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A New Decade

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In this week's JOURNAL, Bill Moyers talked with historian and columnist Thomas Frank about the state of the Union when President Obama took office last January and the lessons of the years he calls "a low, dishonest decade."

Frank suggested that the scandals of the 2000s, culminating with the economic collapse in 2008, rooted from conservatives' excessive devotion to free markets and contempt for government. He said that Americans are now quickly forgetting the destructive effects of that governing philosophy:

"Since 1980, in this country we have been in the grip of this pursuit of ever-purer free markets. That's what American politics has been about. That's what has delivered the awful circumstances that we find ourselves in today... The disease of our time is a sort of instant forgetting... If we go back to the decade that just ended... Think of all the crises and the disasters... what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the Madoff scandal on Wall Street, and on and on... Those things have all been dwarfed by the economic disaster and the wreckage on Wall Street, but I would say that all of those things are of a piece and flow from the same ideas, and those ideas are the conservative attitude towards government... What conservatism is about in this country is government failure. Conservatives talk about government failure all the time, constantly, and when they're in power deliver government failure... The stuff we've been talking about today... [has] all been forgotten. The financial crisis had the effect of [putting] that stuff down the memory hole."

Economist and columnist Thomas Sowell has argued that those blaming the economic crisis on government's failure to regulate may have forgotten that short-sighted government policies from both Republicans and Democrats contributed to the meltdown. He wrote:

"After virtually every disaster created by Beltway politicians you can hear the sound of feet scurrying for cover in Washington, see fingers pointing in every direction away from Washington, and watch all sorts of scapegoats hauled up before Congressional committees to be denounced on television for the disasters created by members of the committee who are lecturing them... The idea is that it was a lack of government supervision which allowed 'greed' in the private sector to lead the nation into crises that only our Beltway saviors can solve. What utter rubbish this all is can be found by checking the record of how government regulators were precisely the ones who imposed lower mortgage lending standards-- and it was members of Congress (of both parties) who pushed the regulators, the banks and the mortgage-buying giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into accepting risky mortgages, in the name of 'affordable housing' and more home ownership. Presidents of both parties also jumped on the bandwagon."

What do you think?

  • Do you agree with Thomas Frank that the 2000s were "a low, dishonest decade?" Why or why not?

  • What should the role of government be in twenty-first century America? What are its capabilities and limitations?

  • What are the key lessons from the last decade that Americans should remember for the next?


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    Comments

    I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

    Thank you for covering this important topic that special interests have kept out of sight. Or have distorted it so as to not give the average voter a fair and truthful doesn't understand it.

    You two are just as deluded as Rush Limbaugh if you can blame every problem in this country on Republicans with a straight face. Or are you just trying to complete with him?
    "It's all a vast right wing conspiracy" is that it?

    CHRIS: So, is it fair to suggest a connection between a widespread sense of powerlessness and dispossession, AND the gaming mentality. Where we cannot believe in a rational link between our effort and our rewards, we seek an irrational link?


    FEDERALIST: I appreciate your zeal for your cause. But for me, while I have no illusions about the power of Government to initiate fundamental change, or to supplant our own responsibility; still, I do not believe that free markets solve everything. It just seems naive to me to believe that if only competition could flourish, unrestricted by law, the Invisible Hand would establish conditions of justice as a by-product. This seems to be the argument, but neither experience nor reason will support such a claim. If human beings value justice, they must AIM at justice; they must establish its priority, and behave in co-operative ways that are NOT always profit-maximizing.

    I would tend to agree, but emphasize that it is not just the last decade, but the last five decades, a half century of dishonesty!Why: decades ago the political machine coined the name"Progressive" the contry has to progress into the next century; and when that term was not popular they re-dressed it as Liberalism (socialism & Fascism were not popular)but the result was the same Bigger government! Restrictions on free-enterprise, free-markets; more government more taxes (has to be paid for)tax the rich give to the poor (or was that robin hood?) same result. Tax the rich (who provide jobs) they lay off and create more poor! Governments role in the 21st century should be less, much less. The constitution (all 17 pages of it)clearly states that which not herein granted the government is left to the states and the peiple (10th amend.) So all these big governmet programs need to be abolished and removed!and left to the states to determine on there own with there citezens what is needed. Government has no business in business! Free-market competition brings a better prodect to the consumer and for much, much less $$$.
    Key lesson learned: I'll quote:"When people fear their government there is Tyranny, when government fears the people there is Freedom" .... Thomas Jefferson "end quote"


    "Why do we operate our economy on a gaming model, rather than a more just system
    of distribution?"
    Posted by: Joseph Miller
    My answer to your questions is, because people are denied to express
    "THEIR WILL ON ALL ISSUES" in a TRUE democracy!
    The main RULES of POWER that denies true democracy are:
    1/ A man and/or people with a guns, are always right!
    2/ A man and/or people with money are always right!
    3/ A man and/or people once elected are always right for they write the rules
    to fit their benefits!

    Last night, as well as many times in the past we were assured with more of the same,
    PRETTY WORDS, HOT AIR and EMPTY HOPES and DREAMS,
    as status quo continue!
    "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER" then pretty words to fulfill empty
    HOPES and DREAMS!

    The hidden precious premise behind all this so-called "conservatism" is simply the unjust distribution of wealth. That seems to me the real wizard behind the curtain. "Unjust" meaning unjustified rationally or ethically. Thus, the attractiveness of casino capitalism. Why do we operate our economy on a gaming model, rather than a more just system of distribution? At root, it must be because so many of us are caught by the allure (however improbable) of the Big Win. We do not wish to question entitlement of the Few, because we would not want our own entitlement questioned (morally, rationally) if we were in their place.

    The contempt of modern conservatism toward government is anarchical. It is metaphorically 'brainless', in the analogous way that a limb or internal organ might wish to be free of the governing influence of the brain. The brain presides over co-ordination and distribution of energy and resources that health [justice] may prevail in the bodily system as a whole [cf. Plato's classic analogy of the state and the self]. Imagine an organ of that body deriding the brain, and advocating a free-for-all as a recipe for health. Think of the stomach or the penis overriding good sense, and bringing ruin upon the whole system through unjust allocation of time, attention and resource.

    It is not at all surprising, perhaps, that the flourishing of casino capitalism has coincided with the flourishing of state lotteries, sex addiction, and rampant obesity.

    Joseph Miller, Santa Barbara, CA

    Yes the 2000's to date were a low and dishonest decade. Reasons are in responses to other points below.
    Also not only American governance but globally we need to avoid colonialism, empire building or status building or the perceived right to pre-emptive strike for whatever reason, especially including the so called perceived and total utter Ameircan right to Absolute sovreignty for any reason. No veto's(its undemocratic)in the UN and as of now need 28 nations on the security council,IMF, World bank, and so called G28.
    Key lessons are simple, wars do not solve anything they never have or will they simply create new problems or wars.If you try hard enough words can bring solutions and peace that works.
    Religion is a very sensitive subject and should be any one persons individual right to choose, but must be based on a full and fair education of the three r's at least of reading, (w)riting and
    (a)rithmetic and a bit of history and geography at least.
    Each individual nation must decide its style and method of governance and law, if that is a theocracy, democracy, or in some case a reasonable dictatorship thats fine leave it alone.
    In the words of Yoda, ideallist Am I?
    No, just a person and one who believes 95% plus of global people want peace, happiness and security first not war or religion.
    Easy no, doable yes!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    What has brought us "to the brink" is a philosophy, embraced by most democrats and far too many republicans. It is the philosophy of collectivism, big government and hatred for free market exchanges. The problem is not "tax cuts" but rather the insane spending that has been going on for decades. The problem is not "corporations" but rather the perverted laws which created corporate law in the first place. The struggle is not democrat versus republican...it is big government versus liberty.

    I agree with Dwaynes post regarding economic slavery, a way to subdue the masses. It's an agenda to 'keep them busy just trying to survive' and they won't have time to question what we're doing. it's supported by the military industrial complex, the financial institutions on wall st., the large corporations, the oil companies and ,yes, the government. Included in this plan is of course control of the press, where has honest investigative journalism gone in public media? How can we continue to accept the spoon fed propaganda controlled by those whose money runs this country 'behind the scenes'? In his farewell speech Eisenhower also warned us of this. Is there an organization out there that wants to take to the streets and rally against this corruption?

    After having control of both houses and the Presidency the " Republicans " with there tax cuts, wars,promotion of trickle down economics and having brought us to the brink of extinction have become our financial advisers.

    The " spin doctors " deserve pay commensurate with the CEO's. If you can't dazzle them with your performance then baffle them with your B.S. Selling the Republican message is pure art.

    As for the new President well.... he has had a year to fix this mess. With all the help provided by the Republicans why isn't it fixed ?

    Kidnapping, Torture, corrupt CEO's the age of free enterprise and time to put the Republicans back in office to finish the job they started. After all a few people are still working.

    Of the corporation by the corporation and for the corporation .....long live the CEO's

    "...The key lessons from the last decade that Americans should remember for the next" is that not even the recent Republican president could keep government from getting bigger and more expensive:

    - I believe that in the future the State...will assume a much larger role in the lives of its citizens...Now some people are going to say this is socialistic. My answer to them is that it is "social," not "socialistic." (Franklin D. Roosevelt,1928)

    http://cikehara.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-it-comes-to-imperial-presidency.html

    Like my dad used to say; "things are looking up; actually that is because they are flat on their back"...
    President Obama has been enjoying the pleasure of being president instead of acting on his promises. He needs to end the wrong war in Iraq and concentrate on cleaning out the terrorist strongholds.
    "Business as usual" while the state of the union self-destructs is not the right solution to the problem. We were promised change and all we are getting is the same old self-destruct Republicant agenda.
    Now we have both the Republicants and the Democants.
    What a pathetic situation.

    Billy Bob wrote, in part, "Ann D 2 consective post I can almost agree with possibly all!"

    Uh oh, that can't be a good thing - LOL

    I hope we agree on these 2 "adult" governing ANCIENT "ideas" that got us from swinging through the trees to "empire"...

    1. The ONLY role of government is to protect the INDIVIDUAL against FORCE and FRAUD.

    2. There is such a thing as a "Just War" and based on the NUMBER ONE REQUIREMENT for it being "just" is

    "the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;"

    which HAS BEEN MET by what the hedgehogs and banksters have done...

    We have all experienced a tipping point, a NORMAL tipping point, because enough people realize that SURVIVAL is back on the table - which means, as we've all heard from the LIARS, THIEVES and MURDERERS for a decade now

    "...all options are on the table..."

    We cannot continue to yaddayadda around the COST OF THEIR CORPORATE WARS...

    Think about it, they (ALL OF THE SENATORS) were going to send the IRS in with colonoscopy probes to get your "health care" money...

    I did the math. If you want to spend freekin' TRILLIONS in getting back religiously "historical" land, I've got a "historical" case to be made for some much better real estate...and it appears the "land" is ready for overthrow, they're yanking girls off the farm to sell as slaves...seems to me they're done as a "power"....


    Thank you Chris;
    I too have been frustrated for about five decades now about this being a so called "representative republic",which of course it isn't,and it ceartinly isn't a democracy.I have longed for a process of public referendum on all contraversal issues.Certain safeguards of course would be needed to protect groups and individuals' rights.I have never understood how a "free and democratic society"could allow all the forms of lobbying that are in existence.If we are not going to have a system of democracy,at least our elected representatives should not be FOR SALE.

    "I would love to hear the solution. Just exactly what should be done to/about
    corporate America?"
    Posted by: Lee

    The solution will be when "the ramped, corrupt, dysfunctional government
    and justice system" is replace with "TRUE DEMOCRACY!" It can be accomplish
    only, by empowering the people to EXPRESS THEIR WILL on ALL ISUESS!
    "Amending the CONSTITUTION" is the "SOLUTION!"
    Empowering the people to APROVE LAWS and/or REJECT LAWS
    that serve special interest group is the "SOLUTION!"

    "The ship is SWAMPED!"

    Thomas Frank says that conservatives want to sabotage government, but this is only partly true. They would not scuttle the laws permitting foreclosure or call for voluntary enforcement of patents. They generally support laws that prohibit gay marriage, and many if not most had no serious resistance to public assistance for the likes of AIG. One's objections to government often hinge upon whose ox is being gored.

    Freedom is a tricky state to maintain and it is never absolute. Should compliance with speed limits in school zone be voluntary? Is the right of enjoyment of a neighbor who plays the stereo at wall-shaking volumes a 3:00 AM as compelling as the right of neighbor to get some sleep? Government can accumulate and exercise excessive power but as Frank indicates, so can privileged minorities and individuals. Maintaining a just and creative give-and-take process that works for a whole society takes thoughtful solutions that won’t fit on a bumper sticker.

    To Jim
    MA 6th Congressional District

    Picking the worst of two evils is NOT a solution. The Republicans have sent us over the cliff royally and totally do not represent the welfare of the American citizen. Voting for the worst is not the answer but makes matters worst. God help us all.

    To: Lee

    Take away the special privileges that recognize Corporations as an American citizen. Right now corporations are recognized by the law to have rights and responsibilities like actual people. We all know that corporations are NOT people or precisely, one person. They also do NOT conduct their business with the sanity of an actual person and more like a psychopath with total disregard for its employees, the environment, good will towards competitors, or its country of origin.

    This would disallow them from contributing to political campaigns which is the heart of the problem as well as other abuses their corporate lawyers dream up to make more irresponsible profit.

    Also take away their right to own and sell property as an individual. They would only be allowed to operate by charter only and governed by states.

    I would love to hear the solution.Just exactly what should be done to/about corporate America?

    When did the "business model" of USA corporations switch to looting and sacking instead of producing?

    Cheney and his comrades...?

    Bill,

    I am not a piggybank for Goldman Sacks ... but I am a moderate independent voter from Massachusetts.

    I voted for a Republican yesterday for only the third time since 1972.

    Don't blame Martha Coakley. Blame Barney Frank and Barrack Obama for not bringing the promised reform. Your program January 8 with Mother Jones helped my understanding of the lack of financial reform from the Democrats. If you wonder where the outrage is from the sacking of the American economy by Goldman Sacks and the other financial terrorists on Wall Street, Scott Brown's election was the start of it.

    The Democrats have lost the trust of many more independent moderates. I am now hoping that this healthcare bill goes down as well because I have lost that trust.

    It is going to be a bumpy road ahead.

    Thanks,


    Jim
    MA 6th Congressional District


    Bill,

    I am not a piggybank for Goldman Sacks ... but I am a moderate independent voter from Massachusetts.

    I voted for a Republican yesterday for only the third time since 1972.

    Don't blame Martha Coakley. Blame Barney Frank and Barrack Obama for not bringing the promised reform. Your program January 8 with Mother Jones helped my understanding of the lack of financial reform from the Democrats. If you wonder where the outrage is from the sacking of the American economy by Goldman Sacks and the other financial terrorists on Wall Street, Scott Brown's election was the start of it.

    The Democrats have lost the trust of many more independent moderates. I am now hoping that this healthcare bill goes down as well because I have lost that trust.

    It is going to be a bumpy road ahead.

    Thanks,


    Jim
    MA 6th Congressional District


    MDM,
    The only thing I can add to you very observant post is "pathetically stupid".
    Not only has our economic system failed so also has our education system.

    Lee,
    I see. The Republicants have got theirs and now they are making sure that the citizens get nothing.
    How sociopathic can you get?
    The Republican trickle down monopoly economy was an astronomical failure and it is now.
    Obama's shift to the Republicant agenda was a colossal error and we will pay the price again. The debt will soar thanks to the so called conservatives that can't find their butt with both hands.
    Buying into the Republicant self-destruct machine is a fatal error.

    Lets be honest, most Americans are too (by design) stupid to realize that the true enemy is corporate America. As long as this stupidity exists they will continue to rail against their own best interests.

    In the last 10 years we seen our Frankenstein monster U.S. Corporations turned against the American taxpayer.

    We gave them special privileges as rights of average citizens and they used that power to corrupt our government and shed our jobs in lieu of mega profits. In total disregard for their creators, they lied and called it globalization when all the time it was taking advantage of the American taxpayer and the world third countries.

    It is time to slay that dragon and take away their special privileges as an American citizen. We must do this or our economy will not survive.

    D.C.Eddy;
    I very seriously doubt the ship of state has any chance at all of refloating if this administration and this congress and senate persist in loading it's holds with lead ingots in the form of insane spending of funds which we do not have.We have not yet even begun to pay the price.
    Let me see now,you think what this economy needs is more funding?
    Is there a limit to how deep you would dig this hole?
    Hey.What the hell.Let's have another round of stimulus all around and not worry about who is going to drive us home.

    Lee,
    Your reply is a perfect example of blaming the victim for the crime. It was the conservative Republicants who destroyed our economy and we all paid the price.
    We are in the process of trying to salvage the Ship of State on the bottom of the sea. It would be kind if the lunatic Republicans would get of their high horse and help refloat the Ship of State.
    It cannot be done without the necessary funds and support from both the Republicans and the
    Democrats.
    Plato, as in Plato's Republic is probably turning over in his grave over what his Republic has become.

    "Why isn't this happening faster?"

    Posted by: Bruce Donnally


    That's easy to answer - corps emptied out the people and the shelves this past decade in order to take care of the "special needs" kids - hedgehogs, banksters, "holy" shamans of health...

    Corps CONSUME more than they produce (special needs)...they have to to pay the slacker shareholders sitting on their arse in front of "high tech" reality...

    They have ALL the info on YOU, YOU have no info on their plans for perpetual war...

    Took a thousand years to get "slaves" riled up against the Teutonic Knights AND "turks", it'll take a thousand years to undo 600 trillion...

    How's that for "lasting, grave and certain" damage...?

    UNBELIEVABLE that the schtick is still the same - "memory" loss does occur when you kick 'em in the head - just kick'em again when they wake up - huh?

    "There will be another 911"...

    Corps went INSANE when they went "teutonic" instead of "world's fair" competitions...

    By all means - set the course for the "future" now that it's pretty clear that 2012 ain't the "end"...1000 years of "dark ages"...

    Ann D 2 consective post I can almost agree with possibly all!

    Notice how pundits refer to "free markets" but never seem to address free markets. Rather they seem to imply that our Fed., state & local laws support free markets. Who do they think they are kidding?

    Are laws necessary for a sucessful economy? Yes. But Congress talks about a law, then revises it, amends it, then waters it down so that their buds have loop holes that leave Mainstreet holding the bag.

    Mainstreet seems to be happy following the media's spin on Health Care, etc. & not holding Congress Accountable for treasonious deriliction of duty!

    A drink of fresh water keeps Mainstreet alive, but excessive drinks kill. A law here & there keeps society well, but what is now in place is drowning Mainstreet!

    Billy Bob Florida

    D.C.Eddy;
    Wow.Your response is exactly what I was talking about.You make my point for me.You automaticly attack conservatives instead of taking a clear look at the damage this administration has already done to our economy's future.An amazing amount of damage in just one year, and I'm sure there is much more to come(cap and trade.ect.)
    I can't imagine how you believe that a deep recession or even a depression in this country might somehow be worse than what is happening in Haiti.That IS HELL ON EARTH in Haiti.Check the news.We need to look a little farther ahead than robot partisian politics.

    I would add to the discussion of short term memory that perhaps we have also become a nation of short term patience, where our demand for immediate gratification has seeped into our expectations of enormously complex institutions and governance. Waiting for change is no longer acceptable, we have become a nation of impatient children who want everything now, forget how impossible that often is. And the media only fans those flames by automatically questioning how long anything takes, reinforcing unrealistic expectations. We see that even now in the Haitian disaster relief effort, where international organizations are doing their best to attend to an enormous task, and the media can only ask "Why isn't this happening faster?"

    I'm sticking with the OBVIOUS:

    The only role of government is to protect the INDIVIDUAL against FORCE and FRAUD.

    And since that is NOT what "politics" is doing with both government and "religion", rather they continue to wage "war",

    Then the focus shifts to WAR and it seems to me we got a humdinger of one to wage against "politics" and "religion" when framed around the SANE

    "Just War" discussion:
    1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    3. there must be serious prospects of success;

    4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition."

    Too much "light"...? Put on some shades...

    Lee,
    It is the conservatives who are stealing from everyone's children to satisfy a misconception of economics. The survival of our nation depends on the necessary funds to provide for the exchange of goods and services.
    Economics is all about the right mix of numbers to provide the efficient supply of goods and services that are necessary to everyone's well being, especially children. Without equity as well as justice; life on earth becomes hell on earth. The Haiti earthquake would be a piece of cake compared to a failure of our economy.
    Like past president Clinton said; "It is all about the economy".
    "Trickle Down" Monopoly Economics is only good for the rich and greedy.

    I see opposing opinions,charges,and countercharges,some more valid than others,between conservatives and progressives,and am amazed how some enormous items seem to be just lost in the debate.I think we all have an obligation of stewardship,ceartinly to our own children at least.I want some Obama supporter to explain how stealing so much from our children and their children is not the pits of total scumbag immorality.

    I have worked for both the government and the private sector...
    There are jobs the private sector does best and there are jobs that only the government can do.
    Government is an essential element in the function of social organization. This is particularly true in a high tech large population society.
    Jobs better accomplished by the private sector need to be contracted to the private sector. Jobs related to government services need to be done by government employees.
    Government employees must be qualified to do their jobs just as the private sector has to have qualified workers.
    This particularly holds true when it comes to elected officials. The quality of our society and our survival depends on our elected officials.
    The present election process and the influence of lobbyists guarantee a corrupt political system.
    The allegiance of our politicians must be to our citizens not election financiers.

    Bill, I was extremely disappointed that you didn't question some of the statements made by Frank Thomas. In particular, the one that Government employes are inferior to Harvard grads who are paid more handsomely. A great many Federal government employees are highly intellegent, competant and enjoy chalenging jobs that have stability, great benefits and adequate pay. Many whom I worked with after 30 years were highly dedicated employees who strived each day to protect the interests of the taxpayers and could easily have been successful in the private sector if chosen.

    Getting clearer everyday...

    "Politics" is not the same as "government".

    A "government" overrun by politicians becomes too incompetant and corrupt to actually do any "governing".

    Frank-WHAT!? T Sowell-Right On!

    I strongly agree that the 2000 decade was a low dishonest decade. We saw in those 10 years the gross exploitation of deregulation by the powers at be thus causing the economic demise of our country.

    In the near future, we must bring back the outsourced U.S. jobs that were robbed from the American taxpayer, and put back regulations to prevent the atrocities caused by the evil greedy few.

    We must do this or our economy cannot survive.

    Is President Obama’s political prowess declining?

    The popularity and political acumen of President Obama is being tested and second guessed constantly. That is the nature of the position. The astute thinker that he is has me believing that he is “setting the stage” for his big moves. He took on Health Care first and is likely only to make a small dent in the political arena. He is content with a small dent “for now.” He set the course for what he would do in Afghanistan when he was campaigning. He addressed it by establishing that in 2011, he will begin withdrawal of the troops. Obama had no choice with the bank debacle. The global economy was at stake. The following is based on the premis that he is stabilizing the worst elements, pushing slightly for a few difficult changes, and speaking out for some major changes. What he does next in each area is where the biggest test will be!

    President Obama could not have solved every problem in his first year of office. He is being pulled and tugged in every direction. He has to take steps that will position himself to confront the main basis for change for each issue when the time is right. Optimism was expressed by Robert Kuttner on Bill Moyers Journal, December 18th, 2009. Moyers introduced Kuttner as “an economist who helped create and now co-edits the progressive magazine THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, and the author of the book OBAMA'S CHALLENGE, among others. While discussing Obama and the bank bailout, Kuttner stated, “I think this guy is nothing if not a work in progress. He's nothing if not a learner. And I think there is a chance.” “… I think there's a possibility that by the fall of 2010, …you could see him change course.” “This is a guy who is a very smart, complicated man. And I think don't speak too soon, for the wheel's still in spin. I don't want to totally give up. (See Transcript at link or in attached word document:
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12182009/transcript1.html or Video:
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12182009/watch.html

    What world factors will influence Obama? What world factors will help him?

    Moyers conducted interviews on the Journal in December ’09 and January ’10, that support the theory that leaders in each social or political issue are reaching out to the public for their support – a people movement to influence the legislature and enable Obama. On December 11th, Moyers focused on the bank bailouts and peace in two discussions, with Heather Booth and George Goehl, and Howard Zinn, respectively. Both segments promoted empowering the people.
    Video http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12112009/watch2.html
    Transcript http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12112009/transcript2.html

    On Bill Moyers Journal, January 8th, 2010, David Corn, a reporter with Mother Jones magazine , stating his own thoughts of what he would say if he were President of the US said, “And I can only do this with your help" – referring to the people. Bill Moyers said that would excite him and wanted to know what he could do to help.

    Here-in lies the key to change. The people have to have an avenue to be able to participate. The President needs the people. He cannot do it alone. However, everyone is putting all their eggs in one basket. It is natural for the people to expect change and for the President to be the one to do it. It will not work. Bill Moyers has been showing that each problem area is finally recognizing this and attempting to mobilize a “people movement” for their own issue. Will the people arise proactively enough to create a tipping point? What will inspire the people other than a crisis or disaster?

    Where is there a “Spark” to create a unified PEOPLE MOVEMENT? When the people come together, Obama will make a difference. What will bring the people together? Bill Moyers’ most recent program, January 15th, alluded to the unifying element, the Children.

    Bill Moyers interviewed Greg Mortenson, January 15th, 2010. Mortenson said, about his work in Afghanistan, “… what most women tell me are just two simple things. They say, "We don't want our babies to die, and we want our children to go to school." And of anything that really drives me, those are the two things that really keep me on because I think we need to listen to those women. What they want most of all is, you know, what any mother around the world wants. And you don't want your baby to die or your child and you want your children to go to school. So that's pretty much what drives me on.”

    There is a global initiative planned to create World-Wide unity based on working together for the welfare of the Children. See www.GSofNV.org . The plan is based on the adults illustrating an example of nonviolence for the children now, the children of the future, and as a metaphor for change.

    If people work for a common cause, they can create change. The common cause is the children. The stimulus for unity could be the caretaker of the children – The Women! For the past six months, Bill Moyers Journal has profoundly discussed the issues and is sending a message to the world that the people are the answer. Are the women the conduit?

    If Obama would have confronted each problem “head-on,” he surely would have not succeeded and he definitely would have his lost political ability to create change. There is a “DOOR OPEN” for the people to unify while Obama is President. Will people unify “For the Children?” Could it be as simple as the women mobilizing - as representatives of peace - as the stimulus for unity for all people? If people do unify, Obama will then have the political high ground to implement major change in policies.

    Jerome Grossman wrote on http://relentlessliberal.blogspot.com/, “…we chose a new and gloriously different president out of hope for serious change. And he hasn't delivered that - yet.” He still can if the people unify!

    Andre Sheldon
    Director, Facilitator
    Global Strategy of Nonviolence, For the Children
    (A World-Wide Unity Campaign)
    Andre@GSofNV.org

    I challenge you Mr Moyers to interview one of the Pilots of " pilotsfor911truth " on your TV show. Let us see how far you're willing to go to air a few new ideas and facts about that tragic event where at least 3000 people lost their lives.

    Why can't the media and others discuss this subject openly, what are you hiding, what are you afraid of.

    You mention 911 in conversation so often as though that story is fact, it isn't and never was, it can't stand up to the most basic scrutiny.

    It seems that not only do we have short term memory with regard to the recent past, but we also cannot clearly see the present. I have watched with interest the passage of health care reform and have seen the Republicans repeatedly reject and carve up any decent amendments put forward by the Democrats who genuinely want to help people. Frustrated and worn down by vicious lying media attacks and scare mongering, they have taken the tactic that something is better than nothing. So Republicans, and "blue dogs" remember to whom you sold your souls, and for how much! Main street can't line your pockets for the next election, but anyone with half a brain can see what is really going on. We no longer have a government for the people, by the people. We have a capitalistic government by puppets of big industry. Why even bother running for re-election, big brother owns you, and thereby owns the United States and us on main street. Big Brother (industry) via the lobbyists will not stop raping us until we have some real representatives who will not be bought!

    By fueling the american people with anger and fear about who is to blame, or which political is going to hurt us the most politicians are able to continue collecting money from the rich who run this country. The political system as a whole, all parties, are using us to line their pockets with money.The acts being committed by lobbyists politicians and big business against the citizens of this country are criminal. It is time for us to separate ourselves from this tyranny.It is time for all politicians to pack their bags and go home.

    We vote into office the same people we constantly complain about. Who is to blame for the mess we're in? Why are we in this mess at all? The public has not accepted any responsibility for its part, it's greediness , which is the answer to the second question.

    Not everyone is meant to be nor can be the next Buffet. Not that the powers that be are blameless but, what would you do if offered everything that they are. Could you turn away, would keep a noble agenda, would power corrupt you? We need to shut up, stop complaining and demand changed in Washington but, in our laziness and with our modicum amount of political knowledge we acquiesce and get the same thing over and over again.

    The conservative commitment to defund and render incompetent the Federal government cannot be doubted by any fair observer.

    But Republicans are boring because their actions are consistent with their ideology. It's the Democrats, "my party", that disgust and baffle me.

    Without an ideological commitment to the exercise of power, a commitment to match private lawyers with our own public lawyers, private salaries with our own equal level public salaries, private freedom with public oversight and regulation, they are contemptible.

    They end up being not merely "just as bad" as the Republicans, but worse because of the hints of progressive policy they wave in our faces, while they govern in a manner no less slavishly attentive to big money interests than the Republicans.

    It's a real problem. How do we build governance around one person one vote, when votes can be bought and the money to buy votes is not evenly distributed? Is democracy possible, or does it disintegrate into corporatism and one dollar one vote rule?

    The question remains unresolved and I am not optimistic.

    Wow...I was amazed at Thomas Frank and his distorted perspective (and, of course, Bill Moyers was giving him Amen and Amen). Much of what he said was true...conservatives like me DO think that (big)government can be compared to criminals. We DO think that requiring people to buy health care insurance is a violation of our freedoms, etc. etc. He is just not a conservative so he can't help but love tyranny. And he got it wrong when it came to the causes of the economic collapse. If I had to sum up his views it would be "the truth is a lie, slavery is freedom, Bush was a conservative". Of course none of those statements are true.

    Are we the public turning on Obama because we forget or because we remember? (And who is this unitary "public" anyway?)

    I remember Obama's populist rhetoric. I know that he has barely lived up to any of it. On Iraq, Gitmo, health care and host of other subjects, he has acted in ways directly repugnant to the promises he made during the campaign. The most glaring examples concern the rights of alleged terrorists held by the US. The Obama administration has systematically extended Bush policies of denying basic rights to prisoners.

    This week (January 18th), Syed Fahad Hashmi will go on trial in New York despite protests from human rights observers around the world, including the Center for Constitutional Rights here. Obama is again supporting the worst of Bush-era violations of constitutional and international legal protections.

    Most people don't even know of this case. But I'm sure many remember Obama rhetoric on change.

    Obama's popularity is plunging just as the Democrat/Republican caucus wanted. You see Obama had only one option to dealing with the old boy network in Washington and that was to ignore them and appeal to the people. This would have given back the power to the electorate and broken that corrupt body. But Obama probably didn't reckon on the stupidity of a certain section who support a party like they do their favourite sports team. Policies are not a issue with these voters, who wins is. Little do they realise they are among the losers just like the ret of us because the Politicians and the rest of the corrupt gang have only their own interests at heart.

    Wake up America you're being had.

    Once again my post has been deleted, it would be nice to know what rules we must comply with to have our free thoughts published. Bill’s reference to the novel “1984” makes one almost sympathize with many present day main stream journalist who are forced to practice their profession in an environment of George Orwell’s Newspeak.

    While I basically agree with Franks, I have a little different take on it.

    It's not so much "instant forgetting" that plagues our time, but putting philosophy and belief above facts. The conservatives believe in the unconstrained capitalism even after the market meltdown of fall 2008. In their minds what was wrong was that things were not capalistic enough.

    It's not just them though. I see it in my personal life all the time. When experience is the opposite to what would be expected from a theory or belief, you almost never hear "Well, I guess reality doesn't agree with the theory". Instead you get "reasons", usually anything they can think of, as to why it didn't work and the theory is still right. I see this all the time from most people. They don't bother to use the events that life experience provides to test hypothesis. Instead, they make up excuses for why the theory didn't work.

    I run into this a lot and I am really sick of it, to be honest. I do see it as a more important thing than liberal vs. conservative. I see this same thing even in business situations involving what should be facts based decision making. They will not give up their favourite notion even after it has been wrong so many times.

    I consider myself a conservative but please don't put me in the Republican camp. The person who closest voices my views is Ralph Nader when he says that Democrats and Republicans are the same creatures.

    Small government could work if we removed all of the immunities. Allow me to piece the corporate veil and hold individuals accountable but suing them personally. Without the removal of all the immunities, there will not be any personal accountability. Without personal accountability, there is no reason not to try and get away with mischief.

    For example, allow me to sue George W. Bush for what he has cost me. It would be trivial to demonstrate what his decisions have cost me in terms of real dollars, good will towards Americans, lost friends and family due to dying in his wars.

    Allow the people of the WWII era to sue Prescott Bush for selling steal to the Nazis.

    Allow me to sue, directly, the CEOs of the bank. Allow me to sue, directly, the person who creates the unsafe product.

    Yes, that would make our already litigation happy country even more litigation happy -- but I believe only for a time. And I believe that that time will be very short.

    You see, government is just an organization -- just like a corporation. If one is bad, then the other is just as bad.

    We see how Bush, as an example, provided a war just to give his friends a way to suck off tax money. That's bad. And with the media controlled by corporations, few of the public even know of his deeds and the depth of his corruption.

    But you can not fool all of the people all of the time. If only one person who was not fooled held Bush accountable by directly removing his personal fortune, it would send a signal that was very loud and clear.

    No matter how much government oversight we have, without personal accountability, it will be corrupt.

    It does not matter democrats/republican these parties have had over 200 yrs to get it right and how do they serve us taxpayers? A new party cannot even get its foot in the door because the right/left have all the laws/rules put in their favor.Where is the freedom of choice? Both parties are incompetent,incoherent,inconceivable,indirect IDIOTS!!!!

    The danger here is that progressive and liberal disillusion with Obama's Bush-like economic policies is going to be twisted by Democrat partisans as just a bunch of racist Republicans or independents whining that Obama is not capitalist enough.

    Obama has supported Wall Street and ignored Main Street. Obama broke his promises to renegotiate labor and enviro portions of NAFTA. Obama ran opposed to an individual mandate and is now supporting one. Obama caved to PHARMA ensuring that Americans will continue to pay the highest prices for medications. It seems that Obama's health care policy is to shift as much of cost for health care onto individuals and away from employers and ensurers.

    If this is the best we get, then Obama's most optimistic policy arc does not bend perceptibly better than Bush's, and that is not enough to change the trajectory of this sinking ship for the benefit of American people and those of the world who are so impacted by our many changing moods.

    The GOP and Dems are playing a game of divide and conquer, where the absurd extrema of each side are posited as the mainstream and the frame of debate encompasses the extrema and nothing else. This keeps left and right fighting while corporations make off with tax payer money through corrupt government expenditures.

    The Dems are as complicit in this intentional discrediting of activist government; when Dems win, it is simply another set of pockets that gets filled, the brutality goes on irrespective.

    The record of Bush II is not that much better or worse than that of Clinton or Obama where it counts, the rest is just distraction. That soaring rhetoric still has you mesmerized to the extent that objective reality can be ignored.

    Dusty Burton--did you actually LISTEN to the interview? Of course you didn't since your comments aren't even coherently related to the discussion at hand. If YOU HAD listened, you would have heard a very objective interview that, if anything, was quite fiscally conservative. The fact Bernanke's re-appointment was questioned as a bad idea would have been your first tip off. Instead you see "PBS" and your FOX News? stereotype kicks in.

    Dusty, the Bush administration was one HUMONGOUS exercise in corruption, lies and greed.

    Come on really now, Fox NO news that fair and balanced no news entity? Where is the fair and balanced there?

    Since he left the LBJ administration in part because of its heinous never ending Vietnam War policies that got thousands killed, a million Vietnamese killed and infrastructures destroyed Bill Moyers has dedicated himself not to a "liberal" agenda but to a HUMANITARIAN agenda that means anti-corruption, anti-wars based on lies and wars that never end. Moyers exposes the TRUTH warts and all.

    Conservatives and Fox News viewers want a never ending saccharine sweet rendition of America is always right news and most especially if it means America spends money on war and not people! I know, Dusty, it's hard to question every administration's policy isn't it? What is the policy and who does it benefit? Those are the questions that should be relentlessly asked and Moyers does just that.

    Once again am I reminded of the extreme move of PBS to the far left! Nowhere in the rehtoric of Mr. Frank did I hear of how much further down the tube of corruption Pres. Obama has taken us in less than a year than the Bush administration did in 8! Our unemployment has increased, our national debt has become overburdening, his progams for "change" have been a disaster, His promise of "open" government has been an obvious lie with locked door meetings to coerce and/or bribe senators for votes for his fiasco of a health plan the taxpayers overwhelmingly do not want. When I want an objective view I'll go to FOX news. Or, when there will be views presented from both perspectives, let me know and I might turn on PBS!

    Bush on tv telling everyone to just send cash.All AMERICAN tax payers have allready sent cash with out having a say.Maybe Cheney needs a new hunting partner.Most likely HALBURTON is going in there to get taxpayer money so the HAITI people do not get help.Paulson needs more money.I remember red cross having 700 million dollar cash flow problem at 911.Where did that cash go?

    After listening to Greg Mortenson on your show this morning, we need a lot more people just like him working for peach the only way it will ever work, through education, and helping people get the things they want instead of what we think they should have.

    Yet again no surprise Bill Moyers presents a thoughtful exchange with an excellent author Thomas Frank. "The Wrecking Crew" is on my list. I have been saying what Mr. Frank illuminated so well for a long time. It is hard to understand an American public which has been burned NO scorched time and time and time again by capitalism run amok and yet continues in the face of economic catastrophe to listen to those forces which are against regulation of the very market that kills. This staggers me.

    What a line of bull pucky they have been taught. From first grade on to high school and even beyond we are sold a bunch of bunk and this country's populous refuses to question much of anything power does.

    The Republican party as it has evolved is NOT about the mainstream. It is about HUGE money making HUGE money any way it can even if it means the demise of the very people it needs to sustain its greedy blood soaked hands.

    We all know the definition of stupidity. The American public never ceases to amaze me how it can literally buy the tripe it has been fed. It's like putting the same germ that caused the illness into your body to rid you of the illness time and again.

    So the American public time and time and time again upset with the power that is goes to the one corner. Upset with that go to the Republican corner. It reminds me of a bouncing ball bouncing from one side to the other not knowing where to land and so it bounces in perpetuity never to find a safe place to rest. Instead of electing leadership that is beholding to no one but Main Street the electorate continues to vote for the oligarchs thinking they will save them. They WON'T! They will save themselves and their very very wealthy buddies ALWAYS!

    Bill Moyers never retire. You present the ONLY sane voice in the media of our day. I would be lost without you!

    Please do not mistake progressive abandonment of Obama after Obama abandoned the progressive platform he ran on and which enjoys broad public support for a case of political amnesia.

    We remember Bush and see that the differences between Obama and Bush can fit on one side of a cocktail napkin. We remember what Obama said when he ran for election, and are seeing more of the same instead of anything remotely approaching a liberal or progressive agenda--ain't nothing progressive about bailing out Wall Street, Pharma or AHIP or an individual mandate or Cadillac insurance tax.

    So our choices are to do nothing, speak our minds, to primary challenge conservadems and to either not vote or vote for an independent over a conservadem on election day.

    No matter who gets elected, the progressive base gets the shaft. Progressive policies are now popular policies, yet Obama's economic policy revolves around Wall Street just like Bush's.

    The right wing GOP base has veered off as fundamentalists pursuing ever purer free marketeers from politicians who had implemented free market capitalism zealously for decades. The public has rejected their economic sharia.

    Progressives, on the other hand, have been exclusively shut out of the Obama administration on economic matters, and Obama appars to have joined the government at the hip to Wall Street megabanks. Our ideas win support, win elections, but never see the light of day after election night.

    So this notion that there is some symmetry between the bases of the GOP and the Dems is mistaken or that Obama is being abandoned because people have short memories.

    Obama is being abandoned so quickly because he abandoned his base faster than anyone can remember.

    Another socialist blaming the "free market" for our current economic woes. I need to point out that there hasn't been a free market in this country since Dec 1913, if not several decades before that. A free market economy is impossible when a central bank (federal reserve) can manipulate monetary policy , period.

    One of the tenets of conservatives and libertarians is the idea of small government for it's own sake. If one thinks about this for a bit it really is as brain dead as advocating for big government.(which no one does)

    The size of government is relative to the task that 'we the people' want it to accomplish. In other words, the size of government should be driven by the problem we want it to address. If we are not willing to pay for it then maybe we shouldn't even bother and then suffer the consequences. At least we would have an answer.

    The only thing we get with small government is lousy government.

    Gary quoted Baker, "What are you going to tell people who lose much of their retirement savings in their 401K when there's a downturn?" Today, Baker said: "The decline in the stock market was an entirely predictable event for anyone familiar with basic arithmetic, even if the exact timing could not be known in advance."

    I must respectfully disagree with the "analysis".

    After landing in USA as a "DP" after WWII, Grandma got a job she could walk to (after getting the kids to school) in a factory making electrical parts that were being installed in all new buildings (construction boom after WWII).

    Because the company was "sold" to another corp, instead of receiving a pension, she was given a one time stock pay out. Eventually, that stock was handed down as "Verizon" at its high point in the 1990s. Lo and behold, it was worth half after just a few years and has not, and as I understand it, will not ever return to that REAL value.

    As I see it, it was NOT a bubble when it was worth twice as much. Half of that value was stolen in an engineering "bubble burst".

    Now add in how much tax needs to be paid on negotiating half the original value for "medical costs" and, well, we're cursing the existence of that stock in our names because the IRS has been very involved in making sure Grandma and her progeny never got to hang on to the fruits of "labor".

    And now the IRS is going to fine people for not buying health care from FOR PROFIT insurance companies - seriously?

    Why should ANYONE be still pretending that there is such a thing as an "economy" in operation? It's a vacumn hose sucking everything up...

    For know, I left out the "economics" of how they changed the laws of Social Security to re-calculate Grandma's monthly pension...

    More misery for others =
    More money for ME ME ME

    Bill,

    I tuned in a little late and listened to your guest talking about a small group of "freedom" fighters that hated and despised the government. He said this group of conservatives considered government employees as criminals and crooks. He talked about their mantra of misinformation, their conservative faith and their ideology. When he said they excommunicated Bush and were systematically destroying government, I realized it was not Greg Mortenson talking about the Taliban, but Thomas Frank talking about the Republican regime.

    When Greg Mortenson spoke afterwards about the Taliban’s method of keeping people illiterate and destitute in order to control them, I began to see some parallels in their approach with the fundamentalist Republicans. Repeating the mantra of an unregulated market, without understanding the tenets of capitalism seemed like interpreting the Koran without understanding the tenets of peace and tolerance. Stating that there was no terrorism when Bush was in office was like saying that you can blow yourself up and go to heaven.

    Our population needs a much better media, and more education in order to reject this nonsense! The Republican conservative regime seems to want an unregulated markets more than the Taliban want Sharia law, and both groups are totally out of touch with reality. Sadly, both groups seem to be winning, and the majority of the population are suffering because of it.

    I think both Mortenson and Frank have a good understanding of human behaviour and reality, but they are up against a desperate and fanatical foe. New tactics and better government are needed if we hope to save the planet from the brainless ideals of these groups.


    Melvin, I am not naive or blind to the fact that there are problems (big problems) in the Republican Party and that Conservatism is not carried out as it should be. But this story was way off-base, unfair, and, as one other commenter said, it sought to marginalize and mischaracterize the philosophy that many Americans subscribe to. What are we supposed to do, give up what we believe in because some Republicans are corrupt? Or not even true Conservatives? And don't really even appear to understand what Conservatism is? We get that--we're not stupid. We have a philosophy that works....here's to hoping America remembers how to carry it out.

    This memory hole issue, Moyers exploits, is actually Moyers' most evident shortcoming.

    I spoke of Dean Baker, a progressive socialist economist, much respected by Moyers. Here's what Baker, who'd predicted all of this earlier, had to say in March of 2001 -- he is reflecting back to the Clinton era:

    What are you going to tell people who lose much of their retirement savings in their 401K when there's a downturn?" Today, Baker said: "The decline in the stock market was an entirely predictable event for anyone familiar with basic arithmetic, even if the exact timing could not be known in advance. The nation's political leaders chose to ignore the stock market bubble and instead focused their attention on distant and relatively minor problems like potential shortfalls in the Social Security trust fund in 30 or 40 years or the reappearance of budget deficits in a decade or two. As a result, millions of families have seen their dreams of a secure retirement or their children's college education vanish with the stock market bubble. The level of negligence of the nation's political leaders in ignoring the stock bubble exceeds anything since the days of Herbert Hoover."

    How's Moyers' memory on that memory hole?

    Earlier, in 2000, Baker had argued, "What are you going to tell people who lose much of their retirement savings in their 401K when there's a downturn?"

    Well, Bill Moyer's would for ten years blame it on Bush. Now, that is a "memory hole."

    Still in 2008, Baker is giving much credit for the current crisis to the Clinton era; will Moyers allow Baker to foray into that discussion as a cure for the memory hole problem? Never.

    Then Moyer's goes right up and tells the big lie. That Clinton left these huge budget surpluses to Bush and Bush promptly turned them into massive deficits. It was a fantasy surplus. No one could have saved it. Well, Baker personally explained to me, as has Krugman, and many others, that the return to massive deficits were easily predictible; that when the dot.com bubble crashed - that would be the end of the surpluses. The top end of the Bush tax cuts did not hit the books until 2003 - the earlier tax cuts and rebates were broadly supported by most all - and had little effect on the big picture of balances. The Iraq war thru the end of 2003 had only run up a bill of $54 billion - so far; yet, the defict for 2003 alone stood at $378 billion. The sum of the shift (Delta) from projected surpluses to realized deficits form 2001 to 2003 (inclusive) was approx. $1.3 Trillion. Fully $1 Trillion of that was economic fallout from the crash of the bubble and the effects of 9/11.

    The projected surpluses were based on the dot.com bubble economy continuing. It did not - it ended in March of 2000.

    Then, Bush's economy would have been much worse had it not been for the housing bubble that HUD ordered Fannie/Freddie to create, in 2000. We would have had our deep crash then, had it not been for that. Letting it run, of course, has made it much worse than it would have been. Where are the voices which would have pulled the two sides together, during the Clinton era and the Bush era to address such obvious end results?

    A check of the record, by the way, will find that Obama is on record, as is Clinton and many more, in expressing that the current crisis was born of the housing bubble. Clinton would argue that the Democrats, as well, stood in the way of reasonable reglatory reform which might have helped. Obama would argue that while the original idea (HUD's folly) seemed like a good on, however, it went bad, very bad.

    There are a lot of players here. They are not party specific. Only Moyers is party specific.

    Once again - my effort here is not to defend Bush - he didn't fix it either, in fact, he just made it worse. What would a Gore era had done instead? Oh my - what a
    tease that is.

    Moyers. The decade of failure was born of the Dem's folly. Wake up and think.


    With little defense offered to the Bush administration for not solving the many disasters they inherited in 2001, I'd offer that Bill Moyers needs to be jostled awake.

    Bill Clinton left Bush the wasteland of the dot.com bubble economic crash from March of 2000 with the resulting recession and immediate return to deep painful deficits (Bush added to it, no doubt.)

    Bill Clinton left to Bush the democrat party led birth of the historic and twisted housing bubble which led to an insane meteoric increase in demand for first time buyers (armed with unqualified and unsustainable sub-prime mortgages) which fueled the meteoric rise in home prices. See: Oct. 2000 - HUD ANNOUNCES NEW REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE $2.4 TRILLION IN MORTGAGES FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR 28.1 MILLION FAMILIES, here:

    http://www.hud.gov/library/bookshelf12/pressrel/pr00-317.html


    This alone set the stage for all that followed.

    See PBS's Frontline recent production of "The Warning" for the other crap that Moyers would like to blame on Bush - when he should be looking straight into the Obama living room. See that here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/

    Many of Moyer's other loved guests, including Dean Baker and David Kay Johnston have consistently written since 2000, or so, on how the Clinton era has greatly led to the current crisis. Moyers has much respect for Baker - Moyers should actually learn how to trash his personal bias for intellectual thought.

    Remember the super rich - the top 1% of income earners, and as well as the CEO pay to average worker pay shot thru the roof from 1993 to 2000 - It went the other way, or stayed flat during the Bush decade. Fact.

    Dan Bednarz wrote, "Mr. Frank is a gifted analyst, as is Mr. Moyers a gifted interviewer. However, their discussion of the memory hole phenomenon goes nowhere."

    AD - Actually, it was scientifically useful in outlining the ever-present "perception is reality" schtick. "Media" is in early stage dementia :-)

    DB, "The fundamental problems we are facing are those of sustainability: energy, water, phosphorous, soil, and so on are becoming scarce. WE think our problems are only political, they are at base ecological. We are reaching the limits to grwoth and until we acknowledge this obdurate fact we'll flounder between despising the party in power and expecting a miracle from the party out of power."

    AD - Politicians and politics are NOT what a "government" IS. A real government puts LIMITS on the quantity of politicians allowed into its "law-abiding" institutions to "work", as well as limiting the "power" that a "politician" can claw for him/her self in that institution. Think about it.

    Agree that "science" needs to be rescued from lying, prevarication and obfuscation :-) You can expect greedy and cheap THIEVES to be liars, but scientists?! Put all the bullets in the revolver for a game of "russian roulette"...whichh is basically the kind of "science" politicians have evolved - stupid science. Example - bloviators want to reduce the deficit by doing away with food stamps - "force people to get a job"...and in the next sentence, the nut job said that "...the jobs aren't coming back and even more will be sent out of the country unless a health care bill gets passed..."

    Mike wrote, "Wake up, there are important insights from both ralph nader and ron paul, but all of the others are the same."

    And when you hear the divide and conquer schtick achieve "oneness"

    (like in the "job" idealogical business model),

    the proof that they are nuts is confirmed and no point in setting up another "committee" hearing :-)

    Everyone needs to ask for PROOF that the "new science" is REAL...especially when it's catchy phrases for lazy minds such as "the rain follows the plow"...the only "thing" following the plow back then and now are the liars and thieves...aka "politicians".

    Guess they're gonna keep calling us stupid and just add a layer of pseudo-science to it with "memory" loss...unbelievable.

    And STILL on the mortgage issue - GOD FORBID that a civilization gets stabilized through the sustainability of HOME OWNERSHIP!!!!

    Do you agree with Thomas Frank that the 2000s were “a low, dishonest decade?”

    I agree with Mr. Frank. He and others had specifically stated the dishonest issues.

    What should the role of government be in twenty-first century America?
    The roll of the government will continue to be status quo - dysfunctional!

    What are its capabilities and limitations?
    It has unlimited dictatorial power to suppress, confiscate and corruption!
    It will continue to indoctrinate by "Unitarianism" and to deny the people
    true democracy, freedom and liberty to express their will on ALL issues!"

    What are the key lessons from the last decade that Americans should
    remember for the next?

    INJUSTICE! Ramped corruption, laws - confiscation, eviction, foreclosures,
    homeless, hunger, health care, unemployment, wars, falls pretense, debt,
    freedom, depression and suspension of the Constitution.
    It was best stated by F. Douglass, " find out to what people will submit and you
    will find the exact measure of injustice that will be implied upon them."

    Now I understand what conservatives are up to. It didn't make any sense to me before, but now it does. Conservatives aren't engaged in political discourse. They're engaged in political misinformation. What they're up to is all methodology....the ends justify the means...and what they want is the destruction of government by any means possible. Thanks so much for clarifying that for me.

    So.. when the Republicans are in power in Washington (an elsewhere?), they do what they can to destroy the agencies and bureaus and offices are run our government? The Republicans are sabotaging the United States Government from within? Why? Why do the Republicans in power want to destroy us and our government? Why? How can we stop them?

    A Time for Freedom

    It has come time for an evolution, time for a new Declaration of Independence, time for a new unquestionable constitution, it is time for equality, unity, or Oneness, it is time for justice to be just, time for freedom to ring, time for liberation, time to remove the clouds of theories and faiths, time for simple and beautiful self-evident truth, the time has come for Dr. Kings dream to come true.

    =
    MJA

    first the republican party got hijacked by the industrialists a long time ago. industrialists can't run under their own banner because their policies are horrible. what we as middle class citizens and lower class citizens need to realize, is corporate american will always get theirs first. take that as a given. then find a solution after that fact. because like it or not. they will get theirs first. what we as citizens must demand, is they don't destroy a nation in the process. i have no problem with hard working people making lots of money. i actually have more of a problem with non working people making any money. i do have a problem with people making money at the expensive of a nation. our founding fathers foresaw almost everything. one thing they could not see was the amount of money one person could accumulate. the only solution i can see is for some one to get elected into congress, get privy to all the inside knowledge. then release it publically. the outrage would then be enough to change history. if not history has shown us. we will fail as a nation as our resources get siphoned off and no new resources are produced. we do not produce anything any more, except fake cash (stocks). that is a recipe for failure

    people calling republicans nazis are getting played, at least if they think democrats are not equally so. nazis were NATIONAL SOCIALISTS who believed in centralized control of society and the economy by force and by demonizing the opposition. both republicans and democrats do this, but democrats are generally more interested in expanding government more quickly than republicans. plus democrats do not offer services "to help people," it's about putting a happy face on make-work that doesn't actually address any of society's real problems. wake up, there are important insights from both ralph nader and ron paul, but all of the others are the same.

    The elephant in the room during this discussion was the bare and ugly fact that the administrative 'judgements' of the past criminal decade have been continued by Mr. Obama even as he mouths platitudes about turning over a new leaf.

    It is not a matter of faulty memory - we remember these crimes all too well, and we are all too well aware that we elected Mr. Obama to CHANGE THINGS and he has not done so. He has not even set the Judicial Department to rights - I could go on and on.

    If we have more of the same, don't berate us for having short memories. We know what is happening, and the current administration is culpable because they did not bring the changes they promised but instead sought to sweep all the dirt under the rug, while perpetuating the malfeasance. Americans have very good memories, and at present they are muttering 'a plague on both their houses.'

    We do have memories, and we do think for ourselves.

    As a British citizen living in America I can only agree with Bill Moyers and guest to a certain extent. The fact is that both main parties are a wrecking crew, the whole of Congress and the Senate is self serving. They're controlled by big business through the lobbying system which it seems to me nothing but plain old bribery. In any law abiding society bribery is a crime but here we have the very people elected to uphold the law breaking it every day of their political lives.

    How can a country have an effective government under the circumstances which exist in Washington D.C..

    Most of the country's taxes spent on useless war toys when if they were spent creating proper jobs and proper education instead of the present day indoctranisation.

    The churches are full and the reason for that is the people have no faith in their fellow man so they turn to worshipping some invented celestial being but fail to realise that is another form of people control.

    On the subject of journalism and the decline of the newspapers. This was bound to happen given the low quality of the content and most of it being opinion. The 911 event was never investigated but almost every day it's mentioned as though the story told was fact, nothing could be further from the truth yet the dumbed down people never question that ludicrous story and not one newspaper has ever to my knowledge even hinted that the story could be anything but the government version.

    No society can function properly living in an atmosphere of lying, cheating and plain old Chicago style gangsterism.

    To believe that america is anything more than a one-party theocratic state irrevocably moving towards a failed state is, at best, a delusional state.

    Mr. Frank is a gifted analyst, as is Mr. Moyers a gifted interviewer. However, their discussion of the memory hole phenomenon goes nowhere.

    The fundamental problems we are facing are those of sustainability: energy, water, phosphorous, soil, and so on are becoming scarce. WE think our problems are only political, they are at base ecological. We are reaching the limits to grwoth and until we acknowledge this obdurate fact we'll flounder between despising the party in power and expecting a miracle from the party out of power.

    What this author is saying is that conservatives do want small government at all levels, but Reagan's and his disciples' way of obtaining it is to make it ineffectual so that people do not believe that government can solve problems. The only aspect of government that they avidly support is the Defense Department. Since Reagan took office, the personnel directors in the White House have made it a priority to fill most appointed slot with a person who has the credentials on the surface to fill the job, but who will be satisfied to do little or nothing to address problems that are festering. What you get is administration after administration filled with Brownies who are all doing a heck of a job, i.e. a terrible job. This malicious neglect is compounded by cutting taxes at every opportunity without concomitant cuts in spending. As long as George W. Bush had a Republican congress, he did not veto or even speak out against a single spending bill. Is this a tight conspiracy by all conservatives? Of course not. But there is a inner cadre of like-minded individuals who want to make government the problem as Reagan so clearly demonstrated. The problem is that we have surrendered our government to large corporations and investment concerns whose interest is in making money without any consideration for the vulnerabilities that the country has to oil imports, balance of balance payments, outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, soaring deficits, hyper inflation in health care and higher education, enormous disparities in income levels, and large defense expenditures to protect their investments abroad.
    Now after running up more that 10 trillion dollars in deficit under the Reagan and Bush Administrations, the cry is to cut government spending in the depths of a major financial crisis where consumers, corporations, and state and local governments are all cutting back. This situation has the prospect of making the Great Depression look mild.

    What this author is saying is that conservatives do want small government at all levels, but Reagan's and his disciples' way of obtaining it is to make it ineffectual so that people do not believe that government can solve problems. The only aspect of government that they avidly support is the Defense Department. Since Reagan took office, the personnel directors in the White House have made it a priority to fill most appointed slot with a person who has the credentials on the surface to fill the job, but who will be satisfied to do little or nothing to address problems that are festering. What you get is administration after administration filled with Brownies who are all doing a heck of a job, i.e. a terrible job. This malicious neglect is compounded by cutting taxes at every opportunity without concomitant cuts in spending. As long as George W. Bush had a Republican congress, he did not veto or even speak out against a single spending bill. Is this a tight conspiracy by all conservatives? Of course not. But there is a inner cadre of like-minded individuals who want to make government the problem as Reagan so clearly demonstrated. The problem is that we have surrendered our government to large corporations and investment concerns whose interest is in making money without any consideration for the vulnerabilities that the country has to oil imports, balance of balance payments, outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, soaring deficits, hyper inflation in health care and higher education, enormous disparities in income levels, and large defense expenditures to protect their investments abroad.
    Now after running up more that 10 trillion dollars in deficit under the Reagan and Bush Administrations, the cry is to cut government spending in the depths of a major financial crisis where consumers, corporations, and state and local governments are all cutting back. This situation has the prospect of making the Great Depression look mild.

    Won't Jane and Jenny be surprised to learn that their
    conservative ideals have been hijacked by an inner sanctum within the Republican party... which has absolutely nothing to do with or cares about... their valid conservative ideals...
    the expose will be published shortly...

    Well...Mr. Frank should be in heaven since we are witnessing the largest expansion of government since the Great Society, or perhaps the New Deal. President Obama has fulfilled Mr. Frank's every fantasy about Washington taking the center stage in our economy. Let's all watch and see how that works out for us.

    The priorities essay reminds me of part of one of Eisenhower's speech:

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies—in the final sense—a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than thirty cities.

    It is: two electric power plants, each serving a town of sixty thousand population.

    It is: two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is: some fifty miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than eight thousand people."

    Unfortuntely for US citizens, today a $2,000,000,000+ B-2 bomber can build over 400 schools that educate a quarter of a million children.

    We are in a economy were there is lack of demand from the "Consumers" because the bankers,wall street,health care industry and oil and gas have siphened off most of the majorities assets.
    There is one way for sure to fix this.
    Cut every family making $120,000 or less a check,(non taxable) for $100,000
    and every single person making $70,000 or less a check(tax free) for $70,000.
    Within weeks of these check going out demand would go up and jobs would be created...

    Lets do some review of the Republican conservitive movement when in power: Hoover=the Great Depression: Ike= Hyperinflation and 1 war of choice and the beginings of a 2nd.
    Nixion: Stage Flation;
    War extended 7 years.Attempted Coup deta with Watergate,quid pro quo,dishonor of the executive branch.
    Reagan:Holding Iranian hostages till elected,trickle, down tax cuts for rich,arms to terrorist,creation of terrorist organisations.High deficiets & inflation,shipping jobs over seas,tearing down labor unions and civl servants.Wars.Supling Iran after killing our Marines in Lebanon.
    BushI High inflation unemployment,"No new taxes"(no ,more conserv.support)
    President king George II. Illegal wire tap(nixon)March '08;de tax the rich,deficits up serplus gone;protect and defend gone 9/11 lies,lies and more lies..Republicanise the Judiciary,Defang and defund regulators,coal mine desasters poision toys ,dog food,tooth paste,lettace,beef,train disasters,brudge collases,construction crains collapse,FEMA a joke EPA a joke OSHA a joke ect.ect Yep they were proving exactly what they promised Make goverment "Don't Work!"

    Moyers reference to the “memory hole” is ironically similar to this Bushism:

    "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
    If our economy does keep getting worse and worse, people are going to want someone to blame. So, since Bush has left us to be more productive with his motivational speeches, we are now lucky enough to have a liberal media which will be more than happy to redirect our anger towards Obama. It’s like “We, The Flock,” have allowed the media to become our shepherds (“Trust us, we’re not wolves”…”Duh, okay”). Our forgetfulness shows how dangerous our TVs, radios, newspapers, magazines, news sites and blogs can be. Ah, the fine art of simple, repetitive conditioning (propaganda).

    And oh yeah, shame on us.

    As a ex-conservitive I beg other conservitives to not only read "The Wrecking Crew" but also Franks other 2 books.Understand who you are actually supporting and that their "GOAL" and mandate is Huge profits and infuance for them,let the rest grovel at "OUR"feet.
    Also Destroy anything and anyone that is in their way of accomplishing this goal.

    I always commend PBS for its intelligent content, which is why I donate to my local station. However in this segment, the guest categorically demonizes ALL conservatives as bumpkin goverment haters or greedy soul suckers...and Bill only applauded his blanket condemnation. As a limited government conservative, I think the guest brought up some really interesting ideas, but I did not appreciate being marginalized. Just because a person is not an Obama superfan doesn't make conservatives the disease that's killing America. This guy was just as bad as BEck or Hannity, just liberal. I was disappointed.

    I don’t think there is any question that the Bush administration actively sought to cripple our federal government’s ability to carry out its job. (Just google the top administrators under that administration and see what sorts of jobs they held prior to their appointments.) And I remember it as being quite clear the Bush administration knew exactly what they were doing. It appointed people it knew would not carry out the basic tasks our federal agencies are entrusted to do: care in perpetuity for our natural resources, increase the health and welfare of the population, promote job creation, provide for basic emergency readiness, and enforce clear air and water regulations, etc. In all those agencies the administration appointed staff at all levels that did not agree with the basic roles of those agencies, and openly sought to render them ineffective. (So much for transparency!)

    I have faith in the ability of Americans to remember recent history, and to laugh at outright lies and revisionist history, no matter how many times they hear ridiculous old mantras like “tax and spend liberals” or new ones like “we Republican’s single-handedly proposed, and then passed civil rights legislation,” and (essentially) “keep your hands off my government run health care.”

    Bull crap.

    I don’t think the general public is going to forget the fact that the Clinton administration handed a budget surplus to the Bush administration, and that one of Bush’s last acts in office, with the national debt skyrocketing under his watch, was to approve trillions of dollars in taxpayer money (and borrowed against future generations at that!) to save banks that are “too big to fail” due to the lack of oversight that would make them smaller and, thus, “OK to fail” when they are reckless in the pursuit of capital gains for a few top employees. Nor will we forget that the Bush administration expanded government spending in an unprecedented manner, ending his tenure with a staggering debt, driven, in part, by two wars (his administration started) for which spending was not even included in his bloated budgets and had to be approved by special, supplemental funding measures.

    No, we know Obama was handed a difficult situation, and I think we know he is doing the best he can under the circumstances. It takes time to undo the damage done to our welfare by a reckless administration like the Bush administration.

    So, basically, a Democratic administration handed off a sound economy to a Republican administration that did everything in its power to ruin that economy, and handed it off in the eleventh, crisis-hour to a Democratic administration which, I feel, will be the only type of administration which will be able to get us back on track again. It ain’t gonna be pretty, but I’d be terribly surprised if we ain’t going to have our house in better order when Obama hands off his administration to a newly energized Democratic administration in 2012.

    An effective government is essential to the pursuit of happiness. If you don’t believe me, move to Haiti.

    Dear Bill,

    Mr. Frank's point of view is well taken.

    The trickle down, free market, no government needed economy, introduced by former president Reagan; lobbied and campaign contributed to with 10's of millions by Wall Street and embraced in the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act and penned into law by former president Clinton; IS what today's conservatives champion as the true American economy of the Constitution.

    It is not.

    In reality it is, the dog returning to its vomit, as the Bible would say.

    Economics, policed by little or no laws is the basis of feudalism.

    Feudalism breeds monoply and monarchy; "he who has the gold makes the rules" is a favorite business saying.

    The founding fathers revolted against monarchy. History shows and the founding fathers were very familiar with that "free market" economy. An economic system which brings monopoly and monarchy to power using "he who has the gold (or the ability to take your gold)makes the rules."

    The Constitution is constructed to preserve not only freedom but also the individual's pursuit of happiness.

    The Constitution does NOT opt the "free market" out of being subject to reasonable laws and obeying them.

    And we have surely been shown, since 1983, that the average citizen's pursuit of happiness is not of any concern to the - free of laws and rules and over-site "market".

    Capitalism is not democracy.
    Again - Capitalism is not Democracy; it is but the economic tool of choice.

    A "free market" can function free of laws and rules but it wouldn't be very democratic.

    Have you liked the results so far?

    I haven't.


    Thanks Bill, great interview. Mr. Frank has a real gift at explaining things. I wish more people could have heard him. I have to watch this one a couple more times.

    Didn’t you interview Mr. Frank about 5 or 6 years ago on NOW? I think he told us how wedge issues were being used to change long time blues into reds.

    Republicans believe in big corporations making money. If money is made, jobs are created and Americans can have the good life and take care of themselves. I say, this is a good plan.

    Republicans believe in big corporations making money. If money is made, jobs are created and Americans can have the good life and take care of themselves. I say, this is a good plan.

    1) the 2000s were low and dishonest because corruption, i.e. mixing up the roles and ethics of government and commerce, was accelerated
    2) government's role at any time in history is to maintain an orderly framework within which people can rationally expect that their labor will earn a fair reward. Where this is the case (Netherlands, Denmark, Norway) populations prosper. Elsewhere, there is inequality, injustice and a lower standard of living and quality of life. Danes pay the highest income taxes on the planet, and by many measures are the happiest nation on Earth.
    3) if you own stock, and the company of which you are a part owner spends a lot on DC lobbyists and campaign contributions, SELL. These are tactics for getting taxpayers to support really stupid and unsustainable business strategies (like building cars that are too expensive to own, or loaning money to people who can't pay it back).

    There's an old adage, maxim, that Republicans protect property rights and Democrats protect people's rights.
    Obviously it is a simplistic generalization, but it is not necessarily untruthful.
    Democrats have in the past placed people before profits and many of the successful Democratic-sponsored programs are geared toward helping people. Many of the Republican-sponsored programs are geared to protecting corporate profits.
    But in recent years, most notably the last years of the Clinton term and the 8 years of the Cheney/Bush term we have seen a total morphing of the previous opponents into a new breed, ReDemopublicrats.
    In essence this new CongressCritter spoke one language, social values, while enacting legislation completely favorable to Big Corporate Money and especially those industries allied with warfare.
    Defense budget allocations have a mere handful of vocal opposition . . .and then the vote reveals an overwhelming mandate.

    It takes two to tango, it takes two to collude.

    Peter, maybe you could get a spot on Countdown with Olberman or even better, a spot with Moyers. If you read at all, it was the Republicans who pushed and got the Civil Rights Bill passed back in the 60's. Social Security benefits are in a turmoil, medicare and medicaid are broke and a high percent of people brought up on wel-fare are now in jail. Conservatives believe ALL PEOPLE have a right and duty to make their own money.It is called capitalisum. That is what Ronald Reagan believed in and it worked.

    i must second the critics of this juvenile and one-sided interview.

    yes, republicans were terrible in office and didn't stick with the real small-government platform, but democrats are corrupt and special interests ruin whatever chance of logical, sustainable services. yes, many republicans don't admit market failures, but many democrats refuse to admit all the times that the government has screwed up and made things worse. and democrats are purging the party of moderates at least as much as republicans are.

    politics is supposed to be a conversation to take the best of different philosophies, and when we ignore each other we have no hope of doing things sensibly. i generally expect this show to attempt a civil and truthful conversation, but thomas frank was smug and hostile while doing nothing to justify his opinions.

    please be fair and have a thoughtful conservative like ron paul or thomas sowell from the blog.

    Thanks Bill,

    Yet again you have given PBS a reason to be proud and a reason for people to support it.

    A wonderfully insightful show tonight.

    Sincerely,
    Nils

    I suggest that Jane go back and learn about the failures of the Republicans and the successes of the Democratic programs that have succeeded, like Social Security, Medicare (I know, I know; her argument will address the failures of those programs, which would not have been failures had the Repubs and Dems not raided them), the rights of African Americans to vote, and on and on and on. And all the way the conservative members of our society have used fear mongering to try to defeat these programs. Oh, and let's not forget the great successes of king/god Reagan who's trickle down and tax breaks for the rich, and and deregulation, have placed us in the position where Obama had to do something to keep us from going under.
    To claim that Obama is a socialist is ridiculous. There are no socialists left, but the far right is on the march. Dear Jane, Gimme a break.

    I would suggest this Frank guy go back to school and take some civic courses and learn about a two party system and what the conservative party stands for. I resent him saying "Republicans don't believe in the Government' Yes, we do believe in government but, we DO NOT believe the government should run our lives and spend our hard earned money on programs that have always failed under the liberal administrations. You showed clips of conservative radio hosts, not politicians, talking about the fear Americans have today because of the Obama take-over of our tax-dollars, health-care, and neglect of security. These hosts did not name-call, they only spoke the truth of how Obama wants America to turn into a socialist country, have the government be involved in every facid of our lives so they can remain in office and control. When Bush was in office name-calling was the only remarks made by the liberal left. Idiot, cow-boy, dumb,liar, hitler,stupid, war monger. No respect, and most of these words were from liberal politicians. The double standard is beyomd words. Moyers had to add his two cents saying poor Obama inherited so much and all his problems are the fault of Bush. Give me a break!!! Every problem Obama has are due to himself and the liberal congress that has been in office since 2006. When people fail, the first thing they do is blame others and refuse to take any responsibility for their own failures.

    Even though both Republicans and Democrats are responsible for the mortgage mess, the Rove/Ailes’ neocon propaganda machine only blames Fannie, Freddie and the Democrats:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHj8-HSi5AA
    I wonder why they will never show this speech by Benedict Arbusto from 2002:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8

    Well, the problem is that both the Republican and Democratic parties are heirs of the Jacksonians, whose emergence spelled the end of the founders' ideal of a republic of virtue. While the Republicans think greed is good, the Democrats believe charity is good, but for basically the same selfish reason. Jackson paid lip service to republican virtues, but the party did something quite different, establishing the pattern of using the government to line their pockets. That kind of corruption is still rife in both parties, and in philanthropies, in education and social services, every bit as much as on Wall St. The way to think of virtue is as the ability to govern oneself, and where there is virtue there ought to be no difference between government and the marketplace, but actually, if government is not self-governing, then it is a matter of force, and if the marketplace is not self-governing, then it is a matter of fraud.

    I thought that slavery was abolished back in the late 1800's. Yes, maybe ethnic slavery has gone its way but a new form of slavery have come to light in the 21st century.... Economic slavery. The only different is that the masters are the bank executives who traded the whip for extortion as a means to keeping the masses in check. They tell the government... "Rebel and we will create economic chaos!!" They tell the people.."Rebel and you will lose your home and jobs!!""
    $150 billion dollars to the bank executive alone will be going into the pockets of masters who hold everyone in fear. And that is just the banks!!! That same amount would give 3 million households a bread winner bringing in $50,000.00 a year. According to the AFL-CIO website, Lloyd BlankFein CEO of Goldman Sachs will receive almost 43 million in bonuses this year, enough money to take 850 plus people off of the employment lines. And that is just one man. Look at Bruce Wasserstein from Lazard Industries $133.7 million. That's almost 2700 jobs. Enough to employ a small town.
    It's shameful.

    I watched this segment baffled at the complete lack of understanding of what the Conservative movement is and reaffirmed in my growing suspicion that there is very little clarity and common sense in academia. Conservatives support limited government, and the reason they put more trust in the Market than in the government is that the Market puts power in the hands of the individuals to make their lives better (or worse, if they so choose). The Founding Fathers recognized this and set up a Constitution to prevent the continual "suck" of more and more power that a bloated government cannot help but create. I have never in my life heard a Conservative say that they want those in the government to be BAD people, as was claimed in this piece, so that people won't trust it. Every Conservative I know wants a small, honest, lean government that protects the citizenry's rights. I'm sure anyone could comb through history and find obscure quotes that could support the author's assertion, especially if you lean your head to the side and squint really hard, but there is no way you will convince me that the bulk of writings from Conservatives support that claim. I also take issue with the assertion that all of the ills our Country has faced over the last decade can be attributed to Conservative control. Give me a break. There is plenty of blame to go around, and neither Party is solely responsible. It would be nice to see intelligent, well-spoken, reasonable representatives from each side of the political spectrum meet on one of these shows to have an honest debate about the true principles on which their philosophies are built. Why do we never see that? If a Conservative and a Liberal do ever share the stage, it's a heated exchange filled with accusations and unanswered questions. I would so love to see a true debate.

    The absolute stupidity of the "conservative" government mindset is that corporations should rule the world. Conservatives cite the collapse of the Soviet Union as evidence that government should not rule the world. They continue to maintain this falsehood in the face of the global financial collapse and the disappearance of the American auto industry -- incontrovertible evidence that when businessmen alone rule the world, the results are even worse.

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