accountability

Best online bailout responses? Sarcasm, transparency and taking to the streets.

A thread on the Progressive Exchange list asks "What's the best online response to the bailout?". For my money (heh heh) the star is www.buymyshitpile.com, which reckons we should all benefit from the $700bn rescue deal. Use their form to submit bad assets you'd like the US government to take off your hands.

If you like a bit more depth, the Sunlight Foundation has an awesome dynamic visualisation of campaign contributions by the finance, insurance and real estate industries, showing how they peaked as regulatory mechanisms were being dismantled. Click on the play button to see the visualisation, and roll-over the circles to see the industry sector.

Thanks to Nisha from Sunlight for pointing out that they're pressing Congress to make the legislation public and to let citizens comment and review.  While PublicMarkup.org is an admirable tool for online citizen participation, I don't see the decision-makers taking much notice unless they're pushed by offline action as well. One of the (many) amazing things about the 2001 crisis in Argentina was watching respectable members of the middle classes beating down the doors of the banks during the cacerolazos. If the internet is to have a place in the history of the current crisis, it may well be as a tool to for offline organising.

A protest and cacerolazo in 2002. The large sign reads "Thieving banks - give back our dollars".(Photo by Pepe Robles)

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