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Fighting the war on poverty.

We've got a war on drugs, a war on terrorism, and a war on intellectualism. Why not wage a war that's really worth fighting.
Here are some simple steps, to fight poverty, and improve the standard of living for a majority of our population.

First, openly declare war on poverty. Yes, it's a symbolic declaration, but it paves the way for what follows.

Second, State the goal. End Homelessness? End under-employment? create vital living situations for all citizens? End financial insecurity?

third, activate profiteering laws. These laws come into play, during a time of conflict. These laws would limit corporation profits to 8% above cost.

Fourth, Tie executive compensation to a multiple of mean employee wage for that company. This would in-cent the executive teams, to improve employee wages, or see their compensation decrease exponentially. Eliminate other forms of compensation that are used as loopholes (stock options, bonuses and such).

Fifth, Alocate stimulus monies toward creating a viable car-free transportation network, that is powered by direct electricity, and encourages viable cities, and protects farmlands.

Sixth, end the drug war. There are way too many reasons why this has been a foolish venture. Replace drug crimes, with stronger property, violent, and financial crimes. It's common knowledge that the drug war, encourages other types of crime. by discouraging REAL crime, it would make our streets safe again.

seventh, Eliminate suburbia. Abandon the dream, that converting farmland to useless automobile dependent sprawl is a failing venture.



Anything that you folks want to add?

Capitalism demands poverty 27.Dec.2008 22:25

GRINGO STARS

Without attacking the root cause, you will merely be hacking away at minor branches, effectively prolonging this horrible system's predatory life. Capitalism is the problem, and it must be ended. Symbolism does nothing to end capitalism. It makes the upper class laugh. Parades with signs (protests) by taxpayers don't even register amongst the masters, who can point and say "Look what a healthy democracy we have!"

A system like ours, a socialism for the rich where workers support the parasitic class, and indeed even pay taxes that go to failing megacorporations and their bumbling owners, demands a permanent underclass of homeless, humiliated, prostituted people as a Horrible Warning of what happens when you do not work to support the idle class.

"Charity" only prolongs the life of this brutal system. The billions of dollars that go into the charity industry make sure that any activist movements remain essentially capitalist and passive and symbolic and nonviolent, defanged and ineffective against ever wanting to or being able to end capitalism.

The coming recession will turn into a depression, worse than the 1930s, in all probability closer to 1873, which was worse, and involved mass civil unrest. I only hope that this inevitable capitalist crisis will turn into an opportunity for a humane government for normal working people instead of a sleeping land of American Dreamers.

Those black holes of energy, time, money and hope: voting, protesting, and organizing, will still be crucial, but only in conjunction with activists who prepare and are capable of non-passive action, actions that are effective in ending the brutal government currently sucking us dry.

People are rightfully outraged by capitalism:
 http://market-ticker.denninger.net/authors/2-Karl-Denninger/P3.html
The coming depression:
 http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/692-The-Idiocy-of-Bernankes-Bubbles-and-CNBS.html

Capitalism has a stake in sexism, racism, and homophobia:
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/38/women_family.shtml
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/32/racism.shtml
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/37/gay_oppression.shtml

Socialism is not a dirty word. It's beautiful:
 http://socialistworker.org/2008/10/28/redistributing-the-wealth

Greed 28.Dec.2008 04:47

Diego Jones seriousblack55@yahoo.com

Socialism as a system is impractical for many reasons the first being it must be imposed on a population. Secondly, because it doesn't address in a systematic way, humans desire to hoard more than they can consume. I am curious if there are many socialist left in the world. I know many people who talk about socialism but I don't see many practice it individually. I'm sure many of you would prefer the government to force everyone to spread the wealth around. However, how many people actually give what they don't need to someone who is in a more desperate situation. I suppose you think because you don't consume much, or because you don't make much money you are leaving some for people in true need. You are wrong. The things you don't consume become waste, and the money you don't take from the economy goes to those fat cats you hate so much.

You would think after the collapse of the Soviet Union the people would have had some vestiges of socialism even on an individual basis. However, that was not the case; a poll of high school girls in Moscow showed that a majority would exchange sex for money. People went hungry, orphans fended for themselves in underground tunnels. Those that did have a little bit extra stepped over those in need. All of the ex soviet states found themselves in the same position where the rich and middle class felt no desire what so ever to give away all excess wealth, while those at the bottom suffered.

Isn't the mantra "from each according to ability, to each according to need"? Well in America I am shocked at so called socialist with mansions, luxury cars, and bank accounts. Why don't they give it away? Even so called middle class and poor people in this country, have much more than those in true poverty I've seen around the world. I mean if you're making a paycheck, are you telling me that you really couldn't give half of it away and still survive in this land of plenty. Believe it or not America is a land of plenty. Or would you prefer the government force you and everyone else? I know you hate to hear it, but Bill Gates is a hero. He is doing so much more for people than most of us will ever do. He is leaving his children ten million each and giving everything else away. What he is giving away is having a substantial impact on people all around the world, truly in poverty. But guess what he doesn't call himself a socialist.

My proposal is a people's BRAND. I am tired of buying things "I need" only to make some rich person wealthier. I want a brand I can buy from, in which all profits go to helping people truly in need around the world. I will spend my money; there is no way around that. If people of conscious opened businesses and gave away all excess I would gladly spend my money with them, I am sure others would as well. So now I have to head to the store to buy some toilet tissue, a ten billion dollar industry and send my money up the chain to Wall Street.

"Be the Change"- if you want socialism practice it yourself.

Wrong, friend 28.Dec.2008 10:47

GRINGO STARS

Diego, your ignorance of Socialism is profound. It is based on popular and useful (to the ruling class) misconceptions perpetuated by corporate media. For example, the USSR was not Socialist. It was a dictatorship. It was the opposote of socialist. To use the USSR as a straw man like that is an outdated rightwing tactic I thought would never be seen in IndyMedia again. I was wrong. Just like Bush using the cause of "democracy" to invade countries, Stalin used "socialism/communism" as his idealogic cover. I'm amazed either of them fooled so many people, but there you go.

Your anecdotes about rich socialists is bizarre and pointless.

It is inherently unrealistic to want to try to change the world. A "normal" person adapts themself to the world they live in. So to want to change the world they live in is a progressive notion. We live in a capitalist society, so while working towards a socialist state, there will be countless cries of "traitor!" and "hypocrite!" There are always Haters. But the fact remains: capitalism is unworkable for all except those at the top. It will not last.

Are people inherently greedy? depends on the circumstances and their socialization, like anything else. Do white people come out of the womb hating people of color or is that something instilled in them by a variety of mechanisms? When everyone has food, clothing, shelter, purpose, and entertainment, why would they need more? In a capitalist society greed can be helpful at times, but only to the one greedy person. The fact that someone would consider Bill Gates a hero because he gives away less than ten percent of his billions is absurd. How could anyone possibly wish for anything over a hundred thousand a year, when dreaming about living in luxury? Yet he hoards tens of billions. What a hero. I wouldn't begin to know what to do contructively with such a fortune, but hoarding tens of billions doesn't say hero to me. Starting a charity in which most money comes from others says Covering My Ass more than it does Hero. Maybe that's just me.

The fact is that reformism, changing the laws around within an entrenched capitalism will never work. The free market allows The Masters to spend a trillion to convince everyone that this is the only system available.

I hope you misunderstood 28.Dec.2008 14:24

Diego Jones

Gringo did you read what I wrote? maybe because of my public school education I didn't explain myself clearly. I'll try again. I know the USSR was not your idea of socialism. My point was if it was at all socialistic, and most would agree it had some aspects of socialism although in reality state capitalism was the result. Why did people run from the ideals so quickly? Why when the system collapsed did people trample each other to get a leg up.

Bill Gates - One of us is looking at the wrong information. According to what I've been able to find Bill Gates plans to give all of his Billions away accept the ten million for each of his kids. Also the second richest man in the world Warren Buffet plans to give eighty five percent of his fortune 44 Billion to help those in need. In my book, thats admirable, and heroic given that most people don't give anything but a quarter to a beggar.

My anecdotes about rich socialist is exactly that "bizarre" meaning it can't be explained.

Yes, I read your comment 28.Dec.2008 19:39

GRINGO STARS

You still exhibit a misunderstanding of socialism, in that no, there were effectively no elements whatsoever of socialism in the USSR by the end. Not just my idea of socialism, but anyone's idea of socialism. It was socialist in name only. They used that ideological cover for their own hierarchy, which was not worker-controlled in any way, not since a couple years after the revolution. When people are impoverished so severely, they look for survival in whatever capacity. The fact that the world capitalist machine and the USSR's own native organized criminals both moved into the power vacuums so rapidly also had something to do with it. The fact is that the name/word/brand of socialism/communism had been ruined for them, since it had been used for so long to rob the people on behalf of the parasitic bureaucrat class there.

Maybe I was looking at the wrong information. Bill gave less than $5 billion to his foundation, according to good ol' wiki-wiki-Wikipedia. Warren Buffet gave an additional $30 billion to their foundation. The fact remains: neither of them actually earned that money. They exploited others for their own enrichment. Lauding a robber for giving back a fraction of what he took seems somewhat absurd to me.

Maybe I should have been more direct in my response. My main point should have been that the self-centric "Be the change" movement is essentially masturbatory and useless. It is useful on a miniscule scale, but doesn't actually help those who most need it. Political prisoners? How do they benefit from you "being the change"? People who are forced to prostitute themselves and/or risk imprisonment because they have to rob/con/burgle just to survive: how do they benefit from someone "being the change"? How do people who face the brunt of imperial armies abroad benefit from Americans lightening their carbon footprint, for example?

The fact is that that famous "be the change" quote was uttered by Mohandas Gandhi, who was a defender of the landlords, at the tenants expense. he counseled Untouchables and other Dalits to simply accept their lot and do theri inherited jobs "the best they can." He was very much from and of the ruling class, albeit the Indian ruling class. He was a useful tool for controlling the Indian mobs because there was a real danger of ordinary Indians stopping payments to their landlords. He kept the caste/economic system firmly in place. He merely wanted an Indian hierarchy rather than a British one, which is admirable, I admit. But he was someone who stalled and held back the Indian independence movement in a myriad of ways, all beneficial to the native ruling class. He was a brilliant speaker, charismatic, and very convincing to be sure. But he was not at all the hero that the Indian state-funded propaganda film Gandhi portrayed him as.
 http://history.eserver.org/ghandi-nobody-knows.txt
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/333053.shtml
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/14/Gandhi.shtml
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/10/29648.shtml

Capitalism Is Natural ! 01.Jan.2009 03:33

it says so right here in my textbook

Any "system" has to be "imposed on the population," including and especially capitalism. As part of the settler community we don't remember when and how capitalism was imposed here because we got here after that.