Charlie Rose actually broke from his standard fare which is generally populated by the likes of David Brooks and Tom Friedman and their cohorts in the corporate media and had a conversation with authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer about their new book, The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government.
After watching this interview, I don't think Mitt Romney will be recommending this particular edition of Rose's show as required viewing any time soon. Both men discussed the fact that if we truly want to get our economy moving, those "job creators" are middle class consumers and the fact that when all of us are doing better and there is shared prosperity. That is something that is still completely lost on our political class these days, with way too many of them still pushing the idea that austerity and tackling our debt without putting Americans back to work is going to solve our problems with our sluggish economy.
If anyone has any doubts about why austerity measures like those pushed by the conservatives both here and in the U.K. are not a model we want to follow, just go look at the chart and read Steve Benen's post here -- Why the U.K. recession matters in U.S. politics.
They cited Henry Ford's theory that it was better to overpay his workers so that they could afford the product they were producing and advocated for taxes going up on the rich and for the taxes on investments to be raised, even if they're kept just slightly lower on those on wages and labor, so not to stifle the incentive for investments in America.
Whether anyone agrees or disagrees with all of the authors' points made during this interview, I think it was a whole lot more healthy discussion than what we're typically treated to from our corporate media. I don't think Rose made up for the countless hours he's allowed of Brooks and Friedman and their ilk to be spouting nonsense on his show unchallenged with this interview, but he certainly took a step in the right direction with having them on and with allowing a conversation where what we've been hearing over and over from Republican politicians on how jobs are created in our economy is challenged.
They both thoroughly debunked trickle-down economics and why it does not work and why Mitt Romney is full of crap with his talking points about being a “job creator” while he was at Bain during this interview.
Here's a short description of their book from Amazon:
American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today--generate these simple but revolutionary ideas:
True self interest is mutual interest. (Society, it turns out, is an ecosystem that is healthiest when we take care of the whole.)
More of their interview below the fold.
Here's part two of the segment.
And part three.