Much attention has been given to the Occupy Wall Street protestors, who aim to spread the movement to other places.
Many people want them to define their purpose, demands and expected outcomes.
Others believe that they are not obligated to immediately answer all questions.
With all that in mind, I offer some demands for protesters to consider.
- Demand intensive and broad investigation of individuals and organizations, both public and private, who have profited from manipulation of the financial instruments that created this crisis.
- Demand that tax loopholes and similar policies end.
- Modify regulatory organizations, procedures and staff to assure that the public is being protected.
- Increase the number and severity of all penalties for inappropriate conduct.
- Demand genuine public supervision at every level and in every sector that might impact the execution of injurious transactions.
- Develop a fair restitution process for homeowners for the losses incurred due to financial manipulation and mismanagement.
- Hold all regulatory and judicial entities accountable for misconduct and failure to investigate and prosecute.
- Demand foreclosure reforms, unemployment protection and insurance.
- Demand education reforms, particularly the cost of higher education.
- Hold politicians, lobbyists and staff accountable when financial infractions are found.
- Modify all laws that encourage injurious behaviors in the financial arena.
- Demand that Wall Street have a mandate to produce jobs.
- Reinvest in jobs and lending institutions.
This list is merely an attempt to get the process of “demand development” started.
We all have an invitation and opportunity to engage in this movement.
All of our ideas and resources can be offered to the protest of financial injustice and to seek remedies that might have resulted from that injustice.
William E. "Gene" Robertson is a Columbia resident and a professor emeritus at MU.