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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 29, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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she's watching the court and watching the anti-abortion activists who she knows will try to stop her. but she's also planning her next move. that does it for us tonight. thanks for being with us. now it's time for "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening and welcome to a special thanksgiving holiday edition of "last word." tonight we are less than a year away from the 2020 presidential election. a year ago voters delivered a strong message to republicans and the trump presidency in the congressional elections with the democrats winning the house by the largest mid-term margin of victory since the impeachment investigation of richard nixon forced him to resign the presidency in 1974. and now another republican president is the subject of a house intelligence committee
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hearings on live television as several witnesses testified to hot theyanced. a new book auz pwas published a it's the same purse hoon wrote an op-ed piece for the "new york times" saying on the odon must not be reelected. the author says conservatives dreaming that donald trump is our savior head to wake up. he represent as long-term threat to the republican party. those cheering him to a second term with foaming at the mouth excitement that he is totally owning the left are unknowingly nailing cougheffins into the go. the author claimed that a quiet resistance inside the administration was keeping
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donald trump in check. unelected bureau krats were never going to steer donald trump in the right direction in the long run or refine his malignant management style. if donald trump is reelected the guardrails will be gone entirely and free flud from the threat o defeat, he will feel emboldened to double down on his worst impulses. he's freer than ever to put his self interests above the national interests. here's how they say the stakes. we should see trump's actions as fireable offenses regardless of whether or not they can determine they're impeachable ones. you can kunt on the fact that he will make other dishonest requests of oforeign powers. no external force can ameal k
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amealierate his atrookz wrong doing. joining our discussion from center for american progress and joy reed. this book, it's amazing that it's been -- i want to say ignored. but it hasn't been able to get the kind of oattention that even the op-ed piece got in the "new york times" because this news lands scape has been so filled with the hearings. but it's an important background for the hearings. >> i think this person is a rank coward for being anonymous and refusing to put their name hind what they're doing or if they still with irk in the administration to resign and then come forward. and they arer rig right. because you have a leader surrounded by people who won't check their impulses, who participate in the corruption,
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who participate in driving down the authority of the institutions they're supposed to be in charge of ohoorks cause foreign governments to get into corrupt deals with the leader off the country. au autocracy is proceeding the way donald trump's is proceeding. this man will be unchecked. republicans said the exact same thing to me not publicly and say if he comes back t will be vengeance and theft. that's what he will be there for. vengeance and theft. >> there's more in the pobook about exactly this. it quotes a group of high-level advisors and they say about 1/3 of the things the president wants us to do are flat out stupid. and a 1/3 of them would be flat
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out illegal and all the heads nodded-that was said. that accounts for 100% of the president's thoughts, either illegal, impossible to implement or flat out stupid and maybe some of them are all three. >> and you kind of heads or tails for the stupid. what weevl arer hea've heard is impeachment inquiry and we're learning more and more details and have learned more about how the president wanted to essentially engage in illegal behave k behavior and incover it up. i agree 100% this person isn't a hero but perhaps a little better of a person than the entire caucus of the republicans in the senate who are openly supporting the president in his illegal behavior. i do think it provides a window,
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an additional window into an administration that -- in which some of its supports believe this is all a show and he really does know what he's doing behind the scenes. and obviously this gives light of that. >> there's a passage in the book that indicates donald trump is a very deliberate -- i was going to say criminal. but he's very deliberate when he's verging on criminal activities. we can tell when trump is preparing to ask his lawyers to do something unethical or foolish because that's when he starts scanning the room for note takers. what the "f" are you doing as he yelled at a aid taking notes. are you f'ing taking ♪ ? and trump continued glaring.
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-you listen on the testimony in the hearings, real carefulness when he's threading the needle of illegalities with gordon sondland never saying exactly the words, yes, i want them to do this. and then specifically, according to sondland saying there is no quid pro quo. there seems to be a real deliberate consciousness about him. >> and you listen to michael cohen he said the exact same thing. we had wants you to do things, he won't say deliberately do it but makes it clear he wants you to do it. johnson has talked about donald trump's extensive use of the mob in term its of his building of buildings in new york. behaves in the way one would with imagine the mafia behaves.
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and one of the things is imply what he wants but say i don't want what i want. it's as if he stands on the counter of the bank and says i'm not robbing the bank but i need you to grab all the bags in the vault and that since he said i'm not robbing the bank, he's clear. the transaction with zelensky, everyone knew what he wanted. >> it's right there in the phone call. >> it's right there. they give you a transcript and with the real transcript, they hide it. what has he said to vladimir putin? there's no readout. they hide it. they hide the actual transcript and the notes. and the people who do take notes are the people who bust him. >> and one more passage about how he deals with the lawyers. "when the comes to manipulating
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the system, trump's first instinct is to force the answers he wants from his lawyers. he pressures them daily and they feel the heat. he cannot stand it when they tell him no, which they incidentally have to do all the time. that's what is so concerning about his handling of government law krrz. trump drives them to edge of what's legal and reasonable and badgers them until they take the plunge, bringing the administration along for the fall. we get that feeling from all the testimony we've heard in the intelligence committee are this was the president's idea to hold up this aid and then he forces mull vap mulvaney, pompeii oo, everybody to go along with this. >> obviously the book is
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concerning of what we've seen over the last several years and it paints a picture of continual desire to break the rules. and a central question before the house and eventually the it senate is do we prescribe the president's behave krr now or wait until the election? republicansall red are saying let's have the election decide this. but what's crucial about the book is it shows donald trump will break the rules until stopped. he will engage in illegal activity until he's stopped. and if this doesn't stop him, we shouldn't rely on him letting the election go. he will try to break the rules again. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. and when we come back president trump's lies about career officials in the government being part of a deep state scheming against him that's the topic of an important book.
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how'd he get out?! a camera might figure it out. that was easy! glad i could help. at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your local xfinity store today. when chuck todd asked republican senator johnson if it he trusts the fbi now?
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he threw out a bucnch of names off people who no longer with irk at the fbi. >> do you thrust fbi or cia because none of them have come to the conclusions you've come to? the cia and fbi? >> i don't trust james comey, peter struck. i don't trust john brennan. >> that is thessan essence of t trump deep-state conspiracy theory that suggests what eventuallycame the mueller investigation was started by fbi officials deeply prejudice against donald trump while he was running for president. attorney general barr is flying around the world investigating that himself. something we've never seen an attorney general do. william barr could saveb a lot f time be picking up a copy of
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"deep state." it shows how russian investigation began. the president is on his way to impeachment tonight because of his obsession with that very question that was included into hot he was pushing the ukrainian to investigate. it's the 10th book. he's a pulitzer-prize winling reporter and a columnist for the "new york times." he delivers the kind of bountiful harvest of importance groups we've come to expect, including the names of the two membersf of the trump cabinet who .uty attorney general rosen stein believed with would be in favor of invoking the 25th amendment to remove donald trump from the presidency. that and more we turn to james b. stewart who joins us for his first cable news interview about "deep state." you know, it's very hard for a book that you spent a couple
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years with to land dead center today's and yesterday's news with what we saw senator johnson doing on "meet the press." explain to the audience what he was trying to do. >> he's done what i've explored in "deep state" and so destructive to democratic institutions in this country, which is to attack the law enforcement agency of the united states, the department of justice, the fbi, the traditionally independent and investigative branchs of government and accuse them, essentially, of being fill would traders and spies and being part of a deep state that was trying to protect its own powers and elect a president to preserve those powers. that is so far thrum truth. you think there is in a sense a deep state in this count ra. there's a large bureaucracy to protect the people of the united states.
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they do not work for the white house and when the white house violates the constitution or does not act in the interest of the people of the united states, rilt it's their obgagsz to step forward and investigate that. and it's the obligation of the whistleblower also wiinformatio. >> he is trying to figure out how did the investigation of russian interference start? how did what became the investigation of donald trump by robert mueller, how did that all start? it's all right here. he could saveb a lot of time in the sky. >> and taxpayer money, i might add with god only knows what this is costing. was it started by fbi officials prejudiced by donald trump? >> absolutely not.
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the last thing they wanted was to investigate a candidate for president. they're already investigating hillary clinton. now for the first time in history they were forced to investigate the it other candidate as well. both at the same time. they didn't want to dathat. and by the way, they didn't begin an investigation of donald trump himself. this is an important point people didn't realize. he was not the subject of the investigation until he recklessly fired james comey and lied about the reasons for it. that is what allowed trump himself 250 be part of a investigation. trump himself was not. and by the way it did not begin with the salacious dossier. they didn't put much store in it. and i've read it carefully as well. it has no, what you would call,
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actionable intelligence. it didn't say they'll be meeting next week to have further discussions. or they're plotting another are elysse of faked tapes so they could perhaps insinuate that. it's all stuff that happened in the past. it's very odd. although some rings true, that wasn't the basis for it. and in the trump has been trying to enlist australians and trying to say what was really going on there. i mean the australians are one of the closest allies in the intelligence community. they got theinism tha informati russians-hacked emails from hillary clinton. they didn't do anything about it until it became demonstraebl true that he's do exist and only did they then bring to the attention of u.s. intelligence
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officials and reluctantly the it fbi plunged the to this. >> this is filled with dramatic movie scenes, including after james comey was fired. rod rosenstein, in this book, is in tears with andrew mccabe, says some extraordinary things. i want to squeeze in a commercial break here. when you come pack, you tell us who the two trump cabinet members were that rod rosenstein believed were ready to join him with an attempt to remove the president. m with an attempt to remove the president. xperience for america. it's 5g ultra wideband-- --for massive capacity-- --and ultra-fast speeds. almost 2 gigs here in minneapolis. that's 25 times faster than today's network in new york city. so people from midtown manhattan-- --to downtown denver-- --can experience what our 5g can deliver. (woman) and if verizon 5g can deliver performance like this in these places... it's pretty crazy. ...just imagine what it can do for you. ♪
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♪ oh, ho! oh, ho, ho, ho! you... you got me. uh, what do you want? i've got uh, ai robots, i've got vr goggles. i want your sled, please. no. [ chuckles ] timmy. it'd be a shame if this went viral. for those who never compromise. the mercedes-benz winter event. whoa. he was pretty good this year.
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we're back with the author of "deep state." and the james comey is fired by
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the president, rod rosenstein is thrown into an emotional tizzy. he's in discussions with andrew mccabe, he's crying. and it's in those moment wheres rod rosenstein says maybe i should wear a wire to record the president and as reported in this book, he said it twice. and in one of the meetings someone was taking notes. and so rod rosenstein's public claim was that was a joke or his friends said it was a joke and your witnesses say there was no evidence that was a joke. that was serious. >> that's right. he said it was a joke but if he did t was a joke. and there were two occasions when he said it. there were notes of the conversation. so there was more than one set of notes documenting that. there's nothing to suggest it was a joke. he's also denied saying he wantsed to invoke the 25th amendment.
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and he named two cabinet members that were going to be able to do that. >> the 25th amendment require asths, a majority of the cabinet. so he was going to begin with john kelly -- >> it sounds like he already-discussed with them. i do think people who heard it didn't real a take all that seriously. they tookic it more as a mesh of how unnuved he was by the fact trump was trying to set him up as the person who said fire james comey. and he wanted rosenstein to come out and give a press conference sawing i'm the one who told you to fire comey, which is blatantly untrue. not so much that he fired him
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but that he lied and admitted it was really russia, which raises the whole obstruction issue. >> there's two scenes that have not together. rod rosenstein has tremendous pressure after it's revealed he wants to wear a wire and you remind us there was split-screen coverage of the kavanaugh conformation. he's not fired. the dwequestion is what did rod rosenstein say in the oval office to keep his job? and the other scene is rod rosenstein standing right there beside bill barr when the mueller report comes out, in edpe effect demolishing the mueller report. >> he started out as a very
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respected, independent prosecutor who like many people came-to contraact mr. trump and the price he paid for surviving was to become the foot soldier and stand mutely while he heard barr make demonstrably untrue characterizations of the mueller report. so those meet rgz critical. they were drafted the press release and he was being taken on the wood shed. the "new york times" reported he was going to wearer the wire. somehow he comes out with his job in tact. what did he say to keep his job and reassure trump? and in turn what did he do to keep mueller in the job? he was mueller's boss. what did mueller have to do or not do to keep from being fired by rosenstein? rosenstein's colleagues say in his defense his sole mission was
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to protect mueller. but if the price was to clip his wings too, not let mueller insist on getting testimony from the president as every prosecutor i know believes he should have and then for mueller to ignore the whole story of rosenstein in his report, which i'd report in the book but he didn't put in the report. and rosenstein was one of the first people he interviewed. why that wasn't there leaves baffling and leads the legitimate suspicions that mueller was tinfluenced to pull some punches there. >> a real honor to have you here. amazing reporting we've come to expect from you. "deep state" is the name of the book. donald trump and the rule of law. this is must-read material it you want to understand what the trump administration is still up
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to right now. up next chaos in the not so united kingdom by mr. chaos himself, and brexit. this is the chaos story we'd be following every night if g everyf ahhhh! -ahhhh! elliott. you came back! itso chantix can help you quit slow turkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting.
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u.k. united kingdom. great respect. people call it britain, great britain. they used to call it england. >> joining us now is the columnist for the irish times and the guardian. he's the author of "the politics of pain, post war england and the rise of nationalism." donald trump would understand at least one word in the title. england is what he wants to call it. turns out brexit is showing us it's not exactly a united kingdom. >> it sure is not. it's interesting even that trump's form ylgsz trum trump's formulation. in his own strange way he was hitting on a truth. you have northern ireland, scotland, wales and england. what we've seen is the english coming up as an english nationalism, which you recognize
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in america. this is a real force. and it's very poorly articulated. it doesn't even know what the wants and somebody comes along and says you can enemy over there and that will help you define who you are and if you just leave the european union, then you'll be english and happy. >> in america we watch brexit. we're confused by it endlessly. we see absolute deadlines that just disappear and then there's another absolute deadline that appears. so i'm sensed that covering it as a day-to-day news story is an the adequate way of describing what's going on there. that's why this book is so important. because you're going into a sort of osocial psychology of this place, especially this place that really is called england.
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that spot within the united kingdom. >> you know, it's a very old nationality. a very powerful nationality. a very proud nation. they have every reason to be proud. i'm not trying to undermine or marginalize them. but they're obsessed with two things. one is the second world war, which they still haven't properly dealt with. it you listen to politicians, they're still talking about winston churchill, and the blitz. they're using this language all the time, which means somehow they've never quite dealt with, what i think is their problem. they were a big part of winning the second world war and within two years they're looking at germany, italy, japan doing better than them. that didn't happen to america. they're booming, coming in to their own after the second world war. quite frankly, brits are losing empires.
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the other thing they've never quite come to tirms with. so you have these strange psychological constreps that are still there. they just get on with their lives. but when somebody says you have a problem and i can solve the problem and give you an enemy, which will make you feel good about yourself. and this is why it's gone nowhere because it has no positive content. this is the negative proposition and says lose the european union and everything will be good. you find undoing 50 years of history is not that easy in fact. and i think the real english problem is they don't know. >> because they're caught in a conflict of their own sense of superiority and infear yort?
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>> what's the legacy of empire? you think surely this is ov. but the one thing that maintains is a mentality . in an empire you're top dog or o -- there's no been tween. they asked a question. am i dominating this? and if i'm not, this might be dominating me. this became plausible where they say we don't dominate this thing, because they don't. but if we're not dominating it, the only other posblsibility is we're being oppressed by it and you get this ridiculous charade of saying this is like hitler, stalin. it's ridiculously over the top. in a way of thinking about yourself. and what the english find very hard is just to be normal, be hot they are, which is a very
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different prosperous, western democracy. that that's not enough. >> one of the last parts of imperialism, northern ireland, seized territory by the empire. that's the stumbling block. it thing no one knows how to make work within brexit. too complex to explain to our audience tonight. but it's so ironic that northern ireland is the thing holding england's back from its desired brexit if it is still desired by a majority. >> they don't really care about northern ireland. now there's no trouble and that's great. and they're happy and that's fine. and during the whole brexit referendum campaign they wouldn't talk about it.
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the thing you couldn't mention. and it's the return of the opresed. why? because it's real. it's a reality. brexit is like movie. it's a very simplistic kind of story. we break free from history. but history is real. no one breaks free from history. our history ebecanm cans real is northern ireland because that's where you still have all of this stuff as a very active, live, dangerous thing. and it's made them impossible to escape. this is what boris johnson has done is dump northern ireland. so what he's done for the final brexit strategy is say northern ireland can stay in the european union and we're going to the other way. i know lot of of people in new york would like the get rid of
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alabama but you would never say we're going to build a boarder between alabama and the rest of the united states. and the irony is it's a nationalist project that's going to wend with the breaking of their own state and maybe donald trump will be like i don't know what to call it. maybe in ten years time we'll have to call it something very different. >> thank you very much. real honor to have you here. all of of my real understanding of what's going on over there comes from you and it should in our audience too. thank you very much. coming up the billionaires verses elizabeth warren. some are worried about the warren wealth tax and what it could do to their nest egg. but this year's co winner of the nobel prize in economics will give us her expert analysis of
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the wealth tax and the issues she thinks should be at the center of the presidential campaign. d be at the center of the presidential campaign at bayer, we're helping to advance stem cell therapies
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not my thing. we have now reached the billionaires versus elizabeth warren phase. it seems every other day a billionaire is give an microphone to express billionaire terror about a possible elizabeth warren presidency.
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last week bill gates said something that made him appear to be just another billionaire afraid of elizabeth warren. >> you know, i've paid over 10 billion in taxes. i' i've paid more than anyone in taxes but if i-to pay 20 billion, it's fine. but when you say i should pay 100 billion, then i'm starting to do a little math about what i have left over. i'm just kidding. >> he said he was kidding but many believe he was really worried about having to pay 100 billion in wealth taxes. so elizabeth warren said i'd like the explain how much you'd pay and i promise it's not 100 billion. to which bill gates wrote i greatly respect your commitment to finding ways to address wealth and inequality and pauvty at home. we certainly agree we need a lot
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of smart people committed to finding the path forward. i'm always willing to talk about creati creative slug creative solutions to these problem. they agree much more than they disagree. you just heard bill gates say if you want to double his taxes he's cool with that and that makes bill gates more progressive on income taxation than most off the democrats running for president. bill gates stays out of politic its as much as humanly possible. he doesn't endorse candidates. he hasn't created a giant super pack with all of his wealth but he did make clear in that intervie last week that he would vote for elizabeth warren against donald trump if that's who is on the ballot next year. he made that clear when asked that specific question. bill gates didn't name names but
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said the thing he would value most in a candidate is what he called a professional approach to the presidency. the audience started to laugh because obviously donald trump has the least professional approach to the president aancy in history and everybody knew bill gates was saying, in effect, he would vote for the democrat no matter who it is. bill gates is one of the few billionaire whose agrees with our next guest that billionaires are undertaxed. ester is this year's co winner of the nobel prize in economics and she won that by studying the way people make real economic decisions in real life. people like bill gates and people living in poverty around the world. and what she found contradicts most of what you have heard from politicians about real-world econom l economics and her findings
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should be heard in the presidential campaign. she's the second woman in history to win the nobel prize in economics and she joins us next. joins us next 1200 watts of power.
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(squeals) yeah, exciting. (announcer) happy holidays from the network that gives you more. the nobel prize in economics was an after thought. the first were established in 1895. 74 years later a nobel prize in economics was added in 1969. and since then only one woman
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had 1 wiwon a nobel prize. she is the co winner for her real-world study of how economics really work withes in real people's loves and how that knowledge can be used to improveb the economic lives of more people. in an echo last week bill gates gave voice to one of her important findings that contradicts much political talk about taxation. >> we can raise taxes in a lot of ways, including in a making some gifts to foundations more taxed. the current thing is not either in terms of discouraging new business. we're not close to the limit. there was a time we had 70%
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taxation rates. >> joining us is mit economic professor, this year's co winner of the nobel prize innic thaumices. her book is "good economics for hard times." co authored with her husband who is also the co winner of this year's nobel prize in economics. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you so much. >> it must have been so exciting for you and your husband, first husband and wife team to get the nobel prize in economics. get the phone call early sunday morning? >> yes. a wonderful way to be woken up at 5:00 a.m. >> and people don't realize how the nobel works. >> no hints whatsoever. >> there's no nominees. it's one of the central elements of your book. the republican argument is, of
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course, you must not tax anyone more than we're taxing them and if you tax these rich executives more, they'll just work less. it will be a disincentive to work at the highest level. there's bill gates, no one who's worked higher than him who's saying there's much more room to tax us at the highest end. >> there certainly is. think about football players. in many times they're can kept from their families and that doesn't stop them from trying to win. >> this is not just your opinion from observing the world. you've actually looked at salary caps on professional athletic team thins united states verses europe where there is no salary caps. and you don't see a difference? >> no, of course not.
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because winning is everything. and it's the same thing. they want to be richer. what matters is the rank. >> and this the sentive issue is what you're finding that insentdives in the real world don't work the way we think they do. for example the argument about welfare disincentiveizing people. they won't try to work if you give them welfare. >> similarly they don't stop working if there are no insentsives for them to work. it's been demonstrated in country after country. rich country, middle income country, rich country. the poor are not discouraged from working. in fact, we've learned that since the la'60s and '70s in th u.s.
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there was the experiment that give money to the poor people and taxed it away at a rate of 50%. and it had no discouraging effect on their work. >> what's so important is you go in the field, and do real experiments and you've looked at immigration. you tell us a very different story about what immigration in the united states is doing economically. >> there's two misconceptions about immigration. the first one is the fwllood gas are waiting to be open. and if immigration was more liberal, everybody would want to come to this country and the second misconception is if that happened then the poor workers in the u.s. would be poorer. in fact there's huge literature
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that shows neither of these are true. migration is quite low, even when there are noboundaries. when there was a big crisis in greece, so it's not that people are waiting. they only come if they're desperate or if they're super enterprising and want to make a better life for themselves in which case we should want them to be here because they contr contribute to the economy. and another misconception is they will take wages from people here in this country. the influx of cuban refugees in miami when they kicked out many migrant workers from california in the '60s and they show
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migrants do not take away wages and this is something people do not know. >> and your mentioning a new fact i wasn't aware of of is that our tinternal migration rates have dropped druhatically. we had a high rate of people moving from place to place in the country, generally to where the jobs are and now when jobs get wiped out , people are not moving, is what classic economic theory said they would do. what if they don't? >> that's presumptions. and people would move. if i lose my job making furniture in north carolina, i can move the new york to sell furniture. but that's not true. they are about half what they were wi
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were in 1948. >> we have to leave it there. congratulations on the nobel. this is a very important book "good economics for hard times." this book belongs at the center of the presidential campaign. that is tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right how the. we start with a guide of donald trump's take over of the republican party to kim jong-un's prutal regime in north korea to the most brutal and brazen heist and the it raid that took down bin laden. greetings once again from our headquarters in new york. thanksgiving 2019 puts us at some of the most compelling stories that we have been told in this very studio. throughout this broadcast, we'll listen to the people who told those stories.

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