The following is the full version of the 6 part post from Zingwaldo on Google +
Back in the late 2008, early 2009, I watched an episode of The Daily Show where Jon Stewart was talking about the Bailouts. He suggested that instead of government giving $700 billion to prop up the banks, perhaps the government should send Americans $700 billion in checks so they could pay part of their mortgages.
People would be able to catch up on their mortgages and the banks would end up getting the money anyway. Kill 2 birds with one stone, and it would cost the same amount.
The economy would have dodged a bullet and things would have cooled off a bit.
Instead, the banks got all the new money. And in return, they still ended up foreclosing on millions of people. And the economy continues to suffer for people on Main Street and Broad Street, and Huckleberry Lane.
The experts' reaction to Stewart's suggestion was that it would introduce a “moral hazard”. If people who have taken out loans were able to catch up on those loans through government help, they'd expect more help in the future if things didn't work out. Therefore, Stewart's suggestion ended up being the road not taken.
It looks to me as if the road that was taken might have been a shortcut that simply isn't leading people to where they thought they would be, 3 1/2 years later. The rich got richer, none of the people who messed things up are in jail, and every weekend has a lot of people nervously wondering if by Monday we'll be in another financial meltdown.
For some reason, it took nearly 3 years before real reaction in the streets started to coalesce. Maybe it was the shock of the whole situation. Everyone may have felt like they were kicked in the gut and it took a while to get back up and ask “What The Hell Is Going On?”.
Then in the Summer of 2011, folks on the interwebs started seeing promotions for a thing called #Occupy Wall Street. The promotion suggested that people show up and camp out at the location where the Big Bull statue portraying the aggressive domination of Manhattan on the world's economy is bolted to the ground.
September 17, 2011 saw the results of that promotion. People actually showed up. People in fairly strong numbers. There were so many that the police encouraged them to find a larger space to express their concerns (a.k.a., protest), so the group moved over to Zucotti Park.
For the first few days, the Occupation was pretty much ignored by the traditional media sources. However, on the interwebs, Occupy was clearly spreading and gaining in support. One thing that helped was the understanding of a concept that demonstrated that 99% of the people were being controlled by 1% of the richest in the world.
We Are The 99% is an understanding that in democratically governed places in the world, the situation that allows a very small 1% to run the show is unacceptable in the long term. For over 30 years, a significant majority the benefits derived from progression in technology, production, efficiency went only to the top 1% of US citizens, while the bottom 60% of US citizens gained no benefits from 30 years of humanity's progress.
Around the world, the increased realization is that the system is rigged to benefit only the top 1%. 1 of 100 people will win and win big, 99 of 100 will either lose or stay stagnate. The American dream is essentially unobtainable. With a system rigged like this one, it's also difficult to fulfil the dreams of progress being able to benefit everyone else in the rest of the world.
For every activist that was able to participate in the actions taken by Occupy, I think it's easy to imagine at least 50 or maybe even 1000 others like me who, for various reasons, were unable to attend in person.
We supported them by writing to each other on social media. We supported them by watching their Youtube videos and +1ing them or giving them a thumbs up. We agreed with the spirit of the cause by commenting on stories and articles all over the internet. Some of us donated money. Lots of people sent pizza.
Then came the pepper spray, the beatings, and the arrests. The silver lining to these unfortunate activities by law enforcement was that people weren't scared away. Occupy managed to grow. Those committed to social & economic justice in their careers or in their way of life came out in droves. World-wide support changed Occupy Wall Street to a single word...#Occupy.
#Occupy is still growing, but its not a measure of the number of tents in parks. It's the measure of the quantity and quality of communication that is occurring in support of increased Social & Economic Justice.
The spirit of Occupy is spreading. Take, for instance, the Quebec Student Uprising. For more than 100 days, students in Quebec have grouped together to challenge the attempt of government to raise their tuition rates by 75%. On the 100th day of the uprising, the largest march in Canadian history took place when over 300,000 people marched in support of the Quebec Students and in opposition to the government's newly enacted Bill 78.
Bill 78 is an attempt to limit protest. It places heavy fines on protestors. It limits free speech near property owned by institutions of learning. It tried to shackle some of the most progressive people in North America, the Quebecois.
The decades of discontent are raising people's awareness of a system that is built to protect and benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99%. By taking to the streets, the 99% method of saying enough is enough, especially in a media environment where most of the traditional media is owned by the 1%.
The traditional media can ignore a conference on social justice. The traditional media can ignore a new book that predicts increased economic injustice. The traditional media can ignore a website that documents on a minute by minute basis the injustices from the actions of the 1% against the 99%. But the traditional media can't ignore over 300,000 people (nearly 20% of the Montreal's population) on the streets, banging pots and declaring “Enough is Enough”.
I don't live in Montreal, or Manhattan, or Chicago, or Vancouver. My options to take to the streets are limited as they are for an untold number of Occupy supporters. We Are The 99% and we wouldn't all fit in downtown Montreal or Manhattan anyway.
But I'm sure many are like me and are grateful for those who can get out in the street in great numbers in support of the revolution for the 99%.
I'm trying to show my gratitude to all those who are active in #Occupy by creating an experimental system I've come up with called Zingwaldo.
Zingwaldo is an Occupy inspired alternative currency.
The big problem I see in the 99% vs. 1% is that the game is fixed to quickly funnel all the wealth to the top 1%.
Zingwaldo, as an alternative currency, makes it more difficult to rapidly accumulate currency and more difficult to hoard currency. Currency is supposed to be the lubricant that lets the economy move for the benefit of those participating in the economy. Currency is not the end, it is the means.
With that in mind, I designed Zingwaldo's currency to have the following attributes:
One account per living human.
Anyone in the world can get an account.
Everyone with an account will get a new unit of currency added to their account every 6 minutes. This is money supply from the bottom up.
Zingwaldo's currency can be traded internationally.
Zingwaldo will have an attribute that makes local trades more valuable.
Zingwaldo will make it so people can share devices so that more than one person can access their account from a single device....sort of like a portable community bank.
Zingwaldo will discourage hoarding currency. The ZTU currency won't get things done just piling up with lots of other ZTUs in a single account. The system is designed to get those ZTUs out there and put them to work to make the world a better place.
These apps aren't yet finished. I need some people with more programming and database expertise than I currently have to help work on finishing the first version of the Zingwaldo Apps.
This is why Zingwaldo has put out a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo. We're trying to raise $56,000US so that we can hire a couple of programmers for a few months to finish the first version of the Zingwaldo Apps.
Visit http://www.indiegogo.com/zingwaldo and contribute $5 if you would like to help Zingwaldo grow from an idea to a real #Occupy style currency system.
To learn more about Zingwaldo, visit our Google+ page. Just click on the link +Zingwaldo .
To see where Zingwaldo will be developed and learn even more about Zingwaldo, visit http://zingwaldo.appspot.com .
And to round things out, if I've circled you on Google+, I've also put you on a list of people who are collecting ZTUs in advance of the release of the first Zingwaldo Apps. This list can be viewed at: http://goo.gl/qKnvT .
At the time of this writing, everyone on the list has at least 15,000 ZTUs ready to go into their account when the Zingwaldo apps are completed.
This total increases by 1 ZTU per person every 6 minutes.
If you want to be added to this list, all you have to do is circle me on Google+ and I'll add your name to the list so you can get a headstart collecting ZTUs.