Occupy Wall Street – Occupy Everywhere

“Protestors have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg after police and sanitation workers cleared Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning

“Want to move on up? Move to Denmark.” *

Teaser for Time magazine article on income inequality

The bad news for Mayor Bloomberg, is the the Occupy Wall Street Movement’s arguments are occupying the streets, the media and the conversation.

Maybe the Mayor should read what his employees are writing. From Bloomberg Businessweek

“Occupy Protesters Inject Income Inequality Into Political Debate”

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — The protest against income inequality that has taken over a park near Wall Street and public squares around the world is also occupying the U.S. political debate.

For the past eight weeks, the demonstrators, some of whom are beginning a march to Washington from New York City today, have been chanting “we are the 99 percent.” That’s a reference to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz’s study showing the richest 1 percent control 40 percent of U.S. wealth.

Their message may be resonating. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said the U.S. wealth gap is larger now than it has been in the past, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released today. The survey also found that six in 10 said they support government efforts to reduce that disparity.

Occupy Wall Street has “started to change the debate in the country” and has “pried open some questions people hadn’t been asking,” said Nina Eliasoph, a sociologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who studies grassroots political activism.”

Time magazine, who just a month ago had a story on the “Return of the Silent Majority,” did a cover story last week on income inequality and how the circumstances of your family’s income and status (I’m not sure they used the word class) affects your chances of moving up the socio-economic ladder.

The conversation has shifted. We aren’t hearing about the debt crisis – except from the politicians (are you listening Rep. Welch?) who live in the DC media bubble.

From Politico on November 11:

“A quick search of the news–including print articles, web stories and broadcast transcripts–via Nexis reveals a significant rise in the use of the term “income inequality,” from less than 91 instances in the week before the occupation started to almost 500 instances last week.”

Mayor Bloomberg and other mayors across the country can remove the protesters from the parks, but that won’t stop the protests and change the conversation back to the way it was before September 17.

* For more on why you can find the American Dream in Denmark, watch this.
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies
or visit http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/

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I write about nutrition, health, food-related issues and spirituality at Whole Food-Whole Life.

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