I don't know what percentage of the population OWS represents, but it has to be small -- however, when watching Chris Hayes's show you'd think OWS has national influence and are really changing fundamentals in this country. Media have propped up OWS and given them more favorable coverage than they merit, and Haye's conflation of the last Presidential election with signals showing OWS influence is terribly misguided and delusionally hopeful.
The first progressive panel on Hayes's show talked about the fiscal cliff talks and how the premise regarding debt reduction is all wrong. Hayes and his guests, which included an OWS type, the congress person Jerry Nadler and couple of other progressives/Obama supporters, all said we should tax, borrow and spend on stimulus/investment. Heather McGhee recommended hiring a million or so young people in publkic service positions to spread out across the country and rebuild America, doing infrastructure-like stuff.
The panel said that Obama really believes in deficit reduction and trying to balance the budget. Yes, Obama's actions in office scream deficit reduction and balanced budget. Progressives are still pushing their agenda and smearing Romney and Republicans -- they're still in campaign mode. They're in campaign mode because no one has any idea how to implement their vague plans. They just know that if they tax the rich and find various ways to transfer money from the private to the public sector, they can spend money and create jobs and this ought to make things better.
The other panel represented the other part of the vague plan they don't know to implement -- relieving debt owed by people who can't pay it back. Debt is oppressive, so if debt is relieved this will liberate people to...uh...to pile up more debt they can't afford, I guess. Seriously, if people can't afford to pay their debt now, and if they are using debt to pay for basic needs, then when the debt is relieved government will have to pay for their basic needs if the problem is to be solved. I think this is what they are getting at -- debtors and poor people in general have to have basic benefits that cover food, clothing, transportation and shelter, with enough for computer access.
I think this percentage that needs basic benefits is around 17%, but it will quickly rise when those between 17% and 25% or so understand that they can get basic needs taken care of if they reduce their income by a small margin. This is what's important to Hayes and OWS buds. Free the people, or free to the people, whatev.