Lerner writes that "This can be our moment." In the op-ed, Lerner outlines his campaign to "stoke simmering discontent into concrete, concerted direct action to challenge corporate extremism." This is a campaign that would sow "the seeds of a movement that turns the tables on them [Wall Street]."
Elsewhere, as The Blaze has reported, Lerner said that the aim of such a campaign would be to "bring down the stock market...bring down their [Wall Street] bonuses...interfere with their ability to, to be rich." He also said, “There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.”
What are those things that could be done right now to "destabilize the folks that are in power" and "bring down the stock market"? He outlined them in his op-ed today:
The fragility of an unstable boom-and-bust economy and growing economic inequality create unique opportunities to stoke simmering discontent into concrete, concerted direct action to challenge corporate extremism....
But in order to make this vision reality, we need to go on offense and make Wall Street pay for the trillions it stole from us.....We can use our political and economic power to renegotiate our relationship with Wall Street to keep millions of people in their homes, and raise revenue for cities and states to protect jobs and critical services:
The Potential Power of Government—Don’t Do Business with Bandit Banks: Wall Street does trillions in business with all levels of government. Let’s leverage that money by getting governments to refuse to do business with banks that don’t pay their fair share in taxes, won’t renegotiate high-cost deals that are bankrupting taxpayers with astronomical interest rates, and refuse to stop foreclosures by reducing mortgage principals.
The Potential Power of Homeowners and Students—Don’t Pay Unfair Debt: Growing numbers of homeowners and students cannot afford to pay back their loans. If they organized a loan strike — refusing to pay their mortgages and student loans unless banks agreed to negotiate lower rates — it would threaten CEO bonuses and bottom lines of the banks. When corporations are in trouble they renegotiate their debt all the time so they can get on their feet again. Homeowners, students and local government need that same deal.
As The Blaze reported here, Lerner said that "If we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike….it would literally cause a new financial crisis for the banks.” So that's what Lerner wants: another crisis on the order of 2008. If people follow through on Lerner's loan strike, "Chaos" could ensue, experts say.
By the way, as we previously surmised, Stephen Lerner appears to be with the SEIU still--a fact which again seems confirmed by his short biography at the end of today's op-ed:
Stephen Lerner serves on the Service Employees International Union's International Executive Board and is the architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign. Lerner is a frequent contributor on national television and radio programs and has published numerous articles charting a path for a 21st-century labor movement.
Check out The Blaze's related Stephen Lerner coverage: