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The Stunning Victory That Occupy Wall Street Has Already Achieved

In just one month, the protesters have shifted the national dialogue from a relentless focus on the deficit to a discussion of the real issues facing Main Street.

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But, writes Jilani, a recent “review of the same three networks between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16 finds that the word 'debt' only netted 398 mentions, while 'occupy' grabbed 1,278, Wall Street netted 2,378, and jobs got 2,738.”

This sea-change can't be attributed only to the Occupy movement – it also correlates with the White House's “pivot” toward jobs and the economy – but there is no doubt that Occupy Wall Street has played a major role in bringing attention to the plight of working America. Even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, acknowledged the occupiers' grievances when his office announced that he would be giving an address “about income disparity and how Republicans believe the government could help fix it.” One would be naïve to believe Cantor would ever support such measures, but it nonetheless marked a dramatic departure from the GOP's usual class-war stance. (Cantor later canceled the speech when he learned he would be greeted by protesters.)

The real-world impact of this shift is difficult to predict, but the problems on which our mainstream discourse focuses are the ones most likely to be addressed. 

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy: And Everything else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America . Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

 
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