Dear Occupy Asheville: Here’s a list of ten things you can do that will make more of a difference and be less annoying:
1. Educate yourselves: Read three books on the economic collapse. The Big Short, The Greatest Trade Ever, When Genius Failed and A Colossal Failure of Common Sense are good ones. All of these should be available at the library.
2. Watch some Frontline episodes on the economic collapse. Here are some good ones: “The Warning,” “Breaking the Bank,” “Ten Trillion and Counting,” “Secret History of the Credit Card” and “The Madoff Affair.”
3. Attend the Crystal Ball Economic Seminar each year in April at UNCA.
4. Take a course in economics, business or accounting.
5. Contact your congressman and senator and ask them to double the budget of the SEC and prohibit SEC employees from ever working for companies they have regulated or investigated.
6. Contact your Congress and the Senate and ask them to pass a bill that will prohibit any senator, congressman or staff from ever working for a lobbyist.
7. Research your congressmen and senators. Support the ones who support the Securities and Exchange Commission and tougher regulation of banks, investment banks, brokerage firms and rating agencies.
8. Pick a financial publication, subscribe to it and encourage the financial journalists to do their jobs.
9. Educate yourself and then go work for the SEC, FBI, Justice Department, Federal Reserve, IMF or member of Congress. Work in the financial crimes divisions.
10. Volunteer with some organization that helps people who are economically stressed: Pisgah Legal Services and On-Track are good ones. Do research on the Internet to find one you like. Volunteer for a member of Congress who supports tougher regulation of the people who got us into this mess.
— Paul King