There is a militarized police force out there. Just look at the way the Occupy Movement was treated with this coordinated attack on their first amendment rights and brutalization by police in full riot gear with helicopters overhead. That is not a leveled playing field either, when our civil liberties are being taken away from us and our rights to protest and petition government for redress of grievances. That's not happening on a leveled playing field. The courts are no longer a leveled playing field where so many of the appointment have been stacked against the public interest. There is no area now where there is a leveled playing field and that we're not facing a rigged system.
But where it's not rigged is in the court of public opinion and pole after pole, as well as just talking to people on the street, shows that there is support for this agenda of bringing the troops home, downsizing the military, taxing the rich, providing jobs, not bailouts for Wall Street and bailouts for bankers or more corporate tax breaks, which is what the President's definition of a Stimulus Package is. We're talking about really creating job. There is support for all of the solutions that we urgently need for health care as a human right.
Rob: Let me ask you something. Last year I started calling for and this year Thom Hartmann called for basically de-billionairizing the U.S. in one way or another. I call for laws that make it illegal to be a billionaire and Thom calls for 100% taxation of income or assets or something like that over a billion dollars. What do you think about that?
Jill: I think that's a really important thing to think about. Now, we haven't taken a position on that, but I think that's definitely something we would consider. I think we need to get there one way or the other and whether it's by asking the very extremely wealthy to start paying their fair share by taxing. We've proposed, for example, a 90% tax on the bonuses of bailed out Wall Street executives. They're taxing capital gains as income, taxing Wall Street transactions, which are currently exempted from sales tax. There are so many ways we can begin to make--just to restore basic fairness to the tax system which it does not have that will begin to reign in these obscene extremes of wealth that require that there be widespread poverty in order to support them.
Rob: Okay, now this is the Rob Kall Bottom up Radio Show WNJC 1360 AM, out of Washington Township, reaching metro Philly and south Jersey, sponsored by OpEdNews.com. You can get the podcasts at iTunes looking for my name Rob Kall, K-a-l-l or come to OpEdNews.com/podcasts with an "s" on the end.
I'm speaking with Jill Stein. She's the Green Party Presidential candidate and we've been talking about a whole lost of stuff and you've managed to--in between my questions--to give a pretty thorough job of flushing out your platform. Great job.
By the way, I wanted to ask you a couple questions. Now when you were arrested, wasn't there a question to Occupy Wall Street people with that? What's your take on Occupy Wall Street and its role in the future of America?
Jill: Yes. So. I believe Occupy Wall Street--if I'm remembering correctly--I think they were also present and supporting the demonstration. And in fact, we have been very connected with Occupy and all of its manifestations, from even before I was running in this race. And I think our agenda is pretty hard to distinguish from the Occupy agenda. Now, granted Occupy is very diverse and different sites have different focuses, but nonetheless the emphasis on economic equality, on reigning in the excesses of Wall Street, on breaking up the big banks, on restoring democracy and getting money out of politics. I mean, when I heard the Occupy agenda, it was like, "Thank God. Finally, it's broken through." And myself and many other Green's have basically been working on this agenda for a long time and there's just a natural synergy here, which I think is very effective.
Occupy is a social movement and the Green Party, I think has very much has been the voice for that movement and that agenda for the long hall and this is a--I think it's a marriage made in heaven. This is how social movements throughout history have made progress, by being the engine on the ground, which is fundamentally that social movement that Occupy represents. When that works together with an independent political party, that's when we see things really change, transformative change happen.
So, for example, in the abolition movement, you had an abolition movement on the ground and you had the Liberty Party as an expression of that movement in the political sphere. The Liberty Party drove into the Republican Party, which was also a small political party and the President Lincoln actually got elected on that agenda at a really critical time.
So, you had this synergy of mainstream politics then, reflecting what was coming out of an independent political party and a social movement; same thing with women's suffrage, where they had the women's party. Likewise in the labor movement where they had the Progressive Party, the laborer, the socialist, a variety of other parties as well as the movement on the ground.
The political party, the independent political party can articulate the vision, the message and the agenda in a way that is harder for social movements to do because that's not their job. Their job is to be inclusive and broad and energized on the ground; not to be doing the process thing, the intensive process thing of boiling down the message and creating a specific list of priorities. That's not the interest really of Occupy. They're more diverse than that. So, that's where an independent political party comes in and we can help drive forward that agenda and move it into the political limelight where it takes on a life of its own and that's how we can move forward. We've been there on the ground with Occupy and supporting them all the way.
Rob: Now, you've mentioned a bunch of historical connections between movements and parties. The platform for the Green Party is, I believe, called the Green New Deal.
Jill: That's right.
Rob: Now, that is evocative of course of Roosevelt's New Deal.