Pop The Bubble Before The Real Fiscal Cliff: The Chicago Plan



Can we really pop our bubble economy before it bursts in the form of negligent suicide?

A 1930′s economic study advocating that we walk away from a debt-based currency has been recently run through advanced computer models at the IMF, and the results suggest it would work marvelously… The Chicago Plan Revisited (pdf).

Any educated person knows that fractional reserve banking is a leading horse in the race to the real “fiscal cliff” — the end point of a self-destructive system that just so happens to feed off of the ground it’s running on. A perpetual growth-based economy relies on the growth of using up resources that keep us eating, drinking, sheltering and moving, and as people race to pay off growing debts created out of thin air, the problem gets exponentially worse, literally eating and burning away the resources they need in the future to continue civilization.

We call it, “negligent suicide.”

The paper argues that fiat currency can be, and has been, powerful and beneficial to the general public if held by the state, not a few zillionaires who developed a system gamed to give them ever more power. It does not need to be backed by gold, but by the government, who would not link its borrowing to its currency’s value.

From a piece in the Daily Telegraph’s Finance section:

One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined…

The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money — roughly 97pc of the money supply — with state-created money. We return to the historical norm, before Charles II placed control of the money supply in private hands with the English Free Coinage Act of 1666.

Specifically, it means an assault on “fractional reserve banking”. If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air.

The nation regains sovereign control over the money supply. There are no more banks runs, and fewer boom-bust credit cycles. Accounting legerdemain will do the rest. That at least is the argument.

Some readers may already have seen the IMF study, by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, which came out in August and has begun to acquire a cult following around the world….

The IMF paper says total liabilities of the US financial system – including shadow banking – are about 200pc of GDP. The new reserve rule would create a windfall. This would be used for a “potentially a very large, buy-back of private debt”, perhaps 100pc of GDP.

More study should be done, exploring what this would look like under an already corrupt, overly-stretched US government, currently wholly owned by the banking system, but one thing is clear: as the dude sitting in the horse carriage, if you don’t want your society and you to die a nasty, senseless death akin to negligent suicide, you’ve got to do something to stop the horses from running you over that cliff. Slowing them down or veering them off a degree or two still leads them to the same nearing cliff, and there’s plenty of history indicating that it’ll suck.

Climate Change DEBUNKED by .17% of Scientists

Author James Powell was curious. What exactly does it mean when a willfully ignorant person says there is, “no scientific consensus” on climate change?

I searched the Web of Science for peer-reviewed scientific articles published between 1 January 1991 and 9 November 2012 that have the keyword phrases “global warming” or “global climate change.” The search produced 13,950 articles. See methodology

…24 of the 13,950 articles, 0.17% or 1 in 581, clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming… The 24 articles have been cited a total of 113 times over the nearly 21-year period, for an average of close to 5 citations each. That compares to an average of about 19 citations for articles answering to “global warming,” for example. Four of the rejecting articles have never been cited; four have citations in the double-digits. The most-cited has 17. For an analysis of the 113 citations, see here.

Of one thing we can be certain: had any of these articles presented the magic bullet that falsifies human-caused global warming, that article would be on its way to becoming one of the most-cited in the history of science.

So, if this is kind of the biggest deal ever, why was it never mentioned during the 2012 presidential debates? You should know that by now, educated one. If not, get educated, then Occupy Educated!

VIDEO: Occupy Politician Gets Big Money from Main Street


If you’re looking for hope in this year’s election, you might want to look at where Main Street is putting its change.

With the doors opened wide by ever-loosening campaign-finance loopholes via Congress, committees and a few devastating SCOTUS decisions, corporations are throwing so much speech into the 2012 election that it is set to easily smash 2008′s astounding record of $5,300,000,000. Obama alone is already at $600,000,000, and rumor has it, he’s set to spend $1,000,000,000.

Norman Solomon, a popular author, activist, and California District 2 candidate hoping to win a seat occupied by retiring progressive Rep. Lynn Woolsey, is betting that delivering a strong progressive message with a down-to-earth humility is the right formula to earn people dollars — money from the people who actually enter the booth, punch the chads, and proudly live with the consequences.

Here’s a highlight video I made of the interview (1:40 run time):

“There’s a myth that you’ve got to take PAC money and lobbyist money, work your way up the ladder by taking those bucks in order to get elected. Well, tell that to Bernie Sanders, getting to the Congress, getting to the Senate, over and over again without taking PAC money.” He mentioned Paul Wellstone, who like Solomon had never been elected to office before a run for a seat in Congress, was outspent 7 to 1, but his support was loud and clear from boots on the ground. “It can be done, if you believe in the grassroots.”

Indeed, Solomon has garnered the support of all major progressive political organizations. His reputation as someone who literally wrote the book on how government deception has earned the campaign $750,000 to date. But, come on, with each House-seat winner spending an average of $1,500,000 million on their campaign in 2010, with some House candidates having spent $14,000,000 already, how can he expect to do this on a dime?

“I was born at night, but not last night,” he quipped. “It takes money to win elections, but that’s not the most important point.”

Solomon said he’s been able to get support from believers not only from his district, but from individual donors from all over the country who support his message. “I can vote for them, and our values. Progressive values. We don’t want perpetual war, we don’t want Wall Street dominating Main Street, we don’t want environmental degradation because the corporations are so damn powerful… We don’t have money for healthcare, education, housing, good green jobs, environmental protection, yet the Pentagon is spending way beyond its needs, on borrowed money. People know we need to change that, but you don’t see that happening in Washington.”

Can his 1000+ volunteers be enough to beat out his opponents? Both contenders have raised over a million each. A safe bet is that millionaire novice Stacey Lawson will come through, as she’s willing to spend the most, and is footing the bill of her own campaign. But in a state where Meg Whitman, the California candidate who spent more money on her own losing gubernatorial run than any self-funded candidate for any office in world history — $50 for every vote she got — Solomon may just come out on top.

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- republished with permission from Ben Zolno

Obama Going to Save Us From Our Student-Loan Debt Disaster?



Is Obama planning on helping out Americans who are in a debt pile so deep, it’s bigger than the entire American credit card hole? $1,000,000,000,000 and counting (but not with anything other than addition — we can’t afford to educate ourselves beyond that math level anymore).

As seen on Bloomberg news:

The U.S. Education Department, which hires private collectors, said today it would mandate that the companies use a standard form to gather debtors’ income and expenses. If borrowers protest, they would be offered an income-based formula, which can result in payments as low as $50 a month for an unmarried person with $20,000 in income and $20,000 in loans.

The collection companies — which receive commissions of as much as 20 percent of recoveries — are facing complaints that they insist on stiff payments from defaulted borrowers even though the Obama administration and Congress have approved more- lenient plans, Bloomberg News reported March 26. The education department is also reviewing the commissions it pays collectors.

Massive default is certainly in the future, and in the present — $67,000,000 in default so far — so what is the motivation for this band aid? With shooting up hockey-stick style, with measures to perhaps double it in the near future, people will need to be more responsible for their own education, fair or not (not).

Student Debt Stories – What’s Your Story?

Student debt is bigger than credit card debt — about a $1,000,000,000,000.00, give or take a $1,000,000,000.00 or $2,000,000,000.00 — and apart from the recent PR news that we have a rising economy, it will be impossible for many to pay off that investment.

But so what? Some kid decides to get a college degree in Early Rock Jewelry of Upper-Middle-Earth Hobbits, and they can’t afford it. Why should you care?

For one, if you’re trying to continue a growth-based economy (which, of course, is physically impossible), then having potential consumers taking their money and sending off to the banks, as opposed to investing it into their economy, is a back-breaker for such an economy.

But it goes beyond the numbers you can find in Forbes’ “The American Nightmare”.  Intelligent, well-educated people everyday are choosing between paying their heating bills or student loans. And for those who are lucky enough to skip college, the workforce isn’t going their direction — as enrollment decreases, the amount of jobs for which employers require a degree is not.

One Occupier wrote us and asked us to spread the word about his project. What’s your story?

NewsiT (www.newsit.net) a startup crowd-reporting site covering the
student loan crisis, and we’re looking for students and recent
graduates who can tell us their stories and how student debt is
affecting their lives:
http://newsit.net/assignments/how-will-student-debt-affect-you

Click his link below and fill it in. There’s a lot of storytelling that needs to be done, if we want people to occupy educated.

Because You Are Silent: Journalists Arrested By House Republicans


They are emboldened by your silence.

This is history being made before your eyes. The anti-corporate movement is being met with illegal action by blindly-obedient police, under orders by corporate-owned politicians.

From the original article on the Huffington Post:

Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Gasland” (trailer below on this OccupyEducated.org page) was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing. The meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment had been taking place in room 2318 of the Rayburn building.

Approximately 16 officers entered the hearing room and handcuffed Fox amid audible discussions of “disorderly conduct” charges, according to Democratic sources present at the arrest.

“Gasland” received strong critical acclaim and takes a critical eye toward the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a process in which several tons of highly pressurized water and chemicals are injected into the ground, allowing valuable natural gas to escape. The practice is decried by ecological experts for destroying ecosystems and polluting groundwater. The energy industry keeps the actual content of fracking chemicals secret.

A separate ABC News crew, which did have official Capitol Hill credentials, was also denied access to the public hearing.

Arresting journalists, attacking citizen documentarians… you see it on the streets of Occupy every day. Today you see it on Capitol Hill, right in front of your face, because they are betting they can keep turning up the heat as they boil the American frogs — you. They are betting we will keep becoming ever-more complacent, apathetic, or helpless. We sit online and complain, but do not get out in the streets to stand up against it.

Do you not know that fracking is no fringe issue — it is the permanent destruction of your water supply? Do you not know that fracking, not unlike the Canadian tar sands, is simply a last-ditch effort to get at the last few drops of fossil energy accessible, just so these corporate heads can make a quick billion bucks on development and exorbitant higher rates on your energy bill, getting as much capital as possible before the entire fossil energy sector collapses, at the expense of permanent destruction of entire swaths of American homes?

When and where do you stand? Democrats, Republicans, the American people… they have proven to be ineffective, apathetic, or in on the game, so what are you going to do?

Get educated. Find out how they’re doing it. Learn why it’s madness to do this when we’re at the end of economic and environmental-destruction growth. Learn what this will do to you, your economy, and your environment — you know, that place you get your food from.

For the sake of all that is American, open your eyes, open your neighbors’ eyes. Get to the hearings, get to the streets, and do whatever is necessary to stop this corporate takeover of your government happening before your very eyes.

Commentary by Ben Zolno

VIDEO: The Deficit and Debt Ceiling Game

The cliché goes: the Democratic leadership want to increase the deficit and go deeper into debt, bankrupting our government, and the Republican leadership wants to cut spending on everything but perks for the rich, bankrupting 99% of the American People. But what are the facts behind this perception?

Here’s an objective video by Khanacademy.org explaining — in layman’s terms — the constant game the government plays with the deficit, to keep up the illusion that the United States is a stable economy, that can go growing forever. It covers the last round of the game, and will not be a much different story from the future rounds. As observed in The End of Growth (first book to be read by Occupy Educated’s new Meetup), such a thing is physically impossible, and keeping up this game may best be described as collective insanity. As seen in Debt: The First 5,000 Years, this game has been a long time coming.

How do you see this game ending, and when? Comment here or in the discussion forums.

Are Occupy ‘Crashings’ A Good Strategy?

Is standing up, interrupting, and getting kicked out of a meeting a good direction for Occupy?  It’s the new trend and has been showing up at conventions, meetings, and fundraisers worldwide. One form of such crashings, known as mic checking, makes use of the #OWS People’s Mic technique. The most inspiring early example, perhaps, was the mic checking of the NYC Department of Education board meeting done by Occupy Wall Street in October:

 

Earlier examples of this strategy were implemented several years ago by Medea Benjamin and Code Pink to interrupt congressional hearings and the Republican National Convention:

What do you think? Is this a good way for marginalized voices to be heard? Do drastic times call for drastic action to get messages out, or is this just unproductive?

A few more examples of crashings and mic checks around the nation:

Occupy ‘Messenger’ Interrupts Congressional Deficit Super Committee Hearing
http://youtu.be/XYkl9z23mfM

99%ers Mic Check Newt Gingrich At Harvard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR43rnbX00c

Occupiers Crash Chamber Of Commerce Holiday Party With Human Red Carpet
http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/12/08/385779/occupiers-crashes-chamber-of-commerce-party-with-human-red-carpet/

JP Morgan Mic Checked At Princeton
http://www.thenation.com/blog/165072/jp-morgan-mic-checked-princeton

Can Occupy Continue Beyond Occupation?

Occupying The Sidewalk

Occupy The Streets or The Stream?

Sami Grover, frequent sustainability blogger on TreeHugger.com, wrote an article arguing Occupy tactics should far beyond just physical occupationof public spaces.

Certainly it seems unlikely that the movement would have grown with such ferocity had it not quickly and successfully created a physical presence in cities around the world. But as the weeks turn into months, many communities are asking how long the protests will continue, and what happens next. In Bristol, for example, protesters are planning a public meeting to discuss their tactics, and appear to be willing to move on from their city center camp ground if an alternative space can be found. Meanwhile talks between Occupy LA and the mayor’s office seem to have broken down, despite early signs that the city might offer cheap office space and a community garden in exchange for protesters dismantling their tents.

OccupyEducated seeks to help bring the physical occupations to reach the virtual world everyone shares — facebook, twitter, forums — and then use their new, shared knowledge to spark real-world action.

Where do you see occupy going from here – physically or virtually — as of today?