November 11, 2006

In Debt We Trust

Subtitled, "America Before the Bubble Bursts," the documentary In Debt We Trust Web Site
by Danny Schechter can be approached at two levels. On the surface, it offers a rallying point that cuts across party lines. Just as newly-elected Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has discovered, both conservative and liberal working people have serious economic concerns. He recently observed, "conservative Republicans don’t have healthcare, conservative Republicans can't afford to send their kids to college, conservative Republicans are being thrown out of their jobs as our good-paying jobs move to China. And if you talk about those issues, you know what people say? “I need somebody to stand up to protect my economic well-being.” [1] Full Interview

On a deeper level, Schechter is joining a growing chorus questioning the very basis of our economic system. He is in good company, which includes former chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz, Nobel Award winner in economics has said, "[corporate] globalization inherently increases the inequalities in developing countries." He'd probably say that it increases inequalities in developed countries too if asked.

True, the Democratic Party hasn't caught on to this new trend... OK, we know they're slow to catch on. Efforts are being made to push the Democrats in this direction, but some research indicates change isn't likely to come from within the USA [2], and if it does, it will come from the grassroots.

A final parting word. People who founded The Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD) have given a lot of thought to the deeper perspective. They make a very persuasive argument that "It's Exessive Corporate Power Stupid." Well, they don't say it that way, but they are quick to point out, it's not about the bad behavior of corporations, it's about raw power of the corporate form of business, which has been "legitimized" in Supreme Court decisons over the decades.

Bottom line: Going back to Schechter, society's great problems won't be solved by small fixes, we need to revamp the system.


[1] DemocracyNow! November 8, 2006, Inteview with Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

[2] Foreign Affairs, Journal of the Council on Foreign Relations. (trying to track down the article).

[3] Flashpoints Interview with Danny Schechter

Danny Scheckter

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