advertisement

Occupy COMO still working to establish organization, focus

Friday, October 14, 2011 | 7:41 p.m. CDT; updated 11:34 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Douglas Triplett protests as part of Occupy COMO outside of the Daniel Boone City Building on Friday. Triplett said he was exercising his First Amendment rights. Similar protests, criticizing corporate greed and social inequality, have been held across the country since mid-September.

*A previous version of this story misidentified Columbia resident Jean Blackwood.

COLUMBIA — As week three of Occupy COMO comes to a close, protesters continue to strive for greater organization as they seek to represent the "99 percent."

Nicholas Berry has been a near-constant presence outside City Hall this week. He said Tuesday's "General Assembly" had 50 to 60 participants. There is some confusion among the group as to when the general assemblies started, but Tuesday had been the most highly attended since Occupy COMO started.

Anyone can attend the meetings, and the protestors are developing an organization system as they go, Berry said.

"Most of everything's that gotten done has been from personal initiative," he said. "The General Assembly is something none of us have gotten to participate in (previously), it's direct democracy and most of us are new to that so that's why there's confusion. People are used to having a leader." 

Paul Stevenson, another Occupy COMO regular, said the community has agreed to adopt the same formation used by Occupy Wall Street in New York City.

At each meeting, attendees elect a moderator and a secretary. The moderator, who is supposed to maintain a neutral position, is charged with keeping the meetings on track and focused on those proposals made by the group.

So far, proposals have included procuring a live music permit for Liberty Plaza, the name the group's adopted for the area in front of city hall, as well as planning a benefit concert for Oct. 26 at Sideshow.

The secretary writes down the meeting’' proceedings and keeps track of voting records.

"It really felt good Tuesday because it felt like we reached some real organization," Stevenson said.

This has been a constant goal of the group as it continues to develop and mature.

*Columbia resident Jean Blackwood has participated in Occupy COMO's efforts sporadically. She recently returned from a five-day journey to the nation's capital, where she participated in Stop the Machine, a movement similar to — though not affiliated with — Occupy Together movements throughout the country.

Blackwood was joined on the trip by four other mid-Missouri residents. The group spent each night at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.

During the day, Blackwood participated in several marches. She said Stop the Machine focuses more on stopping the wars and bringing that money home for human needs, while Occupy Together movements seek to represent the 99 percent of Americans they claim are excluded from the nation's wealth. Blackwood wrote about her experiences upon returning to Columbia, which provided some information on the way other movements conduct their general assemblies.

"Assemblies were held morning and evening to deal with issues and we all began to learn how to make decisions by consensus. ... " Blackwood wrote. "There were real disagreements exposed, and sometimes some short tempers, but ultimately there was respect and a level of agreement that left everyone free to follow their own consciences."

Blackwood said that while she was in Washington, D.C., there was frequent communication between Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square and Stop the Machine in Freedom Plaza.

She said she has been impressed with the people behind Occupy COMO.

"It's not like in the '60s when there was so much polarization between pro- and anti-war groups," Blackwood said. "Now already everybody’s coming together."


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

david smith October 14, 2011 | 8:57 p.m.

Why dont these losers focus on getting a job. Liberal trash, dope smoking, urinating losers that "occupy" nothing but the sidewalk of which working people have to walk on as they goto their jobs.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks October 14, 2011 | 9:29 p.m.

Come on Dave. Lighten up a bit. Everyone has their calling. Or lack there of..

(Report Comment)
Amy Hayhurst October 15, 2011 | 7:58 a.m.

Oh my goodness, how pathetic!

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 8:57 a.m.

Time poll: this movement
Is just twice as popular
As the Tea Party.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 15, 2011 | 10:37 a.m.

Gregg Bush - Omygosh! Does this mean R's will not gain control of WH and Senate or lose the House? Those Time polls have always been sooo accurate!

No one paid any attention to Gregg Bush, until he started writing up and down instead of sideways. Amazing!

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

Seven thousand are
Millionaires that paid zero
In income taxes.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 15, 2011 | 12:29 p.m.

Favorite "oops" poll: when a national literary magazine took a "scientific" telephone poll in 1936 and confidently predicted that Alf Landon (Kansas Governor and Republican candidate for President) would defeat President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 election.

In 1936 there were quite a few Americans who either didn't have phone service or who had phone service but it was turned off because they couldn't pay their phone bills. I can remember cases of that in our neighborhood. Those folks weren't disposed to vote for Landon.

Within this vale
Of toil and sin
Your head grows bald
But not your chin.
Burma-Shave

(THAT has relevance! One did not read Burma-Shave signs up and down or left to right; they were viewed in "horizontal progression.")

(Report Comment)
Gerald Shelnutt October 15, 2011 | 1:55 p.m.

There is a difference between being a millionaire and having an income of a million.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 2:44 p.m.

Million in income:
"Hand-to-mouth" living just at
A higher level.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 15, 2011 | 3:09 p.m.

"Seven thousand are
Millionaires that paid zero
In income taxes."

Nope. According to AP's recent "FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?": "In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that's less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million."

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 4:34 p.m.

Conflate elections -
Polls. Deceit is answering
A question not asked.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/C...

Quoting two year old
Numbers: an ombudsman of
True mendacity.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 4:36 p.m.

I thought that even
Millionaires were supposed to
Pay tax. Their fair share?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 15, 2011 | 5:00 p.m.

@Ellis

I'm old enough to have seen actual Burma Shave signage along roads. Our first real automobility related ad campaign.

Here's a whole bunch of them (If you've seen this already, my apologies):

http://www.fiftiesweb.com/burma1.htm

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 15, 2011 | 5:23 p.m.

You'd better bet there's a difference between being a millionaire and having an annual income of $1 million! Annual income from an invested $1 million is NOT going to be $1 million dollars, or anything approaching that. At 4% return it would amount to $40,000. At 6%, $60,000.

People who throw around half-vast statements only manage to showcase their ignorance.

I'm going to again post a prior suggestion. If you are so torn up over rich people, there are two women in Columbia each with net worth of more than $2 billion. If you don't have their respective names and address, we can supply them. Why don't you picket their homes? Will I join you? Hell no, I don't begrudge them their wealth.

Are "stupid pills" dispensed by prescription only or can they be purchased over the counter?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 15, 2011 | 5:34 p.m.

@ Mark Foecking:

There are several collections of Burma-Shave jingles available on the web. Thanks for sharing.

We used to look for them and read them while crossing Minnesota. Crossing Minnesota from north to south (or the other way around) is a VERY tedious business, even more so in summer before autos had air conditioning. :)

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 15, 2011 | 5:53 p.m.

Um...
I think millionaires is a word that is used in a nominal sense these days because of currency inflation. You make the implication that someone doesn't understand this. In fact, the value of real estate was high enough in recent years that I was counting myself as one on paper and I think that the average person looking at me was discounting me as homeless. Of course, real estate has declined since then...
I'm going to guess that there are many people belittling one another on these forums who are millionaires on paper, including you, Ellis. Probably the most apparent thing you can really tell at a glance when you observe someone is how much they have been using their credit cards. And I think we all love to begrudge people for their excesses, but the same is what floats an economy.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 15, 2011 | 5:56 p.m.

And to Amy the arrogant one commenter, I stand with them and I bet you have significantly less wealth than I. That and some other things...

(Report Comment)
Gerald Shelnutt October 15, 2011 | 7:18 p.m.

Mr Bush, what would the amount of that fair share be? I am not trying to stir the pot I really would like someone to put a number to that.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 9:23 p.m.

"Their fair share" is more
Than a widow, an orphan,
And student combined.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 15, 2011 | 9:39 p.m.

Hey Ellis, you think
Your suggestions are germane,
But, in fact, they're not.

In reality,
They have as much meaning as
Each of these haikus.

Your reminiscence
Of past marketing enjoy.
Nero fiddled, too.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 15, 2011 | 10:05 p.m.

"Quoting two year old
Numbers: an ombudsman of
True mendacity."

Nope. Those are the most recent tax-year figures that the IRS has made public.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 15, 2011 | 10:45 p.m.

Gerald Shellnutt - "Mr Bush, what would the amount of that fair share be?" Gregg Bush doesn't know that answer. I do. "Pay your fair share", to my knowledge was first foisted on we Americans immediately after Wm. J. Clinton's inauguration. The Clinton Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, or "deficit reduction act" required everyone to "pay their fair share". Rob't Reisch and entire Clinton cabinet went on radio, TV, press imploring every citizen to "pay their fair share" of the cost of gov't. (taxes). This was stopped by the takeover of both houses of Congress by Republicans.

The answer to your question, of course, would be, "whatever the Democratic controlled Congress requires". Which, matches closely to prez obama's latest pitch.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 15, 2011 | 11:12 p.m.

Should I have mentioned in my above post,that "the takeover of both houses of Congress by Republicans in 1994", resulted in a balanced Federal Budget 4 years in a row? Anyway.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 16, 2011 | 5:39 a.m.

@ Paul:

Previously, and elsewhere, I have posited that "millionaire" has lost much of its meaning due to inflation. Decades ago a new car sold for $695 and one could purchase a very nice house in a "good neighborhood" for less than $10,000. A nationally-broadcast quiz show - on the radio, since there was no network TV - had a grand prize of $64! On the other hand, at one time $64 was $24 more than many Americans, in either wages or salaries, were making weekly.

My four-year college education cost a grand total of $5,900, including out-of-state tuition. I count that the biggest bargain I'll see in my lifetime.

The point is that under such economic circumstances someone having a million dollars in assets was then "unimaginatively rich." Hardly so today!

You mention real estate. For many older Americans their "net worth" is heavily skewed toward real estate (usually their principal residence). There's a problem with real estate - other than recent depression of real estate values - it isn't very "liquid," in the best of times. Sell your residence to obtain needed cash and THEN what do you do? You have to live somewhere. (Yes, there's this business of "reverse mortgages," but you are still selling your house.)

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 16, 2011 | 6:28 a.m.

My bad. There are just
Fourteen hundred millionaires
In the moocher class.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 16, 2011 | 7:07 a.m.

There were no occupiers in evidence this morning.

Homecoming is probably a lot more fun than hanging out under the keyhole.

DK

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 16, 2011 | 11:54 a.m.

Wow. Twice as popular as the Tea Party. That's impressive. I remember when Abba was popular, too.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 16, 2011 | 3:40 p.m.

Don't be too impressed.
Atheists and Muslims are
More popular, too.

http://tinyurl.com/3fsddfo

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 16, 2011 | 4:09 p.m.

Mark, they weren't apparent when I arrived this morning either. Most were camped behind the wall. There were about twenty or more most of last night and it dropped down to about ten when I left.

And Tony, you probably had no problem remembering "Abba" because you were probably one of their biggest fans.

And Gregg, try not to be so harsh. That must really hurt.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 16, 2011 | 5:45 p.m.

I think I caught Abba at the Bluegrass Festival in Dixon in the 70's. Dancing Queen rocks with mandolin.

Occupy Herbstreit has now listed their demands:
http://occupyherbstreit.tumblr.com/

I heard Radiohead will be at Occupy CoMo this week.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 16, 2011 | 7:02 p.m.

Well that's a reason for it to be popular if there wasn't one before.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 17, 2011 | 5:40 a.m.

Tony,

ABBA at the Bluegrass Festival wasn't all that much. You should have been there for Larry Clinton's band at Eminence, Missouri in the 1930s, with Bee Wayne on vocals. :)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 17, 2011 | 5:56 a.m.

Within 60 days, or less, demonstrators are going encounter rough weather at many demonstration locations, both here and in Europe. To stick with the local situation, demonstrators would probably find it warmer attending an MU basketball game (even if MU does not win the game) than out in the weather, or in Ellis Library - provided nobody else tries to torch the library (but I suppose that would qualify as "warm").

[The statutory sentence for attempting to burn a library should be the same as for attempting to burn a church.]

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 17, 2011 | 11:09 a.m.

OWS has raised $300K+ so far.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Occupy-Wal...

I wonder how much warm that will buy them?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 17, 2011 | 11:30 a.m.

"demonstrators would probably find it warmer attending an MU basketball game"

That also would be a convenient opportunity to protest the pro sports salaries that many college players aspire to. Movie theaters are a warm location and an opportunity to protest the income of top actors and actresses. After all, why stop at CEOs, bankers and hedge fund managers?

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm October 17, 2011 | 11:48 a.m.

Whether you agree with the provided utility or not the salary paid to athletes and actors in a capitalist society makes sense. There is a very low supply of their talents and a high demand; thus high salary.

Taking hundreds of billions of dollars in a government bailout while simultaneously foreclosing on millions of people is rather anti-capitalistic. The market would have crushed these banks had the government let them. It makes quite a bit more sense for protestors in our capitalist system to protest against those rigging the markets to their favor than to protest those benefiting from simple supply and demand.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 17, 2011 | 12:03 p.m.

When owners of pro franchises argue that taxpayers need to subsidize their new facilities, they say the new facilities are necessary to increase revenue so they can afford better players.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 17, 2011 | 12:41 p.m.

To Luna Paydon, who wrote, "To those who call this a "Marxist" movement. Maybe you should do some research."

Charlie Gasparino, Senior Correspondent for Fox Bus Net told earlier today that he visited OWS protesters (NY) yesterday and advises that there is plenty of evidence of Marxism in the movement. He showed picture of movement publication featuring a piece entitled "Marx was right!" He said that it is getting dangerous there and one should not try to reason (debate)with the protesters. Making a point might "get something thrown at you".

While at CNBC, "Gasparino broke a number of major stories during the financial crisis, including market moving stories on credit insurer Ambac and Bear Stearns. He was at the forefront of reporting on stories about Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley."

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm October 17, 2011 | 2:53 p.m.

Jimmy

That is something that the town agrees on before doing. The town wants the team to stay and they want the revenue from the team being there. They are competing against other towns that want the same revenue. That is a market economy. Moreover, they are usually voted on through referendum. There is nothing underhanded or fraudulent about the situation.

What happened on Wall Street is completely different. If you cannot understand the difference between these two situations then you are hopeless.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 17, 2011 | 3:22 p.m.

Jack, you said, "There is a very low supply of their talents and a high demand; thus high salary." That's true for athletes, CEOs and investment bankers alike, not to mention lawyers and doctors. From what I can tell, the 99 percenters are upset with a system that works as it should: providing high salaries for high-demand talents that are in short supply. So where do they want to draw the line? Is 4X the average wage okay but not 10X, 50X or 200X?

And what do they think is the proper role of government in enabling those wages? For example, is it okay for residents to vote for higher taxes to pay for a new stadium but not okay when, at a national level, they elect people to the presidency and Congress who bail out banks or don't slash physician wages in order to reduce the cost of health care?

Just trying to get a sense of what exactly these protesters want.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 17, 2011 | 3:52 p.m.

CEO wage difference in US is well over 400x.

The average in most of the rest of the world is under 20x. Ours really is just a *bit* out of line. Then, there's the state of the actual economy that indicates the CEOs and bankers aren't worth their pay in spit.

Just today GS CEO Blankfein was barking at the Feds to fire up another massive round of QE-X. His 2010 compensation was ~$13.2M; that's $1,507/hr, 24/7. You think his skill is worth that?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 17, 2011 | 4:11 p.m.

Athletes are labor.
Same with actors. Neither caused
A credit bubble.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 17, 2011 | 4:16 p.m.

It proves the point why
This movement does not hate wealth,
Just exploitation.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 17, 2011 | 4:55 p.m.

So if everyone responsible for the credit bubble were jailed, and the current disparity in CEO-worker/doctor-teacher/athlete-janitor wages remained, the Occupy folks would all go home?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 17, 2011 | 5:29 p.m.

What baffles tyrants
And authoritarians?
True leaderlessness.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 17, 2011 | 6:26 p.m.

Derrick asks, "Just today GS CEO Blankfein was barking at the Feds to fire up another massive round of QE-X. His 2010 compensation was ~$13.2M; that's $1,507/hr, 24/7. You think his skill is worth that?
_________________________________

I dunno. But I'd take such individual complaints more seriously if the names included Bill Clinton (hourly speaking fees), Teresa Heinz, Arianna Huffington, George Soros, Al Gore, and too-numerous-to-mention liberal singers and actors and athletes.

And please don't say, "I don't mention them because they didn't ask for gov't bailouts". This class envy started waaaaay before any bailouts.

Seems to me liberals always need a single entity to blame for their woes...a focal point for anger, if you will...all the while knowing blame extends into their own flock. I've found in my life there usually IS a single entity, but it ain't anyone else.

I remain convinced there is bad rich and good rich among liberals; the difference is political. Good rich is a someone who "says" they support the poor, all-the-while they are getting rich off those they support. Bad rich is any rich conservative. Perhaps the best strategy for the bad-rich is to simply mouth public, liberal platitudes which, I believe, is already a strategy among the good-rich who laugh all the way to the bank.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 17, 2011 | 10:28 p.m.

To remain convinced
In ignorance - failure of
Imagination.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 17, 2011 | 10:32 p.m.

When presented with
Contrary evidence, just
Reflect a little.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 18, 2011 | 7:02 a.m.

@Mike: What's with the channeling Frank bit?

To be clear, all the politicians are sleazebags. The rest of the super-wealthy are a mixed bag that has little to do with Liberal or Conservative. The point is a "market" that's basically a separate shadow economy, where money sloshes around and apparently makes wild profits and enormous paychecks for a handful of people, but... little of it seems to be going into the domestic economy where jobs might be produced. In fact, as the fortunes of the wealthiest .01% have soared, job creation has nosedived. So, the answer is supposed to be, "This isn't working, we must need more of it!" ?!?

The financial markets are simply out of control. The complicated financial products and transactions being made create monetary profit, but don't create any new real wealth. A lot of the money found in the market is the money that the Feds printed. A lot of it is false wealth. The absurdity of the concentration of wealth exposes the absurdity of it's supposed value.

I, for one, want "Wall Street" to stop playing with money just for the sake of more money, and start using money for the sake of real domestic investment. Is that too complicated a thought / demand for people to wrap their head around?

@Jimmy: Probably not, but hey it's worth a try! But I'm almost certain a bit of patience and cold weather will send them packing without much effort or expense.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson October 18, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

I wish Glenn Greenwald wrote in haiku:
http://politics.salon.com/2011/10/11/can...

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 18, 2011 | 8:38 a.m.

I'll try to translate some of "Derricks Lament"

"To be clear, all the politicians are sleazebags. = Both parties "do" it.

"The point is a "market" that's basically a separate shadow economy, where money sloshes around and apparently makes wild profits and enormous paychecks for a handful of people," = Some people earn more money than others in this country.

"In fact, as the fortunes of the wealthiest .01% have soared, job creation has nosedived. So, the answer is supposed to be, "This isn't working, we must need more of it!" ?!? = The government could fix the problem, but won't do it.

"The complicated financial products and transactions being made create monetary profit, but don't create any new real wealth." = No logical meaning, untranslatable.

"I, for one, want "Wall Street" to stop playing with money just for the sake of more money, and start using money for the sake of real domestic investment." = D understands the problem, but does not or won't try to understand that intrusion of government is causing it.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 18, 2011 | 9:36 a.m.

From its founding, some people and/or families in the United States have had greater wealth than others. So?

Many of those who presently sit in Congress (House and Senate) are wealthy, and that has been generally true throughout our national history.

The federal government's track record for solving systemic economic problems has both historically and currently been at best mediocre, and at worst, dismal. (That might have something to do with the situation cited in the previous paragraph.)

Meanwhile, It's very disappointing that no one locally has followed the suggestion that they picket the homes of those two very wealthy ladies who live here in College Town. You will almost certainly be arrested, but think what a hero (for the cause) you'll be. You might even end up on the evening network TV news - sandwiched between two Viagra commercials. :)

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 18, 2011 | 9:54 a.m.

Derrick Fogle wrote:

"I, for one, want "Wall Street" to stop playing with money just for the sake of more money, and start using money for the sake of real domestic investment."

How would you do that? A lot of the reason Wall Street runs a financial casino is that the type of investment that makes jobs is more attractive in other countries like China/India.

I'm not sure if there's a good way to encourage significant domestic private investment that generates real wealth (value added goods and services).

DK

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 18, 2011 | 10:04 a.m.

Derrick: I channel no one but myself. If you happen to agree with someone else on this forum, are you channeling him/her?

Me neither. And you know that.

Two points:

(1) We are in one-of-many phases of a recession, a pattern that has repeated itself many times over the years. When a recession starts, corporations (and people) tuck tail and reduce expenses...mainly with the labor-cost portion of their expense reports. For many corporations not constrained by some type of union agreement, those who are laid-off are not considered the "core" group the company will rely upon when things turn around (harsh, but very true). Once expenses are reduced, corporations accumulate cash....lots of it. They buy back their stock, they put the cash in T-bills/bonds, send it abroad for higher interest, etc. This is the phase we are in right now. The next step is a return of confidence among buyers/sellers...a slow step to be sure, that generally requires a change in gov't administration. "Sentiment" is everything in completing this next step. We ain't there yet, but it'll probably be 2013/2014 before anything good gets percolatin'.

(2) You know from my past posts that I mainly blame the middle class for allowing wealth inequity. The middle class moved to the "leisure mode" in which Europe is currently mired. It bought crap, not assets. When you buy crap made by others, you enrich those "others" to your own detriment.

And then you turn on those "others" that made the crap that you declared you wanted in the first place.

How absurd.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 18, 2011 | 10:17 a.m.

To suggest the same
Thing when shown it's not germane,
Willful ignorance.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 18, 2011 | 9:43 p.m.

@DK: Point well made. Protesting isn't going to stop abortions either, but God Bless those people for trying, eh? OWS has been reasonably successful at generating discussion about the issue of market malfeasance, and it *IS* something that needs discussion and scrutiny.

@Mike: Another point well made. It's been an amazing display of willful self-hollowing: Decades of shipping our wealth-producing jobs overseas, and using credit to pay for the cheaper stuff they send back. What's worse is, that's just one of numerous examples of wealth-squandering excess over the last few decades.

I'm not letting the financial "industry" off the hook though. While the middle class may have greedily stampeded, the financial industry wasn't shy about leading the charge, or fleecing the herd in the process.

I have less confidence in the confidence fairy than you do. I agree it might help, but possibly only to re-inflate the mindless consumption. What real good is that?

(Report Comment)
yvette black October 18, 2011 | 10:45 p.m.

Come on people, get to the point, If you believe you have a creator, what is moral (if you even care) to hoard outrageous sums of money or to care about and help the lower end of society, and help them with school or jobs, or help the disabled or elderly, or gloat about wealthy and who has the most, and mock them. Sometimes I don't think churches are doing their job anymore or people just use them to go confess all the sins they did that week without attempting to change. Our creator wants us to love each other, what does that tell you to do....its simple...people at the top do you really need us organized and to overthrow you or can't you just tweak what you are doing and help more struggling. Non-believers just do what you need to do.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 19, 2011 | 8:05 a.m.

yvette black wrote:

"what is moral (if you even care) to hoard outrageous sums of money or to care about and help the lower end of society"

Actually wealthy people typically donate large amounts of money to various charities. Whether they do it out of the goodness of their hearts, or to get tax deductions, they still do it.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 19, 2011 | 8:13 a.m.

yvette black - Why can't you and yours address the fact that our Christian Churches have been denigrated at every turn for thirty years by whom? Progressive Liberals.

Or that "people at the top" have in the last 4 years, "tweaked" our economy 4T$ over and above the funds they have been given and if left alone will continue this insanity to the tune of over 1T$ per annum with no end in sight. Who might these at the top be? Progressive Liberals!

These people have been borrowing $4 of every $10 they spend. If they were going to help those "struggling", shouldn't they, by now, have produced such results that you would not feel the need to "organize" and protest?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 19, 2011 | 9:39 a.m.

Yvette: I used to give to charities. A lot.

But, the gov't decided it was better at the charity gig than I was. Also, progressives wanting my money simultaneously and unwisely decided to attack my religion, my education, my strategies for accumulating wealth, and my beliefs. Really dumb strategy.

So, after watching 4 decades (dating from when I started paying attention) of wasted trillions of tax dollars and nothing to show for it........I quit.

Yer on yer own. You and the gov't, that is. My "volunteer" days are over.
__________________________________

Derrick says, "I have less confidence in the confidence fairy than you do. I agree it might help, but possibly only to re-inflate the mindless consumption."

Me says: I understand your point and agree. The reset button I've been calling for the last 4 years has not been hit. The recovery I believe will happen in 2013/2014 will simply be a return to mindless consumerism since no attitudes about finances or wealth have been changed. Might help the world get past the baby-boomer stage, tho.

Let's look at this another way. What if those contrails we see in the sky above were filled with "happy gas" (lol, there are some folks who DO believe this!), and all of us woke up tomorrow morning full of confidence in our lot in life.

What would change?

Everything.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 19, 2011 | 9:52 a.m.

"help the lower end of society"

The War on Poverty has been going for 40 years. The lower end gets plenty of handouts -- Pell Grants, WIC, TANF, Medicaid, EITC, to name just a few -- and they still can't get their act together.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 19, 2011 | 10:02 a.m.

"...and they still can't get their act together."

(Some words bear repeating)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 19, 2011 | 10:05 a.m.

@ frank christian:

I think we are seeing Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which applies to particle physics (and is an important part of atomic physics) applied gratuitously and falsely to both financial matters and politics.

Briefly stated, Heisenberg says that if the position of one electron in a pair is known then the position of its pair electron cannot be known.

THEIR position seems to be that theirs is the only "known" one, making discussion impossible. Their position, just because it's theirs, is the only "known" one.

------------------------------

Damn that Heisenberg! If we cautioned him once we cautioned him a hundred times: Werner, baby, you have to be more certain! :)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 19, 2011 | 10:14 a.m.

Well there's at least ONE difference between giving to charities, universities, etc. and having government do your charity giving for you. The former is VOLUNTARY while the latter is CONFISCATORY.

Don't fret, folks, Lyndon Johnson will return any day now and we'll complete the War On Poverty.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 19, 2011 | 10:23 a.m.

Derrick states, "I'm not letting the financial "industry" off the hook though".

Me says, "And you shouldn't. The world is full of evil people willing to take advantage of those who allow it. Both types should pay the price...the evil ones should go to jail, and those who place themselves in a disadvantageous position should pay the price. I maintain that a person can seldom be taken advantage of if they educate themselves and make good decisions. I believe each person is his/her own first line of defense, not you or me or the gov't.

Hence, I place the first priority for blame on....."us".

Not "them".

Punishing "them" without changing our own actions, beliefs, strategies, and complicity has NO effect whatsoever since "them" is continuously replaced.

"Us" has to change first. Without that action, all else is fruitless.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 19, 2011 | 10:24 a.m.

"Well there's at least ONE difference between giving to charities, universities, etc. and having government do your charity giving for you. The former is VOLUNTARY while the latter is CONFISCATORY."

Another difference is that charities are free to distinguish between those who are needy through no fault of their own and those who are need because they're selfish, irresponsible, lazy or all of the above (e.g., choosing to drop out of high school, choosing to have kids when they can't support themselves). As long as the government fails to make those kinds of distinctions, we can expect more freeloaders because the system rewards and enables those choices.

Maybe that's why Warren Buffett refuses to put his money where his mouth is: He knows that charities such as Gates' can spend his money more wisely and more effectively than the government can.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 19, 2011 | 11:55 a.m.

Amen to that! @Mike says: "Us" has to change first. Without that action, all else is fruitless.

I hope everyone realizes that whenever the phrase "what we're doing is not sustainable" gets bandied about, the proverbial self is included in the proverbial we.

We can't force a positive outcome from "them." We can't tax the wealth back out of "them." We *could* punish those we catch doing financial wrong, but we can't force anyone to do the right thing in the first place.

But... "Us" can change to make "them" less important in our lives.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 19, 2011 | 11:59 a.m.

Charities like Gates may be an effective organization for actually providing assistance to properly "deserving" people, but they don't come anywhere near controlling the masses of population that the welfare state controls.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 19, 2011 | 3:21 p.m.

Derrick says, "But... "Us" can change to make "them" less important in our lives."
____________________

And here's a starter list:

(1) Pay attention in high school, and make sure your kids do the same. First dinner, then homework, then a bit of play, and then read...read...read your way to bed. For kids, only late nights are Fri/Sat; otherwise, yer at home.
(2) Learn about finances, interest, compounded interest, and penalties.
(3) Calculate how many dollars you will spend on your house over the term of the note. It's a great learning experience about the cost of borrowing.
(4) Tear up all credit cards but one.
(5) Pay yourself first, even if it's only 5 bucks. Accumulate...over years, if you have to...the cash equivalent of 4 month's living expenses.
(6) Buy assets, not junk. A "thing" is NOT an asset unless it makes you money. Your house is NOT an asset. A rental property is.
(7) Find a mentor. Find a mentee. You need someone to drag your rear end up the corporate ladder, and you need someone to replace you when you are dragged.
(8) Never let an investment advisor/bank make more money off your money than you do. After an appropriate period of time, fire them if they do.
(9) Don't do financial stuff that causes you pay a penalty. Don't use foreign ATMs. To hell with debit cards; why use them? Don't gripe at the bank if you LIKE paying for convenience.
(10) You do NOT need a car you look good in. You need a car that either gets you from here to there and/or works for you and makes you money.
(11) Read Rich Dad/Poor Dad.
(12) Make an honest assessment of your ability to pay back borrowed money. Hoping you win the lottery or "Something will come along" is not an honest assessment. Neither is thinking you'll be CEO 5 years after your entry-level hire.
(13) Read what wealthy people do to make money, and then do it.
(14) Dismiss those who want what you have without doing what you did to get it. It's more productive spending your time making wealth than arguing with them. Unless you're retired and have time to post here.
(15) For heaven's sake, don't bitch about your boss...especially now....and especially to coworkers. Brown-nosing is "in". For now.

Obviously, there's more I can't think of right now...I'm sure someone will add some gems.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush October 30, 2011 | 3:13 p.m.

That's a fine list if:
Not tired, hurt, sick, hungry and
Have a place to live.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements