As part of a beautiful group of folks who worked together at the Flood Wall Street event in NYC the day following the People’s Climate March, we are trying to facilitate a climate direct action network around boston. We have two events planned, with the aim is to bring together some of the different folks who have participated in past actions (XL Dissent, KXL pledge, Brayton Point, Salem, transcanada, pipelines) and who might want to participate in more. We are also trying to reach folks who may not have participated in direct action but who would like to (and there are many many non-arrestable roles and non-civil disobedience actions we could take). We all know we have tremendous power in Boston. We hope to work with others to create a culture of empowerment, where folks are empowered to step up, plan, and carry out empowering, effective, and principled actions. We believe in the power of decentralized but coordinated actions, so here’s to getting that going locally, and to seeing you all!
What’s October 31st? Halloween, of course! More specifically, it’s the third Halloween since a group of activists occupied Dewey Square, insisting that “Another World is Possible”.
Let’s have a Halloween party. Federal Reserve Plaza/Dewey Square, Friday Oct 31st, 3-5pm, or until otherwise evicted. Costumes and coordinated die-ins optional, willingness to stand up for the 99% required.
It is useless to try to hold back the tide of weary, desperate people seeking a better life. Let’s get real: no one is going to stop a hungry child from jumping on the top of a train and looking for higher ground. Why not just let them in? All of them ? Yes, all of them.
A Problem Correctly Defined is Half Solved
We don’t have an immigration problem, we have a poverty problem. And the problem is not that we as a country don’t have enough money to solve poverty. It’s that we put our money into the wrong pocketsAllowing anyone who wants to enter the country to enter is feasible if it is one several radical changes to how the government regulates economic fundamentals: labor, property and taxes.
Replace the all entitlements with a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) and health care.
Shred Title 26: A New Tax Code for a New Economy. *
Triple Decker Housing Trust Fund
Throw Open the Borders.
You’re Going to GIVE Immigrants Money?
After paying taxes for 7 years, everyone residing in the US should be eligible for a BIG of $21,000/year. For most “Born Heres” that means starting with an after-school job while in high school. On the other hand, if you started living off your trust fund at 16, you might never qualify. Poor baby.
How will you pay for that?
Replacing all entitlements with a basic income guarantee doesn’t just mean eliminating programs like unemployment insurance, food stamps, fuel assistance, and Section 8, it means eliminating the bureaucracy that administers those programs. If no one has to apply for “social security”—because you already receive it (after paying taxes for 7 years)—checking eligibility is a piece of cake. Ditto for hundreds of other government programs that now soak up millions of dollars in administrative expenses. If on top of it you radically streamline Title 26, suddenly the money appears.
Current Immigration Policy
Besides militarizing the entire southern half of the country, protecting our border also prevents employers from hiring the best person for the job and within a capitalist system the best person for the job is the person that will work for the lowest wage. The economy and employers are better off paying Manuel Labor, father of ten who has three other jobs, than they are employing someone who thinks s/he is too good to wash dishes.
The Slacker Problem
The “immigration problem” highlights something that no one, liberal or conservative has adequately addressed: some people won’t work. Ask conservatives about the shortage of “Born Here” dishwashers and they’ll start babbling about whatever it is they babble about. Ask liberals about unionized deadwood and they’ll claim it’s not a problem. But it is and there is no better description of it than this classic New Yorker article about teachers being paid not to teach:
Liberals don’t want to talk about this or the other ways that entitlements make it more sensible to game the system than to look for work. This is because at the heart of liberalism is a kind of paternalism that assumes that poor people don’t know how to run their own lives. A better conclusion is that the government doesn’t know how to run peoples lives.
(For the record, this editorialist doesn’t believe in laziness. People who don’t want to work usually have a good reason for not working, one that no one else can really understand or change.)
Mom and Pop
Gov: “You spent all your allowance? Too bad, you’ll do better next week.”
Gov: “What, spent it again? Talk to your mother.”
Replacing all entitlements with a BIG doesn’t mean the end of charity, it means cutting out the middleman. No matter what “The Dad” government does or does not do, there will always be people with large soft hearts who will give anyone another chance. G-d bless them. Everyone needs and deserves a mother.
Increasing the tax break for private charitable donations; eliminating the need for charities to apply for government contracts and having all donations go directly to the charity chosen by the donor will make private charitable organizations more effective. Let’s retire the Nanny state and let Mom do her job.
It’s the Economy Stupid
Putting enough money to live on, albeit not well, into the hands of people who then are free to make economic choices is a better way to help people and a better way run an economy than putting it into the pockets of government employees. Since there are no strings or income limitations on the BIG, people can slack when they can’t work and make as much money as is humanly possible when they can (corporations are not people and thus not eligible for the BIG). Whether those people are Born Here or Born Somewhere Else is irrelevant to the economy and should be to everyone else.
Throw open the borders. In the age of globalization we are all citizens of the world. It’s time to start acting like it.
For the Earth,
*For more on these initiatives go to: http://arialittlhous.blogspot.com/search?q=dissenting+opinion