Occupy…Wait, Really?

Dartmouth is a bit of a bubble. Since the Occupy Wall Street movement began around the time I came to campus, I haven’t really been aware of it. However, upon learning about the related protest yesterday on the green and reading Sterling’s post, I thought I’d find out a little more about the group. After some googling, and 20 minutes of navigating a terribly built website, I found a list of demands which it seems they are allowing anyone to edit. The full list, which totals 8 demands, can be found (and edited if you want!) here.

For those with less time, here are my two favorites after the jump…

Demand #2:

“USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven’t been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and awared winning documentary film “Inside Job” that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt!) and do other research, it wouldn’t take long to develop the list.” 

So at this point, they cannot name any clear-cut financial crimes, they saw a movie narrated by Matt Damon, and they misspelled the word award.


Demand # 5

“CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It’s currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall St. insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. Hmmm.”

Congress apparently needs to change the SEC and find better people to work in it. What type of changes should Congress enact? Where would these “proven professionals” come from? Oh never mind, they can’t come from Wall Street! Glad they cleared that up.

However, my favorite part is that this organization intends to go to Washington and ask for a “firm written commitment with signatures from at least 60% of members of House and 60% of the members of the Senate to pass these bills by the end of the year.” Furthermore, “If this commitment on the full slate of demands is not met by midnight on the 3rd day (which it won’t be) we should be prepared to non-violently block access to all or part of the Capitol complex the next morning by traditional proven non-violent tactics. The purpose is to bring the leaders of the House and Senate to the negotiating table.”

These people intend to try to force Congress’s sign off on laws that are ambiguous, ungrammatical, under-researched and generally absurd.  Who at Dartmouth wanted to support this group?

Jay M. Keating