RSS Feed   
  • Latest News:

    Another world is possible
  • Author Archive

    Ferguson Finances, Simplified

    Editorial

    The latest Justice Department report has revealed that 150 years after the formal end of slavery a new kind of race based profiteering is alive and well in Ferguson, MO. To the police department and town officials of Ferguson the lives, well being, livelihood, dreams and bodies of the descendants of African slaves are nothing more than little pots of money waiting to be harvested via traffic tickets, dog bites and noise complaints. All so that business as usual could continue as usual, so that the poor would stay poor–or get even poorer—and the rich could stay rich. What Ferguson officials and all like them want more than anything else is for nothing to change. No one, but especially not a Black someone, can be allowed to work their way out of the muck not when court fees for minor infractions multiply exponentially and anyone Black can be arrested at any time for just about anything, all for the enrichment of the 1%.

    But things cannot stay the same; things must change. And the change must be economic. The only way to stop the capitalist system from finding new ways to divide us along race lines and make a profit from those on the wrong side of the line–the not white side–is to tear down the system, starting with the financial system.

    Why is the town of Ferguson—like all other municipalities, the states, and the federal government–not able to meet its financial obligations from tax revenues? Why are the tax paying citizens of Ferguson, an everywhere else, not able to make enough money to keep their town a float? Why does it always seem like there “is not enough” to go around?

    It’s the bloody 1%. The bankers; the financial services industry (which serves no obvious social utility); insurance and more insurance; the layers of bureaucracy that make all our lives hell by putting six fingers in every deal and six salaries in between our tax dollars and the services they are supposed to procure, are the problem. Not the least of these are plasma sipping cretins that own the health insurance industry and suck every health insurance dollar dry before it reaches the clinicians–who unlike the overlords–actually work for a living.

    Hit ‘Em Where They Live

    What is most needed is vast, far reaching and radical simplification of how the federal government takes in and distributes money. Our world is too complicated and that complexity hides dishonesty. We have a tax system that compels lying and economy where half the jobs are either “make work” funded by the government, about to be zapped away by technological innovation or both. We must do what we can to eliminate the expensive complexity that hides avarice and bigotry and clear the way for a simpler more honest world. That means a much straighter line between money coming in and money going out.

    Abolish Corporate Personhood.

    Replace All Entitlements With A Basic Income Guarantee and Healthcare.

    A New Tax Code for A New Economy.

    Direct government production of housing.

    Single Payer Healthcare.

    Why and Wherefore

    Abolish Corporate Personhood

    All the worse evils start with a lie. This lie is the first erroneous postulate in a argument meant to deceive. All if proves is that the people making the argument have something to hide. Corporations are not people and money is not speech.

    Replace All Entitlements With A Basic Income Guarantee and Healthcare

    In the immortal words of Jennifer Aniston in the movie, “Friends with Money”, “Why don’t they just give the money to poor people?” Why indeed. If every tax paying resident of the US received a Basic Income Guarantee of $21,000/yr, there would be no need for a Department of Social Services and labor really would be free from the demands of capital. Secure in knowing that they could purchase goods to fulfill the majority of their basic needs on the open market, workers would be free to move out of dying industries and chart new economic territory. You could call this “A Trust Fund For Everybody.”

    A New Tax Code for A New Economy

    The 17 volume federal tax code is so complicated and changes so often–changes to the tax code are type of legislation most often passed by Congress–that it is not possible to actually put your hands on a copy of it because by the time you touch it, it has been altered to fit the needs of the 1%. It must be re-written from scratch and become a vision; not a chicken wire and duct tape escape hatch for people who don’t work for a living.

    Direct Government Production of Housing.

    Housing is expensive because there are too many suits lining up for their “taste”. The federal government should produce small, multifamily units itself and sell them itself so that landlords who occupy their land are able to collect rental income from their units. The founding fathers believed that the country would prosper if it were a country of small farmers/slave owners. The knew that property is the key to prosperity, although they displayed a cruel streak when defining “property.” Today in the city and suburbs the family farm is the owner occupied small multi-family residence. In Boston those are the triple deckers that let the Irish prosper.

    Slavery, as re-invented by Ferguson and many other town officials, we could do away with if our tax dollars went to the pockets of people who actually build housing. Instead we feed bankers, insurance companies, real estate agents and the countless pencil pushers and fundraisers now paid to development “non-for-profit” single family housing, the cost of which is barely affordable, offers no way out for low income workers and no new source of income.

    Single Payer Health Insurance.

    Countries with socialized systems, like Canada and Britain report administrative cost of a third of what we suspect the 1% is making off people who are sick and dying. We don’t know exactly what the overhead costs are for the major health insurance companies, because like all things truly shameful, that’s a secret. Our health insurance system is the laughing stock of the developed world and a moral abomination.

    Another world is possible, let’s start by throwing out the old stuff.

    A.

    Snow and the MBTA’s Chance to Get It Right

     The state shouldsee Snowmaggedon as an opportunity to set up peer to peer  ridesharing networks and to prepare for the advent of driverless cars. There is no  good reason the state could not ask citizens to help each other out via a publically  owned ridesharing application similar to those used by Uberx, Lyft, Sidecar, ect.    We all take risks and at this point I’d rather rely on the kindness of strangers than  the dryness of the sidewalk.

    And while sinking a lot of money into new transportation infrastructure sounds like a good idea,the state needs to seriously consider whether buses and trains will soon be made obsolete by a fleet of perpetually in motion driveless cars with pin point accuracy. Why get on a half empty bus that will drop you blocks from your destination when you could flag down a car full of people going pretty close to where you’re going anyway?

    Think before you spend, Charlie.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/could-driverless-cars-render-public-transit-obsolete/

    If Your Neighbor Had Ebola

    ….you would beg the US government to nationalize the healthcare industry.  Why wait until it’s too late?

     

    An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Care.

     

    Why wait till the captains of industry make the same kind of obscene profits from Ebola that they made from the AIDS epidemic?Greed is a disease that can be stopped. Let’s make Ebola the cure.

     

    NATIONALIZE THE US HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY, NOW.

     

    Prevention is the best medicine, but there’s no profit in it.  No one can quantify how many fewer people got sick because they were taught the basics of disease transmission or went to a stress reduction class or didn’t get pregnant. And it wouldn’t matter anyway. In America, the cash register doesn’t ring unless someone is sick or afraid of getting sick.

     

    The best healthcare systems in the world are socialist systems. Our capitalist healthcare system is barely able to distribute flu vaccines—what would happen if we were to be hit by a major epidemic? More forms, more lines, more rationing, even less compassion?

     

    If Your Neighbor Had Ebola

     

    “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these” Mark 12:32

     

    Now, when a truly excellent healthcare system would be gearing up to prevent the spread of an awful disease, the true leaders of our healthcare system are estimating how much they are going to make off of this little problem and trying to take our mind off the problem. My money says the media’s preoccupation with sexual violence is a diversion tactic meant to take our attention off of how very unready we are for an epidemic.

     

    Even those already isolated in their shiny towers and gated communities must breathe air and drink water. In the global age, we all truly belong to the same tribe. Today’s epidemic is not transmitted by insects, but what about tomorrows? What guard or fence can stop a mosquito and what horror will the 1% unleash trying to stop it?

     

    If Your Neighbor Had Ebola

     

    Would you want a doctor in a hazmat suit to verify coverage before taking your sick brethren to the hospital, clinic, homeless shelter…or nowhere at all?

     

    NATIONALIZE THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY.

     

    Now, before it’s too late.

    Throw Open The Borders

    It is useless to try to hold back the tide of weary, desperate people seeking a better life. Let’s get real: no one is going to stop a hungry child from jumping on the top of a train and looking for higher ground. Why not just let them in? All of them ? Yes, all of them.

     

    A Problem Correctly Defined is Half Solved

     

    We don’t have an immigration problem, we have a poverty problem. And the problem is not that we as a country don’t have enough money to solve poverty. It’s that we put our money into the wrong pocketsAllowing anyone who wants to enter the country to enter is feasible if it is one several radical changes to how the government regulates economic fundamentals: labor, property and taxes.

     

    Replace the all entitlements with a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) and health care.

    Shred Title 26: A New Tax Code for a New Economy. *

    Triple Decker Housing Trust Fund

    Throw Open the Borders.

     

    You’re Going to GIVE Immigrants Money?

     

    After paying taxes for 7 years, everyone residing in the US should be eligible for a BIG of $21,000/year. For most “Born Heres” that means starting with an after-school job while in high school. On the other hand, if you started living off your trust fund at 16, you might never qualify.  Poor baby.

     

    How will you pay for that?

     

    Replacing all entitlements with a basic income guarantee doesn’t just mean eliminating programs like unemployment insurance, food stamps, fuel assistance, and Section 8, it means eliminating the bureaucracy that administers those programs. If no one has to apply for “social security”—because you already receive it (after paying taxes for 7 years)—checking eligibility is a piece of cake.  Ditto for hundreds of other government programs that now soak up millions of dollars in administrative expenses. If on top of it you radically streamline Title 26, suddenly the money appears.

     

    Current Immigration Policy

     

    Besides militarizing the entire southern half of the country, protecting our border also prevents employers from hiring the best person for the job and within a capitalist system the best person for the job is the person that will work for the lowest wage. The economy and employers are better off paying Manuel Labor, father of ten who has three other jobs, than they are employing someone who thinks s/he is too good to wash dishes.

     

    The Slacker Problem

     

    The “immigration problem” highlights something that no one, liberal or conservative has adequately addressed: some people won’t work.  Ask conservatives about the shortage of “Born Here” dishwashers and they’ll start babbling about whatever it is they babble about. Ask liberals about unionized deadwood and they’ll claim it’s not a problem.  But it is and there is no better description of it than this classic New Yorker article about teachers being paid not to teach:

     

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/31/the-rubber-room

     

    Liberals don’t want to talk about this or the other ways that entitlements make it more sensible to game the system than to look for work. This is because at the heart of liberalism is a kind of paternalism that assumes that poor people don’t know how to run their own lives.  A better conclusion is that the government doesn’t know how to run peoples lives.

     

    (For the record, this editorialist doesn’t believe in laziness. People who don’t want to work usually have a good reason for not working, one that no one else can really understand or change.)

     

    Mom and Pop

     

    Gov: “You spent all your allowance?  Too bad, you’ll do better next week.”

    Gov: “What, spent it again? Talk to your mother.”

     

    Replacing all entitlements with a BIG doesn’t mean the end of charity, it means cutting out the middleman. No matter what “The Dad” government does or does not do, there will always be people with large soft hearts who will give anyone another chance. G-d bless them.  Everyone needs and deserves a mother.

     

    Increasing the tax break for private charitable donations; eliminating the need for charities to apply for government contracts and having all donations go directly to the charity chosen by the donor will make private charitable organizations more effective.  Let’s retire the Nanny state and let Mom do her job.

     

    It’s the Economy Stupid

     

    Putting enough money to live on, albeit not well, into the hands of people who then are free to make economic choices is a better way to help people and a better way run an economy than putting it into the pockets of government employees. Since there are no strings or income limitations on the BIG, people can slack when they can’t work and make as much money as is humanly possible when they can (corporations are not people and thus not eligible for the BIG). Whether those people are Born Here or Born Somewhere Else is irrelevant to the economy and should be to everyone else.

     

    Throw open the borders. In the age of globalization we are all citizens of the world. It’s time to start acting like it.

     

    For the Earth,

     

    Aria Littlhous

     

    *For more on these initiatives go to: http://arialittlhous.blogspot.com/search?q=dissenting+opinion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Direct Action @ People’s Climate March 9/21/14, NYC

    Chris Hedges writes, “Our only hope comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance. March if you want. But it should be the warmup. The real fight will come once people disperse on 11th Avenue.
     

    “The march is symbolic,” said Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance when I reached him by phone, “but we are past the time of symbolism. What we need is direct action against the United Nations during the meeting. This should include blockades and disruption of the meeting itself. We need to highlight the fact that the United Nations has sold out to corporate interests. At U.N. meetings on climate change you see corporate logos on display. During the last meeting on climate change in Poland, the U.N. held a simultaneous conference to promote coal as a clean energy source. These U.N. meetings have become corporate trade shows where discussions on climate are hijacked to promote corporate interests. Barack Obama has announced he will continue the U.S. stance of only calling for voluntary climate goals in advance of the upcoming climate summit in Paris next year.”

    For information on how to attend the People’s Climate March, please see the previous post.
    A.

    Contact us

    Occupy Boston Media <Media@occupyboston.org> • <Info@occupyboston.org> • @Occupy_Boston