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tv   [untitled]    December 27, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EST

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marvin in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. four days to go until the nation goes off the so-called fiscal cliff and nobody is paying closer attention to what's going on in capitol hill of the war profiteers in virginia what impact will the looming defense cuts have and might they actually be just the thing america needs to get back on the right track also corporate america has messed with the wrong people facing salary cuts port workers in the east coast are threatening to
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strike to get him to impact the economy to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars right about why this strike in particular is so important and how if it's successful it could bring about a future of leisure society for working americans plus it's been less than two years but a new government in japan is already forgotten all the lessons learned from the fukushima nuclear crisis as millions of tons of radioactive debris drifts at this moment for the united states is west coast i know what the japanese government is now doing if you put the entire world in danger and later in the show we'll have your take my take a live segment your chance to call in and ask a question share your thoughts live on the air. you need to know this president obama is back in washington d.c. senators back in washington d.c. the speaker john boehner and the rest of the republicans in the house are still on
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vacation here is democratic senate majority leader harry reid on the floor of the sun today warning that it looks like the nation is going over the cliff. if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed as president the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today before the first year aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have you know given forty eight hours notice i can't imagine their consciences they're out wherever they are around the country and we're here trying to get something done. they are not in washington d.c. d.c. house arizonans are not here going over the cliff means a tax increase on all americans but it also means a significant cut to the already bloated defense budget and war profiteers around virginia are nervous about this the aerospace industries association which represents more than three hundred defense companies released a statement today saying risking american lives and livelihoods for political leverage is wrong the victims of this political gamesmanship will be the war
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fighters who risk their lives to protect our country and the american workers who will start losing their jobs in this game implodes on january second two thousand and thirteen this is really the case would an immediate fifty five billion dollars cut to the pentagon's already requested six hundred thirteen billion dollar budget for two thousand and thirteen really be catastrophic especially when tens of billions of dollars are lost or wasted every year at the pentagon and more broadly our more defense investments and in return sustaining our military empire around the world really worth it considering things are deteriorating pretty rapidly here at home let's ask my ask guest joining me now is retired lieutenant general robert g. gard jr formerly served in the united states army is now the chairman of the center for arms control and nonproliferation attentional guard welcome it's an honor to have my keys are pleased to be here thank you what impact first of all will the sequester ration part of this the the automatic defense cuts that were written in
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back last year when they couldn't work out a deal fully have if if they were to go into effect it would be a fairly significant impact not so much because of the magnitude of the cut over a ten year period as usual have to cut fifty four point seven billion in the nine months remaining in this fiscal year across the board in all the programs without the ability to prioritize that so sounds like a mess in. is a mess and also you cannot cut any funds from obligated money that is money that has already been contracted with someone to purchase something and in addition military personnel are exempt so what's left you have to take a big swac out of it while personnel is about
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a third of the total wreck and fence contractors there's a word for me but it's a little more than twenty eight percent as almost thirty almost to almost thirty percent of the defense budget arrived maybe it's called maintenance and it but it includes all or signal called operations operations but that has to do with all the money to maintain your installations to train your troops so if there are the cut is going well that that make a significant cut. the problem is that the congress cut operations and maintenance in order to keep weapons programs going that the pentagon doesn't even want so so if this was a fifty to sixty billion dollars cut that was done with some thought. it would it be a reasonable thing to do as opposed to this blanket. you know slash or cut that you
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described i think it certainly would be kind of the way seaquest ration works if you take a huge cut in this nine months and then your defense budget keeps up with inflation over the next ten years and actually ends up at a higher level than you started. what makes sense is to cut that amount which would by no means be devastating over ten years if you could parse it out over time do it in a sensible way that prioritizes what your priority programs are quite as in our famously warned us of nine hundred sixty one when he left about the the corrosive influence of the military industrial complex as a work in the years since then most of the large defense contractors have managed to put the site plants manufacture of facilities in every congressional district in the country this is a this is has become
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a sacred cow that nobody's willing to touch. what to what extent have we watched control of that idea of a military that is entirely under civilian control and is you know responsive to the needs of the country versus you know the politics of the situation in there's a reason for me in congress for example in the constitution you can only appropriate money for defense for two years as there was that wariness of a standing army of this sort of. well. not well known news the fact that the first draft of eyes and how our speech had military industrial congressional complex really congressional dropped out unfortunately but that's what causes us to politicize it because congress still views the defense budget is a jobs program secretary panetta just wrote
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a letter to the chairman of the house armed services committee on the eleventh of this month pointing out that in the national defense authorization act the congress. had added eight billion and programs that the pentagon did not need or want which would cost seventy four b. and over a ten year period now proportionally that's not extremely high when you're talking about cuts of fifty four b. but nor is it ends and if it can and it prevents the pentagon from prioritizing to maximize the effectiveness of defense dollars for security i think it was a nine hundred fifty. they have a speech to the american association of newspaper editors that sometimes referred to as the cross of iron speech where he talked about you know one bomber equals fifty four thousand barrels of we didn't you know every plane made as a signifies
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a theft essentially from the hungry but the larger point that he was making was that if you build a weapon of war and a bomb for example and you drop it on somebody that money is just gone whereas if you build a hospital or a school for the same cost it continues to generate revenue for generations and so while we certainly need a military and we should have a smart military. just using the military as a jobs program seems like about the least efficient way to be stimulating the economy and i know you're absence of sobriety in fact recent studies have pointed out that that's probably the least efficient way of generating jobs you get much more by putting it in education or medical care. and defense is higher defense production is highly capital intensive not labor. and that's one of the
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reasons that has that that effect of creating fewer jobs than other alternative use apple intensive there's a lot of banking involved if you happen intensive there's a lot of banking involved by capital on millions is a very expensive machine that produces these things so i was a little tech machine when i said ok what what kind of you know it seems like we have a national security system a defense system right now that's really built for a potential war with the soviet union and in the meantime we've got you know a single hacker in whether it's in louisiana or in saudi arabia could you know bring down half a city it seems. aren't we looking at a different face of future warfare. but we haven't we're still in a cold war mindset maintaining thousands of nuclear weapons that we don't need. even when we're trying to cover for other nations that have agreed not to produce them we produce the f.
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twenty two fighter to oppose the next generation of the soviet union's fighter which it never built. and the f. thirty five also is a fifth generation fighter that we're producing now when we have air superiority on matched in the world with the plans that we have so so what do we do but what would your advice to congress well. i don't know how we can defeat congress and his proclivity. to. fail to maximize the defense dollar hopefully when you have. the executive branch coming up with a new strategy for a smaller more agile force to deal with current and future threats
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we could persuade enough of the body politic to be outraged with inefficient expenditures so that perhaps over time we can get this correct it's going to be a big job it's the long haul general gard thank you so much for being with us tonight as for speaking out on these really important issues it's much appreciated . it is not being paid for the fruits of their labors anymore. thanks to the i'm going to.
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get. wealthy british style.
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markets why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's cancer or a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into kinds a report. download the official publication. choose your language stream quality and enjoy your favorites. if you're away from your television just doesn't matter now with your mobile device you can watch on t.v. anytime anywhere. and screwed news a labor strike is looming on the east coast the international longshoremen's association which represents dock workers from fourteen ports on these coast is
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threatening to strike this weekend was management abandons its plans to cut wages for future workers this comes just weeks after a successful ports strike in los angeles are workers walked off the job. clerical workers who feared their jobs might be outside outsourced to low wage labor nations at strike lasted eight days and shut down ten to fourteen major ports on the west coast the issue at hand on the east coast is whether workers will continue to get paid based on their productivity currently in addition of their salary as dock workers productivity goes up they receive royalty payments for every ton of cargo that ships management wants to freeze these productivity payments for current workers and end them altogether for future workers or the new york times of this issue can't be sorted out dock workers are set to begin their strike on sunday it's estimated that a strike at the ports could cost the region one hundred ten million dollars in economic output while the dock workers have it better than most workers across
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america they are one of the last groups left to have union contracts we share increases in productivity and profits with the workers and considering that as this chart shows workers across america have seen their productivity increase while their wages have stagnated since the late seventy's early eighty's and this labor battle on the east coast is to quote joe biden b f d joining me now is richard wolffe economist and author of numerous books including his latest democracy a work of cure for capitalism after wolf welcome back thank you ray in your mind what does the struggle on the east coast all about. well it's a classic example of a kind of endgame in which years of suppressing wage increases of keeping down the wages of american workers well below the increased productivity they've achieved boosting profits at the expense of the income of
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workers finally wants to take the last step i mean the dock workers are an unbelievable example forty years ago there were thirty five thousand of them working on the ports of the east coast today there are thirty five hundred that's a drop of ninety per cent they move more freight with fewer people than ever before they work well they work efficiently they won a small piece of the extra productivity their labor generates and corporate profits come first and so they're being squeezed and pressed to make the income they earn even lower than it would have been with a relatively modest settlement that they got in exchange for the productivity to serious warning for all american workers of how strong the pressure is to boost profits at the expense of wages in the united states now it's remarkable my
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recollection is it was back in the mid sixty's that time or life magazine had a cover story about how there was called the coming leisure society about how productivity was increasing at such a great rate in part part because of automation and computers and things granted the anticipation of computers that by the year two thousand the average american worker could have a good solid middle class life to lead the equipment a good union job but the consumer school buy a house all that on a twenty to twenty five hour week what happened to the fruit of that productivity. well the irony is that in scientific terms that is possible the container for example in this freight business allows a lot more stuff to be moved from country to country with less labor but instead of providing workers with the leisure that could come from this science the pressure of corporations to make money out of it and then said workers either had to work
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harder or suffer unemployment as the way to deal with this situation that's what the union is trying to prevent trying to make sure that workers get a part of this productivity so they continue to earn money can exist continue to spend money and to keep the economy going not the least irony here is that bloomberg news today announced that there are four trillion dollars of profits in the hands of corporations that they are not spending which means they're not creating jobs with it if you take more wages away from workers which is what this strike is about to give more profits to the shipping companies which is what the issue is here actually moving money out of the hands of working people who would spend it to create jobs and giving it to corporations who are showing us that they're not about to do that with the profits they're gathering into their hands and this is you know one of the last unions that actually has decent wages i mean
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like the u.a.w. has negotiated that deal a g.m. where you know new hires are coming in at fourteen bucks an hour instead of you know what the old hires are making is is this you said this is the end game of this particular kind of drama of productivity is this part of the end game of capitalism well i think it's coming to the end of a major phase of its history and it's an open question whether this shortsighted strategy of strangling working people destroying the middle class even to the point where republican and democratic politicians have to talk about it in or. to stoke up the level of profits to the point where the system cannot hold itself together it's the irony that having no pushback from the working class so far other than the occupy movement and other than strikes like this may be but barring anything broader than that the winning by the corporations of all the profits will end up being their own doing in an almost greek tragedy type of self-destruction and
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yet right wing talk radio and fox news kind of you know right wing television what they would say and what they are saying is these guys are making one hundred grand a year some of these guys with their bonuses and overtime and what never complain and you know are people people should be happy to make fifteen or twenty thousand dollars a year it's like expectations are have been lowered and workers are being pitted against each other yes and the remarkable thing is again i return to bloomberg news just because it's such a paragon of big business oriented nudes they themselves are getting worried that the chart of the week today was that profits are today higher as a percentage of total output twelve percent of our g.d.p. than they have been for fifty years whereas the total of wages at three percent of
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g.d.p. are the lowest they've been in thirty years fox news can tell all the stories it wants the reality is the mass of people don't have enough to keep this economy going and the minority of people who depend on profits are gathering so much into their own hands that faced with a mass of people who can't buy they have nothing to do with it that's a process of capitalism imploding on itself as it follows out the logic of its own situation to an unsustainable economic conclusion. is it is it unsustainable you say it's unsustainable is the as the end game gets played out is going to get played out the way that dickens' england was that we're going to just see the middle class basically evaporate and you're going to end up with a very small class of very wealthy of a very large class of the working poor and a very small middle class the the scrooge is the shopkeepers in the small business owners or is going to play out do you think more the way it did in russia after the
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turn of the century with the people basically revolting and saying enough already or in france in the late late eighteenth century. well i think those are the the appropriate questions and those are the appropriate models in large part the division of america into a small number of people with enormous wealth and a vast number of people barely getting by or not getting by captured by occupies one percent ninety nine percent and a hundred other metaphors that are equivalent that's already a reality the great question is that in america which was the paragon middle class economy where the mass of people had been given a standard of living that was the envy of the world how will a working class as it slowly has to face what's happening to it how will it react and that's a different historical situation from what existed in russia or france or england
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of the dickens time it'll be a question of the smashing of americans expectations for themselves for their children in a declining economic situation for most of them how will they understand it how will they make sense of it and what solutions will they finally support and when they do when they face this get out of the way change is going to happen in the united states fast and furiously well and apropos there richard and we just i just we just grabbed a couple other minute or two here and we can continue this conversation funny and fascinating the. i spent the holidays in portland with our kids and some of their friends and they're in their thirty's and i was astounded how many of these twenty eight twenty something thirty something even early forty something young people i was talking to or say i am forty thousand dollars in student loan debt some ninety thousand dollars in student loan debts one was one hundred fifteen thousand dollars
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i think anybody was under twenty thousand when i was in my thirty's and forty's who live in louise and i were on our second or third house we had already built up ten or twenty thousand dollars in home equity and we had debt but it was the. is it was a debt that was tax deductible or a student loans aren't tax deductible in fact you can't even discharge them with bankruptcy isn't there a massive i mean i have a we just chained an entire generation is that what you're talking about about look out absolutely i think we have a particularly our young people who have gone to school and studied hard and discovered they couldn't afford higher education in this strange economy of ours so they borrowed huge amounts of money only to discover that they're either not going to get a job or the income that comes with the job they can get makes it impossible for them to realize all of the goals personal familial community that they were led to expect it is a historical truism that the most dangerous political situation is to build up in
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people a level of expectations and then to smash the in possibility of realizing them over their heads that is a very dangerous mixture that's the j. curve isn't out of forgetting the economist who came up with that but his point was there when and i think thurston veblen wrote about this also that it's not a horrible situations that produce revolution people will tolerate horrible situations it's when their expectations diverge beyond a particular percentage from their reality that they freak out and on top of it to see a tiny minority of people flaunting extraordinary wealth buying politicians creating the funds to make pet projects out of what we all depend on as our political community it simply robs the face of the mass of americans in a situation diametrically opposed to what they expected what they were led to
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believe what they thought america was about this is an explosive condition and i think you're going to. see as the europeans have already discovered tension and conflict in the united states as the reality of this sinks in and the anger builds and any sense we have thirty seconds here with dr wolfe any sense of time lines on the well you know these things happen as follows a great russian leader once said for forty fifty years nothing happens for decades nothing happens and then in a few weeks decades happen i think we're building up the head of steam in this country that we're going to see remarkable change very quickly no one could have imagined five years ago that all of europe would be in a turmoil general strikes everywhere socialist governments transformations i think
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we're going to see it here to the form will be unique to america but we're not going to escape the consequences of the wrenching of part of this country now i think you're right professor richard roth thank you so much for being with us or my pleasure. i've actually talked with kevin camps of the on nuclear about the japan's new government and what they have planned for their nuclear power program. is easy to. believe.
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in. iraq.


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