Ratified by the General Assembly:

  1. This movement is about democracy. We demand that the government be truly responsive to those it represents. We demand an end to the massive corporate influence blocking the voice of the people by eliminating corporate personhood and limiting monetary contributions to political campaigns and lobbying.
  2. This movement is about economic security. We demand effective reforms to prevent banks and financial institutions from causing future economic crises.
  3. This movement is about corporate responsibility. We demand strict repercussions for corporations and institutions who cause serious financial damage to our country and its taxpayers.
  4. This movement is about financial fairness. We demand tax reforms to ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.

69 Responses

  1. [...] occupation; our individual opinions are, at this early stage, unimportant (though we do now have demands). More important just to show up and stand together. There are some currents in Occupy Austin [...]

  2. frankensteinOctober 6th, 2011

    Corporate personhood is not the problem, nor is it useful to do away with. Indeed, corporate forms serve many things very well. Corporate person should be restored to their original honor, they should have a justifiable public purpose, and their rights should be limited compared to thinking, feeling, humans, but you are aiming at the wrong target by seeking its elimination.
    -Friendly Former Austinite.

  3. Kim TrebeschOctober 6th, 2011

    You nailed it. Seems better focused than what I’ve heard from the Wall Street occupation. Wish I was there. I’ll be following on facebook and twitter today so please update regularly. Stay safe. Haven’t heard what the outcome was last night at occupySanFrancisco. Last tweets said police were coming to shut them down completely. Stay Strong!

  4. frankenstein, if, by “corporate person” you are referring to the new corporation-as-person mentality, do you mean to muddy the debate. I thought corporation referred to a legally recognized group of persons with a common agenda, usually profit. Maybe i’m oversimplifying. It just seems we need to find a common language to address the problem of corporate influence on politics, this whole “money is speech” mentality.

  5. This is not enough! The underlying problem causing our global economic meltdown is the collapse of the unregulated corrupt derivatives market resulting in over $600 trillion in STOLEN MONEY from banks, pension funds, retirees, and local, county, state, and national governments all over the world. We DEMAND that regulators and the Dept. Of Justice CLAWBACK this money from the banisters who sold these products and were paid bonuses and commissions creating over 2,000 new billionaires since 1999.

    The money did not “disappear”! These criminal subprime mortgages wer sliced and diced to create WORTHLESS investment securities valued at over 30 times the original loan. They were selling worthless paper, getting insurance companies to cover their losses and even betting against these “like cash” investments making TRILLIONS in FRAUDULENT transactions. We demand that the money be paid back and that these people are PUNISHED for their CRIMES AGAINST THE ECONOMY!!!

    The banks KNEW that they were lending to people who could not afford their ballon payments but assured borrowers they would qualify for a refi. Now they are foreclosing on people’s homes and if they don’t sell fast enough, they just tear the house down. WE DEMAND that banks STOP FORECLOSURES now!
    If they thought these properties were worth writing a mortgage on and, hence, owning as the they can convert these mortgage contracts to rental agreements. PeoPle can stay in the house and the bank can sell it later when the real estate market that they destroyed recovers.

  6. HI HAT ON FIRE!!

  7. Peace be with you,
    Do not underestimate the Wall street group, the media only wants you assume they are unorganized, just as they will say about Occupy Austin. Stay on course, do not fall into thero distraction games. The fact is, every American taxpayer is involved whether they realize it or not, mortgage or no mortgage. Why? Fannie, Freddie, etc. Most of all, most do not realize the mortgage backed securities floating via electronic format, have no U.S. Law to support them. I beg you take a look at 15 U.S.C. 7003, and see that what I mention is real. But mortgage backed securities are not the only electronic promissory note issue as you will find. Learn about authoritative copy, transferrable record, payment intangible, investments certificates. Everyone was duped, including the investors.
    Make this a peaceful demonstration and you will find many more to support you.

  8. Cyndi CollenOctober 6th, 2011

    The messaging is articulate and focused on the right paths to follow to affect the most fundamental change … bravo !

    The campaign finance reform is the root causal and an issue I feel passionate about. If a breakout group forms to discuss / define action items on this demand, would like to participate.

  9. George SteelOctober 6th, 2011

    What the hell does this mean?

    “This movement is about financial fairness. We demand tax reforms to ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.”

    The top 50% of taxpayers pay 90% of the taxes in this country. If you mean that all people will pay the same tax rate, I’m all for that. Those who aren’t paying any taxes need to man up and pay them.

  10. Government of the people, by the people, for the people! Any thing less is taxation without representation. Isn’t that why American fought for her independance? The many are suffering because of the greed of a few. Until the politicians are held accountable for the crime they commit when taking bribes from corporations in order to pass legislation that benefits only corporate America and leaves the American taxpayer to foot the bill, there will be no reform.

  11. the federal government is in debt to the federal reserve. it is owned. wars and china owning the us is a result of the us trying to pay off its debt. unless we the people free our government from slavery then we will never be put first in demands. restoring democracy means getting rid of the fed. this is #1.

  12. Albert LubkerOctober 6th, 2011

    orbet,

    People can not be corporations. A corporation is not a person or people. A corporation is a business entity that can employ people and can be governed by people. This country was created by corporations and continues throughout history to e fueled y corporations. Embrace the capitalist model – it is a good thing. If individual people have problems, it is due to thier own personal choices. Don’t blame corporate greed – the goal of the corporation is to make profit – it’s OK. And this country is a Republic.

  13. Albert LubkerOctober 6th, 2011

    Democracy is an over-rated idea. You people should put much more thought into your position if you think democracy is good for a country.

  14. Lubker,

    If you really want to get technical, we are a Constitutional Republic. That being said, as a government it has democratic elements. We are certainly not meant to be an oligarchy which is what overtime this country seems to mirror. Corporation are in essence a person, they are put on trial like people so as to protect the actual human beings behind them. People made this country, not corporations (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, My distant grandfather, etc.). This country is obviously ruled by the elite and these people can take it back – it’s their own personal choice.

    “there is only one political party, the incumbent party”

    Read some Robert Michels and don’t lecture these people…

  15. We demand that the government be truly responsive to those it represents. The government just represent the interest of the capitalist power, do not fool yourself.
    This movement is about economic security. We demand effective reforms to prevent banks and financial institutions from causing future economic crises. The corruption of the institutions is big, they are destroying all the poor countries.The very poor people in this country have been living on crises since colonialism, I will love to see an alternative model where everybody have benefit for it, i do not have an idea how, but is gone a be great that you guys star thinking on one, i will do the same.

    This movement is about financial fairness. We demand tax reforms to ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.Do you know how are financed the ong? do you know who give grands? guees who, if you do have a bussines and do all of that you are free of tax or part of it depends how you do it.
    Good luck with your movment. Do not forget about the blach and hispanic people.You may find them working really hard to just have enogh to pay bills, they are so tired, that they do no have time to think about how bad is their situation or maybe they do, but they think is anything they can do about it.

  16. Chuckie KautskyOctober 6th, 2011

    “This country was created by corporations” is simply not true. Not even remotely. As late as the adoption of the Constitution, you could practically count the number of corporation in the thirteen states on the fingers of one hand. They were so few in number in Boston, for example, that the phrase ‘the corporation’ was the common way of referring to Harvard University. The school was the only corporation in the city!

  17. Chelsea BrownOctober 6th, 2011

    What do you think about reclaiming the corporate charter rather than abolishing it? Here is an argument that I found in favor of this:
    “The for-profit private-benefit corporation is an institution granted a legally protected right – some would claim obligation – to pursue a narrow private interest without regard to broader social and environmental consequences. It it were a real person, it would fit the clinical profile of a sociopath. A group of private investors should have the right to aggregate and concentrate virtually unlimited economic power under unified management ONLY if it serves a well-defined public purpose under strict rules of public accountability. The public purpose of each corporation should be clearly specified in its charter, and the corporation’s performance should be subject to periodic review. The charter should be revoked if the corporation consistently violates the law or acts beyond the specific authorities granted. Because political rights belong to people, not to artificial legal entities, corporations should be prohibited from efforts to influence elections or legislation. A first step would be to eliminate all tax exemptions for corporate expenditures related to lobbying, public “education”, public charities, or political organizations of any kind. If corporations want to engage in such activities, they should pay with after-tax dollars, as required of real people. You and I don’t get tax deductions for our contributions to political lobbyists.”

  18. Charlie PrimeroOctober 8th, 2011

    Government financial regulations are written by and for the international banking cartels.

    Calls for more of this regulation are nonsense.

    The simple solution is to End public support of private corporations.

  19. Here is the posted List of Goals & Demands with revisions which I believe add some concrete solutions.

    1)CAMPAIGN FINACING
    *END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD
    *LIMIT CAMPAIGN FUNDING by limiting the amount of money and non-monetary contributions any company, organization, or person can donate to a political campaign.
    *END “REVOLVING DOOR POLITICS” by requiring a minimum time (5 years maybe) elected officials between holding office and becoming lobbyists and working for the organization they regulated.
    *ELIMINATE “RIDER BILLS” by enacting the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 which the Supreme Court struck down. Create a Relevancy Clause where bills can’t have totally random items hidden within them.

    2)BANKING REGULATION
    *Create a singular banking regulation agency.
    *Reenact the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.
    *Implement the Volcker Rule.

    3)CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY AND PROSECUTION
    *Prosecute the executives who contributed to the financial crisis in 2008.
    (read Matt Taibbi’s article “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” in Rolling Stone http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216 )

    4)TAX REFORM
    *Create a flat tax rate for everyone.
    *Pass the Buffet Rule.

    5)THE FEDERAL RESERVE – the most important, underlying issue of all!
    *Thoroughly audit the Fed (Congress unbelievably voted this down and it needs to happen for real this time.)
    *Nationalize the Fed.
    *Return to sound money. Perhaps the gold standard, or a combination of various commodities.

  20. edit:

    4)TAX REFORM
    *END THE TAX LOOPHOLE that allows corporations to move money offshore thus paying no taxes

  21. “eliminating corporate personhood and limiting monetary contributions to political campaigns and lobbying.” The simple fact of the matter is that laws and government regulations affect corporations, therefore, corporations have First Amendment rights. Corporations are a conglomeration of people. Would you argue that non-profit organizations have no First Amendment rights? Just because corporations make money does not change the fact of corporate First Amendment rights — individual people make money, too.

    How do you plan to ban lobbying? By lobbying lawmakers? See the glaring fault in this?

    Finally, direct campaign contributions by individuals and corporations are still limited by law. *That has not changed one bit.* What has changed per the Supreme Court ruling is that because corporations have First Amendment rights, and again, because laws and regulations affect them directly, corporations must engage in political advertising that support certain issues or candidates to exercise such rights. What you are implying is that corporations simply take whatever government dishes their way (especially taxation and regulation) without any input whatsoever.

  22. [...] spent a second day outside city hall today to express their grievances about issues ranging from socioeconomic stratification to the role [...]

  23. This is sad. Corporations were once small business. These people have built some of these up from the ground. It’s the American way of life. People took loans knowing what would happen if they couldn’t afford it. Nobody’s fault but their own. Russell, I couldn’t agree more. But I might add that if people are mad, be mad at yourselfs. Its all good to try to change things for the better, but not when your making it worse for others. During this whole economic endevour, I have held on to a job, paid my bills, and taken care of my family. We do this by only buying what we can afford. I lost my first job when this all started, I went and found another. I may not have liked what I was doing and wasn’t making as much but it put food on the table. If you want to fix a problem, fix the fact that there are people making hundreds, some thousands, off the govenment per month when they could work. I have even heard one say “Why would I get a job paying less than what I’m making by staying at home and playing video games”. Laziness in America is America’s biggest problem, not corporations.

  24. occupytheworldOctober 9th, 2011

    We need to add “Reinstating the Glass Steagall Act” to the list of demands. It is necessary.

  25. Good point there Kevin. Government sustains the monopolies of those certain corporations we all loath so much. But no corporation has ever forced me to do anything or buy their product, however the federal and state governments forces and regulate almost everything I do each and everyday. They are the ones with the gun to your head.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot#p/u/14/NTx6t3FUSkM

    “You can dump a body by the road and the vultures will come, don’t blame the vultures for the murder though.” Stefan Molyneux

    So don’t fall into the fallacy that we can just reform the way we run the federal government. Anytime there is such a centralization of power as Washington DC your going to have corporations fighting for a share of that power. We’ve got to take that power away from them by shutting down DC.

    We need to dismantle the cartel known as federal government and the large corporations have no big brother to run to.

  26. The people in USA are very high consumers, I see the culture here is to buy, buy, buy, buy unnecessary things forgetting about so many important things. who make these products? where is the factory? how much they get pay? how old they are? in some cases the workers are children starting from the age of 10, do they have rights? USA it is part of the planet earth? these global problem affect USA? how? how did we get to this point? is this is new for everybody or only for us? who build the city? the buildings? the stores? the schools? the restaurants? the movie theater? etc., and who work on those places? how much do they get pay? and so on…

  27. [...] Here’s their list of demands. [...]

  28. Demand 1 and 2 – reasonable. This is a good use of this movement.

    Demand 3 should be expanded to include regular citizens. I don’t recall citizens complaining about banks loaning them money as long as they thought their house prices would rise and they could buy things they could not afford. Also, the banks aren’t the big boogy man here. It is people – all people – who were greedy.

    Demand 4: The top 1% of income earners in the US pay 40% of all taxes. In 2011, 50% of all persons paid no federal income tax. The wealthy already pay their fair share. You can’t keep asking them to pay and pay. Most of these people are small business owners. A decision for them to invest in their business is diminished if they are taxed to death. What fun is it to work 80 hours a week, etc. if you can’t keep what you earn. Fair share is OK, but the 1% of top income earners already pay their fair share. If you really want fairness, then have a flat tax, with exemptions for the lowest income earners, but a set tax (say 20% or something for all other earners.

    Oh and be careful about blaming business for this mess. I run a small business. I can easily make a decision to hire or not hire based on how I am taxed. I am happy to take a less annual salary to have more time with my family if it is going to be taxed any higher than it is.

    Point being, for every action there is a reaction. Don’t think just because the goals may seem just that the end result will be what you think you will get. People have the right to react in a way that is in their best interest. For small business owners like me, it means hunkering down and taking care of me and my family, instead of hiring three or four more workers, which I need. I will not make investment decisions for my business and take on staff during times of uncertainty, and the uncertainty is the negative impact of this movement.

    In any case, best of luck. I have to admire the tenacity in which you are tackling these issues. I would say just be focused and realize that we are all in this together and that there is no boogy man out there.

    Take care.

  29. A couple of notes above:

    Kevin: Corporations don’t move money offshore to keep from paying taxes. That is illegal and does not happen. What you are referring to is a corporation that earns money abroad. It is only taxed when it is repatriated to the United States. If the money is earned abroad and spent abroad it is if it is not in the US. If you feel strongly about this, then make sure you pay sales tax on any item you buy outside of Austin. Legally, if you buy an item in Houston and transport it to Austin, you must pay sales taxes on that item at the Travis County rate; you can submit this yourself to the comptroller’s office. Same thing if you buy something on the internet and don’t pay Texas sales tax. By law you have to pay that.

    Do you?

    Point being, if you are going to ask others to do something, then you must be willing to do the same for yourself. We can’t have two sets of rules. That would not be fair. And this movement is about fairness, after all?

    George: You said it man. If you are in the 50% of people who work and pay no taxes, we need a Buffet Rule, or a minimum tax for you. It is not fair that the top 1% of income earners pay 40% of all income taxes and 50% of all income earners pay nothing. Just trying to be fair.

  30. Alan Grayson on Occupy Wall Street:

  31. Scott, you’re absolutly right. I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to econimoc policy. From an idealogical standpoint it just seems unfair that Bank of America (for ex.) paid about 2-4% on taxes on 4.4 billion in profits, and recieved a 1.9 billion dollar rebate in 2010. I know, the world is not fair, I’m not that naive.

    So yes, pass the Buffet Rule. What about a flat tax rate for all? I don’t know, I’m trying to learn.

    Yes I agree that we all have to take more personal responsibility. Question my own values before I question anothers’.

    We should talk more. I’m deep into the Occupy Austin movement now, helping to staff the Geberal Assymbly meetings, and I’m on a couple committees. So I’m busy to say the least.

  32. wow my spelling sucks

  33. I’m so proud to live in Austin today! I’ve so wanted to get behind the protests, but I just didn’t agree. I keep saying what I felt, and they were these 4 demands exactly. See you downtown with my three daughters.

  34. Scott’s comment on #4 is just as ignorant as George Steel’s. “The wealthy already pay their fair share.” Really? The top rate keeps dropping –that’s why the many who earn below a certain amount pay no income taxes. Yet everyone who works pays payroll taxes and a host of other kinds of tax. “Many of these people are small business owners.” Who says? Anyway, I’ll take a big corp over the petit bourgeois small business owner who pays low wages and no health benefits. Besides, small businesses are a mixed bag for the economy: the destroy as many jobs as they create. Not exactly a selling point.

    You and George Steel are just a bunch of Ron Paul flat-tax libertarians. You are not interested in anything Occupy Wall Street or Occupy Austin has to say.

  35. Will you not also stand up and speak out–LOUDLY–against the others who caused this financial crisis? I refer to Fannie and Freddie, and Frank and Dodd and most other Dems (and the spineless Repubs afraid of being labeled racist by the Dems and the media) and Acorn, and the others who first bullied banks into making loans to those who couldn’t afford them, threatening them with equal housing opportunity investigations (ie-playing the race card), storming their board meetings and shouting threats and obscenities outside bankers homes in front of their families (again, intimidation and the race card).

    I also refer to those who were too irresponsible to make a decent effort to understand their loan terms and use common sense and simple math to know they couldn’t afford to pay the loan; and those who illegally lied and fabricated income information to game the system to get homes they knew they would never be able to pay off.

    Are you shouting out against them? The banks never would have done what they did if not for the race-baiting liberal activist, the liberal Dems facilitating these bad loans through race-baiting and then Fannie and Freddie, the Repubs too afraid of unfair labels as racists and uncaring to put a stop to it, and the irresponsible and/or illegal actions of those who didn’t do due diligence on the terms of the biggest purchase they would ever make in their lives.

    So speak out, but against ALL who are to blame.

  36. why are there no demands that support corporate responsibility to environmental preservation. not sure if i can support a movement that does not support clean air and clean water…

  37. The list of demands is a nice start but no mention of ending wars. slashing the military budget, building nuclear weapons, and providing free education and healthcare for all is not enough.

  38. All should view the important documentary, “Inside Job” (released in 2010).It explains what happened to enable the conditions leading to the banking collapse of 2008 and explains clearly who were responsible for each facet of that. Unless we reinstate the Glass-Siegal Act and enforce banking regulations, it could happen again. Savings banks should never be allowed to merge with investment banks (risk-takers) and should be broken up, never again to become “too big to fail.” Credit default swaps should be illegal, and the mortgage bankers who wrote toxic home loans and repackaged them for sale to investors (thus avoiding accountability) should be investigated and the guilty punished. We also should not put foxes in charge of guarding the henhouse and then demand that taxpayers replace the hens after they have disappeared. Watch the video.

  39. I am starting to feel a little off-put by the amount of energy that is put into fist shaking at the corporations. I understand that they are behaving badly, but isn’t it our politicians, our own government, that sold us down river on behalf of these monied interests?
    Why aren’t we demanding accountability from our government? Why aren’t we demanding complete transparency for elected officials? We have the technology available to create a government where the representatives can be observed, caught and thrown out of their jobs for not representing their direct constituents or for participating in ethical conflicts of interest, and this would correct the problem of corruption of our federal processes very quickly, would it not?
    There used to be more regulations to protect us from monopolies, but we can’t get those back by directing our energies at the monopolies.
    Thanks for listening to my rant, and I hope it doesn’t offend or alienate, I just am weary from a lifetime of disappointment. I will continue to support this occupation movement, and I hope that it evolves into an excellent tool for the people. We all have issues that are important to us, I have mine, but I thought the core of this movement was to end the corruption of our government and extricate the special interests (monopolies) from its processes. Maybe I was projecting this goal onto others unfairly, I don’t know.

  40. There is a good article in NYT. It articulates the financial issues pretty well.

    Many of the voices at Occupy Wall Street accuse political ideology on both sides, on the side of free markets but also on the side of big government, for serving the few at the expense of the other 99 percent — for paving the way to an entrenched permissive regulatory system that “privatizes gains and socializes losses.”

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/occupy-wall-streets-political-disobedience/?scp=4&sq=the%20opinionator&st=cse

  41. I think Kevin has made some excellent points as well as providing suggestions on actual solutions that support the stated goals of the movement in Austin. I particularly like the “eliminate rider bill” concept. So much BS has been passed through like this. And like Kevin, I live within my means. I also agree that there needs to be accountability of those who financially gained from supporting clearly detrimental financial products. I am a lay person and I could clearly recognize that the loan policies of subprime lending spelled absolute disaster. At the time i thought, “Am I missing something here???” Unfortunately, I was not. There has been a pervasive cult of personality in our nation that supports living beyond ones means as the norm, so there needs to be a lot of self accountability for the idiots who knew they couldn’t afford something but took the money anyway. To all of the contributors on this blog, some incredible insights and things to consider. There may be some disagreement here, but it seems that we share the same big picture…government needs to be FOR THE PEOPLE…not just the rich ones. Wake up politicians! Change is coming.

  42. Here are some of the things I really like, about this ratification:

    1. “We demand that the government be truly responsive to those it represents. We demand an end to the massive corporate influence blocking the voice of the people” ( I would add, “to their government.” )

    2. We stand for effective enforcements to prevent institutions from causing future economic crises.

    3. We stand for strict repercussions for institutions which cause serious financial damage to our country and its people.

    4. The wealthiest 1 percent should restitute any 99 percent they have harmed via greed.

    A common theme is accountability. My take, is a Report Card System, in which funding is tied in to how much YOU derive an alleged benefit. You can read my thoughts at the urls posted.

    You are welcome to share your comments on my site, as well. I am particularly interested in any Report Cards you fill out, on any government agency.

    THAN YOU, for all your dedication to this worthy movement!

  43. I hear this tripe all the time from professional pols to pothead hippies…”Fair Share.”

    1: Who, exactly, are the rich? >$1MM? >$250,000?
    2: What, exactly, is the appropriate fair share of taxes that the rich should pay? 50%? 75%? 90%?

    If we go back to Federal Tax Rates at 90% then states with high income taxes, say New York, then 110% of their income would be taken.

    Put a number on it or knock off the mindless demagoguery.

  44. Tax churches

  45. WHOA! Race baiting? now it is a minority issue? so WE are the reason the banks sold and re sold on unregulated corrupt derivatives, and WE are the reason we are in a WAR that takes trillions of dollars. I am suprise you didn’t bring the Elderly and the Veterans into this and said they were “baiting” too. I guess since I am a minority it is automatically assumed I am sucking of the government…that is ignorace at it’s finest. Well while you continue to blame minorities we will tackle on REAL issues that are based off of FACTS not STEREOTYPES and crap Glen Beck says that bigots eat up to justifiy there morbid stances.

  46. Steven BaileyOctober 18th, 2011

    I like the debate…even the people I don’t agree with…I would like to see more discussion of bank reform specifically…I think narrowing the issues down would be helpful…I would be totally for re-establishing the Bank Act of 1933 for example…increasing capital gains tax maybe tying it to the unemployment rate.

  47. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the most powerful legislative and judicial body in the world. By promoting the free trade agenda of multinational corporations above the interests of local communities, working families, and the environment, the WTO has systematically undermined democracy around the world.

    Unlike United Nations treaties, the International Labor Organization conventions, or multilateral environmental agreements, WTO rules can be enforced through sanctions. This gives the WTO more power than any other international body. The WTO’s authority even eclipses national governments

    WTO rules are written by and for corporations, putting profits above people and the planet.
    WTO rules trample labor and human rights.
    WTO rules render environmental protections illegal.
    WTO rules stand between dying people and the medicine that will save their lives.
    Top Reasons to Oppose the WTO
    http://www.globalexchange.org/resources/wto/oppose

  48. The World Bank and The International Monetary Fund
    Through loans, often to governments whose constituents suffer the most under the global economy, and “structural adjustment” policies, the World Bank (WB) International Monetary Fund (IMF) has kept most nations of the global south in poverty. Conditions on accepting loans ensure open market access for corporations while cutting social spending on programs such as education, health care and production credits for poor farmers.

    Created after World War II to help avoid Great Depression-like economic disasters, the World Bank and the IMF are the world’s largest public lenders, with the Bank managing a total portfolio of $200 billion and the Fund supplying member governments with money to overcome short-term credit crunches.

    But when the IMF and the WB lend money to debtor countries, the money comes with strings attached. These strings come in the form of policy prescriptions called “structural adjustment policies.” These policies—or SAPs, as they are sometimes called—require debtor governments to open their economies to penetration by foreign corporations, allowing access to the country’s workers and environment at bargain basement prices.

    Structural adjustment policies mean across-the-board privatization of public utilities and publicly owned industries. They mean the slashing of government budgets, leading to cutbacks in spending on health care and education. They mean focusing resources on growing export crops for industrial countries rather than supporting family farms and growing food for local communities. And, as their imposition in country after country in Latin America, Africa, and Asia has shown, they lead to deeper inequality and environmental destruction.
    Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the IMF
    http://www.globalexchange.org/resources/wbimf/oppose

  49. I agree this OA-Goals & Demands statement (i.e. that we hate corruption, both governmental & economic) is almost as wonderful, & about as useful, as an Obama campaign speech. If we want to eliminate corruption in government we should recognize that “Representative” Democracy, when the level of representation is 1/1,000,000, is not just an invitation to corruption, it makes it inevitable. If you want to be a politician you first find some rich money-bag to finance your campaigns, represent him, devote the rest of your career to persuading the rest of the people you’re actually representing THEM, & the best liar wins. What good can come from a political system based on lies? The only way to eliminate corruption in government is to setup a REAL Democracy, where everybody participates in the legislative process (not just 1/100th of 1/100th of 1/100th of the population) & the best IDEA wins. If we want to eliminate economic corruption, we should recognize that letting the Usurers at the coalition of big banks who are pleased to call themselves the “Federal Reserve” print-up our money for us & claim it belongs to THEM, even tho they back it up with nothing of their own, is the ultimate, & inevitable, source of economic corruption, guaranteed to suck all the blood out of our economy, & impoverish us all. We need to renounce the “Federal Reserve”s funny-money currency & come-up with a currency of our own that belongs to us, so we can have an economy that belongs to & benefits us, rather than one that belongs to & benefits the money-lenders. Finally, once we get the blood-sucking Usurers off our backs (& only then) we’ll be able to get serious about trying to figure out how deal w that most serious & complex problem which has been bedeviling us for the last 3000 years: the global population-explosion (aka the “Beast of Armageddon”, threatening to drag us to our doom w its 4 Horsemen: Famine, Plague, War, & Avarice) b4 we bring Mother Nature to her knees, & breed ourselves into oblivion.

    J Curtis – Unbeliever in the un-Holy Trinity of: Usury, Fake Democracy, & the Beast of Armageddon

    P.S. Today’s my birthday – this would be my best birthday present ever, to be able to die happy believing that the rest of you may actually have a future, & that God’s greatest creation yet may not prove to be a dud.

  50. Problems and Solutions

    First and most importantly, use only legal and peaceful ways to improve things.

    Problem #1: Corruption of Democracy. SOLUTIONS: Continuously invent and conduct new experiments in democracy — and see which ones work best. First try them in a few cities, and try the best of these at higher levels. Residents of places trying them can vote on the results. In conducting new experiments, try some of the following. Use combinations of lotteries and elections to select officials. Have term limits for more offices. Strictly limit campaign contributions and give equal mass media time to all qualified candidates. Require candidates to advance through government one level at a time. – - In the first representative democracy (Athenian democracy), people used mainly lotteries (sortition) to select their representatives, as the best way to protect democracy from corruption. Today democracy is much more at risk because: the rich are many times richer (51 of the world’s largest 100 economies are those of corporations); election campaigns cost much more; and modern mass media has much power. Today people still use lotteries to select trial jurors. Why is it still good for personal justice but not social justice?

    Problem #2: Ignorance. More than 80% of adults in the world can read. But many are ignorant. They don’t use their freedoms to question, reason, invent, speak out, think for themselves, and act on their own healthy ideas to make things better. Many are still learning that societies can’t be ignorant and free at the same time. Societies and governments are made of individuals. – - SOLUTIONS: Education, access to information, and self-improvement. – Spend more tax money to make all kinds of post-high school education at very low cost for all. – Make access to the Internet free — or at very low cost — for all. – Self-improvement begins with your thoughts.

    Problem #3: Overpopulation. As overpopulation worsens, around the world wages remain low and prices rise for almost everything. In countries losing jobs to places paying lower wages, unemployment increases, more lose their homes and go bankrupt, and more fall into poverty. Taxes rise to make up for lost income tax, property tax and business tax. The gap between rich and everyone else becomes more visible. Public protests grow and become violent. There can be more war to enlist the poor and distract the rest. – - SOLUTIONS: – Keep religions, cultures and governments accountable for approving and promoting overpopulation. – Boycott products made in countries with the fastest growing populations. You will likely pay more for products made elsewhere. So, people on limited budgets should be willing to consume less. Spend more tax money on education for all; some overpopulation is due to ignorance. – Reform democracies to enable the passage of laws to: reduce trade with overpopulated countries until they reduce their birth rates; have a global minimum wage of $5 per hour for people employed by companies based in nations having an equal or greater minimum wage — to discourage companies from moving jobs to overpopulated countries with lower wages. As a result, prices of goods and services will rise. So, people on limited budgets should be willing to consume less.

    Problem #4: Corporate Greed. In a selfish and often reckless way, it makes as much money as fast as it can. And it uses money and mass media to take away people’s power to govern and protect themselves. – – SOLUTIONS: – Boycott the greediest corporations. – Reform democracies to enable the passage of laws to require corporations to rewrite priorities in their corporate charters, so that the public interest is placed ahead of profit — as it was in the first charters made in the 1800s.

    Problem #5: War. Today there are wars over oil. Next there may be war over clean water and farm land. And as the gap between rich and everyone else widens, there may be outright class war within nations. Currently, a low grade “class war” is starting in some nations, with increasing crime by some of the poor against people with assets. – – SOLUTION: Reform democracies to enable people to have a greater voice in preventing illegal wars.

    More info at http://www.improvingourworld.com.

  51. [...] Spread the word! A lot of people don’t know what Occupy Austin and Occupy Wall Street are all about. One of the best ways to get information out there is through human interaction. Occupy Austin is about democracy, economic security, corporate responsibility and financial fairness. You can see the list of goals and demands as ratified by the General Assembly here. [...]

  52. What about reading Confessions of an Economic Hitman which goes into the ways in which innocent little countries are sucked for resources in the name of corporate greed? At the end of the first book, it says that their are a lot of other corporations from other countries joined together in this… I just think that change will only come through informing the public… Maybe we need to work towards the non- profit contributions end towards giving out information… I believe that people wanting to march is awesome and it shows that there are a lot of good, honest people in the world, which makes me feel better… If change comes from within, then we must change the minds of the people, inform them, worldwide, otherwise they may just dismiss the movement as they don’t understand it (so many of the generations brainwarshed)… It’s like, how do we eradicate greed? (We can get people in touch with the one who can do this…) I don’t know, maybe we just need to make honesty look good on TV and not the critical junk, glorifying wealth through illicit means, that’s available now?…

    “Start all over, Make a New Beginning…” – Tracy Chapman (awesome).

  53. ok i’m in. lobbiests need to be out lawed, there is 5 of them to every member of both houses. this has got to stop.
    just in case it has not been said already wallsteet owns and operates the congress and the white house.

    what about term limits on the reps and senators? and when they are done NO more income or insurance.

    they do need to remember that they work for the PEOPLE.

  54. My take:
    The financial institutions were in bed with Corporations to defraud and coerce monies from the unspecialized. This has been proven. Our government has laws requiring fiduciary responsibility (not enforced). Our government is cornered by the corporations and financial institutions (contributions, federal reserve, lobbyists, jobs following politics, ect). Whose money was this?
    If the people created the production they weren’t paid for it. If technology , who should benefit from it’s productivity? Are the earth’s resources owned fairly? Do our laws support “with fairness and justice for all”? Or should a few own the earth?

    Defining the problems is essential and we are still in process. Brainstorming solutions couldn’t hurt. Solutions? Would love feedback.
    1…Term Limits (disconnect from citizen views)
    2….No paid lobbying, publicly aired lobbying (more balanced representation)
    3….Equal distribution of campaign funds (equal chance to represent views to voters)
    4…..3 to 5 year block to job in field where politician was a committee member on committee directly effecting that field. (removal of possible bribery)
    5….Must recuse oneself from if a conflict of interests resides with politician or their immediate family member. (remove temptation to put family above responsibility to the public)
    6…….Equal protection and application under the law with public group action law suit brought against responsible party, system, law which did not do it’s job. (fairness and justice for all with teeth)
    7…..Minimum wage to increase to cost of living (shelter, food, clothing, healthcare for that employee) in area job requires employee to reside. (It is unethical to use a person’s day for gain when the person does not have enough to sustain him/herself with dignity and worse yet when the company shows a profit.)

  55. What came first the egg or the chicken? the need to sell expensive homes in California and the want of the average American family to own a home started this. We allowed foreigners to come to our coastal cities and buy our real estate forcing the prices up and keeping average Americans out of homeownership. The homebuilders have continued to make sales by financing the down payments which used to be 20%- on a 400k home would be 80k- who has that? they quit building tiny condos except for high rises. They told the applicants that with the rising prices of homes “in 3 years you can refinance your homes and the 2nd for the down payment would be paid off”. But the rise in prices stopped and the payments came due. Californians who were retiring sold their high priced homes in California and build and bought almost as expensive homes in Montana where I live. This building spree provided jobs for all those non-tech people without an education and homes for them also. When it fell apart those were the unemployed.Twenty per cent of our GNP is the construction industry. We have shipped everything else but the service industry overseas. The lawyers and doctors still have their jobs and homes. The stock market was dead so the salespeople at the selling companies made up the derivatives to have something to sell because interest rates are low. Most people then and even now do not understand what they are. It is a shame that we could not have made up a financing plan for the famous and now distinct RCA TV rather than moving tv production overseas along with with everything else. WE as a nation have lost our technological gains to becoming contractors and sales people. Our kids are working at the mall and McDonalds and not going to school to learn technology. Our educational system pays teachers to teach an antiquated curriculum to kids who are more interested in texting each other than learning. We have to start at the bottom and vote the corrupt people out. We have found out the drones have won the war better than 100k men in Afghanistan- bring the troops home. Send them to school like we did in the late 40′s and 50′s and get our technology edge back while working on the political system. The billions we save will go a long way towards balancing our budget. We had no deficient until we went to war- we had a surplus!

  56. Why is the person who dubs imrself “Occupy Austin” trying to redirect back to the original lame statement which we all seem to agree is too unfocused to do any good? Isn’t this a slap in the face those of us who are trying to move Occupy Austin forward so it cam achieve something, rather than just fritter itself away running in all directions at once stamping-out the plethora of fires which are symptomatic, rather than dealing w the few w are causative?

  57. Being from a lower middle class income family, Occupy Austin means a lot to me. Its the start to something much bigger, it is taking a step towards a much needed change. No one person can offer a ‘fix’ that will make everyone happy.

    But going into the debate, Corporations hide them selves within everything. Schools for example. My mother works for an Austin school district, they cut teachers pay by 1/3. Along with took away free benefits and began charging, that wouldn’t piss so many people off if it had applied to everyone, yet the superintendents still gave them selves a generous raise. Yes schools are supposed to be politically free yet they too have become a corporation (And by corporation to clear confusion would be multi million dollar businesses.)

    They are cutting teachers pay, yet they want to do this with their money?? How does it make since? *

    Proposition 1, for $72 million, includes money to purchase school buses and to buy, construct, renovate and equip school buildings.
    *

    Proposition 2, for $57 million, includes money to renovate elementary schools and to build a campus to replace Valley View Elementary School, which largely would benefit students in the Cuernavaca neighborhood who would no longer have a sometimes 90-minute round trip by bus to get to school. The money would also pay for a new maintenance facility. (The school is only 20min away. Wouldn’t it be better to use part of that 72million to buy a bus to have a shorter bus route instead of a new school for the lower income family’s? BTW, Barton creek elementary is only 15min away.)
    *

    Proposition 3 for $20.5 million, includes money for new facilities, including a swim center, a student fitness and activity facility and additional parking nearby on what is now the old Shriner facility. (Used mostly to build a football stadium)

  58. Chuck LuchesiNovember 1st, 2011

    No one seems to acknowledge the fact that the housing crisis had
    its beginning by President Jimmy “Peanut” Carter when he advanced the request to banks to honor home loans to unqualified applicants
    This was picked up by President “I never had sex with that woman”
    William Clinton and then compounded by “Mrs” Barney Frank who said
    that these people were qualified to own homes. Nothing could be
    further from the truth. President George Bush tried in 2005 to
    change this situation but was ignored by congress. Let’s put the blame where it belongs, with the Democrats. There are plenty of
    things to blame the banks for, but this wasn’t one of them.

  59. GOP platform? Well lets see. They are bought and paid for by international banks and wall street who are shipping all our jobs to China and India where people work for over 14 hours a day at 2 dollars a day. No child labor laws. No regulations, like the endangered species act, lead in children toys, or other pollution standards. No social security. No health care. No medicare, medicaid. Currency manipulation to force lower prices on exports and the list goes on.
    The “American” wall streeters, and corporations love this slave labor, so the rich here can have cheap products. But China and India (over a third of the population of the planet in those two countrys) cant afford our products so republicans want to have no minimum wage here. No labor standards. No Social Security. No medical care, accept for the rich who can afford it. No EPA, No endangered species act est. To bring us down to there standards, so we can compete in the name of free trade. Instead of imposing tariffs, import taxes to level the playing field. Like our founding fathers had before income tax, For a race to the top, instead of a race to the bottom and it would make it more profitable to bring corporate jobs back to America.
    But the American government says that’s protectionist, well news flash THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! not wall street banks and big corporations that put them in office.
    Republicans say getting rid of tax loop holes, and ending the Bush tax cuts. Bringing the taxes on the rich back to Clinton levels is class warfare against the rich. Well I really don’t think the rich 1%ers in there multy million/ billion dollar homes want to continue their war against the 99%ers, including the homeless and hungry. They say “GET A JOB” well most of the occupy wall street protests have jobs but wages and benefits have been slashed. The rest would love to, but they all went to China and India in the name of profits. The rich say the poor are just jealous. They’re not jealous they’re mad!
    Well democrats aren’t much better, they are bought by the same banks and wall street corporations. Making huge campaign contribution to both parties hedging their bets.
    And lets not forget the fed. They print trillions out of thin air , not based on anything, to bail out banks and wall street with no accountability. So we can’t check their books! We should make banks and wall street pay back their bailouts with interest like they would charge us! And stop federally insuring banks that invest in wall street again. Banks and credit cards or other financal lending institution shouldn’t be able to charge over 10% interest. Over that was once called “usury”. Was basically considered theft! All loans over that should be forced down to 10%
    We need campaign finance reform to get big money out of politics, and should have majority rules, No one should be allowed to take office with less than 50% of the vote. If all are less, there should be run offs, so voting for a third party isn’t a wasted vote. Keeping republicans and democrats in power.
    Other things that I think should be basic american rights, Food and shelter for the poor. Free health care and college education for all and forgiving student loans.
    If some are wondering why people are protesting at occupy wall street, world wide now. This is some of one protesters thoughts .

  60. The movement should also be about fairness. The PPACA healthcare plan does not address health, only big business’ opportunity to cash in on it. PAY FOR HEALTH, NOT HEALTHCARE. There are 5 conditions that make up 80% of healthcare expenditure: diabetes, heart disease, smoking, obesity and tort reform. If we eliminated obesity alone, research has shown it will save a TRILLION dollars over a ten year period. Nothing in the PPACA addresses this or has even been considered.

    There are better solutions than giving our grand children’s future financial security away and feeding our mediocre healthcare cartels.

    DaveC

  61. I have tried to read as many comments as possible. I must say that I agree with alot of what has been said. But one point that I would like to make that hasnt been made is:

    Corporations are run by people. People make the decisions for the corporations. When a corporation is found at fault it is fined and in most cases does not admit fault. This needs to change.

    The people charged with making the decisions within a corporation should be fined and jailed if necessary. The board members, officers and leaders are the ones that should be made to suffer. That way you have true accountibility. Fineing a billion dollar corporation a $100,000 is nothing and has no impact. Fineing a leader a $100,000 will hopefully deliver the message.

  62. I’m a 70 YO financial planner and investment advisor. I’m very much in the OWS camp. See my blog re the Haves and the Have Nots from October 26, 2100 on my website.

  63. [...] it did not author. If any set of proposals manages to pass, as did happen with my home occupation, Occupy Austin, their inadequacy makes obvious the extent to which the GA, despite all talk of direct democracy, [...]

  64. The Economic Hitman

  65. [...] it did not author. If any set of proposals manages to pass, as did happen with my home occupation, Occupy Austin, their inadequacy makes obvious the extent to which the GA, despite all talk of direct democracy, [...]

  66. First, my US Rep told me the same thing once, that “Corporations are just people”…I said,”so’s the Mob. So’s Al Quaeda.”
    Second, I’m seeing a lot of Faux News talking points, here…which really doesn’t surprise me, since this is Texas.
    Third, for all of those folks who keep repeating the 2 above; Oliver Wendell Holmes”I like paying taxes. With them, I buy Civilisation.” Just something to think about.
    Fourth, The idea about a “Representative”, “representing” 600,000+ people…it is pretty silly. I advocate a much smaller Polity….ie. More Representatives. a 1/1000 ratio is a sensible target.
    Fifth,surely even the Corporate Apologists can see the great wealth transfer of the last 30+ years…and the effects on our politics….when my real wages(purchasing power) hasn’t risen in my lifetime, somethings terribly wrong. I agree, audit, then Nationalize the Fed.
    Sixth, Nationalize Health. Fear of “Socialism”, aside…look at the Facts of our current, immoral system. The way we do things, now, is shameful, and unbecoming a Civilised People.
    Thanks, See ya on nov 17

  67. Would it be fair to summarize what you’re talking about as “the conservative force vs the radical force, performing the great dance of life”.

  68. [...] So, I took a page from the Occupy movement and focused locally. Jax and I have bragged about our town before, but it’s worth another mention. Austin rocks (literally and figuratively). And I was happy to find the Occupy Austin site to be articulate and succinct. For example, while media types were harking on and on about how the movement had no focus, Occupy Austin had a clear list of tenets: [...]

  69. Thank god for occupy austin. Finally we will force all these rich people making $75,000 per year to pay for our abortions, gay pride parades and make the free, private exchange of goods and services (aka capitalism) completely illegal. Bliss is right around the corner!

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