of capitalism, i.e., capitalism for the poor, socialism for the rich. The Bush admin didn't want their buddies to lose money.
 
 
+11 # noitall 2011-11-23 15:20
That's because people get lazy and leave their responsibility in a democracy up to those elected. They stop participating and their so-called leaders line their own pockets. Remember, "the people get the government they deserve". You gotta admit that we deserve what we're getting and they deserve what they will get. The loyalty of our leaders is reflected in their voting record on issues important to the people. We have a choice now: let this democracy commit suicide or get in the streets. You do nothing by being fatalistic. Most failed democracies have failed because a minority in control pussies out to outside attacks. Look no further than central America to see how America has attacked and killed democracy. Those same people will kill this one too if we let them. What do you serve by rooting for the demise?
 
 
+5 # NOMINAE 2011-11-23 18:54
@noitall -

There is a stark difference between "rooting for the demise" [of democracy], and warning others of the ways in which democracy has historically "crashed and burned" in the past.

We do much to prevent future train wrecks by studying the way in which wrecks have been known to happen in the past and during the present. Said study is not the logical equivalent of "rooting for a train wreck".

It must be a burden to know it all, but it remains wise to think before we speak.
 
 
+3 # NOMINAE 2011-11-23 18:44
Quoting Martintfre:
Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams


What's with all the "thumbs down" people ? Can't take the truth ?

In this post Martin presents information that is not only historically accurate, (google Greek Republic, Roman Republic, et al,) he is also loosely quoting one of your founding fathers.

So is that a "thumbs down" for John Adams ?

To quote another dead ancestor, "Know your enemy, and know yourself". - Sun Tzu, Art Of War.

All of the thumbs down seem to represent a knee-jerk response that amounts to "killing the messenger".

Just because we may not *like* the truth that Martintfe brings forth here, there could be no more dangerous response than sticking our collective heads in the sand.

Quoting again "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Lighten up on the messenger, folks, we need all the data we can gather to take this present problem on. It is, as Reich indicates above, nothing less than the "Last Stand Of American Democracy" that is under discussion here.
 
 
+5 # Capn Canard 2011-11-24 08:22
NOMINAE, Martintfre makes the mistake with regard to American democracy and the economic system based on monetary value. Time to crack open the head: our founding fathers only continued the system under which they rebelled so long as it profitted themselves. The went from colonial script to a Alexander Hamilton's idea of a national bank. The poor stayed poor. Revolutionary soldiers went unpaid. Farms were foreclosed on. Monetary value is an illusion, a shell game. Three card monte! Keep in mind that Value is liquid, the meaning keeps changing, democracy may be the best system of government but I believe that the real problem lies with the concept of monetary/curren cy value. Traditionalists want value, though what is to be done with that value or how it is used does not necessarily guarantee a quality outcome. This is a problem: how can value create that which is NOT VALUABLE? And yet our system seems to bend over backward to create the worthless products while spending all that is valuable. The results are often left scattered and discarded like debris. Everything is disposable: new car? well it's value lasts for less than 2 to 3 years, new gadgets? appliances? new clothes? ALL OF IT IS DISPOSABLE, one could reasonably say that even the people are considered disposable garbage. Quality is just an elusive by product. No guarantees
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2011-11-25 23:18
Capn Canard - I find no disagreement with what you contribute above. As for the input from Martinfre, I'm not sure how, in economic terms, you "get there from here", but that's O.K.

Yes, your points are very well taken, and a reminder that, in the original document, "We The People" meant: Free, White, Male, Landowner, over the age of 21. Women, blacks, Indians, non-land holders, come under the umbrella of "We The People" in legal status only many years and (for some) decades after the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence was originally written.

Economically speaking, we were indeed literally founded as an Oligarchy. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

But now, it is time for real and certain change. For all of it's apparent growing pains, I think history will look back to OWS as the beginning of the end for *all* of the old systems - economic, social, legal, political, et al - and as the birth of the new paradigm. Birth, of course, is frequently attended by tension, trauma and pain until the final delivery is accomplished.
 
 
+44 # Karlus58 2011-11-23 11:47
The one thing the tea party did that we must do ... is get our own people elected for goodness sakes. There are so many more of us than them. I could never understand why so few get what they want....and so many sit on the sidelines.
 
 
+24 # Regina 2011-11-23 12:22
But the rabid right has corporate money buying ad time without any limits, and buying Congress with those ads. There are still too many people who get that telegarbage via Fox and think it's gospel. Thank the bought-and-paid -for Supreme Court for their overturn of a century of prior rulings in Citizens United -- the loaded 1% bought the W presidency, W's nominees got the Court seats, and we 99%-ers are losing our country.
 
 
+18 # heraldmage 2011-11-23 13:58
The problem is the way political campaigns are financed, puts running for office out of reach of the average citizen. Even running in local elections can be prohibitively expensive even for non paid elected positions. To have a chance of being elected candidates need to either be wealthy or have a sponsor. Once you take a campaign contribution you have sold your vote & voice becoming a tool of the sponsors not the constituents.
We must take money out of politic through public funding of election with absolutely no private money allowed. Influence of all PAC must be limited by prohibiting private meetings,gifts, & sponsored travel with absolutely no exceptions. Also sovereign nations &/or their ex-pat's & supporter must be prohibited from forming PAC's to influence USA government officials.
Additionally we must free the reporting of news & current events from the influence of corporate sponsors, governments & PACs by requiring it be broadcast as a public service for use of the people's airwaves, Also all programs that discuss news & current events must be labelled "commentary, opinion, not based on fact" throughout the broadcast & announced at the beginning & end of all commercial breaks.
 
 
+14 # Anydaynow 2011-11-23 16:37
And get rid of the corporate-contr olled computerized voting machines that secretly count our ballots.
 
 
+26 # Kayjay 2011-11-23 12:03
As pernsey said above, Prof. Reich is spot on! The First Amendment is our nation's most precious asset and vital to democracy. It's the right of free speech that made American government different from despotic dictatorships of the past. More of our people need to take responsibility for their families future and get involved. It terrifies me that if corporate control and power continues ad infinitum, our nation will be a place where Benito Mussolini would have happily retired to. OWS & First Amendment must persevere.
 
 
+34 # seeuingoa 2011-11-23 12:25
And where the Hell is President Obama in all this?

When the Constitutional Right to Peacefully Protest is violated,
is it no longer an internal state issue
to be tackled by the governor or mayor.

It is on his desk!

He was sworn in with his hand on the Bible to uphold the Constitution and the
only thing we have heard from him was when he was mic checked and he was just arrogantly saying "That´s OK, That´s OK"
as a father correcting and excusing his
naughty children.

Axelrod was quoted saying about Michelle
Obama´s campaign activities:
"Her mission is to energize folks
and give them encouragement to go out and do the work"

What about making her mission to energize
her husband and give him the encouragement to go out and do the work he was elected to do.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2011-11-23 14:15
President Obama is on our side. But as Reich said "$$$ is needed to win in 2012" - so the President needs some $ from Wall Street.

I do not want a Repugnut in the W.H. or Congress - so my opinion is: We will get changes after 2012 if we get a majority of Dems + President Obama in the W.H.

He is not KING and not PERFECT - but all GOP are part of the Guber Norquist cult and where will that lead us?

Get all Dems (and u 2) registered early with mail-in ballots for the most important elections to date: 2012
 
 
-1 # jky1291 2011-11-24 17:22
I'm sorry but if the Obama supporters want to split the progressive vote and give the White House to the Republican terrorists that is on them, because there are enough Independents who will not vote for Obama, as well as disenchanted Democrats that he has zero chance of being reelected. But, a true Progressive could enjoy a landslide victory, by leveraging the 80% and growing dissatisfaction with Congress. While I will never vote for another Republican as long as I live, the tax reduction extension welfare entitlement bailout for millionaires and billionaires, following the health care capitulation, forfeited my support for President Obama. It is one thing if one does not know what is right, but it is inexcusable when one knows what is right and still refuses to uphold those principles. It is essential that a candidate that genuinely supports and will fight for the fundamental issues presented in the Rebuild the American Dream movement is identified, recruited, and elected as a 3rd party President to wrestle our country out of the death grip of the multinational corporations.

http://contract.rebuildthedream.com/?rc=rtd_home

If President Obama wished to run in 2016, I would wish him well, hoping he had learned what is required to truly represent all of the citizens of this nation, not just the wealthy 2%.
 
 
+2 # Erdajean 2011-11-23 20:48
Thank you,seeuingoa -- Where indeed is Mr. Obama? Where has he been since the beginning of his presidency? Not with me, for sure, though I worked and donated and voted to see him in office. Yet the knee-jerks leap to chastise any of us who dare take note of this Emperor's bare posterior.
How distasteful that this man who has done next to nothing he promised is patronizing the occupiers -- the REAL leaders and heroes -- for standing against the pack of jackals he runs with.
Never Vote Republican is right and good -- but how about a chance to vote for a Democrat? In a nutshell, how much more of BushWorld can we stand?
 
 
+19 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-23 12:33
I don't think I've ever heard truth spoken so accurately and succinctly. There are no doubt MILLION OF others who agree with the words of the above article. Well done - and I for one, thank you, Mr. Reich.
 
 
+12 # JayMagoo 2011-11-23 12:40
They are not going to suddenly start listening and cease trying to intimidate us. And the 99% in not likely to quietly go home and start worrying privately about the way the 1% is taking over. What will happen next? What can happen next? The last two months have been one surprise after another. Expect a bumpy ride.
 
 
+15 # jwb110 2011-11-23 12:41
The success of the OWS movement depends on staying OUT of the system that has come to oppress us.
If the campaigns coming up are going to be a money fest, so be it. Just don't listen to any of the BS and let them waste their money.
OWS genius is that we can have our own primary elections and organize for representation outside of the Circus of Washington D.C. Get together in your own towns. Find your own candidates. Create "Write in Campaigns". This electronic age is freeing up democracy because we can now communicate outside of Madison Ave and K Street!
OWS has struck at the heart of a giant that knows it has no REAL power. It has money, yes. It has influence in Washington, yes. What it doesn't have is the people.
General Strike and Tax Payer Strike and we win the Day.
 
 
+6 # mwd870 2011-11-23 12:46
This is stunning description and indictment of the state of our politics and enconomy.

Always vote democratic - the alternative could make your head explode.
 
 
+7 # amabanda 2011-11-23 12:49
Isn't it time the democrats unite to find and back someone more progressive and stronger than President Obama, someone that will fight for the 99% of the people, raise the taxes on the wealthy by executive order if necessary, and cut unnecessary spending. We need to convince Obama to follow President Carter's example and quit so that a strong Democrat could run for president. Why not Robert Reich?
 
 
-1 # heraldmage 2011-11-23 15:01
That is a strategy that will ensure the GOP will win the presidency.
We need to re-elect Obama with a Congress that will do the will of the 99% Once Obama is freed from re-election concerns he can focus on the demands of the 99% & previous campaign promises. Congress doesn't work on a simple majority (50%) to pass a 99% agenda requires 67% in House & 61 votes in Senate. That's why Obama hasn't been able to do anything or had to compromise. For 2012 our only hope is to prevent either ruling party from having the majority(51 votes) in the Senate forcing coalitions while electing at least 60% in House. The ideal coalitions partner for the 99% is the Dems.
The best chance for 99% platform would be to co-opt all the progressive independent parties joining them under the 99% banner to provide all 50 state ballot access. Than only run a slate Congressional & state government candidates in every state. Requiring every candidate to sign the platform document promising to enact the 99% ideals, starting with public funding of political campaigns & requiring news to be broadcast as public service.
The last thing we want is to split the ruling party vote for President by running a 3rd party candidate to the mix, Historically it has resulted in a GOP win.
 
 
+1 # GeeRob 2011-11-23 18:30
Jimmy Carter didn't quit. He lost his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan. Think about it.
 
 
-29 # Martintfre 2011-11-23 12:53
Occupiers:
After we eat the first 1% and the premise of cannibalism is acceptable so then it is just a matter of deciding who the next 1% will be.

What do you say Madam Defarge?
 
 
+21 # GeeRob 2011-11-23 14:23
Do you remember Grover Norquist ever running for public office? Me, neither. Yet this lobbyist has obtained the signature of almost every Republican in Congress to sign his no tax pledge. Every Republican on that committee signed it. John Kerry called Norquist the 13th member and not one citizen of the United States ever cast a vote his way. Is this OK with you?
Nobody wants to eat the 1%. We want a government that isn't corrupt.
 
 
+8 # noitall 2011-11-23 15:12
Think about that one for a while Martintfre. You speak nonsense.
 
 
+5 # Ken Hall 2011-11-23 22:04
Trouble is, he doesn't even know it.
 
 
+3 # Capn Canard 2011-11-24 08:37
Martintfre, forgive me but responding to you is difficult because your understanding is locked in the traditional view of reality. I will not go into the manifestation of society's nested calculus, but I will say that change will come with an ever increasing peak of everything as expressed in exponential functions representing money, wealth, power, population, oil, pollution, disease, death, etc etc etc. All of this is coinciding at the same time... there should be no surprise there, where else would they all coincide? Oh well... hang on tight, it will be a difficult ride.
 
 
+19 # GeeRob 2011-11-23 12:54
Occupy Grover Norquist!
 
 
+15 # mwd870 2011-11-23 13:07
"Now more than ever, the First Amendment needs to be put right side up. Nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake."

Is there a way to "Occupy Democracy" other than the relatively slow process of getting better people elected to office? This article doesn't really offer answers for how the First Amendment can be put right side up. It's an understatement to say the situation in our country now is pretty depressing.
 
 
-24 # Robt Eagle 2011-11-23 13:17
Please spend yourselves into oblivion and blame the 1% who pay 30% of the tax in this country. That is a brilliant answer to an over spending problem!!!
 
 
+4 # Ken Hall 2011-11-23 22:04
Irrelevant.
 
 
+4 # Dee Balaam 2011-11-23 13:57
"To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed, then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government, that is its justice, that is its morality." (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon) What's changed since the 19th century? How to improve? Incidentally, Proudhon considered that social revolution could be achieved in a peaceful manner. Can it?
 
 
+9 # Inland Jim 2011-11-23 14:31
Tell the Yolo county DA to prosecute Pike.
 
 
+5 # Capn Canard 2011-11-24 08:40
Inland Jim, AGREED I am convinced that Pike does need to prosecuted. If that is done then the top will fall as well. Katehi and the UC Davis police chief will fall. This would send a very strong message to the police on the ground that their actions have direct ramifications.
 
 
+6 # fredboy 2011-11-23 14:40
Back in the late 1970s and 1980s I investigated the banking/Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and similar savings and loan/federal agency revolving doors and no one would listen. And it got worse. Now the cancer is complete and devours our economy.
 
 
+8 # noitall 2011-11-23 15:11
What Reich says is totally right. What is missing is OUR resolve. If we are 99%, .05% are RESOLVED and active. In order to make this work, we need floods of people that are hip to the issues; that are resolved because of their knowledge of how badly we're getting screwed. Most of the country looks at the demonstrators as 'radicals' or ones in worse shape than "I" am. They don't KNOW because they don't LOOK. If one is relying on the newspaper, news magazines, TV, etc. for objective analysis of the state we're in, they remain ignorant to the details and how this all plays out. They don't have enough info to rally up the drive to get out there. They 'support' the movement but participation is such trouble; its cold, wet, somebody I know might see me; I might lose my job. We've a long way to go and a lot of tenacity, patience, faith, is going to have to be generated in order for the loyal to last until the unknowing are brought into the action. Support and distribute the news that is real, such as this source. Email your friends with easily assimilated information. educate them. Recruit. Get out in the street wherever you are, and bring friends.
 
 
+2 # seeuingoa 2011-11-23 15:27
and don´t forget that the
American Constitution begins with:

" WE THE 99% ... "
 
 
+3 # scherzo 2011-11-23 16:00
The unfathomable mass of the forgotten must stay with us
not as that which we can bring to light, but as that which
is other from what we cannot forget without losing
everything that makes being human possibly divine rather
than infinitely base and horrific. What must I remember?
This becomes the question that will cost everything if it
is forgotten.
 
 
+11 # wfalco 2011-11-23 18:51
Wow! What really blows me away is that stat re:the richest 400 having more combined wealth than the bottom 150 million. It seems to me that is the definition of oligarchy.
Occupy the Oligarchy! Democracy is a figment of our imagination.
 
 
+10 # sheeplady 2011-11-23 20:53
I agree totally with Prof. Reich. Something he did not mention, but is relevant is that after 9/11 and the creation of "Homeland Security," all kinds of grants were made to local police forces so they could be the first line of defense against terrorist attacks. They received all kinds of new equipment, and they have been itching to use it! They got their training and found out how much fun it was to look like a really tough guy with their visored helmets and lots of stuff hanging from their belts and feel really important when then get to dress up and USE this stuff. The super wealthy want to stop this nonsense of "occupying" ASAP, so they pushed for opening pandora's box and the local police are having a great time, treating unarmed, peaceful students and old people as if they were threatening to set off a bomb or something. We have created a "POLICE STATE" AND WE NEED TO STOP IT NOW!
 
 
+5 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-23 21:29
We who post within this forum are obviously concerned. But ... we can't read and post here, then turn off our communications devices and go about our other business, and expect that changes will occur due to our commentary. When we leave this forum, we'd better be prepared to write our electied officials - visit their offices if possible - speak up at "Town Hall" meetings, city council meetings, be actively involved in an occupy movement to as high a degree as is possible. The communications here is important - but we can't ONLY post our opinions - we must BE involved at every possible level.
 
 
+8 # nschauer 2011-11-23 22:25
Changing tax law will only be a temporary fix. Laws can be passed then diluted until there is no law.

I believe there is a Supreme Court case here. People vs U.S. The Constitution clearly states that the purpose of govt. is to protect and insure the rights of the people. Liberty is one of the most important of those rights and is defined as creating, maintaining households and owning property. The govt. has allowed an infringement on the Liberty of the people by letting sources of capital to be monopolized by a small minority of people.

This case obviously needs to be tightened up. But I think a Supreme Court ruling is the only way to get permanent reform.
What do you think Mr. Reich?
 
 
0 # WLawpsh 2011-11-25 15:53
Quoting nschauer:
But I think a Supreme Court ruling is the only way to get permanent reform.


YES YES YES. Framing the case is a shade more problematic though than your straightforward analysis proposes. Would that it were so easy. The perfect Case for the purpose of reestablishing all five of the proclaimed constitutional values (Justice, Tranquility, defence, Welfare and Liberty) is identified and presented at the website "Might Is Not Right" at http://mightisnotright.org/. And please consider “Who Owns Wall Street Anyway. THE SEQUEL," Reader Supported News, November 17, 2011, at http://readersupportednews.org//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8464.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN