Wealth Inequality – Podcast May 25, 2020

Growing Wealth Inequality In The Age Of Pandemic. Revisiting Capital In The Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty, the Democratic Perspective crew discusses the causes of increasing inequality of income, wealth and opportunity in the US. They note that, after wealth inequality diminished following the Great Depression and World War II, it soared as the result of numerous policy decisions beginning with the Reagan administration. And the pandemic has only made matters worse with large corporations and the wealthy accumulating most of the funds intended to provide relief from the pandemic.

Posted in Capital Accumulation, Capitalism, Class Conflict, De-regulation, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Economic Theory, Fiscal Policy, Income Inequality, inherited Wealth, Monetary Policy, Racial Discrimination, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Law | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Wealth Inequality – Podcast May 25, 2020

Under The Cover Of COVID – Podcast May 18, 2020

How Trump Is Changing America While We Focus on the Pandemic. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson, Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim, discuss the environmental deregulation and coverups taking place while the nation is necessarily focusing on the pandemic. For example, the administration is systematically destroying independent oversight by stonewalling Congress and removing Inspector Generals. In just the past few weeks, four IGs have been fired – those overseeing Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, National Intelligence, and State Department.

The administration has also undermined the results of the Mueller investigation by dropping charges against Michael Flynn and by opening investigations into the Obama administration. In addition, it is pushing to confirm more judges, pushing for uranium mining along the Grand Canyon, relaxing hunting rules on public lands, cutting food stamps, providing handouts to supporters, and more.

And, as if all of that isn’t enough, Trump has changed much of the leadership of federal agencies by appointing sycophants as acting directors, thereby avoiding Senate confirmation.

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, De-regulation, Domestic Extremism, Environment, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Federal Lands, Government, Health Care, National Politics, Public Accountability, Public Health Policy, Unemployment | Tagged , | Comments Off on Under The Cover Of COVID – Podcast May 18, 2020

LaMaster Interview – Podcast May 11, 2020

Truth Over Politics. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson, Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim welcome Gary LaMaster back to the show to discuss his latest book and the structural issues that plague the US, many of which have been exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The nation’s healthcare system, supply chains and the economy have all been compromised by decades of corporate consolidation, tax cuts, media propaganda, and partisan politics.

Evidence can be seen in the shortage of medical equipment, food being destroyed while Americans go hungry, and the stock markets’ artificial highs fueled by ill-advised tax cuts and stock buybacks that were once illegal. The question is: Will Americans have the will and determination to make necessary changes once the pandemic subsides?  

Posted in Agribusiness, Business, Capital Accumulation, Corporate Welfare, Cultural Change, Disinformation, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Farm Subsidies, Financial Crisis, Food Insecurity, Government, Health Care, Income Inequality, Industrial Policy, Interviews, Journalism, Mass Media, Monetary Policy, National Politics, Offshoring, Political Lies, Presidential Elections, Public Health Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on LaMaster Interview – Podcast May 11, 2020

Cole Replay – Podcast May 4, 2020

Better Understanding Islam And The Qur’an. Democratic Perspective revisits an interview with Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and founder of Informed Comment, to discuss his book Muhammad, Prophet of Peace Amid The Clash Of Empires. Cole explains that the Qur’an has been very badly translated. “I looked at it with the eyes of an historian,” he says. “I’m reading it in the original Arabic and I’m reading it in context with the Greek and Persian and other works of that time. Context is everything.”

Cole further explains, “There is nothing distinctive in the Qur’an about war. The great French student of Islam, Maxime Rodinson told my teacher…’Any religion can be interpreted any way.’” Cole says that’s true of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and other religions.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Relations, International Terrorism, Interviews, Islamic Republic, Middle East, Middle East Policy, Religion | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Cole Replay – Podcast May 4, 2020

MacClean Replay – Podcast April 27, 2020

Democratic Perspective revisits one of its most revealing and important interviews with Nancy MacClean, professor of history and public policy at Duke University and author of Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. She discusses the billionaire-led effort to rewrite the Constitution and place control of the US in the hands of a permanent minority of wealthy white men.

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Capitalism, Class Conflict, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Domestic Extremism, Front Organizations, Income Inequality, Interviews, National Politics, Political Polarization, Political Theory, Race and Class | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on MacClean Replay – Podcast April 27, 2020

Austin Replay – Podcast April 20, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic Perspective is replaying some of our most popular shows. This interview with Michael Austin from 2015, on his book Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem attempts to answer one of humanity’s most important questions: “Why are concepts such as the wages of sin irrelevant to a true understanding of guilt, redemption, and compassion?”

Austin makes the point that the concept of divine retribution, i.e. responding to reward and punishment, does not result in moral behavior. Rather it’s an example of enlightened self-interest.

Posted in Compassion, Interviews, Morality, Philosophy, Religion | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Austin Replay – Podcast April 20, 2020

Austin Replay – Podcast April 13, 2020

Another Show Worth Revisiting. Democratic Perspective replays one of our favorite shows July 21, 2014. The guest is Michael Austin discussing his books That’s Not What They Meant: Reclaiming the Founding Fathers from America’s Right Wing and Rereading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem. Austin provides valuable perspective on the framing of the US Constitution and issues ranging from state’s rights to gun rights.

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Civil Liberties, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Firearms and Explosives, Founding Fathers, Government, Gun Control, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, National Politics, Political History, Religion | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Austin Replay – Podcast April 13, 2020

Bordewich Replay – Podcast April 6, 2020

Constitution and the First Amendment. Out of respect for social distancing, Democratic Perspective rebroadcasts some of our best shows of seven years of Democratic Perspective. We begin with Fergus Bordewich discussing the Founders and the Constitutional Convention.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Founding Fathers, Government, Interviews, National Sovereignty, Political History | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Bordewich Replay – Podcast April 6, 2020

Mundell, Stanfield, Tovar Interview – Podcast March 30, 2020

The Most Powerful Entity In State Government That Nobody Knows Anything About. Democratic Perspective contributors welcome Anna Tovar, Shea Stanfield and Bill Mundell to the show. All three are Democratic candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission with the goal of wresting control of the commission from the companies they regulate and returning it to the people.

Mundell, who previously served on the commission and was the subject of attacks from the utilities it regulates, calls the commission the fourth branch of government charged with regulating government-created monopolies. He says, “In territorial days, it was called the Railroad Commission. It has come full circle with very powerful forces in Arizona.” Stanfield explains, “Pinnacle West and APS have bought four of five regulators currently sitting on the commission. The three of us are running clean. We don’t take any corporate money. No PAC money.”

“The name may not be very jazzy,” says Tovar. “But it is very important. We need commissioners who are independent…so that everyday people are being protected.

The three candidates need Arizona voters to sign petitions to get them on the ballot and make $5.00 donations to unlock funds from the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. You can sign petitions and make donations online at AZSOS.gov.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Energy Policy, Government, Interviews, Political Candidacy, Political Contributions, Public Accountability, Public Policy, Regulatory Agencies, Regulatory Capture, Renewable Energy, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mundell, Stanfield, Tovar Interview – Podcast March 30, 2020

Adcock Interview – Podcast March 23, 2020

Coronavirus, Economic Relief, Social Security, and Medicare. Democratic Perspective welcomes Dan Adcock, Government Relations and Policy Director for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to discuss potential changes to Social Security and current political proposals.

Regarding the economic relief packages under consideration, Adcock says he’s worried that the stimulus will never get down to the people. It’s too focused on help for corporations with no strings attached. Under McConnell’s proposal, people who make the least money get the least benefit – between $600-$1,200. As a starter, this is particularly ill-thought-out. Seniors would have obstacles.”

“In the past, corporations get big money and use it for stock buybacks,” he continues. “We’re hoping the priorities of Senate Democrats will prevail with protections  that allow no buybacks. Stimulus should be in the form of loans and have oversight.” He goes on to discuss proposed cuts to Social Security and SSI.

As for the future of Social Security and Medicare, Adcock mentions that there are some positive plans, such as Rep. John Larson’s Social Security 2100 Act. It would not only expand benefits. It would strengthen the program’s future. It would also increase spending on healthcare. Larson is trying to have it inserted into the stimulus.

Posted in Community, Economic Stimulus, Government, Interviews, Medicaid, Medicare, National Politics, Public Policy, Social Security | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Adcock Interview – Podcast March 23, 2020