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Facing Historical Vertigo?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with author Mike Davis for a socialist perspective on the world’s daunting economic situation. Davis referenced a column he wrote for likening today’s perspective on the crisis to when Europeans first saw the Grand Canyon. The column read:

“[One] expedition included a well-known German artist, but his sketch of the Canyon was wildly distorted, almost hysterical. [None of the early Europeans] could make sense of what they saw; they were simply overwhelmed by unexpected revelation. In a fundamental sense, they were blind because they lacked the concepts necessary to organize a coherent vision of an utterly new landscape... It took years of brilliant fieldwork to construct a conceptual framework for taking in the canyon... [before] it was finally possible for raw perception to be transformed into consistent vision... Like the Grand Canyon's first explorers, we are looking into an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil that confounds our previous perceptions of historical risk. Our vertigo is intensified by our ignorance of the depth of the crisis or any sense of how far we might ultimately fall.”

What do you think?

  • Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that is beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not?

  • Davis suggests that the economic crisis defies the scope of our current understanding. Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply can not comprehend?

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    Can you tell me how I can get in touch with author , MIke Davis??

    Concerning my article (see link in my previous post) which mentions Sheila Bair's appearance on 60 MINUTES, that segment ("Your Bank Has Failed") is scheduled to be re-broadcast on Sunday:

    Ikehara's point is very important. That is precisely why anti-trust legislation was enacted. The importance of those laws has been forgotten, and they have been undermined or ignored. Those laws would have significantly reduced the impact of the current financial disaster.

    The point is that institutions, at least private institutions, should never be allowed to become "too big to fail." Allowing them to grow too large puts us all in danger, as can be clearly seen now.

    Certainly the economic disaster will get far worse before it gets better.

    Consider, for example, that we are still losing well over a half million jobs per month. That doesn't just add to the problem, it reinforces the problem, and feeds it. Thus it increases the rate of change, and generates an exponential process.

    In light of the fact the Congress continues to do absolutely nothing to prevent future job loss, the situation can only get worse, and get worse more quickly.

    When the new unemployment figures come out each month, government officials say that we need to create new jobs. But think about that for a moment: They aren't doing anything to stop job loss. They merely hope to replace some portion of the lost jobs.

    If your toilet springs a leak, how do you solve the problem? Do you add water now and then, calling it a solution? Obviously, the proper course is to fix the leak first.

    Yet Congress refuses to discourage employers from cutting their workers loose.

    That is not only irresponsible and disgraceful, but also dangerous. Congres's incompetence, from Unemployment Ennui to the Big Bank Bailout Bonanza ensures that this fiscal fiasco will last far, far longer than it ought.

    The following recent article asks:

    - Aren't many of the economic problems of our times due to the fact that the stakes have never been higher because things have never been bigger?


    You lost me with the "blame the victim" schtick about new cars and hands over ears refusing to listen...and then you extrapolate those two examples into a generalization - ie. "majority of people in this world live in 2-dimensional world (Flat Land)"...?

    Truly am not following your line of reasoning or the conclusions you made. Reading the posts on the various topics brought up by Moyers shows this morning on this site, I am extrapolating the exact opposite conclusion about where people are at.

    It's an observable fact that you (collective "you", not YOU you) have to convince yourself that the other person is a Flat Lander, or whatever, in order to feel justified in commiting a crime against that other person. Classic definition of a "sociopath", btw. Check out the medical dictionary.

    It's not "anti" whatever to call people on the carpet for sociopathic stunts done in order to manufacture "data" to prove a point about how flat-lander people are.

    You blow up my house and "edit" the video to show my contorted face to prove something about my lemming, machine-like "character" to rationalize slave labor and theft, are you really NOT EXPECTING some push-back on that kind of stunt?

    There definitely are way too many willing competitors for the assasination money ("3:10 to Yuma" movie reference), I'll give you that FACT.

    Guess that's the bottom line for what genetic material "survives" in a cash-is-king society where "government" hands out the cash to amoral middle men to go find the hanging-out-in-a-saloon local assasinators.

    Quite the harvest that THE PLAN is reaping.

    Robert B

    there is a good animated movie, Money As Debt, explaining the history of banking and the fractional banking system. You can see it on youtube here:

    Or more information about the DVD is available online here

    I agree that the Fed along with a few others having the ability to make money is a part of the problem, but we must also admit that we must have some form of control. Now that may be impossible. Some would say the people that run the Fed are the true rulers of the world and nothing gets done without their consent. Maybe when you step on those toes, that is when people are discredited or killed?

    The one thing I do know is when we had regulation on things like Airlines and Banking they worked. The fat cats still made money, but the service was better because the playing field was a little more level.

    As far as the money having to go someplace perhaps that is true but maybe the real problem is the fact that when a bank makes a loan for $1000 they now have $2000 on the books. They make money by loaning money. Someone please explain this again.

    All I know is I do agree with the idea that people wearing suits have stolen more money than men with masks could ever dream of.

    Justin, "Deregulation is a healthy part of a free market."

    But isn't this true if — and only if — you are also willing to allow the market to administer the consequences for unwise decisions, poor judgment and imprudence? Even when confronted with systemic risk (which in turn poses an existential threat to the Federal government)?

    What about deflation? Does the immanent threat of a deflationary spiral warrant intervention?

    How does one account for externalities in a "free market" system? How does one ensure that the true economic cost is borne by the producer and reflected in price, and not passed to the public sector to enhance profits?

    Isn't there a role for regulation with regard to malfeasance, deceit and fraud?

    Anna D,

    The masses, like the lemmings.

    "In denial" seems appropriate. When discussion of Worldly and/or political issues end with people holding their hands on their ears because they don't want to hear, which I've seen, then what would you call that? As the warning states, "if you don't want to know, close the BOOK".

    Now you've judged me with the remark about you in the supermarket, now that's not very open minded. I try with all my abilities to avoid ASSUMING, that's dangerous. But when I see individuals living in a hovel or TENT and buying New Vehicles, I'd say that's denial and part of the PLAN without knowing.......

    If you've ever watched a Rock Concert on TV, you'll notice that the audience generally in in harmony and tune with the Band, while we both know that many can't hold a tune with a bucket and many have excellent singing voices, but their average singing is in TUNE. So, in this instance, individuals are part of the MACHINE.

    Because the majority of people in this world live in 2-dimensional world (Flat Land), given a set of circumstances, predicting their next move becomes somewhat simple. The problem is those that live in more dimensions are "unpredictable" and they are the threat to the establishment.

    Our mission is to try to educate: we might be considered the "Watchmen".

    And another, if you consider what you've been talking about previously, which you so defend, then you consider them masses and ignorant because they know not what the PLAN is and they are being made a and/or are part of the MACHINE?

    Bingo, Justin.

    Very well said, perfectly articulated, keen perception. Thank you, for a great summary of the real problem.

    Justin's comment

    But the masses will remain in denial and many will ride this sinking ship to the bottom while denying the ship is sinking; when the sinking ship hits bottom they will rejoice, "See, the ship is no longer sinking and we were RIGHT".

    Posted by: ehmoran

    As long as you, personally, keep "perceiving" that individual human beings become a "mass" of programmed insects chomping their way through the planet's resources, then realize the cognitive dissonance of your own "perception" that such a "mass" has the brain power to be what you call "in denial".

    Is the additive value of people into a "mass" then a "machine" that can be easily controlled by an "elite"? Really?

    A programmed insect is not capable of "denial". "Denial" implies free-will. Sociopaths and psychopaths do not acknowledge the RIGHT of people to have free-will.

    Culture and knowledge is passed down from one generation to another. You didn't shoot out of the womb a financial "genius" working the numbers on paper in your favor - did you?

    There is only one value when it comes to the IDEA of symbolic money and that is LABOR. What did YOU do today for the tribe's life-maintenance needs? Did you chop water and carry wood? Did you pick a tomato? Did you stitch up a wound?

    And what's the replacement for "private property"?

    An uneducated "elite" in charge of EVERYTHING? Your peeling paint, your frayed wires, your vanished road operating under a business model budget that insists on every worker coming up with a way to find the way out of doing things the right way in favor of a paper plan that "saves" money? Who are we "saving" the money for? A middle man to take the wages that LABOR has the rights to?

    So everyone wandering around USA streets homeless and hungry after being subjected to thundering shamans re-entering the womb from the TV set to be in charge of the zygote's "consciousness" and hyper-socially engineered "tolerance" of the intolerable proves that that kind of idea-ting does NOT work in favor of eliminating "poverty". At least it does to me...

    All that "charity" and "morality" is not working as a "business model is it?

    Blacks sold black into slavery, whites sell whites into poverty.

    And the head on a stick symbol is probably going to be copy-writed soon by the drug gang currently using that ancient, universal sign language symbol as its calling card.

    And we'll all be acting like discussing the "right" of the drug lord to have his own copy-writed symbol in legaleeze buzzology is "intelligence".

    Seriously, ehmoran, who are the dumb masses in denial?

    Methinks that if you caught a glimpse of me today in the supermarket or doing spring cleaning, you'd mistake me for one of the "masses" with no MACRO thoughts in her pretty little head about values, morals or "money".

    I was shocked to hear the comments of Professor William Black and am wonering what we (I) can do to bump this up a notch or two on the Obama radar?

    Anna D. If you ever return to this ancient page please contact to have your questions answered.

    I have recently been in touch with Vince Wilyard in Motorcity who is considering an interview.

    The rally is on for in Hickory, NC on the square at 2pm April, 11th. All peaceful citizens seeking financial explanations are welcome. Soft signs without sticks, banners and costumes are encouraged. Don't be fooled by repressive "T-party" meetings. We will allow people to speak their minds, so be mobilizing your words.


    Well SAID.

    I just didn't want to take so much time trying to explain to people that likely don't care or don't want to hear it.

    Those that do, likely, already know it, and those that don't but do will take the information already provided and do their own research.....

    This continual foisting of blame upon deregulation is entierly missing the point - as though after the dot-com boom one were to call for mass education in IT so that the sort of illogical explosion in tech stocks couldn't happen again. Nobody from 2008, for example, would have been fooled by the obviously fake Nasdaq numbers and nobody from 2020, I'm sure, will ever fall for a housing bubble again. It all ignores the fundamental problem that there was an enormous expansion of the money supply, the fundamental unit of account, en-masse into the economy. Be it tech stocks or houses or government bonds - the market will find somewhere to stuff that money which will fool enough people most of the time. It has to, because the money has to go somewhere, and somewhere there has to be or must be created an asset class with enough weight to absorb whatever volume of capital is being dumped.

    In the 1970s it was gold that was the first bubble - as soon as Bretton-Woods ended gold suddenly became this infinitely valuable stuff which nobody could get enough of. All of the gold in all of the world today, at current market prices, is only worth a few trillion. Compare that to the nominal value of even the Nasdaq bubble and it's pretty easy to see see that all of Greenspan's new cash couldn't possibly fit. So new markets take up the slack. In this case it was the mortgage market, but regulating mortgages isn't going to help stop this in the future - the jig is up. The next bubble is going to be somewhere new - bonds.

    Since the end of Bretton-Woods it's been one bubble after another, each progressively bigger than the last, each finding its way into an ever-bigger asset class to absorb the bloat of new cash. Gold, Japan, The Internet, Houses, and now, the asset class to rule them all, government bonds - the last bubble to pop before everything falls apart.

    The minutiae of who knows what, the details of cheater loans, and the advice given out by the shoe-shine boy are all irrelevant. Cheap money (ie: artificially low interest rates) creates speculative bubbles - it has to. The ingenuity of humanity is more than capable of constructing a seemingly legitimate structure to support the bubble and no amount of preventative medicine or careful engineering can stop artificially cheap money from producing speculative bubbles. Not short of totalitarianism, in which case there's nobody left to speculate and all is dictated from a central bureaucracy.

    Deregulation is not the problem - it was never the problem. Deregulation is a healthy part of a free market. The problem is the West's current system of central banking - the power granted to a few men in hidden offices to create money at will and *dictate* the level of risk that society is going to take. Let the market set interest rates and watch these economy-wide speculative booms disappear.

    Watch politicians run out of easy money as well. Guess that's why it's never going to happen.

    From the PLAN:

    "This hatred will be still further magnified by the effects of an economic crisis, which will stop dealings on the exchanges and bring industry to a standstill. We shall create by all in our hands, a universal economic crisis whereby we shall throw upon the streets whole mobs of workers simultaneously in all the countries of Europe. These mobs will rush delightedly to shed the blood of those whom, in the simplicity of their ignorance, they have envied from the cradles, and whose property they will then be able to loot".

    Anna D,

    Throughout your discussion: YOU ARE SO EXACTLY RIGHT......

    I can attest to the truth of your references: either with physically and observable truths or personal spirituality.

    Thanks Anna

    But the masses will remain in denial and many will ride this sinking ship to the bottom while denying the ship is sinking; when the sinking ship hits bottom they will rejoice, "See, the ship is no longer sinking and we were RIGHT".

    Grady Lee Howard,

    "The latest thing that scares me is suspension of the "mark to market" rules used in evaluating financial solvency of banks and other financials".

    So you don't agree with putting the accounting standards back to their original status prior to November 2007. You know, instead of using the Scam Accounting system of FAS157, we should go back to FAS115.

    Sort of like the repeal of the Glass-Stiegel Act of 1934 that limited Banking Activities in the Financial Markets, which was repealed in 1998 by a Democratic President, among other great deregulatory acts of the time.

    Thanks to our Democratic Congress and Senate since 2005, these guys and gals have pulled some doozies with our Markets.....

    The Grand Canyon was eventually figured out, so to speak.

    Too much force is being applied to keeping people from figuring out what the correct thing to do NOW is.

    Unless we treat that kind of force as illegal and immoral, we will not be going anywhere.

    Okay, Miss/Ms/Mrs (take your pick) Grady Lee Howard,

    The head on a stick (it's a piece of artwork, not a real head!) is, probably, a dumb joke, but I guess it is only humour if you and your tolerant-of-bad-jokes neighbors have arrived at the consensus that those days of constantly worrying if your entrails are desired by some other tribe in a power-play mode are over.

    A neighbor alerted me to the fact that those days are not over. A head on a stick is the CURRENT symbol that one drug gang is using as its signature.


    The fact that the international "economy" is producing drug lords that make it to Forbe's list of "most wealthy" must mean something about how vital and "moral" made-up paper money has become to culture and civilization, no?

    People all over have thought long and hard about the "economic" situation for months now and agreement has been reached.

    I truly believe this SIMPLE statement from the REAL Libertarian Party's website (they did have an official candidate in the 2008 Presidential Race):

    "The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud."

    Our "government" is NOT doing that. I am stating a fact. A fact of common knowledge that everyone agrees upon as TRUE like the fact that the sun rises over in that direction every morning and we call that direction "east".

    When you look at how rapidly the ways and means to provide officers to protect peace and property in neighborhoods, to provide health care, to provide trash and water and electricity, to provide protection for people to come together to solve their own problems and ADVANCE their own status through creativity, LABOR and education (aka as "government" among NORMAL people), I cannot see at what other conclusion anyone can arrive at other than the freak hybrid of made-up paper "money" and "government" are nothing but a cabal of criminals commiting theft at such a ridiculous scale that we should just herd them up and reopen some mental asylums for their housing.

    Seriously, what kind of nut job are they to think that they are going to bs their way out of this?

    We have to completely "divorce" reality from the PEURILE nonsense of UNREAL derivatives and CDSs and CDOs and WTFs :-)

    So many posts have been censored, that I am not sure the one Jack Martin posted that had his email address is still somewhere on this Moyer's site...? I have some questions...

    Kind regards.

    As a very brief aside, the worst part of the majority of the world not knowing about the "forbidden" book is that the people who have been studying it for over 50 years lack something important that seems to be needed in order to understand the lucidity of the "science" in that book. They are still throwing billions of "dollars" at certain projects to prove that, indeed, certain things are UNDOABLE - just like it says so in the forbidden book. Peurile, right?

    They applied aspects of those half-baked, delusional theories that they concoctoed to prove what is undoable to the banking system and look how THAT turned out.

    Right. Undoable. And now the "debt" is going to made "real"?

    Bottom line, we've wasted TOO much "devil in the details" yaddayadda on this whole situation. We are REAL people with REAL life maintenance needs that we have every RIGHT to provide for ourselves.

    How on earth can we be in "debt" to the countries that we TAUGHT how to improve their miserable lot in life?!

    From every facet of this multi-faceted man made monster you arrive at the same conclusion. This is nuts.

    If we're gathering adults together with sane minds and healthy bodies to put things right - I'm in.

    I do NOT accept that the "government" that put itself in place after the assassination of JFK is "legit" may be "legit" ON PAPER, but people have become even more concerned that things the "government" is doing is "legit" but NOT moral.

    You should never give "power" over to people WAY stupider than you - first law of "self-defense" :-)

    Apologies if that sounds arrogant and snotty - but it IS a fact for many more people than the propaganda would have you believe - we ARE smarter than them.

    Part of our situation that makes the canyon very deep is that our expectations are very badly misaligned with reality going forward.

    Resetting expectations is more within the power of the media world than any other part of our system.

    Bill Moyers has recently started another topic going discussing the media, and guess what, I jumped into that as well.

    This has been a place of amazing and interesting thoughts. I got in early on with my point of view, after Mike Davis's suggestion, and look where it went.

    But getting back to the start, Mike Davis suggested that we need more than anything figure out how to see how bad our problem is, and to take this to specifics it seems helpful that Bill Moyers asks us for questions to ask the banking experts.

    That might be a good place to continue. Grady Lee Howard said there were outstanding obligations of $200 trillion. We had better find out about that.

    That would be a grand canyon deeper than I had imagined in my worst nightmares.

    Lets get over to that site.

    Yes there are other areas that cannot be comprehended. This is largely through censorship.

    This was easy to miss in the US media. It is just one of countless examples of clear and open conflict between JFK and the JCS and CIA. So many, in fact, that the book-- JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters-- changed veteran CIA and government observer Daniel Ellsberg to change his mind about the assasination. But it is not merely an assassination book with the very latest details from the Assassination Records Review Boards more than three million declassified documents.

    It is the most important book on Cold War history in thirty years with complete reinterpretations of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and JFK and Vietnam.
    "In effect, President Kennedy was the target of a CIA covert operation that collapsed when the invasion collapsed"-Daniel Schorr, All Things Considered,March 26,2001on Bay of Pigs Invasion quoted in JFK and the Unspeakable, by James W. Douglass.

    (I ain't no mister.) Anna: My North Carolina pal Jack Martin really wants to come and see Moyers blog correspondents (like you) with his DAT recorder and HD camera. He is serious, has put all his money into the project. I've promised to help him with money should he need more. Right now he is helping a citizen named Ed Crump in Hickory, NC (Union Square) with an protest 2pm on April 11th. I'm surprised police issued the permit.

    Talking about heads on a stick, Jack and I once visited the Westmoreland ruins in Utah. There were dog heads on sticks and right wing symbols. It's not that they hate dogs, just despise the learning that comes from archaeology I guess. I ain't scared of you Anna. You ain't no macoute. You're independent.

    The latest thing that scares me is suspension of the "mark to market" rules used in evaluating financial solvency of banks and other financials.
    The rule now is speculative valuation, assuming assets worthless or negative now will be worth much more in the future (when things supposedly get "back to normal"). Normalcy, a Harding term, I doubt we'll ever see. The normal thing for global corporate capitalism is universal usury and macoute bullying. Maybe we are seeking an abnormal stasis?

    Even if you had a living waged income but owed a bunch of credit cards at 30% you'd be underwater. And this in a world where Mama may have to resort to debt (plastic) to keep the lights on and feed the babies. You see why I call "them" buzzards (they're moral cannibals). Wonder where the dog bodies went? Macoutes!

    Mr. Grady Lee Howard,

    I come from that school of "service" that counts the people on a plane or ship and notes the number as "56 souls on board".

    People no longer know who their real friends are. Especially when the friend is trying to be YOUR insight into another culture and civilization that you have completely misunderstood.

    I kept saying, "'re going too far...".

    They kept going.

    I said, " went to far...".

    They kept going.

    I said, "....once they stop trying to talk with you, it'll be war..."

    They insisted on drowning out all voices but their own amplified rationalizations.

    They didn't even hear the silence descend.

    Make a left at the head on the stick (it's just a joke - ha ha) that you see after you pass the 3rd saguaro.

    If you hate negroes; I'm black. If you hate Jews; I'm one. If you dislike dwarfs; They burnt out my pituitary. If you think anyone with a social conscience is a communist; I'm that too. I give most of what I get to charity and my conscience is clear. I can sleep as long and as well as I wish and my metabolism is steady. Can you say the same?

    Someday Jim Bullis and I will drive out to Anna D's house in the desert and bring her a delicious homemade sweet potato pie. Who knows, Jim may be a black Jewish communist gypsy too, Anna, but he's a good guy.


    GO TEAM.......

    I was surprised that Mr. Moyers accepted Mike Davis's assertion that there is no serious socialist movement in US govt. If I were a declared capitalist living in Cuba and saw lots of pro-free market enterprise policies in place, I'd say, "No of course there's nothing Liberty-based going on. If Castro was smart, he'd let the people have some independent freedoms. But no, there is DEFINITELY no capitalism going on here."

    Throwing taxpayers' money into private business and indebting the taxpayers 3 and 4 generations into the future is SOCIALISM. It's sad that Republicans lost so much credibility due to the NeoConservatives who hijacked the party during the Bush Admin. I felt sorry for the Republican voters who had no representation. And now, I'm hearing about the Neoliberals. I wonder how long before Democrat voters realize that they too have no representation. Fortunately, the Libertarian Party exists. Freedom and self-sufficiency for everybody.

    Anna D,

    Sorry, didn't pay attention to the ? at the end of: It is?. My sincere apologies and excuse my stupidity....

    Please go to web site and visit the Blogs


    Not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that I agree with Flow....?

    I don't.

    There is a criminal cabal on the loose and I have been censored on this Moyer's site from posting their "protocol" or mentioning the name of the forbidden book. Instead I get historical details about what happens to people who DO speak the "taboo".

    ho hum...

    In the meantime, I am printing up pretty paper and calling it Planet Anna Money - how much do you need to make an "energy efficient" combustion engine...? I'll send you all you paper you need...heck, about 50 different designs for combustion engines were submitted at a NJ-wide high school science fair competition back in the early 1970s - wanna pick one design and perfect it?

    If it was up to me, I'd make it a requirement to serve, successfully, in some field of "defense" (gang wars, sex slaves, ocean-faring pirates - take your pick of predatory mano et mano crimes - never mind sneaky geeky, white collar criminals) and hold a "labor" job (manufacturing some kind of machine/technology, or doing agriculture or animal husbandry) before you can be "commander in chief" of anything on this planet.

    The self-appointed political shaman class, especially the 40 something Gen X crowd, are the most incompetent "generation" (globally, even!) ever to walk the face of this earth.

    SUV owners blaming the car company that built their SUV...nuts.

    How about a scientific explanation for the process of evolutionary development up from zygote that "conscious animals" went through that led to the mass-hysteria BELIEF that "perception is reality"?

    I'm all ears and eager to hear that revelation!

    Anna D,

    As far as "GOYIM", likely, that's why we left England and threw them out of this Country with the Revolutionary War. And the problem now is, we let them gain control again.

    That's why I think we need to get back to our ROOTS and teach others.....

    Anna D,

    I know, but you agreed with her. I think the people generally are good. It's just that we've trusted out leaders and as a result the Country is viewed as BAD. I believe this is why we as individuals need to continue Standing for our Principles.

    As far as American Society, we don't know who we are because American History is no longer taught to children and as adults, most don't read history. We need to get back to our ROOTS.

    But with our untruthful leaders and current events, they've forgotten Francis Bacon: "Truth is the daughter of time".


    Ask Flow what she meant - that's what I was doing - she wrote that, not me.

    Anna D,

    "Is the United States of America not the product of moral travesty?"

    Are you applying this statement to the majority of citizens or our wonderful leaders (although the majority did vote them in)?

    Flow wrote: "Is the United States of America not the product of moral travesty?"

    Is it? I thought that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world...?!


    flow, no disrespect intended, but

    We fought both the British and Native Americans to live as we wanted with no oppression but the Indians and Colonists generally worked together, most of the time.

    Many Native American Tribes slaughtered many colonists without provocation.

    Do you think our current situation is a result of under education?

    The Japanese were close to achieving Nuclear Arms and planned an attack on San Fransisco with them. So, how would you have dealt with that?

    Did we, or why did we, join in both World Wars, for our own benefit or were we asked to join to bail out other countries because we're good guys?

    Why and when did we enter the War in Vietnam? Were we asked by for help by another Country?

    And, are you agreeing that Saddam's genocide was sanctioned and are you saying you know exactly why our military went and are in Iraq.

    Do you agree that Illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. and continue to enter with no restrictions?

    Have you read the Federalists and Anti-Federalists Papers? How about the Constitution?

    Is the United States of America not the product of moral travesty?

    How often we harken back to the Nazi's treatment of the Jews as an atrocious moral outrage. And yet, how often are we enjoined to consider the morality of the conquest of the Americas? Can we in good conscience assert Columbus 'discovered' a continent occupied by several hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of people? From the perspective of Native Americans is not the concept of 'manifest destiny' just a self-serving rationale for genocide? Is genocide somehow less egregious when perpetrated across generations rather than just a few years? What of the moral dimensions of slavery? Given that WWII was tactically over in August of 1945, how are we to rationalize in moral terms the decision to use atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or the occupation of Iraq?

    America is again at a low tide as it concerns moral dignity, suffering once more the consequence of moral decay. But the alternative, awakening to a clear understanding of who we are and what we stand for, and engagement in the process of rectification and reconciliation, entails a painful process utterly abhorrent to the popular psyche, and highly unlikely without absolute catastrophe providing the catalyst and circumstance necessary for such an awakening and engagement.

    Our predicament is not unlike the addict who understands implicitly the destructive nature of their habit, yet remains in a state of denial as a defense against having to come to terms with the realities of the recovery process. Yet, is there anything more sublime and worthy of admiration than an individual who has liberated their self the grip of abysmal self-defeating habitual behavior and restored their dignity and vitality to its proper office? And would not this same be true for an entire nation?

    America, the vastness of our potential is practically unimaginable. There are many among us that light the way. It is difficult to imagine a more opportune moment to become a genuine beacon to the world, a moral bulwark, and the source solace to a world deeply troubled and in great need.



    As much as were blind to the colossal economic collapse of our country─ as our media ignored it and our mangers looked the other way─ our economic meltdown is nothing but an outward symptom of huge and widespread moral crisis that’d eating away America like an infestation. At this time we are pretending nothing is wrong and that we are all merrily, as usual, ignoring it. Only the half-mad Alexander Solzhenitsyn pointed this out to us. He said we Americans have lost any sense of right and wrong or morality and live on the outer limits of the law. Everything is permitted; even if it is vaguely sanctioned by the constitution. Even self-undoing is kosher if it’s legal. We have become incapable of understanding who we are and what we are doing to ourselves.
    We Americans are obese, indulgent and thoroughly undisciplined and undereducated. Our universities have abandoned real education and learning and it is supplanted by all sorts of silly projects with cultural and social justifications. Therefore as a result we are poor at assessing our own situations and we frighteningly lack ideas and solutions. Where are those philosophers and thinkers when we need them to save ourselves from annihilation? Have we been planting the wrong seeds? Have we been educating the wrong people? That’s what Larry Summers said when he was at Harvard and he got punished for saying that by the vested interests.

    Star light, star bright, may I see your light tonight. Wish I may; wish I might have this wish I wish tonight...
    My wish would be that we see the light and do what is right.


    And another

    If Obama was so magnanimous and really cared about America and the people,

    Then he'd authorize Congress to print Greenbacks according to the Constitution which would eliminate Interests Payments on our National Debt paid to those same Bankers he had lunch with. (Maybe that's why certain people want the Constitution dismantled. And their selling this to the American People, who'd buy anything if it was packaged in a pretty envelope titled "Change We Can Believe In").

    Oh yeah, we wouldn't have to pay the Federal Reserve Interests either. What a Concept......

    This was exactly the same action taken by Lincoln and attempted by Kennedy to grow and make this country STRONG.

    I guess you've got to ask yourself why Obama won't do that???????

    AD writes: "Betsy,.....No one is saying that new "stars" (objects) aren't constantly being seen in the sky. There's just a different class of "thinkers" who approach figuring out what it is in a whole different way.

    I think the folks who sent in photos of the star to Share International are just noting their observations, which noting is a basic scientific method.

    AD writes: "Do you have any interest in how people with psychological profiles that are NOT vulnerable to shamanism deal with "new" information or not?"

    Sure, Anna. Please educate me.

    AD writes: "Seriously, I truly do not mind what you believe in as a "god" or "no-god" as long as you do not presume to use your beliefs to steal what I have labored for in the way of BASIC life-maintenance away from me."

    And how, exactly, did I presume to steal from you?

    AD writes: "I can't believe I am being censored on a PBS Moyer's site for NOT buying into another Jim Jones scenario.
    No more $ donations from me."

    How are you being censored? PBS and Bill Moyers are not responsible for my posts in any way. This blog provides a "venue" for presentation of a wide variety of ideas. And thank goodness for that!

    AD writes: "What part don't you understand about the boundaries of "church"? That conversation you and I, obviously, need to have it out about."

    Sure, any time. I am not in any way a "church" person. I do consider each of us a spiritual being, but that has no religious requirement attached. As they say, "there are many paths etc.


    Here's a simple, non-complicated, and in a nutshell hypothesis.

    Financial crises like this have occurred through history. The Banks stopped lending money because the American Govt wasn't paying their Interest Payments on the National Debt to those same Bankers Obama had lunch with. Notice after the so-called TARP payment that lending somewhat increased. In other words, the Bankers (or World Money Changers) sent a shot across the bow of the U.S. Treasury.

    If you would like to discuss this complicated issue further, we can.

    No Capitalist or a Socialist has given me a satisfying answer why the economic collapse! The New York Times or Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Bill Moyers, PBS and all the media was equally clueless and ignorant.It is obvious we are incapable of looking at a situation and coming up with the right diagnosis as to what’s going on, like doctor finds what’s wrong with a patient. We live in over-democratized age where we have lost all judgment and sense of discrimination. Thus we are all doomed. While Socialist Davis and other’s on Bill Moyers make empty gestures, I had to go back to old Sigmund Freud to find answers. But our feminist professors threw Freud out of our universities for exposing the underside of human nature. Thus we are now equal but equally clueless as to what’s happing to us! For the sake of democracy and equality we have thrown out knowledge and good sense that saved us from desasters in the past. It is Freud who said our capacity destroy ourselves is equal to our capacity to survive. But without Freud influencing our thinking in this age of hyper-equality, we are all floundering not knowing who we really are- therefore we are all doomed to lurch from crisis to chaos.


    I guess I could be like most and pass statements off as my own, but me being the EVIL, no-good, non-humanistic person you say I am, I find that WRONG.

    As stated: Why try to restate that which can not be improved upon.....

    So, how's your RETIREMENT package doing. Oh yeah, you let someone else take care of it without trying to understand it yourself. And, if you're like many, you're pissed because your account is worth what it was in 1997. Easy come, Easy go.

    Guess those pissed off people don't get FREE MONEY.


    Without posting the specifics of how those photos were taken and against what background (space perception flattens when put into a two dimensional medium), I have no idea what visible EMFs the photo recorded. There wouldn't be so many magic shows in Vegas if it wasn't so easy to fool the human eye.

    I suggest you go into PBS archives and refresh your memory about Jim Jones and Jonestown, as well as the whole comet/kool-aide saga.

    No one is saying that new "stars" (objects) aren't constantly being seen in the sky. There's just a different class of "thinkers" who approach figuring out what it is in a whole different way.

    Check out The info available on that site may be overwhelming to the beginner, but you'll catch up to some of it sooner or later. And those pro-photos are spectacular! Reality is actually so much more interesting than you seem to give it credit for being.

    Do you have any interest in how people with psychological profiles that are NOT vulnerable to shamanism deal with "new" information or not?

    People died for your right to post whatever you want on the internet, set up a soapbox in town square and preach the coming of a savior, hike out into the desert wilderness to induce the psycho-deli state of dehydration that makes communication with the sacred talking lizard possible - hey, whatever.

    Seriously, I truly do not mind what you believe in as a "god" or "no-god" as long as you do not presume to use your beliefs to steal what I have labored for in the way of BASIC life-maintenance away from me. Those people died for my voice as well as yours and I am not abusing my freedoms by stalking public broadcast system shows preaching shamanistic crap.

    I can't believe I am being censored on a PBS Moyer's site for NOT buying into another Jim Jones scenario.

    No more $ donations from me.

    What part don't you understand about the boundaries of "church"? That conversation you and I, obviously, need to have it out about.

    However, it won't be happening on the internet or on the radio or on TV or on any other electronic transmission. Which is just fine with me.

    AD, here is a link to photos of the star...taken by real people around the world. No "shamanism" involved.

    Betsy - Can you elaborate about the telescopes and crude shamanism?

    AD - You're kidding me, right? If you're not, start with a dictionary to look up the definition "telescope" and "shaman" and then type in one word or the other into "google" or some other search agent. Happy processing of new information!

    Betsy: I must be dense for I don't have a clue as to what you are talking about. Could you explain?
    Thanks, Ann. I don't intend to be personal.

    AD - Ditto right back at you, Betsy. Don't have a clue what planet you are on and, please don't take it personally, but I'm not even interested in further exploration of Planet Betsy. Your actions have already spoken louder than words.

    Jack writes: "Your limited understanding of the toxic industrial methods we use for production distresses me. Don't you know about the depletion of topsoil, the mercury from smokestacks and the over-fished oceans. "

    I may not be the expert on industrial pollution, but I'm not ignorant of the facts and dangers, which have lately fallen below the horizon of financial failure.
    Share International magazine has been sounding the alarm about pollution for 25 years or so....before it became a serious consideration of public discourse. Every year they highlight the Goldman Environmental Award winners, individuals from all countries who have made a difference in environmental issues. Try searching the term "pollution" on the site and see for yourself. They have also done many articles on sustainable economics and economies, sustainable farming, nuclear radiation, the role of nuclear fusion as opposed to fission. You don't have to "believe" , but only have a look and consider.

    Jack writes: "If your Teachers can't change these things what good are they. Good love and sharing on an overloaded planet will not be enough."

    Oddly enough, apparently there is a paradox in our requirement for any spiritual guidance, and I say this with great respect. We want someone to fix our problems, but we don't (and rightly so) want to be told what to do. So, it seems that what has to happen is that the public needs to be informed of the facts so that a dialogue can begin, questions can be answered and the immensity of this project may dawn on relatively unprepared minds. It is also a consciousness-raising project which has already increased awareness our serious crises resulting from the death of our culture and our inability to use somewhat advanced technologies responsibly. There are immensely more sophisticated technologies (the Technology of Light) to come, but they cannot be given as long as we are willing to use war as a tool for domination and competition as the basis of our relationships. (BTW, how do you think that new inventions are born...sometimes in several places at once?)

    Our institutions no longer serve the needs of people. It is only very lately that blogging has enabled this dialogue
    to begin. The major media could be really helpful. Maitreya has taken this long, 35 years, to begin public work precisely because the law forbids infringement of human free will. So although it seems as if he is just reiterating what we all know intellectually, that love is good, that justice is important (although lately justice has become subject to important considerations like profit), that truth is necessary (but we make it subject to the ideologic requirements of certain political/economic/religious/social "necessities") he is saying that these are essential for our survival. We have run out of time for playing around thinking what we do doesn't matter that much and that "God will provide". We as a humanity need to grow up. We in the West look upon the cultures of what we call the "less advanced" with distain and wonder how "those people" can believe that women must be subservient to men
    and if not deserve acid in the face; that aids is curable by having sex with virgins and you all know the litany. But years from now we may look at the history of our own beliefs and wonder how could we have supported them for so long and at such cost?

    Maitreya is very serious. His call for sharing is pure Christianity, pure Buddhism, pure Hinduism, pure Islam...pure democracy. Labeling it as just another installation of historic socialism in which govt imposes rigid limitations on citizen freedoms would be, I think, a distortion of truth.

    The star is a "sign" of Maitreya's readiness to "go public". It is, therefore, a question to humanity. Are we interested enough to listen to reasonable broad and far reaching ideas which will take humanity into the bright future in store? As the star becomes bigger and brighter, and as more and more people wonder about it, dialogue and discuss about it, the date of that interview will come. He will be interviewed as an ordinary man with extraordinary insight and wisdom so that we may judge his ideas and their soundness and relevance to our problems. Sounds preachy, and over the top, I know, but if we are talking about how to comprehend something so big, so new, so important to our future, we need to at least wonder, inquire, respond with hearts and minds which are open enough to take the next step. If we are to avoid
    the "historical vertigo" elucidated by Mike Davis, we must, I think, do the hard work of moving beyond our conditioned reflexes of belief or non-belief and check it out.

    Wires are crossed somewhere. You tune in to Bill Moyers but get your script from Rush Limbaugh.

    I often suspect those who post verbatim propaganda of being paid. You can't recover the labor hours you lost serving the people who robbed you. But then; if gambling is your thing, easy come, easy go.

    Good Night, Willie Lohman.

    "Socialists assert that all human actions and reactions depend upon environment. The theory is that human beings are mere robots, responding only to "external stimuli", and that heredity and the accumulated experience of countless centuries, should be disregarded. This is part of what socialists call the "pragmatic approach....

    AND, In socialistic dialectics independent thinkers are "deviates" ... and John Dewey says that only people who are entirely dependent on socialist leaders are "normal".

    AND, According to this new "social science" now administered by the Supreme Court instead of our former law, decisions are based not on precedent, but on their effect on promoting the kind of society which the socialized Supreme Court thinks best for us. This is substantially the same as the legal system openly avowed by the Soviet slave drivers."

    Why try to plagiarize or restate that which can not be improved upon.....


    I've done more in my life and have had more different experiences in 5 years than you have in your whole life, and I'm talking about in the Blue Collar, Real World, no silver spoon in my mouth.

    And I'm willing to stand up for Moral Principles and take the consequences. You know, when I see wrongs against other people. HAVE YOU?

    So, you're right, I'm an evil SOB......

    Jack wrote: "I DO believe 9/11 was an inside job: because capitalists are so greedy they could not resist".

    SO, those buildings would have come down even if those planes didn't fly into them? Is that what your saying.

    AND, you wrote: "Free marketeers endorse exploitation and mass murder". Have you put me in this assumption?

    Jack wrote: "E H MORAN clearly stated his primary motivation as unearned income".

    Explain to me what RETIREMENT is??????

    Listen, I've worked to support my family since I was 8 years old, AND YOU????


    You wrote: "(See how even a quote of several paragraphs can be decontextualized? That is why I wish people could speak their own minds and not use the authority crutch.)"

    Well, here's another crutch: "Those who want liberty and security will have neither (Benjamin Franklin)."

    Are you good at math?

    Let's see, Jekyll Island, Central Bank Creation,The United States Program
    for General and Complete
    Disarmament in a Peaceful
    World U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 7277 (to take the guns from law abiding citizens, have you noticed that the only people against the 2nd Amendment are those on the Far Left and Criminals), the Kissinger Report, Patriot Act, G.I.V.E, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlement (they specialize in credit derivatives), Global Warming Initiatives, etc....

    This list goes on and on....

    All this must lead to something? Have you noticed lately that your Human Rights are being eroded by the very people you trust and vote for. Now Congress can single you out and penalize you with higher taxes and, eventually, bankruptcy, if they want and you don't follow their specified agenda.

    These are the same Socialistic Thinking people that inevitably will Rule everyone in the World, if you allow them.

    E H MORAN clearly stated his primary motivation as unearned income. Why would such a person even attempt to discuss humanitarian solutions?

    Business libertarianism is the stepping stool of short legged fascists. Free marketeers endorse exploitation and mass murder. Apparently rugged individualists can't see their own banal evils.

    I DO believe 9/11 was an inside job: because capitalists are so greedy they could not resist.

    Zora Renee: This actually began as soon as the first corporation was chartered (about 1500), and has gotten worse ever since. But you and the fascists are correct that unregulated usury is the most immediate injustice today. Fascists bait and switch and tell half truths between their smartass remarks. They are never honest about their preferred solutions (death and slavery to those they consider inferiors). Greider's description of corporate governance is essentially fascism. If you want your life run and determined by institutions that's the ultimate. (When I pay taxes I expect health care and the opportunity to earn a living wage. I expect the greedy peckerheads who get gobs of dough from investments to pay high taxes because they benefit from the system upheld by the government.) Nihilistic libertarianism is not humane enough, so socialism is the only widely used word I know to describe fairer distribution and egalitarian access.

    p.s. In case EH doesn't know, Ellul was describing the button down redbaiting 50s when he posited a totalitarian society. And when he described the conformist who woulfd be happy in this hell he meant the capitalist businessman. Ellul was a French philosopher of technological repression who died in at age 82 in 1994. He was an anarchist, pretty much like Noam Chomsky,except religious. He was no supporter of capitalist crap. (See how even a quote of several paragraphs can be decontextualized? That is why I wish people could speak their own minds and not use the authority crutch.)


    Didn't you already assume what my motivations were, that's a pure Far Left, Socialistic mistake to assume something about someone without even knowing that person.

    What's worse? The arrogance of ignorance or the ignorance of arrogance?

    This purely is a Far Left, Socialistic Attribute. Like the pseudoism of Social Science as developed by Socialist/Communist societies. This science is similar, if not evolved from, astrology.....


    Actually, I'm a Libertarian, No government involvement except as stated in the Constitution. Strong State's Rights. Pure Free Market Economics. And don't tell individuals what Utopia should be for them.

    I'm not a conspiracist. I don't believe the U.S. destroyed the Twin Towers and so on. But I do believe that since the beginning of Money, Money and Wealth has been accumulated by a select few and Socialistic agendas, a kind word for the Fascist State erected in this country, further enriches their wallets from the Middle Class.

    Anna D. Betsy is not the enemy. She is not an ally for socialism but does not stand in the way. Let her look for a star that may never come. She is religious like E H Moran who worships a capitalist system that may reward him with unearned income. Bald greed cannot be called honest. He is afraid of stained glass windows John Birch has interpreted for him.

    Betsy Whitfill: I wish your star would come but it never will. The idea has no basis in the material world. I have watched channelers such as Creme and see an awkward show with stilted language because I cannot believe.

    Your limited understanding of the toxic industrial methods we use for production distresses me. Don't you know about the depletion of topsoil, the mercury from smokestacks and the over-fished oceans. If your Teachers can't change these things what good are they. Good love and sharing on an overloaded planet will not be enough.

    E H MORAN- You have put yourself outside solutions being discussed here. You seem to harvest and share right wing conspiracy theories and remain unable to imagine a better world than the one crumbling around us. Socialism is only a word and it will not crawl up your butt while you sleep and eat your liver. Capitalism which is extant in the world and synonymous with financial fascism just might. Maybe you can use one of Anna D's telescopes for protection.

    I am offering to come to peoples houses (in the contiguous states) and interview you on the matters discussed here. Any interested parties who participate would become a partner in the enterprise (See "To nationalize..." page) Now that would be Socialism.

    “When a society becomes increasingly totalitarian ("society", not "state"), it creates more and more difficulties of adaptation and requires its citizens to be conformist in the same degree. Thus, this technique becomes all the more necessary. I have no doubt that it makes men better balanced and “happier”. And there is the danger. It makes men happy in a milieu which normally would have made them unhappy, if they had not been worked, on, molded, and formed for just that milieu. What looks like the apex of humanism is in fact the pinnacle of human submission: children are educated to become precisely what society expects of them. They must have social consciences that allow them to strive for the same ends as society sets for itself". – Jacques Ellul

    "Socialist pilgrims from all over the world have been fascinated by a stained-glass window in Surrey, England, where a Fabian coat-of-arms brazenly depicts socialism as a political wolf in sheep's clothing. Commissioned by George Bernard Shaw in 1910; for over 30 years it was privately displayed in the socialist inner-circle, who gloated over successful masquerades as "mild reformers" and "righteous liberals". Arrogantly, the socialist leaders picture themselves as shaping the whole world with hammer blows while relegating their followers to the role of blind worshippers praying before the image of socialist propaganda".

    Ann writes: "Betsy Whitfill, Don't get personal. I and MANY others celebrate the FACT that we have enough telescopes in place to protect us from crude shamanism."

    Can you elaborate about the telescopes and crude shamanism?

    Ann writes: "Seems you are uncomfortable with processing information that is "new" to you."

    I must be dense for I don't have a clue as to what you are talking about. Could you explain?
    Thanks, Ann. I don't intend to be personal.

    Jack writes: " but what else might this being tell us to do? What can we do anyway?"

    He won't tell us to do anything. He will talk about the long history of humanity, our oneness, the divinity which lives as potential within each person, the need for all of us to share the earth's resources so that all may have the basic necessities of life: nourishing food, adequate shelter and healthcare as well as education and a wholesome environment. It is in everyone's interest. He will not infringe our free will, as do most governments past and present, nor will he sprinkle whiffle dust and make a paradise on earth. That is, as he says, our job. If you read "Maitreya's Teachings: the Laws of Life" and "Messages from Maitreya the Christ", you get a pretty good idea of what He teaches. He says that Krishnamurti was the closest to living the teaching. What we can do is to listen, cooperate together and solve our problems.

    Jack writes: "People have been socialized for sadism and competition, to glorify their oppressors. I wonder how this could change."

    We are sadistic and competitive because we are afraid...all the time...of loss, of abandonment, of death and even life itself. When we realize how interconnected we are with each other and all life, we will respect and be tender with each other, and that will become more important than monster mansions, many cars and expensive habits. We will live more simply with the technology to create all the artifacts we need but not be slaves to money and possessions. We'll become enourmously creative and have the time to develop our potential as spiritual beings. As Maitreya says: "No two days will be alike". When people learn that there are certain Laws of Life which govern all human life we will change. The Law of Karma ensures that every thought and action generates causes the effects of which come back to us. The Law of Rebirth ensures that we return to this physical world over and over until we have learned all that this existence has to teach us, and until we have exhausted our karma and are totally harmless.

    Jack writes:" Aren't the chances that "we" will reject the help you describe? "

    Yes, we certainly can reject, and at first no doubt many will. But now that we have the technology to destroy all life on the planet and are hard at it (quickly through nuclear attack, or slowly through environmental pollution..particularly nuclear radiation), we are really in trouble and have run out of time. If we would just give him a chance to present his ideas, we might be surprised at how reasonable and practical they are.

    Jack writes: "The basic dynamic of our technology contradicts our nature. And yet you say our Helpers have no qualms about utilizing such oppressive technologies to assist us."

    I don't understand. What oppressive technology? Please clarify.

    Jack writes: "And yet I wish your predictions would come true, because it would be so much easier than the injustice, starvation and torture already on the agenda. I just can't afford to believe and still stand ready to resist. It is not in me. Ghost dancing gives me no comfort."

    No need to believe at all, and I agree that the "false prophets" of religion, of finance and social engineering (on both ends of the spectrums) have given us good reason to be sceptical if not cynical. I'm just suggesting that we air all of this out as a way to see the next step forward. Maitreya is waiting until we, all of us, have somewhat agreed that we might need to learn to share if we would survive. This week the Wall Street Journal had a section devoted to the dire effects of the rich world donating to Africa for example. That method of sharing has not helped the poor and in fact has made for ultra-rich governments and ultra-poor populations. We've done it (donated) for decades and to no avail in ending suffering and poverty. Surely it's time to look at a new way. That new way must be based on a change of heart in everyone. Who could change the hearts of men and women? Based on my limited experience, Maitreya can.

    Read and weep, U.N. to control World Economies:

    "U.N. 'Climate Change' Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy",2933,510937,00.html

    "UN panel touts new global currency reserve system"

    ehmoran, while it may have began in 1913 - FDR tried to keep just such from happening when he put Glass-Steagall and many other regulations in place - which have since been repealed.

    My real point is that the "war" on American working people was "unofficially sanctioned" and has been in full force ever since!

    Zora Renee,

    This actually began full fledged in 1913.....

    No I don't agree with Davis about the "unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil" that this current crisis represents. I believe that this has been a steadily determined strategy, that was adopted by conservative ideologues.

    I believe that this has actually been 30 years in the making. It started when a grade "B" movie actor became President and destroyed the Air Traffic Controllers Union - that was a signal to the (BIG) business community that they could treat their workers as they pleased! That catalyst has allowed them to behave as they pleased, and they have! Our current economic fiasco, is the culmination of years of deregulation, influence peddling to the very people that are supposed to represent us, remember "we the people"!

    While not all, many of these people have definitely forgotten that they are supposed to represent US- the taxpayers! Their very actions today (hawking for continued tax cuts, no new ideas, no re-regulation of these industries, etc.) show that these people refuse to recognize the reality that they have promulgated by their actions!

    Betsy Whitfill,

    Don't get personal.

    I and MANY others celebrate the FACT that we have enough telescopes in place to protect us from crude shamanism.

    Seems you are uncomfortable with processing information that is "new" to you.


    Just curious:

    What Trading Platform do you use?

    “The only reason I started reading this stuff so intensely was because I started
    Trading the Markets last September.”
    “I find trading the Markets is the most honest work a person can do......
    Cost me a lot of money.” Regretfully , you are very naive!
    You may want to read some very fundamental basic principal rules for investing at:

    Considering how bad the financial crises are, the corrupt banking system, the corrupt laws,

    regulations etc. even this basic rules would not work!


    You're wrong about my motivation. I was threatened then fired from a job for refusing to sign a paper allowing managers to embezzle nearly $100,000 from the company (they finally lost their jobs). I quit several jobs because the Managers wanted me to lie and/or hide data, some was Scientific data.

    I'm trying to make an honest living, feed my family, retire, be moral and honest with people and stand for my principles, and help people that want to grow and gain knowledge.

    Unbelievably, In my 49 years, I find trading the Markets is the most honest work a person can do......

    E H MORAN: The world you're seeking to understand is passing away. (I agree with Betsy Whitfill on that.) You have told me in short that making money is your primary motivation. If that is so imagine yourself one of the counterparties to CDSs now being paid. Would you feel good then?!?!

    In short, if there are large financial conspiracies afoot, leading to further consolidation of wealth and power over the general run of people, then where will it stop? Answer, it will not. Ruthless power has repeatedly been demonstrated to result in perpetual slavery, unnecessary widespread suffering and mass murder. I think this dump truck has hurtled a little too far down the mountain to be slowed by pretend regulation and adjustment. If already the values of private property and contract are breached by those who make the rules I think you can depend upon a future of arbitrary law. If the people don't exercise the same prerogatives (as the wealthy elite have in violating an expired system) all is lost.

    Figuring out how you lost your money won't do any good because they'll create a new way for you to lose more the next round. Talk is to action as diagnosis is to treatment. (The train that goes tomorrow (to Morrow) is always an hour upon its way (where the small investor is concerned).)


    The only reason I started reading this stuff so intensely was because I started Trading the Markets last September.

    When the Markets turned down and continued going south, I had a desire to learn, discover, and expose the indepth reasons why. (Much, much less than you'll ever hear from the Media and pundits). My learning this stuff and much more and applying to Market Mechanics has helped me survive this downturn.

    I state these things because they appear to fit current and past economic status. People can call me a nut job all they want, but listening to them and all the BS I heard cost me a lot of money. So I don't have much patience with BS when I hear it, that's the problem with experience and continued growth and learning.

    I like sharing my knowledge with others. What I talk about is from my own actual history of Life.

    Betsy Whitfill: Let's say I share your faith, and a well-spoken person (maybe channeling or facilitating)is broadcast for everyone to hear. (I do not understand how this could happen considering what commercials cost and that the networks are considering discontinuing coverage of Presidential press conferences.) So we are told then that we have an origin and a purpose. You have exhibited a vague patience so far, but what else might this being tell us to do? What can we do anyway?

    People have been socialized for sadism and competition, to glorify their oppressors. I wonder how this could change. Recently the President has laughed at the developmentally disabled and at the possibility of ending the profitability and conflict over drugs. His administration is representative in its closed mindedness when it comes to the preference of elite contract and great sacred property over human need. Aren't the chances that "we" will reject the help you describe? The basic dynamic of our technology contradicts our nature. And yet you say our Helpers have no qualms about utilizing such oppressive technologies to assist us. It is so difficult to anticipate. Will subversives tap into our communications? Is "the Star" something more than a space station?

    What I mean to say is that your group seems (socialist)enlightened, but posits all sorts of improbabilities, contradictions and anachronisms. Theoretically, you sound as wrongheaded as the freetraders and the bailers of capitalism. I can't help but think a false hope based upon speculative spirituality tends to make people complacent when they should be active. It could only work if outside voices were channeled through high status office holders, wealth manipulators and accomplished celebrities. No, that won't work, because Gorbachev, George Clooney and Bono have already tried it. As soon as the message contradicts the powerful interests the speaker is made a fool or silenced, sometimes permanently. Our world is neither rational nor sweet.

    And yet I wish your predictions would come true, because it would be so much easier than the injustice, starvation and torture already on the agenda. I just can't afford to believe and still stand ready to resist. It is not in me. Ghost dancing gives me no comfort.

    Anna's quick retort to Monad is a good example of the problem at the heart of this question of historical vertigo: new information is immediately dismissed because it does not meet the apriori assumptions of the day. Is it impossible that there might be an additional luminary in the heavens with the space station? Why must we be bipolar and accept one OR the other. Would it not be useful to reserve opinion and let the information inform more fully?

    Anna D writes to Monad:

    "Elder Brothers" and other such neglected children are ignored because there is an assumption by the adults that everyone knows what that "star" really is - especially the "Elder Brothers".

    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of USA adults. We will curtail the dissemination of imaginative play as FACTUAL information."

    E H MORAN: Sounds like you might be interested in "failed state" theory. Haiti is a renowned failed state, but isn't the USA becoming a failed state too? It can't seem to do for the citizenry what it was supposedly designed or intended to do, and isn't that failed?

    You and Chris and David Eddy have a clear understanding that this outcome resulted from elite global corporate capitalist need (the ultimate fascist collusion between enterprise and governance).

    Why is Mike Davis a socialist? It has to do with counteractive measures. Guys like me and Mike feel like we're jumping on a trampoline when we hear window makers have occupied the Chicago factory, that squatters are seizing vacant deteriorating houses from banks, that Argentinian industrial workers are operating and managing seized small manufactures from absentee owners. In other words, that circumstances have allowed some activists to realize that contracts that violate human need are not valid and that the sanctity of property rights has a limit. Even an idiot like Ray Nagen understands that people might have to resort to what some call looting to survive after Katrina. Soldiers and police should have facilitated distribution of goods otherwise lost or spoiled and not drawn down on desperate survivors. Isn't that what we'll be when we get laid off and benefits run out: desperate survivors.

    The time I most demonstrated my tendency to goodness was in 1989 after Hurricane Hugo. I gave all I had and took what was necessary to take in order to assist others. The experience changed me. I had talked about justice but never understood it before. Justice is situational because life is not a game.

    In the larger realm we have to get beyond elite deceptions about property and contract and the universality of their brand of capitalism. It will do us no good for Obama's crew to reinflate the bubble. Some of us might have to take chances and make sacrifices to get out of this bad deal before natural collapse closes in. If socialistic alternatives can help most people I'm all for it. If homegrown markets can help I support that too.

    A "community organizer" can be an enabler for people to assert their needs or a deceiver and an apologist for a failed state. The truth is that if the people who do the work have the guts to demand justice it will all come out in the wash. Do you guys have the guts or are you apologists for a failed state.

    More interesting:

    "United States Congressional Record, March 17, 1993
    Vol. 33, page H-1303

    Speaker-Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressing the House:
    The receivers of the United States Bankruptcy are the International Bankers, via the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. All United States Offices, Officials, and Departments are now operating within a de facto status in name only under Emergency War Powers. With the Constitutional Republican form of Government now dissolved, the receivers of the Bankruptcy have adopted a new form of government for the United States. This new form of government is known as a Democracy, being an established Socialist/Communist order under a new governor for America. This act was instituted and established by transferring and/or placing the Office of the Secretary of Treasury to that of the Governor of the International Monetary Fund. Public Law 94-564, page 8, Section H.R. 13955 reads in part: "The U.S. Secretary of Treasury receives no compensation for representing the United States?'"

    Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that is beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not?

    There is a big difference between not understanding and denial...
    The solution to the present economic and social turmoil is obvious.
    There are insufficient funds on the demand side of economics to support the present level of exchange of goods and services. Economics is a dynamic system not a static system. It is necessary to have the funds in the present to provide for the future.
    The means of exchange must grow and shrink in accordance with demand.
    The only limit on means of exchange should be the amount of manpower and natural resources available. It is a simple matter of mathematics.
    The big problem is wrong concepts of economics and the inability to do what is necessary to adjust the means of exchange to the current needs.

    Davis suggests that the economic crisis defies the scope of our current understanding. Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply cannot comprehend.
    What people do not want to comprehend is that the quality of their life is dependent on efficient economic systems. They go into brain lock over bantered terms that have lost their meaning and are being used by the greedy and the corruptors to prevent meaningful change. Fear mongers use deceitful tactics to maintain the status quo.
    They are setting us up for poverty and chaos.


    Could be a conspiracy theory, but I remember reading about Jekyll Island, JP Morgan bailing the U.S. out of debt in the late 1890's, and some of the fine operations of Enron (which seems to fit in "Step Four").

    Who knows?

    But Geitner was with the IMF; Rubin, Paulson and Corzine were once Goldman Sachs CEOs. And I'm sure the list goes on.....

    “Four Step Strategy,” Yes,
    they are interesting!

    Last Friday, Mr. Davis said:

    The most fundamental straightforward questions about who are the counterparties who own the credit default swaps? You know, who are the main creditors of these banks? In the midst of bailing them out with tens of billons of dollars of tax money, the public doesn't have any idea who's actually benefiting, who the parties are involved.

    And today:

    Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Thursday afternoon that he was widening his investigation of the American International Group to examine whether its trading counterparties improperly received billions of dollars in government money from the troubled insurer.

    Those counterparties include Goldman Sachs, which received $12.9 billion, as well as Société Générale of France and Deutsche Bank of Germany, which each received nearly $12 billion.

    “Our investigation into corporate bonuses has led us to an investigation of the credit default swap contracts at A.I.G.,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “CDS contracts were at the heart of A.I.G.’s meltdown. The question is whether the contracts are being wound down properly and efficiently or whether they have become a vehicle for funneling billions in taxpayers dollars to capitalize banks all over the world.”

    Other counterparties that received money from A.I.G. include Barclays of Britain ($8.5 billion), Merrill Lynch ($6.8 billion), Bank of America ($5.2 billion), UBS of Switzerland ($5 billion), Citigroup ($2.3 billion) and Wachovia ($1.5 billion).

    The government injected about $180 billion in bailout money into A.I.G. to prevent its collapse after the company found itself on the wrong side of the credit default swaps that it sold. The swaps are insurance-like instruments that allow investors to hedge against bond defaults.

    A.I.G.’s financial products division sold the credit default swaps, and it has faced a wall of public outrage after it paid out $165 million in retention bonuses. Earlier this week, Mr. Cuomo said A.I.G. employees had agreed to return $50 million of those bonuses.

    Finally, this has been long overdue. (I wonder if the Saudis were able to scrub ALL the AIG docs before/after they bought portions of AIG. Let's keep our fingers crossed.)

    Chris and others,

    Some interesting reading for you:

    "Chief Economist of the World Bank, and former Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, goes public over the World Bank’s, “Four Step Strategy,” which is designed to enslave nations to the bankers.

    Four Step Strategy summarize below:

    Step One: Privatization. This is actually where national leaders are offered 10% commissions to their secret Swiss bank accounts in exchange for them trimming a few billion dollars off the sale price of national assets. Bribery and corruption, pure and simple.

    Step Two: Capital Market Liberalization. This is the repealing any laws that taxes money going over its borders. Stiglitz calls this the, “hot money,” cycle. Initially cash comes in from abroad to speculate in real estate and currency, then when the economy in that country starts to look promising, this outside wealth is pulled straight out again, causing the economy to collapse. The nation then requires IMF help and the IMF provides it under the pretext that they raise interest rates anywhere from 30% to 80%. This happened in Indonesia and Brazil, also in other Asian and Latin American nations. These higher interest rates consequently impoverish a country, demolishing property values, savaging industrial production and draining national treasuries.

    Step Three: Market Based Pricing. This is where the prices of food, water and domestic gas are raised which predictably leads to social unrest in the respective nation, now more commonly referred to as, “IMF Riots.” These riots cause the flight of capital and government bankruptcies. This benefits the foreign corporations as the nations remaining assets can be purchased at rock bottom prices.

    Step Four: Free Trade. This is where international corporations burst into Asia, Latin America and Africa, whilst at the same time Europe and America barricade their own markets against third world agriculture. They also impose extortionate tariffs which these countries have to pay for branded pharmaceuticals, causing soaring rates in death and disease There are a lot of losers in this system, but a few winners - bankers. In fact the IMF and World Bank have made the sale of electricity, water, telephone and gas systems a condition of loans to every developing nation. This is estimated at 4 trillion dollars of publicly owned assets".

    “The state of... financial institution...raises... many questions as it answers.”
    “The treasury Secretary brought... bucket of water to the fire...” to put INFERNO of
    “highly flammable default swaps that send the whole block [country] in smoke!”
    “The AIG bonuses – they are mere drops in the bucket being brought to this blaze,
    a distraction of crises that will take... every once of know-how...!”
    “The CDS bets... are estimated in the TENS of TRILLIONS of dollars...- that's
    TRILLIONS, with a “T.” In the next 5 years it is “estimated the debt to be $21 Trillions.”
    Currently the accumulated debt for each person is at “about $40,000.00”, in 5 years it
    will be debt of $80,000.00 for each person. It means, each person earning
    $15,000.00 a year would have to work at least 5-1/2 years to just pay the debt.
    Simply, a system for creating a “modern slaves” by the power of “ramped corruption.”
    A convenient way for enrichment and confiscation by a printing press economy.
    If the Congress had the best interest of the people they would have kept the regulations
    that were in place in 1930 and thereafter. Instead of they engage in deregulations!
    “Every once of know- how...” will be implemented when the citizen are empower to
    express their “WILL on ALL ISSUES” by AMMENDING the CONSTITUTION!

    There would seem to be two quasi-philosophical trends that have largely con-tributed to the present economic melt-down: (1) an absolute--even idolatrous--faith in the absolute omnipotence and omni-competence of the MARKET, and (2) the LIBERTARIAN philosophy notably of Ayn Rand which--confused with American liberty--has been followed by such as Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Alan Greenspan among others. The former tenden-cy has been neatly dealt with by Amartya Sen's
    "Capitaism Beyond the Crisis" (NYReview of Books, 26 March 2009, pp. 27-30). But who has really dealt with the latter?


    You wrote, in part, "Maitreya’s first interview – on a major American network – will be preceded by the appearance of a brilliant star, visible both day and night around the world, similar to the star that appeared at the time of Jesus’ birth."

    Please note that with the recent addition of solar panels to the International Space Station, the "star" you are referring to has, indeed, become visible both in the day and as the brightest object in the sky at night.

    I will admit that we do not pay enough attention to silly mischief makers in USA.

    "Elder Brothers" and other such neglected children are ignored because there is an assumption by the adults that everyone knows what that "star" really is - especially the "Elder Brothers".

    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of USA adults. We will curtail the dissemination of imaginative play as FACTUAL information.

    In answer to our question: Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply can not comprehend? Yes, I believe Mike Davis is "spot on" when he points out that it's hard to make sense of an unexpected revelation - specially if you have no context within which to place it. The people who are heroic are those who can listen to - and take in new information, even if it threatens the fundamentals of what they have always believed and if they can re-examine the assumptions they hold, expand their inventory of ideas and - even change their minds. So it is hoped that you have an open mind to consider the following:

    As Wall Street giants tumble and millions lose their homes, jobs, pensions, healthcare and all previous elements of ‘security’, you have to ask “what’s next?” Although many are fearful, waiting for the other shoe to drop, there is actually reason to be optimistic.

    According to British author, futurist and international lecturer Benjamin Creme, we are now experiencing the death throes of an economic system that has, for decades, benefited a relatively few rich and powerful men at the expense of billions of the human family who do not have even the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, healthcare, and education.

    Not only have the commercialization of life and excessive speculation in meaningless financial instruments prevented a just distribution of the world's resources, they also fuel endless wars, which further devastate the innocent and could ultimately end all life on this planet.

    Creme, who for over 40 years has been associated with one of humanity's Elder Brothers – a Master of Wisdom, as they are known in the East – observes that America's unwise embrace of unfettered capitalism, based on greed, has led this country to the brink of financial and economic collapse, thereby negatively impacting the entire world. The good news is that, upon the awakening of America's soul qualities, we will move into a new era of unimaginable social, scientific and spiritual achievement. This is our destiny ¬ if we choose to accept it.

    Even with a new administration and a real change of heart, it is hard to imagine how we can get from where we are today to that remarkable future. In fact, says Creme, it would now be impossible without the help of these Elder Brothers, who have guided us for millennia from behind the scenes, but are now ready to work openly among us. They will provide the inspiration and practical advice; we must do the work!

    The Masters may initially explain that at the core of our political, economic and even environmental crises is a less obvious but more profound, spiritual crisis. We simply don’t know who we are and why we are here. We do not understand that there is a Divine Plan behind all life. In truth, we are not victims of a cosmic ‘accident’. All life is sacred and interconnected, and we are destined for better things than we have thus far achieved. Without these spiritual insights, we struggle haphazardly through life, separated from each other and from our Source.

    But within a very short time, Creme says, the head of this group of illumined Beings ¬ the World Teacher, Maitreya ¬ will appear on national television and talk about the necessity for humanity to see itself as one family and share the resources of the world, so the needs of all may be met. By implementing this one divine principle, we will eradicate the root cause of most of the suffering in the world today, whether from terrorism and other forms of violence, hunger and poverty, pandemic disease, or destruction of our environment. Hard to believe? Here's a way to know:

    Maitreya’s first interview – on a major American network – will be preceded by the appearance of a brilliant star, visible both day and night around the world, similar to the star that appeared at the time of Jesus’ birth.

    A series of interviews in many countries will follow the American broadcast. People will begin to talk more openly about the wisdom of this man, who will not initially reveal his true status. As things continue to deteriorate in the outer world, people will call for more guidance from this extraordinary individual. Finally, the media of the world will arrange an opportunity for him to speak to all humanity, much as a World Cup soccer match or a LiveAid-type event reaches millions via satellite hook-ups. On this ‘Day of Declaration’, Maitreya will speak telepathically to everyone on earth above the age of 14 in their own language. He will explain in simple terms where we have come from, our earthly and spiritual destiny, how we must relate to one another, how to solve the myriad problems of the world. Hundreds of thousands of spontaneous healings will occur. Millions will recognize him as the Expected One of their faith, by whatever name they call him.

    It is said of this unprecedented day:

    "Never before will men have heard the call to their divinity, the challenge to their presence here on Earth. Each, singly and solemnly alone, will know for that time the purpose and meaning of their lives, will experience anew the grace of childhood, the purity of aspiration cleansed of self. For these precious minutes, men will know afresh the joy of full participation in the realities of Life, will feel connected one to another, like the memory of a distant past."

    A book entitled, "The Awakening of Humanity" is available for free download at

    It seems somewhat interesting the amounts deemed necessary from taxpayers is soo very close to the 'known' amount spent (so far) on our military in vasion of Iraq...Of course there are soo many 'unknowns' resulting from the dark-ages' last eight years, that it's literally impossible to know how much taxpayer money has been spent (and pocketed) by the very people who took their oaths to Our Constitution and to The People of Our United States...

    BTW, what ever happened to the infamous 'Pallet of Cash'...???

    Hi Flow, all,

    There is a "bottom" that is based on a man to land ratio.

    "Profit" is actually the time that the human species has after the minimum basics needed for life-maintenance have been provided.

    Like it or not, there's some real math and physics to what is humanely possible. Labor is a real part of the real math and physics equation. Labor is not moveable or disposal "parts", nor is it an abstraction or "thing".

    The issue is still the ancient fight between "unearned wealth" and "slave labor".

    Unearned wealth's modern enemy is the law of physics that labor has at its disposal.

    All the gyrations and convolutions and abstractions and theories is peurile shamanism and we're not buying it.

    Imagine being ruled by an absolute god that follows not even the laws that made everything possible that they want to steal - kookoo.

    AMY GOODMAN: In your history of usury, basically, from ancient times to today, you’re also giving a labor history, a labor history of this country.

    Thomas Geoghegan on “Infinite Debt: How Unlimited Interest Rates Destroyed the Economy”


    AMY GOODMAN: Explain.

    THOMAS GEOGHEGAN: Well, history—historians like Niall Ferguson, conservative historians and progressive historians, many economic historians, see history as nothing but a turf war between three groups: the manufacturers, workers and the bondholders, or the financial sector.

    So where does labor fit in in all of this? People lost the ability to get wage increases and got the ability, an incredible ability, really unknown in previous times, to get credit cards with which they had high rates of interest. So, unable to get wage increases, people—or unable to get union cards, really, people got credit cards and began running up these great debts, which addicted the country to high rates of return in the financial sector, so that people were kind of spending their way out of the real economy, pushing more and more money, by the fact that they were going into debt, into this virtual financial sector economy. So, really, the inability of people to raise their own wages and the incredible ease with which they could get credit instead helped create this flow of capital out of manufacturing and into finance. You know, we, the little people in this country, helped finance the bloating up of this financial sector and really the downsizing of our own jobs in the real economy. We sent the signals, you know, to investors to put money into the financial sector and not into the manufacturing sector.

    Everyone from Betsy Whitfill, to Jim Bullis, to flow is asking why the road to economic recovery must be so long and convoluted. A ferry carrying the population is sinking in icy waters and the "Government" feels it must rescue the Brinks truck from the submerging deck before returning later for the passengers.

    Why is capitalism more valuable than all the rest of our culture and relationships? I guess it depends upon whether you believe people are so flawed that everything else depends upon greed, envy and exploitation for motivation.

    A commentator on the Diane Rehm Show told a caller this morning, "If you believe the medical market is exploiting you, then; boycott your doctor." It reminded me of a line from Thomas Mann's short story (1929) "Mario and the Magician." Cruel quips and reasoning are mutually contradictory. (And this from a person who is spending his Morgan Stanley bonus on charitable projects, what an unnecessarily long and convoluted road!)

    I think that there is possibility to move towards a more socially/economically just or balanced system but I think that to do so the concepts must be re-framed to allow for real discussion. As Mr. Davis alluded t, the Democratic Party has to aggressively grasp control of the language of the debate. As long as they cede to conservatives the 'terms of art' used to frame the issues they will continue to lose ground on the battlefield of ideas. On the electric car issue Jim makes some good points from a thermodynamic perspective but one of the ideas that isn't often stressed as strongly as the 'neat idea of plug-in cars' is that you would also need to change the power generation methodology too.

    Not long ago, during the previous administration, 70% of American citizens polled indicated they believed the country was on the wrong track with regard to the war in Iraq. It was not making us safer, and was consuming an inordinate amount of precious blood and treasure.

    Yesterday, Obama indicated he understands the vast majority of Americans are opposed to the Geithner Plan, but saving the banks is mandatory, given that the consequence of not saving the banks is too great.

    So, at least in this respect, there is continuity between the administrations; both are perfectly willing to disregard the will of their constituents in favor of their favored policies. Policies that obviously benefit a very narrow field of interests, and seem deliberately engineered to maintain the status quo, but are never-the-less presented as having the benefit of the greater good in mind. A complicit and dysfunctional Congress swaggers right along, though now the republicans are cast in the role of the dissenters.

    My question: Why is saving the banks mandatory?

    Can anyone present an argument that absolutely demonstrates that the majority of Americans would not be better off—5 or 10 years from now—if the banks were allowed to fail? Even if such policy would result in catastrophic systemic failure?

    The answer is no. The reason the answer is no, absolutely not, is because any argument concerning the future must necessarily rely on a model that involves theorizing, conjecture, speculation and assumptions. All the factors and inputs contributing to the eventual outcome cannot be known simultaneously, therefore the outcome cannot be determined with any degree of certainty. Even near term probabilities may be deduced with only a reasonable—not absolute—degree of certainty. As the event horizon is extended beyond the near term there is a diminishing degree of certainty concerning the accuracy and validity of any prediction.

    In addition, it depends on how you define "better off."

    I say let the banks fail. Let's show the world why this is the land of the free and home of the brave. Allow the market to distribute the consequences to all parties involved. The long term effects of the moral hazard produced by the current policy, seem to me, to be the greater danger and potentially more devastating than something as simple as reconstructing a banking system or federal government. A little catastrophe may be just the catalyst required to naturally incline US towards rectification of the moral decay at the heart of our crisis. But, alas, I am only speculating and cannot know that with any certainty.

    Yes, Davis is right in characterizing our financial crisis as "an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil". Apparently, however, we keep thinking that if we pay someone enough money, we will be given a plan, a bailout, a candle to keep out the darkness of chaos. That is our true failing. We do not know, nor will we accept that we do not know what to do.

    As Einstein says (paraphrasing): you cannot solve a problem using the same consciousness or mindset that created it.

    There is, however, an issue which relates to our failure to comprehend the financial crisis at hand, and which is crucial to mankind's future on this planet. There is a new revelation, a new vision for man, which descends and will transform all life on earth. But men and women must rise and expand in consciousncess if we are to process, to understand and to internalize the new vision, and then to express or manifest it. This new consciousness arises from educated guidance coupled with experience. Guidance from the past is of little use, for it only reinforces the old vision. Where, then is this new guidance to come from? What new context or framework must be developed in order for man to rise in consciousness and be able to express the needed new vision?

    The needed guidance is man's to invoke. It comes with the return to the world of mankind's Elder Brother, whose status is that of the Buddha, or the Christ, and who is awaited by people of every tradition, religious or non-religious. His mission is about to begin, bringing the message of Love and sharing.

    The extraordinary and significant sign heralding this event, the like of which has been manifest only once before, at the birth of Jesus, is being seen by more and more people all over the world, and once Venus has set, its brilliance will dominate the heavens, night and day.
    Early photos:

    Wake up humanity. Look up and look to the future with renewed hope.

    Thanks, flow, for the great links. Keep 'em coming.

    The quote below is from Taibbi's article and seems to serve as a good metaphor for America itself.

    "Even so, management dithered for days, not believing the company was in serious trouble. AIG was a dried-up prune, sapped of any real value, and its top executives didn't even know it."

    We need to keep locating and sharing good articles and perspectives on these issues and more.

    _The Journal_ should create some kind of sidebar connected to each thread where we can maintain these links.

    I'm worried that Americans are not pissed enough, and that what little anger they have will dissipate much too quickly.

    Anyone interested in collaborating on the production of "Scumbag Trading Cards: The 50 Most Unpatriotic Americans (not the usual suspects)? My list is around thirty-five right now.

    From Taibbi's article, I've added Phil Gramm, Joe Cassano, C.K. Lee, and Donald Kohn.

    At some point, we need to recognize outright THEFT and scream about it and stop it.

    Naomi Klein wrote an excellent book called 'The Shock Doctrine.' In it, she points out a 40 year long pattern of how some people take advantage of a 'crisis' to steal more money.

    They always cry, like now, that we must act quickly and decisively to give them a trillion dollars or so. The world will collapse if the bankers don't get their trillion dollars. Or two trillion. Or three trillion.

    That's all this is. The same crooks that caused the crisis are stealing us blind in with BS claims that we must pay them to end the crisis.

    The problem is, the American people voted for the party funded by Wall Street, aka the Democrats, to clean up the mess caused by Wall Street. So, of course, the Democrats put Wall Street in charge of solving the problem. And of course Wall Street said the way to solve the problem was to give trillions of dollars to Wall Street. What a surprise.

    We need a party that is not beholden to Wall Street or other wealthy interests. We have to learn the lesson that the candidates who have all the money in the elections are the ones who've been bought off. The candidates we can trust are the ones that need a volunteer to pick them up at the airport. We need to learn that lesson, and fast.

    Were it a film, the trouble that strangles this nation would make an interesting story; a story that--despite our problems
    --has a beginning, middle and an end. Yet all we seem to see and hear is the fear and the waste and the political screaming.

    Mr. Moyer's description of America as a corporate's subsidiary is the point of beginning and where the story really should begin, not in the middle of the chatter about political labels and all their rhetorical convenience.

    Over the past decade, our greatest accomplishment has been failure; the failure to see the full extent and harm that a culture of absolute greed can do.

    Not until the price of a gallon of gasoline became an act of corporate robbery--inspired by the creative whims of the industry media--did we as a nation begin to anger over the fictionalization of price. With a good press release, gas could be bumped up overnight and bumped up again if oil press staff had nothing else to do.

    Ditto eggs, milk or a box silly corn flakes. Was there trouble in Iowa and I missed it or did the grocer need more cash flow for yet another expansion of its already ambitious expansion plans?

    We focus on the AIGs and the political labels yet ignore the nearly endless number of cons being run by the corporate carnival who still blame the ignorant homeowner and not the corruption of a make-believe housing market and the incentivised and licensed professionals who ran its sales and mortgage scams.

    Simply, we have gotten too good at ignoring the obvious. The price of goods like truth must have real value. Anything less is an invitation to failure and worse. We know the trouble that brings.

    The previous post about the article in Rolling Stone is right on. I just read it this morning and was agog that someone finally explained in clear terms just what the financial mess is about and how it happened. It should be forwarded far and wide. As the author states, there is a reason teaching slaves to read was illegal. Knowledge is power, and we need more information and knowledge about the class rule we live under. And Davis is absolutely right about how not much is going to change until labor begins to recognize itself again and assert itself. Obama is limited because of the overwhelming power of the bastards who got us into this, and because congress is basically owned by corporate america.

    Mr. Moyers please invite Mr. Taibbi into to discuss his findings. The Big Take Over by Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone

    So that's the first step in wall street's power grab: making up things like credit-default swaps and collateralized-debt obligations, financial products so complex and inscrutable that ordinary American dumb people — to say nothing of federal regulators and even the CEOs of major corporations like AIG — are too intimidated to even try to understand them. That, combined with wise political investments, enabled the nation's top bankers to effectively scrap any meaningful oversight of the financial industry. In 1997 and 1998, the years leading up to the passage of Phil Gramm's fateful act that gutted Glass-Steagall, the banking, brokerage and insurance industries spent $350 million on political contributions and lobbying. Gramm alone — then the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee — collected $2.6 million in only five years. The law passed 90-8 in the Senate, with the support of 38 Democrats, including some names that might surprise you: Joe Biden, John Kerry, Tom Daschle, Dick Durbin, even John Edwards...

    Freed from all capital restraints, sitting pretty with its man running the Treasury, Goldman jumped into the housing craze just like everyone else on Wall Street. Although it famously scored an $11 billion coup in 2007 when one of its trading units smartly shorted the housing market, the move didn't tell the whole story. In truth, Goldman still had a huge exposure come that fateful summer of 2008 — to none other than Joe Cassano.

    Goldman Sachs, it turns out, was Cassano's biggest customer, with $20 billion of exposure in Cassano's CDS book. Which might explain why Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein was in the room with ex-Goldmanite Hank Paulson that weekend of September 13th, when the federal government was supposedly bailing out AIG.

    Is it fair to call the CDOs and CDS weapons of mass destruction? Weapons of mass financial destruction? If a radical, inspired by a corrupted interpretation of a certain religious doctrine, instigates an act of violence against our citizens and interests, we offer no quarter, and justify running amok. But for the perpetuators of financial terrorism, blinded by greed and pleading ignorance, we offer not only sanctuary but reward as well.

    Taibbi's article intelligently sums up the entire affair in blistering detail, but be cautious, there is some foul language. Foul, how apropos for such affair! Everyone, please read this article.

    Is Obama our Gorbachev? Christopher Lydon (now at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University) wants to know. And you can listen in to a great conversation featuring a host of credible voices and perspectives from around the world.

    “And may ask what you mean by "you need help"?”
    “Does that make me a Free Thinker and not a follower?”
    It appears that you are not sure if you are coming or going.
    “So, where does that put me?”
    Perhaps the answer to your questions is by “practicing what you have stated!”
    “Its not that people "fail to read history", its that people FORGET what they read
    and do not go back for a reread!”
    The facts are, there are many who lived through the history, are alive,
    have clear picture of their live and do not need to relived it or reread it again!

    frank c,

    Actually, by your comment "I believe human survival and well being necessitates that the government and economy be democratically run by working people ourselves. And masses of ordinary people are the only force that is capable of achieving it".

    Sounds like you're advocating for and you are a LIBERTARIAN, you know, one of the other parties......

    Is this correct????

    franc c,

    Throughout this whole discussion, I'm not sure if you "Socialists" are arguing that Govts should control everything and tell individuals what to do, thus eliminating individual freedom, or you believe that public majority and individual freedoms should be maintained and public choice and vote is the means to effective social order? Thus we all have a say in the PROCESS?

    Typical of Moyers' liberalism is to infer Davis' claim is that this crisis "is beyond the present level of human understanding". I think it's largely beyond the understanding of the capitalists and their brain trusts because of their competitive fragmentation as a class. I think that is what Davis refers to when he speaks of the indispensability of a vibrant Left for balance in the system. Paradoxically, the successful employers' offensive against labor has made the choice between socialism and barbarism much starker.
    I am a revolutionary socialist. I believe human survival and well being necessitates that the government and economy be democratically run by working people ourselves. And masses of ordinary people are the only force that is capable of achieving it.


    You're on top of it. Keep it coming with more of your INSIGHTS, please....


    Actually, it was 1971 when the dollar was taken off the Gold Standard.

    In 1981, Reagan established the Gold Commission to investigate the means to go back to the Gold Standard. The commission was flawed and reported back to Congress that it would not be a good idea. Reagan pressed the issue.

    Then someone attempted to assassinate him and, miraculously, the Commission was disbanded soon after.

    Hmmmmm, similar to what happened to Lincoln and Kennedy when they wanted to issue real Greenbacks and eliminate interests payments to World Banks that wanted to fund U.S. debt....

    The current crisis is not a unique "unprecedented abyss". Human history is a convoluted tale of human beings confronting and dealing with one "unprecedented abyss" after another. Also, the more I read what those of the left have written, the more convinced I am that socialism is a religion substitute. Not one of you lefties has an understanding of what life in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was really like.


    You stated: "The real ISSUE is to “AMEND The CONSTITUTION” to empower the people to express their “WILL on ALL ISSUE!”"

    I agree 100%.....

    But Washington is SHREDDING the current Constitution. So, good luck getting that one in....


    And may ask what you mean by "you need help"?

    In response to the comments about immigration reform being needed to allow illegal immigrants to seek help.

    An illegal immigrant who applies to a shelter for protection is entitled to apply for a Green Card based on being the victim of abuse. The main requirement is that they are or within the last 2 years been married to a US Citizen or US Legal Resident.

    Notice that an application for assistance under VAWA can stop deportation.
    Please read this info on VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)

    You should also add information on VAWA for victims who are "out of status" (illegal) with USCIS to your resources page

    “We're all here to learn and discuss the issues!“
    The real ISSUE is to “AMEND The CONSTITUTION” to empower the
    people to express their “WILL on ALL ISSUE!”
    “I've read and learned both sides of the issue, So does that make me a ...”
    I believe you are a person who needs help! There is difference between RIGHT and WRONG.
    Nader clearly stated, "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the
    velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.”
    As for “Either turn in your gold and be paid the official price for it of, $20-66 an ounce,”
    It was during the “NIXON era” when the Dollar was taken of the “GOLD STANDARD”
    and implemented printing press fiat paper value that results in confiscation of real value.
    Eisenhower stated, “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."
    There is no confusion, We have “disloyal subversion, rampage corruption, dysfunctional
    government” which on falls pretense plunge the country into war, loss of life, and
    barbaric destruction of the country economic and financial system, by denying the citizens to
    participate in the process of true democracy! For “citizens to keep their minds that they
    are guardians of the law and that the law officers are only machinery for its execution,
    nothing more,” is to empower the citizen to “EXPRESS THEIR WILL on ALL ISSUES.
    “Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of
    economic and social turmoil!” Yes, I do agree.
    As pertaining “beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not?
    The CBS NEWS reported not to long ago that there are over 35 millions in USA who
    could not read beyond 5 grade level, let alone comprehend the crises the country is in!

    Something bothered me about this broadcast. Bill bookended his conversation with rather condescending remarks about Mr. Davis' political views. The interview itself wasn't condescending, though Davis played the apologist. I can't help but suspect that that was the reason he was chosen as a guest. I don't think socialists are the ones who should be apologizing. But those somewhat smug comments, about socialists being an "endangered species" and "asking socialist questions, but bewaring socialist answers," seemed rather two-faced. Perhaps your uneasiness with socialism could have been brought up DURING the interview, when Mr. Davis could have responded. Bill seems like a damn decent fellow, and I've been watching the Journal for quite a while. So I give you a yellow card for partaking in a bit of banal, unfair journalism and look forward to next week's fair and mindful journalism. It's what I've experienced and expected ever since I've been watching.

    Bill, I haven't missed many of your shows in the past 2 years and have been waiting patiently to hear mention of a UN program I have been quite passionate about--the Millennium Development Goals--to reduce global poverty by 2015. Imagine my disappointment to learn from your guest that that project is through; off the table; because of the financial crisis. Luckily, I learned the next day through Episcopal Public Policy Network that the Obama administration intends to restructure foreign aid to use our funds more effectively so that we will be able to do more for poor nations at the same cost. This is where I'll place my Hope, thank you very much. A good interview on this issue would be our Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori or, of cours the architect, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia Univ.
    I'll keep watching...

    Thank you Bill and Mike for a refreshing look at the condition we find ourselves in. In answer to the first question that started these blog posts, yes, I do think the abyss we are facing is unprecedented. I think Pres. Obama said as much on "60 Minutes" earlier this evening, and he pointed out that the "brightest guys" on Wall St. hadn't done so well - to put it mildly - in the past few years.
    In spite of this, and in spite of the socialist-baiting that your website documents, we may still have the insight and the political leadership in the current Administration to find a way out of this mess. It's really a transformative time, and we've come too far our political development to devolve into barbarism.
    That's my sense, and I hope the Journal continues to bring fresh thinkers like Mike Davis on the air. The next generation needs to heed his lessons.
    Keep up the fantastic work, Bill.

    SSG Kit Carson,

    However, President Franklin Roosevelt outlawed private ownership of all gold bullion and all gold coins with the exception of rare coins. Most of the gold in the hands of the average American was in the form of gold coins and this decree by Roosevelt was effectively a confiscation. In small town America, the people did not trust Roosevelt. However, the people were given a simple choice. Either turn in your gold and be paid the official price for it of, $20-66 an ounce, or you will be liable for a $10,000 fine and a ten year prison sentence.

    I've listened to the Davis comments and had a few thoughts. The two Roosevelt presidents went after corporate greed at the beginning of the 20th Century, which provided greater equity in income in our society. Then during Reagan the pendulum swung back to the momentum of the late 19th Century as history tells us politics and economics do. The lack of regulation and destruction of unions did not make the middle class realize what was happening to them, instead they believed the lie that education was the cure and everyone had a chance to become rich in this country. When they should have fought for their rights and level incomes in this society they were conned into going for cheaper prices which saw the rise of Walmart and the economic spin off of globalization. This made for the exploitation of workers in foreign countries as well as the loss of jobs in this country. Corporations and their greedy leaders who are not blessed with the noblesse oblige of the Roosevelts have treated the ordinary human beings in this world like slaves; we are to be bought, sold and bred, like cattle. Let us hope the greedy bastards get their just due in hell.

    60 Minutes was preempted by college basketball tonight. So flipping channels, I came across Bill Moyers' interview with Mike Davis. I had never heard of Mike Davis, but his plain-spoken defense of working people and the flaws in our current governmental system brought tears to my eyes. He is a hero and it's a shame that he is marginalized in our society where "socialist" is currently an epithet. I appreciate that you put him on your show and let him speak his piece. It was a very important moment for me. Now, I turn to the delayed 60 minutes and watch Obama, hoping he's not just a corporate tool, but rather a light of the left, looking out for the working people of this country. The tears remain in my eyes, but they are tears of apprehension. What comes next, when voice like Mike Davis are marginalized?

    Amazing, I get slammed for picking on and showing the negative repercussions of Liberal (Democratic), Socialistic and Communistic ideology.

    But, as you can see, I have no love loss for the Conservatives (Republicans) and the current state of our so-called "Free Market" and economy


    So, where does that put me?

    Apparently and obvious, I've read and learned both sides of the issue, and continue to learn and read as a result of these discussions. So does that make me a Free Thinker and not a follower? Is that why people like myself get ridiculed, provoked, and denigrated.

    Likely so! the same thing happened in Germany and is now continuing in Russia, Iran, China, and the EU, just to name a few. Remember, what goes around, comes around, ALWAYS....

    And where does that put those that slam me for only my negative views of Liberalism and Socialism and our current sate of the so-called "Free Markets" (Those officials calling this a Free Market society are masters of Bait-and-Switch and Smoke-and-Mirror Politics)?

    AND THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TRUE and PURE FREE MARKET, Alexander Hamilton strongly intervened in the Economic System of the U.S.!!!!!!

    nunya stated: Is there anything you don't consider yourself an expert on?

    I never said that, YOU DID. We're all here to learn and discuss the issues.

    So, being a Liberal and, likely, a Socialist thinker, you're condemning me because I like to learn and read and try to think for myself.

    And becasue our Constitution is still somewhat intact, you have the right to say that. But you what to take that right from me by insulting and degrading me in public. Somewhat hypocritical, aren't you?

    This is the problem with socialism, as I have so many times warned and stated.....

    Thoroughly refreshing what Davis had to say. And in the midst of it, an overview of what has happened to the left, and how we may be seeing a necessary resurgence. It only takes a whole collapse of system, the self annihilation of capitalism to ring in the new potentials. And Obama may well sidestep the Clinton error and give the great socialist idea a chance to run. Could include better wages, health care and maybe an equitable system that would stand for a time. Good show!


    So you think Obama will listen to us. WOW

    We as the masses are so far form his thoughts. Its all smoke-and-mirrors.

    Do realize just how much he is bought by and entrenched in the World Financial and Banking (Money Controllers) monopolies?

    Or do you also deny that???

    Mike Davis has told us what needs to be done. Instead of complaining and pontificating we must raise our voices and demand a change in the system. I fully believe that if there is enough popular support from the LEFT Obama will hear us--and become the FDR that he needs to be in this time.

    You all have NO idea what you're asking for and you're about to get it.

    Just because you stand up and fight and vote for Socialism and "Change we can Believe IN" doesn't mean you'll get SPECIAL PRIVILEGE. But I'm sure that's what you all believe. While maintaining denial, You'll all ride this sicking SHIP all the way to the bottom of the OCEAN before you realize the ship is sinking.

    Just ask all those souls that died in that same belief: like the Germans in the early 1900's,the Russians in the early and mid 1900's and the 1980's, the Iraqis in the 1990's, the Vietnames in the 1970's, the Tibetens in the around 2006 and 2007, and we can continue.

    These are the types of Govts and their Elected Officials (and for now they're elected) that you're advocating.

    George Soros is an example individual responsible for this current state of Washington, and not one of you know the history and/or capabilities of this one individual.

    Jack - Question about this:

    "FEMA has molded millions upon millions of plastic coffins and detention centers all over the country. They seem to have some knowledge, or scope of what's going to happen."

    Whether you realize it or not, this is the Jim Jones/Jonestown option. Once the "good" people figure it out, kill them before they implement a plan to save themselves. If you have hard evidence that this is the "government's" plan, you have a moral obligation to stop it. It's just that simple.

    Otherwise, you are using doing-its-job FEMA preparedness for a natural disaster to generate Hollywood-movie-thrill-fear to create mass-hysteria brain lock.

    So which is is?

    The whole problem with all this discussion and bickering about Socialism or Capitalism is that the completion of bate-and-switch and agenda selling with smoke-and-mirrors by our wonderful Democratic (Liberal) and Republican (Conservative) leaders is nearly accomplished.

    Most of us in this discussion and probably about 98% of the World's citizens have been manipulated into believing that "I will change the system if you elect me" will lead to change for a betterment of the masses. What a joke. The Banks own all those that believe this and they own the elected officials. Much individual research is needed by the masses.

    The majority of that 98% that fail to realize are the same that say "Belief in God" is manipulative and control of the people, but they refuse to acknowledge and wake up to the Power Quest and Deceptive motivations of those Influential and Powerful People continuously pointing the finger elsewhere.

    That was some of the issues I tried to enlighten in this discussion and I have failed to help all to understand this.....

    Its not that people "fail to read history", its that people FORGET what they read and do not go back for a reread.

    I'm sorry and I apologize for my inequities in an attempt to motivate and enlighten those to begin researching, understanding, and individual THINKING on these own.

    Good luck to all.

    I agree wholeheartedly! I have never been more certain, nor proud, of being a Socialist--its the true American spirit of justice!

    TinTincognito is, sadly, correct. Who wouldve predicted that the first African American president would have been so afraid to mention class and poverty issues?

    As a New Democrat in Canada I find that there is little public discourse about issues of class warfare and who controls the economic power in Canada. The discussion is about how we'll respond to what Mr. Obama does.

    The Universal Solvent is Truth

    Mankind has yet to comprehend the truth, the true nature of equality, the true equitable Oneness of All. It is only that single simple truth of equality that will resolve our inequitable problems, our inequitably divided and self-destructing Ways. Equality is the self-evident truth this great nation of the United States of America was founded on. But inequity is the Grand Canyon, the great divide, or the abyss of greed that we the people of not only this nation but the people of the world have terribly become. It is the wrongs of inequity that is destroying not only our free markets and our Democracy, but more gravely this planet which is equally ourselves. If the planet dies we die too. Nothing is more true than the statement:” united we stand and divided we fall”, and only equal that truly unites us so.

    In a Democracy of the people for the people, it is the people that must first and foremost be equal themselves. We so incorrectly teach our children as we were taught the uncertainties of theories and faiths, and it is those complexities and inequities that obscure the simple absolute truth of us All. All we really need is the enlightenment of truth, the light, the lessons of Oneness that equally unite us All.

    Equality is simply self-evident, but how many of us truly know it, practice it, and live it? How many people know their true selves? How many know they are truly One? The Universe is One as God is One as All is One as Plants and Animals are One as the Air and Water are One as the Sun and You are One as We are One. We are what we are taught, so then it is the lesson of truth taught in our homes, our schools and churches that will set us ultimately free.

    Equal 101:
    Empirically equal, or mathematically = is unity, is the Universal solvent, is the truth, is the solution to Einstein’s unified field theory, the truth of everything, we’ve been searching for. It's at the center of every equation, it is the true foundation of an equation itself. E = mc2. The truth is so beautifully simple we couldn’t find it. One day All will be free at last, free at last… and only equal will make it so.
    Equal is the Universal solvent of truth.


    Thank you Mr Moyers and Mr Davis.
    As an American by choice rather than by chance, I am saddened to see our country's polarization and economic plight.
    I believe there are many reasons for it but the preeminent one is the demise of the union movement which was the result of the shifting of investment capital from manufacturing to banking. Higher, almost obscene profits, drew capital from one sector to another and denuded the labor ranks. We produce nearly nothing but we consume nearly everything.
    The last 25 years destroyed the middle class totally.
    Perhaps another Great Depression will teach us the meaning of "enough". Thank you again for an outstanding presentation.

    I heard Mister Davis talk down U.S. nationalism yet speak favorably of U.S. socialism. What is the difference? Each are against global capitalism and favor strong domestic production of goods and services. The problem is our economy has been reduced to a consumption driven system that no longer produces much of anything. I think most people in the U.S. are actually on the same page when it comes to globalization as in they are not supportive of it. The problem isn't with the american people no matter what political philosophy they believe in. Instead the essential problems rest with the corporations and our government who've cozied up over the many years to bring about globalized markets and economies. Why do you think AIG is too big to fail? Because the government and big business are scared to death that it will do grave harm to the globalized system they've all created thus leading to massive investment losses. It would also prove how upside down and perverse globalization is which would give them a public relations nightmare the likes of which they'd never recover from. In short, globalization greatly benefits the wealthy elite and since they make huge contributions to political campaigns and to all the power brokers inside Washington, globalization remains the order of the day. Hell, im just a cotton farmer down on the delta so what possibly could I know?? On a final note I think we've injected way too much social engineering into our politics and government policies but it does make sense as this is how the power elite keep us all divided so they can keep on pursuing the self-serving personal enrichment of globalization. Time for me to scoot i've got fields to work.

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    Thanks so much for your comments on Bill Moyers' show. I always appreciate hearing (and reading) your well-researched and well-thought social commentary. On the question of whether the current economic crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that "defies" our understanding, my response is: no and yes.

    No, in a sense that it is difficult, simply by definition, to acknowledge that an event is "defying" one's understanding since such an acknowledgment would indicate a sense of comprehension. It's much like the paradox of, How does one "know" or identify "hegemony" when, by definition, hegemonic forces are so all-encompasing? But, with that question aside, I agree...

    Yes, the current crisis, I would say, does defy our current ability to understand it. I must raise here the question of the environment and environmental crisis. I.e., that the current financial crisis points towards a life style and rhetoric of development that leads towards social as well as ecological unsustainable "progress." To relieve ourselves, nationally and globally, from the forces that perpetuated this economic crisis, we must change the way we treat and distribute resources not only with ourselves, but with the rest of the natural world.

    You look like a mean old man but very kind much like my grandfather John F. Hix when you get to know him. He lived to be 105 and I still miss him.
    As I watched you with Bill I think you may have known things would get bad but I since you think things are worse than than you expected. When I send an email that is returned saying it was not read I wonder who are these people. But then I have been ignored for so long and feel helpless to prevent what has happened to the country I love and have gone to war for in Vietnam. I hope you and others will be able to bring some justice for the poor workers. Thank You.

    Some people have understood what it's like to have been boiled alive. They are dead now. Obamarama and his crue will watch from a skybox what we have never been through before and they will begin anew. They are somewhat aware of what is to come. They have somewhat prepared for it. FEMA has molded millions upon millions of plastic coffins and detention centers all over the country. They seem to have some knowledge, or scope of what's going to happen. As to actually feeling it? That will probably go as far as a bit of nausea having an uncomprehendable amount of blood on their hands.

    I'm very disappointed the Bill Moyers show has become a propaganda tool for the Obamarama Extravaganza. Haven't we learned anything from the last administration? We let our guard down and they (with the full cooperation of this new administration) walked away with trillions upon trillions, enslaving my great, great grandchildren's children. I mean, Moyers, what do you call it when you take massive amounts of money from a group of unwilling people and give it all to a few really really rich people? Is it still the same thing when you call it a stimulus? Or a bailout?

    "Abyss of economic and social turmoil." This sounds like a healthy baby's cry for tending. The game we've been playing isn't worth what we thought. The signs are everywhere. We'll level a mountain to get to the ore because city folk at the market want it? What about all the families of life living in the forest, maybe they are worth more than the money one can get in board feet of timber. Weyerhauser uses the term "timberlands" for forests full of families of life. Our human relatives also suffer terribly downstream using polluted waters. Were we never told they are our family members? If so, what responsibility to we give ourselves as consumers to honor the distant families of life affected by our purchases at the market? Well, if our cult doesn't teach us to be concerned with these things then are today's challenges really that surprising? We assume gold and diamonds are valuable. They have the healthy shine of ripe fruit and cool water but do they really nourish us?
    What does really nourish us? Maybe we should focus on providing these things for everybody first. I trust that we will grow and do this in an elegant and beautiful and quite natural way. The wierd ideas of our cult just need to sit down and let our wonderful social nature grow.

    We are learning beings. The present level of human understanding is the same as it ever was. The economic and social "problems" we are confronted with simply tell us that we haven't organized ourselves or made rules which lead to the well being of all of us. The only issues that most people can not understand probably have to deal with realities outside the human scope, in the extremes of the micro and macro pictures. Economic and social issues are easy, it's our domain as social animals. To ask such questions makes me wonder whether the poser has ever empathized with another cultural view. Just because the cult view of the west is shocked by the lack of restaurant meals one can afford really is not a big deal. The banksters were bound to win the monopoly game we chose to worship, maybe it's time to create a new game. Balance always seems good to me, why not balance capitalism with socialism? When we really empathize with other cultures we realize humans are the same. Einstein called on world leaders to end war, this from a human understanding we can all feel. What if our leaders told us that humans shouldn't be fighting when we were growing up. What if our leaders told us there are no enemies in our human family. It's human to believe that there are no enemies, to share pride with all amazing human beings and not to let our divisive cultural games degrade us to kill one another. Let's start changing what we tell our children to help them realize what they Can easily understand.

    I saw clips of the Jay Leno show after the fact. If you are saying that America loves Obama, I will have to say that you are right. I remember a scene a few years before the November 2008 election when he was campaigning at the San Diego convention center. Based on the excitement and enthusiasm of the placard carrying crowd outside, I went home and told Susan that Obama was our next president. As you know she eventually believed me. It was Susan who suggested that we go to Las Vegas just before the election to get out the Obama vote.

    Obama just visited a Pomona high school while in California whose students had earlier done a "Is Anyone Listening" video of their and their family hurt. Many of these families are Hispanic. The video was a special segment on last night's PBS New Hour program and bears watching:

    Juxtaposed with this segment was an interview with a Wall Street employee, WIlliam Cohan, who has written a book titled, House of Cards. What struck me about what he said was what he did not say, namely the makeup of the men who robbed America of $10T in the last two years while feasting over their game of bridge games and lavish lifestyles. I could not find the video, but here's the audio of the interview:

    This for me has changed the equation of how I think about the haves and the have nots who the haves criticize for seeking medical care in emergency rooms while the haves doctors go on collecting their pay while treating them.

    Maybe you have to really be hurting to have any empathy at all. It's obvious that Obama has empathy. The people know and see this. It's easy see how most Americans see what was done on Wall Street was wrong. Mark Shields, Byron York, and Jim Lehrer talked about this on the News Hour last night:


    My comments about heparin were to illustrate how complex the system has become in regards to products. We don’t always know where they originate or what goes into them. To expect consumers to constantly monitor the contents of their products would extremely time consuming and costly. Also, companies aren’t always reliable in pursuing the quality of their product’s ingredients either. The peanut butter situation is such an example. I don’t know if anyone has been following the Congressional hearings concerning it, but Congress took the owner, the FDA (which BTW currently has a staffing and funding problem), the Georgia state inspectors and the Kellogg company and a number of other companies to task concerning their failure to monitor the plant as necessary. The companies do have inspectors which are sent to other manufacturers to verify the quality of the products they receive from these manufacturers. It didn’t happen as it should have in this situation.


    I am with Lauren on the making-of-your-own drugs. It’s not that some one couldn’t make them with time, education of the process involved, buying the necessary equipment, and locating and verifying all of the ingredients required. But as Lauren pointed out, the quality may be questionable. Plus the entire process would be extremely time consuming and costly.

    I don’t believe the government is the entire answer but do believe they have a role to play. On the other hand, I wouldn’t put my trust in a “pure free market” situation either, because companies/business more often then not operate for the benefit of their bottom line (called greed). When a company focuses on the bottom line, consumers and workers alike could and often do experience negative impacts. The tobacco industry and Grace’s vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana are a few examples for this.

    Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that is beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not?

    Gosh, I don't know how to answer that question. I believe that we have endured several decades of awful government, bit I don't know it is unprecedented.

    Davis suggests that the economic crisis defies the scope of our current understanding. Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply can not comprehend?

    I suppose there are but I am at a loss to name them. I read a lot of social theory and I am always slightly surprised when events overtake us--but only slightly surprised.

    I have been called a "communist" or "socialist" for so long that I just yawn. I like Mike Davis--refreshing. I am still pretty much a lover of free markets but a confirmed skeptic about how decent we human beings are. I think I am a lot like the novelist Marilynne Robinson. When I read her essays, I just shout, "Amen, sister!"

    The Christian-Rght has nothing to do with the Christian religion when members of that mess of nonsense embrace neoliberalism by whatever name of the moment we know it.

    ehmoran, et al,

    I’d like to make a general statement, and then I’d like to address some of the minor quibbles in your latest responses to my posts.

    If there is any stance I am taking here, it is one of pragmatism. I’m simply expressing the point of view that it makes no sense to cling tightly to an ideology – “pure free market” ideals or “socialistic” ideals. Sure, we might begin with one or the other as a foundation for our thinking, but what I’m suggesting is that to solve actual problems we face it is probably not productive to “fight” for any ideology or another. It is, perhaps, a more productive approach to use elements from each (of an even greater number of ideologies) which will effectively address a real, specific problem.

    My major point would be: “Don’t be scared off by the associations others may give to a name, such as “free market” or “socialism. Instead, use whatever approaches from each make sense in dealing effectively with a specific issue facing us.

    On to a few minor points of fact:

    I wrote: "I also do not have a team of experts to examine the materials and do health studies with, say, 1000 males and 1000 females and, oh, did I mention 2000 children. (Guess I'm just too lazy.)"

    You responded (in part): “That's what Universities DO and that info is just about free.”

    The majority of this country’s university research budgets come from federal government revenues. It only seems to be “just about free,” probably because it’s less than pennies on the dollar as far as the amount of federal taxes we each pay individually.


    I wrote: "And I don't even know all their names: lawyers, doctors, scientists, administrators, judges, jailors, museum curators, librarians, police, garbage men, snow plow crews, etc".

    You responded (in part): “But most of these people aren't Federal Government employees, they're State or Local. We need to limit with extreme prejudice the Activities of our Federal Govt.”

    Local and state governments receive federal dollars for everything from education, to road repair, to support of police departments, to libraries, etc. If we “limit with extreme prejudice the activities of our federal government,” lots of these more local government functions might be in dire financial straights and might have to be abandoned.


    The stuff about whether or not I need a car...the car was an example I used and one can always poke holes in the specifics of an example, but there are other products (examples also) that I also cannot make to which no one can make a convincing argument that I would be better off making myself, such as insulin, antibiotics, etc. (many of which I don’t personally consume.) Government contribution and oversight in the production of these products has a legitimate role, I would argue, but, of course, I could be wrong. I’m willing to live with the doubt that my views are correct, and change them when necessary. That’s pragmatism.

    I apologize I had the title of the documentary wrong.

    It is: "The High Cost of Low Price"

    The Walmart lovers need to view and understand the documentary "The cost of cheaper prices".

    This documentary looks at the vast abuses of Walmart. Why should we care when we should love the lower prices?

    Watch the documentary... it strikes very close to home.

    I'll give one little hint... this "free-enterprise" corporation builds it's stores with tax payer money. This is but 1 of many facts the American populous is ignorant to.

    Don't prop up walmart, prop up the small business, which is the life blood of our economy.

    I would like to pose a question to the readers here. Just to spur thought, not to attack anyone or prove a point...

    How did this country grow and prosper prior to the federal tax in 1913?

    I think Dawson is right that we need a populist upswell of some sort. Americans seem so complacent with the way things are these days. We don't seem to want to think about anything anymore. We don't want to deal with the consequences of our decisions. We jsut want someone else to deal with it.

    Well, now that our economy is imploding, people are losing their jobs and homes, businesses are shuttering and their 401ks are dropping through the floor, American's are starting to learn what happens when it doesn't pay attention to what government is doing.

    I think Davis is right that a populist movement needs to take place to inspire change. There is an opportunity here to change the direction of our country. But we, the People, have to have the will power to stand up and drown out the voices of lobbiests, corporate and busienss interests and call for what's right for We the People.

    "Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that is beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not? "

    Yes! If it was at the level of human understanding, then we would not have so many differing descriptions and definitions of his financial crisis. There would also be some consensus on some real solution, whether or not the solution could be implemented in any political climate.
    I have yet to hear anything I would understand about how a Credit Default Swap or a derivative works. I am intelligent enough to understand Nova's description of string theory, but not those financial instruments.

    I voted Libertarian last year because of what they claimed on their website:

    "The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud."

    I would add to "force and fraud" - thanks to the "free press" the additional burden of "farce" (not you, Mr. Moyers).

    To a certain extent, people operate under the assumption that everyone else is basically playing by the same set of moral rules. They are not. "Good" people still can't see what is really going on because it is so depraved and demented. It will take a lot of courage and cooperation to face the "truth".

    Simplicity is the sign of genius, not "complexity".

    "If loyal ministers, though guiltless, still face peril and death, then good officials will go into hiding; and if evil ministers, though without merit, enjoy safety and profit, then corrupt officials will come to the fore. This is the beginning of downfall" (Han Fei Tzu).

    Reagan laid claim to bringing down the wall, but that's not true. It was "we the people" of Poland under the Solidarity movement. Yes, Poland. A country that got Ms. Maddow a promotion when she snarked about the coalition of the willing being podunk countries "like Palau and Poland". I don't think Palau is less than Poland, I just want to note how clueless people are about what brings down totalitarian regimes.

    Like I said, add "farce" to "force and fraud".

    Agree that the simplicity of building unique eco-friendly civilizations around the planet is the only way to become sane again. But "they" know that we can do it, hence the complete halt of the flow of money. Imagine Cheney admitting that they went all in and bet on wrong "energy" horse! Ain't gonna happen...

    Just before the recent presidential election cycle began, the social engineers (socialists?) figured out that another 911 stunt would not help them maintain power - so they went for the next best way to "kill".

    "Good" people (and I realize that there could be a math problem with the proportion of "good" sill left) need to accept the reality that they are dealing with cheerful sociopaths, and worse, and start making wise decisions based on that SIMPLE fact.

    Mike Davis never outgrew the 60's. Neither Davis nor Moyers has a clue as to why the great new Soviet Man disintegrated. Socialism is and always has been a religion substitute. The socialist supports "making things equal" with the same irrationality that the religious zealot displays.

    Davis in capturing the uniqueness of what is happening, made a very important point as he described how the US economy has radically changed for the 1930s. This is very important. He mentioned the much ballyhooed economic multiplier effect that the "stimulus" is meant to stimulate. This is an essential component to a healthy indigenous economy. BUT, we have lost the option because of economic leakage. Our imports far exceed our exports, particularly regarding manufactured goods.

    As such, money spent at, say, Walmarts simply leaks out of the country. There is no American economy, and no way to balance trade or a means to reign in out of control feedback to an economic system.

    We are upstream without a paddle and the administration seems to be calling on us to "keep rowing".

    Mike Davis has given us a term to understand these crises of our time--"The Grand Canyon" view. To describe in detail, define and choose appropriate courses of action for a better future is time we must not waste and may not even now possess.

    I do believe public movements shape political policy. What will we do?

    Thank you for the interview. I agree with the viewpoint of Mike Davis. What was missing from the interview was a socialist perspective on capitalism. From what I understand, from a socialist perspective, the problem of capitalism is maintaining full employment. This can only be done if the economy is in expansion. The economy stagflated in the 1970s. It was at this time that the financial sector of the economy began to enlarge. If the real economy is stagnating, there must be a way to maintain and increase capital. The rise of the financial sector corresponded with the runup in debt. The greater the dominance of the financial sector, the greater the accumulated debt. This debt needed to be attached to something in the real economy. At the end, this something was the housing market. Once the housing market began to deflate, the only other possibility was to throw this money into oil; however this didn't last. So now we have a pile of debt that has no relation to the real economy. To really be able to understand our situation, one has to be unattached to any position on capitalism and needs to be able to critique capitalism, as it exists now in its current form. From what I can tell, I don't see how the markets can be recovered given the methods being employed, since these efforts do not provide a conveyance for capital to expand.

    Mike Davis presented one of the more probing considerations for how we look at the landscape of a problem. His metaphorical use of the Grand Canyon is superb.

    I don't think Mr. Davis was presenting a "socialist" alternative, but the desparate need to have strong alternative voices - he called them leftist - to counteract the frame of Dem/Repub. Frequently polls will be put up to show what Dems think and what Repubs think without regard for the vast majority of the people who live here (and who are, by the way, neither Dem nor Repub). Breaking through the barrier that keeps the dialog stunted and solutions minimal, has given us a new administration that thinks ONLY within the box. What we are facing, as Mr. Davis points out, is a new vista - a problem that may resemble the past, but is clearly unrecognizable in its various dimensions, much as the "discoverers" of the Grand Canyon found the site to be outside of their landscape context. Comprehension could not be fully processed.

    Until we break with the simplicity of a plutocratic system and the supporting cast of main stream media and corporate political system, the problem will grow and remain outside our grasp.

    I'm not sure that we should cling to the old terms of socialism and capitalism. These, too, seem to restrict our view.

    No more taxpayer bailouts – encourage individuals to invest in our economy!!!

    Tired of seeing your tax dollars wasted on Wall Street bonuses, corporate jets, scams and office remodeling as well as rewarding bankrupt banks that refuse to lend to Americans?

    What is wrong with our government - combine spending with tax cuts in one easy plan!

    Quickly help the USA auto industry, clean up foreclosures and pump cash into the economy – without government bailouts
    Millions of Americans close to retirement have seen their pension and IRA savings slashed in value by 50%!
    Many have taken their funds out of the stock market altogether.
    Why not encourage Americans to buy cars made in the USA and/or foreclosures?

    For those over 55, offer the option to withdraw up to $35,000 from their IRA’s and pension savings tax free if they buy autos made in the USA.
    With regard to foreclosures, allow us to withdraw up to $450,000 tax free to buy a foreclosure (or home going into foreclosure). Require that these foreclosures and autos must be held at least 3 years, fully paid in cash, no mortgage, no loans and NO GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS!
    This would quickly provide jobs, help American auto makers, provide capital to the banks, clean up the foreclosure blight and give Americans a chance to recoup some of their retirement loses – without borrowing from China and bankrupting American taxpayers.

    ehmoran mar 21 4:39am Facts! Refreshing.

    M.Davis said unions must be stronger, does that mean $55\hr. to put wheels on cars is not enough, or fastfood cos. must pay $55\hr.? Seems Prof. Davis would fit in with Congress & Treasury with his one-side-of-the-coin intel-lextual, common-cents-less gray matter alignment.

    If man has trouble keeping God's 10 rules, what stupid idiot suggest Free Markets must mean no regulation? That is a Wall Street\Congress lie straight from The Garden!

    Owners (stock holders, were asleep at the wheel.

    Board of directors had their heads in the clouds.

    CEOs gave away the store to shore up the next annual report.

    Unions demanded more or they would strike 1 auto co. while allowing others to continue as normal.

    EPA demanded no poluteing industries in the USA so away they went.

    Mainstreet did not care 'cause they got cheaper cars, clothes, etc.

    Wall Streeters gambled with NO collaterial & now they are the only ones that can save the system.

    Just what system is being saved by Treasury, the Chief Executive of the Executive Branch of the USA, & Wall Street? The one that has threaten the viability of the USA more than any Convicted SPY?!

    Anyone notice the politicians & political pundits are begining to realize the Mainstreet anger is not going away with just a few positive phrases? They still are not sure why Mainstreet's anger continues, but elections are coming & they better be angry too.

    Congress is bipolar, not bipartisan!

    Billy Bob, Florida & ya'll still don't see the correlation to disallowing votes & Wallstreet thinking it can do whatever!

    ehmoran said: "A pure "Free Market" system has never been tried."

    This is of course, an absurd statement that seems to betray your short-sighted view of history, ehmoran. The United States was very much a Laissez-Faire economy throughout most of the 19th century.

    And where did that get us? Massive concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, Robber Barons whose influence affected the whole economy. Entire families, mothers & children, in poverty - working their lives away in factories - in unsafe conditions for 60 to 80 hours a week.

    Is that what you want to go back to? Is that your Free Market economy utopia that you dream of?

    No thanks. I'll take "Socialism" any day of the week.


    As most of us know there is no pure system. America is a mixed economy because of the basic pragmatism of the American people. It will stay that way.
    Health care will be reformed eventually because through pragmatism we will see the only affordable and accessible system is that financed by all of us through a single payer system.
    Free market health care is killing our citizens as we speak.

    Socialism is not un-American. It never has been.

    The interview was brilliant! Thank god for Bill Moyers, thank god for PBS. they are virtually the only thing left of broadcast journalism

    The current crisis was expected by many socialists, myself included, when you take the governor off of a steam engine, the engine will blow itself up. That's essentially what capitalism does to itself over and over again.

    The argument is not over whether we should have a capitalistic or socialistic economic system ,we've had something somewhere between the two for over seventy years now as have most other nations of the world.

    The debate is whether we should continue on the path to kleptocracy.

    Unless we can incorporate a measure of truth wealth -- the health of the ecosphere -- into our economic systems, we will continue on this fatal course. The only real opportunity to employ the billions of globally unemployed is in ecosystem restoration services. The best model for our development is the evolution of life on earth. We have massed on the great river of globalization. It is now time for man to diversify and ascend the thousands of upstream branches with many Noahs in the lead. We are entering a great bottleneck of earth history. We must drastically amend our fatal concept of growth, the GDP, and radically reshape the paradigm of BIG MAN/small nature to BIG NATURE/small man. To attempt to take this maladapted global predatory economic system with us will surely doom our passage.

    There seems to be a some strong views here that sometimes go to the extremes. Maybe we should see how things are done in some other countries to understand the strengths and shortfalls of our system.

    As we all should know from our high school politics class, there is no such thing as a pure socialist or pure capitalist free economy. The reality is a mixes bag. Some people may also forget that the US was much more regulated 30 years ago than it is now. Is anyone out there old enough to remember when the power and gas utilities had to apply for a price hike and they had to justify it? That was the case just before the Reagen years. Reagen and Clinton both did a lot to reduce our regulations of the utilities, business, and the financial market. Those who want to blame one side or the other are all wrong.

    I have spent some years in Germany as a normal joe, and I have experienced the system there first-hand. Yes, there is more regulation here (although they have been reducing it strongly over the last 10 years), but there is no lack of freedom. Protest happen here all the time (three are going on today). The difference is, there has been universal health care since the 50's, no one goes broke because of high health bills, The financial system is "somewhat" more regulated than the US, and the government does more to care for it's people. They call the system a "social democracy".

    For all our ranting about the "American way", could it be that we have to change our way of thinking? Maybe some parts of our "ways" are not compatable to today's reality. There are those who fall on hard times and cannot help thereselves. Is it so bad to help these people? I've heard some conservatives say "Yes". Where is the compassion in our system?

    I think the majority of us agree that the "free market" doesn't work if they are allowed to operate without rules, laws, and barriers and that for an increasing number of us, the biggest proponents of the free market make socialism look more and more attractive all the time. Deglobalization is looking better and better every day. I begin to think it may be the only way we'll get out of this mess with anything that resembles an economy.


    Thanks you and very well said....

    We are Americans. We don't quit. We will survive this, as we have survived so many challenges throughout our history. We have a remarkable capacity for self-renewal. I would not consider myself to be a 'progressive' (in the newish political sense of this word) but our nation's story is one of constant progress. Be brave, my friends. Love your family, do your job, work hard to better yourself, help those in need,fight for justice, honor our traditions, and have faith in God. We will make it through these dark times. America is a great nation. We are far from perfect (like every other nation in the world) but we have strengths that will see us through any challenge. Don't give up.

    So much for that Utopia Socialistic or Communistic Society. The only ones in those Utopia systems are the Elite.

    In a pure "Free Market System", you as an individual determine through hard work, determination, education or knowledge, and risk taking your OWN Utopia. These are the attributes that promote individual growth. Those other systems determine which couch, beer, TV, and Pizza you'll be limited to.

    I don't want someone telling me what my Utopia will BE, DO YOU?


    Why didn't the wonderful Socialistic and caring Chinese Govt know about it, actually, once they realized who the culprits were, didn't they, in a civil manner, behead the evil corporate owners. But these corporations likely were Govt sponsored. So much for that Socialistic, Govt Market intervening, for the Elite Only System and looking out for the masses.

    I guess that's like the efficiency of the Fed before the Peanut Butter problem. Where were the Feds to protect the people in that one. And we grow closer to a true Socialistic State every day. And as we get closer, the Feds give us more of False Sense of Security.

    You trust the System? You'll end up losing all your Retirement and your retirement will be in the next life. Good luck with that Socialistic Entitlement Program retirement funding you were promised since the 1930's.

    Lauren and miguelito, I agree with your posts.
    On the question of products, how they are created has become more complex and their use impacts us in ways we don’t always foresee. Heparin is such an example of such product which recently killed a number of people because it was tainted. We thought the product was coming from Canada. However, the product originated in China and was sent to Canada for fillers. This product which is used as anti-coagulant is often administered routinely without a second-thought in surgeries. Anyway, as a consequent of the deaths, the FDA and some other government agencies, not only identified which batch of heparin was causing the problem, but tracked how it came into the US and, as a consequent, changed the testing method for heparin’s chemical contents. Do I think that the companies would have tracked this and corrected it in a timely manner? Not really. The companies who are in the business of making products - not policing their products - would have pointed fingers and would have dragged their feet about doing anything about it – free market or no free market. In the meantime, people who still need surgeries to live would have been in danger of continued deaths.


    "What secures U.S. Debt?"

    The printing press.

    Govts are the only entities that can turn paper completely worthless by adding INK.

    Here's something people don't realize:

    Deregulation of the Financial Sector was achieved with the Monetary Control Act of 1980 and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which repealed part of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which led to Credit derivatives and our current global Financial nightmare. These deregulation Acts were enacted by Democratic (and quite Socialist) Presidents, imagine THAT......

    "If loyal ministers, though guiltless, still face peril and death, then good officials will go into hiding; and if evil ministers, though without merit, enjoy safety and profit, then corrupt officials will come to the fore. This is the beginning of downfall" (Han Fei Tzu).

    David F.,

    The Republicans sold out the people.

    And Now

    The Democrats will sell out the Country.

    What a wonderful bipartisan Life the American People live in. I guess we need these guys in OUR OWN Party to tell us what's best for us, since we're not smart enough to do it ourselves.

    Forget about standing for wholesome principles and morals, Do whatever feels good for the moment.

    Time to start looking for true Libertarians?


    Excellent response Miguelito.

    A knowledgeable Individual. That's one of my points about the non-existence of a pure "Free Market".

    "For instance, note the short-term, outrageous prices of XBoxs, Pet Rocks (a painted rock), Cabbage Patch dolls, or newly released, technologically advanced, varying colored Cell Phones. Granted, the outrageous prices of these items can be driven to a point by supply, but hype or manipulation of human emotions is what causes extreme disequilibrium of the supply/demand/price curves. Hype, instant gratification, and manipulated and influenced human emotional attributes can not be represented with a mathematical variable".

    Communism is the only way to eliminate irrational exuberance, or human emotion from a supply/demand equation!!!!

    Janet, you’re partially right. Sam Walton was a very successful capitalist, but he’s dead now and so is the capitalistic environment in which he thrived. For the past 20-30 years, the neocons and conservadems (Dodd, Clinton...) have changed the laws to allow big biz to put our economy in the toilet. But the beauty of the neocon movement is that they have completely screwed up our country, but yet they still have people like you (a very low income person) to cheerleader for them. So keep lying to yourself and rationalize what FoxSpews has programmed you to regurgitate.


    DIDO Janet.

    Time to step up to self-responsibility and start looking to strengthen your LOCAL community, church, and/or friendships. Its called Developing Individual and Interpersonal RELATIONSHIPS!!!!

    Relying on Govt is just a way to ignore and sever interpersonal relationships. As I said, The majority of Socialists love the idea of society, but hate and detest people”.

    I happen to be a labor person that is I work for a living and I supported my three children for 20 to 30 thousand a year.1997-2007 We lived very very well no alcohal or ciggaretts. People need to stop looking to government and plant victory gardens. Capitalism works and thank you for Sam walton!!!!!!!!


    If only they knew the deeper truths of what you say.....


    "No, it is not selfish or greedy. They are well paid to do their jobs". They do that job for that well paid and competitive wage because of the Free Market and the need for the Product and service. But it would be cheaper as pure free market product. The Govt will only tell you what you need to know. Like the given reason for the Iraq War. We'll never know the true reason because we don't have Top Level Security Clearance. Only those elite few have access to that knowledge.


    "Sorry, I don't even know how to make a car, let alone make it cheaper, and in under 24 hours". Why do you need a car, isn't that somewhat a luxury, it only helps you obtain more material items and money so you can consider yourself as Middle-Class, which are endangered species. Not only that, but you can by a car from anyone of the many companies, Again, products of competitive "Free Markets", not monopolies. (No disrespect, but your logic is somewhat becoming a little circular).

    "I also do not have a team of experts to examine the materials and do health studies with, say, 1000 males and 1000 females and, oh, did I mention 2000 children. (Guess I'm just too lazy.)" That's what Universities DO and that info is just about free. Don't you know what's good or bad for you??? My grandmother is 95 years old. She never relied on someone telling her one day that eggs are bad,the next day that the yolk is bad, the next day that whole eggs are good but with limited consumption. That's one problem with no RURAL upbringing or not listening to your ELDERS.

    "And I don't even know all their names: lawyers, doctors, scientists, administrators, judges, jailors, museum curators, librarians, police, garbage men, snow plow crews, etc". But most of these people aren't Federal Government employees, they're State or Local. We need to limit with extreme prejudice the Activities of our Federal Govt. I was a Fed Employee. Most are abusive with our money and no Govt entity has ever made a profit, they've only taken losses but we allow them to continue this practice, not very EFFICIENT is it...


    "But you expect someone else to do your work for your benefit. Isn't that selfish and greedy?"

    No, it is not selfish or greedy. They are well paid to do their jobs.


    "I don’t mind people in government acting as my proxy for controlling the quality and safety of products which I would never have time, knowledge, or materials to do solely on my own".

    But you expect someone else to do your work for your benefit. Isn't that selfish and greedy? How can you trust someone else with your safety, what if that inspector didn't know that you were allergic to something and you ate the product and died, what if you didn't know you were allergic to that product, is that his fault for not telling you?

    Lack of knowledge is no excuse anymore with online access to much more info than you could ever want, but you have to be smart enough to know which info is correct.

    It's like those people that invested with Madoff, THEY were after free money, pure greed, until they realized there is no such thing as a free ride, eventually you'll pay for that free money.

    Here's a secret, the Markets cycle every Presidential Election Election. Who's fault is it that people didn't pull their investments before or just after the Markets started dropping? It's MY OWN fault...... NO ONE ELSE'S, it that plain and simple.....

    Beecham - So let's start contributing! Couple info bites just from today's rapid distraction lingo twists below...

    You said - I disagree strongly that the issues we face today are beyond people's understanding. Many do not understand due to propaganda from the mass media, school, church, government, etc. In addition to propaganda they are distracted by an endless stream of nonsensical distractions from those same sources. And finally those sources are sure to ignore and never mention information of real importance.

    Information such as

    1.The Federal Reserve

    Info ditty - The Feds just paid 1.1 trillion dollars for the toxic assets. Of course, this action will do nothing for the GDP which fell into the Grand Canyon...or should I say was pushed into the canyon by mad scientists to measure how far can it fall. Do we have a moral, ethical, or common sense obligation to "be patient" while it's falling? And after the splat, then what? Mo' patience? Who is going to be elected to trek into the canyon to retrieve it?

    2.The (unConstitutional) federal income tax

    The hew and cry on Wall Street about the IRS over taxing people it does not like was another one of those immense hypocrisy moments. The IRS is all about hating the dumb-about-money middle class, isn't it? Gee, none of us know of ANY little guy or small business owner who has been picked on by IRS, right? They always go after the big fish, right?

    3. False Flag Terror (9/11)

    This is too spiritually dark for me to just slap sarcasm on it's face and call it a philosophical win. The spontaneous combustion, the "crude populism" explosion for the "truth" behind 911 hasn't happened yet. We're all still too hot (give me the button) and we know it. When we figure out what the just thing to do is that is not a moment of passion act, it'll happen. And I predict everything else, including the "economy" will fall into a sane place again.

    4.The real purpose of wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan (profit)

    Oil, okay, we all have a lot of data to suspect that But poppies? Of course, opium is what worked in China for the "communist" party's generational threat, class warfare, transfer of wealth from the gifted to the depraved 20th century party...hmmmm...unless you're drugged out on opium or a derivative (pun intended) of opium, how else can you be convinced that "we" (stupid USA people) are in financial debt to oil and poppy producers?

    Davis suggests that the economic crisis defies the scope of our current understanding. Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply can not comprehend?

    I have a question.

    What secures US Debt ?

    ""The product is the only one on the market". This would never happen in a pure "Free Market", because there would still be competition for your consumption."

    I ain't gonna take this on faith. You offer no explanation of how a "pure free market" would eliminate monopolies.

    "...if its cheaper to make it yourself, then YOU would make the product."

    Sorry, I don't even know how to make a car, let alone make it cheaper, and in under 24 hours.

    "If the product was not safe, then intelligent, self-motivated, people would not buy the product based on their own research..."

    I also do not have a team of experts to examine the materials and do health studies with, say, 1000 males and 1000 females and, oh, did I mention 2000 children. (Guess I'm just too lazy.)

    "But they only act on their own behalf. Haven't you seen that."

    You must be joking, there are literally 10's of thousands of government employees who work on my behalf every day to make my life better. And I don't even know all their names: lawyers, doctors, scientists, administrators, judges, jailors, museum curators, librarians, police, garbage men, snow plow crews, etc.

    Nice try, but I don't buy your dogma.

    Free markets- where do they exist?
    What so called free markets do not underprice external costs ? How can you have an aggregate of informed choices made with advertising (propaganda) so prevalent? Does this not affect accurate pricing? Without accurate pricing and fully informed choices you have no free market.Lets move beyond Friedman and the un realized and fallacious free market just like we have moved beyond Marx and communism.......

    Bill Moyers mentions British study on income gap between haves and have nots and increase in problems in health, mental illness, incarceration with increase in gap...Where is it?


    "The product is the only one on the market". This would never happen in a pure "Free Market", because there would still be competition for your consumption. You don't need to buy the product, if its cheaper to make it yourself, then YOU would make the product. IF you don't like a job and the position puts in question your morals and integrity, do you stay at the job, do you report the inequities to officials?

    "I’d rather have “people” in appropriate government positions cooperating with me, “a person,” to monitor and control this situation by interacting with the company’s “people” before their product is a threat to my health". If the product was not safe, then intelligent, self-motivated, people would not buy the product based on their own research, but I guess that takes too much time. Those who don't think for themselves either accept or reject everything they hear. Thinking for oneself takes too much energy.

    "I don’t mind people in government acting as my proxy for controlling the quality and safety of products which I would never have time, knowledge, or materials to do solely on my own". But they only act on their own behalf. Haven't you seen that. That's what happens when you take the power from the people and give it to the elite. The quest for Power by the few (our Govt Officials and their Rick Friends) is a strong Drug, especially when they've got an Army behind them. That's the reason for our 2nd Amendment, to stop this Power Quest.


    You wrote:

    “However, in a purely Free Market, well-educated, rational society, competition and purchase of products that result in higher, individually-determined happiness selects which products remain and which products get eliminated; and prices follow. Free Market societies established from well-educated, self-sufficient individuals choose for society which products are safe, which corporations provide products supporting their individual desires, etc. The success of pure capitalistic, Free Market businesses, therefore, is based on pure cooperation “between” people (the key word here is “between””) and increasing cooperation indicates an increased trust, thus signaling an increase in social morality.”

    Seems to me that the keyword is not “between” but “pure cooperation” (whatever that is.)

    I’m not sure exactly what you mean by a “purely Free Market” (or why free market needs to be capitalized), but if you mean no government oversight and intervention in commerce, period, I don’t buy your rosy scenario above.

    What about the following? Say a company develops a monopoly on a product all people need through shrewd business practices. The product is the only one on the market. In order maximize profits, questionable materials begin to be used in its construction. Some of these materials are toxic to humans. People will buy the product because they need it and will not know it is toxic until after they have come in contact with it thereby risking grave damage to their health. The managers of the company make money hand-over-fist in a short time, retire rich, “disappear” and gradually the toxic effects are felt by the people who used the product.

    I’d rather have “people” in appropriate government positions cooperating with me, “a person,” to monitor and control this situation by interacting with the company’s “people” before their product is a threat to my health. I have no problem with that type of cooperation “between” people.

    In many scenarios, not too difficult to imaging, I don’t buy your notion that consumers “choose for society which products are safe” etc.

    I don’t mind people in government acting as my proxy for controlling the quality and safety of products which I would never have time, knowledge, or materials to do solely on my own.


    Bill did no CONFLATE the two:

    Socialism forces and establishes inequalities upon societies, thus strengthening the suggestion that “Socialists love the idea of society, but hate and detest people”. A lasting and eventual result of Socialism is increased societal tension owing to restricted and restrained self-determinism and self-expression and eventually leads to explosive and violent actions from the lower classes that have been established through socialistic evolution. This may be the reason that Karl Marx concluded that Capitalism evolves to Socialism then Communism, because Communism is complete dictator, military control of the masses and lessens and/or subverts the inevitable results of violent retribution on public leaders from the general public. Advantages of Socialism only are for the selected few. Socialism can be a tool used to manipulate supply/demand curves through pricing while disrupting natural equilibrium in the system but communism is the only way to fully determine, predict, and establish through mathematics a permanent and constant supply/demand curve through price action.

    why did you conflate socialism and communism?? i expect that from fox news, but not from should know better.


    Labor unions are a prime example of degradation of individuals and their freedoms and Free Market societies into a society controlled by the few through further expansion of socialistic ideals. Although I agree with the presence of Unions as a deterrent to Monopolistic and thus, controlling systems, Labor Unions within themselves are monopolies. Monopolies exists when a specific individual or enterprise has sufficient control over particular products or services to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall has access to it.

    One outstanding societal complaint about monopolies is the propensity to fix prices, exclude competition, and enhance individual inequalities: labor unions do all. Intervention and support for unions by Government (a monopoly within its own right) enhances these apparent societally detestable attributes. Thus, labor unions aid in establishing theoretical supply/demand/price fundamentals for all items of intrinsic value to society and provide profit fixing by special interests often at the expense of degrading society and enhancing inequality.

    Go Mike Davis ...Did I hear you say we need a reinvigorated labor movement?
    Folks "card check" legislation could help achieve this. Write to your reps in D.C. Now is the time to ask those larger questions of how we want our society to operate and to demand that change. Fundamental change / less income inequality and not just bigger crumbs that fall off the table. Banks as public utilities I like the concept.

    Peter Solinski,

    Very, very good point!!!

    James Carter,

    But those that are in a Third Party apparently now are considered potential Terrorists by the NSA.

    More Govt control and manipulation of the Citizens.

    Nomas, you're somewhat correct.

    However, in a purely Free Market, well-educated, rational society, competition and purchase of products that result in higher, individually-determined happiness selects which products remain and which products get eliminated; and prices follow. Free Market societies established from well-educated, self-sufficient individuals choose for society which products are safe, which corporations provide products supporting their individual desires, etc. The success of pure capitalistic, Free Market businesses, therefore, is based on pure cooperation “between” people (the key word here is “between””) and increasing cooperation indicates an increased trust, thus signaling an increase in social morality. If Free Market individuals trust the companies they do business with, then they are willing to pay a higher price for that product and support the establishment.

    What a breath of fresh air to see a real socialist intellectual and activist interviewed on national TV. Davis does not claim that the current crisis is "beyond people's understanding" in the sense that we are forever incapable of comprehending it, but that it will require a paradigm shift in our thinking, involving fresh conceptual resources, to fully grasp the problems and to formulate genuine solutions. That shift will come not from our political and economic elites, but from the struggles from below that the crisis has already begun to precipitate.

    We can only hope that out of those struggle will come new ideas about how to reorganize society on the basis of greater equality and genuine democracy (including, vitally, economic democracy). It doesn't matter whether or not you call that "socialism," but it is necessary to see—as Davis warns us—that capitalism is leading us inexorably towards disaster. Either we find an alternative—and quickly—or social and ecological collapse will be unavoidable.

    Socialism has been tried, check out China, or Sweden????? Oh yeah, even Sweden must rely on a so-called "Free Market" system to support their citizens

    A pure "Free Market" system has never been tried.

    Just as Communism (the model Socialism) failed spectacularly, an objective observer would likewise have to conclude that American Capitalism has failed spectacularly. Essentially the failure comes in that both economies tend to heap all the wealth on a select few while sinking the masses in poverty and degradation. Good government is truly representative government that uses its power to narrow the gap between rich and poor, allowing all people to have a more equal democracy. This is what our Founding Fathers intended, but we are now as far from that as any nation can be.

    The problem with raising the tax to 39.9% is that it is another hit on the common man. The social elite have the means and the funds to establish tax shelters.

    I personally believe we need to throw out the major media and dismantle the spin factory.

    We need to establish 3rd parties in the political spectrum and dissolve the separating language and adopt the good from each.

    Only through this will we gain true equality and still maintain a free enterprise based economy.

    my .02 take it or leave it...

    For one thing, the Markets are in the Govt through Lobbyists. And that's what the Govt wants and that's how the Govt exerts control and influence. Oh yeh, and Govt officials receive their needed perks.

    Lobbying needs to be stopped, because the Govt wants to control all the money, which is what the Govt does through the Federal, note FEDERAL, Reserve.

    People like Mike Davis are on the side of the angels for reminding us that America is not entirely a creation of 1970s Republican spinmasters.

    Only in America is it being said that socialism failed everywhere it was tried. Socialism (real socialism) was never tried. What was tried in Europe and elsewhere was Socialist capitalism. It's capitalism that has failed. Conservative capitalism and socialist capitalism is Capitalism, period end. and it's capitalism that is crashing around our ears. That's why no-one can see beyond the economic collapse, nor see a way beyond it. I have suggested a way beyond it but you Bill suggested that you were concerned about other things and so would not be interested in my answer:- "Gospel According to Jack: To Deliver us from Neurosis". can be viewed at

    I just finished watching your interview with Mike Davis. Both you and Mike went right to the edge but were afraid to make that final leap, both of you could not name the power that controls so much of the banking industry and capitalism and that is the major cause of the financial crisis. Shame on you. Both of you.

    Thank god for people like Mike Davis who remind us that we are not necessarily a nation of morons.

    You get the markets out of the govt first, then I'm happy to have the govt out of the markets.

    Socialism never has and never will work!!!

    Even the Socialistic European countries recently came to American Taxpayer Capitalistic system bail-out funding. Good thing they could come to this somewhat Free Market generated money to provide the funds they needed.

    The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and Entitlements such as Social Security, a bate-and-switch Govt tax, were the beginning of our Socialist State. As the Entitlement Programs grew, Washington took out more debt on expected revenues. Washington now realizes that they can never pay the promissory notes (IOUs) to the people. Purely, this is the reason for the current state of the economy and our likely demise... Because of the Entitlement Socialist Programs and STRONG Govt manipulation and intervention in this "so-called" Free Market since the early 1900's, if not earlier. Welcome to Socialism..... But this is only the beginning.

    Get the Govt out of the Markets, its our only hope!!!!

    I disagree strongly that the issues we face today are beyond people's understanding. Many do not understand due to propaganda from the mass media, school, church, government, etc. In addition to propaganda they are distracted by an endless stream of nonsensical distractions from those same sources. And finally those sources are sure to ignore and never mention information of real importance.

    Information such as

    1.The Federal Reserve

    2.The (unConstitutional) federal income tax

    3. False Flag Terror (9/11)

    4.The real pupose of wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan (profit)

    Mike Davis wrote one of my favorite books (Planet of Slums) but I had never seen him on film and I haven't read any of his other work.

    Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that is beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not?

    Yes, I very much believe that. Exponential human population growth, climate change and globalized capitalism are already wreaking havoc. We, as Americans, have been protected from some of the problems that those phenomena have produced by a lower population growth, a constant energy supply, maintaining control over the IMF, World Bank, and oil sales denominated in US dollars.

    Peak oil, climate change, globalised technology, and a huge aging population will force changes in this country that we might never have considered before.

    Davis suggests that the economic crisis defies the scope of our current understanding. Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply can not comprehend?

    Like how to feed 12 billion people without petroleum based fertilizers and insectisides and dependent upon petroleum powered transportation?

    I have.

    1. Do you agree with Davis that the current crisis represents “an unprecedented abyss of economic and social turmoil” that is beyond the present level of human understanding? Why or why not?

    That certainly would be a hard question to answer as the question presupposes that the current crisis “is beyond the present level of human understanding.” If so, how would a human, such as myself, be able to judge if it was or was not beyond my ability to understand it until some time has passed in which to gain some perspective.

    Anyway, my answer is, “I certainly hope not.”

    Speaking for myself, this day does not seem very different to me than any previous day. That is not to say I haven’t been affected by the recent economic downturn. Our income is down, the price of food is up. But we don’t have a monster mortgage, we purchase state-sponsored medical coverage, we don’t have risky investments, the dollar hasn’t collapsed yet, etc. etc.

    Of course, very few people, with the exception of survivalists, have any idea of what they would do if the entire system of commerce were to collapse. Where would they purchase food? With what? I just prefer to be optimistic, and do have faith that the policies Obama is trying to fashion will be a benefit to the country.

    2. Davis suggests that the economic crisis defies the scope of our current understanding. Are there other issues with vast significance that most people simply can not comprehend?

    Yes. Socialism itself?

    Personally, I would welcome our country strengthening and extending some of the socialist programs we already have, such as social security income, medicare, medicade, the state children’s health insurance program, and the state adult health insurance program. Any of our citizens who buy into the fear mongering suggesting that the US is being turned into a “socialist state” ought to look at their older relatives and imagine how their 80 year old parents, or their 90 year old grandparents would have anything to eat if it were not for their social security checks, or any health care if not for medicare? How their 40 year old neighbor with the mental age of a 2 year old would live if not for government sponsored social welfare? How the vast majority of our children would be educated if not for a public school system?

    We seem to like these things about our current system – call these things what you will.

    I don’t understand how “a fear of socialism” should stop anyone happy with these social contracts from seeing the benefit of strengthening and expanding this type collective care. It doesn’t matter to me what its name is: the question should rather be, “Is this a good thing for me and the people I know, or is it a bad thing?”

    Health care for all: good. Health care for only a few with truckloads of money: bad for me because I’m not one of them. Education for all: good. Education for a few with a truckload of money: bad for me because my kid ain’t getting into Harvard based on my family fortune or name. Etc.

    Nice program, and thanks for the opportunity to comment on it.

    Dear Mr. Moyers, I really enjoy your show but I'm really sad that you ignore 2 of the most important and timely subjects. I know you care about media reform so why not make a 2 minute segment part of your program with an occasional large segment.
    You also ignore the criminality of Israel and the suffering, apartheid, and genocide taking place on the Palestinians and Gazans. I wish you had the courage of Amy Goodman because we need the information out there. The control of right wing Zionists over U.S. politicians needs your attention since it's costing us $7 million a day in donations to Israel and has influenced our actions in Iraq etc.. Please use your power for even more good.Thanks, John

    The current economic mess is not so substantial that we cannot repair what has been broken by the easy alliance between the corporations, their lobbying arms, the wealthy, and our beloved leaders. This is also true of any of the significant problems we face. We broke it (or allowed it to become broken) and we can fix it. But it will take leaders who are more interested in the general well being, than in raising money to satisfy their egocentric need to remain in power. Until the leaders of the nation are once again accountable to the voters at large, the major problems will never be properly addressed. This is the most difficult problem we face.

    It’s like a bird’s egg. As the embryo develops, the protective shell and life-sustaining matrix begin to deteriorate and eventually become a barrier to growth.

    The shell we have just poked our collective beak through is the notion that we can all act like mini robber barons; relentlessly serving our personal desires without contemplating the well being of the now inextricably connected world-wide community.

    The moral themes are like old stone walls … sturdy and timeless. But the edifice of social order is vast and every pebble must work to support it. I hope we can resist the desperate urge to glue the egg back together and maybe stretch our wings a bit.

    Mike's father and mine seem to have been cast from the same mold. At age 16, my father left Nelsonville (Ohio) High School to join FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps to help support his family. A coal miner, he landed a job on the Pennsylvania Railroad with time out to fly bombers in WWII.
    When Regan was elected in 1980, he told us, "the sonabitch" is going to turn this country over to his rich cronies and bust the unions in the process. And so he did.
    Thank you, Mike, for speaking truth to power, without bombast or ego.

    My family has some tangent history to Mike Davis. Father was the first born of an Italian immigrant family. Held back two times in first grade due to not knowing English. Went on the the 8th grade before dropping out to work. Three brothers did the same. Two sisters finished high school. All went on to earn good livings and support families.

    Father and his brothers, with their dad became a grocery store family from the 20's through the early 50's. Father remained in the grocery store the longest. When it would no longer support the family, he worked other jobs, meat cutting and later street cleaning for the city until he could retire. Mother worked clerical and secretary jobs and provided a needed income and insurance benefits.

    Father became a Socialist early in his life. For him, though employed and paid through the 30's and 40's, it was a social and economic cause.

    I believe that the combination of labor efforts, the various Populist, Socialist and Communist parties brought the United States population to a living wage prosperity that continued until the 1980's. That was by a combination of direct effort and indirect threat of serious change. By the late 70's, the corporate power affected the combination of legislation and outsourcing to diminish the ability of workers to keep their wage and benefits in great numbers.

    Mike Davis logic and observation of history was excellent. Bill Moyer's closing remarks were profound. Excellent program.

    Henry Ford paid his workers (labor) a wage so that they could buy his cars. South America's economy failed for at least centuries because it had no middle class (labor) and therefore no domestic market.

    Globalization never was, is not an excuse for destroying America's middle class (labor).

    The middle class (labor) goes down - guess what happens. Now we know, if we didn't before.

    Thanks, Bill, for having Mike on.

    Thank you Bill Moyers for having Mike Davis on! I have thought for a few decades that the left in USA was non-existent after the Red Scare witch hunts and that has hurt the country--not having a full spectrum of political and social ideas in the intellectual marketplace. I did not know Mike Davis but I hope to.

    I was pleasantly surprised by this, because I felt certain I would have to explain that social democracy or democratic socialism, and real socialism are two quite different things. As you said real socialism died in WWI, as did classic Liberalism, and I think there is a reason for this, which is that they are not very different. If you consider Marx fairly you'll see that what he is arguing for is not much different from what Adam Smith and his Physiocrat predecesors argued. This is why libertarians like Ron Paul should be seen as similar to socialists, and to the Muckrakers, and not at all the same as those Reaganite monetarists, who are not really different from Keynesian Progressives such as Hoover, and who emerged triumphant from the war and created much of the Depression-era social net. As I've said several times here and over at Charlie Rose's, labor should take up the liberatarian cause of sound money as the best means to recapture their influence and give up just arguing for a share of an ever dwindling pie. Personally, I think that once the president lays out that kind of objective clearly, no matter what the sacrifice, he would see a turnaround start almost immediately, because I don't think we are yet so bereft of virtue to fail in that.

    He Is Correct:
    Since the big businss-wall street-republicanism put the economy and national security in the crapper, they are in the process of being resurected from their old 'John Birch Society" into a group that is wood paneling their bath/restrooms and calling themselves the republican "Birch Jon Society". They are still trying to feed the citizenry the same old worn out s__t.

    The solutions are in the end always hostage to the way problems are framed. In the complex economic meltdown conditions, it is always difficult to fully understand how events would unfold and the agendas prioritized.
    Unfortunately the present day politics is no more about public service. It suffers from shortsightedness that only looks to the next election cycle. This makes the real problems linger on, get worse or sometimes get completely overshadowed by newer crises.
    Optimism and hope are great thing to offer when there is solid ground and basis to back them up. To offer people who suffer daily a rhetoric with appeal to hang on while the messy system gets back on its feet for the next boom and bust cycle is unfair.

    I think that there is possibility to move towards a more socially/economically just or balanced system but I think that to do so the concepts must be re-framed to allow for real discussion. As Mr. Davis alluded t, the Democratic Party has to aggressively grasp control of the language of the debate. As long as they cede to conservatives the 'terms of art' used to frame the issues they will continue to lose ground on the battlefield of ideas. On the electric car issue Jim makes some good points from a thermodynamic perspective but one of the ideas that isn't often stressed as strongly as the 'neat idea of plug-in cars' is that you would also need to change the power generation methodology too.

    While PBS was ominously mute on Nader's campaign last year, the Mike Davis interview has reminded me that it still retains some intellectual and public honesty in it's programming even if it takes a crisis to bring it out.
    I hope they haven't offended Ralph so much that they can't have him back on to say I told you so.

    There is actually no short-term option. The confidence needs to be rebuilt first before thinking about long term.

    This crisis will go away. But unless the system is reinvented, another one is yet to come.

    I blog about both topics here:

    and here:

    Feel free to check them out.

    Thanks for your post.


    It was encouraging to see Pres. Obama’s enthusiasm for changing the motivation for future career choices away from the financial world in favor of “engineering, science, teachers, and doctors in his appearance with Jay Leno. Moving the discussion to the going forward mode seems like something we should be happy to see him do.

    This present Bill Moyers topic opens the topic that we are facing a looming disaster in combined crises in energy, climate and economic disarray. It seems that there could be a common solultion to all these problems. Indeed, many think there could be green technology developments that would accomplish this. We heard some of this point of view from the visit of Pres. Obama on that Jay Leno show discussion.

    However, there is reason to doubt our technical foundations when we see a stampede to develop plug-in electric cars which Pres. Obama seems to think is a good thing.

    This is a flawed course of action that proves the need for well educated engineers and scientists. If such were in sufficient supply there would be no national confusion about the fact that heat energy does not equal electric energy. It depends on which way the conversion is done. If you make heat from electricity then heat energy does convert to electric energy and the equality holds; but if you try to make electric energy from heat you get very much less of that electric energy.

    Who cares? Well, everyone who thinks there is a global warming problem should care. Most people have figured out that electric cars simply shift the pollution source to someplace over the hill, and that zero emissions is absolute &^%$#$%. But the next part of the problem seems to need a little more knowledge of basic physics; that is, it takes a lot more heat energy to make electric energy than you get out in electric energy. It is easy to understand that since half of the electric power in the USA comes from burning coal, and coal produces a lot more CO2 than any other fuel for making the same amount of heat, and a large amount of that heat is thrown away at our electric power plants, maybe there is something very wrong happening here.

    Sure, the combination of coal power, electric power distribution, battery losses, and electric motor losses could come out a little better than the old internal combustion engine, which might only get 20% efficiency from its traditional design. But wait, the Prius engine in that hybrid configuration was measured to get 38% efficiency (Argonne National Laboratory data). In the end, making this into a plug-in is a very bad idea. Link by copying the following url:; then click reference (5) to see the Argonne report.

    The problem is much broader. The car companies are making plans to convert their existing vehicles to plug-in operation. Others of influence are working in this direction; Andy Grove, ex CEO of Intel and James Woolsey, ex CIA Director for example. It looks like we are headed into conversion of the kind of vehicles we know today, including Hummers and SUVs, into electric plug-ins of the same wasteful machines.

    Unfortunately, Jay Leno seems to not understand such things and it seems that, consequently, Pres. Obama came away seriously misled.

    Surely there are many readers of this site who understand that we will not be very successful at solving our problems if we proceed on the basis of flawed understanding of fundamental physics.

    If we recognize that solutions will not be easy, maybe the grand canyon will look even deeper, but maybe we would be able to see the bottom more clearly on the basis of more enlightened technical perception.

    I completely agree, and cannot wait to see this interview.

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