Prior to Occupy Wall Street, the dominant narrative in US politics was about debt and deficit reduction, and the attendant austerity measures that entailed. A study of keywords from network newscasts shows that the national policy discussion has shifted in the wake of the Occupy demonstrations, with an increased emphasis on unemployment and fairness (this shift is also visible in print media).
The debt/deficit discussion was fueled by organizations like Peterson's Fiscal Times, funded by hyper-rich individuals to promote an economic ideology grounded in cuts to social programs.
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-Va., 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.)
(via Beth Pratt)