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The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests? 1799

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
__roo writes "The New York Times reports that the Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired hundreds of Facebook pages, Twitter posts, and Meetup events, and that 'blog posts and photographs from all over the country are popping up on the WeArethe99Percent blog on Tumblr from people who see themselves as victims of not just a sagging economy but also economic injustice.' What do Slashdotters think? Do you relate to the 99% stories? Do they make you angry — either at the system, or at the protesters? If it's at the protesters, is it rational or a just-world effect?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

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  • Re:What is the goal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10, 2011 @01:46PM (#37667662)

    End the Wars
    Tax the Rich
    This isn't Rocket Science

    Courtesy of Tom Tomorrow:

    http://thismodernworld.com/archives/6027 [thismodernworld.com]

  • by Scareduck (177470) on Monday October 10, 2011 @01:55PM (#37667898) Homepage Journal

    Bernie Madoff is sitting in jail right now for ripping off the rich, and they all got their money back.

    The Wilpons allegedly lost as much as $700 million [nytimes.com], so maybe you want to substantiate that claim with something.

  • Weather (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Monday October 10, 2011 @02:09PM (#37668250) Homepage

    The protests started when the weather changed from Hot to Pleasant. They'll end when the weather changes from Pleasant to Cold.

  • by br00tus (528477) on Monday October 10, 2011 @02:29PM (#37668770)

    I went to Occupy Wall Street in New York, in Liberty Plaza on Thursday night.

    You hear in the news media about how the park is not clean. I stood and watched the General Assembly go on for some time - while I was standing there, people with brooms came by every 15 minutes or so. The OWS people are almost overdoing the cleaning in response to the criticism, I've never seen more sweeping and cleaning than I did in the park. So if you hear on Fox News that OWS is not cleaning up after itself - it is just not true. I've never seen a place cleaned so frequently.

    When I was there, most of the people were young people - in their late teens and twenties. They were winding down for the night so they were relaxing more. On one end of the park musicians were playing drums and other instruments, and the young people were dancing. Past them were a lot of sleeping bags. Past that people were being fed by a kitchen. They have a media center being run by a portable generator I believe. Past that is the general assembly where they make decisions. There is no loudspeaker so people repeat what the speaker says for those too far away - kind of like in the Life of Brian, but hopefully with more faithful repetition.

    I've followed the internal political discussions about the effectiveness of these kinds of things for a long time. One point is it's a demonstration, in the sense of an example. Food is handed out freely, decisions are made through direct democracy in a general assembly, there's a DIY esthetic for everything, in a spirit of cooperation. So a community is created in OWS that is an antithesis to say the Wall Street financial companies - which are in buildings surrounded by semi-conspicuous barriers, behind which are tall office buildings whose entrances have security cameras, security guards and locked security gates, and up the elevator you have people wearing suits (or as fashions change, business casual) in a high-pressure, competitive, cutthroat hierarchy, run for profit. It's creating the new society in the shell of the old, as it's sometimes put

    Then there's the other political considerations. Obviously this is inspired by the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt and the Arab spring on one level, and perhaps in some dialectical way the Tea Party as well. In the US in the 1930s there were student organizations, labor organizations, labor political parties and parties courting labor for people to get involved in. Nowadays less than 7% of private workers in the US are in a union. But things have changed in the US as well - in the 1930s Detroit going on strike would be shutting down America's economic engine - nowadays if Detroit went on strike, it would be much more minor of a ripple in the national economy. The UAW threatening to go on strike is much less threatening to the powers that be.

    One of the biggest laughs is OWS has not come out with a clear program for the ordinary 99% of us not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, to get us into a better position. Well who out there actually is doing that? The corporate media is completely controlled by billionaires, Congressmen collectively get billions of dollars in campaign contributions, Bill Gates and others are trying to privatize all schools into charter schools. These rich heirs control the media, the government, increasingly the schools, and even churches really. Most importantly of all they control enough capital to effectively control all capital, they control who works, who doesn't, and the offices we go into every day, where our labor is kicked up to these heirs in one form or another by way of a quarterly dividend check. And then the real kicker is these people also effectively control or co-opt the organizations made to check their power - labor-oriented political parties and labor unions. That's why I feel that the OWS general assembly gives voice to my concerns in a way that all the other controlled and coopted organizations out there do not. People generally don't think about these things, but as the unemployment rate drags on at 9%, as the housing market stays sluggish and so on, more people dwell on these things.

  • by dtmos (447842) * on Monday October 10, 2011 @02:38PM (#37668950)

    You need to contact an actual tax attorney and/or accountant, and try again, rather than listen to people putting you down. The law does nothing of the sort; there are, in fact, tens of thousands of self-employed programmers and software engineers in the US, and there are dozens of ways to set oneself up in the business.

    Just keep in mind that it's more likely you will run afoul of your state's Professional Engineer statues if you call yourself an "Engineer" and do not have a P. E. license. But this, too, is easy to avoid; usually just by not using the word "engineer" in your business name or as a title on your business cards. Or, by actually sitting for the exam(s) and getting the license. . . .

  • Thats strictly a paper loss, the Wilpons profited from their relationship with Madoff. They deposited about $700 million and withdrew about a billion over the course of 5 years, their only losses were the ficticious profits they hadn't yet withdrawn. A recent ruling limited their liability to only what was invested in the last 2 years, and likely only the profit they made of about $83 million.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/business/mets-ruling-may-reduce-payout-to-madoff-victims.html [nytimes.com]
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/madoff-ruling-a-big-win-for-mets-owners-2011-09-28 [marketwatch.com]

  • by bberens (965711) on Monday October 10, 2011 @03:26PM (#37669902)
    "Consultant" is not designed to underpay someone. When I'm a "consultant" I generally get paid more than when I'm working a W-2 job, even after adjusting for benefits and everything. There's additional risk as a consultant which is difficult to quantify financially, but I've been pretty fortunate to always get paid and never get canned unexpectedly.
  • by Myopic (18616) on Monday October 10, 2011 @04:02PM (#37670500)

    And plenty of Canadians trace their ancestry to American loyalists who fled their homes to avoid potentially fatal persecution.

    This is something I learned at age 29 when traveling in Canada, and it totally blew my mind. Nobody in any history class had ever mentioned, nor had I ever thought to ponder, what happened to the people who didn't agree politically with the Revolution. Up there in Canadia [sic], they have Loyalist Highway and Loyalist High School other landmarks named for Loyalists.

    They aren't so loyal now, though, are they! Now Canadia is it's own country, since way back in the 1980s. Good for you, guys!

  • by Chuck Messenger (320443) on Monday October 10, 2011 @10:09PM (#37674680)

    These demands are in reasonable sync with the Ron Paul school of Tea Partiers:

    1) End the Collusion Between Government and Large Corporations/Banks, So That Our Elected Leaders Are Actually Representing the Interests of the People (the 99%) and Not Just Their Rich Donors (the 1%).

    Ron Paul has consistently been against any kind of bail-outs. He was dead-set against the $700 billion bank bailout, for one example.

    2) Investigate Wall Street and Hold Senior Executives Accountable for the Destruction in Wealth that has Devastated Millions of People.

    Ron Paul hasn't (to my knowledge) advocated this kind of thing. But in a similar vein, he has been an outspoken critic of the Fed - he wants full exposure of all Fed policies. These policies have been used for decades to pick industry winners - so this is an example of collusion between govt. and business. Maybe this really goes along more with point 1, above.

    3) Return the Power of Coining Money to the U.S. Treasury and Return to Sound Money

    This has Ron Paul written all over it!

    4) Limit the Size, Scope and Power of Banks so that None are Ever Again âoeToo Big to Failâ and in Need to Taxpayer Bailouts

    See above comments on bank bail-outs. Ron Paul has consistently advocated that banks must be left to fend for themselves - no bank bailouts. He's really been the more forceful advocate of this stance, for the longest time - among elected representatives.

    5) Eliminate âoePersonhoodâ Legal Status for Corporations

    Not sure about this one.

    6) Repeal the Patriot Act, End the War on Drugs and Protect Civil Liberties

    Ron Paul has been a long-time advocate of drug legalization.

    7) End All Imperial Wars of Aggression, Bring the Troops Home from All Countries, Cut the Military Budget and Limit The Military Role to Protection of the Homeland

    Again - Ron Paul has consistently argued for de-imperialization for years/decades. He is one of the few in Congress who have voted against all foreign wars, and to bring troops back from pretty much all foreign deployments.

    So, if the above list does, in fact, reflect the desires of the Occupy Wall Street-ers, then there is at least a strong theoretical connection between them and the Tea Partiers. That is, if you buy the idea that Ron Paul is the true standard-bearer of the Tea Party. Unfortunately, that isn't necessarily the case...

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