To The Editor:
First, let me say how happy I am that this movement is gathering momentum and energy, riding a wave of success in the wake of its worldwide actions on Nov. 17
Watching Donald Trump on Fox the day after these triumphant protests, I noticed something interesting. The Donald issued a lengthy, scathing critique of outsourcing, globalization and corporate control of politics. He almost sounded like a liberal! My gut feeling is that this is a direct result of O.W.S. morphing into the political phenomenon of our time. It’s enough to make a Republican want to do the right (with a small “r”) thing!
Though it has resisted a list of specific demands up to now, I don’t believe it undermines O.W.S.’s mission of raising consciousness and being a systemic force for political, cultural and social change for it to include such a concrete wish list. I see it more as a both/and, rather than an either/or situation. Being specific about demands can also help O.W.S. form its own electoral component — and run its own slate of candidates (from the president on down) in the 2012 elections.
Here is my list, though I welcome others to create their own:
1. Repeal Citizen’s United immediately. Elections need to be funded fairly by public, not private money.
2. Raise the top tax rate back to 75 percent. Trickle-down economics simply doesn’t work, despite what the Ayn Rand cultists say.
3. Create full employment with a New Deal-like jobs program, with a focus on “green energy,” high-speed rail and medical research.
4. Curb Wall St.’s excesses by banning toxic instruments, like derivatives, C.D.O.s and “put options” — which, incredibly, allow you to bet that a company will fail!
5. Provide free universal healthcare for all, with a public option.
6. Establish a 25-hour work week.
7. Make deep education reforms, with an emphasis not just on math and science, but also on critical thinking, history, the arts and the moral imagination.
This is by no means a radical platform.
There are folks on the far left, emboldened by O.W.S., who want to eliminate capitalism completely. If the callous “let them eat cake” austerity hawks, like the Scott Walkers and Rick Perrys (and Obama who, though he puts on a slick front, is really in Wall St.’s pocket), continue to be the political face of America, expect these more radical movements to only get stronger — like they did in the 1930s.
Bredin is a member, Village Independent Democrats