10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore
1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).
2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.
3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.
4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.
5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.
6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.
7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.
8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.
9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)
10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:
a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by
1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process;
2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed;
3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout;
4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth;
5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.
b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.
c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.
Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (@OccupyWallSt.org). Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don't have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.
We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we've been hoping for, waiting for. If it's going to happen it has to happen now. Don't sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.
If you need more inspiration watch a panel with Michael Moore and Naomi Klein as regards a move from outrage to hope.
A few of my notes on Mike's proposal:
#2 Penalties seem unrealistic to me, but maybe an import tax so that outsourcing simply looses profitability?
#5 If the Crash of 2008 is to be investigated, then surely Bush's and cronies crimes on humanity ought to be. The South African Truth and Justice model might serve us better then any demand for legal justice.
#6 Yes to the realignment of our values to peaceful co-existence rather then dominion over the world. Bring back foreign troops, close bases around the world, stop the wars, defund the Pentagon. This ought to be up on top of any list of demands.
#7 A single-payer, universal health care system for all that takes away control from the pharmaceutical - and health insurance industries is an absolute essential priority.
#10 Money has got to go out of politics. Votes can not be bought. Corporations are not people and can not be allowed to hold rights like citizens. I like the simple idea of moving voting days to weekends for increased voter participation. Why has nobody ever thought of that. We do know of the importance of paper ballots, that's a no-brainer. I would support compulsory voting. Citizens ought to not just have the right, but carry the burden of responsibility to vote.
What is not mentioned is the ridiculous war on drugs and incarceration of many non-violent low level drug offenders in privately run prisons. Legalize dope already and stop the criminalization of a whole segment of our population. Instead use the money now used in senseless war on dope to offer opportunities for education, jobs and quality of life, so drugs are not the first answer to a challenging existence. Prisons ought to protect society and should not be run for profit, that inevitably will create a form of slavery.
Your thoughts on these matters are welcome, feel free to offer your comments and thanks for taking the time to consider these very serious issues.