Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2011

Many criticize the Occupy Movement as having muddled goals and nebulous ideas, and that it therefore will be unable to change anything. But this viewpoint misses the entire point.

The Occupy Movement recognizes a fundamental problem: that it is generous to call our political system a democracy, when so few have so much more influence in Washington than the rest of us. This leads to policies and systems coming out of Washington that do not work for everyone, but rather for those who helped craft them. Remedying this situation is an enormous task, and it is not a goal of the Occupy Movement to come up with a single silver-bullet solution. Rather, the Occupiers realize that the first step to ameliorating the situation is to talk about it. The entire political discourse is already too small. The Occupy Movement is simply creating a space in which these issues can become part of the public discourse. It is a space which can accomodate, for the first time in decades, perspectives that are larger than the Republican/Democrat polarization. Those who are unimpressed, unsettled, or unsympathetic to such an approach lack either thoughtfulness or creativity.

The cable news channels, for one, seem unwilling to comprehend this approach to action. Unable to reduce the Occupy Movement to a bumpersticker-size slogan, cable news networks prefer to dismiss the Occupiers as confused and restless. It really is a shame when dwelling in thoughtfulness, complexity, and creativity receives so little credit.

Read Full Post »

Piñata of Benevolence

“We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super rich are the same. Like somehow the rich will eventually get so full that they’ll explode. And the candy will rain down on the rest of us. Like there’s some kind of piñata of benevolence. But here’s the thing about a pinata: it doesn’t open on it’s own. You have to beat it with a stick.”

— Bill Maher

Read Full Post »

[ht:cr]

Read Full Post »

Whatever the amounts and the goals of your political donations, here are the options for achieving them [ht:cr]

Read Full Post »

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spurred forward various other movements that attempt to imagine a new, people-based economy. One such initiative was Bank Transfer Day [ht:cr]:

Bank Transfer Day began out of the Occupy Wall Street movement as thousands of Americans took to rallying in Lower Manhattan against, among other things, the bailout of the institutions that have made many homeless and broke. As the Occupy movement spread from city to city, so did the agenda of the demonstrators. Bank Transfer Day quickly became a hot topic across the Internet and in Occupy encampments across the country, and with the help of the hacking collective Anonymous, snowballed into a major part of the large Occupy agenda.

“The 99 percent movement is all about finding ways for people to change the economy that is benefiting only the 1 percent,” Courtney Yax, 24, tells The Buffalo News. “Bank Transfer Day is about the power of individuals to take their money out of institutions whose profits go almost entirely to Wall Street and keep that money in our community, where we can control it.”

Read Full Post »

Rodger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman take an interesting look at how the teaching and research of the economics profession has changed [ht:av]:

IT’S become commonplace to criticize the “Occupy” movement for failing to offer an alternative vision. But the thousands of activists in the streets of New York and London aren’t the only ones lacking perspective: economists, to whom we might expect to turn for such vision, have long since given up thinking in terms of economic systems — and we are all the worse for it.

They point out that the big questions have left the discipline, making it difficult for economists to respond when big changes occur:
Perhaps the protesters occupying Wall Street are not so misguided after all. The questions they raise — how do we deal with the local costs of global downturns? Is it fair that those who suffer the most from such downturns have their safety net cut, while those who generate the volatility are bailed out by the government? — are the same ones that a big-picture economic vision should address. If economists want to help create a better world, they first have to ask, and try to answer, the hard questions that can shape a new vision of capitalism’s potential.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers