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perspective - The Daily Occupation

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Daily Beast: Occupy Wall Street Has Seized Control of Political Debate

…OWS already has had a clear and demonstrable impact on both the Obama and Romney campaigns—arguably becoming the most important outside influence so far in this year’s election campaign dialogue.

President Obama and the Democrats have been increasingly echoing the central themes that OWS introduced last fall—emphasizing unfairness in American society, income inequality, and the need to redistribute wealth. Mitt Romney—who has struggled throughout this campaign on how to address questions surrounding Bain Capital, his overall wealth, the tax rates he pays, and what role Wall Street and business should play in promoting economic growth and job development—sought to tap into OWS themes at a rally in New Hampshire on April 24 with a speech centered around “the unfairness of America today.”

Moreover, the themes and rhetoric that Occupy Wall Street introduced have captured enough attention to go beyond the political hemisphere, to influence Wall Street itself. Nowhere was this clearer than last week when for the first time in Wall Street history, Citigroup shareholders united in opposition to a proposed $15 million pay package for its chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit. The shareholder vote, which comes amid a rising national debate over income inequality, suggests that anger over pay for chief executives has spread from Occupy Wall Street to influence actual behavior on Wall Street as well…

Editor’s note: Shifting the window of dialogue is great, and a necessary first step. But if pressure does not sustain itself – and continue to build in favor of practical change – the effects such as those described in the article will be merely isolated events.

Read the full article at the Daily Beast.