Third Party & Independents Archives

While Americans suffer, Congress gets richer

Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, more than a 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to an analysis of members’ financial disclosure forms.

Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress. The richest have most of the wealth. Sound familiar?

Two years ago, the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. The minimum net worth is determined by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities. That amount does not include homes and other non-income-generating property, which is likely to tally hundreds of millions of uncounted dollars. The amount also doesn't include undisclosed, unreported or "exempted" wealth or the value of personal possessions.

And as the Occupy Wall Street protesters around the country are being beaten, tazed, maced and jailed for decrying the grotesque consolidation of wealth in America, the trend can be seen starkly in Congress, a comparison suggested by the American Enterprise Institute. The 50 richest members of Congress accounted for 78 percent of the net worth in the institution in 2008 ($1.29 billion of the $1.65 billion total); by 2010 the share of the 50 richest had risen to 80 percent ($1.63 billion of the $2.04 billion total). The pie of Congressional wealth got bigger, and the richest politicians are getting a bigger slice.

As with the general U.S. population, a few exceedingly wealthy people skew the averages for the rest of the membership. But still, by almost any measure, the average member of Congress is far wealthier than any average taxpayer they claim to represent.

And Congress appears to be getting richer faster than the rest of the nation. Citing Federal Reserve data, "From the end of 2008 to end of 2010, aggregate household worth increased four percent." That is about one-fifth the increase Congress achieved during the same time period.

So ... the question is, are you better off under this Congress? This Congress certainly is.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at November 3, 2011 2:40 AM
Comments
Comment #331412

Do you have a list of the richest members and how much they have?

Posted by: C&J at November 3, 2011 5:32 AM
Comment #331413

“So … the question is, are you better off under this Congress?”

actually the question should be “are you better off under this president?” the answer is…..NO.

Posted by: dbs at November 3, 2011 5:35 AM
Comment #331417
dbs wrote:

actually the question should be “are you better off under this president?” the answer is…..NO.


Nice attempt to redirect, Duck Dodgers.

The “Blind Partisan Anti-Obama Hate-Spewers Anonymous” meeting is down the hall.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at November 3, 2011 10:22 AM
Comment #331418

The 50 richest members of Congress:
http://www.rollcall.com/50richest/the-50-richest-members-of-congress-112th.html

And before anyone tries to spin off on how many are Democrats and how many are Republicans:
* 32 are Republican
* 18 are Democrat

With $514.61 Million, the top two (Republicans McCaul and Issa) have just shy of more than the next six (Democrats Kerry, Rockefeller, Warner, Polis, Lautenberg and Blumenthal) combined at $524 Million.

So, which irrelevant talking-point direction shall we spin off into next?


Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at November 3, 2011 10:34 AM
Comment #331419

I agree some of the richest people in the country are in DC. So what is the point? Do you think the OWS should move to Occupy Congress? Do you begrudge or are you envious that these men and women made good choices in investments or inherited this vast amount of money? IMO I don’t really care how much money any of them have. All I am interrested in is how they represent their states and districts.

Posted by: KAP at November 3, 2011 11:07 AM
Comment #331427

KAP,
I don’t think anybody really begrudges or cares about their
wealth. But when they are fighting tooth and nail to put MORE money into the pockets of the rich because it will create jobs whereas any reasoned analysis indicates it wont create jobs; then some are disapproving or worse - not envious.

Posted by: Schwamp at November 3, 2011 1:57 PM
Comment #331429

Schwamp, Give me one example of government creating any private sector jobs? I can give you a few of government hindering job creation, example: over regulation, high corporate taxes, these are just 2 of many. I am far from being rich but that is my fault. I had the same oportunities that Issa, Kerry, and all the rest of the rich congressmen and women as did you and each and every other blogger on WB has had. So if you don’t like what the people of your state and district are doing in congress VOTE THEM OUT.

Posted by: KAP at November 3, 2011 3:38 PM
Comment #331431

so gary

do you feel the same way about the previous congress? or just this one, since the republicans took back the house? you can try to hide your contempt for the right by adressing congress as a whole, but we all know in which direction this post is truely aimed.

IMO we are much better off with this one as opposed to the last because the dems no longer have the ability to piss away trillions more in borrowed money.

as for how wealthy some members of congress are…..get over it. if you want to be in the 1% go out and earn it, or quit whinning.

Posted by: dbs at November 3, 2011 3:56 PM
Comment #331432

KAP


“I had the same oportunities that Issa, Kerry, and all the rest of the rich congressmen and women as did you and each and every other blogger on WB has had.”


you mean you had the opportunity to marry theresa hines, and live off her late husbands fortune, and you passed it up? LOL!!!! sorry…..i couldn’t help myself.

i’m in the same boat, and blame no one but myself. don’t tell that to the OWS morons though.

Posted by: dbs at November 3, 2011 4:02 PM
Comment #331433

Amen to that dbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KAP at November 3, 2011 4:11 PM
Comment #331434
dbs wrote:

do you feel the same way about the previous congress? or just this one, since the republicans took back the house? you can try to hide your contempt for the right by adressing congress as a whole, but we all know in which direction this post is truely aimed.

Well, dbs, since your reply is littered with partisan crapola (dems, libs, dems piss away trillions, OWS morons, etc), and my post includes nothing but factual statements, I think you’re *way* down the list of people who should be alleging who is partisan and who isn’t.

I ascribe my loathing and contempt for *ANY* politician who lines their own pockets and caters to the corpocracy while lying their ass off about “serving the American people.”

We *ALL* know - you included - that this who “job creators” jingo is complete B.S. because FACTS AND HISTORY PROVE IT’S B.S. The “tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs” premise didn’t pan out in 2004 because the executives hoarded it all for their bonuses, and the exact same thing happened with the TARP bailouts, and it will happen again if the GOP gets their way again.

Keep your head buried. The oxygen deprivation will do us good.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at November 3, 2011 4:17 PM
Comment #331435

I didn’t realize that dba was actually Kevin Bacon.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_J1msRicgkzw/TTO3rXmxsvI/AAAAAAAAAs4/xejcz_bQTLI/s1600/animalhousescene.gif

Thanking the 1% for spanking him.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at November 3, 2011 4:20 PM
Comment #331436

gary

the only thing you’ve ever written here that was semi objective was that piece on wienergate. that all went down hill when you jumped on the breitbart bandwagon. how’d that work out for you?

i’ve been participating here for @ 8 or 9 years. my political leanings are a mystery to no one.


“Keep your head buried. The oxygen deprivation will do us good.”


get a grip, and post your drivel in the blue column where it really belongs. independant. HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!


Posted by: dbs at November 3, 2011 4:39 PM
Comment #331437

watch the video clip towards the bottom.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/one-per-center-peter-schiff-visits-occupy-wall-street-produces-18-minutes-of-civility/

Posted by: dbs at November 3, 2011 4:44 PM
Comment #331438

gary


“Thanking the 1% for spanking him.”


how is acceping resposibility for my position in life, “Thanking the 1% for spanking me.”? what a juvenile comment. i guess it’s always easier to pass the blame than to accept responsibility for your choices in life.

Posted by: dbs at November 3, 2011 5:17 PM
Comment #331441

“Schwamp, Give me one example of government creating any private sector jobs?”

KAP,

I will give it a shot. How about Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, etc. Those four alone in 2007 accounted for over $75 Billion dollars in government created private sector jobs. The top 100 defense contractors accounted for $306,521,269,483 in private sector jobs in that one year. OK, not all of it went to private sector jobs, some of it went to corporate profit and shareholders. http://www.govexec.com/features/0807-15/0807-15s3s1.htm

Think about it, defense purchases from just the 100 top private sector defense contractors in one year was almost as much as that allocated for direct federal spending under the stimulus package of 2009 ($357 Billion). More importantly, these are ongoing purchases and not a one time stimulus.

The idea that government does not or cannot create private sector jobs is nonsense. The military-industrial complex is one of the pillars of our economy. It is almost entirely dependent upon direct government support.

Now, is this the best way for government to create private sector jobs? Maybe not. If the money was being spent on infrastructure, energy development and other spending that would spur private sector expansion beyond the specific purchases such as an aircraft carrier, then maybe people could more readily see the possibilities for government private sector job creation.

Posted by: Rich at November 3, 2011 6:18 PM
Comment #331447

Gary

But you presented no evidence that they lined their pockets at the expense of the American people.

Let me take Kerry as an example, because I have no reason to defend Kerry except that he is not guilty of lining his pockets at the expense of the people.

Kerry made his money the old-fashioned way; he married it. He would be just as rich, maybe richer, if he was not Senator, presuming that Teresa would have met and married him.

Many people in government service actually take salary cuts to serve. In fact, one of the reasons smart people leave the government is that they want to make money.

Much as we hate to admit it, Senators and Congressmen are often smart and talented people, the kind that get rich in America.

The question should not be whether or not they are rich, but rather if they get lots richer while in government service in ways that cannot be explained.

Most Congress members are also older. They have a life of work and investment, usually in professional field. In a “fair” world, i.e. w/o dishonest activity, a person with a law degree, MBA, MD etc, as many have, will almost always end up with a net worth in the millions by the time he is 60, unless he has really bad luck or bad habits.

I know that people will be shocked, shocked by this, but households with more than a million net worth are not that uncommon among educated people at the ages of most Congress members. In fact, IMO, if you are 60, healthy, with a law degree, MBA or MD and you do NOT have at least a million in net worth, you were very unlucky or just not paying attention.

Posted by: C&J at November 3, 2011 6:56 PM
Comment #331448

By what you stated Rich, the only way government creates private sector jobs is by purchasing something from the private sector much like you or me do. If there is no government demand for a product what then happens? I’ll tell you LAYOFFS. Much like when demand for a product dwindles in the private sector. No Rich government dosen’t create jobs, the private sector creates the jobs by making a product the government needs, otherwise this would be a socialist country by the government building the factories that are needed to build the products they need.

Posted by: KAP at November 3, 2011 7:00 PM
Comment #331457

Come on KAP, the challenge was whether government could ever create private sector jobs. It clearly can. In fact, every year the government creates/maintains millions of jobs with its defense contracting. The fact that those private sector jobs are dependent upon government demand for defense hardware means what? Sure, the government could nationalize the defense industry like it did during WWII. It has chosen not to. Better to have some competitive capitalistic motivation to create the better mousetrap or all purpose fighter. The fact remains that government can and does create private sector jobs. If you think that the only way government can create jobs is by directly hiring a person then we are working from an entirely different premise.


Posted by: Rich at November 3, 2011 8:47 PM
Comment #331459

Wrong again Rich the industry was already in place, Northrop Grumman could just as well build Oil Tankers for Exxon Mobile just as well as an Air Craft Carrier. Same thing with Lockheed Martin and Boeing and General Dynamics. The jobs were there already. The government wanted a different version of what they already were produceing. The government don’t create jobs, they create their own version of what the companies are already produceing.

Posted by: KAP at November 3, 2011 9:17 PM
Comment #331460

Rich

I think KAP is talking NET jobs.

The government taxes other Americans who can create fewer jobs. It merely moves them, with some loss of efficiency in the process.

Government CAN create jobs in the long run by creating the conditions that help individuals and firms create prosperity. It can best create jobs by sticking to its core functions.

Government works best when it does what it does best and keeps out of the rest. The problem with our government is that it has expanded its reach into various other areas. Does anybody think that today’s larger and more intrusive government is better at things like building and maintaining infrastructure or keeping us safe than a smaller government was a generation ago?

Government spending has grown, but government effectiveness has not. Maybe it is messed up not in spite of the greater resources spent, but because of it.

Posted by: C&J at November 3, 2011 9:27 PM
Comment #331464

KAP,

Be serious. If Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, etc. were to lose all their government defense contracts, they would be toast along with the communities where they are located. Their stock value would plummet. Do you really think that those corporations could suffer the loss of such an enormous amount of business without significant impact on jobs and profitability? As the article I linked to pointed out, we are talking about $307 Billion dollars of business for just 100 contractors in the single year of 2007. In just three years the loss of that amount would mean approximately a trillion dollars of lost business to the communities in which these corporations are located.

If you think that there is huge private sector demand for the military hardware products or variations produced by the major defense contractors, you are sadly mistaken. Sure there is a foreign government market for many of the products but, as for private non-military, not so much. What’s the private sector demand for massive payload transport aircraft? How many supersonic fighter jets are needed by the private sector?


Posted by: Rich at November 3, 2011 9:48 PM
Comment #331465

C&J,

Well, I guess that there should be no problem in dramatically cutting off government funding for the military-industrial complex from an economic perspective. There should be no net change in American jobs. Nonsense. The aircraft, shipbuilding, advanced electronics, etc. industries would go the way of all other manufacturing industries in the US-to China or India. The only thing keeping high tech, state of the art aircraft and other military related industries in the US is direct government support.

The one major manufacturing industry in the US that is thriving is the defense industry. It is not because the government has taken a “hands off” policy but because of just the opposite.

Posted by: Rich at November 3, 2011 10:05 PM
Comment #331468

Rich, Yes the government is the biggest customer of these corporations. That dosen’t mean they created the jobs. The jobs were there in the beginning when these companies were doing civilian work. Government created the conditions for expansion. Defence contracts are a lucrative business but even then they have their down turns. Munition companies were already making bullets and explosives government just wanted a different version of what they were producing. So government dosen’t create jobs they give the opportunity to expand on what is already in place.

Posted by: KAP at November 3, 2011 10:14 PM
Comment #331471

I think there’s a broader point that’s being missed here. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Government can create jobs by spending money to purchase goods and services from the private sector. What’s being overlooked is the opportunity cost, that is, the cost of taking that money out of the economy in the first place.

For every dollar the Government spends, it first has to take it from someone else, either through current tax dollars or deficit spending, which is borrowed money that will have to come out of future tax dollars. Though it’s technically correct that when the Government spends that dollar, it supports jobs in the private sector, the truth is that the private sector is much more efficient, so an equal or greater amount of activity would most likely occur if that dollar had been left in the private sector in the first place.

There have been a ton of studies, with a wide range of numbers, but they all tend to peg the opportunity cost within a range of $1.40 to $1.80. Using that as a ballpark, for every job that the Government creates, it is potentially costing 1.4 to 1.8 jobs, creating a net loss of jobs, not a gain.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at November 4, 2011 12:32 AM
Comment #331484

Being wealthy is not a crime.
There is nothing wrong with being wealthy (itself).

The problem is how some people become wealthy.
These 10 major abuses are destroying the nation.

One of the biggest (if not worst) problems with the U.S. government is that it is quite simply FOR-SALE.
An obvious example of that is that 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters are VASTLY out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the weatlhiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more.

However, Congress still has 76% re-eletion rates (though, down in year 2010 from 86% in the year 2008 election).

Therefore, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 4, 2011 3:24 PM
Comment #331492

I just came across this, and found it hilarious!

Slideshow of the homes some of the OWS protestors are forced to live in…

And just so you understand where the authors came up with these addresses from…This article articulates the manner in which these home addresses were identified and even evaluates thier approximate values…

Posted by: adam at November 4, 2011 5:34 PM
Comment #331494

Rich kids and street people are usually the core of protests in the U.S.

You know that anybody who can hang around a protest for weeks doesn’t work. Maybe he is too rich to need to; or too lazy, but only an idle person has the time.

Posted by: C&J at November 4, 2011 6:02 PM
Comment #331509

Good article.

adam:

I just came across this, and found it hilarious!

Slideshow of the homes some of the OWS protestors are forced to live in…

And just so you understand where the authors came up with these addresses from…This article articulates the manner in which these home addresses were identified and even evaluates thier approximate values…

You know what’s really hilarious? That the people who so hate the protesting of OWS first labeled all of these people “hippie losers”, and now you’re getting angry at the thought that some of them might actually come from the upper middle class? Ha ha! Oh such sad desperation!!!
I LOVE IT!

In truth, that article link only shows how badly the 1% wants the middle class to disappear — because it was Wall Street and the Banksters that caused those homes to be completely inflated by their creation of the housing bubble.
Btw, the average home value in Manhattan and surrounding areas? It was $1.4 MILLION as of July 2011 (CNN Money). So what’s $305K in the NYC area? The answer is Middle Class.
Oh but the article wants you to think that it’s totally shocking that people living around NYC come from homes worth quite a bit more than the national median!!! Ha ha! You’ve really got to admire that kind of in-depth, hard-hitting reporting!

Btw, how many of those homes are in foreclosure, or about to be? Hmm, article doesn’t say. How many of those homes has an owner who is currently jobless and is now struggling to pay? Hmm, article doesn’t say that either… But what it does say is this:
“The median age of “Occupy” protesters taken into custody is 27 years.”

So, more than likely a huge number of these people who were arrested are not too long out of college or grad school and still living with their parents. And they might be doing that for long while too; if they can’t get a job, or if their college loans are simply too insanely high to pay off in addition to the monthly cost of an apartment and utilities.

I realize it’s very difficult for many of you to see beyond your blind hatred and rage against the people protesting at OWS — but come on, you should still make at least an attempt to use a little bit of logic.

Also, what if some of these folks are upper middle class? That just means they are of the 99%, does it not? You know, even upper middle class people have a right not to like the fact that Wall Street corruption has bought off our government.

Your article has done an about-face from the “hippie loser” label and is trying very hard to present these people’s protest as ridiculously illogical — because well-educated upper middle class people haven’t traditionally gotten out to protest with the rest of us “hippie losers.” Yet the fact is, these people can, and they certainly should come out and protest with OWS. Because everybody — rich, poor, employed, unemployed, old and young are ALL allowed to be tired of the corruption which has spread like a cancer all over our society.
Because it is very clear that Wall Street, Banks, Big Corporations, Health Care Providers, and our Government are only thinking of how they can line their pockets with money — no matter how they have to do it, and no matter who is being made to suffer. And while a few of these people may have become the billionaire 1% by working hard, we all know that the vast majority have done so by betraying our nation and by stealing from all of us.

Jack:

Rich kids and street people are usually the core of protests in the U.S.

You know that anybody who can hang around a protest for weeks doesn’t work. Maybe he is too rich to need to; or too lazy, but only an idle person has the time.

Or rich and middle class and poor kids who are now street people because their houses were foreclosed on. You also forgot to mention the huge numbers of unemployed who can’t find work, and the under-employed who can’t find enough work. They’ve all got lots of time to protest against the lack of jobs, and against all the corruption and unchecked criminality, too.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 4, 2011 9:11 PM
Comment #331520

Adrienne

Idle rich kids, given time, evolve into “hippie losers”. Sometimes they are interesting and vaguely lovable, like the character in “Big Lebowski”, but it is hard to get a full day’s work out of them.

I understand the the unemployed have time. Time might be better used improving your skills or actually looking for work, BTW. If you can camp out for weeks or months you are not merely unemployed; you are idle and idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.

Re the rich houses - if they are losing them because they cannot afford the payment, they probably should not have bought them in the first place. People should be more prudent. Chrissy and I live in a house that is way below our means. Others used to laugh at us as they bought big places, beyond their means. I am unenthusiastic about helping them keep their ill-gotten gains and/or the fruits of imprudence. In fact, maybe we can buy one of those houses now that prices have dropped.

Re the 99% - that includes you, me and probably every other person who writes here. A definition that includes everybody is w/o distinction.

Besides, we members of the 99% seem to disagree. Those guys sleeping in the park don’t represent me. Nor do they seem to represent most of the comments on this blog.

We all want more jobs, better economic growth, more honest politicians etc. Most of us agree with OWS in these things and we also agree that Obama has failed to deliver. But that does not mean OWS represents us or that we have to like what they propose or the methods they apply.

Posted by: C&J at November 5, 2011 10:23 AM
Comment #331528

Adrienne

Idle rich kids, given time, evolve into “hippie losers”.

Uh huh. It seems that everyone on the left is labeled a “hippie loser” by rightwingers these days no matter who they actually happen to be. All they have to do is disagree with conservative views on any given issue. Indeed, “hippie loser” has become such a ubiquitous comment that it’s been rendered practically meaningless.

Sometimes they are interesting and vaguely lovable, like the character in “Big Lebowski”, but it is hard to get a full day’s work out of them.

Or maybe some people just don’t treat others with respect or pay them well enough to provide any reason to work hard.

idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.

Since the greed of the idle rich is what caused so many hands to become idle there’s another biblical quote that seems applicable here:
“they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

Re the rich houses - if they are losing them because they cannot afford the payment, they probably should not have bought them in the first place.

No, the people you’re talking about already lost their homes long ago. The people who are currently losing their homes are the ones who are losing their jobs due to the failed economy, or who have gone through all of their savings while looking for work (that they can’t find).

People should be more prudent.

People should also be honest, and people should be capable of feeling at least a little bit of human empathy for the plight of others — but it seems that some folks really get a lot of mean-spirited satisfaction out of looking down their noses at others.

In fact, maybe we can buy one of those houses now that prices have dropped.

Yeah sure, but now it’s very easy to see where all this will ultimately lead for the vast majority of Americans. Eventually the 1% is going to end up owning almost everything with huge numbers of people in this country living under some sort of a truck system or in debt bondage. OWS protesters understand this, and that’s why they’re rising up now.

Don’t worry, people can always thank this movement later — after all, it’s always been this way with progressive movements. We’ve always had to fight like hell against the 1% — and be brutalized, and go to jail; but when we’ve finally won the day, the entire country (including all the people who once heaped scorn and abuse on us) will all get to partake of a far better future than the 1% ever had in mind for us.

Re the 99% - that includes you, me and probably every other person who writes here. A definition that includes everybody is w/o distinction. Besides, we members of the 99% seem to disagree.

You really do misunderstand this movement, Jack.
OWS is fighting on behalf of everyone WHO ISN’T THE 1%. We know not everyone is with us (or not with us yet). We know that many people don’t understand what we’re attempting to do at all. We understand that some people have been terribly deluded by the propaganda campaigns of the 1%. Or are just disagreeing because they don’t like the idea of protests or uprisings of any kind. Or don’t know much about the history of this country and what enormous numbers of our people once had to endure during the 18th and 19th centuries when a small percentage of wealthy people owned and controlled everything. Or simply haven’t yet lost their jobs or been affected by what is happening in the rest of the country.

The folks of OWS aren’t looking down their noses at people who don’t (yet) understand, or fault people for ignorance.
We’ll continue fighting FOR the 99% — even if people don’t understand why, even if we are mocked, even when we are brutalized, even when we are jailed. Because We The People MUST regain our power over the 1% — before it’s too late.

Those guys sleeping in the park don’t represent me.

Yes, actually they do. But it’s clear that you simply don’t understand why they do at the moment. Maybe you will eventually come to understand. I hope you will. I even hope you will join us.
But even if you never do, we are going to keep going because what we’re trying to do is too important.

Nor do they seem to represent most of the comments on this blog.

That doesn’t matter. The OWS movement continues to grow. More and more people are coming to understand the importance of this fight and are joining us.

We all want more jobs, better economic growth, more honest politicians etc. Most of us agree with OWS in these things and we also agree that Obama has failed to deliver.

Politicians on both sides of the political aisle have completely failed this nation. Most of the people joining OWS are able to acknowledge this as a fact. That is why OWS truly is a non-partisan movement and is not likely to become co-opted by either mainstream political party.
We the People have a government that has been bought and is being controlled by the 1% of Wall Street and Giant Corporations, so OWS will continue to fight until that is no longer the case.

But that does not mean OWS represents us or that we have to like what they propose or the methods they apply.
OWS is fighting for the 99% — even if you don’t like their proposals or the methods. As you must know by now, these people are using direct democracy to make decisions by consensus, so if you have proposals or ideas for better methods, you would simply need to meet with your local OWS group and be willing to get up and speak your mind. Don’t be afraid to do it — because all sincere viewpoints are being listened to. However, I will warn people in advance that if they decide to try make themselves a spokesman for status quo ideas typical of either mainstream political party, your ideas aren’t at all likely to be popular.

On a final note:
Activists of all stripes, including the people of OWS, know that it is always easy for people to simply criticize and mock things than it is for them to get involved and try to make a difference in the world. So if anyone here thinks that their criticism and derision will somehow kill off OWS, they’re very much mistaken.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 5, 2011 6:37 PM
Comment #331530

Adrienne

I don’t like the idle rich any more than the idle poor. The thing I don’t like in general is idleness. So feel free to trash the “idle rich”. I am with you on that.

“People should also be honest, and people should be capable of feeling at least a little bit of human empathy for the plight of others — but it seems that some folks really get a lot of mean-spirited satisfaction out of looking down their noses at others. “

Re honest - I am with you. I don’t lie, cheat or steal nor do I tolerate those who do. I even tell the whole truth on my income taxes, even about the little amounts I get in cash. In fact, I take it a step further. I take LESS than I think I can get and always advise my kids and co-workers to leave something on the table.

But I understand that not everyone is as honest as you and I. That is why I am in favor of removing as much of the opportunity to steal as possible. That means lots of government programs.

Re understanding the OWS - maybe I don’t. But it is their job to convince me (as one of the 99% they claim as their constituency). It doesn’t help the OWS will not talk details or even articulate an agenda. We all are for more jobs, a just system and robust economic growth. The problem is in the details of how to achieve those things. I don’t think a big Lebowski plan is really going to do it.

So please do me a favor. If you know, tell me the methods the OWS plan to use to create jobs and get the economy growing robustly.

I understand why they may be made at the fat cats who are making the big bucks, but even if you take all the money of those involved in the crash, you still can’t make a dent on the deficit. Maybe it is the fault of people at Goldman-Sacks that much money is lost, but it is indeed lost.

I lost big money on my house. I will never get that back, or if I do it will be natural appreciation over years.

The fact is that my house went from $240K to nearly $700k in ten years. It wasn’t really worth $700k. Now it is back “down” to around $400k. (it dropped to about the 2004 level) It is probably still over priced. I doubt if we will enjoy much appreciation for a long time. Should somebody give us “back” the $300K we “lost”. Which value for the house should be “recovered” Should we do 2006, 2009, or maybe 2000.

We also used to have a much bigger stock portfolio. That crashed like a stone too. We never engaged in any speculative investment, so we are not underwater. But who should compensate us for the losses? Where will the money come from?

For nearly thirty years, we have acted prudently and correctly. Who will compensate for our losses? Nobody.

As for the OWS with an average age (as you say) of 27. When I was 27 I was usually unemployed. With my MA in ancient history, I could usually find short term jobs in either the hospitality or the food service industries. Us smart and educated guys sometimes think we are too good for that, but we are not. I notice that McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are still hiring. Sorry if someone with a degree as “useless” as mine has to do these things during hard times.

I will paraphrase what RR said. When you lose your job, it is called a recession, when your wife loses her job, it is called a depression and when Obama loses his job, it will be a recovery. But OWS will not have contributed.


Posted by: C&J at November 5, 2011 7:29 PM
Comment #331531

Adrienne

BTW - I think we have the biggest tool for economic recovery easily in our reach. We just have to say yes - http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/007755.html#more

This will be a real wealth producer. OWS should protest in favor of making this work. That would help us 99%.

BTW - since the OWS are so generous to represent me, I have decided that I also represent them, so they can sign on to my platforms, as articulated in my various posts. They can thank me later. I promise to sleep out in the back yard for a couple of hours tomorrow, risking attack by angry birds & squirrels. I cannot do it too long, because I have to work to pay all those taxes. I do it all for my OWS comrades. Solidarity forever. Together our strategic sleeping will bring “the Man” to his senses.

Posted by: C&J at November 5, 2011 7:38 PM
Comment #331537

Jack,
I think I better take back what I said about showing up at your local OWS General Assembly. I think it’s pretty clear you’d just be way too sarcastic and disrespectful, not to mention a clear advocate for the 1% — basically no one there could take what you have to say seriously.

But do have fun in your backyard with those angry birds and squirrels as the sun sets, because the fact is, all the old farts and status quo advocates are clearly becoming outnumbered now. This nation’s leadership (both Republican and Democrat) has no answers, and they have simply failed too many people and done so in too many ways. As a result, the future of this country obviously no longer rests with any of them. Nor does it rest with purveyors of all the partisan BS that so many in this blog keep trying so hard to shovel as everything continues to go down the tubes.

No, now that our country, and indeed the whole world, is in such dire straits the future actually rests with all those “hippie losers” and “Big Lebowski” college graduates, as well as many, many others (like myself) who are right now Occupying in over 70 cities in this country, and all over the World. Rising up together — ready to take on a fight for a future that is sure to be far better than what the 1% believes any of us deserve.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 5, 2011 10:14 PM
Comment #331539

Adrienne

I am generally disrespectful in the joking way. It works with most people, except those who take themselves too seriously.

I don’t see how I am advocating from the 1%. I am a member of the 99%, always have been and unless I win the lottery (difficult to imagine since I don’t buy tickets) I always will be. I am advocating what I think works and since I am part of the 99%, it must be representative, at least as representative as OWS. We are all equal in this, right?

I don’t know what the 1% wants for you, since I am a member of the 99%. I have been thinking about this 1%. That would be people like Oprah, Barack Obama, Charlie Sheen, John Kerry … I don’t see what they all have in common. I bet that Charlie Sheen doesn’t think at all about what anybody deserves.

But, since you seem to know about OWS, please tell me what they/you plan to do to achieve this golden age of jobs, economic prosperity and general happiness. The OWS is long on talking about these goals, which I fully support, but short on means.

Posted by: C&J at November 5, 2011 10:34 PM
Comment #333382

As a veteran that has been all over this planet in service of his country, I am ashamed of congress and what they have done to the American people. America if you vote for anyone that is in congress now and you reelect these good ole boys again, You will deserve whats coming to you! JOIN THE 99% and stand up against these rich, unscrupulous, don’t care individuals. They have been born and bread from families of great wealth and are getting richer on the backs of you and me. How many politicians do you think have ever worked physically demanding jobs, served in the Armed Forces? Donated a few years of their life to the peace corp.? Come on really? It seems like a bunch of little girls arguing over who is going to get the biggest piece of cake! Is it time for a revolution again? I have sons in the United States military now, Should I tell them not to reenlist and move our families to another country?

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Comment #362863

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