What Occupy Wall Street Accomplished

Some media argue that Occupy Wall Street, now that it has been disbanded will peter out and the group will have minimal influence. Don’t let anybody sell you that notion. The vote in Ohio on November 8th restoring Union Collective bargaining in state and local government showed that Occupy Wall Street had managed to change voting preferences.Suddenly the one-sided cut deficits,no new taxes idea from Grover Norquist and the  the Tea Party lost credibility in the face of charts like these:

The basic Inequality of the Past 30 Years
 
Whats happening in Income for  the top 20%- It really  is only the top 1%
 More charts supporting the 99% argument But the most important effect is that the national media and financial press finally found itself having to cover the issue of fairness, distribution of income, money in politics and why and how Washington has become so dysfunctional at a time in World Economic affairs when the US can least afford it. Here are three examples of national press finding voice on these key isues. Bloomberg – Workers sliding share of pay poses consumer spending risk for economy.

Income gains in the U.S. are slowing and workers’ slice of the earnings pie is shrinking, raising the risk that consumer spending slackens next year. Gross domestic income, or the money earned by the people, businesses and government agencies whose purchases go into calculating growth, rose at an average 2.8 percent annual rate from April through September after climbing 4.3 percent in the previous six months, Commerce Department data on Nov. 22 showed. Employee compensation last quarter accounted for its smallest share since 1955. In contrast, the portion accruing to corporate profits was the biggest since 1950, showing companies are hoarding cash as concern grows that a European country will default on its debt and that deficit-reduction gridlock in Washington will continue. Without more pay and a pickup in hiring, households may ring in 2012 by making their own budget cuts.

This should have been said starting in 2001  during the Bush presidency when the economy was wavering and wrenching job cuts were becoming almost the kneejerk response of big corporations. But the Press going through its own painful layoffs at that time stayed clear of the topic.

Bloomberg and Christian Science Monitor – Investigate the OWS  priority push to  get money out of politics. Bloomberg explores an analysis by Harvard Law’s lawrence Lessig that defines the widening conflicts represented by longtime excesses in campaign finance and lobbying practice made much worse by the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision that unleashed all constraints on campaign and lobbying spending by corporates and other special interests. lessig not only defines the problem but offers some novel approaches to reigning in political spending. The Christian Science Monitor looks at the money in politics problem but is skeptical that the problem can be effectively addressed because most of the solutions require bipartisan Democrat and Republican support.

Forbes– Lobbyists Offer An ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Smear Campaign For Just $850,000There is a palpable irony here, as the group that Occupy Wall Street see as the number one threat to the US, weedlike spread of lobbying power in government, confirms their power with a wild, proposed overhand smear shot against Occupy Wall Street. Only in the America of an arrogant, super wealthy  top one percent. Finally, the last word belongs to NYTimes Paul Krugman who describes the top 1%:

…even within the top 1 percent the gains are going mainly to a small minority. An earlier CBO report, using slightly different methods, looked inside the top 1 percent up through 2005.The biggest gains have gone to the top 0.1 percent. So income inequality in America really is about oligarchs versus everyone else. When the Occupy Wall Street people talk about the 99 percent, they’re actually aiming too low…. Look, I understand that some people find the notion that we’ve become an oligarchy — with all that implies about class relations — disturbing. But that’s the way it is.

The US, creator of great wealth, has once gain given away way too much wealth to much too few. But now that  Occupy Wall Street has opened that Pandora Box fact for scrutiny, the Press can treat that question however it so chooses.


Well wouldn’t you know it – what media player is first to follow up on the now evicted  Occupy Wall Street concerns? Comedy Central. Yeah, it is Jon Stewart again doing a series based on the question: If we let the bankers off  the hook why the f**k did we send Martha Stewart to jail? Jon promises to make it an ongoing series of spoofs. The irony is that spoofs will truly be laughs until you hurt.

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