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Occupy Wall Street
Old 10-05-2011, 04:55 PM   #1
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Occupy Wall Street

I hope this doesn't go political and derail before we can hear some thoughts from the members of this forum. I haven't paid much attention to this recently but it seems to be growing and has caught my interest. I'm beginning to think its gaining traction and may impact our country. What do you think about the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon?
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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Just a reminder that any political discussion needs to be related to FIRE.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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So far all I've seen is protests. Do they have any demands solutions or is this just a way for these folks to vent their frustrations?
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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Thus far they seem loosely organized at best, have an indistinct message, and have successfully mixed it up with the NYCPD several times. Grade: F.

It seems some of the unions are getting involved and they tend to be a lot better organized. It will be interesting to see where it goes. That said, the financial industry generates a huge amount of revenue for NYC so I expect the city to have limited patience for over-the-top behavior on the part of the protesters.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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So far all I've seen is protests. Do they have any demands solutions or is this just a way for these folks to vent their frustrations?
I think the *core* message, as disorganized as it is, is a feeling that our government has become bought and paid for by major corporations to do their bidding, and no longer represents the average American. And what better symbolic "poster child" for corporate influence in government than Wall Street?

Initially, at least, it seems more rooted in populism than partisanship, but if it continues to gain traction there's no doubt in my mind that the estabilshment will seek to hijack it.

I actually agree with that sentiment for the most part, but if they get bogged down in a long list of "grievances" or a "manifesto", their claims of "we are the 99%" (i.e. the rest of us not among the corporate/economic power structure) will be down to "we are the 20%" as every time they take a "position" on a social or economic issue, they will lose some people.

I'm not sure union involvement will be a bonus. It would certainly add organization but it would also immediately turn off a segment of the people currently "tuned into it." The FIRE question largely relates to whether they can impact changes that will (in the minds of some) help secure and renew the "dream" of a comfortable middle class retirement that feels like it's slipping away from many. And the more this economy leaves more people feeling like they have "nothing to lose" by going all in, I suspect it can only grow.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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Just a reminder that any political discussion needs to be related to FIRE.
Yes, I know MichaelB. For this very reason I was reluctant to bring up the topic. However, as the situation unfolds I think it may impact all of us.

I fully expect this thread to have a short shelf life. In the meantime, the topic does impress me as something that could be important.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:19 PM   #7
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I fully expect this thread to have a short shelf life. In the meantime, the topic does impress me as something that could be important.
I've long thought history tends to repeat in 70-80 year chunks, much as outlined in "The Fourth Turning" by Neil Howe and Bill Strauss. According to their theory, we are now in a "Fourth Turning," a Crisis period, the previous American crisis periods being the Depression/WW2, Civil War and Revolution.

What is interesting to me is looking at hindsight how these things happen, and in the current 70-80 year "saeculum" we've repeated the pattern -- a post-crisis "High" period marked by prosperity and conformity (the post-WW2 economic boom), the "Awakening" where conformity decreases (the '60s basically), the "Unraveling" which increases us-versus-them polarization and "culture war" issues ('80s and '90s) and the Crisis, where it all comes to a head (hopefully not with a war this time). But there are usually two strong "factions" and one of them prevails into the next High.

I've long said I think the "left and right" or "blue and red" ideas are smokescreens intended to divide and conquer ordinary people -- to get regular, ordinary folks so mad at each other for being on the wrong "team" that they don't see the greater threat feasting on them both. There is some talk that the main dividing line in this "fourth turning" into Crisis is the battle between government of the people and government of the corporation (this I've seen even a couple years ago). If that turns out to be the case, this *could* be the tipping point or the incident that brings those divisions (instead of the usual blue/red tripe) into the forefront.

Interesting times. Economically scary as hell, but interesting.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #8
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I'd bet half of the protestors don't even know what they are protesting. When you are not working, there is nothing better than to be where everyone else and see what is going on. I'd say if the media hypes would ignore them and the police would only be in the area to make sure no violence erupts, the protestors would give up and go home where they belong.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #9
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This could get real interesting since some groups sympathetic to or using the protests as an xcuse will likely attempt some denial of service attacks on the NYSE's, the Curb's, or or other financial traders computing systems.

Thus potentially halting a large segment of trading. There I'm kind of backing into the RE relation.

If they succeed it is unlikely to improve anyone's investment bottom line. Surely to effect portfolio values negatively.

By the way I do not give a rat's a$$ hoot why the protesters are there. Bloody nuisance for the trades going to w*rk. For them it sure beats working.

Just curious who in the heck is funding, feeding, watering, bathrooming, and giving them free electricity? I'd love to follow the money, but not worth my time.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #10
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Just a reminder that any political discussion needs to be related to FIRE.
Yeah, good luck with that.

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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I've long thought history tends to repeat in 70-80 year chunks, much as outlined in "The Fourth Turning" by Neil Howe and Bill Strauss. According to their theory, we are now in a "Fourth Turning," a Crisis period, the previous American crisis periods being the Depression/WW2, Civil War and Revolution.
I'm a little confused as to how these theoreticians think anything in the last two decades even remotely compares to the previous three events within a magnitude of any category.

Oh, wait, they're alive during this time, so it seems at least as important to them as any of those other historical times. Sure.

A year from now we'll all be trying to remember who or what "Occupy Wall Street" was about.

I'd hate to be the ISSM at the NYSE when Anonymous tries to take it down later this week...
Anonymous Vows NYSE Attack to Support Wall Street Protests - Businessweek

But I'm not sure how that's related to FIRE either!
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:37 PM   #11
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I'm a little confused as to how these theoreticians think anything in the last two decades even remotely compares to the previous three events within a magnitude of any category.

Oh, wait, they're alive during this time, so it seems at least as important to them as any of those other historical times. Sure.
Well, I don't think the stuff is gospel but there is a fairly recurring theme of cycles that I think is somewhat compelling. The cycles are sometimes muted.

[By the way, Bill Strauss is deceased now, died several years ago -- I think this book was written in 1993.]

And historically these don't always end in war, nor is the war the start of any of the previous American "crisis" periods -- war came years into them. Major political or economic upheaval are also in the mix -- just not in our last three. The Depression would have been a Crisis period with *or* without WW2.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
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In the long run, I see this - whatever IT is - as a minor occurance of little or no consequence, though who knows...

I'm all for people being mad as hell, and not taking it anymore, but populist movements are usually long on grievances and short on solutions. So we kill jail the bankers, corporate "fat cats", politicians, etc. Then what?

On the other hand, hackers who screw with the "Internet" are on my shite list, so if the NYSE or somesuch is hacked, I say let a couple dope smokers out of prison, and put these pinheads in their place!
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:32 PM   #14
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It is tapping some of the same anger as the Tea Party. In fact, I expect a lot of TPers are as angry at Wall Street as these protesters. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Unions and Moveon.org have already started to see if they can tap a little of this fervor. So has Dylan Ratigan with his Get Money Out effort to drive for a constitutional amendment banning political contributions.

Where we go on taxes and money/politics affects us FIREees as much as anything I can think of. So a fair topic of discussion.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:38 PM   #15
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It is tapping some of the same anger as the Tea Party. In fact, I expect a lot of TPers are as angry at Wall Street as these protesters. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Unions and Moveon.org have already started to see if they can tap a little of this fervor. So has Dylan Ratigan with his Get Money Out effort to drive for a constitutional amendment banning political contributions.
Right now, if there's a single word that defines it, I think it's "populist."

As far as I can tell I've seen a lot of interest crossing party lines and ideologies. The frustration with Wall Street and the government serving corporate interests crosses the usual divide. But I suspect that if we start seeing unions and groups like MoveOn.org get involved, that will no longer be the case. That will turn it from a populist movement to a firmly ideological one. And I personally think that's unfortunate because I don't think we can resolve the mess and get on with a real, meaningful and sustained economic recovery unless we stop having one half or ordinary Americans dehumanizing the other half because they believe the wrong things. And given the sorry state of the average family balance sheet, unless we pull it together it just gets worse. And retirement becomes more and more of a situation where kids say "Grandpa, what was retirement?"

It's important to remember we're outliers. We're a LOT more likely to either (a) be saving a lot for our retirement or (b) have a pension than the average person. Without either of these things in place, the "average American" has approximately zero percent chance of a long, comfortable and healthy retirement.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #16
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Yes, I know MichaelB. For this very reason I was reluctant to bring up the topic.
Understandably so.

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Originally Posted by Purron
However, as the situation unfolds I think it may impact all of us.
As will the 2012 Presidential elections, which are not the topic of this forum. There are many, many other forums which are devoted to politics.

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I fully expect this thread to have a short shelf life.
Oh goodie. Thank you so much - - I was enjoying my dinner far too much anyway.

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In the meantime, the topic does impress me as something that could be important.
Uh... to RETIREMENT, right? Might want to draw a strong relationship and focus the thread on that aspect of retirement; that's always a helpful practice when introducing threads that you are reluctant to introduce and expect to be short lived.

Sorry if I'm cranky tonight...
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:54 PM   #17
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Understandably so.



As will the 2012 Presidential elections, which are not the topic of this forum. There are many, many other forums which are devoted to politics.



Oh goodie. Thank you so much - - I was enjoying my dinner far too much anyway.



Uh... to RETIREMENT, right? Might want to draw a strong relationship and focus the thread on that aspect of retirement; that's always a helpful practice when introducing threads that you are reluctant to introduce and expect to be short lived.

Sorry if I'm cranky tonight...
Understood W2R. I'm sorry. You're right.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:25 PM   #18
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I actually agree with that sentiment for the most part, but if they get bogged down in a long list of "grievances" or a "manifesto", their claims of "we are the 99%" (i.e. the rest of us not among the corporate/economic power structure) will be down to "we are the 20%" as every time they take a "position" on a social or economic issue, they will lose some people.
I don't think they will lose sympathizers so long as they stick to grievances. It's offering constructive proposals that is dangerous to revolutionary movements.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:41 PM   #19
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This was unanimously voted on by all members of Occupy Wall Street last night, around 8pm, Sept 29. It is our first official document for release. We have three more underway, that will likely be released in the upcoming days: 1) A declaration of demands. 2) Principles of Solidarity 3) Documentation on how to form your own Direct Democracy Occupation Group.
This is a living document. you can receive an official press copy of the latest version by emailing c2anycga@gmail.com.
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

This was unanimously voted on by all members of Occupy Wall Street last night, around 8pm, Sept 29. It is our first official document for release. We have three more underway, that will likely be released in the upcoming days: 1) A declaration of demands. 2) Principles of Solidarity 3) Documentation on how to form your own Direct Democracy Occupation Group.
This is a living document. you can receive an official press copy of the latest version by emailing c2anycga@gmail.com.
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
If it was one of my kids at the silly demonstration, I would have gone to jail for beating some sense into them. Education up to high school is free. Higher education is an option and not given right. Beside, instead of majoring basket weaving their could have majored in engineering or science where they can be contributor to workforce. One of the comments was without college degree, they couldn't get a job. I wanted to beat some sense into that kid and say we are in great need of skill labors. Baby Boomers like myself can no longer carry 50 pound cement bags to hand mix to make new patio slab. And only once who are willing to do are Mexican day laborers.

IMO, they have no cause. Who will operate daily essentials if there were no corporations for profit to operate them such and supermarkets, airlines, bus lines, .... If I was much younger, I would like to go there and beat some sense into those numb nuts.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #20
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If it was one of my kids at the silly demonstration, I would have gone to jail for beating some sense into them. Education up to high school is free. Higher education is an option and not given right. Beside, instead of majoring basket weaving their could have majored in engineering or science where they can be contributor to workforce. One of the comments was without college degree, they couldn't get a job. I wanted to beat some sense into that kid and say we are in great need of skill labors. Baby Boomers like myself can no longer carry 50 pound cement bags to hand mix to make new patio slab. And only once who are willing to do are Mexican day laborers.

IMO, they have no cause. Who will operate daily essentials if there were no corporations for profit to operate them such and supermarkets, airlines, bus lines, .... If I was much younger, I would like to go there and beat some sense into those numb nuts.

Shades of the Hard Hat Riot . I hope it doesn't come to that.
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