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.

STUNNING: Corporate Connection Map, Full Rez


In the wake of the latest Obama corporate-scheming disaster story — a severe blow to anyone who believed his campaign promises — here’s a graph that should help you occupy educated.

Remember, Obama promised:

We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors; require the privatization of our vital public services; or prevent developing country governments from adopting humanitarian licensing policies to improve access to life-saving medications…

Note: This map was last updated in 2003. Much more has been consolidated since then, but you get the idea. Here’s a slightly different approach, more updated.

Full Rez of the Map = Right Click Here and select “Open image in new window” or download it

Facebook Bitch: Why America Doesn’t Deserve Democracy

 


America simply does not deserve good government. We fulfill our civic duty of whining to our virtual friends, retweeting #occupy solidarities and Liking Obama’s fan page, but when it comes to the one opportunity to directly change the system — voting — we simply… uh, what’s on The Daily Show tonight?

On Tuesday, the country saw an insanely low turnout for the US Congressional primaries, with California being no exception. Case in point: the winner of District 2 had just 48,001 votes, second place 19,636 and third place 18,257. That’s $26.50 spent per vote (plus an embarrassing $68 per vote for self-funded fourth-place finisher Stacey Lawson), plus countless volunteer hours of blood, sweat, and now a whole lot of tears.

Results? In November, Californians will have to choose between a PAC-funded Democrat, and a Republican stock broker with literally no specific plans for what he’d actually do — there’s not even an issues page on his site — and whose community engagement is so low that he highlights Morgan Sports Car Club on his list of association membership.


“Apathy Party 2012: Because voting is for suckers”

The people had the rare opportunity to vote in someone like Norman Solomon, who actually has an understanding of national and world issues — written thirteen books, one of which was made into a documentary — and a strong track record of standing up and doing something on the issues of civil liberties, environmentalism, corruption, unjust wars and more. Organizations from MoveOn.org to Progressive Democrats of America all sent emails urging their members to turn out for Solomon. Californians blew it.

So much time, money, and effort goes into elections, so much at stake at the just the beginning of our world ecological, energy and economic crisis, yet too few care enough about themselves, their families, fellow citizens and habitat to vote.

Blame it on America’s corporate-backed culture of complacency. Blame it on some biological phenomenon that states democracy isn’t a proper governance format for humans. Blame it on Internet access, hair-color appointments, socio-economic blah blah blah.

Face it: When it comes to responsibility, Americans suck.

Conclusion?

1. Your vote really does make a difference.

2. Get-Out-The-Vote activism does not make the difference, be they positive, negative, pretty, ugly, or from this post.

3. Voluntary voting does not work. Perhaps it’s time for compulsory voting or the opposite extreme — have a benevolent council decide for us; maybe the latter is already happening in our current voting participation, but the results are typically not benevolent.

4. Lobbying is quite necessary, as there is no mandate from the people. The only way to affect government is to get a bunch of good or evil friends and force the government to do something; evil people are better at it.

Wake up America!

Just kidding. All the venti mochas at your local quad-corner Starbuckses combined aren’t enough to pry open your eyes, get you out of bed, and vote this year. Go back to sleep and dream of a dreamy tomorrow, because when your circumstances finally jolt you awake, you won’t like your waking world.

This was commentary that does not necessarily reflect the opinion of OccupyEducated.org. What do you think?

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

Corporate Conglomerate Map Gets Huge Engagement



This photo got huge engagement — 396+ shares in 24 hours on Facebook… now 415.  Even more shared it than Liked it.


Full rez is at this link.
 

You could really see people get engaged, from all over the world.

Dinorah Naieli: holy… wakamole… EAT NO EVIL!!!

Angel Bernal: Es importante realizar una labor en otros idiomas para sensibilizar a otros lugares del mundo.

Laura Saukstelis: Why is there such a strong opposition to accurate labeling…could it be because of greed, uhmmm? Practically EVERYTHING else one buys, lists all of it’s contents…clothing, toys, furniture, purses & on & on.

Some pointed out a few possible inaccuracies, effectively crowdsourcing accuracy.

Simon Felipe Leiderman: I have several problems with this graph: 1) A&W appears twice. One as part of Kraft and one as part of Pepsico. It would be preposterous for Pepsico to not own the drinkbrand, just the rights to the name of the restaurant. Fact is, 2) Pepsico no longer owns Yum Brands. They were spun off last I heard. Last but not least, 3) DOLE IS NOT OWNED BY PEPSICO! Dole is owned by Castle and Cook, which is owned by David Murdock. So there needs to be some education of the education.

Erick Karlen: Well from logos large enough to recognize I can tell you for one that Coca Cola does not own Monster Energy (they are a brand of the independent bottler Hansen Beverage Company) so that kind of makes me question the accuracy of everything else on here. Moreover, knowing that everyday supermarket brands stem from not that many consumer products giants is neither surprising or revealing.

There are a few proud ignoramuses, always… contrarians.

Ryan Meyerhoff: Hey look! A chart of successful companies producing products because they are in demand and being purchased over alternative choices.

Audra Anne: …who cares who makes what? I believe in pro choice so if you don’t want to buy something, don’t buy it. If you don’t believe in animal testing, buy from a company who doesn’t test on animals. If you don’t want to eat chemicals, don’t eat them. And so on. Everything we do is a choice.

Richie Hutchison: really? life’s too short to be worrying about things like ‘don’t buy from these companies” plus it just seems like you’re jealous that you can’t start a business that succeeds well enough to do something like this. How would you feel if you had a very successful business and people started to boycott you because they thought you made too much money? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Republican or conservative, but i think this is overkill. Worry about making yourself better and not bringing others down to your level.

But they weren’t left to just spread their proud ignorance. It’s a teaching opportunity.

OccupyEducated.org: ‎@ Ryan Meyerhoff nice try. Look semi closely, and you will see this “demand” doesn’t come from the sky. It’s a closed-loop cycle — refined sugar demand is powered by marketing and physical addiction, which creates more demand.

“Alternative choices?” Check the aisle supply and then cross check it with the price difference (created by farm subsidies that promote unhealthy “food”), the economy and the addiction created, and tell us how you see it lining up for the average income earner in ‘merica.

OccupyEdcuated.org: @Audra Anne and @Richie Hutchison sounds like you’re made up your minds on this one, considering your passion, but if you allow education to seep in, you will see that while, yes, personal choice as the main determining factor of consumption was available for quite a while, these systems have grown so strong that participating outside this machine is impossible for more than 90% of the people in this country. They’ve grown this strong not because they’re good business people, but because they own your government, and use your tax dollars to subsidize their products, so their toxic, water-destroying, earth-destroying products can still become cheaper and cheaper, while healthy alternatives become more an more expensive.

Free choice is a myth.

It is so very important to get the word out, and lead people to deeper knowledge, especially in these books!


Is Occupy Leftist? Huffington Post Thinks So


That’s what this article and book are saying on AOL-owned HuffPo Radio piece called: Both Sides: Are We All Pre-wired Left or Right? Do Beliefs Precede Facts?

Left and Right then self-segregate into their own enclaves where they only hear their own side ratified — think a Tea Party rally and Occupy Wall Street protest.

Do you agree? Is it left to recognize facts that a growth-based, unchecked plutocracy is using up our resources? Are you a socialist to understand how Bank of America and Goldman Sachs profited from deceit at the expense of 99% of us?

Is this Ron Paul supporter a left-wing freak for understanding that the monetary supply is based on debt — nothing?

Should we let this go unchecked, or skip the fallacy of left/right?

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).

Thanks for the Donations to #OccupyEducated!… and Why We’re Grateful!


Those of us who have a deeper understanding of the flaws in our system contribute what we have, in order to awaken the rest of the population.


Sometimes that means we can get out on the streets and educate first hand, but when that opportunity falls short, due to the need to pay the bills, it’s fantastic that those with less time can make their voice heard in the form of supporting those that speak for them. The fact that you effectively say we are sharing your voice is a big boost to our enthusiasm.

All right, yeah, so it’s a been over a month since our last blog.  But we have a excuses we hope you will find satisfactory.

#1. #OccupyEducated is not really about what wehave to say, it’s about these great authors and filmmakers who can provide a deeper understanding of our systems, and the flaws therein.

#2. It’s about you, too — sharing and contributing your knowledge.

#3. We’re working on our next big steps.

#4. As of now, there’s more active participation on Facebook and Twitter, so we’re keeping it real by focusing our messaging on those platforms.

Just know that your donations help us pay for site stuff (domain payments, upgrades, etc.) and keep us eating, so we can continue getting your knowledge out there.

So, thanks again, especially to Leon, Frederick (Fred?), Jason, Donna, Leslie, Ali, Susan, Tom, Peng, Patricia (Tricia?) Joachim and all the privates — must be George Soros funding our “fancy socialist propaganda website”, right? :)

 

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.

URGENT: How to Stop Tucson Banning Books and Killing Education

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OccupyEducated.org was created as a response to the destruction of the Occupy Wall Street Library in Zuccotti Park (see below video).  We knew other governments would collapse their libraries — for purposes of both repression of ideas or simply the results of hard decisions required with restricted budgets.  

 

Looks like Arizona (surprise, surprise) is vying to be a leader in this sort repression as well; apparently legalizing racism wasn’t a badge of honor shiny enough.  The powers that be have no interest in letting children know where they come from.  Perhaps it’s because those kids may not like those powers so much, once educated.

Below is a plea from amazing The People’s Library.  Step up; this one will be fun!

REQUEST:
In response to the disgraceful decision of the Tucson Unified School District to end the Mexican-American Studies program and to ban books from the school curriculum The People’s Library is holding a series of book drives (Operation Book Bomb Tucson) to support the students and teachers of Tucson.

  • The first book donation event will be held at the next Occupy Town Square on Sunday, February 26 in Tompkins Square Park from 11AM to 5PM.
  • The second book donation event will be held at Word Up Community Bookshop 4157 Broadway at 176th St in Washington Heights on Thursday, March 1 from 7PM to 9PM http://wordupbooks.wordpress.com
  • The third book donation event is TBA but will be held in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in conjunction with the Sunset Park General Assembly (Sunset GA contact me at franceslikespeace@gmail.com)

For these events we are asking people to bring any Spanish language books, books on Mexican history, or books on Latino culture to donate to Tucson. In addition to this we would like to have teach-ins and readings on topics such as educational oppression, immigrant rights, and Mexican-American history. We are reaching out to you our friends and allies to support us in the following areas. Here is some of what we need:

  • Speakers/Teachers willing to share their time on Sunday, February 26 in Tompkins Sq and or on Thursday, March 1 in Washington Heights. Chris Hedges is already scheduled to speak on March 1, but we are looking for additional people to help educate us and the visiting public on issues regarding Immigrant rights and education in our society. If you are knowledgeable or know someone who is knowledgeable on these issues, and would be willing to hold a teach-in please contact us ASAP at owspeopleslibrary@gmail.com
  • Outreach and Press   We want to spread the word to the Latino community throughout New York City. I have written to Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez regarding this event but I have not yet heard back from his office. If anyone has a contact within his office please let us know. Additionally we would like to have announcements made on WBAI 99.5FM as well as the Spanish language radio station MEGA 97.9FM. If anyone has contacts for these stations please pass them onto us. Also we would like to let our friends at Democracy Now know about this campaign. Please let us know if you are willing to contact your colleagues there on our behalf. If you are in the press or on the media team and would like to highlight our campaign please do so!
  • Transportation & Storage   We could really use a friend with a van. We need to transport our donated books from Tompkins Sq Park on Sunday, Feb 26 and from Washington Heights on Thursday, March 1 and get them into storage. Anyone who wants to volunteer to help us with that wins huge hugs from very grateful librarians!
  • Translation   Since our goal here is to outreach with the Spanish speaking community we need translation. We would like our flyers to be printed in English and Spanish and we would like to have our teach-ins conducted in both languages as well. If you are willing to translate copy for our flyers, or to translate on site on either Feb 26, or  March 1, or both please let us know.
  • Design   We need flyers printed up for the March 1 event in Washington Heights. We would like to get them to Word Up Bookshop ASAP so that they can begin letting people in the neighborhood know about the event. Again we want them to be in English on one side and Spanish on the other. If anyone from our design and printing teams wants to get on that we would be very appreciative.

We have already received donations of books from:

  • Richard Delgado the author of the book Critical Race Theory
  • The SouthWest Organizing Project which publishes 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures by Elizabeth Martinez
  • And Arte Publico Press which sent us Zoot Suit: A Bilingual Edition by Luis Valdez, Y no se lo tragó la tierra… / And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás Rivera,  Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz by Mona Ruiz and Geoff Boucher,  Message to Aztlán by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, and Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement by F. Arturo Rosales. Additionally Arte Publico is offering us a 50% discount on any books that we order from their catalog for the campaign.

We are very excited about this action and we are thrilled to be able to help the students and teachers of Tucson and to defend the Mexican-American community from this continued injustice. We hope that you will join us in our fight. Please contact us to help with any of these areas at owspeopleslibrary@gmail.com and thank you so much for your continued support.

Warmest Regards,
Frances Mercanti-Anthony
The People’s Library

photo credit: Glenn Beck’s propaganda hit piece “The Blaze”