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BILL MOYERS: This week on Moyers & Company.

PAUL PIERSON: I think a lot of people know that inequality has grown in the United States. But saying that inequality has grown doesn't begin to describe what's happened.

JACOB HACKER: It's not the haves versus the have-nots. It's the have-it-alls versus the rest of Americans.

BILL MOYERS: And…

LINNEA PALMER PATON: This is supposed to be a government run by the people and if our voices don’t matter because we’re not wealthy, that’s really unacceptable and it’s dangerous.

[Funders]

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. I’m glad we could get together again. I look forward to your company from week to week – here and online at BillMoyers.com. It’s good to be back.

We begin with the question that haunts our time: Why, in a nation as rich as America, has the economy stopped working for people at large even as those at the top enjoy massive rewards?

The struggle of ordinary people for a decent living, for security, is as old as the republic, but it’s taken on a new and urgent edge. Instead of shared prosperity our political system has now produced a winner-take-all economy.

BUD FOX: How much is enough Gordon?

BILL MOYERS: Hollywood saw it coming.

GORDON GEKKO: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth: five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows' idiot sons and what I do -- stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got 90 percent of the American people have little or no net worth. I create nothing; I own.

We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval; the price of a paper clip. We pull the rabbit out of the hat while everybody else sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now, you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy are you, Buddy?

BILL MOYERS: That, of course, was Michael Douglas as the wheeler-dealer Gordon Gekko, responding to his protégé, played by Charlie Sheen in the movie Wall Street, 25 years ago!

Back in the late 80s, the director Oliver Stone, himself the son of a stockbroker, saw something happening before it reached the mainstream. Before the rest of us knew what hit us. That little speech about the richest one percent and the demise of democracy proved to be prophetic. Flesh-and-blood Americans are living now every day with the consequences.

AMANDA GREUBEL: My name is Amanda Greubel. I am 32 years old, born and raised in Iowa. I've been married for ten years today to my high school sweetheart, Josh. He’s the High School Band Director in the same district where I am the Family Resource Center Director. We have a five-year old son Benen, and our second child on the way in December. Like a lot American families, we have a lot of debt - mortgage, two vehicles, and because we both have masters degrees, a lot of student loan debt.

BILL MOYERS: Amanda Greubel was invited to testify last summer at a Senate hearing on how Americans are coping in hard times. When the state cut funding for local school districts, Amanda Greubel and her husband feared they might lose their jobs. At the last minute, they were spared, although her salary was reduced by $10,000.

AMANDA GREUBEL: $10,000 might not seem like a lot to some people, but that loss of income required a complete financial, emotional and spiritual overhaul in our family. […] It means that even though I would rather shop at local grocers, I shop at Wal-Mart for groceries because that's where the lowest prices are. Sometimes the grocery money runs out before the end of the month, and then we have to be creative with what's in the cupboard - and that was a fun challenge at first, but the novelty wears off after a while. […] It means that most of our clothing comes from Goodwill, garage sales, and the clearance racks because we try not to spend full-price on anything anymore. It means that when my son brought me the snack calendar for his classroom and I saw that that month was his week to provide snacks for 15 classmates, I was scared because I knew that it would stretch the grocery budget even further. And we didn't have roast beef or pork chops in our house that month. […] This past spring our son was hospitalized for three days, resulting in $1000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses beyond what our insurance covered. Then a problem with our roof required $1500 in repairs. Even though we'd been setting aside money every month for emergencies like that, we still didn't have enough. And so we’ve spent the last few months catching up.

And finally, this change in our finances meant giving very serious consideration to whether it was even a good idea for our family to have another child. Thankfully, life has a way of reminding us through our son's brief illness and hospitalization that some things are more important than money and that we’ll figure it out.

BILL MOYERS: She told the senators how the sour economy has affected her students and their parents.

AMANDA GREUBEL: If my family with two Master's degrees is struggling, you can imagine how bad it is for other people.

The past few years our school district has seen our percentage of students on free and reduced lunch increase steadily. In a community that has a reputation of being very well off, over 30 percent of our elementary level students qualified for that program this year. I’ve sat with parents as they’ve completed that eligibility application, and they cry tears of shame, and they say things like “I never thought I’d have to do this,” and “I’ve never needed this help before.” They worry that their neighbors will find out and that their kids will be embarrassed. And it’s my job to reassure them that reaching out for help when you need it is no problem – it’s not a shame, it’s not anything to be embarrassed about. […] Kids don't necessarily tell their parents when they're afraid, because they see that their parents are stressed out enough already and they don't want to make it worse. Sometimes their clothing becomes more tattered and we see parents cut the toes off of tennis shoes to accommodate a few more months’ worth of growth, and let those shoes last just a little bit longer. When kids don't have enough to eat or they worry about losing their homes they cannot concentrate on learning their math facts, or their reading strategies. And in some cases financial concerns lead to or exacerbate issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and physical or mental health conditions. All of the things that are ailing our families right now are so interconnected.

[…] I may have been called on to be the voice of struggling families today, but there are millions more out there who want and need to be heard by you. And I would ask that you not only listen, but that you then come back here and do something. Because it was your commitment and your passion for public service that brought you here in the first place.

BILL MOYERS: Our once and future middle class is in trouble. Their share of the nation’s income is shrinking, while the share going to the top is growing. Wages are at an all-time low as a percentage of the economy, and chronic unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression, but the richest Americans now hold more wealth than at any time in modern history.

This gross inequality didn’t just happen. It was made to happen. It was politically engineered by powerful players in Washington and on Wall Street. You can read how they did it in this book, Winner-Take-All Politics, by two of the country’s top political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson.

They were drawn to a mystery every bit as puzzling as a crime drama: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.

Quote: “We wanted to know how our economy stopped working to provide prosperity and security for the broad middle class.” And that’s what you saw.

PAUL PIERSON: I think a lot of people know that inequality has grown in the United States. But saying that inequality has grown doesn't begin to describe what's happened. The metaphor that we had been using lately is if you imagine a ladder, with the rungs in the ladder, and you think, "Okay, well inequality's growing. So the rungs are getting further apart from each other."

That's not what's happened in the United States. What's happened in the United States is that the top one or two rungs have shot up, you know, into the stratosphere while all the other ones have stayed more or less in place. It's really astonishing how concentrated the gains of economic growth have been.

JACOB HACKER: You know, the startling statistic that we have in the book is that if you take all of the income gains from 1979 to 2007, so all the increased household income over that period, around 40 percent of those gains went to the top one percent. And if you look at the bottom 90 percent they had less than that combined.

And it is not just a one or two year story. I mean, we've seen a terrible economy over the last few years. And the last decade is now being called "The Lost Decade" because there was no growth in middle incomes, there was no, there was an increase in the share of Americans without health insurance, more people are poor. So there was a terrible ten years.

But we were actually looking at the last 30 years, and seeing that the middle class had only gotten ahead to the extent that it had because of families working more hours.

So this is a story that isn't just about those at the top doing much, much better. But is, also, we found, a story about those in the middle not getting ahead, often falling behind in important ways, failing to have the same kinds of opportunity and economic security that they once had.

BILL MOYERS: Let's take a look at just how dramatic the inequality is. You have a chart here. I'm not an astute reader of charts, but this one did hit me. What are you saying with that chart?

JACOB HACKER: It says how much did people at different points on the income ladder earn in 1979 and how much did they earn in 2006 after adjusting for inflation?

It exploded at the top. The line for the top one percent, it's hard to fit on the graph because it's so much out of proportion to the increases that occurred among other income groups including people who are just below the top one percent. So, that top one percent saw its real incomes increase by over 250 percent between 1979 and 2006. Yeah. Over 250 percent.

PAUL PIERSON: And actually, even this graph-- we couldn't find a graph that fully describes it because even this graph actually really understates the story. Because it—

BILL MOYERS: Understates it?

PAUL PIERSON: Understates it.

BILL MOYERS: I mean, this is pretty powerful. When I looked I thought it was a showstopper.

PAUL PIERSON: Okay, so well, if you really if you really want the showstopper you have to go one step further because that big increase is for the top one percent. But the real action is inside the top one percent. If you go to the top tenth of one percent or the top hundredth of one percent, you know, you would need a much bigger graph to show what's happening to incomes for that for that more select group. Because they've gone up much faster than have incomes for just your average top one percent kind of person.

BILL MOYERS: But we've all known for a long time that the rich were getting richer, and the middle class was barely holding its own. I mean, that was no mystery, right?

JACOB HACKER: Oh, it is. It's a mystery when you start to look beneath the familiar, common statement that inequality has grown. Because when you think about rising inequality, we think, "Oh, it's the haves versus the have-nots." That the top third of the income distribution, say, is pulling away from the bottom third.

And what we found is it's not the haves versus the have-nots. It's the have-it-alls versus the rest of Americans. And those have-it-alls, which are households in say the top one-tenth of one percent of the income distribution, the richest one-in-a-thousand households are truly living in an unparalleled age.

Since we've been keeping records on the incomes of the richest from tax statistics in the early 20th century, we never saw as large a share of national income going to the richest one-in-a-thousand households as we did just before the great recession.

Their share of national income quadrupled over this period, to the point where they were pulling down about one in eight dollars in our economy. One-in-a-thousand households pulling down about one in eight dollars in our economy before the great recession began.

BILL MOYERS: You set out to try to solve three mysteries: who done it, who created the circumstances and conditions for the creation of a winner-take-all economy. And your answer to that in one sentence is?

JACOB HACKER: American politics did it far more than we would have believed when we started this research. What government has done and not done and the politics that produced it is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.

BILL MOYERS: It's the politics, stupid?

JACOB HACKER: Exactly.

BILL MOYERS: How did they do it?

PAUL PIERSON: Through organized combat is the short answer.

BILL MOYERS: And why did they do it?

JACOB HACKER: Because they could. Because the transformation of political organization, the creation of a powerful, organized business community, the degree to which that was self-reinforcing within both parties has meant that politicians have found that they can on issue after issue cater to the interests of the very well off while either ignoring or only symbolically addressing many of the concerns that are felt by most Americans and get reelected and survive politically.

PAUL PIERSON: If you listen to many public officials over the over the last 20 or 30 years as they've started to recognize that inequality has grown, typically what they'll say is, this is a result just of economic change. It's a result of globalization changes in technology that have advantaged the educated at those with high skills at the expense of the uneducated.

And there, clearly, there is some truth to this story that education matters more in determining economic rewards. But the more we looked at this, the less satisfied we were with that explanation.

That it couldn't explain why the economic gains were so concentrated within a very small subset of the educated people in American society. I mean, 29 percent of Americans now have college degrees. But a much, much smaller percentage of Americans were benefiting from this economic transformation.

BILL MOYERS: Well, as you speak, I can hear all of those free-marketers out they say, "Come on, Piers-- come on Hacker it is the global economy. It's that cheap labor overseas. It's those high technology skills that you say are required, these deep forces that actually are beyond our control, and are making inevitable this division between the top and everyone else." Right? That's what they're saying as they listen to you right now.

JACOB HACKER: We think the story that’s told about how the global economy has shifted clearly matters. But that it doesn’t get to the sort of really powerful role that government played in adapting to this new environment and in changing the well-being of people in the middle and at the top.

PAUL PIERSON: And again, we wouldn't want to say that the kinds of changes that they're talking about don't matter at all. But they still leave open for a country to decide how they're going to respond to those kinds of economic challenges.

And when you look at other affluent democracies that have also been exposed to these same kinds of pressures, who are actually more open -- smaller economies are often more open to the global economy than the United States is -- you don't see anything like the run-up in inequality, especially this very concentrated high-end inequality, in most of these other countries that you see in the United States. Which to us, really, was a very strong clue that we need to understand why the American response to globalization, to technological change has been different than the response of most other wealthy democracies.

JACOB HACKER: So it's one thing to say, "Oh, the rich are getting richer because we have this new global economy."

But how do you explain the fact that we've seen over this period where the rich have gotten richer the tax rates on the richest of the rich come dramatically down. You know, Warren Buffet now says that he thinks he's paying a lower tax rate than the people who work for him do.

PAUL PIERSON: The thing that got us going at the very beginning was the Bush tax cuts.

GEORGE W. BUSH: This tax relief plan is principled. We cut taxes for every income taxpayer. We target nobody in, we target nobody out. And tax relief is now on the way. Today is a great day for America.

PAUL PIERSON: The Bush tax cuts in a lot of ways were written like a subprime mortgage. You know, they were designed to make people see certain things, and not see a lot of the fine print.

JACOB HACKER: Fully 30 to 40 percent of the benefits were going to the very top, of the income distribution. The top one percent. And when you broke it down, it was really the top one-tenth of one percent that did so well because of the estate tax changes, and because of the changes in the top tax rates, the changes in the capital gains taxes. And if you go to 2003, changes in the dividend tax.

I mean, these were all tax breaks that were worth a vast amount to the richest of Americans and worth very little to middle class Americans.

PAUL PIERSON: Within a few weeks after the legislation was passed, we all get a letter that says Congress and the President have given you this tax cut. And then that's pretty much it for the middle class. But for higher income groups, the further forward you go in time, the bigger and bigger the benefits get. So it was really designed to front-load the relatively modest benefits for the middle class, and to back-load the benefits for the wealthy.

JACOB HACKER: So why? Why do the winners get policies that make their winnings even larger? You know, this is not a trivial change. If you say from the mid-90s to 2007, those top 400 tax payers, they've seen their tax rates decline so much that it's worth about $46 million for every one--

BILL MOYERS: For every--

JACOB HACKER: Of those 400 tax payers. So it's-- the numbers are staggering. When you start to look within the top one percent, and look at what government has done to help those people out, through taxes, through changes in the market, financial deregulation and the like, and through protecting them from efforts to try to push back.

BILL MOYERS: Protecting them?

JACOB HACKER: Well, I think this is something that really needs to be understood. You know, these large shifts in our economy had been propelled in part by what government has done, say deregulating the market, the financial markets, to allow wealthy people to gamble with their own and other peoples' money, and ways to put all of us at risk, but allow them to make huge fortunes.

And at the same time, when those risks have become apparent, there has been a studious effort on the part of political leaders to try to protect against government stepping in and regulating or changing the rules.

BILL MOYERS: You write, we have a government that's been promoting inequality, and at the same time, as you just said, failing to counteract it. This has been going on, you write, 30 years or more. And here's the key sentence: Step by step, and debate by debate, our public officials have rewritten the rules of the economy in ways that favor the few at the expense of the many.

PAUL PIERSON: In some ways, the fundamental myth that we're trying to break out of is the idea that there's something natural out there called "the American economy" that is prior to government, prior to politics. And that government, if it's involved at all, is only involved sort of at the end of the day, maybe tidying things up around the edges, or redistributing money from some people to another.

And I think the financial crisis has been a rude awakening for people who viewed the economic world that way. It's now, I think, very clear in retrospect that the decisions that leading public officials made over a period of decades helped to get us to a point where a financial crisis could be so devastating to all Americans.

BILL MOYERS: How can this happen? How could Washington turn its back on the broad middle class to favor a relatively few at the top in a democracy?

JACOB HACKER: What has really changed is the organization of American politics, particularly the organizations that represent the deepest pocketed members of American society. What we've seen as an organizational revolution over the last 30 years that has meant that business, and Wall Street, and ideological conservative organizations that are pushing for free market policies have all become much more influential.

And at the same time, a lot of the organizations that once represented the middle class, labor unions, broad-based civic organizations and, sort of, organizations at the local and grassroots level, including social movements, have all lost enormous ground.

And so it's that imbalance, that shift, I think, that is the sort of underlying pressure that plays out in our politics today. The way we describe it in the book is as if the ecosystem of American politics has changed. And everyone in American politics, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives has had to adapt to this new world where money matters much more in our politics, and where groups representing business and the wealthy are much more powerful than in the past.

BILL MOYERS: And you don't beat around the bush. You say, quote, "Most voters of moderate means…have been organized out of politics, left adrift as the foundations of middle class democracy have washed away.”

JACOB HACKER: Yeah, I mean, if you look at the history of American democracy it is about a broadening of our understanding of political equality to incorporate African Americans and women and ultimately to also incorporate the idea that large inequalities of property were a threat to democratic equality. So FDR during the Great Depression famously said that political equality was meaningless in the face of economic inequality.

So we now, I think, understand that inequality of income and wealth is part of a capitalist society, but it can't overwhelm our democracy. And what we've seen in the last 30 years is a gradual erosion of the firewalls that protect our democracy from the inequalities that are occurring in the market. Money has come into politics much more.

And the power that people have in the market is being used more and more in politics as well. And that's a concern because Americans have very complex views about equality, but they all agree in this basic idea that as Thomas Jefferson famously said, "All men are created equal."

And he meant men probably, but you know, the modern understand of that phrase, we believe that people whether they're rich or they're poor, whether they have lots of property or not, whether they're in, on Wall Street or off, they should have equal potential to influence what government does. Anybody who looks around at our government today cannot believe that's the case or that we're even close to that.

PAUL PIERSON: Well certainly you just have to look at recent headlines to see a Washington that seems preoccupied with the economic concerns of those at the top and is resistant in many cases to steps that are clearly favored by a majority of the electorate such as wanting to increase taxes on the very well-to-do, letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire as if you want to do something about the deficit. That’s the single most popular proposal for doing something about the deficit would be to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. And yet that gets nowhere in Washington.

JACOB HACKER: You know, there is an organized, powerful constituency for deregulation, for high end tax cuts, for policies that are neglecting some of the serious middle class strains. And there just isn't anything of comparable size or power on the other side.

And that has pulled Washington way toward the concerns of the most affluent, most privileged members of our society and led them to often neglect the real struggles that Americans are facing during this economic crisis, struggles that are magnified versions of what Americans have been going through for 25 years or so.

BILL MOYERS: There was a time when we were sure that a strong middle class was the backbone of a democracy. And there was a time, after the second World War when I was a young man when incomes actually grew slightly faster at the bottom and the middle than at the top, is that right? Do your figures support that?

PAUL PIERSON: Yes, they do. And we describe that period after World War II, which lasted for about 30 years as being a country which we labeled Broadland. And—

BILL MOYERS: Broadland?

PAUL PIERSON: Broadland. And I think it's most clearly captured by that old idea that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Everybody's income is going up at the roughly the same rate, slightly faster actually towards the bottom of the income distribution than towards the top, but everybody's incomes were going up. And it's important to understand, so this wasn't some egalitarian fantasy world. It wasn't Sweden.

It was the United States, recognizably the United States with significant inequalities of wealth, but everybody was participating in prosperity and seeing their incomes rise. And then after the mid 1970's we start moving towards a distribution of income that looks more like that of a third world oligarchy. It looks more like Mexico or Brazil or Russia. Income inequality that statistics on income inequality now suggest that inequality is higher in the U.S. than it is in Egypt. And that’s quite a journey from where we were when I was growing up.

JACOB HACKER: Right now I think we're seeing the kind of bitter fruit of winner-take-all politics because this financial crisis was not an act of God or work of nature. It was brought on by poor decisions that were made in Washington and on Wall Street. Yes, there's a global dimension to this, but a big part of it was failures of domestic policy. You know, if you look to our northern neighbor, Canada, it had nothing like the same degree of banking crisis the United States did. And that's partly because it had much more effective regulations of the financial sector. You know, over this period that we saw leverage and speculation increasing on Wall Street, Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, were trying as hard as they could to allow Wall Street to do even more.

BILL MOYERS: So the winner-take-all politics has produced a winner-take-all economy? Right?

JACOB HACKER: Yes.

PAUL PIERSON: Yes.

BILL MOYERS: And the winners are?

JACOB HACKER: The winners are those who've made out so well in this new economy, the very well off and financial-- and people in the highest reaches of finance and corporate executives suites.

BILL MOYERS: And the losers?

PAUL PIERSON: Well, the losers are, I think, almost all of us.

I think almost all Americans lose from the shift toward a society in which rewards are so narrowly concentrated on a small segment of the population.

I was talking yesterday evening with a friend of mine who spends much of his time in Mexico who was describing a society in which a small group of wealthy people are protected by guns mostly from the rest of the population and dart from one protected location to another protected location completely separate from the rest of society.

We're not there yet but we've moved a long way down a road in which there's just a sharp social, economic, cultural separation from the vast bulk of Americans and a small astonishingly successful financial elite. And I don't think that -- I think most Americans would consider that not to be an improvement. They would consider themselves to be losers from that.

JACOB HACKER: And there's no sign that the sort of massive concentration of the gains of the economy at the very top is slowing down. In fact, this downturn has been remarkable in the degree to which those at the very top seem to have weathered it pretty well. Profits are still very high.Those who are on Wall Street have recovered thanks to a massive government bailout.

BILL MOYERS: Taxpayers put it up. I mean, they're spending taxpayer money.

JACOB HACKER: Yes, yes. And so we've seen the economy over 30 years very consistently shift in this direction. And what I think has not happened and what concerns us greatly is a kind of real undermining, deep undermining, of the operation of our democratic institutions.

I mean, we're describing a massive erosion, but the question is could we see those democratic political institutions really cease to function effectively in the future if we have a society that continues to tilt so heavily towards winner-take-all. And that's why we wrote the book because, you know, Walter Lippmann back in the early 20th century said the challenge for democratic reform is that democracy has to lift itself up by its own bootstraps.

And we're, we are deep believers in the ability of American democracy to reform itself, of the strength of our democratic institutions. But they're in very serious disrepair right now. And we've seen in recent political fights a sort of paralysis and a broad loss of faith in government. And that sort of secession of the wealthy from our economic life that we've already started to see could be matched by a secession of them from our political life and a sort of loss of that broad democracy that was characteristic of mid-20th century. That's the greatest fear that we have.

BILL MOYERS: Would you say we still have a middle class country?

PAUL PIERSON: That's--

BILL MOYERS: Wow.

PAUL PIERSON: No, no, I wouldn't, I wouldn't.

BILL MOYERS: You're hesitant.

PAUL PIERSON: If you asked me if you asked me that point blank, I mean--

BILL MOYERS: Point blank, Paul, do we still have a middle class country?

PAUL PIERSON: I would say no. I mean, obviously there is still something there is still something that we would recognize as a middle class, it's still probably the biggest segment of the population. But in terms of its weight in the society, its ability to produce a society and reproduce a society that is oriented around the needs and concerns and opportunities of the middle class, I don't think that we live in that country anymore.

JACOB HACKER: There was a poll done in 2010 that asked Americans whether the federal government had helped a great deal the following groups: large financial institutions and banks, 53 percent of Americans said they'd been helped a great deal.

What about large corporations? 44 percent of Americans said they'd been helped a great deal. Then they asked, well, has the federal government helped the middle class a great deal? And do you want to guess what percent of Americans said that they'd been helped a great deal-- the middle class had been helped a great deal? Two percent.

BILL MOYERS: Two percent?

JACOB HACKER: Two percent.

BILL MOYERS: Well, this is—

JACOB HACKER: And so it's just a remarkable sense that Washington isn't working for the middle class. And after writing this book I think Paul and I feel as if that assessment, while excessively harsh, is grounded in a reality that Washington isn't working well for most Americans.

BILL MOYERS: Did either of you happen to catch the Senate hearings last summer when a procession of ordinary Americans came and testified about what was happening?

AMANDA GREUBEL: We did everything we were always told to do to have the American dream. We finished high school, we went to college, we got married, we work hard, we pay our bills. We have no credit card debt. We waited to have children until we believed we were ready. We both got graduate degrees to be better at our jobs and make ourselves more marketable and increase our worth as employees. We volunteer, we donate to help those in need, and we vote. We did everything that all the experts said we should do, and yet still we’re struggling. And when you work that hard and you still feel sometimes like you’re scraping, it gets you really down really quick.

JACOB HACKER: When I hear stories like that I think, what is wrong with the priorities of our society that we cannot figure out how to translate our great wealth, our ingenuity, the hard work of our citizens, into a better standard of living that is shared broadly across the population? That’s a fundamental thing that a well-functioning democracy should do.

BILL MOYERS: And you say we are way behind in mobility. Behind Australia, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Spain, and Canada. We are way down the list in terms of social mobility. Am I reading you right?

JACOB HACKER: Over this period in which those at the very top have done better and better the chance of climbing up the economic ladder hasn't grown at all, it may have actually declined. And that is reflected, I think, in a sense of pessimism that you see among many middle class Americans about whether the American dream still holds true.

At the individual level Americans are extremely optimistic. And if you ask them, "Will you achieve the American dream?" Most Americans say yes. But at a collective level when you ask people, "Does the American dream still hold true?" We're seeing in surveys for the first time that only about, you know, half of Americans are agreeing that the American dream still holds true. And that's remarkable.

BILL MOYERS: What's the practical consequences of that? Of giving up faith and hope in that dream?

JACOB HACKER: The fact is that for most middle class and working class Americans the politics seems increasingly removed from their everyday experience and their life. And there is a current of distrust and anger towards Washington is that is so deep right now.

AMANDA GREUBEL: When we turn on our TV's, our radios, or pick up our newspapers, we read about what is going on in our federal and state governments, and we start to believe that you don’t care about us. We hear that corporate welfare continues and CEO's get six-figure bonuses at taxpayer expense, and we wonder who you’re working for. And we look across the kitchen table at our families eating Ramen noodles for the third time this week and wonder how that’s fair. We read that the wealthy get bigger tax breaks in hopes that their money will “trickle down” to us, then we turn the page and read about how our school districts are forced to cut staff again. We know that money talks around here, and that means you don't hear us.

JACOB HACKER: That is one of the big changes that occurs over this period. Money becomes more important for campaigns and it also becomes much more important in terms of lobbying, which in some ways is the more important way that money changed American politics. It's really the development of lobbying over this this last 25, 30 years that stands out as the most dramatic role of money in American politics.

We tell the story in the book of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, because this was one of these great examples when the lobbyists were overcome. You know, the Gucci Gulch right outside the Senate chamber where the well-heeled lobbyists attend to members of congress. Well, Gucci Gulch was a place of, not of celebration, but of despair after 1986 because all these tax loopholes were closed, rates were brought down in a way that was actually making the tax code more equitable. And that was considered to be a big step forward for the public interest.

Well, a few years later lobbyists had written a lot of these loopholes back into the tax code. Ten years later, you know, you could hardly see any traces of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. Almost all of the good government public interest reforms that were put into the tax code in 1986 overcoming the lobbyists have been put back in, have been overwhelmed by the day in, day out lobbying to get those tax provisions right back into place.

BILL MOYERS: Quite a cycle, I mean, if you're creating a winner-take-all economy the winners have more money to contribute to the politicians, who turn it into a winner-take-all politics. I mean, it just keeps—

PAUL PIERSON: Right. It is the story that we try to tell in this book that there has been a 30 year war in which the sound of the voice of ordinary Americans has been quieter and quieter in American politics and the voice of business and the wealthy has been louder and louder. Many people, I think, read this book and think it's a pessimistic book, that it's grim reading and there are ways in which that's true.

But Jacob and I genuinely believe that it's an optimistic story compared with the story that we're typically told about what's been happening to the American economy. Because what we're typically told is there's nothing you can do about this, that it's just an economic reality, there's no point in blaming any political party.

And I think the main punch line of our story and the optimistic message is that politics got us into this mess and therefore potentially politics can get us out of it.

BILL MOYERS: But if both political parties are indebted to the winners where do the losers find an army to join?

JACOB HACKER: When citizens are organized and when they press their claims forcefully, when there are reformist leaders within government and outside it who work on their behalf, then we do see reform. This is the story of the American democratic experiment of wave after wave of reform leading to a much broader franchise, to a much broader understanding of the American idea.

In the mid-20th century we saw a period in which income gains were broadly distributed, in which middle class Americans had voice through labor unions, through civic organizations and through, ultimately, their government. We've seen an erosion of that world, but just because it’s lost ground doesn't mean it can't be saved. And so in writing this book we were hoping to sort of tell Americans that what was valuable in the past could be a part of our future.

BILL MOYERS: Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, thank you.

PAUL PIERSON: Thank you so much.

JACOB HACKER: Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: By coincidence I first met with Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the very day Occupy Wall Street had sprung up in lower Manhattan. And I wondered, as so many others did, were we seeing the advance guard of a movement by organized people to challenge the power of organized money? Well, it’s still too soon to know. But in the weeks that followed, every time we went down to the encampment, there was no mistaking the message.

LINNEA PALMER PATON: I don’t have thousands of dollars to go buy myself a lobbyist to lobby for my views, but corporations do.

BILL MOYERS: Linnea Palmer Paton is 23 and an Occupy Wall Street Volunteer.

LINNEA PALMER PATON: This is supposed to be a government for the people, run by the people and if our voices don’t matter because we’re not wealthy, that’s really unacceptable and it’s dangerous.

HERO VINCENT: My name is Hero Vincent, I'm 21 years old. I’ve been here since day one. My parents were foreclosed on, my father’s been unemployed a couple of years. My mother was the only one taking care of the family for a while. I’ve been working since I’ve been 14 years old, you know, trying to put food on our table, trying to help out with the bills. So all these circumstances-- my sister is in college and she-- we can barely afford it, you know. And so it brought us here. The struggle brought us to this occupation, this day, this moment.

[NATSOT]: It ain’t hard to occupy if you’re set on freedom.

BILL MOYERS: Amin Husain is a former corporate lawyer. He’s now an artist who has become one of the many organizers of Occupy Wall Street.

AMIN HUSAIN: This connection between government and state regulating money and the flow of money at the expense of 99 percent of the population is untenable and it’s no longer being accepted. There’s been a shift in the way that people think of themselves in this political process. That there has been a level of empowerment. But this movement is about transforming society.

WOMAN AT PROTEST: I just need to interrupt one second and say you’re doing a great! I love you. All of us who are sleeping at home, we’re writing letters, we’re thinking about you.

AMIN HUSAIN: Thank you, thank you. I really appreciate it.

WOMAN AT PROTEST: We’re changing our bank accounts!

YESENIA BARRAGAN: My family’s home was almost foreclosed in Hackensack, NJ. First by Providian Bank, then by Bank of America, then Chase. The names changes. And we were almost homeless.

BILL MOYERS: Yesenia Barragan is working for her doctorate in Latin American history at Columbia University.

YESENIA BARRAGAN: We were able to gather enough resources, enough money within our family to save the house. So we like to say that we were the lucky ones. And I’m basically here because I don’t want to live in a world where there are lucky ones and unlucky ones.

DANIEL LYNCH: My name is Daniel Lynch, I live in Manhattan. And in my spare time I try to trade stocks. I might even be center-right! And I still support this, and I want people to know that, right, 99 percent exactly, right? I’ve been worried for a long time about problems with wealth inequality in the country, income inequality, and I just wanted to throw my support a little. I don’t march, I don’t carry a sign. But I come down at night I talk to some people.

I believe in capitalism, I believe in capital markets. But unchecked like this, especially the way we have estate taxes, income taxes, it subverts capitalism, it becomes feudalism. Owners of capital are winning so much more than laborers, right capital it has no roots, right? To just deny that that’s happening and not have a little bit of an activist tax policy about it, I think is naïve, it’s destructive, and it’s just absurd.

NELINI STAMP: My name is Nelini Stamp, I’m 24 years old.

BILL MOYERS: Nelini Stamp is a community organizer. She joined Occupy Wall Street on its first day.

NELINI STAMP: I’ve been fed up with having to worry about living pay check to pay check because of corporate greed and because we don’t have a very high minimum wage in New York. I really just wanted to take a major leap in fighting back.

I think that we need to, first of all, have public financing of elections. That is a huge deal one of the reasons is why corporations-- because there’s an unlimited amount of donations that they can give to political campaigns. And it’s about time we all stand up and take this back.

TYLER COMBELIC: I found my voice. I’ve been very apathetic, very cynical of the system that: do I matter? Do I matter to politicians? Do I matter to government when policies are being made?

BILL MOYERS: Tyler Combelic is a volunteer with the media outreach team.

TYLER COMBELIC: Personally, I want to see money out of government. I’m a very big proponent of campaign finance reform, of limiting the role of lobbyists, and limiting the role of corporate personhood because I feel right now, who has the largest war chest is the determiner of who’s going to be elected for a specific office or what kind of laws are going to be passed by Congress. And that corporatist-type of government is not what the United States is supposed to be.

MAN AT PROTEST: You got a better chance of being an organ donor than seeing any retirement money!

PETER CRAYCROFT: I think this is a perfect kind of forum for us all to come and talk about--

STEPHEN HAYS: Back and forth.

PETER CRAYCROFT: Yeah. I’ve seen many souls changed in the last three days.

STEPHEN HAYS: Really?

PETER CRAYCROFT: Yeah. On all sides. Including the other side of the--

STEPHEN HAYS: You see I came through the Woodstock generation and I thought it’s just back to business as usual and sort of it was a big party. That’s what I see this as, a party with no cover. I’m a defender of money. Freedom, individual freedom, rich people. Because I’m still, even though I’ve got gray, I’m still trying to be one. Because the more money I have the more good I can do. And it will be my decision as to how I allocate that good. How I allocate that capital.

When I look around at all these buildings, hospitals, colleges, I don’t see many poor people’s names. They’re all rich people. Reverend Ike a black minister who used to preach up here in New York. Used to say, “If you curse the rich, you’ll never be one.”

CALVIN BELL: Look at the people out here! You think they’re out here just hanging out? I mean, that blows my mind that you came out here and you said, well, people out here, you know, they have something against wealthy people, you know, wealthy people should be allowed to be wealthy people, because while we’re wealthy people we’ll throw money out and sprinkle them all and make people’s lives better. It’s not happening. Wealthy companies are not making the common person’s lives better. They’re taking their money, they’re moving it abroad, they’re doing different things. What’s that got to do with anything?

STEPHEN HAYS: You’ve got a nice camera, you’ve got clothes, you’re blessed.

CALVIN BELL: I just told you that I’m not one of the ones—

STEPHEN HAYS: I can’t be so pessimistic about things.

CALVIN BELL: I’m being realistic.

I live in a very nice house, my family’s blessed. So I’m not going to pretend that, you know, I don’t have anything. But I do also recognize that a lot of the situations we’re in now is because of greed. It’s because – it’s not what he said, you just let people take their money and they’ll do good things with it. Not all people do good things with their money.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: (During a teach-in) The one percent have dominant political power over both parties.

BILL MOYERS: Organizers invited Bill Black to lead a teach-in at “the people’s microphone.”

WILLIAM K. BLACK: (During a teach-in) How many think they stole from all of us?

BILL MOYERS: A senior federal regulator in the 1980s, Black cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis. He now teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: What we have is recurrent, intensifying financial crises driven by elite fraud and now it's done with almost absolute impunity. So the whole idea of noblesse oblige and such and that the rich were supposed to have special responsibilities, that's all gone, right? They have a God-given right to the lowest conceivable taxes.

When you put anti-regulators in charge of the agencies who believe that regulation is bad and completely unnecessary and they destroy it, creates a self-fulfilling prophecy that produces massive fraud at the most elite levels.

But, worse, it all feeds into politics. So, once you get a group that completely dominates the economy, they're going to completely dominate politics, as well.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: (During a teach-in) There is no excuse for not prosecuting. It is an obscenity. It’s surrender to crony capitalism.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: What's distressed me, and I think is one of the major reasons we get recurrent intensifying crises, is we seem to have lost our capacity for outrage. And it's only people getting outraged that produces really positive social change.

[NATSOT]: We are the 99 percent! So are you! We are the 99 percent! So are you!

MARILYN BRANDEE: I’ve been waiting years for people to get angry enough to do something. We want to just support these young people and the people who are sacrificing so much comfort for all of us.

RONNI TERR: I have a brother who’s been out of work for two years. He has a family, I think it’s just terrible that they don’t care. They’re making millions of dollars. Mitch McConnell is a multi-millionaire, John Boehner is a multi-millionaire. They don’t care about the people, they really don’t. And their own districts have many people who are unemployed, who are having foreclosures. And it’s time they stop playing this game and really said, you know I think maybe we’ll pass something that will help build our infrastructure or get people back to work. So this is a start, I hope that it makes a dent. But the fact that it’s not just here, it’s all over the country now, means that somebody is waking up.

BILL MOYERS: Waking up is right. Waking up to the reality that inequality matters. It matters because what we’re talking about is 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 to buy books on your own, inequality matters. If budget cuts mean your child has to pay to play on the school basketball team or to sing in the chorus or march in the band, inequality matters. If you lose your job as you’re about to retire, inequality matters. And if the financial system collapses and knocks the props from beneath your pension, inequality matters.

I grew up in a working class family. We were among the poorest in town, but I was rich in public goods.

I went to a good public school, played sandlot ball in a good public park, had access to a good public library, drove down a good public highway to a good public college, all made possible by people I never met. There was an unwritten bargain among the generations -- we didn’t all get the same deal, but we did get civilization.

That bargain’s being shredded. The occupiers of Wall Street understand this. You could tell from their slogans. A fellow young enough to be my grandson 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 crony capitalists who resorts to tricks, loopholes, and hard, cold cash for politicians to make sure insiders prosper and then pull up the ladder behind them.

Yes, Americans are waking up. To how they’re being made to pay for Wall Street’s malfeasance and Washington’s complicity. Paying with stagnant wages and lost jobs, with slashing cuts to their benefits and to their social services. And waking up to the grotesque Supreme Court decision defining a 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 campaign contributions corrupt our elections; to the fact that if speech is money, no money means no speech.

So the collective cry has gone up loud and clear: enough’s enough. We won’t, as I said, know for a while if this is just a momentary cry of pain; or whether it’s a movement that, like the Abolitionists and Suffragettes, the populists and workers of another era, or the Civil Rights movement of our time, gathers force until the powers-that-be can no longer sustain the inequality, the injustice and yes, the immorality of winner-take-all politics.

Our coverage of politically engineered inequality continues in our next two broadcasts. First, David Stockman, a one-time enforcer of the Reagan revolution.

DAVID STOCKMAN: There was clearly reckless, speculative behavior going on for years on Wall Street. It was encouraged by the Federal Reserve which is dominated by Wall Street.

BILL MOYERS: And John Reed, a banker’s banker who was there when Washington loaded the dice, and Wall Street rolled them.

JOHN REED: It wasn't that there was one or two or institutions that, you know, got carried away and did stupid things. It was, we all did. And then the whole system came down.

BILL MOYERS: And at our new website, BillMoyers.com, I interviewed two Occupy Wall Street organizers who give us insight into the movement and what it hopes to accomplish. We'll also link you to our interview with the editors of Mother Jones magazine, and their coverage of the "dark money" that has cast a deep shadow across this election year. That’s at BillMoyers.com. See you there, and see you here next time.

[Credits]

Watch By Segment

Full Show: On Winner-Take-All Politics

January 13, 2012

Because of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on our offices and studio, we’re airing this encore edition of Moyers & Company, first broadcast in January. This Election Day, issues of money, influence and “winner-take-all politics” are more important than ever.

In its premiere episode, Moyers & Company dives into one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.

Bill’s guests – Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.

How, in a nation as wealthy as America, can the economy simply stop working for people at large, while super-serving those at the very top? Through exhaustive research and analysis, the political scientists Hacker and Pierson — whom Bill regards as the “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” of economics — detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class.

Who’s the culprit? “American politics did it– far more than we would have believed when we started this research,” Hacker explains. “What government has done and not done, and the politics that produced it, is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.”

Bill considers their book the best he’s seen detailing “how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril.”

The show includes an essay on how Occupy Wall Street reflects a widespread belief that politics no longer works for ordinary people, including footage we took at the OWS rally from October – December 2011.

Worthy Reads:

The New York Times: Inconvenient Income Inequality

OpenSecrets: A hard financial look at those SuperPACS

 

 

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  • Grazynahuk

    Mr. Moyers, so good to have you with us again, welcome and good luck for your show that I will be watching faithfully.

  • Diane Rose B

    Wonderful program. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We can only hope the American people wake up to the corporate takeover of our govt.

  • Glendalough1

    It is time that middle income America takes back our government and restore afair democrocy.

  • MD

    Thank you Bill Moyers for coming back…I sure have missed your show.

  • Tamilapp

    So glad to see you back. Thank you so much for being a voice for the majority of us!!

  • Anonymous

    Glad to see you back. Glad to have your voice back in the discussion. Glad to be able to watch television that can make us think again.

  • Ranchosanmiguel

    I cannot express how glad I am that you came back ,Bill.I always learn so much from your conversations with such intelligent guests. Thank you,thank you’and I just wish you were on in Tucson PBS,but I cannot find it,and I am having a problem streaming this show on my computer…it just stopped after 15 minutes…so the transcript will have to do.

  • Mcaplin

    I am so glad to have you back.  Let’s hope that your voice of sanity helps us get to the place where we can and do make change.

  • Pat Fitzgerald

    Mr. Moyers you do this so well; two scholar- authors,  a group of people occupying a park and a woman from Iowa talking to congress all  tell and demonstrate the very same story with wit & civility yet so few Americans seem to be able to see the elephant in the room. Don’t give up. Keep on doing your thing Mr. Moyers. Welcome back. Your sane voice has been missed !

  • BK

    So glad you are back! Two suggestions for future shows–interview
    Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus at the Univ. of
    Massachusetts and author of “Capitalism Hits the Fan”
    (http://rdwolff.com/) and Paul Cienfuegos (http://paulcienfuegos.com/)
    who advocates for local communities to pass ordinances that limit
    corporate power with the help of such organizations as the Community
    Environmental Legal Defense Fund (http://celdf.org/)

  • Invasivesout

    Just watched your show on Winner-Take-All Politics–outstanding and a great selection for our social justice book group. the authors articulate so well why even those of us in our 70s are part of Occupy Wall Street, or in my case Occupy Seattle. So gald you are back!!

  • KramerJW

    I am very glad you’re back Bill.

  • Lauriesz

    Thanks! We need this to help bring us together to take back our country.

  • JamesN.

    I first saw you when you brought Joseph Campbell and the ” Power Of Myth” to PBS and have followed your compassionate; intelligent and fairminded discouse to this day. Your books, documentrys, and series ranging across the broadest and best range of subject matter have given us vital information that should be of concern to anyone who is interested in not only what a civilized society should represent; but addresses the deeper question: ” What does it mean to be a Human Being “. Never has there been a time when so much is at sake for anyone who cares not only for themselves; but for each other and our children and the world they will inherit. Thank you for the voice you are raising about these concerns that matter so much to so many; and who for those who are suffering so greatly at the hands of such inequality. It is great to see you back.  You have been missed !

  • FranG

    In times like these when even our Supreme Court is against us, we must stand up. This will not be easy, but we can fight back if we stick together. I have been with our local Occupy group in Lancaster, PA since it started. My young friends’ understanding of Community is profound. We hold signs in the hope of showing folks what our issues are. Traffic is thick on our corner, and there is a full range of understanding of the movement. Some have never heard of Occupy. Some snarl, “Get a JOB!” But far more honk and call out, “Keep it up! Thank you for doing this.”
    My facebook friends applaud my commitment, but very few are actually out there on the sidewalk with me, causing me to wonder, can we make a difference by occupying our recliner chairs? I think we can, provided we vote. These days, I Occupy every place I go.
    Your essay was beautiful, Bill. Thanks again for coming back to help give voice to Us The People.

  • Gentlemanluck

    AMERICA NEEDS YOU…………

    WELCOME BACK MR MOYERS….. FROM THE UK….

  • Poweri01

    30 years of “quiet rooms”. this the real outrage.

  • Bobbybell718

    im so glad your back

  • Forrer Eric

    Brilliant to have the most singular and most substantial voice in American journalism back on the air.   Its been a long drought since the end of the ‘Journal’.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Moyers,  wonderful to have you back.  I will be watching. Your reporting has been missed.

  • Anonymous

    Bill Moyers, I am so happy to see you back.  That was an excellent interview with Hacker and Pierson.  I hope that those Occupiers who’ve taken the winter off are making good use of their time to watch your show.

  • Ibisko

    “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
    I’m a Moyers junkie. To me he is the !% of excellence in journalism. A super heroe , with reason as his power.
    (His Spouse may have much to do with it.)
    Bigger than MacArthur’s return or Rocky V.

  • Denton310

    Welcome aboard. Thank you for bringing your credibility and insight to this important work

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1724462076 Tim Mariner

    I have to echo everyone else’s sentiment…it’s great to have you back, Mr. Moyer.  And not a moment too soon! 

  • http://twitter.com/palsimon palsimon

    Bill – All my life I’ve admired your work. I lived in Rio de Janeiro about the same time you were there in the 70s. You were even one of the great journalists who motivated me  to become a print journalist myself.  I wrote a Guide for Foreign Settlers in Rio and did some work for The Brazil Herald. Of course I always knew I would never be as great as you were. You are still great, so I wish you would take a look and consider doing some publicity on problems for seniors facing foreclosure due to banking and insurance fraud. Example  story http://www.reversemortgagecomplaints.com. We seniors would appreciate your input, especially publicity about our special problems.

  • Pkenney

    Bless you for coming back to PBS.  I have missed your wisdom and love.

  • Jeanne Shlasko

    Dear Bill Moyers,  I have a home,  I eat well, I have health insurance.  I AM IN THE 99% and I aplaud you!  THANK YOU FOR COMING BACK AND THANK YOU FOR TONIGHT’S PROGRAM ON WINNER TAKE ALL and the state of our country!

    Jeanne Shlasko
    Laguna Woods, Ca.

  • Archcoen

    Thank you for providing evidence for what a lot of us already believe. THANK GOD you are back.

  • Carol C

    Bill Moyers we always love your programs and have missed you along with the wonderful guests that you  interview so well.  Thank you for posting  the program on your web site–it is not available via our satellite dish in Kansas City.  We will watch on the web site every week!

  • Michael Koziewicz

    Bill, Welcome Back -You have been missed!  Hopefully enough of us can be inspired to make the United States a place where government is, once again, Of the People, By the People and For the People.  Thanks again for your return.

  • Maggie Mandzuk

    A hearty welcome back to PBS, Mr. Moyers! I saw you on The Colbert Report from here in Canada and came right here to your site. I’m happy that we can watch the video from here, as some US sites block theirs. Will be watching on TV as well.

    Though Canadian banks may not have the deep problems as those in the US, our economy is and will continue to experience the global fallout effects. Those, plus our current political leadership’s sharp veer to the right and its close relationship with the elite in Washington DC are scaring many Canadians. I hope Americans will be made more aware of this.

    I’ve been spreading the word of your new show. Best of luck!

  • http://www.chasingcleanair.com/ Donna Barnett

    Fabulous show! 

  • http://www.chasingcleanair.com/ Donna Barnett

    Fabulous show!  I appreciate you shedding light on a major American problem: Crony capitalism. And shedding light on a major American solution: Individuals who organize their anger about inequalities to “force” reforms. Martin Luther King comes to mind.

  • Catlas

    Thank you Mister Moyers. I appreciate your bravery and compassion more than I can say. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Rolf/100000571423135 Linda Rolf

    That was a great show! Thank you for coming back to us Bill!

  • Paulina Goveas

    On which channel and at what time can Moyers and Company be viewed in Toronto and/or Mississauga in Canada?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Rolf/100000571423135 Linda Rolf

    I couldn’t find “Moyers & Company” on my PBS station so I watched online.  Please tell everyone to watch.  We all need to be better informed on these issues.

  • Jllybnz

    I am so happy to be able to access your program via the internet. We do not have TV. This way I can invite my other non-tv friends and neighbors in for a viewing party.
    It is wonderful to have a reasonable, in depth, serious program on current issues.

  • Grant William Brad Gerver

    “Everybody Does Better When EVERYBODY Does Better” ~Jim Hightower, America’s #1 Populist ~ original blues protest song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWiZOOsa-g0“Grassroots Revolution” (original acoustic protest song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m62lWOAvn_I

  • Grant William Brad Gerver

    WHAT A SHOW, BILL!!

  • Autumn44crone

    Welcome back, Mr. Moyers! It’s needed to hear your voice in the desert wasteland of present American politics!

  • Ken

    Thank you

  • OmahaProfessor

    Welcome back, Bill !!  It is indeed sad to note on this happy occassion that PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — entities that in many ways owe their very existence to you due to your work in the Johnson Administration — have chosen not to “align themselves” with you at this time.  Yes, folks, the money in politics has the corporate elites working hard to muzzle public broadcasting.  I think Barney the dinosaur will soon be spouting the virtues of hedge fund management to second graders. 

  • JACK HUDSON

    DEAR BILL, TRULY WELCOME YOUR RETURN TO TV, AS I HAD SERIOUSLY MISSED “YOUR JOURNAL”… I WOULD LIKE TO SEE AN EXPOSURE OF “THE INTERLOCKING DIRECTORSHIPS” OF OUR NATIONS  MAJOR CORPORATIONS.. I HAVE FOUND SOME CORP’S EVEN HAVE PROVISIONS FOR THEIR PUBLIC BUSINESSES PAYING THEIR “PERSONAL INCOME TAX”, AND PERSONAL PROVISIONS FOR THE CHAIRMAN’S FAMILY’S INSURANCE,( ie personal income provisions)..(HARDLY EQUITABLE FOR SHAREHOLDERS??).. 
    WELCOME BACK, FELLOW TEXAN.. JACK HUDSON

  • Albert G. Melcher

    You are back – life is better!  Thanks for the great Jan. 13 show. 

    Two comments. 1.  The book
    authors should include the subject of assets owned by the top few versus assets
    owned by the rest of us.  In the west
    huge acreages – many thousands of acres – are owned by super-rich.  These people advocate for the Feds to sell
    public land for revenue to reduce the debt but the only beneficiaries will be
    the super-rich who can but these lands. 

    2.  I believe that the
    shift of power to the super-rich and giant corporations and the erosion of the
    middle class are due in no small part to the apathy and self-centered versus community-centered
    psyche of the generations of the last 30 years or so.  I am 80 and can remember the 30’s where we
    all helped each other, where sustaining people community and its entire people
    was vital and motivating.  During and
    after WWII, nation-building, healthy community and infrastructure, education,
    civil rights, growing democratic civilization for ALL the citizenry, motivated
    us.  Then the self-indulgent “Me” generation
    evolved – the historical values were ignored and forgotten.  Participation in public affairs, non-governmental
    organizations, civil participations, declined. 
    So we are reaping the harvest of “Me” versus “We.”  The middle class abrogated its true self
    interest. 

    Albert G. Melcher Captain Civil engineer Corps USNR
    Retired. 

  • Albert G. Melcher

    You are back – life is better!  Thanks for the great Jan. 13 show. 

    Two comments. 1.  The book
    authors should include the subject of assets owned by the top few versus assets
    owned by the rest of us.  In the west
    huge acreages – many thousands of acres – are owned by super-rich.  These people advocate for the Feds to sell
    public land for revenue to reduce the debt but the only beneficiaries will be
    the super-rich who can but these lands. 

    2.  I believe that the
    shift of power to the super-rich and giant corporations and the erosion of the
    middle class are due in no small part to the apathy and self-centered versus community-centered
    psyche of the generations of the last 30 years or so.  I am 80 and can remember the 30’s where we
    all helped each other, where sustaining people community and its entire people
    was vital and motivating.  During and
    after WWII, nation-building, healthy community and infrastructure, education,
    civil rights, growing democratic civilization for ALL the citizenry, motivated
    us.  Then the self-indulgent “Me” generation
    evolved – the historical values were ignored and forgotten.  Participation in public affairs, non-governmental
    organizations, civil participations, declined. 
    So we are reaping the harvest of “Me” versus “We.”  The middle class abrogated its true self
    interest. 

    Albert G. Melcher Captain Civil engineer Corps USNR
    Retired. 

  • Duane Hanstein

    Bill, you have been missed.  Great show.  I learned so much last night.  I am moving to action and I am going to move others to action.  Time to take America back.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome back Bill! Don’t leave us again!!

    Friday night is my favorite TV night again with your show followed by Need to Know.

  • Stephen Raley

    Welcome back and bravo, Bill!!! 
    It’s so wonderful to see you on PBS again. I can’t thank you enough for bringing back the best show on TV even better! You are irreplaceable- a vital voice and a great guy. 

  • Linda

    Hi Mr. Moyers. A critical, and nearly overlooked, aspect of this discussion re wealth accumulation in the US is the one having to do with that particular American approach to life as being an exemplary representative of core American values. In the GOP primary, it’s even been suggested that those Americans without a lot of wealth are envious of those with a lot. These attitudes are so far away from my and my husband’s attitudes that it strikes me as being the “so how long have you been beating your wife?” meme.

    I did not start out my adult life focused on getting rich. I was focused on finding community; finding meaningful work that either enriches or solves problems within my community; and having enough time to take care of my health and my family’s health, and to volunteer in my community in ways that appeal to me. What I have increasingly experienced (I am now 58, my husband 64, and we have a 16-year-old at home) is that it has become impossibly difficult to survive in our society with those goals front and center.

    So from my perspective, it appears that our society is eating itself into oblivion, and our government is aiding and abetting that process, and certain ideologically-driven citizens are cheering the process on. How is wealth-accumulation something to be envious of, or to label as being “American”, when it is clearly leading our nation down a self-destructive path?

  • Linda

    Hi Mr. Moyers. A critical, and nearly overlooked, aspect of this discussion re wealth accumulation in the US is the one having to do with that particular American approach to life as being an exemplary representative of core American values. In the GOP primary, it’s even been suggested that those Americans without a lot of wealth are envious of those with a lot. These attitudes are so far away from my and my husband’s attitudes that it strikes me as being the “so how long have you been beating your wife?” meme.

    I did not start out my adult life focused on getting rich. I was focused on finding community; finding meaningful work that either enriches or solves problems within my community; and having enough time to take care of my health and my family’s health, and to volunteer in my community in ways that appeal to me. What I have increasingly experienced (I am now 58, my husband 64, and we have a 16-year-old at home) is that it has become impossibly difficult to survive in our society with those goals front and center.

    So from my perspective, it appears that our society is eating itself into oblivion, and our government is aiding and abetting that process, and certain ideologically-driven citizens are cheering the process on. How is wealth-accumulation something to be envious of, or to label as being “American”, when it is clearly leading our nation down a self-destructive path?

  • Post as 1745

    What is effective way to eliminate unlimited spending for campaigns for average people.?  What can be done about the current selections in the Republican Party?
    Happy you put in, at the end, the, to me, nonsense that a corporation counts as a person. No Supreme Court decision has ever made me this angry.  (Civil Rights legislation upset me for the children involved, especially for Charlotte-Mecklenburg County).  But for a corporation to be counted as a person?  Stupid.  And dangerous due to the now legal unlimited spending.   upset, including as a Southerner Civil Rights.

  • Rayme

    Thank you Bill for starting off your new show with Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker. I was so sad when your last show ended, the same feeling I had with the Citizens United decision! Thanks  so much for returning. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Astrid-Lee/774268958 Astrid Lee

    I can still remember how nervous i was asking Bill Moyers a question at a press conference in OK in the 1970′s.  He has only grown in my estimation in the 40 years since.  Thanks for coming back to us!

  • Mark

    We have missed you so much Bill. OK, everyone go to http://www.thirteen.org and DEMAND Moyers & Co. via the contact form. Do it now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Lindsay/100000605446639 Diane Lindsay

    So glad you are back- with an excellent intelligent program!! I so look forward to seeing it every week. Very pleased to be able to stream it from your website~Thank you!!

  • Me

    Ohhhh, am I glad to see you again! I missed you and your show so much! Thank you Thank You for coming back!

  • Aalpeace

    Your return to us has raised my spirits immensely.  I’ve  purchased a DVD of your 1st program, which focused on Engineered Inequality.  All of my progressive friends have been in despair for several years now, so I wish to lend a copy for them to view.  Some of them don’t have access to the internet, but are deeply concerned about the future of our democracy, and our families’ futures. I’ll also show it to my young adult grandchild.  You have revived my hopes and my determination to somehow help rather than just wring my hands.

  • Anonymous

    me too.

  • Melanie

    occupy the courts January 20. Check and see if your city is involved. Be Active
    http://MoveToAmend.org/occupythecourts/

  • Melanie

    Event January 20 See if your city is involved. Occupy the courts. Get involved.  http://MoveToAmend.org/occupythecourts/

  • RayRLewis

    Welcome back to public television with a great first show that adds facts to the rhetoric about the biggest issue facing America today. Keep the candle burning and leaning into the light!

  • mohammed

    Glad to enjoy reality check TV up and close with you Bill

  • Jeannetvedten

    Also gald to see you back you are the best truth teller!

  • Caralu57

    So grateful to have your voice back in the discussion – it’s been sorely missed and much needed.  Keep fighting the good fight and thanks for keeping us informed via rational, fact-based discourse – something quite lacking on the majority of “news” sources.  Welcome back, and thank you for coming back!

  • Athena Melville

    Outstanding show.. Thank you.  I posted it on the Education Now!  Facebook page, my own fb wall, and the wall of The Owl Report on Facebook.  It is so great to have you back.

  • Sassy

    Thanks Bill (and Judith) for an Excellent show that illustrates that retirement isn’t for everybody. Both of you are too young to retire. The country needs your youthful spirit to inspire the rest of us. Bless you!

  • Anonymous

    Thank God you are back!  For those of us that have been following you for years, we can’t say that we didn’t see the decimation0f the middle class coming.  We need your voice.

  • http://twitter.com/AHennessey72 Andrea Hennessey

    Thank you so much for all you are doing for all of us. We are indebted to you. Welcome back.

    I hope that people like me can find the will to do now what must be done. I hope that people like Mr. Melcher (below) will see our true values rise again. To that end we need your educating voice, your counterweighting bias–our truth.

    Please keep doing what you’re doing.

  • Linda

    Hi Mr. Moyers. A critical, and nearly overlooked, aspect of this discussion re wealth accumulation in the US is the one having to do with that particular American approach to life as being an exemplary representative of core American values. In the GOP primary, it’s even been suggested that those Americans without a lot of wealth are envious of those with a lot. These attitudes are so far away from my and my husband’s attitudes that it strikes me as being the “so how long have you been beating your wife?” meme.

    I did not start out my adult life focused on getting rich. I was focused on finding community; finding meaningful work that either enriches or solves problems within my community; and having enough time to take care of my health and my family’s health, and to volunteer in my community in ways that appeal to me. What I have increasingly experienced (I am now 58, my husband 64, and we have a 16-year-old at home) is that it has become impossibly difficult to survive in our society with those goals front and center.

    So from my perspective, it appears that our society is eating itself into oblivion, and our government is aiding and abetting that process, and certain ideologically-driven citizens are cheering the process on. How is wealth-accumulation something to be envious of, or to label as being “American”, when it is clearly leading our nation down a self-destructive path?

  • Brenda

    A hundred thousand welcomes, so happy to see you back with these amazing guests.  On my way to the library to get this remarkable book.  Thank you and I will be watching weekly 

  • Maggie Mandzuk

    Paulina, just go to the website for the PBS station that airs in TO or Mississauga and look in the schedule, probably Saturday night or Sunday morning. You could do a search in the schedule for Moyers and Company. You could also try Zap2it.com, which, once you’ve found the show, will give you repeats and future times.

    I get 2 PBS stations here, which I designed into my cable lineup. One airs the show at 11 am Sunday, the other at noon.

  • Dcorria14

    Glad that your back. A voice of reason at a time when the
    middle class is hurting.
    Dan

  • Plumcotg

    Let’s call it what it is “Gusher Up Economics.”

  • Maggie Mandzuk

    Albert,

    Great post and good to hear from someone who lived through the 30s and beyond and can speak for how it was when we cared for all the people together.

    I think that what’s different now and for the past 30 years or so is that taxes for those with the highest incomes have gradually, then sharply decreased, and regulation of financial institutions and corporations has degraded. It’s like the Wild West in economics.

    While Americans continue to help each other out, especially those in greatest need, it’s just not enough when all of the “middle” is suffering so greatly. Whole cities, towns, schools, hospitals, roads, factories, shops, etc. can’t be built from nothing.

    My hope is that the numbers of people who realize what’s really happening will increase, because right now many still don’t. That great DIY spirit can then be used to turn the course that the country is now going in. It’s shows like this one that is so sorely needed at this time, as opposed to the lies and half-truths that appear on most TV news & political programs.

  • John Smith

    Yes, people have been dooped into thinking our country was built on money, capitalism and work.

    It was not!

    It was built on freedom.

  • RachelMarta

    I am so glad that I happened upon this broadcast today after returning from a local political/social action group meeting that I attended in my community in MA. What I really liked about your interview as I always have liked them in the past, is that you ask such cogent questions. I liked Paul & Jacob’s responses to that there is still hope.

    Occupy Wall Street has re-awakened my citizen action passion. I have wondered for years why no one was speaking up (me included) when it was so obvious that the bankers and Wall Street types have been playing monopoly with other peoples’ money. They were not investing in jobs, or manufacturing products or services to benefit others, but just making more money. True gluttony as well as greed.

    I am 67 years old, living on social security and a 20 hour a week job I love at a social service agency. Our mission at this elder service agency is to keep our clients in their homes as long as possible by supplying them with professional as well as volunteer assistance. I am in the Money Management Program where we make sure our clients stay within their miniscule budgets so they don’t get evicted. The banks try every which way they can to charge enormous fees on the most vulnerable of our clients. Luckily, I have a good relationship with some of the bank managers and we find ways to protect our clients.

    In closing, I also read stories to my 94 year old blind mother by phone and just this week I read something I would like to share from Max Apple’s short story “The Jew of Home Depot”. In it an elderly character explains to someone “Serve the poor, that is the true road to wealth….Serve the poor honestly and you’ll never lack a thing.”

    Welcome back Bill. I am so glad I donated my 1991 Mercury Topaz to PBS last summer. I am reaping my reward in your show.

  • Mike Sisson

    Hacker and Pierson did an admirable job of restating the previously revealed truths regarding the nature of politics U.S. style in 2012, the dominant characteristics of which are the conjoined twins, campaign finance and lobbying.  What I didn’t hear in the question/answer format was if either author had any ideas regarding what might break this strangle hold so viciously defended by those it benefits. We currently live in a pay for service representation environment.  It’s very much like paying an attorney a retainer as a guarantee that he or she will be there Johnny on the spot to defend your special interest/s.  I don’t see any federal politicians volunteering to change this system because they have no self interest in doing so.

  • georgex

    I am so glad to have Bill Moyers back on PBS.

  • dbeech

    Having Bill Moyers back tonight has just improved the quality of my life!  He is a national treasure in my book. Thank you for the intelligent conversation and profound insights. Everyone in this country should be aware of what your guests’ research has revealed. It is this rapidly growing inequality that is the biggest threat to the future of our democracy.  

  • http://twitter.com/fausto412 Fausto Chavez

    Welcome back Bill! I was sad to see you go when I had just discovered you.

    You introduced me to Simon Johnson, Bill Black, and Robert Johnson. Thank you and I hope you are around until your last breath which I hope it’s when you are 100+. You Sir are an absolute treasure.

  • Wddriscoll

    Please fix your email for newsletter so it will accept gmail addresses.

    Thank you

  • FranG

    The answer is clear in the video. It is for us all to continue putting pressure on the politicians to advocate for change. We need to stand strong together to support and add our numbers to the Occupy movement. We might do this issue by issue, as we will differ in some areas. We can also directly pressure the corporate bad guys and call them on their strong-arm tactics.
    Michael Moore’s words keep ringing in my ears: “The One-Percent only have one percent of the vote.”

  • FranG

    These politicians honestly don’t have a clue. What was Mitt Romney saying the other day about envy? One of the best signs I’ve seen on an “Occupier” was, “I don’t mind you being rich. I mind you buying my politicians.” They also find it inconceivable that a few members of the 1% have come out to stand with the protesters. There are quite a few wealthy people who believe in justice for all.

    I’d also like to clarify that 99% doesn’t mean that all of those people are poor. They are the current, past and teetering middle class. The sad part is that many of the 99% are struggling, yet they hold up conservative ideology in case their ship comes in some day.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Moyer, you are the voice of reason. My only question is: Why are you not running for elected office? I would be delighted to have you as our President. For the first time in my 58 years, I have found someone I’d be willing to contribute money and time to help elect. Should you decide to run, count me in. Anybody out there agree with me?

  • Adam

    Thank you so much for returning and offering honest, deep and engaging analysis of the issues of the day. You have been missed!

  • uguessit

    Thank you!  Thank you!  Welcome back.

  • Bonnie

    So glad you are back.  Thanks for bringing this topic of economic inequality and the book to the public’s attention.  I have suspected what the author’s have said for quite a while.  Now I am boiling mad.  Every congressperson should read this book and hang his head in shame.  Who among them can say he is not for sale?

  • Carolahamilton

    So great to have Moyers back asking the important questions and getting out the facts of what is happening in America.  The two men, Hacker and Pierson were excellent and telling how this change has been engineered over the last 30 years.  Most of us in that time have been working, raising families, and contributing to our communities–living a version of the American Dream.  Somehow the dream is over and the edges are very frayed and I fear for the future for my children who think life will continue the way it did while they were growing up because I see a lagging behind in understanding from many of the young.  Thank heavens for the Occupy movement, the conversations I had with people at Occupy Seattle were very similar to the ones you aired–they GET IT!!  Now what will this next year of political reality do for the 99%?

    Carol

  • red camaro

    The cruel irony to your wish and mine, too, is that only progressives, liberals and the open-minded (the chior) watch and or listen to Bill Moyer’s programs and his inciteful messages. His voice is drowned out in the din of conservative and (t)ea party fear-mongering and histerics.

  • Jen Russert

    Yes!!!

  • Jody De La Vergne

    So glad to see you back!  We need truth and information so badly.  It is getting to hard to find.  Thank you.
    Jody

  • Ks

    So am I but the show is distributed by American Public Television, not PBS.

  • Libraryjp225

    I cannot begin to express how grateful I am that Bill Moyers has returned.  This is what I had hoped for ever since he announced his retirement (which was a crushing blow).  In turbulent and momentous times like these, we need a voice like Mr. Moyers’ to converse with the people, ALL of the people, (and not try to hoodwink them) – and not just the richest 1% – or, as his guests pointed out, a percentage even smaller than that. 

    I watched his program tonight, and I will watch it over and over.  I also intend to purchase any and all publications by these two wise and honorable guests.  Men and women like Bill Moyers can inform the public with honesty and integrity, something that most other media outlets and personalities cannot do any longer.  Honestly and integrity are indeed in short supply.  If Mr. Moyers related something, which later turned out to be in error, I would automatically think that it was the result of an honest error.  The same is true for Diane Rehm.  But, I cannot say that many in media have my trust any longer or that they speak for the people.

    THANK YOU for returning to the airwaves, especially now.  You have been terribly missed.  PLEASE stay with us.  We ALL need you, and so does the Occupy Movement.  The  people need an honest voice.  Yours has always been the most prominent one.  In a sea of corruption and dishonesty within and without government, your program is like manna from heaven.

  • Anonymous

    I cannot begin to express how grateful I am that Bill Moyers has returned.  This is what I had hoped for ever since he announced his retirement (which was a crushing blow).  In turbulent and momentous times like these, we need a voice like Mr. Moyers’ to converse with the people, ALL of the people, (and not try to hoodwink them) – and not just the richest 1% – or, as his guests pointed out, a percentage even smaller than that. 

    I watched his program tonight, and I will watch it over and over.  I also intend to purchase any and all publications by these two wise and honorable guests.  Men and women like Bill Moyers can inform the public with honesty and integrity, something that most other media outlets and personalities cannot do any longer.  Honestly and integrity are indeed in short supply.  If Mr. Moyers related something, which later turned out to be in error, I would automatically think that it was the result of an honest error.  The same is true for Diane Rehm.  But, I cannot say that many in media have my trust any longer or that they speak for the people.

    THANK YOU for returning to the airwaves, especially now.  You have been terribly missed.  PLEASE stay with us.  We ALL need you, and so does the Occupy Movement.  The  people need an honest voice.  Yours has always been the most prominent one.  In a sea of corruption and dishonesty within and without government, your program is like manna from heaven.

  • Patrick

    Mr Moyers, I hope you’ll supplement this interview with something notably missing from it: a detailed acct of why & how a representative democracy has, over the last 30 years, not only backed away from what social democracy it had (Judt), but more (as Hacker & Pierson here argue): to use a std phrase they don’t use, the “picket fence” (which held up even through the Depression) has collapsed.  One important aspect must be, as has been several times argued, the impact of money on TV on marketing on voting.  How else can it be explained that a (voting) majority will vote to transfer money from themselves to the wealthiest?  People need to realize what’s been happening to them.

  • VinceV

    Mr. Moyers,
    Congratulations on your return and “thank you” to all of the foundations that support your program. It bewilders me why  no other commentator has emerged and filled the gap in reporting and perspective that you provide. Your gravitas is sorely needed to bring  issues front and center; as well as to develop a mechanism to begin the incremental change that is required.

    The upcoming elections are a good time to determine how the candidates will deal with the needed reformation process. Let the voting begin!

    VinceV

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826120136 Joseph Psotka

    Wonderful show.  Great to have you back.  And truly inspiring to read the comments and see how few negative diatribes there are and how many thoughtful viewers there are, moved by the heartfelt desire to improve their community.

  • Anonymous

    I wish Bill Moyers was moderating some of the debates going on….those lies would be called out in a flash!

  • M.

    i saw you on the daily show, and thought -let’s give this show a try.  being a younger viewer, i have, of course, heard of you and your body of work and have probably passed by your show from time to time when i was even younger, lol.

    well, no more! this was a wonderful show that got the heart of the matter and pulled no punches, without being partisan.

    i truly hope you can moderate one of the national debates–and if anything–please go on more shows to introduce yourself to younger viewers who would GREATLY benefit from some unencumbered truth, without the false comparison “truth-telling” of most news programs out there that insist on having representatives of the supposed ‘both sides’ of the story, when really there is usually one side that is being royally defended by wealth and greed and the other that is trying to defend social and political welfare and equality.

  • M.

    i agree that no specific thing was given to do, except for the people to be outraged enough to do something about it.

    i was lucky enough to see a show that had Senator Sanders from Vermont as a guest explaining how he is putting forth a petition to REPEAL the CITIZENS UNITED ruling through an amendment to the constitution that says corporations are NOT people, and CANNOT contribute to campaign elections, and that congress and the states can regulate campaign finances.

    the only thing is, i bet he needs enough PEOPLE to sign it so that it makes enough of a statement that something can actually get passed in congress despite all of the things that are working against us.

    if anyone is interested the petition is at sanders.senate.gov

    i already feel a bit more optimistic just from signing it!

  • CommentDiva

    First so happy Bill Moyers is back, I always looked forward to his documentaries…so welcome back Mr. Moyers! This program for sure I think like the authors said no one didn’t know this is happening but it good to my learn deeper reasons for it. I too tried to save my hse and even though prior I was out of a job, used all my savings to try to save that house so much somths that I was only behind by 2 mths. I had got a job & when I got that first pay check I ran to the bank to pay my mortgage and they refused to take take saying I refinance or pay all the Balance. After not having a job for 22 mth how could I pay all the money? So I opted for a refi. After 6 mths of frustration by one of the big banks I was tired & let the foreclose. I really wondered with all the stories of pple frustrated with the refi process what these banks that were bailed out aren’t trully working to help the common pple. Tho I don’t know all that’s happens behind the scenes, I believe these banks controlled the success or failure of the Gvt helping the normal pple tthey shamelessly did all they cld to keep the R/E Mkts down bse it benefited them. So yes I TOTALLY AGREE THAT IN this poli-ticking its the WINNER TAKES IT ALL even at the expense of the 99%. Let’s wakeup AMERICA!!

  • Iowa Grandma

    Mr Moyers did say that the next 2 shows are to be a continuation of this subject

  • Al Walskey “Pesky Activist”

    Welcome back Bill.  I missed you.  You have the knack of laying out the facts in a way that reveals the indisputable truth of a situation.  The best part is that you put the human face of “the people” on your stories.  Will be looking forward to future editions.  As a Vietnam era Veteran after 9 years I left the Army to enjoy the fruits of my labor as a protector of Democracy only to find that the fight for real Democracy had just begun.  What has been won with our blood has been given away by the political traitors within.  “Et tu, Brute?”  To this I would add ”We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us”   Walt Kelly
    first used this quote on a poster
    for Earth Day in 1970. The poster is shown above. In 1971, he did a two panel
    version with Pogo and Porky in a trash filled swamp. http://www.igopogo.com/we_have_met.htm

  • Bob M.

    Welcome Back Bill, Thank God! I can’t begin to tell you how much I missed the  intelligent, fact based, profound discussions you always have. You always seem to bring me back from the brink of despair in regards to our political and economical system.

  • Herbie50

    welcome back   good to see you again .. nicely done as usual  .. politics lobby groups and money … since the law of supply and demand has been replaced by greed the status quo has to be revisited (and nobody seems to want too, from banks, corp, wall street, govt)  .. since the supreme court said a corp is  one voice one vote kinda puts the middle class (or what is left of it) in the back seat .. in utah we have convention (one of only two states) so before a primary vote we can kick out a political candidate not allowing their name on a primary ballot (for example bennett 2010) therefore we the little citizens of utah are hoping to do it again this summer with hatch .. then we hope the rookies will mess with the lobby system and help with what is left of the middle class get a toe or part of a foot into the political process door again in washington DC ??
    good luck to us all

  • S. LeGault

    I’m glad you’re back on broadcast media, Mr. Moyers—you’ve been missed. I truly enjoyed watching the debut of Moyers & Company, and wish you, and your staff, all the best. However, for many years, I’ve been concerned (read: angered) that reasonable assertions challenging the deliberate nature of American inequality are falling largely on deaf ears, and deaf everything else. Just watch ANY of the RepubTeaCon candidates clamoring to be CEO of this nation speak, and you’ll have ample proof of that. Their “I got mine!” smugness and aloof arrogance sickens me to the core. The expressions on some of those Senator’s faces during the opening segment of your show said it all: If you don’t have, you don’t deserve; now, please go away. I dare say that, short of spontaneously bursting into flame, Amanda Greubel’s presence and testimony had ZERO chance of engendering a sympathetic reaction. The Ivory Tower set, fat on pharaonic wealth, and protected by ill-gotten political influence, will stop at nothing to keep their riches and power… they’ll tenaciously thwart all attempts to reconcile this historic imbalance. Believe that. Thank you for caring enough to bring attention to this pressing issue. I hope there’s still time to make a substantive difference there before another entire generation is lost to the self-aggrandizing machinations and blind whimsy of those in the 1%. You’ll forgive me, though, if I don’t hold my breath.

  • Cwingsong

    I just caught the end of this show I wish I’d seemly all!

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you’re back on broadcast media, Mr. Moyers—you’ve been missed. I truly enjoyed watching the debut of Moyers & Company, and wish you, and your staff, all the best. However, for many years, I’ve been concerned (read: angered) that reasonable assertions challenging the deliberate nature of American inequality are falling largely on deaf ears, and deaf everything else. Just watch ANY of the RepubTeaCon candidates clamoring to be CEO of this nation speak, and you’ll have ample proof of that. Their “I got mine!” smugness and aloof arrogance sickens me to the core. The expressions on some of those Senator’s faces during the opening segment of your show said it all: If you don’t have, you don’t deserve; now, please go away. I dare say that, short of spontaneously bursting into flame, Amanda Greubel’s presence and testimony had ZERO chance of engendering a sympathetic reaction. The Ivory Tower set, fat on pharaonic wealth, and protected by ill-gotten political influence, will stop at nothing to keep their riches and power… they’ll tenaciously thwart all attempts to reconcile this historic imbalance. Believe that. Thank you for caring enough to bring attention to this pressing issue. I hope there’s still time to make a substantive difference there before another entire generation is lost to the self-aggrandizing machinations and blind whimsy of those in the 1%. You’ll forgive me, though, if I don’t hold my breath.

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you’re back on broadcast media, Mr. Moyers—you’ve been missed. I truly enjoyed watching the debut of Moyers & Company, and wish you, and your staff, all the best. However, for many years, I’ve been concerned (read: angered) that reasonable assertions challenging the deliberate nature of American inequality are falling largely on deaf ears, and deaf everything else. Just watch ANY of the RepubTeaCon candidates clamoring to be CEO of this nation speak, and you’ll have ample proof of that. Their “I got mine!” smugness and aloof arrogance sickens me to the core. The expressions on some of those Senator’s faces during the opening segment of your show said it all: If you don’t have, you don’t deserve; now, please go away. I dare say that, short of spontaneously bursting into flame, Amanda Greubel’s presence and testimony had ZERO chance of engendering a sympathetic reaction. The Ivory Tower set, fat on pharaonic wealth, and protected by ill-gotten political influence, will stop at nothing to keep their riches and power… they’ll tenaciously thwart all attempts to reconcile this historic imbalance. Believe that. Thank you for caring enough to bring attention to this pressing issue. I hope there’s still time to make a substantive difference there before another entire generation is lost to the self-aggrandizing machinations and blind whimsy of those in the 1%. You’ll forgive me, though, if I don’t hold my breath.

  • Stephen

    This is an extremely important subject based on an excellent book.  Thank you, Bill Moyers, for taking it on.
    Although a voracious reader, lately I had been asking myself why the media commentary is so unenlightening about both the issues and the records of the political candidates.  Hacker and Pierson’s book does a wonderful job of explaining why, with a useful history of how politics have changed in the last three decades –and they summarize the reason in the two phrases “politics as spectacle (which focus on the theater of the election) versus “politics as organized combat” (which focuses on how policies get enacted).I recommend the book highly, and look forward to Bill Moyers’ handling of the subject.    

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you’re back on broadcast media, Mr. Moyers—you’ve been missed. I truly enjoyed watching the debut of Moyers & Company, and wish you, and your staff, all the best. However, for many years, I’ve been concerned (read: angered) that reasonable assertions challenging the deliberate nature of American inequality are falling largely on deaf ears, and deaf everything else. Just watch ANY of the RepubTeaCon candidates clamoring to be CEO of this nation speak, and you’ll have ample proof of that. Their “I got mine!” smugness and aloof arrogance sickens me to the core. The expressions on some of those Senator’s faces during the opening segment of your show said it all: If you don’t have, you don’t deserve; now, please go away. I dare say that, short of spontaneously bursting into flame, Amanda Greubel’s presence and testimony had ZERO chance of engendering a sympathetic reaction. The Ivory Tower set, fat on pharaonic wealth, and protected by ill-gotten political influence, will stop at nothing to keep their riches and power… they’ll tenaciously thwart all attempts to reconcile this historic imbalance. Believe that. Thank you for caring enough to bring attention to this pressing issue. I hope there’s still time to make a substantive difference there before another entire generation is lost to the self-aggrandizing machinations and blind whimsy of those in the 1%. You’ll forgive me, though, if I don’t hold my breath.

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you’re back on broadcast media, Mr. Moyers—you’ve been missed. I truly enjoyed watching the debut of Moyers & Company, and wish you, and your staff, all the best. However, for many years, I’ve been concerned (read: angered) that reasonable assertions challenging the deliberate nature of American inequality are falling largely on deaf ears, and deaf everything else. Just watch ANY of the RepubTeaCon candidates clamoring to be CEO of this nation speak, and you’ll have ample proof of that. Their “I got mine!” smugness and aloof arrogance sickens me to the core. The expressions on some of those Senator’s faces during the opening segment of your show said it all: If you don’t have, you don’t deserve; now, please go away. I dare say that, short of spontaneously bursting into flame, Amanda Greubel’s presence and testimony had ZERO chance of engendering a sympathetic reaction. The Ivory Tower set, fat on pharaonic wealth, and protected by ill-gotten political influence, will stop at nothing to keep their riches and power… they’ll tenaciously thwart all attempts to reconcile this historic imbalance. Believe that. Thank you for caring enough to bring attention to this pressing issue. I hope there’s still time to make a substantive difference there before another entire generation is lost to the self-aggrandizing machinations and blind whimsy of those in the 1%. You’ll forgive me, though, if I don’t hold my breath.

  • Chunkybutfunky44

    I couldn’t find this on my TV so I watched it on my computer.  Yeah for my side.  I heard a politician either in or from Texas say he will believe a corporation is a person when Texan executes one.  L.L.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cathy.kleinsmith Cathy Kleinsmith

    The part I found most spine chilling was when they
    compared our economic system to Mexico’s and discussed how the military protects
    the monied class there. I immediately thought of the coordinated actions this
    past Fall when on the same day many Occupy sites across the country were dismantled with
    massive police support and when Mayor Bloomberg boasted that he had the seventh
    largest army in the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cathy.kleinsmith Cathy Kleinsmith

    The part I found most spine chilling was when they
    compared our economic system to Mexico’s and discussed how the military protects
    the monied class there. I immediately thought of the coordinated actions this
    past Fall when on the same day many Occupy sites across the country were dismantled with
    massive police support and when Mayor Bloomberg boasted that he had the seventh
    largest army in the world.

  • Bolero

    Bill, I’m so glad you’re back! I felt “Friday night withdrawal” when your last two programs ended. As another commenter wrote, your return is “none too soon.” We need your intelligent, penetrating, and timely interviews and commentary to help us make sense of the political and economic circus around us. Traditional media are co-opted, if not corrupted. Thank you for stepping forward once again.

  • Anticrisis73

    This is how one should live regardless of fiduciary context. Waste not Want not, Bitchesss…

  • Carolpaul49

    Great ,Bill you are back , you are a truly a n  American, tell them like it is , thank you CV

  • Dick Shotwell

    Bill,
    I address you as “Bill” because I feel that you are a personal friend.  Your TV shows were always the highlight of my week.  I am so gled you have returned. 
    Best Wishes,
    Dick Shotwell

  • Desling

    Why has the sound stopped on the program?  The WVIZ volume on our program stopped. I went on line to try to get it..but the WVIZ ideastream station sound track just mysteriously stopped ….any ideas other than the obvious?

    DE

  • Anonymous

    I think I would have answered the man in the suit who so admired rich people with this answer:

    When he pointed to the buildings and commented that poor people wouldn’t have their names on buildings, I would have said that the people with their names on these buildings got their money on the backs of and from the wallets of these (OWS) people. These (OWS) are the people who built these building. They provided the vehicle through which this person obtained his wealth. Rich people owe their wealth to the workers who build their products, to the consumers who purchase their products, the taxpayers who provide the corporate welfare they enjoy.

    Capitalism is cannibalizing  the very elements that helped build it. If these people were truly smart, they would see that.

  • Ascheppach

    I so thank you for returning to PBS.  Occasionally, I turn on CNN and shake my head and turn the TV off,  muttering there is nothing on TV that moves us to action.   Your thoughtful commentaries, your commitment to serving this nation are an inspiration.  I am going to write my friends to go to your web site.  Just the beginning.

  • Writterjoe

    great program.  Welcoe back, Bill!

  • Joy

    As usual Moyers (Anti-God) is following poplular opinion not historical truths.  Politics have always been for the big guy with the little guy paying the fee.  Nothing new except all of us who are among those in the populous believe we should have it all.  This was not always true in America when people had values for family and faith.   The book is the popular opinion without common sense or real life truth.

  • Anonymous

    This story is about Israel’s survival v. the middle-class.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Moyers, I can only say thank God you are back I ha given up on PBS since you left. You and Amy Goodman are my favorite voices. The American people need you more than ever!!!!

  • NeoLotus

    Occupy Wall Street = Human Rights Movement

  • Leolady2

    Can’t even spell, can you?

  • Leslie

    Fantastic, enlightening, informative TV show tonight. We all need to hear what Hacker and Pierson said, namely: both Dems and Republicans are complicit in engineering our policies, laws and regulations so that the very rich (who pay for both Dems and Republican campaigns) benefit. I hope we all tell our friends about Bill Moyers’ programs, Occupy Wall Street’s goals, and thinkers like Pierson and Hacker. Congrats on a superb program. So glad you are back on TV.

  • Cass-q

    It  was not based on “freedom” except  freedom from European structures  of the past.  It was built by having machines at a point in history,  that could travel and ake ”ownership” of a country previously peopled by others.  It was good at making machines, and machines can multiply results so far beyond the scale of  previous efforts by  craftsmen, that machines bring great  power - and widespread  results – but people using such machines can be vastly ignorant,  without knowing it,  of the lives and value of  what  the machines over-run.  Finally, the engergetic and dedicated men who  worked to  develop  this  country, lived in communities where they supplied  the physical structures, but women, beings of  different ages, and various cultural traditions and in some parts of the country slaves, provided the working backdrop of  background  supports that encouraged  and gave goals and  hope to  the energy of the men.  Those free men’s ideals  did not create an  entirely new  system  alone.  Freedom didn’t do it, everyone’s work  did.  The system is only as valuable  as its  ability to know and appreciate each other,  learn of each others struggles and successes, and realize the many contributions that  went into great  changes, not speak  as if the free  men did  it by themselves.  Ignorance  can make unseen but huge mistakes and humility of all humans is needed,  to  listen, state them,  and  together  work  for human  betterment of  inclusion,  home,  community, where  all  people  help each other and are curious enough to  learn about and respect  each other. 

  • Charles

    Welcome back Bill Moyers.

    For about a year and a half I’ve been attempting to advise others how to fix what’s actually broke on my own http://www.amendforasafeus.com; not that difficult to understand and implement for people who care more about governance than factory entertainment.

    author@amendforasafeus.com

  • Patrick keller

    Bravo Bill Moyers.

  • Pinkers864

    Sorry, dear.  But they control the ads that go on TV and will be heard, ad nauseum just before the election ( if Iowa is any indication).    And sorry to say, the masses who are (rhymes with masses) can be duped by clever ads.

  • Brad Sargeant

    Thank you Bill Moyers
    We missed you while you were gone
    Thanks for coming back

  • Donald Giles Miller

    i agree, thanks bill, also someone needs to confront those that pretend to lead us with the facts of the book, I am a old man yelling at the TV, wishing I could walk…

  • Hoffmanp

    Welcome back…but where’s the email contact info. No public input? What about a show on the GLASS-STEAGALL ACT that created the finacial breakdown?

  • Anonymous

    The wealth concentration is not only in a small group of people, it is disproportionately concentrated in a small group that does not include anyone performing essential services to society such as teaching or nursing.  I question whether a young person choosing a career today can expect to provide, for one adult and one child, a safe and comfortable home with heat and electricity, health care, food, college costs, as well as maintain an automobile, on the average salary for professions such as K-12 teacher, registered nurse, or social worker, with several years’ experience.  People in most middle-income jobs are lacking not only money, but also time.  People who want to assume financial responsibility for themselves and possibly a child or two are increasingly needing to choose careers based not on what is needed by our citizenry, but instead on what will pay adequately.  Increasingly, careers that provide responsible adult incomes are overly concentrated in the financial services sector and do not exist in fields with greater societal value.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, welcome back!  I understand that your new series is backed by American Public Television, not PBS. Is it politically significant that this is so?Was pressure from the corporatocracy  brought to bear? If Americans could tear themselves from watching junk entertainment, and instead read Hacker and Pierson’s book (and similar publications) they might have a greater awareness of the problems, and causes of, facing us. The American citizen is much like a frog in a pot of warm water which will soon be boiled before it realizes what has happened.

  • Jennifer A Thompson

    I saw the premier and was engaged until its conclusion.  I will be buying the book, because I too am a political science major.  These guys have revealed how this political machine in America has spent a great deal of time and money expanding the poverty levels to the extent of making it a business.  I earned a graduate degree also, and have yet to enter the mainstream of making grad school money!  This program is insightful and I hope it continues to open the eyes of all Americans who believe in the  dream Dr. Martin Luther King inspired.  Great show!

  • Anuledr

    Great program – very inspirational and motivating.  How can I purchase this 3 part series?  Tried PBS website and it’s not available.

  • Anonymous

    Fran, I agree with 99% of what you wrote,  but with one exception: the politicians most assuredly “have a clue.” Long term planning, attention to detail,  perseverance, etc. by the power elite has resulted in a vastly altered social/economic landscape brought about by the passage of a myriad of seemingly insignificant bills and laws….one might say “death by a thousand cuts”. Maintaining a low profile is often a successful strategy.

  • Joysea

    Unfortunately, most Americans watch TV.  I don’t.  So I won’t be seeing those expensive, nasty campaign ads.  I do read many excellent articles and books… and keep up with basic news on the Internet.  But Bill Moyers is such a wonderful source for understanding the real issues!  He’s always been the greatest journalist!      

  • Judisierra

    No. We need him in the 4th estate where most other journalists and certainly the mainstream media no longer do their job.

  • Sfdphd

    I’m so glad to see Bill Moyers back on TV. What a relief to have his intelligent perspective with intelligent guests and thought-provoking discussion. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into these shows!

  • Anonymous

    Inspiring, but unfortunately  Moyers and his guests avoid the AIPAC lobby likely fearful of being professionally ostracized and personally smeared anti-semitic. The U.S. congress is wholly owned by lobbyists because Israel’s safety depends on a mighty American military, so don’t expect to see defense spending decline much. U.S. airbases have now been completed in Afghanistan and Iraq thus sandwiching Iran along two borders, and nuclear Pakistan will soon need neutering because a single nuclear strike on Tel Aviv would finish-off Israel. The middle-class descent into poverty will likely continue as American prosperity is exhausted in the middle-east.

  • Mgwhite

    Welcome back Bill. Your perspective is sorely needed and deserves wider exposure. The inequity of the well gap will destroy our country, if it is not brought under some degree of control.

  • JMK

    We should all write our elected officials at all levels and shame them into using their ability to write tax law and then use it to increase our revenue so that local government, public education and salaries of teachers and public servants are increased, even if it means that the wealthy see some reduction in their income.

  • Oblio

    Oh my my.  I am so happy Moyers is back.  Finally at long last we have found an oasis in this desert of rationality in America today.  Thanks Bill.  Welcome home to the place you belong.  Here, with The People.

  • 60′s Survior

    Bill is Back! Best news I’ve had since he retired. Once again there is hope! And when, pray tell, is he going to be awarded his long overdue Nobel Prize? If he doesn’t deserve one, who does?

    This, his first show since coming out of retirement, is the first program related to news that I’ve seen in months that was worth watching. While I worry that the authors of Winner -Take – All Politics didn’t go quite far enough in their critique of the American system and it’s current sad state they nonetheless did an outstanding job in describing the events leading up to the economic meltdown and sad recovery to merit a Pulitzer themselves. Keep up the good work guys!

  • Anonymous

    Would you please place the link to “Watch Now” on the actual top banner…folks are finding the black and white on RHS hard to find and missing the replay of such an important and must watch show.   And thanks Bill for re-emerging.  We need you at this most pivotal time in USA and global history.  Blessings
    @pdjmoo:twitter

  • Conraddamian

    The “buffeting” problems kept me from being able to watch the whole show. Can’t that kind of a glitch be worked out? It is so good to have you back on the air. I hope I will get to see a complete show sometime. This was excellent. By the way, Donald Trump has asserted that the middle class is an outmoded idea and that the US will be better served by a two class system of the rich and the poor. That is the plan. Expect a major well funded attack on you, Mr. Moyers. They will hate you as much as organized labor being attacked in every statehouse and board room in America.
    Hope to be able to finish the program when it works.
    CDamian

  • Samsuitt

    I wish your solution was true. But I have no faith whatever that it is. This problem will never be solved through the system, by politicians. That’s because the system and politicians ARE the problem, and those vested so deeply in and wealthy because of the system are never going to dismantle it. That’s why you do not see any meaningful response from politicians to the concerns of Americans any more – only to the interests of their owners and funders. The solution, if there even is one, will have to come from outside. That is why, despite all its many and obvious shortcomings and dangers, I support the Occupy movement. Right now, it’s the only game in town that represents the changes that must be made if the nation is to survive in any recognizable form.

  • Concerned2

    Thank you!  Thank you!  Refreshing and really gets the mind going.

        Yes, we need to know:  Why are we going bankrupt?  Where did all the money go?
         This is a Democratis/Republic, still….so, Please just look at this idea:
          The Trilateral Commission (TRC) says it is “not a conspiracy and open to people knowing about it….SO:
      I’m not saying this – they are in their own literature:

        The TRC  advises, directs and controls:
                  Banks:  Central Banks
                  All Media
                   All Corporations
                  Universities
                  Churches:  World Council of Churches
                    ……and Government Positions
       Control of the economy is extremely important, as is the Energy, Food Supply and Education.
       Banks invest, of course.  They especially invest “Offshore’: in other countries.  If they loose the invested money………our economy pays for it. 
      The power of the Top 1% is amazing.

  • Anonymous

    Such a thought-provoking show this evening re. Pierson and Hacker. So completely delighted that you are back, Mr. Moyers!!!

  • ipswichma

    How many times have we said… “I wish Bill Moyers were here to counteract the lack of real content and news on television today”. Welcome back Bill… YOU ARE NEEDED!

  • NDavout

    After the Greeks, we have by far the dumbest voters on this planet.  They aided and abetted the picking of their pockets and – 30 years later – are angry as hell but have still not figured out what happened.  The best Con of the 20th Century!

  • ShitTowneMan

    ‘Bout time you came back You SOB!

    Can’t wait for more intelligent & meaningful reporting

    THANK YOU BILL MOYERS
    (& Company)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.shenberger Ronald Shenberger

    An excellent interview

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLVT7UFAEJRMY5UCAESPSAJLKE BKMstkeswereRNs

    I disagree that the tax changes in 1986 were fair and wise,
    the lowering of the top rates encouraged spending more money on lobbying
    politicians.   The tax changes in the 1980’s encouraged trickle down
    economic and supply side economics; both theories were and are massive failures
    for democracy and the middle class.  In
    1986, tax loopholes should have been closed without the massive lowering of
    rates.  Industry and jobs started to leave the country with all the tax
    code changes in 1981, 1983 and 1986.   The intentional destruction of
    U.S.-based manufacturing and research was increase by all the tax changes in
    the 1980′s and were exacerbate by the Democratic and Republican policies that
    continued in the next two decades.  Remember
    the S&L crisis was just a trial run for the 2008 banking crisis.  It was the same type of idiotic thought
    process (and idiots) involved in lowering of rates in the 1986 tax changes that
    gave us the S&L debacle.  Just as
    with the tax changes, the thought process was that they could not go back and a
    more unrestrictive system in taxes and banking would reap rewards.  It is like a drunk or addict, the more you
    provide uncontrolled access the deeper the problem becomes.  The more the USA relied on tax cuts and unregulated
    banks/wall street, the further the middle class suffered at the hands of the
    tax-cut and deregulation addicts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLVT7UFAEJRMY5UCAESPSAJLKE BKMstkeswereRNs

    I disagree that the tax changes in 1986 were fair and wise,
    the lowering of the top rates encouraged spending more money on lobbying
    politicians.   The tax changes in the 1980’s encouraged trickle down
    economic and supply side economics; both theories were and are massive failures
    for democracy and the middle class.  In
    1986, tax loopholes should have been closed without the massive lowering of
    rates.  Industry and jobs started to leave the country with all the tax
    code changes in 1981, 1983 and 1986.   The intentional destruction of
    U.S.-based manufacturing and research was increase by all the tax changes in
    the 1980′s and were exacerbate by the Democratic and Republican policies that
    continued in the next two decades.  Remember
    the S&L crisis was just a trial run for the 2008 banking crisis.  It was the same type of idiotic thought
    process (and idiots) involved in lowering of rates in the 1986 tax changes that
    gave us the S&L debacle.  Just as
    with the tax changes, the thought process was that they could not go back and a
    more un-restrictive system in taxes and banking would reap rewards.  It is like a drunk or addict, the more you
    provide uncontrolled access the deeper the problem becomes.  The more the USA relied on tax cuts and unregulated
    banks/wall street, the further the middle class suffered at the hands of the
    tax-cut and deregulation addicts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLVT7UFAEJRMY5UCAESPSAJLKE BKMstkeswereRNs

    I disagree that the tax changes in 1986 were fair and wise,
    the lowering of the top rates encouraged spending more money on lobbying
    politicians.   The tax changes in the 1980’s encouraged trickle down
    economic and supply side economics; both theories were and are massive failures
    for democracy and the middle class.  In
    1986, tax loopholes should have been closed without the massive lowering of
    rates.  Industry and jobs started to leave the country with all the tax
    code changes in 1981, 1983 and 1986.   The intentional destruction of
    U.S.-based manufacturing and research was increase by all the tax changes in
    the 1980′s and were exacerbate by the Democratic and Republican policies that
    continued in the next two decades.  Remember
    the S&L crisis was just a trial run for the 2008 banking crisis.  It was the same type of idiotic thought
    process (and idiots) involved in lowering of rates in the 1986 tax changes that
    gave us the S&L debacle.  Just as
    with the tax changes, the thought process was that they could not go back and a
    more un-restrictive system in taxes and banking would reap rewards.  It is like a drunk or addict, the more you
    provide uncontrolled access the deeper the problem becomes.  The more the USA relied on tax cuts and unregulated
    banks/wall street, the further the middle class suffered at the hands of the
    tax-cut and deregulation addicts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLVT7UFAEJRMY5UCAESPSAJLKE BKMstkeswereRNs

    I disagree that the tax changes in 1986 were fair and wise,
    the lowering of the top rates encouraged spending more money on lobbying
    politicians.   The tax changes in the 1980’s encouraged trickle down
    economic and supply side economics; both theories were and are massive failures
    for democracy and the middle class.  In
    1986, tax loopholes should have been closed without the massive lowering of
    rates.  Industry and jobs started to leave the country with all the tax
    code changes in 1981, 1983 and 1986.   The intentional destruction of
    U.S.-based manufacturing and research was increase by all the tax changes in
    the 1980′s and were exacerbate by the Democratic and Republican policies that
    continued in the next two decades.  Remember
    the S&L crisis was just a trial run for the 2008 banking crisis.  It was the same type of idiotic thought
    process (and idiots) involved in lowering of rates in the 1986 tax changes that
    gave us the S&L debacle.  Just as
    with the tax changes, the thought process was that they could not go back and a
    more un-restrictive system in taxes and banking would reap rewards.  It is like a drunk or addict, the more you
    provide uncontrolled access the deeper the problem becomes.  The more the USA relied on tax cuts and unregulated
    banks/wall street, the further the middle class suffered at the hands of the
    tax-cut and deregulation addicts.

  • http://www.cyclesofearth.com/ Larry-Michael

    The both of you are publicly back among us!  Thank you.

  • Loretta

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! FIrst for returning and secondly for this incredibly informative show.  I have followed you for 40 years and am deeply grateful that you are back to help us discover the real truth.

  • leftofcenter

    What about the idea that weakness isn’t tolerated in today’s society? Whether it’s losing your job or home thru no fault of your own. Or maybe it’s because of some illness that you’re struggling with that you can’t get the proper treatment for. If you watch different politicians and segments of society, that seems to be the message coming thru.

    You’re supposed to pull yourself up by your whatever and get on with it. But also, don’t expect anyone to help you or listen to you. Does that bother anybody at the top?

  • Sage

    How in the world do you form your opinions? We do not believe we should have it all but remember the 50s and 60s when we were doing so much better economically?  We do believe our government should be working for the common people and not just the rich.  This is a democracy after all and that’s what it stands for! 
     I don’t know who you associate with either because people in the US do have values for family and faith.  What in the world are you talking about?  Watching too much tv maybe?
    Common sense is 1 percent control all the wealth in this country? Real life truth is we should have such great unemployment, banks should set us all up for failure economically, and Bill Moyers is Anti-God?  What cult leader are you listening too?

  • Wcoady

    There are winners and losers,but one must ask te question “who makes the winners?”. Why we do every time we vote , we justify and empower the top 1 %.

    In order to get back in the game, the 99%, must deny the 1% the power to control our system of govering, we do this by refusing to support their political sheep or as they call them  elected officials and their political gangs.

    Every time we vote , we empower the very people who we are trying to take a stand against. We must cut the head off the snake, but not funding them, supporting them with our vote.

    The system is controlled by big fat corporate leaches , we all know this so why help them to continue “their” political abuse?

    We can march…we can protest in the streets, but nothing will change until we deny them of our vote. If the system is not working for you, but instead is working against you, then why support it. 

    If you are being shot at …would you make sure that the person shotting at you had more amo and run out and buy it for them? Why then give some one your approval to continue the political abuse….whose the fool here in this corrupt political system, the 99%  or the top 1% ? So far we in the 99% have proven to be the fools.

  • Wcoady

    There are winners and losers,but one must ask te question “who makes the winners?”. Why we do every time we vote , we justify and empower the top 1 %.

    In order to get back in the game, the 99%, must deny the 1% the power to control our system of govering, we do this by refusing to support their political sheep or as they call them  elected officials and their political gangs.

    Every time we vote , we empower the very people who we are trying to take a stand against. We must cut the head off the snake, but not funding them, supporting them with our vote.

    The system is controlled by big fat corporate leaches , we all know this so why help them to continue “their” political abuse?

    We can march…we can protest in the streets, but nothing will change until we deny them of our vote. If the system is not working for you, but instead is working against you, then why support it. 

    If you are being shot at …would you make sure that the person shotting at you had more amo and run out and buy it for them? Why then give some one your approval to continue the political abuse….whose the fool here in this corrupt political system, the 99%  or the top 1% ? So far we in the 99% have proven to be the fools.

  • Wcoady

    There are winners and losers,but one must ask te question “who makes the winners?”. Why we do every time we vote , we justify and empower the top 1 %.
     
    In order to get back in the game, the 99%, must deny the 1% the power to control our system of govering, we do this by refusing to support their political sheep or as they call them  elected officials and their political gangs.
     
     
    Every time we vote , we empower the very people who we are trying to take a stand against. We must cut the head off the snake, but not funding them, supporting them with our vote.
     
    The system is controlled by big fat corporate leaches , we all know this so why help them to continue “their” political abuse?
     
    We can march…we can protest in the streets, but nothing will change until we deny them of our vote. If the system is not working for you, but instead is working against you, then why support it. 
     
    If you are being shot at …would you make sure that the person shotting at you had more amo and run out and buy it for them? Why then give some one your approval to continue the political abuse….whose the fool here in this corrupt political system, the 99%  or the top 1% ? So far we in the 99% have proven to be the fools.

  • agamemnon

    welcome back bill, and thank you for adding a factual voice to the malaise of television reporting today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000058915762 Perry Jordan

    Great show! I think the largest factor in the transfer of wealth was the advent of the 401k back in the 80′s. The 401k was the single most event in the waning influence of labor unions.

    The primary responsibility of unions back then was to negotiate and manage a pension fund for its members. Secondary was the union’s efforts for liveable wages and a safe work place. When we changed to a system of “personal responsibility” through individual retirement accounts, unions were no longer as necessary. After all, we had the “government” to insure we had a safe work place and unions “held back” the exceptional employee with their concept of seniority rules.

    Corporate America/Wall Street fooled us big time by tricking us to change our pension systems. When 401k’s first came out, employers offered a 1 to 1 match of your personal contributions. A huge majority of this money went into the stock market. Now most employers only match 25% if anything at all.

    Through manipulation of the stock market, most pension funds (401k’s) only earn maybe the same 5% they were earning in the old pension systems.  Corporate America/Wall Street has funneled most of that money that was safe in pension systems into the stock market and put that money into their own pockets through manipulation of the markets based solely on computer automated transactions based on algorithms and not based on capital investment which was the original intent of investment .

    Gordon Gekko was right. He makes nothing, yet owns everything. We have transferred all our money into the stock market and not received anything. This is how they did it and the middle class will never come back unless “they” let us.

  • Nancy Fellenz

    Welcome back, Bill Moyers. You have been sorely missed. Thank you for starting with this most important subject. It’s wonderful that we, the 99% are beginning to understand how this is happening to us.  Your interview is excellent, and I love that you can’t believe it yourself!!  The movie “THRIVE” takes this entire subject a step further and is excellent, also..

  • Bckofford

    While I heard that the 1% has fortified their resources through the purchase of government and that resolution may begin with a change to campaign finance, my loss of faith in media has me question the financial backing of this program and the authors. It seems that the media utilizes air space with various distractions as well as well hidden product placement; therefore is there an effort to direct the powerless anger of 99% towards politicans as a means to shield the 1%? in other words, who is cannon fodder in this class war?

  • Rmcm

    If you are middle class you should watch this. What to do about  this? I don’t know Throw the bums out? Don’t re-elect your “Representavives”? Middle Class needs to do something.
    Soon.

  • Rose Reeder

    I love what these two men have done with their lives and Mr. Moyer for having them on your show.  The truth is coming to the fore-front more and more and my dream is that we continue to do what needs to be done for the change to take place.  So many of us have lost our homes and jobs with so little hope left.  This will take the whole country down if we don’t reach some kind of balance.  I feel the country has become so corrupt due to our political leaders showing us the way.  The people follow their leaders! No wonder our prisons are overflowing…….

  • kitter

    so glad yer back!!  and look who came with you!  this is change we can believe in…

  • Wcoady

    What to hell is wrong with this country any way, when you walk into a grocery store and pick up a package of  Del  Monte cocktail and read it is a product of China.

    Yes that is correct China…the land of contaimated water and slots of chemical spray on the fruit crops. This is what is the matter…corporate America has killed of manufacturing , food processing and now they want to posion us with fruit from China. 

    But then again, this is what you get when you vote and elect corporate executives and lawyers  into political office. Way to go boys and girls, keep voting in corruption and you get what you deserve.

    And remember political partys are nothing more than vehicles used to steal government away for you.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, circa 8 minutes into the program you said, “This gross inequality didn’t just happen.  It was made to happen.  It was politically engineered by powerful players in Washington and on Wall Street.”

    A key player here goes back 40 years:   A couple of months before President Nixon nominated him for the Supreme Court, Lewis F. Powell, Jr wrote a confidential memo, called “Attack on American Free Enterprise System”, addressed to the chairman of the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr.  The memo specifically calls for business to become much more politically active on its own behalf.

    On the Supreme Court, Mr. Powell, following his own advice, clashed with Mr. Rehnquist in regard to, essentially, money being speech and corporations being people.   That is he appears to have been the precursor those responsible for the current Citizen’s United ruling.

    Of course both Republicans and Democrats, over the last several decades, are responsible for the current mess resulting from talking trickle-down economics while walking trickle-up economics.   Wall Street has been predatory.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, circa 8 minutes into the program you said, “This gross inequality didn’t just happen.  It was made to happen.  It was politically engineered by powerful players in Washington and on Wall Street.”

    A key player here goes back 40 years:   A couple of months before President Nixon nominated him for the Supreme Court, Lewis F. Powell, Jr wrote a confidential memo, called “Attack on American Free Enterprise System”, addressed to the chairman of the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr.  The memo specifically calls for business to become much more politically active on its own behalf.

    On the Supreme Court, Mr. Powell, following his own advice, clashed with Mr. Rehnquist in regard to, essentially, money being speech and corporations being people.   That is he appears to have been the precursor those responsible for the current Citizen’s United ruling.

    Of course both Republicans and Democrats, over the last several decades, are responsible for the current mess resulting from talking trickle-down economics while walking trickle-up economics.   Wall Street has been predatory.

  • Wcoady

    Wallstreet OWNs both the Repiblicans and Democrats, all they need our vote for is so they can justify their abuse of power, by saying that the democratic process works…THE PEOPLE HAVE VOTED FOR US.  Now what they do not tell you is , they can and will do as Wallstreet tells them to do.

    So isn’t our democracy just great? It sure is for that 1%, who own and control these political partys.

    Time to wake up America and tell these political partys to shove off , your not voting for a corrupt , abusive political system.   When will we have our American Spring…time to strike while we can, before HomeLand Security nails the doors to our homes shut. 

  • Lynn Allen

    Wonder show, thank you for what you are doing. Nobody does it better!

  • Jrsisyphus

    Nothing new under the sun.  
    Is it that GREED will always stand in the way of the rise of the Human character in it’s attempt to express the triumph of the Good and Right in this thing we call Life. Seems so, but we can ill afford to cease trying…. What evil will come must be faced with the best we have to offer of our character.

  • Progressive Texan

    I thoroughly enjoyed Sunday’s show.  I would like to see Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Elizabeth Warren on there, for an extended period, either separately or as a duo or trio.

  • Weso820

    So glad your back!! Another great show!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-L-Minnis/1112622614 Douglas L. Minnis

    What is clear and rational may not sell without a much greater effort than nice people are willing to take. We need some leaders who depend on the 99% and a few dollars and lots of work instead of well paid lobbiests. This year I am sending all my political money to candadtes who I think will help the middle class instead of to the Democratic party. I am also pressuring people in congress to do as they say.

  • Greenberg Bernice3

    Saw and heard  Bill Moyer’s first show.  
    I am furious.I have written to many Senators, and Representatives expressing my anger at Congress’ s paralysis. I have written to President Obama.
    I get a polite  thank you from each and a request for a contribution.Money is power.  What a sad day this is for our country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marycasey.martin Mary Casey Martin

    Wisconsin has been raising its voice…since last February!  Tomorrow the signatures to take back the state will be registered. (I believe the total gathered is almost double the number required.) Working within the legal system, as your guests stated, is the way to reclaim what we’ve lost and to build a better future.  I’m so glad that Moyers & Company is back. Perfect timing!  Casey in Wisconsin  

  • Guest

    Bill, I would like to see you address the issue of “Taxation Without Representation”.  I believe the root cause of the frustration that many of us are feeling and exhibiting can be traced to taxation without representation in Washington D.C.  It’s just taking time for us to come to this realization.  Sure, we have the ability to vote, but, our ability to vote has long been overridden by lobbyists.  After more than two centuries, we find ourselves right back to where we were, i.e. taxation without representation.

  • Lucy

    Thank you for your intelligent, insightful show.  Why don’t the winners who take all realize that the kind of country they’re creating will not be one they will want to live in.

  • Anonymous

    The answer, Lucy, is that those who are creating this country of the haves and have nots do NOT have to live here.  They can afford to suck the life and all of the assets and resources out of this country and then move to another country.  They have NO allegiance to this country  or to any other – ONLY to their pocketbook.  These are the REAL “citizens of the world”, raping all nations and having no allegiance to any. 

    Further, if this country were to become a banana republic, they would own most of us, and we would consider ourselves very fortunate to work for them, to just have ANY kind of job, so that we can put food on our table.  It is reminiscent of the plantation owners and their slaves.  They did not care that the nation was harmed by the notion of slavery or that the slaves existed in mere subsistence environs.  They did not even care that they created a slave class.  As long as they had their grand plantations and lifestyles, that was ALL that was important. 

    We MUST stop a recreation of this dastardly situation before it goes any further.  That is one reason the “Occupy” movement is so important, as are programs like Bill Moyers’. 

    I am so proud and heartened by the commenters here, just as I am of the “Occupy” participants.   All such people are the new defenders of our Republic.  Our Founding Fathers would be so proud of all of us.  Knowledge gives us power, and standing together gives us yet more.   Our lives do not have to go down the tubes.  FINALLY, because of people like you, I see HOPE.

  • Busted Bit Ranch

    Hello Bill,
    I did enjoy the show on “winner take all.” But, I was taken back that most of the blame was targeted at Republicans. The fact that Democrats have had there foots on the neck of middle class, minority and the poor was not even talked about.  For generations families of minorities and the poor have voted Democrat over and over. They are no better now than 60 years ago. There is no doubt that the government as a hole turn there backs on the American people. The Democrats cast a net of honey to the poor and the working class promising a hand up. But the truth is that the Democrats only want to control and give crumbs and hand outs to the people. Most Democrats on power are vile and nasty with no compassion or charity. Lie, cheat and steal. If that does not work, hire a lawyer to change the rules. Time to wake up and put in power the people who are true and honest. Not vote in the snakes who promise the honey and the free.

  • Jim Kerr

    God bless you and yours a thousand lifetimes for the magnificent debut of your new show tonight.  Agreeing with “M.” below, I too hope you can moderate one of the national debates.  Thanks for returning to fight for “truth, justice and the American way!”  You have been missed by millions.  Thanks for returning with an honest (so rare today) broadcast.  We, the people, look forward to many more!

  • PMH

    Just adding my voice to the chorus, Bill! 

    In this time of great national tribulation, our one, true clarion call is ba-ck, flooding the darkness with light…and a sense or glorious hope.  Thanks!

  • Mijanswad

    Hacker and Pierson’s chart on 30 years of income inequality was very interesting, but needs to go one step further to  show how much more the income of the one tenth of 1% ‘s has risen.  They said it would be off the chart.  Let’s see just how far up it went on the chart.

  • George Hoffman

    I’m an aging baby boomer and a Vietnam vet. I thought that I had witnessed the most turbulent and divisive era in our nation’s recent history. But this is worst shape I have ever seen my country in since I was a young man.
    There is a reckoning down the road. A big reckoning. Will democracy survive as an institution in this country? If something is not done to redress these grievances I think  democracy will end in this country and we will have an authoritarian government based upon money, power and the threat of violence against its own people.

  • John H

    i think politics worked for the average people for about 5 minutes after it was first invented… never takes long for those who have to have more and those who don’t to lose what they have. The real question? Elect some more politicians to fix it? Right. 

  • http://www.waynecoady.blogspot.com/ Wcoady

    John H ..you are so right, democracy ends 5 minutes after the vote count. The sooner people wake up to the fact that political partys are nothing more than vehicles used to hijack “government” , the better off we all will be.

    Political partys are the vehicle used by the top 1% to take control of what we are led to believe is a democracy, democracy is nothing more than a myth.

    Politicans are nothing more than lobbyest for big business and unions….we the grassroots of America are used to justify their corruption. They use the phrase..”if you do not like what we are doing , then vote us out of power” and we get sucked into this and return another bunch of leaches to pick our pockets.

    The answer is to start a movement to educate citizens to stay away from their ballot box , this system must be brought to its knees first. In order to bring about change, we MUST avoid voting, this will send a message that we are nolonger going to put up with their BS. 

  • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

    I appreciate this program’s honesty in showing sponsors at the beginning of the show.  I’m fine with the fact each sponsor had a liberal slant.  I  don’t question Bill Moyer motives are directed by his sponsor.  Why?  Because he ask the tough questions.

    The same cannot be said for the Sunday morning political shows on network television.  I would like to see a Bill Moyer program investigating the linear transfer of funds on these political talk shows. It shouldn’t be difficult.  Start by examining the half a dozen sponsors who dominate the programs.
    Oil, Drugs, Banking, and Corporate Farming fill nearly all the
    commercial slot. I question if the amount paid for these political programs are
    higher than a prime time television program acquiring the highest public
    viewership. I wouldn’t be surprised. It is in the best interest of these sponsors to control the media versus appease the public
    audience. It is a sound investment to pay more for the
    political talk shows than pay for a program with public appeal.

    What is going on on these political talk shows is different than Bill Moyer.  The tough questions are not being asked.  ‘Face the Nation’ gives 100% of last Sunday’s program to the GOP
    talking heads.   CBS may not be a GOP outlet, but a major portion of the
    revenue stream comes from GOP sponsors.   Maybe that explains why Bob
    Schaeffer and George Stephanopoulos never grill guest on obvious party
    line fallacies.

    It doesn’t really matter if it is the GOP or the DNC.  When the media is
    paid to air political talking heads there’s no incentive to question
    motives.   Who wins in such a media?   Not the public. 

  • Meg Maz

    Thank you, bill moyers, for coming back!  your voice & insights & guests have been missed.  it was wonderful to see this first show last night.  looking forward to the next 2 with these authors and, hopefully, some action plans to change this course of politics. 

  • Robert Kraynik

    Dear Mr.Moyers,

    Your show was the first time I saw the wall street occupation
    in a fair and in-depth manner via mainstream media. It took courage and compassion for you to present this show to the American people; please consider running for President. I know that in your unassuming manner, you would probably laugh at the previous sentence; but I do mean it, we need you;
    America requires and deserves a courageous leader. I think you can save this country we love so dearly.

                                                                   Sincerely,

                                                                 Robert Kraynik

  • Robert Kraynik

    Dear Mr.Moyers,

    Your show was the first time I saw the wall street occupation
    in a fair and in-depth manner via mainstream media. It took courage and compassion for you to present this show to the American people; please consider running for President. I know that in your unassuming manner, you would probably laugh at the previous sentence; but I do mean it, we need you;
    America requires and deserves a courageous leader. I think you can save this country we love so dearly.

                                                                   Sincerely,

                                                                 Robert Kraynik

  • Sven

    This is a great program, it validates what I’ve been thinking about for quite a while in terms of the root cause of all the trouble in the US. 
    Now what we need is a movement, like Occupy, but with a clear, short list of demands and a charismatic leader.

  • Permaculture James

    I still haven’t seen the episode … BUT welcome back Moyers (and company) and thank you for your public service. I love the topic of the first show.

  • http://www.deepthroatcove.blogspot.com/ Wcoady

    “Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered
    by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by an
    unscrupulous mainstream media (all part and parcel of the1%), which holds forth
    the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the
    clean end.

    ” Occupiers and their disciples must remember at all
    times they are dealing with shit … in the form of a system that favors the rich
    and powerful… because THEY designed it that way. Kill their system … every way
    you can.
    While you’re at it, GOOGLE the Hell’s Angels
    and find out what the “1%” connotation means as it relates to their
    organization. You will conclude, when you give it serious thought, that there
    isn’t much difference between them and this “other” 1%. At least the Angels
    don’t hide and mask themselves in self righteous hypocrisy.

  • Jkirk

    Check out the Washington Post …. they charted the top .1 % and as I recall those in that income catagory had a 4000% increase over the 30 years

  • Karen

    Thank you for returning to television, we need fair newscasting.

  • JKirk

    I picked up “Winner-Take-All Politics” recently a great read. Enjoyed the interview.  As a follow-up to this subject, a good author to have on and/or to read is Lessig, “Republic Lost” How Money Corrupts Congress and A plan to stop it.  Your interview of Hacker and Pierson was a good compliment to their book, welcome back Bill.  When will your show air on  Pittsburgh’s, PBS affiliate, WQED  …. the internet works just as well.  How do the republicans get away with calling the top 1% “job creators” as if to take their tax breaks away would eliminate jobs? 

  • http://AborttheGOP.com Christina Marlowe

    The first and most urgent GOAL, in my opinion, is to THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATE,  INDICT,  PROSECUTE, FINE and IMPRISON…THE CRIMINALS!!!

    If and only if THAT happens, can any of us go about restoring some semblance of law and order, basic civility, a measure of justice. 

    The fact of the matter is that, as it stands, the U.S. Department of Justice, along with any and all other “law enforcement” agencies, do absolutely NOTHING;  In fact, the habitual, serial Felons, the criminals,  get FULL Pardons, Full ASYLUM, right here in America;  None are ever investigated, indicted, prosecuted or punished. In fact, each of them are ABOVE ALL LAWS.

    And Just Remember:  It was President Obama that clearly stated that he would not get involved in prosecutions of these (war crimes and financial terrorism) crimes;  He said, “I want to look forward, not go backward.”  

    Well, I say to him, I want to move forward by upholding both the U.S. laws and the world’s laws.  If we continue to totally ignore SERIOUS CONSTANT crimes and the criminals walk away scott-free every time, it only gives both the criminals and the would-be criminals license to behave as if they’re above the law.  And that is exactly how they conduct themselves.  Indeed this is a travesty…

  • http://www.deepthroatcove.blogspot.com/ Wcoady

    All you have to do is listen to the anchors of the American TV network news
    shows as they melodramatically over hype this (rip and read) story that came to
    them. The icing on the cake is the slop being pumped out by the tabloids like
    “Inside Edition” and “Access Hollywood”.

    As Bugs Bunny once said,”What (bunch)
    of maroons.” I am reminded of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels who
    more or less revealed his philosophy when he said, in so many words, that if you
    make the lie big enough, people are more likely to believe it.

     Here in the United
    States, apparently anything can fly … especially when the populace desperately
    wants to believe this drivel. A sad
    commentary as Rome descends to the depths.

  • Abbiemurray

    Those rich people are the ones who are running this country, thus the laws benefitting them!

  • Zivag

    So nice to have you back! Your first show was awesome & I am sure the rest of them will follow suit.

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

    Tell it like it was and IS. I agree with you George H.  I walked a lot in your foot steps over the last 40 years. I have seen and felt the good America offed its people . I fell so sorry for the future generations. I feel ashamed that I could not stop it. But I hope to make amends and get things changed for the better.

  • ROBERT

    Yes, but who do we vote for? Why not-bill moyers?

  • Sean Macphail

    Just finished reading Winner-Take-All Politics and wanted to watch the interview on this show. I hope anyone who watches this also reads the book because it completely debunks the neutrality of any coverage of the issues in the mainstream media, and lays out how the GOP got in the game early and sort of forced Democrats to follow their lead in order to catch up. One of the most important components stressed in the book is “organized combat,” i.e., organized activism that influences politics. We recently saw it with the Tea Party in 2010, and with Occupy now, but big business and wealthy groups alike have had a multi-decade head start in regards to influencing a political machine that heads in the direction of their choice.
    It is a great read and is laid out beautifully like a crime novel as they make their case finding “DNA” evidence that proves how government inaction through obstruction and organized combat have crippled our democracy. After reading the book, you will definitely want to do something about it.

  • Jc1ness

    bill, thank goodness you are back!  what an enlightening show, and i hope people get the message and disgusted with washington.  our country rose with the middle class, and will fail with the elite 1%….we are tired of being ants on an ant hill, working to feed washington, wall street, and the elite, who just want our dollars …..until the lobbyists are banned, and we return to statemen, not greedy “congressmen” working for corporations, things will not change.
    thank you bill again for your voice, wisdom, and caring…
    we love you!

  • Mark Brown

    Wonderful book and journalism.

    WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

    Two things need to happen to start the process of change or actually one
    will do:

    …..limit congressional terms to 2, just as president and it will be much
    easier to implement change….

    New blood is fresh blood.

  • Roz

    Dear Bill, so happy you’re back!! Just a tiny technical comment.
    Could you make it possible to listen to your program in several steps? I don’t always have the time to listen a complete hour in one sitting, and can’t get your program to start in the middle when I want to listen to the other half. Maybe you could make it a podcast?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001188055934 Trishia Dillard

    Wow! What a great show! I watched the same episode three times, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! It empowered me so much that I send the link to my Political Science classmates..I doubt they ‘ll watch it, but I can be wrong. 

  • http://www.centralcoastprocessing.com/ Rmoore

    We have Dish Network for TV. There we receive the national PBS feed. Is Moyers and Company available from that source? What is the schedule if it is?

  • FranG

    There are religions that might refer to this as a “cosmic joke”: If you vote, you may feel you didn’t make a difference when your candidate doesn’t change policy promptly.

     If you DON’T vote, the one you don’t like will very possibly win by default.

    If you vote for a third party candidate, you take a vote away from the major parties. (Is there anyone still alive who believes the Nader supporters, who insisted that Al Gore was no better than George W. Bush?

    If polls close to election day show that Dennis Kucinich has a strong chance to beat Pres. Obama, I might be swayed to cast that vote. But there’s no way in hell I would take part in getting any of these Republican candidates elected.

  • http://billmoyers.com BillMoyers.com

    Since “Moyers & Company” is distributed by American Public Television, not PBS, you might have a problem that way. But use our TV Schedule tool to see if that helps: http://billmoyers.com/schedule/

    Good luck!

  • http://billmoyers.com BillMoyers.com

    Your best option is probably watching here on the site — but know you’ll be watching as early or earlier than anyone watching on TV. We make it available on Friday evenings.

  • Onequitamrelator

    Thank You for coming back to PBS out of your retirement to help the American People Bill. My Name is Roland Gibeault and I am a Pioneer Qui Tam Relators from the 1980′s. I had at one time sacrificed my entire life only to be abandoned by all my representatives on all levels, legal and personal. I would like to believe that what I had done in 1986 made a difference in my country but I sometimes wonder if what I had done was worth the sacrifice. https://m.google.com/app/contacts?unauth=1#:v=pc&g=8563872579526410362 . I am very worried about my loved ones that will be left behind someday to deal with all the Kaos that the future holds for them. I will continue to watch your program religiously

  • Bruce Barnes

    The wealthiest 400 people are Billionaires and have more
    net worth than half of all tax payers. The top 1 percent has over 40 percent of
    all personal net worth. The next 4 percent has 35 percent of all personal net
    worth. How much money is enough? What would the economy be like if 1 percent
    had 99 percent of the money?

    “There is one and only one social responsibility of
    business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase
    its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.”

    Milton Friedman

    Corporations and wealthy people have the ability to influence
    and write the rules.

    The “Laffer
    Curve” is an untested thought experiment based on payroll like taxes where the
    first dollar is taxed the same as the last dollar.  The basic assumption is “If you tax someone’s
    wages too high they will stop working overtime and at 100 percent, they will
    quit their job.”

    This is
    not true for progressive income taxes in the real world where the tax brackets
    increase with increasing income.  Here
    the assumption is, “People will continue accumulating wealth until they reach
    their maximum marginal tax bracket and then stop their income producing activities.”
    Let’s use Mr. Warren Buffet as an example.

     

    I feel that Warren
    Buffet does more than most to stay within the rules of the game and I use him
    as an example only because his taxes are public. Mr. Buffet is on the Forbes
    400 list of the wealthiest people and Forbes reports his net worth in 2009 as
    $40 Billion, in 2010 as $45 billion and in 2011 as $50 Billion. It is safe to
    say his income for 2010 exceeded $5 Billion. His AGI Income reported to the IRS
    for 2010 was $63 million and he paid 17 percent in taxes or $11 million. Warren’s
    first $100,000.00 of wages will be taxed the same as anyone else making
    $100.000. If the maximum marginal tax bracket is raised to 50 % his tax may go
    up to $25 million on his $63 million of AGI, Warren would not skip a beat. He
    would not close one store or take any money out of the bank. If the maximum tax
    rate was raised to 100 percent, he would not shut down one corporation. In fact
    he could not stop making income and then restart the next year. The Laffer
    curve would be a monotonic increasing line starting at the first tax bracket, which
    means that government revenue increases as the tax brackets are increase.

     

    Why is this important? Republicans
    have almost bankrupted the country based on the false policy that “tax cuts
    will increase government revenue.” It’s especially harmful for the government
    to issue bonds to give wealthy people and large companies tax breaks.

     

    Question
    from David Gregory, 0n Meet the Press, 8-1-2010, “You do not agree with
    republican leaders who say, Tax cuts pay for themselves?”

     

    Dr.
    Greenspan, “They do not.”

     

     

     

     ”I am very much in favor of tax cuts, but
    not with borrowed money.”

    Dr. Alan Greenspan

     

  • http://www.deepthroatcove.blogspot.com/ Wcoady

    If our democracy is so great, then why all the corruption > The truth is democracy is a myth in te USA , our government system has been hijacked by a bunch of crooks. We have over 14 million unemployed and over 10 million forclosures.

    The country has been on a path of going broke for the past 20 years , while those we are voting for are loaded rich and we keep getting sucked into keeping these rich leaches in power , so they can stand guard over their wealth.

    So voting for a system that is corrupted by wealth , sure as hell is not a democratic system I will support, while my neighbours are losing their jobs to China, Mexico , not to mention losing their homes.

    And all the while those clowns you keep voting for laugh all the way to the bank , with our taxes , while we are willing to keep getting walked on by their system.

    And we pay them to do it, not to mention the fat pensions and perks they will get while all they had to do to earn it was …look out for their friends wealth and put the screws to the middle class.   GREAT JOB as long as we keeep giving it to them.

    Vote..NO THANK YOU. I WILL NOT SUPPORT A SYSTEM THAT ABUSES ITS CITIZENS..ALL SO IT CAN KEEP THE FAT CATS (FATTER).

  • OccupyJudicialSystem

    I initially intended to tape this show for later viewing.  Instead, I was immediately hooked.However, I am very disappointed with the comments.  Most comments clearly demonstrate why nothing changes, because they clearly demonstrate how “divided we fall” – this isn’t a GOP/Dem, conservative/liberal issue.  It’s a >99% to <1% issue.Feedback on the actual content of the show-I absolutely believe that politicians at all levels have been bought.However, it's not just a "political" issue.  The state and federal judicial systems are equally bought and paid for, because of their own election fund-raising "IOUs".However, there were glaring holes in the analysis, as well.1.  When I saw the 2010 copyright on the Chapter 1 of the book online, that explained a lot.The book was published before the foreclosure fraud "robosigning" issues triggered investigations by all 50 State Attorneys General.Obviously, many of those State Attorneys General have been bought, as well, to even be considering a settlement that waives any/all criminal charges.

  • OccupyJudicialSystem

    2. Although “globalization” was mentioned, the fact that American labor, both white collar and blue collar, has been PERMANENTLY replaced by offshore labor or cheap legal/illegal foreign labor onshore, was not even discussed, except by the “ordinary people” video segments.White-collar job requisitions now routinely specify college degree “or equivalent experience”.  College debt is forecast to be the next bubble to burst.  If you were in charge of hiring, would you hire a new college grad with no work experience or a person with *no college*, but 10 years of experience?I have an MBA from UCLA that I have *removed* from my resume, because I was “overqualified”, when cheap labor is the driving factor.

  • OccupyJudicialSystem

    3. There was no mention as to how those billionaires continue to make more billions.

    Can anyone say “insider trading” based on knowledge not available to the general public?

    Every disaster film always shows how the families and friends of insiders are warned to “get out of Dodge”.  When Congress was warned about the imminent 2008 crisis behind closed doors, d’ya think they immediately notified their own investment advisors/moved their funds, sold short, etc.?  Wouldn’t you do the same?

    When both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street grass root movements have been discredited, because they have been co-opted (bought) by the same 1% that has bought our elected officials and our judiciary, how can anything be changed?

    I am not a “member” of the Tea Party or OWS, any more than I am a member of the GOP/Dem parties – none of them has a coherent policy *with a step-by-step plan to get there* or even has a coherent vision of what “there” is.

    Could we have an “American President” reality TV show to identify candidates who might address the need for jobs for *Americans*?

    Are Obama and the current GOP candidates really the “best” that America can come up with?

  • OccupyJudicialSystem

    If I could “wave a magic wand” or had “three wishes”, I cannot imagine how the worldwide Greater Depression that is coming can be avoided. 

    Unforeseen consequences of any changes immediately come to mind.

    For instance, bring our military home and end numerous federal departments and all of those employees will join the ranks of the unemployed competing with the long-term unemployed for lower and lower hourly pay as part-time workers, the “new poor” with their houses in foreclosure.

    All levels of government, here and abroad, are already insolvent or close to it.  However, if they do lay people off, there are even less consumers who can afford to buy consumer goods and sales tax revenues *decrease*.  And, with fewer and fewer *American* people working, tax revenues for the IRS are falling, as well, particularly if foreign workers avoid paying taxes to the IRS.And, just like insolvent consumers, all levels of government are now failing to pay their bills, thereby triggering insolvency for those businesses, social services organizations, etc. that have always relied on those revenues for their own organizations.

  • OccupyJudicialSystem

    Can anyone really believe that our elected officials and our elected judiciary will vote or enforce the rule of law, if doing so will put their own families at risk for violating their “IOUs” to the 1% who funded their election campaigns?It is quite obvious that the OWS demonstrations are changing nothing.In fact, the 1% has to be laughing at the futility of the 99%, when the 1% already has their monies offshore (in tax havens) and likely already own offshore homes when they need to “get out of Dodge”.If anyone would like to contact me, particularly Bill Moyers and/or the authors, I can be reached at OccupyJudicialSystem @ gmail.com.  I have also reserved the related .com and .org domain names, if there are any website developers that would be interested in doing something along those lines.

  • Jody M. Sanchez

    Mr. 
    Jacob Hacker and Mr. Paul Pierson have done there homework. Their claim that this has been in the making for the last 30 years would take us back to the beginning of the Reagan Presidency which is the culprit of the Big Bubble blow up. Old money became jealous and bought politicians which allowed Old money invested in the military machine to readjust their investments. What Bush Senior could not accomplish Junior did by stealing the election.  The political arena is rank with greed by a group of prostitutes that sell out to old money and influence.  To bad history will tout the corrupt politicians as the culprits that destroyed the American dream.  Long live the memory of the culprits, and WATCH OUT WHO YOU VOTE FOR YOU JUST MIGHT GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR…Reagan and the Bush people.

  • Wmartin288

    Clearly Mr. Moyers speaks for us all . . . the 1% as well! I hope they are paying attention! Thanks Bill for a less then soft spoken voice of reason in an increasing unreasonable world.

  • Wmartin288

    Thank you, well spoken! I concur that knowledge does impart
     power . . .too further your sentiment however I would like to add “only when put into practical application” . . . would you not agree?

  • Vickie

    Let me say, “Thank God, you’re back.”  Thank you Mr. Moyers for not staying away. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you completely, Wmartin.  Knowledge and power are effective ONLY if recognized by those who possess them and if exercised by applying  them substantively to the issues of the day.  Anything less than putting them into action is merely philosophy and avails nothing, for it effects no change.

    A recent example is that of the power of the 99%, when acknowledged and put into practical application, stopped the stated intention of the banks to charge fees for its patrons’ use of their debit cards.  We MUST recognize that collectively we can wield a great deal of power.  We become powerless only if we believe ourselves to be.

  • Gomez Steve95

    Bill,
    Great show. I am an unemployed Iraq War Veteran.  I am outraged   that  I the system is so one sided the middle class can not seem to get ahead anymore.  
    Steve G.

  • Florida Roots

    well said

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patti-Wickland/1507354992 Patti Wickland

    When I hear Paul Pierson say; We haven’t got the ellitists society of a place like Mexico, where the very rich have guns dart from place to place, I wonder….does he know how Hank Paulson lives? Sounds pretty much the same to me.

  • Onejosephgirl

    Oh my goodness…so glad to here a higher level of information with Bill Moyers back on Public TV…  Your show with Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson was so compelling….such a relief to hear good information (I have ordered the book)….Such a high quality interview…a relief to have someone like Bill Moyers back on TV   

  • http://tiny.cc/ewcollins Eliot W. Collins

    I recommend that everyone see this show. It is not the top 1% that the other 99% should be worried about. Most of them are in the same boat with the rest of us. It is the top 1/10th of the top 1% that control most of the wealth, as well as the political process. With regard to influence on governmental policies, we are certainly not all equal.

  • John Gault

    this was a well thought out discussion of how the inequality was created and the resultant consequences
    I was hoping for some new insight or ideas on solutions to address the underlying issues, unfortunately it always comes back to the nation needing to activate the collective political willpower to intelligently create and execute solutions
    The Democrats (of which I am one) haven’t shown that willpower when they had the chance – if not them, who?
    I fear that it will take the US approaching a Greece-like precipice then realizing that we cannot defer the reformation any longer
    Reading this as a 64 y/o who was fortunate to grow up in a time when this nation offered so much (and to have survived the ’60s with no permanent scars) I am saddened and concerned for my children and grandchildren   – and I feel very fortunate not to be reading this as a 35 y/o

  • Kerry Marshall

    I’m interested in the global effect of our dysfunctional oil economy and its role in creating the economic inequality in our country as well as the rest of the world. Jeremy Rifkin book “the Third Industrial Revolution” is powerful reading. 
    The power of individual and corporate money is well lubricated by oil profits and power.

  • Ed4yosemite

    I have been talking about income inequality  and the class war on the middle class since Kevin Phillips book came out in the early 90′s and as a single male, I knew the Reagan Tax reform was killing me .  I did my taxes both ways and I was losing.  I also read an article in Rolling Stone in the mid 90s that the Republicans just wanted enough power to starve the fed gov of money so that the ordinary guy on Main Street could believe that the government never worked for him or her. This way all money could go only to the rich and super rich.  I always believed that Democratic empires did not have to rise and fall, with immigration and class mobility, our culture, society and empire could rejuvenate itself endlessly.  However, if we developed a virtual aristocracy due to masses of inherited wealth, with a 1% on top and then the 99% slowly losing middle class status, my belief is that no democracy can rejuvenate itself with massive income inequality.  Carniage and Gates all agreed.  In fact, Carniege said that inherited wealth would be the ruin of American Democracy.

  • rashid zaidi

    I am so glad a sensible voice is back, your absence was a void. People like you cannot excuse themselves from public discourse. 

  • Samsuitt

    I have written a fair number of letters to my congressional “representatives” over the last 30 years. The first of many that addressed the fact that they no longer represented the American people, but rather the monied interests was in 1980. Letters on other subjects always elicit a reply, even if only to thank me for writing, when the representative does not share my views. Would you believe that letters on this subject, however, have never, ever resulted in any response whatsoever, from anyone? Yeah, I thought you would.

  • Gmoosta

    Just finished watching the program about the big banks and their integration with government – cronry capitalism. The archeology of the problem is interesting. What can we – main St. – do to change things?

  • dog gone

    I have missed Bill Moyers so very much since he left the air, and I am so very, very grateful he is back.
    This is such a very important opening episode, so true, and I hope it will receive the attention it so richly – pardon the pun – deserves.

    Welcome back, Bill!  Thank you for returning to the airwaves

  • http://tiny.cc/ewcollins Eliot W. Collins

    As they say, “The system is not just broken, it’s fixed.”

  • NEMom

    Welcome back Mr. Moyers! Thank you again for shining a light
    on issues which are so pertinent to our time. 
    You have been missed.

  • Anonymous

    Since Bill interviewed Joseph Campbell in 1988 I have tuned into Mr. Moyers a much as possible. I was quite depressed when last he retired. I watched that ‘last’ show. I wondered why?

    I thought, He just got too frustrated with the govenment and the amarican people that seem to ‘just take it all.’ I could not blame him, if this was the case. It’s sure how I felt.

    News of Mr. Moyers return greatly lifted my spirits. A voice in this ill country/government has returned to shed it’s light on the dark, dank, sick corners of our society.

    Thank you for not giving up!
    Thanks for coming back to us!
    You are loved more than you might imagine and needed.

    I wish you and yours many healthy and joyful years ahead.
    Hart1949

  • Clsbabysis

    You mean “duped”.  Most of America can’t spell or use proper grammar today, e.g., I seen, etc.

  • Evelyn

    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for coming back to PBS!  Your voice and those whom you interview so badly needs to be heard by a larger population.   Welcome back.

  • Azroses36

    Just watched your first two broadcasts. I wanted to hear where you and your interview subjects have put your money today.

  • Anonymous

    They put those informational profits in the next broadcast, just like a farmer saving the best kernals as seed corn. Nature is closing fast on synthetic financialism. The People are serving eviction papers. Azroses36 better go check every 5 minutes to make sure his money isn’t lying down on the job or outside smoking. When your means is alienated, that is a hard life.

  • Anonymous

    This rejoinder was just posted by Pancake on DRShow:

    “I’m becoming intensely curious about how Barack Obama and his handlers (revolving door guys from Wall Street) decide who Seal Team Six will rescue or snuff out next, and also the timing of when they decide to do it. Here is a “guy” with the power to arrest, disappear, torture, interrogate, butcher or execute any person on the face of the planet; with the means to track and locate anyone-anywhere; with highly practiced and heartless armed thugs jumping to his every command, remote controlled flying bombs that can pulverize any dwelling. A situation like that would drive me insane.But there he stands like a teenager at the mike singing Al Green:”I’m so in love with you,
    Whatever you want me to do is allright with me.
    ‘Cause you make me feel so brand new,
    And I want to spend my life with you”
    (five similar verses follow)If you read the complete lyrics of “Let’s Stay Together” it makes an excellent campaign speech by modern emotional standards. But who is Barack wooing, the voters or the Oligarchy? He’s like a philandering boyfriend promising to be good but succumbing to his habitual nasty ways. Because he can! He believes a majority of the wealthy are in his spell. People drunk on power will say anything. (I hope my duplex don’t explode with frogmen tonight. American Empire provides a precarious existence for most.)”

    On the domestic page of DRShow Bill Moyers was mentioned two or three times, so this new show is snowballing in viewership

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ed, are you ready to do anything about Oligarchy? It’s more than getting the dirty end of the dog poop stick on taxes. Sheldon Wolin (smart as Kevin Phillips, wrote Democracy Incorporated) says Empire negates democracy.
    It’s the size, structure and reach, not  only  wealth distribution, killing  our participation.

  • Anonymous

    Jeremy has proven an apologist for whatever the wealthy elite want to do. He’s a Pollyanna who could find gymnastics in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Trace his funding and his bulk book purchases and you’ll see what I mean. But he does have an excellent intellect. It’s just dangerous to swallow him whole.

  • Anonymous

    George Bush II called elders like you “seen-yours” because to him you’d be the last commoners to get your due. A new political party can always emerge, but I expect the two we have will have to go. We ain’t broke, John Gault, there’s just been a corporate coup and they’re hoarding the wealth we produce. 
    I can hardly believe a guy who saw through the 60s is ready to throw his grandkids on the trash truck for his own selfish secure retirement hopes. 
    Why would you even watch Moyers if you’re gonna rot in your La-z-boy with a Heineken. Stir up some trouble organizing right near home. No one will do it for you.

  • Anonymous

    When pathologists examine a sample they count how many bacteria are within a certain measured space to determine how intense the infection. When the population overlaps they simply report TNTC  (too numerous to count). You have to wonder what the point is of astronomical money concentration. At some point it becomes imaginary because it’s TNTC. We need to eradicate the infection. Eliminating secrecy would bring healing sunlight. We can join with Moyers&Company to administer the medicine.

  • Charles Haynes

    Please never run for elective office! There are legions of hacks who spew “news” at us all the time and we are in a desert of information because of it. If you remain, as you are, balancing the facts in a method we can follow, then you’re where you should be. Like telling a really good cook… you ought to start a restaurant… sheesh!

  • dutchman

    have told some of my friends, who are not of the teabag variety that you are back. rally appreciate your show, and hope, against better judgement, that it will have some influence on our congress’s behaviour….

  • Ann Timmerman

    God bless your efforts to inform the public of the 1%’s reign of terror on the middle class.  I hope to pass along info about the book and your broadcasts to all who will listen.

  • FranG

    We need to let him know we’re sick of the Geithners and Rubins who surround him and hold his fee to the fire!

  • Anonymous

    Christina, I agree, and it’s discouraging to not see such a demand very often.  We must keep in mind that Obama makes no effort to bring lawbreakers to justice simply because he breaks the same laws.  Lawbreakers are being ignored, and our society is breaking down.  There’s a connection.

  • KkruseF600

    Actually, Democratic and Repubican ideologists are different sides of the same coin. The pundits are paid by either side to promote agendas defended by wealth and greed.

  • B McHugh

    Mr. Moyers-

    I thank you for coming out of retirement.  You have filled a much needed void with your new show.  It makes me ask, why are no other news media talking about the issues you address. Probably because all the networks are owned by huge corporations which have ties to the government, such as NBC being owned by General Electric.
     
    Without campaign finance reform, we can expect business as usual from both parties.  Both the democrats and republicans have lost touch with main street.  Their only goal is to keep their party in power.  Without campaign finance reform, we will have no strong progressive liberal parties to challenge the two party system. 

    Thank you for doing what you do 
    Brian M

  • Anonymous

    George, I am terrified that we have lost. I hpoe that the occupy movement will save us but I fear that we will need more then peaceful resistence.  Draconian laws are already in place to declair protestors Terrorists and then we will get more then  just a  little pepper spray.

    Many peole are so busy just keeping their heads above water that they don’t see the extent of what is going on.  Others have been tricked into blaming the poor and the immigrants the elderly and the 47% who pay no Federal taxes.

  • Poke04

    Will you address anti-semitism at Occupy Wall Street?

  • http://AborttheGOP.com Christina Marlowe

    Yes;  And to your point, here is a letter I wrote to Obama after the State of the Union Speech:

    Dear Mr. President,

    Thank you for the speech last night;  I was glad that you were brave enough to mention your demands of a vigorous and thorough investigation of the mass and Intentional Fraud perpetrated by the Banks, by the Federal Reserve, and by those “Financiers” on Wall Street.  These highly-orchestrated financial CRIMES by those criminals who willfully conducted them, are indeed very serious and, in fact, are directly responsible for this ENTIRE Economic Fiasco.  

    I, along with countless others, want to urge you, with the most emphatic fortitude possible, to thoroughly investigate ALL involved, to a man, in this totally and willfully collaborated gigantic Scheme to Defraud the very citizens of this, our country, the United States.  

    But don’t stop there!!  Each one of the Criminals must then be Indicted, Prosecuted to the fullest extent of THE NEW LAWS, (all of which will be made retroactive) and, finally, actually PUNISHED SEVERELY;  Let me be perfectly clear:  Each Criminal that is found Guilty in the Courts of Law, whether by a judicious Judge or by a Jury of his/her “peers,” shall be held fully accountable for their CRIMES, and penalties will surely entail STIFF terms of imprisonment, along with the lawful SEIZURE of ALL ill-gotten gains.

    We all know, for example, that Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, Richard Fuld, Hank Paulson, Timothy Geithner, Alan Greenspan, and an astonishingly dizzying and countless number of all the other CRIMINALS, should be on the TOP of your list for these vigorous investigations.  We MUST HOLD each of these Serial PREDATORS/Offenders FULLY ACCOUNTABLE.  ALL those who were and still are engaged in these Enormous Crimes of Fraud, Scheme to DeFraud, Elder Abuse, and countless other very serious Felonies, MUST PAY FOR THEIR CRIMES!!!!

    Thank you.  We will ALL hold your feet to the fire on this issue specifically.  PLEASE do NOT let us down!!!

    Sincerely,

  • Highlander

    Watched the 1st show online because I missed the broadcast.

    What struck me was the Big Shot financial guy – from Florida I believe – he went on about how POOR PEOPLE don’t have their names on buildings, etc.

    He’s going to decide how he distributes his charity – five bucks here – five bucks there, etc.

    BIG DEAL – I’ve watched many shows where poor people all over the world invite the people doing a show into their tent or shack and share their families’ food with them when they barely have any food at all.

    Yes, he’s right, their name IS NOT ON A BUILDING, BUT, proportionally they’ve given more of their resources THAN HE HAS!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I think that rich guy is dead wrong.  Poor people DO have their names on big and very important  public edifices.  The war memorials have names of poor people inscribed all over them.  Rich people don’t go into the military.  Only the poor do, because they have no job opportunities any longer outside of the military.  Their names appear on those memorials NOT because of the amount of MONEY they PAID to have their name emblazoned upon it, but because they PAID the highest price – their very LIFE.  That is something the rich are not willing to do. 

    The rich are cowards, who are unwilling to fight their own wars, but
    quickly send other people’s children to fight their wars for them – wars
    which predominantly benefit the rich and make them even richer.  Were
    it not for the sacrifices made by the poor, their wealth would not have
    reached the levels it has.

    The rich try to make it seem as though they have accomplished something worthwhile by engraving their names upon big buildings, ESPECIALLY when those names are on edifices which were built from their “charitable” donations.  The only thing they accomplished was to open their wallet to get a tax write-off when they donated the money to have a building named after them.  Almost everything they do either feeds their bank book or their ego.  If they have a business with their name on it, they did NOT develop that business ALONE.   Their workers on every level helped them make it a viable business and helped them make a profit.   Most of them INHERITED their wealth or inherited the seed money with which to develop their wealth.  Unfortunately, the poor do not have such opportunities.  In fact, they have very few.

  • dropBear

    great show. really good to see that you Americans are finally coming to your senses after 30 years of living in neo-con la-la land.
    I hope you don’t mind me pointing out one factual error: Sweden is not a socialist utopia, but an actually existing country in northern Europe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llanos.carlos Carlos Llanos

    Moyers had hit the nail on the head, yet the mass media and the general public don’t pick up on this outrageous fraud by the foxes in the gov. the media and the greedy society. Even the most common man and woman don’t do anything becouse we are all brainwashed that if you or I  didn’t make it to be millioners, you and I  are just  lasy bums, however, our son and daughter can make it on their own if they work like termites and also raise their family like termites., without any human values and human aspirations. What a joke. It is all Propaganda to turn us all into slave for the benefit of the few with the blessing of our public representative and termites like us.  Our society is preoccupaid with more accumulation of trashy goods, more bio-enginnered foods, less education, more control and less human enlightment for the majority.WHAT A TRAGEDY!

  • trent

    I am soooooo glad you are back on as a Voice for Reason!!!! I look forward to keeping tuned in on TV and online. Thank you, Thank you and Welcome back!!!!

  • Christina

    I believe that our current economic needs are greatly influenced by two increasingly major factors.

    1.  The span of what an economic community is has greatly increased, creating a growing rift between local economics, national ones and an increasing global interwined economic community.  The driving force is to find/expand in bigger global markets by companies as either US local/national demand has flattened or decreased combined with stockholder expectations of maximum return on investment, i.e. profit per share, even if this means shipping jobs overseas. 

    2. Secondly from the consumer side to find cheaper products, or products that aren’t nearly as available nationally or locally.  As long as the products we’re interested in are equal to, or better, in quality and value we’ve become less concerned if they were Made in America, versus Europe (a similar economic level level) or less developed countries such as China or Korea (allowing their poor cheap labor to make lower priced goods very competitively, and often much cheaper compared to ours products). 

    All combined US consumer buying power has resulted in an huge long-term trade deficit for the United States, which only recently shown shown some minor improvement or higher transportation costs reflecting higher fuel prices.  This is a economic bloodsucker-piper that eventually comes a’calling to be paid off.

    Together these two economic influences downplay local advantages, as well as concern for the local community’s interactive well being, in order to upplay the economic benefits to a single company or single purchaser in the overall concept of free-market capitalism.  This idea that what will create the greater overall economic value for a country will override any local economic losses or national business market weaknesses.  In some ways the hope is that just like intra-nationally we have regions that produce certain products more effeciently (better quality or lower costs= better value) and that over time there is an acceptable balance between states and local economic communities.  The problem is the bigger the concept of “our economy” the worse it may hurt any particular local one.  The auto industry in Detroit  is a good example, as foreign auto imports became a major segment of our buying market.

    The inherient negative migrating barriers to local economic efficiences having a good broader economic competitiveness is such things as transportation costs, taxes/tarriffs, regulations, expansion knowledge and business risk.  These constitute “add on” costs which must be added to the base cost of any goods or services to export even to other economic markets. 

    For example a widget made in China may be cheaper than what is already produced in the US, but it’s the total cost being affected by a rising standard of living in China and if any government subsidies of that businessare reduced or eliminated (making an more level playing field). 

    And oftentimes it’s those “getting there” cost factors that flucurate enough to turn a “go” economic signal to “no go” such as is increasingly transport costs beginning to be felt when fuel price increases affect transportations costs, or that countries are forced to provide “a level economic playing-field” used to support their local business teams.

    In some ways it’s the classic tradeoffs that “It’s a Wonderful Life” with George Balley (James Stewart) torn between two world perspectives, one of local connection and support, and one of seeing profits as king, and people just the means to obtain it.  Over time the Henry Potter commercal bank ower’s (and ower of other key businesses with no social conscious) self serving view on life seems to have won over our society. When “greed is good” idealology becomes predominant in a society that sees itself less locally connected then the strands of greater economic forces grow to be powerful forces, often with unintended negative consequences, and sometimes biting the hand that holds it’s leash (as has occurred when our economic control levers such as lowering interest rates no longer have the desired effects).

     If only we could all have a Guardian angel to show us life would be like if we didn’t exist, or what our society would be like20-50 years in the future if critical idealogical directions were or weren’t taken today. 

    How to find the right economic tradeoffs, and by the right means, is one of the greatest challenge for our society today.  Some clammer to go back to “the way we were” but then, it’s exactly those economic and social constructs that got us to where we are today…..a declining place.  One thing for sure is a pure “free market” is never truly free, due to both corrupting influences and the fact that it creates an unbalanced society of haves and have-nots that is unbalanced by the standards of human equality.  So often a person’s wealth standing is determined more by factors around them than by their personal efforts or contribution to society (by the country they live in, the region and the family they happened to be born into, and by an inheritance, etc). 

    We need to find an economic/social idealogy somewhere between the socially sensitive George Balley’s local view and the greedy self-centered Henry Potters globalist of this world….. and in a world that should work for everyone.

    So a question for you:  Would you be willing to pay the estimated 25% (20-30%) or $125 more for an iPhone, which now is totally make in China, if you knew it was fully made in the USA?  No? –How much percentage more then? What about 10% (about $50 over the life of the phone contract)?  See, it’s not easy to be a George Balley in our current world, especially when we can’t see the faces of those that we might be helping along socially and economically by making self-sacraficing choices.

  • Christina-Xena

    Regarding your first point, wealth in terms of assests, specifically land.  Beyond just having a place to live, land is valued based on being a means-to-an-end, not as an end it’s self.  For example, the aristocratic class of Great Britian in the 1800s and early 1900s which had their wealth reflected by the great tracts of land they owned giving rise to the term “the house of XXX” which very large homes sat on a large tract of land, much of it used for farming (by the hired help). 

    Then when the industrial age came along, the wealth began to transfer to industries rather than agriculture, and lands lost much of it’s former economic value.  Eventually the whole aristocratic system of “house of XXXX” upper social strada collasped.  All while more opportunities opened up for common folks to do different jobs besides being servents for the rich. 

    The second factor was significant inventions such as light bulbs, so those big homes could then make do with less staff (20-30 instead of 50-60/house).  And haven’t we in the USA seen a major shift from farms to the cities as industries formed and farming equipment became more productive? 

    So too has wealth been represented by evolving economic realities of where “wealth” best concentrates.  As we can well see now, even owning, or buying, one’s own home can be a major financial drawback, and reduce one’s wealth.  We seem to, as a country, moved from land, to industry, to investment banking with complex investment portfolios.  Raw land is a risky business, and takes money (taxes) even just to let it sit idle. 

    Sometimes what’s under the land, mineral and oil rights, is more important than the land it’s self.  So just saying that land per sec is not the security or wealth indicator today as it once was in the early 1900s. 

    I say “show me the money” and THAT is where you will find the real wealth in this country (and some of that is even hidden overseas in tax havens by individuals and by corporations), and that wealth is increasingly being held by bigger and bigger corporations, and banks, for the benefits of the wealthy owers and wealthy upper managers. 

  • William R Baerg

    Sounds Pretty …. but they are dead wrong ! !  When they bailed out the banks they bailed out the 1% who now suffered NO losses, no contraction and no penalty for really bad investments made at the uppermost levels of finance.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6KKUFLXME7J4J7BH6NYOWQG7IQ Robbin Anderson

    What does Democracy do?  It enables us to choose who stomps on us.  What is the point of school?  To create a subservient working class.  We need to stop trying to achieve the American Dream because it comes on the backs of the poorest people in the world.  Why is America so rich?  Because we are the most aggressive colonialists ever to walk the Earth.  Until we can start to have a voluntary society where keeping up with the Joneses is replaced by getting to know our neighbors we will always be lost.  The consumer culture that we are so obsessed with is going to be our demise.  We blow up anyone in the world who won’t do things the way we think they should.  When are we going to start respecting other cultures and countries enough to let them run their countries the way they see best?  It is this constant ethnocentrism at the heart of all of this mess that will cause the end of America.  Get to know your neighbors again.  Start a community garden and make sure everyone has enough to eat.  Do something to get to know the people around you.  Just start figuring out what your neighborhood needs to start to heal itself.

  • susan j packer

    dear bill
    thank you for your sunday morning show.  you are an inspiration. 
    what i don’t understand is why the government even has any access to social security at all.  our government has borrowed and borrowed from OUR social security fund and now they say they are going to reduce benifits.  this fund belongs to the people who paid for it in every paycheck.  it is NOT a tax and should not be called a tax.  it is a retirement fund paid for by the people and for the people.    susan j

  • Jklipes

    incisive, intelligent and honest… there’s nobody like you, Bill!  welcome back!

  • Claire

    Incredible piece, thank you Mr. Moyers for bringing more insight into how politics is so corrupt. Very depressing however, in that one feels helpless in changing the status quo. The only thing we have left is our vote and that too is at risk with the GOP requiring voter photo ID, redistricting, dismanteling  the unions, creating “Executive Managers” in states like Michigan, the list goes on and on.
    The key is to vote out encumbants, whether you like your representative or not, if he/she has been there longer than 2 terms it is time for new blood. Sounds harsh, but that is the only way to ensure that lobbyists will not ultimately prevail. There are plenty of good people out there to vote in. We the people have to stop the encumbancy machine. Maybe then we can work toward term limits which is the ONLY solution.

  • Frankkiernan2

    Susan  I don’t think you have it right, technically. 
    the government liability is just as real as if it were a cash transaction.

  • Anonymous

    I was struck by the interviewee who jeered at Occupy Wall Street and said he should be able to amass as much money as he wanted and give it as he chose. What he advocates is not capitalism, but feudalism, which seems to be where we’re headed.

  • An American

    Poignant and important, this critical look at the socioeconomic and political reality of the vast majority of American lives should not be ignored. Thank you for supporting the American people and our values with this reflective journalism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1106083344 Laura McShane

    HUD monies and lax laws at state level to benefit developers and flippers including the “land bank” model touted as saving the American Dream…should get full investigation..abuse in NEO is incomprehensible and despicable… “green wash”…google REALNEO Dirty Dozen and Kill the Land Bank. See, especially how Neighborhood Stabilization funds are being played…

  • Guest

    I cannot wait to read their book!  Such a powerful message.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561453889 Laura Lemley Grubler

    Interesting and informative

  • http://twitter.com/ckling1234 claudia kling

    OCCUPY IS OPPOSITION CONTROLLED A SCAM!Occupy movement has been created by the CIA Social media propaganda FB/Twitter to make people connected stupid and quiet and unemployed result of the Rockefeller Globalized World new order !the very same people that funded and trained for Arab Spring MESSY REGIME-CHANGE!U.S is a big propaganda Mind Control Machinery!

  • Anonymous

    Sign the petition for an amendment to effectively reverse Citizens United: http://wh.gov/KXIg

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerry-W-Kelley/1412532919 Jerry W. Kelley

    The powers-that-be would never let him do that!

  • JT

    Our country was built on genocide. Millions of indigenous people killed, relocated, forced into slavery while those building the country raped the land and reaped the profits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ewan-S-Fallon/1103806679 Ewan S Fallon

    I think the real question to be answered by
    the election is do you want to keep Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security,
    “Obamacare”, PBS, Labor Unions, Roe v Wade, separation of church and
    state, public schools, tax-less wealth, or not? The candidates are not
    lone individuals, they represent a community bent on saving the above or
    replacing it with a faith based or market controlled economy. Vote
    away.

  • SLoringBaker

    Excellent show!

    But a little light on Citizen United and the favoritism showed modern corps at the expense of people.

  • http://profiles.google.com/grousefeather Grouse Feather

    Yes, freedom to lie, freedom to steal, freedom to contaminate, freedom to pollute, and freedom to exploit. Yup, we’re all about freedom.

  • http://twitter.com/thirdcloud Thirdcloud

    “Read my lips, no new
    taxes” and no middle class.

  • http://twitter.com/thirdcloud Thirdcloud

    Is the NDAA and other violations of American civil liberty a step towards the protection of the elite by government guns?

  • http://twitter.com/thirdcloud Thirdcloud

    The system is not broken it’s “fixed.”
    Thank you Bill Moyer for doing the unflattering work of educating a resisting public.
    I am continually shocked at how successfully the American people have been divided against their own interests.
    (((Fix Congress Too)))

  • Anonymous

    Michael Moore is a crook. You didn’t know that? A thoroughly despicable man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Josloff/745381437 Bruce Josloff

    Great show, Bill. Always excellent guests. Your program is an educational gem.

  • http://twitter.com/robertholman1 robert holman

    I gave to a political party and it is 2 days before the election. I missed the original Jan 13, 2012 broadcast of this presentation and now I am really depressed. It was a waist of time thinking about the election, and it was a waist of money. I have always thought that the two party system was becoming a fraud since the 1980′s, but this information makes that the truth now. This country is corrupt to the core.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1681926139 Rancho Del Valkayrie

    Typical foaming at the mouth, panting, regressive liberal, cant argue the point, just piut down the messenger, retort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1681926139 Rancho Del Valkayrie

    So Congress makes the rules to play buy? Folks take advantage of those rules including the members of Congress. Whose really to blame?

    I say the nations unionized lower educated scholastic system. Why dont folks talk about the desparity there? Its is definetly weighted the same way. Those who succeed are definetly the few and those that dont are the majority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.slater.167 David Slater

    r u kiddin…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesus.e.betance Jesus Enrique Betance

    we are becoming like Mexico under the PRI rule….Sad!!

  • Anonymous

    Simple Fix… CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM and OUTLAWING THE REVOLVING DOOR!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Look up Forbes top 400 list of wealthiest Americans who bought our government from us.

  • tea partier from aspen

    Not so fast—-I’m a tea partyer and have alotta tea P friends and we all love Bill Moyers. The occupiers and the tea partiers are both fighting against the elites & the crony capitalists…..

  • guodr

    Its about time that the people are started to wake up. We need to restore the progressive tax rates of the middle of the last century. Taxing billionaires at 15% and allowing 1% of the citizenry to control 40% of the electorate destroys democracy and produces plutocracy.