Over the past month, the crusaders at Zuccotti Park have braved the elements, tussled with police, and stood their ground against Mayor Bloomberg. But how much do the protesters actually know about the economic system that they're fighting to change? To find out, we asked 50 occupiers a series of questions about Wall Street, taxes, and government. The results were mixed. See if you can do better.
What is the Dodd–Frank Act?
The correct answer is “a financial regulations law,” passed and signed last summer.
Does President Obama control the Federal Reserve?
The correct answer is “no.” The Federal Reserve is an independent bank — although the president appoints its board members, a fact most of the “yes” respondents emphasized.
Who is the chairman of the Federal Reserve?
The correct answer is “Ben Bernanke.”
Is the U.S. economy currently experiencing inflation or deflation?
The correct answer is “inflation.”
Who is Elizabeth Warren?
The correct answer is “professor, Massachusetts senatorial candidate, and financial reformer.”
What is the “S.E.C.”?
The correct answer is “Securities and Exchange Commission,” which regulates financial securities.
What is the top marginal income tax rate for the richest 1 percent?
A tough question, but the correct answer is 35%.
But many wealthy filers pay only 15 percent on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains. What should it be?
The correct answer is up for debate.
What does the government spend more on? Health care and pensions, education, or the military?
The correct answer is “health care and pensions,” which accounted for 43 percent of government outlays in 2010. Defense accounted for 20 percent.