Back in the first Gilded Age following the Civil War, with its huge concentration of wealth at the top and abject misery at the bottom, Boies Penrose was a United States Senator from Pennsylvania bought and paid for by the railroad tycoons and oil barons.

They could count on him to deliver the goods. “I believe in the division of labor,” he told his wealthy paymasters. “You send us to Congress; we pass laws under which you make money…and out of your profits you further contribute to our campaign fund to send us back again to pass more laws to enable you to make more money.”

Boies Penrose would be right at home in politics today. Crony capitalism – using government to deliver favors to your pals in the business world -- is alive and well. The rest of us pay for it. We pay for it at the grocery store because of sweetheart deals in Congress for the dairy industry and sugar lobby. We pay for it at drug store because politicians rented by giant pharmaceutical firms block competition. We pay for it in lowered returns on pension plans bailed out banks speculate with taxpayer money. We pay with the loss of jobs because of trade deals bought and paid for by multinational companies. We pay in tax rates higher than those of the billionaires who fund the SuperPacs. And we pay in the loss of political equality, because one person, one vote means very little when those we elect do the bidding of donors instead of voters.

We’re deep now into what will be the most expensive election in our history, much of it funded by crony capitalists. So let’s hear from two people who have closely watched how cozy ties between Wall Street and Washington are perverting capitalism and subverting democracy. First, David Stockman.

In the 1970s, he was a young Republican congressman from Michigan and an early proponent of supply-side economics -- some call it trickle down.

You know the theory; if you cut taxes on the wealthy, while cutting government, the economy will take off, money trickling down and creating millions of jobs.

It was the centerpiece of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign for president.

RONALD REAGAN: There is enough fat in the government in Washington that if it was rendered and made into soap, it would wash the world.

BILL MOYERS: Once in the Oval Office, President Reagan made David Stockman his budget director.

DAVID STOCKMAN: When President Reagan gave me this job he pointed to that budget which is some thousands and thousands of pages long, and he said go through it from top to bottom with a fine tooth comb and unless you can find a persuasive demonstration why funds must be spent, cut those budgets.

BILL MOYERS: Stockman helped Reagan usher in the largest tax cut in U.S. history, a cut that mainly favored the rich. But things didn’t go exactly as they planned them. The economy sagged, and in 1982 and ’84, Reagan and Stockman agreed to tax increases.

In 1985 Stockman left government and wrote a book critical of his own years in power: The Triumph of Politics: The Inside Story of the Reagan Revolution. He then took his economic expertise to Wall Street and became an investment banker. Thirty years later, he’s writing a new book, with the working title The Triumph of Crony Capitalism.

I sat down with him to talk about how politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club for members only.

What do you mean by crony capitalism?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Crony capitalism is about the aggressive and proactive use of political resources, lobbying, campaign contributions, influence-peddling of one type or another to gain something from the governmental process that wouldn't otherwise be achievable in the market. And as the time has progressed over the last two or three decades, I think it's gotten much worse. Money dominates politics.

And as a result, we have neither capitalism or democracy. We have some kind of --

BILL MOYERS: What do we have?

DAVID STOCKMAN: We have crony capitalism, which is the worst. It's not a free market. There isn't risk taking in the sense that if you succeed, you keep your rewards, if you fail, you accept the consequences. Look what the bailout was in 2008.

There was clearly reckless, speculative behavior going on for years on Wall Street. And then when the consequence finally came, the Treasury stepped in and the Fed stepped in. Everything was bailed out and the game was restarted. And I think that was a huge mistake.

BILL MOYERS: You write, quote, "During a few weeks in September and October 2008, American political democracy was fatally corrupted by a resounding display of expediency and raw power. Henceforth, the door would be wide open for the entire legion of Washington's K Street lobbies, reinforced by the campaign libations prodigiously dispensed by their affiliated political action committees, to relentlessly plunder the public purse." That's a pretty strong indictment.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Yeah and, but on the other hand, I think you would have to say it was fair. When you look at what came out of 2008, the only thing that came out of 2008 was a stabilization of these giant Wall Street banks. Nothing came out of 2008 that really helped Main Street. Nothing came out of 2008 that addressed our fundamental problems, that we've lost a huge swath of our middle class jobs. Nothing came out of 2008 that made financial discipline or fiscal discipline possible.

It was justified as sort of expediency. We need to do this. We need to stop the contagion. But it wasn't thought through as to what the long-term implications of this would be.

BILL MOYERS: How did you see it playing out?

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think there was a lot of panic going on in the Treasury Department. I call it "The Blackberry Panic." They were all looking at their Blackberries, and could see the price of Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley dropping by the hour. And somehow they thought that was thermostat telling them that the economy was coming unraveled.

I don’t believe that was right. I think what was going on was simply a huge correction that was overdue on Wall Street. The big leverage hedge funds on Wall Street that called themselves investment banks weren't really investment banks. They were just big trading operations using 30, 40 to one leverage. And it was that that was being corrected.

But they used the occasion of the Wall Street banking crisis to create the impression that this was the beginning of a kind of black hole the whole economy was going to drop into. I think that was wrong.

And it was that fear that led Congress to do anything they wanted. You know, the Congress gave them a blank check.

BILL MOYERS: Not at first, don’t you remember, Congress first refused to approve the bailout, right?

DAVID STOCKMAN: And then, the stock market dropped 600 points because all of the speculators on Wall Street all of a sudden began to think, 'Hey, they might let capitalism work. They might let the rules of the free market function.'

BILL MOYERS: You mean by letting them fail.


BILL MOYERS: If they let them fail?

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think if they let them fail it wouldn't have spread to the rest of the economy. There wouldn't have been another version of the Great Depression. There weren't going to be runs on the bank. We weren't going to have consumers lined up in St. Louis and Des Moines and elsewhere worried about their bank. That's why we have deposit insurance, the FDIC. But it would have been a big lesson to the speculators that you're not going to be propped up and bailed out,

You're not going to have the Fed as your friend. You're not going to have the Treasury with a lifeline. You're going to have to answer to the marketplace. And until we get that discipline back into our financial system, the banks are just going to continue to grow, continue to speculate and find new ways to make easy money at the expense of the system.

BILL MOYERS: President Bush, he was still in office then.


BILL MOYERS: He said, I have to suspend the rules of the free market in order to save the free market.

DAVID STOCKMAN: You can't save free enterprise by suspending the rules just at the hour they're needed. The rules are needed when it comes time to take losses. Gains are easy for people to realize. They're easy for people to capture. It's the rules of the game are most necessary when the losses have to occur because mistakes have been made, errors have been made, speculation has gone too far. The history has always been -- and this is why we had Glass-Steagall and a lot of the legislation in the 1930s.

BILL MOYERS: Glass-Steagall was the provision --

DAVID STOCKMAN: The division of banks between the commercial banking and investment banking and insurance and other --

BILL MOYERS: So that you, the banker, could not take my deposits and gamble with them, right?

DAVID STOCKMAN: That's exactly right. And we need not only a reinstitution of Glass-Steagall, but even a more serious limitation on banks. And what I mean by that is, that if we want to have a way for, you know, average Americans to save money without taking big risks and not be worried about the failure of their banking institution, then there can be some narrow banks who do nothing except take deposits, make long-term loans or short-term loans of a standard, business variety without trading anything, without getting into all of these exotic derivative instruments, without putting huge leverage on their balance sheet.

And we need to say simply, that if you're a bank and you want to have deposit insurance, which ultimately, you know, is backed up by the taxpayer -- if you're a bank and you want to have access to the so-called "discount window" of the Fed, the emergency lending, then you can't be in trading at all.

Now, on the other hand, if they want to be a hedge fund, then they’ve got to raise risk capital and they have to take the consequences of their risks, both to the good side and the bad side. And until we really approach that issue, and dismantle these giant, multi-trillion dollar balance sheet banks, and separate retail and deposit insured banking from just financial companies, we're going to have recurring bouts of what we had in 2008.

And they haven't even begun to address that, and it's so disappointing to see that the Obama administration, which in theory should've had more perspective on this than a Republican administration under Bush, to see that one, they appointed in the key positions the same people who brought the problem in: Geithner and Summers and all of those, and secondly, that Obama did nothing about it.

It could have easily -- they could have begun to dismantle a couple of these lame duck institutions, Citibank would have been a good place to start. But they did nothing. They passed Dodd-Frank, which said, now we're going to have everybody write regulations -- tens of thousands of pages that you know, it was a full employment act for accountants and lawyers and consultants and lobbyists. But they didn't go to the heart of the problem. If they're too big to fail, they're too big to exist. And let's start right with that proposition.

BILL MOYERS: You've described what other people have called the financialization of the American economy, the growth in the size and the power of the financial industry. What does that term mean to you, financialization? And why should we care that it's happened?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Because what it means is that a massive amount of resources are being devoted, being allocated or being channeled into pure financial speculation that has no gain to society as a whole, has no real economic contribution to the process by which GNP is created, GDP is created and growth occurs.

By 2007, 40 percent of all the profits in the American economy were coming from finance companies. 40 percent. Historically it was 15 percent.

So the financialization means that as we attracted more and more resources and capital, and we made speculation easier and easier, and we funded it with almost free overnight money, managed and manipulated by the Fed, that's how the economy got financialized. But that is a casino. Casinos -- they're, you know, places for people to go if they want to speculate and wager. But they're not part of a healthy, constructive economy.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean by the free money that banks are using overnight?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Well, by that we mean when the Fed, the Federal Reserve sets the so-called federal funds rate at ten basis points, where it is today, that more or less guarantees banks can go into the Fed window, the discount window, and borrow at ten basis points.

And then you take that money and you buy a government bond that is yielding two percent or three percent. Or buy some corporate bonds that are yielding five percent. Or if you want to really get aggressive, buy some Australian dollars that have been going up. Or buy some cotton futures. And this is really what has been going on in our markets.

The cheap funding, which is guaranteed by the Fed, the investment of that cheap funding into speculative assets and then pocketing the spread. And you can make huge amounts of money as long as the music doesn't stop. And when the music stops then all of a sudden, the cheap, overnight money dries up. This is what's happening in Europe today. This is what happened in 2008.

And then people are stuck with all these risky assets, and they can't fund them. They owe cash to the people they borrowed overnight from or on a weekly basis. That's what creates the so-called contagion. That's what creates the downward spiral. Now, unless we let those burn out, it'll be done over and over. In other words, if, you know, if a lesson isn't learned, then the error will be repeated over and over.

BILL MOYERS: Stockman says the modern bailout culture took off under President Bill Clinton. It was engineered with the help of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and top economic advisors at the Treasury, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin.

BILL CLINTON: The American people either didn’t agree or didn’t understand what in the world I’m up to in Mexico.

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think it started with the bailout of the banks in 1994 during the Mexican Peso Crisis.

REPORTER: For investors it was a sight for sore eyes. Mexico’s stock market actually soaring instead of plummeting for the first time in weeks. All this, an immediate reaction to news of a major international aid package – nearly half of it from Washington.

DAVID STOCKMAN: That was allegedly designed to help Mexico. It was $20 billion with no approval from Congress that was used, I think inappropriately out of a Treasury fund. And why were we doing this? It's because the big banks were too exposed to some bad loans that they had written in Mexico and elsewhere.

BILL MOYERS: Wall Street banks. U.S. banks.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Wall Street banks. Wall Street banks. The banks of the day, Citibank, Bankers Trust, the others that existed at that time. And so the idea got started that Washington would be there with a prop, with a bailout, with a helping hand. And then the balls start rolling down the hill.

DAN RATHER: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has taken highly unusual action to head off what could have been a severe blow to world economies.

BILL MOYERS: When the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management blew up in 1998, it was big news.

REPORTER: Dan, the Long Term Capital fund lost billions in the recent market turmoil and last night, stood on the brink of collapse.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Long Term Capital was an economic train wreck waiting to happen. It was leveraged 100 to one. It was in every kind of speculative investment known to man. In Russian equities, in Thailand bonds, and everything in between. And it was enabled by Wall Street.

REPORTER: An emergency meeting was organized by the Federal Reserve last night, here at its New York office. At the table, more than a dozen of Wall Street’s biggest bankers and brokers including David Komansky, Chairman of Merrill Lynch, Sandy Weill of Travelers and Sandy Warner of JP Morgan. One by one the firms each agreed to kick in more than $250 million to bail out Long Term Capital before its troubles sent shockwaves through the banking system.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Why did the Fed step in, organize all the Wall Street banks, and kind of sponsor this bailout? Because all of the Wall Street banks that enabled Long Term Capital to grow to this giant size, to have 100 to one leverage, by loaning them money. So when the Treasury and the Fed stepped in and bailed out, effectively, Long Term Capital and their lenders, their enablers, it was another big sign that the rules of the game had changed and that institutions were becoming too big to fail.

Fast forward. We go through one percent interest rates at the Fed in the early 2000s, we go through the housing bubble and collapse.

BILL MOYERS: Following the 2008 economic meltdown came the mother of all bailouts.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Good morning. Secretary Paulson, Chairman Bernanke and Chairman Cox have briefed leaders on Capitol Hill on the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation approving the Federal government’s purchase of illiquid assets such as troubled mortgages from banks and other financial institutions.

BILL MOYERS: The Bush administration leaped to the rescue of some of the county’s largest financial institutions, to the tune of 700 billion tax-payer dollars.

DAVID STOCKMAN: We elect a new government because the public said, you know, "We're scared. We want a change." And who did we get? We got Larry Summers. We got the same guy who had been one of the original architects of the policy in the 1990s, the financialization policy, the too big to fail policy.

Who else did we get? We got Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. He had been at the Fed in New York in October 2008 bailing out everybody in sight. General Electric got bailed out. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, all of the banks got bailed out, and the architect of that bailout then becomes the Secretary of the Treasury. So it's another signal to the financial markets that nothing ever changes. The cronies of capitalism are in charge of policy.

BILL MOYERS: You name names in your writing. You identify several people as the embodiment of crony capitalism. Tell me about Jeffrey Immelt.

DAVID STOCKMAN: He is the poster boy for crony capitalism. Here is GE, one of the six triple-A companies left in the United Sates, a massive, half-trillion dollar company, massive market capitalization. I'm talking about the eve of the crisis now, in September, 2008.

Suddenly, when the commercial paper market starts to destabilize and short-term rates went up. He calls up the Treasury secretary with an S.O.S., "I'm in trouble here. I need a lifeline." He had recklessly funded a lot of assets at General Electric Capital in the overnight commercial paper market. And suddenly needed a bailout from the Treasury. Within days, that bailout was granted.

And therefore, General Electric was able to avoid the consequence of its foolish lend long and borrow short policy. What they should have been required to do when the commercial paper market dried up -- that was the excuse. They should've been required to offer equity, sell stock at a highly discounted rate, dilute their shareholders, and raise the cash they needed to pay off their commercial paper.

That would've been the capitalist way. That would've been the free market way of doing things. And in the future they would've been less likely to go back into this speculative mode of borrowing short and lending long. But when we get to the point where the one triple-A, a multi-hundred billion dollar company gets to call up the secretary, issue the S.O.S. sign and get $60 billion worth of guaranteed Federal Reserve and Treasury backup lines, then we are, you know, our system has been totally transformed. It is not a free market system. It is a system run by powerful, political and corporate forces.

BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: So when you saw that President Obama had appointed Jeffrey Immelt, as the head of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, what went through your mind?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Well, I was in the middle of being very disgusted with what my own Republican Party had done and what Bush had done and the Paulson Treasury. And then when I saw this, I got the title for my book, “The Triumph of Crony Capitalism.”

BARACK OBAMA: And I am so proud and pleased that Jeff has agreed to chair this panel, my Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, because we think GE has something to teach businesses all across America.

DAVID STOCKMAN: If you have a former community organizer who was trained in the Saul Alinsky school of direct democracy, appointing the worst abuser, the worst abuser of crony capitalism, GE, who came in and begged for this bailout, to head his Jobs Council, when obviously GE's international corporation, they've been shifting jobs offshore for decades, then it becomes so obvious that we have a new kind of system, and that we have a real crisis.

BILL MOYERS: Where is the shame? Shouldn't these people have been at least a little ashamed of running the economy and the financial system into the ditch and then saying, "Come lift me out?"

DAVID STOCKMAN: Yes. You know, I think that's part of the problem. I started on Capitol Hill in 1970s. And as I can vividly recall, corporate leaders then at least were consistent. They might've complained about big government, or they might've complained about the tax system.

But there wasn't an entitlement expectation that if financial turmoil or upheaval came along, that the Treasury, or the Federal Reserve, or the FDIC or someone would be there to back them up. That would've been considered, you know, it would've been considered, as you say, shameful. And somehow, over the last 30 years, the corporate leadership of America has gotten so addicted to their stock price by the hour, by the day, by the week, that they're willing to support anything that might keep the game going and help the system in the short run avoid a hit to their stock price and to the value of their options. That's the real problem today. And as a result, there is no real political doctrine ideology left in the corporate community. They are simply pragmatists who will take anything they can find, and run with it.

BILL MOYERS: So this is what you mean, when you say free markets are not free. They've been bought and paid for by large financial institutions.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Right. I don't think it's entirely a corruption of human nature. People have always been inconsistent and greedy.

But I think it's been the evolution of the political culture in which there have been so many bailouts, there has been so much abuse and misuse of government power for private ends and private gains, that now we have an entitled class in this country that is far worse than you know, remember the welfare queens that Ronald Reagan used to talk about?

We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do what is ever necessary if it involves tax relief, tax incentives, tax cuts, loan guarantees, Federal Reserve market intervention and stabilization. Whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward. That's where they are.

BILL MOYERS: You were disaffected with the party of your youth, the Republican Party, because it has-- because it’s become dogmatic on so many of these issues and no longer listens to evidence and facts. I’m disaffected with the party of my youth because that Democratic Party served the interest of the working people in this country like Ruby and Henry Moyers. And so many people feel the same way. How do we overcome this pessimism about the American future? “The Wall Street Journal” had a headline on an op-ed piece that said, "The End of American Optimism." A recent survey said only 15 percent of the people were satisfied about the direction of the American people. I mean, this is a serious situation, is it not?

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think it is. And -- but we also have to recognize the pessimism that the public reflects in the surveys and polls is warranted. In other words the public isn't being unduly pessimistic. It's not been overcome with some kind of a false wave of emotion. No. I think the American public sees very clearly the current system isn't working, that the Federal Reserve is basically working on behalf of Wall Street, not Main Street.

The Congress is owned lock, stock and barrel by one after another, after another special interest. And they logically say how can we expect, you know, anything good to come out of this kind of process that seems to be getting worse. So how do we turn that around? I think it's going to take, unfortunately a real crisis before maybe the decks can be cleared.

BILL MOYERS: What would that look like?

DAVID STOCKMAN: It will take something even more traumatic than we had in September 2008.

BILL MOYERS: But on the basis of the record, the lessons of the past. The experience you have just recounted and are writing about. Do you see any early signs that we might turn the ship from the iceberg?

DAVID STOCKMAN: No. I think we've learned no lessons. We really have not restructured our financial system. The big banks that existed then that were too big to fail are even bigger now. The top six banks then had seven trillion of assets, now they have nine or ten trillion.

Rather than go to the fundamentals which have been totally neglected-- we've simply kind of papered over the current system and continued the game of having the Federal Reserve and the Treasury if necessary prop up all of this leverage and speculation, which isn't helping the economy.

And when we talk about zero interest rates. That’s not helping Main Street. Our problem in this economy is not our interest rates are too high. The zero interest rates are just more fuel for leverage speculation for what’s called the carry trade and that is causing windfall benefits to the few but it’s leaving the fundamental problems of our economy in worse shape than they’ve ever been.

BILL MOYERS: No one I know has a better understanding of the see-saw tension in our history between democracy and capitalism.

Capitalism, you accumulate wealth and make it available. Democracy being a brake, B-R-A-K-E, on the unbridled greed of capitalists. It seems to me that democracy has lost and that capitalism is triumphant -- crony capitalism in this case.

DAVID STOCKMAN: And I think it's important to put the word crony capitalism on there. Because free-market capitalism is a different thing. True free-market capitalists never go to Washington with their hand out. True free-market capitalists running a bank do not expect that every time they make a foolish mistake or they get themselves too leveraged or they end up with too many risky assets that don't work out, they don't expect to go to the Federal Reserve and get some cheap or free money and go on as before.

They expect consequences, maybe even failure of their firm, certainly loss of their bonuses, maybe the loss of their jobs. So we don't have free-market capitalism left in this country anymore. We have everyone believing that if they can hire the right lobbyist, raise enough political action committee money, spend enough time prowling the halls of the Senate and the House and the office buildings, arguing for their parochial narrow interest -- that that is the way that will work out. And that is crony capitalism. It’s very dangerous and it seems to be becoming more embedded in our system.

BILL MOYERS: So many people say, “We've got to get money out of politics.” Or as you said, “Money dominates government today.”

DAVID STOCKMAN: Well look, I think the financial industry, over the two or three year run up to 2010 spent something like $600 million. Just the financial industry, the banks, the Wall Street houses and some hedge funds and others. Insurance companies. $600 million in campaign contributions or lobbying.

That is so disproportionate, because the average American today is struggling to make ends meet. Probably working extra hours in order, just to keep up with the cost of living, which is being driven up unfortunately by the Fed.

They don't have time to weigh into the political equation against the daily, hourly lobbying and pressuring and, you know, influencing of the process. So it's asymmetrical. And how do we solve that? I think we can only solve it by -- and it'll take a constitutional amendment, so I don't say this lightly. But I think we have to eliminate all contributions above $100 and get corporations out of politics entirely.

Ban corporations from campaign contributions or attempting to influence elections. Now, I know that runs into current free speech. So the only way around it is a constitutional amendment to cleanse our political system on a one-time basis from this enormously corrupting influence that has built up. And I think nothing is really going to change until we get money out of politics and do some radical things to change the way elections are financed and the way the process is influenced by organized money. If we don’t address that, then crony capitalism is here for the duration.

BILL MOYERS: David Stockman, thank you very much for sharing this time with us.

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism

Moyers & Company explores the tight connection between Wall Street and the White House with David Stockman, former budget director for President Reagan.

Now a businessman who says he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the administration’s tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly with Bill Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”

Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.

“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” Stockman tells Moyers.

Related Links:

Frontline: The Financial Crisis of 2008 timeline

The Visual Everything: Crony Capitalism Visualized

The Takeaway: Joe Nocera on the Regulation of Big Banks

The Atlantic: The Education of St0ckman

The Center for Public Integrity: Obama rainmakers enjoy White House invites, appointments and contracts

ProPublica: PAC Track

Mother Jones Interactive Explainer: How the GOP Stealth Money Machine Work

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  • Claus Gehner

    Excellent programming. There is no, none, zip commercial TV program which still produces in-depth interviews like these, which are desperately needed. Crony Capitalism is only one of the problems facing America, as serious as it is.
    My own assessment is that American Democracy is dead, and not just because a completely corrupt form of capitalism has taken over. There are issues with politicians, political parties, lobbies, PACs and the News Media (formerly known as the free press), which have all contributed to the Death of Democracy in America..

  • pattiWA

    On Facebook, maybe 15% of my friends care to discuss, learn facts and explore these issues that delve into the economics, politics and history in a non partisan frame of mind. As a result, there’s many reactionary statements posted that adds nothing but frustration.  Hopefully, leading FB friends to your weekly presentations will be as valuable to them, as they are to me.  Thanks for coming back to PBS and us.

  • Ireneleeg

    As excellent as Bill Moyers’ program is, it sadly doesn’t reach “the masses” who would be better educated and better informed than they are getting their information from the mainstream media.  I wish Mr. Stockman would be invited to join Jon Stewart on the Daily Show in order to reach another segment of the population.  Most  younger people now get their information from shows like Mr. Stewart’s.

  • Irena

    Thank you for this excellent presentation of Crony Capitalism.  We need this information to be on local channels.  People are simply uninformed and misinformed.  If the truth is not presented in the local media, this country is doomed and democracy is dead.

  • jlawmi

    thanks bill for giving David S the audience he deserves. 
    Democrats, republicans, its not going to matter until this fundamentals are addressed. Our democracy at risk. Lawrence Lessig movement dovetails nicely perhaps.

  • Budnorton

    What it comes down to politically in a large democratic Republic is the “robber barons”  (pick your +/- terms) vs the “utopians”  (pick your +/- terms) affecting the  “masses” (pick your +/- terms) who mostly ignore the political interactions (understandably and correctly imho, but to their increasing peril nowadays!) The “masses” will always need to educate themselves, but they don’t need to “be educated” by either side. Both “sides” need to be “controlled” by the “masses”, but not too much! Not very satisfying to either “side” or to the “masses”, but in my humble, “utopian” opinion, to avoid the usual historical messes, that’s the joy and burden of relatively free human beings.

  • Bigpapirules

    Good show but find it more than curious the David Stockman skips over the Savings and Loan Crisis and its subsequent bailout to point at the Mexican currency crisis as the beginning of our bailout culture…

  • MarcLuber

    Excellent interview!  This is Must Watch TV.  The whole country needs to see this.  I think it’s particularly important that Stockman is a Republican since this issue is often looked at as something liberals whine about….when in reality it’s an American crisis that has nothing to do with partisanship.

  • leftofcenter

    While I respect Bill Moyers and a lot of what he’s trying to do, you’re missing some important questions.

    Why does the MSM continue to let the govt. put out their unemployment rate which we all know is false?

    We know that lots of Wall Street people have made and continue to make huge bonuses. However, what about all of the pundits who continue to talk about this? How much have they made from their books, documentaries, CD’s, DVD’s, lectures, talk show appearances and all the rest of it? If you say it’s not their job to fix it and only to report on it, my response would be this. Just how many “in-depth exposes that tell you the REAL INSIDE STORY” of (fill in the blank with a famous firm’s name)” do we need?

  • Pythagoras

    Stockman makes a comment almost in passing that warrants further discussion.  He says:

    “…the corporate leadership of America has gotten so addicted to their stock price by the hour, by the day, by the week, that they’re willing to support anything that might keep the game going and help the system in the short run avoid a hit to their stock price and to the value of their options. That’s the real problem today.”

    This comment seems similar to that of John Bogle founder of Vanguard funds and originator of the concept of the index fund.  Bogle commented that most actively traded funds have a high degree of portfolio turnover on a yearly basis than is justified based upon comparison to investing in the past.

    Volatility in the stock market, bond market, commodities,  and currency markets is how the big banks and hedge funds generate their income.  Every trade that occurs is another opportunity for the middle-man in the transaction to take their cut.  Furthermore, it provides a means for those on the inside to game the system to create situations of asymmetrical knowledge which those on the inside can exploit for personal game.

    And it is difficult to argue that the high turnovers and micro-second stock and currency transactions serve any type of societal good by efficiently allocating capital.

    Perhaps the best way to break the financial institutions and reduce their power in the Crony Capitalism system is to dis-incentivize short-term investing (which looks to those on the outside as casino gambling) and incentivize  long-term investing.

    Perhaps, remove the requirement for quarterly earnings reports.   Or institute a financial transaction tax. 

  • Skopros

    just a great pleasure to see you back with two hard-hitting segments by two of my favorites, especially gretch morgenson.  keep it coming Bill:  we depend on you.

  • Mamabarbie34

    David Stockman needs to run for president. He knows what changes need to be made!

  • Marie Isenburg

    Yes, let’s pass a constitutional amendment to limit citizenship to individuals. Unfortunately, I don’t see how that alone will straighten out the abuses of the financial sector. I still think that because of globalized investment patterns and unfortunate obligations to foreign governments, the proper handling of the financial system is a national security issue.
     Get campaign money out of policy decisions and get honest officials to take the necessary, probably painful, steps to  become masters of our own destiny again. I’m sorry, but I still can’t get over how pundits don’t see the connection between US domestic policy decisions and international pressures.

    Mr. Stockman almost made me believe that we could simply hold individuals accountable without creating collateral damage. If he’s right, let’s please get on with it.

  • Rick Norlund


    Have you ever asked yourself why our – the USA’s –corporate[2][1]capitalist model works so well in China(?) an unabashedly
    communist country! Simple, we Americans live in, and have from our beginnings,
    a corporate socialist capitalist republic! Socialism is defined as “a political
    theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are
    controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness[1]rather than market principle[2]”[MS
    Word’s Encarta Dict.: English North American] The key phrased in this
    definition is“rather than market principle[s]”. Better known by most American
    by phrases like “Free Market Principles” “Free Market Capitalism”, “Free
    Markets” or just as “Capitalism”. All of these phrases or words, and the
    concept behind them, imply the word failure, not the right to fail, the
    requirement to fail if you cannot succeed — on your own.

    While it is true that the first
    portions of that definition, between the words a [and] fairness does not apply
    to our corporate system of business in the US, the last four words do not
    describe what we call our capitalist corporate system of free enterprise under
    our US Government either, and really never has! We cannot therefore be a true
    capitalist society; we are some mutation of it, more accurately, our country is
    a melding of capitalism and socialism. In fact I doubt that any true capitalist
    society has ever existed anywhere. And it is clear to me that the US is much
    closer to a socialist corporate society, than we are to a true free market
    capitalist corporate society.


    Looking at the definition of
    Capitalism, we find that there is no set definition of the word (see the likes


    One definition says: “‘Capitalism’
    is conventionally defined along economic terms such as the following:

    An economic system in which the
    means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and
    development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits
    gained in a free market. Source:[“accumulation and
    reinvestment” of corporate “profits”, not government handouts to corporations,
    yet government handouts to corporations, of all kinds[3][2], is an integral part of what we’ve come to call
    our Capitalist system.]


    This is an example of a definition by
    non-essentials [for purposes of this discussion I do not consider this rather
    convoluted definition.]


    An essential definition of
    capitalism is a political definition:

    Capitalism is a social system based
    on the principle of individual rights.

    In order to have an economic system
    in which ‘production and distribution are privately or corporately owned’, you
    must have individual rights and specifically property rights. The only way to have an economic system
    fitting the first definition is to have a political system fitting the second
    definition.[[4][3]]The first is an implication of the second. Because the
    second, political, definition is fundamental and the cause of the first, it is
    the more useful definition and is preferable.” [I’ll refer you to footnote 3
    below] (see


    The problem with the political
    definition above is that: 1) it’s simply wrong (see fn 3) and 2) it is devoid
    any consideration of individual (or corporate) responsibility leading to the
    potential of failure and is therefore useless.


    Any legitimate definition of
    capitalism has to include responsibility, and demands failure if those
    responsibilities are not met. For corporate America, especially large
    corporations, there is little or no responsibility for them, no matter how
    irresponsible they are in managing the company or entity[5][4]. Local, state and federal governments make sure
    they succeed, in various ways that costs taxpayers, the payers of all sorts of
    taxes, not limited to income tax alone, including the likes of property taxes,
    sales taxes, payroll taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, fees like state and
    federal entrance fees, etc. (see


    According to Senator Bernie Sanders,
    an Independent from Vermont, at


    1. “Exxon
    Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal
    income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS,
    according to its SEC filings.” [italics mine] [see 9 below]



    a. This
    is what had to say “Exxon paid the most taxes
    last year of any U.S. company, by far — but not a cent went to the IRS for
    income taxes.” (see, yet Republicans would have us believe that taxes are too
    high for this behemoth. “Though Exxon’s financial statement’s don’t show
    any net income tax liability owed to Uncle Sam, a company spokesman insists
    that once its final tax bill is figured, Exxon will owe a ‘substantial 2009 tax
    liability.’ How substantial? ‘That’s not something we’re required to disclose,
    nor do we.’ [the spokesperson said] (see Sounds right to me! (You may have already figured out
    that I’m being facetious)


    “Bank of America received a $1.9
    billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in
    profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury
    Department of nearly $1 trillion.”


    a. See
    reports “Bank of America posted a pre-tax loss of $5.4 billion in the U.S. in


    “Over the past five years, [ending
    in 2009] while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United
    States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.”


    a. The NY Times says about GE’s 2010 income “[i]ts American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax
    benefit of $3.2 billion.” see, this would be added to the 4.1 billion for a six year
    total of 7.3 billion in tax benefits while apparently avoiding paying taxes


    “Chevron received a $19 million
    refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.”


    a. This
    is what had to say about Chevron “Chevron
    faced an effective income tax rate of 43% last year” to who(?), any country but
    the US. (see Republicans keep telling us that tax rates are lower in
    other countries, how do you get lower than minus 19 million dollars![6][5]If
    tax rates are so low in other countries, and so high in the US why did Chevron
    pay a 43% tax bill to other countries and receive a 19 million dollar tax
    windfall from the US taxpayer?


    “Boeing, which received a $30 billion
    contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers [in Wichita], got a
    $124 million refund from the IRS last year.”


    a. What has Wichita, where Boeing promised these tankers would
    be built, done for Boeing you ask(?) “[t]he community and state have taken steps to retain the
    company’s aircraft works and jobs. Since 1979, Wichita has issued more than $3.5
    billion of industrial revenue bonds to help Boeing finance plants and
    facilities, city figures show. The manufacturer received $650 million in
    property-tax relief.” [italics mine] (see Who paid off
    the $3.5 billion in bonds, probably the taxpayer, who lost the $650 million,
    certainly Wichita.


    “Brewer and the Kansas congressional delegation lobbied the
    Pentagon hard. In return Boeing promised the tanker work would be kept in
    Wichita, saving 2,100 jobs and creating 7,500 more. (see
    Did they keep their promise(?) Reuters says NO! (see
    Boeing stabbed
    Wichita in the back, that’s what they did!


    “Valero Energy, the 25th largest
    company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million
    tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a
    $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.”

    a. [see


    “Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1
    percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion
    and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury
    Department.” [bailout money (see]


    a. “US Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat . . . [¶] [seems to have
    said about Goldman Sachs] With the right hand out begging for bailout money,
    the left is hiding it offshore.” And taking US jobs to Singapore, see the link at 7. Above.


    “Citigroup[[7][6]]last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no
    federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion[8][7]bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S.


    a. This is what had to say about special IRS
    treatment of Citigroup “The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued an
    exception to long-standing tax rules for the benefit of Citigroup and a few
    other companies partially owned by the government. As a result, Citigroup will
    be allowed to retain billions of dollars worth of tax breaks that otherwise
    would decline in value when the government sells its stake to private
    investors.” (see



    9. “ConocoPhillips,
    the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits
    from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil
    and gas manufacturing deduction.”


    a. says “[t]ry to muster some pity for ExxonMobil.
    [see 1 above] The oil giant paid more income
    taxes last year than any other corporation. At $15 billion, the tax bill
    totaled 47% of pre-tax earnings. It wasn’t much better at Chevron, which paid
    $8 billion in income tax, or ConocoPhillips, at $5 billion.’ Who then clarified
    “Yet before you thank Big Oil for financing Uncle Sam’s profligacy, get this:
    Exxon paid none of its 2009 income taxes in the U.S., while Chevron sent the
    U.S. Treasury just $200 million.” (see]


    “Over the past five years, Carnival
    Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax
    rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.” [see Bernie’s list at


    b. “Carnival registers its ships to foreign registries such as
    Panama to avoid paying U.S. taxes” (see;
    which goes on to say “Carnival reaps enormous benefits of both federal and
    state tax dollars for its operations . . .” [billions, read the article], for
    all our billions of tax dollars spent to benefit Carnival, what do they do, not
    unlike Boeing talked about below “Carnival hires foreign workers to staff its
    cruise ships that are homed in U.S. ports to avoid U.S. labor laws and
    taxes.”In other words, Carnival does not want to hire you because then they’d
    have to pay into your Social Security, i.e., US payroll taxes. If the Social
    Security system is broke, this is why, and subject themselves to US labor laws]


    Senator Sanders has not even taken
    into consideration corporate welfare oil subsidies, or other corporate welfare
    like tax breaks, like the ones Carnival, Boeing and Wal-Mart enjoy talked about
    herein. Wikipedia says “[t]he United States government provides a large subsidy
    to oil companies, with major tax breaks at virtually every stage of oil
    exploration and extraction.” [italics mine] (see’s
    source is a 2005 Congressional Budget Office study)


    The definition of socialism above
    does not include, or more accurately excludes Free Market Principles [FMPs],
    what are FMPs? David Boaz, of the Cato Institute says this about the phrase:
    “In a growing economy, companies succeed and fail every day. Technology
    changes. Consumer tastes change. New competitors offer a better product or a
    better price. Raw materials or labor becomes too expensive. Some companies just
    aren’t viable, and some investments turn out to have been mistaken.
    [better stated for purposes of this article as “bad investments”.] [¶] That’s
    what the ‘creative destruction’of a market economy is all about.”, “Creative
    destruction”, a poetic phrase that simply means failure! [italics mine] (see


    Now we are faced with an integral
    part of what an economy based on FMPs is all about, what David calls “creative
    destruction” and what I call failure.

    Wikipedia says this about free
    markets “[a] free-market economy is one within which all markets are unregulated by any
    parties other than market participants. In its purest form, the government
    plays a neutral role in its administration and legislation of economic
    activity, neither limiting it (by regulating industries or protecting them from
    internal/external market pressures) nor actively promoting it (by owning
    economic interests or offering subsidies to businesses or R&D). (see


    In addressing
    the first part of this definition, I’ll say:


    Regulation of


    All of us who
    are of my age, 63, or older, who were raised in urban areas of the US have seen
    how unregulated business has polluted land, air, freshwater and seas in the USA
    (see, before I was
    born unregulated business exploited adult labor but more hideously– child
    labor, says “[a]s industrialization moved workers from farms and home workshops
    into urban areas and factory work, children were often preferred, because
    factory owners viewed them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to
    strike. By 1900 . . . American children worked in large numbers in mines, glass
    factories, textiles, agriculture, canneries, home industries, and as newsboys,
    messengers, bootblacks, and peddlers.” (see
    This is how honorable our unregulated businesses are!


    Protecting them
    from internal/external market pressures. We hear all the hoopla about NAFTA,
    consider that “in a free trade agreement. Taxes, tariffs,
    and import quotas are all eliminated, as are subsidies, tax breaks, and other
    forms of support to domestic producers” (see which
    eliminated for Canada and Mexico many, if not all, American tariff protections,
    taxes and quotas, on products coming into the US, which made their products
    more expensive (external pressure protection). As to internal pressures R&D
    talked about below is an internal pressure requiring companies to research and
    develop: strategies for things like: marketing, production and delivery; for
    products consumers want, and drugs that patients need, etc.


    That same part
    of the definition of free market principles “protecting” — prohibits
    government from using BAILOUTS for the banks like B of A and corporations like
    GM, the bailouts to banks amounted to what(?) without a little research I’d say
    about 1.5 trillion dollars! Am I right, not according to the NY Times, they say
    “the government has made commitments of about $12.2 trillion and
    spent $2.5 trillionthe government has made commitments of about $12.2 trillion
    and spent $2.5 trillionthe government has made commitments of about $12.2
    trillion and spent $2.5 trillionthe government has made commitments of about
    $12.2 trillion and spent $2.5 trillionthe government has made commitments of
    about $12.2 trillion and spent $2.5 trillionthe government has made commitments of about $12.2 trillion,
    commitments rivaling the current National Debt of $15 billion, and spent $2.5
    trillion . . .”, more than the US government’s annual tax revenue (see; see All to shield banks and US corporations from the purely
    Capitalist principal of failure.


    Another part of
    this definition demands that government cannot be involved in “actively
    promoting” business, by such things as:


    “Owing economic
    interests” in the company!

    What was the
    government’s interest in GM(?) – says 60%, (see
    says “majorty” interest. (see Of course,
    real FMPs denies any ownership interest in private business by government, for
    any reason, even to save them.


    “Offering subsidies”, to business is
    not a capitalist principal.


    As pointed out above, there’s an
    ongoing hullabaloo about the continuing oil company subsidies! counted
    oil subsidies in a 2011 article at “about $20 billion in tax subsidies over the next 10 years
    . . .” ( this is to US
    oil companies, as Senator Sanders points out as mentioned above, many of whom
    pay no US income tax.


    I’ll give you
    my personal knowledge of one local farmer’s federal subsidies in Northern
    California the “LaMalfa Family Partnership received
    payments totaling $4,694,840 from 1995 through 2010”,nearly 5 million in 15 years, more
    than most of us will ever make in a life time, two or three. (see
    Could you fail with 5 million is government subsidies? Of course you could, but
    true FMPs prohibits them. Is Doug LaMalfa a Capitalist farmer(?), no – he’s the
    quintessential, on the government dole socialist, government guaranteed and
    subsidized Butte County, California, USA farmer. Does socialism prohibit
    government from propping up businesses, isn’t that what the USSR (Communist
    Russia) was all about(?), business propped up by the government, what happened
    to the USSR(?), kaput!


    “R&D”, research and development
    by government for the benefit of business is impermissible in a free market


    Our government wouldn’t fund
    research and development with tax dollars to benefits private business(?) at
    the cost of individuals, or –would it? How do you think the atomic bomb was
    developed, the space shuttle? (see
    We all know what licensed prescription medications costs us, with that
    knowledge consider this “The NIH mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead
    to better health for everyone. NIH works toward that mission by: conducting
    research in its own laboratories; supporting the research of non-Federal
    scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals, and research
    institutions throughout the country and abroad . . .” [italics mine] (see


    Apparently –
    not part of the NIH’s mission is to ensure, at least as to those inventions
    and/or discoveries, i.e., “knowledge”; that your tax dollars uncovers, that
    “everyone”should benefit from it. I guess a better mission statement for the
    NIH would be:


    “The mission of the NIH is to uncover new knowledge, with
    your tax dollars, that will lead to better health for only those who can afford

    Republicans want to repeal Obamacare! I don’t know about you, but I always
    bought my own health insurance, that is until it got to over $2,000.00 a month
    for my wife and I, now we go uninsured. When I crushed my hand a while back, it
    healed on its own, that’s Republicancare!


    In conclusion, it is inescapable
    that we live in a Capitalist society as concerns average Americans, and on the
    management and operation side of business, equally inescapable is that
    we do — and always have — lived in a socialist capitalist corporate republic
    as to big business, ensuring they succeed and cannot fail. This in not


    As some closing thoughts consider
    this “the first major railroad land grants originated with the 1862
    legislation that enabled the transcontinental railroad. At that time, the Union
    Pacific and Central Pacific railroads were granted 400-foot right-of-ways plus ten
    square miles of land for every mile of track built.” [Italics mine] (see says that “The Central Pacific laid 690 miles (1,110 km) of track,
    starting in Sacramento, and the Union Pacific laid 1,087 miles (1,749 km) of
    track, starting in Omaha. The two lines connected at Promontory Summit,


    The math for this humongous
    government giveaway of US land to private business in staggering. This is what
    Wikipedia has to say about it “The total area of the land grants to the Union Pacific
    and Central Pacific was even larger than the area of the state of Texas.”
    [italics mine] Including mineral rights. With this kind of government welfare
    few could fail. End of Argument. Oh yea, I forgot, they were paid $16,000.00,
    $32,000.00 or $48,000.00 a mile depending on terrain. (see


    WGBH says about
    the 1862 Union Pacific’s Thomas Durant “Durant
    and his fellow promoters [] came up with a seemingly foolproof plan: instead of
    paying outside contractors to build the railroad, the U.P.’s biggest
    stockholders would just pay themselves. They took over an ephemeral
    construction company, the Credit Mobilier of America, which just happened to win the
    contract to build 667 miles of Union Pacific railroad. The Credit Mobilier
    charged the railroad tens of millions of dollars more than the actual cost of
    construction, all of which went right into the pockets of the men who were
    supposedly running the Union Pacific. By the time they were done, they’d
    cleared at least $23 million [mind you 1862 dollar] (and perhaps considerably
    more), and the U.P. was on the verge of bankruptcy. Everyone who had invested
    in the railroad but not the construction company found themselves with nearly
    worthless securities on their hands.” (see

    This is how our honorable corporate socialists capitalist companies in American
    operate, then and now!


    © 2012 Rick
    Norlund, all rights reserved, may be reprinted by permission only.

    [1]I use the word “corporation” in its general sense, to
    mean business generally, especially big business.

    [2]I use the word “corporation” in its general sense, to
    mean business generally, especially big business.

    [3]A few are discussed in this article.

    [4]We know quite well that this is not true, Communist
    China is a perfect example!

    [5]I’d simply refer you to articles like, or type into your search engine a phrase like “The Fanny Mae and Freddie
    Mac Debacle”.


    [6][5] I intentionally put an exclamation point, you see,
    the question is rhetorical.


    [8][7]Something to think about, Reagan came to office with
    $1 trillion in National Debt. and left office with a $2.9 trillion National

  • Anonymous

    How often I see this simplistic equation. A guy confesses his capitalist doubts and right away he becomes a “front runner” in the susceptible mind.
    Moyers lets Stockman muse, but it becomes clear that his assessment of the crimes gives him no special franchise on bringing back justice and fairness. Only really careless thinkers assume the Federal Government can be successfully run as a business by businessmen. That’s anachronistic and wishful thinking. Don’t feel alone. I’ve made the same error myself over and over again as the result of  flawed education and media brainwashing. Still I blame myself.

  • Anonymous

    Stockman is more suitable for the Colbert Report.
    They could do a Sondheim duet.

  • Anonymous

    Solution: Put your time in reform and forget the conformism of Facebuck.

  • Anonymous

    Comparing crony capitalism to reformers as equal is a crazy idea. Think about who holds all the media, money, police power and connections. Someday you will get beyond dualism; I know you will.

  • Anonymous

    He remains partisan. Maybe he enjoyed that woodshed intimacy.

  • Anonymous

    I fail to see how all your work has gained you mastery of the keywords. Searching definitions is but the beginning. What does all this mean to you?
    How does it affect your life and the lives of those you care about? How does it diminish the overall quality of life ? But it is interesting to see how your thought is evolving and adapting. You’re getting warmer. Get with others and redress your grievances.

  • Anonymous

    What I gather from Stockman is that the capitalist bicycle will need training wheels even after we take it back from the naughty thieves. What I think is that we need a bus with enough seats for everyone, something more stable and dependable. Maybe a train would be better so that the driver can’t veer off course. Capitalism should get over itself and retire. It’s a museum piece.

  • Rick Norlund

    Grady, Bill only let us have 25,000 characters. Here’s some more!

    PS: Consider
    Wal-Mart and the cost of one little local government property tax concession
    given to them to build a distribution center. A article
    states “ . . . in Sharon Springs, N.Y., a [Wal-Mart] distribution center
    made a deal with an industrial development agency for the agency to hold the
    legal title to the facility so the corporation could [legally mind you] evade property taxes.
    Good Jobs First estimates that Wal-Mart will save about $46 million over the
    life of this one agreement.” [italics mine] One agreement out of thousands
    Wal-Mart has negotiated over
    the years with local, state and federal governments all over the country.
    Wal-Mart had 4227 stores as of August 31, 2008. (see
    no wonder Wal-Mart and their shareholders are doing so well, the American tax
    payer provides nearly unlimited and unchecked welfare to this company and its
    stockholders, and Uncle Sam provides Wal-Mart with a huge portion of their employees’
    health care. (see articles like
    which says a hospital “in North Carolina [] found that 31 percent of its 1,900
    patients were Wal-Mart employees on Medicaid”; or
    which says “an internal Wal-Mart memo acknowledges
    that 27 percent of children of Wal-Mart employees are enrolled in Medicaid or
    the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)”) and this doesn’t
    count how many simply go uninsured!


    As Bill Moyers pointed out in his piece
    Reagan chided welfare queens in the 1980s when he was president, well – Wal-Mart
    is the Welfare King(!) and it would not surprise me one bit to find out that
    this one company, been in business, has plundered local, state and federal
    treasuries for more money that all of the welfare queen’s in the US ever and
    all put together.


    What kind of taxes was this country built on, well, for
    instance 70% in 1966 for individual income over $100,000.00; in 1947 91% for
    individual income over $200,000.00. (see
    As for corporate income tax or business profit tax, it’s currently set at a
    maximum of 35%, and called unreasonably
    high. (see The, citing a
    report by Citizens for Tax Justice says that 300 Fortune 500 companies pay more
    like just 18.3 percent in
    taxes , pointing out that
    “30 companies mentioned in the report — including Wells Fargo, Verizon, Boeing
    and General Electric — didn’t pay a cent in federal taxes in 2008, 2009 or
    2010, the report found.” (see


    PPS: It would not
    surprise me at all if someone did a study on the tax concessions given by
    local, state and federal officials, to Wal-Mart over the years, to find out, that
    they’ve received trillions in tax breaks on the backs of peons like me and you.
    If they included the amount that Uncle Sam pays for Wal-Mart employees’ health
    care over the years, it would not surprise me to find out that the amount was
    between 5 to 7 trillion dollars.


    See how well you
    can sleep tonight on that, Rick.


    © 2012 Rick Norlund, all rights reserved, may be
    reprinted by permission.

  • Anonymous

    Your opening about how China and the USA share a system of reverse socialism is correct and clever as far as it goes. This quarter Bank of America got into the black by selling its interest in a Chinese bank. Consider that dominant money elites in the West have cronied up with Chinese political elites to recolonize China as it was in the 19th century. Buicks have replaced opium. Most of the 1.2 billion Chinese remain serfs and slave laborers. Fascist “faux racists” like Newt Gingrich (well-known for his child labor and orphanages) advise us we must get down to their standard of living, never considering they might be brought up to what we are now losing. The United States has owners, and I don’t mean the People. The same few people own China. It is no accident both places look more and more alike as the owners prosper and extract: just two different chicken factories under the same management. The Chinese military might have useful delusions of conflict but that is more about maintaining the arms markets by deceiving the publics. (ever read Orwell?) The same families who formerly owned the manufacturing capacity here now own it in China. The discipline imposed by the Chinese government on their workers serves these owners there just as Latin American juntas do, and always have, on the fruit plantations. Can’t you see why Cornell West and Charles Bowden predict the return of American plantations? Globalism under corporate capitalism means the Lord Proprietors will soon own everything everywhere.
    Defining and tweaking is useless. We must organize and resist hoping intimidation can still work in the face of advanced technology.

  • Anonymous

    Rules are nice formalities but power is so-o-o-o
    concentrated now that Elites possess impunity beyond the law. Flagrant audacity by criminals is in vogue and there is a global shell game in progress. Are we going to play a board game of good government while they throw the furniture of democracy in their stove? Organizing and intimidation  by the People is a pre-requisite of any effective paper reforms. I have come to despise Obama because he abdicated to our tormentors while offering us penny candy to shut up. It must be quite addictive being able to disappear, torture and execute any citizen at will, send robots to bust houses full of people on the other side of the planet. Crazy acts produce crazy leaders. Observe how ill-informed South Carolina voters in a sham election are this morning, all thanks to the educational system, the media, sadistic intimidation and material insecurity. A crazy lifestyle drives the People crazy, and the sane who still care are ridiculed.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe if we put another  flea on the donkey it will come in from the pasture and don its own tack. Maybe? You sound like someone depending heavily on dividends. Those days are gone. I hate to tell you this, Shrek, but Donkey is dying of terminal addiction. Another collapse is being engineered now so don’t cry too long.

  • Anonymous

    Could he be a RINO?

  • Anonymous

    Wonder why there are not 30 or 40 programs as good as Moyers? Big money won’t allow it. He was dumped from PBS to get Koch funding. That’s how much they care about us. At age 77 he chose not to go quietly. Man, do I admire that. I hope I can keep resisting too.

  • Anonymous

    What do you plan to do to help Moyers in his struggle, Jean Allen? I think courageous action is more powerful than a little money contribution.
    Praise blows away like dry leaves and they are gone by spring.

  • Anonymous

    He’s not a cartoon: He’s for real. 
    But he’s one guy and a small staff.
    How can you help?

  • Angelgnome

    If 1 in 5 Americans are impacted everyday by significant disability, cost taxpayers billions of dollars for segregated and devalued treatment and benefit people at the top? Sounds like the financial headhunteres just caught up with what our disability minority has known for decades. HUm,.. what did you do to empower and delight someone today?     

  • Marie Isenburg

    This show explains over and over how power is concentrated in the hands of the few. That’s why I’m with Mr. Moyers on amending the Constitution.

  • tr miles

    Why didn’t the government set up a Garantee company at the peek of the housing bubble back 2007 & 2008 to save those people homes from being lost? All they had to do was direct the money that was given to bail out the mortgage companies and banks through a garantee fund.
    rework the mortgages and have home owners pay with the oversight of the garantee company and the homes would be saved the real estate taxes would be faid, the mortgage company & and banks would get their money, the economy would be saved, jobs would br saved, and many support trades would be saved, and on and on.

    TR Miles

    *TR, please don’t share personal contact information such as phone numbers. Thanks!

  • Rick Norlund

    Grady, this has been going on for a lot longer than the 4000 years or so of recorded history.

    We live in a (so
    called) Capitalist society where the NIH (National Institutes of Health) uses
    US tax dollars to create drugs, then licenses drug companies to make those
    drugs and reap all the billions in profits. We also live on a country where
    federally funded schools develop drugs, they license drug companies to make
    those drugs where both of those parties profit from the federal tax dollar that
    paid for the development of those drugs, what do we get as citizens, we get to
    pay the outrageous prices for these drugs developed with our tax dollars — and
    when the drug companies decide that they are not making enough money from a
    drug – not that they make no money from the drug – or that it costs them money
    to produce the drug – but just don’t make not enough money – they halt
    production, that’s what for profit gets you in a market driven capitalist society
    wherein their almighty god [lower case g] is greedy profits. I mean really, why
    do you think that so many regulations of all 
    kinds were put into place after the ’29 crash of the stocks market and
    resulting ten year depression that followed?

    Grady consider the
    Ludlow Massacre “the face-off raged for fourteen hours,
    during which the miners’ tent colony was pelted
    with machine gun fire and ultimately torched by the state militia. A number
    of people were killed, among them two women and eleven children who suffocated
    in a pit they had dug under their tent. The deaths were blamed on John D. Rockefeller Jr.” [italics mine] (see

    The state militia should have protected the miners
    and the women and children, from Rockefeller — instead, they are killing them
    for the benefit of Rockefeller. What happened to the murders of these miners,
    nothing. If you want to
    learn how another for profit capitalist company commonly called “Wal-Mart”
    plunders the US, state and local treasuries read this article and do a little
    research of your own. (see Americans should worry less about the potential [in the
    future] of a social [meaning “relating to human society and how it is
    organized’] socialist republic in America and worry about the existing
    corporate socialist republic we do live in, wherein companies like Wal-Mart
    plunder federal, state and local treasuries through our current welfare system [corporate
    socialism] for the wealthy – uncommonly called corporate welfare or corporate
    socialism, more commonly called corporate subsidies and Capitalism. Wal-Mart
    is not the problem it is only one of thousands of symptoms of the problem uncommonly
    known as our socialist corporate republic.

    Right — now as I write this article (I wrote this a few day ago) — Wikipedia
    and hundreds of other websites are shut down to protest another Republican corporate
    welfare program — the “Protect IP Act” now before congress – which if passed
    will allow the government, without court order, to shut down websites based on –
    mostly corporate complaints only — by people with money, lots of money. This
    law if passed will grant me, a peon, no rights. Everyone’s intellectual properties are
    currently protected simply by going to the courts.

    you want to learn about the, if I recall right, fatal shooting of workmen at
    the Ford plant “ . . . the violence escalated rapidly and
    culminated in the police and plant security guards . . .[?]” · when its up and running at 12:01am tomorrow. (see Yea(!) Wikipedia’s up and running again “On March 7,
    1932 some 3,000 – 5,000 unemployed workers assembled in West Detroit to march
    on Ford’s River Rouge plant to deliver a petition demanding
    more support. As the march moved up Miller Road and approached Gate 3 the
    protest turned ugly. The police fired tear gas
    into the crowd and fire trucks were used to soak the protesters with icy water.
    When the protesters responded by throwing rocks, the violence escalated rapidly
    and culminated in the police and plant security guards firing live rounds
    through the gates of the plant at the unarmed protesters. Four men were killed
    outright and a fifth died later in hospital. Up to 60 more were seriously
    injured” Does this sound like Kent State? (here’s but one image  

    Does this
    remind us of Scott Olsen “Oakland’s independent police review body will examine
    the clashes between riot officers and protesters that left an Iraq war veteran
    in a critical condition as Occupy protestors prepare to rally at the same spot
    for a third night of protests.” (see

    Not only are
    the civil laws crafted to protect the rich and their property, tax laws are
    designed, especially since Reagan (the biggest tax and spend liberal ever), to
    benefit the rich. As for criminal law, ask yourself, what happens to the rich
    like Rockefeller and Ford, nothing. Why was Bernie Madoff sentenced to 150years(?)
    (see because he ripped off average Americans, no because he
    ripped off billionaires and multi-multi-millionaires. What’s happening –
    criminally speaking – to the rich that ripped off Main Street in the stock
    market, the mortgage market, the banking industry(?) nothing, in fact – the
    Obama administration has crafted a civil deal – through the US Department of
    Justice — letting these criminals off the hook for any criminal prosecution,
    simply by paying money.  If you don’t
    like this call the President and tell him to hold these crooks accountable at
    202-456-1111 — TTY/TTD 202-456-6213.

    When Reagan
    took office there were 50 billionaires in the US, today Wikipedia says that
    there are 412 billionaires in the US. While most Americans got poorer during
    the last year, Wikipedia reports that 2/3 of billionaires got richer, I don’t
    think current tax law has hurt them at all, nor has the recession, yet
    Republicans would lower their taxes even more. I mean really – if the rich
    getting richer created jobs there’d be overemployment in America, there’d be no
    illegal alien debate because we’d be clamoring for alien workers from around
    the world.

    I could rant
    on and on about how Reagan lowered the top tax rate on top dollars earned
    income from 70%, already down from the 90% of years earlier – to approximately
    37% (sorry Wikipedia is down protesting the Republican “Protect IP Act” — it’s up
    now but look it up) How Bush I lowered the tax rate on long term unearned
    income to 15% [the swirl around Romney right now is the Republican 15% tax he
    pays on his unearned income] and Republicans want to lower taxes on the rich
    even more. I could rant about Bush II and his charging two wars to the US
    credit card that Republican want to blame on Obama now – on Romney blaming
    Obama for getting out of Iraq on Bush II’s time schedule, apparently Romney
    would still have our kids and grandkids dying in Iraq for what purpose only
    Jesus knows! (see another good ITVS show at I just watched on PBS World)

    Though I’m
    changing my affiliation with the Democrats to Independent – you see, Democrats
    are only marginally better than Republicans, Obama is a white man in dark skin,
    raised by his white mother and grandmother, and he’s a Republican in Democrat’s
    clothing. Pelosi is a plunder of Wall Street with her apparent insider trading
    of stock as reported by 60 minutes a few Sundays ago. President Obama sends droans, on his orders, to murder American Citizens in Yemen, one a 16 year old, President Bush I terrorized 1/2 the world with waterboarding and worse. These people are the
    problem, not the solution!

    © 2012 all
    rights reserved — Rick Norlund

    *Rick, I just cleaned up your spaces, all of your words are still there.

  • Dianaprince

    Glass-Steagill, 34 pages long.  Frank-Dodd 2300 pages and counting…
    Doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.  

  • RCH

    Both of Mr. Moyers’ guests today referenced the lack of “shame” surrounding the cadre of cronies who played such large roles in our current economic crisis.  I believe the concept of shame has nearly disappeared in today’s social structure as a dissincentive to engaging in unproductive and/or destructive behaviors.  In the current state of affairs, those who should be ashamed, as they would have been in previous generations, become the latest performers in the media circus enabling the “ashamed” to gain secondary profits from their initial unseemly behaviors that originally brought them under scrutiny.  As a result, a growing percentage of media consumers are more interested in watching the whole colorful circus of superficial news coverage as entertainment much like tuning in to a situation comedy.  The news media also profits from the increased numbers of viewers, regardless of how short-sighted their interest may be, and is then incentivized to seek out more shamefully-acting people to cover loudly, colorfully and entertainingly being careful not to dig too deeply lest they lose the interest of the growing audience of “news as entertainment” viewers.  So we cheer for President Clinton’s daliances in the White House, spend hours watching Hollywood ne’er-do-wells not doing well and envy the lifestyles of the richly famous because it is going to be fun as hell to see how the media covers their shame.  What they did and should be ashamed of has become secondary and we reward them for providing us with another distraction.

  • Rick Norlund

    Grady, I’m doing that here!

  • Rick Norlund

    RCH, consider this “The SS had mounted one “operation” in Warsaw, in
    spring 1942. Then it had clear the Warsaw ghetto with grenades and
    flame-throwers, and succeeded in killing about 50,000 Poland Jews. Dispatches of
    commanding officers, together with illustration, had been sumptuously bound and
    circulated privately among higher Nazi, and that action was called as SS ‘battle

    In otherwords, these corporate “socialcrats” are honored by their governments, local, state and federal, by their boards, and stock holders, how many were even fired much less prosecuted?

    Consider this quote from the above article. “Sadism walked tall that day and it was turned on nuns, nurses, doctors and
    voluntary helpers.” In fact, ‘sadism” was unleashed by the SS on thousands of thousands in war torn Warsaw that day!

  • Rick Norlund
  • Nasrinsaf03

    What is your suggestion? I’m willing to help  and don’t have any idea how?

  • Rick Norlund

    Editor, thanks, I compose in MS Word 2010, it doesn’t seem to paste very well into this discussion. Rick

  • Rick Norlund

    Marie, I’ll tell you this, our Constitution means nothing more or nothing less than what 9 people tell us it means — i.e., the US Supreme Court!

  • Rick Norlund

    Grady, he could not possibly be worse than Bush II.

  • Jo Ann Grigson

    We need to put a stop to these kinds of things and  We need to stop the crony capitlism from both sides.  That is why I am pulling for Newt Gingrich.  I believe he is the only candidate who can beat Obama and stop what is going on in Washington!

  • MaryJane

    Years ago I argued against Stockman’s trickle down system for Reagan.  I can’t believe I now applaud the same  man that I used to boo.

  • Anonymous

    Best way to solve the problem is to eliminate money completely. Create a moneyless economy (MLE). It is possible to run the exact same economy, that we have now, in exactly the same way, without money. MLE is not socialism. We can maintain any type of life style we want under MLE.

    Visit the site createmoneylesseconomy (MLE) for more details.

    Over the past 100 years many economist have talked about many forms of MLE. It is real, feasible, and the only way to make a clean society. It follows the laws of nature.

    David Stockman clearly pointed out the problem when he said Financialization of economy without contributing to the GDP. This is the way capitalism violates the laws of nature. Explore more details in the blog site mentioned above.

    Great discussions with David. Good job Bill!

  • Utah Dave

    Everyone says money is the problem, do you really think the currently elected are going to cut their own throats?

    Instead of a new constitutional amendment that limits contributions, lets just repeal the 17th amendment.  This would eliminate all money in the US Senate races.  US Senators would truely represent the State they are supposed to represent – because the state legislatures would appoint them.

    I believe americans could cause the repeal of the 17th amendment much sooner than having a bought and paid for congress pass a new constitutional amendment limiting their free flowing piggy bank.

  • Bill Zaffer

    It is obvious we need an Amendment to get money and lobbyists out of politics.   Just not sure when those in power will not do anything.   Just what do we do?

  • z

    Any pretense Stockman had of being a white knight
    exposing the evil underbelly of crony capitalism was lost when he claimed it all began during the Clinton years. I have news for Mr. Stockman, our corrupt capitalist system has been around since the founding of the nation. Let me
    correct that, since the founding of capitalism.

    Mr. Stockman, by suggesting there is a new and unsavory form of capitalism has taken over is doing nothing more then creating a straw dog to defend capitalism itself. In
    his view capitalism, left to its own devices is the end all and be all of freedom, democracy, and economic abundance. Its only this evil form of it where capitalism and politics have begun to sleep with each other in unsavory ways
    that is at fault. And of course his solution is to get government, politics, and money out of capitalism and all will be well.

    Nonsense! The problem is capitalism itself. Left to its own device, capitalism is like locus that will strip a field bare and then move on to find a new field to exploit.

    Workers, environment, public interest, and national interests mean nothing to capitalism.

    The Revolutionary War was not fought for principle but to protect the slave trade of the south, and the wealthy business of the north. Our westward expansion was based on Government stealing land from natives and giving it away to railroads and land barons. Regan’s economic plan was bought and paid for by the real estate industry (read
    bankers), military industrial complex, and the oil industry. The list of Government and Politicians bought and paid for by Capitalism runs long and deep through American history.

    Stockman isn’t out to fix the system, he is the system. And sadly, Mr. Moyer you didn’t call him once on it.

  • Chris Boese

    David Stockman sounds delusional on @BillMoyers in his faith in FDIC in an age with no Glass-Steagal. He’d have destroyed us.

    I’m not saying his principles are incorrect (except he places too much faith in the market as an automatic thermostat, something that has been repeatedly disproven by available data– all it is is a bizarre Adam Smith article of faith, but a largely disproven hypothesis)– but he would destroy us all in order to create a “market correction” against the bad actors.
    The bad actors should be punished, but the collateral damage would have been punished (think the experiment of “free market” Russia) society as a whole, and an entire generation of people– permanently marked as fully as the Great Depression marked another generation.

  • Ebernier6

    I am delighted that you are back, Bill. (We met at your next door neighbor’s way back in the mid 60’s in Alexandria, VA and I have followed you ever since).  I have a queston for you.  Why not interview Ellen Brown while you are researching the failed Banking/Wall Street systems?  Give your viewers a look at a monetary system that has worked in America in the past, and is presently working so well in North Dakota for over 90 years. Ellen Brown can be found at her website, Web of Debt: and Public Banking Institute:
    Help to get the word out on a way to transform banking to serve the needs of Main Street: making low cost loans to communities, repairing infrastructure, creating jobs, student loans and more.
    Thank you.

  • Matt2h

    Stockman should know better than to paint the “bailouts” merely as corrupt favors for the big bankers. The entire financial system was at risk of a catastrophic collapse. A panic in the financial sector can tear down an economy very rapidly. No one liked the bailouts – not even the recipients of the money.

  • justintime

    Honest open and sincere,
    We can stop this when your vote against the mainstream

    RON PAUL 2012

  • justintime

    The difference between Bill and David
    is they can both agree on this issue.

    This is not a left or right issue its
    CRONY CAPITALISM and we all pay

    Listen closely to this video
    Thank you Bill Moyer and David Stockton

  • Geocarlin

    You are right on about the Constitution and 9 people telling the rest of us what it means-interesting how it changes as the make-up of the court changes.

  • Tedpiehl

    CONGRATS BILL! ..You’ve been away to long. Your shows are superb.

  • James T in MA

    There were repercussions in the Savings and Loan Crisis.  Several hundred bankers went to jail for their acts of fraud and other malfeasance.  As such, it doesn’t really fit as an example of a painless government bailout. 

    Try to imagine if there was a Bill Black going after the Jamie Dimons and Lloyd Blankfeins of Wall Street the way he went after S&L crooks?  Instead we have Eric “Place” Holder seeing that nothing gets done. 

    No, the S&L crisis was *far*from what the too big to jail banks want to see in crisis management.

  • Jame T in MA

    There were such fears in Japan in the early 90’s and then in Sweden a couple years later.  We and Japan bailed out our banks.  And in the big picture it was a massive counterproductive failure for both our nations.  The Swedes took big banks in under receivership, reorganize them and sent them back out into the world.  And somehow Sweden still exists.  Imagine that.

    The United States needs a banking industry but there’s no necessity that it be comprised of those particular 5 or 6 bloated banks which would all be insolvent if not for a 2009 ruling coerced out of the FASB accounting standards board which allowed them to switch from marking their assets to their true market value to, effectively, marking them to fantasies of what they wish they were worth.

    A few banks were literally forced to take bailout money because the treasury didn’t want any sizeable institutions to refuse any money and thereby show that they’re in much better shape than Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  Those few banks who were forced to officially take bailout money didn’t like it.  JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs et al disliked it about as much as a pig dislikes the farm tossing tasty items in his trough. 

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been listening, reading about crony Capitalism for too many years.  From Bill Moyers, Molly Ivans, Jim Hightower.  Bill Moyers has interviewed dozens of writers expounding on the “rigged, fixed” system that cater to the elites, who just want us to eat cake and shut up.   We are dieing; our country is being suffocated by Crony Capitalism and all its manifestations in the bureaucracy and infrastructure of government.  

    No matter how we vote, the Cronies win.

    I’m tired of hearing all these truths from Stockman, Moyers, Morgenson, Hightower…………  I want change I can believe in.   I want people, corporations, that rape and pillage us to be prosecuted, penalized, excommunicated, shamed, named, publicly flogged, stripped of their ill-gotten gains.  

    What’s the alternative or will there have to be blood?

  • Madeline Shockley

    I knew this at the time it was happening, and I’m just a regular person.  I tried to contact everyone I could and was told to shut up, that I knew nothing.  These people should be in jail.  And they call Ron Paul a kook.  OMG

  • Erock2011

    Why does no one cite the political system as guilty party?  all the emphasis seems to be on “evil corporations” (which is crap).  YOUR elected officials past and present are the ones making the laws (and bypassing the laws) who enable, encourage, promote, and condone and reward this behavior.  Slapping the childs hand, when he wants a cookie, that mommy has just baked and put on the table, is equally childish.  OWN UP and put the blame where it belongs on the GOV who created the systems that permit such things.  That someone takes advanted of it, hey, that’s what I would call being smart!  too bad you didn’t think of it.
    vote them all out, and try to find honest upright individuals who will work for freedom and not for $$.  Good luck with that.  Ideals are easy to discuss or disparage.  Real honest people are much harder to find.

    how do you expect the laws to change, if the very lawmakers are the ones who benefit from this?

  • Anonymous

    The problem is this will never change. A very select rich few run this country. I agree political donations should be limited to 100.00 per person. We also need to stop corporations from having their hands in the pocket of everyone that is in the senate and congress. Why did the higher court allow corporate money ti be used for a political campaign. Not only must their be financial penalties for these CEO’s but their should be jail terms. How come their was no jail time for Angelo Mazulo from Countrywide? What is going on here. This makes me sick.

  • Matthew L Kees

    Good luck to those who want to vote in 2012 and fix this. Isn’t that like hoping there is someone, anyone, who can lead us to the promised land? That someone is hiding the answer until they get elected?

    Occupy (those bongo playing hippies) are well aware of this, and while not claiming to have all the solutions, we have at least attempted to clarify the root of the problem. 

    The solution is coming from the bottom up. The system has been so corrupted, we can no longer expect it to fix itself. It is too rotten to apply a band-aid.  It must be hacked off.

    If you really want to DO something about this, read more about what #OWS (Occupy Wall Street) is up to. There are thousands of websites in many languages. We are a worldwide movement. We are the solution.

    The Tea Party is invited too! You will find fellow capitalists and those supporting a return to our Constitution there.

    Matthew L Kees, #OWS and proud to be.

  • Matthew L Kees

    If you want to know where “shame” went in our society, it went the way of lawyer speak.

    No lawyer will ever say he (or she) is sorry, as that implies culpability, which may lead to financial loss. It’s too human to feel regret (or shame).

    It was our laws that allowed Wall Street (and the banks) to rob us. They are also used to imprison the poor, and hold them in poverty for generations. That’s where the great divide was created. In our corrupted legal system.

    Do we wait for the courts to decide what is right or wrong for us–and continue to feel powerless about it? Or do we insist that real justice return to our laws and to our politics? Can we pass new laws based on our HUMAN values, or do we allow corporations to make them based on greed?

    Funny thing about the Supreme Court and our Constitution. I never thought it was that hard to understand.


  • Matthew L Kees

    If you want to know where “shame” went in our society, it went the way of lawyer speak.

    No lawyer will ever say he (or she) is sorry, as that implies culpability, which may lead to financial loss. It’s too human to feel regret (or shame).

    It was our laws that allowed Wall Street (and the banks) to rob us. They are also used to imprison the poor, and hold them in poverty for generations. That’s where the great divide was created. In our corrupted legal system.

    Do we wait for the courts to decide what is right or wrong for us–and continue to feel powerless about it? Or do we insist that real justice return to our laws and to our politics? Can we pass new laws based on our HUMAN values, or do we allow corporations to make them based on greed?

    Funny thing about the Supreme Court and our Constitution. I never thought it was that hard to understand.


  • BobPortland

    Its time for the Arab Spring in America! Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party need to realize that they have something more in common than they might think. We need to stop electing millionaires that think they know what it is like to struggle they don’t! This is the end of our nation if we dont figure this out. Come on stop standing by while it happens stand up America. Lets kick them all out! 

  • Bobavancouver

    Z your so right! It began with the military need to keep creating conflict. Then Reagan gave us trickle down and that didn’t work! It doesn’t matter who Democrat or Republican they all have hands in their pockets. Lets cut the purse and start by telling the Supreme Court Corporations are not people! 

  • razzmatazz

    Thanks for coming back, Bill.  You’re an important and needed voice in our media.

    I cheered at the use of the word ‘entitlement’ when referring to the banking industry’s assumption that we, the taxpayers/government ought to be the safety net when their bad behaviour goes wrong. 

    On the other hand, I’ve always cringed when Social Security is referred to as an ‘entitlement’.  Who made up that reference?  We all pay into social security and get our money back with interest when we’re ready to retire.  Aren’t we ‘entitled’ to our money?

    Frankly, I’d be happy to pay more into Social Security if I could retire as comfortably and as early as people who have pension programs.  I don’t have time in my life  to learn how to gamble intelligently with 401K investments so that I come out ahead.

  • Anonymous

    Crony Capitalism is merely a symptom of the human condition. The problem is not a few people. It is us. All of us that think we can consume without consequence. The high talk of liberals and conservatives about morality is simply advertising for their causes, which are are really just disguised forms of consumption of the future for their own gratification now. The human species has built this machine over and over again and called it “civilization”, but it is not civil to the people of our own future, or even our future selves. It takes when it should give. The machine runs only backward and humans can’t imagine an alternative because their imagination is the machine itself. We worry about robots and computers taking over the world sometime ‘in the future’, but right now, we ARE the robots: mindless consumers who the Crony Capitalists feed off of. The rich get richer because we buy their stuff and work for them. The future is bleak because we create money out of it (debts and bank bailouts are a promise to burn up resources sometime in the future: government debts exponentially more so). If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.

  • Kidsvoog

    Where was the press?   Why did the press play cheerleader for the financial industry?  Occupy Wall Street needs to protest outside of NBC, CBS, ABC with signs that read:  “Do your damn job.   Do journalism.  Stop playing cheerleader for the super rich.”

  • where is justice

    TOMORROW, Jan. 23, 2012; The Sweetheart Deal





    I’m disturbed that after Reuters exposed Eric Holder’s and
    Lanny Breuer’s former employment with Washington’s law firm of Covington and
    Burling, there is the implication of the INJUSTICE about to be rendered on the
    American people.

    How can Holder be permitted to strike a deal for the people
    when such a conflict of interest is so apparent.

     This sweetheart deal
    , if agreed on (why wouldn’t these banks agree to it), will represent the
    largest miscarriage of justice in our nation’s history. The day after Cordray
    was appointed, the fed released a memo to Congress stating $7T in home equity
    is gone. $30B fine with immunity on future foreclosure crimes for $7T in
    losses. That’s not $1 for every $200 in losses plus IMMUNITY. Seems Holder and
    Breuer still represent the banks. They sure as hell aren’t representing the

    In Reuters article , released on Friday,1/20/12,( see
    Huffington post-1/20/12 also)

     they also discuss the
    number of fraudulent, forged mortgage notes used in countless court foreclosure
    proceedings. The article states fraud, obstruction of justice, forgery, perjury
    and I’ll add couterfeiting. Counterfeiting legal, financial documents that are fraudulent
    and forged. I believe that fits the description of counterfeiting. Let’s not
    forget  the countless settlements between
    SEC and these banks  dealing with securities


    Securities fraud, fraud, obstruction of justice and
    counterfeiting are federal crimes listed under the RICO ACT.

    If creating all of these plus job losses, homelessness,
    hunger, and generally destroying our society (financially and immorally), isn’t
    a display of a CORRUPT organization, please enlighten me.     

     This apparent injustice
    is about to be REALITY. Immunity equals no RICO ACT.

    Please make some noise. Create some outrage.

    Or is it too late.?


    Should the people demand a special, independent prosecutor
    for these crimes? At least this would present a chance for justice, more than
    we seen so far.

    If RICO charges were applied, would this create a national
    financial crisis? Depositors would move their money from these banks. Who would
    keep their money in crooked banks? No more TO BIG TO FAIL. Just smaller banks
    who would actually start loaning money with their new infusion of  money. Economic recovery starts to bloom!

    The CEO’s, CFO’s, Boards of Directors, and guilty traders of
    the CORRUPT banks named in the RICO charges, would have all their assets seized
    by the government. Plus they would not be in control of their banks. Their
    shareholders will sell their shares or watch their price per share dwindle as
    these banks defend themselves. No more TO BIG TO FAIL.

    This creates a perfect time to re-install Glass-Steagal Act.
    Now you have consumer banks separated from investment banks. Only consumer
    banks get access to the Federal Reserve and depositors insurance from FDIC. Not
    investment banks. Investments come with an implied risk. New institutions can
    apply as investment banks, a clean new Wall ST.

    Now repeal the Commodities Future Modernization Act and make
    credit default swaps only an insurance for a currently owned investment, as
    originally designed. No more casinos on Wall ST.

    Now the public doesn’t have to worry about future bailouts.
    We could have a safe banking sector that we enjoyed for almost 70 years.

    PLUS we know JUSTICE can’t be bought.


    Thanks for your time,


    Jeffrey H. McCollim

  • Derek S Bodenstab

    David Stockman critiquing Wall Street and Washington?

    Talk about the proverbial Kettle calling the Pot Black!

    Stockman is as about an impartial observer

    as a 2002 Olympic French Figure Skating Judge.

    Where’s the story here? What are David Stockman’s
    motives here?

    There is something else going on here.

    If you want a deeper understanding of the 2008
    meltdown and it ensuing problems why didn’t you interview Bethany
    McLean and Joe Nocera concerning their book

    “All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the
    Financial Crisis”?

  • Gary Sheffer

    Gary Sheffer from GE. Here are a few facts to clarify Mr. Stockman’s comments about GE.
    GE Capital was one of many participants in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), a market-wide program open to eligible issuers of highly rated short-term commercial paper. Its objective was to preserve and restore the liquidity of the commercial paper market.
    GE Capital made limited use of the CPFF for about two weeks. It sold commercial paper totaling $16.25 billion into the CPFF between October 27, 2008, and November 10, 2008. That amount represented a small portion of the GE Capital Corp. issuance and only 2.2% of the $743 billion of total commercial paper sold by all issuers into CPFF.
    GE Capital redeemed all CPFF commercial paper as it came due in early 2009. GE paid $98 million in upfront fees to the government to participate in the program. The CPFF suffered no losses and returned $4.9 billion to the Federal Reserve.
    On GE jobs in the U.S., we are building or rebuilding 16 factories in the U.S., adding 13,000 jobs in the last two years. We are “insourcing” work to places like Louisville, Kentucky. It is true that our non-U.S. employment has grown in the past decade as GE has grown in expanding economies like Brazil and India.This global growth has helped GE become the second-largest exporter in the U.S., supporting thousands of American jobs. In fact, GE’s exports from the U.S. have tripled to $20 billion during CEO Jeff Immelt’s tenure.

  • Greyfox01

    I’ve been on Bloomberg News for years about the way they puppet the hedge fund groups about why crude and fuel prices go up based on “rumors” one day, and down the next. They never tell us why prices shouldn’t be going up based on the numbers. Investigative Journalism & and puppet reporting are not one in the same.  

  • Al Madaline

    instead of a state of the union address and a rebutal. The net works should air David Stockman and Gretchen Morgenson’s interviews with Moyers

  • LaureenHolt

    The “super rich”?

    Whatever the press does for them can’t hold a candle to what they do for this malignant tumor they inflicted on the American body politic called Karl Marx Obama.

    This election will be the surgery the country needs to excise this cancer. Tha patient’s in the E.R. on life-support–only a removal of this malignancy with the surgical precision of an operation will save it.

  • B

    Wish that were true.  I don’t think most get it.  It’s not going to work to just remove them.  NONE of the GOP field will do any better, except for Ron Paul.  And I”m not a Ron Paul-ite.  Let’s be objective here.  The previous 2 presidents set this up.  hyper partisanship (my party against theirs)  is not going to fix this.

  • guest 1960

    “All of us that think we can consume without consequence.”

    Oh BS, our consumption has ZERO to do with rigging the sysyem for the financial industry’s own gain.

    It claims 40% of GNP/GDP but creates nothing, financial “products” are useless!

    When I was 20, I knew I had to save for years and years to be able to afford a 20% down payment for a mortgage, suddenly, anyone with a penny was considered in good enough “financial” condition to qualify for one.

    Now they want to control you further, you have to be cleared for 3 credit scores or you’re penalized by rates, who sets those 3 scores, pals of big bank CEOs of course.

    NONE of this is the consumers fault, big banks know, if they’re driving real honest growth companies into the grouind because they don’t grow at a fatuous rate, wages go down too, then, people don’t have the wages to save so, they give the loans away.

    Combine with the lowest tax rates in history for the most wealthy and you have the haves and the have nothings.

  • B

    What if they had somewhere else they could keep this capital that would generate 5%+?  Like they used to?  Eh?  remember those times?  Interest rates are too low.  As some guest a while back on Moyers commented, “Greenspan opened up the spigots” (not a direct quote).  

  • Greyfox01

    If we spent more time telling our (now there a
    misnomer “our”) congressmen where to get off we’d in effect digging
    our way out of this pit of insanty. Its good to see citizens making
    comments here, but we need, we all need to write, call, and email our lapdog
    congressmen when needed and remind them that the jig is up, that their history
    if they don’t get their butts in gear together and do the work of “We the

    You say it won’t make a different? Last week the Senate was about to
    pass a bill that would open the door to  censership on the internet. Millions of “American Citizen” wrote,
    called, and emailed their lapdogs, and we all know what happened, the senate backed off. I’ve
    seen my lapdog’s phone line jammed when they tried to pull a fast one on
    the citizens, their employers.  It takes more than a few to get them to lessen. It is our duty as
    “American Citizens” to speak out load and clear when we are called upon to do
    so. How the hell do you think we got into the mess? I sent this link to both my lapdogs, just to remeind them “the jig is up”.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, there is the FACTOR of bank power and corporate power, but essentially, it is all of the consumers who collectively enable them to do what they do. They keep us cowed with procedures and power and the fear of losing our “security” and comforts. Are you willing to walk away from them? Quit a job and live off the land with all of the risks of raw foods and diseases? It’s not even possible now, because doing so would lower the property value of your neighbor’s McMansion.  So,you have mostly good points, but I disagree that our consumption has little to do with it. In the end, it has EVERYTHING to do with it. A species will only survive the VERY long term if it contributes more than it consumes. “Sustainable” rate of consumption isn’t enough. Consumerism is just a suicidal path, regardless of how long we can stretch it to make it through the short term.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah. EVERYONE jumps up to keep from losing their iPhone access to useless facts on Wikipedia, but no amount of protesting or facts could prevent hundreds of thousands of people being slaughtered in an illegal war to control the price of oil.

  • Anonymous

    I see a few apologists for the current “system” posting comments, e.g., GE Capital, but I see far more people like me who are sick of this corruption. The fact that there are more of us with votes is how our society gets cleansed: force a constitutional amendment to cure “Citizens United”; elect local politicians who understand the problem who will work for us; throw out the toadying politicians; join any of the myriad organizations that are fighting to change things politically; support groups that fight more media concentration or internet censorship; vote with your money by moving bank accounts; get out of your comfort zone and send emails and letters, make phone calls, and demonstrate if you can. “Organize” was the cry of the 1930s. It’s just as appropriate now.

    I’m not optimistic that we can change this corruption soon. But we can change it. We’ve done it before. I’m an old man and may not live to see much change for the better, but I have faith that we can change it if we want to. We just have to work hard and try to counter the lies we are fed daily by corporate “news” stations or devious “experts” from the elite.

  • Anonymous

    Where are the majority of decisions in this country actually made every day?
    The checkout line.
    Sales tax. Eliminate all of the income taxes and be done with the lies and threats and obfuscations of the System. Put ALL government costs at the point of sale.
    If you want to help the poor, pay a prebate for their level of payments.
    Like the FairTax, but I think it should be double what they want.

  • Otomis

    No empire has lasted much more than 200 years. I think we are in the throes of something much larger that has happened many times before and is a result of the human condition that being that there is always the rich and the poor. The rich because they can, get richer at the expense of the poor who get poorer. This will continue to happen until the poor decide enough is enough, there will be revolution, over throw, and chaos. Think Russian revolution, Mexican revolution, French revolution, American revolution. It was always about the rich taking it all and then the poor getting sick of their crap and really taking it all back. its the cycle of life people.

  • howard in nyc

    i just posted links, an excerpt from the transcript and embedded video on another blog:

    if the use is inappropriate, the attribution insufficient, or the use otherwise not to your liking, please just let us know and we will adjust the post immediately. 


  • Jmoksiuta

    so mr. gradyleehoward, which omnipotent mind should lay these train tracks you speak of?  sounds like central planning to me….

  • Meryl at Beanstalk

    Pythagoras — So true. Stock market used to be for investment… and now it’s “Let’s do the numbers”.   It bothered me that NPR made it part of their repertoire.  

  • Erin Platt

    Bill SOOOOO excited to have you back on the air sir.  You are the best of the best, and I actually cried when you retired.

  • Terrisweet

    Bill, I enjoy watching your show and I am glad you
    are back in the game. I like watching liberals like you cry about the spot your
    are all in. No influence, no power, no solutions, just jealousy, envy and
    frustration. Priceless. Your numbers are so small and your message so pathetic
    that Occupy soon faded from even the left wing news outlets. Maybe you should start by not
    taking any dirty 1% money from all of your sponsors. I guess rich peoples money
    is ok if you get to spend it, right?

  • David F., N.A.

    Excellent show!  My favorite part of the Bill Moyers Journal was when Bill pointed out the revolving-door cronies.  So I’m really happy to see him back at education us.  This revolving door aspect, alone, should tell us that neither party can be trusted.  You don’t have to be an Ivy League graduate to see what’s happening.  These rodents don’t care about America because, with all the money they’re being paid, their priorities are to keep “business as usual.”

    When it comes to our economy, there are only a few people that will make me drop everything and pay attention, and both David Stockman and Gretchen Morgenson are in that group.  I’m glad Bill spent the entire hour with them.  Stockman drove the point home with his several examples of crony capitalism, and Morgenson’s description of how our poor were lured into the mortgage mess, with their hopes and dreams, was very disheartening.

    Let’s see, if I were to rank this show with all of the Moyers & Co. shows, I’d have to put it in the top 2.

  • Dave0192

    Moyers and Stockman are quite a team.  Thanks, guys.

    It’s incredibly depressing stuff, but somehow hearing good people speak to truth gives one some small sense of hope.

  • Jim Osburn

    For a free MS Word printable copy of the 8 page booklet “Eurekanomics – for 99% of us” send an email with “99” in the subject line to

  • Delphine

     absolutely and the conflicts of interest should be exposed and that should be more of a concern for the  American citizens  than all the gossip !! we need the participation of all parts and yes the medias are guilty to not do their job but it seems that none of the parts are doing their job correctly and certainly the citizens are guilty to have let themselves being so distracted with consumerism and entertainment.
    the facts are that we never really experienced so far neither democracy nor free market because we never got out of a very archaic way of thinking with a hierarchic sens of  value people and we (i’m french) cut the head of the aristocracy but an intellectual or financial elite replaced it and decided for the good or the need of all. It is very exposed today with all the lobbies but it has always been like that-so far- more or less exposed.Even in America think about the automobile industry (Ford) verses the railroad …
    probably an illusion of a democracy and a crony “free market” is very dangerous but little by little we are learning what it really requires from all of us to build a modern society where all parts engages and respect each others and only then we could expect a real “free market” protected by laws which will make sure that no “center power” of any kind could decide or orienting our needs. 

  • Gmacookie Walker

    The late Adm. Rickover said: “Through control of vast resources, large corporations have become, in effect, another branch of government, but without the checks and balances inherent in our democratic system. Defense contractors lobbyists, for example,have generally learned how to get around laws and regulations.
    “Political and economic power is increasingly concentrated among a few large corporations and their officers — power they can apply against society, government and individuals.”
    SO it’s nothing new. and Still Scary.

  • Doug MacDonald

    What good does it do to call names like Karl Marx Obama?  One could just as easily talk about Beelzebub Bush or Devil Incarnate Cheney or perhaps Bill “Chamberlain” Clinton.  Obama’s close association with Jamie Dimon, Jeff Immelt and other Wall Street hot dogs is causing me concern.  I’ve started voting against incumbents.  It worked last election on my Representative. I may take it up to the Pres. as well. Not if Newt is the alternative however. Before comparing Obama to Marx check out his introduction at this “Insourcing” Forum

  • Doug MacDonald

    Oh man, I’m not sure why I feel obligated to respond but politics and the economy , just like life, is not black and white but is instead one big gray blob dependent on consensus agreement.  Laissez faire capitalism a la Ayn Rand and Greenspan definitely does not work.  There needs to be some regulation which started to unravel during the Clinton administration as indicated by Stockman.  A good place to start is “The Warning” on Frontline

  • Dr. Anthony Knox

    You know, Mr. Moyers, that the US has a close cousin that occupies thousands of miles of border to your north. While Canada is far from perfect, it has weathered recent storms recently based on a few simple laws. Our banking laws are essentially those of 19th century England. Our bankers used to hate them. Now they are less sure. Each Canadian can give $1200 to a federal political party and $1200 to the local riding of a federal political party. No corporation or trade union is allowed to give anything to any political party. While we  have a senate, it has few powers. The democracy of Canada is in the House of Commons in which the seats materially represent the populations of the various constitutencies. There is no California with two senators. There are abuses, no system of government is perfect. None of this is  “liberal” or “conservative”, it is just one kind of common sense.
    Keep up the good work, yours are most refreshing programmes. The world watches America and hopes that the kind of folks that you are finally succeed.
    A Friendly Tory

  • Matthew Swaringen

    Ron Paul 2012!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the truth.

  • Chang Zhou

    As both an outsider and an insider, I would like to ask the following questions: 1. what is the ratio of lawyers and non-lawyers in our elected government? 2. how much truth is in the statement that by definition a lawyer is in a high degree a professional liar?

  • Fernando

    JUST GREAT. A MUST WATCH, SHARE, TALK ABOUT !!! Bill Moyers, thank you so much

  • BillD

    The problem with economics is that it just teaches persons to make profiots not matter what it takes (free enterprise means using whatever leverage you have to out do your competitor.  So now you’ve made all the money what are you supposed to do with it?  Economics doesn’t realy answer the wuestion – just make more be as efficient as you can.  That is very worldly – we are not of the world.  Sooner or later we will be gons and we can’t take it with us.  So what are we supposed to do while here?  We are suposed to share – God did not distribute talents equally.  He relies on us to share.  The rich with the poor, etc.  What do the rich receive in return?  They receive abundant blessings while the poor receive what they need to exist in the world.  It’s hard to see but it is the truth.  We all have to share.  It is the only way we are going to get along in the world.

  • kurt russell

    Social Security is entitlement. What we pay is a tax, not an investment. Many people receive SS benefits without paying into the system. SS was made with the stroke of a pen and can be ended with same pen. Not saying that will happen, but could happen.

  • Kicker

    We created the problem by giving government too much power over both businesses and individuals.  There is no need for businesses to “get in bed” with government is that government is kept weak and unable to substantively effect business operations.  When we let government grow, we created the monster we now have on our hands, and one we must “slay” in order to put an end to the cronyism that is tearing our National economy to shreds.  

  • ST

    I’m very glad to see Bill Moyers return, but I was a little disappointed in the way he introduced certain aspects of this story.  Within the last year, Stockman was associated with some negative press about a failed auto parts business, and although Jack Lew may have worked at Citi,  I’ve also read that he’s a distinguished public servant who had a major role in producing Clinton’s balanced budgets. Having said that, I do think that the piece on Crony Capitalism is very true, and the previous weeks show about Winner Take All Politics was excellent. 

  • jhyland

    Seems like most people, not even Mr. Moyers and other radical liberals, realize that Democrats (liberals) were in charge of all spending, budgets, the purse strings of governmet, since the 2006 election.  All of 2007, 08 and after have all been lineral spending not 2009. 
    Don’t blame bush or the Republicans (although they heldped with the bank bailout) for 07 and 08.

  • Nora

    Yes, and one of the cronies involved in the S & L crisis was none other than W’s baby brother who couldn’t show his face in Denver for years.

  • Nora

    He also could not possibly be worse than the four Republican presidential wannabe contenders fighting down in Florida right now.

  • Nora

    Actually, I would say its five people on the supreme court.

  • Anonymous

    Ms.Morgenson and Mr. Stockdon both have signaled a clear and present danger.  Part of the problem with rectifying the causes of this economic meltdown is ordinary working Americans are rendered helpless in the face of those hidden and complex processes.  The first step in breaking Big Corp crony’s  grip on our Democracy is a constitutional amendment that cuts Big Corp money  out of the political process altogether.  As Ms. Morgenson stated, the average American is starting to “get it” Big Corp is afraid of the Law and of you if you become actively involved  in the process by watching, commenting, protesting  and  voting.  At present though, those crony capitalist termites are deep into the rafters of America as we knew it.

  • Oman999

    Who’s right Stockman/Morgenson or Obama when in his State of the State he says that measures have been put in place to ensure NEVER AGAIN ?

  • Anonymous

    Stockman’s analysis is valid as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough into the issues to answer the questions on what would happen if the banks were simply thrown into bankruptcy as Stockman insists. Stockman does stand up for the depositors at least, saying that they would be OK because the government guarantees up to $250,000 for each account. Yes, that would help them, although it might be some time before they would get their money back. But the issue is that those  banks also owed many bilions to other entities, and those entities, unable to get paid by the fallen bank, would then default  on their obligations, and so on, endlessly. Stockman says that individuals would not be lining up at the banks asking for their money, — well, the retail ones might not do that(although I would) but there would be large numbers of investors and businesses of all kinds banging on the doors. It really would really bring down the whole financial system; to just look at the simplest kind of transaction, the banks would pull back their lines of credit from every small business, so small businesses everywhere would be devastated. NO, closing banks up would be an impossible answer, unless the government fired the officers, took the banks over, and the government ran them , adding money as needed. And I don’t believe it would be possible to do that very quickly, before the world fell apart.
    Stockman is right when he says the people responsible for the bank fiasco should have been punished, –fired and fined enough to hurt, and many put on trial and in jail, — but after the crunch had been handled, not before. Stockman’s ideas are too simplistic for this complicated situation. I believe that his method would have led to misery greater than the Great Depression. What surprises me, actually  is that the people in Washington managed to get through this complicated mess falling about their ears with as LITTLE misery as they did.
    Evelyn Berezin

  • Cynthia Crosson

    One of the best shows I’ve seen.  Stockman is the first I’ve heard discuss the entitlement mentality of the financial elite.  They justify outrageous compensation by saying they are the risk takers.  I think not.  David Stockman for President! 

  • Cynthia

    Why do presidential appointments always have a relation to a top 10 financial company ?  When I hear “he” was formally from JP Morgan or Citi, I cringe

  • Jerry Fair

    I would like to know what David Stockman thinks of the idea of Mitt Romney somehow getting into the oval office. If that happened Wall Street would have an orgasm. What about main street? Who is looking out for them? The game is rigged just like George Carlin said it is. The only hope I see is Ron Paul. How does he get past the financial sector gate keepers? He can’t. Nobody can. As Stockman said the only thing that is going to change things is a catastrophe like 2008. Get ready for some extremely tough times just around the corner and all the kings horses and all the kings men will not be able to put America together again. For the record I am no longer an eternal optimist.

  • Bandefeder

    Stop playing games with words. A tax that is earmarked for a specific purpose is not the same as a general tax In effect, it comes closer to an investment than does an undifferentiated tax.

    One problem is that our government “leaders” felt free to dip into this fund for other purposes than the one for which it was clearly intended. In any event, if the fund were kept isolated, then if additional funds are needed, we can either raise the tax (investment) or  raise the level at which payment of the tax stops. In other words, eliminate the ceiling.

  • M Quercia

    when the president says, he wants to change things, he wants to get more democrats elected so he can push more liberal agenda. By that i mean takeing my tax dollars and creating more or stronger social safety nets. Conservatives taught me something. To manage our social services better.

  • M Quercia

    yea I dont like even the moderates legislating my behavior. as long as im not hurting anyone

  • M Quercia

    how is he a cancer? Jobs are still going where cheap labor is. The stock market is doing well. GDP is low I guess but businesses will never cooperate. They want profit. We need to change the tax code and get jobs back.

  • Larryartist

    It was said in this Video by Stockman…that things arent going to change until they hit ROCK BOTTOM.
    lets coerce OBAMA to FIX this mess.

    I campaigned for him as late as last week, in HENDERSON Nv.

    I will hold my vote, unless he does something to stop Wall Street.


    he will have to act in order to get re -elected 
    lets play on his EGO

    I am a DIE HARD Democrat, Union Rep, 
    I have never voted republican in my life.

    but I will no longer just give my  vote away, I won’t vote for Newt or Romney because they are as bad or worse. 
    Byron Dorgan for President!!!!!!

  • M Quercia

    the real action is what nobody wants to do……u have to go on the picket lines and eventually fight the goons, police , private police and political setups

  • klarekerry31

    Last chance for US!!RON PAUL 2012 is the answer and its totally in sintony w/D.Stockman!

  • Anneconley

    Thank you for intelligent, plain talk from people from different political backgrounds on this issue….it shows that people from these different backgrounds CAN agree on what is actually true.  I hope you will be having some people talking about ideas later on in this series for what we can do in the future.  You are the one sane voice in the media.  I stopped reading everything except Christian Science Monitor and never watch the news anymore.  I never miss your show and am telling all my friends to watch.

  • Dani Josephs

    Yes. DEMOCRACY is the real issue. We need DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM to survive on this planet. The USA is now an oligarchy of the multinational corps. particularly the fossil fuel and military industrialists who are selling the entire planet to death. This Bill Moyers Show is a GREAT ONE! It tells the truth, the real truth.

  • trickle_down_kinda_sorta_works

    You’ll be interested to know that trickle down economics works. The theory is not wrong.

    The basic reasoning is that as the supply of goods increases, more of the good is available to the middle classes, even though the initial benefits go to the rich.

    In today’s upside down America, the Federal reserve counterfeits money. This is an increased supply of “evil” goods which steals purchasing power away from its victims. As the Fed counterfeiting continues, more of the “evil” confiscatory Federal Reserve Notes trickle down towards the middle class robbing them of their purchasing power.

    The solution is in the US Constitution – take away the power of the Fed to monopolize and counterfeit money.

  • AdamSmith

    Stockman’s right in that the U.S. financial system is going to hit another iceberg and when the rest of the world can’t or will not loan us any more money that’s it for the U.S. This country will never pull together to fix the problem because the real problem is that most Americans believe that they should be able to get something for little or no labor and the top one percent are the best example of that philosophy.

  • Grandmama

    Add PBS in SE Wisconsin which appears to be hyjacked by FOX  and  freinds who can’t surender enough air time and dollars to the BBC. Along with the networks boycoting holding company’s like Disney whose poltics really aren’t that well hidden

  • Anonymous

    The irony to your statement is what is criticized in this piece is democratic socialism. 

  • Dr. Anthony Knox

    As a Canadian listening in on my myriad American cousins, I am interested to see that Americans still have visceral reactions for and against “socialism”. In the great world, this largely 19th century concept has been merged into the general  toolbox of government and used as appropriate. Over-involvement of government in the economy has proven disasterous in many countries. Some invovlement has proven beneficial. Its a bit like martinis, one can do a lot of good, two is dangerous, three to be avoided.

  • JDG

    Ron Paul is the only one who will really work to change the system.

  • alexp

    Where are these gurus,when the misguided liberals,lacking background checks,on these clowns,when they are running for office.Everybody now a days wants a free ride,no work,watch sports,sniff nose candy,vote for con men,NO RESPONSIBILITY.

  • Diana

    We all know those things by now. I my humble opinion we all should be joining the Wall street protests and DO SOMETHING……

  • Cat

    And the rich just keep getting richer while many U.S. citizens have lost their jobs, businesses, homes, etc.  Meanwhile the legislators are busy “balancing their budgets” by making even more cuts to education, health and human services; targeting children, the elderly, handicapped, mentally disabled, and the poor.  And they wonder why our homeless population in the U.S. is increasing?   What is wrong with this picture?!

  • Piksnilderf

    Stockman is quoted as saying “the economy did recover after 1982, but mainly because the Federal Reserve defeated inflation.”
    In other words, what saved  Reagan admin economy had nothing to do with taxes and all to do with Volcker cutting prime interest rate by 2/3 under Reagan (had remained at over 20% under Carter).

  • Piksnilderf

    Stockman “signed on to” ‘Supply-side’ as he was supposed to, but never believed it. He told Reagan and staff what they wanted to hear, but knew the #’s didn’t jive. He extended the date for balancing budgets and  submitted reams of “fuzzy math” to bolster the impression that “Reaganomics” would work.

  • Piksnilderf

    Stockman, in a major cabinet meeting after the historic Reagan tax vote, announced, “the long-term outlook is grim. We’re facing potential deficits so big they could wreck the President’s entire economic program. Reagan replied, “if what you say is true then (Democrats that opposed the budget) were right all along.”
    What followed was recession.

  • Piksnilderf

    Obama and Dems have done about all they can do considering opposition faced in congress.
    If  you haven’t noticed, a majority in Senate means next to nothing any more because of abuse of filibuster and House just got a whole lot of goofball T-partiers who think that if we let free market rule and “drown government in bathtub”, all will be swell.
    Unregulated free market brought about recent financial collapse. Apparently they can’t get enough.

  • Fredlinskip

    ” little by little we are learning what it really requires from all of us
    to build a modern society where all parts engages and respect each
    other” –

    Um.. you’re talking about America here?

  • Piksnilderf

     Investigative journalism seems to be a dying phenomena. Just go on internet and repeat what some other goofball said.
    In the buildup to Iraq War, media outlets repeated verbatim what sources directly tied to W admin told them. There was no fact-checking.
    Thus we got “mobile chemical factories, aluminum tubes, yellowcake from Niger, WMD’s. And mass hysteria.
    After all these claims proved false was there mass apology to American people?
    Then major newspapers wonder why their readership dwindled.
    Rupert’s outlets Fox and WSJ are largely responsible for deterioration of fact-based reporting and honest journalism.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Voodoo economics is when PBS stations cut Moyers&Company during pledge weeks. Do they not think Moyers watchers have disposable income? Maybe the real pressure comes from the 1% and their servants. My quick assessment is that APT is losing M&C affiliates. It’s like Occupy: The Oligarchs and underlings just can’t handle Moyers dispensing the truth. And Moyers lays low with Crony Capitalism reruns, confident the audience will be ravenous for some journalism after Keltick Flatulence and  Hardcore Doo-wop are over. Yet “Power of Myth” in six episode format remains popular. Joseph Campbell is the safe “I Have a Dream” part of Moyers, and these six new shows are the unsugarcoated “Beyond Vietnam” part of the Moyers mission. Some online version of the National Guard and the Federal Political Police (FBI) might be delegated to take down these shows before too long, so soak it up while you can. Look at rising food and gas prices if you think I’m joking. Roll around the wasteland of basic cable and see Fox as the usual news outlet offered. Only about 5% of Americans get their political news online. Turn older relatives and friends on to these streams and podcasts. Our survival may depend on it. Oligarchs could make the USA a mega-Syria real fast. 

  • Piksnilderf

     Reagan plan originally proposed that 83 deficit would be zero, but it was actually on it’s way to 6.3% of GDP-
     a peacetime record that still stands.

    National debt rose almost 300% percent under Reagan.

    And the “feed the rich”  policies and mantra, started under Reagan (and Stockman) and repeated ad infinitum for over last 30 years, is what have pushed up national debt, and have slowlybut surely seriously damaged a once much healthier country.

    Perhaps Stockman is having twinges of guilt and is trying to make up for his part in that demise.

    That’s more than can be said for  most Trickle-uppers (like Romney), that STILL cling to this philosophy today, even after all the damage wrought (especially by W, who was a Reagan wannabe).

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Wow, it’s like you and I are the only Moyeristas awake tonight.
    Talking about the national debt, did you know most of it is owed to our own wealthy class, and to the Social Security and Medicaid trust funds? China holds less than 8%, and some of that belongs to transnational Oligarchs with Chinese operations. (China is about to take a fall, you know… weak markets.)
    Some conservatives are correct to blame the FED because the money they pull out their mythical butt is imaginary and that is why it causes inflation by diluting the money supply, not that exotic instruments don’t dilute it further. So the national debt is in truth the result of a scam on the 99%, and without military and police guns on us it would amount to little more than a laughable assertion. So we’re getting the Greek treatment and the threat of the Syrian treatment at the same time. Austerity is here!

  • GradyLeeHoward

    The strategy is : Feed the wealthy and starve the commons. If the “winners”paid their fair share that would be impossible. Even apologists like David Stockman and John Dean should pay their share.
    Tax cuts cost working people because the corporations (utilities, medicine, financials) take up the slack in higher fees (without regulation)and lower wages and benefits for their employees. What is the point saving $200 on income tax only to pay $3000 more for fuel and education? The most outrageous leviers of tax are corporations, not governments. When all toilets are privatized, get your Jonny Cash ready. The American public hardly has a pot to pee in now.

    Talk about regulatory capture, the failure to bring banksters to account typifies the capture of government by Oligarch money, the ultimate fascism. And once you go “gangsta”, it’s hard to go back.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    The outcome of financial austerity is feudalism. These Oligarchs care nothing for balancing budgets. If they make a bad wager we bail them out. A great portion of their interest income is from Treasury instruments securing the national debt. They want more not less. Right now they can borrow interest free from the FED and lend to the Federal Government- wish I could do that. The plan is in motion to reduce most of us to wage slavery and debt peonage, complete helpless quiessensce.
    And the fascists worshipping a religious Constitution are the worst bought advocates.
    Beware any idiot comparing our national sovereignty to his household budget.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    If we have our health and no pressing responsibilities to children and other helpless dependents we should…

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Laissez- faire changes nothing, and Paul is a sexist. Why take one step forward and 3 steps back?

  • Philosopher3000

    David Stockman is not talking about true free-markets, true free-markets require perfect knowledge (collectively), all markets are regulated. What David Stockman (interesting name) wants to idealize is FAIR TRADE in a regulated market, but that isn’t very profitable to individuals.

  • Anonymous

    Watching this interview, I was struck by the similarities of events and scenarios to those that play out in Chinese business and politics, routinely referred to as “crony communism.” Only a truly irrational optimist would  believe this can be repaired within either their government or ours. Certainly, government by the people will never qualify as such until we dispose of so-called representatives and take control for ourselves. Shamefully, we are headed in the opposite direction, and the rush to corruption and ruin is now being championed at all levels. From the lowest government officials to the President and Supreme Court, the American people have been betrayed. Our children will live in a nation much different than the one we grew up in, and I for one am greatly saddened by the loss.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Sad but likely.

  • Ham_in_Ta0s

    You have stimulated me to take action. I have submitted the following article to my local paper, The Taos News and have started a petition on to encourage others to become “root-strikers” as well.

    The url for the petition is:

    and here is my article:



    What you may ask is a root striker? Henry David
    Thoreau in Walden said: “There are a thousand hacking at the
    branches of evil to one who is striking at the root” For me the root cause
    of the dysfunction we see in Congress and our Federal Government comes from all
    the money from wealthy individuals and companies that corrupt our democracy.


    Why did the bankers who crashed the economy in
    2008 and got bailed out with our money manage to continue to get huge bonuses
    and not go to jail? Why haven’t the crooks who “robo-signed” foreclosure
    documents gone to jail? Why do large companies keep getting tax breaks as do
    the 1%. How could Jack Abramoff buy off so many Congressmen? Could it be that
    large campaign contributions and K Street lobbying have something to do with
    the dysfunction in our government and why the rich keep getting richer and the
    rest of us struggle?


    Lawrence Lessig said “nobody likes crony
    capitalism that has corrupted this system of government and given us the misregulation
    that led to the collapse on Wall Street.”

    “We don’t need to destroy wealth. We need to
    destroy the ability of wealth to corrupt our politics. We don’t need to kill
    capitalism. We need to kill that form of capitalism–crony capitalism–that uses
    its power to corrupt our politics.”


    To strike at the root of the problem we as the
    people need to prevent the corruption that unregulated wealth brings to our
    government. First, we need to repudiate the idea that corporations have the
    right to use money to influence Congress by the effort to pass a Constitutional
    Amendment to say that corporations are not persons and that money does not
    equal free speech. Second, we must implement public financing of Congressional
    and Presidential campaigns.   Third, we need legislation enforced to prevent
    lobbyists like Jack Abramoff from corrupting our Congress people and their
    staffs. I am challenging all of you who care about our democracy join me (and
    many others around the country) in an effort to take back control of our
    government for the people and by the people. I ask you to join me is sending
    this challenge to our national candidates in both parties:



    I pledge to support the effort to amend the
    Constitution to state unequivocally that corporations are
    not persons with respect to political processes AND that the expenditure of
    money is not equivalent to free speech as covered by the First Amendment. I
    will make this effort a prominent part of my campaign, and if elected I will
    sponsor legislation to that effect and will work hard to see that the
    legislation passes;

    I pledge to support Campaign
    Finance Reform that includes some form of public financing of federal elections.
    I will make this reform a prominent part of my campaign, and if elected I will
    sponsor legislation to that effect and will work hard to see that the
    legislation passes;

    I understand that in the current political
    environment, I have to spend significant time and effort to raise money to
    compete effectively. As proof of my commitment to the first two pledges, I
    pledge to post on my web site and to keep it updated a list of the top five
    percent of contributors to my campaign so that my constituents know to whom I will
    be beholden if elected.

    If you will accept and sign this pledge,
    contact me at and I
    will do all that is within my humble means to support your candidacy.

    I have shared this pledge with many of my
    friends. Most have been supportive but a few have expressed concern that this
    decision on my part will only allow your “terrible” opponent to win the
    election. I have two responses:

    If you choose to feed on slops thrown in the
    trough by the moneyed elite, then you don’t need my small contribution to lead
    your principles to the slaughterhouse.

    There is rising a tsunami of disgust at the
    current political process. If you choose to ride this tsunami as it crashes
    onto the political landscape, you may just surf to political success. (See the
    web sites below):


    b.  (Speech by Lawrence Lessig) &

    Stephen Colbert’s satirical SuperPac

    d. and Bernie Sanders

    Benjamin Franklin said after the Constitutional
    Convention when asked what was accomplished: “A republic, madam, if you can
    keep it”

    Well, We the People By the People and For the
    People need to get our republic back!

    Ham Brown

  • Lutjanus2969

    you are a idiot racist

  • Lutjanus2969

    Have you ever heard of the tea party and the wrath that they are leveling against the voters of Florida and the enviroment

  • dadba

    excellent program Mr. Moyers, I just wish the media and everyone would be talking about this instead of the Sarah Palin movie.

  • Karl Hoff

    Excellent show.  I think that asking the government or the people responsible for so much hardship we endure today has not worked very well. I believe that because the government and financial institutions are cloaked in secrecy and deceptions, that they are able to continue keeping themselves in the light while keeping most they are using to gain their wealth and power in the dark.  Here are a few things I have learned over the years to protect me from their deceptions.  I have heard that people are paying 20 to 30 % on credit cards.  How much is the compounded interest if one keeps paying it for their working years, say 40?  I calculated it would turn $1 into about $37,000, so it is easy to see that it is in the interest of the financial institutions to make it easy for one to stay in debt as long as they can.  I know many that could have easily tripled their income if they had stayed out of debt. I think someone needs to make a compound interest calculator that would quickly figure how much one is giving up by not having a little patience. There is a simple formula that figures roughly how long it would take to double your money if you compounded the interest.  It is: take the number 72 and divide it by the % interest like: 72 divided by 30% = 2.4 years. One can quickly see that financial institutions can get rich very quickly. I hear people bragging about getting the lowest interest rate on their mortgage, when anyone in the business should know that is the worst time to buy a house, because higher interest makes buying a house more difficult because it increases the cost of buying and that causes fewer buyers, which usually causes the housing prices to go down, which gives the brokers lowerer commissions. This means that when the interest rates go lower, one can sell their house at a profit rather than a loss. And with so many facing the added forclosure problem, it is a crushing blow knowing that if interest rates go up the prices could tumble even further. I have never made much money, but got a pleasant surprise when I turned the tables on them and started collecting interest and paid them none. It was like I tripled my income and lost my money problems. If only people would take a pocket calculator with them and take the number of years they will pay times the amount, they would get exactly how much they would pay to pay it off, also to know that what a lawyer told me would further adds to their peace of mind,  and that is if you pay anything using a credit card, debit card, or check used as a credit card in a contract, you must sue them if something goes wrong, where as if cash or check is used, they have to sue you.

  • Bsimons1

    I thoroughly enjoyed your program today with David Stockman.  I am from Toronto, ONT., and wish all Americans would tune in to your program to know what is going on in the USA.  Good Luck Americans.  As Canadians, we see very clearly the problems, and what fools the republicans are.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Karl: You point out one of the major privileges of the wealth conspiracy and the National Security State under corporate control: Unquestioned secrecy. Contrast that observation with the invasion of individual and family privacy where the security state and commercial interests work hand in hand. The dupes of fascism go so far as to invade the reproductive operation of other women’s uteruses. This is truly an insane totalitarian milieu, out of the People’s control.
    Runaway compounding of interest to enslave millions by usury is another symptom of crony capitalist hostility to personal volition and life itself. I wrote here about mercenary aspects of the health care system just the other day so I’ll stop with that.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Seems like you’re the typical bourgeoise wealth seeker Ham. You’re not striking at the roots but pruning the low branches. The Lawerence Lessig quotes give you away. There is an emerging dichotomy between reformers wanting to tune the capitalist engine they thrive in serving, and the more radical element like me who have concluded we must cap wealth and income. Maybe your reasoning is attenuated in the thin air of high Taos. 
    I stand ready to risk my life and all my possessions to fix this insane injustice and unfairness. You don’t seem ready for that. I think you’ll find it is too late for halfway measures, though they may provide cover for your weak resolve. Chris Hedges (Truthdig) explains what I mean so well when he quotes Nietzche: “You gaze into the abyss, and the atrocities stare back.”

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Yep, China is our reflection.
    Study our monstrous visage.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    SUGGESTION: Bill Moyers needs to do an in depth 6 hours with Elaine Pagels of Princeton Univ. before they bothe get too old. She has an excellent study of Revelations just released. Her take on a variety of revelatory texts, and the continual reinvention of John of Patmos’ apocalyptic work is amazing. I hope some of you at M&C are reading Elaine’s book now. I am aware of earlier Pagels interviews but this could be the making of another “Power of Myth.” 
    Understand how important the philosophical/religious must be when a revolutionary atheist like myself suggests it. Thank you for all your efforts.    GradyLee

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Don’t mention it…. the celebrity embarrassment i mean.

  • Grover

    perhaps   they should take your tax dollars and apply it to education so you may construct  cohesive sentences.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    See Pagels on “Adam and Eve”, page 3, in Faith&Reason under Anthology heading above.

  • Andrew P. Washington

    Stockman is on the money, literally. Excellent video, I’m thankful that we have Bill Moyers.

  • Judyr808

    I too believe that many are uninformed and missinformed, but I’m not sure the local media will do it, because the media is owned by the cornies that Crony Capitalism is about. I think supporting things like Occupy, Thrive and other groups that risk even their lives to get the information out is at least a start. I’m to old now to get out and carry a sign and maybe be arrested, but I will do as much as I can. I love our country so much!

  • David F., N.A.

     I agree, that would be a great interview.

  • David F., N.A.

    I found this professional opinion to be very profound.

    “If he’s [President Obama] gonna to take credit for the economy, he’s gonna end up taking blame for the economy.” ~ Tim Carney, The DR Show, 2012

  • Dnadanyi

    If you go to Patmos don’t pet the cats-they bite.

  • Dnadanyi

    Did you read the bones oof Jesus?

  • Dnadanyi

     They fool most with a Bible in one hand and a flag in the other.

  • Dnadanyi

    If the Greeks can claw back maybe we can too.

  • GradyLeeHoward

     Is that by Pagels?
    Anyway, haven’t read it… probably won’t.
    Don’t plan to visit Patmos either.
    Going to Berne Monday and might not return.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Thanks for the evaluation.

  • Ptgrubbs

    It was interesting to hear Stockton say things that were right on target. Yet then focus the details on the Democratic party. Except for one sentence ” I was very disgusted by what Bush did” It seems like he focused more on blaming those attempt to save the Titanic from sinking then the crew who ran into the iceberg, who again want to return to that course.

  • GradyLeeHoward

     They negotiated a 50% discount on national debt so why can’t we?

  • Robert Drew

    Mandatory viewing on YouTube for all Americams and Brits
    Come on you guys in the USA help put your house in order, Obama, what are you waiting for? If you do not do it the Chinese will do it for you.
    Robert Drew – Australia

  • Wjcrkissel

    Where can I find David Stockman’s book on Crony Capitalism.  Your interview with him was most enlightening, but Iwant to read the book.

  • Dnadanyi

    Sorry it is The Jesus Family Tomb by Jacobovici and Pellegrino. Everyone had a fit about it several years ago because Jesus’ bones are not supposed to be found in a tomb. By the way what does Pagels say in her book?

  • Roy Lawson

    We have crony capitalism”

    Isn’t that just another word for fascism?  If not, how does it differ?

  • GradyLeeHoward

    You can say crony capitalism on TV and keep your show.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    In six weeks it will be on that jumbled up middle table at Big Lots for $2.98.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    One must remember that what the Administration means by “the economy” has nothing to do with generalized prosperity or quality of life of the majority of people. Likewise for stooges running with scissors for President. Promising a robust economy means rising aggregate measures of business (good or bad) and maintenance of the Oligarchs’ income stream. This economy operates like a casino: The owners always win.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    They hardly noticed Dr. Paul in Mississippi and Alabama. His only majority is among career military whose focus is on Paul’s isolationism.
    But I’m thankful for Ron Paul’s anti-war message and for Bill Moyers too.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    She says Revelations primary author is John of Patmos, that the ending has been altered, and that the author (circa 200 AD) expected events listed to fulfill within a short time span. She compares the text with other apocalyptic writings of the same period.
    Predicting world’s end was a popular pastime in those days (as now) so this  pre-science fiction genre  enjoyed an escalating oneupmanship  over several decades.
    Jews did it; Pagans did it; Zoastrians did it; and many remnant sects. It is almost a random accident this version is included in the Biblical canon.  Over time believers have reapplied and reinterpreted this text to fit whatever circumstance and ideology.
    When are they gonna make the film, I plead? I wanna be in it. That Jenkins and Le Haye stuff is Revelations for Dummies.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    And bankrolling by Oligarchs.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Internet traffic stats indicate 6,000 individuals visit this site in a typical 24 hour day. Most visitors consume the media and post nothing. I imagine fewer than a thousand read posts. The few of us who write here are likely atypical. I really wonder if M&C gets anything besides grief by providing this forum. Anyway, I appreciate having another place to mouth off.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    I’m already dreading Re-run III with John Reed and Byron Dorgan. What are you waiting for, sweeps week?

  • ChicagoBobMoore

    Bill, my profound thanks for the crony-capital episode.  Both Stockman and Morgensen had some very important points and they made them quite well.  I think the episode should be compulsory viewing for all my fellow “Occupy” citizens.  Here in Chicago, I participated in several of the larger marches and stood a number of days at the downtown corner by the Federal Reserve Bank.  Acutally, I wish all Americans would see the episode in question, and then take to the streets to display their strong disapproval of the perversion of capitalism and the concommitant lack of democracy.  This is very serious business and if we the people do not get busy we’re simply headed for more economic “disaster”.  Apathy and inertia must be dispelled.  How bad does it have to get?  We’ll find out if we don’t take the status quo as a call to action.

  • D.L.

    The description by Mr. Stockman of what would have been a solution for GE seemed simple and clearly to be what we have thought of as capitalism when it works, and his description of crony capitalism clearly seemed to represent what we have been seeing for way to long in this country instead of the reasonable checks and balances of capitalism when it works as it should.  The call for campaign finance reform seems the only reasonable answer to this.

  • Dnadanyi

    What is Jenkins and LeHaye about? Title of Pagels book Power of Myth?
    Take peanuts for the bears.

  • Dnadanyi

    We should call them the Wizards of Ooooooz.

  • Dnadanyi

    Tell me more about The power of Myth.  Are these new or old shows???

  • Tin Huu Mai

    It’s  such a relative sign….that casinos are being built and placed in all parts of our cities, towns….  PITTSBURGH, PHILADELPHIA… name a few.   We are going to be the 99% slaves!

  • Dnadanyi

    Jack Welch became greedy and turned GE into a vulture capitalist.  50% of GE became involved in Financialism. Do not touch GE financing with a 100 mile pole.  They are uber vultures. We should not have bailed them out. If GE likes the free market so much they should play by Capitalist rules not Socialist rules.

  • Pamela Mackey

    Perhaps a generous genocide ?

  • Ron Gruen

    I’m interesting in obtaining a video/audio DVD of Bill Moyer’s interview on March 9, 2012 of David Stockman on Crony Capitalism .

    I am planning to make a presentation of Mr. Stockman’s remarks  to the SAGE Society here in Los Angeles, a group of retired professional seniors who meet regularly to discuss events of interest.   Please advise if this is possible.  Ron Gruen

  • Anonymous

    Astute observation.
    Don’t  be wagering.

  • Anonymous

    Jenkins & Le Haye wrote the “Left Behind” series. I do not recommend that.

  • Anonymous

    Are bears in Berne, Switzerland?

  • AnneLBS

    Hi Ron Gruen,

    Recent episodes can be ordered by calling 1-800-336-1917; they will also become available soon from

    Good luck and thanks for watching.

  • Dnadanyi

    Scare tactics.

  • Dnadanyi

    Berne is famous for their bears.  At least they used to be-must google.  They are in an out door large caged enclosure and people  throw peanuts at them which the bears are very good at catching and eating.

  • Dnadanyi

    I looked it up. I guess it was a pit with a fence around it when I was there back in the 80s. “the Berne Bear Pits”-famous.  The name Berne means bear in German- I guess. Anyway they have a nicer environment since 2009.  And now they throw carrots instead of peanuts-more fun to watch the bears catch the peanuts. Also wonderful daily sightseeing from Berne but maybe you are on business.

  • Myotheridentity

    ALL companies involved in finance, are vultures.  Ruthless, greedy and dispassionate about everything except money.  GE is no exception, but they are also no worse than any of the others.  The PROBLEM is that none of these idiots have to face the retribution of the market.  WE keep stuffing their pockets with cash and say, “That’s okay.  Maybe you’ll get it right, next time.”

  • Dnadanyi

    Why? I’m just catching up with Bill’s programs.

  • Anonymous

    You can stream them on your computer any time. Mo’ better, Nu better!

  • Anonymous

    I miscalculated thinking Ham would reply.
    I hope my kidding didn’t drive him higher into the mountains.

  • Anonymous

    Old, really old. Joseph Campbell was a “follow your bliss” comparative religionist and mythologist who died in 1987 (age 83).
    Moyers contributes as much as Campbell to these discussions . If you’ve never seen “The Power of Myth” you should, but don’t stop there. Also watch “Century of the Self” and other films by Adam Curtis (try at Youtube). We all have myth appetites and powerful people use that weakness against popular will and common needs.

  • Michael

    God bless Bill moyers.

  • Gencomm

    Both these guys are phenominal, finally someone has the balls to tell it like it is. As Thomas Jefferson said the enemy will come from within. These crony capitalist are a disgrase and need to be gone.

  • MRLOZANO1563

    Like my friend use to say “thats the way the cookie crubles”, once it crumbles u just cant glue it back together again, it just don’t taste right

  • Mrlozano1563

    I thank Almighty God for this truth, it sends my spirit soaring over Niagra Falls, NY, I am in a very Happy State of mind as I was in 1990, I am back now in L.A. area (San Pedro) now where do we go from Here, Get Sommers and the rest of the thieves out of office, when know who the scams work, now lets clean house, if we don’t then the average Joe Blow, must be taught, the pyramid secrets, those at the top are living off of, the slaves at the bottom

  • Mrlozano1563

    MauricioLOzano say’s praise God Almighty for this truth, as for those who are willing to walk with God in truth, all we do is borow as a country, these are spiritual downfalls as a country, one day the lender is going to wake up witha big stick and use it on us, then what=war=dept=slaves, its a vicious cycle, fanie mae, those who taught Wall st. how to play the American dream, Wake up, America, Heavens send the Angles to reveal the truth to the blind.

  • Dnadanyi

    We need to know much more about ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council. Paul Krugman is talking about  this group.  Would you consider doing a program on this subject.  It ties in completely with Crony Capitalism and also Winner Take All Politics. One of the main premises of Winner Take All was the organization of the corporations. 

  • 19obert63


    I like your idea about having a caculator that would pull up the debt figure after compound interest;
    banks could provide each customer
    with a a free caculator; imagine; now that would
    compound banking integrity.

  • Gencomm

    This is a great interview from an inside guy, who has the guts to tell it like it is.

  • Gjones

    Didn’t President Obama win the 2012 election on Dec 14, 2009?

  • Sheilazubi

    I spend hours reading everything I can about the coming financial sunami. I will have to post more often. I too appreciate a place to speak. Most friends don’t discuss issues. My husband believes what I read, but would prefers golf and watching CSI to worrying. So I learn from people like you and prepare.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like Stockman, but he is dead right.

  • Nalliah Thayabharan

     “Competition is a sin”
    John D. Rockefeller

    Several people assume that the Wall Street is equal to capitalism.
    Real capitalism requires a looser. The establishing your own business
    needs resources that others already own. It’s a race to own.
    But Wall Street thinks differently. For Wall street competition is a sin.

  • Anthony Stagg

    so true!!

  • Scamnation

    OMG, they’ve corrupted my perfect market, again.