After a month in lower Manhattan, Occupy Wall Street is going global. Having already spread to other major cities in the U.S. and Europe, major protests are expected Saturday "around the globe from New Zealand to Alaska via London, Frankfurt, Washington and, of course, New York," Reuters reports.
"Social unrest goes with bought and paid for politics, which is what we have," says Howard Davidowitz of Davidowitz & Associates. "Everybody is a bold-faced liar - Republicans and Democrats."
The always outspoken Davidowitz joined Henry and me to discuss Occupy Wall Street, which -- even as it grows in size and strength --remains the object of much discussion, confusion and occasional ridicule in the press. (See: Taken to Task: Occupy Wall Streets Nattering Nabobs of Negativity)
On Friday, protestors briefly stormed a Goldman Sachs office in Milan. Meanwhile, the original 'Occupy Wall Street' protestors avoided a potential showdown with the NYPD when the planned cleanup of Zuccotti Park was postponed.
The real cleanup needs to be in and of Washington D.C., Davidowitz says. "If we can only get these guys to do a little bit of honest work, I'm telling you this mess can be cleaned up," he says, suggesting America could once again use a man like Ross Perot -- a third party candidate who focused the nation's attention on the deficit.
Indeed, one goal of the movement I've observed, which has been under-reported to date, is campaign finance reform. "Personally I am here to tell these big corporations to get their money out of my politicians' pockets so my politicians can work for me and for my family and my friends like we elected them to do," as one protestor told me when we first reported from Zuccotti Park last month. (See: Occupy Wall Street: What's It All About?)
No fan of the movement -- which he compares unfavorably to the Tea Party -- Davidowitz believes Occupy Wall Street is a reaction to a corrupt, dysfunctional political system and "a massive unfairness and criminality in everything we're doing."
Personally, I believe the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have, at their core, a lot in common: frustration with our political system and a fear the 'American Dream' is slowly dying.
Henry, meanwhile, believes the problem is more fundamentally about economics, as detailed in a recent post on Business Insider:
"The problem in a nutshell is this," he writes. "Inequality in this country has hit a level that has been seen only once in the nation's history, and unemployment has reached a level that has been seen only once since the Great Depression. And, at the same time, corporate profits are at a record high."
"In other words, in the never-ending tug-of-war between 'labor' and 'capital,' there has rarely—if ever—been a time when 'capital' was so clearly winning."
Clearly there's no "one" reason why people are coming out in support of 'Occupy Wall Street'. What's significant is they're coming out in greater numbers to support a movement that may indeed be just getting started.
For additional coverage, see:
- Wall Street