Occupy Wall Street Lives On!

Are you wondering what happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement? Are you curious about how the movement, albeit swept from the streets of lower Manhattan, may be affecting American — and global — societies?

Shortly after the eviction of the original Occupy protestors from downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, Hurricane Sandy struck the metropolitan New York region with deadly force. Many of the protestors decided to transform their organization into a relief organization that they called Occupy Sandy.

More recently, though, it has become apparent that the zeitgeist of the movement has crept into mainstream society. This week, for instance, two hundred American cities will experience strikes or protests by fast food workers in support of a proposed increase in the minimum wage.

Some of the wealthiest capitalist economies outside of the United States are witnessing similar events. In Germany, for instance, Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly planning to acknowledge such sentiments by instituting her nation’s first universal minimum wage law.

And across the border, in Switzerland, citizens recently voted in a national referendum over whether to limit the compensation of corporate executives to twelve times the compensation of their lowest paid employees.

Although Swiss voters defeated the referendum, the very fact that it qualified for a national vote at all may be surprising to American citizens. After all, in nations (like Switzerland and the United States) where the lowest paid workers of global corporations often earn as little as $10,000 per year, such a policy would limit executive compensation to $120,000 annually.

$120,000? That would represent quite a decline in America, where the median compensation for CEOs in the 350 largest corporations equals $14 million! The founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement would undoubtedly be pleased about how such proposals are dominating the global conversation.