It’s about time people started assiduously showing their displeasure with plutocratic rule. Hopefully this movement will continue to escalate and bring about real change.

And despite that much of the punditocracy and power elite are doing everything they can to dismiss and deligitimize this genuine grass roots movement, it’s worth remembering that this was the establishment response to every significant and positive sociopolitical change this country has seen — from the Revolution itself to the Civil Rights Act.

In other words, be encouraged and know that peaceful protest is the way to effect real change.

Thank goodness for Occupy Wall Street!

Rescuing America from Wall Street

by Harold Meyerson

Better late than never, the movement to take America back from Wall Street has arrived. On Wednesday, the ranks of the Occupy Wall Street encampment will swell as Move­On.org members, union activists and ordinary disgruntled citizens join the demonstration against our financial sector’s misrule of the American economy. What’s more, long-planned anti-bank demonstrations in major cities this week are growing beyond their organizers’ fondest hopes as the Wall Street protest movement catches fire.

The anti-bank campaign has in fact been incubating for years — a “seed beneath the snow,” as the Italian novelist Ignazio Silone once termed the slow-to-arrive left. The sit-ins, teach-ins and street demonstrations popping up in Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles are formally the handiwork of a coalition of community groups that recently gathered together as the New Bottom Line. Many of these groups have focused on immediate goals — such as stopping particular banks from foreclosing on more homes. They, along with unions, have demonstrated on Wall Street many times since the 2008 financial crisis. But only now, as Occupy Wall Street — an organization that they didn’t create — has grabbed the public imagination the past few weeks, are the myriad mobilizations commanding the media’s attention.

“It’s a confluence of planned and unplanned demonstrations,” says Stephen Lerner, a longtime organizer for the Service Employees International Union who once spearheaded the union’s successful campaign to organize big-city janitors and today helps guide the groups in New Bottom Line. “We build on each other. We go ping-ponging back and forth.”

Planned and unplanned, the groups are coming together. The imminent mixing of largely young and countercultural Wall Street occupiers with more seasoned and hard-nosed unionists and middle-class liberals may produce some clashes of style, but their shared anger at what banks have done to them — to all of us — should be sufficient to cement this nascent coalition. It had better be.

At the moment, this fledgling movement is awash in a range of demands. Occupy Wall Street has tended toward the amorphous, expressing a generalized rage at economic inequality and financial hegemony. The New Bottom Line groups, and the wonks of the anti-bank left, have more concrete demands, including modifications and cancellations to student and housing debt, a financial-transaction tax, and the reinstitution of the 1932 Glass-Stea­gall Act (which would make garden-variety banking safer and less speculative by rebuilding the wall between commercial and investment banking).

That the proposed reforms are all over the map is understandable given the enormity of the problem. As finance has become a larger and larger part of the U.S. economy in recent decades, the U.S. economy has grown more and more dysfunctional. At Wall Street’s prompting, the New Deal’s constraints on finance were loosened in the 1980s and ’90s, enabling banks to grow huge by speculating with other people’s money and by restructuring the economy so that it ran on credit and debt.

From 1973 through 1985, as Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, documented in 2009, American banks never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. By the mid-2000s, that figure rose to 41 percent. As with profits, so with pay: For more than three decades, from 1948 to 1982, pay levels in finance ranged from 99 to 108 percent of the average of private-sector pay. By 2007 they had reached 181 percent.

Once the servant of industry, banking became our dominant industry. It has ceased to serve us. We serve it. And when it went all but belly up in the panic of 2008, the federal government bailed it out, on the assumption of those authoring the Troubled Assets Relief Program legislation that the banks would use those funds to bail out our larger society. Instead, they took the money and sat on it. Lending to small business in particular has not bounced back.

Not all of the problems with the current American model of capitalism originate with banking. But Wall Street’s growth has long come at the expense of productive enterprise, diverting dollars and talent from the business of making goods. Merely occupying Wall Street doesn’t go remotely far enough. We need to diminish finance with regulations that would make our economy both more secure and more productive. Here’s hoping the disparate groups of protesters come together, grow and stay in the streets. It will take a massive, vibrant protest movement to bring America’s subservience to Wall Street to its overdue end.

Original post on the Washington Post

37 Responses to “Occupy Wall Street: It’s About Time”

  1. pabour dunle says:

    Pretty cool of Kanye to show up at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration with a 50K watch and $1000 jeans to protest greed.

  2. occupy wall street is a movement, 1% are rich 99% are poor, people want equality, so people are occupying wallstreet, LA etc etc

  3. Occupy Wall Street plans TV ad campaign after raising money online: It might only be a YouTube ad at the moment … –

  4. cre moletton says:

    I love this video: Homeless man folds flag after in falls in rain storm. The opposite of a Wall Street protesting hippy

  5. time that Americans wake up from deep sleep and realize that their government deceive and steal them all for a such a long time! Their country is owned by geek corporations and banks.Withdraw money from the banks is the only way to stop the evil of this world! Fight against Wall Street Mafia! stop for the market globalization, which forces down the price of labor and bring jobs back!

  6. matiff floyah says:

    Working on a webcomic that uses Occupy Wall Street for Occupy the Classroom … just … because …. I think it’s amusing

  7. is doing everything to get the island on track to fiscal health you said? Unemployement rate went up big time and has stay there till today, crime has gone crazy as well. He lied to the country in order to win the elections, by saying he woulnt fire anyone. El cabron este de no escucha al pueblo, el hace solo lo que el crea, esta enamorado completamente de su voz. Con esta basura que tenemos por governador nunca vamos a poder hechar para alante.

  8. why is someone on minimum wage paying for the housing of someone who will not work? Is that fair? Is that your “equality”?

  9. eway ferton says:

    これは旧国歌ですね。メロディは今のロシア国歌と同じですが、
    歌詞はぜんぜん違います。 2番の歌詞は、↓これ。

    嵐の日を貫き、太陽は輝く

    大レーニンは我らに前途を示した。

    正義の事業に彼は人民を立ち上がらせ

    栄えある偉業へと起かせた!

    称えよ自由なる、我らが祖国

    民族友好の絆!     レーニンの党、人民の力は

    我らを共産主義の勝利へと導く!

  10. look up thechainsrbroken my nigga alex hall reppin fo da nap mane if u luv ya city hit em p subscribe fo his page he ughh make the whole fukn city rich

  11. Boies given VERY wide latitude to make his point — disqualifying a gay judge is akin to saying minorities can’t be fair on civil rights.

  12. Italy growth fall seen heralding tough recession: Italy’s economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third due to a slump in do…

  13. Fear of a free fall next year?…nah its much worse. its like jumping off a 24 story building and expecting to land on a bed and not get

  14. hes motovano says:

    Be YOU gay people and stop tryin to be straight people havin a gay time. You don’t need wedding vows,or the rainbow, or civil rights.

  15. atchimion rotharford says:

    Dear One Million Homophobic Moms: there are many more millions of moms who believe in equality for all people, gay or straight!

  16. The Damn Economy Is Ruining Our Deals. Where Is The Recession …: Car prices are at an all-time high. Cash reba…

  17. Wow I wish I had been there to experience this. I would have been thrilled!
    There is only a mistake in the lyrics 0:43 “than”, not “then”.

  18. culhold streving says:

    Occupy Wall Street: The Future And History, So Far – NPR: Occupy Wall Street: The Future And History, So Far – … –

  19. THIS GUY IS ONE OF AHMEDINEJADS CLAN!!! LOOK AT HIS FACE AND BEARD!!! ISLAMIC STATES ARE EVIL!!! NO EQUALITY IN RELIGION IS EVIL AND RELIGION AND POLITICS MUST BE SEPARATED!!! DUMB PEOPLE IS WHAT THEY ARE!!! VERY OLD FASHIONED AND MEDIEVAL!!!

  20. Eldridge Financial Blog: UK in recession again as recovery is ‘paralyzed’ by the European debt crisis, forecasted. – Saeo.net –

  21. Media collusion making women’s issues & occupy complaints top-of-mind with voters instead of economy is example of media corruption –

  22. By Matt Baume Another crazy week: Maryland’s legislature passes a marriage bill, a lawsuit widens in New Jersey, the governor of Hawaii comes out for equality, and a huge victory in a federal case against DOMA. Lately we’ve racking up so many wins, it’s getting hard to keep up. Let’s with this week’s big […]

  23. Must be an election coming up. Obama his term with gas $1.84 and he screwed it up! Guess The Great Recession from 2007-irrelevant

  24. lackenez prahidestc says:

    recession acc to Barclays 7.7% for 2012 and 1.3% for 2013 | 2012: IMF says 4.8%, Bank of Greece 4.5%

  25. demarby sarsch says:

    @marymauldin
    Occupy Wall Street will become occupy mitt Romney and crown him Mr. 1%. OWS created to reelect Obama. Romney too easy a target – http://twitter.com/_labbe

  26. How can I make money on the recession? Find a new perspective on the financial markets and how to make money.

  27. papidy spidoube says:

    Brother inherited their wealth from a father who made it by building Oil Refineries for Stalin. They practice Corporatism. –

  28. sne kolet says:

    When I left the Wall Street Journal to write this book about MySpace, the Journal was controlled by the Bancroft family

  29. floomin brayat says:

    I will be on WBAI Radio live from 6:30-7 pm Monday Wall Street Radio discussing US investigation of WikiLeaks and the –

  30. haene martse says:

    […]In a country suffering from economic crisis, buying gold off desperate people has become one of the few boom industries. City centres are being transformed as traditional shops go out of …

  31. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s profit almost doubled after a jump in iPhone sales, for the greater China region, blowing past Wall Street expectations and soothing fears…
    Yasuko Bobbit liked Apple crushes Street targets, dispels iPhone fears on 26 April 2012 (5 months ago).

  32. hollerudig voykowitt says:

    See who the nominees are to the 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Come to the Inductions Ceremony that…

  33. chielmut jac says:

    Wall Street Week Ahead – “Cliff” concerns give way to earnings focus: Investors’ “fiscal cliff” worries are likely to give way to mor…

  34. pers mcculles says:

    Happy 84th to Luther King Jr. The impact he made for the rights & equality of ALL people can be fel …

  35. Target: Wall St.: The regulatory forecast for Wall Street is in the cold over and going to be hot with an increased cha…

  36. The Ugly Truth About America’s Housing “Recovery” — It’s Wall St. Buying Homes to Rent Back to Their Former Owners …

  37. grozo lazar says:

    LOVE when people think they have an answer to the economic crisis & post a status about it just to find out they’re clueless.

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