Whether out of “love” for all things American or out of concern for the future of the dollar (to which the future of the ruble is so closely tied), Russian Internet users seem to be more preoccupied with the protests sweeping Wall Street than Americans themselves. Indeed, major U.S. media have moved on to other topics – live coverage of the protests dismissed in favor of the news of Steve Jobs’ passing. But the story still makes the local news in New York City and the not so local news on RuNet. Since I happened to be in New York this week, I dropped by Wall Street to see for myself.
The sight is impressive indeed. The makeup of the protesters is what’s most surprising – these are not the hippies and the unemployed who have nothing better to do with their lives. These are students, office clerks, mothers with their toddlers in tow, blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, artists, musicians, and Michael Moore. It is by and large a good cross-section of the American middle class. But even though the drum beating, the chanting, the passing around of the thermos and the revolutionary leaflets make for an atmosphere of a street party (and not of true desperation), underneath the smiles and the camaraderie one still gets a sense that these guys mean business.
Protests in New York
The two questions that immediately spring to mind while watching the crowd ebb are “why now?” and “what do they want?” Or, rather, “what do they hope to achieve?” Here are but a few signs I saw people carrying last night: “Turn Wall Street into Tahrir Square” (really?), “We want our future back” (vague enough), “This year’s bonus? New neighbors” (like the humor), “Stop the war on workers” and “Stop class war on the poor,” “Billionaire, your time is up,” “Expropriate Wall Street with a socialist revolution,” and “The best way to fight Wall Street is a revolutionary labor party.” These latter few sound all too familiar to someone born in the Soviet Union, after people with similar slogans got their way back in 1917.
A few other banners that caught my eye were “Sex workers stand with New Yorkers” (huh?) and my favorite: “Arab Spring. European Summer. American Fall.” But why didn’t these people take to the streets back in 2008, when the global economic crisis was at its worst? Maybe because back then, everyone had to tighten their belts, but most of these people never got to loosen them back up? And what can they possibly achieve if their demands are so vague and the slogans so diverse? They’ve occupied Wall Street. They could probably paralyze the work of the stock exchange and a few financial institutions housed in the area. Then what? What scale of social unrest does America need to affect real changes? And how far are these protestors willing to go? Though there are people who say this is just the beginning of something big. After all, the protests are spreading beyond New York to other major American cities.
But despite all these questions, I still get the feeling that these people have way more to say than those Russians who march down Triumph Square on the 31st with their perfectly articulated demands. True, no Russian will ever be surprised by the OMON beating peaceful protestors into a pulp. But as soon as someone gets arrested on Wall Street, the “normal country” standards suddenly apply: “How is this possible in the freest and most democratic of countries?” “Over there, in a developed democracy, they are easily getting dispersed and arrested by the hundreds,” wrote blogger Votabruk on Ya.Ru. Well, that is easy to avoid, I discovered last night. As long as you stay on the sidewalk, the cops behind you will keep discussing their lunch. They really are there for law and order. They are not there to shut you up.
Protests in New York
But back to the discussion on RuNet. “The Western world is so two-faced. The suppression of protests in other countries gets chastised as authoritarianism. But if the protests take place in these Western countries themselves, they get dispersed violently and extremely undemocratically. Double standards. The essence of the Western civilization…” wrote user Kojemyakin in his LiveJournal blog. Headlines like “The Whole of America Has Risen Against Bankers” – an overstatement, to put it mildly – also abound on Russian news sites. “All normal people have long realized that the American system is the new USSR, but worse and more perverted: a mix of demagoguery, greed, stupidity, and a lack of principles under the pretense of fighting for freedom – whose and from what doesn’t matter, the main thing is to get some kind of personal gain while blaming others for violating your rights,” wrote user Hitvan in a comment to a LiveJournal post.
Guess this is all kind of expected of RuNet. We take great pleasure in discussing the woes of those whom we perceive as patronizing – the failure of comparative analysis notwithstanding. I am not sure if this is a Russian trait or just a human trait, but I also came across this: “It’s time to run! Time to run away from America, particularly time to get the hell out of Manhattan. Come to Siberia, 40 degrees below Celsius in winter, bugs eat you alive in the summer – sheer beauty! You’ll always have a roof over your head and an assortment in your garden – potatoes and cabbage. You’ll make it,” wrote user Mila_Pavlova in LiveJournal. Indeed, for some, Siberia will always beat Manhattan.
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- severnayazemlyaFight Wall Street. Oppose consumerism.17:28, 08/10/2011Fight Wall Street. Oppose consumerism and commercialization. Pay cash for everything. Don't incur any debts. Be self sufficient. Try to have small dacha and garden. Buy precious metals. Have only small bank account. Grow your own food, potatoes and cabbage. Don't own too many things. Less is better. Live like in Russian movie OSTROV (2007). I'm serious.
- firstname.lastname@example.orgA solution for Wall Street Protesters seeking equality02:10, 18/10/201120111017 - Work Credits – What it is and how it can help Russia & America
Making it easy for the American Government to invest in innovation and new jobs for the country.
Work Credits – What it is and how it can help America 1 of 4
In December 2010 - Arnold Vinette prepared a white paper for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, American President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The White Paper was called "Work Credits" and outlined a new financial system for the world that replaced energy, rare minerals and other natural resources as a country's most important source of revenue and replaced them instead with people.
In any world economy the only things that require money are people. So make people the most valuable natural resource in that country. Assign people a lifetime value, add this value to the country's money supply and then pay people their value back over the course of their life to do work that benefits their community, city, State and country.
The simple concept of "Work Credits" eliminates poverty, homelessness and unemployment. In a "Work Credit" based society it is impossible to be unemployed as each person in the society comes with a built in value.
"Work Credits" does not equal equality. "Work Credits" equals empowerment of the people to create their own jobs to benefit their community, city, State and country.
These jobs do not necessarily need to generate products or sell products in order to generate revenue. It stops the need for constant consumerism.
The concept of "Work Credits" is ideally suited for government work where people are required to serve people and maintain order in society. This would be true for all levels of government in a society.
Taxing the rest of the population is no longer necessary because in a "Work Credit" based society people now come with their own built in value.
For instance in the past year (2011), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has expressed a desire to raise the average income of the Russian people to the equivalent of $50,000 US a year.
This is completely possible in a "Work Credit" financial based Russian society.
People are assigned a net worth of $50,000 (or what is decided) a year until they reach 100 years of age, the biological limit of a human life span.
For a new born baby their value to the country's money supply is $5 million dollars. For a person who is 50 years old this value is $2.5 million dollars. For a person who is 25 years old this value is 3.75 million dollars.
(100 years – A person's age in years) x $50,000 (as an example) = Value to be added to the country's money supply to be paid back over time to the person for work performed to benefit their community, city, State and country whatever it may be and what is legal.
The country's money supply earns interest at a certain amount that pays for country infrastructure projects.
(100 years – Median Population Age in years) x $50,000 (as an example) x population size = Total value of the country's money supply
Value of Country's Money Supply x 7% interest = Amount of funds available to spend on country infrastructure projects, defence spending, space programs, health care etc.
In a “Work Credit” based society NO funds need to be allocated for Old Age Pensions, Government employee salaries or Military employee salaries. These salary expenses are now incorporated into the value of a person and their ability to work to earn that value back in “Work Credits”. This significantly reduces the need to tax the population's earned income.
The American Government (Local, State and Federal) no longer has to tax the American people to pay for government worker salary expenses of $50,000, because Government workers now come with a built in value to be paid back to them for work effort performed.
Work Credits – What it is and how it can help America 2 of 4
The concept is true for every business in America. People now come with their own built in value to work either for themselves, for an established company or for themselves doing what they love. This means that for people employed at companies for $50,000, there are no employee salary expenses that need to be paid out of company profits. This means that the price of real products plunge.
Groups of young people can quickly form new companies to solve whatever problem needs solving and know that they will earn $50,000 a year to do it. Creativity and problem solving in America will explode as young people are given the financial freedom to create, solve and invent. No one does this better than young people.
There is an initial spike in inflation when the financial concept of “Work Credits” is first introduced into society and then prices stabilize adjusting to the new stable income in society.
The financial system of “Work Credits does NOT equal equality.
A society will value certain skills higher than other skills and individuals knowing these skills can earn higher levels of “Work Credits”. Natural human greed will fill these positions.
A “Work Credit” based society will not result in lazy or unmotivated citizens. Just the opposite will occur. For the first time in history people in a country will be encouraged to pursue the tasks they want and love to do. The concept of people being under employed will no longer exist. Everyone will have the opportunity to pursue the tasks they want to do and be a part of organizations they want to contribute too.
The concept of NOT having enough money to pay people to work will no longer exist. Every employee who wants to work for a company will come with a built in value with which they will be paid back for work effort performed.
Or a person can be self employed pursing tasks that he enjoys that in some way benefit their society. Not everyone wants to get rich and wealthy. Not everyone wants to create products or services for consumerism purposes. A “Work Credit” based financial society now empowers people to pursue these interests and get paid for work effort performed.
In a "Work Credit" based society it is impossible to be unemployed, homeless or in poverty. It simply cannot happen as the individual is the value for the country's money supply.
A "Work Credit" based society frees people to work on the projects they love and that will benefit their society, knowing that they will be paid for this work effort.
Because people are the base of a country's money supply, immigration is encouraged and supported.
Students are paid to go to school to learn. This is their job. From Preschool to University students are paid to go to school to learn, do research, and improve their overall society. The more educated the work force the more advanced their society will become. The concept of a student loan simply ceases to exist. Students are now paid to go to college and university to study and learn.
Mothers or fathers can stay at home to raise their children, resulting in healthier stronger families. Raising a child is a job as worthy as any other job in society. It is now recognized as such and paid for.
Children become an asset for American families because they now come with built in economic value. ($50,000 a year) This helps to pay for clothes, food and home mortgage payments. The result is the American birth rate goes up.
American family poverty is eradicated. Children abandoned by their parents more or less ends. American orphans are no longer a problem for American society.
Work Credits – What it is and how it can help America 3 of 4
Maintaining a strong American military is no longer a huge expense for the country. All soldiers come with a built in value to serve their country. Interest earned on the country's money supply pays for military equipment purchases as a necessary country infrastructure and defence expense.
The concept of an old age pension system is no longer required as people are now valued to do work from cradle to grave at $50,000 a year (or whatever it may be). A retirement age may be legislated by American society that determines when a person no longer has to work. However as a general rule, all people love to work at task they love to do and find fulfilling. The goal is simply to let people select the tasks that they love to do at the different stages in their lives.
As American people age their work interests will change. The financial concept of “Work Credits” allows people to easily change jobs during their lives as their interests change and get paid for going back to college or university if they want to change or upgrade their work skills.
The financial concept of “Work Credits” is to empower the American people to work at tasks that they love to do and that will benefit their society, raise healthy happy families, create strong communities, pay for work that may not generate products but at the same time benefits American society, support a strong military defence, encourage and reward an educated American society, create a solid foundation for American industries to excel and prosper both in innovation and productivity.
When energy resources of oil and natural gas run low in 2030, American society stays strong, healthy, and vibrant because their economy and financial systems are NOT SUPPORTED by low cost energy. Currently this is the case. When oil becomes prohibitively expensive between 2020 and 2030, American businesses will begin to fail followed by the banking and financial industry. This cannot happen in a “Work Credit” based society.
The new financial foundation of the American economic system is "Work Credits" and valuing its citizens as its most important natural resource. Appraised with a value at $50,000 (or whatever it may be) a year (for 100 years of life) to do work that benefits their community, city, State, and country, whatever it may be.
In conclusion, in a “Work Credit” based society it is simply IMPOSSIBLE for a local, State or federal government not to have enough money to pay its citizens to do work that is required in their society. This is because the people come with their own built in economic value that has been added to the country's money supply to be paid back to the people in exchange for work that benefits their society, whatever it may be and what is legal.
Country poverty, homelessness, and unemployment are eliminated overnight.
Crime drops significantly all over the country as everyone can now be employed and earn an honest income / salary doing what they love to do and what is legal.
Immigration is encouraged as new citizens add to the wealth of a country and its money supply.
Employee salary expenses of $50,000 a year for companies vanish overnight allowing actual product expenses to drop significantly. This causes the American manufacturing sector to grow significantly creating millions of new jobs for American workers.
Students are paid to go to school to study and learn about the fields they love. College and University loans simply cease to exist. Employee salary expenses for colleges and universities cease to exist if $50,000 a year.
Work Credits – What it is and how it can help America 4 of 4
The new financial concept of “Work Credits” eliminates unemployment, poverty and homelessness in America overnight. The goal is simply to value American citizens as the most important valuable natural resource in their country. Add this value to the country's money supply. Then pay back this principal over time to the people for doing work that benefits their society at the community, city, State or country level. Use the interest accrued on the value of the country's money supply to pay for infrastructure projects, military defence, space programs and healthcare programs.
The new financial concept of “Work Credits” was developed for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian Government and the Russian people to battle chronic unemployment in the North Caucus area and other parts of Russia. It solves Russia's poverty problem. It solves Russia's problem of orphaned children being abandoned by their mothers who cannot afford them. It solves the problem of how to increase the pay of Russian soldiers and create a larger Russian government that is better able to serve the Russian people. It solves the problem of how to encourage immigration into Russia and create jobs for the new immigrants. This in and of itself stops Russia's population decline. Russian families now see children as economic assets rather than economic liabilities.
If the new financial system of “Work Credits” is adopted by Russia, then America must follow to remain globally competitive.
The benefits to Russian and American societies are huge. The acceptance and implementation of the new financial system called “Work Credits” will immediately eradicate unemployment, poverty and homelessness in their country.
University of Vermont
- AndrewThomasAssign your (Slave) Property a Lifetime Value14:21, 18/10/2011"So make people the most valuable natural resource in that country. Assign people a 'lifetime value', add this value to the country's money supply and then pay people their value back over the course of their life to do work that benefits their community, city, State and country."
Assign people a "lifetime value"? Ahem, well first you have to declare this person a piece of property of the government; and then you declare their "property value" as slaves.
Then, we can just sell all of these "slaves" to any foreign government or billionaire oligarch for their "lifetime value".
Arnold Vinette, yes sir, let's undo the Civil War, except now we make all of the White people to be slaves, too.
Bi-weekly column by Fyodor Lukyanov
Weekly column by Konstantin von Eggert
If anyone had any doubts about how serious Russian President Vladimir Putin is about the idea of a Eurasian Union, they should banish them now. After his annual address to the Federal Assembly his determination to do everything possible to make the union a tangible reality became quite clear.
Bi-weekly column by Fyodor Lukyanov
Weekly column by Konstantin von Eggert
So read some signs held up a few hundred demonstrators in front of the recently rebuilt Palace of the Grand Dukes in Vilnius braving the snow in a last-ditch effort to persuade Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to agree to an association agreement with the EU.