LES LEOPOLD – Day in and day out we are told that if the government doesnâ€™t tighten its belt, weâ€™re all headed for debtorâ€™s prison. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are under attack. State budgets are in disarray. Teachers and firemen are getting canned. Public services are slashed. This is the new America and we’d better get used to it, the pundits proclaim. You would think we were a poor country.
BILL MOYERS – Rarely have so few imposed such damage on so many. When five conservative members of the Supreme Court handed for-profit corporations the right to secretly flood political campaigns with tidal waves of cash on the eve of an election, they moved America closer to outright plutocracy, where political power derived from wealth is devoted to the protection of wealth. It is now official: Just as they have adorned our athletic stadiums and multiple places of public assembly with their logos, corporations can officially put their brand on the government of the United States as well as the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the fifty states.
MICHAEL MOORE – This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement’s “vision statement” to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
SAM PIZZIGATI – Once upon a time in America, back a century ago, our nation’s rich paid virtually nothing in taxes to the federal government. And that same federal government did virtually nothing to better the lives of average Americans.
ROBERT DODGE, MD – The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Youth. This is in recognition of childrenâ€™s rights throughout the world and to realize the potential of children everywhere. The resolution proclaiming the Year signifies the importance the international community places on integrating youth-related issues into global, regional, and national development agendas. Under the theme â€œDialogue and Mutual Understanding,â€ the Year aims to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilizations.