What do the Wall Street protesters want?

Written by Ed Dolan Sunday, 09 October 2011 13:22
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Nearly every news story I read about the occupation of Wall Street begins by saying that the protesters are vague about what they want. Even Paul Krugman, who is supportive of the demonstrations, complains in today’s New York TImes about a lack of specific policy demands. Maybe that is a valid critique of individual protestors, but if you look instead at what some of their sponsoring organizations say the protest is about, you get a different picture—one that is not only more specific but often makes surprisingly good economic sense.

The best short summary of protesters’ demands that I have seen is the Contract for the American Dream, or CFAD as I will call it for short. It is a one-page, ten-point program that claims to be the result of a grass roots, bottom-up drafting process. It is hardly an obscure document—it carries hundreds of thousands of individual signatures plus the endorsements of a whole laundry-list of progressive organizations. I suggest clicking on the link right now and reading it. That will save the need for long quotes.

Done reading? OK, here is my point-by-point economic commentary.

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Ed is the author of the recently published, There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Last modified on Monday, 10 October 2011 20:27

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