Time for fundamental change

The Occupy movement is changing the country. Wow. I love the anarchy. We’re so used to authoritarianism that many of us can’t imagine doing things any other way. Occupy Chico is showing us an alternative. Go down to the plaza and talk to the people there. Don’t just think about it, and don’t believe what you read about it. See for yourself.

A lot of people want fundamental change in the way the United States is run, and there’s not yet much agreement on what those changes ought to be, let alone consensus. There are schemes to improve the financial system and increase oversight of the oil industry and offer health care for everybody and slow down global warming and whatnot, and they’re piecemeal and trivial. Laws come into being the only way they can from politicians with no stake in the laws they enact.

Although I seldom agree with rich people, as a start I can find no holes in Warren Buffett’s proposed Congressional Reform Act of 2011. I’ve said much the same myself, as follows:

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No tenure/no pension. A Congress member collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when he or she is out of office.

2. Congress (past, present, and future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the congres-sional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress members can purchase their own retirement plans, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote itself a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3 percent.

5. Congress loses its current health-care system and participates in the same health-care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws it imposes on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.


A friend of mine says that the only thing that’ll make a lasting positive difference for most people is public executions of the rich, one a week, maybe two during the holidays, until things get good enough for the rest of us. That’s a bit harsh, but only a little. Meanwhile, go down to the plaza.