Meeting: December 22nd, 2013

On Sunday December 22nd, we had a good meeting, with surprisingly good attendance considering the holidays … including new faces (great!)

Topics discussed:
1. Are we trying to repair the safety net, or work for structural reform? NY Times Op Ed.
Comments:

      • The ‘left’ shifted towards right and fails to say anything progressive. Can Occupy move the Democrats back to left agenda? No- Starting with the left’s loss in the Reagan/Mondale election, Democrats decided to market themselves as more centrist as reflected in shift to right with help of leadership council chaired by Bill Clinton. Goal has been reached and leadership council was recently desolved. Money is (controlling) the message now this that is what get’s elected, not repairing the social safety net.
      • Since our group has a unique combination of street politics and policy expertise we can come to interesting insights and suggest solutions.
      • Bring in speakers who know how funding works for social safety net and apply pressure to harmonize different levels of safety nets in New York City
      • Reference the new Pope’s agenda, which is potentially very influential.
      • Tap into shame of religious communities since all religious traditions promote being mindful of the poor

Related author:

Frances Fox Piven

Related article:
Don’t call me a Marxist, call me a Christian.

Comment:
Members described how shelter system and social services work (don’t work), warehousing clients, making extra money, kicking people out on the street, sending them to job interviews that don’t match their abilities.

      • People shouldn’t just have a safety net but society needs to provide an ethical and moral framework
      • Everything works on cost benefit analysis i.e. calculating ‘sweatshop dangers’ against ‘legal fees’ resulting in slave labor that western countries profit from which is unethical

Comment:
Contradictions are legit

      • we can have arguments of shame and morality as well as arguments of bookkeeping…i.e. war on poverty too expensive …some measures didn’t make sense , they weren’t effective but it is best to have full employment.
      • to stimulate flow of money “fund the bottom.”

2. Should we plan certain meeting topics in advance, so we can read up and be informed? What topics?

Voted In: In addition to speaker series we will chose 1 topic for next meetings off the topics on the board.

For next week that will be: JPMorgan – Fed- Commodities

Please read:
Off Limits, but Blessed by the Fed
by Gretchen Morgenson
(from: NYT biz section)

 

Also,read about Enron

3. Reactions to the Volcker Rule–Mathbabe (Tom Adams) and NY Times.

Comments:

      • The main rule that prevented too big to fail was interstate banking not Glass Steagall.
      • Different tools work on different margins, regulations are not the answer because financial industry is sophisticated and will find way around and reconfigure to work in concert with the regulation

Related viewing:
pbs documentary
Secret History of the Credit Card

4. Should we plan small local actions or build to state/national actions?

Arguments made:
In favor of local focus

      • too many actions to feel responsible for one…prefer to just have one big action a month
      • all our grievances are related, but group would be more effective to have focus
      • we should not support all actions since some actions get too small and end up being irrelevant

We should attend many actions:

      • We are collaborating for the 3rd year, too many actions?? no way…this is Occupy. “we are meeting with the puppets tomorrow”
      • Looking at our mission (on our website) we need to educate and we also want to support other OCCUPY groups’ agendas

Do both/Depends…other:

      • Because of our location a local action is a global action
      • Depends on the issue…some issues are national/some state
        conflict of action plans, proposal to coordinate between groups (i.e. with strike debt) to build bigger presence
      • Interfacing with media is crucial. we need to have the events covered otherwise it’s futile.
      • Work everyone with a press pass ..that was very successful
        media is important and so are actions. Otherwise we are just a meeting group
      • We should have local action and build towards national

Proposed positions for 2014:

      • Jamie Dimon into jail 2014
      • Alternative banking solutions

Other requests/topics:

      • Video version of our book Occupy Finance / Chapter 7-10 need people who discuss it on camera. Boogie available to film the next 2 weeks.
      • Updates to website
        Great team effort that moved us quickly. looking for someone with php knowledge for wordpress customizations.
        Call to action: visit website at www.altbanking.net (you made it 🙂 )
        Submit comments and suggestions via reply buttons on bottom of pages apply to team via Alt.Banking.OWS@gmail.com

Topics not voted in/we didn’t discuss:
5. Campaign to divest from one or more big banks?
6. JPMorgan – fed- commodities
7. Atlantic express bankrupt

 

See you all next week! Happy Ho Days 😉

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