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DemocraticCapitalism.com

We must amend the U.S. Constitution to Overrule the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision

June 28th, 2012

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America is supposed to be run by We, the People.  But lately, big corporations have been taking over, spending crazy amounts of money to buy our elections, drowning out the voices of real people like you and me.  And the Supreme Court just said: “Tough luck.  Corporations rule.  Go home.”

We can’t stand by while America is sold to the highest corporate bidder.  There is an alternative.  I’ve joined the growing call for a Constitutional Amendment to make it clear that We, the People run America.  Not “We the Corporations”.

Join me in this effort:

www.wolf-pac.com/

Democracy Vs Capitalism

May 21st, 2012

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Democracy can be defined as the governing system applied in a country. In this system of governance, the native-born and naturalized citizens are to share the burden and the responsibility to participate in the government’s day-to day decision making processes to run the country. This is achieved by the country’s citizens who elect a member of their society as their representatives to form the government. This form of government is usually appreciated by private business interests, since it gives them full rights to own properties irrespective of their place of birth.

On the other hand, capitalism is the economic system of a country where it allows free and open commercial activities. The main attributes of capitalism are a healthy competition where it has a profit -centered motive for privately-owned business corporations. In a capitalist economy, the government rarely owns properties outright for the personal benefit of individuals. This is usually controlled by cash-rich individuals called capitalists who may happen to be shareholders of the business. They own the business and employ the laborers to work in them. It is the business owner that reaps the biggest benefit from this kind of economic system.
There are countries who have inducted both democracy and adopted capitalism as an economic system. So, let’s see the effects of their co-existence in a country.

The political aspects: The political leaders are people who must go to any extent to satisfy their campaign demands. Thus a country’s political power is transferred to business owners. According to the definition of democracy, every citizen has equal power and so there is no question of submission of legislative powers by the political leaders to these rich people.
Politicians do so in return for the campaign donations and they receive this donations during the time of their election disproportionately from the rich. This is designed to be an inducement to the politicians from the business leaders which is not a taboo in today’s society. Therefore, wealthy people control a greater percentage of the legislation of the nation’s policies.
The social aspects: There is a vacuum in knowledge sharing. Children belonging to wealthy parents receive better quality education than their unfortunate poor counterparts. This continues into the next generation as well. The generation with better quality education continues to belong to the high income populations and this advantage put them at the helm of the society. Therefore, these elite groups have more influence over the legislators than people from the lower strata of the society.
According to statistics, in the US, approximately 71% of the country’s assets are held by individual entrepreneurs and business magnates who comprise just fewer than 10% of the population. These stakeholders have huge reserves of wealth, while their others are struggling to have proper food and shelter and are facing the pressure of debt. This cannot be tolerated in a democratic society. Therefore, many contend that capitalism is the root cause of unequal distribution of wealth. I would postulate the following is true: “crony capitalism” and “wealth/income inequality” causes the problematic symptoms in a Capitalistic Democracy.

Don’t Blame Capitalism

December 23rd, 2011

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Protestors have blamed “capitalism” for the economic disaster. Blame instead the  money managers and traders who used the peoples’ capital to speculate. They are not capitalists, and the perversion they engage in is not capitalism. Capitalism is the peoples’ trillions of dollars invested in companies that produce and distribute goods and services.   Wall Street deflected this capital away from job growth exactly as Adam Smith warned that the “prodigals and projectors” would do.

Citizens should be angry about this deflection of capital to speculation, and even angrier that their government has spent trillions of dollars not on jobs but rather on putting the speculators back in business.  The $700 billion TARP money from the Treasury was pocket change compared to the $7.7 trillion the Fed pumped into finance capitalism. The banks borrowed at rates as low as .01% and then “earned” about $13 billion by “investing” in government bonds.

It is a scandal that the peoples’ capital was not invested for the benefit of the economy and retirees’ savings. An even greater scandal will be if the surplus cash is not now invested for the benefit of the economy and retirees’ savings. For a quarter-century, now, “Shareholder Capitalism” has sacrificed job-growth programs for the price of the stock, thereby building up enormous cash surplus from layoffs.  There is $1 trillion of corporate cash surplus in the domestic economy, with another $1 trillion abroad, about $3 trillion left in 401 (k) savings, and $1 trillion over required reserves sitting idle in the banks for lack of borrowers.

If your government had applied some of the energy and creativity to putting people back to work that they applied to putting the Wall Street speculators back in business, our economic crisis would be over. With a few changes in tax law, money could be moved out of Wall Street into infrastructure repair bonds, investment in growth programs, and additions to consumer demand from dividends. Please refer to article  # 22 “Are You Angry Enough to Reform Capitalism?”

This is article # 26 in the Carey Center for Democratic Capitalism website www.democratic-capitalism.com. Ray Carey, is the author of Democratic Capitalism: The Way to a World of Peace and Plenty  (AuthorHouse: 2004), and was the Chairman and CEO of ADT, Inc.

Occupy Wall Street Issues First Official Declaration

October 16th, 2011

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October 1st, 2011

This is the first official statement released by Occupy Wall Street in New York City.

This document was accepted by the New York City General Assembly on September 29, 2011.

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

Doing The Same Things Expecting Different Results

March 10th, 2011

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It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

That’s pretty much where we are on tax cuts for the rich.

Ronald Reagan cut taxes on the rich. added $1 trillion to the federal debt, and turned America from the largest creditor nation into the largest debtor nation.

George W. Bush cut taxes on the rich. Bush Jr. added $4 trillion to the federal debt, and vaporized 20% of our national wealth in the last 18 months of his administration.

Yet in December, the Republicans in Congress forced us to extend tax cuts for the rich for two more years, at the cost of $70 billion a year. And now, they want to cut social services by . . . $70 billion a year. Here are some of their cuts, to pay for more tax cuts for the rich:

They want to cut Community Health Centers, which provide care to 3 million patients, by 46%.

They want to lay off all food inspectors for 30 to 45 days.

They want to eliminate the COPS program, and lay off over 1000 police officers.

They want to cut Title 1 education funds, laying off 17,000 teachers and aides.

They want to cut 200,000 children from the Head Start preschool program.

So there it is: tax cuts mean school cuts. And health cuts. And safety cuts. This is the Republicans’ jobs program: lay off thousands and thousands of workers.

And in Florida, Rick Scott, our teabag Governor, our Thief in Chief, announced yesterday that he wants to cut taxes on the rich and corporations by $1.7 billion, and (coincidence, of course), cut school funding by $1.7 billion.

Rick Scott’s personal net worth is hundreds of millions of dollars. Rick Scott wants a tax cut for the rich because he wants a tax cut for himself. As for the rest of us, the other 20 million people who live in Florida, all he wants from us is cheap labor.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? We live in the richest country the world has ever seen, but thanks to rampant greed on the part of people like Rick Scott, we have to fight for our health and safety, and the education of our children. As Cardinal Spellman said 45 years ago, “it is a war thrust upon us, and we cannot yield to tyranny.”

I’m ready to fight for what’s right. What about you?

Courage,

Alan Grayson

Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Unbridled Campaign Contributions For Corporations

January 24th, 2010

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Yesterday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations can spend freely in federal elections. It’s a green light for a new stampede of special interest money in our politics, giving their lobbyists even more power in Washington. Now, every candidate who fights for change could face limitless attacks from corporate special interests like health insurance companies and Wall Street banks.

While the GOP is celebrating a victory for its special interest allies, President Obama is working with leaders in Congress to craft a forceful response that protects the voices of ordinary citizens. Please add your name right away to help show that the American people support strong, urgent action to prevent a corporate takeover of our democracy.

The Supreme Court decision overturned a 20-year precedent saying that corporations could not pay for campaign ads from their general treasuries. And it struck down a law saying corporations couldn’t buy “issue ads” — which only thinly veil support for or opposition to specific candidates — in the closing days of campaigns.The result? Corporations can unleash multi-million-dollar ad barrages against candidates who try to curb special interest power, or devote millions to propping up elected officials who back their schemes. With no limits on their spending, big oil, Wall Street banks, and health insurance companies will try to drown out the voices of everyday Americans — and Republicans seem ecstatic. While opponents of change in Congress are praising this victory for special interests, President Obama has tasked his administration and Congress with identifying a fix to preserve our democracy — and we need to show that the American people stand with him.Add your name today:

Yesterday, President Obama announced our proposed Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee on the country’s largest banks

January 17th, 2010

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Yesterday, President Obama announced our proposed Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee on the country’s largest banks:

My commitment is to recover every single dime the American people are owed. And my determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people…We want our money back, and we’re going to get it.”

The fee would recover every penny loaned to Wall Street during the financial crisis and stop the reckless abuses and excesses that nearly caused the collapse of our financial system in the first place.

But the banking industry — among the most powerful lobbies in Washington — is already launching attacks to stop Congress from enacting the proposal.

Barack and I aren’t backing down. But to win, we’ll need the American people to add their voice right away.

Thankfully, OFA supporters are already signing on to a bold statement of support: “We want our money back — and we stand with President Obama to make sure we get it.”    The proposal is expected to recoup billions from the big banks, most of it from the ten largest. As the President said, “If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers.”

There is much more work to do to reform the financial system and create a new era of accountability. But the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee is a crucial step. And with the banks already working to tear it down, I hope that I can count on you to speak out to show that Americans stand with us as we take them on.

 Change isn’t easy, but it’s certainly worth fighting for. I’m glad you’re in this fight with us.

Thank you for making it possible,

Vice President Joe Biden

A Crisis Approach by Local Municipalities will Hurt the Innovation of Tomorrow

August 26th, 2009

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The current economic crisis has many dimensions (social and political).  Obviously the immediate impact of rising costs and shrinking budgets have changed the landscape of how we live.  Our quality of life has also been impacted by the current crisis.  Our local communities have always thrived on innovation; that innovation is now threatened by the crisis approach of many municipalities.  Clearly, in regards to economic cycles, we are in either “contraction or trough. “That process is not necessarily new to America, it a cycle that has borne out may times over the issue is a lack of contingent economic development planning and its restrictive nature on small businesses.

I have traveled across America to speak with many chambers of commerce (regional and minority) in an effort to provide effective business commentary. They have communicated that the economic crisis has threatened their vitality and many of their political leaders are non-responsive.  Often the leaders are communicating to them that government should not be involved in some of the areas that it is currently funding.  Many have been said to be using the economic crisis as a means to effectively shrink government’s future role.  This brings to the forefront a new issue of social and cultural accountability in business.  
 A fact that can not be ignored is that government has a role in shaping and guiding the framework of business activity.  Without a framework, business can not exist.  For example,  local municipalities have offices of economic development who plan for the future of a community and the economic impacts of new business ventures, construction projects, population growth, and housing.  They seek legislation and funding that is favorable to producing that economic development and attracting new businesses to the area.  What happens if they are wrong? Or fall short?  It creates a business environment that is forced to be lean. Read the rest of this entry »

Roosevelt’s Message to Capitalists

August 15th, 2009

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Roosevelt’s  message to business was simple: you’re welcome to make money in America - in fact, we want you to - but you must understand that you are making money within our society, using the superstructure and the substructure of our democracy, and therefore you are answerable to our democracy. The economy exists to serve the members of our democracy, not the other way aound. If you want to play the game of business, you’re welcome to do so according to our new rules, which protect workers and consumers, provide for the creation of a middle class, and keep the goverment democratic.

Excerpted from “Screwed” by Thom Hartman

5 Facts About the Bogus Health Care Reform Mobs

August 6th, 2009

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There’s been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it’s a sham. These “grassroots protests” are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They’re trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families — Don’t let distortions and intimidation get in the way. Expose these outrageous tactics, and we’re counting on you to help. Read these “5 facts about the anti-reform mobs,” then pass them along to your friends and family…

5 Facts About The Anti-reform Mobs Read the rest of this entry »