Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Wins

And so does Occupy Dallas and Occupy Oakland and all the other spontaneous movements that sprang up across the United States to protest the growing income inequality between the so-called 1% and the 99%. Critics have dismissed the movements, either because protesters are disorganized and lack consensus on what to do about the issue, or because the protesters are becoming a public nuisance. I won't dispute those criticisms. Occupy Wall Street, like almost all spontaneous protest movements, is disorganized (by design) and disorderly (more or less) and destined to disintegrate (probably).

So, why do I say Occupy Wall Street wins? The answer after the jump.

The answer in one graph:

Google Trends

The time period is 2011. The red line represents the number of Google searches or news references to "budget deficit." The blue line represents the number of Google searches or news references to "income inequality." Earlier this year, the whole political debate was about how to reduce the federal budget deficit. Now, because of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, the political discourse is balanced between "budget deficit" and "income inequality."

But, I hear you say, has Occupy Wall Street actually accomplished anything to reduce income inequality? The answer is either nothing or a lot, depending on how much value you put on changing the subject of the national debate. Just like the Tea Party protests did in 2009, the Occupy Wall Street protests have done that in 2011. Our nation may not have solved the problems that sparked the protest movements, but we're at least talking about them. That's a start. Occupy Wall Street is responsible for that start.

Local blogger Jason Carr has been following and assisting the Occupy Dallas movement and blogging about it on his own blog, "mindful omnivore" and on Google+. An example of his thoughts can be read here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is just the tip of the Iceberg... wait till this goes viral..