What should the Occupy Wall Street movement be focusing on? It's easy to get distracted in a thicket of issues. Thoreau said "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." But what's the root? Watch this video for Lawrence Lessig's answer. He could be the intelligent spokesman the movement needs.
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- - Lobbying is defined as "paid salespeople who make a killing bribing politicians to take care of their corporate clients. That is why lobbying should be what it is: a FELONY called BRIBERY. It is outrageous that lobbying is even permitted. The current expanding revolution will fix that problem and make lobbying a 1st degree felony and the corrupt as hell career politician problem. Term limits will become the law.Oct 28, 2011
- There's been a term limit revolution in US state legislatures, with mixed effects:
For the effect of term limits on the California legislature, try:
I don't get the impression it's done anything to reduce the impact of big moneyed interests on legislation. If that's the problem one wants to address, it's probably better to address it directly.Oct 28, 2011
- Have the effects of term limits truly been mixed? I thought that they were consistently bad.Oct 28, 2011
- In California they mainly seem to have been bad, as described rather dispassionately (even blandly) in the second study I linked to up there.Oct 28, 2011
- - The definition of ‘lobbying’ is ‘conduct[ing] activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation’ (Merriam-Webster). An example of lobbying (which is protected by the First Amendment in the U.S.) is writing a letter to a member of Congress, or engaging in a protest in the streets (at least to the extent that the protest might influence legislation). The problem with lobbying is not that it exists but that the actions of K Street lobbying firms go beyond lobbying into wink-nudge bribery, and that (consequently) politicians listen to their lobbying more than to ours.Oct 30, 2011
- I appreciate the passion of the #OWS movement and the people involved; I support them. That said, the movement needs to find focus and a way to act that is constructive and productive. It must become a political movement, with a focus on applying pressure at the ballot box. There is little chance of any significant change railing against wealthy people from public spaces across the country. Meanwhile 3 years after the financial meltdown, MF Global files for bankruptcy protection after raiding customer accounts to make a capital call on a trading position that exceeded their ability to cover. While the Conservatives continue to talk about the arduous Regulations (having succeeded in their pursuit of lower taxes, they have moved on to "Regulation".) This is "only" a $6 Billion hit; will someone PLEASE tell me where the Regulators were on this? How many more MF Global situations are there, and how many are much bigger.
Leave the park, LEAD a voter registration drive, publish and share information among your networks, take real actions that hold politicians accountable. Thank youNov 1, 2011