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tv   [untitled]    August 6, 2012 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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fold. and you can start. going to the food. plain. alone welcome to cross talk i'm neutral about rethinking the welfare state while attempting to save the struggling middle class as the eurozone grapples with its debt crisis and the u.s. faces the specter of long term sluggish growth is it finally time to reconsider an economic regime but any socialism for the rich and only capitalism for everyone else the toll of the case against such a lead to cross-talk the gloomy prospects of the middle class i'm joined by jason vieaux in philadelphia he's an assistant professor of rhetoric and public advocacy at temple university and author of rhetoric for radicals a handbook for twenty first century activists and in paris we have rachel mars and
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she is a political communications strategist and syndicated columnist all right folks cross talk rule in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want on rachel fine go to you first you know and looking at the broad picture of all. in europe in what's happening in the us isn't it really time to rethink the welfare state because the welfare state it's there it's very expensive and now because of the economic crisis on both sides of the atlantic they're trying to fit the soft stared with a smaller middle class and struggling middle class isn't it time to rethink the whole process well as we see in greece already and and in some other instances once you give people things it's very very hard to take them away so either we have to wait for a complete collapse i think or people are slowly going to come to the realisation that things are going to be taken away anyway so they have to restructure but i don't think it's something that people are going to let go of very easily and that is as i said we've already seen that in greece if i graduate i can say with you i mean there's a lot of banks that like things also from the stage where they're going to have to
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give up things what i'm saying is can we have a democratic process of austerity or is it just going to be the political elites that get what they want and the crumbs go to everybody else where as we see in greece. well the problem with banks and finance right now is that the debt is being socialized and that at the top and at the other end of that we're ending up with basically what turns out to be you know state sponsored socialism as they you know the government bails out banks they bail out businesses and and whenever there's a debt that accrues it's gets distributed among the customers among people and and just the average the average person so i mean. and yet the average person as you say i mean the average person isn't being bailed out and to say that we can't have what welfare for people but we were going to continue to have corporate welfare which is exactly what wall street is is unacceptable and wall street i mean i make something pretty clear and
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a lot of people say that wall street is and what we're seeing right now with wall street is a failure of capitalism but there's really no pure form of capitalism that exists right now in america if you think about it that's just it's corporate it's corporate welfare and it's state sponsored corporate socialism is what it is basically the only kind of capitalism that exists in america right now is among small businesses who are being squeezed by over the obama's tax policies and he's looking at taxing people who who basically make it would be considered a lot of money for an individual person but not that much for somebody who runs a business or has to pay employees or is just trying to get to the point where they want to grow their business and be able to employ more people organically so i think the wrong people are being squeezed in this and i guess there's pure capitalism when the little kid sets up a lemonade stand at the side of the street it's kind of where it ends right now and you don't like a lot because you don't make a lot of money even when i don't make a lot of money that way jason if i go to you i mean is it all of us most dirty in
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the economic thinking in the us when i'm looking at the presidential election is it just to maintain the status quo or is there enough discussion to try to fix the system because or fix the system that is to the. advantage of a small group of people at the top i'm thinking of the one percent at the expense of the ninety nine percent well i want to touch upon a word that rachel mentioned which is corporate welfare i don't think that social welfare or the welfare state is really the problem instead with the problem is is corporate welfare now what i mean by that in other words if you look the last thirty to forty years there is an upward distribution of wealth so we get an upward distribution of wealth from the ninety nine percent to the one percent it's now what i mean by that we're obviously the most the easiest example in are the bank bailouts so seven hundred billion dollars for the richest institutions on the face of the planet and then on an annual basis the us government loses approx one hundred billion dollars in tax revenue because of offshore tax havens but corporations use right then you have approximately one percent of the us population
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owning thirty five percent of the wealth then you have ten percent of the us population only and possibly seventy one percent of the wealth so you have all this lost tax revenue you had a quarter breaks corporate welfare etc and that being of all the money is being funneled up to the top of the of the people and away from the bottom of the people then you have certain politicians that want to eliminate social welfare programs so if you have people with no money and then take away social welfare programs what are people supposed to do and this is this exact dilemma that the occupy movement has been trying to respond to over the last six seven eight months something like that right i mean i just don't you think what you've read about it i know there's a racial desa degree did it isn't agree but jason if i can state it where does the middle class fit into all of this and i want to talk about how democratic it is i mean if i'm not mistaken i mean these are the people that vote for things ok i mean you may have the one percent but they don't have the numbers when it comes to voting so where does the middle class fall here because i'm from the middle class
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and i've just seen it to ms aerated for thirty years. sure well the middle class is that without a doubt being squeezed i mean you have real issues that people struggle with every day so for instance the issue of contingent labor at one point in the united states history you get a job and have that job the rest of your life now though you i mean i know so many folks that are worried about losing their jobs right so my best friends are being laid off from jobs they have for five six seven years so people being laid off and those jobs i'm talking about are middle class jobs jobs are supposed to sustain you and your family for decades upon decades but instead the what what's happening is we have a society that only caters to the one percent and literally forgets about the middle class forgets about the poor forgets about the working class citizens on a daily basis ok rachel you were disagreeing there i mean a lot spend said already in this program go ahead rachel on a lot of points actually go ahead yeah first of all you can't really legitimately complain about layoffs and at the same time say that there aren't enough. businesses there are getting too many tax breaks because it's an open world
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business is that they're taxed too much in one place can move to another country and take the jobs with them so i think you know you can't say we should be there's too much money funneling up there's too many corporate tax breaks and at the same time say that there are too many layoffs i mean you can't it doesn't make sense secondly i think there's a cultural issue here i think. well first of all you can't really complain that there are too many layoffs and at the same time say you want to tax the top one percent because it's an open world people can go where they want businesses can leave and they can take jobs with them and at the same time i think we have a conditioning problem i think people are too conditioned to to the welfare state and to getting things. easily and i think part of the problem with the bank bailout and the reason why we have it in the first place is because people are lending or story they're borrowing lent money beyond their means they're taking out mortgages for homes they can't afford their they're living well beyond their means and and
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it's just it's not something that it's not a system that can hold up so i think the the pressure is coming from the people to you know to for example i was talking to somebody this week who said i want to start a small business and i said well good for you and his next the next line out of his mouth was but i need money and the bank will give me a loan well what ever happened to building a business organically starting small seeing if you're good at it and if you are good at it then proving that yes i can build well i mean to do that we're going to you know my what i like well i like your cultural attitude but the cost of entry can be very very high sometimes even for a small business and that's why maybe i'm kind of in the middle of both of you a banking system should be kind and gentle and helpful to a small small people that want to get into the business world because so many jobs can be created you can be very innovative but no banks aren't in the business of creating or developing the economy the banks are interested in making money that's the dutch to disconnect we have to agree would you agree no
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no you do i think it's a risk you think they should be able to and i don't know ok jason if i go to you i mean i think this is the disconnect is that you know the banking system it's called the financial ization of the economy just to make money not to grow the economy and that's where we're in trouble. well i think there are a few different issues and i want to go back to one thing that rachel said about the welfare state or that people think it is they shouldn't think it's so easy to get things and i don't think that's really the what's going on so for instance you know the the traditional conservative motto is well pull yourself up by your bootstraps we can't pull yourself up if you have no boots i mean we are limiting programs and conditions that allow people to grow as human beings as individuals to grow businesses etc the purpose is not to create a perpetual welfare state but instead the purpose to create a system my social system that allows people to flourish as individuals that eliminates the very necessity of a welfare state now you can do that though even with the present age of corporate
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america rachel jump in go ahead oh i'm all for him and he's somebody what i think somebody. preventing somebody from growing on their own why do you need the government to hold your hand while you're growing that's what i understand i mean why do we need why do i as a human being need to say oh you know what i'd really like to do something like to develop myself i think i need the government to help me what prevents me from doing that on my own jason go ahead reply. well first of all first of all i disagree with the knowledge of the metaphor of the governor holding my hand i've never had a government official hold my hand whatsoever instead it's creating the conditions that allow individuals to act individually as well as collectively to prosper if you look at it not to go so philosophically here but if you look at the nature of what he and i create we're hearing creating the conditions where you mean when you let me let me finish let me finish let me finish. everything that i know everything that i know i've learned from other human beings and converse lee i teach other human beings which is say that we as human beings are inherently reflexive
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creatures now to try to implement a system of economics or a system of politics that dismisses that reflexivity just doesn't make any sense right what kind of ethic do we want to live by that when the going out of the of selfishness or an ethic of care ok rachel go ahead jump in so not because it's you know it's you know being is caring one another that's the as we know them going to the pub with their friends. i really i care for you know i think that's a no i just don't need the government to put money in my pocket. i don't and it's not like i mean i you know i don't know there i was going on a it's just that when i was i was on my to the tradeoffs or the tray os is that when i accept money from the government there's a there's an inherent trade of freedom on that i somehow there's either they're taking taxes from it or if i have a loan with down that i owe the money back it's nothing is really free or in the case of the welfare state in general you know the whole thing could collapse or unemployment insurance and i pay into that there's no guarantee that i'm going to
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get it back whenever needed or if i really do need it there's no guarantee they'll get it back in the amount in which i need it so i'd rather the government just stay out of my business i'd rather the people i'm going to jump in here are going to surely are going to win short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the fate of the middle class stay hard. to get. new pin a fashionable side. radioactive fallout of
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government betrayal of the government. and claude and claude and claude how can the truth be revealed if there's no official evidence there was indeed a very great danger to the servicemen concerned who were given no proper protection and to the people of this country generally because of radio like the full. the secrets of the u.k.'s nuclear tests.
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and you can. still. welcome back to crossfire i'm going to go to remind you we're talking about the grim future of the middle class street. and you can. say. ok before we continue our program like
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introduce in baltimore david z's he's a political activist and one of the organizers of october two thousand and eleven dot org kevin you heard most of the first part of the program tell me how much is the income disparity in the u.s. and in the illegibly less so in the eurozone contributed to the crisis that we're undergoing now starting in two thousand and eight to the present income disparity. well there's no question the income disparity is one of the root problems and it's now at a level that spins knots and so wide since the great depression and i think we're losing their first part of the show i think we both got to get beyond the twentieth century economic thinking and get into a twenty first century and that means getting beyond corporate capitalism and state based socialism and i think we need to move to a democratized economy where people have greater control of their own lives and great influence on the economy for example some of their corporate welfare is we totally changed into tax payer investment there's no question that economic
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advances of occurred throughout our history by government into investment in things like railroads things like the highway system the internet development the internet all these were government funded and create a lot of research on pharmaceuticals a lot of and sometimes it fails government unfortunately does that failure investment because that's part of the learning that they get that the capitalist want to profit from but don't want spend money investment so we need to move toward a corporate from corporate welfare to taxpayer investment when taxpayers invest in developing the economy taxpayers should be treated like investors that means they get a piece of the profit model that the alaska a lot. of them where for since one nine hundred eighty they've had a system where profits from the oil industry on public lands go into a fund the alaska permanent trust every year a check is sent to every alaskan for their share of those profits if we do that if we had done that the last century and be amazing we'd have a a guaranteed national income but if we do that now as we go into this twenty first
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century green sustainable economy which is going to happen and if we invest it and we're treated as investors we won't have a need for these social welfare programs we'll have a guaranteed national income because we will all be sharing in the commonwealth that we all created that's what we need to move toward on a national level on a local level you move toward workers having greater control over their own business. over the businesses becoming worker owners so wealth share at the local level as well as the national level ok rachel i know i know how you feel about these things you know but there's one thing all of all of us on this program have in common and i think we do care about the welfare of the middle class and kevin gave a really good argument about what needs to be changed because i don't all of us don't have to work for the banks you know and essentially this is an economy that has been created for all of us to make other people rich it's time for them to give us an opportunity to make our own wealth and our own future and that's where i agree with you go ahead i know you don't agree with everything kevin said. no basically i
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see that as democratizing poverty because on one hand he's talking about you know we should all share and they got one hundred twelve are but at the same time his example. yeah i mean if you're saying we shall share in the wealth and we should all be making the same money as everyone else where's the money coming from the example of oil and natural resources. that you gave example of oil and natural resources and then said we should do the same with the green economy there's no proof that actually makes any money i mean oil or are you saying that we should do that with oil everywhere i think it's already done was right when i was doing that with oil i don't really know i mean isn't profit on the go ahead kevin i don't know of rachel even i don't know of rachel even listen to what i said you know democratizing already on their hands and you know you don't walk or ties into a market to market as barbara and i didn't say equal. right you know that was what i said i was not exactly what i said there was what i said you said i know it was your that was your drummer taisha which was a misinterpretation what i said was of the commonwealth the taxpayers invest let's
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say let's say building mass transit let's say building public utilities but who's going to really let it go here's where the tax the tax payers are the people work people have the right now words words and they were putting our words the court what is the corporate welfare going out of my ass in your system as i'm going well i want that kamel of money to go back to the commonwealth not to the one percent so i'm not you know and i don't want to recognize an individual or. how many people you really think would want to do that. i mean i think everybody i mean one handed out we should all and we should collectively contribute to this what if i what i'm going to generate or i don't think it's right there on the chairs and i'm going to jump in right now jason you've been very activist i'm ok yeah can the tax system be more democratic because again this is one of the things that really bothers me here is that we have you know one percent of the population that seems to do extremely well the crisis is over for them a long time ago but everybody else is stuck with different elements of the crisis
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here how can we democratize that process where people are part of the democratic process and have prosperity going how do you marriage to two if i want to without going to socialism without going to a while i want to you know to listen go ahead so i have an idea i don't know if you i don't know james madison and i was very similar in the let me. please please let me talk let me talk i want to back to i was saying earlier if you look at how corporations basically evade taxes we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars every year doesn't make any sense you have corporations like general electric exxon mobil and numerous other corporations that they close nothing and federal income tax meanwhile this is a true story just two months ago i got a letter from the r.s.a. zero zero zero that was three hundred dollars for a mistake that i made an honest mistake that i made right but meanwhile you have multibillion dollar corporations that literally hire lawyers and accountants to make sure they don't pay any taxes right but yet they want to they want to be here and they want to know that. they don't want they don't want to contribute but they
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don't want to contribute to the greater collective right this idea very well being individual and then find out how you're beings exist that's. their employer you want to lay off people would you like in the radio if you're employed and this is where i live right now i mean. let's go to then i really really hope rachel rachel is not into the job creators come from the wealthy nonsense i mean come on job creation comes from a job creator myself later right so i'm sol rachael i don't think you are and i create jobs. go ahead kid karina keep good job good jobs and you would be all employed people to buy your product and so you need to have a middle class you can buy products knowing as well it was i'll show you instead of behind the time when i was three people should i have a good time figuring i don't know they're going to make my knees also now they're off trying to talk over me i'm not going to stop talking and i'm trying to make a point the time when the wealth divide was small so in this country as in one nine hundred fifty s. and sixty's when the highest income tax rates were at ninety percent we need to be
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debating the nixon tax or as the reagan tax that's fifty percent top bracket versus seventy percent bracket we shouldn't be having fifteen percent for the richest people in the country which that we do have for people in the country right now have wealth equal to half the population those poor people pay an average tax of seventeen percent while i would also pays about a thirty percent tax that's unfair and it's obscene and that's what it is that we do about the buffett rule we should talk about nixon tax where is the reagan tax fifty to seventy percent that's where the debate should be then we can raise enough resources and anyone who's getting wealthy is getting wealthy because they're part they're making profit from the commonwealth you know get wealthy on your own you get well because people buy your products because people use your services that's how you get wealthy and so you're part of the commonwealth is make you wealthy and that's why the people at the top income income brackets need to be required to pay a higher much more progressive tax we should be stopping the tax bracket of five hundred thousand dollars there's a million dollar two million five million tell me and even the billion dollar tax
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level because we see hedge fund people making a billion dollars a year in income and paying fifteen percent tax that's obscene ok rachel jump in ok what about income in iraq all right all right jay centimes i mean let me go to jason first jason's been very patient go ahead jason. first of all i want to i want to address the issue of corporations because many people say well corporations create jobs they create wealth etc it's people that create wealth and it's people that create jobs corporations are one way to organize human productivity corporation only one for the organization human beings of our very nature are productive creatures we can or organize our productivity on many different avenues many different forms of management corporations or one form when people make that argument well corporations create jobs that's a way to insulate corporations from critique and instead of trying to insulate them we should critique them their power as an institution and all the situations of power should be open to critique if we don't critique them and they will run amok as they're doing right now ok rachel i want one part of this program is about
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what's going on with the middle class what the status quo is that tenable for the middle class in europe in the united states because like i've said there's been the misery of the middle class for at least three decades if not longer what needs to be changed when we keep your principles but everybody else can have a piece of the pie too ok. well i think more and more middle class people that i know are turning towards entrepreneurship and other alternatives and other words they're opting out of the system instead of complaining to realizing the middle class is being squeezed i can't disagree with that they're realizing they hate if i start a business on the side maybe there's an opportunity for me to grow that and to slowly segue out of this system to slowly opt out of the system and perhaps that's the way to go and perhaps that's the way to stimulate the economy i also think there's there's this sense that i'm getting from this entire conversation that if we were to move more towards a socialist type of system and away from what some perceive as
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a corrupt form of capitalism as i've described as myself as corporate welfare that there's this misconception i think that suddenly there would be no hierarchy but we've seen in every kind of socialist revolution cuba and others that that's simply not true there's always going to be a hierarchy and to say that there won't be a one percent in a more social it's all right but rachel in the industry is proof of it rachel in all honesty you're the only person that uses socialism on this program here kevin again how do we save democracy and have prosperity at the same time because they're divorced from each other right now. yeah and the fact that democracy is this solution we need to create a participatory democratic government where people are not just voting but also involved in making decisions for example in chicago and new york now they have experiment called something called participatory budgeting where in new york is a million dollars is given for capital expenditures for a council district in chicago is one point five million is given for
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a council district and the people in those districts actually get together and say this is what our community needs more lighting. bike lanes showers in the park what do you know what a fix this road fix this sidewalk and they come up with a whole list of different issues they debate them investigate them and they come up and they vote on what they want to see funded and it's very interesting when they started do this in chicago which is the first old a minute chicago started this process when he started doing the pie change greatly rather than all the money going to fixing the streets it became much more slivered and people got what they wanted and people got very smart about for example one issue was crime and initially looking at adding video cameras but the people looked into the details of that and found video cameras more expensive and less effective than better lighting and remakes and i'm afraid we're running out of time for this is a very fascinating conversation and it has to be continued many thanks to my guest today in philadelphia baltimore and in paris and thanks to our viewers for watching us here arche see you next time and remember.
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that. story.
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you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm sorry welcome to the big picture. stop them look at the current a bit unemployment the national debt. failing governments ask yourself does it really matter who with. with billions created daily you can gamble with your.


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