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Brad DeLong:

Perhaps Washington is simply too disconnected [from the economic hardship of most Americans]: my brother-in-law observes that the only place in America where it is hard to get a table at dinner time in a good restaurant right now is within two miles of Capitol Hill.

Sometime in the late seventies, the Dems started dumping their traditional "party of labor and the common man/woman" role, and became the party of the social-libertarian/technocratic faction of the top 20% of the income scale.

This is what allowed the Republicans (starting with Reagan) to begin their destruction of the safety net. They did this in the service of their only real constituency: The Richest One Percent of Americans and their minions and courtiers.

So, you have the representatives of the top one percent of the income scale (the Republican Party) competing with the Democratic Party to be the representatives of the nineteen percent of the income scale right below them.

The problem, of course, is that the 80 percent below them haven't gotten a meaningful raise in 30 years; no one is representing their interests.

That's also why the safety net has been systematically weakened (a frightened and submissive workforce is what Our Reptilian Corporate Masters most desire).

That's why everyone has such crippling student loan debt - and this is increasingly true even of people who attend state colleges and universities - make class mobility prohibitively expensive to guard the privileges of those at the top, and keep those with student loan debt focused on educational choices that will lead to high-paying jobs, rather than the kind of education that will show them the deeply corrupt nature of the game.

This benefits the wealth and status of Our Reptilian Corporate Masters, who are the only people whose interests are being served by the current system; until and unless this changes, the current bad economic situation won't get appreciably better for the great majority of Americans.

Ever.

The Circle That Will Never Be Squared is having the yawning inequality of wealth we have in the United States, having a "safety net" that is being weakened, leaving millions in the cold (and that is becoming increasingly literal) - and also having social stability. You can't have both.

Ever.

History tells us that these kinds of situations can either be reformed (see TR and the trust-busters, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, FDR and the New Deal, and so on) or, if the oligarchs have so tight a grip on the levers of power, including the means of mass communication, that they can prevent reform, then eventually the people will rise up. This can go badly wrong, and is best avoided, if possible.

If there were a real, actual "Left" in this country, there would be mass protests and agitation about the glaring injustices of the current plutocracy. The tea party (not the astroturfing financiers; I'm speaking here of the rank-and-file) is a worrying sign that the character of the eventual reckoning may be racist, nativist and involve scapegoating of the weak and vulnerable.

If this comes to pass, the Tea Party's astroturfing rich will have the bulk of the responsibility for the consequences; but the scandalous silence of what passes for the American "Left" will be seen as having helped enable the disaster.

We need a mass movement from the left, for social and economic justice. We need a left-ish answer to the Tea Party.

Originally posted to mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 02:25 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 02:25:53 PM PST

    •  To the streets, yes, but beware! (16+ / 0-)

      I have been calling for a movement from the left as an answer to the Tea Party for MONTHS.  Many months.  Ever since the health care town halls in August of 2009, and the left sat silently by and let the burgeoning Tea Party snatch framing public discourse from the jaws of our newly won Democratic government.

      So I am with you, YES!  We MUST take to the streets, because that is where the real debate occurs in any still functioning democracy.  Street demonstrations were a vital part of the victories of the unions, women's sufferage, and most recently gay rights.

      But let's leave the polemics out of it.  The Democrats are NOT the enemy.  The GOP, the Tea Party, Fox News, the "strict constructionists", and the corporatists are.

      I agree, we need a re-shifting toward greater social and economic justice.  But we MUST do so in a way that is ENROLLING for the general public, not in one that makes the want to recoil in horror at petty infights within our party.

      And we have IMMENSE resources in that regard.  Hollywood, where I live, remains a BASTION of liberalism.  Proud liberalism.  Of the Old School.

      So I say yes, let's take to the streets, but let's do so in an ORGANIZED way.  

      And words matter.  You can say "economic and social justice" but these are just high-minded concepts that are only meaningful to those who feel slighted, not to the majority of  others that need to be brought on board to make any movement meaningful.  

      What are the main gripes?  And how can they be phrased in a way that a 10 year old can understand them?  

      A movement is as much about marketing a message as about the politics behind it.  Let's put our heads together, let's continue organizing, and most importantly, let's get moving!

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:07:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Comment of the day nominee :) (6+ / 0-)

        One thing, though: my sense of the Hollywood establishment is a bunch of people disconneted (by their wealth) from the daily economic grind of average working Americans. I mean, what was the last pro-labor Hollywood movie? Norma Rae?

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

        by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:10:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with the left (6+ / 0-)

        is a natural weakness which has always been with us (Will Rogers's and "I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.") Another explanation is George Lakoff's SILOS (single issue liberal organization).

        The left is partitioned and fractionated into many groups who are seriously committed to one cause, and they do not communicate and work well with other groups committed to other causes. Sometimes the causes even conflict, which makes it worse; and all groups fight and compete with the others when it comes time for someone to get a cookie from the powers that be.

        If you could find some way to solve this problem -- to get people on the left to tolerate their peers and recognize the importance of working together - then we could get somewhere. So far, the net has only served to amplify that problem.

        Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
        Mark Twain

        by phaktor on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:26:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  one cause all the left can address is radio (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mftalbot, m16eib, Larsstephens

          because it makes everything liberals want to do harder and as yet there has been NO organized  opposition, even as the monopoly continues to take them to the cleaners in politics and media. those radio stations do the groundwork for everything the RW think tanks want to do, yet we continue to give them a free speech free ride from 1000 of the country's largest radio stations. those are teabagger headquarters- where they were birthed and misinformed, where they learned 2+2=3.

          Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

          by certainot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:08:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            m16eib, Larsstephens

            We need to plan as if we'll never get access; this needs to be strong enough to defeat the phony populists on right-wing radio.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

            by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:25:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i've been in dozens of protests the last 30 years (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              m16eib, Larsstephens

              and the ones in the last 10 or 15 should have gone to the local stations that were used to minimize those protests and attack the protestors and distort their message to much larger crowds than were ever reached by the meager media those protests usually got.

              Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

              by certainot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:40:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Don't know if you'll see this, but (0+ / 0-)

          There are ways.

          It's true, the Left is exceptionally fractured into single issues, but to be fair, as much could be said about the right.

          What they have that WE do not have is a set of underlying principles that unite all the various factions.

          A few that come to mind:

          1. Sex is one of god's greatest gifts to humanity.  We must treat it with respect, and respect the ramifications of our sexual activity.
          1. It is the wealthy who enjoy the greatest fruits of the bounty of this country, it is only natural that they have an obligation to repay the country that has provided them with this bounty most.
          1. One of the greatest deficits in this country is an absence of morality.  But it is not the morality of a church, but the morality that comes from doing what is right.  We no longer respect each other.  Our economic leaders gouge their own companies of capital to line their coffers with gold at the expense of their shareholders and employees.
          1. Equality is not a goal, but the birthright of every human being.
          1. Far far more than social change, the economy has been the greatest destroyer of the traditional family model.  No longer can one person support a family, and because of that single fact the traditional roles of men and women have undergone an immense transformation.  Similarly, families are no longer capable of supporting extended family members -- for the simple reason that for economic reasons, they no longer live in the same neighborhoods as they used to.
          1. Peace has never ever come from the end of a gun, but with the tip of a pen.

          These are likely things (though  maybe not all) that can bring us TOGETHER, rather than rip us apart.  Not everyone has to be an anti-war, feminist, lgbt, global warming advocate but we can recognize the validity in the principles for which they stand, and in so doing work together.

          What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

          by equern on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 03:44:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This isn't quite true (7+ / 0-)

    The Circle That Will Never Be Squared is having the yawning inequality of wealth we have in the United States, having a "safety net" that is being weakened, leaving millions in the cold (and that is becoming increasingly literal) - and also having social stability. You can't have both.

    Ever.

    That's not necessarily true.  If you can convince the overwhelming majority of those getting screwed that their impoverishment and disempowerment is freedom and their own poor choices, and that all social and economic problems can be blamed on fellow workers taht may have won themselves some small respite from impoverishment, then social stability can be preserved despite gross and growing disparities of wealth and the re-emergence of different classes of citizenship.

    Hegemony is always electable.

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 02:51:11 PM PST

    •  As for the "silence" of the Left (6+ / 0-)

      we're being as loud as we can, but there are so few of us, and we have absolutely zero access to means of amplifying our voices, and zero means of gaining that access.  That the mainstream center-left that has spent the last 60 years since the McCarthy era distancing itself form us, and joining with all manner of rightists in denouncing, rejecting, blacklisting and redbaiting us has succeeded in m making us entirely marginal is not exactly our fault.  

      Hegemony is always electable.

      by ActivistGuy on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 02:55:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Such is the importance (5+ / 0-)

      of education. As the diarist says,

      ...and keep those with student loan debt focused on educational choices that will lead to high-paying jobs, rather than the kind of education that will show them the deeply corrupt nature of the game.

      The catstrophes currently coming down in higher education (under the guise of "change") are part of the undoing of the middle class. If these changes are allowed to stand (emphasis on "skill" for specific tasks, rather than a broad liberal education which helps people understand their place in the world), we're done for.

      Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
      Mark Twain

      by phaktor on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 02:57:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

      If you can convince the overwhelming majority of those getting screwed that their impoverishment and disempowerment is freedom and their own poor choices, and that all social and economic problems can be blamed on fellow workers that may have won themselves some small respite from impoverishment, then social stability can be preserved despite gross and growing disparities of wealth and the re-emergence of different classes of citizenship.

      The tea party, especially its more extreme fringe, is a sign to me of growing social instability. They are just (as you point out) pointing their ire at the victims rather than the perpetrators.

      This represents an opportunity for the left, yes?

      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

      by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:05:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed you are right on one count. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        m16eib, Larsstephens, NY brit expat

        The Tea Party represents growing social instability.  The question on which you should be doubted, here, is one of whether this represents an opportunity for the "left," or whether it's just another regression into sectarian, reactionary organization in a political culture devoid of alternatives to capitalist politics.

        "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us" -- Gandalf, in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"...

        by Cassiodorus on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:26:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just mentioned in another diary how (8+ / 0-)

    what is happening to us is starting to make me uneasy.  We're being programmed by a media that is only concerned with profits.  I used the analogy of the frog in boiling water from the movie Dante's Peak.  IT was explained that if you put a frog in cold water and slowly heat it up the frog will boil to death, but if you throw a frog into boiling water it will hop out.  The corporate shift of power has been decades long and slow.  If it had just hit us head on, we'd know we're in trouble.  I think we're in trouble.  

    As far as the tea party goes, the real one that is, they've caught onto the shift, but maybe aren't quite aware from which direction it's coming.  They blame the Democrats because they're right wing biased to begin with and are told those "tax and spend liberals" are to blame.  That and the nativist bigotry thing are the only two differences (big ones, admittedly), but those are the difference between us.  Our side and their side both know we're in trouble.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't purchase or own.

    by AnnieR on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:01:05 PM PST

    •  As if I didn't say enough, but the blatant (6+ / 0-)

      nativist/bigotry we're seeing usually rears it's ugly head during times of financial duress, like now.

      The GOP will destroy anything they can't purchase or own.

      by AnnieR on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:02:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely right (4+ / 0-)

        As I mention elsewhere in the thread, I think the left can see the nativism and racism as a sign that they have lots of work to do, and further, that the work that needs doing needs to be communicated in a populist way.

        The charge wqill be "class warfare", of course, but the answer to that charge should be, "Yeah, it is. It is time our side fought back."

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

        by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:08:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mftalbot, m16eib, Larsstephens

          The GOP will destroy anything they can't purchase or own.

          by AnnieR on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:09:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Class is capable of (5+ / 0-)

          uniting most people on the left, but not all. We have to find a solution to that problem, because it is the biggest wedge they use against us.

          Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
          Mark Twain

          by phaktor on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:33:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The solution is to make the argument... (6+ / 0-)

            ...such that it is clearly and explicitly based on class.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

            by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:34:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But there are people (6+ / 0-)

              we need -- actual friends who share our philosophy -- who are rich. Union power would have to be very well honed, sensitive, and intelligent to be sure it did not drive away the wealthy people who we want to preserve.

              This is a wonderful discussion, but I have to go now. Hopefully I will find some interesting reading when I return!

              Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
              Mark Twain

              by phaktor on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:42:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The message needs some from below (5+ / 0-)

                "We welcome any help we can get from those on the top who want to join us in speaking out against the greed of their friends."

                Or, let me go all MLK on you:

                And then the Greek language comes out with another word; it is the word agape. Now agape is more than romantic love. Agape is more than friendship. Now agape is understanding creative redemptive goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love, which seeks nothing in return. Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. And when one rises to love on this level, he is able to love the person who does the evil deed, while hating the deed that the person does. And he is able to love those persons that he even finds it difficult to like for he begins to look beneath the surface and he discovers that that individual who may be brutal toward him and who may be prejudiced was taught that way—was a child of his culture. At times his school taught him that way. At times his church taught him that way. At times his family taught him that way. And the thing to do is to change the structure and the evil system, so that he can grow and develop as a mature individual devoid of prejudice. And this is the kind of understanding goodwill that the nonviolent resister can follow if he is true to the love ethic. And so he can rise to the point of being able to look into the face of his most violent opponent and say in substance, do to us what you will and we will still love you. We will match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. And do to us what you will, and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. And so throw us in jail, and as difficult as that is, we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children and as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators and violence into our communities at the midnight hours and drag us out on some wayside road and beat us and leave us half-dead and we will still love you. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. And one day we will win our freedom but we will not only win freedom for ourselves. We will so appeal to your heart and your conscience, that we will win you in the process. And our victory will be a double victory.

                The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

                by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:46:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  imo (8+ / 0-)

    The best way to organize would be through the existing Unions.  There are several strong spokesman, Leo Gerard and Richard Trumka to name two, who speak out eloquently and strongly for all Americans, not just their membership.  If the Unions were to reorganize and join together as a "People's Union".  They could then allow membership for people who don't work in a Union shop/industry.  They would not have the right to negotiate for these associate members with their employers but I think it would be a really good for several reasons.  

    First, a larger Union membership with some sort of 'associate' dues would allow them the funds to lobby more competitively for trade reform, worker's rights and wage/benefits for all Americans.  

    Second, Unions have a well developed grass roots organization with all their members.  When they need them to show up for demonstrations, voting, letter writing or calling congress or whatever, the members show up. With Associate members, they are just adding them in to an already organized system and it makes it stronger.

    The third benefit is that it allows more people to understand how a Union works, what they have accomplished and what they can accomplish.  When a larger majority of workers understand what they can accomplish if they join together, you have a really powerful tool.  Strong Union spokesmen can not only represent workers in the media, they can circumvent the media through the organization.  

    Last, if people are already an 'associate' member of a Union, those employers that regularly try to Union bust would have a more difficult time if a percentage of their workers were already associated with a Union.  I don't know if this is legal, but I am sure that a way could be found to organize this to make it work.

    We can't depend on building a new movement from the bottom up, we need to use the tools we already have.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:08:59 PM PST

  •  And Where Is Christianity? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, Eric Blair, Larsstephens

    Across the developed world there are numerous nations heading down the Neoliberal austerity road, not just us.

    You'd think that might provoke a serious reaction from an institution whose founder was so focused on social justice.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:34:03 PM PST

    •  You're talking to the right guy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, Cassiodorus, Larsstephens

      I am working to make social justice the center of my particular community (Catholics).

      But again - we neede to do it. The leadership isn't going to make it a priority until we the people do.

      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

      by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:37:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah They Grumble About Capitalism Once in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mftalbot, Larsstephens

        a while, but the bureaucracy isn't going to rock the neoliberal boat seriously. A movement of Catholics though could be a real force as has happened in the past.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:49:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hell, go World Council. (4+ / 0-)

          We all ought to be standing firmly in the way of this mass impoverishment.

          That said, I'll also say that some few years ago my hubby was development director (fundraiser) for a sectarian children's home. The denomination drafted and endorsed an official objection to the rush to war (Iraq) that year at General Assembly, which we attended. So hubby went ahead and put the resulting NoWar sticker (cool graphics, got it at GA) on the Jeep. He was promptly fired for it when we got home as a 'political' statement. Go figure.

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:25:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Left's biggest mistake is ignoring talk radio (4+ / 0-)

    while it has allowed the corporate think tanks that blast their talking points from there to take them to the cleaners and dominate media and politics for 20 years.

    teabagger headquarters are the local RW radio stations, where they were birthed and misinformed.

    if the left wants a place to wave signs that will actually get media attention it should try those stations, where the groundwork for everything GOP is done.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:45:54 PM PST

    •  They're Not Ignoring It --They're Locked Out. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Blair, Badabing, Larsstephens

      Ed Schultz is common as dirt, he'd reach scores of millions we need to hear the progressive messages, and a lifelong broadcaster, I think the most commercially successful but he can't add more than a station or two here and there. He's in DC constantly lobbying to try to break open ownership concentration.

      Progressives are locked out of almost every high power station in the country. They're locked out of many if not most of the progressive regions of the country. Immediately after Dems won in 06 all 3 Ohio prog stations were yanked and turned over to other formats for example. Columbus finally got a low power station back but the progressive NE has nothing.

      This is a big fucking deal and it's not because of ignoring.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:52:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  radio is very low priority for the left even (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mftalbot, Larsstephens

        though it is the most effective weapon used against us

        limabugh needs constant recognition as the leader of the GOP and those local stations need recognition for the way they dominate local politics in many states and cities. their coordinated attacks on dem politicians go largely unchallenged, and it's mostly because the left has no clue it's happening.

        Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

        by certainot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:34:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the left has a clue... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mftalbot, Larsstephens

          ...(I know a fairly large group of us have discussed this issue for some time and have been doing so again the past few weeks). The problem is not knowing precisely what to do about this. Countering it with our own programming costs money. Protesting in front of stations is too ephemeral. Getting laws changed to force political balance in radio has an obstacle in the way called Congress.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 08:26:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  a good start would (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, mftalbot

            be to know what was being said on those stations and how coordinated it was and how much of it was actually prompted.

            and getting dupnik's back, because he's getting the full treatmnet.

            Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

            by certainot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 10:32:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  One thing I noticed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Blair, certainot, Larsstephens

        is my local progressive station is Clear Channel owned.  They don't have Stephanie Miller on in the morning so I use I-Heart Radio to tune in in Asheville, NC - 880 Revolution which does.

        When I first started listening they had almost no commercials.  Over the next six months they began to get more and more and now have national ads with a strong local advertising base. In fact, they have advertised a couple times on air for an Ad Sales Rep.
        I am thinking that using I-Heart Radio and also internet streaming gives Clear Channel a direct listener profile/audience size that they then use to determine programming.  If more people were to tune in this way, they would notice.  I am pretty tired of hearing how Rush has such a big audience when you know it's mostly just because he has a monopoly.  Since they worship the almighty dollar, then lets show them where those dollars are - progressive radio!  

        The local Progressive talk personality has mentioned a couple of times on air that he has seen the demographics for who listens to their station and they tend to be higher income, higher educated (of course) so Clear Channel is not about to give up their cash cow. (Take notice MSNBC)

        Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

        by whoknu on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:47:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  market forces are distorted for RW radio (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mftalbot

          or hidden-  i think it's hard to look at management of clearchannel and other radio monopolies in the sense that they would make decisions based solely on ad revenues.

          do 95% of americans really want limbaugh and hannity? there are blue areas not only with no progressive radio but multiple overlapping RW - someone said NY city has no major progressive talkers.

          the national talkers have really been selling tax breaks and deregulation and war and politicians. on the local level some stations i'm familiar with seem to be closely coordinated with the local GOP and definitely get fed by national think tanks - they're going to have input on what the available stations broadcast.

          i've spoken with station managers who are total GOP and others who were receptive but figured there was no way to switch, and one who did. the kind of pressure needed to switch i think has to come with shaming those stations and their local sponsors, but that's only going to reach significant levels if the Left gets to the point of recognizing how critical radio has been getting us into this mess and how much harder they have to work just because it's getting a free speech free ride.

          Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

          by certainot on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 09:49:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's because it isn't the market (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            certainot

            It isn't "the Market" making decisions; it is Our Reptilian Corporate Masters saturating the airwaves they've bought with propaganda that serves their interests. Nothing more, nothing less.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

            by mftalbot on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 11:27:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but the stations themselves ARE dependent on loca (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mftalbot

              local advertisers. those advertisers, however, are not getting enough pressure and shame, and many are making pure business based decisions.

              when those limbaugh stations have to depend completely on racist global warming denying republican sponsors or national subsidies the ones in blue communities are going to feel it.

              Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

              by certainot on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 11:44:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  And a feudal system continues -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, Larsstephens

    It seems like we never really left Middle Ages despite the Enlightenment era in between.

    "Do not be satisfied with stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth". -- Rumi

    by toilpress on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:21:26 PM PST

    •  You know... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, toilpress

      It has struck me more than once that the libertarian conception of the government's role is really best suited to Middle-Ages reality - craft guild, itinerant tinkers and smiths and so forth - but deosn't really scale well into mass industrialization.

      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

      by mftalbot on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:45:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scandalous silence, indeed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, m16eib, NY brit expat, Joieau

    If this comes to pass, the Tea Party's astroturfing rich will have the bulk of the responsibility for the consequences; but the scandalous silence of what passes for the American "Left" will be seen as having helped enable the disaster.

  •  Tipped and rec. (5+ / 0-)

    And hoping we find a way to get it together to solve the real issues of our time before it is too late.

    ePluribus Media
    Collaboration is contagious!

    by m16eib on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:31:33 PM PST

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