Sunday, January 22, 2012
Occupy's 8 Demands
2. Use Congressional Authority and Oversight to Ensure Appropriate Federal agencies Fully Investigate and Prosecute the Wall Street Criminals.
who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven't been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and award winning documentary film "Inside Job" that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt) and do other research, it wouldn't take long to develop the list.
3. Congress Enact Legislation To Protect Our Democracy By Reversing The Effects Of The Citizen 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 contrbrute to politicial campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. This legislation should also Re-Establish the Public Airwaves in the U.S. so that Political Candidates are Given Equal Time for Free at Reasonable Intervals in Daily Programming During Campaign Season. The same should extend to other media.
4. Congress Pass the Buffet Rule on Fair Taxation so the Rich and Corporations Pay their Fair Share and Close Corporate Tax Loop Holes and Enact a Prohibition on Hiding Funds Off Shore. No more GE paying zero or negative taxes. Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation so the rich pay their fair share. (If we have a really good negotiating position and have the place surrounded, we could actually dial up taxes on millionaires, billionaires and corporations even higher... back to what they once were in the 50's and 60's.
5. Congress Completely Revamp the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall Street insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. Hmmmm.
6. Congress Pass Specific and Effective Laws Limiting the Influence of Lobbyists and Eliminating the Practice of Lobbyists Writing Legislation that Ends up on the Floor of Congress.
7. Congress Passing "Revolving Door Legislation" Legislation Eliminating the Ability of Former Government Regulators Going to Work for Corporations that they once Regulated.
So, you don't get to work at the FDA for five years playing softball with Pfizer and then go to work for Pfizer making $195,000 a year. While they're at it, Congress should pass specific and effevtive laws to enforce strict judicial standards of conduct in matters concerning conflicts of interest. So long as judges are culled from the ranks of corporate attorneys the 1% will retain control.
8. Eliminate "Personhood" Legal Status for Corporations.
The film "The Corporation" has a great section on how corporations won "personhood status". The 14th amendment was supposed to give equal rights to African Americans. It said you "can't deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law". Corporation lawyers wanted corporations to have more power so they basically said "corporations are people." Amazingly, between 1890 and 1910 there were 307 cases brought before the court under the 14th amendment, 288 of these brought by corporations and only 19 by African Americans. 600,000 people were killed to get rights for people and then judges applied those rights to capital and property while stripping them from people. It's time to set this straight.