The challenge of the moment for the Occupy Wall Street protesters seems to be articulating what it is they want, exactly. Since the Internet’s a virtual suggestion box of nearly infinite capacity, consider these the 10 reforms I think would have the most profound effect on improving the way America goes about its business. I’m sure I’ll see some of you at a protest soon.
1. Overturn Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, the 1886 Supreme Court decision that allegedly establishes corporations as legal persons. Corporatism isn’t capitalism. It’s more fascist than democratic. And corps definitely aren’t “human.” If they were they’d be diagnosed psychopaths.
2. Overturn all laws, rulings, etc. & et al, that equate the spending of money with free speech.
3. Education, Health Care and basic welfare like food, shelter and clothing are fundamental human rights in the 21st century. Minimal levels of these things must be made available free to all. You want more, work for it. We’ve evolved to a point where that degree of humanity’s necessary…global warming, 7 billion people and counting…Make it happen, or else…
4. End the corporate empire and bring home all the troops from all the bases all over the world and use them to defend our well-being against the various forms of malfeasance perpetrated by global corporate anarchists, primarily ecocide, global warming and nefarious forms of trafficking, as in labor, capital, humans, drugs and guns, etc. & et al.
5. A jubilee on student loans and mortgages.
6. Energy independence in 10 years or bust. That means a solar panel on every building in America. Decrease our dependence on the grid.
7. Scrap all free trade agreements, or at least strip them of all NAFTA Chapter 11 qualities.
8. Break up the biggest, most criminal banks. Adopt a nationwide system of credit unions that governs capital from the local level up to the global, rather than the other way around.
9. Break up Wall Street and rebuild it according to what kind of markets are OK for that kind of speculation, like sports, entertainment, technology, etc., where the competition is clear and exciting and, indeed, just a game.
10. Ban all private money from politics. Elections are financed by taxpayers only and will adhere to strict rules of fairness and truth. Violators will be banned from holding public office or doing business with government, or having any kind of public influence for a time as determined by a judge.
And that’s just a start. I think I wrote at least one column on each of those subjects back in the Bush years. Nobody but my friends Pat and Jared listened back then. Maybe a few more are agreeing with me now. I’m glad. It’s about time. I’m almost hopeful something cool might happen…
See you in the streets.