Sunday, September 25, 2011

Class Warfare? Bring it On!

Sally Kohn has an excellent op-ed in the Washington Post, entitled "President Obama Shouldn't be Afraid of a Little Class Warfare." After giving some dismal statistics on the recent increase in wealth inequality in this country, she surprised me with some exciting ideas about how to mobilize the middle-class to fight back against the wealthy and the corporations, who, as Ms. Kohn rightly says, started this war.

Small-scale demonstrations like what's been happening on Wall Street mean nothing. What we need is something on the order of the university divestment movement in the 1980's, which forced public universities to stop investing in companies that did business in South Africa.  

Ms Kohn suggests:
Imagine millions of Americans withholding mortgage payments to banks that refuse to adjust underwater loans. Imagine divestment campaigns to pressure public pension funds and universities to pull their money from the private sector and put it into government bonds. Imagine students staging sit-ins to protest teacher layoffs. Imagine families who have lost their homes squatting in vacant, bank-owned properties. Imagine a nationwide call to arms, as passionately nonviolent but as violently passionate as the pro-democracy movements sweeping the Arab world. After all, according to the CIA, income inequality in the United States is greater than in Yemen.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we should all stop paying on our credit cards and mortgages. I mean what could they do if millions of Americans did that? It costs banks/lenders $40,000 to start foreclosure proceedings, so they really don't want to do that unless they think it's really worth it.

    In NC, if you can put off a credit card collector/bank for more than 3 years, they have to write it off and quit pestering you. Just don't let them file a judgment on you. Always ask for verification of the loan when they send threatening letters or make phone calls. This buys you the time you need. Remember, non-payment will screw up your credit rating. But it doesn't mean that much when banks aren't very willing to lend money anymore.