"The market has become tilted..."

It seems like the most popular word in this election cycle is 'inequality,' but we need more than talk to narrow the great divide between the haves and have-nots in our nation.

According to a recent article by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the pro-corporate elite have rigged the system against us, and it's going to take the majority of us standing together to change the system.

As Secretary Reich explains, Americans pay more for food, internet, banking services, airline tickets, and prescription drugs than citizens of any other advanced nation. Despite that, we give corporations the power to create their own set of rules, which ensure that we can never challenge those exorbitant prices.

Patents and trademarks and other intellectual property rights have been manipulated to benefit the largest companies, while inventors, artists, and scientists rarely see much of the profit generated by their own work.

Our anti-trust laws once promoted fair competition, but they've been weakened to allow banks, airlines, telecoms, and food companies to become giant monopolies.

Even our bankruptcy laws have been distorted to make it easy for someone to bankrupt a company, but nearly impossible to discharge debt from student loans or underwater mortgages.

According to Robert Reich, “The more basic problem is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it.” And, he added, “The answer to this problem is not found in economics. It is found in politics.”

That's exactly why every single Democratic candidate for president – and even some of the Republicans – has pledged to fight income inequality as a cornerstone of their campaign. But, they will need our help to make it happen.

The system is rigged and it will take each of us fighting hard to change it. Democracy is not a spectator sport and now is the time for each of us to get active.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 25 weeks ago

I'm sure the "Fahrenthold" is pronounced /fair-ent-hold/, not /fair-en-thold/. There's a congressman with a similar name, Blake Farenthold (R-TX).

(While I'm at at, "leviathan" is /leh-vye-ǝ-thǝn/, not /leh-vye-ǝ-thann/, and the "Valeo" in Buckley v. Valeo has no h in it.)

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 25 weeks ago

Since a lot of these mass murderers seem to be loners, how about we make it so hard to get a gun, that it actually becomes easier to get a girlfriend than a gun. I realize that would mean very restrictive gun laws, but we're trying to save lives here.

bkwmsw's picture
bkwmsw 7 years 25 weeks ago

Today's guest Zaharia asks why Obama would push the TPP when it is so devastating for many Americans, especially cancer patients. I have asked the same question and the best answer I have seen so far is a Huffingpost article about Obama as Mastermind and how he is playing a geopolitical game to increase US influence in the Asian Pacific region in order to counteract China's influence. Still no justification for harming Americans.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 25 weeks ago

"Obama as Mastermind" are you kidding me? The problem is Obama is just another corporate stooge, mostly a Bankster stooge, and he is pushing the TPP like all the other corporate stooges, because it is part of the Bankster driven "New World Order" geopolitical, corporate dominated, globalist agenda.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 7 years 25 weeks ago

I've come to the realization that we have only one major political party: The Capitalist Party. Yes, the Capitalist Party has two wings, or two sects if you will. The rightwing Republicans and the middle of the road, Democrats. True, their are major differences between these two sects. But ultimately, they are just divisions of the same party; The Capitalist Party...and Capitalism is, in reality, nothing more than a big pyramid scheme.

cccccttttt 7 years 25 weeks ago

As a small measure of protection against the corporate oligharchy, would appreciate

hearing the pros and cons of an ordinary family forming a shell company.

Their wealth would be protected by the same scum bag practices that attorneys

for corporations have made an art form.

They would also get "felony protection" as do the banks that launder

drug money, and car companies that find it more cost effectvie to kill people

than make a safe gas tank.

Every advantage that these whore senators sell to MicroSoft, Exon, and GE

will now be enjoyed by we citizens.


w1ders's picture
w1ders 7 years 25 weeks ago

Wasn't the subject politics?

Cynthia_Lynch's picture
Cynthia_Lynch 7 years 25 weeks ago

Inequality... where to start? It was 21 years ago, when my husband and I decided to move off grid, because things were just getting too hard to manage in the city. We were fortunate to find a 10 acre spot about 25 miles from the closest power line, and 6 miles of dirt road one way, from the pavement. We lived in a 16' x 32' military surplus tent while working on a more sustainable structure. We were fortunate to find this, because we are both disabled, and living on Social Security, together making about $1400 a month now. We raised 3 children here, and homeschooled them here, with no help from family, because we have no family that was willing to help. (Another story) It seems everywhere we turned, we were just unable to qualify for any assistance with any kind of help. We made too much for health care, until I became disabled enough to qualify for long-term care.
It has been a slow road of getting a small amount of solar, a few batteries, and an inverter in order to have the power we have now, which is not even enough for full-time use of a refrigerator.
My husband is now my caregiver. When he first started out, he was making $10.50 an hour, for 19.5 hours a week. As my health got worse, and the care was privatized, my hours dropped to 16. a week, and his pay dropped to $9.50 an hour. I had a several year fight to get my hours back up to 19.5, the original amount, as my health is still not as good as it was when I first got on the long term care. Inequality? Yes, as people get sicker, they are given less. My husband is still not receiving the pay he had when he first took on my care. When the county had thiz program, they took good care of us, now, we have had several case managers, and because the state has cut funding to the health department, my husband can no longer get the annual TB test required to care for me at the discounted rate of $15, and has had to look to private clinics to get it, and now pays $30. This is because his health care will not authorize his getting this annually. The medicaid he is on, will not authorize this.The company he works for to caread for me also will not pay for this. Any training he may need, any fingerprints he has to get, or the biannual CPR classes, all are his responsibility to pay for. When the county had this it was all covered. No longer is this the case.
We could not survive living in the city under this kind of income, and now with the needs of our disabilities, we live very minimally, and if it wasn't for our now adult children, would not be able to even afford food. We have applied for food assistance, and every time, it gets lost or mislaid, or not responded to until the deadline dates., therefore we are denied this assistance. We have nowhere to turn and now have been doing our best to help Bernie Sanders campaign in every way we can.
We the People must work together to get the many unfair, and unequal things happening cleared from our country. There is so many areaz, it seems iverwhelming, but there are many people to do this work, so we must do it. I have made many friends in my efforts. I have shared Bernie Sanders ideas with many as well, and people are now turning to me to find out how they can get involved with helping get this movement going. I am just one person, with the message of hope through Bernie, and that we must all work together peacefully in order to get the greedy corporations out of our lives. We boycott all we can, and wish we could afford to do more.
All my adult children live with us on the property. We all share in the expenses. We couldn't make it if we didnt. We are also white people, and understand that white privalige iz the reason we are left alone by the local law enforcement. Oh, they have been out here checking on making sure the children here are not being neglected. That too is unfair. We should not be questioned for living with solar, and trying to live without the fossil fuels that are being crammed down our throats.
This is how we are working to make a difference, and started this before Bernie, and are hoping others can make a stand too. We have done very little in the grand scheme of things. There is so much more to be done, and we must stand and work together as humanity to get our lives back to a sustainable means.

cccccttttt 7 years 25 weeks ago

10/2/15Will the oil elite of today own the fusion machines of tommorow? (article from Phys.Org on new study:

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according to new research.

Researchers at Durham University and the Fusion Energy Center in Oxfordshire, have re-examined the economics of fusion, taking account of recent advances in superconductor technology for the first time.

Their analysis shows the financial feasibility of fusion energy in comparison to traditional fission nuclear power.

"Obviously we have had to make assumptions, but what we can say is that our predictions suggest that fusion won't be vastly more expensive than fission."

Such findings support the possibility that, within a generation or two, fusion reactors could offer an almost unlimited supply of energy without contributing to global warming or producing hazardous products on a significant scale.

Fusion reactors generate electricity by heating plasma to around 100 million degrees centigrade so that hydrogen atoms fuse together, releasing energy.

They create almost no radioactive waste. Fusion energy is also politically safer because a reactor would not produce weapons-grade products that proliferate nuclear arms. It is fueled by deuterium, or heavy water, which is extracted from seawater, and tritium, which is created within the reactor, so security of the supply is no problem.

A test fusion reactor, ITER, is about 10 years away from operation in France.

The study authors hope it would help persuade policy-makers and the private sector to invest more heavily in fusion energy.

"While there are still some technological challenges to overcome we have produced a strong argument, supported by the best available data, that fusion power stations could soon be economically viable. We hope this kick-starts investment to overcome the remaining challenges and speeds up the planning process for the possibility of a fusion-powered world."

The report focuses on recent advances in high temperature superconductors. These materials could be used to construct the powerful magnets that keep the hot plasma in position inside the containing vessel, known as a tokamak, at the heart of a fusion reactor.

This advancing technology means that the superconducting magnets could be built in sections rather than in one piece. Maintenance, which is expensive in a radioactive environment, would be much cheaper because individual sections of the magnet could be withdrawn for repair or replacement, rather than the whole device.

For a fusion plant, the only radioactive waste would be the tokamak, when decommissioned, which would have become mildly radioactive during its lifetime.


bev-lib's picture
bev-lib 7 years 25 weeks ago

It gets just a little harder to be positive these days. I use to be proud of the things we did in America. Then we had Nixion. Like so many republicans, he sold his soul for a power position, and then his insecurities set in and he became the CROOK that he was. Since then I have seen so many let the power we give them go the wrong direction. They seem so wraped up in their political careers they seem to lose sight of what the purpose of their service is that we elected them for. They forget that they are responsible for OUR well being. We have worked so hard to maintain equality in this country, only for so many that are elected to congress to fling their desires in our faces, and they expect us to only sit and watch the game.

No Thank you. I see potentian in Bernie and Hillary. I will find it hard to make a choice in this election but I will vote left, because that is our only hope. We need to get out of the slump and move forward. I'm tired of the silly games Congress plays because they don't want to work for our country and our elected president. I'm tired of the witch hunts they heap on their competion on the left. When they show they are worth it, we need to keep them, when they only produce nothing, we need to remove them and work hard to do it.

I am of the opinion that We have 3 Great Leaders coming from the state of NM, and I have backed them in their campaigns. Monatarily, and support them doing volenteer jobs. They keep me updated everyday in emails so I know what they are doing in congress. Every congress man should do that with those who support them. Don't buy a pig in a poke. Keep yourself informed.

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 7 years 25 weeks ago

cccccttttt; Great piece, I've longed supported Fusion as our only future source of power for the entire planet. No doubt that the preliminary research and development will be expensive but this is no time to go on the cheap, we've gone that route before and it ended up costing us far more than first touted by the so-called experts. China has, during it's various past scientific missions, already determined that there are vast quantities of a common substance on the Moon that would serve to fuel Fusion Reactors and they have actually acquired and refined that substance and tested it in one of their prototype Fusion Reactors. We had an opportunity to join in this development but we no longer do any real science in this country when there are so many wars to fund with taxpayer's money and fight to establish absolute corporate ownership of all the planet's resources !

Palsimon's picture
Palsimon 7 years 25 weeks ago

I was very appreciative of your ideas for laws regulating gun ownership the same as we regulate autos, with training, registration and insurance requirements. I hope you mention this to Bernie when he is on Brunch with Bernie. Bernie does need to pepper some of his campaign speeches with suggestions such as this.

I would also like you to talk more on your shows about the urgency of voters to vote in the primary elections and not just be November Democrats. Many new voters do not realize the importance of the primaries.

I don't want to be selfish by being another "gimme, gimme" constituent of Bernie Sanders, and certainly I don't advocate interrupting him on the podium during his campaign speeches. But I can't help myself by trying to get notice for some 600K senior citizens in foreclosure on their scam reverse mortgages, especially those who became underwater due to the banking crisis and lost their lifetime of savings in their homes. These were folks who did not just plunk down a small downpayment before their underwater situations. They were people who worked a lifetime to build equity and savings. Yet bank settlements were sent to Governors of the various states and none trickled down to individual victims such as these.

I would ask you to mention this to Bernie and to read details here where I am trying to raise funds for his campaign. Donate to Bernie's campaign on behalf of 600K seniors in Foreclosure on Rev.Mortgages. http://bit.ly/1JD7IDg

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