October 06 2008 show notes

  • The historical ups and downs of the Dow.

  • Guest: Carrie Lukas, Vice President for Policy and Economics, Independent Women's Forum.

  • How to deal with people admitting that lack of regulation is part of the problem, but saying that more regulation would be government intervention?

  • Guest: Stephen Larsen. "The Fundamentalist Mind: How Polarized Thinking Imperils Us All".

  • Guest: "Taking Our Country Back": Larry Zamba. Running for Wisconsin Assembly, District 66, against Republican incumbent Samantha Kerkman.

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Monday 06 October '08 show

  • Transcripts of the excerpts from the New York Times 1929-1932 that Thom quoted recently are available.
  • Clip:
    "In some quarters, with this rude awakening has come fear, bordering on panic. It is said that we are defenseless. It is whispered by some that only by abandoning our freedom, our ideals, our way of life, can we build our defenses adequately, can we match the strength of the aggressors. I did not share those illusions. I do not share these fears. Today we are now more realistic. But let us not be calamity howlers and discount our strength. Let us have done with both fears and illusions."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat. May 26th, 1940.
  • In 1896 the Dow published their first industrial average of twelve stocks, at 40.94. It fell in 1896 to 28.48 - a big crash, the lowest close in Dow Jones history. Then there was a bull market throughout the twenties and it went all the way up to 381.17 peaking on September 3rd 1929. On October 28 it had dropped 38 points which was 12%. In October 29th it dropped 30.57 points, another 11%. October 30 it rose 28 points, up 12%. And then on July 8 at it fell point 59 and the bottom line is that this was the lowest point; 1932, July 8 1932. The Dow, which had been at 381 just before the beginning of the Republican Great Depression, in July 1932 it bottomed out at 41 points; this was a decline of 89%.

    This, by the way, is the institution into which John McCain and George W. Bush want you to put your life savings and us to put Social Security. In fact, as you'll recall, George W. Bush ran for Congress in 1977 on the singular platform of privatizing Social Security and putting Social Security into the stock market.

    We had another big plunge in 1987. This was sometimes referred to as Black Monday. Thom was in Europe at the time. It dropped 507 points to 1700 points. So in 1987 the Dow was at 1738. That's not so long ago. In '89 it was up to 2500. In '91 it was up to 3000; it hit 3000 for the first time on April 17 '91. 4000 in '95. 5000 later in '95, November 21. This is all during the 'rising tide lifts all boats' Clinton presidency, oddly enough. It hit 6000 in '96, 7000 on February 13 1997, 8000 on July 16 '97. This is what's called a bull market and it was really roaring along in 1997. 1998, April 6 1998 it hit 9000 for the very first time. And in 1999, Bill Clinton was president, the Dow closed above 10000; March 29th 1999.

    And here we have today the Dow is below 10000. So a lot of people are pretty worried about this. Number one, the Dow is not the economy. Although the Dow does reflect what's going on the economy to some extent. The thing that is absolutely not being discussed in the media is the big differences between the crash of '29 or '87 and now, the current crash. Are we sliding into another Republican Great Depression or Recession? The great crash of '87. The Savings and Loan crisis during the last Bush administration. Now the George W Bush recession at the very least.

    But the big difference is that in the crash of '29 and the crash of '87, we still made things in the United States. In '87 Sam Walton was building his Wal-Mart brand at that time and their slogan was 'made in America'. We still made things in this country. We were still the world's largest creditor. While Reaganomics ran us into debt very, very rapidly over the 8 years of Ronald Reagan's presidency took us from less than a trillion dollars national debt to over three trillion dollars in national debt and started whacking at our manufacturing sector, it really took the full twenty years to do this, largely from '82 to 2008; 26 years. That's how long it's taken to deconstruct the world's largest economy. And now it's running on fumes. And we've got basically one thing holding this thing together and that is the financial services sector. And as Kevin Phillips writes in his book Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, this is illusion. It ain't working is the bottom line.

    So where do we go with it? Well, we'll have to see. Thom's very, very strong sense is that we are looking at another Republican Great Depression. And the solution? John McCain wants to pay for his so-called health care plan by taxing your health care benefits and by making $1.3 trillion in reductions to Medicare and Medicaid so that he can give a $5000 tax break to anybody who wants to buy $12 or $15,000 worth of otherwise taxable health insurance. This is reminiscent of the school voucher program where if people are rich enough to send their kids to a private school then they get a get a discount with the school voucher, but if they're not that rich then they're pretty much stuck with public schools as their only option; the school voucher's worthless because it is not enough to pay for private school.

    Lobbyists are circling Washington DC like sharks. George W. Bush (not Henry Paulson since he answers to Bush) has 700 billion dollars (pre pork) to pass out. They're going to put together a bunch of their old buddies and cronies and privatize it, and they will skim a little off the top. It's like private contractors in Iraq making food for the soldiers for profit. And when there is trouble, instead of the cooks being trained soldiers able to pick up a rifle and fight, the soldiers have to protect the contractors.
  • Bumper Music: The Breeze, Dr. Dog (video).
  • Sarah Palin is saying that Obama is not one of us. Thom's taxi driver, a former commercial pilot, said he could not get comfortable with Obama. Lee Attwater politics. Dukakis was defeated by his personal integrity being torn down. So were Al Gore and Kerry. Carter was defeated by whispers that he was not man enough to bring the hostages home. Sarah Palin is explicit, overt.
  • Article: Palin had kind words for Alaskan Independence Party.
    "I am Governor Sarah Palin and I am delighted to welcome you to the 2008 Alaskan Independence Party convention in the Golden Heart City, Fairbanks.

    Your party plays an important role in our state's politics. I've always said that competition is so good -- and that applies to political parties as well. I share your party's vision of upholding the constitution of our great state. My administration remains focused on reining in government growth so individual liberty and opportunity can expand. I know you agree with that.

    We have a great promise to be a self-sufficient state made up of the hardest-working, most grateful Americans in the nation.

    So as your convention gets under way, I hope that you all are inspired by remembering that all those years ago, it was in this same city that Alaska's constitution was born. And it was founded on hope and trust and liberty and opportunity. I carry that message of opportunity forward in my administration, as we continue to move our state ahead and create positive change. I say good luck on a successful and inspiring convention. Keep up the good work, and God bless you.
  • Clip:
    "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."
    Joe Vogler, late Alaskan Independence Party founding father.

  • Clip:
    "But there is an added technique for weakening a nation at its very roots, for disrupting the entire pattern of life of a people. It is important that we understand it.

    The method is simple. It is, first, a dissemination of discord. A group

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