Economist Richard Wolff explains the weaknesses of capitalism and the need for Americans to understand the system under which they live and work.
There are many problems associated with capitalism (state capitalism): wage slavery, concentration of wealth and power, undermining of democracy, repression of curiosity and creativity, environmental destruction, the boom and bust cycle (over production), economic depression, promotion of competition over cooperation, isolation of individuals from society, consumerism, escapism, apathy, emotional instability, political corruption (cronyism), suppression of science and technology research due to short term profit motive, personal debt, crime, violence, war, etc.
The strength of capitalism is its ability to produce enormous wealth (surplus), but this is only possible through state capitalism (government control of the economy).
When – Mon, September 17, 6pm – 10pm Where – Westlake 400 Pine (map)
Occupy changed the conversation.
It placed greed front and center in the public debate. In solidarity with #OWS and Occupy’s 1 year anniversary, let’s bring it back to it’s roots.
Join us. Sept. 17th at 6PM in Westlake Park.
“Right now, with every dollar we spend, we give corporations more and more influence over our politics. Over our healthcare, our government, our society, and our future. With every dollar we give them more and more influence over our daily lives.
We think this is wrong. Money isn’t speech. And it definitely shouldn’t be a corporate megaphone with which to corrupt our system of government, bribe our politicians, and buy special treatment.
Our actions as consumers continue to fuel this problem. Without change, we will continue to live in a system that forces us to sell our voices, and in effect to buy our own silence. We must take responsibility for the part we continue to play. We must change as much as we expect change.
We’ve been taught to sell out our own voices. We’ve been taught to be consumers rather than fully alive human beings. We’ve been taught to be silenced. And that that silence is the hidden price we must all pay for being consumers.
Buying their goods shouldn’t mean selling our voices. Buying their goods shouldn’t mean selling ourselves. We feel it’s time people started drawing attention to the silencing power of money as speech. As consumers, as voters, as citizens, as a society, as people, and as human beings, we can all agree, money shouldn’t talk.
Together let us reclaim our voices with silence.”
This is a silent flash march into the shopping areas of the downtown core. Once there, we will be silently walking / flooding into several actual shopping centers & stores. We’ll also be meeting up at certain times to regroup and hold brief 1/2 hour silent vigils.
Small printed versions of the above statement for you to hand out will also be available if someone wishes to engage you in positive dialog about this action or wants a more information about the action and you do not wish to break your silence.
• 6:00pm – Meet at Westlake park. Please bring a dollar bill with you. We’ll have some tape & spirit gum on hand. If you can bring some extra to share, even better.
• 6:30pm – Silent flash march begins. Details of the exact schedule and timings for the march to follow. We will also have small cheat-sheets available with a map and the times for the silent vigils.
In keeping with the message of the dollars tapped over our mouths, a silent flash march means remaining as quiet as possible. Please no chanting, singing, talking, drums, etc. We make our point by making eye contact with as many of the people we pass as possible and holding it just a little too long. For that reason also, please do not bring signs to hold or flags to wave. If you’re planning on entering shops, you might want to leave the Occupy labeled gear at home. It may tip off some businesses that have “banned” occupy gear and prevent you from moving freely.
Not only will our silence be a powerful statement, it will hopefully also be the key to our ability to enter those spaces that we might otherwise have to avoid.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced today in a press release that it has recently moved its primary banking relationship to Amalgamated Bank, America's Labor Bank. The DNC will use Amalgamated Bank's cash management services to handle its day-to-day banking needs.
Amalgamated Bank was founded in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America so that workers, labor unions, and progressive organizations would be able to bank with an institution that represented their interests. Today, Amalgamated Bank's largest shareholder is Workers United, an SEIU affiliate.
In announcing the new alliance with Amalgamated, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, "We are proud to join forces with Amalgamated Bank, an organization with a 90-year legacy of reflecting the values of our nation's middle class. Amalgamated and the Democratic Party share a common heritage of advocating for positive changes in our economy and society to help working men and women achieve their fair share of the American dream. Furthermore, at the DNC, we have a fiduciary responsibility to those who invest in our party; it is critical that we honor their efforts to strengthen our infrastructure and build our organization by partnering with an institution that shares our commitment to standing with America's working families and small businesses, who we believe are the backbone of our country."
Billboards that read "Dying for work," and "Hope you're happy, Wall Street" greeted commuters and residents in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday, but what really got their attention were the dummies hung with nooses underneath the billboards.
911 switchboards were inundated with phone calls from concerned citizens reporting possible bodies hanging from signs around the city. The first report was regarding one of the billboards on Interstate 15 and Bonanza that read "Dying for work," with a dummy dressed in a business suit hanging by a noose.
The billboard space appeared to belong to Lamar Advertising. The company said the space was not purchased by any company.
Trooper Jeremie Elliott said, though, the billboard appeared to be a publicity stunt.
Later in the morning, FOX5 learned of another billboard location on S. Highland Avenue with a hanging mannequin. On this billboard, the words "Hope you're happy Wall St." were written with a similar mannequin underneath.
Nevada Department of Transportation was called to take down the I-15 advertisement.
The Occupy movement was a natural suspect for the Fox News affiliate, but they denied taking part in the billboards.
Later in the day, Occupy Las Vegas released this statement in response to the dummies seen hanging from billboards around Las Vegas Wednesday morning:
"The City of Las Vegas woke up to reality this morning, when a series of billboards adorned with hanging dummies and political messages were discovered around town. Some consider these displays to be an act of vandalism, while others see them as a brilliant piece of street art.
No matter which opinion you hold, the fact remains that - like the problems of homelessness, unemployment and suicide - these signs cannot be ignored. They are gigantic, they are complicated, they are painful, and they are telling you that our city - like our society - is in serious trouble. The truth has a way of pushing through, like grass through a sidewalk.
Here are some of those truths:
Clark County has the second highest rate of adult suicide in the country right now. It has the fifth highest rate of child suicide. and thanks to the governor's draconian education budget, the Social Work programs that used to supply volunteers and interns to help such people have been de-funded. The Clark County suicide hotline number is 'not in service at this time.'
While we here at OccupyLV do not know the identity of the artist responsible, we applaud their creative spirit and respect their dedication.
In a society continually hammered by waves of economic devastation, soul-sucking corporate shibboleths, humiliating governmental policies and a militarized police force which serves the interests of the 1% by trampling freedom of speech and assembly, it is not surprising that radical consciousness will find its expression through various forms of art.
More surprising is the fact that it took so long to appear."
Israelis try to extinguish flames from a protester who set himself on fire during a demonstration in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on July 14, 2012 to mark the first anniversary of last summer's social justice demonstrations that swept the country to protest the spiralling cost of living (AFP Photo/Ben Kelmer). The video contains scenes some viewers might find disturbing.
Thousands held protests to mark the anniversary of last year's tent city rallies against social injustice throughout Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv, where one man covered his body with gasoline, then lit himself on fire. People in the crowds put the flames out before rescue workers arrived, but he still said to be in serious condition.
The man left a note at the scene that read:
"The state of Israel stole from me and robbed me. It left me helpless," it says according to the Haaretz newspaper. “Two Housing and Construction Ministry committees rejected me, even though I had a stroke.”
He also says that he blames "the state of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, for the humiliation that the weakened citizens go through every day, taking from the poor and giving to the rich."
The rallies were organized by social activist Dafni Leef. That rally culminated in a large demonstration outside government offices on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv.
"We want a fair society,” Leef was quoted by Haaretz as saying. “Today we are also celebrating. Suddenly, when people take to the streets they understand that they have power and that they are right."
In another area of Tel Aviv, an event called "The Million Man March" was held, and in other cities:
Some 500 Jews and Arabs took part in another rally in Haifa, calling on the Israeli government to do more for social justice and spend less on the military. Slogans included “Money for the neighborhoods, not for the settlements” and “Money for welfare, not for wars.”
Around 200 protesters took part in a similar event in Jerusalem, while some 300 activists rallied in Be’er Sheva.
Tens of thousands pitched tents and joined in the protest against the rising cost of living, and demanded a return to the welfare state. The movement peaked in September when nearly half a million people took to the streets in one night. When the government promised to give in on some of the protesters demands, interest waned and finally police moved in during October to dismantle the tent city.
Leef and other activists tried to re-establish the tent city just last month, and were stopped by the police, and she was arrested during a scuffle with officers as she layed on the ground. The following night thousands returned to the streets protesting police brutality and social injustice. That rally turned violent as police attacked protesters, and protesters smashed windows and blocked highways.
Network Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell kicked off the nine-state “Nuns on the Bus” tour at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa. She spoke on the pressing need for solidarity in our society and the harm the House Republican budget would bring the vulnerable families.
In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.
The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.
The sisters plan to use the tour also to protest cuts in programs for the poor and working families in the federal budget that was passed by the House of Representatives and proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who cited his Catholic faith to justify the cuts.
“We’re doing this because these are life issues,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a liberal social justice lobby in Washington. “And by lifting up the work of Catholic sisters, we will demonstrate the very programs and services that will be decimated by the House budget.”
The bus tour is to begin on June 18 in Iowa and end on July 2 in Virginia. The dates overlap with the “Fortnight for Freedom,” events announced by Catholic bishops to rally opposition to what they see as the Obama administration’s violations of religious freedom. The bishops object in particular to a mandate in the health care overhaul to require religiously affiliated hospitals and universities to offer their employees coverage for birth control in their insurance plans.
Sister Simone, a lawyer who ran a legal clinic for the poor in Oakland, Calif., for 18 years, is not completely on board with the bishops’ religious liberty campaign. She said that financing for Catholic social services had increased significantly in the three years since President Obama took office: “We’re celebrating the religious freedom we have.”
She recently spent time with the Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine, and said: “If you want to talk about religious liberty, look at them. Their mother house was in Mosul until it got bombed.”
But the nuns do find common cause with the bishops on the budget cuts, and their bus tour will publicize letters the bishops recently sent protesting the budget. The nuns are inviting bishops whose dioceses they will pass through to join them. The tour will stop at local Congressional offices and lobby along the way.
Network, where Sister Simone and two other nuns serve on a staff of nine, was singled out in the Vatican’s recent critique of the nuns. The critique focused on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group for leaders of about 80 percent of women’s orders.
Network is not formally affiliated with the Leadership Conference. But Sister Simone and other nuns angered some bishops by lobbying to help pass the Obama administration’s health care overhaul. The Vatican document criticized nuns for challenging bishops, “who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”
The tour, “Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness,” includes stops in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The bus, with a sound system, signs and a podium, will seat only 12, and Sister Simone said she had had to turn away many would-be riders.
A rotating group will be on board, including Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Daughters of Charity and the Sisters of Social Service, Sister Simone’s order. They plan to sleep at mother houses of the religious orders
B Media Collective, a community-based video art collective, presents "Occupation Nation," an hourlong montage of remixed shorts that explore the philosophical roots of Occupy Movement. As zombie banksters threaten to consume all that's left of our spectacular society, B Media's fifth video variety show showcases the mycelia network of Occupy Wall Street. Deeply rooted in historical and international precedents that have the potential to turn toxic assets and discarded derivatives into new communities, this shared vision and collective decision-making empowers us all.
The film calls on us to remember the Oaxacan teacher strikes and the Bonus Army, and it explores this new technological global revolution by riffing on the work of video ninjas everywhere. Darryl Mitchell and David Graeber's dialectics break down the bricks of Wall Street, PeeWee Herman interviews Emma Goldman about the black bloc, Mr. Bean gets peppersprayed, and Obama is mic-checked in his Disney World as the police protect the smart ALEC's running the show.
Peter Adamson with the Office of Research at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), discusses the international data contained in Report Card 10, a first-ever analysis of new data from the European Union's Statistics on Income and Living Conditions household surveys reveals the extent of child poverty and child deprivation in the world’s advanced economies.
As debates on austerity and social spending cuts rage, some 13 million children in the EU, plus Norway and Iceland, are found to be "deprived", lacking basic items necessary for their development.
Meanwhile, 30 million children live in relative poverty in 35 countries with developed economies. Of the 35 wealthy countries studied by UNICEF, only Romania has a child poverty rate higher than the 23 percent rate in the U.S.:
Particularly striking in Report Card 10 are the comparisons between countries with similar
economies, demonstrating that government policy can have a significant impact on the lives of children. For example, Denmark and Sweden have much lower rates of child deprivation than Belgium or Germany, yet all four countries have roughly similar levels of economic development and per capita income.
“The report makes clear that some governments are doing much better at tackling child deprivation than others,” said Mr. Alexander. “The best performers show it is possible to address poverty within the current fiscal space. On the flip side, failure to protect children from today’s economic crisis is one of the most costly mistakes a society can make.”
In a report last August, the child poverty rate was at 20 percent in the United States, and this is an important passage to note on those findings:
"People who grew up in a financially secure situation find it easier to succeed in life, they are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to graduate from college, and these are things that will lead to greater success in life,” Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told the AP. “What we are looking at is a cohort of kids who as they become adults may be less able to contribute to the growth of the economy. It could go on for multiple generations.”
These reports should haunt every man and woman who enters a voting booth in November. "Second in child poverty only to Romania."