David Simon is someone who gets it--not only did he write and create The Wire, but he spent much of his life on the mean streets of Baltimore as a journalist. He's seen first-hand what our society does to the poor and working class from the war on drugs to the loss of inner-city jobs.
See below for the video and links.
See here for the transcript.
BILL MOYERS: Let me bring up an excerpt from your speech in Australia.Great stuff and worth the 25 minutes....
DAVID SIMON at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Ultimately we abandoned that and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It's astonishing to me, but it is. People are saying I don't need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I'm not connected to society. I don't care how the road got built, I don't care where the firefighter comes from, I don't care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It's the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.
BILL MOYERS: What are you talking about there? DAVID SIMON: Talking about greed, just greed. And it's a self-destructive greed to the economy that does lift all boats in the sense that, you know, we're arguing about the minimum wage right now and making it $10. Ten-- or we're arguing about welfare reform and eliminating forms of welfare.
You know something? I know that if I pay a guy working a counter at a fast food place $10 or $12 or $15, I know if I give a welfare check to a mother of two in West Baltimore, I know that all of that money's actually going back into the American economy. I know that every single dollar has a multiplier factor. Nobody's saving money on $12 an hour in America. They're living hand to mouth.
And I know that every single dollar is going to be multiplied through the economy. You give me a tax break, you know, working as I do in the entertainment industry and at the level of a TV producer and I can't figure out how to spend enough of it, you know. I might, you know, I might have a little conscience, I might throw some of it to charity and try to feel better about myself. But I can't possibly-- how many yachts can I water ski behind in Baltimore Harbor?
And yet that's the kind of argument that supply-side economics is. Give us, the job makers, the money and we'll make jobs. Not with all of it you won't. A lot of it's going to Wall Street and it's going to sit there and it's going to be subjected to much less tax liabilities, the capital gains. You know, the scam of it, the scam of what America's become, you know, give the money to the rich and they'll see that you're not poor. Is that really what you're saying?
But you know, you actually argue about making the poor people a little less poor and then half of Congress is running away as if this is going to-- you know, if you want your economy to grow, people have to have the money, they have to have the discretionary income to buy stuff. That's what made us great in the last century is that suddenly a working class which was on subsistence wages at the early part of the century had enough money, discretionary income, to buy the things they needed and some things that they didn't need but wanted. And that grew us.
And now you're arguing over whether this guy who's working every day at the Burger King, whether he can have $10 or $12 an hour. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Aren't-- you know, where's the shame? There is no shame anymore in America.