What We Can Learn From Occupy Wall Street for Today’s Tax Fight

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    • #446014
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 10,623

      https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/17/what-we-can-learn-occupy-wall-street-todays-tax-fight

      In 2017, elected officials made the same mistake. The Republican Congress gave enormous corporate tax cuts and promised—it turned out falsely—that companies would use their tax breaks to invest in America. Instead, these companies largely rewarded their shareholders and executives. Stock buybacks reached record levels in 2018 and 2019, and corporate tax payments shrunk. My colleagues released a report this year that found 39 profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid zero in taxes on average from 2018 to 2020 despite earning $122 billion over that period. Fifty-five profitable corporations avoided federal income tax in 2020.

      In 2021, many people better understand the crucial role of government and what it means when it works and when it doesn’t. Government action made poverty go down in 2020 (when measured after benefits) in the face of an unemployment spike at Depression levels. Government funding delivered a vaccine at “warp speed” and government action ensured that millions of adults who wanted the vaccine could get it within months after it became available.
      The Occupy movement wasn’t perfect. It acknowledged class, but not race-based inequities, and it focused more on problems and less on solutions. But the movement galvanized public outrage and begged for a fundamental shift from a system that was rigged in favor of corporations and the wealthy. The lesson from the last year and a half is that this kind of shift can happen. Federal lawmakers deployed new policy tools that helped regular people in the face of an unprecedented crisis. Congress also enacted a bold rescue plan earlier this year, and policymakers are now poised to do more.

      We need an economy that works for all of us. And we need a government that can tackle our problems. This starts with tax policy that raises resources from the millionaires and billionaires who continue to thrive in an increasingly unequal America.

      Progressive taxation enables a public sector that can deliver us from the economic, health and climate emergencies that scream from the headlines every day in 2021. President Biden has put forth a tax plan that begins to do that. Congress must deliver.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #446040
      GZeusH
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,502

      as long as the top tax rate on individuals is raised back up to 94%.

      Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.

      My pronouns: vuestra merced, monsieur, господин, pana Bogu, πανίσχυρος Δίας

      • #446046
        jwirr
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,934

        I agree with you. At least until they repay all the money they have made off of all the crisis they have caused or allowed.

        jwirr

    • #446050
      retired liberal
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,475

      Stop allowing them to flip/flop between a business and a person so as to maximize their profits.
      Treat the CEO and the Board of Directors the same way as a real person commenting the same crimes. Throwing them in jail for their corporate crimes, would straighten them up real quick.

      We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
      The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
      Always wear a proper mask when out and about. The life you save could be both yours and mine.
      Don't forget that the S in IoT stands for Security.

    • #446065
      game meat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,544

      The most important lesson people should have learned from OWS’ failure is that the democrats are not an ally of the people in any way. It was sabotaged by the Obama admin, after all. And now we should have hope in Biden’s weak sauce tax plan? It is to laugh…

      Somehow I find it hard to believe that OWS would have been more successful if it had had the foresight to implement trendy race politics into its brand.

      Besides, the argument that OWS was a bunch of white people (the horror) with no goals was a bullshit meme the msm created out of thin air as a way to discredit the movement.

       

      • #446071
        djean111
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 6,704

        What I learned from OWS is that is one does not kiss government ass, the government sics the FBI on them.  And marginalizes them.  And goes after whoever they can make out to be leaders.  Anyway, I really don’t see why anyone would be all invested in wondering what the Dems are going to do about taxes – when all the hot air rhetoric dies down, their owners will emerge unscathed, and this is, as usual, just campaign slop.  Typical commondreams, IMO and all that.  More theater.

        America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

        Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

      • #446167
        MistaP
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 3,082

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_stack

        ironically this was four years before the radfems yeeted the “doubly patriarchal” gays and trans men into orbit, and then themselves got ejected touching the trans woman third rail; it just progressed from there

    • #446204
      snot
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,333

      In the near term, it gave rise to a number of actions that resulted in meaningful changes for the better.  See, e.g., the work of Occupy the SEC, whose 325-page comment letter to the regulators resulted in numerous substantive improvements to the Volcker Rule; or Occupy Sandy, whose disaster relief efforts were widely acknowledged as more effective than those of either the government or the Red Cross; or the Debt Collective, which as of the last time I checked several years ago had raised $701,317 and used it to purchase for pennies on the dollar and then forgive $31,982,455.76 of medical and school debt.

      In the longer term, though the camps were evicted after only two months, the action catalyzed and propagated a much clearer conversation and broader consensus among the 99% of the extent to which our woes have been caused by the 1%’s unfettered greed.  And OWS accomplished this despite determined opposition from traditional media.  I doubt Bernie’s campaigns would have gotten nearly so much traction had they not been preceded by OWS.

      Of course the movement did not manage to instantly reform our financial system, government, and major institutions; but it’s hard to think of another movement (at least, another relatively bloodless one) that accomplished as much so quickly.

      Second, a minor point, I don’t know anyone actually involved in the movement who hadn’t lost faith in the Dems long before OWS began – that was in fact part of what propelled the movement.

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

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