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Your questions for Tom Friedman

On October 4, On Point will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a live-to-tape production of the show with special guest Thomas L. Friedman. The show will be aired Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 10am EDT.

You can join the conversation: What’s your question for Tom Friedman about the future of the United States, where we’re headed and what we need now?

Please comment on this post with your questions!

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Pravin Mundkur

    Tom, no Country becomes or remains economically strong if its people are not willing to – Work, Save and Invest. For years the US has pursued policies that favor borrowing and consumption. Why not go the other way – shift taxation from Income to Spending by lifting Income Taxes and implementing a National Sales Tax. The poor could be offered rebates as assistance and the super rich (ex: those with more than $10 million annual income) could be assessed a small surtax to support these payments to the poor.

  • http://blog.zorts.net Jeremy Springfield

    Mr. Friedman;

    “What is the state of financial education among the general population in the United States?”
    “Would improving that level of education help prevent economic disasters in the future?”

    “What is a sustainable growth rate for the United States economy?”
    “What is a sustainable growth rate for the world economy?”
    I churn over these questions almost daily.  These are, in my mind the most important questions of this age and they hold the key to solving some of the largest problems we are facing.  Unfortunately I don’t know how to go about addressing these issues.  Perhaps Mr Friedman can offer his opinion on the solutions as well as the answers to these questions.  If we discuss these things in a public forum, we are a lot more likely to find the answers.

    Thank you,
    Jeremy Springfield

  • Irv West

    What do you believe would be the consequences of raising the tax base for the super wealthy?

    • Dave in Erie

      What do you think they will do?? It will be the same as every time they raised minimum wage! The prices will spike again to “make up for thier losses”.  Everytime a corporation looses a fraction of a percentage point, they shave off the “biggest liability”,.. thats right,..employees.

  • Daphne Redd

    Many of the issues you have written about and discussed in your career are the major issues that need to be faced to bring America out of its self-implosion and eventual destruction.  How much has the lack of responsible news and journalism and controlled media contributed to the steeping decline of America’s prosperity and perhaps its future prosperity?   

  • http://levantinetimes.blogspot.com Greg

    What is your take on the “Occupy Wall Street” protests currently going on around the country? 

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Friedman, why should we take you seriously when you are wrong all the time?

  • Kopnitsk

    Most of the cost of drug research is born by the government (US) it’s time to nationalise drug manufacture.   Medicine is a non-elastic demand product.   When one must have it they are willing to pay.   The owners of the drug companies are beginning to look like those who stand on a city street corner. 

  • liz

    One of the most serious problems we face is the misinformation distributed to the US electorate by the Koch brothers (who wish to eliminate the EPA!) and their ilk?  How do we address common problems when a large part of the country has been encouraged to reject the idea that there are any environmental limitations and who insist that we only need to drill for more oil?  How on earth do we get past the propaganda distributed by large corporations and their lobbies, Fox News, and the current crop of Republican politicians to begin to focus (as a nation) on our very real and common problems? 

  • Finnbarr Dunphy

    Dear Tom and Tom,
    The answer lies in “Health Care.” It’s a useless, money-eating monster, the most expensive in the world, yet clocking in at 42nd. Think obfuscation—when you’re arguing about the “price,” you’re avoiding the whole question of “necessity.” Thanks, Finnbarr Dunphy

  • Mark from Montpelier VT

    Tom Friedman: Why would the flawed public process that has selected our current crop of presidential candidates, lead a third party to put forth a different type of leader?

  • justice4all

    Tom Friedman has it wrong –what is flawed about what he is saying is that he isn’t even talking about the REAL problem facing Americans. The so called debt problem is a way for the pro-corporate/small government people to cut programs that work for the 99%. The REAL problem facing America is not public workers, senior citizens, or everyday people. It is not spending too much moiney. What it is — wallstreet and the big banks crashed our economy, killed 11 million jobs and took millions of homes from families. What happened — they got bailed out, made record profits and keep getting bigger while avoiding paying any taxes and who is Friedman talking about making pay — the wrong people. Oh and by the way, social security never has and never will contribute to our debt — so why is your solution to cut it and raise the age? Not to help the economy and the people who are hurting out there. Its greed. What we need is to put corporate crooks in jail, make wall street pay their fair share — no more avoiding taxes. We do need to create a WPA type system to get folks back to work, we need to strengthen unions and expand medicare and medicaid and remove the wage cap on social security — that is what will actually strengthen it and make it viable for a long long time — put people back to work and pay tehm a living wage — thatt will mean more money flowing into social security and the economy. Cutting public sector jobs, destroying unions and cutting much need programs, and only proposing to raise cigarette taxes — Friedman, you are a joke.

  • Suchitrafields

    I didn’t get my question in before the interview was over, but wanted to ask Thomas Friedman what he thought of a year of mandatory public service as part of the “way back”.
    Suchitra Fields

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Gallant/100002996435507 Robert Gallant

      Better still, one year of military training for all young men.  It will instill discipline, maturity, ambition, skill training, and turn them out as better citizens, proud of America.  Maybe thhe same for women, or your public service idea.  Lower costs for welfare, drug treatment and crime will pay for the expense, or almost, and should not be a factor if it doesn’t 

  • David Tessitor

    Unfortunately, you completely missed the reason for the President’s inability to get his agenda through Congress and failed to place the blame where it belongs.  Rallying the public would not budge those Republicans in the Senate who see themselves as anointed by God; in fact they would see it as testing their commitment to stand against public opinion.

    No, the culprit is the filibuster.  Starting off the Obama presidency with the ability for a single Senator to anonymously block any legislation, it is remarkable anything got through at all.  The fault for this actually lies squarely with the Democratic Senate majority, not the President (though in one instance he could have threatened to use the 14th Amendment to end the debt extension deadlock).

    The so-called reform in Senate rules instituted at the beginning of the 2011-2012 session did not go far enough.  The filibuster is not an original instrument under the Constitution.  It was implemented later and need not be a part of the Senate rules now.  The Democratic Senate, however, refused to eliminate it during the reorganization of the Senate in January because they want to preserve it for themselves.  Yet they wouldn’t use it when they were in the minority, always backing down because if they didn’t the Republicans threatened to eliminate it.  The result has been to preserve the filibuster solely for the Republicans and they have used it to completely shut down the Congress even when there has been a sizable majority supporting Obama’s legislation.

  • Alfredo Vargas

    Would the United States be better off if all the money that is being spent to fight two wars was being spent on defense? If so, roughly how much money would be left to be invested in other equally important issues?

  • Rbenabou

    Tom Friedman can’t to call it as it is: we (and the world) live in a plutocracy  where the media are in the hands of a few, Congess is in the pockets of big money, and democracy is a cruel joke.

    The worl is not flat. It is a very sharp pyramid. 

  • Raphael Benabou

    Can Tom be really serious?
    How many Americans will score  perfectly on the SAT or go to an Ivy League?
    So we simply need to all be better that the best scoring Chinese and Indians and then nice US corporations will hire us instead of outsourcing our jobs overseas?  
    How about the Wall Street crooks and our richest 1%?  Are they all Einsteins? Can we truly compete on an equal basis with nations where people are paid 10 or 100 times less, lucky to eat 3 times aday, and have runniung water?

     Tom Friedman thinking is disappointly linear and his witty puns sadly and crually fall “flat”.  The world is only flat for the Internet savvy minorities in Asia and Africa. 90% of India is dirt poor. So how do we ensure that we contibue to enjoy our high standard of living?

    First we need  be more honest about the challenges we are facing.

    As I see it, the more obvious roots of the American “decline” might be Neanderthal level of knowledge in the populace promoted by the arrogant and corrupt political class, and more omninously, obsolete economic and political structures, supported by those who benefit from the status quo. 

    The US greatness was not, as the jingoistic propagandists tell us because we are an “exceptional” nation, more because we were  a lucky one, which did very well for 50 years, after Europe self-destructed and we destructed Japan.

    Since then, brainwashed by politicians and demagogues, repeating at nauseum that we would always be first, we have become complacent, no matter how poorly we were doing, as long as we kept shopping, scapegoating big Government while we were at war continuously, replaced our engineers with salesmen, scientists with evolution denying bigots.

    We nowly realize (too late) what President Eisenhower warned us about in the fifties: our country is dominated by a war-making, industrial complex.

    The middle class “compact ” (enjoy our bank-owned, white-fenced houses and accept that to be consumers from cradle to grave. as long as we do not rock the militaro-capitalistic boat) which made America “wealthy” has been broken.

    Maybe the jig is up: the ruling class has been umasked: it has never cared about the middle class and the poor and now, after it has destroyed the economy here and abroad, it is ordering its lackeys in Washington to ensure that nothing will be done to the status quo, no matter how much the population suffers andbegs for help.

    So Tom Friedman may be barking at the wrong trees. Wringing his hands about how we are missing opportunities to prevent the  Chinese and Indians  from eating our lunch is not going to move us  closer to the root issue: the ruling class cannot do anything but fight tooth and nail to perpetuate its control .

    So just running  “faster on the flat road” as Friedman recommends is not the real answer.

    We may in fact “run flat”, and stay in the same place!

    I beieve that we need to think in a more multi-dimensional  way.

    We need to completely change the rules of our rigged game, not be better at it.

  • http://novadcmwebcafetwinhr.blogspot.com/ Avi Dey

    As we struggle to strengthen the infrastructures for knowledge economy,  small tech biz is a key resource for job creation. How do we encourage county, state and national governments to reexamine the needs for innovation supportive culture on  a community level that allows strengthening community wealth ?  Culture, family and tools are still critical elements beside knowledge and wisdom ? 

  • Jen4roomie

    Dear Tom,

    I have been frustrated by your show lately for a couple reason we just start getting into the heart of deep and very discussion about the economy and boom its the next hour and the topic changes completely. I wanted to hear more discussion about the protests in wall street and the changes that people want but the hour went by so quickly. I was interested in your women ceo’s because I think that is important too but I think this hour per topic format is doing a disservice to you and your listeners who look to you and your show to dig deep. Are you afraid to dig deep into the questions about the economy? Is is too scary? Are you afraid that your audience isn’t interested enough and incapable of sustaining a deep discussion for a two hour period? Don’t be afraid we want to dig deep and hear more.

    Why have you not talked about the article The Speedup:Why Americans Work So Hard But Feel So Poor covered in the Atlantic Monthly in which corporations are cutting jobs and piling on the remaining work onto the remaining employees who are working 60 to 80 hours a week to do the work while the company has record profits.

    What about covering the book “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard which looks at how this consume in order to survive is unsustainable.

  • Wilkinson Christopher01

    Dear Tom,

    If you don’t run for president I hope that Obama offers you the chance to run for VP.


  • Almaz Mequanint

    Is China will be a real threat to be”Super Power” than USA? I hope not because we will be losing the “Human Rights/Democracy at large issue protected”

  • Karen

    Obviously the 99% want change.  Do you see a way to forge it without violence?

  • jafari

    On Point: please stop pretending that Thomas Friedman’s opinions are of any interest.

    • Guest

      Jafari:  please stop wasting your time being well informed listening to On Point and stick with Fox News.

  • Anonymous

    he was wrong about iraq; he was wrong about afganistan; he’s wrong about israel; your wrong to continue to allow him to use government radio for free advetising for his books

  • C. Huff

    Regarding the idea of selling American real estate to foreigners
    simply put is America has given up on Americans and will stop at nothing to get
    money back to America.  This is just
    another example of America showing more interested in everything outside of
    America instead of taking care of home….SAME, SAME, SAME on the USA

  • MordecaiCarroll

    Mr. Friedman, do you still stick by the statement you made about about the Iraq War on Charlie Rose?  The statement in which you opined that that America needed to “… go over there basically, and take out a very big
    stick, right in the heart of that world, and burst that bubble. . . .

    And what they needed to see was American boys and girls going from
    house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, and basically saying: which part
    of this sentence do you understand?  You don’t think we care about our
    open society? . . . . Well, Suck. On. This.”

  • Chris Cremean

    Even after my review of the recent broadcast regarding the Occupy Movement of the 99%, I still have not seen a defined listing of the 1%. If 99% of the people are struggling more each day, due to the actions (and inactions) of the 1%, what doesn’t someone identify the 1% and talk to them on how they can help create jobs, business, etc? This would increase communications and together perhaps the 100% can make things happen to get back on the road to recovery.

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