sfpml1

sfpml:

“SILENCE = DEBT” - A talk by Brian Holmes
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Occupy Chicago Headquarters
Student debt — which is now hitting the trillion dollar mark, even bigger than outstanding credit-card debt — is part of the fabric of false promises and hyper-individualized coercion that we call neoliberal governance. It hooks into a continuum that begins with payday loans, moves through the concealed robbery of the stock markets and ends in the Treasury’s extortion of trillions of dollars from the rest of the world to pay for bloody useless wars. The only way to achieve the cancellation of existing debts and the foundation of a new set of emancipatory social institutions is to overcome the fear of each debtor and generate the trust we need for massive resistance. One strategy (among others) is to open up the analysis of the debt-based economy through teach-ins that can be led by students, adjunct faculty or professors, whether inside or outside the university. These teach-ins could become an existential point of contact between isolated individuals in the knowledge-factories and the Occupy movement. The point is to transform the very meaning and purpose of education, and to start generating a new map of rights and responsibilities that can help us navigate beyond neoliberal governance.

lessthanawake

lessthanawake:

#6 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark in early 2012.

#24 Only 55.3% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year.  That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.

#28 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

Most of this— whatever. But there are facts in here that are brutal, and the student debt/unemployment crisis sometimes really freaks me out. Our generation is really getting fucked.

troublicious

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard someone call Occupiers entitled students just wanting their student loans paid for. Read below if you want to understand the real reason why students are upset. I can guarantee that the vast majority of students would be willing to pay a fair and practicable sum for their educations. The problem is that cost of education as it currently stands in comparison to potential wages is outrageously imbalanced. Our educated citizens are entering the workforce terrified and unlike a homeowner or a credit card debtor, students can’t sell an asset to recoup losses, declare bankruptcy or walk away from their bad investment (that’s right, education has become a bad investment). It the market really free if people are immediately indebted to and forced into certain labor markets out of necessity of survival? is society really benefiting from the talents and potential contributions of its citizens if those citizens are forced into money-driven labor rather than talent or interest-driven labor? 

brosephstalin:

In 2010 something unthinkable happened – student debt surpassed credit card debt as the largest form of debt in this country, passing $800 billion dollars. In 2012 more history will be made as the amount of unpaid student debt climbs to $1 trillion dollars, with an additional $1 million dollars added to that number every 6 minutes.

The ripple effect that this has on our economy is crushing: students and recent graduates are forced into low-wage jobs in order to immediately start making payments back to banks and lenders; instead of stimulating the economy by spending millions of dollars, students and graduates are pinching pennies to just try to keep up with the interest on their loans; and the privatization of colleges and universities are expedited as the same loan agencies use the profit off of students to lobby for lower tax rates, forcing budget cuts to higher education in an economy where recent graduates struggle to find jobs.

Imagine students not working two part-time minimum wage jobs as they struggle to get through school, allowing them more time to participate in civic engagement. Imagine recent graduates not being pushed into a job market where they are forced to intentionally keep wages stagnant, allowing them the ability to work for non-profits or local businesses.

If we do not solve the student debt crisis the students of today will suffer, but the students of tomorrow may never have the opportunity to a college education. A generation of students will pay the hefty price of their student loans; but we must not forget that we will also pay the debt of an entire country ignoring the burden placed on those working to better their lives and communities by obtaining a college degree.

Sign the Petition and Spread this Throughout the Country!

oldenough2burmom

oldenough2burmom:

Graeber’s book apparently discusses at length the disenchantment felt by young people who played by the rules: They studied hard, were admitted to the nation’s elite universities. Then they found they were saddled with $50,000 in debt and could only find low-waged jobs as banks were bailed out and left off the hook for their malfeasance. 

I must warn you that I am not an economics expert. But I will explain from my own understanding.
The amount of real money is not actually printed. It is often only represented as data on bank computers. Federal Reserve can create money out of thin air and due to inflation, money, or rather value, CAN disappear. Houses were overvalued and oversold. The value was inflated through LOANs (promises of money, like billions of iou’s being traded when that money was never actually printed), so I suppose when that value dropped, in theory, money value disappeared as it was created out of nothing to begin with. As that video showed, those iou’s became like hot potatoes until the perceived value caught up with actual value. The first people to suffer were the families at the bottom wrung and then it was the people who trusted AAA safe investments to be safe - pensions, bonds - these are often people who do not invest in risky, high pay investments - like your grandparents’ retirement stocks. The perception of worth, however, still quickly traveled up and concentrated in the 1%. The money was emptied from tax payer pockets, bank holdings, and into the personal holdings of investors and CEOs (i.e. it is probably sitting in some Swiss bank after being exchanged into a more stable currency like gold or art etc. as the dollar becomes increasingly worthless). Money was then given to Wall Street in the bail out to refill their banks, but no one bailed out the millions of families who suffered. It’s reverse socialism, reverse Robin Hood.
Some graphics that will hopefully help illustrate how money was taken from the working classes and concentrated into the personal hands of a very select few who were likely connected with insider trading knowledge that helped to defraud millions of American families:

Big picture break down - the amount of money taken out of the pockets of the poor is about the same exact amount gained by those at the top. This is why people are protesting Wall Street and the 1% on it, not out of jealousy, but because they have defrauded a nation. 

I must warn you that I am not an economics expert. But I will explain from my own understanding.

The amount of real money is not actually printed. It is often only represented as data on bank computers. Federal Reserve can create money out of thin air and due to inflation, money, or rather value, CAN disappear. Houses were overvalued and oversold. The value was inflated through LOANs (promises of money, like billions of iou’s being traded when that money was never actually printed), so I suppose when that value dropped, in theory, money value disappeared as it was created out of nothing to begin with. As that video showed, those iou’s became like hot potatoes until the perceived value caught up with actual value. The first people to suffer were the families at the bottom wrung and then it was the people who trusted AAA safe investments to be safe - pensions, bonds - these are often people who do not invest in risky, high pay investments - like your grandparents’ retirement stocks. The perception of worth, however, still quickly traveled up and concentrated in the 1%. The money was emptied from tax payer pockets, bank holdings, and into the personal holdings of investors and CEOs (i.e. it is probably sitting in some Swiss bank after being exchanged into a more stable currency like gold or art etc. as the dollar becomes increasingly worthless). Money was then given to Wall Street in the bail out to refill their banks, but no one bailed out the millions of families who suffered. It’s reverse socialism, reverse Robin Hood.

Some graphics that will hopefully help illustrate how money was taken from the working classes and concentrated into the personal hands of a very select few who were likely connected with insider trading knowledge that helped to defraud millions of American families:

Big picture break down - the amount of money taken out of the pockets of the poor is about the same exact amount gained by those at the top. This is why people are protesting Wall Street and the 1% on it, not out of jealousy, but because they have defrauded a nation. 

Nobody Understands Debt | Paul Krugman

In 2011, as in 2010, America was in a technical recovery but continued to suffer from disastrously high unemployment. And through most of 2011, as in 2010, almost all the conversation in Washington was about something else: the allegedly urgent issue of reducing the budget deficit.

This misplaced focus said a lot about our political culture, in particular about how disconnected Congress is from the suffering of ordinary Americans. But it also revealed something else: when people in D.C. talk about deficits and debt, by and large they have no idea what they’re talking about — and the people who talk the most understand the least.

Perhaps most obviously, the economic “experts” on whom much of Congress relies have been repeatedly, utterly wrong about the short-run effects of budget deficits. People who get their economic analysis from the likes of the Heritage Foundation have been waiting ever since President Obama took office for budget deficits to send interest rates soaring. Any day now!

And while they’ve been waiting, those rates have dropped to historical lows. You might think that this would make politicians question their choice of experts — that is, you might think that if you didn’t know anything about our postmodern, fact-free politics.

But Washington isn’t just confused about the short run; it’s also confused about the long run. For while debt can be a problem, the way our politicians and pundits think about debt is all wrong, and exaggerates the problem’s size.

Read More

99supercommittee

99supercommittee:

Steal From the Young to Pay the Old Rich

gothboygirlhorror

gothboygirlgossip:

There have been all kinds of articles I’ve been getting from where I’m at. There’s been the more exciting ones that remind me of more anarcho protests in the past, such as videos from NYC and Santa Cruz CA (remember when my friends were arrested for “terrorism” later dismissed by the judge as “activity protected by the first ammendment”) this month’s videos are of customers being arrested with excessive force while trying to close bank accounts as protest. An overlap between anarchist ideology and the current protests is the slogan “Debt is slavery,” but there is a much wider intellectual policy base to the current action. There are plans for an OWS Convention in 2012. This Convention will take place in Philadelphia on July 4 - a location and date chosen deliberately. The convention will elect delegates from each congressional district, 435 women and 435 men. The 870 delegates would then compose a petition of grievances that would be non-partisan. The currently suggestions are: Number one and two are a ban on private contributions to politicians seeking or holding federal office and instead public financing for campaigns, and a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. The list then goes on to suggest single-payer national health care, immediate passage of the DREAM Act, a jobs plan, a deficit reduction plan and recalling military personnel at all non-essential bases. You can read that article here

Currently 37% of Americans support OWS, and 18% oppose the Occupy movement. This is in contrast to 28% who support the Tea Party, and 41% who oppose the Tea Party. Source NBC Wallstreet poll.

Someone once told me “Money has no inherent ethics” and that is still true. I wish you’d taken me to a credit union when I was 16, instead of a bank! Credit unions, which are not-for-profits that don’t answer to shareholders, typically offer fewer or lower fees.

I think a lot of what the OWS protests will claim as their grievances is summarized in this article:

“To our great shame, among the 20 major advanced countries America now has

  • the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
  • the greatest inequality of incomes;
  • the lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
  • the lowest number of paid holiday, annual, and maternity leaves;
  • the lowest score on the United Nations’ index of “material well-being of children”;
  • the worst score on the United Nations’ gender inequality index;
  • the lowest social mobility;
  • the highest public and private expenditure on health care as a portion of GDP,

yet accompanied by the highest

  • infant mortality rate;
  • prevalence of mental health problems;
  • obesity rate;
  • portion of people going without health care due to cost;
  • low-birth-weight children per capita (except for Japan);
  • consumption of antidepressants per capita;

along with the shortest life expectancy at birth (except for Denmark and Portugal);

  • the highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita;
  • the lowest score on the World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index (except for Belgium), and the largest ecological footprint per capita (except for Belgium and Denmark);
  • the highest rate of failing to ratify international agreements;
  • the lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP;
  • the highest military spending as a portion of GDP;
  • the largest international arms sales;
  • the most negative balance of payments (except New Zealand, Spain, and Portugal);
  • the lowest scores for student performance in math (except for Portugal and Italy) (and far from the top in both science and reading);
  • the highest high school dropout rate (except for Spain);
  • the highest homicide rate;
  • and the largest prison population per capita.”

Have you heard of Bank Transfer Day? It’s on Guy Fawkes day (I will assume you know who that is) Nov 5 and I myself will participate by dumping Wells Fargo. I’m not really into them for the following reasons: Wells Fargo was the only bank to not freeze 55,000 foreclosures when paperwork errors suggested that the foreclosures were flawed -source. There are reports that Wells Fargo predatory loans targeted black people and people already in poverty. In general, they engaged in predatory loans which damaged thousands of lives so a few people could live in opulence. Wells Fargo chief is the highest paid bank CEO and makes $30 million a year. Quote time!

“Could one man live in idle luxury by the sweat of another’s brow?” — Abraham Lincoln