November 06, 2011

The ' #99percent Declaration' is a mishmash

Problem No. 1 with this declaration, even before I analyze it? It isn't on the New York City General Assembly website, nor on the Occupy Wall Street website, so it might not be accepted as "official."

That said, there's also several other problems. Looking at each point, as numbered there, of this declaration, here's some critique:

I. If you expect to effect change as part of the 2012 elections, waiting until July 4, 2012 to have a "national general assembly" is way too late. And, having it in Philadelphia? Good luck finding a place to meet of any size, accommodations, etc. Also, who's going to elect the two delegates from each state? Who's going to validate election processes? That takes, er ... organization and leadership, those two dirty words.

III. How long past July 4 will it take to actually propose and accept a "redress of grievances"?

IV. This has a mix of good and bad, but mostly bad. By subarticle, let's look at this dreck, below the fold.

IV:1. Banning all private contributions to political candidates? Even states that have state-level public campaign financing don't ban such contributions. And, what does "fair (and) equal" mean on public financing? Should challengers get extra money to offset the "franking privilege" of Congressional incumbents? I agree with the idea of public campaign financing, but think a more realistic approach is needed. And, without requiring electronic news outlets like TV stations to provide low-cost ad time, public campaign financing could be expensive.

IV:3. A lifetime ban on politicians ever working for a company they regulated? Would likely have to be passed by constitutional amendment, not just law. And, if combined with the term limits in IV-4, could be problematic.

IV:4. Term limits? Vote your rascals out of office, while promoting third-party candidates. I dislike term limits.

IV:7. Giving the EPA powers to shut down corporations "that intentionally or recklessly endanger the environment"? Disagree, especially since the proposal includes individuals, too. Oh, and your Washington Declaration is three years and two climate meetings old. That said, this is where financial rubber hits the road; how much more will you be willing to pay for energy?

IV:8-9. Agreed. Many of us called for this 3 years ago. Also IV:10-14.

IV:15. You've got enough on your plate for changes internal to the U.S. A "redress" asking Beijing to stop currency manipulation is getting into "overarching" or "lack of focus" territory.

Interestingly, the site is a month old and this is the only thing "they" (heh, heh) have posted. Actually, it's an individual, Michael Parsons; his Yahoo group is already nonexistent. And, Obama is listed as an "interest" on its FB page; a bit naive, eh? Or, a bit cognitively dissonant for a site that seems to hate "political parties."

And, it's clear this is some small-potatoes guy, overall. That said, as long as the myths of "leaderlessness," "apolitical/antipolitical" and others continue to circulate, stuff like this will continue to pop up.

Especially given the "small-potatoes guy" part, I wish people would Google about stuff like this before posting it on FB or G+.

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