This Week’s Hurricane Edition of Moyers & Company

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As you probably have figured out by now, because Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and its surroundings with such a mighty punch, the Moyers & Company production team has been – literally, as Joe Biden would say – scattered to the winds. Many of us are still without power and light and unable to get to our studio or offices (On top of which, our offices were closed because of the building’s proximity to that high rise crane collapse you might have heard about, but that’s another story.).

As Bill said via phone earlier today, “We all live at the whim of Nature and Nature always has the last word.” And so this weekend we’re airing a repeat program as our Hurricane Sandy Special Edition: the very first of our Moyers & Company broadcasts, which initially aired in January and remains as relevant and powerful heading into Election Day as it was then.

Authors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson

The program spotlights the book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class and its authors, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. Bill Moyers notes that right from this very first broadcast we said that our series would focus on income inequality, corruption and the undue influence of Corporate America on a government bought and paid for by big business. Together they’re the proverbial elephant in the room politicians refuse to acknowledge – “all but unmentioned in the presidential debates and barely discussed throughout this long and painful election campaign” – but the source of the dysfunction and inertia that paralyze Congress, the White House – and the nation.

If you‘ve missed this edition of Moyers & Company, we hope you’ll watch before you cast your ballot on Tuesday. And if you’ve already seen it, take another look and remind yourself as you prepare to enter the voting booth of how we’ve been maneuvered by Wall Street and Beltway insiders, politically engineered into a state of inequality and the disproportionate power of a very few.

Next week – an all new Moyers & Company takes a look at America’s post-election landscape.

Watch Bill’s interview with Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on “Winner-Take-All Politics” »

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  • David M Regen

    My latest blog posting presents data related to Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s “Winner-Take-All Politics”. See

  • Ewan S Fallon

    Doesn’t anybody see the idea behind the gridlock in Congress? The whole idea is to achieve a bloodless coup.

    How it starts, is that first of all you say no to everything, explain it by accusing the opposition of bad faith, and nitpick everything (like Disraeli did in the UK Parliament).

    After a while you can truthfully point out that Congress has passed nothing and is in a state of gridlock but don’t attribute this to their own member’s actions as they spread the notion that it is because the entire members are at fault and all should be kicked out of office..

    Their own incumbent members have to take one for the team and accept
    the boot. The President can then also be accused of accomplishing nothing while being in office and should be included in the booting.

    The opposition now proclaims that all “politicians” are bad, (that is the incumbents), so now we should elect business orientated people who understand the workings of a Market Economy, and that Republican legislators and are no more dishonest or worse than Democrat Politicians and deserve the opportunity to save the country.

    This is a simple playbook for even the dumbest of the Party to follow and accomplish a bloodless coup.

  • robort1138

    Our strife comes of being used.
    Can rich oil corporations – for example – grow rich without customers?
    We are the captive market source from which riches are extracted and whereby corporatist empires are derived.
    We are herded like small farm animals through sophisticated corporate toll gates – in the wisdom of their cunning foresight – to be charged for each and every thing necessary to sustain life, increasingly at the maximum rates traffic will bear.
    For example: when refined oil production drops, prices at the gas pump are increased.
    How does this adjustment – the increasing of prices at the pump – serve, fix or compensate for the reduced volume of product available?
    It doesn’t.
    It’s a self serving system to maintain a given threshold level for profits corporations have come to expect, enjoy and demand. They do it because they can. When a shortage of product causes negative results, corporations proceed unscathed turning “the short end of the stick” to the public (though the public plays no part creating the problem).
    We understand we are increasingly used and controlled by powerful corporate profiteers, and that finance has purchased politics.
    We have the facts, now what we are missing is the resolve.
    Our legislators are no longer driven to discover and deliver what’s best for society having found there’s more money in working for lobbyists.
    They still work for us in that they continue to enjoy collecting their wages and benefits, using our government telephones and offices to maintain their business connections, it’s just that with those things guaranteed to them, they no longer find need to extend their considerations to the John Doe public.
    They are fearless and unresponsive as if a rogue contractor on your property, writing his own checks from your check book and never finishing the job.
    We have no tools to reform government (both parties) other than to wish and wait for them to feel guilty and reform themselves. Personally, I don’t foresee this happening.
    Bottom line, “we understand the problem, but have no resolve” (and they know that).

  • robort1138

    Well put.