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Some Old Ideas for the New Protests
net worth kucinich huey long federal reserve

Kucinich's Money Act and Huey Long's Basic Income

If only the current protests will make a big difference! There definitely are basic reforms that need adopting. We trim, blend, and append four 2011 articles on Occupy Wall Street from: J.S. Hirschhorn, a frequent contributor, (1) Oct 18 and (2) Oct 25; (3) American Free Press, Oct 21, on money reform by M. Anderson; and (4) Huffington Post, Oct 20, on Huey Long by R. Sive.

by Joel S. Hirschhorn, by Mark Anderson, and by Rebecca Sive

While in New York City I went downtown to visit the Occupy Wall Street group. I was amazed at how many police surrounded Zuccotti Park, as massive a police presence as any I had ever seen in news accounts of protests in other countries, including those trying to overturn awful regimes. New York City has spent over $3 million so far on policing the Occupy events.

The central focus of the Occupy movement is on the finance sector that has rewarded itself unduly.

The Occupiers have been receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and also huge quantities of boxes of donated materials. Clearly, as some polls have shown, there is massive public support for the Occupy movement.

One of my hopes is that the Occupy movement will get behind the effort by Dylan Ratigan at getmoneyout.com to get a constitutional amendment that would get money out of politics. The path to getting such an amendment is through the use of the Article V convention option in the Constitution, not by relying on Congress for proposing something to reform it. Supporting the convention option is something I hope the Occupy movement will also support.

Globally, millionaires and billionaires now control 38.5% of the world’s wealth. There are 29.7 million people in the world with household net worth of $1 million or more. They constitute 0.4% of 7 billion people.

Last year, the US added $4.6 trillion to global wealth, with China ranked second with $4 trillion, followed by Japan ($3.8 trillion), Brazil ($1.87 trillion) and Australia ($1.85 trillion). Which Americans shared in that $4.6 trillion increase in wealth? Only those at the very top.

The top 10% of US wealth recipients (about 30 million) have net worth above about $1 million and account for about 50 percent of all national consumer spending.

Note that corporate profit as a share of the economy is at a 50-year high.

Also note that often people with moderate incomes, and not just retirees, still are very high net worth individuals, with most of their income being passive such as interest and dividends, rather than wages of any kind. Being wealthy, in other words, is best seen in terms of net worth rather than income data.

Last point, 50% of Americans make less than $26,000 a year.

To contact Joel S. Hirschhorn, click here .

As the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement enters into its second month, will a sizable number of protesters move beyond listing various grievances regarding corporate greed and rampant joblessness, in order to search out specific solutions that would represent lasting, fundamental changes for the better?

This uprising started Sept. 17 in New York and by Oct. 6 had spread to the streets of Washington, Boston, and even to places as distant as McAllen in far-southern Texas and dozens of other large and small towns. Demonstrations also erupted in cities across Switzerland, Portugal, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

What must be done: Dethrone the bankers’ system, and carefully consider what to replace it with.

A monetary reform bill introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is known as the “NEED” Act (the National Employment Emergency Defense Act, HR 2990). HR 2990 stipulates that “money creation is solely a function of the United States Government” and “fractional reserve lending is ended.” The bill empowers “direct funding of infrastructure” and would pay an “initial monetary dividend to citizens.”

The Kucinich bill is not perfect, though its timing and content call for the attention of the protesters and all other concerned Americans at this pivotal time in history.

To see the whole article, click here .

In a national radio address on February 23, 1934, Huey Long unveiled his "Share Our Wealth" plan, a program designed to provide a decent standard of living to all Americans by spreading the nation's wealth among the people.

Sound like an agenda that would work for Occupy Wall Street?

Long proposed capping personal fortunes through a progressive federal tax and sharing the resulting revenue with the public through government benefits and public works. He tried to guarantee every family an annual income of $2,000 (or one-third the national average). He worked for a 30 hour work week and a four week vacation for every worker.

Subsequently, Long recommended: "......a debt moratorium to give struggling families time to pay their mortgages and other debts before losing their property to creditors."

Coming into his political adulthood at a time when Standard Oil was running rough-shod in Louisiana, Long's first big public fight was for "ordinary Americans" and against "Big Oil." Later as governor he won taxes on Standard Oil and applied them to funding education for ordinary Louisianans.

Long said: “The same mill that grinds out the extra rich is the same mill that will grind out the extra poor, because, in order that the extra rich can become so affluent, they must necessarily take more of what ordinarily would belong to the average man.

To see the whole article, click here .

JJS: To see how to fund those ideas without inflation, one could attend the Earthsharing Canada Conference at Dominican University College, Ottawa, on November 4-5. The goals are to:
* promote and foster the recapture of economic rent for the furtherance of ecological sustainability & economic justice;
* encourage the removal of obstacles to efficiency in the Canadian economy by shifting taxation off labor and capital; and
* foster public interest in and awareness of economic issues and a sound philosophy of economics.

For more info, click here .


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.

Also see:

Stop Giving Your Money to Wall St.

One Lawman With the Guts to Go After Wall St

Economism and the Night Sky

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