Sunday, October 2, 2011

So what do we really want?

One of the criticisms leveled at #occupywallstreet (and yes, I am going to be a trendy and call them OWS from now on) is that these folks don't have an agenda, a program, a set of legislative proposals.  Right now, this doesn't matter one whit because they are demonstrating for the banksters just how furious everyone (or at least everyone who has an opinion on the subject) is with bankster rule.

If nothing else is accomplished, this is enough.  An even casual reading of history will show that the few revolutions that have ever succeeded did so because the middle class Producers have become enraged enough to become politically involved.  Middle class revolutions succeed because when the revolutionaries are asked, "And just what makes you think you can run a country?" they have the perfect response, "We are already doing all the important things that keep our country running—we will be able to do that job better if we can free ourselves from paying so much extortion money to crooks."

At some point in time however, demonstrations of collective rage are not going to be enough.  As John Lennon sang in Revolution, "We just want to see your plan!"  Regular readers of this blog know we aren't afraid to outline an agenda—we think the solutions are really quite obvious once the the problems have been well defined.  But for those who may have skipped a few posts because the title was so lame or other reasons, here are the basics of our agenda.

1) The MOST important demand is a SERIOUS crackdown on corruption and other dangerous forms of public dishonesty.  The problems presented by Peak Oil and Climate Change (among others) are so difficult and complex, only the most honest and coordinated efforts can have any hope of meaningfully addressing them.  We have become a nation of liars—this simply must change.  Liars are industrial saboteurs.

2) Any banks that owe their existence to the taxpayer MUST submit to renewed government regulation—re-up Glass—Steagall, strict usury laws, the works.  Those regulations served us well, while disasters have piled up since their repeal.  It probably won't do much good to outlaw the money casinos, but gambling establishments shouldn't be allowed in any way to affect the course of democratic governments.

3) Nationalize the Federal Reserve.  The guys who wrote the Constitution made it clear that the USA government must control the creation of money.  They believed that if a democracy doesn't control this vital social function, it isn't a democracy at all.  They were right.  We cannot afford the current arrangment—it must be changed.

4) Restructure existing debts.  There is simply no way the economy can regain its footing until the overwhelming majority of debt is written off—a global bankruptcy, a Jubilee, whatever you want to call it.  The debt overhang must be eliminated.  Because...

5) We must embark on a massive investment in how this country powers itself.  We must stop burning oil because neither we nor the planet can afford it any longer.  I believe that replacing the petroleum infrastructure will require an investment of at least $2 TRILLION per year for 50 years.  $2 TRILLION is 40,000,000 jobs paying $50,000 a year (or 20,000,000 @ $100,000—you do the math).  This investment is absolutely critical for our possible survival—There.Is.No.Alternative!  And 40,000,000 middle-class jobs WILL restart the economy IF it leads to lower fuel consumption.

None of these ideas are new—some of them have been around for centuries.  All of them bring prosperity.  All of them can solve large and highly complex problems.

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