With all of the Occupy stuff going on (or should I say "people illegally camping on and destroying public property at the expense of local business owners, while costing local government $$$ in cleanup") there has been a lot of confusion in what they actually want... so I just wanted to break their agenda down into layman's terms for us all.
1) They chose to go to school, knowing full well what the expenses would be, accepting a loan based on the lender's terms, AND NOW WANT THEIR DEBT ERASED.
2) For those that have not taken the time to learn a trade, they want minimum wage to be increased so that they can HAVE THE SAME INCOME AS PEOPLE WHO HAVE STRUGGLED AND PUT FORTH THE EFFORT TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES.
3) After signing all of the papers to purchase a house, reviewing the costs with a lender and completely understanding that if they cannot make payments, their house will be foreclosed on, they want to KEEP THEIR HOUSE IN SPITE OF THEIR IRRESPONSIBILITY. And even though EVERYONE is struggling in this down-turned economy (even business owners who have to layoff a small percentage of employees in order to pay the remaining ones) they want all layoffs to stop, possibly tanking the entire business, but they would KEEP THEIR JOB AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.
4) Repeal racist and xenophobic English-only laws... I really have no idea what this refers to. Every law in the US is in the best interest of every AMERICAN. The law doesn't care what race or nationality you are - they are simply written FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
5) We are to open our borders completely to other countries, EVEN THOUGH MANY WANT TO TERRORIZE US, KILL US, AND ABUSE OUR MANY GOVERNMENT SUPPORT SYSTEMS. People who are in the US illegally (against the LAW) are to be REWARDED FOR THEIR LAW-BREAKING WITH COMPLETE AMNESTY.
6) Create a universal health care system, EFFECTIVELY RUNNING ALL PRIVATE HEALTH CARE OUT OF BUSINESS (removing most of their business and forcing them to raise their prices so high that no one can afford them) AND EITHER LOWERING THE STANDARD OF HEALTHCARE OR LOWERING THE WAGES OF ALL HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS (why would anyone work so hard and attend school for so long if the end result isn't worth the effort?) SO THE GOVERNMENT CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR EVERYONE.
7) Regulate campaign financing, so that EVERYONE PAYS FOR EVERYONE CAMPAIGNING, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT WE PERSONALLY SUPPORT THEM.
8) Institute a negative income tax that taxes the very rich up to 90% of their income, SO THAT THEY'RE UNABLE TO SUPPORT THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE ALL OF THAT MONEY (and the workers that come with the companies), REWARDING THEM FOR ALL OF THE HARD WORK, EFFORT, INGENUITY, INTELLIGENCE, AND SACRIFICE IT TOOK THEM TO MAKE THAT MONEY. Oh... and those taxes will support people that have extremely low incomes SO THAT WE CAN CHOOSE TO WORK LOW HOURS OR AT A LOW SKILL JOB AND STILL MAKE WHAT MORE HARD-WORKING PEOPLE DO. Awesome.
9) Pass far stricter environmental protection and animal rights laws BECAUSE WE DON'T ACTUALLY NEED NATURAL RESOURCES AND ANIMALS REALLY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE. We currently have fantastic laws to protect resources that have been depleted (not to mention we're not allowed to touch most of them that are plentiful) and it's ILLEGAL to harm domesticated or endangered animals - I suppose they want everyone to be a vegetarian... ?
10) Allow workers to elect their supervisors, because WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF MONEY LEAVES AND CANDY RAINDROPS. I only have sarcasm for those who don't choose to live in the real world.
11) Lower the retirement age to 55 and increase Social Security benefits so that WE CAN BE LAZY, DEPENDENT, UNWILLING TO PROVIDE FOR OURSELVES, AND A COMPLETE WASTE OF LIFE (in my humble opinion) WHEN FULLY CAPABLE OF WORKING.
12) Create a 5% annual wealth tax for the very rich. REALLY... AGAIN? SO THAT'S 95% OF THE WEALTHY'S WAGES?
13) Ban the private ownership of land... I can only assume this is out of jealousy. As in, if I can't have it, no one can. Or maybe they just got bored making their demands and decided to get a little creative. Who knows. We own land. JUST TRY AND TAKE IT FROM ME.
14) Make homeschooling illegal. Even though homeschoolers notoriously outperform public school students, have higher moral and familial values, and become more productive members of society "RELIGIOUS FANATICS USE IT TO FEED THEIR CHILDREN PROPAGANDA." WHICH IS NEVER WHAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD DO... Hello Obama worship. I teach my kids about God. You teach them about everything but. Let's just leave it at that.
15) Reduce the age of majority to 16. BECAUSE WE NEED MORE IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS SUPPORTING, THE WEALTHY ARE FUNDING, AND OWS APPLAUDS.
16) Abolish the death penalty and life in prison. We call for the immediate release of all death row inmates from death row and transferred to regular prisons. I ACTUALLY AGREE WITH THIS ONE. EXCEPT INSTEAD OF PRISON, LET'S MOVE THEM TO YOUR HOUSE, GIVE YOU A GUN, AND SEE HOW LONG IT IS BEFORE YOU USE IT. Psychopaths and serial killers cannot be reformed with punishment. And unless you're going to give up some of your hard earned minimum wage or taxpayer money to fund them being in prison, to the electric chair it is. If you take lives for pleasure, what right do you have to your own?
17) Release all political prisoners. Where? In China? South America? Oh, the US? I sincerely hope they're not referring to terrorists. Or perhaps Bradley Manning, the traitor. AGAIN, TO YOUR HOUSE THEY GO.
18) Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. I actually understand this - from the viewpoint of someone who has never served in the armed forces. Taxpayer money that could be going into their pocket is going over to help people in another country that live like heathens and really just keep fighting amongst themselves for a chance at 72 virgins. EXCEPT THAT THOSE BEING FORCED TO LIVE IN THOSE CONDITIONS ARE ACTUALLY ASKING FOR OUR HELP. OWS would know that if they didn't only watch CNN and MSNBC. AND WE'RE HELPING THESE PEOPLE ESTABLISH A WAY OF LIFE IN WHICH THEY CAN BE FREE TO WORK AND PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES WITHOUT ENDANGERMENT. But they wouldn't care about that, right?
19) Abolish the debt limit. HA! Who cares, right? It's not your money. But how will the government support you if there's no money? SOMEONE'S A LITTLE CONFUSED.
20) Ban private gun ownership. SO THEY CAN TAKE MY LAND AND MONEY? Don't worry - I homeschool, remember? That means we believe in God... so I won't kill you. Shoot you in the leg maybe...
21) Strengthen the separation of church and state. BECAUSE GOD SCARES THEM. THE THOUGHT OF ANYONE BEING SO MORAL AND USING THOSE MORALS TO DETERMINE THEIR FATE WITH A MORAL LAW SCARES THE PANTS OFF OF THEM. But if we're going to really separate ALL churches, they'll have to give up all the other religions they're allowing in schools. JUST TO BE FAIR.
22) Immediate debt forgiveness for all. That sounds fantastic. A clean slate for all. Until a year from now when they're in over their heads again and I'm still debt free. IT'S ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY. WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU IF CANNOT HONOR YOUR DEBTS? KEEP YOUR PROMISES? Gambling addicts have this problem too... but their loan sharks beat their knee caps in.
23) End the "War on Drugs". Does this mean stop arresting drug dealers? Legalize drugs? Close down the DEA? MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS AND FREE-REIGN USE OF DRUGS?
24) And their SHINING JEWEL - Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act (which monitors unions and prevents them from abusing their power) and unionize ALL workers. There really aren't adequate words... but I'll try. For starters, they want to TAKE AWAY THE PERSONAL RIGHT AND LIBERTY OF EMPLOYEES TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES WHO THEY'LL ALLY THEMSELVES WITH. They also want to unions to have the power to make any kind of demand that they want to without any regulation, ESSENTIALLY HOLDING COMPANIES HOSTAGE - NO WORKERS/PROFIT WITHOUT ALWAYS GIVING INTO THEIR DEMANDS.
And that's it. I sincerely hope this helps you have a better understanding of this group of young people and their humble requests.