I am writing this article to express my full support and solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been growing rapidly across the country. In typical fashion, the media first ignored the protests and have now been trying to marginalize the efforts by constantly stating that the protestors have no goals. To the contrary, there have been a number of General Assemblies and online polls where the people have been voting on which issues are most important and which specific demands rise to the top. This is a lesson in true Democracy, something that we haven’t seen on Capitol Hill in quite some time.
After all, the degree to which the politicians have been voting against the will of the people is insulting to the idea of a Democracy or Republic. It is clear to most Americans, if not the full 99%, that the government has been corrupted, bought off and is no longer working in the interest of the people they are supposed to be representing. This is one of main underlying grievances, which manifests in a Congressional approval rate at an all-time low of just 12%. But there are also specific demands that have been well articulated, despite the insistence of the mainstream media to the contrary. I’ve pulled from the various sources and distilled the list to what I believe should be the 7 core demands from the Occupy Wall Street movement:
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%).
This will involve sweeping campaign finance reform that would limit the contributions that come in from for-profit corporations or provide equal public funding for campaign finance. It will also involve limiting the size and scope of corporations, in order to reduce the power of the 1%, reduce monopolies in critical industries and ensure no bank or other corporation is ever “too big to fail.”
We should reverse the effects of the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media.
2) Investigate Wall Street and Hold Senior Executives Accountable for the Destruction in Wealth that has Devastated Millions of People.
Financial fraud was very likely committed and those behind the curtain have gotten away with nothing but a slap on the wrist. We must remove the moral hazard that persists in the system and completely restructure the regulatory agencies so that they are no so easily manipulated. One common sense step would be to end the revolving door phenomenon, whereby the regulators quit their government jobs early in order to take jobs with the companies they were supposed to be regulating, resulting in a huge payoff for not enforcing the rules. Likewise, the people tasked at enforcing regulations should not be coming from the industries they will be regulating. The conflict of interest is obvious.
We must also liquidate both the public and private debt that has been growing out of control. Most of this debt was created out of thin air and is owed to banks with interest. The problem is that there is not enough money in existence to every repay the debt. The system was designed this way and serves to concentrate wealth in the hands of the bankers, as the rest of us scramble to pay them back, plus interest. Since the debts can never really be repaid (other than with Ponzi-scheme printing), the loan contracts were never entered into with good faith and the banks offered no consideration, the loan contracts are no valid and the debt must be forgiven and canceled.
3) Return the Power of Coining Money to the U.S. Treasury and Return to Sound Money
The founders understood the dangers of giving a small group of private bankers the authority to print the nation’s currency. The Constitution explicitly states:
Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 5