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To regain relevance with the election just around the corner -- successfully influence key economic issues without fizzling out first joining me now is frank Ackerman of that's tufts university and he is an Occupy Wall Street supporter thank you so much for coming on tonight.
It now as an -- Wall Street comes back out again I heard a lot of people say today that they still aren't sure exactly what the message -- the goal it it's.
What do you think the messages they're trying to get across and -- are they successful communicating it.
I think the message is that the US economy has become astonishingly unequal.
We've seen thirty years until this recent economic slump of growth which has benefited the people only at the top.
At the average worker has roughly kept pace with inflation in the average household has moved ahead a little bit only because.
Wives have gone to -- work in the paid labor force more and more were nearing the end of even that mechanism for households gaining so.
In the richest country in the history of the world the average household is struggling.
-- -- So -- week it'll -- inequality is their main message what do you think they would like to see done about it and we haven't seen a lot of potential policy come out of it and it doesn't seem like the president supports them.
I don't think that they have developed policy but I I think that they have brought a critique of things that are wrong that neither party is talking nearly enough about into the public arena so that they've changed the discourse the language.
Of the 99%.
Vs the 1%.
Part of political discussion you hear echoes of it sometimes and -- campaigns.
-- originally but then I think -- sort of undermine their own message with a lot of the violence that we -- on Oakland California for example and and also things like.
You know you have the movement resource group which raised 300000 dollars to parcel out as grants to protesters and they said their goal was to raise.
One point eight million dollars -- people to go protest in income inequality sort of undermines.
What they're out there about doesn't it.
Well -- I think they've moments of violence were very brief then in one location there were occupy.
Encampments in dozens of cities all over the country I saw the one in Boston there was no violence -- -- You know -- one city after another had an and so find there was one moment in which some people.
Acted in undesirable violent way in terms of raising money.
I mean if you look at what campaigns cost the United States 300000 dollars is enough to.
You know wave goodbye to the television camera didn't.
What is politically but the -- that these guys are willing to go out there and -- -- the -- because of income inequality in the -- find out they're getting paid to do that.
And it's sort of undermines.
The whole idea because you know paying protesters to go set out makes it seem like.
-- employees and you know almost corporate citizens like like everyone house -- and it seems like the movement first was taken very seriously especially in the mainstream media.
But then you know they became the -- of many jokes and you saw the president and and other Democrats but normally would line up -- -- sort of distancing themselves from the movement.
What do you think they did wrong along the way -- and could they turn that around.
I don't think that any significant number of them were paid to do what they do I didn't encounter anybody who seem to be there because they were paid in my contacts with Occupy Boston.
I just don't believe that that was a large part of the picture and I think 300000 dollars for a national movement.
It is a a ridiculously small amount of money so I don't think that was about that I think that.
They did present a critique they brought an issue into the public view that needed to be there that.
This economy is being run to benefit a very small number of people who are getting all of the gains tax cuts are increasingly focused.
Just on the people at the top that's a critique and -- point of view that needs to be out there.
I agree they didn't figure out how to make that into a political strategy we have camping downtown until the world changes is not really a strategy.
And it was a way to draw attention to that critique.
Yeah all right well professor thank you for coming on tonight we'll see what happens from here it is it's beautiful outside their and their back so I the -- -- while thank you so much.
OK so that brings us to our question of -- day do you think this round of Occupy Wall Street protests can influence the economic issue.