Listen now (98 mins) | Ralph welcomes newspaper publisher, Steve McNamara, to discuss the "San Quentin News," California's largest resident-run newspaper and the birthplace of the San Quentin News Forum— where incarcerated men and visiting police, attorneys, and judges share their perspectives on the criminal justice system. Then Peter Lurie, President of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) joins us to talk about CSPI's work advocating for a safer, healthier food system, as well as their newsletter "Nutrition
Regarding student loan debt. I am an older American who has many years of university studies under his belt and had only $1,100 of debt. This tells you I go back a few years. Forgiving student loan is only one step and a myopic one. Until our brutal capitalistic worship of profit is confronted and higher education is seen as a social investment in the welfare and future of the country and the cost of level of education is shared socially like public schools at lower levels, we will continue to fall behind as a people and nation and continue to look for folks education in other more enlightened nations to supply our country's knowledge and employment needs. I have attended and taught at this level in the US and taught at universities in two Latin American countries with much less wealth than the US. In each of those countries university education was not a financial for-profit activity and individuals who wanted to learn, advance, and study could. There were private university for those who had the money, but the public universities were excellent and no one graduated from them with a mountain of debt!
As is typical of so many other issues, when it comes to school lunches/child nutrition it should come as no surprise that the world blows us away. Just watch the segment on France in Michael Moore’s movie "Where to Invade Next". Look at the food those kids are being served every day, compared to the unrecognizable crap that our kids get. And that’s at a school in one of the lowest income areas of France. So what is being discussed in the US to try and improved this situation? What “surplus” food we can pawn off on our schools going forward…..pathetic.
Oh, BTW, also notice the school itself. Just try and find a school that nice in a poor area of this country, urban or rural……
This is a comment related to the episode earlier this summer about the Patriotic Millionaires organization. This delayed comment is not due to procrastination, but rather the Patriotic Millionaires and other similar groups around the world have recently published an open letter to the G20 asking for increased taxation on extreme wealth.
The leading labor economist Bill Mitchell published a response to the open letter where, in my summary, he agrees with the overall goal of taxing extreme wealth, but Professor Mitchell disagrees with the assertion from the Patriotic Millionaires et al. that this taxation is required to fund government. In fact, Prof. Mitchell makes the assertion that the Patriotic Millionaires et al. are perhaps unwittingly promoting a right-wing agenda that extreme wealth creation is necessary to fund government. Such a claim is made out of economic ignorance.
An excerpt from Bill Mitchell’s blog post: “Taxes do not fund government spending.
So why would we want to tax the rich more?
It is not because we want the government to have ‘more’ money – when we know unambiguously that it has all the ‘money’ it ever could want (infinity minus a penny)!
It is because we want the rich to have less money.
That is the reason.
And the purpose is to reduce the financial resources the rich have at their disposal so they have less capacity to fund lobbying organisations, buy of politicians, fund political parties, and the rest of it – which means we could reduce their political influence.
That political influence and leverage is one of the major contributing reasons to why the world is in such a mess right now."
I agree with Bill Mitchell on this topic, but this unfortunately means that I believe that Mr. Nader has, like the Patriotic Millionaires, been using improper narratives when discussing macroeconomics with the public. Hopefully Mr. Nader will get a chance to read Prof. Mitchell’s full blog post on this matter.