The 99%

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Tyndmyr
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The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

So, whatever happened to all the Occupy folks, and their 99% slogans? I was told they were to be the liberal counterpart to the tea party movement....only they seem to have vanished from the political radar. A bunch of camping seemed to be the high point of their accomplishments. What do you all think of this? Are there lasting effects from the Occupy movement, and if so, what might they be?

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Re: The 99%

Postby bantler » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:24 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, whatever happened to all the Occupy folks, and their 99% slogans? I was told they were to be the liberal counterpart to the tea party movement....only they seem to have vanished from the political radar. A bunch of camping seemed to be the high point of their accomplishments. What do you all think of this? Are there lasting effects from the Occupy movement, and if so, what might they be?


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Re: The 99%

Postby cphite » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, whatever happened to all the Occupy folks, and their 99% slogans? I was told they were to be the liberal counterpart to the tea party movement....only they seem to have vanished from the political radar. A bunch of camping seemed to be the high point of their accomplishments. What do you all think of this? Are there lasting effects from the Occupy movement, and if so, what might they be?


They were simply too disorganized and childish to leave any kind of lasting impression.

I mean frankly, while there were some common themes to what they said they wanted, for the most part their agenda was just random griping about everything and everything. And even if they had any sort of real platform, the way that they acted all but ensured that they wouldn't be taken seriously. Throwing garbage and feces at the police, vandalism, harassment of people and local businesses; eventually they just came to be regarded as a nuisance.

I went down to see them in the DC area; they were rude and obnoxious to literally everybody who wasn't part of their camp. I get wanting to protest, but they were going about it all wrong in my opinion. The whole point of a protest is to gain public support... you don't gain public support by throwing turd bombs at the public, or by vandalizing parks used by the public, or trashing businesses used by the public, or harassing bystanders to the point where it borders on assault, etc.

In the end, they came across as a bunch of spoiled brats who didn't think they had enough handed to them by life, and wanted more. Not surprisingly, the folks around them - mainly people going to and from a job every day - didn't have a whole lot of sympathy towards that. When they were eventually shut down, a lot of people tried to claim that it was suppression by the government; but frankly there was nothing to suppress. The reality is that most people - the real 99% - just wanted them off the f***ing street, and the local authorities finally caved to pressure and removed most of them.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:14 pm UTC

Their fatuous claims that they actually represented the majority seemed pretty ridiculous at the time - those at st. Pauls generally seemed to be the professional protester, rebel without a clue types. They were never going to change the world when they couldn't even hustle out to get a job. The camps never articulated a clear alternative or did anything for the communities they sprang up in, and the occupants were easily deterred with a bit of bad weather, though they were subject to some pretty nasty police brutality in a minority of cases.

Contrast them with the real revolutionary movements springing up in Catalonia and Greece - that see serving the people as an end in and of itself, and publicity as a minor secondary goal - the occupiers could never have co-ordinated anything on the scale of the new economies springing up in Spain or replace the police as Golden Dawn has in some areas of Greece.

The Barcelonan Anarchists will feed your family. The Occupiers will shit in your hedge.

The Tea party was a different animal from the get go, because from the start it included successful, motivated people who don't usually protest. It shouldn't really come as a surprise that the movement made up of successful people was... more successful.

The state of the streets after a movement has passed is usually a good indication of the kinds of people involved. Occupy protest sites in the US seem to have mostly resembled a public toilet, while it seems the tea partiers always cleaned up after themselves.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:48 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Their fatuous claims that they actually represented the majority seemed pretty ridiculous at the time - those at st. Pauls generally seemed to be the professional protester, rebel without a clue types. They were never going to change the world when they couldn't even hustle out to get a job. The camps never articulated a clear alternative or did anything for the communities they sprang up in, and the occupants were easily deterred with a bit of bad weather, though they were subject to some pretty nasty police brutality in a minority of cases.

Contrast them with the real revolutionary movements springing up in Catalonia and Greece - that see serving the people as an end in and of itself, and publicity as a minor secondary goal - the occupiers could never have co-ordinated anything on the scale of the new economies springing up in Spain or replace the police as Golden Dawn has in some areas of Greece.

The Barcelonan Anarchists will feed your family. The Occupiers will shit in your hedge.

The Tea party was a different animal from the get go, because from the start it included successful, motivated people who don't usually protest. It shouldn't really come as a surprise that the movement made up of successful people was... more successful.

The state of the streets after a movement has passed is usually a good indication of the kinds of people involved. Occupy protest sites in the US seem to have mostly resembled a public toilet, while it seems the tea partiers always cleaned up after themselves.

The Tea Party started out as a tool of rich powerful people with money to fund astroturf movements, so it's no surprise that it didn't disappear, not like those guys are running out of money.

Occupy suffered from disinformation of exactly the sort the quoted post is filled with, from disproportionate use of force, lack of media coverage outside of "these lazy hippies shit on things and want handouts", but they're still around.

I know the Memphis camp was just broken up a couple weeks ago, but in general the difference is who has power and why, and the fact that most people over here think the government exerts power legitimately, while in places where that feeling was not shared, popular uprisings are far more likely to be successful. Particularly if the government being ousted doesn't enjoy support from rich friends like the US.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:44 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:The Tea Party started out as a tool of rich powerful people with money to fund astroturf movements, so it's no surprise that it didn't disappear, not like those guys are running out of money.


Thats bollocks. They might be well funded now thanks to the Koch brothers and the Cato foundation, but the original tea-part was a groundswell of constitutional literalists, libertarians and people with economic sense. The weird religious fundamentalist element has perverted them a bit, but calling them an astroturf organization is untrue. They're well-funded activists.

I find it interesting that you think a movement that seeks to remove power from a wealthy elite would be started by the rich.

Max™ wrote:Occupy suffered from disinformation of exactly the sort the quoted post is filled with, from disproportionate use of force, lack of media coverage outside of "these lazy hippies shit on things and want handouts", but they're still around.


The cause celebre of the occupy activists was that they wanted the debt that they had foolishly decided to accrue studying degrees with no future, written off at cost to the taxpayer. That is the epitome of lazy middle-class entitlement, and what they wanted was the definition of a handout.

There was disproportionate use of force - but it was no worse than that meted out to other activists - those activists grin and bear it, why should occupy be any different? Because it was a gathering of the entitled and overprivileged, demanding that the people walking past them to go to work in the morning pay for the costs of their inflated expectations. They didn't have any real solidarity or cause, so they split like rotten wood the moment pressure was applied.

And yes, they did shit all over public places.

Max™ wrote:I know the Memphis camp was just broken up a couple weeks ago, but in general the difference is who has power and why, and the fact that most people over here think the government exerts power legitimately, while in places where that feeling was not shared, popular uprisings are far more likely to be successful. Particularly if the government being ousted doesn't enjoy support from rich friends like the US.


I disagree that the government exerts power legitimately, and I still know, both from the media and first hand experience, that occupy were in the main, effete and ineffectual middle class whiners

Popular uprisings are destined to be successful where the vanguard makes efforts to try to become popular, rather than blocking the way of people making productive use of their time, whilst arrogantly demanding access to their money and shitting all over their public parks.
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Re: The 99%

Postby omgryebread » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:44 am UTC

To start: I agree with pretty much everything Occupy did. I thought they had the right idea.


I'll admit though: Occupy was kinda stupid. They were too broad. They really should have read Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

They had the ideas they just weren't good organizers. The rules for power tactics towards the end would have helped. By my reckoning, they didn't really utilize

-1 (Power is not only what you have, but what your enemies think you have.) At no point did Occupy even come close to making it seem like they could affect elections. At some points, they seemed comically intent on making themselves seem less powerful.

-4 (make the enemy live up to their own rules) To an extent they did. They tried to block attempts to remove them from the parks, but they never tried to engage their opposition in any meaningful way. Really the most salient point of Alinksy's book isn't one of his listed tactical rules. It's the idea that the reaction of your enemy is the important part of your action.

-7 (A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag) This is obvious, and one of their biggest mistakes. People who sympathized with Occupy at first hated it as it got annoying.

-8 (Keep the pressure on with different tactics) There was one tactic. It was to camp. They camped a lot. They didn't go after politicians, they didn't really protest specific things.

-9 (the threat is more terrifying than the action) The Tea Party got moderate Republicans to deliver them policy positions on a silver platter. They were geniuses at this. They threatened their way to dominating Republican primaries. Did any interest group actually ever feel Occupy as a threat, other than city governments?

-10 (the major premise for tactics is the development of operations to maintain a constant pressure) They were constant, sure, but the operations didn't develop. There was a lot of connection among the protesters itself, and with its supporters, but there was no attempt to network with the media, or an attempt to get a reaction from their opponents. They actually shunned traditional media attention to an extent.

-12 (the price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative) The Tea Party had alternatives that at least sounded good (even though their "alternatives" were crap.) They could tell you "well, instead of X, we propose that Y is a much better way to do things.) Y would be detailed. Stupid, but detailed, like capping the debt or tagging public sector pay to private sector pay to solve the deficit.

-13 (Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.) This is the Tea Party's specialty, and they've mastered it. They honestly used this rule as well as the old unions did.
You have to select a target. There's probably a shitton of people to blame for whatever you're protesting. Pick one.
Freeze it, so you ignore when they say "but all those other people are to blame! I'm actually better to you than all those guys, pick on them!!!"
Then you personalize it. You can't fight income inequality. It's a concept. Soledad O'Brian can't interview it and ask it tough questions. People can't really get angry at a concept. You need to fight a person. They can say stupid stuff on TV, they can be ridiculed by Jon Stewart. They might secretly employ a dominatrix or have not paid taxes one year or not like puppies.
Then you polarize it. This is the Tea Party's true brilliance. They used every tactic. Obama wasn't just a well-meaning guy who was wrong. He was a Muslim Socialist who hated America. Those moderates weren't Republicans with a difference in opinion, they were RINOs.


If you haven't read it: do. It's 10 bucks on Google Play, you can maybe find it for less. No matter your political leaning, it's a brilliant look at how to actually organize a movement, from the guy who pretty much founded community organization.
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Re: The 99%

Postby iamspen » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:18 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Thats bollocks. They might be well funded now thanks to the Koch brothers and the Cato foundation, but the original tea-part was a groundswell of constitutional literalists, libertarians and people with economic sense.


If you think that's what the Tea Party actually is, you're horribly, horribly mistaken.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:45 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
Max™ wrote:The Tea Party started out as a tool of rich powerful people with money to fund astroturf movements, so it's no surprise that it didn't disappear, not like those guys are running out of money.


Thats bollocks. They might be well funded now thanks to the Koch brothers and the Cato foundation, but the original tea-part was a groundswell of constitutional literalists, libertarians and people with economic sense. The weird religious fundamentalist element has perverted them a bit, but calling them an astroturf organization is untrue. They're well-funded activists.

I find it interesting that you think a movement that seeks to remove power from a wealthy elite would be started by the rich.

So Koch never took credit for organizing it at a rally for one of the activist groups he helped create? The groups involved in it all just sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus?

The cause celebre of the occupy activists was that they wanted the debt that they had foolishly decided to accrue studying degrees with no future, written off at cost to the taxpayer. That is the epitome of lazy middle-class entitlement, and what they wanted was the definition of a handout.

Ah yes, grow up being told you gotta get a degree to get a job, that it was a good idea to do it even if it means student loans, and the whole while tuition costs kept rising... then it's your fault for going to school and picking up undischargable student loan debts paying for a degree that is only really likely to get you a job if it's in a few specific fields, makes sense.

There was disproportionate use of force - but it was no worse than that meted out to other activists - those activists grin and bear it, why should occupy be any different? Because it was a gathering of the entitled and overprivileged, demanding that the people walking past them to go to work in the morning pay for the costs of their inflated expectations. They didn't have any real solidarity or cause, so they split like rotten wood the moment pressure was applied.

And yes, they did shit all over public places.

Oh, this meme, no cause, crumbled instantly, and the police force used was nothing out of the ordinary.

I disagree that the government exerts power legitimately, and I still know, both from the media and first hand experience, that occupy were in the main, effete and ineffectual middle class whiners

Popular uprisings are destined to be successful where the vanguard makes efforts to try to become popular, rather than blocking the way of people making productive use of their time, whilst arrogantly demanding access to their money and shitting all over their public parks.

Which media and what firsthand experience?
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Re: The 99%

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:25 am UTC

I disagree that the government exerts power legitimately


The government exerts power legitimately *by definition*.

Also, I do agree with Ormurinn at least as far as that the Tea Party most likely began as a legitimate grass roots movements. Probably a descendent of various anti-tax and constitutional literalist movements and sentiments that existed since the 90s. Probably sometime around the 2010 election is when the astro-turfing began in earnest, and it definitely stepped up after that. There was a period after that election that definitely seemed as if there were two distinct Tea Partys, with a few local protests headed by GOP radicals and libertarians, largely overshadowed by the major rallies with speakers from the GOP mainstream.

At this point, whatever is left of that original Tea Party has gone the way of occupy, fractured into a loosely organized coalition of local movements, or been subverted by the Koch brothers and the GOP mainstream.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:25 am UTC

Well, whether or not it originated as an astroturf movement, pretending that it stuck around because it wasn't [insert whichever inaccurate criticisms of Occupy you want here], is a bit absurd.

I imagine there were hints of an actual grassroots TP movement, but it pretty rapidly wound up incorporated into existing "paleoconservative" groups and funded by folks like the Koch brothers who adopted the Tea Party name and backstory of it being "the will of the people" while propping up their various candidates with it.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Lucrece » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:27 am UTC

Occupy messed with obscure target, and they failed to drive home the important part -- electoral action. They sat outside some banks, big deal, since they didn't advertise which political figures to target. You mobilize people to vote and put pressure on politicians to shift positions based on the populace.

The tea party did it well, taking over countless primaries. Occupy just thought protests were fun, probably because it is easier to camp and complain about what Daily Kos and the progressive blogosphere tells you is the problem, as opposed to researching candidates yourself and faithfully voting and talking to social networks about your specific findings. Progressives have an issue with crafting and spreading a message that appeals to those outside their fold, whereas tea partiers didn't mind getting dirty with some basic psychology to sway the undecided and independent blocs.
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Re: The 99%

Postby RoberII » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:38 am UTC

It's worth noting that occupy did in fact give out food to the poor until the police had sent so many their way that it stopped being feasible. It's also worth noting that occupy was much more loosely organised that the te party, at least in part from neccesity, although ideology had a lot to do with it. I think they also managed to raise awareness of income inequality.

And seriously, the tea party was literally started by fox news as a response to bailouts. They had the largest network in the US on their side from the get-go. And of course it helps that the poljce isnt after you, although imho that says a lot about which movement was really a danger to the political establishment.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Ormurinn » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:02 am UTC

Max™ wrote:So Koch never took credit for organizing it at a rally for one of the activist groups he helped create? The groups involved in it all just sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus?


Any movement that is helped to organize by a significant figure is astroturf?

Max™ wrote:
The cause celebre of the occupy activists was that they wanted the debt that they had foolishly decided to accrue studying degrees with no future, written off at cost to the taxpayer. That is the epitome of lazy middle-class entitlement, and what they wanted was the definition of a handout.

Ah yes, grow up being told you gotta get a degree to get a job, that it was a good idea to do it even if it means student loans, and the whole while tuition costs kept rising... then it's your fault for going to school and picking up undischargable student loan debts paying for a degree that is only really likely to get you a job if it's in a few specific fields, makes sense.


Yes, it is entirely your fault. If you take out debt equivalent to a mortgage to buy an education, it's definitely your fault when you don't even bother to research your future career prospects. You definitely don't get to bitch and moan and demand that the hardworking people who's faces you're spitting in by bumming around pay for you because your Bachelors of Arts in advanced navel-gazing didn't lead to a six-figure salary.

Max™ wrote:
There was disproportionate use of force - but it was no worse than that meted out to other activists - those activists grin and bear it, why should occupy be any different? Because it was a gathering of the entitled and overprivileged, demanding that the people walking past them to go to work in the morning pay for the costs of their inflated expectations. They didn't have any real solidarity or cause, so they split like rotten wood the moment pressure was applied.

And yes, they did shit all over public places.

Oh, this meme, no cause, crumbled instantly, and the police force used was nothing out of the ordinary.


They didn't have a cause besides appropriating other people's funds. There were some nebulous rumblings about campaign finance reform and some economically illiterate ideas about how to regulate banks, but they were minor, and stupid.

They did crumble pretty quickly - how many other activist movements become irrelevant after six months? As I said, compare them to what's going on in Europe - real change being created, right now, by motivated groups with a whole lot less media coverage. Occupy didn't want a new future, they just liked being on the telly.

The police force used was disproportionate to the threat they presented, but pretty mild compared to what some activist groups put up with on a routine basis.

I disagree that the government exerts power legitimately, and I still know, both from the media and first hand experience, that occupy were in the main, effete and ineffectual middle class whiners

Max™ wrote:Popular uprisings are destined to be successful where the vanguard makes efforts to try to become popular, rather than blocking the way of people making productive use of their time, whilst arrogantly demanding access to their money and shitting all over their public parks.

Which media and what firsthand experience?


Firsthand experience was of the st Pauls protests, the media was mostly BBC with some U.S internet news sites.

RoberII wrote:It's worth noting that occupy did in fact give out food to the poor until the police had sent so many their way that it stopped being feasible. It's also worth noting that occupy was much more loosely organised that the te party, at least in part from neccesity, although ideology had a lot to do with it. I think they also managed to raise awareness of income inequality.


It hasn't stopped being feasible for the Greek farming unions, who are dealing with a situation where many people literally can't afford food. That seques quite neatly into that whining about income inequality made occupy sound very entitled. Poverty is objective need. "Relative poverty" is just envy.

RoberII wrote:And seriously, the tea party was literally started by fox news as a response to bailouts. They had the largest network in the US on their side from the get-go. And of course it helps that the poljce isnt after you, although imho that says a lot about which movement was really a danger to the political establishment.


Of course, the movement to expand the size and remit of government was definately more of a threat to the political establishment than the movement for a smaller, fiscally responsible government and a return to personal responsibility.

The police weren't after the tea party because they were law-abiding. They were after Occupy because of the illegal actions they took, and the dangers they posed to the public. How many rapes occurred at tea party rallies again?
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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:22 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:
Max™ wrote:The Tea Party started out as a tool of rich powerful people with money to fund astroturf movements, so it's no surprise that it didn't disappear, not like those guys are running out of money.


Thats bollocks....I find it interesting that you think a movement that seeks to remove power from a wealthy elite would be started by the rich.

So Koch never took credit for organizing it at a rally for one of the activist groups he helped create? The groups involved in it all just sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus?


In fairness, the fact that a politician/business leader attempts to claim credit for something doesn't actually mean he did it.

The sentiment was certainly there...I've heard it bubbling around conservative circles for decades. A lot of people don't actually care all that much about the more religous bits of the republican spectrum...but they would like to see a return to financial stability and a balanced budget. Are the rich people fund something going to get more pull? Yeah, probably. That's pretty normal for politics.

Ah yes, grow up being told you gotta get a degree to get a job, that it was a good idea to do it even if it means student loans, and the whole while tuition costs kept rising... then it's your fault for going to school and picking up undischargable student loan debts paying for a degree that is only really likely to get you a job if it's in a few specific fields, makes sense.


Told by who, parents? Then go ask them for the handout. And seriously, while many people have advised that getting an education is a good idea...there has never really been a big movement to claim that all degrees are equally valid. In fact, it's difficult to imagine how someone could miss the fact that certain degrees match up to professions with much higher pay. Certainly when I went to college, it took basically no effort to conclude that STEM fields were my best options. Other good ones exist, but you have to be pretty willfully ignorant to miss the "starving artist" motif and select such a degree thinking it's a guarantee of future prospects. Nobody is telling you that. You're responsbile for it.

Oh, this meme, no cause, crumbled instantly, and the police force used was nothing out of the ordinary.


Their cause was...opaque at best. Initially, the first things I heard from them was that they were against the government bailouts of the banks. This excited me, and I figured that had some real potential, since that was pretty widely unpopular. IIRC, Bush's bank bailout had something like an 85% disapproval rating among the public and 95% from economists...but wide, cross party support from politicians. The bailout of those who caused the financial mess seemed like a solid cause.

But, the more that filtered out about them, the less coherent the message was. Setting up some kind of welfare state. Tution loan forgiveness. Generic anti-corporatism. These are...less popular items, and arrogantly pretending to speak for 99% of the country also did them no favors. I mean, I'm not in the top 1% by either wealth or income, yet I don't feel they spoke for me...them pretending to is a bit obnoxious. So, they kind of alienated a lot of people.

Then it was just a lot of camping out. Look, I'm not going to defend police brutality or the like, but if you think that Occupy was an exceptional case of that...you'll need to justify it. It really does happen all the time. That doesn't make it ok, but protests have a LONG history of being broken up by the police, often with a bit of violence involved.

And they started out pretty big...had kind of a decent spread initially. Going from that size to gone so rapidly is pretty notable.

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Re: The 99%

Postby omgryebread » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Any movement that is helped to organize by a significant figure is astroturf?
When your movement only exists because the elite saw you and thought you'd be useful, and promoted you from literally a letter writing campaign on a few websites, yeah. That's astroturf.


They didn't have a cause besides appropriating other people's funds. There were some nebulous rumblings about campaign finance reform and some economically illiterate ideas about how to regulate banks, but they were minor, and stupid.
You know, you call the Tea Party people with economic sense in another post? I mean, yeah Occupy wasn't exactly made of economists, but really. The other movement in question wanted to cap the debt. Let's stress they were okay with the world-fucking-economy (fucking for emphasis, though it would be interesting to talk about the world sexual economy, I suppose) collapsing to serve their goal of small government. Both were populist movements: they tend to not make economic sense.

The police force used was disproportionate to the threat they presented, but pretty mild compared to what some activist groups put up with on a routine basis.
Every time police show up in riot gear and beat up protestors anywhere, I'm just going to bring up Syria.


Of course, the movement to expand the size and remit of government was definately more of a threat to the political establishment than the movement for a smaller, fiscally responsible government and a return to personal responsibility.
Okay, you saying the Tea Party had fiscal sense hinted at it, but this pretty much clearly showed that within the context of this discussion, you're either making shit up or incredibly naive.

Let's look at the "political establishment." Who are they? You seem to envision some politically entrenched class who's power comes entirely from state organs. Something akin to the ancient Chinese bureaucracy, especially the later periods when the education required to pass government tests were expensive enough that it was only really feasible to existing bureaucrats.

You're wrong. Let's look at the four main candidates for President and VP. One is unquestionably part of the business elite, someone who directly benefits from a so-called "smaller, fiscally responsible government and a return to personal responsibility." (If by fiscally responsible government you mean wrecking the economy, sure.) His rival is a corporate lawyer married to a corporate lawyer. Of the VPs, one was the son of a lawyer and got rich from inheritances (both he and his wife) and investments. Only Joe Biden can reasonably be called middle class, and a large part of his money does in fact come from his government salary.

Out of the four most prominent politicians in the US, three are rich and powerful already without considering their association with the political establishment. The political elite you despise is exactly the same class as the business elite you admire, the exact same people that stand to benefit enormously from the deregulation and fiscal idiocy that the Tea Party wants. Hell, let's look at Tea Party favorites.

Bachmann? millionaire. Wants to lower taxes on millionaires.
Jim DeMint? Okay, he's poor. (I do wonder why a former marketing executive with a current salary of $174,000 has a net worth of $40,000. Maybe he's not the best person in the world to talk about fiscal responsibility?)
Sarah Palin? 14 million.

Yeah okay, the Tea Party threatens the status of the political elite. That's hilarious.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

Bachman and Palin's strange popularity with the Tea Party is why I think the Tea Party hasn't gone nearly far enough to embrace economic reality and abandon traditional republican moralizing and such. Now, don't get me wrong...I don't care that they have money. Money is fine, and I won't discount a politician just because they have money. No, my problem with them is that they're blindingly stupid.

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Re: The 99%

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

Funny thing is that Both the Tea Party and Occupy Wal-street were more or less protests of the same thing: the 2 massive bailouts in 2008 and 2009

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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:23 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:Funny thing is that Both the Tea Party and Occupy Wal-street were more or less protests of the same thing: the 2 massive bailouts in 2008 and 2009


In theory, but the fact is, they both had a lot of partisan baggage to go with that.

If we could have gotten a unified protesting party based squarely on that one issue, we could have probably made some real headway, but now, the tea party is...realistically a slightly different flavor of republican. One I view with some interest because of it's potential to shape republican policy, perhaps, but that's all it is. And the Occupy movement is gone.

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Re: The 99%

Postby induction » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:33 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Spoiler:
To start: I agree with pretty much everything Occupy did. I thought they had the right idea.


I'll admit though: Occupy was kinda stupid. They were too broad. They really should have read Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

They had the ideas they just weren't good organizers. The rules for power tactics towards the end would have helped. By my reckoning, they didn't really utilize

-1 (Power is not only what you have, but what your enemies think you have.) At no point did Occupy even come close to making it seem like they could affect elections. At some points, they seemed comically intent on making themselves seem less powerful.

-4 (make the enemy live up to their own rules) To an extent they did. They tried to block attempts to remove them from the parks, but they never tried to engage their opposition in any meaningful way. Really the most salient point of Alinksy's book isn't one of his listed tactical rules. It's the idea that the reaction of your enemy is the important part of your action.

-7 (A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag) This is obvious, and one of their biggest mistakes. People who sympathized with Occupy at first hated it as it got annoying.

-8 (Keep the pressure on with different tactics) There was one tactic. It was to camp. They camped a lot. They didn't go after politicians, they didn't really protest specific things.

-9 (the threat is more terrifying than the action) The Tea Party got moderate Republicans to deliver them policy positions on a silver platter. They were geniuses at this. They threatened their way to dominating Republican primaries. Did any interest group actually ever feel Occupy as a threat, other than city governments?

-10 (the major premise for tactics is the development of operations to maintain a constant pressure) They were constant, sure, but the operations didn't develop. There was a lot of connection among the protesters itself, and with its supporters, but there was no attempt to network with the media, or an attempt to get a reaction from their opponents. They actually shunned traditional media attention to an extent.

-12 (the price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative) The Tea Party had alternatives that at least sounded good (even though their "alternatives" were crap.) They could tell you "well, instead of X, we propose that Y is a much better way to do things.) Y would be detailed. Stupid, but detailed, like capping the debt or tagging public sector pay to private sector pay to solve the deficit.

-13 (Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.) This is the Tea Party's specialty, and they've mastered it. They honestly used this rule as well as the old unions did.
You have to select a target. There's probably a shitton of people to blame for whatever you're protesting. Pick one.
Freeze it, so you ignore when they say "but all those other people are to blame! I'm actually better to you than all those guys, pick on them!!!"
Then you personalize it. You can't fight income inequality. It's a concept. Soledad O'Brian can't interview it and ask it tough questions. People can't really get angry at a concept. You need to fight a person. They can say stupid stuff on TV, they can be ridiculed by Jon Stewart. They might secretly employ a dominatrix or have not paid taxes one year or not like puppies.
Then you polarize it. This is the Tea Party's true brilliance. They used every tactic. Obama wasn't just a well-meaning guy who was wrong. He was a Muslim Socialist who hated America. Those moderates weren't Republicans with a difference in opinion, they were RINOs.


If you haven't read it: do. It's 10 bucks on Google Play, you can maybe find it for less. No matter your political leaning, it's a brilliant look at how to actually organize a movement, from the guy who pretty much founded community organization.


Thank you for helping me understand why Occupy didn't resonate with me. It wasn't that I disagreed with their message, which I interpreted to be 'everybody should play fair, and the powerful should stop making rules that only benefit themselves.' (Wouldn't that be nice? Plus free ice cream for everyone!) It was just that I didn't believe for a second that they would accomplish anything because they seemed to really suck at politics, and seemed to think this was a good thing. Granted, not sucking at politics usually requires using the kind of dirty tricks that would have been antithetical to their 'stop with the dirty tricks' message. But my naive and cynical view of politics is that power goes to the effective, not the benevolent.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Роберт » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:46 pm UTC

induction wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Spoiler:
To start: I agree with pretty much everything Occupy did. I thought they had the right idea.


I'll admit though: Occupy was kinda stupid. They were too broad. They really should have read Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

They had the ideas they just weren't good organizers. The rules for power tactics towards the end would have helped. By my reckoning, they didn't really utilize

-1 (Power is not only what you have, but what your enemies think you have.) At no point did Occupy even come close to making it seem like they could affect elections. At some points, they seemed comically intent on making themselves seem less powerful.

-4 (make the enemy live up to their own rules) To an extent they did. They tried to block attempts to remove them from the parks, but they never tried to engage their opposition in any meaningful way. Really the most salient point of Alinksy's book isn't one of his listed tactical rules. It's the idea that the reaction of your enemy is the important part of your action.

-7 (A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag) This is obvious, and one of their biggest mistakes. People who sympathized with Occupy at first hated it as it got annoying.

-8 (Keep the pressure on with different tactics) There was one tactic. It was to camp. They camped a lot. They didn't go after politicians, they didn't really protest specific things.

-9 (the threat is more terrifying than the action) The Tea Party got moderate Republicans to deliver them policy positions on a silver platter. They were geniuses at this. They threatened their way to dominating Republican primaries. Did any interest group actually ever feel Occupy as a threat, other than city governments?

-10 (the major premise for tactics is the development of operations to maintain a constant pressure) They were constant, sure, but the operations didn't develop. There was a lot of connection among the protesters itself, and with its supporters, but there was no attempt to network with the media, or an attempt to get a reaction from their opponents. They actually shunned traditional media attention to an extent.

-12 (the price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative) The Tea Party had alternatives that at least sounded good (even though their "alternatives" were crap.) They could tell you "well, instead of X, we propose that Y is a much better way to do things.) Y would be detailed. Stupid, but detailed, like capping the debt or tagging public sector pay to private sector pay to solve the deficit.

-13 (Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.) This is the Tea Party's specialty, and they've mastered it. They honestly used this rule as well as the old unions did.
You have to select a target. There's probably a shitton of people to blame for whatever you're protesting. Pick one.
Freeze it, so you ignore when they say "but all those other people are to blame! I'm actually better to you than all those guys, pick on them!!!"
Then you personalize it. You can't fight income inequality. It's a concept. Soledad O'Brian can't interview it and ask it tough questions. People can't really get angry at a concept. You need to fight a person. They can say stupid stuff on TV, they can be ridiculed by Jon Stewart. They might secretly employ a dominatrix or have not paid taxes one year or not like puppies.
Then you polarize it. This is the Tea Party's true brilliance. They used every tactic. Obama wasn't just a well-meaning guy who was wrong. He was a Muslim Socialist who hated America. Those moderates weren't Republicans with a difference in opinion, they were RINOs.


If you haven't read it: do. It's 10 bucks on Google Play, you can maybe find it for less. No matter your political leaning, it's a brilliant look at how to actually organize a movement, from the guy who pretty much founded community organization.


Thank you for helping me understand why Occupy didn't resonate with me. It wasn't that I disagreed with their message, which I interpreted to be 'everybody should play fair, and the powerful should stop making rules that only benefit themselves.' (Wouldn't that be nice? Plus free ice cream for everyone!) It was just that I didn't believe for a second that they would accomplish anything because they seemed to really suck at politics, and seemed to think this was a good thing. Granted, not sucking at politics usually requires using the kind of dirty tricks that would have been antithetical to their 'stop with the dirty tricks' message. But my naive and cynical view of politics is that power goes to the effective, not the benevolent.

Power goes to those who are effective... at getting that power. That doesn't mean that they'll necessarily be an effective president just because they got elected. It just means that the got elected. It is our job to try to make sure that getting elected involves as much <stuff we want in our leaders> as possible and as little <stuff we don't want in our leaders>.

That's one reason why I want voting reform.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

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Re: The 99%

Postby induction » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Power goes to those who are effective... at getting that power. That doesn't mean that they'll necessarily be an effective president just because they got elected.


Yeah, that's what I meant by 'cynical'. It seems that those who are effective at getting power are more likely to think that 'being an effective president' means something different than those who are not. Ruthlessness and benevolence can be hard to combine.

And don't get me wrong, I'm no better at politics than the Occupiers. Science is so much easier.

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Re: The 99%

Postby bantler » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

The problem with having big open tents is they attract vermin and everone gets hantavirus.

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Re: The 99%

Postby cphite » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:15 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:Their fatuous claims that they actually represented the majority seemed pretty ridiculous at the time - those at st. Pauls generally seemed to be the professional protester, rebel without a clue types. They were never going to change the world when they couldn't even hustle out to get a job. The camps never articulated a clear alternative or did anything for the communities they sprang up in, and the occupants were easily deterred with a bit of bad weather, though they were subject to some pretty nasty police brutality in a minority of cases.

Contrast them with the real revolutionary movements springing up in Catalonia and Greece - that see serving the people as an end in and of itself, and publicity as a minor secondary goal - the occupiers could never have co-ordinated anything on the scale of the new economies springing up in Spain or replace the police as Golden Dawn has in some areas of Greece.

The Barcelonan Anarchists will feed your family. The Occupiers will shit in your hedge.

The Tea party was a different animal from the get go, because from the start it included successful, motivated people who don't usually protest. It shouldn't really come as a surprise that the movement made up of successful people was... more successful.

The state of the streets after a movement has passed is usually a good indication of the kinds of people involved. Occupy protest sites in the US seem to have mostly resembled a public toilet, while it seems the tea partiers always cleaned up after themselves.


The Tea Party started out as a tool of rich powerful people with money to fund astroturf movements, so it's no surprise that it didn't disappear, not like those guys are running out of money.


Not really. Have you actually been to a rally? The vast majority of people you'll find at one are not "rich" or "powerful" by any stretch of the imagination.

Occupy suffered from disinformation of exactly the sort the quoted post is filled with, from disproportionate use of force, lack of media coverage outside of "these lazy hippies shit on things and want handouts", but they're still around.


Occupy suffered because they actually acted exactly in the manner that you're trying to dismiss as disinformation. For the most part they acted like a bunch of entitled assholes, not to mention total slobs, who were impossible to take seriously. Most of them had no idea what they were actually protesting; they were either there because they thought it might be fun, or they were bused in by various interests. And I'm not basing this on what the media said - I saw this personally. They were by and large a gang of spoiled brats, pissed off because they found out they might have to work for a living.

I watched them harass people, block businesses, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. I saw the garbage and filth strewn about - strange for a movement that claimed in part to be concerned about the environment.

And sure, the police overreacted in a few cases; but how long do you suppose you'd keep your cool if people were throwing shit-bombs at you?

I know the Memphis camp was just broken up a couple weeks ago, but in general the difference is who has power and why, and the fact that most people over here think the government exerts power legitimately, while in places where that feeling was not shared, popular uprisings are far more likely to be successful. Particularly if the government being ousted doesn't enjoy support from rich friends like the US.


And yet, the Tea Party has managed to influence elections at every level, and policy, to the point where Democrats and others on the left are in such a panic that they've resorted to calling them terrorists. All by standing around, singing, and holding up signs. So clearly protesting works "over here" if it's done right.

The truth is, the Occupy movement has failed not because of any feelings of government legitimacy on behalf of the general population, but because the general population just couldn't take them seriously. It's hard to take someone seriously when they can't even verbalize what it is they're actually protesting; and even harder to take them seriously when they're throwing poo.

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Re: The 99%

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

cphite wrote:And sure, the police overreacted in a few cases; but how long do you suppose you'd keep your cool if people were throwing shit-bombs at you?
Pretty long, if that was the explicit job that I was being paid and trained to do.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Their cause was...opaque at best. Initially, the first things I heard from them was that they were against the government bailouts of the banks. This excited me, and I figured that had some real potential, since that was pretty widely unpopular. IIRC, Bush's bank bailout had something like an 85% disapproval rating among the public and 95% from economists...but wide, cross party support from politicians. The bailout of those who caused the financial mess seemed like a solid cause.

But, the more that filtered out about them, the less coherent the message was. Setting up some kind of welfare state. Tution loan forgiveness. Generic anti-corporatism. These are...less popular items, and arrogantly pretending to speak for 99% of the country also did them no favors. I mean, I'm not in the top 1% by either wealth or income, yet I don't feel they spoke for me...them pretending to is a bit obnoxious. So, they kind of alienated a lot of people.

Wealth Inequality, you didn't mention it, it is basically the one central issue which started the whole movement, how did you miss that?

Then it was just a lot of camping out. Look, I'm not going to defend police brutality or the like, but if you think that Occupy was an exceptional case of that...you'll need to justify it. It really does happen all the time. That doesn't make it ok, but protests have a LONG history of being broken up by the police, often with a bit of violence involved.

Cops in riot gear with pepper spray and batons for "lazy entitled middle class brats" armed with tents and drums. Not saying that it was exceptionally brutal and heads were being cracked left and right (for the most part, there were quite a few heads cracked), but arguing that police brutality is ok because it wasn't THAT brutal is kinda warped, isn't it?

And they started out pretty big...had kind of a decent spread initially. Going from that size to gone so rapidly is pretty notable.

Gone rapidly or not covered? Your information on this doesn't seem very accurate.
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Re: The 99%

Postby freezeblade » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:01 pm UTC

cphite wrote:And sure, the police overreacted in a few cases; but how long do you suppose you'd keep your cool if people were throwing shit-bombs at you?


I don't know about some other Occupy camps, but here in Oakland millions of my tax dollars were spent for the police to lead an organized strike (as in police from nearly every surrounding county, as far as hundreds of miles away) at 3am to flush out the sleeping occupy encampment with riot gear and teargas, multiple times. Not to mention the heavy police presence near the camp at all times. Oh, and the city declared they were shutting down some local public schools nearly the same day due to lack of funds.

I think I'm mainly pissed about how my tax dollars are spent kicking and gassing a bunch of campers about, disrupting my work day (I worked a few blocks away from the camp).

</rant>
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Re: The 99%

Postby bantler » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:18 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:I don't know about some other Occupy camps, but here in Oakland millions of my tax dollars were spent for the police to lead an organized strike (as in police from nearly every surrounding county, as far as hundreds of miles away) at 3am to flush out the sleeping occupy encampment with riot gear and teargas, multiple times....


I’ve never understood how municipal calculations are made for public service, like riot-squads or helicopter-rescues.
Presumably wages are already budgeted and most supplies are from stock. A bit of gas (both kinds!) and adjustable overtime just doesn’t add up.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:28 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Their cause was...opaque at best. Initially, the first things I heard from them was that they were against the government bailouts of the banks. This excited me, and I figured that had some real potential, since that was pretty widely unpopular. IIRC, Bush's bank bailout had something like an 85% disapproval rating among the public and 95% from economists...but wide, cross party support from politicians. The bailout of those who caused the financial mess seemed like a solid cause.

But, the more that filtered out about them, the less coherent the message was. Setting up some kind of welfare state. Tution loan forgiveness. Generic anti-corporatism. These are...less popular items, and arrogantly pretending to speak for 99% of the country also did them no favors. I mean, I'm not in the top 1% by either wealth or income, yet I don't feel they spoke for me...them pretending to is a bit obnoxious. So, they kind of alienated a lot of people.

Wealth Inequality, you didn't mention it, it is basically the one central issue which started the whole movement, how did you miss that?


I didn't miss it...I just didn't care.

If it had stuck to "Why should us people barely scraping by bail out a bunch of wealthy bankers", you've got a pretty sound emotional appeal to what's already a strong case logically. When it diffuses to "We want to be given money" and "Im obviously not working, but I want the money you have" and "down with corporations, I guess", it's a wee bit less attractive.

Then it was just a lot of camping out. Look, I'm not going to defend police brutality or the like, but if you think that Occupy was an exceptional case of that...you'll need to justify it. It really does happen all the time. That doesn't make it ok, but protests have a LONG history of being broken up by the police, often with a bit of violence involved.

Cops in riot gear with pepper spray and batons for "lazy entitled middle class brats" armed with tents and drums. Not saying that it was exceptionally brutal and heads were being cracked left and right (for the most part, there were quite a few heads cracked), but arguing that police brutality is ok because it wasn't THAT brutal is kinda warped, isn't it?[/quote]

Did you read what you quoted? I did not say it was ok at all. I just said it wasn't an exceptional level compared to other demonstrations, etc. Not really of explanatory value.

And they started out pretty big...had kind of a decent spread initially. Going from that size to gone so rapidly is pretty notable.

Gone rapidly or not covered? Your information on this doesn't seem very accurate.


They got tons of publicity for a while. Was on the news every day. I don't think you can say "not covered" was the case...but as nothing changed, they became less interesting, news slowly faded on them, and eventually they left or were removed.

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Re: The 99%

Postby cphite » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:And sure, the police overreacted in a few cases; but how long do you suppose you'd keep your cool if people were throwing shit-bombs at you?
Pretty long, if that was the explicit job that I was being paid and trained to do.


What they're paid and trained to do is keep the peace; and if that requires clearing the street of a large mob that is throwing objects at them, force is required. And while everyone like to think they'd stay calm and cool in that kind of scenario, the reality is that it's far more difficult than most people think.

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Re: The 99%

Postby bantler » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

Here in the West the Occupy camps were joined by the tents of the native homeless population. At first there was a surge of community building support with medical-aid-stations and food. The progressive college kids soon tired of bunking with the unwashed hoards of winos, tweekers, unregistered pedos and unmedicated vets. Once they moved back to their dorms there was nothing left but a hobo-jungle for the police to hose down.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I didn't miss it...I just didn't care.

Ah, well, we're operating from completely different starting points which don't intersect at all then. I can't even begin to understand that sort of mindset.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I didn't miss it...I just didn't care.

Ah, well, we're operating from completely different starting points which don't intersect at all then. I can't even begin to understand that sort of mindset.


Well, wealth inequity, in itself, doesn't matter a great deal. I know that Bill Gates has a giant pile of money, probably far, far more than I will ever see. But, in actual practice, he's basically irrelevant to my life. If he had not developed microsoft and what not, would I be better off? Probably not. My life just doesn't really intersect with his. So, I don't care about wealth inequity for it's own sake.

Realistically, I care about the bailing out bankers because it's using my money(and that of other taxpayers) to subsidize the creators of a massive mistake that DID affect me...and I see absolutely no reason why I should want that state of affairs to exist. It's much like paying the person who just burned your house down, because his house also went up in the blaze. It rubs most people wrong.

So, if they'd focused on the latter bit, they could have gotten fairly broad support from people with very, very different mentalities who happen to agree on that issue, and actually maybe accomplished something. If you instead focus on the bit that isn't nearly as widespread, well...it's just more of the same old thing, and it gets written off as more leftists.

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Re: The 99%

Postby EMTP » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:07 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:To start: I agree with pretty much everything Occupy did. I thought they had the right idea.


I'll admit though: Occupy was kinda stupid. They were too broad. They really should have read Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.



Never read it, but I will now. Thanks.
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Re: The 99%

Postby bantler » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:12 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Realistically, I care about the bailing out bankers because it's using my money(and that of other taxpayers) to subsidize the creators of a massive mistake that DID affect me...and I see absolutely no reason why I should want that state of affairs to exist. It's much like paying the person who just burned your house down, because his house also went up in the blaze. It rubs most people wrong.


Bailouts aren’t free money; they are technically loans with collateral (albeit at exceptional rates). Most of the money has been paid back, and those that still owe have large portions of the company stock owned by the government.

So the government gave the neighborhood arsonist a great mortgage.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/09/ ... -1-graphic
Still kinda crappy.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:21 pm UTC

bantler wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Realistically, I care about the bailing out bankers because it's using my money(and that of other taxpayers) to subsidize the creators of a massive mistake that DID affect me...and I see absolutely no reason why I should want that state of affairs to exist. It's much like paying the person who just burned your house down, because his house also went up in the blaze. It rubs most people wrong.


Bailouts aren’t free money; they are technically loans with collateral (albeit at exceptional rates). Most of the money has been paid back, and those that still owe have large portions of the company stock owned by the government.

So the government gave the neighborhood arsonist a great mortgage.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/09/ ... -1-graphic
Still kinda crappy.


Well, true. I still consider a loan better than they could get anywhere else to be a pretty handy gift, though. The fact that some of the money isn't even getting paid back(GM, for instance, is pretty unlikely to at this point. The stock price would have to what, double for that to occur? And they recently announced they're considering bankruptcy...) just sorta adds salt to the wounds.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I didn't miss it...I just didn't care.

Ah, well, we're operating from completely different starting points which don't intersect at all then. I can't even begin to understand that sort of mindset.


Well, wealth inequity, in itself, doesn't matter a great deal.

It almost sounds like you wouldn't have a problem with trickle-down type lies, am I wrong?

I know that Bill Gates has a giant pile of money, probably far, far more than I will ever see. But, in actual practice, he's basically irrelevant to my life. If he had not developed microsoft and what not, would I be better off? Probably not. My life just doesn't really intersect with his. So, I don't care about wealth inequity for it's own sake.

Realistically, I care about the bailing out bankers because it's using my money(and that of other taxpayers) to subsidize the creators of a massive mistake that DID affect me...and I see absolutely no reason why I should want that state of affairs to exist. It's much like paying the person who just burned your house down, because his house also went up in the blaze. It rubs most people wrong.

So, if they'd focused on the latter bit, they could have gotten fairly broad support from people with very, very different mentalities who happen to agree on that issue, and actually maybe accomplished something. If you instead focus on the bit that isn't nearly as widespread, well...it's just more of the same old thing, and it gets written off as more leftists.

How do you figure that inequality isn't widespread?

The rich have gotten richer, everyone else has stayed the same or gotten poorer, this has known effects on societies, it is actually a bad thing. It's one thing to not care for whatever reason, but you act like I'm talking about something which doesn't affect everyone.
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Re: The 99%

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Max™ wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I didn't miss it...I just didn't care.

Ah, well, we're operating from completely different starting points which don't intersect at all then. I can't even begin to understand that sort of mindset.


Well, wealth inequity, in itself, doesn't matter a great deal.

It almost sounds like you wouldn't have a problem with trickle-down type lies, am I wrong?


It's not about trickling at all. It's about my life being relatively disconnected from rich people. If bill gates gains a bunch of money because his business does well...or loses it because it does poorly...this will not have any serious impact on my life either way. Either way, I go to the same job, take home the same money, and live basically the same life.

The inequity has changed(he's the richest american, and therefore, sets the upper bounds of inequity), but it doesn't actually matter in practice. It has nothing to do with trickling.

I know that Bill Gates has a giant pile of money, probably far, far more than I will ever see. But, in actual practice, he's basically irrelevant to my life. If he had not developed microsoft and what not, would I be better off? Probably not. My life just doesn't really intersect with his. So, I don't care about wealth inequity for it's own sake.

Realistically, I care about the bailing out bankers because it's using my money(and that of other taxpayers) to subsidize the creators of a massive mistake that DID affect me...and I see absolutely no reason why I should want that state of affairs to exist. It's much like paying the person who just burned your house down, because his house also went up in the blaze. It rubs most people wrong.

So, if they'd focused on the latter bit, they could have gotten fairly broad support from people with very, very different mentalities who happen to agree on that issue, and actually maybe accomplished something. If you instead focus on the bit that isn't nearly as widespread, well...it's just more of the same old thing, and it gets written off as more leftists.

How do you figure that inequality isn't widespread?

The rich have gotten richer, everyone else has stayed the same or gotten poorer, this has known effects on societies, it is actually a bad thing. It's one thing to not care for whatever reason, but you act like I'm talking about something which doesn't affect everyone.


Caring about inequity isn't as widespread. It's a leftist issue without any real traction outside of that faction. Disliking the bank bailout was about more than just inequity, and therefore, had pull across political parties. Your green party, your democrat, your republican, your libertarian...basically all of them were a bit miffed at the bank's being bailed out for their actions, given that their behavior was describable as risky at best. If you focus on the issue with unity behind it, you can wield some real power, and maybe get something done about it...but if you focus it all to a traditionally partisan issue, you're only going to have a subset of that party with any interest.

Oh, and it's a bad thing, is it? Why? Describe why income inequity that does not decrease my personal wealth is a bad thing.

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Re: The 99%

Postby Max™ » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's not about trickling at all. It's about my life being relatively disconnected from rich people. If bill gates gains a bunch of money because his business does well...or loses it because it does poorly...this will not have any serious impact on my life either way. Either way, I go to the same job, take home the same money, and live basically the same life.

The inequity has changed(he's the richest american, and therefore, sets the upper bounds of inequity), but it doesn't actually matter in practice. It has nothing to do with trickling.

Completely missed the point.

It's the gap between the poorest rich person and the middle class/poor being so much larger than it was before the last 30 years of increasing inequality.

If you can't see how your life is connected to everyone else, or think inequality arguments are based on "waahh, Bill Gates is rich", I don't know what to tell ya man.

Caring about inequity isn't as widespread. It's a leftist issue without any real traction outside of that faction. Disliking the bank bailout was about more than just inequity, and therefore, had pull across political parties. Your green party, your democrat, your republican, your libertarian...basically all of them were a bit miffed at the bank's being bailed out for their actions, given that their behavior was describable as risky at best. If you focus on the issue with unity behind it, you can wield some real power, and maybe get something done about it...but if you focus it all to a traditionally partisan issue, you're only going to have a subset of that party with any interest.

Oh, and it's a bad thing, is it? Why? Describe why income inequity that does not decrease my personal wealth is a bad thing.

FIrst off, Occupy DID care about the banks, and DID focus on that issue, but they also included the growing inequality in their complaints.

You would know this had you looked into it, rather than running with crap media soundbites like "occupy has no direction, what do they want" and so on.


https://www.google.com/search?q=why%20i ... lity%20bad

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/20 ... r-society/
[This is] a clear warning for those who might want to place low public expenditure and taxation at the top of their priorities. If you fail to avoid high inequality, you will need more prison and more police. You will have to deal with higher rates of mental illness, drug abuse and every other kind of problems. If keeping taxes and benefits down leads to wider income differences, the need to deal with ensuing social ills may force you to raise public expenditure to cope.


http://beta.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/1 ... rc=nl_wonk

"Countries where income was more equally distributed tended to have longer growth spells," says economist Andrew Berg, whose study appears in the current issue of Finance & Development, the quarterly magazine of the International Monetary Fund. Comparing six major economic variables across the world's economies, Berg found that equality of incomes was the most important factor in preventing a major downturn. (See top chart.)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_inequality

In short: do you think bailouts are bad? Do you think economic crashes are bad?

Then logically you think inequality is bad, if not, you're not talking sense.

Income equality is better for all of us, but you're focusing on Bill Gates and yourself, as though there is no one else affected by it.
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Re: The 99%

Postby leady » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

Income equality is a good outcome, but its a terrible goal.

For example a completely backward agrarian society is very equal and very resistant to recession


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