Bill Moyers: plutocracy and democracy don’t mix.

I see this blog as my way of keeping the people of Dayton informed in a way the local media doesn’t. I want to keep you thinking about the things that are really important, not the “if it bleeds, it leads” kind of BS that local “journalists” thrive on.

While we’ve all been head over heels about the Xenia “runaway bride”- entire countries are being “refinanced” to make up for the screwed up, deregulated casino that we’ve allowed Wall Street to become. It happened, because we stopped paying attention to what our “politicians” were doing to get elected and re-elected- selling out. How else can you raise over $1 million like Lee Fisher to run for Senate? Since when did our offices go to the highest bidder?

I’m giving you the entire ending of Bill Moyers’ last edition of his Journal on PBS in its entirety:

BILL MOYERS: You’ve no doubt figured out my bias by now. I’ve hardly kept it a secret. In this regard, I take my cue from the late Edward R. Murrow, the Moses of broadcast news.

Ed Murrow told his generation of journalists bias is okay as long as you don’t try to hide it. So here, one more time, is mine: plutocracy and democracy don’t mix. Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, political power controlled by the wealthy.

Plutocracy is not an American word but it’s become an American phenomenon. Back in the fall of 2005, the Wall Street giant Citigroup even coined a variation on it, plutonomy, an economic system where the privileged few make sure the rich get richer with government on their side. By the next spring, Citigroup decided the time had come to publicly “bang the drum on plutonomy.”

And bang they did, with an “equity strategy” for their investors, entitled, “Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer.” Here are some excerpts:

“Asset booms, a rising profit share and favorable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper…[and] take an increasing share of income and wealth over the last 20 years…”

“…the top 10%, particularly the top 1% of the U.S.– the plutonomists in our parlance– have benefited disproportionately from the recent productivity surge in the U.S. …[and] from globalization and the productivity boom, at the relative expense of labor.”

“…[and they] are likely to get even wealthier in the coming years. [Because] the dynamics of plutonomy are still intact.”

And so they were, before the great collapse of 2008. And so they are, today, after the fall. While millions of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their savings, the plutonomists are doing just fine. In some cases, even better, thanks to our bailout of the big banks which meant record profits and record bonuses for Wall Street.

Now why is this? Because over the past 30 years the plutocrats, or plutonomists — choose your poison — have used their vastly increased wealth to capture the flag and assure the government does their bidding. Remember that Citigroup reference to “market-friendly governments” on their side? It hasn’t mattered which party has been in power — government has done Wall Street’s bidding.

Don’t blame the lobbyists, by the way; they are simply the mules of politics, delivering the drug of choice to a political class addicted to cash — what polite circles call “campaign contributions” and Tony Soprano would call “protection.”

This marriage of money and politics has produced an America of gross inequality at the top and low social mobility at the bottom, with little but anxiety and dread in between, as middle class Americans feel the ground falling out from under their feet. According to a study from the Pew Research Center last month, nine out of ten Americans give our national economy a negative rating. Eight out of ten report difficulty finding jobs in their communities, and seven out of ten say they experienced job-related or financial problems over the past year.

So it is that like those populists of that earlier era, millions of Americans have awakened to a sobering reality: they live in a plutocracy, where they are disposable. Then, the remedy was a popular insurgency that ignited the spark of democracy.

Now we have come to another parting of the ways, and once again the fate and character of our country are up for grabs.

So along with Jim Hightower and Iowa’s concerned citizens, and many of you, I am biased: democracy only works when we claim it as our own.

via Bill Moyers Journal . Transcripts | PBS.

Welcome to the new United Plutocracy of America.

Tomorrow- vote for the candidate who has raised the least amount of money. It’s a start.

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5 Responses

  1. Ice Bandit May 4, 2010 / 1:47 pm
      That was sure good of Bill Moyers to unnail himself from that cross long enough to deliver a sermon and anoint us with his wisdom. Trouble is, the rest of us in the army of rabble and great unwashed have been bitchin’ about this very thing since Moyers had a full head of hair inside the oval office making up excuses for LBJ. Furthermore, we also quit caring about anything this wannabe Oracle has to say. And you can bet your next PBS pledge that whatever panacea Moyers has to offer will result in money flying out your wallet and your freedom cruising out the window. When Moyer advocates “taking over” democracy and “populism”, he means that as a clarion the closet Bolsheviks Moyers is convinced are the majority. After all, they are the overwhelming majority of the folks he pals with. But in doing so Moyers makes just another misjudgement in a 50 year history of the same; there is a cauldron of discontent brewing, but it is at big government and big debt and apologists and advocates  like Bill Moyers. A recent Wall Street Journal poll shows growing favoritism to such libertarian planks as shrinking government, lowering taxes and diminishing bureaucracy. So in the grand scheme, it seems like guys like Robert Vigh, Jesse, and Bubba Jones having been better salesmen than Bill Moyerss. Viva la Revolucion…

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  2. Jesse May 4, 2010 / 4:43 pm

    Ice Bandit,
    Doesn’t it make sense that the more the masses decide they will rule over the minority the stronger the opposition by the minority will become?
    The problem we have in actually assessing the chances that government actually shrink is that people want everyone else’s program cut, but keep your hands off of theirs!
    Farmers want lazy bums to stop getting handouts but they can’t exist without government assistance, just ask them.
    The Davids (E and L) want corporate handouts to stop, but want the money to the poor and downtrodden increased.
    I want ALL government handouts to stop; but it is hard to tell because all of my posts are so poorly thought of that you have to click another button to be able to see them. :)
    The question is, how does government, once so large, decrease its spending?  Hans-Herman Hoppe says that it cannot because the owner of the current capital is not the decider of the use of said capital.
     
    God Bless Ice Bandit!  God Bless Freedom!
    Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

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  3. David Lauri May 4, 2010 / 5:23 pm
    Jesse, you should register a domain name, set up a website and then include it whenever you post.  Having “Jesse” show up without a link to a site on which you can explain all your views is a wasted opportunity.  And if people are going to have to click a link to read what you have to say, they might as well be clicking the link to a website over which you’d have full editorial control.

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  4. Jesse May 4, 2010 / 6:45 pm
    Good point David L.  I am not doing so well.  Think I could have the government fund my site?

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