Gerald Epstein, Political Economy Research Institute, and Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst): Financialization of the economy has been developing since the late 19th century and is now at historic Levels
Archive for September, 2012
Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights): Julian Assange called for release of Bradley Manning and attacked President Obama’s call for free speech while suppressing whistle blowers
Julian Assange addressed the United Nations and discussed the United States’ continuing investigation of Wikileaks and Bradley Manning. But what’s the real lesson on journalism in the 21st century that needs to be taken away from the Assange case?
Since June Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, and eventually the United States where he could meet the same fate as Bradley Manning or worse. His crime? Being a journalist. There’s one industry specifically mentioned in the Constitution, just one. And it’s the press, it’s journalism. It’s the tool “we the people” have to keep our government in check and to make sure “we the people” have all the information we need to be informed members of our democracy.
London and Wall Street in a dangerous competition to create a more unregulated environment for finance
from Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! premieres “The United States of ALEC”, a special report by legendary journalist Bill Moyers on how the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council has helped corporate America propose and even draft legislation for states across the country. ALEC brings together major U.S. corporations and right-wing legislators to craft and vote on “model” bills behind closed doors. It has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in promoting “Stand Your Ground” gun laws, voter suppression bills, union-busting policies and other controversial legislation. Although billing itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership,” ALEC is actually a national network of state politicians and powerful corporations principally concerned with increasing corporate profits without public scrutiny. Moyers’ special will air this weekend on Moyers & Company, but first airs on Democracy Now! today. “The United States of ALEC” is a collaboration between Okapi Productions, LLC and the Schumann Media Center.
German Left Party Vice-President Sahra Wagenknecht on wage repression in Germany and the European Stability Mechanism
from Democracy Now!
Thousands of people surrounded the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on Tuesday to protest austerity measures and the loss of public confidence in elected leaders. The “Occupy Congress” protest came as the conservative administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares to unveil further austerity measures on Thursday. After hours of protest, police in riot gear charged against demonstrators with batons and fired rubber bullets. Thirty-five people were arrested and at least 60 people were injured. We go to Madrid to speak with independent journalist Maria Carrion.
Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin (authors of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire): As long as effective demand remains low and banks demand austerity to protect their assets, the crisis will deepen.
Part Two: The Crisis and Who Has the Power
Major structural change or effective short term reforms requires addressing democratic decision making starting with making banks a public utility.