February 18, 2012

Dear #Occupy - #OWS still sounds a bit unrealistic

An Occupy Wall Street group called "The 99 Declaration" has its latest political manifesto up. (Link is to another website since the source website has no individual posts at this time.) Again, there's a lot of good ideas, many of which, of course, were around before OWS was. And there's some that are at least partially new to them, perhaps.

And then there's some that are a bit less realistic. Let's look at a few. (Links here are to the 99 Declaration's sublinks on this blog post.

1. No private benefits for public servants? Telling a federal employee, whether elected or appointed, he or she can never later work for a private entity related to one's period of federal employment would certainly be unconstitutional with appointed federal employees, let alone hired staff.
2. Term limits? It's arguable that corporate interests can actually more easily control legislatures that have term limits in place; you also lose institutional knowledge with term limits. The link only covers the federal level, but, nonetheless, it's dumb.
3. Emergency reform of public education says NOTHING about extending the school year  to 200 days or more, a major reason we fall further and further behind other countries. To me, any serious education reform MUST start with a longer school year; anything else is playing around the edges.
4. Replacing the Fed with a "public bank"? The Fed's not perfect, no. Neither is an entirely public central bank, which could become even more politicized. Look at the Bank of England's history, among other things.

As someone like Doug Henwood of Left Business Observer would say, there's still not necessarily a lot of depth of thinking to Occupiers.

Also, the second link in the top paragraph claims this:
Think Occupy Wall Street has dribbled to the oblivion of political history?  Think again.  It seems an offshoot of the OWS movement, The 99 Percent Working Group, Ltd., a non-profit, came up with the 99% Declaration and National General Assembly. They published a PETITION FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES and are organizing delegates, complete with voting rights, to ratify their platform.  Yup, a real specific platform and agenda.  They even bought a commercial. 
Big deal. None of the declaration items is new, nor more specific than before.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

Agreed on most of your points here, but just because these items existed before doesn't mean its not good people are organizing around them.