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Thread: Occupy Melbourne/Wall St discussion

  1. #19

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    :/ Yeah, I guess, but on a fractional scale. I'm no economist, but I cannot see this tax VASTLY changing the price you pay for shampoo, for example. I see the tax factoring into general inflation. Personally the billions that could be raised to save lives from this tax far outweight the few cents/dollars more that I might pay extra on goods or services. Inflation is going to occur with or without this tax.


  2. #20

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    It's not the most efficient way to do it though. For every dollar you get out of a CEO, they are paying a dollar tax so they would have to pay themselves an additional $2 to cover it. It's much better to give them an incentive to give of their own violition pre-tax than in that format.

    Some of the things OWS in the states is doing is just ridiculous. They are encouraging people to mass default on mortgages because if they do it in big enough quantities, the banks wont have the manpower to kick them out for about a year and they will save money while the banks loose. That is just stupid. It's one thing to want to protest against large scale corporate greed, another thing all together to actively work towards bringing down whole economies, and when you look at some of their writing, that is what they want to do. Topple Wall Street.

  3. #21

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    what they are protesting for in the USA is valid, what they are protesting about here in Australia is not an issue

    Annoying the crap out of people isn't the way to get your voice heard, and they annoyed the crap out of me on Friday when they disrupted not only my work, they discrupted the distribution of confidential documentation around the city and stopped me getting home by my normal route (which is to walk but they were all converging on the main way I walk home)

  4. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruschke View Post
    It's not the most efficient way to do it though. For every dollar you get out of a CEO, they are paying a dollar tax so they would have to pay themselves an additional $2 to cover it. It's much better to give them an incentive to give of their own violition pre-tax than in that format.
    It's a financial transactions tax, not an income tax.

  5. #23

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    While i understand that causes such as this need a voice and i understand the right and need for people to be able to protest i think there are better ways to get this message across.
    As someone who knows very little about it and doesn't get to see a lot of media during the day there is no actual understanding of their 'solutions' to the issues they are protesting about.
    My heart broke the other day when i saw a mother clutching at her son who was in tears while police were trying to remove her, no offence ladies but who does that to a child, was she using him as an excuse for police NOT to drag her away.
    I think there should be peaceful protests but these should not be taken to the extreme of blocking off public areas for days at a time with a tent city, upon being asked by police to vacate and then crying fowl when your forcibly removed, i also don't agree with taking and keeping young children at these events, no matter your beliefs your child should not have to be involved and witness such things.

    PZ - i'm not referring to you taking Isla, i see no issue with going to a peaceful demonstration with a little one in a sling (unless you plan on being dragged off by the police) but there's a fine line.

  6. #24

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    ZF, I wouldn't take DD, even to the assembly. Mayve i would have before, but not after the police forcefully removed people the way they did.

  7. #25

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    The protesters also lost a LOT of credibility with me because apparently the police and/or the City of Melbourne had been in discussions with them for quite some time and they had said that if they were asked to leave they would do so peacefully. They were given plenty of notice and asked to leave at 9am on Friday. That time came and they didn't keep their word. Can't say one thing and do another IMO.

  8. #26

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    Yeah, but you can't also drag people by their hair and legs because they refuse to stop standing in a public place. If the police wanted to dismantle their tents etc, fine. Barging into a group of solitary people and dragging them across the ground one by one isn't right.

  9. #27

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    I think people have lost the concept of "protesting". As the years go by it becomes more about acting like fools instead of getting your point across in an intelligent way. I think its interesting that the homebirth rallies and protests barely rate a mention in the 'crazy protester' stakes but when you get something like this it gets out of control pretty quickly. Are these protests doing anything but closing people's ears to the cause because of how theyve been handled? No. I dont even bother watching news stories of it, my immediate thought is "Yeah yeah blah blah blah dont care to watch people acting silly" and switch over.

    From what you've all said the root cause is something that definately needs to be addressed, its just unfortunate that bad behaviour overshadows the reason for protesting in the first place.

  10. #28

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    I hear what you're saying PZ but if people won't leave voluntarily, as they said they would do, then by definition, some sort of force has to be used. I'm not sure that dismantling tents would have made the protesters leave. I've been on protests myself for lots of things but this doesn't seem like a protest, it seems like a talkfest. Talkfests are also fine but have meetings somewhere like political parties do.

  11. #29

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    Something I've noticed here in Brisbane (I walk past them every day) is that they ARE calling for higher income taxes on the rich. There seems to be a different flavour to the protests depending on what country and city you are in... they aren't as cohesive as it seems.

    Today I saw a sign that said that the poor will eventually get so poor that all they will be able to eat is the rich. That's a rather vague and uninformative statement and smacks of envy. I think their ire is good, their energy is good, but their policies leave a lot to be desired.

    I'd consider dropping the level of income tax / company tax so that it stimulates more jobs and helps people up that way, rather than a Robin Hood tax. But we already heard that from me so I'll shut up now .

  12. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by fionas View Post
    I hear what you're saying PZ but if people won't leave voluntarily, as they said they would do, then by definition, some sort of force has to be used. I'm not sure that dismantling tents would have made the protesters leave. I've been on protests myself for lots of things but this doesn't seem like a protest, it seems like a talkfest. Talkfests are also fine but have meetings somewhere like political parties do.
    I know for Melbourne at least they have general assemblies where meetings are conducted and minutes are taken etc, as well as rallies and the actual occupying. I'm going to the 8th general assembly tomorrow, so maybe I can report back and fill you all in on what is actually happening vs what is making it into the mainstream media.

  13. #31

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    That would be great PZ.

  14. #32

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    I'd be interested too PZ, mostly because I think the media is enjoying painting them like fringe radicals and I think that distorts their message.

  15. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruschke View Post
    I'd be interested too PZ, mostly because I think the media is enjoying painting them like fringe radicals and I think that distorts their message.
    I agree completely. Unfortunately there are radicals like that in almost every movement, no matter what the cause, and that tends to tar everyone with the same brush. From my own reading and understand of OWS and OM, most of it is balanced and non-menacing.

  16. #34

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    OK I went again today.

    They are growing, and they are becoming more organised and more clear with their stated aims and goals. It is all emerging rather fast. I must say, I do like SOME of their ideas, still very sceptical on others. I don't have much faith in their fiscal policy but I understand a little more now what they are against.

  17. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sopdet View Post
    what they are protesting for in the USA is valid, what they are protesting about here in Australia is not an issue
    why is not an issue here in Australia?

    Australia is part of the world economy, our companies and our government engage in the market economy. I am not sure how your statement makes sense?

    I think that people will find that once they actually attend a general assembly and engage with the movement on a even footing (ie stepping away from radio and television) that what you will find is a really diverse group of people attempting to create change. Not only change in the way liberal economic markets are handled, but also change in the way in which publics engage with and help determine those policies and actions.

    Maybe we are foolish for wanting and demanding change. But I will never lose hope, and whenever there is an opportunity for collective outpouring I will be there.

    I bring my girls. Why? Because it is safe. What happened on Friday morning was horrific and unprecedented. We were the only country other than Bahrain to use such violent dispersal. Thankfully, there was the chance for people to leave before it got ugly and our family decided to not attend as I am not interested in my girls witnessing such repression of freedom of expression and the right to protest (and not to mention the unexpected violence). But we were there a few hours later and crossed the police line to attend. And it was safe. Because the Occupy movement is a PEACEFUL one.

    I have NO IDEA where people are getting the idea that the protesters are being 'silly' or 'fools'?? I have attended Occupy Melbourne and I have not seen this behaviour? What have I seen? I have the militarisation of the city of Melbourne by the police. A militarisation of a city and the violent dispersal of people who have the constitutional right to protest in a public space. I am with PZ on this one, dismantle the tents, but do not disallow people from protesting. That is unconstitutional. And the world WAS watching and there has been widespread condemnation of the violent actions undertaken by the police force that day (and no, not just by radical, uni hippies lol!).

    A little insight into just who is attending the assemblies and the debates and discusssion sessions (the marches and the protests are only a small component of the Occupy movements BTW): we have families, uni students, nurses, midwives, construction workers, lawyers, academics, hippies, union representatives, BB members (), NGOs, homeless representatives. This is what makes the movement unique. It is for everybody because it concerns everyone.

  18. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassius2 View Post
    We were the only country other than Bahrain to use such violent dispersal.
    Really? Did you know in the UK it is illegal to protest within a mile of parliament now - just in case the politicians are upset that they aren't representing the people they claim to.

    Did you know that peaceful student protests were greeted with the riot police - they didn't stay peaceful for long. Then we wonder why we have riots and blame the schools (which were on summer holidays).

    I'm actually for the cost of living going down, bank managers having their pay cut in half and no bonuses (they still earn more than DH and I combined even with that) and other bank workers salary to match - after all, I bailed out the banks with my tax money, I expect to see some regulation. That's the main thing I want to see - banks not profiting from the trouble they put the financial world in.

    Don't know of any system that actually works better than capitalism in practice though. Others sound better in theory but never seem to work out that way and end up worse than capitalism. Reined in capitalism would be good.

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