"The fundamental problem is near-complete corporate control of our lives and futures by entities that don’t think or feel and have one drive: "more". By corporate, I don’t mean the companies that you and friends form to make a small business. I mean multinational corporations that employ thousands or tens of thousands.
Most people don’t yet get that this is the problem but it is definitely a growing feeling and thousands are seeing it every day more clearly. OWS is helping people see and feel that and it should stay focused on helping everyone to understand that.
If we had to make one demand, it would be to abolish the legal fiction of corporate personhood, that allows the law to grant them human rights such as the right of free speech and the right of due process, which they use to ward off control by humans. Corporations can resist any law that says they should behave a certain way for the public good (an environmental regulation or a law preventing them from speculating on mortgage derivatives) by a combination of buying politicians (First Amendment), shouting on the corporate megaphones like Fox News, ABC or Washington Post (First amendment), or suing to claim they are being treated unequally or unfairly (Due Process). So they remain an impenetrable and impregnable block, smack in the middle of everything and everywhere we want society to go. If they had to bow to the will of the majority, they would become our servants rather than our masters.
So keep promoting the grievances, not the demands until there is a consensus on what the problem is. The solutions will then become clear.
(I did come up with a single demand following a six words or less principle: “Stop the moneyprinters from gambling”. When you tell people that, it makes them think and realize the very core of what went wrong in the last decade. Banks print money — they can borrow at less than 1% from the Fed, which they own and which prints the money. They should make money cautiously and carefully, not with 50 to 1 leverage, and leave gambling to people like us. Letting a gambler print money is askling for trouble — nothing will hold them back from betting all our money and then socializing the losses through the Congress they bought by cutting student loans, health care, wages etc.).”