Update from Yesterday (11/5)

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our bank day protest and on-site occupation events yesterday.

We had a relatively short General Assembly and decided by consensus to begin organizing an action event for Black Friday. The GA determined the event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on that day and will have two locations, one in North Reno and one in South. We will venture to high traffic shopping areas and focus on trying to inform shoppers of alternative local options for products on their shopping lists. If you have any ideas to offer, please start a discussion forum on this topic or come down to the occupation in person.

On that note, we are really trying to encourage everyone to utilize our new website to the fullest by contributing to the discussion board at http://discussion.occupyreno.org/. This is the best way to get your ideas out there, especially if you are unable to attend meetings and GA’s in person. We are checking this forum daily and will discuss these posts in committee meetings and General Assemblies.

We are also trying to start sending out more updates via email, eventually hoping to make the email a daily digest with everything you need to know. We understand everyone is busy, and we want to keep you up to date as much as possible. If you haven’t already, please subscribe at http://tinyletter.com/OccupyReno.

We are actively working  out the kinks and trying to be as efficient and effective as possible, both at the physical occupation and online.

Yesterday we put up a cover on our geodesic dome and now have a more weather-proofed area to use for our information and media center. We should have wi-fi as soon as tomorrow. We also have some filing cabinets as a community drop-box where you can drop off ideas for future events, flyer designs, ideas for teach-ins, etc. as well as an events board, a supplies needed board, and a lost and found. These are all located in the dome.

Tomorrow (11/7), we will be moving our camping area in an effort to protect occupiers a little better from bad weather as well as show a strong presence from the street. We could use your help anytime from noon to nightfall, and if you have a tent there, please try to come by to move it no later than Tuesday.

In addition, we will be offering a community yoga class tomorrow, Monday, from 4:30-5:30 on the grass out front and a Media Committee meeting at 6:30. We have several brand new donated yoga mats for your use if you don’t have your own.  All events are always at the occupation at 240 Moana Lane unless otherwise noted. We also have our Issues Forum today from 2-5 p.m. at the downtown library auditorium.

Lastly, if you have any submissions for the Occupy Reno art show benefit, they must be submitted by Friday, November 11 to media.occupyreno@gmail.com or in person in the Media drop box.

Thank you for all your support Reno. Things are really starting to come together with our infrastructure and communication, so that we can start focusing on making real changes.

Occupy Reno

3 responses to “Update from Yesterday (11/5)

  1. Robert Fuentes

    No. Milton is a provocateur and he’s irrelevant – he’s duping you.

    And in case I forget: FUCK YOU MILTON.

  2. Milton Maxwell

    If you want to know what motivates the people involved in Occupy Wall Street, you can get a good idea from Think Progress, a left-leaning website. It offers a map of the continental United States labeled, “If U.S. land were divided like U.S. wealth.”

    In this representation, 1 percent of the people hold title to most of the West and Great Plains area. Nine percent have a swath about the same size stretching from Minnesota south to Oklahoma and east to Maine. The other 90 percent of the population get only a narrow slice along the southern rim.

    It’s a stark, dramatic representation of the problem as OWS sees it. It’s also a perfect illustration of the movement’s economic misunderstandings.

    Land, after all, is more or less fixed in supply. I can’t obtain more of it unless someone gives up theirs. If the top 10 percent owned most of the land and barred everyone else from it, the rest would be pretty squeezed.

    But wealth and income are not like land. To start with, they are not limited in supply — they can multiply many times over without end, and they have done just that. And, unlike with patches of soil, everyone can get more without anyone consigned to less.

    There is not much more land in America than there was 50 years ago. But there is far more wealth. Since 1960, the total output of the U.S. economy, accounting for inflation, has more than quadrupled. Total physical assets have done likewise.

    The conviction among OWS activists is that the rich have improved their lot by taking money from the not so rich — that wealth has been cruelly redistributed upward. What they overlook is that the real gains come from the creation of new wealth.

    Steve Jobs did exceptionally well for himself, but he made the broad mass of consumers, here and abroad, better off in the process. Same for Sam Walton. What Oprah Winfrey created made her rich, but without her, those creations wouldn’t have existed to entertain and gratify her audience.

    Ten years ago, the richest person on Earth couldn’t buy a device that does what the iPhone does. Today, anyone can get one free upon signing a two-year carrier contract. Entry-level cars are vastly better in amenities and reliability than your father’s Cadillac decades ago.

    Lifesaving and life-changing medicines and therapies once unknown are now commonplace. Food costs a fraction of what it once did. TV viewers used to have three channels to choose from. Now they have hundreds.

    The wealthy are far better off than they used to be. But their improvement has not come at the expense of those down the economic ladder. Economists Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago and James X. Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame find that over the past three decades, both the poor and the middle class have made substantial material progress.

    “Median income and consumption both rose by more than 50 percent in real terms between 1980 and 2009,” they reported last month in a paper for the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Those in the bottom tenth of the income ladder enjoyed comparable gains.

    Not that everything is copacetic. The Great Recession has wrought havoc on the middle class and the poor — eliminating jobs, reducing income and slashing the value of homes.

    But if it’s any consolation, the rich have seen their take shrink as well. Between 2007 and 2009, notes Steven Kaplan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the share of all income going to the richest 1 percent of Americans fell by a full quarter.

    The miserable reality today is not that the many are doing worse because our capitalist system is set up to fleece them for the benefit of the few. They are doing worse because the economy went through a cataclysm from which it has yet to recover.

    When the economy crashes, it’s those with the least education, fewest options and slimmest resources who suffer most. That’s true, by the way, in noncapitalist societies as well as capitalist ones. In either, people who have done nothing wrong often suffer.

    At moments like this, it’s not surprising that many Americans would resent the wealthy and feel the urge to punish them. But the OWS demand for action against them is the equivalent of honking your horn when you’re stuck in a traffic jam. It makes a lot of noise, without getting you anywhere.

    • Whoa Milton. Did you eat your Wheaties today? Because the tone of this message was more informative and less berating, I read the whole thing. Personally, I thank you for the shift because I love the discussion.