Thursday, October 06, 2011

Howard Dean on Occupy Wall Street

Matt Taylor (TheNationalMemo):
"I've been waiting for something like this to happen," Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee chair and governor of Vermont, told The National Memo. "Wall Street is an institution that is not serving the country well. Because of their financial practices, money's not getting invested in the long-term creation of jobs. They basically have turned Wall Street into a gambling casino. Credit default swaps, about 95 percent of that is speculation. So I'm glad to see all these young people on Wall Street."

He suggested the protesters were law-abiding citizens who deserved to be heard, and that we might see additional Democratic Party backing in the future.

"I think it depends on the tactics. This group of demonstrators is not interested in violence. But since no one knows exactly who they are, there's going to be some reticence. But the principle of standing up of for the 99 percent is a really important one."

The Wall Street protests speak to the massive and growing gap between rich and poor in this country, Dean argued, and the political class ought to take notice.

"I think this country's in a lot of trouble and I'm glad someone's finally standing up and talking about it. The danger of having a situation where the gap between the top and the bottom is so great is that people stop believing in the system. There are a lot of young people who I'm not sure believe in America anymore. That's a very dangerous place to be. This is about unfairness, about society becoming an unfair place."

He insisted this is a youth-based struggle for justice that defies traditional political typology, and is fundamentally concerned with fairness and equity.

"I don't consider it to be a political movement, which is why I think they have trouble articulating their demands. What they want is an America that's fair to everyone again, where there's really equal opportunity." MORE...

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