Things are tough all over...unless, of course you're one of the elites.
Not one of those liberal elites Fox News is always grumbling about. But the true elites. You know, the ones who get bonuses bigger than the ones they received last year despite being bailed out by the Feds. Or who post record profits despite a soft economy and record gas prices. Or who complain that they can't possibly compete with a federal public option, despite having a literal cartel and a near monopoly. Those who tell you that the problems in this country can be blamed on labor unions, illegal immigrants, lazy people who won't try harder to get off unemployment rolls, or gay people who want to have their partnerships legally recognized.
What do those elites have in common?
Greed. Simple, all-American greed.
In the last thirty years, greed has over taken our society and economy, grabbing our politicians, our media and too many people for whom the benefits don't trickle down into their Chicago School of Economics/Friedmanesque/free market-worshipping grasp. We have gone from Gordon Gecko's "Greed is good" to the GOP's implicit mantra "Greed is patriotic" and that force to get the most for ourselves, the hell with everyone else has driven this country to the brink of a second great depression and all but killed our middle class.
Jonathan Tasini has chronicled the reasons and people responsible for the looting of America in his new book, The Audacity of Greed. The corporate executives who bust unions and lay off workers while jet-setting in their multi-million lifestyles; the politicians too beholden to corporate interests to regulate industries to protect Americans to the media that reinforces and celebrates the robbing of average Americans as something to which one should aspire.
From Jonathan's official bio:
Jonathan Tasini is executive director of the Labor Research Association. The longtime president of the National Writers Union, he was the lead plaintiff in Tasini vs. The New York Times, the landmark electronic rights case that took on the corporate media's assault on the rights of freelance authors. In 2006 he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate in New York. He has written about labor and economics for a variety of publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CNBC and Fox News. He is currently challenging Kirsten Gillibrand for the 2010 Democratic nomination for US Senate from New York.
Howie Klein has an autographed copy of The Audacity of Greed that we will be giving out to the C&Ler whom Jonathan has determined asked the best question.
So with that, please join me in welcoming Jonathan Tasini to C&L.