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The Role Of Government

Michael Lind joins us on the great tug of war in American economic history over when government should lead.

Cincinnati mural for the Works Progress Administration. (Elmer Brown)

Cincinnati mural for the Works Progress Administration. (Elmer Brown)

Guests

Michael Lind, policy director of the economic growth program at the New America Foundation and author of the new book Land of Promise:  An Economic History of the United States.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Whatever their political party, American leaders have generally subscribed to one of two competing economic philosophies. One is a small-government Jeffersonian perspective that abhors bigness and holds that prosperity flows from competition among independent businessmen, farmers and other producers.”

Salon “The need for public investment in American infrastructure should not be a partisan issue.  But the capture of the Republican Party by free market fundamentalists and neo-Confederate localists has led to the identification of the infrastructure issue with the Democrats. ”

Video: Michael Lind

Excerpt: Land of Promise

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

 

C-Segment: Fareed Zakaria at Harvard University

Check out CNN host and TIME Magazine editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria addressing the new graduates at Harvard University. And the transcript here.

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  • Roy Mac

    This question was answered by FDR, as he subscribed to Keynes’s thoughts, even though they were only theoretical at the time.  Many poo-poo the result, saying, ‘Oh, sure–it wouldn’t have worked, had it not been for WWII.’  That WWII argument is just a bunch of horsesh!t–if it hadn’t been for the war, it would have been something else.  It is just stupid to ascribe good fortune to such a horrific event as the conflagration that featured the Holacost.

    And something else would NOT have been the failed Hoover notion of raising income taxes, as the morally/intellectually bankrupt teabaggers seem to think.

    • Pancake Rankin

      Money is a fiction used as social convention (even gold coins). A sovereign government can issue money without limit to pay debts and do whatever. Why are we not throwing money at our problems? Oh yeah, it might upset the wealthy. But we should do it while we still have the human and natural resources  to back it up. We are sitting in a sweltering doldrum while our butter melts, watching a few criminals pig out. THE ONLY PURPOSE OF BORROWING IS TO REWARD OUR CREDITORS WITH INTEREST. Check out who holds our national debt: It’s mostly the super wealthy.

    • TFRX

      Proverbially speaking.at some point the riffraff will stop coming to the “soup kitchen of capitalism” for a sermon if the system all our uberlords are preaching about doesn’t provide the riffraff with any soup. People aren’t going to come in for just the sermon.

      There is an incredible disconnect and misforgetting of the abject poverty and how it fomented civil unrest, nearing violence, in the 1930s. Funny how people forget that when trying to shoo away the government’s role in “keeping the doors open” when everything the private sector tried failed.

    • Roy Mac

      My mistake.  The teabaggers, of course, have no interest in taxation, other than to reduce federal income taxes for them.  And their solution to everything else is to reduce the national debt at all costs, except by raising taxes.

  • Hidan

    Please point this out.

    IMF’s Christine Lagarde, Who Chastised Greek Tax Evaders, Pays No Taxes

    This women is in charge of the IMF yet herself pays no taxes on around 500k+ of income and perks. Maybe that is what the rich mean by shared sacrifice. How many high profile people also get this deal?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/05/29/153919300/imf-chief-christine-lagarde-who-chastised-greek-tax-evaders-pays-no-taxes
     

    • jefe68

      “Let me tell you about the very rich.  They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

      F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Rich Boy.”

      • TFRX

        F. Scott Fitzgerald? I thought “The rich are different from you and me” was about Leona Helmsley.

        I gotta put down the Booth Tarkington and read more fiction about rich people. Not that there aren’t some great nuggets to take from “Alice Adams” or “The Magnificent Ambersons”.

  • MrNutso

    The program title is misleading.  It should be called “Economic Theories: Point – Counterpoint”

    The role of government is provide a unifying structure for the nation and provide assistance to those who need it at all times. This includes not just the obvious social needs, but defense, international relations, commerce, natural resources and the environment, etc.

    • Gregg

      The role of government is provide a unifying structure for the nation and provide assistance to those who need it at all times.”
      Where is that written?

      • MrNutso

        I just wrote it.  It’s my idea of a basic government.

    • notafeminista

      Doesn’t that sort of fly in the face of  the US not being the world’s policeman?  

      • MrNutso

        Everything I mentioned is in the context of the US only.  It’s what I see as the basic level of government.  I was not implying that a government should get involved (as is all too often the case) in other nations internal affairs or garnering resources that are “vital” to our needs.  The later are political decisions.

        • Greyman

          Friend: as today’s show may yet teach us, the role of government is itself a political decision . . . .

          • Ray in VT

            Yup.  It’s role is what the citizens determine it to be.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    EVERY ‘job creator’, that pays a SMALLER percentage of their income than the HIGHEST blue-collar worker, that has NOT created a job for EVERY $20,000 over $200,000, is a HYPOCRITE, and a fraud!
       Since these lazyee fairyee types DON’T create jobs, as they claimed they would, the government is left to do it!  
       GIVE BACK the taxes you avoided, ADMIT the fraud, pay the penalties and interest, and become an HONEST citizen, for a change?
       Money that is used to invest to make money, is MORE valuable than the money made by the risks of going to work, and actually PRODUCING something, HOW?

    • AC

      yes, this whole ‘tax break’ before the job is created confuses me….i understand the argument that it frees up capital to strategize for the creation of said new job, but it should still be a ‘credit’, not a ‘break’ until that job is there. does anyone know how to explain this to me?

  • Ping1

    The first words uttered by Mitt Romney after winning the election….Drill Baby Drill!!

  • Victor Vito

    Today’s topics remind me of a quote by Napoleon Bonaparte.  “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”. 
     

    • AC

      o! i like that!!

  • Victor Vito

    Imagine capitalism as a powerful Clydesdale horse.  Imagine government as the tack, harness, and plow.

    The horse can run uncontrolled through the village, occasionally trampling an unlucky peasant.  The horse can be ridden by a single nobleman, and used to intimidate or control the villagers.  The horse can be fitted with tack, harness, and plow to till the fields and produce a bounty of food for all the villagers.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The Chinese are eating us for lunch with their very efficient state sponsored predatory technological development. Where did they learn it? Probably from us…

    Looking back at our history, the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 financed the Transcontinental Railroad. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 created our transcontinental highway system fueling an explosion in growth.

    Just prior to WWI, the federal government funded and thereby revived the US aircraft industry.

    Essentially, the entire computer industry was funded by… the DOD and later via DARPA and ARPA. The DOD, NASA and others. These Agencies funded R&D throughout university systems all across the US. Prior to the 70’s the USG was the number 1 consumer of computer chips.

    Our Aircraft industry has benefited immensely from technology developed for DOD contracts.  DARPA funded the development of the internet. GPS… came from the USG. Gas turbine technology that powers many towns… USG R&D funding. Nuclear power… let’s not go there.

    The government has been behind nearly every major technological innovation in your home, your office and in your hand right now.

    So the Government cannot create jobs? Tell that to the tens of millions of workers employed directly or indirectly by the USG. Tell that to all of the servicemen, all of the people who make their food, clothing, weapons, vehicles, all the defense company employees, bridge builders, architects, civil engineers, construction workers, doctors and nurses.

    That “the Government cannot create jobs” is a lie by the radical right. It’s a lie because they know it to be false yet continue to repeat it to fan the flames of our frustration as they foster gridlock and demonstrate incompetence.

  • Pancake Rankin

    When the Oligarchs want the T-party opinion, they’ll give it to them. The majority of people in this country are so confused by brainwashing, advertising, fear and fragmentary information they have no conception of the purpose of government at any  level. The public utility and the realtors run government in my  town.(You should see the MERS entries on tax roles.)  The Constitution is technologically and demographically  obsolete (just like capitalism), and the operational adjustments that have been made mostly favor the wealthy. It’s like the Bible, assembled from a variety of religious texts by the Roman Church  and divine right kings for social control and mostly finalized about 400 years ago, the founding documents are a bunch of hooey sloganized out of context and ever changing. Maybe the height of American civilization was Pragmatism: We’ll try ever good idea and see what works the best. But what works the best for rich financial crooks and sociopaths tends to sink the raft. Right now I think we’ve passed over the falls and are waiting to be dashed on the rocks. Let the greedy lead the dive. Maybe their carcasses will cushion our impact. 

    I dreamed  there was a secret page in the Constitution about a big old fence, a hundert-mile-long, electrify-it, thow some food in thar, and then the scapegoats will graddilualy die out. Seems like we’ve acted that one out on the Indians, and on several resource rich foreign countries. That fence runs all around in Israel and Texas, just another failed American experiment. Maybe the purpose of guvment is to extort fence money so taxpayers can’t run away. One person’s anarchist is another person’s libertarian. It depends on whether you’re inside or outside the fence. LBJ had some wisdom about fence-sitting when he was ordering loungewear from his tailor.
    (le show/Harry Shearer/5/27/12) “It cuts me…” he complained.

  • Tired of this argument

    I hear that Lind is ready to throw out the existing system; i.e., social welfare programs, but he does not describe what he would replace them with, at least not in the excerpt above.  As a long term unemployed person, I want to know, what are you going to do that is different, other than leaving us on the side of the road as the cost of innovation.
    If this country wants more true innovation again, my belief is that we need more social welfare…i.e., universal healthcare system and more financial security at the end of life; would free up many who are afraid of leaving the safety net of corporate America to launch their own venture.  Many of these may fail, but those that succeed will be able to create the jobs that those who are churning their financial hordes are not.  

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people,
    whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not,
    so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities.” Abraham Lincoln –July 1, 1854 [?]

    To protect the rights of the minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

    To protect the commons from exploitation by a few.

    Neil

    • Steve

      Abraham Lincoln is considered a criminal by many libertarians.

      • Victor Vito

        Government is illegal, if you ask a lot of libertarians…

    • MrNutso

      I love how Republicans like to call themselves the party of Lincoln.

  • Victor Vito

    The vision of government as seen by hard-line conservatives is so hateful and cruel, that I will never accept it.  They find the very notion of shared responsibility and compassion to be hateful.

    • jimino

       Indeed, their “vision” is the antithesis of what unified the “greatest generation” that they claim to admire so greatly.  That generation’s primary contribution was its elevation of shared responsibility that enabled a winning war effort through widely shared sacrifice and an economy that followed suit.  Their American dream was widespread, moderate economic security, not one in which everyone would become a mega-millionaire with their own car garage overlooking the beach at Malibu. 

  • Gemli

    I said in a recent comment to a Times column by David Brooks that the Hamiltonian take on government may have worked when the population was 5 million and people lived only into their 40s. There was no expectation of retirement security or medical care for the elderly, or the need for taxes to fund major infrastructure initiatives to build electric grids, roads and bridges. 

    But Republicans of today would make Hamilton ill, maybe with apoplexy or one of those other 19th century ailments. Modern Republicans have sought to replace the New Deal with the Raw Deal, one in which taxes that once built the nation’s infrastructure are now anathema, and individuals manipulate the system to amass wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. Rather than rejecting efforts to divide the haves and have-nots, they revel in the unfairness of it all.

    The goal of government today should be to find better, more sustainable ways to promote the life and dynamism of the population, not to find better ways to let the filthy rich wallow in their wealth.

    • TFRX

      I don’t know anything about you, but if it’s you v. David Brooks, I have a sawbuck on you.

      Unless, of course, you’re that cabbie who is always regaling Bobo with stories.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         I’d take that action.  David Brooks has always struck me as a reasonable person.

        • TFRX

          Oh, his tone is low-key and his rhetorical burner doesn’t go past medium-low, especially compared to the batcrappery of Fox and AM radio.

          But that’s his job: Make the crazee of the right seem reasonable. “Sound like” the conservative that public broadcasting needs, to explain the right to its audience.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            How typical of you to dismiss anything on the right as crazy.  Intelligent people can come to conclusions that are different from yours.

          • TFRX

            No, I said “make the crazee of the right seem reasonable”. Not “all the right”.

            “Public broadcasting polite” requires a lot of false equivalence, a lot of sounding reasonable, and a lot of making its audience get not too riled up about things. That requires a David Brooks type to sand off the excesses of the right and promote the idea that each party’s extremes hold the same place of prominence in policy, PR and such.

            However, if you want to ask Sen. Dick Lugar about the future of the moderate GOP, be my guest.

  • Charles Vigneron

    Hasn’t the dystopia President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us, “…of the influence of the military, industrial, (Congressional) complex,,,” just, frankly won?
    Adding up all the US military combat months since 1950 as a percentage of all since 1776 tends to suggest he was correct. 
    Do we need a F-35 developed at the cost of a $ trillion? Hasn’t it been forty years since we’ve lost a fighter to an enemy fighter jet?

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The Cold War united us against communism: government taxed business to make them contribute nearly double what they are today as a percentage of our GDP. Tax revenue was funneled in a vast amounts of R&D through DARPA initiatives and DoD systems contracts. Educational funding was needed and provided to raise generation after generation of scientists and engineers to support our technological race for survival.

    Today, China is doing what we did: investing in their technological industrial infrastructure. In contrast while our financial industry is focused on Facebook, Jamie Dimon and deregulation. America needs to wake up and realize that China has been waging economic war with us and with our captains of industry in charge for the last 30 years, we’ve been loosing horribly.

    It’s time for us as a nation to learn from the lessons of the history that our fathers and grandfathers wrote!!! And they have a great track record to prove the cost benefits. You just have to look at the data.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The GREEDY rich will win, regardless of country?  They have damaged this country, by outsourcing, importing, law-suiting competition, patent trolling, and MANY other crimes and immoral practices. 
         Will they destroy the government, and therefore the U.S.? 
          Millionaire CEOs, etc…, say that the company cannot compete, to outsource, or drive down wages, then give the MILLIONAIRES, MORE!
         HONEST executives would take BIGGER cuts, FIRST, before touching employee pay!

      • Ayn Marx 666

        They still win in Western and Northern Europe, but their near-universal backing of fascist puppet governments during the War meant that their prestige-level was low enough that they had to make concessions…worrying about actual Bolschewiks coming to power also made them see letting everyone else live decently as the lesser of two evils, evil as it is to them (the less we’re afraid of starvation and exposure, the weaker they get).

        Similarly, most of the concessions we won from them here were the result of their being even more afraid of Bolschewism…as a techno-anarcho-communist atheist, I reject Bolschewism as a State-propertarian religion that holds back the end to Scarcity that we need to live freely, but it sure was handy for scaring the rich into at least the appearance of decency.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Then Bolschewism had a good purpose, partly?
             I’m happy it worked out for you, and your compatriots.  I hope you can wrest it back, and keep it.  As I do for the U.S.!

  • Pancake Rankin

    Fareed Zakaria learned “how to think” at Harvard. More importantly he learned “how not to think.” The fence I discussed below extends deep into the human mind. 
    And for fence jumpers,…. they invented student loans, to instill discipline. 

    “There is no Harvard in China and India, and there will not be for decades.” (hollow jingoism) No, Harvard prefers their missions be located in middle eastern dictatorships. 

    “9/11 did not usher in an age of terrorism…?”
    After  the “Economic Peak” no worldwide Depression followed?

    The bubble Fareed lives within is made of steel.

    But he is confident that the “virtues” that have always been rewarded will continue to be rewarded. Having good manners in respect to the wealthy and powerful means maintaining a strong mental fence around your curiosity and imagination. 

    “Trust your instincts, you do not need  an ethics course, ” he advises. And I add the subtext: Thank your entitled and conformist parents for making you just like them: oblivious to better alternatives.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       You’d be sorry to have a degree from Harvard?

      • Pancake Rankin

        I’m sorry about  the way Vanderbilt temporarily closed my mind. Obama went to Harvard: Maybe that was a precursor to his obedience.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          If a college closed your mind, that says more about you than about the college.

          • Pancake Rankin

            My present revolutionary understanding settles the question in comparison to your hesitancy to consider new solutions and your habitual reverence for the Establishment. Repeatedly (as I have read your posts for months) you share your relative good fortune as the pattern for others as if it were predestined by the Creator. It’s like saying, “My rich  uncle left me $10 million- Why can’t you do that?!” Haven’t  you read Job?
            My family was provincial, owned several farms, a supply house, a woolen mill, a cotton mill and a hospital. I was shocked at the wealth of college mates with live-in servants and two luxury cars. For a while I could not critique such excess because my smaller wealth base would seemingly be de-legitimized. But then I went off to seminary independently and embraced my Lesbianism, becoming my own person. I did not have to practice wealth  etiquette anymore, as Fareed Zakaria continues to do. I can tell any powerful person to their face exactly what I think. I do not seek their approval or their stupid awards. Shake off your servile mentality and you’ll feel better, or are you fearful your porridge will be taken away?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Marxist rhetoric is running out of power, no?

          • Pancake Rankin

            Marxist rhetoric might be irrelevant in a post Marxist world, but capitalist rhetoric is a criminal enterprise within the existing Mafia-like conspiracy deferential peons call Capitalism. Marxism, existentialism, deconstruction, phenomenology and so on are methods of modeling collective behavior. Capitalism as theory has been reduced to predation and fraud by the impact of its effects, as real events that take lives and destroy labor achievements. Except for the tiny minority  that benefit Capitalism has now been totally discredited and disproven. It is an anachronism. It is dead and requires military force to conceal its death.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Enjoy being a Borg drone.  I’ll keep my individualism, thanks.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You left your wealthy background, to find out who YOU are?  To see if you could actually make it on your own?  How did seminary help you embrace your Lesbianism?  Don’t they preach against any such?
               I applaud your independence, if you are set to take the consequences of your actions and attitudes.

  • J__o__h__n

    Has Curt Schilling endorsed Romney yet? 

    • TFRX

      I understand Schil-dog is threatening to cross the border and endorse Stephen Harper if Romney doesn’t cough up another $70mil to his video game company.

    • Pancake Rankin

      No, but his stigmata are bleeding right through his sox.
      Would make an excellent mezmerizing video game.
      “State Subsidized Vulture Capitalism”
      “Job Craters”
      “Olympic Derivatives”

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      I think he’s too busy making sure that his personal assets are not at risk to pay back the BIG government handout that he got to move to Rhode Island. I’d love to get a 75 million dollar line of credit for my business.

      • Gerald Fnord

        Well, he probably believes that he _deserves_ all that help because he is a self-made man.

  • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

    “The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.”

    - Thomas Paine

     

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Isn’t this a false dilemma?  Cooperation between government, academia, and business has produced many good things, including the Internet and the space program, and individuals have also developed extraordinary ideas and companies.  Both models are possible in the same country, so long as government is willing to allow small businesses to act independently.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Corporations, and large concerns, are the biggest enemies of small business.  THEY have the money, the attorneys, the time, the bought legislators, and the other wherewithall, to get laws that benefit THEM!

  • Jason Hoffman

    The problem I have with this discussion is that all of our founding fathers were relative primitives to us.  None of them ever heard recorded music let alone bought an mp3 on iTunes.  To them the height of medical technology was leeching;x-rays and MRIs would have been science fiction.  If you said “digital computation” to Hamilton or Jefferson, they would have thought you meant “counting on your fingers.”  To say that either as an ideologue was prescient of our situation is ridiculous to an extreme.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The basic structure of the Constitution has been valid, for over 200 years.  It has provisions to update, Amendments, built in! 
         I doubt that a better document will be made.  I doubt that another such document will endure as long!

      • Jason Hoffman

        Yes, but it is ambiguous enough that it allows this dichotomy and several ridiculous arguments over the meaning of its intention.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Part of its stregnth, and versatility!

  • John999

    Considering Hamilton was of the same political party that sponsored the Alien and Sedition Act, one has to question whether the overall philosophy of one party is appropriate unchecked.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I welcome government leading and doing, so long as anyone who wishes to go his own way is allowed to do so.

    • Guest

      Greg, I wonder if you are a serious poster or just being a munch.
      A weak link is another analogy for your position, which cannot work. The bubble in the tire that ultimately causes the blowout is another.
      An absolutely inclusive policy is all that can work, for anything less, wrecks the entire concept.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        A munch?  I don’t know what you mean.

        So you’re advocating for total control to move the whole of society in one direction?  No thank you.

        • Guest

           Control, NO. Participation, YES. Either participate in the well being of all of us or let the entire experiment fail. No thanks to failure but we are on our way.

          • Pancake Rankin

            These fascists are testing tactics they learned in smartass school.
            Even moderates like Greg are labelled marginal to be discredited.
            Read “Mario and the Magician” (Mann 1929) for clarification of this gangland bullying tactic. 

  • John in Amherst

     NASA was supported for 50 years before commercial space flight took off last week.  The internet was a government project for a couple decades before being largely privatized.  The Interstate system was a combination of military preparedness and god-send for the automobile and trucking industries.  There are a lot of projects that are to big or long term to be financed by private companies.  Letting all innovation up to private capital will result in a stunted and regressive US.

    • Greyman

      Arguably, the list of what you cite consists entirely of products of the “military-industrial complex” (NASA was contracting with private aerospace industry, the Internet was a Pentagon project initially, the Interstate system was partly owned by the defense establishment to give the US Air Force extra landing space in case airbases were disabled in missile attacks).  

      • John in Amherst

         Not sure I get your point.
        Point of fact, the interstate system was to move columns of armor about the country – the specs for it specifically allow for two-abreast tank traffic.  It was not “landing strips” they were after. 
        As for the MIC argument, the government has virtually no capacity on its own to manufacture or build anything, apart from the Army Corps of Engineers.  Regardless, the projects cited (and many more) would not have happened without government involvement.

        • Greyman

          –would not have happened without government involvement WITH PRIVATE INDUSTRY. (From what I’ve heard, straightaways on sections of interstate highway were built in exactly to accommodate any aircraft that in the event of missile attack could not return to a destroyed airbase.)

          • John in Amherst

             Sure, Greyman, Any long straight highway could double as a landing strip, provided the sides are unobstructed by signs, fences, berms, etc. (some military transport planes have wingspans in excess of 200 feet, Interstate lanes are 17′ each, so some multiple lane interstates in the midwest might qualify).  The Interstate system is part of the Strategic Defense Highway system.  It has been hugely expensive to build and maintain, its benefits have been similarly great, and those private contractors you mention would never have gotten as big as they are without it, and would never have done it without the government. 

          • Greyman

            Just like–Boston’s “Big Dig”, hunh?

          • John in Amherst

            Can’t dispute assinine management of the project, including the last 4 years of it which were overseen by Mitt Romney.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Millitary personnel, and other government workers HAVE built other things!
             Some governments have NO private enterprise of any size.  Egyptian Army officers control, or own MOST of the ‘business’ in Egypt. 
             U.S. Government has historically contracted to private enterprise, sometimes buying a scam.

    • lodger

      Excellent point.  Would Amazon.com exist if DARPA hadn’t built the internet?

      For a tidy debunking of the myth Ayn-Rand-ian  maverick capitalism, read Joan Didion’s “Where I Was From”.  Specifically about California, but it touches on our post-Reagan national delusion about government being at odds with prosperity and innovation. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Of course, the transcontinental railroad became a boondoggle of corruption.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      People will always try to find a way to scam the government, or individuals?
         FEW individuals can be swindled out of as much money as a government?
         The railroad got built, and has been profitable for the country?

      • Pancake Rankin

        Did Enron build anything?
        It was underwritten on the same principles.

  • Mary

    Of course Jefferson was for farms and being an agrarian… He had slaves to do the backbreaking work for him in Virginia out in the sun, in the heat and humidity.. It’s easy to be for farms and farm work when someone else is doing the backbreaking work for you! . 

  • Legbild

    What ever happened to a balance of power and influence?  I was under the impression that was the basis for the design of our society and governance.  As Madison said in the Federalist papers, “If men were angels, no governmetn would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary, ” I believe government should wax and wane as necessary and required.  I don’t favor one over the other.

  • Marcia

    How does a Free Market Economy control for bigotry and bias?  

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Why do you ask?  It’s not the job of the free market to address such things.

      • CAWG

        Exactly, that’s why we have government. To protect the work force from instances of bigotry and bias in hiring and use/misuse of industrial practices…or the acts of business against the population and environment. 

        • William

           But the government has bias in hiring via affirmative action programs or other hiring policies based on race..sex, etc…but not based on the best applicant..

          • Terry Tree Tree

            BECAUSE for hundreds of years, the bias was TOTALLY the other way! 
               YOU say that no white man, hired prior to 1900 was incompetent for the job?  Are you saying that favoritism, and white scoin nepotism did NOT exist?
               Or do you just want to distract?

          • William

            So you want to punish people that had nothing to do with government polices a hundred years ago.

    • William

       How does the Socialist Economy control bigotry and bias?

      • Pancake Rankin

        It stuffs you full of sausage biscuits.

    • Gregg

      There are many more customers with out it.

      • TFRX

        And nobody ever anywhere pays just a bit more for the privilege of exercising their bigtory.

        Oh, wait…

  • Robert

    The “Jeffersonian yeoman farmer ideal” is complete farce.  Jefferson relied on a state run lottery- called a scheme at the time- to payoff his massive personal debts and protect his most valued properties.  He mismanaged his personal wealth to such a degree that he needed to leverage his connections in government to secure a benefit the average person could never enjoy.  I think that’s a good vignette of the modern conservative ideal …a false aesthetic of individualism backed by a tradition of elitist cronyism.   

  • Sdreamer

     I hope Tom truly challenged this Right Wing Think-Tank guest on his not-so-suble, pro-corporate, politically motivated Jefferson usurping re-write!

    A good antidote might be Thom Hartmann’s “What Would Jefferson Do”.

     - – -

    Thomas Jefferson said in an 1803 letter to David Williams, “The greatest evils of populous society have ever appeared to me to spring from the vicious distribution of its members among the occupations… But when, by a blind concourse, particular occupations are ruinously overcharged and others left in want of hands, the national authorities can do much towards restoring the equilibrium.”

    And the “national authorities,” in Jefferson’s mind, should be the Congress, as he wrote in a series of answers to the French politician de Meusnier in 1786: “The commerce of the States cannot be regulated to the best advantage but by a single body, and no body so proper as Congress.”

  • Ellen Dibble

    Lind is mentioning Lincoln as Hamiltonian, and about his federal/national efforts with railroad, land-grand colleges… (I’ll have to get the book).  But did Lincoln and his advisers see the end of the predatory use of labor in slavery as an economic challenge, north and south, to the general flow of commerce?  Did the northern moral voice of abolitionism have its set of economists to say that we would actually do better with free labor?  I mean, labor that is not in chains?  It seems to me both North and South would be sending their retirement accounts to Europe if the Civil War were on the horizon today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbfox3 Jane B Fox

    If the Democrats have a hostile attitude towards business then I have to say the Republicans have a hostile attitude towards Americans. 

  • ghoffman

    I think that government, which is accountable to the people, is a counter balance to the unaccountable, self-interested, drive of business. Business unbridled can sometimes be the enemy of the people. Of course, Mitt and others in big business, want to be able to run over the people any way they choose. Controls are necessary to keep business from self destructing and ruining the economy for us all. Just remember the crash of 2008.

  • Daniel

    I want to see evidence of “stifled business.” Profits are at an all time high, in what way is the government keeping the economy from thriving?

    • ghoffman

       I’ve yet to hear any evidence, any specific and factual evidence, of business being held back by taxes or government rules and regulations. They have every opportunity to reduce taxes with write-offs. Businesses don’t expand or start up when they don’t have capital or customers.

    • TFRX

      Joe The Plumber’s taxable income still hasn’t hit $250k. What more proof do you need?

      • Daniel

        Big business is keeping the mythical “Joe the Plumber” from thriving, not government regulation. Large corporations typically pay little or no taxes, slash jobs, and keep wages low, in order to increase profits. If a struggling middle-class can’t afford Joe, they won’t pay Joe. Raise wages, and Joe will thrive. On top of that, do you ACTUALLY believe Ol’ Joe deserves $250K for his plumbing career?

        • TFRX

          I was going for the full deadpan and may have overshot my mark.

          What I believe is that some right-wing thinktank put Joe the unlicensed Plumber’s little Helper up to lying about his income level (to the tune of about 6x the median income for plumbers in that geographical area) to candidate Obama, simply so the propagandists on the right could fluff his “woe is me, I can’t afford to make more than $250k AGI because of the extra 3% on the income over that level I’d have to pay” claptrap.

  • Shumba

    The RR industry could not have existed had the government not given (land grants) huge swaths of land to the RRs. Not mentioning that in any discussion of the transcontinental RR is incredibly disingenuous.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Ashbrook makes a good point.  Government shouldn’t run these companies.  With the exception of some limited examples, government works best as a helper and a regulator, but not as an operator.

  • Greyman

    If market forces WERE to be unleashed, we’d quickly revert to free trade in intoxicants: the GOVERNMENT’S “war on drugs” would be consigned to history just as Article XVIII prudently was.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Big business isn’t the Jeffersonian model.  Such a policy would create an environment in which small businesses and individuals could succeed as well as large corporations.

  • CAWG

    I like how Lind just reaffirmed how Universities have played a significant role in technology development over the private sector, and that it should be a collaborative relationship between government, businesses, and universities. It’s about time someone pointed that out. 

  • Greyman

    How much of Eisenhower’s famous warning about “the military-industrial complex” amounted actually to a veiled attack on public-private partnerships?

  • CAWG

    “Private sector doesn’t invest in RD or infrastructure.” Lind.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Government today also dumps money into ill-advised military spending.

    • jefe68

      …and video game companies.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    The role of government is manipulate our lives with war, greed and poverty. If you believe America is a democracy you are dead wrong.

    The Federal Reserve Bank is not even own by the government but certain individuals that controls our money flow. JP Morgan name can be harmless to read but contributed a lot to the demise of the American economy.

  • Irene Moore

    Thank you Tom for the sane, articulate, informed voice of Michael Lind.

  • John Doty

    Free enterprise is a great concept and should be allowed to get things like cell phones, iPads, Twitter etc.  However living in “rural” Vermont, if  government had not stepped in, we would not have electricity, mail deliver, phone service, internet connectivity etc.  So we need a combination of free enterprise and government involvement.  Free enterprise where profits can be made and government involvement for areas where no profit is readily available (i.e. health care, education, infrastructure, essential critical services – phone, electricity, internet, roads etc.)
    John
    Westford Vermont

    • http://www.facebook.com/jbfox3 Jane B Fox

       John, it’s too bad there are not more out there who understand your very important point. We need both government and free enterprise.

    • Quadraticus

      Maybe you should live someplace where I don’t have to subsidize your existence with my tax dollars. I’m happy that you like living in rural VT, but by your own admission this luxurious existence was made possible only by people living nearer to civilization.

      • Daniel

        You haven’t subsidized his existence at all. Last time I checked, Vermont’s had electricity for a few years. Don’t be so short sighted. Our great-grandparents invested in this growth, and we reap the benefits of the thriving communities. Small investments in infrastructure today, lead to growth tomorrow. It’s shocking how penny wise and pound foolish today’s conservatives are. You’ll bemoan someone’s right to water or electricity, but not our bloated military complex.

        • jefe68

          This kind of mentality is amazing.
          It’s as if this chap lives in some kind of bubble world where by he does not use roads, or drink water from the tap, or is even aware that the very internet that he/she is using was originally a R&D government project. What is clear is how misinformed this persons comments are.
          What they want is Somalia.

      • Ray in VT

        Rural if is often hardly a “luxurious existence”.  Should I consider urban life to be luxurious if I only look at the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

        I will be happy to stop having rural areas having some services subsidized by the wealth created in urban centers just as soon as those centers stop relying on rural America for the food that it eats.

        Bringing electricity to rural outposts wasn’t profitable, so business wasn’t interested, but if “civilization” wanted to continue to feed millions of urbanites, then it was a good idea.

      • jefe68

        Amazing how little you know about how state tax systems work.  Vermont is using it’s own revenue for the infrastructure. As to the U.S Mail service, well I dare say we need this institution just like we need the military and the Coast Guard. Vermont does get back some of the tax dollars it sends to the Federal Government, but not as much as red states of similar size.

        There are other rural states, such as Alabama and Mississippi that don’t do what Vermont does. They have more problems with crime, teenage pregnancy, poverty and interestingly with drugs such as crystal meth. They have very poor roads and schools. They have huge segments of their population how have little access to health care. In Texas, 25% are without health insurance, that’s about 6 million people.

        Your argument is absurd, juvenile and I say if you don’t like this system maybe you should move. Why should I or anyone else move due to your selfishness. One could move to Somalia, no taxes in that nation. Not much in the way of roads, health care, or any infrastructure. Sounds as if it would be a good fit for you. Just be sure to have enough cash to hire a large enough militia for protection.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          No real government in Somalia, to suit the ‘NO government’ crowd!  Hear the stampede to get there?

      • Steve_T

         That kind of thinking is just what is wrong in America. You would want him to disrupt his whole life, so you can save your 3 cents. The last time I checked you are free to live where you want. And his freedom to do so is linked to your own. We are ALL Americans. To many have forgotten, “United we stand, Divided we fall” And boy are we falling.

      • Legbild

        I’m not sure where you believe the food you consume is produced, but in places that are not urban, but rural.   In addition, is civilization defined by urban or suburban existence?  How about being civil?   I believe agriculture was one of the first impetuses for invention of early machinery.  I also believe that many people’s children have been educated in this nation by the tax dollars of all people in their community, not just those who have children, one child, fewer than others or no children in the schools they paid taxes to suipport at the time they were paying taxes to send the children of to school.   

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Those ‘subsidies’ paid for the TVA, which provided power for the Manhattan Project, creating the Bomb, that saved MILLIONS of Japanese, AND MILLIONS of Allied lives, AND shortened WWII!
           NOT to mention a LOT of other advantages!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Bingo David… too many of today’s captains of industry manage their ship based upon their stock price… their micromanagement of their stock price does not allow for long term investment.

  • J__o__h__n

    Mitt’s father was rich.  Mitt didn’t bootstrap his way up himself. 

  • Bob Letcher

    On this, i like a corollary of the Law of Requisite Variety: The regulator of a system must be at least as complex as the system it regulates.  Note, that is irrespective of a person’s ideological commitments.

    Back in 1980, i attended a “minor party” presidential debate, with Libertarian Ed Clark and Green Barry Commoner.  Commoner commented to the effect of “Ed, I agree with you, Libertarianism made a lot of sense…. in the 17th Century.” 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       A thermostat is a simple regulator of the complex interaction of atmospheric gases in a building and the building’s structure and the objects inside.  What do you mean?

      • Robert Anson Wilson

        But only one parameter representing all those interactions is being regulated, the temperature, and that’s fine because it’s what people care about to first order and what can be most easily sort-of-controlled.

        If a thermostat also had to regulate temperature and airflow within all the corners of the room, and could identify people (relatively easy to do by voice or by phone WAN signature) and knew their preferences, and tried to optimise the temperature…and furthermore had to weight that optimisation by how much the owners of the system cared about each given individual (much as Paris Hilton’s next bling is more important than a poor mother’s son’s health and education—or, more benignly, giving older people more consideration)—well, that would be complex.

        I think the Market does great at Pareto optimisation weighted by the power of the actors…I think it… 
        0.) …needs external constraints so that no actor is absolutely powerless, as a moral issue, because otherwise there will be no sort of basic, human, dignity, e.g. not allowing contacts that reproduce chattel slavery, or violate free speech with anti-disparagement clauses.
        1.) …is a wonderful engine, but an auto with steering and brakes more desirable than the engine in isolation, despite the fact that the transmission, slowing down not to hit kids in the street, and so on reduce the efficiency of the engine (horrors!).

        I think government to be a proper embodiment of this non-absolute but non-zero control, proper at least if it reflects both the wills of its citizens, (but_not_ weighted by their wealth), and also protects fundamental rights (against both the Market and the will of its citizens).  I can see other institutions possibly working therefor (calling all syndicalists!), but the Market alone will never, and government is what we’ve got right now.

        • Bob Letcher

          Thank you for your comment to Greg Camp concerning complexity.  Based on your example, i wonder whether you’ve ever lived througg a “thermostat battle”?  That is, a situation in which a single thermostat is pushed to comfort multiple tenants who bring different definitions of “comfort”.  The problem might be averted if the landlord were willing to invest, but–say–the building is too old to warrant it.   So people quickly become part of the problem, and someohow the supposed “rationality” of Pareto efficiency goes out the winwdow, along wiwth heated of cooled air, costing someone money.

      • Bob Letcher

        Greg… first, thanks for your politely-posed observation.  Here’w what i meant: the thermostat to which you refer IS a simple regulator.   But to illustrate my point, it is so simple that it overlooks the complexity of all those gases interacting out there–where “interacting” might be unpacked to include leaking windows, holes in roof, “hot rooms” and “cold rooms” that happen *not* to have received equal attention from the point-function thermostat which you have assumed.

        Thanks again for asking…

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           I’m concerned that “complex” regulators will get out of control as much as the subject of their regulation.  Too many times, control becomes the goal in itself, rather than a good result.

          • Bob Letcher

            Grerg–it may look like a case of “Pick your Poison”.  but there is a third choice:  E.F. Schumacher’s __Small is Beautiful: Economiccs as if People Mattered__ (1973).

    • Bob Letcher
  • Pancake Rankin

    Context: During Hamilton’s heyday Adam Smith admired Britain as a nation of interactive shopkeepers and the Royal Charter of the East India Company (privatized profits/socialized debt, strongly in force elsewhere) was overthrown in the USA along with King George III. A. Hamilton envisioned national debt as a capitalization scheme, for accelerated development. His duel assassination by Burr (a fellow NYC commercial attorney)was partially in retaliation for his being excluded from the financial oligarchy.

  • Quadraticus

    How can this guy claim with a straight face that the Jeffersonian philosophy has dominated for the past 30-40 years? Government has grown monotonically over that time, and now has more powers over more domains than ever before. “Small government” has never been anything more than a talking point among Republicans trying to keep libertarians in the fold: in reality, Republicans are just as much about big government as Democrats.

    • jimino

       When conservatives and Republicans say they want to run government like a business, they mean for their own personal profit.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Romney bootstrapped himself on the backs of the workers that he and his vulture capitalist partners harvested for their feast. Did they invent a Google? Did they build a vast empire like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet? No, they were nothing more than opportunists engaging in a successful careers as parasites.

    • TFRX

      Romney was born awfully well-to-do and has displayed no sense of noblesse oblige to use the language in the clips played this hour.

      As for “the family business”, American Motors was a bit of an odd duck: Always on a shoestring, buying parts from the big three, and spending upwards of twenty thousand dollars a year to freshen their products, some people said that it owed its continued existence (compared to Studebaker, Willys-Overland, and Kaiser-Frazer) as a counterweight to the incredible concentration of the US automobile market.

      The joke went:

      “If AMC goes under on a Friday, what’s the first thing that happens Monday?”

      “The US government breaks up GM.”

      Romney’s apparent ignorance in the system’s helping keep the company his dad ran alive is pretty telling.

  • ghoffman

    Many people in business had a helping hand, money, and opportunity handed to them. They just don’t call it “help”, they then pat themselves on the back and call themselves “self made”. It’s a lot easier when you start out with your education paid for, no debt, and friends in high places to open the doors. Those are the “entitled” ones born on third base.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I like Uncle Sam, but I don’t want to see Big Brother Sam.

    • Steve_T

       Sorry lil to late. Big Brother IS watching!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Corporate Big Brother, assisted by the government they bought!

      • jimino

        And Google, facebook, Northrup Grumman, etc., are making scads of money contracting to do it.

  • enoughsenough

    If these conservative ideas for less regulation were truly
    supported I suggest they start by reducing/eliminating the illogically
    burdensome regulations held over the (supposedly) sovereign tribal
    nations.  Our nation’s history of
    oppressing the American Indian populations is bad enough; why not reverse the extreme
    federal regulations demanded of reservations. 
    It’s about time some majority population leader steps-up to finally do
    something to support the livelihood of this continually suppressed population.    

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Poverty can be eradicated but the system that we live in does not allow for poverty to disappear. From Carlyle group and other companies that make profits from the demise of the people can be gut wrenching. Capitalism and Democracy are not all about for the people but for those who control the monetary systems of our world. Our natural resources are plentiful but majority of humans are starving to death.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    No, caller, we can’t all agree with your claims.  Greed is natural to everyone.  Some get advantages that allow their greed to succeed, but we all have it.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       Not true here!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Wanting, and working to improve your condition is NOT greed! 
         GREED is taking MORE, at the unnecessary cost to, or of, others!  Grabbing ALL you can, whether you earn it, without lifting the less-fortunate?

  • tarle subba

    The question is not about who it is that does the building – public or private sector. For most common citizens that is hardly the question.

    The real issue is how does the government effectively shepard businesses towards public good and to moderate their adverse effects on the general public. I have not heard too many businesses lobbying governments to build public housing, nor have heard of any businesses lobbying government for preserving the great national parks.

  • Andy

    It baffles me that “free-market” conservatives seem to think that in the absence of government, we would have a utopia if only we would embrace the pursuit of profit as the only worthwhile goal of human civilization. I don’t want to live in a world where Pepsi pours out of the tap and we are all medicated for diabetes. That would be good for “growth,” wouldn’t it?

    • notafeminista

      As opposed to medicating our children in school to keep them docile?

      • jimino

         What branch of government, as opposed to private practice doctors practicing medicine as preached by drug manufacturers, is medicating our children?

  • TFRX

    Tom mentioned “somewhere along the way” Hamiltonians changed w.r.t. big business. I suggest that change was when we gave up the idea of corporate charters being revoked.

    If I remember my “economics for non-economists” class, corporations were first formed by the permission of government. They got charters, which could be revoked. The instrument of corporations were created to become bigger than any one person’s fortune could allow them to grow, while at the same time limiting the liability of the owners.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    A friend of mine operates on on-line magazine.  Years ago, publishing a magazine required lots of infrastructure to make it work, but now, all that’s required is an Internet connection and some basic skill.

    • Pancake Rankin

      And 3 readers.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Since you know nothing about this, why are you commenting on it?

        • Pancake Rankin

          So, it’s your magazine?
          I’m glad you  consider yourself a friend. 
          I was merely commenting  on the many websites my acquaintances start that nobody reads, kind of like your “more of my work.”

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             No, it’s run by a friend of mine and gets enough readers that the owner has published an anthology of stories from it.  But it’s a small business, so you likely regard it as part of the evil capitalist octopus, or whatever the current cliche’ happens to be.

  • Barbara Thornton

    Let’s here more about how this discussion evolves into one about privatization.  A group of us are gathering around http://www.AssetStewardship.com to explore this topic from local government in the USA to other nations around the world.  The discussion with Michael Lind offers the essential background perspective to how the issue of privatization evolves.

  • AC

    this is very interesting….i’m going to read this book

  • okitaris

    It seems that all these writers on economics leave out the elephant in the room.    The military industrial oligopoly.  How many does this government welfare program for men employ?    And as things are we will cook our selves if we keep things as your guest maintains.    You need to bring on a guest that stands the present system on it’s head.   Middle of the road keeps headed toward the cliff of climate change.
      

  • Legbild

    If one looks at the Preamble of our Constitution they’ll find what the representatives of our government are charged with.  As well as a common (not individual) defense) it is charged with promoting the general welfare.   That would seem to include promoting that which would prevent white collar (as well as common) criminals, from doing things that might crash the nation’s economy against the general welfare of Americans.
    It’s a balance.  The more people are honest, fair, etchical, just and generally more virtuous, the less government regulation we need, the more they generally act as ruthless, heartless vultures for the profit of a small few and special interests, the more regulation is needed.  Partnerships between government and business has always existed as government has always purchased goods and services from private business, beginning with the requirement of all able bodied white males (white males being the only people that could vote then) between the ages of 18 and 45 being required (as a part of their duty in Militia) to purchase their firearms.   If business is not growing the national economy here, but helping grow foreign economies (by exporting jobs and manufacturing), should government stand by and watch the guts of its economy be sucked out?

    • lodger

      ‘Promote the general welfare’ strikes me as a clear argument in favor of single-payer healthcare for all citizens.  

      The less people are consumed with anxiety about having an accident or disease, the more they’re able to creatively contribute to their own and their nation’s prosperity. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        That would never do….  It would take some money from the insanely greedy Republicans.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    My pharmacist is locked out of certain business.. I cannot use him. I have to use CVS. He rails against these limits (rightfully so) imposed upon him by laws written by big pharma and insurance sponsored politicians but blames Democrats but not Republicans who worked for and voted for this legislation?

    • notafeminista

      Which ones would those be?  As I recall the Republicans were labeled “obstructionist”.

      • jimino

         Start with Billy Tauzin who, after writing the legislation to favor big pharma and marshaling through Congress, promptly quit and went to work for PHARMA. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Your time would be longer if you’d stop inserting inane graduation speeches.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Lind has been saying that municipalities develop infrastructure through issuing municipal bonds, which the federal government cannot do.  However, I do recall government bonds being repaid after World War II, war bonds.  And it seems we need to have war bonds for the Iraq war, not to mention bank bailout bonds.  

  • ghoffman

    Romney and friends are desperate to run the government they claim to hate and are constantly denigrating.  They just want total control. They are driving for a U.S. Plutocracy. Back to the Gilded Age!

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       We are already beyond the Gilded Age in terms of Wealth Distribution.  20% own or control more than 88% of the wealth, that’s right, 20% own 88%!  Why bother?!

    • lodger

      This is an important point that I can’t wrap my head around: If Romney and his ilk are so opposed to government anything, why not step aside and let the people who want to do a good job step in?  

      Seems clear that their agenda is to just dismantle everything, until we end up like Brazil.  I have yet to hear Romney say what he believes the legit functions of government are. 

  • Drew (GA)

    Isn’t the fundamental question whether or not we want to advance as a species as opposed to advancing personally? I completely understand the Bootstrap Mentality, I was a long time practitioner until I was taught the error of my ways. We all want, and many seem to need, to believe that we’re altruistic and benevolent. We’re not. I know this is cynical but we have always been self-centered and cannibalistic when it comes to the collective good. There HAS to be a balance. Currently there is such an imbalance thanks to the Financial Sector that it is literally tearing our world apart. Do we make the necessary choices while there is still a choice to be made or do we wait until our hand is forced? You don’t have to be a History Major to be aware of the fact that failure to create a sufficient balance between private interest and collective good leads to Revolution. I don’t want it to come to that, do you?

  • Ellen Dibble

    The caller who spoke of selfishness and greed preventing America from stepping ahead, together, and I’m thinking this may be a kind of PTSD.  The last times we pulled together were World War II, in lock step, and before that to some extent there was the shock of needing to respond to the Depression of the 1930s.  So at present we don’t have the adrenaline, fight or flight, to get us in gear together.  Thank goodness.  When we do get that adrenaline, we seem to get extremists.

  • Greyman

    Europe was mostly pacific and quiet in the first decade of the 20th century, too. It remained relatively pacific and quiet, until August 1914.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Edward Bernays Public Relations was the start of an impressive goals of Manufacturers and Governments to manipulate the minds of the consumers.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      When you don’t need something you still buy it.

  • Realist

    We are a nation whose existence is based on big government.  If you live outside of the 13 original colonies then you are living on land that was either purchased by Thomas Jefferson’s or Abraham Lincoln’s Federal government (Louisiana Purchase, Alaska) or was acquired by conquest of the United States armed  forces (the southwest and California).

    The other thing about these areas is that they get more in Federal spending than they give in taxes.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    The guest lost all credibility when he stated the US debt is not historically large (relative to GDP).  The last time it was this high we were paying off WWII.

    Also, I wish Tom would have asked him to cite which of the $10T of deficit spending over the last decade was ‘good’ infrastructure spending  that will lead to growth.

    He stated wars are ‘bad’ spending.  That accounts for $1T so what about the other $9T?  Where’s the growth?

    The evidence blows a gaping  hole into his thesis (unless he wants to argue the government is just incompetent and wasted the $9T).

    • Gregg

      No doubt he drank the MarketWatch Kool-Aid. It’s such a lie. Eugene Robinson wrote a piece in the Washington Post using the same laughable premise. The funny part is the fact checker at his own newspaper debunked it just days earlier.

    • Pancake Rankin

      The FED did not hesitate to float TBTF banks with about $14 trillion in what Worried would call play money. 
      It dwarfs the Stimulus and even the Treasury Bailout. 
      No one is sure what the European Central Bank has issued, or even how much  of it has gone to nominally American TBTFs. China pulls wads out its posterior all the time. This reality would seem to trivialize and even negate your obsession with our national debt.
      Comparing the national budget to a household budget is ignorance. The Homebound mind is easily deceived. Get out more.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      THANKS for including the last TEN years!  MANY say it just started 3 years ago, from Utopia! 
         The wars, and their ancillary costs, were much more than $1Trillion?  Ten years, at $Billions per day, adds up?   Wars, without extra funding equal deficit?  Deficits have interest payments?   Other items lose funding?  Costs go up?

    • jefe68

      You mean that Michael Lind’ narrative does not fit yours is more the point.
      I did not agree with him on the whole, but he made some a credible and well thought out argument to support his thesis.

  • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

    10 year U.S. Treasury bond yield breaks new all time low

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/10-year-treasury-yield-breaks-new-all-time-low

    These days, it seems the main role of the U.S. federal goverment will be to remain solvent.

    • jefe68

      So smart guy, why are governments and investors form all over the world buying them?

      • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

        That’s their stupidity and yours if you want to buy U.S. Treasury bonds that pay far less than than the rate of inflation.

        • jefe68

          If you have so little faith in your country why are living here? Do you really think Romney or any other GOP candidate is going to change a anything?

          Don’t tell me you’re one of those gold standard types, if you think the Fed is bad go read up on the gold standard.
          That was disaster and economic downturns were more common and severe.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Some people live in this country to work and after they leave. It is up to the person if she/he wants to live in Costa Rica or Paris when retirement comes.

          • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

            You got that right FAX68.

            Hello Thailand.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            “you can keep the change” is a Romney Republican…  pretend to love America…while stashing your stolen cash in safe tax free havens abroad.  TOTAL HYPOCRISY

          • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

            When did I ever say I was a Romney supporter?

            Being against the incompetent President currently residing in the White House, doesn’t make me pro-Romney.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            All one need do is read a few of your rightist Republican propaganda laden (lost in a Leave it To Beaver World) comments to know what side your bread is buttered on…..

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

          Far more intelligent folks than you…in other countries too, find Treasuries a safe haven.

          • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

            Go ahead, buy some U.S. Treasury bonds that are depreciating by the day,

            the Pentagon needs suckers like you to fund their endless wars.

    • Still Here

      Thank you Federal Reserve!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      Thanks to TWO wars, and your favorite criminal President Bush.

      • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

        Don’t forget your failed President, Barack Obama,

        who has spent $6 trillion tax payers dollars in three and a half years.

        P.S., Obama is just as big a war criminal as Bush since Obama’s CIA led war in Libya resulted in approximately 30,000 Libyan civilians being killed due to NATO bombings.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

          The correct sentence would be:  Spent …..x dollars…FIXING THE DISASTER THAT WAS THE GEORGE BUSH PRESIDENCY, AND IT’S BLUNDERS OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS, AND WOULD BE REPEATED UNDER THE FOLLY NAMED ROMNEY.

          • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

            Real unemployment is at 22%, $6 trillion dollars added to the federal debt in three years, 10 year U.S. Treasury bonds hit an all time low today of 1.6% yield, all under your President, Obama.

            Is that your idea of progress?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            Commit my pervious reply to your amnesia laden memory.

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    I have said it before, and I will say it again,

    They have all the money, but we have all the votes.

    Now, can we get ourselves educated and voting?

    • Pancake Rankin

      They have all the news outlets, all the Parties, all the rigging agencies and all the voting machines. Money doesn’t stay money: It buys elections.

    • notafeminista

      No one is stopping you.  You obviously have internet access and public library cards are free.  Go to.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Mr Lind says “Take a look back…” and “Historically,…” and the problem is that those on the Right deny history, along with fact, science, and experience.

    Many successful undertakings in business in the US were first aided by government. The space program that spun off cell phones, home computers, weather prediction, and many, many other industries had the government backing it. There was a time that the US gov’t bought virtually every computer chip made.  If one looks back, those industries were eventually able to get off the gov’t teat. Intell and Motorolla being prime examples. 
     
    But the Right can’t even look at the present.  Romney says that gov’t funding of ethanol is a good idea. So it doesn’t count if Replublicans like it? Or the fact that mandatory ethanol production and use is driving up food prices worldwide? Or the  facts that ethanol reduces MPG, ruins the older engines of the people that can’t afford newer cars with parts designed to handle the corrosive effects of ethanol.  Or that while ethanol does produce less emissions, it’s unnecessary as modern engines are designed to burn fuel more efficiently and cleanly without the need for ethanol. Or the fact that  ethanol producers have said that the did need help from the gov’t to get started (and get laws demanding more and more ethanol in our gas nationwide), but now they don’t need the subsidies. 

    The Right also seems to agree with Big Oil that the gov’t need to keep financing them when they keep recording bigger and bigger profits every year.  That’s not just denying fact, but hypocrisy.

    • Max

      Thomas Jefferson said in an 1803 letter to David Williams, “The greatest evils of populous society have ever appeared to me to spring from the vicious distribution of its members among the occupations… But when, by a blind concourse, particular occupations are ruinously overcharged and others left in want of hands, the national authorities can do much towards restoring the equilibrium.”

      And the “national authorities,” in Jefferson’s mind, should be the Congress, as he wrote in a series of answers to the French politician de Meusnier in 1786: “The commerce of the States cannot be regulated to the best advantage but by a single body, and no body so proper as Congress.” 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      One hundred sixty years ago “the right” supported slavery, one hundred years ago “the right” opposed the women’s suffrage movement, sixty years ago “the right” opposed civil rights for blacks, today “the right” opposes gay equality.

      Why are these evil minded people ALWAYS on the wrong side of history? Always opposed to grant rights to others..which they already enjoy? Always opposed to ideas of progress.

      More appropriate terms for “the right” would be:  blind, stupid, regressive bigots…and usually religious, and ALWAYS dangerous.

      • notafeminista

        If you think there were significant numbers of forward thinking men of any political affiliation taking to the streets 160 years ago to demand suffrage for women, you would be wrong.

  • john in danvers

    Hey Tom, Thanks for having on Michael Lind.  Makes up for quite a succession of recent troglodytes and miscellaneous forest floor dwellers.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    A Documentary film that will explain almost everything about governments around the world.
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ethos/

  • Bruce

    There has been a longstanding consensus since the Great Depression and New Deal Reforms that our continued progress as a nation depends on a public and private partnership—government intervention and social investment to support the basic research, infrastructure, education, regulation, safety net and social insurance programs required to compete in the global economy and maintain our social contract.
    The current incarnation of the GOP, dominated as it is by the Tea Party, has rejected this consensus and, if successful in leading the lemmings over the cliff this November, will further erode our competiveness in the global economy and shred our social contract.   

    • TomK in Boston

      Exactly. The public-private partnership the produced the American miracle of the soaring middle class in the 50s and 60s is now denounced as socialism by the oligarchs and their pawns.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        Exactly. And the reason is because the “oligarchs and their pawns” are GREEDY beyond any reason.

      • notafeminista

        Because it is.

    • notafeminista

      No there has not.  The New Deal and the notion of government as arbiter of all Americankind was foisted upon the American public by a honest-to-God one-percenter in the form of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  When his spending policies failed miserably, he tried to pack the Supreme Court and managed to provoke Japan into war with the United States. 

      Only AFTER WWII, after nearly all the rest of the planet had been literally decimated by war, did the US prosper in the way Lefties imagine.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Government is ALWAYS too small, or too big, according to someone?  The right size for the corporate law-breaker, is the WRONG size for the working-class citizen?  And vice-versa?
       CRIMINALS hate strong, honest, government! 
       The best we can do, is get it approximately the right size, and adjust as needed?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      And criminals in CEO suites hate it most of all. Their hired mouth piece, Romney, makes it crystal clear who he represents.

      • notafeminista

        To Jason and 3T – where is there a strong honest government today?  Better yet, in history?

    • Steve__T

      ” CRIMINALS hate strong, honest, government! ”
      So do politicians, lobbyist, big business….etc.  

  • TomK in Boston

    You can’t discuss this without context. We’ve had 30 years of government bashing, tax cuts, and deregulation. Considering that the romney types can now pay a 15% tax rate, the effective top tax rate is lowest since 1929. As a direct consequence, the top 1% have the greatest share of the income since 1929. Financial deregulation let the banksters wild and caused the Bush crash. Over 600,000 public sector employees have lost their jobs since the Bush crash.

     So, why would anyone think we need less government?Government is what allows the middle class have a chance against the predators, and it needs tax revenue. We’re approaching a “gilded age” scenario, thanks to the voodoo econ time machine, where the oligarchs control the gvt, and that is very bad fr everyone else.

     “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[75] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

     No gvt, no rights, the FF knew what they were doing.

     http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/26/nyregion/the-new-gilded-age.html

    • Lin

       Absolutely!

  • Mikef

    General Survey
    “LIKE” this comment if you have almost no equity in your house…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      My house in the Philippines is paid off. Close to a beach and near an organic farm with fresh vegetables and fresh meat or poultry – organically fed animals. Yearly tax is about $200 bucks no property tax nor 60 years mortgage payments for the rest of my life

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Oh I forgot $1,500 or less a month living expenses is like living like a King with 2 maids.

        • jefe68

          So why are you here in the Boston area?
          Sounds nice by the way.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            My mother and step father wants to be Americans and to pay them back for the expenses that they did for me in College. I will retire in the Philippines like other Americans that are living there quietly without the burden of paying a lot of taxes.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            Live well…until the revolution there and Americans will be hung or shot.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            There will be only 1 revolution of 1986. Common you actually believe everything you hear and see on the news. remember Media will manipulate the minds of the American people.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            Tell that to Czar Nicholas….

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            czar is russia

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            Same analogy…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            There are more crimes in America when you combined all the crimes in the Philippines. Why do you think there are Japanese and Koreans retiring in the Philippines?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            Your reply does not address the reality I mentioned.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Jason A just save money so you can pay $10,000 a month for your retiring home. take care

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            what reality that you to convene to the american people that USA is the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. PLEASE

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Please crime rate in Boston is much higher than Manila.

          • notafeminista

            Not if Sen Schumer has his way.

    • Still Here

      According to the property tax authorities I have plenty of equity.  I guess I’ll have to sell my house to find out if it’s real.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Get an Apartment after selling your house.
        at least you can have a Mass State refund.

      • jimino

         Doesn’t your locale have a procedure for protesting inaccurately excessive valuations?

        • Still Here

          Yes, one can hire an attorney for $500 up front and some portion of the savings.  However, only non-distressed comp sales will be considered; that means no foreclosures or short sales because they are not supposedly indicative of market value.  The value of our home has supposedly risen 30% since we bought it 3 years ago; in a geographic market that has only fallen according to CaseShiller survey. 

          Assessors are trying to save their jobs and budgets by ignoring reality.  The biggest criminals by far are in the government!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Consumer cannot be late for the monthly payments like cars, houses or cats and dogs. But when it comes to the BIG BANKS. billion dollar debts are written off.

          • notafeminista

            The debt big banks own is from making loans to poor risks.  You know.  People who make payments late or not at all.

    • Drew (GA)

      What house? Illegal foreclosure took care of that a couple of years ago.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

    Discussions of this type are great, but a bit moot at this point. The corporate takeover of the government has been long, slow, insidious and highly successful. Corporate control was complete the day George Bush was inagurated. The book from a prior show, Predator Nation, describes this coup d’etat in great detail.

    The question for today is not should corporate power be severely limited, it should indeed, but is corporate power too strong to be smashed without a revolution? I suspect it is.

    A good first step would be to bring back Glass-Steagall and strong regulation of Wall Street and corporate America – it is essential. Destroy the power of lobbyists – the greatest cancer on our Nation. 

    So too is the need for decades long prison terms and devastating fines for corporate criminals, including their bought stooges in Congress.

    • notafeminista

      I disagree.  The election of FDR, a true one-percenter, to the presidency, began our slow decline.

  • TomK in Boston

    Are we just screwed? Game over? USA bought? Politico:

    “Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.

     That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.

     Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.”

     Thanks a lot, supreme court.

    • Drew (GA)

      I’d like to see a comprehensive total of the money spent in this Election Cycle alone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; One Dollar spent to campaign is One Dollar too many.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        HOW would you propose campaigns be run?

        • Drew (GA)

          Sorry, I completely missed this question. Any proposed solution is going to be attacked but I would start with a General Campaign Fund. It could even be funded without applying any further burden to the taxpayer. Slap a 2% additional Corporate Income Tax on Corporations whose Net Profits exceed 100 Million Dollars annually. Immediately this will draw the “That’s not FAIR! That’s not AMERICAN!” protests, but consider this: The current system makes it possible for Corporations to accrue obscene amounts of Capital, is it unfair to ask them ALL to contribute EQUALLY to sustain that system? ALL Candidates should receive EQUAL Campaign Funding and all Public Broadcasting Networks should provide EQUAL access to air time for each candidate. Not fair to the Networks? Again, they couldn’t thrive without the system they drain but don’t support. There should be scheduled structured debates that ARE NOT OPTIONAL for candidates to attend.

          Without addressing the fundamental problems that underlie our electoral system these measures wouldn’t solve the problems though. If we won’t address the failures inherent in Capitalism we won’t fix a thing. The measures I propose equate to nothing more than putting another band-aid on our broken bones, we’ve gotten pretty good at that these past few decades.

    • StopSpendingNow

      Koch is spending $400 million?  Gosh, that’s almost as much as the unions spend.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Two guys spending as much as 2 MILLION?  The union members want to protect job safety, living wages, workers from harassment, and MANY other protections for workers!  
            WHAT do you think the Koch brothers want?

        • notafeminista

          Well unless it’s a teacher’s union.  They’re busy buying Viagara and covering up sexual harassment of their students.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.duff.144 Larry Duff

    The real deceptive motive behind the GOP call for less government is to give big business even more license than they already have to pollute, giving us cancer and other diseases, and for the big banks to gamble in crazy invented financial transactions that contribute nothing to the economy, and then be bailed out when they fail.

    • TomK in Boston

      That’s true, but the ultimate motive is to continue redistributing the remaining wealth of the middle class to the elites. Seen that way, the “crazy” TeaOP policies are seen to make perfect sense. They are working very well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.duff.144 Larry Duff

    Romney deceptively talks about taking the shackles off the ‘job creators’ when the goal of business is to maximize productivity which means eliminate as many jobs as possible, or find the cheapest slave labor available.

    • Zing

       duff is right

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L7JFRDSEN2XFYWJZ3BOTQFGKS4 mk4524

    Why do politicians like to use AMTRAK as a model of how badly the government runs things. First off, the Government took it over because the private sector couldn’t provide passenger rail service. Secondly, I’ve ridden on AMTRAK a lot and I don’t have any real complaints except that since it runs on rights of way owned by the private sector, it has to share the rails with freight traffic. Other than that, the service is excellent and if that’s an example of how the government runs things, I’d like to see more of it.

    Michael in Santa Barbara

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      I heard of Amtrak when I was only 12 years in Manila. I immigrated to USA and still Armtrak is the way it was 50 years ago.

      • Michele

         So?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          So nothing happen America when China got almost 2 dozen bullet trains for their masses to use to go to work. in span of 20 years.

          • Michele

             I ride the Acela quite often from NY to Boston.  Those old train designers must have been very forward thinking to design cars with wireless internet connections and outlets for laptops – since apparently nothing has changed in over 50 years!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        Amtrak was not created until 1971…so your dates are incorrect.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          10 years over is not so bad. do i need to be accurately correct in order for me to be accepted in the American society.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

            Yes…

          • Guest

             Thanks, Jason, for a great laugh

        • notafeminista

          No, Amtrak was nationalized in 1971.  You are altogether incorrect.

  • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

    President Obama won’t be returning his donations from Bain Capital

    http://politicker.com/2012/05/president-obama-wont-be-returning-his-donations-from-bain-capital/

    President Obama has become quite skilled at speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Actually USSR was a better country than being Russia.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Government is a great entity as long the government is not blinded and controlled by the people with money.
    The government should listen to the people not to the people who donated or contributed money in order for that government can stay in power.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Indeed history will repeat itself:
     
    The 1920s JP Morgan created a rumor in order for the American people to panic. He succeeded and the American people withdrew their bank accounts for the rumor was banks won’t be able to keep the money.
     
    And the next decade the 1930s it happened all over again and in 2012 Facebook was a new victim. JP Morgan a member of the Federal Reserve Bank can actually manipulate the American economy for their own accomplishment of Greed.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3XEMEHO6BZRQB32JGAYJQYDBVE EnderW

    This whole bit about Jefferson was rather disingenuous.  I am reading (actually verifying some quotes on a different subject)  “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition”, Volume 14 (1903), and am coming across some interesting perspective.  Your guest with his “Jeffersonian” view seems to be supporting what Jefferson called the British View.  I get off on this stuff.  Everytime a Republican opens it’s mouth about the founding fathers, they are pulling it right out of their own arse.

    We are the first generation to have full access to all of these rare books in high resolution scans (isn’t pdf cool?!).  One toof teabaggers would have been tossed right into the bay as agents of the corporation in 1773.  It’s getting ahrder and harder for these Republicans to claim founder’s intent for their anti-american bs, now that we can read the founders directly.

    Letter to Horatio G Spafford (March 17, 1814), page 119, “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition”, Volume 14: “I join in your reprobation of our merchants, priests, and lawyers, for their adherence to England and monarchy, in preference to their own country and it’s Constitution.  But merchants have no country.  The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty…”

    Then there are several letters to Dr. Thomas Cooper, the same year…Oh yes…

    Now let’s start talking about foreign principles.  Mussillini, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Trotsky, others…  Taken as a whole, we now see, with proof based on experience, what should be done and what should be avoided.  Cristofascism will result in the dissolution of the United States, mark my words.  The commies were right on many fronts, and that wisdom and experience was not available to our founding fathers, even though much of communist theory is paralleled in the writings of our founders.

    Never forget, the Revolution was caused by a Corporation.

    Currently reading the Romney plan right now.. You can too:
    Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper (September 10, 1814), page 179, “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition”, Volume 14 (1903). Here he describes the British socioeconomic system vs American. Today’s Republican Party would be described by Jefferson as British Loyalists.

    You can find it at archive.org

    • TomK in Boston

      Exactly. The right has hijacked the Constitution to be some restrictive anti-gvt document. Actually it was a reaction to the disastrous experiment with the Articles of Confederation, when the states had all the power and the USA was a basket case. The TeaOP should be carrying around copies of the Articles.  The Constitution was written to institute a strong federal government that would let the USA function as a nation. Washington would have been amazed at all the howling about a health care “mandate”.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3XEMEHO6BZRQB32JGAYJQYDBVE EnderW

        Well, the mandate will be clear next time it’s up for public debate.  Remember all the bagger machine guns?  Baggers were only 9% of the public.  We have more guns than them — and it works, they demonstrated that machine guns at town hall meetings work, and we can quote hundreds of congressmen, senators, legislators, governors, tv personalities, and the entire am dial saying it’s a public duty to bring machine guns to town hall meetings. realtime recording r0x. they can’t deny they did so.

        • Pancake Rankin

          Bullet box voting.
          People forget that Congresswoman Giffords was a “gun enthusiast” who was shot by the same model gun as she owned.
          Will suicide vests carry more weight at the polls? Or will all of us need thermonuclear warheads? Do “canned hunters” make better Presidents?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      THANKS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Palmetto-Patriot/1248758243 Palmetto Patriot

    No surprise that NPR would only interview a Hamiltonian. That’s exactly what I expected from NPR. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You were satisfied, then?

  • Pingback: Hamilton vs Jefferson discussion on NPR | Southern Nationalist Network

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    The Role of Government is to create terror amongst its people.

    I wonder what happened to the Terror Color Code Alert? Remember every once a week or every day after the Feds created the terror alert that Americans can see and hear.

    I always laughed at those color codes in what the heck is the US government doing to its people. Creating terror and paranoia against the muslim people.

    And now we have this Beeping sound everyday on the radio and tv that replaces those terror alert. The Emergency Broadcast System.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Funny but when the FEDS make travel advisory against the Philippines. There is always a spoiled bomb attempt in USA.  Since 2001 there were only probably 20 bombs treats in Manila compared to 300 or more terror alert in the USA.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Emergency Alert System is to warn of potentially imminent danger, whether by weather, chemical spill, or other means. 
         They do tests once a week, on each radio and tv station.

  • Michele

    The idea that the US government favors small businesses over large is ridiculous.  My family owns a small to med sized business and the percentage of taxes we pay would never be paid by a larger company.  Additionally, how many small businesses have gotten bail-outs by the government?  Or are GM and GE considered small businesses?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Because small business does not have the capability of employing thousands of Americans and foreign workers.

      if you have thousands of workers it means more Taxes are collected.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        If more taxes are collected the political system is more corrupt but with less taxes the politicians has no way of fleecing America. That’s why I HATE people saying to increase taxes for the average joe but when it comes to Romney they pay less taxes.

        Did you ever noticed?

  • nj_v2

    Zakaria happy talk? Really!?

    The “richest” countries are not currently in open war with each other, and cell phones are great, so, heck, let’s party.

    If this is the best Harvard could do, there would appear to be opportunity on the graduation-speech circuit.

  • EEKittredge

    Mom and Pop stores are great, but business and banking operations that are “too big to fail” are also too big to be run by unelected executives.  I didn’t vote for anybody on the board of Morgan Chase.  I want somebody I did vote for to be in control of my money.

    • Zing

       Then send all your money to Obama…you’ll feel better….lose your money, but feel better….

      • guest

        Were you assigned this site as your daily purpose? Other than that, you have no purpose.

  • EEKittredge

    Mitt Romney says “the economy” is the sum of all businesses in the country.  He’s wrong.  The economy is the sum of all people AND businesses.  INdividual people work to produce the wealth of businesses, and decide to buy or not to buy their products. You can’t run an economy without individual workers and shoppers.  Romney seems to have forgotten that.

    • Zing

       So businesses aren’t composed of people?….interesting….

      • Mfcarr

        It seems you agree with Mitt’s contention that “Corporations are people, my friend!”

        I’m stealing from someone (Robert Reich?) here, but I’ll believe that corporations are people when the state of Texas executes one.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there

  • feettothefire

    I still don’t understand how the hard-core free marketeers can believe the things they believe. When Alan Greenspan, as true blue a believer as there ever was in the myth of “rational” markets, admits he got it wrong, they choose to ignore him. When Henry Paulson, Bush’s Treasury Secretary, and as pure a creature of Wall Street as ever there was,  begs Nancy Pelosi to support a seven hundred billion dollar bailout of his beloved “free market” system, they apparently contract collective deafness, or amnesia, I’m not sure which. Even their messiah, Ronald Reagan, committed what would today be considered the ultimate sin. He COMPROMISED. He oversaw multiple tax increases during his presidency. Imagine, all those extra tax dollars to a government he characterized as “the problem.” George H. W. Bush Said, ” Read my lips, no new taxes.” That was before he raised taxes. Given the fact that every Republican administration since the “Reagan Revolution” has had to interject itself into the economic machinations of this country, one would think the believers in an unbridled, unregulated free market would want some evidence that such a thing is even possible, let alone evidence that it would work.

    • Zing

       Or the hard core keynesians for that matter….

      • feettothefire

        All of the W. Bush supporters keep telling me the Tarp bailout worked. Tarp was as Keynesian a move as ever undertaken by any administration. I wish you guys would get your stories straight. And tax increases, such as the ones that occurred during both the Reagan administration and the elder Bush’s administration are cornerstones of Keynesian philosophy. Who’d a thunk it? Ronald Reagan, a closet big government Keynesian?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      You expect consistency and rationality from Republicans?

  • Still Here

    The biggest criminals by far are in the government.  Hopefully I won’t get on someone’s enemy list for saying it.

    • You_Can_Keep_The_Change

      They’ll probably take that as a compliment.

    • feettothefire

       You might have a case if you claim the “most” are in government, but certainly not the biggest. Unless you choose to ignore Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Andrew Fastow, Dennis Koslowski, World.com, Bernie Madoff, Rupert Murdoch’s entire U.K. operation, etc., etc., etc.

      • jefe68

        So lets see, if government is so bad why do all these right wingers try to get elected and use all the perks? If the tea party GOP congress men and women were really serious about there agenda they would refuse it all.

        How small should government be one should ask?
        I would say the issue for me is waste, corruption is a problem, but most of the waste and over spending comes from the military projects which are deliberately spread out to just about over every state in the Union. It’s pretty vile in my view.
        Of course they will go on about the Post Office and how crooked the IRS is. Mind you because of so many cuts fraud has gone up ten fold from the crooks who are making a killing using peoples identities and filing false returns and making off with huge sums in refunds. Really amazing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      Oh really?  Madofff, Fuld, Paulson,Mozilo, Corzine, and on and on…. Don’t forget to include the criminals in finance of the S&L crisis of the ’80s. Some of which were McCain cronies.

    • Still Here

      Trillions of government waste, fraud and abuse and you big government lovers just don’t get it.

  • Jeffhougham

    The right wing says government can’t do anything so instead let’s take all the public money from public programs and put it into private hands.  Charter shcools, vouchers to buy private insurance instead of medicare, privatize social security, etc.  It is just another money grab.  Oh and if any of private programs fail they can get bailed out by more public funds. 

    • Zing

       You’re funny…wrong, but funny.

      • nj_v2

        You got him beat. You’re wrong. And simplistic. And predictable. And not even funny. Even with two screen names. Ever zingless.

    • Biff

      Government employees can show their confidence in our country’s public programs by demanding to participate in Social Security. When all state, local, and federal workers are enrolled in Social Security alongside all us common folk, we will better understand the problems we face.

      • Roy-in-Boise

         The Military and the civil service are all part of social security … which sector are you aiming your comment at?

      • Rhonda Conklin

         Federal worker hired after around 1985 DO participate in SS!  I don’t know about state workers tho…

  • Bill Earth42

    I’m Jeffersonian enogh to say Big is worse than small, but the real problem nowadays is the Corporation. It is designed to be immoral, greedy, and irresponsible. The government’s job is to protect us from bullies, be they foreign states or multi-national corporations. Corporate policy seeks to rob us of American Liberty for their own profit, and only by regulating them can we hope to regain control of our economy. The major change in law required is to hold every stockholder personally responsible for the actions of the corporation.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

      I agree, but how does the government protect us FROM corporate greed, when government itself has been infiltrated and taken over BY corporate greed??
      It is the invasion of the body snatchers.

  • Ann Mellow

    There is so much more to Jefferson than economic theory; and to appropriate Jefferson as a spokesperson for today’s Republican party is absurd. Arrgh! This lens tells us more abut today than yesterday. This argument is better served as a case study in historiography than anything else.

  • molbio

    Face it. Nothing and I mean nothing fundamental has been invented in the last 50 years in the US without the “heavy” hand of the governmental funding. (What do I mean by fundamental? It is NOT building a better mousetrap but it is the mousetrap.)

  • Laurita Moore

    Nothing good can happen with health care reform until we have one medical record that is pervasively accessible to the recipient.  Doctors think they own our medical records and emphasis is placed on preventing the flow of critical information and this practice is ridiculously expensive and grossly contrary to to good health care which is dependent on good information.

  • Dee

    Government as the peoples’ trustee…..

    I see government as the Trustee of the Public Sector –ensuring and enhancing the peoples’ liberty and prosperity. Especially, in the face of capitalism and today crony capitalists– Romney and 
    those in the Far Right represent in corporate America today and indeed the global economy. 

    I see them as the enemy of the public good and the common good –rather than the good and responsible stewards . Thus, this is where I believe the argument lies today and where re-
    sponsible regulations and controls must be….

    We should not accept the capitalists mucking up our environ-
    ment and taking off with outrageous profits made on the backs of those on the lower end of the pay scale….

    Consider the inequality and filth (pollution) behind the greed driven capitalists in 19th century industrialized England? It 
    was horrendous and one no government should return to….

    Karl Marx was right to warned of the disastrous path the capit-
    alists were on and predicted the terrible consequences for the workers and the environment …We have been experiencing 
    and witnessing today….Dee

    P.S. I find Romney is so out of touch with this problem when 
    he talks about freedom instead of controls and regulations to help preserve our economy, and the quality of our air. water 
    and soil for generations yet unborn.

    • Guido34_1998

      So “Karl Marx was right?”

      Look at the plight of workers AND the environment from Marx’s time; now compare the to the situation today in that awful American capitalist society.Better yet compare to the countries that actually adopted Marx’s ideas:  Cuba, China, Soviet Union, North Korea, etc.

      I’ll take Romney and his capitalist pigs any time.

  • Joe E

    New Audio Player – I listen on my iPhone and with the new player I can’t “rewind”. There’s no way to backtrack to listen to the past five minutes for example. Very unusable. Please FIX! Thanks

  • notafeminista

    Soviet propaganda art shows a striking resemblance to the art shared here.

    • 1st_Unaffiliated

      I know a white supremacist with a DISQUS handle that is similar to yours.

      • notafeminista

        Good for you.

  • guest

    How the heck do you find the recording to listen to the program??????  Can we no longer download the mp3?

    This stinks!

  • your listener

    Michael Lind’s views overall are sensible and knowledgable, rhetorics are very effective and powerful to be used by politicians on people who don’t question enough, but extremely damaging and polarizing.  I don’t know how some politicians sleep at night if they realize what they’ve done in gaining their personal benefit.

    How ironic those regions have mostly benefited from government assistance in building infrastructures and now want little or no government interventions..!

    But all in all, be it Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian, they are used for good reference points by politicians or historians, but our world has changed drastically since then, environmental costs and regulations need to be added into all business practices now, free trades and free markets are NOT FREE until fair trades are implemented.  

    What’s really lacking in discussions on today’s economies and governments, is all practices that impact on our environments and over exploitations on natural resources.  And I don’t even want to start commenting on Fareed Zakaria’s ignorant, over optimistic speech.

  • Sandrazhamolsky

    Great speech ! Fareed Zacharia’s analysis and advice a gift to graduates and the rest of us. Exciting vision for the future along with sound practical advice on how to be a caring human being.
                                               SZH

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Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

 
Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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