The Last Refuge of Failed Economic Empires and Banana Republics

Laura Flanders of GRITtv.org talks with economist & Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington Dean Baker about the Obama Administration deficit commission‘s recommendations for massive cuts across the budget, most significantly to Social Security and health care programs, and with UK journalist Laurie Penny about the growing street protests in London last week. Flanders also talks here with Susan Leal, co-author of the new book Running Out of Water and about the corporate push to privatize water:

“It’s the wrong answer to not a problem,” says Dean Baker of the report out last week from the leaders of Obama’s deficit commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The report, which recommends massive cuts across the budget, most significantly to Social Security and health care programs, has been roundly criticized by progressives for its targeting, but Dean notes that the biggest problem with it is that without the health care crisis we still have, we wouldn’t have deficits in the first place.

He joins us via Skype from Washington, D.C. to talk about the commission, the latest action by the Fed, and what can really be done to balance the budget–and why we should be much more focused on creating jobs and really reforming health care than on slashing programs that benefit us all.

“It’s fair to smash up someone’s future but not to smash up someone’s lobby,” notes UK journalist Laurie Penny of the student protests in London last week, now being branded as “violent” and “out of control.” Aside from one person who dropped a fire extinguisher off a building, she points out, the protests were free of violence against people, and property damage needs to be put in the proper perspective.

Laurie joins us via Skype from London, where she attended the protests and covered them for The New Statesman, where she is a columnist, to provide some perspective on misunderstood events–and to fill us in on why they’re said to be only the beginning.

“We’re on a collision course with our finite supply of water,” says Susan Leal, co-author of the new book Running Out of Water. It’s not just that the supply is limited, she notes, it’s our growing population, increased personal use, and climate change that are all playing into what journalist Anna Lenzer calls “the coming shock.”

Susan and Anna join us in studio to discuss water: why we’re limited, why privatization and drinking bottled water isn’t the solution, and why the problem has a better chance of being solved when people work together rather than have decisions imposed by private corporations.



GRITtv.org – November 15, 2010

Dean Baker, Laurie Penny, and the Coming Water Crisis

2 comments

    • Edger on November 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm
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    • melvin on November 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm

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