Polls show large majorities of Americans agree with the protesters' complaints that income inequality has grown to dangerous levels in this country and that corporations and Wall Street have grown too powerful and hold too much sway over our elected leaders. But the problem is that the only clearly articulated and fervently pursued goal of the occupiers is the right to camp in public, and that their most organized efforts have gone into securing tents, warm socks and peanut butter, not social and economic justice.
Baltimore has its own "Occupy" protest at McKeldin Square in the
Still, Baltimore officials have experienced the same frustration in dealing with the protesters as Mayor Bloomberg's office reportedly did. The movement is so rigidly un-hierarchical that it refuses to acknowledge that anyone could negotiate the terms of its encampment on its behalf. That has led to a frustration on the part of officials here and elsewhere who are sympathetic to the protesters' message but at a loss for how to accommodate them in an orderly way, and it has meant that a great deal of the protesters' time and energy has gone into advocating for a right to 24/7 occupation of public parks and squares, as opposed to restoring a level playing field for Americans.
It's time for the "Occupy" protests to grow up. Even the Canadian magazine
Perhaps it could fight for a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prevented banks from also acting as investment houses and insurance companies but was partially repealed during the Clinton administration. It could advocate for the so-called "Buffett rule," which would eliminate a loophole that allows those whose income is primarily derived from investment gains (like its namesake,