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End OWS?

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  • #61
    Re: End OWS?

    Congressmen aren't purchased unless they choose to be. Excessive cynicism hurts the system as much as the actual corruption.

    מה מכילות החדשות?

    • #62
      Re: End OWS?

      There are very few politicians who will change their views for contributions. Contributions flow to the candidates who already agree with the contributor in most cases. There are a few "pay to play" scumbags out there, but we already know their names.

      The most important thing a politician needs is votes, not money. He needs money to get his message out, but if he's been a terrible representative, he won't be reelected. And the more money is spent, the more likely an incumbent is to be defeated. You'll notice it's mainly current politicians who want to get the money out of politics. Because when their opponent can't raise money, they win by default because they have free media, free mailing privileges, and name recognition.

      Less money in a campaign also equals lower turnout, a result that reformers say is the opposite of what they want. But all those ads are not only advertisements for the candidates, they are ads for the election itself. When a most voters don't know about an election, or haven't heard enough to care about it, they don't vote. And the media doesn't cover a story until it's a story. And a campaign isn't a story unless it's heated and competitive. So the less money spent, the less the turnout. Which incumbents also like. They count on it in local elections, in fact.

      I think it's vitally important to know where the corruption actually is, rather than assume the entire system is corrupted. Corrupt politicians take advantage of the ignorance of reformers to get those same reformers to do their dirty work for them.

      מה מכילות החדשות?

      • #63
        Re: End OWS?

        Of course it is, but we've done all we can in that regard. It is literally impossible to buy a politician these days. Max contribution is $2000, only individuals who are eligible to vote can contribute. There are two primary ways around this:

        1) Bundling. A rich guy convinces his rich friends to all donate the maximum and he presents the wad to the candidate, which makes him very influential with that candidate. But we're still talking about individuals here, not corporations.
        2) Independent advocacy. Corporations can spend unlimited amounts on independent advocacy, but this doesn't buy influence. The candidates don't like it, even when the advocacy is on their side, because they don't control the message and sometimes the ads backfire. In addition, it's not a direct contribution and it's not worth a whole lot. Rachel Maddow gets an hour every day to campaign for Democrats, and she gets paid millions to do it. Exxon has to spend millions just to put up a 30-second ad and have it run for a couple weeks. By the logic of the campaign reformers, Rachel Maddow should have HUGE influence with Democrats because her independent advocacy outweighs almost everyone else's. Yet no Democrat would believe that they owe Maddow anything despite the fact that her airtime is worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of an election campaign.

        מה מכילות החדשות?

        • #64
          Re: End OWS?

          Originally posted by adaher View Post
          The most important thing a politician needs is votes, not money. He needs money to get his message out, but if he's been a terrible representative, he won't be reelected.
          You know, I'm not sure that's how it works. If people actually voted the bums out we would have some turnover in Congress. But everyone seems to think that the problem with Congress is everybody in Congress . . . except the guy they voted for.

          It's rather twisted, and I lose a little bit of faith in democracy every time one of them scumbags gets reelected.

          מה מכילות החדשות?

          • #65
            Re: End OWS?

            Originally posted by MeadHallPirate
            ahoy Etauer,

            it can, matey...'tis bein' done in Charlotte as we speak. a peaceful, non-violent protest.

            in terms 'o police bein' put in difficult positions, i think by'n large, dealin' with difficult positions be what they be handsomely compensated fer.

            also, the movement by its very nature be a low budget affair, so protestin' and havin' thar demonstrations be the only weaponry in thar arsenal.

            - MeadHallPirate
            hmm, not sure about charlotte, but violence isnt the only issue, the point of a protest is to be a nuisance of course, but it seems they are trying to incite some violence right?

            Police of course aren't paid that well of course, so why take it out on them? Moreover, police are also paid to get shot at if necessary, doesn't mean that its cool to take shots at them right?

            I don't think thats true, it is still a democracy, why not do what a lot of them are claiming they want to do, put up canidates for election, put together class action lawsuits, etc?

            מה מכילות החדשות?

            • #66
              Re: End OWS?

              Originally posted by MeadHallPirate
              ahoy Halpo and welcome to USPO,

              i think, in the end, they shall just lift anchor and go home, matey.

              the interests arrayed against'm be too mighty and too deep in the pockets...and even here, on wonky USPO, the ennui be cloying as folk all agree that thar be no way to keep congresspersons from bein' purchased.

              we might as well get used to it, i 'spose...but then really, i don't wanna hear no more brayin' from the right 'bout UAW purchasin' congresspersons, or the Solyndra scandal, or lobbyists on K street fer trial lawyers who pour monies into democratic coffers.

              - MeadHallPirate
              Thats true, it is going to go away on its own... one would hope otherwise were looking at really really bad things, but the reality is that things in this country aren't really bad, so I don't think it will get to that point.

              Everyone should be hollering about every scandal to an extent, you won't clean it all up ever, thats just the nature of the beast, and usually there are bigger things to worry about.

              מה מכילות החדשות?

              • #67
                Re: End OWS?

                Originally posted by MeadHallPirate
                ahoy Etbauer,

                me hearty, i cited Charlotte because i've visited thar protest a half dozen times. 'tis a non-violent protest...but aye, all protests seek to be a nuisance, shake folks out 'o thar reverie and take notice.
                Right, but I would like it much better and be more sympathetic if they kept it to normal park hours and stayed within the standing laws and regulations and kept the area clean etc.

                also, this be a bit off topic, but i think police be compensated pretty well. their retirement packages be generous and thar benefits robust. i don't think imma "taking it out on them", either...imma just notin' that they be paid to deal with difficult situations. i don't think thats a controversial observation me own part, and if dealin' with a relatively passive, non-violent protester be the worst horror they see in thar careers, i'd say they'd be countin' thar blessings.
                I don't disagree, for a job that doesn't require vast ammounts of training and education, doesn't require large supervisory responsibilities etc, I'd say its fair, though not exorbitant. But mostly, they are a long way off of the 1% that seem to be the target, but yet they are taking heat for enforcing standing laws, thats the part i dont like.

                in terms 'o yer final statement, i do think they be tryin' to move the political needle. no less that the President of the United States has recently adopted thar rhetoric.

                'tis a start, mate, aye?

                - MeadHallPirate
                Below is from an OWS person on thier website, and it makes sense to some degree, though I feel that at this point especially, the pursuit of these goals can be done with the continuation of the occupation. What sticks out more is that I have my opinion that most protests are really more like a football game than a political movement, in other words its fun to get together in a group yell and have a bad guy. The fact that most of these demands seem completely unrealistic doesn't help my feelings in that regard. It seems sort of like those caper movies where the hostage takers provide a list of crazy things to buy more time.

                You would have to wait until after the National General Assembly in July where the 876 delegates will finalize the List of Grievances (as per the 1st Amendment). Dealing with The List in good faith would end the protest.
                If you wished to suspend the street level action today, you would fund the NGA and the elections of delegates, transparently, as per the Declaration.
                Hope your real name is Santa ; )
                NGA NOW all roads lead to Philadelphia

                מה מכילות החדשות?

                • #68
                  Re: End OWS?

                  Originally posted by MeadHallPirate
                  ahoy Etbauer,

                  i agree that things aren't really that bad either, though ye would hardly know if when ye read USPO.

                  things aren't that great either, of course.

                  shiver me timbers matey, i like yer sedate and measured way 'o postin'.

                  - MeadHallPirate
                  Hysterical ranting gets much more attention. Don't get me wrong I have very solid opinions that will take a lot to shake, but I know that no one knows everything, and truth be told I have learned things in these debate though the ignorance can be astounding lol

                  מה מכילות החדשות?

                  • #69
                    Re: End OWS?

                    How would one go about buying a politician? Legally, I mean.

                    מה מכילות החדשות?

                    • #70
                      Re: End OWS?

                      Originally posted by Jason Marcel View Post
                      The Occupiers and the Teabaggers have a lot in common.
                      Erm, no, not really.

                      You couldnt find two more polar opposite groups.

                      They both share the belief that America is increasingly a corporate oligarchy and not a democracy.

                      They both understand that our politicians are bought and paid for.

                      Both movements decry the bailouts of Wall St.
                      You could say that about many Americans who are part of neither movement.

                      מה מכילות החדשות?

                      • #71
                        Re: End OWS?

                        The first one is a good example, the IPOs, but that's not megacorporations, that's smaller businesses. And I'm pretty sure Sarah's wrong there anyway, because a direct gift of stock is almost certainly illegal unless there's some IPO loophole I'm not aware of.

                        However, Sarah nails it with the last one, and it's something that liberals for some reason hate to focus on: legislators extorting protection money from corporations.

                        The other examples are accurate, but aren't examples of companies buying legislators. That's just legislators using legal means to enrich themselves. Corruption, but they are doing it for themselves, not a rich person or corporation buying them.

                        Again, it is illegal to buy a politician and every possible means of doing that has been dealt with in law. There is no way to legally buy a politician.

                        מה מכילות החדשות?

                        • #72
                          Re: End OWS?

                          It's interesting... and for a foreigner, somewhat disappointing, or almost sad, to read this thread.

                          Before that thread, OWS was represented as having no message - or one too vague to be explicit. Then Pirate stepped in and through Charlotte, he gave them a message that looks more and more accepted here on USPol, that is : "take money out of politics". I frowned but who am I to decide what an american movement is about. Then, through Adaher and on another thread, the discussion is turning more and more about how "Congress is an outlaw". Basically, that the problem is not money but the legislation. And while that's not attributed to OWS, I can't help but feel that, in the coming conversations about OWS, the subject will be mostly how to (de)regulate Congress.
                          Again, it's your politic and as an observer I can only but accept it. Still, I somehow hoped for OWS to be more. If not only because it's "Occupy Wall Street". And in Europe, while it's recognized that the movement want to "take money out of politics", it's only a part of the message perceived. You know. Home foreclosures. Bailouts. Lack of jobs. Just Wall Street. There is a popular belief, however ungrounded it is, here in Europe and I believe - or at least I would want to verify - in the US too, that the politicians are simply powerless, that companies - a bit more than just "small enterprises" - don't have to abide to any law anymore. That any attempt to regulate them is bound to fail.
                          I won't continue the socialist rhetoric of how making money is evil, it's not as if the amoral law of market hadn't been explained again and again, and deregulation justified more times than I can keep track of. All in all, it's just a belief, worth what it's worth and experts of any narrative can strengthen or diminish - even suppress - it at will. All I'm saying is, I somehow hoped for OWS to be about this also, even if it was a tiny part of it. Let's just settle with me being a naive brat.

                          But would a clean Congress be enough to end OWS, and for the folks in Charlotte to leave ?

                          מה מכילות החדשות?

                          • #73
                            Re: End OWS?

                            OWS is also about those things. Although when talking about an unorganized movement there always has to be some caution in trying to determine what they believe.

                            מה מכילות החדשות?