March 16, 2009 On the Show Today


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Hour One - Yaron Brook Topic: Should the AIG senior employees...and perhaps former VP Dick Cheney...join the tent city homeless?
Hour Two -  What will it take to bring back the American Dream?
Hour Three   "Labor Minutes" Jonathan Tasini Topic: Democratic Senators Mess With EFCA, Face A Primary


River Wolfe (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

WIth all due respect folks, your website is very difficult to navigate.

here's hoping for more updates to it's usability,

kim (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

Thom -- You give these Ayn Randians too much air time, without giving their opposites any airtime.
Randians haven't won any elections. They're a small percentage of people.
Randians say they don't want controls on the market, but here's the key:
It isn't that Randians don't want controls on the economy, it's that they don't want government controls on the economy -- they have no objection to the controls inherent in monopolies and back-room deals. Isn't that control too? They don't seem to object to stopping unions. Isn't that control? Lobbyists perform control of a sort too. I haven't heard Randians condemning that kind of control.
What opposite? you say. How about some real long-term solutions, rather than just trying to get the government to rescue us. While I agree that one of the functions of government is to keep things fair and keep the playing field level, governments are short-sighted and not creative, they react rather than invent.
The long-term solution we pose is to stop artificially propping up old-fashioned cut-throat feudal Capitalism, and let it evolve to the next incarnation of capitalism: Co-operative or Progressive Capitalism. If businesses, big and small, were owned by the workers rather than stock-holders, many of the evils inherent in hierarchical Capitalism would go away naturally: If workers owned the business and shared the profit (or loss), they would be motivated to work to the very best of their ability, they would run the business democratically, thus learning democracy on a very real level, and the business would be run for long-term viability rather than short-term profit percentage.
One of the evils built into stock-based Capitalism that most people are unaware of is that, to keep the stock value up (and that's what businesses depend on to stay afloat), they don't just have to be profitable, or have increasing profit, they must have an increasing PERCENTAGE of profit. That means a business that is doing well, making a steady profit, selling a steadily increasing amount of their product, paying all of their bills with money left over, is, in stock market terms, failing.
In order to have an increasing PERCENTAGE of profit, the costs of manufacturing (or advertising, or whatever) must be a steadily decreasing percentage of the equation. This means the company must keep decreasing the cost of labor and/or materials. That means overstressed workers, poorer quality materials, or cheating someone somewhere. Stock-based Capitalism demands underpaid workers and poorly made goods in order to feed the ever-growing need for profit for the stock-holders, who do no work, but "let their money work for them". That's another way of saying the game is rigged to make the rich richer and the poor and middle poorer. It's a part of the system, it's the only way it CAN work when it's set up that way.
If the workers own the company, instead of the stockholders, the company only needs to make enough money to keep paying its workers and buy materials and do Research and Development, and do maintenance. The drive is to keep the business alive, long-term, by providing a superior product at a fair price and paying the workers a living wage. This builds a strong middle class which has money to buy things, which keeps the economy going. (And Yes, tariffs are needed to keep this fair.)
In Argentina, workers have been taking over abandoned factories (and other businesses) and running them. They face artificial difficulties in that there are conspiracies fighting against them succeeding, both in government and in businesses owned by Economic Royalists. But they are succeeding anyway. More slowly than we would like, but they are.
This is the next stage of the evolution of Capitalism. Businesses still compete against each other in an open marketplace. But the people who do the real work also get the reward for the work, and the responsibility of the sense of ownership. The quality of goods and materials would improve. We win all 'round.

hud (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

i agree that it is very hard to navigate this website. its got "stuff everywhere" except a simple menu to ord. from . am i just missing it or not alone on this one. p.s. thanks for all you do Thom, and your webmaster as well, its probably me who cant get into the 21 century

kim (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

I also agree that this website is hard to navigate. I don't think it's just you, Hud.

Kathy (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

I am having a problem with this website as well. I am very unhappy that I cannot hear you Thom, on the radio. I work during the week and so, I cannot access this website very often. In my area, Phoenix, AZ, we now have no liberal talk station. The one you were on , 1190AM, is now an all Spanish speaking program. What happened to all the other liberal talkers, Randi Rhodes, Dr. Mike, etc.? I can't get anyone anymore. We have no information as to where we can hear these people. Help!!!!! What happened to Novam radio?

Richard Mercer (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

Why the Milton Friedman brand of economics which conservatives embrace is absurd.
Here's what is so ironic about it.
Milton Friedman lived and penned his economic theory during the 50s and 60s, the very decades that prove he was wrong. He was concerned about the three recessions of the late 40s and 50s. In all cases, the economy rebounded and went on to be the best growth perhaps ever for America. The middle grew like never before. The very decades he was living through, were decades of growing govt., growing welfare programs and growing taxes as a percent of GDP. Freedoms grew as well, civil rights etc. The best prosperity we've ever had was when govt and taxes grew. Six out of ten elderly people were in poverty at the beginning of this era and by the 60s only one in six was in poverty. The largest growth in home ownership was also in this period.

The same is true for Europe, which grew economically while government programs grew and taxes as percent of GDP grew. And these are all strong democracies.

In both cases worker productivity grew while govt grew, and real wages grew.

How many times have you recently heard conservatives say that liberalism is a threat to freedom? It simply is not true, as proved repeatedly by history. The same is true for economic well being and growth under big governments.

It seems that European nations have done a better job of spending public money responsibly and productively. The countries in Europe with big welfare states have similar and in some cases better economic mobility than Americans. They have similar or better worker productivity and similar or better real wages(buying power). Germany pays workers 127% of American worker pay, even after higher taxes and much bigger entitlement programs.
In other words, they make more than us, while getting free health care, education etc, much longer vacation time, shorter work week, and even after paying higher taxes.

The only country that perhaps went a little too far in welfare is Sweden, where productivity is still 88% of America's. And real pay is 98% of in America. France, Holland, Norway all have higher productivity than America. Norway, Holland and Germany all have higher real wages.

I learned this from the new book "The Case For Big Government" by Jeff Madrick.

Another interesting new book is "What is America?: A Brief History of the New World Order" ever wonder how the modern conservative mindset came about? You'll find out here.

Want to really understand why global warming coudn't possibly be a natural cycle like skeptics often claim?

I highly recommend the book "The Carbon Age" by Eric Roston
Fascinating book. Here's one of the take home messages from the book.

It took 60 million years for coal to develop in the earth, by precipitating out of the short term carbon cycle, and being locked away in coal deposits and into the long term carbon cycle. Now we are releasing this 60 million year accumulation of carbon back into the atmosphere and thus, back into the short term carbon cycle, in 150-200 years, or a geological nanosecond. This is an unprecedented occurance, probably in the history of the planet.
I would like a skeptic to explain how this is part of a natural cycle, or is anything like any natural cycle that the earth has been through before. I mean ones that didn’t wipe out 90% of life on the planet.

Richard Mercer (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago


During the 50s and 60s elderly poverty rates went from 6 out of 10 to 1 out of 10.

kim (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

Richard -- As to natural cycles. I read an interesting article (in Astounding Science Fiction and Fact, in one of the Fact articles. I think it was June '07. Unfortunately, it's not on the Web.) about natural weather cycles. There are three big ones -- one is 144,000 years, one 22,000, and the other was somewhere in between. All three of them are currently heading us into ice ages. This means we are warming the Earth even more than we thought. (Maybe it also means we don't have to get rid of all the extra greenhouse gases, because we don't want to be in an ice age. Maybe we could just adjust it until the climate is where we want it to be?)

Stephen (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

Today in the 2nd hour, Thom makes the point that in 1980 - I may have that figure wrong - the top 1% of wealthy Americans owned 22% of this country. And today of course they now own more, and Thom gave a larger percentage above 22.

We can say the same thing another way, with greater impact. Suppose we tick of the amount owned by the wealthiest person today. Then add the next wealthiest, and so on, until collectively they own 22%. We don't need the top 1 percent to reach 22 % of America. Today it is shockingly less.

Karen Hansen (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

What a hassle it has been to stream the show from this site lately after having been successful for the first couple of days. , I have been having to go to KPOJ and it always takes a number of times to get that to work as well. I emailed webaster the other day as well as left note at liquidcompass- what a hassle.

Karen (not verified) 15 years 14 weeks ago

Woops- that sounded awfully grumpy didn't it- sorry- I was just being in the moment and that's the way that moment was!

nora (not verified) 15 years 13 weeks ago


We shouldn't be surprised that the BIG SCAMS of the Bush I and II presidencies are banking scams.

Iran-Contra had a major banking scam element to it, what with all its money laundering and secret bank accounts. (I consider the Reagan administration under some major control of V.P. George H.W. Bush (probably from the beginning with the October Surprise, but most undeniably after Reagan was incapacitated by Alzheimers and seemingly absolved from responsibility for Iran-Contra (not to say Reagan didn't okay stuff; he just didn't really 'get' what he was okaying!)) Then there was the Savings and Loan rip-off and the seeds of it (the unregulated insurance derivatives of today are a hang-over of the device created to fix the Savings and Loan damage) which reach to today's Economic Meltdown caused by AIG derivative scamming. The BCCI banking scandal is another.

The Bush family has its history in banking and investments and government interface with wartime armaments primarily until Prescott Bush (Dubya's grandfather), as Senator, opened the door to a Dynasty of government careers for his progeny.

Herbert Walker (the source of the Walker in George H.W. Bush and George Walker Bush), was the Anglophile wheeler-dealer/networker for the likes of the intercontinental railroad builders and then moved on and up to do behind the scenes dealmaking for the likes of J.P. Morgan & Company. Herbert Walker arranged interlocking deals like the one between the Guaranty Trust and J.P. Morgan, and between J.P. Morgan and W.A. Harriman & Co. (of which Walker was president) and the bank Morton & Co. These INTERLOCKING connections were Walker's speciality. By the 1920s Walker set up international offices like the headquarters in Berlin of W.A.Harriman & Co. which worked with Warburg Bank to invest in German industry and the Soviets. These connections were conveniently in place by the time his son-in-law Prescott Bush was a managing partner in a subsequent merger, Brown Brothers Harriman which became "ULTIMATELY THE LARGEST AND POLITICALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIVATE BANKING HOUSE IN AMERICA". This was the base (along with his directorship at Union Banking Corporation) from which Prescott Bush worked to finance the Nazi war machine. This was how Prescott Bush made the investment-banking fortune to build two Bush presidencies.

Now, with this in mind, should we be surprised that the scams of the Bush Dynasty Era are BANKING SCAMS?

(P.S. In another nasty bit of money-talks power, J.P. Morgan banksters forced/extorted the German government to cave to Hitler, so we need to keep THAT in mind, too.)

Sufilizard (not verified) 15 years 13 weeks ago

As a native Hoosier, I wonder how we can get rid of Evan Bayh, I'm so sick of him. I know we need a primary candidate next time his term is up, but finding the right person who can actually beat him will be very hard. What advice is there for finding a good, charismatic progressive candidate?

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