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Bill Moyers, Thomas Frank and David Sirota: Will Obama (be able to) Do The Right Thing?

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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:24 PM
Original message
Bill Moyers, Thomas Frank and David Sirota: Will Obama (be able to) Do The Right Thing?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:34 PM by omega minimo
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01232009/profile.html
video
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01232009/watch.html
transcript:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01232009/transcript2....

Couldn't find photo of all three, so how's this illustration of unregulated mercenary capitalism run amok?


"New Era of Responsibility"

<snip>

THOMAS FRANK: Well, this is the biggest issue of them all. I mean, you've got to do this right, this is the heart of the recession. This is what's caused it all. It's also a huge opportunity if Obama chooses to essentially remake the economy or to adjust the economy and make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again and to make sure that, in fact, the entire sort of way that wealth has been distributed, prosperity has been experienced in this country for the last 20 years, is done differently, done right next time.

Second of all, look, and this is the sort of broad, grand historical view of things. For the last since the 1980s, the financial sector calls the shots. It not only is larger than manufacturing, it tells manufacturing what to do and every other sector of the economy.

Well, now look what's happened. Wall Street has driven us off a cliff, okay? It's time I mean, it is their day of reckoning. And to think that they're just going to get bailed out with no strings attached, they don't have to change the way they behave after doing this to us as a country, that's inconceivable to me.

<snip>

BILL MOYERS: So what's the first thing you'd like to see him do that would convince you your heart's in the right place?

DAVID SIROTA: I'd like to see him pass a much bigger, much more robust economic stimulus package that was focused almost exclusively on spending, on the kinds of public spending, expanding healthcare, infrastructure spending, and back off the idea of corporate tax cuts.

THOMAS FRANK: I would add to that it's judgment day for Wall Street. We need really strong oversight. Regulation is back. And we don't you know, forget bringing in, you know, these people that have been part of the problem. Bring in tough regulators. And they're out there. We have lots of them. You know, they know what they're doing. Bring them in. Turn them loose on Wall Street.

BILL MOYERS: "The Economist" magazine has said that this, quote, "economic crisis" may increase the appeal of the Chinese model of authoritarian capitalism right here no, this is "The Economist," which is no socialist rag, right? You would agree to that. I mean, is that a real threat? You wrote recently a column called "The Rise of American Czarism."

THOMAS FRANK: Oh my God.
DAVID SIROTA: Right.

BILL MOYERS: Is this what you're talking about?

DAVID SIROTA: It is. It's the rise of our desire to have dictators with extralegal power that the Congress or the president appoints to force things through. It really it's a way to subvert democracy in the name of progress.

BILL MOYERS: Isn't it the way to get the trains working on time? Isn't that what people mean by it?

DAVID SIROTA: That is what they mean. But what it does is it puts democracy in competition with progress, right? You're basically saying we don't think the regular democratic process of hearings and oversight is enough to make progress, to pass legislation. So we're going to empower essentially a dictator.

BILL MOYERS: Give us an example. And you provide one from history, if you can, of how this plays out.

THOMAS FRANK: Hank Paulson.

DAVID SIROTA: Exactly.

THOMAS FRANK: He's a disaster.

BILL MOYERS: How so?

THOMAS FRANK: He was making the policy just as he saw fit, you know?

BILL MOYERS: But he was secretary of the treasury. He was invested with that authority, right?

THOMAS FRANK: Ordinarily he-

DAVID SIROTA: Not ordinarily. He was appointed as the czar. Congress delegated its power of the purse to Paulson. And now what do we have? We have a bailout that we know hasn't lifted the economy. We've got an oversight panel, an independent oversight panel saying we don't even know where the money is going. And that's because there has been no public input. The democracy, the oversight, the input was completely offloaded for the czar.

THOMAS FRANK: And not only that but he seemed to make policy just by whim. Like, one day it's, you know, we're going to go and buy the troubled assets. The next day, no, no, no, we're going to bail out the auto companies, you know? We're going to have a stimulus package. We're not going to have a stimulus package, you know? And it was all up to him.

DAVID SIROTA: And by the way, you know in empowering Paulson, let's not forget Paulson, before becoming treasury secretary, was a top executive at Goldman Sachs, which has received or is part of the industry that has received so much money. So we've not only empowered a czar and subverted democracy, we've given that power to somebody who has direct connections to the very industry he's supposed to be regulating.



note to self: never use "thought-provoking realities" in DU thread title
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. I posted something about the show last night (that's when it was on in Raleigh).
Excellent interview, excellent points. I have to say I agree with them in that Obama's got the power and the people - and needs to use it aggressively!
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. I haven't seen all of Moyers' shows, but that one's a keeper.
They flayed Wall St. and the bankers without mercy. Good thing I have naturally low blood pressure, 'cause I was livid.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. One of the best hosting two of my favorites
Tom Frank has been on this for decades. Check out "The Baffler" and he wrote "What's The Matter With Kansas?"
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. DUpe is slow tonite!
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 09:55 PM by omega minimo
Tom Frank has been on this for decades. Check out "The Baffler" and he wrote "What's The Matter With Kansas?"
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. .
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 09:55 PM by omega minimo
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mckara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. We Historians are Under Appreciated!

That was a great show. I watched it online after reading your contribution to this forum. I hope the Clinton supporters among us were listening carefully. Thanks!
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. History is under appreciated
:hi:
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