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BILL MOYERS: This week on Moyers & Company.

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

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

BILL MOYERS: And…

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

[Funders]

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

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

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

BUD FOX: How much is enough Gordon?

BILL MOYERS: Hollywood saw it coming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BILL MOYERS: Understates it?

PAUL PIERSON: Understates it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BILL MOYERS: It's the politics, stupid?

JACOB HACKER: Exactly.

BILL MOYERS: How did they do it?

PAUL PIERSON: Through organized combat is the short answer.

BILL MOYERS: And why did they do it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BILL MOYERS: For every--

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

BILL MOYERS: Protecting them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BILL MOYERS: Broadland?

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

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

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

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

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

JACOB HACKER: Yes.

PAUL PIERSON: Yes.

BILL MOYERS: And the winners are?

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

BILL MOYERS: And the losers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAUL PIERSON: That's--

BILL MOYERS: Wow.

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

BILL MOYERS: You're hesitant.

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

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

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

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

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

BILL MOYERS: Two percent?

JACOB HACKER: Two percent.

BILL MOYERS: Well, this is—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAUL PIERSON: Thank you so much.

JACOB HACKER: Thank you.

Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson on Engineered Inequality

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Worthy Reads:

The New York Times: Inconvenient Income Inequality

OpenSecrets: A hard financial look at those SuperPACS

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  • Bamars13

    Great confirmation of my worst fears. Corruption will destroy the land of opportunity

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF5WQXB7X2HMYHTTAFYZI3PRKY DW88

    2 points:

    1. When those 30 years following WW2 are discussed as being Broadland and great for the Middle Class, something goes unmentioned. We were the only economic/industrial power left functioning following WW2… and the world needed everything. We had the educated manpower, the resources within our borders, the most modern factories. Therefore, it was an extremely providential time for the US. We had our cake and could eat it too… and we seemed to think it would remain that way.

    2. I would like to see this question addressed: How is it that the top percentage of the top 1% is able to create an Oz or Alice’s Looking Glass to get the Tea Party folks and others to so completely support them. How have they gotten them to swallow it all hook, line, and sinker?

  • Gsunshinel

    Bill Moyers:
    Thank God the voice of reason has returned to primetime!
    We know that if a morsel of truth can be found, you will find it and report it.
    Welcome back!

  • Anonymous

    Well, the disappointment in this whole thing is Obama. At the end of 2010, he could have easily fought harder for eliminating Bush tax cut extensions. He did not lift a finger. His lack of negotiating skills, his lack of fire in the belly to fight for the middle class, became clear. Does he just enjoy flying in Air Force One? Is that the reason why he wants to be president? He could have attacked the debt problem head on with that one thing. He seems utterly confused, always falling for the last argument he heard.

  • Xlilly26x

    A huge fan of Mr. Moyers, I’ve only just discovered his site.  I will be tuning in on a regular basis.

    Mr. Hacker and Mr Peirson, well done.  I think more and more people are becoming aware of just who is controlling our government and why.

  • Xlilly26x

    Fear!

  • Michiganjf

    When the woman spoke before the Senate committee at the beginning of the show,  I felt for her and many fellow Americans… but I quickly realized her suffering was not the most important “take-away” of the segment.

    As she spoke of the ways in which her family had cut back due to her pay cut, the real point dawned on me… the lack of spending on new goods and services was the most significant point. 
    How does an economy as vast and diverse AS WAS America’s survive without a huge middle class with money ample money filtering cash throughout the full spectrum of supply?

    It’s no wonder net job creation is so lackluster if this woman’s story is now a common theme in our country, and with the distribution of wealth becoming so skewed  in recent decades, I’ve no doubt her story is now typical in America.

    Also, when you asked Mr. Hacker and Mr. Pierson “who in society suffers from the upward distribution of wealth,” his answer was “almost all of us.”

    I would amend that answer to “all of us.”

    … the top one percent of earners may have cash enough to indulge most of their desires, but it takes 100 percent of the people to make the world an interesting and rewarding place to live a life, with all their creativity and the opportunity to contribute their full potential.
    When the wealthy diminish society at large through indifferent greed, they diminish their own existence.

    I think some of the wealthy fully appreciate this truism about the world.
    That’s why many of the more thoughtful and admired of the wealthy class are speaking out and admitting our system is broken and the wealthy should pay taxes more in line with the percentage of the overall pie their income represents.

  • Michiganjf

    When the woman spoke before the Senate committee at the beginning of the show,  I felt for her and many fellow Americans… but I quickly realized her suffering was not the most important “take-away” of the segment.
     
    As she spoke of the ways in which her family had cut back due to her pay cut, the real point dawned on me… the lack of spending on new goods and services was the most significant point. 
    How does an economy as vast and diverse AS WAS America’s survive without a huge middle class with money ample money filtering cash throughout the full spectrum of supply?
     
    It’s no wonder net job creation is so lackluster if this woman’s story is now a common theme in our country, and with the distribution of wealth becoming so skewed  in recent decades, I’ve no doubt her story is now typical in America.
     
    Also, when you asked Mr. Hacker and Mr. Pierson “who in society suffers from the upward distribution of wealth,” his answer was “almost all of us.”
     
    I would amend that answer to “all of us.”
     
    … the top one percent of earners may have cash enough to indulge most of their desires, but it takes 100 percent of the people to make the world an interesting and rewarding place to live a life, with all their creativity and the opportunity to contribute their full potential.
    When the wealthy diminish society at large through indifferent greed, they diminish their own existence.
     
    I think some of the wealthy fully appreciate this truism about the world.
    That’s why many of the more thoughtful and admired of the wealthy class are speaking out and admitting our system is broken and the wealthy should pay taxes more in line with the percentage of the overall pie their income represents.
     

  • Michiganjf

    When the woman spoke before the Senate committee at the beginning of the show, I felt for her and many fellow Americans… but I quickly realized her suffering was not the most important “take-away” of the segment.

    As she spoke of the ways in which her family had cut back due to her pay cut, the real point dawned on me… the lack of spending on new goods and services was the most significant point.
    How does an economy as vast and diverse AS WAS America’s survive without a huge middle class with money ample money filtering cash throughout the full spectrum of supply?

    It’s no wonder net job creation is so lackluster if this woman’s story is now a common theme in our country, and with the distribution of wealth becoming so skewed in recent decades, I’ve no doubt her story is now typical in America.

    Also, when you asked Mr. Hacker and Mr. Pierson “who in society suffers from the upward distribution of wealth,” his answer was “almost all of us.”

    I would amend that answer to “all of us.”

    … the top one percent of earners may have cash enough to indulge most of their desires, but it takes 100 percent of the people to make the world an interesting and rewarding place to live a life, with all their creativity and the opportunity to contribute their full potential.
    When the wealthy diminish society at large through indifferent greed, they diminish their own existence.

    I think some of the wealthy fully appreciate this truism about the world.
    That’s why many of the more thoughtful and admired of the wealthy class are speaking out and admitting our system is broken and the wealthy should pay taxes more in line with the percentage of the overall pie their income represents.

  • Michiganjf

    When the woman spoke before the Senate committee at the beginning of the show, I felt for her and many fellow Americans… but I quickly realized her suffering was not the most important “take-away” of the segment.

    As she spoke of the ways in which her family had cut back due to her pay cut, the real point dawned on me… the lack of spending on new goods and services was the most significant point.
    How does an economy as vast and diverse AS WAS America’s survive without a huge middle class with money ample money filtering cash throughout the full spectrum of supply?

    It’s no wonder net job creation is so lackluster if this woman’s story is now a common theme in our country, and with the distribution of wealth becoming so skewed in recent decades, I’ve no doubt her story is now typical in America.

    Also, when you asked Mr. Hacker and Mr. Pierson “who in society suffers from the upward distribution of wealth,” his answer was “almost all of us.”

    I would amend that answer to “all of us.”

    … the top one percent of earners may have cash enough to indulge most of their desires, but it takes 100 percent of the people to make the world an interesting and rewarding place to live a life, with all their creativity and the opportunity to contribute their full potential.
    When the wealthy diminish society at large through indifferent greed, they diminish their own existence.

    I think some of the wealthy fully appreciate this truism about the world.
    That’s why many of the more thoughtful and admired of the wealthy class are speaking out and admitting our system is broken and the wealthy should pay taxes more in line with the percentage of the overall pie their income represents.

  • Jba144

    Must see TV!

  • Michiganjf

    I apologize for the multiple posts above!!

    I kept getting an “error last night and re-posting… finally one successfully appeared to load properly.

    This morning I see they all must have been back-logged during the “errors.”

  • Truthseek

    Bill, I have always held in the very highest regard. I wish that you would do a story on the global and EPIC unfolding disaster unfolding in Japan, as we need your wisdom, voice and support to alert the masses to the increasing peril that all of humanity faces.

    Thank you for your tireless efforts!

    Truthseek

  • A Melcher

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

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

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

    Albert G. Melcher Captain Civil engineer Corps USNR
    Retired. 

  • Tess

    I guess you missed the gist of the interview. It took 30 years of money in politics to chip away at the American dream. Why would you think that one man could could come in and turn the whole ship around? Especially with a congress that could care less about the middle class and are willing to throw us under the bus to keep the rich, rich. We are all on this boat and if you really want to blame someone, blame us all for allowing this to happen by voting for it year after year. We should be fighting like banshees to get the money out of politics. The constitution starts with “We the People” and if  WE keep voting in politicians that are “wholly owned subsidiary’s” of various corporations, we deserve what we get.

  • Anonymous

    Really? Who has been controlling inner city governments, and school systems for the last 40 years? Who has subsidized broken families, broken homes, children with no fathers, and stoked the feeling that rich people have gotten to where they are by taking from the poor. newsflash: Rich people dont get rich by keeping people down, they do it by producing goods and services that benefit others. Could it be that our poor actually need to raise healthy families that encourage education and good work ethics, so they can be producers instead of takers?  Naaaaaaaaah, everyone’s a victim.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M2UTKA5OB32WLP5L3KV34F5M6Q Maria Mayer

    Only Moyers can get the attention of the USers to the obvious: we have been taken back to the 18th century when the top 1% owned everything; plus, now that our Constitution has been violated by means of the NDAA nazi law, little can be done.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it does not matter how we got to where we are. When the president has power to undo the wrongs, he should fight for it and try to do it.  I have not seen him fight at all for the repeal of Bush tax cuts for those above 250K at the end of 2010.  That is trillions of dollars over a decade. If he fought for it, his credentials as a fighter for middle class would have skyrocketed, and he would have the wind at his back to fight this 30-year chipping away that you talk about. Instead, he convinced everyone that he is just a go-along get-along guy, which is  the central thesis of the interview of Moyers’s interview – that politicians from both parties have their hand in the jar. Because of his inability to do so, he is always on the defensive on these spending matters; this forces him to talk about cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security etc. Instead of taking the interests of the rich head-on, he is always pleading helplessness.

    Clinton was able to do balanced budgets with Gingrich, George H.W. Bush did with Foley and Mitchell. You can’t always blame the Congress. Sometimes inability to get things done should be called by its true name – incompetence at best, being co-opted at worst.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it does not matter how we got to where we are. When the president has power to undo the wrongs, he should fight for it and try to do it.  I have not seen him fight at all for the repeal of Bush tax cuts for those above 250K at the end of 2010.  That is trillions of dollars over a decade. If he fought for it, his credentials as a fighter for middle class would have skyrocketed, and he would have the wind at his back to fight this 30-year chipping away that you talk about. Instead, he convinced everyone that he is just a go-along get-along guy, which is  the central thesis of the interview of Moyers’s interview – that politicians from both parties have their hand in the jar. Because of his inability to do so, he is always on the defensive on these spending matters; this forces him to talk about cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security etc. Instead of taking the interests of the rich head-on, he is always pleading helplessness.

    Clinton was able to do balanced budgets with Gingrich, George H.W. Bush did with Foley and Mitchell. You can’t always blame the Congress. Sometimes inability to get things done should be called by its true name – incompetence at best, being co-opted at worst.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it does not matter how we got to where we are. When the president has power to undo the wrongs, he should fight for it and try to do it.  I have not seen him fight at all for the repeal of Bush tax cuts for those above 250K at the end of 2010.  That is trillions of dollars over a decade. If he fought for it, his credentials as a fighter for middle class would have skyrocketed, and he would have the wind at his back to fight this 30-year chipping away that you talk about. Instead, he convinced everyone that he is just a go-along get-along guy, which is  the central thesis of the interview of Moyers’s interview – that politicians from both parties have their hand in the jar. Because of his inability to do so, he is always on the defensive on these spending matters; this forces him to talk about cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security etc. Instead of taking the interests of the rich head-on, he is always pleading helplessness.

    Clinton was able to do balanced budgets with Gingrich, George H.W. Bush did with Foley and Mitchell. You can’t always blame the Congress. Sometimes inability to get things done should be called by its true name – incompetence at best, being co-opted at worst.

  • Art Shua

    The Bible says the devil loves to give people two opposing views so they can argue them to death.  Your still saying, I worked for mine and those socialist… 
    That is not what is happening, my god put a few dollars in a mans pocket and they all think they are “…rich”. 
     Capitalism is wonderful, economies are great, but they need something to feed from. Something to be made, produced or stolen.  And produced cheaply.  Which is why all Europe wanted a quick way to India and China. They found America, and then it took Nixon and Kissinger to crack them China and India open. All good capital men and women were salivating, for the forbidden doors to open.
     I personally can’t wait for Nial Ferguson’s interview with Dr. Kissinger about what they really hoped for, with this illusion called China.  Wasn’t the plan, America was suppose to get rich(er), China was suppose to get free.  Now, instead they bet the farm and in a few years we will all be  sharecroppers. 
    In the old days , countries went to war so they could steal what you had. America goes to war so we can rebuild your country with golden arches and burger kings.   Wasn’t Iraq suppose to pay us back for there “freedom” with a bit of oil? Or was it Dr Cheney’s snake oil. If most of us tried something like that we would be locked up.
    The new game that Greenspan and Co. came up with was to take your real estate and package it and sell it over and over. If most of us tried something like that we would be locked up.
     The folks who have great wealth ” do it by producing goods” as you said. Problem is they have mortgaged “us” and are Producing overseas.  The S&L crisis that no one paid any attention to was just a test. They came back with bigger govt guaranteed schemes.  How many times do regular working people have to get ripped off before we do something. Now we have a court, that has said “Corporations are actually people”. I say “in a sou’s ear”.  
    Now, how does one kick these people out and change this road we are going down?
    Do you think Mit or his social conservative cousins will bring back the roaring 20′s. Or maybe you think Barack will solve our credit card ills and put europe back together. It seems like we just voted, but that was for our trusted congressmen and women.Thank you Bill, for once again getting at the real issues. What blows me away is that these tea party groupees can’t see that the Occupy X’ers are saying the same thing. What was that, oh yes “Don’t tread on me!”

  • Carolynn

    I am stunned by your ignorance! 
    You are clearly one of the uninformed citizens who perpetuate the myth that Obama could have–or SHOULD have–in less than 3 years–resolved the world economic debacle (which he inherited–in case you haven’t heard), AND that he could have–or SHOULD have–repaired all of the insidious political manoeuvrings that have quietly enriched the 1% over the last 30+ years! 
    Your ignorance is further confirmed by your expectation that one human being, even one as eminently qualified as Barak Obama, could possibly right the well-entrenched mess that exists in our bloated bureaucracy WHICH, by the way, is only now being exposed to all of us citizens SINCE Obama became president.
    Thank God we’ve got someone as intelligent, educated, thoughtful and ETHICAL as Barak Obama who is willing to
    undertake the huge problems America (and the world) is facing.  How horrifying it would be to have someone like you–with your simplistic, un-analytic approach–in charge!
    We’re in this mess  BECAUSE of unthinking citizens like you–ESPECIALLY if you vote!–who have, through your complacency and willingness to accept the “sound bites” perpetuated by the 1%, allowed this situation to evolve.
    YOU AND YOUR WORDS SCARE ME! 

  • Lynnanngarrett
  • Claude Lalande

    We need a new Teddy Roosevelt, who will place a serious regulatory framework around robber barons, as TR did in the early 1900′s.  Of course, since TR’s party was the Republican Party, and Republicans are now in the robber barons’ pockets, it will have to be a different party that will have to do it.  Unfortunately, the Democrats have not shown that they are up to it.  

  • Claude Lalande

    Wrong, Paintwagon!  People who have worked hard and have been exemplary citizens all their lives have been robbed by greedy financiers, especially in 2008.  These greedy CEOs brought their companies, the nation and indeed the world to the edge of an unprecedented financial abyss.  Although there was no merit in their performance, they still got multi-million dollar bonuses, while working-class meritorious workers were thrown in the soup kitchens and unemployment lines.  The US is not a meritocracy… that is a total lie and myth.  Governments have been complicit with those megacorporations.

  • Claude Lalande

    Well, Chandra.  Obama has put political expediency over principles; he has disappointed, but may still be able to do some good in a 2nd term, when not personally seeking re-election.  He missed an opportunity when he had a super-majority.

    We need a TR or an FDR, with a vision and the guts to put that vision in action, to make difficult decisions that will revert all the damage made by the Reagan supposed-trickle-down revolution, and everything else that happened since.   Maybe in 2016?

  • http://careersoutthere.com/about/ MarcLuber

    Welcome back Bill!  Your probing mind and journalistic talents have been missed and are much-needed right now.  Great first episode….the merger of Washington and big business is the most important topic facing us today. 

  • Steve

    1982 forced through unemployment because of intractable pain which I was punished for by the unemployment department bureaucrat, Illinois, into the VA medical system and both saw and experienced the systemic dismantling from 1982 on of this governmental agency charged with the care of our nations veterans.

  • Ljuergens

    I saw this happen. Way back in the seventies, when corporate raiding first became the game to play. I answered phones on the floor of the C.B O.E for Carl Ichan. I remeber saying, so one day we will just be one Corp. After another?

  • Susan

    Thank you for telling  the truth, the whole truth. Welcome back Mr. Moyers.

  • Claude Lalande

    Steve, a nation is judged on how it treats its needy and its heroes.  The US has a horrible record on both counts.  All the war mongers (Cheney, Nixon, etc.) who neglect their veterans.  The 9/11 volunteers who sustained lung damage in their heroic act, and who were denied medical insurance coverage (Thanks, Bush administration).  Shame on them!  My heart goes to you. 

  • Anonymous

    The giveaway in your comment is the word “controlling”.  That has been the governmental function – to control the poor instead of educating and training them with relevant knowledge and skills.  Controlling the poor is just another means to denigrade a population sector while controlling the numbers in the labor force and insuring a large pool of dirt cheap labor: all of these for corporate welfare.  A poor person or family is poor because of lack of economic opportunity to earn a “living wage”.  When individuals are paid less then a subsistence wage i.e., Wallmart wages that leave the majority of employees on Food Stamps and Medicaid because even when working they remain below their State and Federal guidelines.    Your simplistic reasoning leaves the most substantive facts out of consideration.  No human being becomes an economic victim by choice.

  • Anonymous

    You presume unwillingness and inability on the part of President Obama.  On both I disagree with you.
    From my observation it is about timing and strategy.  What you call an opportunity I believe would have  resulted in furthering the clamor when the country was already in a heightened state of anxiety.   Sometimes the most powerful route to fundamental change is an indirect one rather than an onslaught.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr. Moyers for featuring Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker.  Excellent interview and outstanding body of work by these two intelligent writers.  Glad to see you back.  Missed you.

  • rhode island

     I thank you for the honest information presented so indepth.  Tell everyone who the top earning groups are so the american people will know. 

  • Lenny

    I somewhat agree with you.  I feel the President’s big mistake was trying to tackle heath care.  Then leaving it too the Congress, too make the changes.  He called “healthcare”  his major success.  In my mind it failed, every time I walk into the drug store my prescription go up.  My health insurance isn’t affordable with all the co-pays.

    His administration has not taken on the Banks and Wall Street.  There has not been one prosecution against any of the thieves who caused the crisis of 2008.  I do support the Presidents re-election because of the adjectives you used above. Your attack Ms. Varanasi was unfair.  No one person is going to change America.  In the last election, 2010, some of the best, brightest, and progressive members of Congress, retired or lost to “right wing radicals.  It appears that that is going to happen again in 2012.    

  • Maggie Mandzuk

    …and huge amounts of money from the Koch brothers.

  • David T Webb

    Republicans were the minority party of the wealthy unrtil they discovered the invisibility cloak of “social-religious conservatism”. They used this to get gullible people to vote against their own economic interests by baiting them with gays, guns and God! Free Market Capitalism became a religion where faith trumped reality. Until and unless these very same people wake up to this hoax, personified byNewt Gingrich, we will all continue to be fleeced by the 0.1%. My wife and I are part of the golden generation born in 1945,while my parents and siblings were evicerated by the Great Depression. It is sad to see the “Grapes of Wrath” relived today. Winners take all, and losers must  pray to a “God Unknown” and not worth knowing!

  • Jscottu

    Typical left-wing spin doctors.  This show was a mixture of facts and fantasy.  Naturally, the “examples” of “corrupt politics” were of republicans signing tax cuts…something the left hates.  This problem was NOT created by the Bush tax cuts.  Why don’t you talk about how Obama helped his union buddies by sending BILLIONS of taxpayers money their way…cash for clunkers…buying GM…  You want to fix the problem?  Eliminate the Department of Education…the NLRB…the departments of labor, agriculture, commerce…stop the “stimulus spending”…end the FED…end BIG GOVERNMENT.

  • Ingrid

    Very well stated. You speak truth to power!

  • Jen Russert

    Thank you for you wise words, sir. I do think that a return to “we” is exactly what people have been trying to accomplish at the Occupy camps. The spaces in which I interacted with Occupiers and passers-by did provide an amazingly refreshing new perspective on civic discourse and the meaning of community.

    Unfortunately, those discussions are quickly proving impossible, as a deliberate campaign has efficiently smeared the movement with the very societal ills that the protesters have taken to the streets to address. So while many of us will give lip service to the problems, we remain isolated in our homes (while we still have them!)…worried that we too could “catch a case of the ‘poor’” (as it is, we’re holding on for dear life to “downwardly-mobile”).

    Bill Moyers always reminds me about what is best in Americans, though. Like my countrymen, I have a groundless tendency to big dreams; and I sincerely  believe we have the pluck, sincerity and ingenuity to pull ourselves out of this muck. A new paradigm is coming, not in the antiquated top-down fashion, but up from amongst the little people. We just have to be brave enough to embrace it, and have the fortitude to support each other!

  • David T Webb

    Belief trumps reality! Born in 1945, I went to state college for $125/semester, got a Ph. D. with no debt, wasn’t fooled by Wall Street crooks who feast on ill gotten retirement funds of the faithful.

    Many factors have contributed to our collapse. The greatest of these is the fact that Capitalism became a religion because of Communism which is actually a religion. Anything that is seen to limit Capitalism becomes evil. Wed that to religious conservatism and you have the perfect storm that we are confronting today.

  • Jody Wenzel

    Mr Moyer you need to read this:   http://www.rense.com/general95/ell.htm

  • Graham Quigley

    Yeah Bill!! I’m OVERJOYED to see you back in the seat again.. Looking forward to tuning in once again. Thanks you thank you.

  • John Flangan

    I was disappointed with the way Moyer’s described the Citizen’s United decision.  A corporation is an assembly of people gathered for the purpose of conducting business.  Just like a Union.  As such they have free speech rights, which is completely separate and different than the issue of corporate campaign contributions.  To limit money one can spend to speak, to get one’s message out, is to “infringe” on that right.

    As often happens, the left rightly identifies a problem and determines a solution that is even worse.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Moyers, you ask: “Why?”  Why the inequality, the injustice?  As usual, you ask the right question.  An answer to “why” reveals wisdom.  With wisdom comes a way.  But why does an answer elude us?  It’s for the same reason that an agenda, and general support, elude the Occupiers.

    Occupiers, the underdogs of all time, are waging a battle for justice, on an uneven field, and they are few.  They need us to join their effort, though we wouldn’t have to carry signs and move into a park.  We can join namelessly, in our own ways.  Unquestionably, Occupiers have the ball in position, but they seem unable to get it rolling.  In fact, regardless the focus, all those wishing to impact injustice are ultimately stymied.  The cause is the predominant thinking paradigm.  It prevents Occupiers from forming an agenda, and it allows the 1% to keep the rest of us uncertain and on the sidelines by making it appear that protesters are firing blanks.  There is a way Occupiers can reach high ground and load their ideas with live ammunition, but it requires that they, and we, switch to a new thinking paradigm.

    “…when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them.”  Thomas Kuhn

    If it’s true that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” it must also be true that ideas are mightier than money.  But as a pen cannot parry a sword thrust, ideas about economic, social and environmental justice cannot germinate and push to the light through piles of money.  The reasons ideas promoting justice don’t enjoy a widespread cultivation are that the predominant thinking paradigm, the academic/scientific, cannot be used to convincingly articulate them, and it allows the 1% to use the system against all opposition.  The academic/scientific thinking paradigm holds reason as primary and dominant, and considers intuition as nice but not necessary.

    Ideas promoting justice, like the paradigmatic theories of our greatest scientists, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Eisntein, are discovered in intuition .  What is discovered in intuition cannot be articulated through reason alone.  But it can be revealed in a way to satisfy reason and advance justice.  The great scientists used a thinking pardigm that applied intuition in the first instance of perception (when they discovered the “what” of phenomena).  Secondarily they used reason to “do the math” (to derive the “how” of the phenomena).  Ultimately, they reapplied intuition, in a strategy called the “bootstrap” by philosopher Clark Glymour.

    When activists for justice depend on the academic/scientific thinking paradigm, they agree to rely on reason, and on experts and expert information, while justice requires wisdom and the wise.  Reason brings only expertise; only intuition can bring wisdom.  But wisdom that generates economic, social and environmental justice can’t come from a few.  We each must contribute; to contribute, we must desire justice, and we must adopt the thinking paradigm of the great scientists.  (‘Google’ prewiredunplugged.com for a non-technical exposition.)  When we ultimately apply our intuitions to the “what” and “how” of injustice, the “why” will be revealed.  With the “why” comes wisdom; with wisdom comes a way to justice.  Unless we all switch thinking paradigms, the ways to justice will remain hidden under the money, kept there by the academic/scientific thinking paradigm. 

  • John Flangan

    “Mr. Moyers, you ask: “Why?” Why the inequality, the injustice? As usual, you ask the right question.”True, it was the question I was asking but I didn’t hear a very satisfying answer. This is my current suspicion:Everyone is talking about the “greed” of the 1%. But no one is talking about the greed of the 99%.The reason the greed of the con-man is successful is due to the greed of the one conned. No Nigerian “banker” could con anyone except for his own personal greed.Remember the days not so long ago when Walmart actively advertized how much of their merchandise was “Made in America”? You don’t hear that any more do you?OUR greed for cheap crap is the primary reason for the problems we have. We have a yearly trade deficit with China alone in the range of hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars. All those jobs that make that crap used to be filled by Americans. Now American labor competes against poor Chinese farmers for those jobs.And there’s only one reason. Because the greed of the 99% wanted CHEAP CRAP. So much crap that we can’t even fit it all in our homes. Thus the EXPLOSION of storage space rentals that has occured in the last 20 years or so.IMO, the main fault is ours. We deliberately and knowingly chose to buy Chinese instead of American goods.That explains the stagnant wages of the middle class but what about the 1%? Well, their profits of course went up because their production costs went down. They’re selling us products for less but their production costs were much less.Buy American, it will cost you more though.

  • Possumpeople

    Welcome back! Love your program!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Weigle/1111631214 Jane Weigle

    We are so grateful to have Bill Moyers back on the airwaves regularly bringing important subjects and information to everyone of all persuasions and political leanings.
    Richard and Jane

  • Anonymous

    My only criticism of these guys is that they don’t trace the origin of the winner take all society back farther. (And perhaps they do in their book.) What we are seeing is the result of an economic system engineered by the Austrian and Friedmanesque strains of economic thought. While those folks theorized that increased power to capitalists would end in increased power to the middle class there has never been any indication that this has ever been the case. Instead unregulated capitalism has always resulted in the flow of power, both political and economic, to the “1%”. It is only when people have taken power to themselves through unions and social democratic movements that capitalism has actually served the interests of the vast majority of the people.

  • EEEEE

    It is so good to see Bill Moyers back, the voice of the average citizen grows smaller everyday, it is good to see us get some of it back. Unfortunately I think the wealthy are closer than they have ever been in achieving a global plutocracy and I don’t see them letting go of the progress they have made over the last few decades easily. They are retraining returning troops for riot control as we speak and have over 220 drones flying in AMERICAN air space right now. I think this could get very ugly before it’s done.
    Really we’re in no different position then our forefathers in the revolution, can we do it twice ? I don’t know, we may not be outnumbered but we may be out weaponized by a corporate owned military who thinks there’s too many of us anyways.

  • John Flangan

    I would have also liked to have seen them trace their hypothesis further back which would have made it easier to judge the accuracy of the theory.  But they didn’t.  You are wrong that the Austrian/Friedman economic philosophy engineered what we now see.  What the Austrian school calls for is a free market with free and fair competition.  The leftists always assumes this is what we have, when we don’t!  Unfair markets ONLY occur when the government either neglects enforceing free and fair competition or it promotes unfair competition in the market.

  • John Flangan

    Which is very simular to what the OWS movement is claiming.  WE DO NOT HAVE FREE AND FAIR COMEPTITION NOR DO WE HAVE A FREE MARKET.  The main reason is corporate corruption of the political system.  It is ultimately the government that causes these issues, not Capitialism.

  • Rickdrysdale

    Interesting that funding for Moyer and Company comes from the same people who are the flavour of the month demons ,the 1 percent.

  • John Flangan

    So True Rickdrysdale.  Listen to the list of “corporations” and foundations and you’ll hear a litany of the 1%…..  Seems to me the 1% are playing both sides against each other, as they have always done.  The real demon is unfair competition but they don’t want you to realize that.  Try to limit freedom and that only plays into their hands.  The rich prosper from unfair situations where they have the advantage.  Free and fair competition is the key to the success of the middle class.

  • John Flangan

    Hey, let’s not wear ties, and certainly let’s not wear white shirts :^)!  Just funnin’ ya :^).

  • Michiganjf

    The most obvious problem with corporations being considered equivalent to people in terms of speech (and thus influence), is that CORPORATIONS DON”T DIE… their influence is thus unlimited, even by natural demise, which means corporations’ influence, power, and wealth can simply continue to grow indefinitely.
    No individual person has the advantage of immortality, impressing their interests on the world multigenerationally.
    The only equivalence I can draw to that kind of multi-generational influence and power, as pertains to real people, is dynastic rule!!!
    Is that the privelege corporations deserve??!!! …the influence and power once enjoyed by kings and emperors, handed down from father to son and kept perennially in the “family,” to impose their interests on the public multigenerationally??!!!
    Well, that dynastic uber-status is EXACTLY what the conservative Roberts Court has bestowed upon corporations!
    Let’s stop treating corporate interests as entities with a Divine Mandate from heaven to impose their interests in perpetuity!

  • Michiganjf

    The most obvious problem with corporations being considered equivalent to people in terms of speech (and thus influence), is that CORPORATIONS DON”T DIE… their influence is thus unlimited, even by natural demise, which means corporations’ influence, power, and wealth can simply continue to grow indefinitely.
    No individual person has the advantage of immortality, impressing their interests on the world multigenerationally.
    The only equivalence I can draw to that kind of multi-generational influence and power, as pertains to real people, is dynastic rule!!!
    Is that the privelege corporations deserve??!!! …the influence and power once enjoyed by kings and emperors, handed down from father to son and kept perennially in the “family,” to impose their interests on the public multigenerationally??!!!
    Well, that dynastic uber-status is EXACTLY what the conservative Roberts Court has bestowed upon corporations!
    Let’s stop treating corporate interests as entities with a Divine Mandate from heaven to impose their interests in perpetuity!

  • http://twitter.com/empathysurplus Chuck Watts

    Find a book about “engineered equality” at http://empathysurplus.com. Click on “A Progressive Handbook.”

  • Ohio

    Thank goodness Bill is back!! Does anyone else ask these questions on the National Stage even though the stage may be small at the moment??

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF5WQXB7X2HMYHTTAFYZI3PRKY DW88

    There is more than fear. There is also a manipulation of deeply held belief. For example, the following is from a story in the LA Times. The reporter spoke to SC voters:

    “Garvin, 54, said she was sick of seeing government squander money through
    agencies that don’t do anything, and wants expenditures cut ‘in half’.

    “‘Washington is throwing money away
    through a lot of wasteful spending,’ she said…..

    “But Garvin, whose husband, a
    carpenter, has been out of work for four years, depends on the very government
    she wants to see cut back. She collects disability insurance — it is what she
    and her husband have survived on as he’s looked for work. Her mother is on
    Social Security. Garvin herself used to work as a nurse at a hospital where many
    patients paid for services through Medicaid,
    another program using federal money.”It’s like there is this blindness on where the vast majority of government spending goes…. It goes to the programs she, herself, depends upon. Yet, again and again, in these interview, the reporter found that people did not want those programs, nor the Defense Department, cut.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF5WQXB7X2HMYHTTAFYZI3PRKY DW88

    There is more than fear. There is also a manipulation of deeply held belief. For example, the following is from a story in the LA Times. The reporter spoke to SC voters:

    “Garvin, 54, said she was sick of seeing government squander money through
    agencies that don’t do anything, and wants expenditures cut ‘in half’.

    “‘Washington is throwing money away
    through a lot of wasteful spending,’ she said…..

    “But Garvin, whose husband, a
    carpenter, has been out of work for four years, depends on the very government
    she wants to see cut back. She collects disability insurance — it is what she
    and her husband have survived on as he’s looked for work. Her mother is on
    Social Security. Garvin herself used to work as a nurse at a hospital where many
    patients paid for services through Medicaid,
    another program using federal money.”It’s like there is this blindness on where the vast majority of government spending goes…. It goes to the programs she, herself, depends upon. Yet, again and again, in these interview, the reporter found that people did not want those programs, nor the Defense Department, cut.

  • Roberta Cook

    Your argument would be valid only if the people that make up corporations agreed to speak with one voice (donate $$$$$) but that is not what happens.  The CEO/Board/Owner decides which candidate or party to back and puts as much money as they want into the mix.  My voice and yours have much less money with which to particpate;  the loudest (richest) voice gets heard and the rest of us just become background noise.

  • Keith McFarland

    I just watched this and was grateful to hear a factual, in-depth analysis of our economy and it’s lopsided drift to reward the powerful and rich at the expense of what we all believe America should be. 

  • dalbin

    The conversation is about the middle class…the very people who “buy” those so called goods and services” of which you speak and who have supported our 70% consumer driven economy.

    In the face of stagnating wages, salary cuts and the loss of well paying jobs, more of the same doesn’t seem a good answer. 

    Unless of course, you are one of those with a vested interest maintaining the status quo.

  • Downtown

    About the clips of the woman speaking about how her family has done all they were “supposed to do” i.e., went to college, got married, put of having children until they were ready, got advanced degrees…but they are still struggling :

    While her story is compelling, she exemplifies the fallacy in the portrayal of the struggling middle class. Look at her. She can afford to get her hair colored and highlighted. She has enough to eat. I’m sure she has a car, cell phone, and maybe even cable t.v. I’m sure her house has central air and heat, and even hot and cold running water.

    She is not struggling to survive. She is struggling to maintain a certain standard of living that a majority of the inhabitants of the planet earth would consider extremely wealthy.

    While society should assist those who need help surviving, many are mistaking not being as wealthy as they want to be with being poor.

  • http://supdntk.blogspot.com William Tatum

    please add the G+ buttons so that I can +1 and share directly to G+. 

  • Anonymous

    The show on Hacker and Pierson was the first I knew of you being back on the air.   When I realized that there would be an ongoing show I really choked up.  Thanks for stepping up for us in this critical time.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t read Chandra’s comments to suggest that President Obama could turn the whole ship around.  Rather that he hasn’t fought hard.  Chandra is not alone in that view and if, according to Carolynn, is ignorant, then Chandra is in some good company.  Take a look at the August 6, 2011 New York Times opinion piece “What Happened to Obama?” by Drew Westin.  That said, I agree that “money out of politics” should be a part of all of our short list of things to work on.

  • Cordellia Harrison

    No. That is not true. Moyers and company has one corporate  funding source. He has had the same funding for all of the shows he has ever done. Mutual of America. The rest are foundations not demons. Though I see the point you are trying to make you are not making it with name calling. foundations who have a civic soul do not a demon make. 

  • ShirleyEalyKillam

    This is the information that needs to get to every citizen in the United States and the world.

  • Cordellia Harrison

    Mr. Flangan I liked your analysis but it does have some flaws.Number one would be that it was not the worker who took the manufacturing jobs out of the country. While I agree greed is a problem, that greed was instilled with idea of the “American Dream.” There are many different aspects that need to be examined why this greed exists and where in society it is concentrated. Most of us still struggle with affording day to day necessities not wanting extras.

  • Jscottu

    Moyers was deeply involved in developing the infamous “daisy” ad
    that implied that Goldwater’s election would result in nuclear war.
    The ad officially aired only once, but got so much free airtime and
    discussion that it easily did as much damage to Goldwater’s campaign as
    the Swiftboat vets did to Kerry’s in 2004. According to Jason Maoz at Commentary, years later Goldwater said of Moyers, “Every time I see him, I get sick to my stomach and want to throw up.”

    Moyers was apparently obsessed with outing homosexuals after Walter
    Jenkins was forced out of the Johnson Administration. Not only did he
    ask the FBI for information on two other LBJ staffers he suspected of
    being gay, he asked the FBI to investigate 15 members of Barry Goldwater’s staff and dig up any evidence they could find of homosexual activity.

    And then there was the 1964 Democratic Convention. That year, Fannie
    Lou Hamer led a group of African American “Freedom Democrats” in trying
    to integrate the Mississippi delegation. Moyers ordered the group ejected from the Convention and prevented them from achieving their goal.

    Worst of all, Moyers was heavily involved in the persecution of Rev. Martin Luther King by Hoover’s FBI.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    Do you have any links to back up your statements or are they just your opinion????

  • Michiganjf

    Something may be wrong with your site.

    There are many double posts here, and whenever I try to post a comment, it seems the attempt is unsuccessful, resulting in a second attempt to post… eventually, after an error message, the posts all show up.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    That’s just sick. We give and give to the upper class and you say she should be happy where she is. Did you miss the turn too Fox. Go back out, take a hard right at the first street sign and you’ll be home.

  • Anonymous

    He never had a true super majority. Many people believe that Liebermann was a reliable Democratic vote. He’s not. I’m not sure why he continues to caucus with Democrats because he has voted with Republicans since switching to an (I). You are also counting Kennedy in that 60. He wasn’t in DC, he was in MA and dying. Then we had DINO’s like Ben Nelson messing things up. I really don’t like the perpetuated myth of BHO’s super majority. It wasn’t the reality.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    You are so wrong it’s scary!!!!

  • Jan8022

    Free speech costs money, and as it pertains to political campaigns, is one and the same with corporate campaign contributions.   How to accord “free speech” to everyone without encouraging undue influence by those with more resources and access is the problem.  

    The issue of Citizens Union was that media could do one thing, but organizations had to abide by restrictions which in theory hampered full participation by all entities, particularly smaller non-profits, for instance.  

    One way to deal with the problem would be to redefine “personhood.”  Another way would be to allow everyone to contribute whatever they wanted but demand full disclosure.  

  • Mrvegiita

    I have not read the book but all of he inequality and the cause of this inequality may appear to stem from government and politics, but we also know that the big corporations pretty much own our government.  When big corporations make a mistake, they get bail outs, along with a bonus rather than letting the companies fail and start over. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592526552 RhY Thornton

    Yeah, but you were a media piece for Johnson.  So….  Who shot JFK?  Don’t get fooled Moyers is a corporate tool.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Flangan, I feel the need to enlighten you as to the basic operations of a corporation. is made up of stockholders who elect a board of directors who in accordance with corporate office holders DIRECT corporate activities. Stock holders have a voice in corp. activities but the BoD makes decisions,(plutocracy)

    Unions are made up of individuals who work for certain comanies and corporations under contract with these companies and corps. Every member has a vote in the decisions made by unions and majority rule (democracy).

  • Anonymous

    I wish I had said this! The major problem is that personal political choices will deflect most of what is described here. Both political parties have been part and parcel to this rape of America. The choice is in how do we change from a greedy America to a self-sustaining America?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sherri-Yarbrough/1008883663 Sherri Yarbrough

    You haven’t seen the President “fight at all for the repeal of Bush tax cuts for those above 250K at the end of 2010″?  WHERE WERE YOU??? That was the entire gist of the budget debate OF 2010!! Obama spent no less than six months advocating for the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the top 2%. The phrase was practically burned in our brains. The GOP were the ones who were perfectly willing to see taxes go up on EVERYONE in the midst of a still struggling economy rather than compromise on that point.  So get your facts straight already!

    As for Clinton and balanced budgets, I suggest you read back on just how contentious those battles were. And yet they could be considered well-behaved compared to what’s going on today. NO Congressional minority has EVER behaved as this GOP minority has. And yet you sit there absolving Congress for their failure to govern in favor of blaming Obama for THEM not doing THEIR jobs.  Shame on you!

  • Anonymous

    Read our history, from the very beginning it has been a  challenge by those with power to stay in power and to increase their power. First it was the acquisition of land and then the resources that were there on and in this land that drove these few.  With the coming of the industrial revolution their power multiplied to unlimited proportions.  There were attempts to control this outrage, but the damage was too deeply entrenched.  Today we are the recipients of this horror.  It was a shame that the early settlers found a land truly of “milk and honey”–FOR THEM!

  • keebo

    Dear DW,

    It was incredible to me, after seeing Moyers on T.V.
    again, that I would see one of my arguments at the top of the comments section.
    You are 100% correct in your statement #1. (at least as I perceive it).  As to your question – my credentials:  My wife and I were at the first Tea Party
    meeting in Richmond, Va., the 1st Tea Party march in Washington, D.C. and most
    of the subsequent meetings and marches in both locations.  We both understand the movement for the most
    part and agree with its general direction.  

     

    Some reasons for the above participation are (in no
    particular order):

    1. The villainous individuals and organizations involved
    not being held to task for their roll(s) in the financial crisis and destruction
    of the basis for our country and instead being bailed-out.

    2. The erosion of values in our society that have led to
    the aforementioned   

    3. Over-dependence on government and their crony
    organizations – both viewed by many as “the solution”;  to members of the Tea Party they have become enablers
    -  destroying the values that created this
    nation.

     

    It was interesting to see how “journalists” and major
    media types misunderstood and misrepresented the motives and composition of tea
    party members – applying only cursory investigation.  The reasons for this soon became obvious.  “They” were threatened by ordinary people
    taking the situation as they saw it into their own hands – without relying on interpretation
    or direction from “the media”.  This was
    amplified in particular, since Tea Party members perceptions were at odds with
    those of the media.

     

    To answer your question, I for one believe in this
    country, that freedom is what has allowed the fantastic facets of it to occur.  There are areas where government involvement
    is necessary – but only in providing a level playing field and defending that
    field from foreign incursion.  Instead government
    has become the playing field.  Instead of
    being a partner to our activities Government is now the director of those
    activities.  The goals of government are
    now self-perpetuation and expansion.  Once
    an idea is espoused a bureau is created with an internal and external constituency
    pulling to enlarge it and expand its purview. 
    Once an institution exists it must produce new regulation to remain relevant
    and perceived as necessary – why have it if it is not producing.

     

    Some of this is necessary – most is not.  Note the key word here –“necessary”.  Unfortunately the human mind is creative at arguing
    for the necessity of almost anything – with many “facts” and “results” to back “it”
    up.  I believe like our founders that expansion
    of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the major components concerning
    what direction to take on an issue.

     

    What this implies is not always apparent.  Some may argue that Capitalism should be a
    free for all because it will eventually sort out the best result.  Capitalism “is” critical to freedom
    (and vice versa) – but only when utilized on a playing field (a legally
    constructed playing field) that allows for its miracle to be truly expressed.  Capitalism is a Darwinian system based on survival
    of the fittest – with survival based on merit, not on corruption, the real
    measure of success.

     

    Financial manipulation is a corruption of the ground
    rules for success within the capitalist system. 
    The political corruption in the U.S. that has allowed this to happen is
    a genuine travesty.  Only a weak player
    like a Communist or Socialist can believe in such corruption – and the
    destruction of the miracles of true capitalism. 

         

  • John Flangan

    And who funds those foundations?  You and me?  No, the 1% do.  You’re being played.

  • John Flangan

    I never implied it was the worker who sent those jobs overseas, I said it was the consumer choosing to buy cheap crap that did.  If there were say five manufacturers of a competing product and one of those decided to go overseas the other four would eventually be FORCED to go overseas if they wanted to successfully compete with the first.  Now this is only true because of the short-sighted consumer who ends up kicking himself out of a job because he wants to save a few dollars and buys the cheap crap from China.  If the average American had decided to buy only American we would not be where we are and big business would have had NO INCENTIVE to go overseas.  The ultimate guilt belongs to the 99%.

  • Boomer@65

    If you do a follow up to the appearance of Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson, I believe some additional statistics would help everyone understand the importance of the issues they raise. I listened to their explanation of the graph and your reaction to it. Right away I hoped they would talk about how much income and wealth is really controlled by the “1%” or the even smaller top fraction of the wealthy? If we could confiscate all the wealth of the “1%” and tax any future earnings at 100%, how much money is involved? The guests are political scientists–so what do real economists think about their results or my modest proposal?

  • keebo

    I do not see where I can edit my comment so…

    “It was
    incredible to me, after seeing Moyers on T.V.
    again, that I would see one of my arguments at the top of the comments
    section.”

    When reading my
    comment I see I should have written the above as – “that I would see an
    argument I typically make, expressed by someone else at the top of the comment
    section.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF5WQXB7X2HMYHTTAFYZI3PRKY DW88

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    IMHO…. beginning in the late 1800s when Big Business began to be faced with organizing labor, they and the government began to formulate 2 propaganda equations. The Red Scare of the 1920s, then the Cold War (and even the Civil Rights movement) gave them fodder. The equations don’t hold water, but they played into many different things that Americans already deeply believed… and the Great Rift in America – What exactly should government be and do?

    1. US Democracy=Free-market Big Business Capitalism=Conservative-Right=Small Government=Freedom=Christianity=Truth, Justice, and the American Way=Good

    This is best exemplified by a statement from Debbie Riddle, Congesswoman from Houston, “”Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It’s not a tender heart. It’s ripping the heart out of this country.”

    Elsewhere she equated “free” with “public”.

    2. Communism/Socialism=totalitarianism= Liberal-Left=foreign anti-American=Big Government=Public=Atheist=Evil

    For over 125 years, there has been this slow, on-going brainwashing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF5WQXB7X2HMYHTTAFYZI3PRKY DW88

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    IMHO…. beginning in the late 1800s when Big Business began to be faced with organizing labor, they and the government began to formulate 2 propaganda equations. The Red Scare of the 1920s, then the Cold War (and even the Civil Rights movement) gave them fodder. The equations don’t hold water, but they played into many different things that Americans already deeply believed… and the Great Rift in America – What exactly should government be and do?

    1. US Democracy=Free-market Big Business Capitalism=Conservative-Right=Small Government=Freedom=Christianity=Truth, Justice, and the American Way=Good

    This is best exemplified by a statement from Debbie Riddle, Congesswoman from Houston, “”Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It’s not a tender heart. It’s ripping the heart out of this country.”

    Elsewhere she equated “free” with “public”.

    2. Communism/Socialism=totalitarianism= Liberal-Left=foreign anti-American=Big Government=Public=Atheist=Evil

    For over 125 years, there has been this slow, on-going brainwashing.

  • John Flangan

    And this is different because of what?  The union leaders make the decisions just like the BoD do.  The difference is you are FORCED to be a member of a union whether you want to be or not.  Not so with the stockholder who can sell his stock at anytime…..

  • John Flangan

    The only real answer is to allow free speech.  And for the people to be educated on the issues.  To restrict corporations while giving media “corporations” free reign is unfair.  There are of course problems with free speech, as anything has problems where men are involved.  But to restrict freedom is WORSE.

  • John Flangan

    I am right, that is scary to you?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    Not sure what economists think of your proposal but it works for me…………..

  • Bob

    “… the top 1/10 of 1% of the rich buy off politicians to get things they way they want.”
    So why aim your efforts at ” the generic rich “? The participants’ conclusion ( the authors, Moyers and the Occupiers) is that it is the fault of those bad, rich folks.  Why is it NOT obvious that the fault lies with THE POLITICIANS !!! If our beloved leaders did not accept bribes, then there WOULD not be an issue !  Get the protesters to protest in front of the Senate or the House or the homes of those politicians accepting the most money from the lobbyists /representatives (a.k.a. “the rich”).
    THAT is where the problem lies.
    As someone who is unemployed, trust me, I’m not oen of the rich guys, but I just can’t see why:
     the 99% love Facebook and it’s creator, but hate “the rich” ? He is rich. They love Apple products, make shrines to Steve Jobs, but “hate the rich”.  The rich aren’t the problem: if politicians do what “the rich want”, then the politicians are the problem. To illustrate my point : what if … instead of censure, the punishment of being found guilty of having lobbyists ( or rich people) influence your decision regarding anything before Congress was … hanging in the public square at noon?  Do you think THAT might change the modus operandi ?
    Trying to “change the view” of the BRIBERS is fruitless. However, holding ELECTED officials to their DUTY should be the objective. And easily enforceable. THAT is the solution.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    Links?????? to any facts about your assertion………

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    If you believe what you’re saying why not post a list of products “made in America” that all can buy. I suspect you’ll have a difficult time doing that but you could try. Do you remember when Sam Walton said he only sells American made products??? I challenge you to find an American product in either Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club. I think you are blaming the victim John….

  • Anonymous

    Bill, you and millions of others have seen this developing for 3 decades.  When Bill Moyers goes to the front lines, outside of Goldman Sachs, outside of the Whitehouse, outside Monsanto, outside Merck, outside Haliburton, outside the wealthy corporate elites and gets his head bashed in by the police, then and only then will people rise up.  Until then, Republicans legislators will continue to be paid to be obstacles and Democratic legislators will continue to be paid to be ineffective; and corporations and the wealthy will continue to rule.

  • Sam West

    The analysis lacks any ties to reality as most liberal ideas do. Basically suggests that the middle class, whatever that is, is becoming unhappy that the government does not work for it. The solution? Eliminate the corporate and rich special interests and cater to the  middle class special interest. What an original approach!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    corporation [ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃən]
    n
    1. (Law) a group of people authorized by law to act as
    a legal personality and having its own powers, duties, and liabilities
    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) Also called
    municipal corporation the municipal authorities of a city or town
    3. a group of people acting as one body
    4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) See public corporation
    5. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Anatomy)
    Informal a large paunch or belly

    Collins
    English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers
    1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    I don’t see anywhere in this definition the discussion of this person’s mother or father. Hmmmm perhaps because a corporation is an artificially created legal entity. Why not proclaim an Iphone a person? It would make as much sense as your argument.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    I think that’s called “crapola”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    Yes your being a right wing nutjob is scary……we finally agree on something

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    I’m seeing that too Mich but I’m not having that problem and I don’t see other dbl posts, maybe its your computer. I’m just guessing, not criticizing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    And yet like most right wingers you post no links to facts, just bs opinions……..

    Show me how the Bush tax cuts weren’t the problem, there are plenty of facts to corroborate what the authors found, but none to support what you’re posting.  Do you have a graph, a group of numbers somewhere that show all the jobs created by the Bush Tax Cuts????

    There are allot of facts showing that the one thing that made this country great after WW2 was the GI bill which sent hundreds of thousands to college and was the single biggest component in creating the largest and most affluent middle class in history. Care to provide a link to how eliminating education helps our country??? Rethugs say education is a waste of money and they back it up by cutting it to the bone and laying off teachers, how’s that working for you?

    Romney claims we are becoming a European welfare state. A European-style welfare state is what Romney claims Obama is creating. I
    wonder if that means we are becoming like Germany, the largest and most
    powerful economy on the face of the earth today. Oh wait they can’t be
    since they the Germans have strong labor unions, in fact it is DICTATED
    by their constitution that management MUST include labor unions on ALL
    Boards of Directors. They also have single payer insurance for all
    citizens; attack and break up all monopolies; ban outside corporations
    that are monopolies from taking over their markets. Strenuously defend
    and protect the middle class. In other words Germany is doing ALL the
    things that made the United States of America the greatest economic and
    social power on the planet, not to mention the greatest military power.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    And yet like most right wingers you post no links to facts, just bs opinions……..

    Show me how the Bush tax cuts weren’t the problem, there are plenty of facts to corroborate what the authors found, but none to support what you’re posting.  Do you have a graph, a group of numbers somewhere that show all the jobs created by the Bush Tax Cuts????

    There are allot of facts showing that the one thing that made this country great after WW2 was the GI bill which sent hundreds of thousands to college and was the single biggest component in creating the largest and most affluent middle class in history. Care to provide a link to how eliminating education helps our country??? Rethugs say education is a waste of money and they back it up by cutting it to the bone and laying off teachers, how’s that working for you?

    Romney claims we are becoming a European welfare state. A European-style welfare state is what Romney claims Obama is creating. I wonder if that means we are becoming like Germany, the largest and most powerful economy on the face of the earth today. Oh wait they can’t be since they the Germans have strong labor unions, in fact it is DICTATED by their constitution that management MUST include labor unions on ALL
    Boards of Directors. They also have single payer insurance for all citizens; attack and break up all monopolies; ban outside corporations that are monopolies from taking over their markets. Strenuously defend and protect the middle class. In other words Germany is doing ALL the things that made the United States of America the greatest economic and social power on the planet, not to mention the greatest military power.

  • Glasspolisher

    I’m glad to see Bill Moyers too.  He’s top notch.  The rest of your comments are scary.  The truth can be that way.  I never imagined I’d be living in some twisted capitalist REGIME.  Should we replace the stars on our flag with dollar signs ? How do we get our country back ? EEEEEEEE is right.

  • Naticktess

    you rock. THANK YOU !!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/gingeredawn redawn

    let us not forget the student loan issues (indentured slavery) in this discussion…both private and federal loans with no consumer protection. capitalization and unending interest…

    college graduates earn up to $1,000,000 more in their lifetime (bull$h!t) and the government and rich want it all.

  • Marie Isenburg

    So good to have Mr. Moyers back. Also, love the clean website.

    There are two issues for me. The first is to restore responsive, accountable and effective government. This program addressed that issue extremely well. The second issue has to do with the values expressed by our economic system-now globalized: we have become convinced that we can measure each others’ value by our respective positions in the system. Job one is reclaiming our government. Job two is reclaiming human respect and dignity.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RF5WQXB7X2HMYHTTAFYZI3PRKY DW88

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    IMHO…. beginning in the late 1800s when Big Business began to be faced with organizing labor, they and the government began to formulate 2 propaganda equations. The Red Scare of the 1920s, then the Cold War (and even the Civil Rights movement) gave them fodder. The equations don’t hold water, but they played into many different things that Americans already deeply believed… and the Great Rift in America – What exactly should government be and do?

    1. US Democracy=Free-market Big Business Capitalism=Conservative-Right=Small Government=Freedom=Christianity=Truth, Justice, and the American Way=Good

    This is best exemplified by a statement from Debbie Riddle, Congesswoman from Houston, “”Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It’s not a tender heart. It’s ripping the heart out of this country.”

    Elsewhere she equated “free” with “public”.

    2. Communism/Socialism=totalitarianism= Liberal-Left=foreign anti-American=Big Government=Public=Atheist=Evil

    For over 125 years, there has been this slow, on-going brainwashing.

  • Tom

    When you left the air, I felt as though a limb had been cut off. Your first show back on the air did not disappoint. Please keep yourself healthy, so you can continue to treat us to shows like this for the next 50 years!

  • John Flangan

    This is true for any and all groups Roberta.  So what is your point?  That there should be no groups because someone may disagree in part or whole with what the group is saying?  That makes no sense.  It’s true that the rich can get their voice out more so than me or you but the answer to that is not to limit free speech but to THINK AND EXAMINE what is being said.  The greatest thing about the internet is this freedom to get your ideas out there.  Remember it was lowly bloggers that took down the mighty Dan Rather.  A few people sitting behind a computer monitor, just like you are right now, taking down a corporate giant.  And the media is CORPORATE.

  • Anonymous

    What we find it so tragic, that which is happening today is that it is happening today – yesterday there were events every bit as terrible as that which are happening now. Humans are highly aggressive animals a process necessary for survival.

  • Wcoady

     Your show with Hackers and Parson is a real eye opener.   Mr Moyers, democratic values are a myth these days, and we have let it happen.  Political Party’s are nothing more than vehicles used by the top 1% to hijack what should “Government” for all.

    Government for the people by the people is nolonger…government is run by a bunch of pirates who control these political party’s . We the voter are use by these political gangs to justify the abuse of power , we give to these gangs when we vote.

    I will nolonger justify my own demise , by supporting any candidate connected to a political gang . Political Party’s shackle “their” candidates .  The system must change if “we” are to ever see anything that mirrors a democratic governing system that belongs to all the taxpaying citizens and voters.

    Our political system these days is geared forthe  corrupt , we need not point at other counties for their wrong doings…until we clean up this sewer he at home.

  • Diane

    In the 1670′s the Virginia House of Burgesses passed laws to make slavery legal – because they could.  And who did this?  The wealthy planters who were also the burgesses.  How different is it now – the very wealthy are passing laws to favor themselves -great health care for themselves, forgiveness of school loans for family members.  Are we not becoming slaves to the laws currently being passed, because they can….

  • John Flangan

    ???  That’s exactly my point Krissy.  The only reason you don’t find american made products today is because the 99% bought the cheap chinese crap instead.  What did the 99% think was going to happen when they did that?  Exactly what we see today, that’s what.  It is ultimately the fault of the 99%.

  • Alan Meyer

    I just

  • John Flangan

    Like a union or political action committee they are an assembliage of people, who all have mothers and fathers, every one of them.  Your whole construct is false.  Are you saying the teacher’s union should not be free to make political speech???  How about Move-on.org?  them too?  What about the main stream media, they’re corporations too you know.  Your premise is false.

  • Alan Meyer

    I just saw the show with Hacker and Pierson.  Thank you very much for airing this show.  This is information that the American people need to see.

  • John Flangan

    Krissy, wishing things to be the way you want them to be doesn’t make them that way.  A corporation is no different than a union or a political action committee or a media outlet.  They are all composed of people and as such have free speech rights.  All of them.

  • John Flangan

    I tend to lean towards the full disclosure idea too.  But we do have a history of allowing anonymous speech and fear of retribution by whomever is a concern if you want to maximize freedom.  There are ways to resolve many of these issues but as always when man is involved no matter what you do it will not be perfect.  But the solution is NOT to restrict freedom.

  • Sandy

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Bill Moyers & Company for featuring Winner Takes All Politics.  I have said all this for years, and no one listens.  No one wants to hear that opinion.  No one wants to think about that issue.  I was forced out of my job, I left rather than be put out without retirement.  Every time I contact my representative to vote the way I want them to,  I get emails, phone calls and letters asking me for money.  They are tongue tied when I tell them I cannot buy their vote. Please keep this issue in front of the public.  Let us without money, know what we can do to get our government back.  I’m from the revolutionary 60′s, and am floored at the number of younger generation who are just laying down and taking it, telling me that that is just the way it is.  I will fight for this, but can’t do it with money.  How do I become a part of that larger voice without money, that just might get heard!?

  • John Flangan

    Thanks for adding to the conversation :^).  I don’t consider myself to be right wing.  I firmly believe in this statement: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.  You know who said that don’t you?

  • John Flangan

    Well, corporations do die.  American motors, Kodak just filed for chapter 11, all sorts of corporations die or are bought out.  But that really doesn’t matter because the corporation is an assembliage of people.  Like a union or a political party.  Political parties are multigeneraltional and consist of people who may not agree fully with what the party ‘leadership’ is doing.  The bottom line is people have the right to gather together as a group and make political speech.

  • Lady45

    welcome back.  I have been a fan for many years and as usual you bring the point down front.  More over and my point; the inequality you speak of covers all races and income brackets and the inability of America to forsee that holding back the progress of one group of people would impact the future of our country and all of our people.

    Many may not agree, but the drugs they tried to concentrate in the black neighborhoods is now in every neighborhood.  The redlining by banks in the black neighborhoods, is now pervasive in most neighborhoods; foreclosure is rampant and banks are indifferent.  Welfare was promoted by breaking up the black family and creating welfare generations.  Now as many if not more whites than blacks are having children out of wedlock and creating their own welfare generations. 

    All of the problems Americans are experiencing today have been ever present in the black community for as long as I can remember.  The “white” middle class is trying to figure out how they got here, not understanding they are contributing factors to the decline in the demise of their communities by virtue of their desire to keep blacks in their place.

    Our economic status is no longer a black or white issue, it is truly a greed issue.  The desire of the few to maintain power, control the  uses of money and restrict the participation of the masses.   I am concerned that the American Dream no longer exists.   

  • Bernadine T. Shea

    Hacker & Pierson are not the only ones who know what’s been going on.  I thank them for their book (which I will read) & for doing this interview.  I believe that others would speak up but are fearful of the economic consequences to them and their families.  In my opinion most of the middle class are not listening and walk around clueless, manipulated, & powerless just the way the 1% likes it.  Isn’t it interesting that the “minorities” will be in the majority soon and it won’t even matter!  I’ve been wondering how that was going to get played out in American politics.  The middle class needs some powerful
    affective leadership to come to the table because as it stands now the 1% has all the money and all the power.
    I am so disappointed in ALL of our politicians and I worry
    for the next generation……

  • J Z

    It is thrilling and critical to have Bill Moyers back. His voice has been missed. It’s time to speak truth to power and to the American people.

  • John Flangan

    According to your definitions given above a corporation is defined as :3. a group of people acting as one body
    And as such they have free speech rights.

  • Paul R. Jones

    One day there will be another revolution in this country

  • Annbradford

    WONDERFUL to have Bill Moyers back!!!!!  

  • Henry Juhala

    I
    saw the Moyers interview. They are so right on. For example, Reagan
    was under pressure from various neocons to reduce the amount of aid
    the government gave to the needy and the poor. The argument was that
    private citizens, if given the opportunity and more money in their
    pockets in the form of reduced taxes, would step up to the plate and
    be responsible to 1) create more jobs to employ more people and help
    keep them out of poverty and 2) give more money to charity to replace
    programs the government was wasting money on in overhead, excessive
    administration costs, etc.

    However,
    except for reducing programs that cut much of the safety net away
    from the neediest and poorest, all the promises did not happen. The
    amount of money given to charities remained relatively the same.
    Reagan actually sent about 2 million jobs overseas, raised the
    unemployment levels and the poverty level. What did happen, though,
    was that he lowered income tax rates on the very rich from 69 percent
    to 28 percent.

    What
    this accomplished was a major redistribution of wealth from the poor
    to the rich. Before Reagan took office in 1980 the top 1 percent of
    income earners owned 20 percent of the wealth in America. After he
    left office in 1989 the top 1 percent owned 35 percent of wealth in
    the U.S. That is clear evidence how the tax policy in the USA
    purposely help the rich become richer. In 8 years under Reagan
    there was a 75 percent increase in the percent of wealth that the top
    1 percent owned. That was all manipulated by a major reduction in
    the amount of federal taxes the very rich and their corporations had
    to pay.

    There
    was a similar effect that happened under the Bush tax breaks for the
    rich. The breaks weren’t as great so the redistribution of wealth
    was not quite as high. But, the major flow of redistribution of
    wealth continues to occur mostly because the very rich usually pay
    less than 20 percent of their total incomes in federal taxes as a
    result of the capital gains taxes on income from investments on
    stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals, etc., which stands at
    only 15 percent. 2/3rds of the wealthiest 1 percent earn most of
    their income through financial means that are taxed only as capital
    gains despite the fact their tax rates on income earned as salaries
    and wages is supposed to be 35 percent. Basically most of them pay
    only half the income taxes they are supposed to pay.

    Importantly,
    after their first $106,000 in earnings, the very rich also get to
    stop paying 6.2 percent into Social Security (matched by their
    employer contribution of 6.2 percent) or 12.4 percent if they are
    self-employed. That usually means their secretaries and office staff
    are paying almost twice the percentage of their incomes in federal
    taxes while their rich employer gets to keep the difference as a
    percentage of income and add it to their wealth portfolio.

    Those
    are just a few examples of how the rich manipulate taxes and other
    things to help redistribute wealth from the poor and middle class to
    themselves.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q5NF4NMWSA7NAJV5YSJRAYYXZQ Henry Juhala

    I
    saw the Moyers interview. They are so right on. For example, Reagan
    was under pressure from various neocons to reduce the amount of aid
    the government gave to the needy and the poor. The argument was that
    private citizens if given the opportunity and more money in their
    pockets in the form of reduced taxes would step up to the plate and
    be responsible to 1) create more jobs to employ more people and help
    keep them out of poverty and 2) give more money to charity to replace
    programs the government was wasting money on in overhead, excessive
    administration costs, etc.

    However,
    except for reducing programs that cut much of the safety net away
    from the neediest and poorest, all the promises did not happen. The
    amount of money given to charities remained relatively the same.
    Reagan actually sent about 2 million jobs overseas, raised the
    unemployment levels and the poverty level. What did happen, though,
    was that he lowered income tax rates on the very rich from 69 percent
    to 28 percent.

    What
    this accomplished was a major redistribution of wealth from the poor
    to the rich. Before Reagan took office in 1980 the top 1 percent of
    income earners owned 20 percent of the wealth in America. After he
    left office in 1989 the top 1 percent owned 35 percent of wealth in
    the U.S. That is clear evidence how the tax policy in the USA
    purposely help the rich become richer. In 8 years under Reagan
    there was a 75 percent increase in the percent of wealth that the top
    1 percent owned. That was all manipulated by a major reduction in
    the amount of federal taxes the very rich and their corporations had
    to pay.

    There
    was a similar effect that happened under the Bush tax breaks for the
    rich. The breaks weren’t as great so the redistribution of wealth
    was not quite as high. But, the major flow of redistribution of
    wealth continues to occur mostly because the very rich usually pay
    less than 20 percent of their total incomes in federal taxes as a
    result of the capital gains taxes on income from investments on
    stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals, etc., which stands at
    only 15 percent. 2/3rds of the wealthiest 1 percent earn most of
    their income through financial means that are taxed only as capital
    gains despite the fact their tax rates on income earned as salaries
    and wages is supposed to be 35 percent. Basically most of them pay
    only half the income taxes they are supposed to pay.

    Importantly,
    after their first $106,000 in earnings, the very rich also get to
    stop paying 6.2 percent into Social Security (matched by their
    employer contribution of 6.2 percent) or 12.4 percent if they are
    self-employed. That usually means their secretaries and office staff
    are paying almost twice the percentage of their incomes in federal
    taxes while their rich employer gets to keep the difference as a
    percentage of income and add it to their wealth portfolio.

    Those
    are just a few examples of how the rich manipulate taxes and other
    things to help redistribute wealth from the poor and middle class to
    themselves.

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

    Might i suggest that we  stop supporting political partys with our time,our money and our votes. Why are we supporting these corrupt political gangs at our own demise.  Wake up America.

  • Val

    And just where are those generous 1% ers getting the dough? From the workers that are paid almost enough to eat with food stamps,and live in assisted housing.

  • Mdmiles

    Re: the Bush tax cuts of 2001 were demonized as serving the wealthy yet everyone seems to ignore (forget) how bad the economy was at that time. Recall how so many blamed him for destroying the economy which he inherited in shambles. Krugman, et al claim tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy but where would we be without them in 2001? Unfortunately 9/11 confounded solid and sustained growth and we lost our way.

  • Val

    Perhaps the observation could be “change on the surface,continuity of power beneath the surface” I think that came from “BOSS”

  • Val

    Really,save your “scare” for a government that can jail without charge,imprison indefinitely,render to other nations to torture,and execute without trial,signed into law by your hero,Barak Obama with a signing statement that his administration wouldn’t use it on US citizens( except for the citizens he already smoked with drones in other countries),but hey,now we gotta reelect him,or the next Prez just might now that the “power” is codified.

  • Anonymous

    great to see the Truth spoken about how the Elite bought Congress and own Congress lock, stock and barrell.

    to see the Truth spoken so clearly is wonderful. simple truths are so easily understood. which is why this truth isn’t on the MSM.

    30 Years of theft from the American Middle Class. Winner take all, the blueprint on how 
    The Rich took control of America. through buying Congress. 

    good to see Bill Moyers putting the Truth out there for us to see. 

  • Nanette

    Welcome Back Bill!  You’re still a breath of fresh air and a blessing in my life

  • Chris in Colorado

    Glad to see you are back, Bill! This was another fantastic show!!! You rock!!!

  • Sue

    Love the show today, and sooo happy you’re back !!!

  • Randy

    Bill, glad your back. Noone has filled the void since the Journal. The truth spoken eloquently cannot be denied.

  • Louis

    Simple. Talk to others, talk, speak, talk ….. The French revolution was started by those who had no money.

  • http://twitter.com/rickjbarry rick barry

    Why can’t the filthy rich use their power and money to help the whole country heal?
    Maybe they could be the catalyst of change we tried so hard to elect in 2008?

    Maybe they could if they were not so F’in selfish and addicted to greed!

    The heck with them … we will take back our country, WE are willing to die for it and WE have almost nothing too lose anymore.
    See ya in the streets !!!!

  • Betty Bergan

    Welcome back Bill Moyers. I have missed your indepth style of journalism, the way you uncover the truth. Hacker and Pierson have simply confirmed what I knew was true, there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans; they are of the same ilk, bought and paid for by a small but powerful elite. Thank you for caring and for talking to us once again.

  • Anonymous

    Amen, you betcha, right on.  Thanks…

  • http://www.billmoyers.com Theresa Riley

    Glad you like our website. Thanks!

    Moderator

  • Bigdaddyjohnny

    Yes, very well said indeed.

  • http://www.billmoyers.com Theresa Riley

    Just a reminder that personal attacks on the boards are against the comment board guidelines. Please refrain from name calling and keep the conversation on topic.

    Best-
    Theresa Riley
    Moderator

  • Dave

    One of the more damning recorded practices was underlined when Morgan ceased the annual bonus program since it received federal funding.  The shareholders of that first year of profitability, of which some were pension plans and money market funds,  benefited by more than double the norm as that money did not go to the millionaire brokers within the company in the form of bonuses.  Yet I did not hear of any shakeups by the shareholders during that year’s annual meeting or subsequent annual meetings.  Bonuses have been reinstated making the brokers richer-they make money whether their clients make or lose money- and the shareholders less rich by shouldering their broker’s bonuses.  I am hearing again on the radio of ARMs being offered (mortgages based upon speculation that the housing prices will rise faster than the debt accumulates).  It is amazing that what should have been a revolution in the market place is no more than a blip on the changing screen of an I-pod.  It is not only market place engineering by the rich, but a serious lack of action in the political arena by the common investor. 

  • http://www.billmoyers.com Theresa Riley

    Thanks for your note. I think the boards were a bit overwhelmed earlier today, resulting in a delay in posts showing up and a lot of double posts. Sorry for the confusion. (I’m trying to clean it up right now.)

    Best-
    Theresa Riley
    Moderator

  • Michiganjf

    Okay, I’ll concede that can corporations can “die, ” as you say.

    If I had instead written “CORPORATIONS DON”T NECESSARILY DIE, AS DO PEOPLE,” that particular technicality would have been rendered moot, yet the point I made would have stood just the same.

    As to your other point, stating:
    ” that really doesn’t matter because the corporation is an assembliage of people,” I would say yes, and all of those people already have a voice, just as we all do… why do some people need a second voice in governemt, represented through a corporation and endowed with the “uber-status” outlined above?

    Unions used to get their strength from the clout their membership had when voting as a unified block… their power was in sheer numbers, not necessarily dollars.

    So I’d say this… don’t let unions spend unlimited amounts of money either, when it comes to support of political candidates… instead, let their clout come from organized membership, as it does in some churches (i.e.- the catholic church, evangelicals, etc…).

    Entities that don’t NECESSARILY die shouldn’t be given the same status in a democracy as individual people PLUS potentially unlimited funds without risking individual sacrifice PLUS no natural expiration date.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adnan.s.ahmad Adnan Ahmad

    I didn’t know you were back on air. I missed your programs on PBS. Nothing wrong with capitalism but when a minuscule select few start controlling the rungs of the ladder something needs to be done about it. I am all for capitalism and market economy (or what I understand by it) but not for the moneybags to control our government at the cost of the 99%.

  • Johnnyjm

    Mr. Moyer’s  Glad your Voice is back with US!

  • spreadoption

    Obama is a Republican. Think about that …

  • Synergy

    God, am I glad you’re back, Bill! I have missed your unrivaled investigative journalism and ethical reporting so much. As usual, your work on winner-take-all politics is top notch.

  • John Flangan

    Perhaps or perhaps not Val, but Moyers gets paid from the 1%, in addition to those who do donate to PBS.  “Viewers like you”

  • John Flangan

    I would say this, your suggestion, although “reasonable” is an “abridgement” of speech and therefore a violation of my 1A rights.  The 1A says the government cannot abridge my speech.  To say I am limited to only speaking to my own group whether it’s a union, or PAC, or church is to abridge that speech.

    Here’s an interesting blog post by a lawyer who is against the decision.  He brings up some points I was unaware of.  But I still think it was decided correctly.  Interestingly though the SCOTUS decision upheld by 8-1 according to him the notion of disclosure, who is paying for the ads….

    It appears to have been a “messy” decision.

    http://tinyurl.com/78measb

  • Etienne

    As long as the so called Market exists we will move ever closer to feudalism. When there are people who want untold wealth and power without having to do productive work to get it then the market will be bent to serve them. There is no such thing Free Market Forces. In the end People manipulate all their systems and institutions. Insider trading in one form or another will always corrupt outcomes. We are all being forced to gamble, if we like it or not, and the frustrated among us know that THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS.

  • Bill

    Delighted that Bill Moyers has come to serve again with the unvarnished truth.  I feel so sad for my fellow Americans although I reside in Stockholm Sweden with my Swedish wife.   Through Democrats Abroad, we are trying to make a difference, in part through our experience of living in Stockholm. 

  • Tunes Smith

    BS! … you people on the far left continue to peddle your repackaged “inequality” nonsense while the majority-class (that be most Americans) say otherwise – and do so consistently.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx

    You & your friends in the 2% are the only ones whining about who you call the “1%”, according to Gallup’s most recent poll. Quit bitc**ing and get a job!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    Are you kidding me, your blaming the American public for what Wal-Mart puts on the shelves? Perhaps the reason there are on American products is because of Wal-Marts purchasing philosophy of destroying Mom and Pop shops in this country by buying the cheapest crap possible and in doing so driving those American companies out of business. Yet your premise is that it’s because Americans only “demand” cheap. Wow, a middle class that has been wage suppressed for 40+ years. Have barely enough to keep afloat and you blame them for the monopolistic behavior of Wal-Mart.  You really do live in your own reality don’t you? What color is the sky in your world?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    Correct a group of people each who have one vote as individuals you claim get an second vote by being part of a dictatorship know as a corporation. Not exactly “one man, one vote”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORQ7S6ER7ACHDOUPSNVGX3SIMI Krissy

    How about the personal attacks on Bill Moyers or don’t they count???

  • gpl

    “However, holding ELECTED officials to their DUTY should be the objective. And easily enforceable. THAT is the solution.”

    Here here!

  • Wcoady

    is the answerIf holding these elected party sheep to do their duty ,is the answer and god knows we have all tried that, you best come up with another solution.

    You cannot hold a corrupt system accountable , when you do not control it, you see big corporation hold the power…they have been buying these elected candidates for years.

    The best way to hold this corrupt system accountable is “do not support it” ..save your vote ..stay away from the ballot box.

  • gpl

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

    In fact I would suggest that you don’t even respond to any comments at all and stay away from the comment box.

    Sorry couldn’t help myself. Glad to have B.M. back.

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

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

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

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    Wow!  Where did you get, i.e., source for “…The shareholders of that first year of profitability, of which some were pension plans and money market funds,  benefited by more than double the norm as that money did not go to the millionaire brokers within the company in the form of bonuses…”  Powerful stuff that I and others could use in fighting the good fight.  Thanks…

  • leftofcenter

    Several factors are at work here. Many of which are never discussed by the corporate MSM.

    First, not all but many people Inside the Beltway are there because they love the money and the power. You could list all kinds of cliches (the center of power, being with the movers and shakers and so on). Most politicians that I’ve seen in D.C. really live for re-election. To say that’s the system so why are you blaming them is avoiding the issue.

    Another problem is the corporate MSM attitude of we never criticize the President. Many say that Obama is a war criminal and should be impeached. Of course, that’ll never happen before an election. Yet, if someone does criticize Obama, they lose access. Therefore, I keep my mouth shut and keep my well-paying “network correspondent” position with all of its perks.

  • leftofcenter

    When necessary, normal people will do and say anything they have to to survive. We’re now in a Depression. The politicians continue to insult our intelligence by saying “the Worst Economic Period Since the Great Depression”. If you’ve lost your job through no fault of your own,which is more important? Spending endless hours on the phone being blown off by various Congresspeople? Or, fighting thru the bureaucracy to be able to get food stamps and not become homeless?

    From now till the election, the class warfare and racism will only get worse. 

  • Keith Shikany

    My wife and I are so grateful that Bill Moyers is back on television. He is an American treasure. He is the embodiment of  CardinalNewman’s Educated Man.

  • Danielle

    I wonder why this is an either or proposition.  With Citizen’s united it is near impossible to know either side of that equation.

    I would posit that both should be hung in the public square… no one gets off the hook.

  • http://www.andrewrlong.com Andrew R Long

    Your characterization of “the protestors” as “hating the rich” is wrong, my friend. Many protestors I know do not “hate the rich”. In fact, they wish they *were* the rich. 

    Americans love the wealthy, but we *hate* a cheater.

  • Danielle Gleason

    I would add, that as the 1% that signed a letter saying that they shouldn’t have their taxes reduced at the point of the Bush Tax Cuts, I believe that this state of affairs is TERRIBLE for american business.  We have empowered and protected the least innovative, the most greedy and aggressive that is very inefficient.

    Ask the smart decent people you know who work for corporations and you will find a well of stupidity in management that is wasteful and inefficient.

    The disfunction we were told was in the beauracracy is now in our corporations because they have isolated themselves from real value in their companies and substituted the manipulation of the marketplace for real talent and ingenuity.

    This is what always leads to the fall of a society, this kind of corruption, where you can be very bad at what you do but still make a lot of money because you have rigged the game.

    It is paramount that our companies operate well, these tax structures and legislative programs makes it feasible for companies not to know where their talent is, the only talent that is useful is ‘hired gun’.

  • Gdejo

    This election cycle lets demand our law makers make some changes in out politics and promise them that if they cannot do it in two years we will elect someone else to do it.  The changes:  
    1. Make it unlawful to do any paid political advertising.  We did it for cigarettes and alcohol, so let’s do it to protect our democracy from misinformation.  A side affect will be to remove the need to raise so much money for political campaigns.  FCC will require TV & radio coverage to include the proposals of all candidates 
    2.  Change the law to allow anyone to lobby lawmakers, as long as they do not receive any PAY or compensation to do so.  No professional lobbyists allowed.  Stiff penalties, including jail time for violations.  Allow free speech, but restrict “paid free” speech.  These 2 items should remove the need to have a law restricting corporate speech.  
    3.  Create a publicly funded campaign system with no opt-out provisions.  If you want to run, you have to use publicly provided funds ONLY.  Equal the playing field; no one is allowed to outspend the other candidates.  Incumbents not allowed to use the franking priviledge to send “newsletters” to constituents within 90 days of the election.  
        If we all do this now then we will see whether out lawmakers support a democracy representing the interests of the 99% or the 1% (or the 0.1%).

  • Rstudio2

    Please watch “The Century of the Self” ( BBC on YouTube) to understand how easy it is to manipulate the minds of the masses into predetermined responses. 

    Stay informed.

    Think for yourself!

    Fight for change.

    Democracy is for the good of all, not for the privileged few.

  • Unkerjay

    If I have five children and one has pneumonia, I don’t treat them all the same.  I’m not being a responsible parent if I do.

    President Obama bends over backwards to be fair to ALL when  some are disproportionately disadvantaged: Blacks and Native Americans most notably.

    I expect President Romney to ignore the poor in favor of corporations.  It’s not what I expected or expect President Obama to do.

    I expect he will be boxed in by republicans who resent social welfare more than corporate welfare.

    And, when, the poor are left out of the conversation when a democrat is in the white house as well as when a republican is in the white house, when regardless of a democratic or a republican president or majority, problems remain or worsen, and the loudest voices are those who care the least, where is the prospect for hope OR change?

  • Anonymous

    Americans have the government they voted for the last 30 years.  People who are targeted by law for exploitation continue to vote for the people who exploit them.  I thought this trend would change with the most recent economic debacle.  Apparently things still aren’t painful enough for the Joe Plumbers of the country.

  • Morneblade13

    Bill, first, it’s wonderful to see you back on the air, your absence has been sorely missed.
    The interview with Hacker & Pierson was both enlightening, and dishearting. Enlighting, in that here again, I see put into words, what I have been feeling, and experiencing for the last 20 yrs. And dishearting, in that I really don’t think that the vast majoritiy of the citizens of this country will heed the call to do something, … Anything, about it. We have been brainwashed into believing that the top 1%ers actually care what is happening to the rest of us, (can you say “Trickle-down” economics??). 
    Having served in the military, I think I know something about sacrifice for my country. But when I see politicians, (both Rep. and Dem), chasing the “all powerful dollar”, not only to get elected, but to insure that they, and their families and friends will not have to be subjected to the disenfranchizement, that the rest of us are going through, (just look at Romney who thinks that his sons on the campaign trail are doing the same service for the country as even the lowest enlisted man in any branch of the military, or the revolving door the is the Wall St./Government-regulatory system), it is soul crushing . And, sadly, with the demize of our educational system, I’m afraid the the people who are most affected by these practices, will never have the intellectual curiosity to even consider reading Hacker & Pierson’s book (to the detriment of us all, I fear)
    But knowing that you’ll be here every week, pointing out these, and other inequities in our current system, gives me some,(but not much) of the “optimisum” these two men are expressing.
    Please keep bringing this kind of journalisim back to television…. we need it now more then ever….

  • Mhopping

    I’m firing this off to everyone on my e-mail list

  • http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/ Louis V Lombardo

    Thank God for Bill Moyers!

  • Anonymous

    While the study is very important and seems quite correct, there are two other equally important aspects:
    1) The core problem that caused the crash of 2008, still unfolding here and in other areas of the globe, was inadequate demand for goods and services as massive inequality grew leading to the inadequate demand for goods and services by the superrich (which would have led to unemployment and spiraling depression earlier) offset by massive excess spending by government (growing government debt) AND by middle class debt of all types including particularly mortgages.   The latter for a long time took up the slack in demand and kept the economy growing.           Now that it has become clear to the “investing classes” that much of the debt can not be repaid at face value (Greece is the poster child for this situation — but so are American mortgage loans), people and instituions are understandably too scared to continue borrowing or investing.  Note the “investing” here means actually using goods and services, not just financial assets.  The result is a lack of demand , which in turns leads to lack of employment, which in turn further deters rising demand and recovery.2)  One solution is a reduction in income inequality, which as Hacker & Pierson ably demonstrate requires major political change.  The other solution is for the superrich to spend a far greater proportion of their incomes thus bolstering demand while many of the rest of us becomes servants, security guards and ward leaders for them to maintain their wealth and power.  This is the way things used to operate in the middle ages in Europe and in earlier times under the Emperors of China or the Pharaohs of Egypt.  
              Saddest of all I think is that this latter possibility does not actually enhance not only our lives but even those of the superrich.  Would you really want to have giant yachts and 50,000 square foot castles while spending your brief time on earth cordoned by guards, guarding against obesity which will kill you no matter how rich your are, organizing security protection for your children and fearing for your eventual overthrow?   It will also ultimately lead to revolution [E.g., the Czar and Russia in 1917 or Murbrak in Egypt last year]

    3) It is I think quite interesting that both Occupy Wall St. and the Tea Party are driven at their grass roots level by similar surging discontent and anger with the situation.  Occupy Wall St. wants to solve the problem by changes in government and the Tea Party wants to solve it by eliminating government.   It seems to me that we need a sensible mixture of both.  Hopefully the need for balance will eventually be recognized by these apparent opponents, and we can actually move to improve the situation for all of us.  Otherwise the superrich, seemingly not so wise as their wealth might suggest, will continue to manipulate the mass of the populace as their lives as well as ours continue to worsen.  

  • Joybird1

    Thank you so much for coming back on TV.
    I ONLY hope the American people are not beat back.
    Nothing in the press , arrests, pushing the 99 % away.
    Big Money will not tolerate we weak.

  • Klagya

    You elect Rich Republicans to govern the country: What do you expect?

  • Suzyogi

    Bill,
    I am so glad you are back on the air.  Not to bring up a negative but I have to ask because I know you won’t be on this Earth forever, are you grooming someone significantly younger than yourself to do what you do?  Aside from Mother Jones, The Nation magazines and Democracy Now, I don’t know where we’ll get news and research that is truth after you’re gone.  Those publications and broadcasts may be around but your journalistic style and knowledge are unique.

    I missed your broadcasts while you were gone.

  • David F., N.A.

    It’s about time, Moyers. 
    I thought we’d lost you to sunny beaches and Mai Tai’s.  Glad to see you back in the teacher’s chair.

     

    Your two guests hit the nail on the head: politics is the
    cause of our financial mess and politics can get us out.  That brings us to your second segment. It
    appears that the only way to get our politicians to work for us is OWS (or better yet, we need to start with an ODC movement).

  • Jslipper

    Obama has no choice. He has to ensure his daughters will be taken care of later in life. He cannot afford to bite the hands that may feed them someday. The stakes are too high. He doesn’t want his prodigy to end up like Jimmy Carters. Instead, he wants something for his family closer to the Clintons. Play the game and get along. Nobody with his DNA will ever have to worry about a paycheck again. I am sure this is what drives his behavior. He is a father and husband first, president second.

  • James Herendeen

    A credible perspective of how things have gotten the way they have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougmillison Doug Millison

    Thank you. Great show.

  • Piksnilderf

    Off with their heads.

  • Sparcs500

    This show has opened my eyes and given me voice.

  • victormperri

    One of the most thoughtful and important pieces I have seen in years

  • Disgusted

    Let’s be real..it’s the republican party that’s rolled out the red carpet for Wall Street. You want to see another documentary watch this one… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWnB9FGmWE   This tells how Mitt Romney’s company gutted companies, took out debt, pocketed the debt, then let the company sink into bankruptcy. He’s worth 250 million dollars supposedly and says he wants to cut long term cap gains rate to zero…Wall Street and Corporate America will pay their employees in stock and they will work tax free. The deficit will increase and when the economy tanks again, the GOP will claim it’s the middle classes fault and gut Medicaid, SS, and the unions. Wages will drop, and the 18th century model of slave labor will be complete. No GOP president or congress since Eisenhower in 57 has balanced the budget…Mitt Romney won’t do it either. He may just make things worse.

  • Disgusted

    Bob, let’s be clear..there are two parties and the party that refuses to tax the rich is the GOP. ALL the blame is in their court right now. No GOP president or congress has passed a balanced budget since Eisenhower..not one single year. What’s the GOP rhetoric now? “Obama’s recovery wasn’t fast enough…they won’t say he failed…they won’t admit it was GOP policy that got us into a recession.”  Mitt Romney says he’ll create jobs…but his real experience is lining his own pocket at the expense of working class Americans. Watch this doc… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWnB9FGmWE

  • Bruce Barnes

    The middle class and working poor are told that what’s
    happening to them is the consequence of Adam Smith’s “Invisible
    Hand.” This is a lie. What’s happening to them is the direct consequence
    of corporate activism, intellectual propaganda, the rise of a religious
    orthodoxy that in its hunger for government subsidies has made an idol of
    power, and a string of political decisions favoring the powerful and the
    privileged who bought the political system right out from under us.

    –Bill Moyers, 2004

     

  • Bruce Barnes

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

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

    Milton Friedman

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Dr.
    Greenspan, “They do not.”

     

     

     

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

    Dr. Alan Greenspan

     

  • Bruce Barnes

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

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

    Milton Friedman

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Dr.
    Greenspan, “They do not.”

     

     

     

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

    Dr. Alan Greenspan

     

  • Bruce Barnes

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

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

    Milton Friedman

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

  • Bruce Barnes

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

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

    Milton Friedman

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

  • Anonymous

    What to do? That’s the question. A couple of ideas…

    Have a maybe week-long silent march past the Capitol while Congress is in session, involving millions of us if possible. No yelling, no signs, just presence. Most East Coasters could travel to DC and back home the same day. A coalition of already organized groups could co-ordinate this. The idea is a constant stream of people coming in, walking by, then leaving.

    Next, get everybody you can to the voting booth. A 75% turnout will scare politicians to death, as it ruins their plans based on persuading a small number of swing voters. Even if you don’t actually cast a vote when you’re in the booth, you’re marked down as having voted, and that’s what matters – we’re waking up and you are not in the same political world you’ve been manipulating.

    Other ideas?

  • Cass-q

    Those at the top need to understand those at the botttom better.  In ranked societies,  groups at the bottom know lots more about those at the top, than vice versa.  When that one way communication dominates (as that pays  for most media)  what happens then, is lump  judgments, putting distant people into  categories and so  mocking or blaming the people demoralizes those who have struggled,  assuming actions or charracteristics of all in lower groups, instead of paying close enough attention to active people and rewarding them.  Broad categorizing throws out those in the same groups,  who made  huge efforts, throws out those who found effective ideas, because the information  details are too far from funders who analyze numbers, without close enough understanding of the reasons or the timing of those numbers.  We have a throw away society – one that throws away talent and effort, because we pay so  little attention to context. 

  • Cheryl

    When will online available programs have Closed Captioning?

  • Revbaseball

    As always, Bill, you are right on the mark.  Glad you are back on the air.  I am a UCC clergyperson and would appreciate knowing if there is a movement that is organizing middle class folk across the politcal spectrum.  Until we can make this issue not left or right, we will not be successful.  Your thoughts and the thoughts of others are welcome.

  • Scknoche

    This is a simple Thank you Mr. Moyers for coming back into Journalism.  True Journalism is an art form and we need more art in these critical days.  As I was being laid off as long hours ‘worker bee’ from silicon valley aerospace company late 2009, I was reading the recently published biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Author: H.W. Brand).   The historical parallels of the last 10 to 20 years relative to the post WW I ‘roaring twenties’ and eventual 1930s is astounding.  May you receive a long life to continue.  I remember those interviews with Joseph Campbell and being awed by his sense of human history at a mid 1980s lecture in San Francisco.  Thank you again from simple struggling middle class citizen!

  • http://www.wowway.com/~tdunne5273 Tad Dunne

    A question that needs answering is what the very wealthy are doing with their money. If they’re giving it to charities, the needy benefit directly. If they’re spending it on consumer goods and services, jobs and wages rise quickly. If they’re investing it in research and production infrastructures, jobs and wages rise eventually.  But if they are loaning it  without regulation, or speculating in high-risk, high-yield enterprises, the economy is drained of the financial resources needed to maintain and grow jobs and wages. But I don’t know the answer to my question. What are they doing with this wealth? 

  • http://www.billmoyers.com Theresa Riley

    Hi Krissy,

    Here at BillMoyers.com, we want our comment boards to be a place for
    respectful discussion of the important issues of our time. We hope that it
    will be a place for a variety of perspectives and opinions, not an echo
    chamber where like-minded people high five each other for thinking the
    same thing. That said, we hope that the conversation/debates on these
    boards remain civil and respectful. We’re not in favor of personal attacks
    against anyone. As I told you over the weekend, personal attacks against
    other posters will not be tolerated. Attacks against Bill are certainly
    not encouraged, but due to the fact that he is a public figure with a
    television show, we are a little more lenient in terms of tone and
    language. We certainly don’t want to censor anyone, so in the service of
    free speech we will be allowing comments about Bill that might otherwise
    be considered “attack” language. That said, if you think a post is
    inappropriate or goes too far, please flag it for us so that we can take a
    look as soon as possible. We appreciate your help in making these boards
    as substantive and edifying as they can be!

    Best-
    Theresa Riley
    Moderator

  • Disgusted

    I don’t hate the rich if they got their money through hard work and creating a great product..I do hate people on Wall Street who give lousy returns, skim a little money from a lot of people then have the audacity to demand a bonus when they’ve actually given me a negative return. There’s a sense of entitlement on Wall Street that does not correlate with performance. Until that changes, there will be “class warfare”.

  • A Listneing Canadian

    Amazing:

    Jacob Hacker’s quote:

    “1 in 1000 households gets 1 of every 8 dollars of national income”

    In other words, for every $100,000 of american national income:

    top 1 in 1000 households gets $12,500 per household while remaining 999 households shares $87,500 or on average each gets $87.60 per household. a factorof 143.

    Or put another way:
    If I am one of 999 middle class households with a total income of $70,000, the  ”1 in 1000 household” in my neighborhood is making $10,010,000.

    Is this all due to the Bush tax cuts and political influence???!!! 

    Amazing  

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

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

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

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

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

  • SomewhereinCT

    Just watching this on CPTV. Wow. Bill Moyers, please keep going with this topic.

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more. On the cusp of Medicare, I’m paying $1000/month for ppo health insurance. I was in the middle class. Could be declining at any moment and I did everything right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1155930129 Christina Lepri

    Thank you for this incredible, comprehensible and empowering interview. I am a recent college grad and I am embarrassed to say that I did not know the name Bill Moyers until I saw him appear on The Colbert Report. It’s not a name I’m likely to forget anytime soon and I’m really looking forward to future segments.

  • 99%

    It surprised me after watching this interview that people feel the need to defend Obama, blame Republicans, blame Democrats, etc. It’s pretty clear that both parties are part of the problem. what’s even more clear- if we continue to vote for Democrats and Republicans we will continue to see the progression of the growing inequality in this country. WE MUST find other parties, other people to vote for that aren’t in the pockets of large corporations and the 1%

    Our presidential election is kind of like the Super Bowl. it’s Packers (Democrats) vs. Steelers (Republicans). You’ve got your Packers voters and your Steelers voters and the score at the end is Packers 31, Steelers 25. All of us picked one of the two teams because we wanted to be winners. To us it looks like the Packers won and if we’re Packers fans we feel like we won and the Steelers fans lost. But who really won here? The Packers AND the Steelers. Why? Because the NFL got all that money. All the players even the ones who lost made lots of money. Both teams and their shareholders made lots of money because they got to the Super Bowl. It’s the same with our political system. No matter who wins, Dems or Reps, the 1% win because they get all the money.

    They are afraid of the 99% and Occupy movement because never before has a movement included nearly everyone without regard for race, gender, color or economic status (poor vs. middle class). As long as we remain divided, they are safe.

  • Anonymous

    So GLAD you are back Bill!  Thank your for your service to our country… you give me hope.
    I loved the first show which I saw tonight on KQED from Albuquerque…. it was a thorough, excellent exposition of the systematic dismantling of the middle class and concomitant transfer of wealth to the top 1% of the top 1%.
    I need to read the book… but I wonder what the author’s think about the tax rates in effect under post WWII Eisenhower administration?  Do they think we should return to those rates? Obviously the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest need to be rescinded, but what about an even more dramatic tax increase on the wealthiest? Of course, that’s a purely hypothetical question at this point given the complete lockdown they have on our politicians.

    Also want to mention that I still remember and tell people about your interview with UCBerkeley prof Constance Rice (Condy’s cousin) several years ago.  Went hand in hand w/Hacker and Pierson’s message.  
    She pointed out that the shakedown of the middle class was planned, organized and systematic and began in the mid 70s… I would love to hear you interview her again if you have the chance.  Love you Bill!

  • Linnell1793

    Thank you for your timely return to PBS and bringing  a civil, sane voice(s) to the public debate in such an critical time. Your interview with the “Winners Take All…” and highlights from the Occupy Wall Street were enlightening and maddening… and hopeful all at the same time. And, a call to action….but uncertain what that is yet.  I look forward to your other programs.

  • DPinMI

    Thank you Bill.  One solution might be… Don’t pay your income taxes. Without tax funds the government can not function.  That might be a peaceful way to send a strong message to Washington. 

  • DPinMI

    We know the problem… let’s hear some solutions.  Got any?

  • jscottu

    These two (and Moyers) obviously know much more about the politics of envy than they know about economics.  Anyone who thinks that the way to grow wealth in the country is to vilify and punish the producers…has a childish mentality.

  • DPinMI

    How about focusing on solutions?
    1. Educate the American public ( Mr. Moyers thank you again) & vote for lawmakers who support rebuilding American the middle class. Democracy in America can’t function without a WORKING middle class. Stop playing computer games, watching movies & wake up.
    2. Implement taxes on imports to allow American made goods to compete on a level playing field.  How many “lost” generations can America ignore? 
    3. Rebuild American industries and only BUY American made goods. We can expect to pay more for American made goods, however, at the same time pay American workers a LIVING wage. 
    4. Stop war spending. We cannot be the policeman for the entire world. Stop borrowing funds from China & giving it to “countries in need” Doesn’t American need to be fixed FIRST?  Secure American borders for obvious reasons.
    5. Establish an energy policy that really works. How many years are we going to ignore the problem?
    6. Continue the conservation, keep an open mind & focus on solutions.
    7.Expect results NOT excuses from your politicians (and yourself).

  • Diane Kinsley

    Have you seen the prices at the grocery store?  They keep going up but wages have not, and in her case they went down by $10,000.  Her mortgage did not go down, the price of clothing went up, and gas for the car to drive to her job went up.  It is survival we are talking about.

  • Diane Kinsley

    If the tax cuts created jobs we wouldn’t have record unemployment now.

  • DPinMI

    An improved comment:
    How about focusing on solutions?1. Educate the American public (Mr. Moyers thank you again) & vote for lawmakers who support rebuilding the American middle class. Democracy in America can’t function without a WORKING middle class. Stop playing computer games, watching movies & wake up.2. Implement taxes on imports to allow American made goods to compete on a level playing field.  How many “lost” generations can America ignore?3. Rebuild American industries and only BUY American made goods. We can expect to pay more for American made goods, however, at the same time pay American workers a LIVING wage.4. Stop war spending. We cannot be the policeman for the entire world.5. Stop borrowing funds from China & giving it to “countries in need” Doesn’t American need to be fixed FIRST? 6. Secure American borders for obvious reasons.7. Establish an energy policy that really works. How many years are we going to ignore the problem?8. Continue the discussion, keep an open mind & focus on solutions.9. Expect results NOT excuses from your politicians (and yourself).

  • Anonymous

    Hang in there Sandy girl…:-)  On Tues, Jan 17th, our small (18 member) OccupyGJ group occupied our congressman’s office to let him know our grievances and to give him a list of demands, Scott Tipton is obviously more invested in big oil & gas and the banks than he is in his own constituents…we finally had enough, we let him know it.  Go get your group together, become a community who has each other’s back and walk into the offices of your elected officials and let them know you mean business!  We had 3 TV stations,and 2 newspapers covering our event, it took us about a week to put our event together.  You don’t get much across on a 30 second blip on the TV media, but it makes an impression with those who are feeling apathetic and lost.  We will not give up!  I too, was a teenager of the 60′s so that is my advantage from those who are too young to know what is happening now and why. My home has been foreclosed on due to unexpected unemployment and I am still underemployed…. but I didn’t get involved with our Occupy group to save my life or home, I got involved because if I did not, what chance has my daughter &  grandson have to live a decent life?   I will try to load the paper that we gave to our Congressman’s assistants. If it won’t load, please visit our Occupy site at  http://www.occupygj.com/  Please feel free to use it as a beginning template for your own event and don’t back down…EVER!  Yours in SOLIDARITY, Penni
    To Congressman Scott Tipton:  We, the people of Colorado have had enough of promises broken, words that get you elected and action that works against those of us who helped elect you. We have had enough of seeing our friends and neighbors left out on the streets while the banks make billions of dollars every quarter in profits from the suffering of those who have lost everything; their retirements, their homes, their investments, their dignity, their hope for a decent future. We have had enough of seeing funding for our schools reduced every year while our country has spent billions for wars in other lands to help big transnational companies get a foothold in other governments. Instead of giving exorbitant subsidies paid to extractive industries and then turning this action to the appearance of good by promising that a percentage of their profits will go to funding K-12 schools, is ludacrus! Simply stop extractive industry welfare now and let us use our taxes wisely.  What you are proposing for HR 3235 is nothing short of coercive tactics, why should we be forced to trade off the health of our children in exchange for funding for public education? We have had enough of seeing the end of small businesses you have helped destroy because of your lack of integrity and honesty dealing with the reality of the depression our local economy is now in.  Limited and temporary jobs in the oil and gas sector will not mend our economy, only local businesses and homeowners who plan to stay for the long run will change it. We have had enough of your interests in BIG OIL AND GAS over the protection of our states’ natural treasures, while you spout job creation. As your campaign donations pour in, hundreds of children are having to take little backpacks of food home from school to last them through the weekend so that they can eat instead of going hungry. We have had enough of millions upon millions of our tax dollars going to building bigger courthouses, police stations and jails while our homeless homeowners cannot even find shelter from the freezing elements. We have over 500 people who are homeless in Mesa County alone. Over 150 families with small children are seeking beds in shelters while your friends in Real Estate are profiting from the extensive foreclosures, which makes the housing market easy pickings for them and easy prey for the banks who have fraudently displaced these families. We have had enough of our government representatives kowtowing to the corporate 1% in our state and country while reducing our rights under the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights.  We have had enough of the deregulation that has allowed the banks and investment companies to steal outright from us and escape criminal charges.  YOU helped do this, you helped repeal the Glass-Steagal Act, you helped de-regulate the banks so they could steal us blind without oversight, without repercussion….so they give Billions in taxpayer bailouts to their CEOS!  SHAME ON YOU AND SHAME ON EVERY OTHER POLITICIAN WHO HAS NOT PRESSED CRIMINAL CHARGES ON THESE CORPORATIONS FOR DESTROYING THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, WHO HAVE STOOD BY AND BENEFITED FROM THE SUFFERING AND DEGRADATION OF THE PEOPLE YOU SWORE TO SERVE. We are now demanding that you begin immediately to rectify your actions of the past by moving forward with these issues:  1) To immediately call for an investigation into the fraudulent activities of the banks in this state and across the country, and in conjunction with the Colorado State Attorney General, to press criminal charges against the banks and to place a moratorium on all foreclosures until this investigation is completed.  If any members of any banks are found to have engaged in criminal activities, including but not limited to: robosigning, predatory lending, doubling down on insurance rates, etc within the last 15 years up to the present time, it is your duty to place a hold on their assets, especially those monies that were to be bonuses for their CEOs and executives until such a time the investigation proves them innocent of wrong doing.  If during the investigation, guilt is established, those monies first should be dispersed among those the banks have fraudulently harmed.. If any persons of any banks are found guilty, they should also be charged with domestic terrorism against the people of the United States to the full extent of the law.  2) To immediately RETRACT your votes for the XL PIPELINE, along with any other oil, gas, coal or nuclear energy considerations in this state and across the country. Instead, our goal is to make this state the foremost leader in geothermal, solar, wind and biomass fuels. This is where your focus on energy and new job creation should be. Even TransCanada admitted in an interview with CNN that the XL pipeline would mean ‘hundreds’ not thousands of jobs.  Also, this oil is for export, not for use in our own country, so STOP LYING!http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/01/13/403443/keystone-xl-tar-sands-pipeline-jobs-plan-oil-export/?mobile=nc 3)  We believe that our PUBLIC LANDS (which are ‘held in TRUST’ by the Federal  government) are an asset to the citizens of this state, that we have expressed our will to have complete environmental impact studies done by scientific methods carried out by unaffiliated companies. This had not been done in regards to most of the leases previously done and specifically the White Water Fram/Encana proposed lease.  We call for an immediate moratorium on any kind of lease for the “Extractive Industries” of gas, oil, mining, coal etc. on our BLM lands until such a time as each lease can be verified to have been studied by an independant environmental research company and the impact of the land thoroughly researched and any extractive activities found to be harmless to these precious protected lands.  We are sure that due to the BILLIONS of dollars that are given in subsidies ANNUALLY to the OIL AND GAS companies, that you can institute the research which was being done by Rozanna Witter, MD, MSPH, MS. for the Battlement Mesa area so it can be finished and published instead of covered up. We elected you because we thought you would work well for us and for our future.  We have been sorely disappointed.  You now have but one opportunity to get back on the right track, we suggest you take it or we will be seeking a new congressman who will serve us with integrity, honesty and who puts the needs of his constituents above that of profiteers.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you very, very much Bill  for having these 2 incredible men lay it out so clearly & honestly. I will be forwarding this site to all of our Occupy group and all of my friends across the US.  To the citizens of our country, there is no longer anything to wait for, nothing will be achieved without action. Join or form your own Occupy groups and make your stand the best you can..RIGHT NOW!  Don’t wait until it is too late, don’t wait until you feel no fear, you are bigger than your fear. Do not think you are too young, or too old, If a group of 60 to 90 year old ladies in San Fran can take on BOA & make them close their doors..well… you can see the potential here…:-)  Major Kudos to you girls!!!!  Meet your neighbors, and communicate with them, learn to trust them, one of the best offensive weapons that the government and the media has used against us has been to isolate us in our homes, in front of the TV instead of allowing us to be important in each others lives, to become unified in a cause for our good. You are ALL important to each other, never forget that.  We are all important to each other..:-) Sincerely, Penni

  • Anonymous

    I find that we as citizens of this nation are to blame for what has befallen our country. We accept the bland, the unacceptable & the inexcusable from our elected leaders because of apathy and laziness. We, like the citizens of Imperial Rome, allowed the incompetent and the criminal to take hold of our future and our children’s future and turn it into excrement. This must be stopped by either political or non-violent means if this nation is to survive.

  • Vucja

    Unfortunately the government must now help those who have been left out of the American Dream due to the excesses of unbridled capitalism aided by the supreme court, and also government regulatory failures, corporate lobbying, realities of campaign financing. It’s not as simple as you would like to paint it, however, it is ironic that as the government has not reigned in excesses, it must now help the victims of “laissez faire”.

  • Vucja

    It is unfortunate but the reality that too many people don’t honestly look at themselves and how they are sustained, instead, falling for the usual right-wing talking points as they cash their government-sponsored checks.

  • OccupyJudicialSystem

    Please see my extensive comments in the *other* discussion for “On Winner-Take-All Politics”.

    It was only when I didn’t receive them via e-mail that I realized that there are two ongoing discussions!

  • Nitzy10

    Thank heaven you’re back!
    Hacker and Pierson deserve the Medal of Honor for their actions in defense of America. 
    Thank you

  • Anonymous

    Redistribution does nothing however to improve living standards.

  • Niall

    Bill,

    Great seeing you back!

    Income inequality, I believe, was not
    initiated and continued by an evil conspiracy, but simply — human
    nature. Sure the evil Gordon Geckos are out there, but I believe it
    is mostly the detached rich.

    They don’t themselves as us.

    If you look at what is happening from
    an emotional or logical way it makes absolutely no sense. You have
    to look at it from a completely cold and detached way. The
    benefactors of the current situation are looking at three things:
    sustaining extreme wealth, passing it to offspring and doing so in
    the short time they have on this planet. It’s a condition of being
    cold & selfish and not evil and sadistic (gee…thanks for the
    optimistic tone!).

    To change the situation, we need an all
    out war. NOT literally, but a war for hearts of the 1% benefactors.
    They don’t see us as connected to them. We are simply instruments of
    their profit. The current demonstrations (no disrespect to Occupy,
    I’m totally behind you) are observational comedy from their halls of
    decadence. But if we can make the demonstrations so vast and so
    enveloping that at every turn they see us in their face, then our
    reality will become their reality. When we can “get in their heads”
    and make them see us as direct effectors of THEIR lives, then it will
    change

  • GeoFo

    Thanks for such a sensible discussion on how our economy has been transformed by political influence.  Hopefully, a greater collective wisdom will be able gain hold — and our government will be able to lead so that all can prosper equally.

  • Susan

    DITTO!  I’m thrilled you’re back!!!

  • TC

    Great discussion. By chance can some one point to an unbiased analysis of the O’Bama healthcare plan? Why is it so bad? What is actual cost to business if legislation fully implemented?

  • Susan Lee Schwartz

    This is the most important book to date on how the social contract has bern broken. What is astonishing to me, is the number of people whom I meet, who believe that our current system of capitalism is the one that our country enjoyed, and which promoted the “American Dream.” People are too busy to read the  genuine statistics on income inequality, and the proliferation of lies in the media has allowed crony capitalism to corrupt our legislature, our Supreme Court and the electoral process to the extent that we have become a plutocracy, and few people know it.

    When I speak to well-to-do friends and family about the coup that has occurred, they condemn me as being a pessimist, and offer as ‘facts’ the falsehoods about ‘double taxes,” deficit reduction and all the spin and propaganda they have been fed. I am accused of not supporting capitalism.

    Your show is a must watch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Lee-Schwartz/1476611960 Susan Lee Schwartz

    This is the most important book to date on how the social contract has bern broken. What is astonishing to me, is the number of people whom I meet, who believe that our current system of capitalism is the one that our country enjoyed, and which promoted the “American Dream.” People are too busy to read the  genuine statistics on income inequality, and the proliferation of lies in the media has allowed crony capitalism to corrupt our legislature, our Supreme Court and the electoral process to the extent that we have become a plutocracy, and few people know it.When I speak to well-to-do friends and family about the coup that has occurred, they condemn me as being a pessimist, and offer as ‘facts’ the falsehoods about ‘double taxes,” deficit reduction and all the spin and propaganda they have been fed. I am accused of not supporting capitalism.Your show is a must watch.

  • Canneryrow49

    So happy to see you back, you were sorely missed!

  • http://twitter.com/MysticJanet janet Nydahl

    I need a diagram to fit all the pieces together; I understand repel of Glass-Stigel, unpaid for Bush Tax Cuts, the securitization of mortgages, the sub-prime predatory lending, the sell out of the rating companies, the betting against failure of these new derivatives, the selling of credit cards and Heloc’s to families, …
    What is the solution? New global currency that starts everyone at say $100k?
    Each analysis makes sense but what does it really say?

  • http://vernonhuffman.blogspot.com/ Vernon Huffman

    The American Dream is dead and it’s a damn good thing. It is no longer possible for us to consume resources thousands of times as fast as the planet produces them. We’re going to have to scale back.

    Let the rich go.  Maybe they’ll learn to eat money. It’s time for the Jubilee. All debts forgiven, all prisoners freed, everybody owns the home in which she lives. If we all declare it so, what can they do? The soldiers and policemen are our neighbors and friends. Their mortgages are also history.

    Grow your own food. Pedal your own bike. Care for your neighbors. Let the old ways go.

  • steinsvold2

    An Alternative to
    Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand
    it) Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no
    alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude
    still persists. I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for
    the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will
    take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the
    Athenaeum Library of Philosophy: http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm John Steinsvold
    “Insanity
    is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different
    result.”
    ~ Albert Einstein

  • Stuehler

    It seems to me that there is a limited amount of money in the US. I know the amount is large but the oil companies are vacuming up the money at an enormous rate. Perhaps to have their way with driving the pipe line.   Is these derivities not behind all the money going to the few.  if so why are we not simply stopping this theft.  Exactly how much does a gallon of gas cost?  Why is it so much more?  I feel we are all being raped and they use this money to keep politicians on their side and not pay taxes.

    Money is dissipearing to the few at the fuel pump.

  • Anonymous

    The challenge is how this factual message will reach as many Americans household as possible. This is the only way we can counteract the power now being unleashed through the PAC contributions of the rich to control the USA government in this coming election. There is no substitute to informed (fair and balance) voters during election. Let the system work fairly and justly, backfiring where there is extremism and persistence in the direction of the common good.

  • Fred Grob

    And the 1% now is poised to purchase both our Congress and the  Oval Office on 11/6/12.  SEE “pleasethink.net” for the proof.

  • Jmaiv 1954

    It took me an hour and a half to view this 37 minute feature. It was nearly unwatchable. I wonder who controls the satellite feeds. In 1861 two percent of the southern population owned slaves. Yet the South went to war to protect the wealthy. Racial superioty and reliegon were used to perpetuate the need to secede from the Union. As then the wealthy use social issues to divide the middle class and thus protect themselves from becoming the focal point of the real problems this country faces. When we are outright lied to by the President to go to war so that corporations such as Halliburton can make billions of dollars then we can plainly see that political parties can be bought. Then once again social issues are used to divide us. Abortion, gay marriage, reliegous corporations being forced to provide full health coverage, and biggest of all we have to get rid of this BLACK President. Tax codes have forced middle class citizens to shop at the company store. We have no choice but to shop at Wal-Mart where we get cheaply made products that I find of inferior quality. So until we stop the plantation owner mentality, stop the reliegous interferance of private matters and quit sending our sons and daughters to fight wars for business profit we all might as well bow down to the 1% and say “yes massa”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BXNZEBBLV3E77QPBZ6UDQNUHV4 Barry

    I agree with most of what is said but you leave so much out. I guess this is why I consider PBS left wing propaganda.

    You pump the unions and civil groups but don’t mention that they have also failed society through corruption and self indulgence.

     You show the noble educated teacher who is really well spoken and speaking the truth but say nothing of the academic administrator (former educators) who push kids into programs so their grades aren’t included in school performance evaluations and rail against accountability.

    You knock the rich who have worked hard to get where they are  (and do deserve to be knocked very hard) but say nothing of the sorry butts who acquire more through government giveaways for nothing than I can afford with a 55k job.

    You talk of the greedy 1/10% but say nothing of the of the all out war against our institutions that provide moral guidance.

    Our political and corporate class are as they are because this country and even the world is well into a major social break down because there is such a lack of morality left in this society. Not all is gone but enough is.

      307,000 people in this country don’t give a crap about the 306,693,000 others because they fear no man and since the religious institutions in this country have been reduced to a joke they fear no god either.

    I don’t believe in one creator who is the alpha and omega unless you want to say broadly that it is mother nature but I do understand the nature of humans. I understand that there are enough that will pee all over the rest if left to there own guidance. By they way guess what that warm feeling trickling down the back of you neck is.

    It amazes me that the left supports a president and a party that has the richest campaign war chest EVER. It also amazes that the right can spawn a grassroots  movement that scares ALL of them to the bone then allows there voice to be silenced by the GOP ordained candidate that raises the most money.

    I do believe politics got us here and has the ability to get us back. The question is: Who will lead us there? I don’t see them, anywhere.

  • UglyTruth

    Capitalism/Free
    Market; is the economic equivalent of survival of the fittest.

    There
    is a class war and the Upper Class has been winning.

     

    Yes
    the winner takes it all, the winner lives and the loser dies.

     

    The
    greed of humans must be regulated, limited.

    Without
    limitations on the strongest, society does not exist.

     

    So
    yes the conservatives, who espouse Religion, also promote Capitalism.

    They
    cannot compromise because their tradition of stupidity is written down.

    The
    conservatives promote survival of the fittest, they promote the principles of evolution
    without a clear understanding of what they really espouse.

  • guest

    What are the names of the top 0.1%? How many people falls into this category?

  • Anonymous

    Bill Moyers & Co., truly a bright beam of light in an otherwise sea of dim media bulbs…..

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Fred is part of a movement to compel Supreme Court Justices Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy to resign because of the Citizens UnitedvFEC decision, violations of oath to office, ethics irregularities and unsuitability. This campaign is amassing petitions, showering Justices with protest letters, and attempting to voice their cause in newspapers and other media.
    I wish them Godspeed in saving our nation.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Maybe we could raise the minimum wage as Ralph Nader recently advocated.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    The conspiracies of 2008 are not only “still unfolding”, they are still in progress and accelerating. Rule by banksters is here as well as in Greece. Austerity has arrived.
    There has been no meaningful reform and capitalism is still imploding.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    It happens to the best of us on unstable Disqus. There may be covert manipulation too, which makes it more difficult for dissenters.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Many of us are choking, but where is Moyers with the Heimlich maneuver?

  • GradyLeeHoward

    T-party:Rugged individuals on the dole.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Maybe HELP is reserved in their minds to particular ethnicities, religions and lifestyles. Such is the core nugget of Nazism.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    It was your Oligarch sponsors who perverted your message, but you blame the very concept of government. Corporate elites are using you to implement austerity and negate your own rights. Wake up!

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Failure to regulate has greater costs  than a safety net.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    We worship monetary success, says Barry, so without the rich we’d be bloody atheists. He agrees with everything presented except the solution.

  • Whymailme89

    Bill Moyer has all the connections to assemble the right people to fix our financial, political and judicial problems.  All he needs is the support of the 99% of Americans who need to band together and create our own superfund.  It would be bigger and more powerful than the 1%  the richest now have.  If you are really fed up – do something about it…

  • Karl Hoff

    Is our national debt dragging down our ability to save the middle class? Can it be paid off?? I have crunched some numbers that may help tell the real story. Because the debt is constantly going up I will average the numbers. The debt has continued to rise since the 1930s, so there has been 82 yrs. of failure to stop it.
    We owe about 15 trillion…paying about 454 billion in interest the year I am using, with the interest rates being very low. That’s about 52 million an hour. Every man, woman & child owes about 48,700. I calculated that if my family with 4 kids and only my father working as I grew up, that today the amount he would have to pay to pay off the debt would be about 292,000. He would have to pay it off now and not over his working life time because the debt would continue to climb otherwise, which rose about ten fold over his life time.
    What is the real problem with paying down the debt? Here’s a hint. When Bill Gates was at his peak as the richest man on Earth he was worth about 85 billion. I must ask the question I ask many and not one has gotten it right without actually calculating it and that is if you made 1 million a year, how long would it take to acquire 85 billion………..answer 85,000 yrs. Further more, if he got only 1% interest on that money he would get 850 million a year. Also it seem the more he gives away the more he is worth. Don’t figure?
    Some, especially on the right say the answer is to build an economy where all can be rich. Let’s again crunch the numbers. If everyone made 1 billion a year. How much would they make an hour to achieve that income? At 40 hr. week times 52 weeks….that’s 2080 hrs. a year. Divide that into 1 billion an you get about 480,000 an hour………so how much would a sandwich cost?  Maybe a million?  A car?  Maybe a billion? A house?  Maybe a trillion?!!!

  • Anonymous

    There is a problem in laying the fault of all on corporate influence over government and a war on the middle class, when there is a percentage of that middle class that does not believe in public anything.

    Mr. Moyers discussed his own background. He did not feel poor and was equal to his friend, the rich girl, because he went to a good public school, played in good public parks, went to a public college. Yet there are people in Texas… and elsewhere… who believe that anything public equals socialism or communism and is evil.

    How do we address these inequality issues and promote the public good, when this element, which is present in the Tea Party, actually aids and abets crony capitalism?

    There was also the man in the Occupy Wall Street clip who wants the wealthy to bestow charity where they see fit. That’s well and good, but in a world in which the poor are blamed for being poor, it seems unlikely that they will be the recipients of the largesse.

  • M O

    We all know, “It’s about the money, stupid.”. 

    When legislation and political influence are bought and sold, like so many sow bellies, barrels of light sweet crude or credit default swaps, our national prosperity sickens.

    What a precarious precipice we straddle.

    Why should we be surprised at the progression?  And, I wonder, where are the reformers?  Blaming or standing with political parties, or movements du jour, is shirking our collective responsibility.  The hurricane’s arrived.

    People, deny your hell-bent political affiliations and mock delusions and understand, what’s good for all can be good for each.  Why should my winning mean your losing?

    Don’t walk like a hypocrite.  Understand.  Be aware.

    The flood is here.

  • Krasper

    How rich has Washington, through PBS, made Bill Moyers?

  • Joybird1

    Bill Moyers Financial Status is NOT THE problem
    STUPID

  • Ldhaddix

    I am amazed that anyone would be critical of your program.  I certainly appreciate your keeping us informed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JMPowell1966 James Powell

    Transforming Senate and House legislative votes into political commodities to be bought and sold at a closed auction to the highest bidders of the one percent, the consequence of the corrupting influence of market inequalities on our Democracy, a stealth Plutocracy, is readily evidenced in the data provided by the authors.  As I see it, the empirical evidence presented by the author’s research simply serves to validate and confirm the deeply held suspicions of most members of the stagnate middle class: the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

    However, what most middle income families will find astonishing is the extent to which the inequalities were purposefully engineered through disproportionate influence by the one percent on the legislative process at their expense because the one percent had the resources to do so, and the middle class did not.  

    What is more, businesspersons do not make investments in the political process because of their beneficence, but do so because of the staggering returns that they stand to gain should their desired legislation become law.  Additionally, if they are able to block legislation from becoming law that might result in increased costs to them financially, they also gain.  As a result, the one percent has learned to leverage its wealth and resources to exercise unreasonable and undue influence over what was once a Democratic process at the expense of middle income America.

    Yet, the question that has always perplexed me is why do some middle income voters support the polices of politicians who forward the policies of the one percent when doing so is not in their self interest?  Perhaps, the one percent can afford to hire a better marketing group?

    No matter how you look at the data, one thing is certain: the top one percent of Americans have never done better in our history.  

  • Legacyskye

    How do you vote for Romney after this???

  • http://twitter.com/tummler10 Jerry Weinstein

    Please put up the chart that Hacker & Pierson showed at :10 about the discrepancy between income increases from the ’70s to the present parsed between different demos.

  • Karl Hoff

    Like you, I am bewildered by how we got to where we are. Its like everyone wants to be a chief and no one wants to be an Indian. It doesn’t work well with 97 chiefs and 3 Indians. What is sad is the result of all this is the loss of everything we have worked for and history shows not one case where it doesn’t lead to the over throw of the rulers that caused it. It is happening all over the World right now. For a long time I have seeked ways to show how what they are doing will lead to a disaster, but as long as the people believe that the way that they live will all work out in the end, they will keep their heads burried in the sand.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Karl Hoff/ James Powell: Here are three of us who, as Woody Guthrie observed, can read a newspaper through a soup so thin. 
    Failure to confront these magicians over their really shoddy tricks has something to do with the fact that most people are really polite and deferential, willing to wait their turn and make do with what they’re apportioned. But it also has to do with the way we’re raised and schooled and informed. We get habits of trusting experts and not trusting our own senses and common sense. Jerry Rubin once commented in court that an expert is “just a talkative guy from out of town” and he was correct, that’s about the way it goes.
    Fear, and well-founded fear, is also a big problem. Right now I have a wealthy neighbor building a security fence against the pavement on my street. Now if I complain to the City of Edison there could be repercussions. They might find me in some code violations or send a backhoe to dig up my yard. My neighbor could prompt a thug to injure or kill me or my wife. Mean while we  obey an 8′ setback from the asphalt and have provided a pedestrian sidewalk as stipulated in ordinances. Imagine how many people it would take getting involved to make this right. It takes tens of millions against big corporations running the federal show. And that is why I laugh at Ron-Paulists…. because the gangsterism we face  would blow them away like leaves. We three guys know the score but as individuals we may get our butts busted if we try playing the game. The federal government is getting feeble at enforcing equality under law. The People need to get a grip.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    You’ve gotta remember that Moyer&Company is almost as vulnerable as you are. They are a syndicated show now. And under crony corporate capitalism there is an explosive contradiction at every step in informing the public. They never know which powerful interest or underwriter will turn on them next. You don’t see M&C taking on nuclear power or talking about Fukushima. They haven’t come right out and opposed war with Iran, even tough it would be stupid, wasteful and disastrous for most American citizens. In fact, Moyers has proven too cautious on minor issues. 
    He was up to his hip in the vaccination contradiction show before last. Now that outcome will be humane because people are investigating and airing real distrusts, but I really worry about the financial thing because people are really intimidated. They fear justice could undermine their little investments and property rights, so they zip their lip. Moyers can’t exactly stick a tazer under Obama and Romney, so I estimate we got a long road of organizing and confidence building ahead. And the odds are against us. Feel free to correct M&C, and ask them for more, because they want to get as good as possible. Moyers ain’t perfect, just the best.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    You’ve seen those 3 monkeys, blindfolded, ears stopped and silent. Add a 4th with a clothespin on the nose. And that goes for Obama and Paul too.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Right on, James. You’re a hep cat!

  • http://billmoyers.com BillMoyers.com

    Grady,

    Our choice of topics and issues is based entirely on what strikes us as most relevant, most impactful, and most meaningful each week and every day. Apart from that, we’re only limited by the size of our staff and our resources, though we’re also leveraging partnerships with other media entities. There are no external forces applying pressure on what we cover and how we cover it — I can assure you of that. Our only guides are our collective conscience and our journalistic experience and integrity. We do read these comment boards, so continue to share issues that you feel merit attention.

  • Larra

    Duh, did we really need a study to tell what is already as plain as the nose on our faces…..

  • Larra

     Hopefully, you WON”T

  • Larra

     Oh my God James, you’re the only one who thinks the same way I do, why do these people defend these polices, when they are so obviously being screwed by them? Hate to say it but I truly believe it’s lack education and intelligence. Sorry, but I can think of no other reasons….

  • http://www.facebook.com/JMPowell1966 James Powell

    Grady,

    even though your insightful assessment of a concerned individual’s fear of political action, a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of their political actions, is well warranted, their fear of political action should be tempered with the realization that there maybe greater risks to their well-being by engaging in political inaction.  As I see it, political inaction can also be misinterpreted as tacit consent by those in power towards their inappropriate political actions.  For the most part, when confronted with issues such as blatant engineered inequality, citizens tend exhibit a political fight or flight response because the issue is both large in scope, complex and unethical.  Although many would like to undertake some type of political action, most have jobs, children, spouses, and other duties which they are preoccupied with.  So, the natural avoidance, or flight response occurs without them giving it a second thought.  In this instance, the sentiment of the voter is one of despondency and defeatism: “it is what it is, and there’s nothing that we can do about it.”

    By contrast, those citizen’s that exhibit a political fight response attempt to organize and develop a “rallying cry,” or core argument for others like them to coalesce around, and as a result, a support group of citizens sharing the same values or convictions emerges from the polis.

    As for me, the political objective of the citizen should be to be neither fool nor coward, and what I mean by that can be best summed up in what my Dad used to say to me: “Son, never run to a fight, nor run away from one.”

  • Anonymous

    As one of the vanishing middle class I recently spent two days in the hospital for observation,  No procedures nor operation just observation.  I saw two Doctors for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes.
    With my insurance it cost me about $1400.00.  Of that about $380.oo was for the brief Doctor visits that just amounted to them telling what the test results were of which the Nurse already told me.
    I was told the hospital submitted a bill to the insurance company a bill over $10,000 and the Doctor’s bill was about $600.  How can this “racket” continue without bankrupting our country and driving Americans into debt?

  • http://twitter.com/larry_author Larry

    Once again we engage in the blame game instead of seeking answers within our society. It is convenient to blame the government, but let us not forget who elected the governments that have been so responsive to special interests rather than the public interest; the American electorate. It is therefore uselful to examine what cultural and other factors compelled the electorate to make and maintain the choices they have made.

    Our divided Congress is merely a reflection of our deeply divided populace. Until we begin to address the cultural issues that maintain our dysfunction and discord, those issues will persist and our country will continue to drift, blown in the directions dictated by wealth.

  • Piksnilderf

     In studying our country’s short history it seem fairly apparent that when tax rates on the wealthy were higher- the deficit was lower, employment higher, better infrastructure, better educational opportunity existed, environment better protected and maintained, etc. ……. And the wealthy were still plenty wealthy.

    Corporations, we are told, are sitting on trillions of $- GOP strategy is if we just tax them less they’ll start hiring.
    I would contend that the bulk of new hiring comes from small companies and new start-ups- these are the companies we should be encouraging.

    For years American seemed to idolize executive salaries many 100′s of times of those actually producing the good and/or service- I think that’s way out of line. Since 1973 average hourly wages have not grown at all. If those producing the good or service had been compensated more fairly our economy would not be in the position it is in- because consumer spending is what propels the economy -not spending of 1%ers.

    I believe Obama HAS gone out of way to work with Reps- Matter of fact he has compromised way to much.
       W on other hand never made any pretense of trying to work with Dems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JMPowell1966 James Powell

    Believe it or not, it is the fanciful enticing lure of possibly becoming one of the one percent, if you just work hard enough – Yea, right.  Ironically, unless they hit the lottery, ninety-nine percent of the population will be born, grow up, grow old, and leave this world as members of the ninety-nine percent: so much for the Horatio Alger myth.   However, because of the inverse redistribution of wealth to the top one percent that the authors forward in their book, the rich to richest myth is flourishing.

    Incidentally, to the less than one percent who do make it to the one percent, we, the ninety-nine percent, salute you for successfully running the gauntlet.

  • Sandy

    “…useful to examine what cultural and other factors compelled the electorate to make and maintain the choices they have made.”

    Can you say “Corporate Media”?  I bet you can.

  • Sandy

    Probably less than 10% of what criminal liars like Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and other corporate mouthpieces have stolen via misuse of our public airwaves.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    I call your  (Winship probably) ‘NO EXTERNAL FORCES…” response a little white lie, and if it comforts you to believe
    it, well, that’s just what it takes to get through another week.

    I can’t tell the whole truth either. If I reveal the details of how the consortium I belong to makes hefty returns on oil futures speculation I might not wake up tomorrow. Business in America is deadly serious, and so are some of these wallet issues. I think the electrical utilities and reactor contractors would erase you like a chalk mark in a downburst if you got your enquiring  minds around nuclear power. So I know you can’t do that.
    And like most “made men” we all have taken some loyalty oaths.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    That “man” in the Occupy Wall Street clip was a bankster shill, paid to preach the free market gospel.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Karl: Quit worrying! The debt ain’t real and the 99% didn’t contract it: And we are gonna default with pride. Most of our national debt is owed to the less than 1%. That’s the origin of it; and also the end of it. 

  • GradyLeeHoward

    He’s fluorescent and super-efficient  too.
    And he seems to be lasting much longer than the incandesents. 

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Puzzlin’ evidence! (David Byrne song from “True Stories”)

  • GradyLeeHoward

    So Barry, you can fill in the “good part” you claim is missing.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Yep, you’re right, as far as it goes.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Remember this, I’ve never criticized Bill Moyers’ household finances. But from what I’ve access to he seems to plow the profits right back into the business of informing us. I wish I could do good as well as he has.

  • James!

    DO SOMETHING?  Do something.
     
    MEDIA shouts the gains and victories of the richest “taxpayer” while the gains of losses as the 99% become restless noise in our ears.  The benefit that we gain is no longer the quiet, unspoken dissention that spurned the masses into Occupy Wall St. when in the back of my mind, I’m still wondering “Who is really going to listen” when it comes to a politician deciding the fate over a social program?  I wonder if this scenario really holds true: “He cut that particular program in order to get his pocket filled to brim, simply to cut more away from the Everyday American at a later date.  Isn’t THAT what regulation was all about?  Makes me look like I’m guessing at what really happens in WA D.C.
     
    I cannot define the American Dream for myself.  I’m not even sure if I’m being pointed in the right direction when there is seemingly no Champion Politician who firmly belives that he/she has the answer to ending gov’t thievery.  Do I have to wait another 4 years before we all get a better answer?  Is it going to take a full blown National Bankruptcy in order for the very few to go looking for their bootstraps?
     
    I sat and wondered what the trickle down policy really meant when very slowly, and right in front of our eyes, the MEDIA reports how often a seemingly unimportant program (Social Security) gets a vulture politician hungry for it’s cash.  And so very quietly does it continue.  Program after program piling up over the weeks and years, just to get a kickback somewhere else down the road of an Illusion of Prosperity?
     
    Trickle Across then Down is how it seems to be behaving.  How is it that they can single out Social Security as the Emergency Fund in order to pay the debt for a country that continually lowers taxes (GDP inclusive) and (here I’m guessing) isn’t bringing in any taxable profits from manufacturing.  Is America only refilling the SS Coffer in tarrifs?  Programs get cut because there isn’t enough to cover the bill due to lack of taxes.  Okay… the answer somehow turned into the U.S. brokering our jobs overseas, how is someone going to make a profit when everyone is out of work and there is no Income in order to tax?  Social Security becons debt like my savings account drying up at the end of the month because prices for groceries are so high.  The WalMart food staples club is standing next to the Government Cheese give-away all in the same neighborhood.  And I don’t care for brie.
    Strange how the lower and middle classes are paying the way for the very rich.  When did begin nominating Kings instead of representatives?  Apathy is the only road that gets paved with gold.  What to do?

  • http://www.facebook.com/JMPowell1966 James Powell

    Karl,

    Having the desire to lead does not necessarily mean that you have the vision to lead, and this circumstance often gives rise to the classic sightless scenario of “the blind leading the blind straight off a cliff.”  As was evidenced in the economic policies of the previous administration, reckless policies cause wrecks.  After the economic calamity, most began the process of assigning blame, and started an in-depth analysis into the causes of the economic tragedy in the hopes that it could be avoided in the future.    However, this gives very little solace to those households presently capsized by a sea of debt, but at least the present leader is attempting to address their concerns: if only congress would take an equal interest in the interests of the ninety nine percent.

    As for the ambition and desire of many individuals to lead, but very few to follow, those individuals competing for positions of leadership should be required to present their detailed vision for the direction of our country, and those visions should be compelled to compete against each other for the support of the electorate.  By doing so, the electorate would be better able to compare and contrast the competing ideas, and vote for that vision which is in their best interest.  For instance, which vision takes an active interest in the well being of the ninety-nine, and which vision best benefits citizen corporations and the one percent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JMPowell1966 James Powell

    Whether you know it or not, the act of writing is doing something.  By engaging other concerned citizens in a cathartic process of openly expressing your deeply held feelings on the subject of engineered inequality, and the inequitable process of inverse wealth redistribution, you may achieve some psychological relief from these political stressors. Additionally, many of your fellow citizens agree with your pessimistic assessment of our political situation.  Whereas many choose to avoid dealing with these political issues because of their complexity, or size in scope, you have at least attempted to engage in political dialogue on the topic, and should be commended for doing so.

    Second, your assessment of supply side economics positing a concocted myth in the form of “Trickle Down Economics” is evidenced by the empirical data uncovered by the authors.  Without doubt, for thirty years, Republicans extolled the virtues of “Trickle Down” only for the empirical evidence to reveal that “what goes up does not necessarily come down.”  As you well know, the wealth that was inversely redistributed upward to the one percent stayed with the one percent in the form of luxury cars, stocks & bonds, second homes, vacation getaways, yachts, and let’s not forget gold bullion.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    So if you’re hungry and homeless and I take you in and feed you and give you a decent job with benefits by transfer of some of my assets to you it makes no difference because the aggregate  property and income remains the same? Thanks for the fuzzy math, MERant. You are the ultimate denial specimen, but I’ll pray fer ye.

  • Karl Hoff

    Thank you for replying. Growing up in the fifties, I can remember when a liveable house could be bought for $3,000  a good car for $150 and I could ride my ballon tired bike to the general store with a list from my mother of what she wanted and the owner would fill it and I would leave…..I signed nothing. He put it on what was known as a tab, which my father paid on pay day.  It worked extremely well because anyone that cheated the store would be cut off. Look at what we have today and one can’t help but see that there is big money to be made by ambushing the trust that we had then. It is further helped because those born today did not live in that time when the distrubtion of wealth was far more equal. If everyone would look at how and where the rich get their money, then they may be better able to understand that by the time the government steps in, it is handicaped by the sheer power and wealth of a few that can control the government as well as the masses.
    Bill Gates did not make his billions by selling product, but from investors. Looking at exactly how the rich really achieved their wealth is how I stopped them from getting my money to make them even richer. I realize that I can’t stop it all. I bought one house that if I paid it off it would have cost me over 3 times the selling price. The house I now live in I paid cash and that is how I buy everything now.
    When I grew up it was called “keeping up with the Jones’”.  Today I believe that until people stop seeking to become wealthy through investing and buying in a system that makes the investor poorer while making those they are investing in and buying from richer, it will not only continue, but grow.

  • Petersgates

    It’s no longer a matter of voting rights, but a right to produce goods that all can buy. When the rich rule, the poor cannot produce items that they themselfs can consume. The rich will buy mercedes and the poor will ride bikes.
    We need economic democracy.

  • Taichi-wuchi

     
     
     
     
    We all have opinions that we like to share.  BUT, if we want to survive our present situation it will be necessary to change the way we do things and the way we think.
    This is no church picnic; it is the world in which we live our lives.
    Reality is what it appears to be and we have to deal with it accordingly.
    False assumptions and wrong actions will not fix what is broken.
    It will take changing the social systems that exist to social systems that function efficiently and in people’s best interests.
    Antiquated methods will not work in a high tech social arrangement.  There must be funds and resources available to pay for necessary change and there must be the necessary cooperation to make our social systems viable and vibrant.
    Economics must be dynamic, virtue must be rewarded, incompetence  must be replaced with competence and there must be regulations that assure justice and equity.
    We will either be the author of our future or we will be the victim of our indolence and destruction.
     

  • Dnadanyi

    Sandy
    Amen. There is a direct corelation between money spent and what people will believe.  One other factor in response to Larry is that the corporations have organized.  That is the difference.
    DJN

  • Dnadanyi

    Did anyone ever notice how many rooms one is charged  for when one has an operation?  It is not just the pre-op, op,post-op and recovery there are numerous rooms we are supposedly put in when we are totally sedated.  I have alwways questioned my bills and charges suddenly disappear without any explanation.

  • Dnadanyi

    James
    Yes why do people vote against their own interests?  The question is why people listen to Fox and Rush and believe the lies? They are people who refuse to read and perhaps they have an authoritarian personality-I just cannot figure it out. Some are intelligent and some are leaders but in this area they follow completely. The right simplifies a lie and repeats it over and over and they believe it. 

  • Dnadanyi

    Age of Greed by Jeff Madrick goes into great detail about  specific greedy individuals. These named individuals have consistently chipped away at the regulations put in place to protect our economy. Gretchen Morgenson also names names in her book Reckless Endangerment. The goal of these people was personal greed pure and simple. Greed took over our polititians, the ratings agencies and our governmental regulators failed due to lack of financial support or political influence. 

     It reminds me of an ancient Sanskrit fable about the turtle and the scorpion. The scorpion convinces the turtle to give him a ride accross the river.  He points out to the turtle that it would be illogical to sting the turtle since they would both drown. But the scorpion does sting the turtle and the shocked turtle asks why?  The scorpion replies “It has nothing to do with logic, it is just my character.” Some folks are wholly irredeemable, and woe be to those who forget that some cannot be dissuaded from thier evilness. Blame is laid at the victim’s feet for not accepting what he recpgnized and understood to be true but chose not to believe. The victim’s arrogance in thinking he will be the one exception proves fatal, and his folly serves as a warning to others not to make the same mistake.

    It reminds me of Greenspan and his economic philosophy.
    Unfortunately we have short memories and repeat the same mistakes over and over. So who are the modern day characters in this fable?I guess the turtle represents our economy and the middleclass and the scorpion represents deregulation and unbridled vulture capitalism and the 1 %. The only problems is that the 1% did not drown but the economy and the middlclass did.

  • Dnadanyi

    James
    The fracking for gas in PA is a perfect example of how helpless we are as citizens to go up against the most powerful corporations and corrupt government and personal greed. It is against the laws to learn what chemicals are being injected into the ground to frack. The refuse which includes these chemicals and other toxic perhaps radioactive elements will be poured onto the roads for snow removal. Meanwhile powerful wealthy people are buying up land in South America that sits over aquifiers.
    DJN

  • Dnadanyi

    whose propaganda makes them want to drink the kool-aid.

  • Dnadanyi

    So they vote against their own interests. I can’t understand it either.

  • Dnadanyi

    keebo
    Wow   “Once an idea is espoused a bureau is created with an internal and external constituency pulling to enlarge it and expand it’s perview.” Sounds like Homeland Security and Top Secret America to me. Also sounds like Medicare Part D-the huge 13 trillion dollar (not paid for) gift to big pharma. Also sounds like our privatized highy paid army-Blackwater. With their lobbyists we will always be at war. You should read Age of Greed by Jeff Madrick which shows how extremely greedy named individuals chipped away at the regulations that protected our economy. And you have the nerve to say that socialists or communists (I guess you are talking about the occupy movement and myself) believe in the corruption by the investment banks and vulture capitalists  that brought down our economy. Republicans are spending huge amounts on lobbyists every day to reverse any regulations that are designed to protect us from this happening again. The tea party is not a grass roots party.  It is highly organized by Dick Armey and highly financed. The T.  party should be attacking Newt Gingrich and Jude Wininsky for their 2 Santa Clause Republican strategy that caused the fiscally conservative Republican party to vere off course into a spending spree. (first Santa Clause) and then when the Democrats have to clean up the mess the Republicans get to compalin about stimulus spending and raising taxes(second Santa Clause).  Does starving the Beast ring a bell? Ask Dave Stockman.
    DN

  • Dnadanyi

    Totally agree with your strategy. What happened to the march to DC?

  • Dnadanyi

    These thoughts have also crossed my mind. Clinton really sold us out so I wonder if Hillary would be the same as Bill.  We need Elizabeth Warren for President one day.

  • Cicuta

    In Holand most people, if not all, ride bikes and they have been doing it for more than 50 yeas as I was there and saw it. Does your logic apply to Holand?
    By the way, all what is happening in the USA is not a surprise and I have been telling eveybody exactly what is going on for years…no one believes and no one cares.

  • Dnadanyi

    Bill
    I would love to know if there was an ulterior motive behind the Euro.
    DN

  • Taichi-wuchi

     
     
    Tao as in the elements of balance and equity in a capitalist system and it is essential to human needs.  Two of the key elements to society are capitalism and social organization.
    Capitalism is intended to provide the efficient exchange of goods and services; Social organization is intended to provide people quality lifestyles through equity and justice.
    Capitalism has to be managed to provide equitable funds for both the demand side of economics and the supply side of economics.  There must be an efficient system of economics that can maintain a dynamic and functional society.  Social organization must be designed to provide justice and equity for all of its people which is known as the social contract so that people can work together to provide a quality life for quality people in a quality environment.  It is all about do those things that yield the right results.

    Capitalism is intended to provide the efficient exchange of goods and services; Social organization is intended to provide people quality lifestyles through equity and justice. 
    Capitalism has to be managed to provide equitable funds for both the demand side of economics and the supply side of economics.  There must be an efficient system of economics that can maintain a dynamic and functional society.  Social organization must be designed to provide justice and equity for all of its people which is known as the social contract so that people can work together to provide a quality life for quality people in a quality environment.  It is all about do those things that yeild the right results.
                                                                         

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barbara-Jarvis/100000447560556 Barbara Jarvis

    People have believed two lies that helped it happen. One” that this is a Democracy. two that Socialism is evil when it is what keeps the nation running, schools, fire dept, police dept. Post office, Coast guard, etc.  Of course these (Post office of late, teachers when they all have the same schooling) are under attack as the uber super rich want desolate poverty for every one but themselves to get us to kill each other for scraps and they can gloat that’ see they were just animals anyway’.
    It costs even more when privatized and you get less for the money as they are let to deteriorate. Scandinavian countries are socialized and doing MUCH better than we.

  • Robbin505 4 U

    Markets are designed to create a way to exchange goods not capitalism. The fact that you would even suggest there is anything Tao about capitalism shows a lack of knowing the way.

  • Cicuta

    Let us not confuse the issues regarding Tao, Capitalism, and Markets.
     
    By definition, Tao, Chinese philosophy, refers to the orderly things in the universe and is “nameless”, it is a philosophical “thing”…balance.
     
    By definition, Capitalism refers to “private ownership of capital” period.
     
    What about Markets? Since the dawn of civilization “markets” have emerged as of necessity, people exchanging goods and services to reach a balance in the necessities of human kind. In ancient times, people exchange goods and services because there was no money to be used as in modern times. There is a word used for the exchange of goods or services: “trueque” and it was used even in times when there was money in existence by retrograde societies. So, we can say that “markets” have evolved out of necessity since ancient times to reach a balance of things.
    Now we can become a bit more sophisticated as far as Economy is concerned and say that “markets” are maintained in a fair world (a dream) by the invention of tariffs. Is there a balance? Very unlikely as we can see it now by the unbalance of our economy as compared to Asian economy.
     
    Bottom line: Not confuse philosophy with the real world!

  • Cicuta

    That is nothing new and I don’t have to read the book to know something which has been happening since the dawn of times. “He who controls the masses controls the world” and we have seen it with different kinds of political systems.
     
    If we examine the different “political systems” it is all about the control of the masses in the pursue of power: political power, wealth power, energy power, etc. Why the UK and the USA have controlled, by force, the richness in oil of Middle East countries? How they have accomplished that? The answer is simple: By powerful organizations and the government working together for the good of the very-rich (corporations) and at the expense of the masses — using and killing people who have no wealth at all…soldiers and civilians. This can be tracked down to the discovery of oil and all to become more powerful and wealthier…greed, the greed of powerful corporations.
     
    In a fair world (a dream) these powerful organizations may be control by the government through taxes to benefit the masses and corporations alike but corporations are more powerful than corrupted governments. In a fair society, a balance must be attained between capital and people and so far there is no system devised that can accomplished that; there are always loopholes which corporations can use to their advantage and that is what we see now in our society. To me, the best type of government is the mixed one as in that system the government does not own corporations but this one at the same time cannot have too much capital power as to slave the masses.
     
    What about competition? In a capitalistic society, as opposed to a socialist society, productivity, better prices, and quality can be achieved through competition and the reward is a better way of life for the masses; however, greed most not be part of the equation to attain that goal and hence the invention of “unions” to overcome the greed of corporations which can care a less about the masses but want to become wealthier and more powerful.
     
    In a socialist society, the masses have all they need to just subsist, there is no competition as the government controls everything. The drawback is lack of productivity, quality, and good prices for the goods as they are scarce; however, the masses have all they need to subsist without becoming slaves of the corporations but they are slaves of the government.
     
    I think that a balance can be attained, corporations vs. masses, with a government which uses both systems; corporations do not become too powerful and the masses are not slaved by corporations and I think that China is attaining that balance (Tao)

  • Jesmckenna

    How can I purchase a copy of this program. Very powerful and very disturbing.

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

    Hi Jesmckenna,

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

    http://billmoyers.com/about-us/#Moyers%20&%20Company

  • moyersfan

    It’s called internalizing profit & externalizing costs. Everything companies can make somebody else pay for, including hazardous waste cleanup, increases their profits. Higher taxes on the rest of us to pay for roads & schools means corporate profits go up.

    Too many people forget their taxes pay for schools & road maintenance… Recall Prop 13: California voted to limit their property taxes,up unable to pay for schools. (They’re not being helped now by the lunatic “3 strikes” law locking up nonviolent offenders by the 100s–& spending more on prisons than universities because of it!)

  • moyersfan

    Amen to that. (The PBS haters would prefer to shut down any critical comments.)

    Don’t think PBS isn’t censored, tho: the corporate funding means some stories don’t get covered, & some critical footage doesn’t get on air…

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I feel annoyed by my taxes, I look at the street lights. I like street lights. I often work very late…. and have worked in towns w/o street lights. I know my taxes probably have no contribution to those street lights, but somebody’s taxes do… so why not mine? It costs about $2500/yr to maintain and operate 1 street light. So, when annoyed, I count however many street lights and tell myself… I paid for those. Those are my street lights…. amazing how the annoyance goes away.

  • Deniseannbsn

    From what our political climate appears in this rediculous GOP Presidential Campaign, these political tricksters appeal to prospective voters’ emotions. I know very few voters who take the time to read, research and then vote upon FACTS. Swift Boating Mega Wealthy Moguls place edited media in public, people see and hear it, fall for it, and believe the trash they produce in order to slander an opponent and distract from core voting issues. Why did we as voters allow the abysmal George W. Bush Campaigns and Presidencies to continue? Ronald Regan as well. Regulation by Government is not a bad concept. It is in place because Humans and their corporate creations are fallible; regulations hold us/them accountable. The entire deregulation stance by the Regan Administration and subsequent Administrations has dismantled our checks and balances and made loopholes larger and the dishonest even worse. People vote with their emotions and maybe now they will begin to research candidates instead of believing what they see and hear in the media.

  • Anonymous

    Moyers and Company is an excellent authoritative program featuring expert guests.  The recent Pierson and Hacker interview was a sad tale of our country and they made very clear where the problems lie.

  • Anonymous

    When will people or should I say some sheeple wake up. And quit partaking in all the ‘opiates of the masses’ and quit drinking any flavor Koolaid they are offered,  and see the real reason: like how hard it is for the 99% and who is responsible for inequality madness? People don’t’ fall in line with a  sense of ‘false consciousness’-Charles Lemert? Don’t let the ‘plutonomy over take the Precariat – Noam Chomsky! And understand the World is not Flat – Thomas Friedman

  • Mark S. Alexander

    I believe the focus on the top 1% is misplaced. We should be looking at the middle 20%. How does the middle 20% of America stack up to the middle 20% of England, France, Spain or Japan? Do the middle 20% of people in these other countries live better than the same group in America? Do they live in as many square feet? Are they more likely to have washing machines, a second bathroom, a car for their teenager to drive? How many of their children go on to college? Does the middle class in western Europe really live better as a result of their tax structures, or are the taxes paid by businesses really hidden in the costs for clothes, food and toilet paper, making the lives of the middle class far more expensive and thereby dropping the quality of life for those people? Having traveled there it appears to me that trying to tax the top earners has not resulted in better living conditions for the middle 20% in Europe or Japan. It’s too bad that Hacker and Pierson won’t study the middle class and see if the middle 20% of American are living so much worse than the people of other countries with more progressive tax structures.

  • http://twitter.com/graphiceye R G

    Great truthful story. Citizen’s United needs to get overturned; or there needs to be an Amendment to the Constitution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Arthur-Joyce/100000193131777 Sean Arthur Joyce

    This widening gap between the super rich and the rest of us is no accident, as these authors explain. It was a conscious policy decision beginning with the Reagan administration and it has continued unabated since then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1424688640 Brandon Coker

    It’s the same ole bull. Tax the upper 1% more but even if you took it all, it would run the government for less than a month. They also fail to mention that the government collected more revenue in 2007 than any other time in history. College tuition has doubled over the last 4 years and health care cost keeps rising because government won’t allow competition across state lines. Public unions continue strikes all across the nation while parents have no school choice. Pell grants go to poor, not the middle class. These guys have no answers. They made it a point to blame conservatives and show a clip of Bush but leave out Clintons massive deregulation. This country gave out easy credit to middle class and lower classes and they speculated then lost. Where is their responsibility?

  • Anonymous

    “Society is produced by our wants and, government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.” So states Thomas Paine at the beginning of Common Sense.

    Continue reading at http://somethoughtsfrommaine.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/the-governments-role-defending-america-from-itself-part-1-corporate-greed/

  • ScotsjohnSE

    This is the second time I have been lucky enough to
    watch this particular show! It is one that aught to be required viewing for many “Talking Heads” and other Pundits!

    As always Mr. Moyers and most of his Guests speak
    Truth to Power and these Two magnificent Authors and Guests are classic Moyers!

    Keep up the good work Mr. Moyers, our Nation needs
    you and many more like you!

    Be well, JSE.

  • exasperated

    The Tea Party was also born out of racism. No one wanted their country back until Obama occupied the Oval Office, Bush and Cheney took far more fr American people tha any other administration.

  • Beavertonor

    Dr Carlson at the national prayer breakfast a few weeks ago bemoaned the lawyer mentality that dominates our politics. Win at all costs. Don’t necessarily do what’s best but what wins for the moment. His point was well made that our extremely inspired forefathers were a mixture of doctors, businessmen, farmers, inventers, and lawyers. Where’s the balance? Did we lose it? That correction would go a long way to solving our problems.
    I vote Dr Carlson for President. What a wise guy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/texsbill Texsbill Gran

    us economy has been in decline since 1966. usa so big, so vast, down-ward trend was not noticeable to most until the effects were felt on a personal level. i do not hate on the supa-wealthy. i love just bout every1 in the world. i do feel that the top .01% should not enjoy financial fortune at the expense of nearly every one else. have read & studied economics since 1979. 2 of my favorite economists are noreena hertz & samuel bowles. each warned of our current economic plight decades ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.martin.92351995 Dan Martin

    This segment on income inequality was viewed by me on the internet, late in the evening, following the vote of my shares for the Walt Disney Company, which will hold its Annual Meeting today in Phoenix, Arizona. I voted against six long time directors, the company’s Amended and Restated 2002 Executive Performance Plan, and against the advisory resolution on executive compensation. I voted in favor of a shareholder proposal relating to proxy access involving the opportunity of shareholders to nominate directors to the board, and for a shareholder proposal regarding the separation of chairman and chief executive officer.
    Back in the good old days, stock in a company was sold to generate revenue for new plant and equipment or to expand operations. Today the stock market is primarily used as a vehicle to enrich the CEO and his top lieutenants under the excuse that it’s necessary to retain top talent. Who is talented and who is not talented is in the eye of the beholder. I can say with all certainty that one CEO does not a company make. The success of a corporation is the result of the hard work and dedication of many individuals working collectively, and they should all be rewarded accordingly, not just a few at the top. This is Dan Martin reporting with news and commentary…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.speeg Bonnie Speeg

    If it weren’t for Moyers and Robert Reich I’d lose my American born mind…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.speeg Bonnie Speeg

    Not sure I understand how Communism IS a religion in the same breath as Consumerism is NOT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.speeg Bonnie Speeg

    So transparently true for me as one observer. Blatant disregard for the African-American president on many account. Yes, Bush/Cheney took far more, in many ways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.speeg Bonnie Speeg

    I am equally floored by the younger generation just sitting there….I’m also from the 60′s. Where are the college groups that are getting smart and see how inane politics are in general and they have no innovative spirit? Where are people that need to stand up against something? People who don’t stand for something will fall for ANYTHING and they are. I’ve talked back to the TV, I used to watch, since I was 18 and ask questions instead of accepting absurd answers to practical questions, politically, socially, morally…all of it. I’ve never, ever seen such a depressed Nation. No spirit. Moyers I stand by..and Robert Reich.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.speeg Bonnie Speeg

    There’s a sense of entitlement in a lot of unwarranted places. No one wants to work hard and get paid under 35 (geusstimate). I saw a guy about 20 scream, and I mean scream, at a dental receptionist for not giving his grandmother’s social security number to him so he could use her number to call her bank and use her money from an account to pay for his busted front tooth (we all sat watching and wondering how the hell he may have gotten a busted off front tooth…just sayin’). He threatened the receptionist telling her she had no right to withhold the information from him. He said he was entitled to his grandmother’s Social Security Number because they shared the same last name. Receptionist kept telling him it’s illegal, and he asked her where did she get that idea. She said is a federal offense to give it out without authorization. He again, leaned over the counter and told her about his inherited ENTITLEMENT to her number and he learned it in high school CIVICS class. The receptionist then picked up the phone for the police. None of us listening to his rational will forget it….

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.speeg Bonnie Speeg

    Agree completely. I am worried, but “Hope Dies Last” as Studs Terkel’s book was titled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeanne.lee7 Jeanne Lee

    thank you – an excellent perspective

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Mae-Chover/100000780677098 Linda Mae Chover

    Thank George Bush Jr.

  • Dan

    Excellent video. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388912761 Lucy Betageek Hanouille

    No, it was not. The Tea Party started in 2009 in reaction to The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
    While it has become an extremely racist, patriarchal institution, saying that is all it has ever been is revisionist history and untrue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388912761 Lucy Betageek Hanouille

    Government is not going to rescue you from this because government is in bed with big business and both were involved in engineering the inequality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.nightingale Keith Nightingale-Swaraja

    USA spends on military while population starves and suffers homeless ness

    OOPs That’s North Korea….

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.mullin.10 Barbara Mullin

    Fox News and the corporate newsmedia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karisa.keahey1 Karisa Keahey

    Sandy, you remind me of my mother who also was a 60′s activist and at one point worked for the EPA. She was warning us about what was happening for years. how the policies of administrations were affecting us economically, politically, and our health. She said long before I would hear it on news, that there was a war against the poor here in America. We use to think she was being extreme, when she would say if things don’t change, we are headed for a fascist rule by a corporate elite. Up until she passed away this Valentine’s day, she said the only way to stop this is organize and educate people to become involved and not apathetic. I hope there is a way to change this, that doesn’t require my buying someone’s vote that I elected to office.

  • Edwardo Lobo

    Something to consider is that in addition to owning the political process… the mega wealthy also own almost all of the media. They tell us what’s going on.

  • alamode

    So the question is: How can we act so as to WAKE UP the vast majority of people to DEMAND, resist, protest and end this creepy & v. dangerous (judging from history) – the severe inequality which IS EATING OUT WAY OF LIFE (=direct, personal suffering & collective trouble)? Has such a wakeup happened in the past – and how? How can we use new organizing tools to REALLY work – perhaps beat them at their own game? Surely, we must UNDERSTAND SOMETHING NEW ABOUT HUMAN BEHAVIOR & HUMAN NATURE!

    We know how the appeal of fascism and crony capitalism works, fear, the greed, the pitting us against an amorphous enemy and against each other, of taking half-facts and wedding them to half prejudices & lies.

    We know how it was when people voted with their conscience for Ralph Nader instead of Gore & GWBush got in and took us to the ‘wrong’ war under false pretenses – always benefiting the military-industrial complex and we are still essentially, lip-service not withstanding, ignoring the effects of global warming, how derivatives continue to trade in a greedy and nefarious haze, how banks/bankers are bigger than ever too big to fail/prosecute – other than the occasional relative drop in the bucket fine, at best, ETC!

    The question IS: HOW CAN WE WAKE UP & take action — more than the people who watch (the excellent journalism of) Bill Moyers & Co up?

    Let’s get an interview/book with someone(s) who can answer this! (Thanks, Bill Moyers & authors, good charts, great interview.)

  • http://twitter.com/aripapp ari papandreou

    i love this show,it really tells the people the facts

  • alamode

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7EwXmxpExw

    Here is the link to the bbc program (The Century of the Self) on how we, the people, get manipulated…to ignore the gross inequality, etc.

    This program was referenced in one of the comments below. We must learn how the middle and lower classes are manipulated to vote or grow apathetic – against their own self-interest. How individual and GROUP behavior can be studied and perhaps wake up– perhaps in time to save ourselves.

    This is one inquiry and though Freud’s theories may have been incorrect in some ways, he was correct and a harbinger in other ways. We can learn about the human brain works [making one act on unconscious/irrational forces, as well as conscious desires, more than on one's own needs/reason] — we must be alert to what is actually going on…and why.

    Seeing the greed doesn’t seem enough to cause enough to act to STOP IT, etc.

    It seems that with new understandings coming of the human brain, thanks to new imaging and scientific advances and the power of the Internet to speed collaboration over such finding, we may be at a ky evolutionary moment.

    And hopefully not on the verge of an Orwellian prophecy coming exist, the continuation of this gross inequality and the way we are destroying the finite resources of this planet upon which WE depend, no matter what the super greedy believe about their own ability to ‘buy’ an escape.

    This has implication for saving/resurrecting our Democracy, which I believe is at the core of this discussion on Inequality.

  • Victoria Lamb

    They give us their biased interpretation of what is going on.

  • Victoria Lamb

    “reined in”

  • Victoria Lamb

    veer

  • Victoria Lamb

    I don’t think public hangings will go over well with the American people. We are not, after all, barbarians.

  • Victoria Lamb

    I think you mean, “Hear, hear.”

  • Mikeguru

    I have stock, as one of the 20% wealthiest who own 92% of ALL stock on Wall Street. While the bottom 80% own about 8% of all Stock (you have to make enough money above paying for housing, food, and transportation to have enough left over to buy a share of stock). Wage Suppression for 30 years has lessened the 80% from buying stock or save money).

    I read annual reports of Corporations and noticed that the Executive Compensation listed in the Corporations annual report did Not match what other sources like
    Forbes and Fortune listed. Only the CEO and Five Executive Vice Presidents were listed by law but the Corporation had 1% of the Company under the same
    standard, paid 90% annually with Stock Awards and Options that they “cashed in for greenbacks” as soon as the 15% tax rate qualified for the stock sale.

    I will give you an example.

    IBM listed their CEO as having $2 million in Salary in their annual report to shareholders. However, Forbes and Fortune listed the CEO at $20 million. So
    where was the $18 million coming from? I tried to figure out in the Annual Report, where the $18 million was being paid to the CEO. It was not apparent
    except for “Stock Awards and Stock Options” with no “cashvalue” estimated.

    The CEO and the 1% of the total employee workforce (Executives) were being paid 90% in Stock, taxed at 15%. Only $2 million was paid and taxed at Ordinary Income. The Stock Compensation applied to the 1% of the Company or 4,000 Executives at IBM.

    A typical Corporate Executive would Sell the Stock under the guise of “Capital Gains” and receive the Special Treatment of a 15% Tax Rate. I think this “Trick” of paying in stock to the 1% of all major
    Corporations started around 1980.

    Over the years, I noticed that employees of Companies, the 99%, were Not receiving
    increases in compensation matching Productivity improvements with their hours increasing and benefits grew less and less. In fact, over 30 years the increase
    of employees not paid with Stock Awards was a easily 3% compared to 400% of Corporate Executives. The Corporate Board of Directors(who are the Executives
    tools) were using Cash from Profit to “:Buy Back Shares of Stock” that resulted in “Boosting the Stock Share Price, artificially” that would not have occurred had the Executives not being paid 90% in stock.

    Recently I read a book, that listed the Richest Point 1% of the USA. About 140,000 Households. About 49% of those Richest 140,000 Households are Former and Current Corporate Executives. The figure varies from 35% to 49% depending. However, it is apparent, Paying Executives in Stock, taxed at 15% made
    Corporate Executives very, very, wealthy while 99% were carrying the taxation load taxed at 39% ordinary income rates for the Country, not only with Revenue,
    but with their kids as the Corporate Executives kids escaped Military Service with no mandatory Military Service for all. (As a Veteran, the “Thanks for your Service comment from a Corporate Executive is insulting as his kids, never serve, only the Middle Class and Poor”.

    The next highest of the 140,000 wealthiest households were 19% Financial – Wall Street and Hedge Fund Managers, again – paid in Stock taxed at 15%.

    Ichuckle when I hear “We are making this buyback, not giving employees raises” to “return value to Shareholders” at the Corporate Boards reports at Annual meetings (they loath to hold public meetings) where the “Shareholders they are speaking of are Them, the 1% Executives, the managers paid 90% at a 15% tax rate”.

    Another fact is the employees are “Contributing to their 401K” taxed at 39% when withdrawn and at least 75% are being poured into Stock that the 1% Corporate Executives “sell for Cash” taxed at 15% every year.

    With the “Hyper Computer buy and sell every “microsecond” of stocks and no Transaction fee, Wall Street, Corporate Executives, and the Wealthy are
    “skimming the 401K and IRA;s” of employees and retirees every year and also benefit from 15% tax rates while returns overall a decade are “lost” (the Recent returns can be “washed away” in a few days with a “pull the trigger” of those “in the Know”.
    Remember the 1000 point drop in the Dow a few years ago in less than an hour?

    The Billions paid to Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs are with schemes like “hyper Stock Trading” and with Compensation being taxed at 15%.

    As Leona Helmsly stated “Only the Little People pay Taxes”.

    So, Look no further than Washington, DC for how the Wealth Disparity happened. Wall Street (paid at a 15% tax rate), Corporate Executives (paid at a 15% tax rate) and the “Investment in Bribery from Lobbyists from Wall Street and Corporations” pulled off the greatest “Financial Coup” in the history of the World that caused this disparity of wealth.
    Check out the disclosure of long term US Senators, stock investments on http://www.opensecrets.org .

    How do we fix it? It is certainly Not keeping this Corporate “Compensation Loophole” in place of Corporate Executives and the “the Loophole
    Scheme of being paid in Stock taxed at 15% must be addressed” and the Republicans are Not the solution, they are enablers of this huge tax revenue loss to run the country unless, of course, they are pressured by the 99% who pay taxes at ordinary income rates of 39% and more.

    Remember, just becasue you have a 401K that is comprised of Stock, when you cash in the 401K the tax rate is 39%, Not 15%.

    Our Country is in trouble tax wise from the shift of paying Corporate Executives and Wall Street Bankers with the “Pseudo Cash of Stock” taxed at 15%.
    This “Loophole” needs to be plugged.

    THINK about it.

  • http://twitter.com/bsaunders Barbara R Saunders

    I don’t regard the behavior of one uneducated 20-something as evidence of a trend in the morals of the country as a whole.

  • Rabbit

    A pharmacy chain decided that it is less expensive to settle lawsuits (the kids who got tamoxifen instead of fluoride tablets) rather hire adequate staff who could have prevented this. And I’ll say, it was preventable. The 37 second rule (process prescriptions quickly) is endangering people.

    The so-called pharmacist who runs the operation, and CFO’s who push for this idiocy need to go to another country. This is from healthcare. Just in my town? A toddler got nitroglycerin intended for a cardiac patient in his eighties. They really don’t care.

  • nevetsnidur

    The propaganda from the rich talk show moguls is that the poor and struggling middle class people just lazy. They want something for nothing. They are takers Where are these lazy-takers? Everyone I know works several jobs, and still can’t get anywhere. My grown children have it much tougher than I had it when I started out in the 1960s. I fear for the future.

  • rabbit

    it is interesting that Bill Moyers is a “lone voice” in media willing to challenge power brokers in the name of all that have suffered and continue to suffer. The voice of mainstream media has been silent in the face of corporate lies, political agendas that twist facts, and pleasure seeking idiots out to broadcast personal freedoms, hedonism, and anger at government. Yet as the class war gets a little more air time I see it gaining ground. Thank you Bill Moyers for returning to us in the face of the inevitable crisis you saw when George W Bush was elected.

  • Anonymous

    Two Master’s degrees for what? High school band director and family resource director for a school district?

    These are necessary, full time jobs…and additionally require a Master’s degree? I think there is enough to follow up on there for another entire show.

  • Anonymous

    As she talked, my thought was how do we find a transition for an economy built on consumption when we can’t consume resources like this anymore? Do we move to an ecomony that “purchases” infrastracture? What does that mean to government? Who “buys” and who takes the bids and decides what to build? What role is there for virtual consumption?

    Yes, her pain was real. But we have to move past consumption without considering the consequences. We have over 7 billion in the world right now. Within the lifetime of the kids I am teaching today there will be over 9 billion. How can we have an economy build on consumption with that many people and still survive our own waste? Do we control population or do we let nature cull the herd?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.dipietro.14 Mike Dipietro

    America listen to the truth, not controlled by the rich and powerful!!!!!!!!!your future is at stake……support Obama remove the Bush tax cuts!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.dipietro.14 Mike Dipietro

    raise the miniumum wage, lives are at stake!

  • Anonymous

    You DO realize that “power” is deaf these days, yes?

  • Anonymous

    Housing, health care, child care, and transportation cannot be separate issues in minimum wage debate. Food is not the only issue!

  • Addy Hansen

    Ummmm a 30-year “plan,” eh? That would be during Reagan’s years and that’s not surprising. That old goat hated his kids – never wanted to be with them and certainly never wanted to RAISE them (he sent them off to schools during the school year time and then summer camps during the summertime) so that “old-fart” Ronnie (now dead and gone THANK GOD) could concentrate on Ronnie’s very favorite thing – Ronnie. Reagan was a total disgrace as a President and a horrible human being. Too bad he had the opportunity to totally mess-up our country like he did. A true American POS…and his “legacy” lives on today and will further torture real, true, DECENT and HONORABLE Americans for generations to come.

  • sandra martin

    But what are we to do about it!? A whole lot of us read this over and over. A whole lot of us have known about this for years, but we cannot get anywhere to bring about change. I sign petitions and make phone calls. They don’t count. I cannot give money to politicians. I have to live on what little I have. And those are the people trying to take away my Social Security and Medicare. I am the average American who studied hard and worked hard, and did everything we were told we were supposed to, to be good citizens and get ahead. Didn’t happen. Blocked by the wealthy and the corporate power blocks. Legislators only do what their monied backers tell them too. I cannot buy them off! I am not represented. None of us are. We don’t have money to pay them. Lobbying and bribery has to be stopped! We have laws against that, but nobody enforces them. The people in Congress pass the laws and give out the tax loopholes, and load the courts with judges who favor the wealthy, in the name of freedom, although it is at the loss of ours that pays for those laws. We saw the other …isms fall, Naxiism, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, and not democracy is gone. This country is run by the rich. It is an oligarchy, the very thing the founding fathers escaped from and tried to structure this government to prevent from every happening. And here it is. No body is stepping up with any way to fix this. They all accept that government is bought, and there is no way to change it now. Given that thinking we would still have slavery, indentured servitude, no women’s rights. It can be done, but I hear everybody saying that’s just the way it is, can’t be changed. The dumbing down of America, no more creative problem solving, just caving to the wealthy.

  • vucja

    those few people left in unions are in better shape than many but the right is successfully demonizing unions and too many Americans like easy blame, victims, and won’t do any homework to try to understand what is really going on. and would rather blame Obama for anything and everything without looking any further because it’s easy to sing the parrot song. And yes, Bill Clinton took away the last vestige? of Glass-Steagall, and his daughter is married I believe to a hedge-fund manager.

  • vucja

    Marc, none of this changes the fact of very unfair taxation rates which shift money away from the working class. I’m sure someone has compared countries, I’m aware that there are studies, books on “comparative public policy” which would include taxes, etc.

  • Pat Branigan

    My father who loved Reagan told me this once when I was talking about resources and how they could run out someday if we didn’t conserve. He said: ” I don’t care about future generations. I want mine now.” How do you deal with that. All I said was “Thanks Dad.” (sarcasm) and left the room.
    .

  • sandra martin

    I have no problem with wealth. I would love to have more myself. It is how the ones who have it, got it in the first place, that is the problem.

  • sandra martin

    John Stuart Mills said that ‘the purpose of government is to prevent citizens from harming each other’. Our government is now bought and paid for by a small group of citizens who use that government to harm the rest of us with the laws they pass, that favor the 1% by using the 98% to pay for those favors.

  • sandra martin

    Yes, I have seen all that. Could not include all that and even more, that is so obvious to me, and that I find strange that so many other Americans do not see. When I ask the questions and bring up the issues, almost everyone gets angry at me, calls me names, continues the behavior. And those of us who know, who see, and who try to point it out so that more of us will take action as a group, are called “traitors” and “ignorant”. No matter how hard we try, we are not strong enough to change it, and we will pay along with all the others who would not see, and would not act in all our best interests. Maybe ignorance is bliss. I feel like the mythical character Cassandra, who saw it all ahead of time, tried to warn the others, but was never believed, and never made a difference. If you do not study history, you are doomed to repeat it. But those of us who do, and are not strong enough to bring about change, get sucked down with all the others, when it all finally hits the fan.

  • Edward98

    I can’t see it changing.

  • vucja

    Pat Branigan – so sorry you have that memory!