Submitted by: Shane Moore

Okay, I’m sick of people acting like these occupy people are a bunch of heroes. They’re a bunch of lazyass pretend hippies who don’t wanna work.

Can’t get a job? Fine, start mowing lawns, walking dogs, etc. Do SOMETHING other than trying to mooch off my hard earned money. I don’t get health insurance at my job. I don’t expect someone to just hand it to me like they’re greatful I work for them. I should be greatful to THEM for a job. There are jobs. You know how to get money from the rich? WORK FOR THEM. 

Go to Georgia. There’s a whole bunch of rotting crops since they got the illegals to leave. Now there’s jobs for AMERICANS who won’t take them up on it because they think they’re too good for farm work.

I am supposed to feel sorry for people who won’t work, made bad decisions by buying too much house, getting a worthless degree etc.? Sorry, keep your socialism and your change and I’ll keep my money. If you want to live in a socialist country, go try North Korea on for size. 

Meg, of Cognitive Dissonance:

Wow, that’s cute and callous. You assume there’s some mythical land with jobs aplenty for the taking. All you have to do is apply. Uh-huh.

Actually, I’m going to do you a favor and not post your email address. I’m just going to factcheck this a little.

First off, here’s the official list of demands from the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly. I see nothing in there about being able to not work ever again while “mooching” money off of Shane Moore or anyone else. 

Also, there are about four people actively seeking work to every job that’s available. Some estimate it’s higher than that. Employers are finding difficulty with hiring candidates with the qualifications they’re seeking. As the Business Insider article details in the above link, there’s a gap between finding skilled workers and those looking for work:

Employers say they’re having trouble finding applicants who fit the requirements for open positions. In a recent survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 40 percent of the members of the Inc. 500 (a group of the fastest-growing companies in the United States) reported that the biggest impediment to growing their companies was “finding qualified people.”

“That clearly speaks to the skills gap that exists,” says Thom Ruhe, director of entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “So we’ve got this paradigm of millions that are unemployed, yet there are literally hundreds of thousands of jobs that are available if we had the right skilled labor to put there, so there’s a challenge.”

Note he says “millions unemployed” but “hundreds of thousands of jobs” are available. So even if finding skilled workers wasn’t an issue, there would not be enough jobs to go around.

This leads to underemployment - essentially, people who want to work full time, but cannot find full time work. As Bloomberg explains: “More Americans who would like a full-time job are settling for part-time work instead. They are counted in the underemployment rate, which increased to 16.5 percent, the highest this year, from 16.2 percent. The number of people working part-time for ‘economic reasons’ jumped 444,000 to 9.3 million.”

How do we get skilled workers? Affordable education is crucial. Right now, the class of 2011 will be the most indebted class to graduate college. Wages have not kept up with the cost of education, health care, housing, etc. This is all while corporations are posting record profits. We’re in trouble all around.

It’s not as simple as you think. You can’t just say “GET A JOB ASSHOLE” and that makes it so. Not with the way the economy is now. 

The average worker is unemployed for approximately 40 weeks. That’s nearly a year. 

As for Georgia, if the crops are already rotting, there’s nothing that can be done. And the law did not just get rid of undocumented workers, jackass. People who are in the country legally also left. You know why? If you live in fear of being hassled or arrested for not having proper documentation on you at ALL times, you might take off too.

And North Korea is not socialist. The -isms aren’t all the same thing. North Korea is, on a good day, a one-man dictatorship ruling a communist state. On a bad day, it’s a murderous, infantile tyrant’s playground. You want socialism? Try Sweden. It sounds horrific:

Sweden has an extensive child-care system that guarantees a place for all young children ages two through six in a public day-care facility. From ages seven to 16, children participate in compulsory education. After completing the ninth grade, 90% attend upper secondary school for either academic or technical education. Swedes benefit from an extensive social welfare system, which provides childcare and maternity and paternity leave, a ceiling on health care costs, old-age pensions, and sick leave, among other benefits. Parents are entitled to a total of 480 days’ paid leave at 80% of a government-determined salary cap between birth and the child’s eighth birthday. The parents may split those days however they wish, but 60 of the days are reserved specifically for the father. 

As for the rest of your post, there’s really no point in addressing it. You sound as if you think we should grovel in gratitude for jobs that pay less than a living wage. Instead of wishing we were all at your level and had no benefits, why not wish for health care for all? Countries with socialized medicine spend far less of a proportional amount of GDP on health care than we do. One theory is better access to a doctor leads to more preventive care, which then stops minor issues from becoming major ones. 

Like it or not, you are in the 99%. It’s not lazy socialists like you picture. It’s this man. And this woman. And those of us in Casper, Wyoming. I will continue to fight for you to have the right to a decent living wage, a job with benefits, affordable education and health care, and congressmen who represent We the People and not corporations. You can continue ranting on the Hannity forums. We’ll be out there so you don’t have to, Shane.



Nothing to add to this awesomeness.



Bag’s Take-Away:

Somewhat surprising we haven’t seen this before: the Merrill bull as false idol. Skyscrapers notwithstanding, the scene feels almost biblical. Make way for the Golden Calf!

(photo: Henny Ray Abrams/AP caption: A coalition of clergy carry a “False Idol” to the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 in New York. Having started in New York, Occupy Wall Streets demonstrations now take place all across the United States, as protesters speak out against corporate greed and the gap between the rich and the poor.)


Topping’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

“The US Department of Labor reported that 1.9% total UI payments for 2001 was attributable to fraud or abuse within the UI program”

Welfare fraud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Only a tiny minority of welfare payments are to fraudulent recipients. As long as the DOJ has monitored welfare fraud, this has been the case.

So why is the myth of the welfare queen and the “scammer” looking for a “free handout” so prominent in our society? TANF provides roughly $300 bucks a month. Medicaid is no health spa. WIC and similar food stamp programs have heavy restrictions and are usually <$100 a month.

Why is it so despicable when a poor family who is marginally employed and can’t find additional labor gets a “handout”, but the fat cats who engineer such inequality without a care go off scot free and are just “exercising personal responsibility”?

(via golden-notebook)

The Welfare Queen is an unstoppable Republican myth. “She has an Escalade, seven babies, no job, lobster for dinner every night, and she’s doing it all on YOUR tax dollars!” Because being poor is awesome, apparently.

(via stfuconservatives)

Proposing An #OccupyWallStreet Credit Union



Credit for this idea goes to JasenComstock.

Perhaps the primary driver of any movement targeted at “Wall Street” is a desire to replace the existing capital allocation system (the banking / investment model) with a new system. Or, at least, to improve the functionality of the existing system. If the movement wants to replace banking, it needs to offer an alternative. The best possible structure is a non-profit banking system, or Credit Union.

Credit Unions are an oft-ballyhooed mechanism for replacing banking services, but they’re often difficult to access and built on antiquated platforms. A Credit Union could be great: why not use an open-source method to develop a powerful data system underlying a capable network of branches powered by empowered consumers? But most Credit Unions are missing the most crucial component: Wall Street. You can’t invest or perform brokerage / i-banking activities, and so you can’t ever get large enough to matter.

Here are some founding principles:

1. Public action is financial action.

Everyone at Occupy Wall Street wants money out of politics. What this really means is they want influence in a system they can’t afford - so aggregate all the 99%’s money and take on the 1%. Maybe you can solve the problem that the financial system hurts the people by establishing a financial system for the people and bludgeoning the competition to death. After all, who loves their bank? Occupy Wall Street is an ideal platform for launching a Credit Union.

The advantages to operating an entity of such a nature are manifold, especially as the movement grows. Banking becomes a necessary logistic endeavor. Any jobs program or subsidy program proposed by OccupyWallStreet movement can be completely funded on a DIY basis - you just need a mechanism to collect the funds and prioritize them toward specific projects.

The best way to collect capital and invest it is a responsible, well-designed banking entity that a.) takes few risks b.) when it takes risks, takes risks that the constituent members believe in (read: are comfortable with losing money on). Think of the profits from the banking activities as a big slush fund for OWS projects. Want to clean up a park? Here’s where the money comes from. Want to hire speakers? Here’s where the money comes from. Want to feed activists? Here’s where the money comes from.

You could also do normal banking activities like offering mortgages or loans. And if you need to launch other businesses for Occupy Wall Street activities (even just to manage the inflow of food and supplies) the bank could become an investor.

2. Credit Unions can operate at low-or-no margins - especially if a collective will is embodied in the union’s business processes.

Think about this: banking is the world’s biggest consumer of technology. We in banking spend an absolute fortune on contractors for web design, engineering, infrastructure, data centers, developers, project managers, analysts, etc. Most of these are skills that Occupy Wall Streeters possess - particularly on the development and design front - that could be marshaled to prop up a credit union relatively quickly. I have a lot of licensing and could donate my time / knowledge, for example.

Collaborative tools to build the basis for a fully-electronic credit union are available for free - basically, GMAIL and Google Docs could be the entire “corporate” back-end. Open-source WIKI software could manage the data dictionary and design. Google Draw could document the process flows. It’s actually fairly straightforward if people want to put in the work; they you hook up to the exchanges / settlement systems / clearing systems and off you go.

Banking could be like any other DIY commune, honestly. Incorporate the credit union, launch a site, comply with regulatory requirements (you’re going to need lawyers), then go hog-wild offering Occupy Wall Street members world-class banking services. Go branchless and do it all online. The facilities to manage processing could all be leased cheap to start and expanded as necessary. There are so many API’s out there for various required data systems that most of the infrastructure could be built for free or quickly copied from existing systems. And improved, open-source, on the fly.

3. A bank makes your movement credible

The big difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street is the organized financial system underlying their public action. Tea Party Express and the like are extremely powerful entities. A credit union to both service the movement’s anti-banking aims and organize financial efforts toward other items suggested by the General Assembly means it’s more than just rhetoric. It’s real.

4. The right bank could reinvent social justice

Imagine a bank that doesn’t foreclose on people, or a bank that offers loans to everyone regardless of race or creed, or a bank that discards the concepts of privilege embedded in metrics like credit score and finds quality borrowers in every segment of the population. Then, imagine not taking profits from those people to buy yachts and live large, but to further expand social welfare activities.

The possibilities are really limitless, once you design and defend the financial pipeline. I know it sounds like I’m proposing becoming “part of the system” to fix the system, but really it’s more like hey, why not build the better mousetrap? Chances are, people want it.

This sounds like an absolutely awesome idea.

Granted, it would be way more work than suggested here, particularly since regulatory approval generally requires a large amount of startup capital and extensive plan details. (In BC, you are generally looking at a minimum of $1 million, held in trust, before you can start the approval process. This is probably pretty representative of North American jurisdictions.) But once you had this going, assuming the bylaws were strong enough to keep the operation on target, it would be entirely worthwhile, and almost certainly self-sustaining.

This is the kind of smart efficient protest that would actually give long-term results. If someone started this, I would try to volunteer the eff out of the asset-management end of things. 

Credit Unions are also amazing regardless of whether they are connected to an overarching social movement or not. I’m VERY glad to be a member of one.

38,000 NYC Transit Workers To Join Occupy Wall Street Next Friday


Up until this announcement, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been unwieldy and somewhat lacking in a coherent voice, but that’s all about the change. New York City labor unions have decided to descend upon the streets of Lower Manhattan on Friday.

The leadership of the Transit Workers Union Local 100—comprised of subway and bus workers—voted unanimously to support the protestors. With a membership of 38,000, 5 Oct. will easily be the largest day yet in the protest. On 12 Oct., SEIU 32BJ, representing doormen, security guards, and maintenance workers around the city, is also staging a rally in support of the cause.

It’s unclear for now whether the transit system will be completely shut down while the 38,000 workers are participating in the protest. If it is, the Occupy Wall Street movement will definitely make its mark in history. And either way, it now has a substantial footing to make a real statement about American economy policy.

Jackie DiSalvo, an #OccupyWallStreet organizer, summarized the movement’s policy as such: “Occupy Wall Street will not negotiate watering down its own message.”

You have no idea how excited I am to see this. 

What if the transit workers, instead of shutting down public transit for the day, told everybody that they could hop the turnstiles? I think that’d be FANTASTIC.







Welp, now Occupy Wall Street has real, palpable demands.

"This is literally an uprising of people who have had it,


It has already started to spread across the country in other cities. It will continue to spread. … It will be tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of people … Their work ahead is not as difficult as other movements in the past … The majority of Americans are really upset at Wall Street … So you have already got an army of Americans who are just waiting for somebody to do something, and something has started.”



leftish: emailed the great philosopher Noam Chomsky at his MIT email address to get his position on the Occupy Wall Street campaign. Believe it or not, he responded within minutes.

FS: “I would like to ask you your position on the Occupy Wall Street campaign. There are many within the movement that are extremely inspired by you, and we want to know if you are supportive of the movement.”

Noam Chomsky: “Not only supportive, but sent a strong message of support.”

 I know - a rather brief and fragmented response for a Professor of Linguistics at MIT, but it is great that A) he responded, and B) that he supports the movement.

We sent him a follow up asking if he has any messages for the participants or those around the world watching the demonstration, and he responded again with the following:

“Below a message I sent to the organizers at their request, last week

Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.”

The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.”

We thank Mr. Chomsky for his time, attention, and encouraging words.  On a related note, for those interested in why this protest is occurring, please read Senator Bernie Sanders’ article on the auditing of the Federal Reserve and the “more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance [channeled] to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world.”