Opinion

Now There's No Doubt About What Occupy Wall Street Believes

Since I wrote my op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, arguing that the Occupy Wall Street protestors believe in redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, and largely reject the basic tenets of the capitalist system, many have come to question the research that my firm did.

To be sure, a senior researcher in the firm, Arielle Confino, did the surveying using a random selection technique, and a carefully crafted survey instrument. But the left being the left, the attacks were personal, ideological, methodological, and almost entirely fallacious.

That is to be expected.

Any sort of work done on ideological groups, on the left or right for that matter, are fraught with emotion, vituperation, and passion. And certainly when Scott Rasmussen and I wrote our book on the Tea Party movement last year, "Mad As Hell," we faced the same sort of ideologically driven criticism.

But right now, a validation of the survey has come from Occupy Wall Street itself. Their Demands Group has put forward their agenda, subsequent to the publication of my poll. And their demands closely mirror what my survey showed they want.

The core essence of their proposals involve $1.5 trillion in new revenue to create 25 million public sector jobs paying union wages, free public transportation, free university education, a single payer health care system and other initiatives. 

They also favor "reappropriating our business structures and culture, putting people and the earth before profit." 

Further, they want to end free trade, spend a trillion additional dollars on environmental programs, and forgive all debt.

My survey showed that quite clearly, the Occupy Wall Street group endorses these principles. Specifically, 65% agreed that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee health care, college education and retirement, no matter what the cost. Seventy percent favor greater regulation of the economy, and 75% support more protectionist trade legislation. Finally, 77% want to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and 58% oppose raising taxes on everyone else.

Put simply, the Occupy Wall Street movement itself supports an agenda that is very close to the one the protestors themselves told my staff that they supported. 

There is nothing surprising in this, save that the concern I raised, which was that Occupy Wall Street could potentially pull the Democratic Party dangerously to the left, is real and apparent-- especially if the Congressional leadership and the White House continue to associate themselves with a group that is clearly well out of touch with the American mainstream, and swing voters in particular.

Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist and Fox News contributor. His most recent book is "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System" published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Douglas E. Schoen is a Fox News contributor. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. His new book is "Putin's Master Plan". Follow him on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.

 

 

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