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Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:34 PM

Occupy Wall Street and the Personal Debt Crisis

Last edited Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:03 AM - Edit history (1)

Many have wondered what happened to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in the United States, since its arrival on the national scene in 2011. To some it seems to have disappeared. But it’s much more complicated than that, as discussed in a series of articles in the September 24 issue of The Nation.

Though nobody fully understands what happened to the movement, it seems to have morphed into something somewhat different rather than disappeared. A wide variety of repressive measures, local and otherwise, made the movement very difficult to sustain in its then current form. So, many of its most prominent players have gradually changed their tactics and strategies. In some sense it could be said that the movement, of necessity, has gone underground.

Many have said that the greatest legacy of OWS has been the infusion into national consciousness of the fact that many of the wealthiest among us have been carrying on an undeclared class war against the rest of us. The American oligarchy doesn’t want anyone to talk about this because the greater our awareness of this class war the greater the likelihood that we will do something about it. If we do talk about it they accuse us of class war.

Highly related to this class war is the massive amount of debt that has plagued the American people in recent years. Accordingly, the scattered remnants of the OWS movement have to a large extent begun emphasizing this problem as the underlying and uniting purpose of the movement.


State repression of the Occupy Wall Street movement

Several measures have been used by the state to suppress the OWS movement. It is instructive to consider them. Nathan Schneider discusses this in "Occupy, after Occupy" – One year after Occupy Wall Street shook the world, what lies ahead for the movement?

The most obvious tactic has been violent police repression, such as that which was used to evict the movement from Zuccotti Park in New York in November 2012. Since then, police have been extraordinarily vigilant in striving to prevent resurrection of the movement in New York:

Whenever Occupiers have gathered in public spaces in New York, police have seemed especially willing to use force to ensure that no new occupation can establish itself. “Across the United States, abusive and unlawful protest regulation and policing practices have been and continue to be alarmingly evident,” concluded a report produced by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project…

Less well known is the infiltration of the movement, for the purpose of imprisoning the movement’s most important actors over the long-term:

The wave of evictions that ended most of the country’s 24/7 occupations in late fall was only the beginning of the crackdown. Meetings and actions over the winter seemed especially rife with infiltrators, and such suspicions were confirmed in May, when undercover officers lured activists in Cleveland and Chicago into terrorism charges that could put them in prison for decades….

Terrorism! Wow! The ace up the sleeve of all police states to gain and maintain their power.

Propaganda to publicly discredit the movement is another major tactic. The New York Police Department publicly claimed to have found DNA evidence, later discredited, that OWS was linked to an 8-year old unsolved murder. The propaganda has even entered the public culture with a Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. In that movie a major participant in the OWS movement:

takes all of Gotham City hostage, resulting in an anarchic spree as the city is handed over to “the people.” A climactic sequence, partly filmed on Wall Street while OWS was still in Zuccotti Park a few blocks away, depicts a battle for the Financial District in which a column of gallant police officers – backed by the crime-fighting vigilante Batman charges against a vicious mob of 99 percenters armed with AK–47s to save the day.


OWS as indoctrination and training for future actions

Schneider notes that, even if the occupation strategy of the OWS movement is not resurrected, it still will have served important purposes behind increasing public awareness of the problems that the American oligarchy poses to us:

The movement’s real accomplishment has been even more significant than just “changing the conversation.” Because news reporters don’t make a habit of paying attention to grassroots activists the way they follow presidential exercise habits or wobbly stock tickers, they’re not attuned to the sea change brought about by Occupy. But people organizing for economic justice – especially young people – now know one another. They’ve practiced direct democracy in general assemblies and risked their bodies in direct action. They’re talking with each other over networks that they created themselves, as well as traveling together and building their capacity for future action.

Thousands have occupied public spaces and been arrested for their convictions who might otherwise have thought the police were there to protect them. Young people who were once merely interested in social change are now committed to it.


The importance of debt as a unifying principle

Perhaps the most significant change in the movement is the emphasis on debt as a motivating and unifying factor. It is intimately connected with the undeclared class war against the 99 percenters, and it is something that affects almost all of us, even those who are well off enough to avoid personal debt. Astra Taylor explains the importance of debt to the movement in "Occupy 2.0: Strike Debt".

Occupy organizers have been searching for a next step: a way to marshal the political energy that still exists without starting from scratch or denying all that their movement has achieved. This process has recently given rise to an initiative called Strike Debt.

Debt is the tie that binds the 99 percent… from the underwater and foreclosed upon homeowners who were first pummeled by the economic crisis, to the millions of debt-strapped students who are in default or on the brink, to all those driven into bankruptcy by medical bills, to workers everywhere who have been forced to compensate for more than thirty years of stagnating wages with credit card debt, to the firefighters and teachers who have had to accept pay cuts because their cities are broke, to the citizens of countries where schools and hospitals are being closed to pay back foreign bondholders. Given the way debt operates at the municipal and national levels, the issue affects us all – even those who are fortunate enough to be debt-free, as well as those so poor they don’t have access to credit. Debt is one of the ways we all feel Wall Street’s influence most intimately, whether it’s because of a ballooning mortgage payment or a subway fare hike or a shuttered clinic.

Young people are supposedly investing in their future when they go into debt to get an education, but once they sign on the dotted line, the banks have enormous power over their lives…Debt has become the means of subjecting everyone – from sovereign nations to homeowners and victims of payday loan sharks – to a mixture of ersatz morality and threats…

Individuals are kept in line through the prospect of foreclosure, higher interest rates and damaged credit scores, while entire populations from countries teetering toward collapse have been punished with cuts to wages and social welfare programs…

And much of the debt business is a big scam. Recent evidence, for example has shown that the process is “riddled with fraud on a scale akin to the foreclosure scandal, including the robo-signing of documents”. I suspected as much when I noted my own son paying monthly unexplained charges on his credit card debt that almost equaled his huge monthly payments.

Yet instead of our government helping us with this monumental problem, it has used it as an excuse to cut much needed social problems. Taylor explains:

As individuals, many of us are in debt because we have to borrow to secure basic social goods – education, healthcare, housing and retirement – that should be publicly provided. Meanwhile, around the world, debt is used to justify cutting these very services, even as the game is further rigged so that the 1 percent continues to profit, raking in money from tax cuts, privatization schemes and interest on municipal and treasury bonds…

And now the loan sharks have enlisted the help of the state to make it even worse:

Creditors have found ways to gouge those who are struggling by adding fees, increasing interest rates, and even – depending on the type of debt – garnishing wages, tax refunds and Social Security payments…

The banks and big corporations have been bailed out with a sum that will approach a mind-boggling $16 trillion in the end; regular people and their communities have been left holding the bag and will be paying for a long time to come…

$16 trillion dollars! For those of you not accustomed to thinking in terms of such large numbers, let me put it in personal terms. That averages out to about $50 thousand dollars for every man, woman and child in the United States – which is going from us to them.

Taylor finishes her article with a recommendation:

The first thing Occupy Wall Street and Strike Debt must do, then, is transform our understanding of the morality of debt. Is it moral for the 1 percent to extract money from the 99 percent for things like college and cancer treatments? Why should the 99 percent honor their debts when the 1 percent have walked away from theirs without remorse? Framed this way, Strike Debt is not advocating debt “forgiveness” – which implies a benevolent creditor taking pity on a blameworthy debtor – but rather the abolition of the current profit-centered debt system…


Debt and the cancer of American capitalism

Noting that the OWS movement has revived the idea of social class as a political issue in our country, David Graeber, a veteran of the OWS movement explains that what made this possible is the changing nature of American capitalism as it came to use debt as a means of controlling our lives. Graeber explains, in "Can Debt Spark a Revolution?":

It’s now clear that the 1 percent are the creditors: those who are able to turn their wealth into political influence and their political influence back into wealth again. The overriding imperative of government policy is to do whatever it takes, using all available tools – fiscal, monetary, political, even military – to keep stock prices from falling. The most powerful empire on earth seems to exist first and foremost to guarantee the stream of wealth flowing into the hands of that tiny proportion of its population who hold financial assets. This allows an ever-increasing amount of wealth to flow back into the system of legalized bribery that American politics has effectively become. …

What made this possible is a change in the fundamental nature of American capitalism. Instead of accumulating wealth by actually producing things, Wall Street has figured out how to accumulate wealth for themselves through the manipulation of money, speculation, trickery, and outright fraud – all with the help of the state. Of course, they try hard to prevent us from understanding this:

The financial industry actively discourages us from scrutinizing the actual social relations on which its wealth is based. What happens on Wall Street is supposed to be too complicated and advanced for regular people to comprehend.

But OWH shined a light on the process:

The rise of OWS allowed us to start seeing the system for what it is: an enormous engine of debt extraction. Debt is how the rich extract wealth from the rest of us, at home and abroad. Internally, it has become a matter of manipulating the country’s legal structure to ensure that more and more people fall deeper and deeper into debt. As I write, roughly three out of four Americans are in some form of debt, and a whopping one in seven is being pursued by debt collectors.

There’s no way to know just what percentage of the average household’s income is now directly expropriated by the financial services industry in the form of interest payments,
fees and penalties. What statistical information is available suggests it is somewhere between 15 and 20 percent… “Financialization,” then, is not just the manipulation of money. Ultimately, it’s the ability to manipulate state power to extract a portion of other people’s incomes. Wall Street and Washington, in other words, have become one. Financialization, securitization and militarization are all different aspects of the same process….


Solution

Graeber explains that the solution lies in bringing an understanding of the illegitimacy of the process to enough Americans that they will no longer stand for it:

The first step is to state the problem clearly: our current economic arrangements can barely even be called “capitalism,” unless it’s some form of Mafia capitalism based on loan-sharking, extortion and fixed casino games.

The second is to hammer home just how much the system’s illegitimacy undermines the moral force that debt still holds over so many Americans, thus fostering a gradual withdrawal of consent from the system. Increasing numbers of us are already doing this by refusing to pay our debts, whether out of necessity or by choice….

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Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply Occupy Wall Street and the Personal Debt Crisis (Original post)
Time for change Sep 2012 OP
greytdemocrat Sep 2012 #1
patrice Sep 2012 #4
tama Sep 2012 #9
patrice Sep 2012 #25
tama Sep 2012 #28
patrice Sep 2012 #30
tama Sep 2012 #40
patrice Sep 2012 #27
tama Sep 2012 #29
patrice Sep 2012 #31
tama Sep 2012 #42
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #34
me b zola Sep 2012 #5
greytdemocrat Sep 2012 #7
tama Sep 2012 #10
antiquie Sep 2012 #20
woo me with science Sep 2012 #22
patrice Sep 2012 #32
Raksha Sep 2012 #43
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #35
MFrohike Sep 2012 #47
me b zola Sep 2012 #48
girl gone mad Sep 2012 #57
Time for change Sep 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #45
backscatter712 Sep 2012 #55
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #56
backscatter712 Sep 2012 #50
patrice Sep 2012 #2
DemReadingDU Sep 2012 #11
patrice Sep 2012 #26
littlemissmartypants Sep 2012 #3
rhett o rick Sep 2012 #8
DemReadingDU Sep 2012 #12
PuraVidaDreamin Sep 2012 #18
Time for change Sep 2012 #21
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #36
backscatter712 Sep 2012 #49
Zalatix Sep 2012 #13
greytdemocrat Sep 2012 #14
Zalatix Sep 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #38
backscatter712 Sep 2012 #51
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #52
tama Sep 2012 #23
Time for change Sep 2012 #24
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #37
PuraVidaDreamin Sep 2012 #15
PuraVidaDreamin Sep 2012 #16
Time for change Sep 2012 #33
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #41
DLevine Sep 2012 #19
sabrina 1 Sep 2012 #39
Raksha Sep 2012 #44
Zorra Sep 2012 #46
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #53
backscatter712 Sep 2012 #54
Smickey Sep 2012 #58

Response to Time for change (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:47 PM

1. So...

Don't repay your legal debts???

Sorry, the world doesn't like cheats. No wonder OWS went no where.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:02 PM

4. I have been around our Occupy from the beginning and have never heard anyone propose that.

What they do talk about is the definition of Real Value as it was defined by Adam Smith in his classic of Conservative American economics titled The Wealth of Nations in which he says that the only REAL Value is work/labor and that ALL other values are derived from that. Our Occupy's vision was about no longer accepting ambiguous privately controlled arbitrary value for their work, no longer accepting the derived false value of money-as-debt as compensation for the real value of work. Their vision talk almost always consisted of real value/work in exchange for real value/work, or as close to that as possible. They wanted authentic economies in which people didn't use debt to create value in their lives.

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Response to patrice (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:03 AM

9. Now

 

we are talking about it, the initiative is loud and clear. And the theme has always been around in the scene.

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Response to tama (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:08 PM

25. Do you mean student loan forgiveness?

When I hear that kind of talk, I agree with the principle, but I also assume that those speaking of this know at least a little bit about how, at least officially, things are done, so that objective, student loan forgiveness, will be accomplished in one degree or another as a part of a set of other negotiations that go into the collective known as the USA and those efforts could result in other benefits to student debt holders that they could acquire for their part in a deal and which benefits would not be available to them otherwise . . .

. . . or not, as they choose, especially since they can always just default and accept the consequences of that, part of which could be living by the collective negotiations of other defaulters, perhaps, for whatever benefits that will or will not yield to them.

Of course, everyone understands that persons in such situations look for the best deal for their circumstances relative to their personal goals, so the questions are about how many other people one needs to create that synergy between assets and liabilities relative to needs and desires. Depending upon how many people that is, too few are as damaging as too many, though with different consequences.

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Response to patrice (Reply #25)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:46 PM

28. It's an open discussion

 

I know many people who have stopped paying long time ago various debts, and the legal situations and details vary. In some circles it's a cause for friendly joking if someone his/her credit reference intact. Not few take all credit available on purpose just to blow it, fuck credit reference. Not the kind of people interested in getting a "job" either but are called "socially excluded" by the system. Which is kinda funny because social capital is all they got, mutual support networks of "excluded" instead of any financial capital.

The real goal and issue is IMO not just about students or any other subgroup, but total global liberation of our lives and communities from debt dependence. From capitalism and money as-we-know-them. Resistance can take many forms and various tactics and alternatives can be tried and developed, but it all boils down to people losing faith in the system and waking up from money-hypnosis. Getting informed.

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Response to tama (Reply #28)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 02:14 PM

30. Your goal is my hope too and, being older, I believe that should happen in a step-wise FOREVER

ongoing PROACTIVE process. My reason for that has to do with the authentic nature of a movement, as you said, it's "... not just about students or any other (single) subgroup ...." Subgroups should have their own relatively unique sub-group identity in dynamic relationship to the WHOLE movement.

One of the principles I think about the characteristics of those relationships has to do with priorities: 1. what's the highest level of need/vulnerability + 2. what is most do-able in the most current set of conditions. Very practical stuff builds a movement if the processing is always evergreen self-study, the possibilities for which, inherent in "the horizontal process", are part of what attracted me to the Occupy in the first place.

Perhaps you have heard of this book; it was part of my master's thesis:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Pedagogy_of_the_Oppressed.html?id=xfFXFD414ioC

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Response to patrice (Reply #30)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:27 PM

40. Ah, Freire!

 

I haven't read it, but I've read a wonderful masters thesis about Freire by friend of a friend that a friend showed in a bar. It was in form of a comic book.

Next association from Freire, has there been workshops about Non-Violent-Communication (http://www.cnvc.org/) in your local Occupy scene?

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Response to tama (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:42 PM

27. Or, do you mean Occupy Our Homes?

I have high hopes for Occupy Our Homes. We did our research and learned a LOT about how to do it, but other problems in the group paralyzed that effort. Personally, I believe we had a pretty bad case of the disrupters, sorry, just my opinion about some very very johnny-come-lately middle- & DEFINITELY higher class type allegedly "peace" activists. Though I am for the legalization of cannabis and hemp, the concurrence of that issue with other more systemic economic issues, attracted people with varying motivations and ambitions.

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Response to patrice (Reply #27)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:58 PM

29. Hmm

 

From the point of view of doing things, getting things done and having fun while doing, arguing about more or less systemic issues and how others should prioritize issues and doings tends to lead just no-fun hierarchic power games. We live to learn and it ain't easy to learn that we can't really organize others non-violently, we can at best just open spaces for self-organization. And go with the flow.

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Response to tama (Reply #29)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 02:19 PM

31. Goodness! Something else that I have been saying for a while, TTE, "Our culture isn't

having enough real fun. The Occupy should have FUN as part of its actions as much as possible."

We could bring our communities together with play.

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Response to patrice (Reply #31)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:33 PM

42. One of my favourite maxims:

 

If revolution ain't fun, it's not worth doing.

The movement needs to be the change it wants. And activist burn-out is all too common and well-known problem.

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Response to patrice (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:00 PM

34. Were you in NYC, Zuccoti Park, Chicago?

Which Occupy were you a part of? I definitely heard it. There were seminars in NYC and elsewhere with Economists like Stiglitz among others talking about these very issues.

http://bwog.com/2011/10/03/stiglitz-speaks-at-occupy-wall-street/

Debt is enslavement. The next phase will be similar to the Spanish Indignado movement which was also eventually chased from the Public Square, but this week there are massive demonstrations in Spain once again against the Austerity programs.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:09 PM

5. So...

You didn't read the article?

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Response to me b zola (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:01 PM

7. Yes I did.

Sounds like a bunch of scum looking for a reason to weasel out of paying their bills.

Try and remember, no one holds a gun to your head when it comes time to say, get a mortgage.
If you were stupid enough to sign a bad loan agreement, don't expect me to pay it. Or you for that matter.

So what is this going to spark, a collection of financially challenged idiots marching around banks with signs saying "NO $$$ for Debt!!!" ???

Good god, grow up.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:23 AM

10. Save you anger

 

to those more deserving, if you can't let go of it.

Rich guys leave tons of debt unpayed, their rich pals don't make big deal about it. It's suddenly horribly immoral and "financially challenged" if the little guy does the same and does not pay all his debts to the fat cats.

Get education, get a ton of debt from banksters.
Get a home, get a ton of debt from banksters.
Consume more so that "economy" don't go down, get a ton of debt from banksters.
Pay pay pay your debt, no job for you, pay pay pay your debt, no home for you, pay pay pay your debt, eat dust and die.

We are little guys and our social capital is that we keep our promises. To other guys like us and vice versa. We build our lives on mutual trust and aid.

The parasite class is not like us, they con us and don't keep their promises, they just suck us dry. The parasite class does not follow the human logic - which we naturally expect. It follows money logic. Which is fraud and make believe. The parasite class are not humans. They are legal persons. Strange abstract creatures that we somehow created but now control us. But they are not humans, human rules of keeping promises don't apply with them. They are just abstract entities and cannot feel pain or love. We owe them nothing.

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Response to tama (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:32 AM

20. +infinity

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Response to tama (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:01 AM

22. Thank you.

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Response to tama (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 02:28 PM

32. That is what happens. These extrapolated entities create/define the promises, break them at will &

punish anyone who gets sucked into their black hole and doesn't play their game their way every second of his/her life, or at least on command, which might just as well be every second of your life once you submit.

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Response to tama (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:39 PM

43. I couldn't agree with you more!

Just like paying taxes, paying debts is only a virtue/requirement for the little people.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:02 PM

35. Wow! So students are a bunch of scum now on DU??

Union bashing, anti Free Press, anti teachers, anti students!!

Is there anything that hasn't yet been dragged over here from the far right yet?

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 05:33 AM

47. This is funny

You're already paying for their bad loans through lower property values, less government services due to budget cuts, and lower wages due to stagnant income growth.

I suggest a broader view before calling anyone an idiot.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 02:52 PM

48. Ah, so you are intentionally misrepresenting the article.

Pssst, the teabillies are meeting over there===>>>>

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 04:15 PM

57. Nice Teabagger talking points.

Good job.

Now tell me who was holding a gun to the bankers heads and forcing them to print all of this credit money, creating bubbles and dislocations in the process? Who held a gun to the head of the bankers and forced them to securitize these debts which they knew to be "Dogshit" and sell it to investors after bribing rating agencies to stamp it high grade? They were stupid enough to sign the loan agreements, too. They knew what they were doing so why were we forced to bail them out?

Tell me why we are still forcing people to pay on this debt when the banks have already been bailed out for their colossal fuck ups and have been allowed to keep profits from these massively illegal activities? The banks were given trillions in bailouts, below market loans, tax forgiveness, slap on the wrist settlements, etc. After all of this you still expect the people to act against their own financial best interest so that parasitic rentiers can continue to sit on their asses raking in unearned money? Grow up.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:48 PM

6. It's not that simple

Do you believe as a general principle that if a person accumulates debt based on fraud that that person is morally obligated to pay it?

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 02:16 AM

45. Would you like someone to help you understand what this is all about, and what OWS

has been doing lately? You seem lost!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #45)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:40 PM

55. I prefer Upton Sinclair's explanation for the seemingly "lost" behavior...

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #55)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:47 PM

56. Lol, so true! n/t

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:21 PM

50. Concern noted, troll. n/t

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:52 PM

2. I am pleased to say that this has been my instinct. Ever since the Derivative Crash & listening to

Thom Hartmann talk about what happened. I was very impressed with efforts to estimate the over-all size of the amount of "value" that was lost. I also happened to look up videos about the history of banking and money.

The effect has been a compulsion to try to explain to people what money as debt means and what the Federal Reserve and banks do.

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Response to patrice (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:14 AM

11. Do you find people are interested?


I have found that people have other priorities. It is rare for anyone that I know to take any time to listen to me. They just roll their eyes.

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:31 PM

26. I look for the right social situations and even the most slightly appropriate verbal cues.

Using questions is helpful, because you are asking them to explain, giving them a chance to express their own views, so you can agree with whatever you can agree with and have an actual conversation.

In non-social situations, perhaps being a woman is helpful, because people may expect us to be more chatty and social and being slightly older helps, because we are expected to be a little more non-conformist. Brief humorous remarks are best and again any kind of quick, always pleasant, obviously puzzled questions, e.g. when using a card, what is the actual difference between debit and credit, other than the bank charges you differently for what the computers do and then a, "Think about it."

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Response to Time for change (Original post)


Response to Time for change (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:10 PM

8. Thank you for this post. nm

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:35 AM

12. Occupy Wall Street 2.0: The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual



9/15/12 Occupy Wall Street 2.0: The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual

The anniversary of Occupy Wall Street is September 17. While there will be public events in New York, it’s likely that number of people that will be involved will not be large enough to impress the punditocracy (multi-citi militarized crackdowns have a way of discouraging participation), leading them to declare OWS a flash in the pan. That conclusion may be premature.

The release of the The Debt Resistors’ Manual suggests something very different: that the movement is still alive, if much less visible, and is developing new avenues for having impact. This guide is designed not only to give individuals advice for how to be more effective in dealing with lenders but also sets forth some larger-scale ideas. This is a project of a new OWS group, Strike Debt. Fighting for debt renegotiation and restructuring, something that the bank-boosting legacy parties have refused to do, is becoming a new focus for OWS efforts.

Quite a few well qualified people who in Occupy fashion are going unnamed, participated in developing this manual. Having read most of the chapters in full and skimmed the rest, I find that this guide achieves the difficult feat of giving people in various types of debt an overview of their situation, including political issues, and practical suggestions in clear, layperson-friendly language. For instance, the chapter on credit ratings gives step-by-step directions as to how to find and challenge errors in your credit records, and what sort of timetable and process is realistic for getting results. The chapter on dealing with debt collectors is similarly specific and detailed.

more...
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/09/occupy-wall-street-2-0-the-debt-resistors-operations-manual.html

link to the manual, 132 pages
http://www.scribd.com/doc/105887484/Occupy-Wall-Street-Strike-Debt-The-Debt-Resistors-Operations-Manual

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:00 AM

18. Nice addition to the conversation

Thank you

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:01 AM

21. Interesting

And very good to see.

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:03 PM

36. Excellent post, thank you!

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Response to DemReadingDU (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:21 PM

49. Awesome! Thanks for the link! n/t

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:48 AM

13. What Occupy should be aiming at is the financial dismantling of the law enforcement system

 

It's the law enforcement system that has declared that it's okay for Teabaggers to protest and carry guns, but it's not okay for Occupy to protest.

The law enforcement system is also geared to protect the Plutocracy, it isn't even Constitutionally REQUIRED to protect the common citizen.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:22 AM

14. I can't believe...

some of the things posted on DU lately. Just stunning...

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:41 AM

17. Then you most certainly won't believe this!

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/28scotus.html

WASHINGTON, June 27 - The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:07 PM

38. Neither can I. I just read in this thread, eg, that students are a bunch of scum.

I've seen Union bashing, OWS bashing, Wikileaks bashing, Teacher bashing. Sometimes I wonder where I am ...

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #38)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:23 PM

51. Amen. Why the fuck are these "progressives" tolerated on DU?

I've been watching posting patterns on this board for a while now - Occupy is one of those topics that draws the authoritarian scum out of the woodwork to practice their psy-ops.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #51)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:33 PM

52. True, which is why most of the actual Progressive Dems don't bother posting about OWS

here anymore. Which has led to the anti-OWS crowd to think they went away! Lol!

Arguing against right wing talking is not what people expect to have to be doing here, but sometimes I see more of this kind of thing here every day and some of it from long time DUers.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:16 AM

23. Not a bad idea per se

 

but easier said than done, as machinery of violence is the last thing capitalistic police state - or more simply 'tyranny' as Jefferson said - is willing to dismantle. But all in all tyranny has gradually less and less resources to control and uphold the increasing amount of laws it makes, because it is not productive system, just parasitical.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:21 AM

24. Excellent point

I would add to that the need to impeach some of our Supreme Court justices, especially Scalia. He always finds a way to support the plutocracy and screw the rest of us.

In a high profile murder case he wrote the majority opinion:

This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/us/18scotus.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1347718491-c6askN0mwiDTkcZCMnb1ZQ

Scalia is a psychopath, who has no business serving in government, let alone on the Supreme Court. In any case, in the case you referred to it should be irrelevant whether the police are constitutionally required to protect common citizens. There was a state law that required it, as pointed out in the dissenting opinions, and that should have been sufficient. Our taxes pay for police protection, and they should be obligated to protect us as well as Teabaggers and their like.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:05 PM

37. Yes, I agree. Paying for a civilian force that is meant to protect and serve the

people who are paying them, but which has turned into a paramilitary army of oppressors working for the 1% is definitely something that needs to be addressed. Let the 1% pay their salaries, and we can start all over again with a civilian police force that actually understands who they are working for.

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:37 AM

15. MAFIA BASED CAPITALISM ! ! ! ! ! !

I LOVE that description! Shout it loud and clear

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Response to PuraVidaDreamin (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 08:39 AM

16. oh and K & R

most heartedly

Thank you for pulling this post together TFC!

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Response to PuraVidaDreamin (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 04:50 PM

33. Over the last few years, the more I learn the more I realize

that that's a spot on description of they system we live under.

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Response to PuraVidaDreamin (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:31 PM

41. Me too. And it is not the first time I've seen it described as similar to the Mafia.

I think it was in one of the documentaries about the Meltdown where someone explained how the Mafia worked and how they would envy Wall Street because of the sheer vastness of their operation and because there are no consequences.

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 09:04 AM

19. K&R. n/t

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:14 PM

39. Excellent post, thank you. They should stage a 'burn your credit card' protest

and teach people how to live without them.

It is a failed system. Very, very few have benefited from it and you only have to look at Europe to see that there isn't even any way to fix it when it collapses as it inevitably did.

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:43 PM

44. Thank you for another excellent post, Time for change.

Bookmarking to read again.

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 02:45 AM

46. Debt = Indentured Servitude

Debt is the primary straitjacket means of corporate/government control of the 99% in so many ways.

Psst, hey little girl, would you like a credit card?

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:34 PM

53. There's an occupy action monday on wall street.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #53)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:39 PM

54. And lots of supporting actions across the country. n/t

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Response to Time for change (Original post)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 04:18 PM

58. For profit debtors prisons? n/t

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