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Matt Taibbi On Unequal Justice In The Age Of Inequality

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi sees a huge and growing divide in the US justice system, where big money buys innocence and poverty means guilt. He joins us.

In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi makes us look at what we might want to avoid, ignore.  And he does it with a rage that compels us to keep looking.  He’s gone after the lords of Wall Street as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”  This time out, he’s going after a great skewing, he says, of American justice.  In an age of great inequality, says Taibbi, our rule of law has been subverted.  Divided into two tiers. Free passes for the rich.  Criminalization for the poor.  This hour On Point:  Matt Taibbi on separate and unequal American justice in the age of inequality.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matt Taibbi, project editor at First Look Media. Author of “The Divide: American Injustice In the Age of the Wealth Gap.” Also author of “Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History” and “The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire.” (@mtaibbi)

Authur Laby, professor of law at Rutgers University.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘The Divide’ by Matt Taibbi — “It would be one thing to simply point at such judicial disparity and cry foul. Mr. Taibbi’s contribution is to trace the bureaucratic process that created a prosecutorial doctrine that calls for weighing ‘collateral consequences’—that is, anything that might hurt innocent bystanders—when deciding whether to bring a case against a corporation. ‘Prosecutors may take into account the possibly substantial consequences to a corporation’s officers, directors, employees, and shareholders,’ reads a 1999 Justice Department memo written by a then obscure lawyer named Eric Holder.”

 Washington Post: ‘The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap’ by Matt Taibbi — “Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants, to juxtapose justice for the poor and the powerful.”

NPR: In Book’s Trial Of U.S. Justice System, Wealth Gap Is Exhibit A –  “What I ended up finding is that it’s incredibly easy for people who don’t have money to go to jail for just about anything. There’s almost an inverse relationship between the ease with which you can put a poor person in jail for, say, welfare fraud, and the difficulty that prosecutors face when they try to put someone from a too-big-to-fail bank in jail for a more serious kind of fraud.”

Read An Excerpt of “The Divide” by Matt Taibbi

 

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  • Charles Vigneron

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice…” From the 1215 to the present it’s been what the fight’s all about—all are equal before the law.

    • Steve__T

      Don’t tell the Indians that.

  • Yar

    Compare and contrast the unequal justice of today with the hypocrisy of Jesus’ day. Our political leaders hold seats of power by not serving the people, they promote false ideology to protect moneyed interests, this is why immigration is not reformed, and why we don’have a living wage. It is a path to revolution, I am beginning to think this is the intended path as a way to avoid responsibility for the mess they are causing. We can return to democracy by using the tools of social media and with write-in ballots. In your local community there is a servant leader, you can put them in the seat of power by organizing a grassroots political campaign.. We can win this in a peaceful revolution by telling truth to power. I wonder if the current political power will peacefully accept true democracy.

  • Michiganjf

    Thanks On Point!

    I enjoy hearing from Matt Taibbi any chance I get!

    He’s one of the best journalists we have… intelligent, extremely well-rounded, and very insightful!

    Sadly, one of a select few these days, but we’re so lucky to have him working for us all!

  • HonestDebate1

    The last thing the left wants to do is have a truly honest debate about unequal justice.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Why? Why not?

    • northeaster17

      You need to be more specific in this forum

      • HonestDebate1

        Is affirmative action equal justice? Is the IRS targeting of the Tea Partiers equal justice? Is Obamacare forcing me to carry maternity coverage equal justice? Is requiring Catholics to provide abortive contraception coverage, equal justice? Is the top 1% paying 40% of the bill while the bottom 50% pay 2% equal justice?

        I think not.

        • northeaster17

          Thanks for opening up. Ican’t get into all your concerns but the following link may help with the IRS thing

          http://crooksandliars.com/latest?page=2

        • mo_munny

          Is a kid with a joint in his pocket going to jail, while HSBC just gets a slap on the wrist & no jail time for laundering drug money, equal justice? Is the kid from Texas who got away with “affluenza” equal justice? Is the Du Pont heir who sexually abused his child and avoided prison, equal justice? Are the banksters who buy politicians and just further their own wealth without providing the proportionate value to society, while the middle class (that actually does work to move the economy) struggles, equal justice?

          I think not.

          • HonestDebate1

            Absolutely not. Those are horrible injustices.

          • mo_munny

            That’s what Taibbi is writing about in this book. How the justice system is biased. Your points are more about socio-economic and cultural issues, that always will be a gray area. Unfortunately those are much, much harder to address since we are all so awesomely different.

          • nj_v2

            DisHonestMisDebatorGreggg just recycles the same unrelated, mostly bogus, mostly delusional fact-y sounding bits no matter the context.

          • HonestDebate1

            No they are not cultural issues they are policies enacted into law.

        • nj_v2

          “Is affirmative action equal justice?”

          DisHonestMisDebator Greggg doesn’t understand affirmative action.

          “Is the IRS targeting of the Tea Partiers equal justice?”

          Bogus scandal. No one was “targeted.”

          “Obamacare forcing me to carry maternity coverage equal justice?”

          Waaaaa! I pay property taxes which include funding for schools and i don’t have kids. Waaaaa!

          “Is requiring Catholics to provide abortive contraception coverage, equal justice?”

          Bogus, again.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/obamacare-abortion-surcharge_n_1397564.html

          “In fact, the policy does not require anyone who does not want abortion coverage to pay for it. Under the law, states have to offer at least one health plan on their insurance exchanges that doesn’t cover abortion services at all. If a state decides it does want to have health plans that cover abortion services on its exchange, and if a woman chooses one of those plans, then she has to pay a separate fee of at least $1 to a separate account for that coverage in order to make sure no federal dollars are used to support abortion services.”

          “Is the top 1% paying 40% of the bill while the bottom 50% pay 2% equal justice?”

          Nope, they should be paying more.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda.

          • nj_v2

            More “honest debate.”

            The clown suit must be binding up today.

          • StilllHere

            I would avoid interacting with this postbot.

          • keltcrusader

            says the pot to the kettle

          • OnPointComments

            Let’s create affirmative action for burglary victims. When a burglary occurs and there is evidence of the race of the perpetrator, or if the race of the perpetrator can be guessed, a random person of the same race as the perpetrator will be forced to pay restitution to a random person of the same race as the burglary victim. That’s fair, isn’t it?

            Some of President Obama’s comments on what you term as the “bogus” IRS scandal:

            “I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable. It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives.”

            “…I have got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”

            “…regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong. Public service is a solemn privilege. I expect everyone who serves in federal government to hold themselves to the highest ethical and moral standards. So do the American people. And as President, I intend to make sure our public servants live up to those standards every day.”

          • HonestDebate1

            The Elijah Cummings hyjinx are certainly not phony, none of it is. He was on “Face the Nation” and was not asked anything about it. Amazing.

            http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/04/09/new-emaisl-show-lois-lerner-fed-information-about-true-the-vote-to-democrat-elijah-cummings-n1822247

        • geraldfnord

          Affirmative action’s intent is to compensate for staggeringly unequal starts and impediments that stem from previous and past injustices. It was created and is enforced by humans, and so is far from perfect, and ways of improving it (or deleting it if it can’t be brought up to spec) can be argued, but that’s the basic idea Martin L. King supported.

          Insurance pooling means that many people will get coverage for conditions to which not all are liable—if I had no legs, would it be unjust to have me pay the same rates as my co-worker whose feet might need surgery? No, because our various liabilities are a part of what makes pooled insurance work, and work better for all but the constitutionally healthy and lucky.

          Catholics (or, most[?] of the time, more accurately the soulless, State-{co-created} entities that are the actual employers in law) would be treated unjustly if they _weren’t_ treated the same as all other employers.

          The disparate funding of the government is closer to just than you intimate for the simple reason that the rich benefit from it much more than the poor: the accumulation and transfer of large heaps of property, the creation of whole new classes of property not found in Nature, and the threat of legitimised violence backing the enforcement of the contracts that make these profitable, are all State functions. To that add the incredibly unequal experiences of the policing and justice systems to which Mr Taibbi speaks, and I say that the rich are getting a very good deal.

          (Yes, propertarian minarchists, there _could_ be private justice and security firms, but 0.) that trick never works, the strange attractors in the system are violent chaos and feudalism, of which “A Song of Ice and Fire” paints a positively rose-coloured view, and 1.) such a system would end up being even crueller to the non-rich than our current such, and as much as you might despise their non-Galtian arses, if too many of them get too irritated, down goes the system, as per ’0′ super.)

        • jimino

          You tell ‘em!

          And what about giving veterans preference in filling jobs? And putting in those ramps and special parking places for people in wheelchairs? I bet most of them are disabled and don’t even pay taxes! Don’t forget those.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t follow.

    • Matt MC

      That’s so meta!

      • HonestDebate1

        Thanks.

    • John Cedar

      You were going good until you added the qualifier on the end.

    • TFRX

      Hahahahahaha!

      Really, “submitted without comment”.

      • HonestDebate1

        You remind me of a yapping yorkie that makes a lot of noise but is actually very sweet and lovable. I know you have a soft side.

  • Human2013

    An heir to the duPont fortune confessed and was convicted of raping his three, yes three, year old daughter. No jail time for him, the judge didn’t think he was well suited for prison.

    • StilllHere

      Three strikes and you’re out and minimum sentences!

    • Maureen Roy

      Wow, you’re not kidding – hadn’t heard a thing about this. Guess the judge didn’t want to wind up dead (or her family) – someone got to her apparently. Is David Icke really that far afield after all…? http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/crime/2014/03/28/sunday-preview-du-pont-heir-stayed-prison/7016769/

      • geraldfnord

        David Icke, typically of professional conspiracy theorists, is a manufacturer of rodeo clowns, whose function is to distract the dangerous animals from the people actually tring to ride them or to bind them.

    • GregoryC

      Affluenza defense.

  • Shag_Wevera

    These two topics today have something in common. Terrorism is inevitable, and there is only so much that can be done to prevent it. In a capitalist society, it is impossible to prevent the influence of money in the justice system. Legislate all you like, but the influence of wealth is part of the fabric of our society.

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      Then take the wealth away!

      • geraldfnord

        …by making everyone wealthy.

        When noöne has to delve or spin
        Then all will be the gentle[wo]men

  • northeaster17

    From above. “Mr. Taibbi’s contribution is to trace the bureaucratic process that created a prosecutorial doctrine that calls for weighing ‘collateral consequences’—that is, anything that might hurt innocent bystanders”
    An attitude our drone program badly needs.

  • John Cedar

    What a bunch of bunk this topic is.
    One thing to notice when you move from a rural setting to a more urban setting, is that other than parking violations, you can get away with a lot more things that would get you in trouble in a smaller town. Of course that means that people can get away with doing a lot more things to you and your stuff with impunity too.

    • Yar

      Like being black, LGBT, or non-christian? Is that what you mean by getting away with stuff? Because I live in a small town and it seems the good-old-boys are getting away with plenty. For those mentioned above, not so much.

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      So, that’s OK with you???

  • TyroneJ

    Has there ever been a time or place in human history where wealth didn’t make it more likely that a person would not be held accountable? I realize that’s not an argument for giving up trying to make a system that gives everyone an equally fare shake, but I would say today is not unique.

    Societies always stack the deck in favor of the State as well. How many places in the US give equal pay for equal work between prosecutors and public defenders? How many places in the US give equal resources between prosecutors and public defenders?

  • Coastghost

    Taibbi seems to’ve discovered that pro bono legal representation often fails to yield salutary outcomes for destitute defendants . . . . that’s enterprising journalism, right there.
    (Separately, Taibbi gets a due “nepotism” score of at least one, his father has worked long as a television journalist. [Nepotism even in media domains often can entail fresh, spontaneous blossoming of professional opportunities.])
    Haven’t heard the formula “zero-sum justice” offered but that’s what it sounds like Taibbi is saying. (I am sure he’s leaving relevant data from his tale of woe.)

    • nj_v2

      More sophist trolling.

      • Coastghost

        I’ve graduated from “cynic” to “sophist”, I discern an upward trajectory . . . .

        • StilllHere

          I would avoid interacting with this postbot..

  • Sharynski

    And how does student loan debt crisis factor into this divide? TY, Matt Taibbi. #HigherEdNotDebt #WhatAboutTheFirst Trillion

  • Scott B

    A few execs in jail might give Big Biz the hint to straighten out their act, but history shows that Big Biz would only lobby to get the rules changed in their favor. Meanwhile, the courts still see cocaine in powder form almost as a white-collar crime, while crack users get sentences murderers.

    Corporations, like the Corrections Corporation of America, owners of dozens of for-profit prisons, lobby for laws that widen the scope of what’s illegal, longer mandatory sentences, and demand that states that sell their prisons to them keep them fill at 80% – 90% of capacity. Those prisons aren’t going to be filled with the execs and traders that crashed much of the world’s economies, nor those that were in room with drug cartels to aid them in money laundering.
    Those prisons are filled with the people that had a joint in their pocket; and whoa be to the guy who got busted with his personal stash within a certain circumference of the sandwich bags he uses to pack his work lunch, as that’s “intent to sell”.

    • StilllHere

      There are plenty of execs in jail and plenty of drug dealers, it doesn’t prevent others from doing wrong.

      • Scott B

        Low level execs. Sacrificial, slow moving, easy targets. The gov’t got a few small-time traders, but where’s the head of the big banks and trading houses?

        As for drug dealers, yes, they have those, but the majority of those doing time for drugs are users.

        What next? The owners of recalled cars get put in jail for being a road hazard while the execs that were in charges of ignoring the problems go scot-free? Those businesses are right there in the “too big to fail” category, too.

        • StilllHere

          What crime did he commit?
          CEOs of Tyco and Enron are in jail.

          • Scott B

            Tyco and Enron were how long ago? Over a decade. As Matt said on TV recently, about 800 people went to prison for the S&L scandal. Enron and that era had 200-some, and the debacle that happened in ’08 has virtually no one going even setting foot in a court. At this rate we’ll be seeing execs going too jail for not screwing over the public by the 2020′s. (that’s scarcasm, just in care you can’t smell that from your cave)

            Dimon’s company was as complicit as anyone else, doing the exact same things. He even set aside over $20B for the fines he knew would be coming, not just for the companies JPM/Chase ended up with, but also for JPM/Chase itself. You mean to say that Dimon was completely unaware of the financial shenanigans that were going on?

          • StilllHere

            Were those actions of JPM or banks it acquired?

    • OnPointComments

      What the White House says about “Those prisons are filled with the people that had a joint in their pocket:”

      ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MARIJUANA
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/frequently-asked-questions-and-facts-about-marijuana

      “Is the government putting people in prison for marijuana use?

      “Simply stated, there are very few people in state or Federal prison for marijuana-related crimes. It is useful to look at all drug offenses for context. Among sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction in 2008, 18% were sentenced for drug offenses. We know from the most recent survey of inmates in state prison that only six percent (6%) of prisoners were for drug possession offenders, and just over four percent (4.4%) were drug offenders with no prior sentences.

      “In total, one tenth of one percent (0.1 percent) of state prisoners were marijuana possession offenders with no prior sentences.

      • Scott B

        Considering that we have over 2 Million people in prison, that’s not an insignificant amount of people. As Matt’s pointed out on other media and in his book, carrying a small amount of pot isn’t illegal in many places. But, when the cops make them turn out their pockets, then that pot is in the public and now illegal and punishable by law.

      • Bill98

        I can’t help but note the “no prior sentences” qualifier. Might those “priors” be due to marijuana?
        You also specify “possession”. But, what about low-level dealers?

  • StilllHere

    Sounds to me like we’re supposed to draw big conclusions from a handful of anecdotes. That doesn’t seem reasonable.

    Does Taibbi have any thoughts on the new Green Day album?

  • SteveTheTeacher

    How about the lack of prosecution for Presidents Bush and Obama and those in the executive, legislative, judicial, and military/espionage branches of government who have taken a leadership role in the crimes against humanity – mass killings, torture, detention w/o trial, weapons of mass destruction, etc. – conducted as part of the US terrorism wars?

  • Maureen Roy

    I am very glad to see that Matt T. has had the courage to leverage his privileged background and education – and I say this sans sarcasm – to look at the landscape of his world and be a voice of ‘the people’ – he is indeed an exception in this era of contracted investigative journalism. I grew up watching his father Mike in the Boston media, who obviously mirrored and taught him well. Kudos to them both.

  • toc1234

    Is it about the poor? Or is it really about matt Taibbi?

    • nj_v2

      It’s certainly not about anything you post here.

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    The scales of justice are supposed to be blind, but clearly they are not. This is just as big a problem in a capitalist system as in a corrupt socialist system. Only way to fix it would be to get rid of private lawyers and provide everyone with public lawyers of their choosing (paid for through taxes). Of course then they couldn’t make millions either ( just a good living).

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Justice isn’t blindfolded in Britain. And that place is a lot worse than the USA re: Eton swells “ruining” the show.

  • toc1234

    First, violent crime has been dropping precipitously for nearly two decades. (abortion become readily available to inner city women – from freakenomics)

    • Bigtruck

      That’s the point crime is dropping and more poor people are going to jail

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    My partner is into the book. She’s enjoying it. I don’t read anecdotal “evidence” stuff. Argument from published data is more my cuppa. Then she’s a retired journalism teacher and I’m a registered engineer. Different genres..

  • toc1234

    is Taibbi’s focus really on the plight of the poor? or is it on Matt Taibbi?

    • geraldfnord

      Perhaps he is elliptical, or otherwise possessed of multiple foci…if elliptic, this should give him a leg-up in cracking some crypto!

  • Oh bummer

    Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are true American patriots who had the courage to reveal the crimes of the US federal government. President Obama should pardon them, as well thanking them for their service to the country.

    • geraldfnord

      Snowden has done us a service but is no hero—rather, he is a True Believer who hates all government so much (he is bound-up with the Thielist right) that he couldn’t do otherwise, and privileged/callow enough not to understand just how hard the hammer really could come down on him…if he’d had better plans he wouldn’t be stuck in Russia, there are other places that don’t like us but are more free.

      Manning, on the other hand, knew that she would get caught, and had lived in the military long enough to know viscerally that the result wouldn’t be pretty, and went ahead anyway. That’s heroism, even if you disagree with the viewpoint in whose service it was essayed.

  • geraldfnord

    Firstly: Matt, how does the current U.S. remind you of ’90s Russia, and how is it very different?

    One wag characterised extreme capitalism as ‘All the freedom that money can buy.’—any totalised market despises universal and inalienable individual rights, if only for their being universal and inalienable, hence worthless on the market.

    There was “Onion” story in which the attorney for a ghetto youth caught with a few joints asked that his client ‘…be tried as a white suburban youth with a bright future’ which I’d love to find again, but I could find its opposite:

    http://www.theonion.com/video/judge-rules-white-girl-will-be-tried-as-black-adul,18896/

    (Incidentally, my father was born just outside the ghetto doors, a few years before the Germans closed them, and he taught me to respect the police but not to think of them as friends…they had a habit of waiting until the gangs were done beating a Jew and then arresting him…police aren’t monsters, but they are humans, with all the terrible implications of that….)

  • brettearle

    How much sooner would Jared Remy have been incarcerated–had he not had the money and family prestige behind him?

    How much sooner would a death have been prevented?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.
    –Leona Helmsley

    Only the little people go to jail.
    –Matt Taibbi

    Everybody wins!
    –Hoober Doober

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We’re bringing back the workhouse. So everyone will have a job.
    –Barack H. Obama {Visionary for All Time}

  • M S

    I would like to know who is to blame for this situation.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    So how many times did Matt Taibbi vote for Obama and Clinton? Four times total, perhaps? And no buyer’s remorse?

    What a revoltin’ development this is!
    –Chester A. Riley

  • geraldfnord

    Once we accept that the rich should live so much better than the poor, be fed so much better, get medical care that is so much better, and have educational and career prospects almost entirely denied to the poor, why should we balk at the poor’s getting less justice? If rich men can’t expect better treatment for them and theirs, we’re cutting their incentives to be wonderful Jobs Creators!

    There is a strong tendency to despise those badly-off and assume that they deserve all the ills to which they are subject, and to laud those on top—it’s natural to hominid hierarchies, acceptance and enforcement of the hierarchy increases the survival of at least some of your kin’s genes…but we have evolved the ability to tell those genes to jump in the lake, and the technical competence to survive without it.

    • OnPointComments

      Judging by many of the comments, the “strong tendency” is to despise the well-off, and to wish upon them many ills.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It’s a Dr. Holder situation. The Stepin Fetchit at your US Justice Department.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The rich get richer and the poor get — children
    In the meantime
    In between time
    Ain’t we got fun.

    Where’s Nick Carraway when we need him?

  • John_in_VT

    I would not be surprised – no, I predict that in a few years the GOP conservtives will support re-instituting debtors prisons. It is time for the working poor and lower middle class to get mad and get active, or, just accept your subjugation.

    • StilllHere

      They’d have to get up first.

      • nj_v2

        ^ Troll

    • geraldfnord

      Well, yes, it’s inconsistent with a Free Market to allow some people not to worry about state violence because they’ve sought protection in bankruptcy, but I think they’ll be more interested in backing debt-slavery and ‘voluntary’ organs-sale.

  • Mark Caplan

    A rational person would EXPECT the violent crime rate to decline while the prison population increases. That shows the incarceration system is working by keeping violent offenders off the streets.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    O
    OB
    OBA
    OBAM
    OBAMA
    GO TEAM!

    Please, sir. Can we have more of that hope, change, and transparent government now? Some? Any?

    • geraldfnord

      Uh, some of us knew a moderate Republican when we saw one; if the Republicans hadn’t nominated lunatics and plutocrats to oppose him…

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      So, you used to be a cheerleader, eh?

  • Robert Kennedy

    The perception of dependence is opposite of the reality. If we subtract people from the existence of corporations or if we subtract corporations from the existence of people, we see that people can exist quite well without the flow down from the top. However, without people, corporations would quickly cease to exist. The homage and power ultimately rests with the people but that status has been usurped. The scales have been tipped and now money rules the day.

    • geraldfnord

      ‘Who makes the roads roll?’

      • Robert Kennedy

        Roads don’t roll, people do. Without corporations we would still have trails.

        • JS

          Really? Which roads did corporations build?

        • jefe68

          Hmmm, I guess that huge interstate project in the 50′s that Eisenhower put into play was on behalf of corporations.

          • Robert Kennedy

            It was most certainly built on behalf of corporations.  It was built to help implement the post war industrial boom that America enjoyed as we helped to rebuild and supply those countries negatively impacted in the war.   How long do you think the roads would last if they were only traversed by four wheel passenger vehicles.  The cost of building and repair, in fact, the very style of the interstate system is dictated by the transportation needs of corporations.  This applies to the rest of our infrastructure including ports, bridges, dams, communications and so on.  The lion’s share of the cost for this infrastructure is born by the public, but the corporations vastly outpace the public when it comes to benefitting from that infrastructure and what they do commit to its support is tax deductible.  If corporations are “people”, that’s the kind of person I’d like to be.
            Robert Kennedy
            rfk711@yahoo.com

    • DeJay79

      I like that and consider right now who is actually more dependent on the Government (law makers and tax programs) nobody in the government seems to bat an eye at the Billions given in subsides and tax breaks to say just the Oil companies for example …

      But Crap given someone a few hundred dollars so that they can eat and Fox news goes nuts about what kind of food they are buying and we send officers to your house to investigate who really lives there!

      http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/elvsf4/what-not-to-buy

      • Robert Kennedy

        …and so, they need to dismantle the public education system in order to warehouse the electorate and maintain the blinders.

  • geraldfnord

    I’ve often wondered if it were all the easier to go easy on Wall Street in the years after the 09-11 attacks, which to some made the entire sector less- or untouchable kin of martyrs, beyond the perceived need to help it back to its feet for their sake (most definitely) and ours (to some extent).

  • John_in_VT

    It’s a classic move below: if you don’t like the message then question the motives of the messenger. Starting in 2002 the new ending for ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, at least in the US, is the crowd starts berating the little kid and eventually beats him to death. All this amid shouts of “Who is he to be questioning our great leader!?!”

    • geraldfnord

      No, liberals don’t beat the kid to death, we send him to sensitivity training sessions* until he kills himself.

      *’You have no right to hurt people’s feeling by letting them know what a stupid king they’ve not bothered to overthrow, and your yelling that he’s nekkid is both clothesist and hurtful to the differently-realitied,’

  • malkneil

    HLB going ham on the spam.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      HLB is a vegetarian. Good on ya. Hoober Doober

  • M S

    This is really no surprise to those of us who can see how corrupt the U.S. Government is at every level. In fact, I’m willing to say that the current American ethos is the problem. I’ve basically quit saluting the flag and I do not consider the President to my President (one who selectively enforces the law and who is more concerned about foreign invaders than his own citizens). I mark jury summonses RTS. This country is a bad joke.

    • anamaria23

      Canada is consistently rated as among the top five places to live and US citizens are increasingly emigrating there.
      Just a thought.

      • M S

        I hear that…I love Montreal!

    • hennorama

      M S — wow. Another of the “Your President” group. Do you and Homer Bum meet regularly? Do you have a list of other elected officials who are also not “yours,” and if so, will you share the list with the forum at large?

      • M S

        Snore…

        • hennorama

          M S — thank you for your bravely unresponsive response.

          • M S

            Zzzzz….

    • jimino

      When did you come to this conclusion?

      • M S

        Hm, good question. I’m fairly young, but I think it was when Clinton lied to my face…around that time, I’d say. I was always away of our history, but at the same time I felt we were moving in the right direction, so I cut us a little slack…

  • DeJay79

    When we have a for profit legal representation system. it should be no surprise that the rich who can buy better legal protection do buy better legal protection.

    And over the long time that we have had this system the “for the people” prosecutors have been trained to not seek full legal measure against the rich because the effort is not worth resulting headache if they do win. Also the few prosecutors who do want to do the right thing have their hands tied by legal loop holes and higher up “connections” which pressure them to “not make any mistakes”!

    The Government has little or no fear of the poor and less fortunate because their is very little chance that they will be able to fight for their Rights the way the rich can.

    Yes we all have the same rights, The problem is that we all have to Fight for our rights and only the well-to-do have the resources to maintain that fight.

    This same problem goes far beyond the court room and stretches out to the laws before they are made.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      Everyone aspires to have an unfair advantage over their neighbor. This same problem goes far beyond the more abstract parts of human society, and is rooted in our psychological needs for dominance.

  • geraldfnord

    Once it’s technically feasible for all necessary work to be done with noöne’s being poor or even middle-class, will the rich tolerate that to be so? The existence of poverty as a means of social control and saving money seems to seem quite beneficial to the rich—to say nothing of the egosyntonic and entertainment value for some of there being so many so below them….

    (See Doctorow’s “After the Siege”.)

  • creaker

    Corporations are basically immune to criminal law – the worst that ever happens is losing some money. Breaking the law is merely a risky investment. Limited financial liability has bled into limited legal liability.

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

      Right, if a person did what BP did or the big banks – they would be put away for life.

      BP and the big banks etc. should be dissolved.

      • creaker

        They really need to reexamine corporations in general – what was originally rarely granted by governments is now cookie cutter. Owners of a business should not be able to walk from their liabilities.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will not quit gobbling until all of the goose is gone.
    –The Billionaire Boys Club

    I will not quit playing golf until right is done.* Now watch this putt.
    –Barack H. Obama, Multimillionaire

    * Ostensibly by the next White House

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward my income stream.
    –Every Democrat & Republican you ever voted for

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook,
    Interesting that you discuss Holder. Wasn’t he that perfected crony capitalism and favored treatment of white collar criminals by his participating in the pardoning of Marc Rich, a noted tax fugitive whose wife was very involved in Democrat politics?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Violating the White House’s own policy on bringing nominations for pardons to the president’s desk.

  • Bigtruck

    You don’t need this guys book to prove the obvious.

    • TFRX

      Without Taibbi’s book, how many hours would NPR spend on this month?

      “Not enough”, I submit.

      • Bigtruck

        Obvious yes but I agree, Taibbi is a warrior.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Judges are political animals, too. They don’t get their initial appointments without working for the local & state Demo or Reptile organizations.

  • Scott B

    The PBS show Frontline “Untouchables” was able to find example after example of illegal doings by Wall St, with witness after witness. Yet Lanny Breuer the guy in charge of investigating the banks, et at, couldn’t find one reason to find even one person worthy of bringing charges against them for the debacle that brought on the Great Repression. Then, surprise surprise, Lanny goes back to work as an exec for Covington & Burling, a law firm closely connected to Wall St and DC lobbyists.

    • OnPointComments

      It’s not just Lanny Breuer with a connection to Covington & Burling.

      INSIGHT: TOP JUSTICE OFFICIALS CONNECTED TO MORTGAGE BANKS
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/20/us-usa-holder-mortgage-idUSTRE80J0PH20120120

      Excerpt:

      U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm [Covington & Burling] that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

      Where is Lanny Breuer, who failed to prosecute anyone on Wall Street?
      http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/once-more-through-the-revolving-door-for-justices-breuer/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

      Excerpt:

      Covington & Burling, a prominent law firm, plans to announce on Thursday [3/15/2013] that Mr. Breuer will be its vice chairman…Mr. Breuer is expected to earn about $4 million in his first year at Covington.

      IS WALL STREET STILL “UNTOUCHABLE”?
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/untouchables/is-wall-street-still-untouchable/

      Excerpt:

      In The Untouchables…FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith examines why not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for fraud tied to the sale of bad mortgages. Breuer has since left the government to return to private practice with Covington & Burlington — a firm that counts major Wall Street firms such as JPMorgan Chase among its clients.

      • Scott B

        The ever-revolving door of DC politics and cronyism, and turning their eyes from the influence and wrongdoings of plutocrats and oligarchs are a good part of what’s sinking this country lately.

      • jimino

        Well what would expect from a tool of a Marxist commie? They’re all about protecting crony capitalism, right?

        • Scott B

          That’s an oxymoronic statement if there ever was one. One can’t be Marxist and protecting capitalism.

          • jimino

            My comment was intended to illustrate how ridiculous so-called conservatives are in claiming that the Obama admin is anything close to liberal, let alone their oft-complained of “socialist” or “communist”.

  • JB

    This is such an important topic – thank you Matt & Tom for addressing it. One dimension of this is the incredible imbalance in legal resources available to rich and poor. If you can afford a lawyer – or a roomful of lawyers – to challenge evidence & witnesses and investigate every legal escape route possible – you stand a much better chance of an acquittal or reduced charges than the citizen who can’t access those legal resources.
    How important is the role of publically funded legal aid for those with limited income in bringing about greater equality? Should funding be increased?

  • Dab200

    If Corporations are people, as famously Mitt Romney proclaimed, how come none is yet in jail?

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

      All the managing officers and the Board of Directors. That would be strong incentive.

    • Jeff

      Sure, we should throw everyone in jail who fueled the idea that everyone should own a home. When we focus in on those politicians who fought against regulations on Fannie and Freddy then we can also go after everyone else who was at fault.

      • nj_v2

        More right-wing bogosity.

        • jefe68

          Yep. And it’s so predictable.

      • jimino

        People have been buying their own homes, often with government backed mortgages, for decades. So that can’t be it. Try again.

        • Jeff

          Sure, but the government began to aggressively push banks (through fines and tax incentives) to give loans to low income individuals in the mid to late 90′s…Bush continued that bad policy and people like Barney Frank fought any regulation on Fannie and Freddy tooth and nail; even just a couple of years before the collapse. The bailouts were an even worse signal…basically telling banks they have no consequences for making bad loans…and there you go; how government caused all of this.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Little changes over time when there is zero incentive to progress.

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s none of my business so no need to reply but I’ve thought about you, I hope your situation has improved.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    All of that criminal lack of truth, honesty, and justice in New York City is OVER now that “Socialist Bill” de Blasio is “on the job.” Once he figures out how to get the vagrants, snow, hookers, and garbage off of the streets.

    • geraldfnord

      That is you 666th comment*; your work here is done, child of the Enemy…get thee hence!

      Or, as I once heard an old salt mention in passing, ‘Exsúrgat Deus et dissipéntur inimíci ejus: et fúgiant qui odérunt eum a fácie ejus!’

      *really

  • creaker

    Be wary – nothing matters to these people but growth – as there are less cookies to go around they will use government to manipulate the system more and more to insure their growth continues. Keep an eye on your cookies :-(

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Executive Compensation Committee: You did it! You impoverished the entire planet.
    Jamie Dimon: So what’s my bonus?
    Planet Earth: And what do you do for an encore?

    • Matthew J Hall

      Encore? Get rid of higher life forms through the unforgiving hand of Momma Nature.

  • nj_v2

    Really, what is it? What’s the motivation of the right-wing clown posse’s attempts to discredit any case, argument, or evidence that the political/economic system is rigged and stacked in just about every way against the middle and lower classes and in favor of monied/powerful/corporate interests?

    Every day these jesters distort, prevaricate, blather, lie outright to defend an economically repressive system, deny institutional mechanisms to advantage the rich and powerful, and to imply any problems people have are personal failings of attitude, effort, or character.

    • JS

      Amen brother

    • jefe68

      Well said sir.

      It’s how the clown posse rolls. Complete with swagger.

    • HonestDebate1

      How’s that Democrat economy working out for you?

      • jimino

        Aren’t you the one constantly proclaiming that everything is fine with the economy for those who will just make a reasonably responsible effort.

        So I don’t understand your point. Are you saying that the “Democrat economy” is just fine or are you saying there are widespread systemic economic problems?

        • HonestDebate1

          No, I think the economy is in shambles. It breaks my heart.

          That does not mean we are helpless. I don’t think income inequality is a problem. I think so many people not working is. This is because of legislative policies. 86 million full-time private-sector workers are working to pay benefits for 146 million. It’s not sustainable yet the focus is not on jobs. It’s on more benefits. It didn’t have to be this way.

          I was replying to NJ making excuses for failure. It’s my opinion. Scroll up and see the anger of the commenter debating me on the issue. He (or she) is convinced there is no hope and no one can succeed. I think that mindset is highly destructive.

          • jimino

            What legislative policies are responsible for so many people not working?

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m going to answer you but I don’t think you will agree. I’d rather not get into a pissin’ match though.

            #1 is Obamacare which is a foot on the throat of business. It is also turning us into a part-time economy. $7 trillion in debt over 5 years is unthinkable yet somehow we did it. That has lowered our credit rating and hurt the economy. What’s worse is it was mostly wasted. Our energy policy has been abysmal and energy costs have affected everything. The pipeline is a no brainer. Our foreign policy has made the world more dangerous and economic disasters loom because of it. Our refusal to exploit our natural gas reserves affect both. Putin has Eastern Europe by the gonads because he supplies their fuel and we are not in a position to give them an alternative and make billions in the process. Billions of dollars worth of new regulations imposed on business is stifling. Taxation on business is another and the move is to hit them up side the head with a draconian carbon tax, the coal industry is suffering already. Money is sitting on the sidelines because it’s foolish to put it at risk in this climate. And even if you do you are demonized, people hate the rich or anyone who has a dollar more than they do. Why would anyone want to work harder only to be taxed more, regulated more and demonized? Social policy that pays people not to work, enables them to buy drugs or iPhones because they don’t have to buy food and subsidizes staying home have a huge detrimental affect. Monetary policy that artificially props up the market only prolongs the misery and makes the day of reckoning more dire. That sucks confidence out of an economy that depends on it. And the lack of any real attempt to help create jobs is also a factor. There are a few off the top of my head.

            So, what I meant by my first paragraph was if you want to say, yea but if we do that there will be people without healthcare starving in the dirty streets while the oceans rise and the planet cooks then I have no interest in saying anything other than I disagree vehemently and point out that is a different argument. It becomes a debate about why you think there is good reason for the policies that are wrecking the economy which accepts my premise that the are policies wrecking it.

          • jimino

            Other than to tell that your comment is a profoundly inaccurate mishmash of claims about how the world works, I don’t have the time or inclination to fully respond because, unlike you have done, I would have to provide facts to support my claims and don’t see the point in putting that much effort into it.

            So I will just say we were a part-time economy before Obama was even elected, decoupling health insurance will be seen as the best thing to ever happen to our economy once it is finally done, we are tapping more domestic energy than ever . . . Or to shorten it, you are wrong on every count.

          • HonestDebate1

            I told you so.

            The private sector is tapping domestic energy on private land despite the government not because of it. That’s why the benefits are local. In N. Dakota the unemployment rate is 2.6%. Walmart jobs start at $17/hour.

            None of it had to be this way. Not a bit of it. The recession should have been a blip.

            Why do you think so many people are not working?

          • jimino

            And in your wonderland in NoDak the cost of living is high than in New York City, only without a few of the things that so many celebrate about the Big Apple.

            There is no job creation (in the USA) because our business model encourages businesses (capital), that are able to do so, to pay people much less to do those jobs elsewhere where labor is cheaper. And without the income from those jobs being paid to our citizens, demand, other than that propped up by debt, is deeply depressed. Do you actually not understand these most basic tenets of what we term market capitalism?

          • HonestDebate1

            Well then, you agree. It’s policies that are wrecking the economy.

            Let me rephrase your point. There is no job creation because our business model is so taxed and regulated it makes it possible to outsource labor to the other side of the planet and STILL come out ahead.

            Please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me you are suggesting businesses should put profit on the back burner. No good comes from that.

          • HonestDebate1

            In 2007 GM produced 9,370,000 vehicles and Toyota produced 9,366,418 vehicles. Virtually the same number but Toyota actually produced less. Toyota profited $17,146,000,000 and GM lost $38,730,000,000. So what’s the answer? Bailout GM with taxpayer money of course.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh yea, add Dodd/Frank to the list.

          • nj_v2

            Way too much bull excrement to address.

            Mostly delusion, distortion, outright nonsense, with occasional bits of something vaguely truthful or accurate.

            When someone is starting with such a bogus set of assumptions, it’s pretty much a lost cause.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with your last paragraph.

      • Estproph

        Better than when Bush was in power, dolt.

        • HonestDebate1

          That case cannot be made on any level… not that it’s relevant.

      • nj_v2

        Assumes the default position of knee-jerk partisanship. The basis for the long-standing and ongoing decline of the middle class lies in the continuation of Reagonomics policy under all administrations since its implementation. The Democrats (yes, the word is a noun) and Republicans have perpetuated the essence of trickle-down for all these decades.

        • HonestDebate1

          Alrighty then.

  • KWF

    I’m more concerned with prevention than punishment and I think that’s what the intention of stop and frisk is. What have we done and what can we do to prevent the 2008 crash from happening again? And for that matter, to stop people from getting hooked on drugs, raping women, or harming/killing innocents?

  • geraldfnord

    When did a powerful man ever know any kind of shame? Shame’s for the rest of us to keep us in line, he is convinced that the line were defined by where he stands.

  • Jo Bleaux

    Any surprise that the highest-profile convictions for inside trading are two men of Indian heritage?

    • StilllHere

      Except they aren’t Indian.

    • geraldfnord

      Fewer connexions with fewer pezzonovante going not as far back?

  • OnPointComments

    If the people being imprisoned aren’t the criminals who are committing the crimes, then why would the crime rate go down after their imprisonment?

    • Estproph

      The crimes aren’t being committed in the first place.

  • liminalx

    Ethan Couch / Robert H. Richards IV … … …

  • Tim Wilson

    Taibbi is the Ida Tarbell of our age.

  • Antisthenes

    What an ideologue! Nothing but cliché after cliché! Spare my ears! Please!

    • jefe68

      You do realize that you can turn the radio off, right?

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        He wasn’t listening to his radio!!! He receives the show in his head.

      • Antisthenes

        Actually, I podcast it. I guess this is intelligent radio?

        • jefe68

          It does have an off button…

  • jefe68
    • pete18

      The most telling line of the article: “What the authors are able to find, despite the deficiencies of the data…

      • nj_v2

        Welcome to science. Data is always, to some degree, deficient. At some point, reasonable conclusions and inferences can be drawn.

        Again i ask, why do the forum’s right-wing bobble heads try so hard to deny the obvious injustices of the current system?

        • pete18

          Denying injustices is quite different from considering the US to be an Oligarchy.

          Do you always wake up on the wrong side of bed, or have you lost your copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            That book was great in the 1950s!!! We live in the 21st century now (in a world economy) – SILLY!!!

          • pete18

            Even those who live in the 21st century can still have stuff zip over their heads.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Like the “TARP lady”??? You mean like that?

        • HonestDebate1

          Why does the left insist people are helpless pawns with no control over their lives?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Oh, they can control THEIR lives, but they can’t make any progress if others have all the money and power. You can’t compete against the rich if you are poor – that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? All the “positive thinking” won’t help there.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Defend that!! Don’t just say you disagree. Prove how most people can compete with wealthy (and sometimes corrupt) people. Prove it! Show me how 50% of poor people can become rich in their lifetime. How do they do it, step by step?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t feel the need to prove anything. Why don’t you prove to me they can’t. What’s stopping anyone from becoming rich? America is full of rags to riches stories. I am not rich but I started homeless and hungry but now own my home, land and my future is secure. I have skills and there is a demand for them. I nurtured them all by my little lonesome. The only way the rich have any affect on me is they provide opportunity. I’ve never worked for a poor person. I’ve never bought a used car that wasn’t first bought new by someone with more money than I. I don’t have to compete with the rich at all. I compete in the arena of ideas, integrity and excellence all of which are free.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Why do you have to “work for” any person? Why do they have to call the shots and determine what you get paid – forever? Why should they be able to prevent you from getting together with other people to ask for more money? In the 1800s and before, people weren’t “indentured to other (wealthy) people/companies, unless they were SLAVES. Indeed, corporations really didn’t even come about until the 20th century. The idea of lots of people having to work for a handful of controlling people, is a new “invention”.

            You, clearly, have NO power, what so ever! You are great proof of my point! You are POWERLESS! As far as society is concerned (or outside of your family) – you are an insignificant nothing! If you died tomorrow, no one would even notice and that’s true of 99% of people working for other people (to help make THEM rich). I don’t do this!!! I refuse to do this!

          • HonestDebate1

            I am self-employed.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Good for you then. Now work a little on that “empathy thing” and you might go even farther. It’s easy to “lecture” people who work for other people, but not so easy to live by the rules they have to live with, eh? Kind of like supporting military actions, without wanting to ever be a soldier.

          • HonestDebate1

            Lecture? You attacked me with the lecture bub. I’m staying above your insults. I really don’t need your advice, I’m just trying to figure out where you are coming from.

            No one forces anyone to work for anybody. And are you saying the elderly or handicapped or others unable to serve should not support the military?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            And you ARE lecturing people:

            “It never occurred to me to ask the government for help. I never once resented anyone who had more. I could not fathom the idea of expecting anyone to do squat for me. Once I quit feeling sorry for myself and realized it was up to me, things got better.”

            “I am utterly flabbergasted at the instance people are helpless or their feeling of helplessness are justified. This is awful. What have we become?”

            “Why does the left insist people are helpless pawns with no control over their lives?”

            With regard to supporting the military with the *jingoistic fervor* of the Right – I’m referring to conservatives and rich people and their kids and people like the COWARD Cheney and Bush that sent lots of regular – non-rich – young Americans (many of them Democrats) to Iraq to die – FOR NOTHING, ON A STUPID HUNCH!

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            You are living in a delusion of freedom and self-value. Your value is almost ZERO and you are easily replaceable (even by a machine). If you were really in that much demand, and that valuable, you would be able to name your own salary and make at least $1M/year. If you were really that capable, then you would have your won business making MANY MILLIONS every year.

            You are fooling yourself! You are buying exactly the delusions that the rich want you to have. You are buying the mental opiates and delusions that the rich are feeding you (in order to keep you docile and under their control). I don’t buy their “propaganda crap” – since that can’t help me get to their level.

            It’s not about talent, merit, hard work, or the right mental attitude – dummy!!! It’s about who has, or gets the money and power, and how they make sure most other people can’t get it, or take it away from them. It’s “king of the hill”, that’s all. That’s how society works – and YOU KNOW IT. You are content living in your particular “hut” (rut?), that’s all.

            Good for you. I don’t buy that deluded crap! What’s happening to the 99%, if everyone has equal opportunity. I don’t care about stories of 1/100 people, somehow lifting themselves by their bootstraps. The kids of rich don’t HAVE BOOTSTRAPS – they don’t need them – they have their parents (to find them great jobs, right out of college). Be happy in your continued delusions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Why are you so angry?

            One time in my life I bought a lottery ticket and it was up to something like $88 million. I started to think about winning and it scared the crap out of me. I don’t want any part of that. In other words, being a millionaire is not my focus. If it was then I’d be one. But people are very happy to pay whatever price I name.

            And yes I am happy living in my modest home, I have a very big yard.

            It has nothing to do with bootstraps, it’s more about good decisions.

            I just don’t agree with your world view at all. BTW, Tesla was born poor and did alright.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            “In other words, being a millionaire is not my focus. If it was then I’d be one.”

            LMFHO !!!!!

          • HonestDebate1

            Wealth is a choice.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            LMFHO!!!

            OK, then I guess I “chose” wealth! Kind of a no-brainer, eh?

          • HonestDebate1

            You’d be surprised. Many choose not to be wealthy.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            “choose not to be wealthy”??? Really??LMFHO – again! So, you play cards with Jesus on a regular basis, then?

          • HonestDebate1

            That choice is easy to fulfill. Nothing to it.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Yeah … the 99% already know how easy THAT “choice” is!!!! Once again, LMFHO

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Tesla came to a DIFFERENT America, back then – that’s the WHY he had a “chance” to become successful. But even back then – Edison screwed him, right away. The lesson he learned from Edison was – don’t work for the rich and powerful – be one of them!!! But anyway, he ended up dying destitute. Why did you bother bringing up Tesla?

          • HonestDebate1

            I thought it was Tesla in your avatar. I’m not sure.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            I was told it is a picture of my great, great grandfather. At least, I kind of look like him (with a mustache)..

          • HonestDebate1
          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Why am I (sometimes) angry?

            I’m (sometimes) angry because I HATE ignorance and ignorant musings, by people who know very little and care even less.

          • HonestDebate1

            It is very dangerous to think you know what is in the heart of strangers.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            You go by “HonestDebat” – so DEBATE already!!! Don’t just make statements you can’t back up (and, sorry, anecdotes don’t count for anything).

          • HonestDebate1

            Tell me how the rich have held you back, assuming they have as you imply.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            I’m doing just fine – but THAT’S why I support the 99%. It’s because I finally figured out how our corrupt system works. I don’t work for others – I consult to others.

          • HonestDebate1

            So you control your destiny but others can’t?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            No, I MOSTLY DON’T control my destiny and almost no one else does either. I partly got LUCKY and partly was smart enough to go to college, partly clever enough to come up with enough new things that let me be self-employed, partly was resilient enough to survive a lot of hard years, lucky to have FINALLY learned not to let rich people CONSTANTLY SCREW ME OVER and RIP ME OFF, I was LUCKY not to have any dangerous, or embarrassing vices and LUCKY not to have an addictive personality or genes (like 10%-20% of most people), partly lucky have never been sued, partly lucky I have never been arrested, partly LUCKY enough not to have gotten on someones wrong side, partly clever enough to be stealthy with what I do, LUCKY that MY parents were middle class, LUCKY that my parents were educated and stayed together, LUCKY never had a serious illness, LUCKY I did well on college tests, LUCKY I could stick out college and some really crummy first jobs, + about two dozen other things that I (and you) COULD NEVER CONTROL – just like 99% of other people, including rich kids!!!

            Dummy!!

          • HonestDebate1

            I truly pity you. Good luck.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Well, then pity the 99.99% of other people out there (including the rich). Unless you are a robot controlled by an all-knowing computer program – you DON’T control your destiny either, silly! You are just human – you can’t see into the future. You can’t pick your parents. If you are born rich, you have HUGE advantages. If you are born poor, you have HUGE disadvantages. Is that so hard for you to understand?

          • HonestDebate1

            I wouldn’t say huge. As a matter of fact I would say being born rich can be a disadvantage for many. I know rich people who are miserable. For myself being poor was a great advantage as it taught me to survive and subsequently thrive on my own. That set me free.

            No one is chained to the station in life to which they are born.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, the poor rich people. How sad for so many of them to be so disadvantaged.

            The easiest way to get ahead is to start ahead, and economic mobility is worse here than it is in Europe. Being born poor greatly increases your chances of being poor throughout your life. That’s the way that it is. If only those people would just choose to not be poor….

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree, being rich can make you miserable. The graveyards are full of examples. Who said anything about easy? Nothing is easy except complaining… or maybe choosing to be poor… but there isn’t much difference between the two.

            Now why don’t you miss the point and tell me I am saying if I choose to drive a Porsche then all I have to do is ask for one. You know, like asking your boss for a raise and as if that’s what choosing to better yourself means. In that way you can tout your brilliant college educated common sense and awesome abilities to comprehend. Be proud.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s not about me.

            Sure. We should really pity them, especially seeing as how they are so under attack here in America these days.

            But income is a choice, so I should just be able to choose to make a double the money. If it is a choice, then why can’t a just choose twice as much. If there was way more to it, then it really won’t be a choice. Decisions would play a role, as they do, but many other factors also exist.

            Comprehension and common sense I had before college. Obviously even some college couldn’t do it for you.

          • Ray in VT

            And guess what region has the absolute worst economic mobility in the U.S. (with most of the worst areas being confined to a particular region)?

          • HonestDebate1

            Regions with a long history of Democrat control? That would be my guess.

          • Ray in VT

            Just as long as those Democrats are state rights conservatives (now called Republicans).

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Keep telling that to your mirror (or Glenn Beck). It’s mostly a myth, a lie, and the propaganda of the rich, who don’t want to be bothered to care about anything outside of themselves.

          • HonestDebate1

            Wow. How old are you? Please tell me you are still young and naive.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            You are totally clueless. Maybe George Carlin can explain it to you, in an entertaining enough way to keep your attention.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m just desperately trying to find a way to make an excuse for your thinking. If you are twenty something then there’s hope. If you are fifty something there is not.

            I’ll ask another way, do you remember Carlin when he had long hair and was on the Mike Douglas Show?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            NO!! But that proves how old (and still naive) YOU are!

            But, thank goodness George Carlin GREW UP, as he got older and became less afraid to say what was really on his mind (and he COULDN’T be censored anymore) – that’s the great thing about cable and the internet. Apparently, you are still sucking your thumb, busy watching “network TV” and telling yourself every night, that “everything will be alright” (once mommy gets home).

          • HonestDebate1

            I was a Carlin fan before Carlin was cool.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Obviously never really listened to what he was (courageously) saying.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s your deal dude? Be nice.

          • jefe68

            Don’t hold your breath.
            I suppose you notice that the regular right wingers who post here, a lot, are really only here to push right wing propaganda and post diatribes. They puff up their chests full of mendacious hot air and swagger and think they are show the liberals what’s what.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            That’s why they have to ALWAYS be taken down a few pegs. They can’t be allowed to go one inch with their cretinous, non-arguments and non-debates and complete imbecilic and juvenile ignorance.

          • jefe68

            I agree, but it does get a bit tiresome.

          • pete18

            But the left wingers post nothing but the truth, are compassionate and civil to all and don’t wish to prove anything to the right wingers. The are here to share in peaceful and pleasant conversation and show by example how the respectful exchanged of diverse ideas in a free and open discussion elevates us all. They are noble, humble and beautiful.

          • jefe68

            Sometimes one has to fight fire with fire, and sometimes with water.

          • pete18

            If you fight fire with fire you can’t accuse the other side of being pyromaniacs who are burning down the country (at least not without looking like an unconscious fool).

          • pete18

            I’ll use your comment to post an editorial that I think gets at the heart of your and other posters questions about what’s to blame for inequality:

            “As for the poor, it is certainly
            not the existence of the uber-wealthy that has left some people behind.
            Blame absent fathers, terrible schools, and technology that has
            eliminated huge swaths of middle class jobs. Just don’t lay it all at
            the feet of the one percent. Indeed, a growing body of academic studies
            absolutely denies the correlation between income inequality and upward mobility.

            As for the hurdles faced by
            minorities, some would argue that the black community needs to play a
            greater role in eradicating the poverty and violence that characterize
            their own neighborhoods. President Obama has himself made this case, as
            when he told Morehouse College grads that “too many of our young people
            just can’t be bothered” to get an education, or when he exhorted young blacks to “reject the cynicism that says the circumstances of your birth and
            the lingering injustices of society define you and your future…no
            excuses.”

            http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obama-promotes-society-helpless-victims-093000311.html

          • hennorama

            pete18 — an interesting piece from the perspective of Liz Peek, the “TARP Wife”:

            “… wife of Jeffrey M. Peek, chairman and CEO of CIT Group Inc. whose firm had accepted $2.3 billion from the Troubled Assets Relief Program.”

            See:
            http://news.muckety.com/2009/04/23/liz-peek-outed-as-author-of-confessions-of-a-tarp-wife/14791
            http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2009/04/22/tarp-wife-cries-crocodile-bag-tears/

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Hah, Hah, Hah!!!! Pete’s hero!

            End of story – (about Pete and his “unbiased” opinions).

          • pete18

            Interesting. Certainly doesn’t make her look sympathetic, credible or without bias. However, the ideas she wrote about are still sound, and have been voiced by many others with far more credible or respectful resumes.

            I’m wondering which of her ideas do you or the 21st century seeker of truth with the 19th century photo disagree with?

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Since Ms. Peek’s “ideas” seem to have been summed up thusly,

            “instead of whining about an assertive Congress, why doesn’t Holder try to aid the black community by advocating marriage and stable families? Or push for school reform? Or…. does that not bring out the vote?”

            I’d say she doesn’t have much of an “idea” of what the Attorney General’s duties and responsibilities actually are.

            It’s quite simple to say “help yourselves, why don’t you?” from her high perch, and much more difficult to come up with actual solutions. She points to factors (“absent fathers, terrible schools, technology …”) that are outside the control of those impacted by them, yet follows it up with the idea that “some would argue,” (but not her, wink-wink) “that the black community (but, again, not her,” wink-wink) “needs to take a greater role…”

            “Some would argue” that these are not her own ideas, but that she is simply parroting the “don’t blame us, it’s your own fault” crowd, making your question moot.

            But I won’t take that road.

            As to the concepts described in the selected quote, there are conflicting data points. On one hand, a two-parent nuclear family is a good thing; on the other hand, women who have never married enjoy less income differential when compared to men. In the same way, a large part of the income disparity between the sexes is due to women leaving the workplace to bear and care for children.

            In other words, the problems are complex, and the solutions are not as simple as “choose better parents and partners, who live in better school districts; get hip to technology; and, solve the poverty and crime problems in your own neighborhoods, all by yourselves.”

          • pete18

            “Some would argue” that these are not her own ideas, but that she is simply parroting the “don’t blame us, it’s your own fault” crowd, making your question moot.

            But I won’t take that road.”

            LOL, you’re using the Holder window dressing very effectively there.

            The comparison between men and woman and income is not the point of her comments. Whether single woman and single men have an income equivalence or disparity or not is not the relevant fact.

            The main gist of her comments, which reflects a conservative outlook on class, poverty and income, is that the most important factors on a person’s ability to escape poverty has nothing or very little to do with the number of super rich in this country. The biggest and most predictable components in avoiding poverty is finishing high school, not having children before your 20 and not having children until your married.

            There has been a cultural breakdown over time, which has helped produce more single mothers across all racial groups. There is also a large percentage of young black men who don’t raise the children they fathered, don’t finish school and aren’t working.

            How this all started isn’t totally clear but certainly some of the contributing factors have been the welfare state and the feminist movement, both of which have had their positive effects but have also helped remove the stigma of single motherhood, and have increased dependency in certain situations.

            Certainly not everyone in this cycle can easily pull themselves out of it, and removing all forms of government help isn’t a solution. Small children born in these circumstances, through no fault of their own, still need our help and attention. But acknowledging the primary role these factors play instead of chasing some irrelevant target like the 1% and the “oligarchy” (which will have no effect on these problems) is an important step in the right direction. Certainly increasing dependency and belittling the importance of fatherhood, and the nuclear family will only help grease the slide even more.

            Assuming the role of a victim, even if it’s
            rightly earned is rarely helpful in improving one’s life. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t real victims that need help, but engendering the victim status, as many on the left do, seldom helps move the ball in a positive direction.

          • Estproph
          • HonestDebate1

            Can you give me their numbers?

          • NeuroGirl

            I challenge anyone, right or left, to spend a week living off of the finances of someone living at the poverty line. I suspect you would gain a better understanding of why the left believes that many Americans feel like helpless pawns.

          • HonestDebate1

            Been there done that. I’ve spent snowy nights in a phone booth. I understand completely. I’ve been emaciated and hungry. It was a great motivator for me. It never occurred to me to ask the government for help. I never once resented anyone who had more. I could not fathom the idea of expecting anyone to do squat for me. Once I quit feeling sorry for myself and realized it was up to me, things got better. Now they’re peachy.

          • The poster formerly known as t

            I’m going to tell you what Joe Wilson told Obama”You lie!”

          • HonestDebate1

            While Joe Wilson was ultimately proven correct, you are wrong. I moved out at 17 and then to another State far away where I didn’t know a soul at 20. I had a very hard time in the early years but it made me stronger.

          • The poster formerly known as t

            It made you “stronger”. What do you mean by ” stronger”? Did it make you “stronger” as in it made you become unsympathetic to people who had similar beginnings?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, that would be weaker. If anything it made me more sympathetic. However, sympathy is a useless stupid emotion. Empathy and empowerment are where it’s at.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am utterly flabbergasted at the instance people are helpless or their feeling of helplessness are justified. This is awful. What have we become?

  • StilllHere

    Whiners whine and talk about oligarchies.

    • nj_v2

      Trollers troll and blather about nothing.

      • StilllHere

        Thanks that’s a helpful insight into your motivations.

        • nj_v2

          “I would avoid interacting with this postbot.”

          Troll. Hypocrite. An ever-expanding resume.

          Impressive.

          • StilllHere

            “avoid” douche

      • Antisthenes

        What contribution to the conversation. You win the medal!

        • nj_v2

          Third-string troll rolls in.

          You can lick my medal.

    • jimino

      The biggest whiners are those winning EVERY aspect of the game due to its rigged rules yet are still here complaining about how unfair it all is.

      • StilllHere

        Sounds like winners to me?

        • Estproph

          I’m sure you do think of yourself that way. Be assured, however, that the rest of the universe sees you for the whiner you are.

          • StilllHere

            LOL, except you’re the one whining.

          • Estproph

            No, you’re the one that’s whining. I’m just pointing it out to you.

          • StilllHere

            Whining about winning? I’d be bragging. At least we agree, you and the rest of the universe see you as pathetic.

      • The_Truth_Seeker
    • The_Truth_Seeker

      Right wing ideologues eventually die – so there is always hope!

      • StilllHere

        Whereas left-wingers are institutionalized and then die?

        • The_Truth_Seeker

          Many of them get “immortalized” – like Kennedy, Johnson and MLK!!

          Don’t know too many immortalized right-wingers (that weren’t domestic terrorists, at least), except “maybe” Reagan (Russia), “maybe” Nixon (in China) and, of course, Lincoln (who by today’s standards would be regarded as an “extremist liberal” president, who took on the South’s true right-wing conservatives).

          • HonestDebate1

            MLK was a Southern Baptist Conservative.

          • jefe68

            He was a man who stood for social justice, racial equality, equal pay and was staunchly anti-war. Hardly what one would call conservative values.

            It’s interesting how you keep playing this semantic game with African American political leaders. Very telling.

          • HonestDebate1

            The claim was made he was left-wing, he was not. He was a pro-life Southern Baptist preacher who advocated education, hard work and independence brought about through excellence. He was a Republican.

            And what the hell is that second paragraph imply? Say it. Give me an example. I have the utmost respect for MLK, Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Jackie Robinson and many black Republicans. What does skin color have to do with anything?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Who said he was “left-wing”?? – dummy!! He just definitely, obviously and thankfully WASN’T another right-wing nut job. He WAS a progressive, liberal though. Progressive liberal DOESN’T MEAN left-wing (left-leaning, maybe). Left-wing, would be someone who clearly identifies as socialist and/or communist and is proud of that label.

            Suggestion – learn something before you start spewing your mixed up, messed up, mistaken, bigoted, racist, jingoistic B.S. all over the place. Funny thing about B.S., the smell has a funny way of sticking around for a real long time – hard to shake it (especially if it is in writing on the internet).

          • jefe68

            Wow, you’re really out to lunch.

          • HonestDebate1

            Quit bastardizing the words of MLK to suit your own purpose. Justice under the law is one thing, justice has a definition. You cannot define social justice without revealing your dastardly agenda for revenge. The phrase “social justice” is a hideous concept. It’s a euphemism for Communism. It’s hiding behind sweet sounding evil. It goes against everything MLK stood for.

            Why don’t you remind AG Holder about justice under the law? He isn’t interested in justice under the law, he in more concerned with social justice which is the polar opposite.

          • jefe68

            Amazing, the level of your confusion on who Dr. Martin Luther King was, and what he stands for is beyond the pale.

            I’m inclined to think that the above comment is based on a lack of education or the ability to parse ideas beyond a fixed lens based on a narrow political dogma.

          • HonestDebate1

            You don’t know a thing about MLK as evidenced by your putting words in his mouth to shamelessly promote your ugly ideology with disdain for his message.

          • jefe68

            I have disdain for his message because I posted excerpts from his speeches that are clearly, and I will say that again, clearly dealing with the subject of social justice. My take is you can’t see this due to the fog of the right wing extremist dogma that clouds your regressive puerile lens.

          • HonestDebate1

            You made it up, He said nothing about social justice. He was not a Communist.

          • Steve__T

            He’s just bateing and trolling, you have to stop biting. I’m sure he wants someone to call him a racist or a bigot so he can act disdained and better than. We know who lives their, I caution any one who thinks that this dis-honest person will actually debate anyone, Honestly.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            OK, you’re right – only about 95% of Republicans are uncaring monsters (and bigots and science deniers).

            Happy now?!

          • Steve__T

            Jeff come on you know better, you bit the bate.
            I know it’s hard to fight against your nature to shut down BS when you see it, but you have knowledge of where this is coming from and where it goes. As noted below.

          • jefe68

            I know. Sometimes one just can’t help it.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            WHAAAAaaaaT????!!! Maybe it’s time to put down that hookah buddy!

          • jefe68

            In today’s extremist GOP Nixon could never run for a Congressional seat let alone the oval office.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Absolutely right. Today’s conservatives are actually ashamed of Lincoln, Nixon (for good reason) and Reagan. I mean … freeing slaves??? … what was Lincoln thinking?!

          • jefe68

            Despite Watergate and his criminal activity in South East Asia, there are things Nixon did that the current GOP would find abhorrent and I dare say some would label left wing. He proposed the EPA and his letter to congress on healthcare is an interesting read.

            http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2009/september/03/nixon-proposal.aspx

          • The_Truth_Seeker
        • The_Truth_Seeker

          He dummy, there aren’t any more “institutions”. And, the 1960s called and want you to come home now!!

          • StilllHere

            Really, you must live somewhere, and I’m sure it’s not on your own.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Yuk, Yuk, Yuk … you must be a genius.

          • jefe68

            In his own mind.

    • The_Truth_Seeker
  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Everyone can be corrupted by money – not just politicians. Only solution is to enforce equal protection clauses of Constitution.

  • sjw81

    he is one of the best writers, investigators, financial authors this country has. thank you great show and topic. he and sen warren are absolutely correct the system is rigged, the middle class is screwed and has no voice, or justice.

  • HonestDebate1

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    “Income Inequality Institute to Pay Paul Krugman $225,000 to Talk About…Income Inequality”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/16/income-inequality-institute-to-pay-paul-krugman-225000-to-talk-aboutincome-inequality/

  • HonestDebate1

    Don’t sell yourself short. You jumped through the hoops and improved your situation.

    And don’t take this wrong, I am sure you are attractive but a pretty girl who bats her eyelashes is a turn off to me. Maybe I’m weird but I think beauty is more than skin deep and I suspect most judges do too. I’d say the fancy lawyers helped more but that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

  • The_Truth_Seeker
    • jefe68

      I like George Carlins idea, turn all the golf courses into homes for the homeless.

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        The one-percent’s preferred solution: Put them all in concentration camps – “as far away from us as possible!”

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        I like George’s summary of how our system really works:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYZpWTvre9c

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    How our system really works:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYZpWTvre9c

    • jefe68

      He was brilliant. The owners are coming for everything, and it’s telling that Matt Taibbi is on about much of the same thing.

  • HonestDebate1

    3 Myths of income inequality:

    Inequality is rising to the highest levels ever.
    Helping the poor will solve inequality.
    The rich are a permanent club choking off opportunity for the rest.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101367332

    • Ray in VT

      1. The share of the national income being taken in by the top earners is at levels in recent years unseen since the years of the Great Depression

      2. Without some of the income support measures, even those such as the EITC, where would the poor be? Poverty rates, in the wake of the Great Recession, are a post-Great Society highs. How would those people be without unemployment insurance, WIC or SNAP. Great, right?

      3. When top earners get their wealth by running companies that pay low wages or ship American jobs overseas, and reap massive wealth from such moves, then they certainly do contribute to the move to lower paying service jobs and away from better paying manufacturing jobs.

      • jefe68

        HD is living in an alternative universe.

        • HonestDebate1

          …from you, yes.

  • HonestDebate1

    I am very interested to know how OP decided on this topic. I have noticed the word “inequality” is being beaten like a drum lately all throughout the press. I know that President Obama’s messaging has focused on it. Democrat candidates are screaming inequality from the mountaintops. Books are dutifully being written as this show attests. It seems very odd for OP to fall in line, right on cue, to the advantage of the democrat messaging.

    I humbly and sincerely ask On Point if there was any collusion with any democrat officials in choosing this topic at this time?

    • Ray in VT

      Yup. It’s all a part of the big Obama conspiracy. It’s a part of his revenge that you were so kind to tell us about, linking to when Valerie Jarrett supposedly said something about it.

    • jefe68

      Wages have fallen to a record low as a share of America’s gross domestic product. Until 1975, wages nearly always accounted for more than 50 percent of the nation’s G.D.P., but last year wages fell to a record low of 43.5 percent. Since 2001, when the wage share was 49 percent, there has been a steep slide.

      Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, found that the top 1 percent of households garnered 65 percent of all the nation’s income growth from 2002 to 2007, when the recession hit. Another study found that one-third of the overall increase in income going to the richest 1 percent has resulted from the surge in corporate profits.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/sunday-review/americas-productivity-climbs-but-wages-stagnate.html?_r=0

      The Average American Worker Has Made No Progress In The Past Decade

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/average-wage-growth-in-the-us-2013-8#ixzz2zBSDtmJ8

      U.S. income inequality, on rise for decades, is now highest since 1928

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/05/u-s-income-inequality-on-rise-for-decades-is-now-highest-since-1928/

      You’re wrong, on so many levels.

      • Steve__T

        He must think that OP should not invite people who have written books that don’t agree with his views.

        “I humbly and sincerely ask On Point if there was any collusion with any democrat officials in choosing this topic at this time?”

        What a maroon.

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s a good question. Please don’t tell me what I think.

      • HonestDebate1

        You replied to the wrong comment.

        The first 2 links concern wage stagnation and upward mobility not income inequality. The third, which cites the first, points out there are many ways to measure it. The way Mr. Saez chose was to ignore the massive redistribution of wealth that already occurs. That is a dishonest premise.

        “He excludes Social Security payments, unemployment benefits and other government transfer payments, which are more substantial today than before the Great Depression.”

        He is an advocate of taxing our way to equality which is futile, counter-productive and stupid. He is a committed leftist, not that there is anything wrong with that. But he has an agenda, higher taxes.

        In fact, the group’s share of income (including their capital gains) is lower than it was in 2007, when it hit 23.5 percent. In 2012, the most recent period measured, it was 22.46 percent.

        “The share of income going to the top is also less than 1 percent above where it was in 2000 (21.52 percent). The years 2000 and 2007 were good economically, but few people were complaining about inequality then because overall employment was higher.”

    • TJPhoto40

      There’s little honesty or debate in your frighteningly numerous postings here, evidence of how desperate you are to persuade others of your slanted view of reality that seems totally rational to you alone. Instead, we get these unrelenting right-wing delusions including this kind of bizarre paranoid conspiracy about OP being in league with the devilish Democrats. In a world where there are undoubtedly some conspiracies, you focus on a simple NPR program which reflects little more than the interests of its host and maybe the producers.

      Elsewhere, you go rabid about the term “social justice”, describing it as code for communist sentiments. The program we’re discussing has to do with unequal justice, and the author seems to have quite a lot of convincing data and anecdotal evidence on his side. You don’t buy it? Of course not, you came with preconceived ideas and won’t be shaken out of them. The real world must be a big disappointment.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s not about me.

        The show was about inequality not justice. There is certainly inequality, I don’t deny that but its not a matter of justice. Just how do you propose implementing social justice and who decides?

  • TJPhoto40

    Taibbi makes many strong points here, in some ways more succinct and articulate than his prose tends to be. I have read his Rolling Stone articles from time to time, and even when I agree with him I often find it annoying when he resorts to the use of high-pitched vulgarity in place of more eloquent wording. Some of this probably derives from the influences of Hunter S. Thompson and more recently Jon Stewart, who’s smart and insightful enough but panders to his audience with the expletives that get bleeped out predictably and become part of a tiresome routine.

    Anyway, I think it’s important to have this discussion. I’m wondering why the other guest, Arthur Laby was given just one chance to talk and then disappeared from the show. I wasn’t expecting heated debate, but I thought he might have offered a bit more give and take with Taibbi.

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