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Week In The News: Markets On A Wild Ride, GOP In Iowa, SEALs Under Fire

Markets on a wild ride. American revenge in Afghanistan. London riots. Our news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Specialist Stephen Steinthal works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. (AP)

Specialist Stephen Steinthal works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. (AP)

It was a hair-raising week on Wall Street. Way down, way up, way down, way up in epic days that seemed to say nobody knows what’s going on. What comes next.

In the streets of London, wild riots, looting, fire –- the worst in a generation. In a valley in Afghanistan, the worst American one-day loss of life in that long war –- and then, counter-attack.

And at the Iowa State Fair, Republican presidential contenders out in the straw and up in debate –- all saying no to a ten-to-one spending cut to tax hike solution to the deficit.

This hour On Point: Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Steve Chapman, columnist and editorial writer at the Chicago Tribune.

Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor at Time magazine.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst

From Tom’s Reading List

The Los Angeles Times: “An American airstrike killed the Taliban insurgents whose attack caused a helicopter crash that killed 22 Navy SEALs and eight other U.S. service members, military officials in Kabul and Washington said Wednesday.”

Wall Street Journal: “U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain is considering a raft of new measures related to crowd control, gang membership and social-media communications, in an effort to prevent a repeat of rioting and looting that exploded across the country this week.”

The New York Times: “It feels eerily familiar: Stocks are plummeting. The economy is slowing. Politicians are scrambling to find solutions but are mired in disagreement.”

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  • Yar

    I made a comment here earlier this week comparing looters in the UK to those on Wall Street. The WSJ reports “Britain is considering a raft of new measures related to crowd control, gang membership and social-media communications” to stop its looters.  Where is the call to stop high frequency trading, short selling, and trading between companies with subsidiaries under singular control from manipulating spot prices in the market?  These Wall Street Looters are doing a thousand times more damage to our economy than kids in Britain.  I would like a congressional investigation that takes one high volatility day, analyzes every trade to see who is manipulating the market and how they are doing it.  Here is what a suspect is going on, A individual or company targets the stock they want to increase shares held.  On a high volatility day  they have a closely held partner offer to buy shares at a greatly reduced price, they sell some of their shares to the partner,(moving shares from one pocket to another) the market price drops to reflect the shares traded, the partner continues to buy shares from market at the lower price until the market volume raises it back up.  It is the financial version of swoop and squat that crooks use to collect from insurance companies on the highway.  Except the Wall Street looters use large computer banks that can see every trade as it happens and they swoop and squat on trades.  It is not sophisticated algorithms, it is simple thievery. Where is the congressional outrage?  Oh, this is the source of campaign money, these insiders and market door pick pockets share their ill gotten gains with politicians.  Where is Jesus kicking over the tables in the temple?  That is what I want my president to do. He can’t, the market clergy would hang him on a tree.

    • wauch

      This one of the most crucial linkages illustrated anywhere I have seen since the London riots. Amen brother or sister!

    • Ellen Dibble

      If there were a tax on shares sold and bought, considering that a commercial transaction, and interstate commerce in most cases, then I think the high-speed, high-volume computerized transactions would get bogged down in red tape.  Tax returns would balloon to the size of the Oxford English Dictionary for traders and their clients.  And traders would consider a trade with an eye to holding it for more than a few months (or a few minutes).  
      Isn’t this done already, though?  A share sold has a capital gain or loss, and that is reportable to the IRS, right?

      • Yar

        Ellen, I advocate any share held less than 6 months be taxed at a 50% gambling rate. And gambling losses can’t be deducted from regular income. So if a share is held less than 6 month you can’t deduct the loss.  The stock market is (was) intended to give capital to business, this is no longer the mission of traders, they are simply taking a cut on the flow of money.  I want to close the casino. I don’t know if it takes a run on the bank to do it or what, but we must do something.  Those dollar coins keep popping up in the back of my mind as a form of public protest.  I think by using them strategically the common man can make our voice heard. 

        • william

          Actually, a lower cap gain taxes encourages more investing and trading and results in more taxes being collected by the federal government. Even Obama admitted this was true, but he did not like it because he felt it was unfair.

          • Anonymous

            @0aeb1c67f759dc0e24a92a5eb0bf6a0b:disqus Obama has apparently adopted (or always had) the false “conventional wisdom” about capital gain taxes. All lowering them further will do is let the people with the 400 largest incomes, currently paying between 16% to 17% of their total income in taxes pay even a lower percentage of their income in taxes.

            People invest in new things if they see people willing to BUY that thing. Currently there are not enough people with money to buy anything that does not make an immediate contribution to their staying alive. [And some have a hard time doing that!]

            Lower the capital gains tax and ALL that will happen is more frothing on the stock market without ANY MORE jobs being created.

          • william

            “Conventional wisdom”? He admits he is wrong but wants to appeal to a certain segment of society as being “fair”. He complains that the government does not have enough income, but wants a policy that will result in less income to the government. He is just stupid on this issue. The facts are clear with respect to a lower cap. gain tax. Keep it low, the gov. brings in more tax income.

          • Anonymous

            @0aeb1c67f759dc0e24a92a5eb0bf6a0b:disqus I won’t defend Obama’s capital gains tax ideas; he certainly proposed the raising of medicare eligibility to age 67 to attempt to show that he was putting Democratic values on the table when other items were apparently not deemed effective for that purpose.
            The Laffer Curve is a myth, at least for marginal tax rates less than 90% or so. No one knows exactly where the inflection point is, but it is well above any marginal rate in consideration at this time. This has been proven so many times it is a wonder that Republicans can continue to try to influence people by repeating it yet again. With the panoply of false myths repeatedly trumpeted by hard right conservatives, maybe one of the others could slip by.

        • Anonymous

          @Yar_From_Somerset_Ky:disqus Another way to accomplish that would be to charge for each trade, a small amount per share, would generate a few billion dollars a month which could be used to rebuild infrastructure, educate the next generation, etc.

        • BHA in Vermont

          Add a higher percentage for stocks held for shorter times.
          - Less than 1 day: 110%
          - Less than 1 week: 100%
          - reduce at 10% per month up to your 6 months.
          And, yes, losses on these sales can not be used to offset profits from any sale, held a short time or decades. 

      • Yar
        • Ellen Dibble

          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-11/high-frequency-firms-tripled-trading-as-s-p-500-plunged-13-wedbush-says.htmlThanks for the link, but it was a deadend.  Try this for the same title.  If someone is trying to link, use the title yar gives.
              How can we use dollar coins as a form of public protest???

          • Yar

            The line wrap is messing with the link. I am glad you could find it.
            I tried to edit the post and it is locked up. I will try ti fix it later.I am not sure on the coins, one idea is if you get a government check, then cash it and get dollar coins, use them for everything from paying your electric bill to buying coffee.  I know it would be a hassle, but business would get the message that government spending is putting money in their pocket, not just taking it out in taxes.  High-Frequency Firms Triple Trades in Rout.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-11/high-frequency-firms-tripled-trading-as-s-p-500-plunged-13-wedbush-says.html

          • Ellen Dibble

            It’s been interesting to listen at parliament live TV to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne for the Tories and Liberal Democrats present on the UK austerity budget and debt, countered by the shadow chancellor of the Exchequer for Labour.  All the ruling coalition repeatedly say that no one in Labour has ANY suggestions for how to reduce the debt.  Because the UK doesn’t issue money the way the US does, Osborne’s position is clearer to my mind.  He can talk about the “pressure groups” that need to be stood up to in order to mobilize growth in the private sector (preventing already vested interests from blocking new ventures), and he can talk about private versus public money without — well, with a different frame of reference.  The Tories just established a nonpartisan budget group, something like the Office of Management and Budget or Congressional Budget Office, for one thing.  I believe it’s Tories who are chastising former Labour governments for selling London’s gold, which if they had kept it would have appreciated vastly.  But now when the UK wants to raise money, they talk about “selling assets,” which butts up against conservationists who want the government to buy more green space (versus sell it).  Something like that.  But when they talk about government expenditures, it seems clear to that parliament that it goes into the economy, and all are agreed that it is preferable for private growth to be going into the economy.  One MP spoke of a wind turbine start-up that had no business (a bid for free trade, which the Tories say the United States in September at the G-whatever is going to be trying to block).  The answer — right on the spot — is that the Germans are probably outcompeting the startup with a better product, so fight harder.  They are waitiing with bated breath for some new regs from the IMF.  I wish I had the time to re-listen to it.  It is much harder to get to hear and understand the American situation.  Check out Nick Clegg, Deputy PM, Lib Dem, who seems on board for the austerity, totally.

  • Somalia

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/07/27/somalia

    somalia Somalia SOMalia SOMALIA, SOMALIA. SOMALIA!

    SOMALIA!!! SOMALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wauch

    Markets hate uncertainty yet they thrive under a volatile regime? How does that make sense? I’ll tell you how it is because when you hear someone on Wall Street or their US multinational brethren complain about uncertainty what they really are moaning about is tax hikes on the wealthy but they prefer not to couch it in such terms. Instead the scream about uncertainty, however, all the short-traders/arbitragers made out like bandits in the last 1.5 weeks. Laissez-faire markets you gotta love em!

  • Ed

    This week it was mandated that health insurance plans must cover contraceptives and sterilization with no copay. And that religious hospitals are exempt – if the people they serve are only of that religion. So much for the religious exemption assurances that they spoke of before the health care bill was passed.

    • Brett

      Seems like persnickety quibbling to me…the religious affiliated hospitals are making out handsomely, don’t you worry! 

      In fact, you’ve touched on something, Ed, that is at the foundation of the Catholic Church’s position on abortion/reproductive rights–revenue would increase for their hospitals should Roe v. Wade be overturned (if their clinics, hospitals, etc., have limited reproductive services, their competition needs to have the same limitations of services offered for them to compete).

      • TFRX

        Yep. That “non profit” status of theirs so often lets them be the last hospital standing while competing against for-profit or other-classified hospitals. In the marketplace that means something.

        Too often it ends up that another hospital gets Catholic “values” thrust upon it simply to survive. (And no false equivalency on this, please.)

        Then, poof, a Birthright opens a mile away, because the hospital stops doing all that “Hippocratic” stuff for half the population.

    • Anonymous

      That was last week.  What are the gays up to this week?

    • Anonymous

      When viagra, cialis and that other one are covered, it should be MANDATORY to cover these minimal services for women. It seems that as soon as some of one gender gets its entitlement, they want to deny an entitlement to the other gender.

      • BHA in Vermont

        Minimal reproductive and contraceptive services for women should have been covered, mandatory or not, BEFORE covering ED.

    • Heidi in Burlington, VT

      Misogyny and religious beliefs are no excuse for denying women  access to reproductive health care.

      Women spend a majority of their lives, from age 10 to 55, able to bear children. Birth control is a health care and human rights issue for women, men, families, societies, and governments.

      There is a reason for the separation of church and state; religion beliefs vary too much to be applied to everyone and everyone is afforded the right to their beliefs. Your belief system should not interfere with or diminish mine or my rights otherwise.

      • Anonymous

        @26645d7581c9ae809ac91cb872893941:disqus Second each and every point; Ed needs to learn to attend to his own business and maybe he will live longer without the apoplexy he seems to suffer from.

    • Doubting Thomas

      Organized Religion – Keeping Women in Their Place for Millenia!

      • nj

        Goes hand-in-hand with the Republican motto: “Government doesn’t work. Elect us and we’ll prove it.”

  • Nazareth, Somalia

    I would associate myself with yar and wauch well thought out and sophisticated comments.  But make no mistake, if O. had one tear drop of J.C. in his heart, he would of kicked over the greedy money changer’s table at the temple’s door back in jan 2009.

    But of course he didn’t, and that’s no suprise either, before inaugruation Judas had already kissed the cheek.  Meaning, the yes vote for TARP, the installation of Geithner and Summers (later Bernanke), etc., all before the ” Chief Justice ” or Caiaphas if you will botched the oath on that bitterly cold January day in foggy bottom. 

    No No No, that gizzard been flown his chicken coop.  He left J.C. in Pastor Wright’s pews on the South Side. 

    P.S.  Make no mistake J.C. would have been in Mogadishu 2day and for weeks now baring witness to his Muslim sisters and brothers longest night.   

    • Zing

      And what makes you think He wasn’t there, Naz?

  • Bill

    “GROWTH”
    Tom and Jack, I want to tell you my reaction when I hear the word “growth”.  I think of freeway having many lanes full of cars.  I think of an airport parking lot so large that I have to take a 2nd public transmit just to get to the terminal building.  Etc.  Instead of “growth” I’m hoping for stability.  Job growth, yes, but not just growth.
    Bill

    • nj

      “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” —Edward Abbey

    • Dave in CT
      • Dave in CT

        “To get a feel for how this works, consider a mature forest. It does not grow in size, but it is a living system with a complex web of parts. Remarkably diverse species cooperate and compete within the forest, and new species and ecosystem functions develop over time.

        Just like in the forest, stability in a steady state economy is very different from stagnation. Ecological economists actually call this kind of stability a dynamic equilibrium. This fancy term means that a steady state economy is dynamic – it changes and develops over time, but it remains balanced with the natural environment.”

        http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/CASSE_Brief_SSE.pdf

    • Dave in CT

      From an environmental or true reform perspective, that is what is so gross about the Democratic party- from as long as I wanted to be a good progressive, I cringed hearing them use the same language of growth, growth, growth, and expecting different results.

      We can still have markets based on supply and demand, work, reward etc, without the concept of ever-expanding growth which is of course impossible.

      Oh, unless you need to raise ever more tax revenue to pay off debts in perpetuity to the banking class. That’s where the Dems are no different and part of the problem.

  • matt

    I think that people should read “The Age of Fracture”, by Daniel Rodgers  .  It is the best analysis I’ve come across of how we got into this mess as anything I’ve seen.  

  • AC

    This is a major turning point in history, i think. there are more people than jobs that need them, humans have accidently reached a point where the ease & comfort of technology have replaced many, once decent paying, jobs…..i think these ‘riots’ are the beginning of frustration of this, my own husband has become ‘an old, lost art’ (photographer) & he’s only 40. he’s adapted digitally to his field, but people just don’t want to pay for it anymore…& i’m laughingly waiting for wall street/stock brokers to wake up, they’re also becoming anachronisms. as an engineer, i know most trades are run through all kinds of models and algorithms, much more reliable (that sounds cold and short-sighted, but true) - day of reckoning coming for them too…
    i’m all for technology, just wondering how the balance will eventually play out…..it would be nice to see us 200 years from now

    • nj

      After a period of consternation, things will get much simpler. How long and chaotic this period will be will depend on how we understand, prepare, and communicate about it.

      The Really Big Shift will kick in when energy prices begin their inevitable, inexorable rise as fossil fuel supplies dwindle. Shifting to “renewables” is all well and good, but they will never supply the current demands of our overwrought, industrial, consumptive lifestyle in the “developed” countries. And “renewable” energy will be more expensive than energy from current “conventional” sources.

      People will earn less, travel less, own less, consume less, do more of the basic life-maintenance tasks (building, growing food, etc.). Settlement and work patterns will have to change. Hopefully, we can collectively address population growth in a significant, non-oppressive way.

      Check out the Transition Network.

      • Anonymous

        @ec87cceeca835fed2aaf1fd44f8b3700:disqus You are right about the increasing energy prices as both oil and coal costs are rising even now (the prospective diminishment of world-wide GDP having only inserted a mild hiccup). But you are seriously wrong about “renewables” perhaps because some of it is biomass, which will NOT be the end source of energy.

        The main sources of future energy are solar (concentrated and photo-electric) and wind power, with growing geothermal and possibly wave power as useful secondary sources. A laboratory has now shown a way to recover as much as 90% of the incident energy as electric output. Whether this will be achievable in the field, it almost certainly will be a great improvement on current and even other laboratory efficiency levels.

        But the eventual requirement for much of our energy will be reduced by increasing energy USE EFFICIENCY. The current lifestyle could be provided with HALF the energy if residential and commercial property was better insulated and appliances had the maximum energy efficiency currently attainable.

        • nj

          I don’t disagree that there are huge gains to be made by efficiency, conservation, better design, etc.

          But there’s nothing on the horizon that matches the concentration of energy in a gallon of petroleum or gasoline. A gallon of gasoline can do as much work as a strong, fit human could do working full days for about five weeks.

          There’s no way we can power the current infrastructure and transportation networks at anywhere near the cost that we’re doing it now. It’s going to cost more for everything, because nearly everything we do relies on cheap oil, and there’s no way to easily substitute for it.

          If you have references to the contrary, i’d love to see them.

      • AC

        do you have a link?

        • nj

          A link about the Transition movement?

          The Transition Town initiates began in Totnes, England around 2007. Their site is: http://www.transitiontowntotnes.org/

          The movement has grown, and now there’s a loose network: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/peak-oil

          If you Google Rob Hopkins (one of the founders of TTT) in the videos section, he has a number of talks that introduce the background and concepts.

    • Dave in CT

      Imagine if we actually reduced the population via education and persuasion?

      Might hurt pozi-style economic growth, but in reality, it’s more resource/person.  Wish I could live to see the day and enjoy the bounty.

  • Anonymous

    Important reads: Paul Krugman today in The New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/opinion/the-hijacked-crisis.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    But as Ezra Klein has noted,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/opinion/the-hijacked-crisis.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    After reading these, who can be surprised that a CNN national survey shows that only 17% of Americans support re-electing their OWN representative?

  • Cabmanjohnny

    Meher Baba “Don’t worry-be happy. It is almost the end of summer, get out and hike, swim, bike, and mess about before you run out of gas money and get evicted. Nothing saves collapsing financial systems like a major war which I expect soon. My garden is in full reward, nothing is as good as big old tomato sandwiches on homemade bread. Better learn to garden soon and stop fretting about Wall St.

    • Anonymous

      Amen.

    • Yar

      I plan on working up 4 bushels of tomatoes while listening to On Point today. 
      You might like this.
      http://www.kentucky.com/2011/08/07/1837523/canning-in-case-of-a-tea-party.html

      Canning in case of a Tea Party Raid.

    • AC

      darn. i’ve killed every plant i’ve ever tried to grow….except for some grape vines. those are doing well, tho missing ‘grapes’. just the vine-y part seems to be doing ok…..

    • Anonymous

      Garden & Can (or dry) – don’t freeze – you loose power & poof goes all your hard summer work!!! People need to get back to the basics!

      Tomato sandwiches – you are making my mouth water! Yum!

      • Yar

        Currently drying 10 lbs of grape roma tomatoes in the oven, they have a nice smell. The end product is almost candy.

        • Anonymous

          mmmmmm, I can smell them from here lol

    • BHA in Vermont

      Darn right. When the country goes to hell in a hand basket, at least you will be able to eat.

    • Dave in CT

      Has anyone made a basement root cellar? (walling off section of basement, hi/lo vents)?

      • Anonymous

        my parent have a “cold cellar” – small room in unfinished basement located on north corner of house w/ no windows. It has shelves & a pit for storing root vegetables – you could probably find info on internet or in older gardening books. I learned to can from my mother – best thing she taught be besides how to cook from scratch.

        I know some folks who store root crops in sand-filled barrels – you have to be careful though – the old adage “one bad apple” is very true and goes for potatoes also plus certain varieties store better than others 

  • L Hake

    “Extend unemployment…” I don’t want my benefits extended!  I want an effin’ JOB!

    • AC

      what is your specialty?

    • TFRX

      You’re still looking for a job. While you’re doing so, why not “Rich up”?

      Hey, when you worked for 12 years straight, you paid into that UI pool. And I believe UI benefits have been extended every time there were unemployment nubmers like this since WWII.

      So you should take a deep breath, adopt the rich man’s mindset, and treat that extended UI as a birthright, not something to be ashamed of getting, or begging for. Just take it as for granted until you (and most every American like you) gets out of this recession.

      (I’m using the general “you”, not the specific “you”. And all numbers are made up, not to anyone’s particular.)

  • Dennis-in-Omaha

    Last night, Mitt Romney called corporations people.  That is, ultimately income goes to people.  But that is not true.  Foreign corporations in China, India, Thailand etc.. are only allowed to function with their government owned partnerships.  That is, tax deductions for foreign income tax paid, is essentially US taxpayers paying for the factories that take away our tax paying jobs.

    When foreign state owned companies, deduct income taxes they pay themselves, we are paying for that and borrowing for that.  That is clearly taxation without representation.. and that’s not fair.

    Why ask China to lend us money, when we should be asking them to pay their fair share of taxes for their participation – and destruction – of our economy.

    • TFRX

      “My friend”, he added, twice in one minute.

      Made my skin crawl. Nobody has sounded that insincere saying that phrase in Iowa since Professor Harold Hill.

  • steve

    yes the public have been say ing jobs jobs jobs in the last election then congress wasted weeks on trying to repeal health care, now its been months on the debt ceiling they are just doing poltics not working the problem!!
    as for Romney if corporations are people where is their Draft card? I got mine!  GE or FOX or Coca cola  wont end up in a fox hole ever!

    steve

  • Suzie in Newport, RI

    Wow!  Why won’t the guest answer the woman’s question about corporations operating offshore and receiving taxpayer bailouts with no obligation to create jobs within the US?  He absolutely ignored the key part of that woman’s question!  Who is he afraid to offend?  Who is he working for? 

  • Dave in CT

    Financial elite spent last 25+ years scheming on how to fleece the public, succeeded, and now we wonder why there is no demand?

  • seattleav

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=my&s=VIPSX&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=&c=%5EGSPC&c=%5EDJI

    Please have your caller comment on this. Is stock index investing a myth?

  • BHA in Vermont

    The purpose of stocks and bonds is for companies to raise capital to run their businesses. The buyers expect to get dividends from stable and growing companies. Once the stock is sold, the company does not benefit one iota from people reselling. All future sales are purely speculative and have no value to the companies or society.

    - Short selling should be illegal. Buy stocks in companies you think have a future. Allowing someone to sell a borrowed stock with a promise to replace it with a purchase of the same stock in the future is just stupid. If you don’t own it, you shouldn’t be able to sell it.
    - Day trading and rapid turnover for pennies of profit per share should be illegal. No stock should be able to be sold unless it has been held at least 30 days.

    Time to get back to investing in production, not shuffled paper.

  • Dave in CT

    US public served its role, now in toilet. Financial elite moving on to international populous for it vampire work.

    • Dave in CT

      moved to new post

  • EricMJones
  • Freeman

    Tom;   Rana has it right;most encourageing to hear SOMEONE speak the truth.The “financialization” of America. One step closer to TOTAL CONTROL. Learn if you dare from Arab Spring and England. Coming to America—just a matter of time. Be careful to WHOM you give your address to.

  • Cory

    I hope the events this week in England are a beginning and not an end.  Notice how the power structures in England are beginning to whittle away freedoms to prevent future expressions of frustration and discontentment.  Coming to a legislature near you!

    • Campusbellos

      Considering coincidences, conspiracies.  Who got taken to the woodshed a few weeks ago.  The Conservative Party. Rupert Murdoch and the London Metropolitan Police, you know how wounded beasts are always more dangerous.  Anyway this  distraction from the hacking scandal is palpable.

    • Zing

      So, if I don’t like the colour of your house or the way you keep your property, I can express my discontent by burning it down?

  • Michiganjf

    Let’s hope those few thousand millionaires and billionaires can keep all the restaurants, clothing stores, and every other brick and mortar establishment in our country running!!!!!

    It takes hundreds of millions of people spending their money to keep America in business!!!!!!

    … NOT a few thousand rich folks!!!

    • Steve T

      They can’t that’s why businesses are going going gone. Buy hey they buy things that you or I could never afford. ie 24K gold faucets in their 1000ft bathrooms all eight of them, and a staff to clean them, paid less than minimum wage.

  • john in danvers

    Tom, Rana just illustrated how companies want to put their new plants overseas.  

    Well, if we had a tariff to equalize the wage rates on what they make in those plants with US plants, Poof! there goes foreign investment.  Then they’ll all build here and hire our people.  

    Bob Rubin’s global labor arbitrage goes poof!

  • Joe in Philly

    Tom, yet another excellent program. Can your guest comment on recent comments from the Chinese Central Bank, that US Bonds are “a giant Ponzi scheme?” Will take my response off-line!

  • Tina

    At about 10:23 a.m., during the show, a caller said something brilliant. I’d missed the show before this point.  What I DID hear AFTER her brilliant call, was brilliant confirmation by the female guest, but the male guest (Steve Chapman) said something SO NARROW it made me claustrophobic!  HIS kind of thinking, at least at that point, had NO dynamic, ecological understanding of our plight — but there ARE people out there (OFTEN NOT economists!!) who understand the whole ecology of the mess we are in!  Can we have more brilliant citizens on who just speak plain, though detailed, truths?  Perhaps a series of conversations hosted by NPR would bring out the people who can express how some of the details wind up cascading into major catastrophes, etc., etc.  Thanks again for all that you do to air issues that affect us all!

  • Anonymous

    WRT Growth Rates…
    A graphic showing mankind’s growth rate over hundreds of years showed limits in growth tied to population growth. Technological Revolution (irrigation, industrial farming) supported increased in population growth rates.

    Whenever economic growth rate exceeds the growth in population aka growth in consumer population, there is inevitably a reckoning. The Republican myth that we can grow faster through  tax cuts for the wealthy is magical thinking. You have to grow active consumer base. That is accomplished through growth in jobs and income for Jack and Jill Consumer who have to spend their money, not Biff and Buffy Billionaire who can park it or invest it overseas.  We’re living through the days of reckoning.

  • Tncanoeguy

    If Rev. Wright was a problem for Obama, Bachmann has some serious wackos in her background.  Won’t that be a problem if she is on the ticket? 

  • Freeman

    Tom ;
             Tell your caller Walter that it is ALL by Design. Borrow,borrow,borrow; Name of the game. WHO owns you when 100% of your GNP goes to the Banks. Tell me ;”how you like ‘Nation Building’”? Oh NOT YOURS. Oh how they must be laughing at America.

  • Tina

    Mitt Romney says that he is “not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food”? ????!!!!!  How low can you go??!!??

  • kilingtonskier

    If Michelle Bauchman remains a straight shooter that uses her religion to guide her, she will never get elected. If she does, “God” help our country! (like he did during the holocaust).

  • Dave in CT

    Wall St. with congressional backing (Fannie/Freddie) pulled of the greatest swindle of all time against the US public.  The show marches of those coke-heads in front of the congressional boobs did nothing.

    Where is the accountability?

    Why do we let the rabid predators continue to roam free?

    There can be no closure, no reform, no moving on until the shameless billionaire vampires and there sycophants have be served justice.

    But of course the two party system succeeding at the “nothing to see here”, and herding us into the R column of the perpetual ping-pong game that maintains the financial elite status quo.

  • Suzie in Newport, RI

    Bravo to the Iowans holding Romney’s feet to the fire at the county fair yesterday!  They were forceful and well informed and got Romney to reveal his true corporate colors.  Maybe Iowa will the the next Wisconsin, the next birthplace of a progressive movement in America! 

    • TFRX

      Part of me says this is the toughest confrontation Mitt will have to undergo, unless Fox decides a Perry or Bachman is favored, and everybody at Fox News, and Rush, and such, “know what has to be done”.

  • TFRX

    “He came out well in that exchange? He’s standing up to people who don’t understand how markets work? He has a good deal of experience in the private sector regardless of how slash-burny-firey he was?”

    What?

    “I’m not exactly sure which of Romney’s companies the caller was referring to” as buying to dismantle and fire while Mittster gets to brag on his entrepreneurial experience and bidness smarts?

    Please. Shouldn’t this be background knowledge at this point?

    • Anonymous

      Last time Romney ran, Huckabee had a great line that “Romney looks like the guy who laid you off.”

      • TFRX

        Didn’t know that. I thought that Jon Stewart (who often has Huckabee on) once described Romney as looking like “every boss who ever fired your dad”.

        Sounds like they may have chatted in the green room.

  • Chris B

    Romney’s, “corporations are people”, comment may be true in a technical sense, but could it possibly be any more politically tone deaf?  I hope he keeps it up!

    • Dave in CT

      very true, but putting progressive eggs in that basket is moronic. As it is technically true and the organic dynamics of markets, with changing supply and demand, growth of business and shrinking of businesses, old tech, new tech, fads, fickle consumers etc etc.

      That is what dynamic means.  It IS like gardening and composting. Hard to look a job loss as composting is tough of course. But creating a culture that supports the dynamism and helps people navigate it is the solution (Perm health care etc), not communism or other static economic models.

      And recognizing that is in no way an apology for the financial ponzi scheming the has destroyed our markets and country.

      That corrupt crony capitalism chock full of collusive incentives and mal-investment bubbles has nothing to do with an organic market economy

    • Dennis-in-Omaha

      The comment that corporations are people, is not true.

      To operate a factory overseas, you often have government state owned companies as partners.

      This distorts the economics because they have figured out how to have US Taxpayers reimburse them for taking our jobs away.  How do we pay for the taxes then?

      It is not protectionism – in the bad sense of the word – to ask for a fair deal.  When we give tax benefits to foreign state owned companies, we are endorsing everything they do…  and that has not been discussed at all with us American voters.

      • Steve T

        Oh but it is true.
        The Supreme Court Ruled it so passed it as if it were the thing to do.

        When they did it, I thought Who put this before them to rule on?  what a knife in the back, and who paid them to do so (maybe a bunch of corporations)?

    • Dave in CT

      To trade in our ire for the financial Ponzi scheme-makers that torpedoed our economy, in a game where they collect fees and interest along the way, and pick up the pieces for pennies after the destruction, for some quixotic fight against the concept of dynamic hiring and firing of people in an organic business marketplace is moronic IMO.

    • Roy Mac

      uhh…Corporations are persons; not all persons are people.  What the supreme court said is an argument, but don’t ascribe human spirit to a ‘person.’

  • Freeman

    Tom & Guest;
                        Romney used his beliefs to ROB the American people of Billions of dollars of “tax “money by shifting the profits of the companies he raped to “off-shore” accounts. SOMEONE please EXPOSE these criminals for what they are.

  • Rex

    The Bachman cover photo reminded me of the doctored photo of OJ Simpson on Time back in 1994

    • TFRX

      Bachmann’s photo wasn’t doctored, though.

      This foto was.

      I consider the attention paid to the photo as someone’s meme from inside the Beltway, and that On Point is riffing on it without wondering how it came to be a meme shows a major journalistic failure.

      Covering politics is like a poker game. For all the need to feel “savvy”, we’ve got (in our mainstream press, not just NPR) a plethora of journalists who don’t get that uneasy feeling when they can’t figure out who the sucker at the table is.

      • Anonymous

        If they wanted to make her appear crazy, they should have quoted her on the cover.

        • TFRX

          Yep. The pushback over the term “rage”, which I think is on the cover, is hilarious.

        • nj

          That was the point John Stewart made in the clip that On Point only aired a part of.

          http://vodpod.com/watch/14825936-glazed-and-confused?u=buzzflash&c=buzzflash

          • TFRX

            Yes, but it have been not Nice Polite Repbulicanny to mention how her words are quite capable of doing that to her. It’s pretty poor editing to not even finish the paragraph, in that respect.

    • Zing

      It reminded me that newsweek sold for a buck

  • kilingtonskier

    The riots in England are no different than what has happened in the USA—an opportunity for sleeze to come out of their holes and legitimize (in their minds) their position in life. Not much different than the lice that came out when Hitler and Stalin ran things.

  • Dh001g

    I would like it if private equity became a campaign issue. Its the old story from the movies “Wall Street” & “Other Peoples Money.” American industry is worth more to some people in little pieces. The reason though is not straight economics but policy. Corporate raiders didn’t exist in the 1950s. There is a great episode of either “this american life” or “Planet money” about how they destroyed the mattress industry.

    Also note, German used cheap immigrant labor from Turkey to keep their industrial base.

  • Mwilson

    Why isn’t the media talking more about the truly alarming fanatical religious views of Bachmann and Perry? Enough is enough with this evangelical nonsense. Empty-headed ‘official’ prayers for rain (Perry), vows of submission in marriage (Bachmann), rants against homosexuals and abortion, etc., airy dismissals of laws (achieved by democratic process, by the way) of separation between church and state … these two belong in Iran, not in the US. How can anyone take them seriously?

  • Joachim110

    There is a limit to shipping jobs overseas. At some point the base in this country will have no income to buy from walmart and co the chinese stuff. Any company should be taxes in this country and not allowed to circumvent our tax system, charge the expenses in the US, the profits in Ireland and the remainder goes to the Cayman Islands.
    Corporations should receive tax incentives for the jobs they maintain in the US and for contributing to our society. If they are leeches that such up the money here then we need a different system.

    • Yar

      Have you ever thought how much of Walmart’s volume comes directly from the government?  Go to a store at midnight the day funds get transferred into Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) accounts. They will be hurt by spending reductions.

  • Anonymous

    First, corporations are people. Unfortunately, they’re not all American people.  Nothing personal against Chinese laborers employed by American business owners, or, conversely, the owner of Toyota who employs many American workers. But Romney should remember that he’s applying to be president of the USA, not president of the transnational economy.  
    Second, the fact that corporations are people only makes the current situation even more infuriating. In Japan they have restrictions regarding the proportion of salary among the highest to lowest paid employees. Here, in this country, we believed that the former CEO of General Motors was so talented that he deserved to be paid salary and bonuses equivalent to that earned by a 100 (or more?) public school teachers. This is about people and the rational value of their labor. Thank you for calling attention to that Mr. Romney. Corporations are people. Unions are people. Public workers are people. But why should some have dignity at the expense of others? 

    • Joachim110

      And if they are people and have a right to influence elections then they also need to pay taxes. How is this with BP? Its a British company bribing politicians to influence their politics and we always understood that elections are a right of Citizens. There is no justification that these CEO’s earn such salaries which are an insult to anybody working on minimum wages, on slave conditions like in Walmart and with the people on the top thinking because the rob the mass of their income they are better then the rest.
      Why is a skill of a CEO his ability to reduce staff, ship jobs outside the country and be lauded for breaking companies apart?
      Should a well performing CEO not one who is able to manage a corporation so that the workers take part in the system? That they have a certain income guarantee, secure work places?
      The whole business system is rotten in the U.S and since Enron it has gotten worse. We should have trials of these criminals that commit fraud like Rick Scott, for his largest medicare fraud in history. Why are such people allowed to seek office?
      This country is indeed very sick. 

    • Dennis-in-Omaha

      Corporations are not always people.

      Some countries, like China in particular, have state-owned corporations.  These companies pay their government income tax and then deduct these taxes 100% from their US income taxes.

      That is, corporations and their foreign government partners, have hte ability to make us pay their taxes.  US taxpayers are paying for the factories that take away our tax paying jobs, and building up their military.

      That is taxation without representation.  And that is not fair.

      • Anonymous

        That’s an interesting phenomenon that honestly I was not aware of. But, one could still say that the state owned corporations are people, insofar as the state is an organization of people (even if it’s not a democratic organization). You may disagree. At any rate, my main point above is only to suggest that this debate about whether corporations are people or just institutional power structures (that have a life of their own) is an interesting one, but ultimately a complicated and philosophical matter that we don’t really need to wade deeply into in order to counter Romney’s remark.

        • Dennis-in-Omaha

          Hey mangan,

          This also reveals how out of touch republicans are when they defend Romney’s comment.  They are quick to point out how corporations are somehow people…  But…  They are slow to recognize that actual people are people.  Slow, sometimes to never, mention tax cheating of those who take away our tax paying jobs.  Quick to ignore the harm of cutting social services and economic development.

          This orientation is dehumanizing. Saying that a made up thing is a person, while ignoring the suffering of actual real people…

          Do you suppose this might be a “pro-life” sentiment?  I don’t think so.  Pro-life people have not got their money’s worth from Republicans.

          • Steve T

            Jan 21, 2010 – Supreme Court ruling comes down – Corporations are people with free speech and the protected right to bribe politicians.

          • Dave in CT

            Plants are plants. Old plants die and new one’s grow. The forest goes on. I love plants.

            Unless we go communist, we will never get rid of hiring/firing.

            Lets stick to prosecuting the corruption of our Financial/Washington elite, and not spin our wheels fighting against the almost natural phenomenon of companies expanding and contracting, new companies arriving, old, failing companies dying.  Yes, there are people in those companies.  That’s life.

          • Anonymous

            I agree that at its best the free market aspires to a kind of organicism, and the earliest philosophers of the market, like Adam Smith, described the threat of monopolies as weeds upsetting the productive balance in market competition.

            But your phrase “almost natural phenomenon” is key. The “free market” is of course not actually organic or natural; this is a metaphor, and all metaphors have their limit. The idea of a pure free market is a historical phenomenon, and it’s not that old a concept. While one could argue that the overall evolution of human economies is a “natural process,” (and one could certainly take issue with that too), it seems especially questionable to isolate the free market (a particular phase in history) and equate it with the universal ebb and flow, growth and decay, cycles of life, etc. Moreover, it’s questionable to even assume, that “the forest goes on” as you write. That strikes me as a little too comforting. Look to the rain forest. 

            I’m not advocating communism, or even socialism, but I am suggesting that there is a danger in assuming that the expansion and contraction is a natural and universal phenomenon lacking any specific historical and political implications. This view suggests that as a democratic collective, we have neither control over nor responsibility for the market process, other than in prosecuting criminals. Insofar as we have the power to write laws that determine legal and illegal practices, we have the power to determine what kinds of plants thrive and wish ones don’t. When the government passes strong anti-trust laws, it favors smaller businesses and competition. Conversely, when  government writes laws that disempower unions, or intervenes to break strikes, that’s also a free market manipulation that favors certain kinds of business practices.

          • Dave in CT

            Yes, we lack a uniform, blind, rule of law that circumscribes the worst tendencies of human nature and human economies.

            Our desperate combination of neoconservative social paternalism/market anarchism, along with liberal bandaids of ever expanding government activism to rescue us, is a far cry from a more libertarian view that fully accepts a blind Rule of Law at its core, and lets humans and markets act as organically as possible within that rule of law.

    • Steve T

      Yes and if corporations are people why don’t they pay the same taxes as the average Joe Smoe?

    • Roy Mac

      uhh…Corporations are persons; not all persons are people.  What the supreme court said is an argument, but don’t ascribe human spirit to a ‘person.’

  • John

    Businessmen…
    Wait, wasn’t George W Bush a businessman? That worked out real well

    • Zing

      He was also elected twice.

      • nj

        Once, maybe. Stolen once. 

        “In any real, moral, and democratic sense, Al Gore should have been declared the victor over George W. Bush – in the popular vote, in Florida, and in the Electoral College.” —Jeffrey Toobin

        • Zing

          Nonsense, but you’ll never get over Bush humiliating Gore trying to steal the election.

        • Me

          Bush won Florida. The votes have been counted and recounted a thousand times by every liberal alive. Bush still won. Some fanatics have posited IF all the illegal votes (as predetermined by Democrats) cast were to be counted as Gore votes then it MAY have been a toss up. We do not elect Presidents with the popular vote. If not for the electoral college New York and California would make flyover country irrelevant. But if you are opposed to the Constitution then don’t try to change the rules after the votes have been cast. Bush won fair and square.

          • Me

            And with 5 million more votes than elected Clinton.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            My god, have you already been reduced to such nonsense posting?  Goldwater probably got more votes than Dewy. What does that prove? The population tends to grow.

            Clinton won a plurality of about 43% in a 3 way race. If there had been Instant Runoff Voting, I don’t know where Perot’s 19% of the vote would have gone.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Actually I think the antidemocratic parts of the Constitution make a mockery of the very concept of morally legitimate government.
             
            Bush was REJECTED by the People. You can make all the “legal” arguments you want. From a MORAL and DEMOCRATIC point of view a half million more citizens voted for Gore. If we didn’t have such a god awful electoral system, those Nader voters would probably have picked Gore as their second choice.
            But if you want to defend an antidemocratic Star Chamber overturning the Will Of The People… feel free. To think that US and world history were changed for the worst WITHOUT the consent of the governed.    

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Did Bush actually win Florida? Probably not…

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12623-2001Nov11.html

            After 911, this story didn’t get much coverage. 

  • BHA in Vermont

    Still on the ‘no new revenue no matter what’ wagon.
    Why don’t we just stop all government spending.
    No spending, no taxes, no deficit. The rainbow will be lovely.

    Figure it out Tea partiers and ‘no tax’ Republicans, it isn’t hard. The people with MOST of the money who would pay a bit more on the income over $250K of their PERSONAL income can handle a bit of extra tax to help fix this mess we are in. It would make ZERO difference in their lives. THEY are the ones who profited in the years prior to the country heading into financial ruin and they are still on top of the heap while the middle and lower class is jobless. Most CREATE NO JOBS and those who do create them based on product demand, not how much tax they pay.

  • Freeman

    Tom;  Again you Guest Rana hits the nail on the head. Why doesn’t the GOVERNMENT hold the Corporations “feet to the fire”; when most of their money is being made off government contract. Which by the way is actually “my money”.   Duh !!!

    • Tncanoeguy

      Yes, I commented on a show the other day regarding the Republican talking point that the government doesn’t create jobs.  Again I say, is Halliburton aware of this? 

    • nj

      We know why the “government doesn’t hold the corporations feet to the fire.”

      It’s because the Supreme Court has granted corporations personhood standing.

      It’s because corporations have essentially bought politicians.

      It’s because politicians have become money whores to their corporate pimps.

      It’s because lobbyists infest the government.

      It’s because corporations actually, literally, write an increasing number of laws (look up ALEC).

      And it’s because we, the lazy/poor/distracted/preoccupied/working-three-jobs/disinterested/disheartened/unorganized/apathetic/tired (choose one or more) citizenry allow it to happen.

      When people move to reclaim the powers they were granted when the country was founded, and begin to do the hard, consistent work it will take to reclaim the government from corporate interests, then things will change.

  • middle class

    America is sick. It has cancers. The cancers want more and more nutrition and get bigger and bigger. I just hope they realize that this is not sustainable. If the host gets sicker and sicker, there will be less and less for them to extract.

  • Sara

    The Bachman question about being a submissive wife is an example of sexism in this country. I do think Bachman’s religion and views are scary and dangerous for the country. But are any male candidates ever asked how they treat their wives in this submissive religious role? Also, what happened to my right to freedom FROM religion!!?

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t vote for a man who required his wife to be submissive either. 

      • Anonymous

        I agree. I wouldn’t vote for a candidate who admits to being submissive, sorry, if you’re submissive to your mate, how in the world would you navigate different governments and rulers? NO WAY.

        • Anonymous

          I’m annoyed that the candidate I voted for last time has been so submissive to the Republicans.

          • Dave in CT

            He is a christian after all….and Republicans so…….Godly…..

          • Zing

            Rush tried to warn you.

          • nj

            This was tired and lame the first time.

          • Zing

            For liberals, the truth always is…

    • Me

      There is no “freedom FROM religion”, it’s freedom OF religion. Huge difference.

      • ac

        maybe she means ‘sep of church & state’ instead….

      • AB

        It is not a huge difference at all.  In fact, it’s a distinction without a difference.  You cannot have freedom OF religion unless that includes freedom FROM religion.  Are you suggesting that government should guarantee citizens the right to choose any religion they like but NOT the right to be atheists or agnostics?

        • Me

          The founding fathers, some of whom were Diest and atheist, used the word “of”. “From” is incorrect. 

    • Dave in CT

      Mitt’s magic underwear?

    • nj

      In and of itself, the question to Bachmann wasn’t sexist. She had previously made reference to the submissive business. 

      I suspect a male candidate making a similar statement would be asked about it.

  • Alan Shulman NH

    Caller Anita hit it right on the money. The Republicans have no interest in helping working class Americans. And Democrats don’t have a whole lot either. But Wisconsin recall voting shows that a concerted effort of working class folks can turn the tables on anonymous corporate electoral shenanigans if they make up their minds to do so.

  • mary elizabeth

    The 400 billionaires (Canada has 24, Japan has 26) and 8 million multimillionaires in this country became so by the masses lining up at their cash registers. A small increase in their tax rate would affect them little while uplifting the society that enabled   their  bulging wallets.
    Yet, we hear nothing from them.  Instead many build $10,000,000 mansions and order  their underwear from Paris.
    In the realm of the spiritual, it is doubtful that any  human’s purpose on earth should be the accumulation of massive wealth, but rather  to care for one another, not through handouts, but by creating fertile ground that nurtures  through decent education, health care,  a living wage; tools that have become out of reach in part due to the culture of greed that has become acceptable to  the Ayn Rand syncophants.

    Vote for no one who would work to enrich the massively wealthy at the expense of those who enabled it.  

    • Steve T

      Well that narrows the field, to zero. Show me one time where congress didn’t vote themselves a raise as a first order of business?

      • mary elizabeth

        I always vote myself a raise at work, too–nothing against the good life or the very, very  good life,–  but  still accept a responsiblity to social justice and the common good  when asked, not to give away may fortune, but share a little more when some folks are sleeping their cars, eating from food pantries, or going without health care.

    • Dennis-in-Omaha

       
      There is one silver lining of hope out there.

      The group called “patriotic millionaires”.  They actually get it.

      They want tax increases on wealthy people to help keep the system working.

      Some millionaires make more money from China than from the US.  One of those is Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News.  Coincidence?
      Because the media market in China is sooOooo much bigger than the market in the US, he has to keep the Chinese government happy.

      • twenty-niner

        They want tax increases on wealthy people to help keep the system working.

        Are they sending bigger checks to the IRS than what’s required? The IRS won’t send back the difference.

      • Paul from Canada

        I certainly agree with you that the wealthy should be responsible for paying a higher share of taxes, but your comment about Murdoch strikes me as made up. From my understanding of newscorp’s business, the vast majority of it’s profits are made in the us and uk and that they have so far been only marginally successful in China. I appreciate your point about the “patriotic millionaires” but uninformed statements, like yours about Murdoch, detract from the value of your input.

  • Dave in CT

    Stop looking for simplistic, pie in the sky communistic or socialistic solutions, as if there is some magic horn of plenty in the sky we can all suck on forever, and START PROSECUTING THE MALEFACTORS OF OUR CORRUPT TWO PARTY STATE/CRONY CAPITALISM.

    Just imagine if the fratboy, coke-head, financial math, and academic financial planner scumbags actually thought they could spend their life in prison for thinking up and executing ways to strip the average citizen of a lifetime of scraping by/saving in a matter of years. Where is thecombination of Rage and demand of execution of the Rule of Law!?  Rage alone or simplistic utopian solutions will never get it done.  The hard work of confronting the white collar criminals, cutting off their tentacles in government, and the collateral damage of whoever those tentacles are holding, is the only way. IMO

  • Dave in CT

    Tom needs to get Herman Daly on to talk about Steady State Economics.

    http://steadystate.org/wp-content/uploads/CASSE_Brief_SSE.pdf

    “John Stuart Mill, pioneer of economics and one of the most gifted philosophers and scholars of the 19th century, anticipated the transition from growth to a “stationary state.” In his magnum opus, he wrote:
    …the increase of wealth is not boundless. The end of growth leads to a stationary state. The stationary state of capital and wealth… would be a very considerable improvement on our present condition.
    …a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture, and moral and social progress; as much room for improving the art of living, and much more likelihood of it being improved, when minds ceased to be engrossed by the art of getting on.”

  • Michael Shapiro

    Why do so many of your guests stammer, especially the ones that you have on when the subject is economics or finance? Drew Westen was excruciatingly bad in that respect yesterday. There is nothing particularly professorial about that kind of dithering, whether it’s done by Barack Obama or anybody else who is a (former) college professor. It’s just painful to hear and utterly mars the content of what the speaker is trying to express. I realize that you can’t vet people solely on the basis of their fluency, but a little precaution would be welcome.

    • nj

      I usually cut people a pretty wide berth on that, but it struck me that Larry Summers (of all people) was “uhhmmm-ing” an awful lot the other day on the program.

  • jenny

    Chapmen, we are a country or a company?  Get your head straight. 

  • Matteasmom107

    Rana Foroohar, you say flatten the wages? Really? Honey, I know you don’t live in the real world but rest assured, those of us who work and get a paycheck every week already HAVE flat wages. Our wages have been stagnant and dropping for 30 years now- it’s the ones at the very top who see their incomes growing at unprecedented levels. Do not ask us to make any more sacrifices when those at the top are never asked for a damn thing. Ridiculous. This is exactly why I don’t listen to NPR anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Speaking of the London riots, an interviewee on NPR, stated that London is still very civilized and that tourists would not be deterred as they would be with what happened in Egypt.

    I didn’t see people robbing and looting in Egypt,  I saw people trying as peacefully as possible to get rid of a puppet dictator.

    What I saw in London was whites and blacks punching a Asian muslim boy on his way home from school, picking him up bleeding to rifle through his backpack.  

    The British act civilized but they are responsible for much of the wars, death, exploitation and thievery on the planet.  Civilized indeed.

    • Zing

      The UK will be much more civilized when they start shooting the riflers and punchers.  

      • jeff_in_brooklyn

        you can’t actually think that will work. 

  • Roy Mac

    If we can’t tolerate a little inefficiency to preserve a job, how does “Steve” still have one?

    • Steve T

      He works for himself. And has satisfied repete customers.

      • jeff_in_brooklyn

        ah snap!

        • jeff_in_brooklyn

          sorry. aw, snap!

    • JonS

      Steve is an example of the incredible ignorance so many people have as to how the economy and a capitalist system works. I guess Steve’s model of corporate excellence would be GM and Chrysler pre-bankruptcy days. No doubt Steve is either a teacher, public employee or a union official.

  • Isabella

    I don’t know why you are trying to soft pedal criticism of Michelle Bachmans comments about her relationship with her husband. Her belief system does not allow a seperation between religion and all the aspects of ones life, including ones job. This woman is running for president of the United States. This information is essential to the voters.

    • Me

      Am I to assume you are equally troubled by President Obama worshiping Black Liberation Theology under Rev. Wright for 20 years?

      • Steve T

        You should get a job with FOX news,

        • Me

          Yes I should as it’s a fair question. a hallmark of Fox.

          • TFRX

            I’m calling satire. Poe’s Law and all that.

          • Me

            And the question goes unanswered.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I’m STILL waiting for Fox to ask Bush and the GOP who in 2000 ran on preserving the Clinton Surplus and paying down debt the “fair question” why they instead sabotaged all chance of debt paydown with round after round of irresponsible tax cuts.? But I won’t hold my breath thinking Fox would ever expose or embarrass a Republican… even one who sabotaged the fiscal health of our government.

          • Me

            How would you know, you’ve never watched? It was Fox that broke the Bush drunk driving story right before the election. You will not see more vitriol towards Republicans anywhere on the dial. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            ROTF… Nice try, but no cigar. Fox is the unofficial propaganda arm of the GOP. It was a Fox affliate that broke the story, not Fox itself. As could be expected, Fox then could not ignore it, but they tried to limit the damage to Bush

            http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/201003050025

            Also Fox does likes to play kingmaker in the GOP. So if they criticize any GOPer it’s only because they are trying to tear one person down to benefit another.

            Thanks for the laffs!

          • Me

            It was Carl Cameron who broke it before CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS and NPR. Fox embarrasses deserving Republicans daily but again, you wouldn’t know. Did you see the debate? Or any of the Fox debates in 2008? Republicans were drilled relentlessly. So, go to Media Matters and let John Podesta tell you what to think if that’s the way you want to roll. It’d be better to make your own informed opinion but I get it, ideology trumps all.

            BTW, you’re a real hoot after the media (“tingle up my leg”) anointment of Obama to suggest Fox is a king maker. What is it the kids say? ROTF!

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            You’re getting sleazy. Are you claiming the local Fox affiliate in Maine did NOT break the story first? Your claim is Fox can’t be partisan because it rakes some GOPers over the coals. Your “proof” is that Fox broke the Bush DUI story.  The ONLY question here is once the story was ALREADY OUT, whether Fox reported honestly or spun it in a way to minimize the damage to Bush. We already know the latter is true. Trying to do damage control in behalf of a candidate is NOT proof of a reputable news organization. It IS proof of one with a partisan agenda.  

          • Me

            I’m getting tired of so many of my replies to you disappearing without a trace. I’m blocked on both my computers and have to post from my neighbors house but I don’t want to get him blocked too, even though he doesn’t comment. So, I give. I won’t be replying to you anymore but think don’t you’ve gotten one up on me. I just hope you read this before it goes away. Orwellian?

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I’ve protested the Orwellian-like post deletions here. It’s one thing to leave a blank spot where a post once was, it’s another to have all trace of a post disappear. I make copies of all posts and if the original warrented deletion, I edit and repost. As for being blocked, too many times to count.

            Getting the best of you? Your arguments and claims are so pathetic a 5 year old could.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            You’re correct, I don’t watch Fox. But I do listen to enough right wing yahoos on the radio. Their penchant for misinformation is well known.

            But since YOU watch Fox… and YOU claim Fox doesn’t cater to the GOP… then YOU prove that Fox took on the issue I mentioned. Again, did Fox ever investigate why Bush and the GOP who in 2000 ran on preserving the Clinton Surplus and paying down debt instead sabotaged all chance of debt paydown with round after round of irresponsible tax cuts?

            I won’t hold my breath wiating for a reply. No, smart arse comments don’t count.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            REPOST: You’re correct, I don’t watch Fox. But I do listen to enough right wing yahoos on the radio. Their penchant for misinformation is well known.

            But since YOU watch Fox… and YOU claim Fox doesn’t cater to the GOP… then YOU prove that Fox took on the issue I mentioned. Again, did Fox ever investigate why Bush and the GOP who in 2000 ran on preserving the Clinton Surplus and paying down debt instead sabotaged all chance of debt paydown with round after round of irresponsible tax cuts?

            I won’t hold my breath waiting for a reply.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            WHY WAS THIS POST CENSORED???

            ROTF… Nice try, but no cigar. Fox is the unofficial propaganda arm of the GOP. It was a Fox affliate that broke the story, not Fox itself. As could be expected, Fox then could not ignore it, but they tried to limit the damage to Bush

            http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/201003050025

            Also Fox does likes to play kingmaker in the GOP. So if they criticize any GOPer it’s only because they are trying to tear one person down to benefit another.

            Thanks for the laffs!

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            SORRY!!! I’m such a careless dolt.  I found that original post below. But a number of posts from this thread HAVE been removed.

      • jeff_in_brooklyn

        Haha. Yeah, but Obama went to church for show. He’s a completely political animal and he knows that going to church helps him. Bachman, on the other hand, really believes what she’s saying. On a certain level, I respect her more for that…even though I don’t share her beliefs. In the end, you have to judge someone on their approach to governing, not their religion — that applies to Bachman and Obama. Ask her the tough questions on separation of church and state and see where she stands. That’s fair.

        • Me

          I agree Obama lacked the “street cred” that Trinity provided. I also agree he is all show. However, you can see the influence on his politics. His apology tour cozies up nicely with”GD America”. His rush to judgement about the Cambridge police and his belly aching about people not liking him because he doesn’t “look like other Presidents” fits with “U.S. of KKK A”. Even Oprah knew to get out of that church.

  • orangeandblue

    RE Romney and private equity “raiders”, “inefficiency” and the German model. 

    I lived in Germany for 5 years and there is a sense of shared sacrifice and purpose in the society during bad economic times. Even conservative governments understand and support the idea of partnership to get through recessions while maintaining the social safety net. But there is also a cultural difference in medium to large companies in Germany in that many are family/privately owned and are intent on staying that way. Not having to answer to shareholders and financial markets, not trying to monetize or cash out of businesses by going public provides stability where everyone is willing to be flexible to survive downturns.I do not know if Romney was a “raider” as such, maybe “taking a company private” masks the essential purpose which is often to release the value of the target company’s assets (contracts, real estate, patents, licenses, software, the R&D department) and toss the rest overboard. Then the resulting “lean and mean earnings machine” can then be re-branded, renamed and taken public. At any rate the Republicans have stock answers for unemployment – lower taxes and less regulation will free potential employers from “uncertainty” and they will start hiring and expanding (based on what demand is beyond me). Next stop – eliminate the minimum wage.

  • Dee

    Anyone who thinks the American mission in Afghanistan is about rein-
    ing in the Taliban who had nothing to do with 9/11 or protecting the
    Afghan people from the fanatical Taliban should think again and read
    the URL http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/opinion/20collier.html

    We need to bring American forces home and use the war money to
    build American cities as US mayors asked Obama to do at their June Conference. Dee
    this year….

  • Dee

    My advise to Obama on the economy and in his re-election bid…..
    is to stay the course and ask the American people to stick with
    you… Remember, it was your persistancy and endurance that
    helped win you the oval office and there is little doubt it won’t
    deliver you again.

    Just look at how Governor Patrick won his re-election bid too.

    He kept proving his critics wrong by focusing on the gains he made
    for the state and how he wanted to keep those gains moving for-
    ward to place the state in most optional situation going forward….

    How noble!    Dee

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Did Obama win because he persisted and endured? Or because there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell a GOPer could get elected after the economy collapsed under Bush?

      Obama’s core weakness is that he believes he must compromise to avoid being seen as partisan. At a time when dangerous Right wing ideas deserve to be on the ash heap of history, he helps keep them alive by compromising with the lunatics in the GOP. The result are often policies that just aren’t helping the nation. And when those policies prove ineffective or counterproductive, does he really believe the GOP will take half the blame?  

      • Me

        After Bush’s spending and increased government there was no way a RINO like McCain was going to win. Add to that all the white guilt and racism in the form of people voting by the color of skin. Then there’s a press that refused to vet the inexperienced oaf and there you have it. It won’t happen again. In 2010 we had the establishment Republicans saying there was no way for the likes of Rand Paul or Marco Rubio to even win the primary but they did. We then saw the historic, unprecedented turnover in the House aided by Obama’s incompetence. The unapologetic Conservative candidate will win in 2012. 

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

           And just where have all your great right wing ideas done for the US? They deliberately sabotaged revenue with irresponsible tax cuts hoping to fiscally weaken government and now we’re in debt the Red Chinese. They promoted free trade which sent our jobs to China and deindustrialized our economy. Free trade has create a huge trade deficits. Deregulation of the commodity markets and the banking sectors imploded our economy. They bled our soldiers and our Treasury with an illegal war of aggression justified by a campaign of lies. They further made the US an immoral rogue nation by starting a program of torture. Yes, some corporate Dems joined in with SOME of these ideas, but that doesn’t change the fact they were RIGHT wing ideas.

          If our ENEMIES had done this to our nation, all real patriots would have declared war on these traitors long ago.

          Yet you embrace them.

          • jeff_in_brooklyn

            Yeah, you right. Deregulation of the financial sector (starting with Reagan) created a lot of havoc. But it is the federal reserve, under republican and democratic presidents, that has created artificially low interest rates (Tim Geithner even admitted this), which encourages mal-investment. It’s like dumping gasoline on a fire and then complaining that there aren’t enough firemen around to control it. Sure, having more firemen (regulators) helps, BUT YOU NEED TO ADDRESS THE SOURCE. Banks can borrow at pretty much 0% from the fed and make billions of dollars that way. They pumped money into the housing market and made risky loans because the money was too cheap. THAT is not the free market. That is crony capitalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism). That is the government, via the fed, manipulating the cost of borrowing money. In a free market, interest rates are set BY THE MARKET. You’ll never have enough regulators to keep things under control (especially when you consider how technology has changes the way trading is done) if you don’t address the source of the problem — the problem is the cozy relationship between banks and the fed, banks and the people who are supposed to be regulating them, and corporations and the legislators who are supposed to be representing us.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I’ve seen some Orwellian Right rewrites of history blaming Barney Frank for the housing meltdown. Why? Because back in 04, when the Dems were NOT in power, he didn’t think Freddie or Fanny were in trouble. They ignore BUSH’S own responsibility for pushing his ownership society…. http://www.alan.com/2010/10/27/flashback-george-w-bush-praising-fannie-and-freddie-and-home-ownership-for-those-with-bad-credit-histories/

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            It comes as no surprise that the user “me” evades responding to the issues I raised but would rather spend his time bad mouthing Obama and trying to convince us that Fox doesn’t have a pro-GOP political agenda.

  • Joan

    David Cameron is blaming the victims of his austerity measures..
     
    I imagine, it is easier to blame the victims of your government pol-
    icies rather than admit they are the root cause of the unrest on
    the streets…

    Yet, I don’t blame those youngsters for having enough of Cameron’s
    austerity measures . People in the US have similar feelings and will soon be in the streets— if there isn’t more accountability soon…

    Joan

    • Me

      Do I understand you correctly? Are you referring to the rioting looters as “victims”?

      This is indeed where we are heading by making promises that can’t be kept. While the spoiled rotten nanny state rioters are demanding cradle to grave utopia, us tea partiers are demanding less from government.

      • TFRX

        “Demanding less from government.”

        That’s a laugh. You really should look at the stampede of R’s to get stimulus money.

        And can one go to a Teabagger rally without being surrounded to Medicare scooters?

        • Me

          I don’t know about “R’s” because the tea party takeover of the Republican party (and by extension America) is not yet complete.

          The main inspiration and motivation of the Tea Party is smaller government and less spending. Where am I wrong?

          Does less government mean abolish Medicare? No, and as a matter of fact failure to address Medicare (advocated by Democrats) means no Medicare.

          They are “Tea Partiers”. What’s with your homoerotic obsession?

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      I’m a flaming Progressive but I certainly see a difference between riots/looting and civil “anti-cuts” protests. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/26-5 Yes, conditions in the UK will be made worse under Cameron’s austerity measures, but be careful what you find excuses for.   

  • Anonymous

    A key insight into the banking industry (from someone who recently started in a bank after working in research, namely, myself) is that there is very little understanding of the economy even in a bank. When panic hits, it hits everyone. 
    Secondly, most of the money made by banks is generated by charging outrageous service fees and/or overloading on risk for little reward; the latter strategy works when times are good but can throw the economy out of balance in bad times. 
    Lastly, as a quant I am now pretty certain that quantitative methods in finance employed so extensively by banks are no more than charlatanism. Quantitative math to math is what alchemy is to chemistry – and these are the people who think they should have a say in how to govern the economy.    

  • at

    Two possible game changers that can deliver us form the underhanded
    unelected, effective tyranny by Goldman Sach, the oil boys, and their
    ilk.

    Direct election of candidtates:

    http://www.americavotes.org/#

    Unlimited cheap energy rect election of candidtates

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15Ea92OViZw

  • david

    A funny thing happened on our way to a market meltdown this week.
    Even more strange, nobody in the media covered it.

    Read this little background information first.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2773265/Billionaire-who-broke-the-Bank-of-England.html

    Then read this little be of information and see what you think?
    http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/1-billion-bet-july-of-us-downgrade-brings-questions-of-insider-information

    Where there is smoke, could there be a fire???

  • jeff_in_brooklyn

    I love your show, Tom, but I found it unbelievable that you and your panel almost never mention Ron Paul. He just nearly won the Iowa straw poll…LA Times is saying he lost by 152 votes. And Iowa is Bachman’s home state! Yet you don’t say a word about him, and talk about people like Pawlenty who we all know doesn’t have a shot. Ron Paul is the one who’s views are shaping the party. He stayed in nearly to the bitter end in 2008, if you remember, and sat in those debates with Romney and McCain. He has the youth energized (if the poll happened when college was in session, he surely would have won) and he gets more support from active duty military than ALL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES COMBINED. Maybe you’ll talk about him come Monday since he almost won…or maybe not.

    • Dave in CT

      …just be ready for the canned/spammed answer you’ll see, from NPR to Fox, “Ron Paul? Yes he has some interesting ideas and a fiery base, but of course, chuckle, we know he has no chance….”

      I find the way he is disposed of on Fox most telling, as he truly is an anti-establshment, anti-war machine, anti-banking machine candidate.

      Good luck getting Tom, or more importantly his stale beltway pundits to scratch anywhere near beneath the surface on the Paul/liberty position (not tea party, but original, long documented, crash predicting, war predicting, Paul/liberty position.)

      • Michael

        Agreed,

        He was on with Frank a few months ago, but again as you pointed Tom dismissed much of what Paul had to say and frank was all about cutting defense and foreign aid until Paul actually call to actually cut defense and cut foreign aid to all nations.

        I’d vote Paul over obama or any of the current republican batch. Don’t believe so much is some of his domestic thinking but totally agree with his Foreign policy.(which it seems the left of obama).

        Funny how Pawlenty got so much play for a complete failure

  • Alan Harvey

    The market meltdown, the problems in Europe, the stagnant economy.  The same people who saw the great financial crisis coming saw this latest problem coming.  Stiglitz, Roubini, Steve Keen, Dean Baker.  George Soros’ favorite quotation is from Karl Popper:  “Explanations and Predictions are symmetrical and reversible.”

    The tragedy of the past three years is that we let an enormous crisis go to waste and we’re back in the soup.  This is perhaps worse than getting into the mess in the first place.

     http://rwer.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/keen-roubini-and-baker-win-revere-award-for-economics-2/

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      A plausable story indeed….but it did not take a financial genius to predict the down grade. The US political system is broken.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Great show!

  • Dave in CT

    A fed official no less…..

    “In a world dominated by megafinancial institutions, governments could be reluctant to close those that become troubled for fear of systemic effects on the financial system,” he told an audience at the European Banking and Financial Forum in Prague. “To the extent these institutions become ‘too big to fail,’ and where uninsured depositors and other creditors are protected by implicit government guarantees, the consequences can be quite serious.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/business/kansas-city-fed-president-defies-conventional-wisdom.html

  • Dee

    Tom,

    I wish you would do a segment on the fat cats on Wall Stree like Goldman Sach and others who received government bailout funds
    and are now– laying off workers –despite their profit margins.

    This seems all wrong to me and something should be done about it.
    http://articles.boston.com/2011-07-20/business/29795347_1_david-viniar-acquisitions-and-underwriting-investment-banking-revenue

    Dee

    • Dave in CT

      Screw the wannabe minions of the devil, how about a show about the role of GS in sacrificing our entire country for their pockets, and how now we are finally going to prosecute them.

      IMO most of us aren’t against hiring and firing, we are against collusive market manipulation using leveraged taxpayer dollars (Fed) and government policies (Fannie/Freddie), to consciously create a fee/interest/trade generating bubble orgy on the way up, and taxpayer-paid bailouts for their parachutes on the way down.

  • Anonymous

    The lady caller who commented on the shape of the long-tern Dow-Jones curve was probably looking at a linear chart. She should get a semi-log chart. If she were to draw a straight line from the low of “41″ in 1933 to “10,750″ now* she would find that the slope of the line is 7.4%/year and is a “pretty good” fit to the overall curve. Regarding the commentary of the 10% drop, the drop between the peak July 21 and the minimum on August 10, roughly 15%, is small when compared to the 22% drop on one day in October 1987. *”now” is in the last few days.

  • Anonymous

    BTW:  Here’s a URL for a semi-log DJI chart fot 1930 to 2011

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EDJI&t=my&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

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