Legendary journalist Bill Moyers address the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, June 7, 2008. Presented by FreePress.net. For more speakers, press coverage, and info, visit: http://www.freepress.net/conference
At around 30+ minutes in, he clearly ties everything together.
Heres the part I felt like typing:
What do we need to know? We need to know that we are in trouble.
Napoleon told his secretary in the thick of battle that if the news on the front is good, don't wake me, if it's bad wake me immediately.
My friends, you don't need to be a reporter with your eyes open to see the news from the front is bad, but I as a reporter see it all the time.
I report the assault on nature, evidence in coal mining that tears the tops off mountains and dumps them into rivers. Sacrificing the health and lives of those in the valleys, for short term profit.
..and I see a link between that process and the stock market frenzy which scorns long-term investments, genuine savings, in favor of quick turnovers and speculative bubbles, whose inevitable bursting leaves insiders with stuffed pockets and millions of small shareholders, stock holders, employees and home owners, out of luck, out of work, and out of hope.
...and then I see a connection between those disasters and the repeal of regulations designed to prevent that type of human and economic damage.
Who pushed for the removal of that fire wall? The political marionettes in Washington, who danced to the speculators tune and were rewarded with campaign contributions and lucrative lobbying jobs when they have delivered the goods. Even honorable opponents of the practice get trapped in the web of a system that can effectively limit politics to those who can afford to spend millions of dollars in their race for office, and know that their careers depend on pleasing their donors, while deserting their voters.
Then I draw a line to the statistics that show real wages lagging behind prices, the compensation of corporate barons soaring to heights unequaled anywhere among other industrialized democracies. The greatest income inequality since the roaring 20's. The relentless cheese pairing of Federal funds devoted to Public Schools to retraining workers whose jobs have exported and to programs of health care, all of which natch away the ladder, which American's of scant means, but willing hands and hearts, could work and save their way up to some middle-class security.
...and I connect those numbers to campaigns to campaigns by our triumphant reactionaries against labor unions and higher minimum wage and to their success in reframing the tax codes so as to strip them of their progressive character, laying the burdens of the social contract on the shrinking middle-class, awash in credit card debt as workers struggle with the rising cost of health care, affordable housing, and college tuitions for their children.
While huge inheritances go untouched, tax shelters abroad are legalized and the rich get richer, and with each increase in their wealth, are able to buy themselves more influence over those who make and execute the laws.
Edward R Murrow told his generation of journalists, no one can eliminate their prejudices, just recognize them.
Here is my bias, extremes of wealth and poverty cannot be reconciled with a truly just society, capitalism breeds great inequality that is destructive, unless tempered by an intuition for equality, which is the heart of democracy.
When the state becomes the guardian of power and privilege to the neglect of justice to the people have neither power nor privilege, you can no longer claim to have a representative government.