In an effort to debunk the notion that many Americans identify with the sentiment of the Occupy Wall Street movement, pollster Doug Schoen took to the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal Tuesday.
"The Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people," writes Schoen. "The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies and "comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence."
But Schoen's findings come in stark contrast to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday, which found respondents in New York City agreed with the views of the protesters by a 67% to 23% majority. What's more is the fact that the movement -- now in its second month -- continues to grow and has spread across the globe. (See: Forget Wall Street, Protesters Should "Occupy Congress," Says Mauldin)
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, joined The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Daniel Gross to weigh in on the matter. Sachs has been an outspoken critic of Wall Street's abuse of power and the willingness of our elected officials in Washington to aid and abet such behavior.
"I think this movement taps powerful sentiment in America ... . I think people are really mad at Wall Street," says Sachs, who is the author of the new book The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity. "They know that our biggest companies are paying the lowest share of national income in corporate taxes in modern history, because the IRS has basically connived with these companies to let them transfer prices internationally and park their profits in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda."
So this raises the question: Should the Occupy Wall Street protests be directed at Congress?
"There is [already] plenty of anger at Congress, so there is anger to go around," says Sachs, noting Congress' approval rating is as low as it has ever been. In fact, a new USA Today/Gallup poll shows 64% of Americans blame the federal government for the country's economic problems, while just 30% of respondents blame Wall Street.
Sachs' bottom line: "Wall Street and other big corporate lobbies are trying to run the government," he says. "People want their democracy back ... . They don't want a corporatocracy."
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