Occupy Wall Street: Moderate Demands on the Banks

The question of what is to be done is complex and nobody knows what will happen. No demands have yet been issued.

A preliminary list of demands was suggested by one person but has not been voted on:


I can make some guesses as to what will happen. Any official demands will almost certainly arise from the protesters on Wall Street. This can be a very difficult and long process. Decision-making is consensus-based, which means that any member of the group has veto power over any decisions that are made. It's critical to keep in mind that no official demands have been issued and will not be until consensus has been reached. This is true in the New Orleans chapter and presumably all other chapters as well.

The desired route to change seems to be through the national legislature and, to a lesser extent, the judiciary. The options for legislative reform are innumerable, but there are a number of steps that both would be looked upon favorably by protesters and could feasibly pass the Congress. I'll just list some that focus on the chief issues and that could have passed, except for #9, in a Democratic Congress of the type that was in existence in 2009. Many protesters, including myself, would like to see more structural reforms, but that is a broader topic that is being debated in groups all over the country. It is important to note that these reforms are pro-capitalist, so Occupy Wall Street, as with the Arab Spring, is a reform movement rather than a revolutionary one.

1. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

2. Prosecute the bankers responsible for the financial crisis.

3. Use anti-trust legislation to break up the "too big to fail" banks.

4. Institute a financial speculation tax.

5. Increase income taxes on the rich.

6. Increase capital gains and estate taxes.

7. Decrease taxes for the non-rich.

8. Close corporate tax loopholes.

9. Minimize the influence of money in elections, by more fully incorporating public funding mechanisms into elections and/or passing a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United.

10. Institute consumer protections to prevent usurious lending practices.

11. Modify mortgages to mitigate the foreclosure epidemic.

There are many more issues, such as the wars, health care, minimum wages, social security, education, the environment, unemployment, and everything else, that will be discussed in New York and will hopefully produce an Economic Rights Act. Until then, we can hope that the changes listed above will go into effect as soon as possible.

Further reading on these demands can be easily found online.

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