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Thursday, July 24, 2008

128 - McCain Becomes Incoherent Trying To Excuse Growing Economic Inequality / More Shady Deals & Lies As The Right-Wing Closes In On Iraq's Oil

Today you'll hear John McCain become truly incoherent when he tries to address the issue of income and wealth inequality in America. You'll learn why no right-winger can honestly speak to this issue.

And, you'll see that developments in the Bushian grab for Iraq's oil are coming fast and furious. More cronyism, shady deals and outright lies. The No Blood for Oil anti-war slogan rings more true every day.

(PS: Right-wingers, if you want to write in to me, fine, but at least do me the courtesy of listening to the podcast first. Please don't respond just on the basis of the brief preview above. Thanks!!)

#128 Transcript
#128 Transcript as a Word document
#128 Sources

Jack Clark 12:45 PM [+]
Post #2322788110868931435

Comments:  This section is for listeners. To receive a reply from Jack Clark, you should call the comment line.

I am sorry, but I just don't get your point of view when it comes to "income inequality". I am strugging to justify the idea someone working hard and planning for their future success and then someone else coming behind them and demanding money or support because they have not been that successful. Would you consider it fair and even equitable for an "evil" conservative to demand from you money just because you make more than he/she does. Say you spend your nights going to college and working hard during the day to help pay for that education and provide for your family. You graduate, and get a much better job, then there is someone who did not do the hard work, who did not plan for their future, did not work hard at night and on weekends come to you and demand a financial payment because you now make more than they do. You were not gifted more than the other person, you spent your earned money on the education or took massive loans to pay for the educaiton. You planned on getting a better job or working your way up a company promotion ladder. Now someone that does not have the huge loan payments is demanding money from you just because you make more than they do. Why would a society not reward you for working hard, planning and investing in your human capital. And what incentive for you to do the "hard thing" in the first place?

You are being required to give away what you have earned to those that did not earn the money themselves. I think there is a historiscal example of this in the south during the 1800's. Isn't that really against this Country's founding principles? Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of complete equal outcomes for all citizens no matter the individual effort. Where does it say that the outcomes of all should be equal. We should all have an equal opportunity, and it is only your drive, determination and success that determines your outcome. Why should the government ensure an always equitable or fair outcome? Also haven't many counteries before us tried this equitable approach and it always resulted in massive disaster, misery and death?

You spoke of Rush making a lot of money in a recent contract. His employers feel that he is worth that amount and are willing to pay him that salary. Why should the government step in an cry foul? The market will always pay a person what they are worth to the company. If Rush fails in his job and fails to bring in the ad revenue then his contract will get cancelled and he will get fired. Also I think if you look at what Bill Clinton makes for a speech he is making way more than Rush on a per minute basis, why are not crying foul over his "outragous" payments?

Lastly, just because Rush or someone else makes a dollar, that does not mean that someone makes a dollar less. That is the beauty of our capitalist system, the "pie" is infinite and everyone can be successful. It is the individual that determines their success, not the governemnt.

Please leave a response and yes, I did listen to the Podcast.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  3:12 PM   [+]
Spencer, you're not bothered when the top 1% collect 70% of all wealth created in the country? The economic growth was due to productivity gains over the entire workforce, but only the top 1% saw much of it.

Inequality of these levels are caused by stronger bargaining positions and access to resources only available to the wealthy. You seem to be assuming inequality is caused by the top 1% working so much harder they actually produce most of the nation's wealth themselves - which is clearly not the case.

We all believe in fairness and equality of opportunity. Gross inequality creates a system where success is determined more by your starting position than hard work or planning. There's a reason America's poor are the least likely people to become rich in the developed world.

Of course you should be paid more if you go to school and work hard. Economic success is rarely determined by these traits so the Government steps in and tries to correct the imbalance. Some countries go even further and ensure everyone has an equal starting position by restricting inheritance and highly taxing the rich to offset the natural advantage wealth provides.

The US Government created the middle class in a few short years. The "Great Contraction" (the sharp reduction in inequality) was due to regulations that required employers to pay workers more fairly, based on their output and negotiated with collective processes that gave everyone a more equal footing.

The biggest difference I see between the US and other developed countries is this issue of fairness. Countries like Sweden or Norway work hard to guarantee "Equality of Opportunity" and believe you should be compensated for working harder / more productively. In the US, people are happier with the lottery of success and set aside realities on the hope that they will be one of the lucky-rich.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  9:09 PM   [+]
I just wanted to add to my prior post.

People SHOULD be paid more for working hard and higher productivity, but this is a goal of SOCIETY and not the markets. The markets never claim to do this - Markets work on Supply & Demand, not fairness.

Since 2000, the bottom 90% of workers have seen DECLINING real wages. The top 0.01% have seen an increase of 22%. Are we really to believe the top .01% suddenly worked hard while everyone else became lazy?


Teachers and CEOs have the same relative education and work-hours, but wages are 400 to 1. I don't think a reasonable person can claim CEOs work 400 times harder than teachers.


Non-farm worker productivity has increased by about 80% over the last 25 years. The median earnings have been stagnant, gaining only about 14% due to longer hours.


On a prior podcast, Jack pointed out most 30-year old males earn less than their fathers did at the same age, despite nearly double the productivity. This report was co-written by 2 right-wing think-tanks.


A college degree is no exception. In recent years, even college graduates have seen DECLINING real wages and over the last 25 years, wage growth has been far lower than their productivity growth.


Working harder does not guarantee higher wages and statistics show it hasn't been the primary factor for decades.

I personally don't think the government should be too involved in trying to control markets. I think the better solution is to let the markets work their own way and then tweak the end-result through democratic institutions if we value fairness as a society.

We also agree society should give everyone an equal chance to become rich. Unfortunately, US poor are the least mobile group in the developed world. Poor people living in high-tax countries like Denmark have the greatest chance of becoming rich and I suspect the Government plays a large role in that achievement.

posted by Anonymous Anonymous  5:17 AM   [+]
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Great podcast - a must listen to
Jack Clark documents the right's wars on the poor, civil liberties, the right of workers to organize at work and obtain a decent working wage and work conditions, and against other countries who refuse to accept American domination. Jack provides all the sources so that you can see for yourself how the right is out to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. Great job, Jack!
Submitted By: magyarbill
awesome show
Clark always backs up his statements against the right wing with fact and data, which gives him all the more credibility. As conglomerate media controlled by politics clouds the mainstream news media, Jack Clark, along with NPR and Democracy Now! have become my primary news source. Awesome podcast!
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In-Depth, Meaty, Hardcore Knowledge
This podcast is not just entertainment, humor, chimp-bashing, or gee-whiz recap of the weeks events. Instead, it hits hard and in-depth on the world economic situation and how right-wing policies impact the poor and less advantaged all over the world. He examines Americas support of the World Bank, IMF,multinational corporations, etc., and connects the dots. This is a podcast for grown-ups. He gives good reasons why the right wing is NOT living up to its precious Bible, without putting down the Bible. As a Jesus-loving Christian and moderate Democrat, I respect this podcast for its subject matter. The grown-up manner of the speaker is just icing on the cake. He IS funny, but hes not trying to be, he just has a deadpan delivery but doesnt have to make jokes to make it interesting. The facts make it interesting and devastating.
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