The Occupy Wall Street protests continued this week in New York, San Francisco and other cities across the country. Some labor unions and Democratic politicians are now embracing the movement, which has higher public approval ratings than Congress. Will the protests evolve, as some progressives hope, into a sort of liberal Tea Party?

Clara Jeffery, co-editor of Mother Jones
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, former labor secretary under President Clinton and author of books including "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future"
David Meyer, professor of sociology, political science and planning, policy and design at UC Irvine, and author of books including "The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America"
Zeygum Kabeer, member of the communication working group for Occupy San Francisco
Anca Suiu, member of the media and information team for Occupy Wall Street

  • Shunkywin

    i don not know what the protesting item is? the high unemployment rate? or the parties blow sb. to do that? shanghai shunky presents the crusher manufacturer’s opinion.

  • Dan

    Many of us have come to the end of our rope with a financial system that provides obscene wealth to less than 1% of the population while huge numbers are left trying to just get by. 46 million people are living in poverty in the US, over 16 million of those are under 18.   Health insurance is a luxury for most.   Unemployment has soared and is not going to go down.  1% of the population controls over 33% of the wealth and the last 50% of the population has only 2.5% of the wealth.   Meanwhile the banks and large corporations are making money hand over fist and continue to degrade the earth while seeking larger and larger piles of gold.   This has got to stop.   We need economic justice and equality.

  • Livegreen

    I support this movement because, besides ruining our economy, the banks and publicly listed companies pay top management a disproportionate amount of profits compared to shareholders. If I as a shareholder can’t share in the profits, what’s the point?

    Instead I’ve pulled my money out of the Stock Market and am investing it locally, and with double & triple bottom line (for-Benefit) companies that are ALSO growing.

  • stevedisq

    Although I agree with and support the protesters,  I don’t think Wall Street and corporate America could care less. Like anonymous postings(mine), stockholders in these companies will never be unmasked, their bank accounts will be remain untouched.
    The most effective approach would be for every protester to buy one share of stock in the most egregious companies, use the proxy votes to oust the boards of directors and CEO’s, and replace them with people with souls.
    If this takes place, corporations and Wall St will be affected. Boycotts won’t do, because it is almost impossible to boycott huge multinationals.

    • The Prof

      As Noam Chamsky nicely explained, the corporations are given citizenship status in this country (look up Citizens United, passed by the supreme court of this country for the final nail on the coffin the rights of us (human) citizens. It is the law: The obligation of any board member and CEO is to increase the profit of their corporation at ANY COST. This COST includes the demise of the employees it’s own corporation, and long-term plans for sustaining the corporation. This fundamental flaw strips the soul out of the livelihood of humans.

  • davidson_brian00

     Dan, I agree with the idea of what you want, but I don’t think economic
    “equality” is what we need at least, not in a socialism sense. I will
    admit that I’m not entirely sure by how you meant equality, but I do
    know that, overall, a capitalist system is one of the best economic
    systems to date.

    The problem as I see it is that by Law, Corporations are a single
    entity, or person. This ends up meaning that the Corporation and not the
    people in charge of it’s decisions is held responsible and that the
    corporation is treated as a single entity for the purposes of taxes as
    well. So when a corporation is brought to court for any reason, it isn’t
    the people who made the decision who are held accountable, it’s the
    corporation that has to pay the fines. This in my opinion is where the
    majority of the US’s money problems as well as corruption problems are
    coming from.

    My reasoning for this is simply proportions coupled with the fact that a
    corporation’s main drive is simple: Make as much profit as possible.

    If, for example, a random crime committed by a multi-billion dollar
    corporation ends up costing a fine of, let’s say, $100,000. The size of
    that fine compared to the corporation’s profits from cutting that little
    corner are about as negligible as a flea bite. Now, let’s say that
    instead of fining the corporation $100,000, the multi-millionaire CEOs
    are given the fine instead, each of which is $100,000. Those profits are
    starting to look a lot smaller in comparison and cutting that corner is
    starting to look a lot less appetizing since instead of it being
    100,000 to a few Billion, it’s now 100,000 to only a few million. not only that, but it’s hitting Each of the decision-makers right in their Own wallets.

    • Sam

      You can have socialist egalitarianism without resorting to stale soviet dogma. There are many ways of instituting capitalism, likewise many ways of instituting socialism. There are also many who deny that real socialism ever really existed and hasn’t been really tried before.

      • davidson_brian00

        True socialism has not been truly put into practice yet, I’d very much love to see it happen but I rather doubt that it will any time soon. At the current point, I am quite happy with the socialist style programs our gov’t has created. I’d like to see more of them, but at the moment what we need to make sure of is that we change back to true capitalism because at the moment we have a Corporate capitalist economic system and a political system nearing a corporate oligarchy. If this change doesn’t happen soon the USA will shortly take it’s place next to all the past major empires/super powers..
        All in all I would love to see a true Marxist socialist nation arise and become a world power, but at the moment, in the current state of the human race as a whole, I don’t think we are at the point collectively where that becomes a viable option

        • davidson_brian00

           I should revise my initial statement. I have heard of it being put into practice, but only in local, low to medium populated areas,  it has not yet been applied to a governmental system of a large area such as a country.

  • FayNissenbaum

    Robert Reich, please talk about Bill Clinton and how he now repudiates NAFTA, which he and you trumpeted and enacted during Bill’s administration. There are fewer unions b/c there is less manufacturing courtesy of NAFTA which sucked jobs out of the country, ala Ross Perot’s 1992 prediction.

    And see Yves Smith and her great investigation  presented on Harry Shearer’s Le Show:

  • Peter Sheridan

    The media keeps looking for demands and specifics. I think the protectors are still deciding if they want reform or a revolution.

  • Prunella

    Does anyone else find this host–not Michael Krasny–has a condescending, mocking tone? Regardless of whether his comments or questions are unbiased in content or not, his tone intimates else-wise. This is the case, with every show he’s hosted I’ve heard. It simply makes me want to tune out.

  • Chris

    I support this movement. For me the issue is greed, socialized risk, and lack of ethics. I mentioned protest to my Wells Fargo teller  (I’d like to switch banks but it’s a long story) and she made a comment about the media, meaning the messenger is the problem. What words can we use to understand each other, connect, hear what the other side says? We just seem to pass each other with our words.

  • lolly caust

    come on, iverson, occupy wall street has a clear message – corporate greed is unacceptable, the economic inequality in this country is unacceptable.
    what they don’t have is a set of demands and that’s what’s stressing out all the reporters.  you know who, what, where, when and why but you can’t get an answer to ‘how’ so you feel like your reporting is missing something …

    right now, occupy wall street is functioning as a 21st century consciousness raising group as in –
    “In the Old Left, they used to say that the workers don’t know they’re
    oppressed, so we have to raise their consciousness.”

  • east bay mom

    In planning OccupyOakland beginning Frank Ogawa Square next Monday beginning at 4 p.m., we are finding the same issues of both tamping down certain issues rising up as grievances which could repel some from participating, wanting to stay open to all.  My belief is that people are looking for meaningful work for decent wage, with more equitable access to those things promised by our society – education, health care, housing, etc… Especially opportunities for young adults.  Anything positive!!!  

  • OccupyOakland Press


    On Monday, October 10, 2011 at 4pm the people of Oakland will occupy Frank Ogawa Plaza.  This action will unite Oakland
    with OccupyWallStreet and people around the country and around the world to establish a democratic public space for
    discussion, celebration and change.

    The discussion that began on Wall Street on September 17, has swept across the country, spreading from New York City, to
    Boston, Boise, Pensacola, and Honolulu.   This occupation will add Oakland, CA to the growing list.

    Activities and actions will include the establishment of a public garden, teach-ins, preparation and distribution of
    community meals, creation of artwork, and music and dance.   These activities are in support of this growing national
    movement for economic equality and justice.

    About OccupyOakland:

    OccupyOakland is an emerging social movement without leaders or spokespeople, for more information, please join us on
    Monday, October 10 at 4pm at Frank Ogawa Plaza.


  • Sam

    The Occupy movement is fundamentally justified. Neoliberals told us that an unconstrained financial system was the only way to grow the economy and people brought it hook line and sinker. When the whole system collapsed the banks were totally protected from any liability. Poor people who got “bad loans” lost their home while the bank who gave the “bad loans” was bailed out. Millions of Americans are losing their jobs, homes and wages meanwhile CEO wages have gone up, most big banks survived, and the “economic elite” remain established as ever before.

    In America’s drive to forget anything “Socialist” it has forgotten the fundamental criticism of the capitalist system that Marx laid out.

    • stevedisq

      Exactly. Marx was spot on in many ways. Even though “official” Socialist and Communist regimes appeared to fail because of corruption and incompetence, they primarily failed because their economies were based upon “central planning”. Centrally planned economies do not use supply and demand as the decision making process for allocation of resources, and so there was huge inefficiency and waste, acres of tractors with no transmissions, miles of trainloads of ball-bearings with no place to use them. These were typical of east block and Soviet economies.
      Those failures aside, Marx was correct about the built-in self destruction of capitalism, something 99% of westerners will never hear about, even after it is too late. The stakeholders on the winning side may understand this, but they couldn’t care less, content with their fortunes.
      It is left to the few on the losing end to fight to retain and re-establish the checks and balances designed to prevent the downfall of capitalism, and with it freedom and democracy, as opposed to the spread of “socialism”

  • Judy M

    I lived in Spain last year, and saw the same type of protests take hold, first in Madrid and then in Barcelona and other parts of Spain.  Young people camping out, having discussions, using social media, all to send the message to those in power that leaving things as is was not providing futures for young people today.  The status quo was robbing them of their futures.

  • Mason Samuel Wolf

    My biggest concern is that, while no corporation has ever been elected to public office they write our laws, appoint their own regulators, and control the courts. We have to return power to the people.

    • davidson_brian00

      I agree completely, in addition to the problem I mentioned earlier (corporate
      personification) a large portion of the time, when these corporations
      Are brought to court, they drag the proceedings on for years, during
      which time they constantly lobby congress and the senate to change
      certain laws in ways that would nullify the charges brought against

  • Ben

    We don’t need to pigeon-hole this movement by using ‘Left’ or ‘Right’.  Its much bigger than that. This isn’t an anti-Tea Party movement, cause many of them could actually join this movement.  This movement has more in common with the Arab Spring. Its about people sick and tired of being locked out of opportunity and political power and responding to a political system determining our future which has become a corrupt abomination.

    • davidson_brian00

      I suspect that the only reason that people are considering this movement as an “anti-Tea Party” movement is because the ideals and goals driving this movement are practically the opposite of the ideals and goals of the Tea Party movement. And while pigeon-holing the movement does not do it justice, the ideals and goals are primarily “Leftist/Democratic/Liberal” ideals. I’m not saying by this that conservatives/Republicans have no place in the movement, just pointing out that the number of conservatives active in the movement will most likely be considerably less than the number of liberals

  • the Prof

    Please do not try to push aside the protester and label them as ‘leftist’ .
    The Whitehouse, the House and Sentate, the supreme court, the federal reserve, .. are all ruled by Bankers and Corporations. Therefore, they all pass pass laws and work for their bosses. This is at the expense of this country’s citizens. Requests: 

    bring back Glass Steagall, break up ‘too big to fail’, take away lobby power, severly limit money in all election processes. FEW GOOD RULES THAT IS STRICTLY WATCHED and ADHERED TO. 

  • the Prof

    PLease tell us how we can join in the protest as the media only covers past events and does not allow people to know ahead of time so they have a chance to join.

  • Jaxondimarco

    I support this movement as it is long overdue. We have an amendment mandating separation of church and state. We NEED an amendment mandating the separation of corporation and state. I see NO DIFFERENCE between the two issues. 

  • Arnold

    I wonder to what extent movies like “Inside Job”, “Capitalism: A Love Story” and The Frontline Program “The Warning” are educating and informing protesters or people like me who have not appeared at a protest rally but support the efforts of Occupy Wall Street?  Arnold, Rancho Cordova CA

  • Chemist150

    This lady needs to realize that the money is being funneled out of this country through debt enabling bonds and a serious trade imbalance.  If those two things were addressed and solved, worker situations would be seriously better. 

    Obama thinks that the average worker is a government employee and targeted those in his “jobs bill” but needs to address the 99% that pay taxes in a non-recycled manner as is from government employees.  His bill does nothing for those not employed by the government.

    Focusing on income disparities is a whiner attitude toward one’s personal skill level.  The money is trickling out (to China) instead of down.  The bailouts have  little to do with the current economic state of the US. 

  • victoria s.

    I too support this movement — What do I want to see happen? I want the greed to come to a screeching halt; it’s past ridiculous! Greed has run rampant, running a hole right through middle class. Enough is enough!

    I believe this is just the beginning. . .

  • Jim Fisher

    With all the news coverage today on the death of Steve Jobs, it’s worth re-watching Apple’s famous Macintosh commercial from 1984 with an eye to what’s happening on Wall Street right now.View it here:

  • Amy Farah Weiss

    Bumper sticker idea:  “2011:  The Revolution of Interdependence”.  Individual well-being is very important, but this is a movement that wants to stop EXCESSIVE individual profit that comes at the expense of collective well-being. 

  • Briank34

    After the Arab Spring, time for the American Fall. (pun intended) It was only a matter of time before the protests began here. The causes are global, and rhetoric and slogans are not going to solve them. We are never going to put anyone back to work in manufacturing jobs in this country, and we have not invested enough in education to transition to a knowledge based economy.

  • Guest

    Once again, the media is trying to distill a nuanced and overarching theme into sound bites or talking points; now that they’ve decided to pay attention. What is writhing beneath the surface is the anger and discontent of the 99%. We are waking up and realizing that we are being cheated out of our investment – the USA – by corporate interests. This is a concept that is not a “bumper sticker” statement, as it impacts a total quality of life, and it is irrelevant and offensive to try and make it so.

  • Leslie

    I agree with the speaker that people were sold snake oil vis a vie mortgages. Banks were calling me every week trying to get me to take out a HELOC which I refused to do. Many people had already paid off their mortgages and now are losing their homes because of these greedy bankers. You can argue that they should never have leveraged their homes but it was sold as the way to have a great lifestyle. 

    Now the banks turn around and blame the people when they never did due diligence on the loans they made in the first place.

  • Jeff

    Are some of the foreclosure cause by people who wanted to “turn a profit”, on some property?  Previously, during escrow the prospective buyer, went through a credit check, to determine affordability. But with the real estate investor, escrow inspection was compromised.

    • The Prof

      please watch the academy award winning documentary “INSIDE JOB”. you will understand how greed has surpassed any regard for humanity, future of this country, our children’s future, and any working, tax payer. 

  • Dear readers, please do the math and the research #BasicIncome, which is ultimately inevitable in any sufficiently advanced post-production context. We’re at a global cultural evolution inflection point. Whether or not it sounds like a political non-starter today doesn’t matter if markets crash even lower in the year ahead; which many of the best and brightest suggest, including Taleb and Faber. It would be best to be prepared and look out below. I find it entertaining that nobody yet dares utter “Basic Income” on public airwaves. Show us S&P 600 and watch how fast that could change.

    Yours in peace and plenty,


    “This is the real news of our century. It is highly feasible to take care of all
    of humanity at a higher standard of living than anybody has ever experienced or
    dreamt of. To do so without having anybody profit at the expense of another so
    that everybody can enjoy the whole earth. And it can all be done by 1985.” Buckminster Fuller,The World Game,1971

  • Warrack

    Obama is an Uncle Tom for the corporations, just as Ralph Nader predicted he would be.

    • stevedisq

      And Cain would be what then?

  • The Prof.

    During the Savings and Loan CRISIS of the Regan era, hundreds of CEOs went to jail. The S&L  cost ~ $124 billion. During the 2008 CRISIS it cost us over $700 Billion, no one went to jail, they got promoted and gave themselves bonuses using the citizen’s bailout money. Banks are bigger than ‘too big to fail’, and the people responsible for this crisis hold government offices and have embedded themselves even more into the regulatory branches of our government. 

    Senior financial executives should be arrested and  criminally prosecuted

    Fincancial firms prosecuted criminally for security fraud or
    accounting fraud . Recover executive
    compensation during the bubble  

    • stevedisq

      But that’s why deregulation has been such a huge push(by Reagan, I might add), along with breaking down the laws that sent those S&L guys to jail. At the time, the laws in place put the situation out of the Reagan administration control.
      But in the end, most of them had enough time to squirrel away stolen money off-shore and live happily ever after, once they got out of jail. Bankers and executives have just manipulated the system to bleed even more money out of the system, minus the inconvenience of being locked up at a country club for white collar offenders.

  • The new world order

  • Mark

    I don’t object to great wealth, or even great gaps between rich and poor; I object to great UNEARNED wealth.  Many (probably almost all) of the wealthy people on Wall Street do not create much value.  At best, they skim wealth from people who are true producers, and at worst they actually destroy value, yet they are paid immensely.

    Partial solutions include:
    1) For those who misled investors, jail them for decades; ban them from ever holding a financial job again; and remove all of their current wealth.
    2) “Clawbacks” for those who failed but were paid anyway. 
    3) Reverse the trend of hollowing out our economy.  Re-orient the economy towards real production (with minimal environmental damage), and away from arbitrage, portfolio churning, advertising, and other negative-sum games. 
    4) Move away from an economy that focuses on planned obsolesence and disposable everything, which is expensive, unsatisfying, and lousy for the environment. 
    5) Remove “corporate personhood”.
    6) Move away from the environmentally unsustainable model of exponential growth of both per-capita consumption and human population.

    Since neither the government nor the free market is likely to do these, we must do it ourselves, by
    1) moving money out of “too big to fail” institutions and into at least somewhat more accountable and manageably-sized institutions.
    2) trying to consume less, breed less, and enjoy more. 
    3) to the extent practical, moving away from the hyper-competitive “rat race” and towards improving quality of life. 

  • Menlo Bob

    The parade of left wing academics and journalists have obscured the cause of this discontent.  Obamacare has scared employers away from hiring, the obsession with environmentalism has forced manufacturing abroad.  Unnecessary and unwise regulation has strangled employers.  The wanton printing of dollars has debased the money we hold in our hands making it unwise to save lest we lose it through the deflated value.  Finally, the destruction of our educational system makes the vast expenditures worthless to a person needing work.  People have a right to be upset, but without acknowledging the factors in play they have little chance of success.

  • Menlo Bob

    It’s curious that those who complain about the Citizens United case always mention the personhood of corporations but never mention that the decision also gave the same consideration to unions. Protestors, or those who claims to speak on their behalf, cite Citizens United as a cause without being aware that unions are supporters of OWS. Do they really think unions should NOT benefit from Citizens United?

    • stevedisq

      Bob, I think most protestors would gladly do without the union’s new found campaigning ability were the corporations returned to running businesses and removed form the business of running countries.
      And BTW, corporations and personhood existed prior to Citizens United, essentially since corporations were invented. The case was about the ability to make unlimited campaign contributions, not “legal personhood” for corporations.

  • Alex

    Thanks to those who are not afraid of the police and the rotten laws that protect the rich and went to the protest!
    Three years ago I was 63 years old New York City’s administration kicked out of America because I paid taxes for 17 years and lived honestly in this
    But I was not allowed to live here. Do not give $ 1,200 per month pension, and now losing millions every day!
    Damn you – blood-suckers!
    Greedy you Americans and vile!
    That’s only the people you fool!
    You do not know what real hunger and war.
    You have created an empire of evil and you will die.
    I hate you all and the rich and the poor.
    All you fed criminals.
    And if each of you give a lot of money, you will eat each other.
    Goodbye, ugly!


  • Warrack

    I really hope the corporatist banker-friendly Democrats don’t hijack the movement. They’ll surely fly it into the ground.

  • West2east28

    WS and the govt dont give a crap about you. they know the winter coming soon and this will send u home and shut up

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