Alternative economics

Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009

The day after Barack Obama's historic inauguration as president of the United States we'll look at how much has changed in the United States and what still needs to change in the days, months and years ahead.

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by guests John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Ajamu Baraka, executive director of the US Human Rights Network.

54:56 minutes (25.15 MB)

King's Vision for Obama

program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

"What Would King Tell Obama?"  In this article by Michael Honey, read here by Tom Becker, we are reminded that Dr. King's message of non-violence applies to the violence of poverty and economic inequality, and to military interventions.  Honey's piece appreared on the website of The Progressive.

2:58 minutes (1.7 MB)

Alternative Radio

Program: 
Alternative Radio
Air date: 
Wed, 01/21/2009 - 10:00am - 11:00am

Richard Heinberg - Endless Consumption: The Party's Over (lecture)
Richard Heinberg, author, journalist and educator, is a leading expert on energy issues. He is Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. He is the author of "The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies," "Powerdown: Options & Actions for a Post-Carbon World" and "Peak Everything."
 

Radiozine

Program: 
Radiozine
Air date: 
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 9:30am - 10:00am

Per Fagereng speaks with Alan Rosenblith, director of "The Money Fix," a documentary film exploring different aspects of money creation. The Money Fix - World Premiere

The Money Fix is an OFFICIAL SELECTION of the 2009 BIG SKY DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, where it will make its WORLD PREMIERE.  The Money Fix will be screened for a one-night-only sneak preview at the Hollywood Theater in Portland OR on January 29th at 7pm.  This will be the film’s only screening prior to its WORLD PREMIERE at Big Sky.

Radiozine

Program: 
Radiozine
Air date: 
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 9:00am - 9:30am

Dave DeAngelis speaks with Michael Klare about the problem with cheap oil, and why America's overreliance on petroleum is the source of all its energy problems.

Michael Klare is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, and is the author of "RISING POWERS, SHRINKING PLANET: The New Geopolitics of Energy"

 

LNG Protest in Salem

program: 
Air Cascadia
program date: 
Mon, 01/12/2009
12:20 minutes (11.29 MB)

Shockin n Rollin

 Once again, Digby nails it.

The fundamental purpose of the shock doctrine is to use crisis to push through unpopular and unjust "solutions" that favor the wealthy. We are seeing this battle take shape on several fronts. The right is working feverishly to discredit the New Deal at the same time that outside groups of so-called elder statesmen are lining up to screech about the deficit and entitlements. All of this obscures the real source of the current problem and obstructs the president's ability to do what's necessary to solve it.

If Obama were to succeed in fixing the economy, re-regulating the financial system, enacting health care and a modern environmental and energy policy, the right would be discredited for a couple of generations --- and the wealthy would lose many of their unfair advantages under a fair and equitable system. They not only do not want to take that chance, they also see this crisis as an opportunity to bury liberal economics and end the government programs that ensure a stable and prosperous society with a vast middle class. The stakes are huge for both sides.

This gets back to something we've touched on repeatedly over the years on the Abe and Joe show: the decades-long -- and largely successful -- endeavor by the monied class to undo the New Deal. As Digby notes, it's no accident that we're seeing an attempt in the news media to discredit the efficacy of the New Deal even as the President-elect and prominent economists like Paul Krugman call for a new, FDR-esque reinvestment in old and new infrastructure.

This has been going on for some time. The marginal personal and corporate income tax rate topped out in the World War II era at 94%, and with a few exceptions, has been in decline ever since. At the height of the Depression, in the late 1930s, the highest bracket was in the low 70% range. And during both crises -- depression and war -- we spent like drunken sailors and obtained solid results. And after the war, we kept on taxing and spending like the New Deal Democratic nation we were -- flaming leftists by today's standards. Hell, under Ike, the quintessential conservative of his age, the highest rate was over 90%.

But here's the thing. Consider what we did during that postwar era*.

We sent millions of ex-GIs to college. We built the interstate highway system. We rebuilt our conquered enemies. We built the most extensive public university system in the history of humanity. We put people on the moon. We saw sea changes in race and gender relations. We birthed history's first truly large-scale, educated middle class. We witnessed a riotous explosion of culture, as every imaginable tradition and heritage collided.

And people got rich. Lots of them. While paying high taxes.

But more importantly to the monied class -- and I think that these would-be assassins of the New Deal are oblivious to this, perhaps willfully so -- the middle class of the postwar era had money to spend on the products made by the monied class. Our ownership elite owes its exalted status to the fact that we and our parents and grandparents all spent money in the industrial economy.

So the attempt to bury the New Deal, organized labor, and the very notion of liberal Keynsian economics, is self-defeating. If you kill the middle class, there's no one to buy your useless crap. Now is the time to whip out that well-tuned sense of irony I've been urging you to develop.

Now is also the time to contact Obama and urge him to do the right thing with his economic policy. It's time to rebuild the middle class and invest in schools and solar power plants and high-speed trains and universal health care. It's time to bury conservative supply-side economic dogmatism for a good long time.

-A

* Yes, we also kept military spending at wartime levels. Yes, we started striking devil's bargains with brutal men in exchange for their nations' resources. Yes, we built an arsenal of doomsday weapons. Yes, we meddled ceaselessly all over the world. Yes, we presided over the maturation of the brutally exploitative global capitalist system. Yes, we waged cynical wars in far-flung places, both overt and covert. Yes, we perpetuated the global subjugation of the non-European peoples. Yes, we allowed the wholesale corporate acquisition of the wheels of government. Yes yes yes. I deny none of it. But we also did the stuff I said.

 

The Urban Growth Bounty: Gardening in the City

program: 
The Dirtbag
program date: 
Sun, 01/11/2009

 Host Glen Andresen welcomes Steve Cohen from the Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council, to talk about Urban Growth Bounty, a series of late winter and spring gardening classes presented by the City of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development.

 

25:19 minutes (23.18 MB)

Old Mole Variety Hour

Air date: 
Mon, 01/12/2009 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
A program of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist point of view.

Well-known writer and activist Holly Sklar talks with Bill Resnick about the deep changes in the economy needed to solve the problem of poverty.  The Moles  also cover the war in Gaza, and the Movie Moles tell us why the original version of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is better than the new one now playing. 

Winners and Losers in the 2009 Oregon Budget

program date: 
Wed, 01/07/2009

As the economic landscape worsens, lawmakers face the daunting task of deciding how to keep Oregon running with a shrinking pool of dollars. The most recent forecast by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis sees the recession deepening over the next 12 months with unemployment increasing beyond the current 7.3 percent with a commensurate decline in state revenue from personal income taxes. Reduced business activity will also cause a drop in revenue from corporate taxes. The "budget hole" for the coming 2009-2011 period is estimated to be at least $1.2 billion.

57:19 minutes (45.92 MB)
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