America Wakes Up to the Reality: Inequality Matters

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Protesters form a wall of signs at the Occupy Portland camp in downtown Portland, Ore. October 2011. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
AP/Don Ryan

If you’re part of the one percent, even getting fired comes with a cushion made of eiderdown. GMI, a research company that gets paid to keep an eye on such things, just issued a study headlined, “Twenty-One U.S. CEOs with Golden Parachutes of More than $100 Million.” That’s each.

The report’s authors, Paul Hodgson and Greg Ruel, write, “These 21 CEOs walked away with almost $4 billion in combined compensation. In total, $1.7 billion in equity profits was realized by these CEOs, primarily on the exercise of time-vesting stock options and restricted stock.”

This news came the same day as another report, this one from Indiana University, titled, “At Risk: America’s Poor during and after the Great Recession.”  Its researchers conclude, “The number of people living in poverty is increasing and is expected to increase further, despite the recovery. The proportion of people living in poverty has increased by 27% between the year before the onset of the Great Recession (2006) and 2010…  Poverty is expected to increase again in 2011 due to the slow pace of the economic recovery, the persistently high rate of unemployment, and the long duration of spells of unemployment.”

In fact, the white paper finds that we now have the largest number of long-term unemployed people in the United States since records were first kept in 1948 – four million report they’ve been unemployed for more than a year. Not necessarily counting the former CEO’s gently floating to earth from those golden parachutes.

So no, Mitt Romney, when we say that Americans are waking up to the reality that inequality matters, we’re not guilty of “envy” or “class warfare,” as you claimed to Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today. Nor are we talking about everybody earning the same amount of money – that’s the straw man apologists for inequality raise whenever anyone tries to get serious.

We’re talking what it takes to live a decent life. If you get sick without health coverage, inequality matters.  If you’re the only breadwinner and out of work, inequality matters.  If your local public library closes down and you can’t afford books on your own, inequality matters.  If budget cuts mean your child has to pay to play on the school basketball team, sing in the chorus or march in the band, inequality matters. If you lose your job as you’re about to retire, inequality matters.  If the financial system collapses and knocks the props from beneath your pension, inequality matters.

Neither one of us grew up wealthy, but we went to good public schools, played sandlot ball at a good public park, lived near a good public library, and  drove down  good public highways – all made possible by people we never met and would never know. There was an unwritten bargain among generations: we didn’t all get the same deal, but we did get civilization.

Now the bargain’s being shredded. The people we met from Occupy Wall Street get it—you could tell from their slogans. One of the younger protesters wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words: “The system’s not broken. It’s fixed.”  That’s right – rigged.  And that’s why so many are so angry. Not at wealth itself. But at the powerful players who win by fixing the game instead of by honest competition; at the crony capitalists who resort to tricks, loopholes, and cold cash to make sure insiders prosper – and then pull up the ladder behind them.

Americans are waking up to how they’re being made to pay with for Wall Street’s malfeasance and Washington’s complicity – paying with stagnant wages and lost jobs, with slashing cuts to their benefits and social services. To how our financial system profits by moving money around in exotic ways instead of supporting real economic growth.  Waking up to the ludicrous Supreme Court decision defining  corporation as a person, although it doesn’t eat, breath, make love or sing – or take care of children and aging parents.  Waking up to how unlimited and often anonymous campaign contributions corrupt our elections; to the fact that if money is speech, no money means no speech. As one demonstrator’s sign read: “I couldn’t afford a politician, so I bought this sign.”

So while police have cleared many Occupy encampments, a collective cry, loud and clear, has gone up from countless voices across the country: Enough’s enough.

We won’t know for a while if what we’re hearing is a momentary cry of pain, or whether it’s a movement – like the abolitionists and suffragettes, the populists and workers of another era, or the civil rights movement – that gathers forces until the powers-that-be can no longer sustain the inequality, injustice, and yes, immorality of winner-take-all politics and a winner-take-all economy.

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  • Lois lent

    OK.  Now we know what is going on.  HOW DO WE FIX IT?  obama’s votes come from people who LIKE to get government money FREE.  They don’t want it cleaned up.  HOW CAN WE FIX IT?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001428533116 Patrick Manning

    I wish I was capable of fixing this problem. I am old and have seen America decay internally for at least 40 years. I support  any person that will turn our country around. If the problem does not effect you make it your problem.

  • Anonymous

    This fix works for those sensible enough to use it:

    It has been over a year, and although many have tried, nobody has met the momentous challenge put forth by Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D.   Cohen claims that nobody having met his challenge verifies the value of Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature (ECHN), a sensory science that he has researched and taught since 1969.   Cohen is an Akamai University Ecopsychologist who practices on San Juan Island, Washington.

    ECHN is a hands-on, relationship building tool that helps anybody increase their IQ (6) and personal, social and environmental well-being. The art of its methods and materials enables the industrial world to heal the wounds that underlie many disorders.

    Cohen’s challenge is for any person to identify any “thing,” be it a noun or a verb, that does not consist of natural attraction energy (1). He says, “Nobody has successfully met this challenge, with one exception,  because natural attraction is the essence of everything.”

    Natural attraction (NA) is the basic of nature that unifies all things in mutually supportive ways so that nature produces no garbage and has self-correcting powers that are found everywhere. We overlook that these powers manifest themselves in us as natural sensory attractions such as thirst for water, or our love of place, community or peace. We undeniably experience the benefit of NA powers when we quietly visit an attractive natural area. Our psyche becomes calm, we feel more alive and intact.

    ECHN recognizes that NA is the fundamental energy in sub-atomics, ourselves and galaxies. It interconnects as well as holds all things together and registers in our consciousness as at least 53 natural senses (2).  Each sense attracts our body, mind and spirit to interlace with authentic nature’s balance and perfection. Doing so produces happiness along with awareness of how to build sensible relationships and increase wellness (3).

    “We are part of nature,” says Cohen.  “However, to our loss, the excessive, nature-disconnected and conquering ways of Industrial Society weaken, hurt or frighten most of our 53 NA sensitivities into our subconscious.  It is the absence of their benefits to us, or the fear of their pain, that excessively stresses us. It prevents us from thinking, feeling and relating like the balanced and restorative ways of NA work, in and around us.”

    Cohen says that the wide range of conflicting wants and needs expressed by the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) identifies the central problem that we and OWS protestors have yet to address. “Due to the reduction of NA whole-life energy and spirit in our thoughts and feelings, we suffer the nonsense of supporting and living in the unfairness of an insane society.”

    “What we seek in common is happiness, the cooperative sanity and peaceful wellness that NA helps us achieve when it is present in our lives,” says Cohen. (4). “Most bankers, politicians, brokers and their families seek this as well but via money, not via conscious sensory contact with NA.”

    “Significantly, our leaders and the OWS participants have yet to recognize that the loss of NA in our psyche produces our insanity, nor do they know how to correct this loss,” offers Cohen.  “More significant still is that ECHN is a purifying remedy for our madness that has long been available (5).  All this implies that the fundamental problem we suffer is denial.  We deny that our unbalanced ways result from the loss of NA in our senses, thoughts and feelings. In addition, we deny that ECHN enables us to replace this loss.”

    Cohen shows that individuals trained in ECHN will enable the world to build peaceful, green, relationships and economies (7).

    For further information contact:  Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D.  http://www.SaneEarth.com, , 360-378-6313

    REFERENCES:
    1. http://www.ecopsych.com/journalchallenge.html
    2. http://www.ecopsych.com/insight53senses.html
    3. http://www.ecopsych.com/2004ecoheal.html
    4. http://www.ecopsych.com/testimonals.html
    5. http://www.ecopsych.com/survey.html
    6. http://www.ecopsych.com/journaliqrelease.html
    7. http://www.ecopsych.com/insight2005.html

    # # #

    Biography of Michael J Cohen:

    Recipient of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award, Applied Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D., is a Program Director of the Institute of Global Education where he coordinates its Integrated Ecology Department and Project NatureConnect.  He also serves on the faculty of Portland State University and the Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology whose program he initiated and has directed since 1990.  In 1965, Dr. Cohen discovered that Planet Earth acted like a living organism and from this he founded sensory, Gaia based, degree granting Environmental and Expedition Education outdoor programs independently and for the National Audubon Society and Lesley University.  He conceived the 1985 National Audubon International Symposium “Is the Earth a Living Organism,” at the University of Massachusetts and established the sensory science of Natural Attraction Ecology in 2008.  He is the Editor of the “Journal of Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology” and an award winning author of ten books dealing with Applied Ecopsychology including “Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature,” “The Web Of Life Imperative” and “Reconnecting With Nature.”  Dr. Cohen is also an accomplished folk song artist and contra dancer who presents traditional music programs accompanied by guitar, banjo and accordion for the U.S. National Park Service and Skagit Valley College
    Elderhostel on San Juan Island, Washington.

    A video about his lifework may be viewed at
    http://www.imdb.comtitle/tt1357054

    CONTACT: http://www.ecopsych.com  
    Telephone 360-378-6313, Pacific Time Zone

  • NikkiWDC

    Are any of these problems NOT related to the issue of money in politics? How can we have equality when the system put in place to protect it–our government–is flooded with special interest money demanding increased inequality?

    How do we fix it? We get the money out of our campaigns and elections. We hold elected officials accountable to the people who elect them, not the corporations who select them. It might take a constitutional amendment (www.Amend2012.org) but that’s a tried-and-true way for Americans to say “Enough’s enough!”

  • Anonymous

    There comes a time when you just have
    too say “It”, I have been watching the news like everyone else
    and I am getting closer and closer to saying “It”. I have not
    fully given in just yet to saying “It”, hope springs eternal and
    all that…..

    I never liked reading history, its all
    boring, long winded and I suppose I am not what most would deem
    College Elite, I went to public school before dyslexia was an
    excepted learning disability. I went when the term used for me was
    “Retarded”, well I really couldn’t grasp that “one nothing”
    plus another “one nothing’ could equal anything other then
    “Nothing” I learned on to apply numbers to real things. The
    transposing of numbers and letters still happens to me when I type or
    write and I am well aware that I still have trouble with that and
    the grammatical parts, like put period here, comma there, semicolon
    and so on sometimes makes me read like I am some sort of internet
    troll or some one that should be posting “So U liekz Mudkipz?” I
    know my strengths and I know my weaknesses, that’s why I usually
    prefer to talk then write.
    That is a short little bio
    about me, now for the crazy talk…

    I can not speak for the
    world, I only speak for myself and my views on this Nation, that
    being said, does anyone actually believe our political system
    actually works anymore? We have the Democrats blaming Republicans (Of
    all flavors “Christian Shari Law’,“Tea Party”, “Libertarians”
    and “God Underwear Wearing Mormons that are waiting for Jesus to
    come get them in HIS Heavenly Space Ship Nibiru”), Republicans are
    blaming Democrats (Of all flavors, “Socialist”, “Marxist”,
    “Liberals”) Congress blames the President, the President blames
    Congress which with the current activities and legislating done by
    the 112th Congress over 60 million dollars of tax payers
    money wasted for the wonderful work done by Congress, Let me say that
    again 60 million in pay checks for the 112th Congress and
    all their hard work.
    Needless to say my view of
    current politics leaves a bad taste in my mouth, does it do the same
    for you? I call myself a Democrat, I imagine a lot of Republicans are
    rolling their eyes right now, muttering Liberal, Socialist, or other
    terms of like themes and I will be the first too admit Democrats have
    had their fair share or screw ups, Stimulus Package, Insider Trading
    and aiding the polarization of this Nation into For and Against, but
    be fair Republicans have their fair share of dirty laundry too.
    What has my ire and angry
    about the Republicans is the way they are trying to rewrite their
    Party’s History, the constant misquoting of the Founding Fathers to
    suit their agenda and the party supporters themselves which with a
    few Key Words they can whip themselves into such a lovely mob.
    Mention Social Security and watch the “Chicken Little” action,
    “The sky is falling”, in Republican speak this means complete
    overhaul and opening the funds to the Congress Appropriations
    Committee. This is an Outright Lie, yeah I can hear people muttering
    Liberal or Socialist at me, but just hang on this is all verifiable,
    just read the Trustees Report and the Congressional Budget Office’s
    Analysis and you can learn how much you are being lied too. Understand, both the
    Democrats and the Republicans are after this so whats the difference?
    Republicans are far more vocal and willing to lie to the public to
    get them in a state, the short version is this it isn’t broke and is
    no where near becoming broke, see what most of us normal people do
    not realize is this, Social Security has $2.6 Trillion Dollars in its
    Trust fund, in the past 30 years the only thing that Trust Fund has
    done is grow, in 2010 that Trust Fund earned $119 billion on
    interest, the Department of Social Security’s income in 2010 was $788
    billion, what they paid out too the people collection Social Security
    $706 billion. A gain of $82 billion, add in the interest from the
    Trust Fund you get a gain of $201 billion, anyone starting to see the
    real reasons why all parties are hot to trot over Social Security? I
    mean amount that is over the current military budget projection. The
    favorite catch phrase used it Social Security adds to the National
    Deficit and on paper it sure looks like it does, what they choose not
    to mention is this, “It’s the Interest Earned on that 2.6 Trillion
    that increases the Debt because that $2.6 trillion is comprised
    mostly of US Treasury Bonds” still with me? The first time I read
    that my eyes glazed over, okay I will admit it this confused the hell
    out of me, I was like what the hell does it mean? The short version
    is this, our Government does not want to pay the interest on the 2.6
    Trillion dollars in Social Security Trust Fund that Americans have
    been paying into for the past 77 years, I mean why would they? It’s
    only a trust for USA Citizens, its not like China, Russia or the UK
    holds the bonds. It is the US Treasury that does and if you really
    understand what the US Treasury is you know it is not the FED its not
    connected too the FED, what the US Treasury is, it’s us, the tax
    payers, the ones that buy at stores and pay sales tax, the ones that
    really make and pay for US Government, which seem to always spend
    more then its has in its piggy bank. The other thing they do not like
    about it is this program runs on Auto Pilot and the only time they
    can touch it is to adjust the COLA amounts and just like the pay
    checks Congressional Members get, COLA only allows for Increases.
    However, we have tons of
    groups saying its going bankrupt, how its UN-Constitutional and if
    you get hammered with that daily you might actually start too believe
    it. The Simple fact is, “although Social Security needs a few
    little changes here and there it is far more fiscally secure and
    follows a fiscal plan that works far better then what Congress comes
    up with on a yearly basis.
    Republicans follow so many
    very odd set of myths that people are becoming more and more aware
    of.
    Like the one about lowering
    taxes on Corporations in the hopes they will provide Jobs. Don’t you
    find it odd Corporations are reporting record profits while so many
    people are jobless? I will talk about banks in a bit, but a tax break
    for the wealthy is never a good answer.
    They believe that banks
    should be deregulated completely, pay no attention to TARP,
    Regulation is killing American Industries. These sentiments are what
    shows me Republicans have a short memory.
    We had a surplus budget in
    1999, the National Deficit was around 6 Trillion, Bill Clinton was in
    Office, the Impeachment Inquiry was over, however, most of us were so
    caught up in the “So What” and others were “He should step
    down”. That we did not really pay attention to how we were being
    sold out by Congress. It was in October that the Republican majority
    Congress got Clinton to sign
    “Financial
    Services Modernization Act of 1999” what this Bill did was
    deregulated the Banking Industry, which in turn allowed banks,
    brokerages and insurance companies to enter each others’ industries,
    and allowed investment banking and commercial banking to merge. This
    began the Financial Service Oligopoly, or in simpler terms it created
    a market where only a few had control of everything from
    Stock-trading, Mortgages, Insurance and Loans.

    Why
    did this happen? I thought the USA was all about Free Market and
    Anti-Monopolies? How did a Bill like this even get too the floor
    without public outcry? People refuse too look at history and the
    Lobbyist spent well over 300 million to Congress but here is where
    they got sneaky about it so it didn’t look like the bribery it was,
    “They Paid, err Contributed to everyone’s Campaign Fund” the
    vote wasn’t even what you would call “iffy” 450 said yes and only
    64 said no, the ones that said “Yes” received $180,000 the ones
    that said, “No” received $90,000 when this was passed, however
    the lobbyist worked for 2 years to get this passed and the amounts
    paid are a bit repugnant

    Want
    too hear a real kick in the pants? Pretty much everyone that voted
    for this is still in Office, and it was this Bill that caused the
    “Too Big To Fail” Why even that wonderful Speak of the House John
    Boehner received a total of close too 3 million between the years of
    1997 and 2008 from the Financial Sector, oh and if your wondering,
    only 5 Republicans voted against this and he wasn’t one of them.

    Anyone
    wondering why I am mad and will never trust this Congress anymore?

    We
    have to stop this before they destroy this Nation for the good of
    it’s Corporations and Their Own pockets, because if you been watching
    the (Grossly misnamed) Fair and Balanced News Sources, Oil Companies
    are next on the list, a pipeline over the Midwest’s Major Aquifer
    through a region that has earthquakes, all so the oil barons can
    export it world wide to line their pockets. Republicans do not see
    the problem with this because this Pipeline will create jobs, they
    also do not have a problem with active ingredient of Agent Orange
    being sprayed over farm land in the Midwest, I am not a conspiracy
    theorist, I am just an average American, with average intelligence,
    but looking at all these facts and its too easy for some one too look
    up and verify, what are we left to think? 

  • http://twitter.com/HUMANITARI HUMANITARI®

    Brilliant! article
    humanitari.wordpress.com

  • Photobypettine

    Three cheers for Mr. Moyers.  Sadly, I think, that like other movement (like women’s suffrage,  child labor laws, etc.) thse inequalities will more than likely take one hunred years to be addresed and corrected.  Wake up America.    

  • http://twitter.com/HUMANITARI HUMANITARI®

    Not true, when women wanted to vote it took months to change legislation…you are way to negative, the people have the absolute power, wake up man

  • Pjraney

    Umm, actually it took over 75 years to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote.  Most of the first wave feminists who began working on the issue in the 1800s were long dead by the time it passed.  Real change takes real time and effort by real people who can hang in for the long haul instead of expecting instantaneous rewards for their efforts.  So, yes, people do have the power….. but those who hoard power to themselves do not concede it without a struggle, and that struggle is often hard-fought over a long time.

  • Akriz

    Welcome back to the national discussion, Bill Moyers.  American Democracy has so missed your discerning voice and egalitarian principles.  Thank you for delaying the gratification of retirement in favor of once again serving your country, which so desperately needs your wise counsel.

    PeaceLady

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr. Moyers.  I’m SO glad that retirement bored you.  During Bush II you were the Lone Voice of reason.  While the public has finally begun to wake up to political realities, there are still far too few liberal voices decrying the vices of farright conservatism and the media (meaning newspapers and TV) are still too timid to do their jobs.  I also thank MSNBC for reporting on the damage that Republican governors are doing to their states.  But state govts. need more coverage than that, Mr. Moyers.  The state of the state of Michigan needs much more coverage than it’s getting.  So does the fact that Republican governed states are doing so much to limit the right of their citizens to vote.  I hope you will give these stories the coverage they deserve.  Again thank God that you’re too intelligent to stay out of media work for very long.

  • Anonymous

    Your suffrage history is mostly correct, but as you can see it takes very little time for an Elite with money power to change laws for the worse. When Shrub Bush was asked in 2002 if he could “turn the economy around” ,the folklore goes, “Don’t see why not- I already done it once.” Maybe we should ask Obama when he’ll turn around his negations of our rights, but he seems to be pleasing his sponsors by turning the people down right now. This whole fascist empire is overdue for upset, but that is not the fault of the cowed citizenry. After all, most women can vote all they want for Oligarch-vetted game show hosts.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t be ashamed to tell everyone you know, “THE ECONOMY AIN’T BROKE: IT’S FIXED.”
    END WELFARE-from the top down/ DEREGULATE-from the bottom up; and that means forgetting SOPA/PIPA.     Under the current regime only corporate interests control intellectual property, not creative citizens.

  • Anonymous

    Ever heard of ALEC and their model fascist legislation?

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure all this praise upsets Bill Moyers when you could be using the same enthusiasm to demand reform, so I’m using PeaceLady’s post as an opportunity to remind everyone you are a citizen with the same responsibilities as the courageous Bill Moyers who will turn 78 this June.  Some of us should take our parents out to Occupy. I went in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank.

  • Anonymous

    You’re not alone. It took courage to vent in public. I wonder what they edited out.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, if we had Campaign Finance Reform significant political injustice would remain because this is a miseducated society.

  • leftofcenter

    One reason millions aren’t joining the Occupy movement and others for “change” is because to many people, protesting is somehow beneath them. What do I base this on? Several things.

    How many times have you heard who’s got time to protest? Only seniors, students or the unemployed protest. I’m too busy. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and live abroad. Everywhere I’ve been, when people need to act they act. Why is this? Is it because they value democracy more than we do? Is it because more of them are willing to put their lives on the line for their beliefs? How many people here are willing to do that?

    Unfortunately, many people are more interested in cutting each other down instead of working together. If you doubt that, just check out any political comment section under a You Tube clip.

  • Annie

    I have been involved, as a citizen, my entire adult life – beginning with being a “stringer” reporter for the local paper after graduating from college in the early 1980s.  I attended the local town hall and education board meetings and called in the news of what was discussed and whether anything got passed into a resolution for action to the night editor at the paper in time to make the cut-off for printing the morning edition.  

    Even before 911, it was clear that social gatherings, churches, and definitely local town meetings were being infiltrated by operatives who took down the names of involved citizens and, dare I say it, natural born leaders. (C’mon, look at who gets assassinated by lone wolves). 

    Soon, your employer found reasons not be satisfied with your work without real reason other than “attitude” and then the psychological warfare of *political correctness* continued culminating in being *let go*.   Yes, definitely an *engineering* was underway which got bolder and bolder, as we all can see now upon reflection.

    A most uncivil war – brother against brother, sister against sister, neighbor against neighbor – raised on competition, it all seemed normal at first, didn’t it?  And those quotes from the *holy books*, man, what a riot of foul morality play we could easily arm ourselves with, eh?

    There’s still enough people playing the game, and there are no *stringer* reporters anymore bringing everyone trust worthy facts of public life decided by the people’s representatives at Town Hall.  Nope, all we have now are 24/7 paid tweeters making the kind of high tech communication white noise that makes you doubt whether what you see all around you is just your a wrong *attitude*, your wrong perception not taking in the correct reality.

    So what I’d like to see is Occupy Town Hall.  Participate.  Press for the answers about why there is no currency available in your town for any *public good* even though all you earn until April of every year is garnished as taxes.  Meet the tweeters face to face, the operatives taking down your name and make sure you take down theirs.  

    They’re coming for you next because you took down the good person playing by the rules FOR them.  Think about it, why would they keep you around when you were willing to ruin a person for the right price….?  Not like they trust you…

    See ya at Town Hall.

     

  • Anonymous

    It’s not that the media are too timid to do their jobs, they are too “bought” to do their jobs:  media is owned by big conscienceless corporations.  If corporations are people, they are legally insane people, as they don’t know the difference between right and wrong. 

  • Anonymous

    and New Zealand had women’s suffrage about 70 years before we did.  We were far from first. 

  • courage2change

    Our collective leadership is like the Captain of the downed ship!
    Lux Liner running aground and who escapes?????

  • Anonymous

    I had a “Petition2Congress site link”  that’s the only thing that has been removed

  • Anonymous

    The Problem doesn’t start nor does it end with Obama’s Office, the problem starts in Senate and the House, it ends there too, blaming one man in the Oval Office when its closer too 510 in Congress is a bit off, understand I am not trying too insult you, nor am I trying to make you support anyone you do not want too I am just trying to  point you in the direction of congress and make you look closely their actions. Remember it is Congress that writes the laws and regulations, unless we make them clean up their act, expect more of the same….

  • La-larson

    I heard this at 2:00am this morning. I was laying awake with that nagging worry I know many Americans have. They are hanging on to the short end of the stick and wondering what happens next. I too was unemployed for 90 days after 40 years of continuous employment. I worked very hard to get this job. It keeps me away from my family all week but that’s OK. I’m not complaining. So, Thanks Bill for your voice of reason and putting into words what my father in law and I couldn’t quite put our fingers on.

    I still hope the middle of this country wakes up. I hope they don’t get fooled by someone blaming the current administration for the catastrophy we are experiencing that was eight years in the making. I won’t be scared into casting my vote, or bullied into losing hope.

    We have lost track of what we work so hard for, what our founding fathers had in mind and what the WWII generation helped protect. Anyone who trys to tell you Americans shouldn’t have health care, time to spend with their families and a decent job with a steady wage helped by a solid, caring government is being very short sighted.

    We can balance a budget, spend our revenue wisely and bring our troops home if we have the will and leadership to make it happen. The politics of power and ideology have little to do with the common working person in America. We try to tear down the President as soon as he/she enters office. Make no mistake about congress and the presidential hopefuls. This is about power and money, not the common man. For the first time in my adult life, I am completely sick and dissolusioned by congress and the Senate. They are out of touch, focused on themselves and running scared. They can’t work together, identify  common problems or offer solutions that work. Enough said.

    Thanks again Bill. Hearing you finally allowed me to get a little sleep.

  • Silverfox16_U2

    Thank you, Roughtongue, for exposing the lies about Social Security solvency. With the figures in print it is easy to see why they want to suck every dime out of Social Security…Wall Street pillaged 401ks, pension funds and mortgages and there’s  $2.6 tillion more that they would like to grab. Republicans are the perpetrators of the Big Lie and everything they say is a big lie. Democrats are more subtle but they lie to and follow along like a tail on a dog(aptly represented by the jack___). As for our rights; it has taken them roughly 30 years to get us to this point(although they have been trying since the McCarthy hearings or the Kennedy assasination). Unfortunately if we have to wait 70 years like the Suffragettes, all our rights will be gone,our water-air-and land hopelessly pollutedand American Facism will be the law of the land. It is amazing what the greed and propaganda of small group of people can accomplish. We can’t afford to wait…game plan, anyone?

  • Anonymous

    “we’re not guilty of “envy” or “class warfare,” as you claim” — Then what is it???

  • Betty Popp

    So very happy you are back! God bless you and God help us all.

  • chicster

    It is not “envy”, it is recognition that for the past three decades, there has been a relentless push back by powerful and wealthy interests to bar the gates to opportunity in this country.  When the so-called “socialist” European countries start to pass the US in income mobility, something we’ve always prided ourselves on having, then something is terribly wrong with the system.  When the largest “sector” of our economy is now in financials (derivatives, speculation, etc)..a sector that does not produce products nor create viable jobs, America is in trouble.  Producing “goods” requires “labor” which offers opportunities for innovation and advancement up the economic ladder.   We’ve changed to an economy where the top dominates the entire system through “paper”, and throws the ladder off the walls to keep everyone else from moving  upward.  

  • Boston

    Welcome back Mr. Moyers. Just wanted to say thanks.

  • TheeRefinisher

    Libertarians and Liberals sound and look the same, finally. Occupy Wall Street is being understood,  truth has risen to the top, and change will come.

  • Anonymous

    The free market system has shown over and over again that it can’t work within the confines of laissez-faire capitalism. Yet, even after 2008, the self-acknowledged advocates of the rich are fighting, with all guns blazing, for even less regulation. They’ve even symied the staffing of an agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was established under the 2010 Wall Street reform law, passed to mitigate an future occurrence of a 2008 finacial mess.

    This war the Republicans are waging on behalf of the rich is at odds with our Constitution, more specifically, with the very premise of our constitution, its Preamble, which states:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Where the “Traquility”, “Welfare”, “Blessings of Liberty”, and “Posterity” is in question for a vast majority of the citizens under the protection of the Constitution, to advocate for so small minority on a non-constitutional basis simply defined as wealth, at the expense of this vast majority is more than morally wrong, it’s unconstitutional.

  • David Eddy

    What do you do when the Ship of State is punched full of holes and run aground by greed, incompetence and corruption?
    The money to fix the ship is being stored in foreign banks.  The people that know how to fix the ship are being ignored and the people do not have the courage to face the reality of the situation.  Instead of doing what is necessary, we have politicians who are supposed to be salvaging the ship fighting over who is going to get voted into office.
    There is no other ship to take the place of the Ship of State We either fix the ship and get it back into service or we become the victims of our own foolishness, the terrorist win and the patriots die in vain.  Patriots need do what is right for our nation not what puts more cash in their personal accounts.  We depend on our government to do what is right for our nation.  ”United We Stand” still applies.
    David Eddy Social Systems Specialist taichi-wuchi@msn.com

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    WE need an amendment overturning wage slavery and debt peonage.
    I’m a neo-abolitionist

  • Anonymous

    Well, checking your links shows you’re fearful of Occupy, and guilty of mobilizing hatred of people exercizing their rights.

  • Anonymous

    Romney accumulated a $100 million dollar trust fund for his sons tax free.
    He enjoys offshore accounts in the Cayman islands as a tax dodge.
    His tax rate is under 15% on a “reported” 43 million a year.
    Gingrich is essentially funded by the Edelmans who own casinos around the world and promote illegal settlements in Israel. Gingrich promises to reduce the capital gains rate to zero. (Here and Now, from Boston) Where do these a-holes get their chutzpah?
    If we only knew what Oligarch largesse awaits financial glorifier Obama upon exiting office we would understand there is no viable Prez candidate on the media stage.
    We are easily in a worse fix than the Egyptians, worse than the Russians, maybe worse than the Syrians if the trickle-up continues accelerating. The State of the Union could announce the reintroduction chattel slavery at 9 pm tonight and most people would still focus on whether their car has enough gas to get to work tomorrow, or if SMASH is Speilburg’s best work. We could be an Idiocracy (Mike Judge), I don’t know.

  • Anonymous

    rights? like what? (sure when you cant answer a simple question, just attack the guy)

  • Anonymous

    sure would like to hear from one of the authors, its a simple question.

  • http://www.billmoyers.com/ AnneLBS

    Please keep the comments civil on this board. We’re interested in good conversation and informed debate, not personal attacks on others. Let’s respect each other while making our points, please.

    Thank you! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.thioulon Robert L. Thioulon

    I think as time goes on the fermentation of  political thought and the settling of the impurities in policy and regulation, or the lack there of on both sides of the isle, is making things more clear. Keeping the metaphor going a bit further, the so called extremist on all sides of politics, for example ,the tea party and occupy wall street movement are upset about the same basic thing. They both want balance or fairness. 

    The problem is how do we get there from here? What is the great compromise that will move americans forward? Hopefully like any good beverage we will all know it when we see it. If  we can only avoid all the bad yeast that turns the wine to vinegar.

    Bobbyt12

  • http://www.womenofcertainage.blogspot.com CaliforniaGirl500

    You are a voice in the wilderness Mr. Moyers.  I’m glad you’re still talking.

  • Wakjob

    Elites are afraid of the American people, especially the white middle class. After all, white Americans invented the internet which has sent all the elites to the dinosaur dustbin of history. Their response is to try to starve us to death. American workers in the 90s made the economy boom on their own. Gov’t, the Fed, and Wall St. Became largely irrelevant. What we see today is a death gasp of an outdated monstrosity on its last legs. And they are scared.

  • Jordan Jacobson

    I see many people, who are writing about the status of
    America, the status of our government and systems which are corrupt and
    obscure. We the people can see the problem’s just as the people in office. I
    see every one of you placing blame onto these people in office, in higher
    positions, but does anyone truly understand?. I wish to quote Alan Moore

    “Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will
    always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who
    will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something
    terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance
    and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and
    speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing
    your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to
    blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they
    will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the
    guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you
    were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of
    problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common
    sense.” -Alan Moore-

    I don’t believe in the system we have today. I don’t believe our
    governments, our senator’s, our presidents are here to help us. I don’t see
    that help. I do not see that change or reform in anyway. I see school systems
    corrupted. Teaching what they wish to teach and not what people wish to learn.
    Taking on student loans so when they get out of school they can spend their
    lives paying for them or those with high educated degree’s working in restaurants
    & bar’s just because they can’t get the job because of lack of experience.
    I see bank’s giving people loans when they know people cannot pay for them. The
    medical industry’s pouring out drugs faster than people can consume them, the
    billion dollar corporation’s looking to squeeze an extra dollar just as the
    next man who owns he own business. Just for what? A new house, a vacation, a
    new car. Even to this day I even see many of you who are speaking as if you
    truly care, but what are you doing to change it? Typing to each other. Trying
    to get a reform in a constitution that isn’t there anymore. I see parent’s
    letting there kid’s do as they please unsupervised & uneducated from the
    parents themselves when they try to place blame on school teacher’s because
    they work 9-5 instead of teaching their own children good from bad. I see media
    news like CNN, Fox, and many other major news company’s pocketed by another man
    telling them what to say, what they can say, what should be aired, what
    shouldn’t be aired. I see people’s corrupted reality’s as they place blame onto
    others instead of taking the responsibility in their own hands and giving up
    their own freedoms & liberties to those in power so they don’t have to be
    responsible. So if you feel as I feel & you see as I see then you know. It
    all begins with you & ends with you. We all need to fight for a world that
    will give men a chance to work, old age security and youth a future &
    education system on which they can build upon. By the promise of these things
    brutes have risen to power, but they lie they don’t fulfill that promise &
    they never will. The rich free themselves but enslave the people. So now we
    really do need to fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the
    world! To do away with hate, greed, intolerance & national barriers. To
    fight for a world of reason where science and progress can lead to humanity’s
    happiness.