Occupy Wall Street Demands

Mike Konczal , also known as Rortybomb, is one of those special people in the world whom you should circle and whose blog you should fawn over to be on the up and up where economic policy is concerned. I’ve learned a lot through the last couple of years I’ve been reading his blog at rortybomb.wordpress.com.

Occupy Wall Street Turns Violent-10So, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are taking suggestions on demands they want to place to stop occupying Wall Street. I wholeheartedly love this idea of taking suggestions. Using crowdsourcing and social media makes this a much more democratic process. Instead of getting taken over by big libertarian lobbying firms like the Tea Party did, the Occupy Wall Street protesters will get the best ideas to put forth instead of being coopted for the demands of the few.

Here are Konczal’s demand suggestions:

1. Cancel the debts. The crisis we face is fundamentally about a giant pool of bad mortgage debt. We need to work through these debts for recovery to really take off. The only question is who will absorb them…

I’ve written a long, detailed explanation of the “housing bubble”, the financial crisis, and the crushing debt burden that is keeping recovery from forming here: “Understanding the Financial Crisis and the Recession.”

2. Investigate Wall Street. In the buildup to the crisis, bad loans that could never be paid back were passed out to unsuspecting homeowners. These loans were then passed along a chain until they got to investors who thought the loans were made with the utmost diligence…

3. Create a Financial Transaction Tax. It is hard to think of something with such a boring name as a particularly radical solution, but an FTT would be an important first step toward remaking our economy so it is not so dependent on the financial sector.

Thanks to a wave of deregulation laws in the late 1970s and early 1980s, finance has been one of the fastest-growing sectors over the past 30 years. It’s become so important, in fact, that some argue the economy should be run in accordance with the ideas and goals of the financial sector.

The Financial Transaction Tax isn’t a new idea, and the idea of a world-wide tax had been passed around.

Read the whole thing. It’s worth the few minutes – and the Occupy Wall Street protesters would be wise to take up Konczal’s demands.

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