230 Comments
Jun 21, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

100 percent agree with Senator Sanders. And if in the US, corporations have the same rights as people, why don’t they need to be citizens of the US to get benefits from the rest of the citizens of the US?

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If corporations have the same rights as citizens then when they kill people sentence them to death.

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Fascinating thought, John. Wouldn't you have to extend that concept to politicians, too? That would wipe out most of the Republican Party and would thus also solve the authoritarian take-over problem as well.

And think about voters, who are accessories to murder when they vote for murderers like Trump, DeSantis, etc.

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I live in Florida with that mother DeSantis and his crowd. With corporations there is nothing in the Constitution regarding their existence. The Founders would be horrified at the modern corporation. A lot of these politicians should probably face a firing squad (Bush, Cheney, Nixon , LbJ) for murder.

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The Founding Fathers had some unpleasant experiences with the Virginia Company of London and other British companies, and they certainly would have favored strict limitations on corporate power, not giving companies rights similar to the rights of people.

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Hey...I like this group!

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WOOF! Ole Elon would have BILLIONS of death warrents on his a-head! That would please me.

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founding

A minute percentage of the population- Corporations and the uber wealthy, can use their wealth to exercise a clear advantage in our political system that continues to give them big returns on their investment(s). However, unlike the rest of us, most of their wealthy is exempt from taxes that we pay to sustain this political system. From a tax perspective, they are the 'takers' and we are the 'makers'. We can only turn this around by coming together and using our power-in-numbers, via Democracy... while Democracy exists.

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We can only turn this around by coming together and using our power-in-numbers, via Democracy... while Democracy exists. <=== YES, I totally agree!!! When I share Facebook notices of donations being matched (especially 10x) by post/PUBLIC, I often add these comments: DEMONCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT!

People-power trumps the power of money - IF we unite & fight for a common goal. I believe if everyone does what he/she can do with what he/she have, democracy will prevail over fascism. DEMOCRACY CAN'T DEFEND ITSELF.

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Great comment....fyiurban.

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I also agree with Senator Sanders, but how did we get to this situation where large multinational corporations and private equity firms dictate terms to sovereign nations (rhetorical)? My knee jerk reaction is that corporations should not be allowed to cross borders, and that foreign ownership of US corporations should not be allowed. Is this too simplistic, too fantastical? Also, corporate conglomerates should also be prohibited. If corporations are considered people, wouldn't a conglomerate be considered an enslaver?

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Also: How do we ensure that a big chunk of the $52 billion isn’t frittered away on shareholders and executive pay

Decentralization......blockchain technology, smart contracts! This is how we ensure nothing is frittered away because every transaction will be transparent. Transparency is key.

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Pieces of paper, corporate charters, now have far, far, far greater power and influence than flesh and blood average joe citizens; how about starting there ?

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its easy to understand that we are being played . the practice of socialized pain for private profit has nade suckers of us americans . tax breaks should go to companies that invest in america /for america. anything less is a theft of labor and resources of we the people .

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Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

Not a response to this comment:

1/6 HEARING 4 TODAY AT 1:00 PM EDT: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-live-jan-6-committee-hearings-day-4

Just a reminder for everyone.

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Thank you DZK. I appreciate the reminder. I don’t want to miss a thing!

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Thanks, DZK : I have my DVR set for the whole series and the evening shows 'commenting' on it

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I don’t think we’re “suckers” for what’s done to us. I’d call that being victimized.

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Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

It's a question of perspective. From the hustler's POV, suckers; from the "bunko squad's," fraud victims.

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From the barbers, fleeced. I cut Jack Welch's hair once........if only it was not just a haircut!

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GE is in the toilet now. The company that Welch ran is almost bankrupt.

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All things must pass. The area in Pittsfield, MA was (and probably still is. a Superfund site. There were properties that were once homes and became uninhabitable, the area was so toxically polluted. A whole neighborhood ruined.

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I live about five miles from MacDill AFB. It is a toxic waste site. If the base is ever closed down it will take millions to rehabilitate that ground.

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Which one did you cut? LOL! ];-)>

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Drumroll.......symbols.........I just flew here from Jersey and boy are my arms tired.....Clash of symbols.

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LOL!

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Well...I said once..hehe he, but he had more hair decades ago.

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A little bit of fun here. Klepper does it again. This is a number 10 to number 1 piece. Stick around and find out what number 1 is: https://youtu.be/LVx8gCAF3D8 LOL!

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From perspective of Wall Street and big capital those who work are suckers and dupes .

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Yes : fleeced, like sheep!

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im not sure that those two terms are mutually exclusive.

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Like I'm saying, it's a POV thing.

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It's a Jersey Thing.

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founding

Purchasing legislation...greenwashing records...strong-arming for massive corporate subsidies...exploiting labor in every way possible....

I worry we just don't have the time to try to inform and organize our increasingly exhausted, easily manipulated public on each issue. We need to tackle it all in one big swoop...one massive general strike that brings the whole system to a halt to stop the lobbying, the dark money and the destruction of the planet. What we need is what we had...the Occupy movement. That's why it scared the powers that be and had to be crushed. Under the banner of inequality comes all of the evils you wrote about and more.

We need to use the evidence from this pandemic about just how much our employers and our supposed representatives from both parties look at us as nothing more than economic calculations. We're not people. We're not children or families. We're profit engines, nothing more. This piecemeal approach to letter writing and donating and hoping that this time the election is really gonna swing things in another direction...it just isn't working, and the continued hope that it is will lead us to a doom we deserve for remaining committed to a failing strategy. It does not need to be the Occupy banner, but occupy the streets and parks and buildings we must. Crash this whole damn exploitation dressed up as innovation economy until every employer commits to actually treating employees and citizens as essential.

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Both parties. No Bernies or Robertts in the Republican Party.

The fix? Elect more Democrats like Robert and Bernie.

https://www.fieldteam6.org/

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Robert Reich president? Let's have a vote! :)

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Jun 21, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

Certainly Robert Reich and Joseph Stiglitz need to be at the table. Very nice if younger voices with like views of economics and same depth of political knowledge could be at the table as well. This morning from Catherine Rampell in the Washington Post . "The Federal Reserve will need to raise interest rates more aggressively to get price growth under control." So much incorrect information even by folks on our side.

Yesterdays post by Mr. Reich was powerful and deeply disturbing. Read if you missed.

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I want Richard Wolff. He is famous socialist on FSTV. He is a prophet.

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We may have more Democrats like Bernie and Robert, but there are a few decent Republicans like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger (sorry he retired) Even Mitt Romn3ey has his moments, and don't forget, we also have munchkin (Manchin) and SINema.

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Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

IMO, the only feasible 'occupy' action for today is to occupy voting booths! IN MASS !!!

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You are right DW.

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I agree that at this point, piecemeal fixes are a largely futile effort. We are in the final death-stage of our economic model (ever increasing growth and consumption). Capitalism has always been about competition to hoard and control wealth. It stands to reason that in a closed system (planet Earth), at some point a tiny minority would pretty much “have it all”, and the masses are dispensable — being managed and controlled with lies, fear, and increasing violence.

Dire as the above may appear, I believe there is a fairly simple solution: disincentivize obsessive-compulsive wealth-hoarding through a progressive wealth tax or cap on public and private wealth. Money is provided to fuel the economy, not delusions of godhood.

Granted, the international aspect complicates things, so would probably necessitate some sort of collective agreement. Yet it could hardly be more convoluted than our current tax structure.

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I certainly agree we need to tax the wealthy. They must pay their fair share. And your take on Capitalism is right on, What happened beginning in the 1970's should have been stopped then.

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Ian, completely agree. When the people can throw sand in the engines of profit we may have a fighting chance to change something. Meanwhile we are pawns. Donating is a scam and letter writing to too passive and, does it work? I don't know.

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founding
Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

The solution requires UNITY- power-in-numbers (voting power/financial power) and/or 'treating ones neighbor as thyself'; however, by design, we continue to get "hoodwinked and bamboozled" into fighting one another and blaming democracy- our unique tool that can reign in and overcome the wealthy/powerful few.

Some are more easily manipulated than others, allowing willful ignorance to sustain a perceived advantage they believe will be lost if they united, in solidarity, with those who have been and continue to be marginalized.

This makes us all slaves (exploited) to the wealthy/powerful few. Too many are content with being house slaves vs field slaves, when it requires us all, collectively, to reject slavery (exploitation) for all. (feel free to replace 'slave' with 'indentured servant')

Ultimately, too many are happy to cut of their nose to smite their face, which makes them easy marks for those who seek to benefit from our division.

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founding

Commits? Voluntarily? We need laws and guaranty their enforcement.

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Thank you, Ian, I like your way of thinking. If we don't confront them and let them know how angry we are, nothing will stop them. However we need a better organized effort than the Occupy movement, more like the marches on Washington organized by Dr King. Orderly, with logical orators. Cursing ans swearing may feel good, but it doesn't move a strong majority.

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founding

I would argue that we need a better media operation. As with many marches or actions, the mainstream outlets and those simply looking to criticize focused so much on the handful of negative aspects. It was heartbreaking to me to see so many left-leaning people who have begged for something like Occupy just swallow the talking points about leadership, lack of "clear messages," etc. It really drove home to me that one of our biggest problems is that deep in the spoiled American psyche may be this desire for a better world...but one that we want without really having to do much for it. Any excuses we can grab on to in order to justify why we shouldn't get involved, why this or that won't work...even the loudest critiques of societal problems seemed to relish in piling on to what was clearly a worldwide phenomenon.

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Truer words were never spoken. Especially, we want a better world that we don't have to work to achieve, This is all part of the "me first" attitude that began in the 80's. During the 60's and 70's, when I was in college (for me between the ages on 31 and 43), we cared about other people. We cared about Civil Rights, we cared about what we were doing to our own military and the people in Viet Nam. Then came Ronnie Baby, with his welfare queens, and just say no to drugs crap, and all the bad things that are happening to you are someone else's fault - not yours. No more 'Be Responsible For Your Own Behavior'. Even the ads proclaimed "you deserve" (more, better, everything). And that generation bought into it fully. This laid the ground for the acceptance of the greed and corruption that led us to the world of trumpsters.

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Ian ; It should be illegal 'free speech' to make political ads that show a candidate violently breaking into his opponent's home dressed in full United States Military gear with deadly weapons of war! That should not be protected speech!

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What about targeting individual politicians who are advocating violence and terror, like the Republican candidate in Texas who is ex military and made a campaign T.V. ad in military uniform with high powered assault weapon kicking and shooting his way into a 'RINO''s home,(presumably to kill anyone in his path). What about death threats to Adam Kinzinger, his wife and 5 month old child? ( no wonder he 'retired' I guess their threats are effective).

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Hang that mother! That guy from Texas is a fascist.

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At least don't vote for him! I can't understand how it is possible to even get an ad agency to make such an irresponsible dangerous commercial for a politician!

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Right on, Bro!

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How can we have a massive occupy movement when they have so divided us?

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founding

Well, we don't need to have some grand unity between parties, we just need a sufficient mass to make an impact. The pandemic just proved how powerful a collection of typically lower-level, mistreated workers can be when they act together. They can bring the largest companies to their knees. We need to do that for every industry and at as many levels as we can.

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Especially when we could be such soft targets, and there are 20 million assault weapons circulating in this country ( estimated ; who knows how many there really are?), and it appears to be legal to make extremely violent threatening media ads that show attacks against those with whom we disagree?

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Laurie.....the rightwing nuts have all the weapons. My Jewish friends are all armed now.

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My daughter who is expecting a baby in October, has been at the shooting range and she and her husband have guns. they are not weapons of war, but I think many people feel that they should be able to defend themselves and are buying weapons 'just in case'.

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I agree with Bernie Sanders, that American taxpayers should see a return on their investment of a 52 billion dollar subsidy.

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Laurie, it seems these days the American corporate tax dodgers see the best returns on government investments.

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If their vehicles were ticketed (or stopped and towed) for using the roadways because they don't pay into our tax base to maintain those roads and if the fines were high enough it might get their attention!

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It would absolutely get their attention, but 'how dare we' expect them to pay for the wear and tear on our roadways moving their goods around.

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Dw : They certainly don't have even close proportional skin in the game. Many do not pay ANY taxes!

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Couldn’t another reason the companies make things more cheaply overseas be that they’re paying lower wages than what they’d have to pay if they made them here? That’s the main reason for offshoring.

Recently I called for some technical help, and after I’d gotten the help I asked the person where he was. He answered, India. I said something about the fact that many American companies used workers overseas because they could pay them lower wages, and he said simply, “Correct.”

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I know! It's awful, isn't it? You know who was the "father" of outsourcing? Jack Welch CEO of GE years and years ago. He traveled overseas for business and was gobsmacked at how little foreign workers earned, and viola, here we are....just a little history on that.

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Good ole Bernie

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sigh

as often happens, I am awake, when I should be sleeping, when you drop your pod cast. I am surprised.

Professor, first and most important, thank you for this and more important, for you work on behalf of part of my chosen family.

I agree that the USA congress gives too much benefits to the the rich and powerful. As you have taught only some of the rich and powerful are USA Citizens.

I suppose my disagreement is that I do not want to help the the rich and powerful who happen to be USA citizens. I want the poor and powerless, including myself, in any part of the world to have more wealth and power.

I do not know how to do that, but as you have taught, it is good for me, and perhaps the world that I try.

it will also be good for me to go back to sleep. .. and start again, with what I have, and move toward what I, and I hope you, want.

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We have lost our way. Seems everything is so corrupted and profit driven. Business is business but values should show up somewhere. I don’t know how long we can go on like this. I found a simple way to look at the truth. “ If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything “ Empathy, forgiveness, sensitivity and love. Like I said business is somewhat hardcore naturally but there are businesses that are kind decent folks.

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What's worse is this written 'law' that 'the investors must always get the 'win', even if it is destructive to the environment, and the Common Good. 'Maximize profits' for shareholders no matter what.

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We have lost our way as a nation. Next stop....crisis!

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When even young children are gunned down in their schoolrooms and 'leadership' can't get it together to find a solution like banning weapons of war for civilians ; We are there! It already IS a crisis!

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I agree with you and would like to stay in touch. Where can I find you on Facebook or ? I am 91 and handicapped so this isn’t a pitch.

I appreciate the words you wrote and a sol mate as I believe as you. Mary Lou

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I’m on Facebook. Try caaaad or most likely Ed Shook

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There are a fewEd Shooks on FB. Can you give me another clue. Do you know Ed Fathering ?

Are you are student .

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Not a school student. Over the hill but still a student of life 🤩

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Can I send you a friend request? I don’t know any other way to do it but it would be nice to chat with you and be a friend

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I love good minds. Are you watching the hearings ? I could cry at what has happened to this Country. All Trump. Friend me on FB.

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Ed Shook as your not coming up

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It’s very sad. But I believe God encourages us to embrace everything that shows up in our lives. Almost impossible to do but my world is healthy. I donate to politicians that respect our democracy. I will try FB friend

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I am not an economist but I do not think that the mechanics of the race to the bottom for people in the U.S. and elsewhere is that difficult to figure out. Why are governments unable to create incentives for major national corporations to produce and do R&D in the country itself? If they want the market, these corporations should follow rules dictated by the common good. A market of millions of people has bargaining power and should use it.

Unfortunately, it seems that all that our European and U.S. governments can think of is throwing money at corporations in the hope that the latter will be loyal to... what? In lieu of building economic policies, most in the political staff are fascinated by money like a dear caught in the beam of a car's headlights. What a stunning lack of imagination!

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You are spot on, Philippe. But, a lot of the problem lies with the voting public. 1) self centered-interest: They readily believe demagogues who promise them their "enemies" will be defeated - those enemies being anyone who doesn't look like them, believe like them, or act like them. 2) too many of the politicians running for office are only interested in the power that position gives them, the public be damned. 3) at the base of all is greed.

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Easy money. That is why it is illegal to hunt deer with headlamps...It is unsustainable (as well as hideously unfair). Unsporting

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I wonder if the majority of Americans would appreciate a transparent budget, in order to see where our money is being spent on. And how we are part of the global commerce.

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Except for defense, we have a transparent budget. You have the capacity to track it on the internet.

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Right. I meant our defense budget. To see how the money is actually spent. Remember the expensive hammer and toilet seat? Constant going over budget and which politicians recoup as led by PACs to vote on their behalf. Just my Tuesday morning two cents (not adjusted for inflation)

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founding

I did a search and found quite a bit of information. Unfortunately my phone won’t let me paste anything in. But try it—there’s a lot out there.

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I agree. I don’t know if most people will invest the time to see how their monies are actually spent on the Federal level. I read what I can regarding military and space budgets and unfortunately am never surprised anymore by overspending and dealing with a select group of companies who win bids. I lost hope that most people will invest time in easily finding budgets broken down, from various agencies. People should be concerned about issues regarding food production issues and the EPA superfund sites, etc.

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founding

I suspect most people are too busy and figure they don’t have any influence anyway. That’s probably true.

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The 4th estate should be keeping us informed, but that is being bought up (has been). even if a person sees the data can most people really analyze it effectively?

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Decentralization, a public ledger gives everyone full transparency. Blockchain technology is just that, a way for everyone to see every transaction, it can and will be done if we want to see where our money is spent without blind trust, but true transparency.

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A majority, no. If it's more than two, poorly parsed, sentences they won't read it. But a minority of us would love it,

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Robert, Everyday is a day to learn something new from you. I love having access to this chat to stay informed of the details we’d never hear about otherwise. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us.

We need a new system and we need so much more transparency that everyone can access. It’s criminal that citizens are expected to donate for charity, politicians etc while wealthy corporations get OUR tax money. People in this country are cheated in so many ways.

Bernie always seems to be the mouthpiece shouting on our behalf. What an incredible man! I supported Bernie in the primaries & so proud that I did.

Many individuals, like you Robert R, Bernie, Judd Legum and many more are absolute treasures to the American public. If we don’t say it every day, we appreciate you every day!

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I agree! We need Robert Reich to continue to teach what we need to know. Even some legislators and judges could learn something! Or the Fed! It would be so helpful!

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You're describing my master's thesis, your class, 2006 - The Marketocracy. The insight is that transnational corporations are independent of any nation. Nation-states are the enemy of transnational corporations, as baldly stated back in 1974 by George Ball, then Secretary of State - quoted in the book Global Reach by Barnet & Muller. Transnationals will use any nation, play nations against one another.

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I’m with Bernie—-but where is Biden?

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He has rebuked the energy companies for price gouging, pointing out the huge profits they are now enjoying, and hinting that a temporary windfall profit tax could be in the works. Similarly, he low rates ' those corps that jack up prices under cover of 'inflation' (unjustified price increases).

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Where is Biden? He's in the corporate donor neoliberal camp of governance. He and Schumer negotiate with their favorite money elite pac, No Labels, who is running the Biden show. The only change, if it's even possible, is electoral, vote them out.

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Jun 21, 2022·edited Jun 21, 2022

Seeking Reason: Saudi Arabia? If not now, soon.

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With that amount of money to give away, it should be put to a vote by the American people. The American people should be able to vote on whether to give that money away or not. I believe that most Americans don't know that they have given that authority to politicians to give that amount of money away, when that money is needed here.

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I just finished reading: "100 million people in America are saddled with health care debt" in today's CT Mirror. And your article. Pillage and plunder has been the rule. The vile maxim of the masters of mankind: All for us, nothing for the rest" (Adam Smith "The Wealth of Nations" 1776), even if the result is death of "the rest." MAGA is easy to figure out: stop the pillage! That would mean shrink the privileges of the global ruling class. Thomas Piketty to the rescue! Do "we the people" have the counter power to bring the shareholding global class to give up some of its wealth? To re-organize the barbaric system under which we live so that it no longer produces such obscene inequalities and barbaric injustices?

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As someone familiar with health care debt (as are too many others), you can lose everything just trying to stay alive and still be unhealthy.

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We need to identify and target the perps to at least call them out. Politicians who support their thievery and take their money.

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You are perfectly right

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