Farewell, American democracy. We hardly knew ye. Abe dicusses the latest in the debt ceiling debacle
The triumph of the ruling class is at hand. With a vote in Washington looming, the America in which we have all grown up is primed for sacrifice on the altar of tax cuts and deficit reduction. Congressional Republicans threatened to blow up the global economy unless they got exactly what they wanted -- and the president gave it to them. Our political system is wholly, finally, broken.
Through-out the show we played clips from famous songs written by members of the Industrial Workers of the World who, as Utah Phillips liked to put it, stole the hymn songs because they were pretty and changed the words so they'd make more sense. In the end, our radical musicologists, Brad Duncan and Josh Wise, talk about the litirgical and popular origins of the songs and how they spoke to both where people found themselves, where they've been and where they wanted to go.
Frann takes on the idea that the United States is broke, reminds us of the ramification of the kind of spending-cuts being demanded in Washington, and the sort of demands we should be making for the massive wealth held by the ruling class. She suggests that resistance to austerity, precisely to be realistic, must arise from outside the channels of power currently demanding austerity in the first place. "People power, from Greece to Spain to Egypt to Tunisia, is anything but a utopian phrase - it is the watchword of those on the front-line in the struggle against austerity." She also reminds us that "austerity" isn't new - before it used to be called structural adjustments.
Joe and Josh Eidelson discuss the nuts and bolts of the AT&T merger. Josh explains why we should have no illusions about AT&T being ideologically pro-union, but points out how opposition to the merger exclude industrial power from having a positive, responsible role in industry development.
Dr. Hart-Landsberg straight-forwardly explains the stakes of the federal government defaulting, the history of dealing with the debt-ceiling and how the whole issue is being used to further an ideological agenda that, he says, has been destructive of interests of the majority. That agenda shows up in things both the Democrats and Republicans agree on about the public debt: there's a debt crisis that must be gotten under control; the driver of the debt are social programs (not wars, Bush tax-cuts or economic crisis); less government in the economy is better. Bill brings this question of economy back to the environment and they discuss stimulus solutions that go beyond the logic of "government as spender of last resort".