Recent comments

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    B Roll-- I think you didn't hear ALL of what Thom said -- because he did say that they used their entrepreneurial spirit in illegal businesses BECAUSE they couldn't get into legitimate businesses.

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    My solution to get AIG to change their mind about paying out any retention bonuses is to have President Obama threaten to change their name to PIG which he should be able to do if the government owns 80% of the company, right? Maybe the muckety mucks would think twice about having everyone refer to their company by that name.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Thom,

    If you think you heard a distant voice shout "OH THOM" a few minutes ago, that was me when you repeated your ridiculous "insight" that young black men sell drugs because they have some entrepreneurial instinct.

    That's not only ridiculous, it's uninformed and probably benignly racist. Would you say the same for poor women around the world, including in the black community who turn to prostitution? Do they go into prostitution to fulfill their entrepreneurial instinct.

    You should read "Gang Leader for a Day" by Sudhir Venkatesh or have him on your show as a guest.

    You probably think you're praising the "entrepreneurial spirit" of blacks with that comment. I think you're exposing your ignorance (at best).

    There's a huge underground economy that goes on in communities that are denied access to the mainstream economy. That underground includes the school janitor who does plumbing and other handyman work when he's off work. It's the guy who does auto repairs in his front yard. It includes women who do "hair" in their kitchens or childcare in their homes. These are normal work that are done without business licenses.

    But it also includes "illegal" business like prostitution and drug sales, which usually is the last resort for people who for any number of reasons can't get into the above ground economy. It also includes people who sell stolen property, like clothes, for less than they would cost to buy in the stores.

    There's a sliver of truth in your statement that people who sell drugs have an entrepreneurial spirit. The same could be said for some of the people who get involved in prostitution. But the majority of people who get involved in those activity is survival, plain and simple, and they'd do something else if they had the opportunity. (The reasons they don't have the opportunity is a complex topic, in and of itself, with many layers of complexity and feedback loops between these layer that make the problem even more complex.)

    I think your claim that entrepreneurship is the motivation behind drug dealing is a case of you projecting your beliefs on others you don't really know much about.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    As to changing the marginal tax rate: in order to raise the marginal tax rate to 90% for anyone whose income is above $3million (or whatever...), make any congressperson whose income is above that recuse themselves from the vote....

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    My solution to get AIG to change their mind about paying out any retention bonuses is to have President Obama threaten to change their name to PIG which he should be able to do if the government owns 80% of the company, right? Maybe the muckety mucks would think twice about having everyone refer to their company by that name.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Great topic. I could not get through on the phone, but feel this is important enough to add to the conversation:

    I'd like to enhance the statement regarding the use of drugs in decriminalized nations. The evidence shows you to be correct in that countries which treat soft drugs as a non-issue have experienced a much smaller increase in the use of hard drugs. What you don't mention is the reason for the lack of increase.

    This is a small but extremely important point because, in this country, marijuana is constantly referred to as a "gateway" drug.

    The reason pot is a gateway drug here, and not in Holland or other decriminalized countries is this: Where it is treated as a crime, those people who use pot are forced underground where they are exposed to a criminal element which in turn gives them direct access to those hard drug. Whereas, in decriminalized countries, the soft drug users are allowed to use out in the open, and are not forced underground with the criminal element. They are therefore not exposed to the hard drugs in the criminal underworld, and you don't see the jump from marijuana products to opiates and other hard drugs.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    To -

    Chris from Saint Paul Mn

    Google: fair tax pros and cons - and you'll find the arguments for and against the idea.

    Someone posted something about the Fair Tax on the show blog not too long ago. I looked it up and found that all or almost all of the supporters in the congress were Republicans.

    As for your question about nationalized socialistic countries, it's hard to tell what you mean. Do you mean countries that have completely socialist economies or do you mean countries that have hybridized (or mixed) economies that have parts of the economy that are government owned and run and parts of the economy that are privately owned and run?

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    As a 50 year old who has smoked weed for 35 years, I have never been unemployed and have only worked less than 40 hours in a week two times in my life, excluding paid vacation (in order to undergo surgery). I make a good living and have worked at the same company for 18 years now. Hopefully all those non-weed smoking people running this country can fix things before us potheads get laid off.
    I was infuriated by your caller that insinuated that pot heads are lazy unproductive leaches on society. We are not. Perhaps he has a lot of relatives that smoke pot and are lazy and is confusing heredity with the act of smoking weed itself.
    Lazy people can smoke pot (and many do), but smoking pot does not dictate that you are lazy.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    In re the drug issue: Please don't discount the business/economic aspects of legalizing drugs ... all of the jobs dependent on the criminalization of drugs ... police, prisons, private prisons, all companies who manufacture and supply all of the hardware and other things these institutions use daily, all of the government money awarded to various locales and companies to pursue drug criminalization and offenders. The police and prisons are nothing more than employment agencies, affording jobs to communities who have no other industry. We hear that AIG and other companies are too big to fail. I wonder the same about the agencies, institutions and companies involved with capture and confinement of drug offenders.

    I personally know whereof I speak. I served 18 years in a state prison for smuggling marijuana, and witnessed all of this daily.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Thom,

    Evo Morales is the president of Bolivia.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    One of my St. Patty favorites: May your coffin be made of the finest wood from a 100 year old tree that I'll go plant tomorrow! Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I have a thought about the use of "retention awards". For AIG (or any company) to rationalize spending millions of our tax dollars to retain the employees who are in large part responsible for creating this mess, by asserting that they're the most qualified people to solve problems they created, is absolutely ludicrous. By that rationale, the U.S. government should contract Al Qaeda to run our anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an absolute scam and I say the U.S. government should seize those bonuses and fire those employees, or even better charge them with fraud, seize their assets and let them stand trial before a jury of 12 Americans who will decide their fates!

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    hi chris from st. paul/ hope Franken gets seated soon,

    really enjoy listening to Thom Hartmann's cool collective approach to explaining the progressive/ liberal viewpoint.

    1. as for progressive tax, it is actually a way to evenly distribute tax burden on the populace, local taxes, state taxes, (usually in the form of purchases) and icluding FICA, OASI taxes take a larger percentage of the income of the lower paid people. the "fair" tax is placing heavier burden of tax on the lower paid working class.
    2. as for a successful socialized/nationized program .. no need to look further than our own country, our police/law enforcement is afforded to everyone (no matter how much tax you pay into it) and we have relatively safe environment in our county, complacent population ... its a highly successful socialized program
    3. (these same discussions are frequent here in red state texas) and i dont understand the defense of weathly people by the working class around here?

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I'm not sure if this is the best place to air my comment, but I'm not sure where else to do it...

    I think we should start a "GREED Campaign," where we post the names of each of the AIG executives who receive this "incentive" money, how much they made prior to getting any bonuses, how much incentive money they received, names of all family members, home towns, etc. We could do a daily posting that would feature one of the greedy execs, including photos of that person and their family, etc.

    It seems like they have no shame about taking these huge sums at a time when they certainly have done nothing to earn anything more than getting fired. How can they live with themselves? How can they be held accountable? Perhaps by putting their faces and names of family members all over the Internet, and maybe even in a paper or two, they might be moved to rethink their greed. But then, maybe I'm dreamin'.

    Carol
    Berkeley, CA

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Concerning the AIG fiasco: Congress is finally on the right track--a cute-sounding one time tax--"Gidget" (GIGT) , the Gains Ill Gotten Tax, 99% on not just the executive bonuses but on any money made off derivatives (commissions or profits); also there should be a 1% tax on all stock transactions--call it the Patriot Tax.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   12 years 26 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!

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   12 years 26 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.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I am an avid listener of Thom Hartmann, and was happy to have been one of the very select Americans who can listen to him everyday on the radio dial. (Of course it's AM, not the clear digital FM signal that Sean Vanity, etc. have.

    Anyhow. Maybe some of the listeners, bloggers and Thom can help me with a few talking points I am constantly in a debate over with soemone.

    1. Why wouldn't a fair tax work better than the Progressive tax system? I have a hard time explaining points against why it would fail.

    2. Are there some solid examples of nationalized "Socialistic" Countries and why they are successful?

    Thanks and I'll lsiten from 2-5pm when Thom's on in Minnesota. Fight for Franken!!!!

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    the use of the phrase "talented" is a bit specious. (meaning talent would have resulted in a set of reasoned, practical non greedy practices). If by talent you mean self aggrandizing people then great, i would recommend an official addition to the definition of talent so that future generations will benefit from our contemporary understanding of how we apply the term "talented". I'm more of a word smith, and perhaps if we were more forthcoming about our real and genuine abilities, if we didn't creat a situation where "the location of our dwelling, the sorts of clothes on our back defined character, we wouldn't have these anomolies in our economy. These hyper extension. While I'm soap boxing let me continue: Why is it a person can attend a public institution of learning where the faculty salaries are subsidized by the general public, the buildings are subsidized by the general public and the library materials are subsidized by the general public and then the graduating students find their "talents" are uniquely private to themselves, to be used for themselves and their material acquisition.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   12 years 26 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.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   12 years 26 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?)
    Scary.

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Shooting from the hip at the library. I am sorry for all the typos, but I do not have a computer at home anymore. In fact soom wachovia will see to it I don't have a home anymore. Soon to be homeless like everyone else.

    Godless

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Just finished reading nial ferguson's book "ascent of money"
    He is right wing enough with a dyed in one wool republican like carly fiorina
    to play Coombes of the left to Thom;s left wing version of hannity.

    It is as simple as the grains of wheat and the chessboards story.
    we can't let millionaires double their money indefinitiely of they become
    billionaires, then trillionaires. no family can get 10 percent co0mpounded
    forever for free.

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    My member of Congress is now a GOPer, and he is also the worst kind of GOPer, a freshman GOPer, who can't think for himself as yet........He is worthless to write to about anything.

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    AIG shouldn't get anymore benefit from this bailout

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