Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

« Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on the US Episcopal Church | Main | Bill Moyers Essay: For the Fallen »

A Crisis of Capitalism?

In his interview with John Bogle, Bill Moyers cites this article from THE NEW YORK TIMES. which examines more than 1,200 nursing homes purchased by large private investment groups.

The piece, "At Many Homes, More Profit and Less Nursing" reports that:

"The TIMES analysis shows that managers at many other nursing homes acquired by large private investors have cut expenses and staff, sometimes below minimum legal requirements..."

"...In recent years, large private investment groups have agreed to buy 6 of the nation's 10 largest nursing home chains, containing over 141,000 beds, or 9 percent of the nation's total."

The article further details residents from one home who died from what family members call negligent care, while investors profited millions.

Bogle calls this a "national disgrace," contending that:

"There are some things that must be entrusted to government and some things that must be entrusted to private enterprise. "

Do you agree?

How do we determine what falls into the responsibility of private investment and what is better handled by government?

Photo: Robin Holland


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/564

Comments

It's time for another John C. Bogle interview, this time about his book, "Enough," which is described as: "Simply put, our nation has been suffering from decades of unchecked financial excess, for which we are now paying the piper: excess in investment company fees; excess in financial speculation masquerading as diversification and innovation; excess in the salaries of top executives; excess in salesmanship; and most importantly, excess in the role played by the financial industry in our national economy and national life."

Thank you,

- Carole Roberts

Nursing homes have been understaffed for quite some time now whether government staffed or privately owned. It is no wonder why our elder are being subject to so much abuse. Long term care insurance is climbing at an alarming rate. I see this abuse happening at both ends of the spectrum, day care centers for infants/toddlers and the elderly. It is a sad situation that is only going to get worse before it gets better. We have to plan ahead and research what kind/quality of care we want our parents to have. A nurse in a comment mentioned canada's free health care. I am mostly all for it. Canadian's tax per person is about 20-30% higher per person though. Do you think american's are willing to accept such a tax increase? I am. I'm sure most are not. One of the only things I do not like about the canadian's health care is that since their government controls the health care and prescriptions...sometimes that causes less expensive, and therefore less effective medication and procedures to overule the best solution.

Daren Singh

See Fresh Air WHYY (with Terry Gross) April 3, 2008 archive in which Prof. Greenberger explains derivatives. If you understand what he says you'll be ready to abandon the current economic system. See also articles by Borosage and Wessel linked onthe "taxpayer's Bill of Rights" page on this blog to confirm a Depression is coming. All working people will have tio fight to keep their rights. It has already been happening in Argentina where collusion between business pirates and government leaders destroyed enterprise, Worker ownership must succeed this debacle to save the planet. Read also the works of economist Ravi Batra, but just ignore the mysticism, otherwise he is "right on."

I am an American citizen who grew up without healthcare, but fought hard and got a college education. I then fell in love with a Canadian and after graduation moved to Canada, where I have now been since 1994. What an eye opener about my "home and native land".

What perspective I can offer, after spending some time in another "country's" shoes, so to speak, is that it IS our economic model that is FLAWED.

Capitalism is ultimately about greed and money, whereas Socialism (the Canadian model) is more about the common good of humanity.

Everyone is covered for medical needs in Canada, no questions asked. A college education at one of North America's top schools - McGill University in Montreal - costs Canadian students only $5,000 or so a year (where a comparable school in the USA would cost a student over $15,000/year).

How do they do it? It all comes down to values and ethics. People agree to pay more taxes so that everyone, regardless of income level, has equal access to basic needs like education and healthcare. Sure doctors make a good living in nice neighborhoods but maybe not as millionaires as in the States. It is a more HUMANE kind of society here.

Canadian arts and television are govt. subsidized, so unlike PBS which has to rely on individual donations, the Canadian national broadcaster CBC, gets the bulk of its support from government, or rather, from tax dollars.

Canadians believe in this, they fight for it, and I have doctors as neighbours who refuse to go "make more $" in the USA because they fundamentally believe what they are doing is RIGHT, that is is for the common good.

Sadly, America and Capitalism is all about the individual - get what you can before someone else does - and that has led to a nation that no longer represents the democracy I used to put my hand over my heart and say my Pledge of Allegiance to for my entire childhood in the USA.

The advertiser/corporate-controlled US Media slants the Canadian economy, sensationalizing it to make Americans think it is worse. Don't believe them.

It is BETTER, much better here... if you share similar VALUES as I write of above.

Just take a vacation yourself and visit me in Montreal. I'll show you around first hand and have you meet people, doctors, students, parents... and you can decide if America would be better with such a system.

As Americans, we must start acting as a community and not as greedy individuals chasing the buck. Life is temporal and we have a limited chance to make it a bit better before we leave.

What will YOU do before your time is up?

I hope to help my fellow Americans see that we CAN be better, but that like Dante says (and I paraphrase), "The hottest places in hell are saved for those who do nothing in the face of atrocities".

I refuse to be silent, and so should you. Now more than ever. That is not only our priviledge in a REAL democratic society under the 1st Amendment. It is our DUTY.

It seems I come to this discussion somewhat late, but hopefully not too late. I am a retired Social Worker who became, in mid-career, an entrepreneur.

Actually I bought into a corpration that wished to develop a nursing home like program for the mentally retarded. This program provided what may be a model for answering your question about the private vs public sector service delivery.

The state of Texas, like other states, has a dual system of care. The large so-called state schools serve hundreds of mentally retarded individuals -- that is, there are hundreds in each institution, while the private sector has (by law and/or regulation) much smaller facilities. In this business the laws or economy of scale works in a very positive way. The services delivered are much like those delivered to nursing home residents and they are both funded largely by medicaid, and in the case of the state instituitions by additional tax dollars.

I retired from this business in the early 90s, but believe he comparisons I saw are the same now as they were then or even more dramatic. I had now and then a staff member who did not believe anyone should make a profit from the condition of handicapped persons; yet, they were not willing to work for no pay.

The major differences in the two horns of this model were: (1) the private sector generally had better service delivery than their state counterparts, (2) parents and residents almost never wanted to return to state facilities, (3) private facilities made a profit even with reimbursement at less than one-half that of public facilities.

There are safeguards in the intricate set of standards which private facilities must meet. And private facilities are inspected, licensed and monitoried by their competetion--the state.

Greed, incompetence, laziness is not only a problem in the private sector; it exists in the public sector which is compounded by greater political greed, incompetence, power hunger and manipulation.

This dual model should inform us about the issue of who should be responsible for delivery of such services. There is a role for both systems. Part of that role is competetion and provision of a choice to the consumer.

Don C. Marler

Wow, Bill. Another mind bending, mind altering presentation of solid, balanced information that we aren't getting from the "conventional" news or from the "alternative" news. Thank you.

we the people of the united states are being extorted by our (s)elected government. They are holding our access to democracy hostage in the name of home grown Capitalism.
Our (s)elected spenders say privatisation(ownership) is the most Just way to function in a Capitalist Democratic system.
Our government spenders are doing this for our own good. You can look around the world, they say, and see how only Capitalism functions to give the most to the deserving. There is nothing more just than giving all to those who work so hard to create the possibility of more wealth.
giving your hours for your children only leaves you without the wealth to give them what they need.
giving your hours for your neighbors only leaves you without the resources it takes to truly help them.
giving your hours for a healthy world only leaves you without the means to make the world healthy.
We are told we are so unsuccessful because we just won't buy into the system enough to create the capital we need to change the world for the better.
If we had the capital to pay them, they would make the world a better place for us.
But we don't.
So, they won't.
and good luck trying to create any real change without the help of our capital based democracy.

It was mentioned: how do you know what should be public?

Folks, it is very easy, is it in the commons? Now, what IS in the commons is harder, I argue it is what we value. If we value parks, they cannot be owned by the individual... if we value education - again, not owned.

What we have had the last 30+ years is a steady drumbeat of decay of what America values. Increasingly, we only value money.

Sad that it takes a capitalist to state the value of art and poetry. While artists sacrifice trying to make money rather than art.

For those that can't get their neck around it - we currently do not value healthcare - that is, that it should be part of the commons.

Unfortunately, until the elites accept it as part of the commons - no healthcare for you!

Familiar phrases like "God save America", "God bless America", what do they mean. Who is America?
America likes to call itself the greates nation and democracy on earth! Democracy stands for the fact, that the political elite executes the will of the brad center of peoples opinion. Can it be, that people of a nation, a place that they live together and have to get along with each other, want their fellow citizens to live in a state of negligence of care: of health care, of childrens day care, of educational care, of out of work care? As if some us where destined to be poor, ill, having a bad/violent family background. And this destiny would take place next to people who have everything!
America, it's people, it's politicians, it's, has to have a system, common institutions and people who reflect their values and democratic aspirations. Because at the moment only greed is reflected in this society. And the phrases like "the american dream" are only advertisment for recruting new warrior citizens who fight against each other, then against the elite who takes advantage of the split american society. If this goes on, there will be war, and it will be within the own borders of the US. Except, of corse, we send them out as cannon fodder, to have them killed in other unjustified wars, especially our poor uneducated citizens who don't seem to count and have to sacrifice themselfs for the American profit.
I belive America could really be a great nation. But it is far from there, though I do see some evidence of a change in paradigma. Bill Moyers journal is a great great contribution to show that we are held hostage by our own system. We are manipulated by the elite groups of politics and economy. Instead of them being embedded in the society, they make us believe that all problems we are facing nowadays (polution, crime, war, terrorism) have nothing to do with them, and we don't have to pay the price. As Robert Reich says in his new book: politics treat us like customers. No one talks about the price! We want it all for free.
By the way: I am not American, and I am happy and proud of coming from a country where we still know that we have duties and responsabilites towards ourselfs and our fellow men (even globaly)!

The "Leading" Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, proposes the remedy to our healtcare disaster as having everyone buy healthcare. She sounds like a NEOCON Idiot. This is the Corporate Solution to a possible loss by the Republicans in 2008. Wake Up America!!!!!!!!

In my career, I worked many years in tax, finance and international insurance industry. Bogle is spot on. Things remain quite corrupt. I burned my CPA license in protest, at the profession as well as the invasion of Iraq which I regard as financially, not defense, motivated. Literally the moneymen are creating war where none existed before. These are far-reaching statements you cannot possibly believe, without spending years in military finance and audit, back office of wall street firms, etc. The things I want to tell you would sound like John Perkins, the "economic hitman" guy.

First- ignore the posts calling for a gold standard, libertarianism, deregulation, Paul; they are quite naive. There is no alternative but a well managed public sector. We've fought for 100 years, for our social security, public schools, roads, fire and police, parks. Now it is time for universal healthcare, and, a return to progressive income taxes.

You do NOT want the lowest tax rates in the world-- As we found in WA., the low taxes attracts billionnaires who then, usurp the political system. You want *high* tax rates, and yeah that means, working harder producing our own goods and services, instead of continual viking raids on other peoples, killing people to steal their stuff. Tax the billionnaires out of the country.

I have my serious beefs with "sacred markets" and unregulated capitalism but I'd like to move back to the program's focus on nursing homes. A movement to humanize them has been spreading--The Eden Alternative. See Google. Using EA's loving system, staff turnover drops, medication costs for patients plummet--voila: profits go up. It's possible to do this right AND make money.

This interview was amazing and thanks to John Bogle to have the courage to shine light on this huge problem.

I encourage readers to look at Riane Eisler's new book, Real Wealth of Nations: creating a caring economics.
She shows how it is time to transition from capitalism/socialism and into Partnerism...an economic theory that helps us see a new way of creating a world that works for all of us.
Also, check out the blog www.seachangetoday.com for more ideas on how we can transition from our current mess.

Even if, as Bogle encourages, the abuses of the stockmarket/investment world could be corrected--it wouldn't solve the bigger problems of a consumer/money-driven economy. We have to leave this old value/dominator system behind and open our minds to a new value/caring system that supports the most essential human work: caring for people and the planet.

David Korten's book,"When Corporations Rule the World", was published in 1994, and predicts what has happened, as did Adam Smith. So, now, how do we get back to Community, Labor, and Capital working for the common good? Korten's book describes the way. We need to get ON with it!

John Bogle's comments about the parasitic behavior of the financial community brings to mind Catherine Austin Fitts' essay, "The Tapeworm’s Triumph?: Confronting the Parasitic Corporate Underpinnings of U.S. Empire." Bogle's sense of an impending revolution strikes me as "dead on" (but let's keep the world alive, friends).

A few tweaks of election laws will not do it. None if it will matter if we cannot address the fundamental issue of our monetary system. The more you look into it, the more you will understand. Our money is "sick" and so our economy is "sick" too.

Do not think that you or your favorite politician is so clever as to have a simple solution. This is a deep issue which we cannot come to grips with too soon. Go to Google video and watch "fiat empire" or "debt as money"

Also, if you are interested in more insight into the soul of capitalism and some powerful ideas for investing without wall street, please look up Catherine Austin Fitts and her Solari program. Read her fascinating story Dillon Read and the Aristocrisy of Stock Profits.

And last, please, whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Constitutionalist, Libertarian or even Green, please join the Ron Paul Revolution. Hope for America.

The solution to this mess is to:
- federally fund all elections. Only other contributions are from individuals. $50 limit per person. Zero from Corporations and any other groups.
- federal standards for all elections (e.g. voter ID or not, machines or not (and crazy tight standards for machines), etc.
- ban lobbying companies (i.e. get in line behind grandma and her apple pie for your five minutes with the Senator, lobbyist X")
- You want to lobby? Phone call, email (no spam please), write a letter, or show up in Congress (behind grandma). No fund raising dinners, private parties/trips, etc. Congress should be writing laws, voting, debating or talking to their constituents (i.e. people, not voteless corporations with money). They can take time off when the job is done.
- Single Transferrable Vote election system (instant run-off)
- Funding issues only on propositions... no more tyranny of the majority please.

Nuff said.

The solution to all the problems Bill is discussing is the Robotic Wageless Economy.

Please check out the MagnaCartaNova which describes this new form of economy which will change the world in a great way.

http://TeamInfinity.com/MagnaCarta_Robotic_Economy_bm

Thank you for a discussion long-past due. As a nurse who has worked both in Canada and the United States, I have constantly wondered about a system that encourages profit-making on the backs of sick people! It seems immoral to me!

I have always felt that good government allows citizens to do as a group what an individual might find impossible--another name, perhaps, for civilized behavior. This concept seems to be foreign these days.

I sincerely hope that Mr. Bogle, Mr. Moyers and many others will keep this discussion alive--until we as a citizenry can find the heart to care for our fellow citizens rather than use them for profit.

The problem is not capitalism or regulation per se. We do not have capitalism or a free market. The problem is the nature of our currency, the Federal Reserve System and the consequent merger of corporate and government interests.

I maintain the soul of capitalism is the monetary unit and that ours (the dollar) is broken. As long as our currency is continually debased by a central bank, our entire system will be debased as well. In this system, short term thinking will win every time -- for "managers", "investors", and politicians. The faster our banks create money, the more our so-called "animal spirits" take on the character of demons of hell.

To find a statesman who truely understands our situation and the remedies required, look no further than Dr. Ron Paul

To comment on Nick Miletich's comment. “If you want health care you pay for it. Why is that such a bad/cruel thing?”

If what we paid for was health care you would be right. What we pay for now is quarterly dividends to an elite few.

The insurance industry is not in the Health Care business; they are in the financial investment business. Their goal is to limit health care not provide it.

The cruelty is in the cost of healthcare in today’s for profit system; only the ultra rich and privileged can afford it.

Health care is not what the health insurance industry is selling. Their goal is to sell “peace of mind.” The business paradigm is “get as many healthy people as possible to pay thousands of dollars a year and give little or nothing in return.” The loyalty is to their shareholders profit not providing affordable health care to human beings.

When the price of healthcare requires the average citizen to fork over their entire net worth as it does for a growing number of the population then there is something terribly broken with the system.

I run a small business, health insurance is over 10 percent of my business expense. The only way I can contain that cost is not to use it.


John Bogle, you really nailed it when you said,

"We've got to develop a political system that's not driven by money." - John Bogle

"WE'VE GOT TO DEVELOP A POLITICAL SYSTEM THAT'S NOT DRIVEN BY MONEY." - John Bogle

"...because corporations are artificial entities. They’re not real human beings. They don’t vote. They don’t die in Iraq. They don’t have children. They are entities that are dominating our politics, our electoral systems, our universities, increasingly, dominate almost everything." - Ralph Nader

"...corporate lawyers (acting as both attorneys and judges) subverted our Bill of Rights in the late 1800's by establishing the doctrine of "corporate personhood" -- the claim that corporations were intended to fully enjoy the legal status and protections created for human beings." - http://reclaimdemocracy.org/

By far, the greatest impediment to democracy of, by, and for the people is the control of our political system by corporations. We must find a way to change the lobby system, and prohibit donor politics.

Can we establish publicly funded free elections? Can we allow only lobbying in writing and accessible to the public; a completely transparent lobbying system?

A few other commenters have touched on this issue:

"We need to look at the process by which corporations gained "personhood" and became freed from the restraints of responsibility and from having to consider the common good. " - Posted by: Bill Peltz
"as long as it takes millions of dollars to talk to the public on t.v.--- the politicians will be corporate, and unwilling to police the business world that insures their access." - Posted by: Lane Arnold

"I also agree that as soon as we realize that corporations are not persons and are not entitled to the legal rights of persons, we will have begun to address the root of the problem." - Posted by: Juliania

Can we raise the volume of this discussion?

What we have been seeing over the last decade has been, ''Capitalism Without Conscience'' run a-m-u-c-k by duplicitous and deceitful practices, with greed as the driving force and individual profit as the ONLY goal.
I thank you for the excellent discussion with a somewhat 'conscience-stricken' guest!

Nick Miletich,

By your inference then, clean water, air, city sanitary sewer systems, adequate schools, police and fire protection are not ours by civil right either.

We pay for all of those services through our taxes. Why wouldn't health care come under the same umbrella. There is no co-pay for any of those other services.

Where does the money go Nick? The pocket of a multibillionaire might as well be outer space for all the good it will do for his employees who struggle to make their health insurance payments. I wouldn't begrudge him compensation for his expertise, but enough is enough. At what point will Karl Marx's predictions come to pass?

What kind of economics do you teach?

Let's remind the world that past President George Herbert Walker Bush and James Baker are investors in the Carlyle Group. See also Craig Unger's book, House of Bush House of Saud, to learn the unfettered power these asocial financial capitalists command. They need to be held accountable. But only the powerful and rich can take them on. Who of the privileged class will do it? John Bogle?

The truth is finally dawning on the citizens of this great nation that the economy is not as sound as it is portrayed to be by the business leaders.
On private equity firms they have become the new odious colonialists. who have decided to seperate citizens of the world from their hard earned dollars.
To the layman it appears as the markert economy have become a BIG ponzi game with some people always staying at the top of the pyramid game and maintaining this position at any expense.
I do hope the Mr Bogle book on soul of capitalism will inspire most of us to change the course of the world and liberate it from the greedy few.

Confessions of an economic hitman is a Must read for anyone who needs to understand the blackstone and other related companies role looting of the world.

The expose on nursing home is sand and there is more to come since most the the longterm care nursing homes have been bought by private equity firms.

To comment on Faye Krause's comment. That's correct health care is not a right! Why would it be? If you want health care you pay for it. Why is that such a bad/cruel thing?

I thought it was interesting that Bogle said the financial industry takes money out of the economy. Where does John think it goes? Outer space? Just by hearing those statements alone I know he doesn't understand the fundamentals of economics.

Value, integrity, heart caring....hard to find in the business world now.

A special place will be reserved for those that purchase Nursing Homes just for profit and that place will be in this life time...wait till they become ill and in need....

Thank you for this interview.

John C. Bogle's Democracy in corporate America is through provoking. My throughts are:

1. Someone who helped drive the 2000 tech bubble for a large bank is very rich for his efforts--I do not do business with that bank or its investment firm.
2. It is less of a crime to falsify financial statements or overestimate pension earnings than to print money: I do not buy mature companies that do not pay dividends.

3. Corporate votable issues are too complicated for me to understand. If the corporation does not perform, I sell my shares.

4. When a director who served company that was found guilty of damaging investors is on the board of another company, I am concerned for that investment.

5. Mutual funds and lack of shareholder pressure on corporations are synergistic.

6. Do mutual funds fill out the class-action law suit forms from corporate stock manipulations?

7. The WSJ article that tracked golf score entries with CEO use of corporate jets makes more sense.

Excellent segment with Mr. Bogle! In concert with Gates and others, could this be the reawakening of long-term thinking in America? It surely does _not_ come from the White House, which these days represents the basest aspects of human nature and the elevation of short-term acquisition into an object of worship. It was significant that Bogle marked the transition from a "service" based economy to one based on financial manipulations. Hopefully it will further transition into an economy that does something useful. As anyone knows who rode any U.S. airline in recent past years, we didn't do too well at the "service" part, and the "financial" approach doesn't seem to do anything useful to most Americans.

Bogle is fascinating. If you appreciated this interview, you might also be interested in Robert Reich's speech to the Commonwealth Club a week or so ago: tinyurl.com/32ffux
Reich would eliminate the "personhood" of corporations--I wonder if Bogle sees value in that approach.
Reich's new book is Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life.

"We need to develop a political system not driven by money" - John Bogle

"WE NEED TO DEVELOP A POLITICAL SYSTEM NOT DRIVEN BY MONEY." - John Bogle

"we need a long national discussion of "responsibility", the "common good", ... the process by which corporations gained "personhood" and became freed from the restraints of responsibility and from having to consider the common good."
Posted by: Bill Peltz

Lane Arnold and Julianna get it!
"as long as it takes millions of dollars to talk to the public on t.v.--- the politicians will be corporate, and unwilling to police the business world that insures their access."
Posted by: Lane Arnold


"I also agree that as soon as we realize that corporations are not persons and are not entitled to the legal rights of persons, we will have begun to address the root of the problem. "
Posted by: Juliania

"While corporations are setting the agenda on issues in our Congress and courts, We the People are not; for we can never speak as loudly with our own voices as corporations can with the unlimited amplification of money." -
http://reclaimdemocracy.org/personhood/

Raise this issue above all. This is the root problem and the greatest impediment to democracy of, by, and for the people.

Great program Bill!


It was so refreshing to hear Bogle talk about value in terms other than money. Most Americans think financial experts add value to society because they're paid so much (the invisible hand of the marketplace must be right). Actually, they're a drain on society as they 'right size' companies and make life hard on productive Americans.

I wish Bogle would have talked more about globalization. When he started to hint at what should be done, he mentioned that state regulations don't work because capital can flee states with strong regulation. Well, unfortunately, the same thing often happens at the national level.

What to do? Be active in politics, vote with these ideas in mind, invest with these ideas in mind, and spend with these ideas in mind.

Dear Bill Moyers,
What are we to do about the problem? Its one thing to inform, but what do we do now that we know more? We need advice -does Mr. Bogle have any?
Cherl Fritz

What are we to do? What are some practical steps we can start taking now to get back on track. Its one thing to point it out, its another to show some solutions.

Re: Capitalism's Heart

This from 1998 but appropos.
I am the one who put the book
on the web, then got sued, etc.
But it's nice to see that there is at least one grain of sand on the scales towards growth.
Perhaps you'll have some time to chat about Eupsychian Economics!

Los AngelesTimes, Book Review Desk
February 8, 1998

Maslow's book is a readable, impressionistic masterpiece that extolled the virtues of collaborative, synergistic management decades ahead of its time. Yet after a brief print run in the mid-1960s that sold a mere 3,000 copies, "Eupsychian Management" quickly faded from view. The short-lived eupsychian ideals of teamwork, synergy and self-actualization went the way of bell-bottoms and platform shoes. They were supplanted by a financial creed devoted to the pursuit of short-term profits. But, like the pendulums of fashion, seemingly obsolete management ideas have a way of resurfacing. About 10 years ago, "Eupsychian Management" materialized on the Internet. Interest in this cyberspace edition, in turn, helped trigger the republication of the book, which will appear this spring under the title "Maslow on Management," and orders for the book are already pouring in to the publisher.
MORE AT:
http://www.andreagabor.com/articles_LAT_020898.html

This broadcast made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Why are we allowing this to occur? We hear about it, we go to the nearest blog, write about it, then poof, it's never fixed. Can we not find a more effective way of protest? Even when we gather on the streets in Washington, we are ignored. Why are the few that are in charge, so untouchable?
I would like to see a program in which the topic would cover in depth, the laws that have been written to protect the financial institutions from practicing common moral expectations.

This was a marvellous discussion of the economic ills of our society - thank you so much.

I disagree with some of the comments here because I think many of us do understand how much is enough, and we try to live carefully within those limits. I do agree that it has been a cultural mantra of the age that more is better; we need to change that.

I also agree that as soon as we realize that corporations are not persons and are not entitled to the legal rights of persons, we will have begun to address the root of the problem.

First question:

"There are some things that must be entrusted to government and some things that must be entrusted to private enterprise. "

Do you agree?

***

No. It seems to me clear that private enterprise is not to be trusted, even my own private enterprise, whatever that may be. I am acting out of self interest, and while it may be assumed that I will therefore do my best to provide a good product, my concern for society at large may not be an enlightened concern. Therefore, people, don't trust me - seek government regulation and trust the laws that your conscientious and welleducated and unbribed representatives will require me to abide by.

Second question:

How do we determine what falls into the responsibility of private investment and what is better handled by government?

***

I'm not very good at the complications of financial investment but it does seem to me that government must regulate in the interest of society and not in the interest of corporations. We need to have a government we can trust to do this; trust goes with setting the proper parameters within which private enterprise can function.

I would also eliminate the middleman, which means, for instance, insurance companies in the healthcare area. If that seems too Draconian to some, let the companies function on the outside of the healthcare system, as an option for those who can afford them. And stop blaming the poor for your high premiums - the poor don't go in for bypass surgery or organ transplants. We simply live and then we die, which is really not so bad when you come right down to it. :)

As a holder of Vanguard mutual funds, I have wondered for some time, how
can I have a say in reducing the CEO's salary?
Does Vanguard do this for me as a practice for mutual
fund holders? How can I express my disapproval as a
retired senior citizen? Do
I place my savings elsewhere? I do not want
to be part of this immoral
greed.
Barbara Mullin

For those of you who aren't already aware of it, there is an absolutely fantastic website called Energy Bulletin, which can be found here: http://www.energybulletin.net/

It's not a singular news source, but instead a clearinghouse or 'bulletin', as the title says, of news articles, blogs, essays, and all manner of ideas, information and dialogue, all centering around the context of Peak Oil, Climate Change, and how us and inviduals and as societies can adapt to all that. It also has many articles posted about how Iraq is tied into its oil supplies, about geopolitics, about economics- and most blessedly of all, about all the creative, grassroots, positive solutions that are out there that people are participating to create a very different but much better world. Check it out, it makes a perfect homepage and news source.

So perhaps we are like the citizens of latter-day Rome or maybe those of Greece who were present as it began its crumble. What can we do? We who watch Bill Moyers programs are mostly qualified by our age, educational and lifetime achievements to be players in this critical period. Some of us write, and at least are leaving a trail of how we entered into this descent for those who might care in the future. But what I miss most of all is some catalog of hope. Where is the list of options, the possibilities of alternatives? Where is a forum where we might gather together? Could there possibly be such a place on the internet? Does such an opportunity already exist? Or will we just wait until it is too late, and then say "Oh we should have done something"? Or are we already there?

Thank you Don Moody and Bill Peltz. I kept waiting for Bill to ask Bogle about deregulation. And about Bill Clinton's parting gift to the financial industry in signing off on the repeal of Glass/Steagall, the landmark piece of depression legislation that erected a wall between commercial banking and investment. He never asked either question.


In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins describes how large corporations raid the resources of underdeveloped countries, with the full backing of the US government. We were kept in the dark and chose to believe that America was providing financial aid to poor countries. The “economic hit men” have set their sights on the American middle class, again with the full backing of the US government. Does anyone still believe that, when a Congressman's door is closed, he is really looking out for his constituents? We can no longer outsource the solution to our "elected" representatives and trust them to fix things for us. We have to hold them accountable for their votes. We have been encouraged to direct our blame to illegal immigrants when it really should be directed at the corporations who profit from cheaper labor and the politicians who are complicit. They pass laws with misleading names like the Patriot Act which infringes on our rights, the Clean Air Act which relaxes pollution standards, the Clean Water Act, the Mine Safety Act, No Child Left Behind, etc., etc. and the various "free-trade" agreements which are really treaties that allow corporations easier access to cheap foreign labor.
"Trickle down" is not an acceptable philosophy in a democracy. Our representatives are either complicit in this or ignorant of exactly what the laws contain - either way, we need to demand better representation. The main stream media (big corporations) know that Americans would rather follow stories about the latest missing blond than to delve into the important issues. We need to wake up. “Socialism for corporations” is like fascism. Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re among those who don’t need to be convinced.

As always an incredibly thought provoking show this week. John Bogle said some important things that few want to acknowledge or face in American society. Here are a few that stood out to me: “A society out of control.” "We are betraying our values.” “When is enough enough?” In June, “The Journal” reported on the “Highflying Executives” of Northwest airlines.
[Here is the link http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2007/06/preview_highflying_executives.html# comments]
The CEO’s and exec’s are paying themselves at the expense of those that labor for them. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. When the market determines morality we see hubris defined and everything and everyone is commodified. When we speculate for profit on the human soul what are we left with? Our “greedy soul” as Robert Bly calls it, rules the land and we are left in the darkness of endless want. The bottomless pit of insecurity where superficial desires, lust for power, and empty lives rule and promises a better life keeps us following the “pathological mutilations” of profiteering. Where does hubris take us? Mr. Bogle sees what others have the fall of the Roman Empire. We will fall under the obesity of our greed and anemia of our morality.

As a citizen of the 21st century Rome I often ask myself, how do we justify a culture of greed? What are we teaching our children about social justice and personal responsibility? All the children will witness is hypocrisy that is the United States. Yet, in their innocence they are wise for they become cynical rightfully so. Young people know not to trust society, educators, and politicians because they are aware. Aware that children are not nurtured and loved unconditionally by society but objects of a “Bottom line Society” and consumer market, mere commodities that are speculated on.

I dare say we are world leaders of greed and what’s worse we want to export it. We have blatantly disregarded the wisdoms and warnings and instead embraced radial hubris. Someday we will have to answer future generations and they will ask why? Why did you treat us a “bottomline”? What will we say? The market made me do it!

It's one thing if a radical left wing pseudo-commie type is railing against our present form of capitalism and wholly another when a successful businessman such as John C. Bogle is voicing his concerns about the direction wer'e heading. Let's see the market fanatics attempt to discredit this clearly accomplished and concerned gentleman.

Thank you Bill Moyers, Mr Bogle ‘s interview is what I have been looking for. A clear explanation of the role that purely financial entities have played in the distortion of our economy, from one driven by the small and medium-sized business that create products to one that is almost completely dominated by a tiny minority of individuals who produce nothing. I had seen the effects of that shift and I think had a grasp of the reasons behind it. But I lacked the last piece. The massive expansion of the role of financial institutions.

I think it is increasing obvious to everyone but the politicians (and those who get wealthy as a result of denying proper care to Americans) that health care should not be handled by private companies. I’d much rather my tax money be spent to cover all Amercians’ health care than to disappear into the pockets of the contractors in Iraq.

I think it is increasing obvious to everyone but the politicians (and those who get wealthy as a result of denying proper care to Americans) that health care should not be handled by private companies. When some financial expert in an office far from the doctors office can decide whether or not a procedure is warranted there an obvious problem. I’d much rather my tax money be spent to cover all Americans’ health care than to disappear into the pockets of the contractors in Iraq.

Privately funded health care and health insurance might have worked when the insurers could be held responsible for denying a treatment to a customer that resulted in injury or death to that person. We however have a system were profit rules and the decisions of the corporation trumps that of the doctor. Remind me why is it that the heads of corporations deserve multimillion dollar salaries, retirement packages, and severance packages. Its obviously not because they have great responsibilities (other than squeezing more profit out of health care.

In tonight's program, Mr. Moyers mispronounced the name of one of the private investment groups as "Ce-RE-brus." It is "Cerberus," the hellhound of Greek mythology which guarded the gate to Hades. Apparently he has departed Hell for greater rewards in the financial sector.

In better times, can-do Americanism bestowed names like Neptune and Apollo on our most ambitious projects . Now we get hell and monsters. I guess it goes with the times.

Mr Moyers and Mr Bogle:

I enjoyed watching this Journal. Just today or yesterday I was thinking about the same issues, perhaps a touch more negatively than you presented. I appreciate Mr. Bogle's positive viewpoint on capitalism, with his caveats.

The point is clearly made that financial management or brokers now own much of American business. The point is also clearly made that ROI is now computed on a short term basis, one year versus the seven we used to average for a long term investment. The result has clearly hurt the producers, Production and Maintenance employees, and the serviced consumers, patients, clients and purchasers.

My concern is also the comparision to the Rome of old, an Empire that collapsed from within, hurting the poor and, ultimately, the rich (and powerful). There was no middle class, or was there, the average Johanis Q Publius, who disappeared, as the empire grew and fell.

The other comparsion is to the times of a few decades ago when the middle class arose. They are now threatened with being priced out of existence. Around my city I can barely afford to own a home. Yet I see many Hummers, Land Rovers and MB's on the road, often one of two cars in the family. Where does the money come from? Mr Bogle has provided an answer. And much food for thought.

Thank you both again. Larry Marnet

Thanks again (and again and again, week after week) to Bill Moyers, guests and crew for providing the information and viewpoints that provide the only hope we have to turn things around to create a better world for everyone.

I completely agree with Graham Lewis (previous commentor) that it is up to us now, and I am with you. Lets meet on the Mall!

Here in Corvallis, Oregon, we have resurrected an old culture (agora) with a new, casual twist in what we call the Corvallis Open Forum. We simply provide an audience for anyone who wishes to speak for 4 minutes at a time. The idea is to not only provide opportunity to speak and express, but also to listen, build community, show respect and experience our common humanity with our neighbors. It is very much still a work in progress, however, there have been indications that a broad consensus exists on the issues raised by Moyers and Bogle this week. Namely, that capitalism is out of control and a collapse is imminent, unless we act now. For example, last week a group of Ron Paul supporters stopped by and we discovered what I (as an admitted far 'lefty') had long suspected, that we've become so polarized we're coming full circle on some issues.

Never give up hope. Now is the time for truthseekers and warriors for justice and peace to dig deep and find the resolve to continue the fight for a better world for ALL.

Yes 40 years ago it seen like we were the best place in the world and I was just 12 year old with a paper route and now to me it not doing any good as far as work as a middle class person, somethings happen on the way to where we are and yes there should be more peoples looking at where the money is going and who taking it all. A person who want to make a good living is falling behind of the big boys someone should change the rule of the game it like we don't have a soul.

Bill Moyers Journal is the most compelling, most concisely useful program on television. It brilliantly reflects the shame, fear and promise that is America today.

Re: Bogle, to rely on those in our current government to police the corporations who keep them in office . . to look out for We The People and OUR best interests is sadly ludicrous. It's up to you and me now.

What can we do? Anything and everything, starting with talking beyond "ain't it awful" with friends and neighbors! Join forces with and encourage those who are making a difference on any level! Simplify and Do Without stuff. Write positive, constructive Letters to the Editor. Watch the Fein/Nichols edition of the Journal TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS and join the movement to impeach Bush and Cheney now.

Revolution is brewing, but it must be carefully, rationally crafted to build more than it destroys. War is obsolete. Greed and over-consumption are curable. Several milllion people on the Mall in D.C. in November is doable! Be the leader you want to have and the politicians will follow. Be unstoppable with me.
Yes . . you!

Would PBS please post this to You Tube so I can download it to my blog on health and healing?

Thank you

--


So refreshing to see a REAL American Capitalist, and to remember the glory of this country's selfless past!

How much is enough?

Look here, everybody, just admit you want it all. As everyone does. You just don't want it all at once, just a little at a time.

And no need to harm anyone in the process.

Thank you

John Bogle brilliantly nails how insidiously greed and the lust for power and filthy lucre has poisoned our society, to the point where no corner of this country, no city, town, or rural community, no governmental entity, no industry, no profession, no mom and pop operation, no individual remains untouched.

I am old enough to remember when doctors made house calls, yet young enough to wonder what will become of me as I move from middle age into old age, or even if I will survive to reach old age.

Today, at 52, in spite of being highly educated, I am unable to find full-time work in my chosen field because, though it is illegal, employers, be they public or private, rifle through the medical histories of prospective employees, calling it "risk management," in order to "screen out" undesirable employees whose health care expenses are predicted to cost the insurance company ("self-insured" in the case of state government agencies) too much money, after which, the employer dishes out lame excuses to the job-seeker, such as claiming that the position sought is not going to be filled at this time, when in reality it is. Employees of employee leasing companies are required to fire employees or are not allowed to hire employees who are deemed an expensive medical "risk."

What this means for America is that millions of disabled Americans or Americans who suffer from chronic conditions or even have ever had workers comp claims in some cases, either end up on disability (Medicaid & Medicare) or are forced to work in low-skill, low-paying jobs with no benefits (basically paid slaves). The America that I grew up in promised opportunity for all, but in the decades that have passed since I was a child, the opposite is now true.

I currently have a disability employment discrimination case pending with the Florida Commission on Human Relations/Division of Administrative Hearings ("wolves in sheep's clothing), in which it was revealed in my Final Hearing that the Commission illegally, unethically, and immorally shared inappropriate documentation with opposing counsel. The documents pertaining to my case can be viewed at www.doah.state.fl.us, Case No. 07-2655. The Judge is due to be ruling shortly; this should prove quite interesting.

Today at 52, I am living in a motel, virtually homeless, because I was the target of an attorney/chiropractor PIP scam, and the insurance companies involved, GEICO, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, and AARP-The Hartford, refuse to settle my claims for even the minimum policy limits. I have no health insurance and cannot afford to receive medical care for my injuries, and due to the stress of these situations, I have developed an immune system disorder, hypogammaglobulinemia, which prevents my body from fighting off infections. The preferred treatment, gammaglobulin infusion, is very expensive, and I must therefore, instead, take daily antibiotics which will eventually result in antibiotic immunity.

To make matters worse, five months ago a case of water fell on my leg at Sam's Club, and their insurance company, Sedgwick, refuses to pay any medical claims, and Sam's Club refuses to acknowledge any liability whatsoever. Store employees were rude to me at the time, and five months later, my leg still requires medical attention, which I cannot get because I have no health insurance.

Politicians in Florida are apparently the best money can buy, because I have had all those doors slammed in my face, though I am an American and lifelong Floridian. Respect for the individual no longer exists. Loyal to one's constituents is a thing of the past.

I recently joined American Patients for Universal Health Care (APUHC), and several members have written letters on my behalf to GEICO, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (whose office refused to urge the insurance companies to settle my claims or assess penalties according to Florida Statutes), and to my local Representative Ray Sansom, who made empty promises, did nothing to assist in resolving this issue, and refuses to return my phone calls, e-mails, or allow his staff to make any more appointments for me (I had one). These e-mails were also copied to Governor Charlie Crist. As of this posting, no one from GEICO, AARP (and AARP sent me an e-mail telling me there is nothing they can do, even though they have contracted with The Hartford to provide auto insurance to their millions of members), AARP-The Hartford, Alex Sink, Ray Sansom, or Charlie Crist has even had the courtesy or common decency to respond to any who have written on my behalf (with the exception of one of Ray Sansom's assistants sending an e-mail to the President of APUHC, trying to obtain the contact info for another APUHC member who wrote a letter on my behalf, and one wonders who she didn't contact the writer of the letter instead of someone else. Sadly, these unprofessional behaviors are a reflection of the corporate greed, fear of speaking out, and failure to govern that disease our nation.

Yes, we need universal health care in this country, and it is up to us to insist our elected and/or appointed officials make it work better than that of any other country in the world by insisting on strict adherence to ethical guidelines and full accountability (this to all the naysayers who proclaim how poorly the system works in other countries). If we don't like the way it is run, THIS IS AMERICA, then get up off the couch, protest, and insist on change. The alternative, privatization, has never worked, and never will. Human beings are just that--human beings and as such, will always be susceptible to greed and powermongering. We must, therefore, have checks and balances. We cannot continue to bury them under a pile of rubble that used to be American hopes, dreams, and government trustworthiness (an oxymoron at the moment). Capitalism is for making widgets, for building a better mousetrap, not for healthcare, not for deciding who lives and who dies according to economics and financial concerns. That is nothing short of murder--corporate and governmental murder.

Carol Tucker, MA

We are no longer a nation of the People by the People for the People.

We are a nation of the Corproation by the Corporation for the Corporation.

It seems that those in power believe that after the fall of Comunisim abd the Berlin Wall, Capitilism has WON. But, with out the proper regulation any system becomes corrupt and opressive,

Take heed, have we won or are we just the last to fall in this new world order?

The outcome is dependant on our return to ethithcs and concern for humanity.

When business becomes more inportant than the public the tail is wagging the dog.

Mr. Bogle posed a question in his interview that went something like, "How much is enough?" I understand someone asked that same question to a 19th century industrialist and his answer was "a little bit more." That answer resonates more now than when originally uttered.

Basically, Bush and Cheney have applied to government these corporate executive values nurtured on Wall Street of unbounded greed and the shameless lies and immorality that facilitate that greed. Just like the business world, they have outsourced many government services and, in particular, the Iraq war to private contractors like Blackwater, who are responsible to no one while ripping off the taxpayers. There is no capitalism, it's just socialism for the corporations.

It may come to pass that history records the fall of communism and capitalism as happening almost simultaneously.

It is not capitalism that has brought the modern world. It is solely OIL. Once it goes away. So does industrial revolution, etc.

I'm glad to see a few enlightened individuals feel the same way I do about this rampant corporate, investment and business greed that has helped bring America down from a place of hope to a third world country that cares only about profits, and for the few, not the many - can anarchy or revolt be far behind? Wall Street is saying "Let them eat cat food"!

I could not agree more with John Bogle, one of my heroes and a true American treasure. He makes absolute sense with his common sense ideas about Wall Street greed, immorality, lack of ethics, and unspeakably despicable people who are making billions on the backs of investors. One example - a Forbes 400 BILLIONAIRE who made his billions by buying up subprime credit loans. Steve Schwarzman is being looked at by law enforcement for some shady deals he's perpetrated. Ron Perleman is under a cloud, as are The Blackstone Group - can you say Iraqi FUBAR contracts, The Carlyle Group offshored to avoid paying taxes on their $$billions in profits, and a lot of other rascals and crooks who found their way onto the Forbes 400 Billionaires this year. Way way too many greedy people looking out for themselves, too much short term investing and churning in and out of funds, lack of savings, but then who can afford to save any $$ when they are getting laid off, have no health insurance, and have lost their pensions? There are 2 classes in America - the poor and the filthy rich, and soon what was once the middle class will rise up and say "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore" (Network). I have one question for Mr. Bogle - how, where and to whom do we turn to start a movement to restore sense and sensibility to the financial health of this country? I've written to Congress, the insurance companies complaining about their outrageous profits, the healthcare "BUSINESS" WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE HEALTHCARE, NOT HEALTH BUSINESS. 20 yaars ago we allowed an administration to gut regulations and give a free hand to non-profit organizations which are now for profit organizations and have crippled the American economy. What do you think I as one person can do to seek solutions?

Billions stolen from American taxpayers and the best our "representitives can do is recite how appalled they are about it.
THEY'RE GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT. Tell me conspiracy theorists are wackos. Do you love America? There is no America. There is only autonomous, sovereign individuals who use this term "freedom" the way Blackbeard used the vastness of the high seas to escape justice as moral and ethical relativity is judge and jury. I'm appalled, but I'm giving up since they're going to get away with it. Yee who enter here abandon all hope.

Absurdity Vertigo

as long as it takes millions of dollars to talk to the public on t.v.--- the politicians will be corporate, and unwilling to police the business world that insures their access.

Jack Bogle is a national treasure and his thoughtful comments about the U.S. economy and financial services is both illuminating and frightening. Bill Moyers has done another outstanding interview and I hope that many will watch. Well done Mr. Moyers!

CHOICES. NO CHOICE:Public goods there is no consumer choice. These are living necessities; this covers air, water, power, sewer, etc. These must be regulated (incl price).
PARTIAL CHOICE:SAFETY. To the degree that safety is an issue, the safety portion needs to be regulated; includes food, drugs, car seats, clothing, healthcare, etc.
INDIVIDUAL CHOICE. Everything else where the consumers choice is the only remaining issue.

Dear BILL,

Don and I have been enjoying and deeply appreciating your work on the Journal. Too many outstanding programs to single them out, although "Silent Spring" was quite special. I remember also, however, your coverage of the American Christian delegation to Iran, sponsored in part by the Mennonites, AFSC, and National Council of Churches as one of your segments. So I was delighted to be invited to have dinner and participate in the interfaith forum with a reciprocal delegation of Iranians on September 14 in NYC, hosted by the NCCC and Union T. Seminary. Were you aware that this trip, which included travel to other cities, too, was cancelled because our government would not let four distinguished imams of their delegation into our country? "Security risk" was the adamant reason given, despite much importuning from our side. I should think a brief follow-up story on the Journal is merited, so that the word gets out. I have seldom been so angry! If you don't have the information, I'm sure that the Interfaith Office of the NCCC can supply details.

We are so glad that you have remained "in harness" to keep telling the truth to a deafened public that is at last beginning to take notice.
Peggy Shriver

After watching several interviews of the former head of the Fed, I don't believe we are a capitalist society. He even admitted it on one of them.

The drop in interest rates directly benefits the big investors, not savers. The majority of Americans are savers, they work, pay taxes and try to save at single digit rates. The investors make profits in the double digits. Then we hear how miserable we are at saving. Why should anyone be shocked?

The likelihood the average worker can become one of the 'big investors' is minimal in their lifetime. Maybe in a couple generations.

Privatization has brought us higher prices, less quality, indifferent customer service.

The outsourcing of America by these private companies has left us with fewer jobs, fewer opportunities, poor quality goods and unsafe food. What a bargain!

Think globally, buy locally. That is still the best advice.

Alexis de Toqueville wrote "since money has not only become the sole criterion of a man's social status but has also acquired an extreme mobility - that is to say, it changes hands incessantly, raising or lowering the prestige of individuals and families - everybody is feverishly intent on making money or, if already rich, on keeping his wealth intact. A desire to get rich at all costs, a craving for the material comfort and easy living quickly become ruling passions under a despotic governmnet. Lowering as they do the national morale, they are despotism's safeguard, since they divert men's attention from public affiars and make them shudder at the mere thought of a revolution. Despotism alone can provide that atmosphere of secrecy which favors crroked dealings and enables the freebooters of finance to make illicit fortunes. Under other forms of governmnet such propensities exits, undoubtedly, under despotism they are given free rein."

There can be no doubt that properly regulated free enterprise provides the oversight and balance necessary for protecting the public good against corrupt practices and monopolist behavior. The deregulation of the public commons and targeted financial institutions in recent years, at the behest of predatory capitalists, has facilitated the swindling of assets from home equity, pension funds, public utility trust funds, and undermined the international value of our national currency; which is also controlled by these same predators. The newest term of sophistry for these people is "vulture", and in most ways is a much more apt description of their role in our society. We hear a lot about the 2 trillion dollars in national debt that is held by foreign entities, but seldom is the remainder, reputedly 6 trillion dollars, mentioned; which is held by U.S. financial institutions. We could take a giant step towards taking back control of our economy by having Congress pass a law, not a toothless resolution, to default on all interest paid by our government to private U.S. financial institutions. They should not be allowed to continue to profit from an economy that they have, in large part, caused to fail for the intentional purpose of feathering their own nest.

Before agreeing with the first question, I think we have to ask "what kind of government?" and "what kind of private enterprise?"

Some of what is "entrusted to private enterprise" is also funded with government money or with waivers of taxes. So the boundary between the two options isn't totally clear.

And before we can deal with the second question, we need a long national discussion of "responsibility", the "common good", "the commons", and the nature of corporations. We need to look at the process by which corporations gained "personhood" and became freed from the restraints of responsibility and from having to consider the common good.

When did "public" and "public service" become "dirty words"? Healthcare, education, housing, safe water and food and a sustainable environment are necessary for all of us, therefore should be publicly held and conserved.
Every time the PTB have "privatized" anything, prices have gone up and quality,quantity, and general accessibility have gone DOWN. Witness HMO's, the airlines, the environment, student loan management (it costs the feds 3-5% to manage the program, but they PAY somewhere around 27 - 30% for private companies to do the same thing, same with Medicare, etc.) It seems to me that the road to privatization is the road to robber-baron predatory capitalism of Dickens and the early Industrial Age. Manufacturers of goods, are in the realm of capitalists but should be constrained to return whatever they take OUT of they system to a clean, safe and sustainable condition...

In order to function for the common good, society needs laws otherwise there is chaos. The government is responsible to serve and protect the common good. Access to fresh air, light, fresh water, sewer, and trash collection should not be in the hands of private, profiteering enterprises.

Rampant capitalism has become a danger to the country. Health care was overtaken by big corporations in the 1960's. In 1962 the AMA declared that health care was a privelege, not a right. In 1966, the Journal of Medical Ethics provided innovative techniques to make medicare "work" to the advantage of the doctor and so it did. My own employer, a noted cardiologist commented to me that as good as a cardiologist as he was, he was a better business man. It was the business model that caused him to write second opinions (from his first opinion) and have his friend sign them. Today, not only are the large corporations acting against any ethical standard, they are at war with the citizens. We now face the specter of families denied electricty and the basics needed to sustain life. Certainly
that is not what this country is all about. We currently have third world health care for a large part of our country. It is time to rethink vital not being available to many. I think all vital services should be seriously regulated or fully government controlled. President Reagan, it seems failed to consider what an Ayn Rand world looks like.

Faye Krause

Post a comment

THE MOYERS BLOG is our forum for viewers' comments intended for discussing and debating ideas and issues raised on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL. THE MOYERS BLOG invites you to share your thoughts. We are committed to keeping an open discussion; in order to preserve a civil, respectful dialogue, our editors reserve the right to remove or alter any comments that we find unacceptable, for any reason. For more information, please click here.

THE MOYERS BLOG
A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

Your Comments

Podcasts

THE JOURNAL offers a free podcast and vodcast of all weekly episodes. (help)

Click to subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe with another reader

Get the vodcast (help)

For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ