Pulitzer-winning author and host of “On Contact” Chris Hedges joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the influence of lobbyists on establishment media in their coverage of politics and that donors, bankers and billionaires have on the US political process. He argues that the corporate elite sees Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is a much greater threat to corporate power than President Trump, which is why they are uniting so stridently behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary.
“Capitalism keeps us in a state of panic. Most of us are just one medical bill away from bankruptcy. It keeps us overworked and underpaid so we don’t have time to question its dominance over our lives. It takes the fruits produced by the many and gives them to the few. Concentrated wealth means concentrated power, concentrated power means less democracy, less democracy means less freedom, and less freedom means you are reduced to a precarious life of servitude.” — The Anti-Social Socialist
With the US mass shootings epidemic claiming 17 more lives at a school in Florida, there has been a nationwide outcry against multi-million-dollar lobbying by the National Rifle Association. But how the NRA, and other corporate giants, wield power and influence over the US government is mostly concealed by the very laws meant to strengthen democracy.
“The clinical definition of “fascism” is when private concentrated economic power takes government away from the people, turns government into a guarantor, a subsidizer, a covering of corporate power.” — Ralph Nader
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges travels to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a conversation with America’s most important intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky. In Part II of their conversation, Chomsky discusses the principles of concentration of wealth and power that are defined in his latest book, Requiem for the American Dream.
I’m a corporate whore of Congress,
One of many Wall Street bought.
From voting for their greedy laws
I’m richer than I thought!
My colleagues here in Congress
Can’t help but all agree,
That a corporate whore of Congress
Is the only way to be!
Every year brings the world more climatological science that man-made climate change, or overall global warming, is chronically worsening.
Every year, from Antarctica to Greenland, from the Andes to Alaska, the ice is melting, the permafrost is melting, and very soon the Arctic may have a re-unprecedented ice-free season. Every year, more and more businesses are speaking out on how climate change is damaging their businesses. Insurance companies were in the lead on sounding the alarm on global warming. Just a few days ago, Coca-Cola’s vice president for environment and water resources, Jeffrey Seabright, told the New York Times that “increased droughts, more unpredictable variability, 100-year floods every two years” were affecting the supply of sugar cane and sugar beets, “as well as citrus for [Coca-Cola’s] fruit juices.”
740 Park Ave, New York City, is home to some of the wealthiest Americans. Across the Harlem River, 10 minutes to the north, is the other Park Avenue in South Bronx, where more than half the population needs food stamps and children are 20 times more likely to be killed. In the last 30 years, inequality has rocketed in the US — the American Dream only applies to those with money to lobby politicians for friendly bills on Capitol Hill.
Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.
Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”
Discussion at Demos think tank about new book, The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy about the devastating effects of economic inequality on our political process with moderator Kenneth Prewitt and authors Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady,
http://bit.ly/storyofbroke — The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero