As the US government claims to spread democracy around the world and is ghost writing constitutions for other countries, the spotlight falls back on this country. Is the current US system a democracy? Has it ever been one? In The Myth of the Founding Fathers Parenti takes us back to the early days of the republic. Who were the founding fathers, what were their goals in writing the US constitution? Who did they exclude and who did they favor? How many of them actually wanted to create a monarchy? And who, in the end, ratified the constitution after it was written?
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Sanders: We have not dealt with our disastrous trade policies which have encouraged large corporations to send jobs abroad. Just under Bush we went from 17 million manufacturing jobs to 12 million in 8 years. How do we survive as a strong industrial power? Today there are fewer manufacturing jobs than in April 1941.
While taxpayers bailed out Wall Street banks because they were too big to fail, 3 out of 4 financial institutions that were bailed out are now larger than before. Wells Fargo is 43% bigger, JP Morgan Chase 51% bigger, and Bank of America is 138% bigger. If we are serious about preventing a future collapse worse than the current one we have to break these banks up, says Sanders.
During 8 years of Pres. Bush the wealthiest 400 families saw their income double while tax rates dropped almost in half. They now earn on average $345 million a year and pay an effective tax rate of 16.6% – that is the lowest tax rate ever.
Sanders reports on the “jaw dropping” $3.3 trillion in emergency loans and more than $9 trillion in over 21,000 short-term loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve handed out without input or supervision, dwarfing the $700 billion Treasury Department bank bailout during the Wall Street meltdown.
On Sunday, April 20, 1997, the huge synagogue Emanu-El in San Francisco was filled with fellow poets and friends remembering the life of the Beat/Buddhist/Rebel poet Allen Ginsberg. Among the speakers were Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joanne Kyger, Anne Waldman, Robert Haas, and Gary Snyder.
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