[Note: Please remove all caps and replace with bold where appropriate. Please review formatting for simplicity.]

This page is for a FRAMEWORK FOR DISCUSSION.
For specific issues/strategies, please click "issues" to the left.
For specific RIGHTS workpage, click here.

(WORKING DOCUMENT: UNAPPROVED BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY)

WHEREAS #OccupyBoston and Aligned Movements across the United States of America and around the World will seek to manifest change in their political and economic systems, we propose a THREE PRONGED FRAMEWORK under which to organize MESSAGING and DEMANDS!


ACCOUNTABILITY / CORRUPTION

Messages and Demands connecting to this hub will seek to:
  • IDENTIFY and ELIMINATE OPPORTUNITIES for ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, GOVERNMENTAL, and ENVIRONMENTAL ABUSES
  • SEEK METHODS for and DEMAND RETRIBUTION of DAMAGES
  • DEMAND PROSECUTION of OFFENSES IN COURT and DISTRIBUTION of DAMAGES to affected parties
  • DEMAND OPEN ACCESS, TRANSPARENCY, and CROWD SOURCING FOR PUBLIC POLICY

(Our government has been bought off. We're pissed off about it, and we feel like we can NOT allow it to continue. We need to ensure that Congress belongs to WE THE PEOPLE.)

AFFORDABILITY / FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY

Messages and Demands connecting to this hub will seek to:
  • Demand public policy aligned to PRESERVE and GROW quality of life for the people.
  • End PREDATORY lending and credit practices.
  • Curb institutional GAMBLING and PROFITEERING.
  • Manage costs and support participation in BASIC EDUCATION, HEALTH-CARE, and SOCIAL PROGRAMS.

The core of AFFORDABILITY is the COST OF LIVING. In America (and most of the developed world) the cost of living has been rising much faster than incomes for the past decades. In our parents' and grandparents' days, the lower cost of living meant that everyone at all income levels, but especially the lower-paid and the middle classes, had more options in life. People could survive decently on something much closer to the minimum wage, and the really hard-working and frugal could even survive and save through part-time work alone -- which allowed many lucky people (such as fledgling artists, scientists, and community-builders) to do what they loved even if it would never make them rich. We had a smaller government because we didn't need as much government help just to live.

We are in favor of voluntary, individual choice in careers, consumption, and lifestyle. That's precisely why we are working for a world in which just getting by doesn't cost as much and doing honest work pays more, a world in which we can live as more free, more self-reliant people. The costs of basics (housing, energy, health-care, education) have been rising for a long time, and the official inflation statistics haven't accurately accounted for that. We of the Occupations have a simple message on the economy: real prices have RISEN, real unemployment has RISEN, real overtime has RISEN, while real take-home pay has FALLEN, while time off for family and community has FALLEN, and we refuse to just lie down and take it! Our desire is the American Dream, promised to us by our parents and grandparents, to pass on to our children and our grandchildren!

THE COMMONS / ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Messages and Demands connecting to this hub will seek to:
  • IDENTIFY and DEFINE what is COMMON PUBLIC PROPERTY.
  • PRESERVE and RENEW OUR "PUBLIC" SPACES, RESOURCES, and NETWORKS.
  • DEMAND PERSONAL FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION and SUPPORT ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS to ACHIEVE FAIRNESS in public and common life.

What we all own together, whose scarce contents have been exploited by the 1% (indeed, almost by definition: one of the easiest ways to become rich has always been to latch onto a commons and exploit it as hard as you can). This framework tackles problems facing the whole country and the whole world while being rooted in ideas most people will understand and approve of.

Commons goods and knowledge: owned by everyone, present and future, but finite and subject to depletion. Our legal system currently (as you on the subject of nature having rights or not) fails to account for commons. In a system that does account for commons, they are rivalrous but non-excludable: once you've charged someone to enter the park gate, you can't stop them from doing mostly what they please within. Ex: forests, waterways, mines, oil wells, pollution capacities of nature, municipalities (land-value property tax is commons rent on a municipality), and also various metaphorical "places" such as stock exchanges. Some commons are everyday things we all use: public schools, universities, and transportation systems we all rely on.

(SEE DISCUSSIONS FOR MORE INFORMATION! ALSO, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MODIFY BULLET POINTS.)






Commons goods: owned by everyone, present and future, but finite and
subject to depletion. Our legal system currently (as you noted on the
subject of trees) fails to account for commons. In a system that
*does* account for commons, they are rivalrous but non-excludable:
once you've charged someone to enter the park gate, you can't stop
them from doing mostly what they please within. Ex: forests,
waterways, mines, oil wells, pollution capacities of nature,
municipalities (land-value property tax is commons rent on a
municipality), and also various metaphorical "places" such as stock
exchanges and public universities.
The big legal steps to using a commons framework are:
1) Getting more things classified as commons and owned by commons
trusts that are bound to operate by commons rules.
2) Legally instituting the commons rules, so that Trespassing on the
Commons (entering a park without permission, polluting without a
permit, logging beyond your permit) is a criminal offense, Diminishing
the Commons (allowing an unsustainable use of the commons, as when
pollution is too high) is a violation of a trustee's fiduciary duty,
and Exploiting the Commons (siphoning commons revenue out of the
commons to private individuals or organizations to the point of
causing the commons budgetary problems) is also a violation of
fiduciary duty.
Both of these steps can be taken on the literal legal level, but also
on the level of activist pressure. They can be taken in the public
sector, but also by fully voluntary non-governmental individuals or
organizations. Many Commons-style organizations already actually
exist in the non-profit sector.