Oct 142011

So watch this video and understand lack of facts and a focus on desires and dreams won’t work.

I understand this kid’s frustration and desire, but he’s not using facts. Most of the arguments are wishes and emotions. Let’s start using facts to get heard and understood.

Facts and Counterpoints You Should Use

  • The US DOES have the highest corporate tax rate or nearly the highest on the planet

Counter Point: Since the US has the highest tax rate, corporations are encourage to dodge taxes, use foreign tax shelters and move jobs to other countries to minimize impact to their bottom line.  #OCCUPY folks should agree and acknowledge corporations are there to generate profit for the investors, which many of them are through their 401K’s or other investment tools.  (I know many of you don’t have such, but many do, they just are as big as they used to be due to greed)

  • Education in the US is expensive and slipping in quality compared to other countries, except at the elite private schools.

Counter Point:  The standardized teaching models which are administered by the federal government are creating an environment and citizenry which is ill prepared to achieve success in many schoold districts, due to teaching to the test, rather than the needs of the students, the community or realities a given economic situation.  While K-12 teaching models are increasingly test based, even those who succeed in this model find it difficult to afford college.  To that end, the government should afford the opportunity to high performing students to have merit based access to higher education opportunities.

  • The rich 1% doesn’t pay their fair share!
Counterpoint:  #OCCUPY acknowledges that the current taxation system puts an unfair burden on many segments of the population, in fact the top 1% pay north of 40% of all taxes.  That being said, the current business climate, taxation model and federal administration overhead makes the distribution of these funds uneven and inequitable for many segments of the population.  A system which not only taxes income, but consumption taxes is needed to more fairly tax individuals, corporations which impacts all based on their impact on natural resources, use of infrastructure and the sourcing of goods which generate profit.
  • Debt growth is a choice that was assumed by the debtor, not the corporation which gave someone a loan.

Counterpoint: Federal programs, loose lending policies and lack of oversight created an environment where financial institutions preyed on individuals which extended their debt beyond their ability to pay in a time of hardship.  While this situation did involve the decision making of a individual, the market which was created by lack of oversight artificially increased price, based on the time proven supply and demand model of free markets.  Increased oversight and debt relief (not erasing debt, resetting debt at market values or changing terms of existing agreements) is needed to limit future foreclosures and a second iteration of the bubble most recently observed in financial markets which was created by this lack of oversight of marginal mortgages.

  • The quality of healthcare in the US is one of the highest on the planet, but access is a challenge for many.
Counterpoint: The currently modeled Obamacare has flaws, but healthcare is a right for all (that whole LIFE, liberty thing…).  While is it agreed that no one goes without emergency care, it is important that our country provide preventative care to avoid the costly care associated with late stage detection of an illness.  A healthy population increases the productivity of the nation, improves the quality of life and drives additional revenue for all constituents – the people, the country and corporations.
  • The current system of entitlements/support for the ill, elderly, unemployed and disabled is not working due to administrative overhead, fraud and consumption by non-citizens.
Counterpoint: Access to help and support is not focused on providing the necessary housing, welfare and skills to allow individuals and families to become self-sufficient.   A means based and contribution based model is needed which allows individuals to give back to the community and develop skills which provide value to the community in return for support.   Services and aid should be limited to citizens, have strict qualifications and require active participation in the community, should ones receipt of such entitlements be a long term/multi-year dependencies.  The system should be overhauled to use the most current technology to reduce costs, enforcement and administration to free up resources to better support the populous.
  • Increased government growth and more stimulus does not drive the same benefits that can be achieved in the open markets from a jobs perspective.  The average small business and corporation will create a new job for every $140,000-$180,000 in revenue, where as the US government is north of $220,000 per job
Counterpoint: The current economic stimulus model and leaning towards socialism has proven not to be effective in the US markets.  To drive job creation the US government should support the lending to small businesses and reduce tax rate to encourage the retention and creation of jobs in the US.  We are not promoting socialism, but economic growth and freedom from predatory corporate activities.
I’m sure there are other points which need to be stipulated to gain credibility and to get more air time on mainstream media.  The other thing which is impacting the credibility of the Occupy movement is word choice.  The words being used today surely are charged and create a level of camaraderie while on the ground and on the streets, but it just isn’t playing well with those of us which are doing our part – paying taxes, creating jobs and making sure the next generation/our children have the skills for succes and contribution to the country.  So here is a list of words you shouldn’t use and why.
  • Fat Cats: What exactly is a fat cat?  How about you use a term like wealth hoarders.
  • Evil Corporations: How about you just name corporations which did bad deeds and enumerate their deeds like Bank of America
  • “The Rich”: What exactly is rich?  I know plenty of people making over $500K and they are on the verge of losing their homes and have lost  much of their retirement just like YOU.
  • Millionaires/Billionaires: I’m sure you know this, but isn’t this the goal of the american dream? I’m also sure you know people like George Soros, Bill Gates, Ted Turner and many others have given much of their wealth to charities.
  • Greed: Maybe we should focus on criminals, not greed. I mean where does greed start and end? 10% profit? 100% profit?  People at farmers markets make 200-300% profit, the issue is scale right?  I think corruption and criminal actions should be the mantra.
  • Capitalism is Bad: I think you really mean theft and criminal actions is the issue.
Here is a better way to position the issues:

We should also put a plan in place for how to manage, address and improve the situation, not just complain.

Written by J. Alex

I’ve been increasingly political in my old age.

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