I would like to thank you for protesting a badly malfunctioning economic system. We think we have a capitalist free market economy - we think that such an economy is one where hard work is richly rewarded - but what does that mean when work is unavailable, when the middle class is sinking into poverty? We do not have freedom, nor a free economy, if a tiny elite owns everything and everyone else has to do what they say or else. That is no different from the most corrupt sort of socialism. We don't have to wait until we get all the way there to decide we don't like that destination.
Writing at the outset, I said I hoped that your protest will not fall into the trap of confrontation with police and small business owners. Such people are not millionaires - they should be on your side. The radicalism our society needs is a radically improved way for people in our society to talk to one another - to cancel out demagogues and find common ground. It is unfortunate that both sides allowed things to degrade to the point they have. The Occupy movement's goal - to restore equality and democracy in America - is intrinsically moderate and conservative.
For some time we have accepted the alteration of our economic system as if it were some kind of natural law - even as algorithms and business models and living organisms became patentable for the first time; even as old models like copyright prove unworkable in the face of changing technology. We need a society capable of adapting to survive, where new rules of the economic game can be written, so that we reward honest work instead of deception and loophole hunting. We have seen other countries where, even despite major problems, the willingness to change and challenge has led to relative prosperity: China's free market liberalization, Brazil's ethanol economy, Ecuador's legal campaign against odious debt. The people of the United States have immense power to set things right if they will use it.
Thanks and good luck to you all.
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