Occupy Wall Street needs to state its goals

The Occupy Wall Street movement and its variants have received almost relentless media coverage since it began. It has garnered support from politicians and celebrities, but protesters haven’t yet capitalized on the attention and been able to effect actual change.

This is because the protesters haven’t issued a list of demands or been able to say exactly what they want to change. The movement is rooted in idealism with no practical way of achieving the ideal.

For change to happen, the protesters need to come up with a clear goal. Expressing dissatisfaction will only get them so far. There is nothing more frustrating for policymakers and others in leadership positions than to be constantly told that what they’re doing is wrong with no constructive input on how to be better.

Besides, it’s not as if the stock brokers on Wall Street are rooting for the economy to fail, sitting in plush leather chairs, counting their piles of gold ingots and cackling about the foolishness of the 99 percent in the streets. They want the economy to get better too, and although they certainly don’t share the protesters’ desire for massive economic overhaul, both parties do share some of the same tenets — specifically, that the government is too ideologically-ridden. A most prominent example is one of Warren Buffett, who agrees that the tax code needs to be reworked.

The issues facing the Occupy movement are complex, as is the movement itself. There are a myriad of causes for the bad economy; if there were a quick fix, we’d have it by now. Getting our country back on track will take years, but the protesters demand change with the immediacy of “now.”

The few suggestions that have come out of the Occupy movement have hardly been met with unanimous approval from other protesters. Anyone and everyone who is unhappy with the state of the economy can take to the street in protest, and while this big-tent style of protesting looks great in the news, it makes it harder to achieve the pinpoint laser focus that a movement like this needs to be effective.

Occupy Wall Street has a voice that’s heard loud and clear. Now it needs a message.