Sick Economy

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston talks about what we can learn from the current economic upheaval, and how he thinks our economy can be nursed back to health. He’s most recently the author of Free Lunch.


David Cay Johnston

Comments [18]

Laura from Manhattan

Give David Cay Johnson his own show! Or at least weekly visits.

If I could I'd shower you both with the proverbial chocolates and flowers!

Many, many thanks for such excellence!

Jan. 07 2009 06:12 PM
PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

More on the corruption of conservative principles in Dean Baker's (free online) book:

Jan. 07 2009 02:21 PM
Karen from Westchester

tell me more about the Galbraith book
. . .

am I allowed to make my private email public here if I want to communicate it to another contributor to these comments?


Jan. 07 2009 01:58 PM
markBrown from and

One more comment:

Auto bailout:

Instead of asking bailout or no bailout, let's ask WHO we are trying to help.

the AUTO Companies, or the JOBS that the auto companies represent.

Look at MY blog HERE for a real discussion...
(you limit to 2k characters.)

and by the way, the AUTO industry IS DEADER then a DOORNAIL!
look here:

Jan. 07 2009 01:58 PM

is the question more regulation vs less, or how the regulation or deregulation is done?

did permitting commercial banks to get into investment banking create an imbalance the lead to escalation of risk?

Jan. 07 2009 01:56 PM
AG from Bk

Great interview. Ellen, actually, the mantra of "more govt” that has been repeated for decades, making us think demanding more from govt will help preserve our freedom and personal independence, is the exact illusion that led to public neglect and is ruining our democracy. Look at where we are now. Broke.

Jan. 07 2009 01:56 PM
Billy Gray from Greenpoint

Leonard, you and Mr. Johnson should take notice of this scoop developing over on Talking Points Memo - the Fed has contracted the bailout firms to manage the Fed's purchase of their own bad debt. And none of them are willing to discuss what they're being paid for it, and how they were selected for the job:

Jan. 07 2009 01:56 PM

TARP is destroying the real estate market...would be buyers would be idiots to buy a house before the govt plays its hand!

Agree or disagree?

Jan. 07 2009 01:51 PM

With a Warren Buffet as an investor, whether it be some podunk baseball project or a broken down 19th century business, the lure is of the name. "If Warren Buffet bought here I will too." The Buffet component itself (or even the presence of a corporate store) positively effects a town's business climate, is the argument.

If you question any value of PR and Advertising (that's what Buffet in your town's economy might be considered) you will surely find some disagreement from members of those industries and their families, to start.

I hate government cheese but that's because I choose form over function. Capitalism and free markets can and should be a thing of sublime beauty.

Jan. 07 2009 01:49 PM

Can you talk about expanding the number of members of the House of Representatives

Jan. 07 2009 01:47 PM

did adam smith advocate an entirely unfettered free market sans other considerations? consider the following:

...regulations may, no doubt, be considered as in some respect a violation of natural liberty. But those exertions of the natural liberty of a few individuals, which might endanger the security of the whole society, are, and ought to be, restrained by the laws of all governments ; of the most free, as well as of the most despotical. The obligation of building party walls, in order to prevent the communication of fire, is a violation of natural liberty, exactly of the same kind with the regulations of the banking trade...

-- Adam Smith ( in "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" 1776 )

Jan. 07 2009 01:47 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Atlantic Railyards in Brooklyn is a great example of what Mr. Johnston is describing.

Demands for money from NYC went up and up and up. Strong arm tactics, back room deals, etc., were used to seize land. Laws were bent, ignored to avoid impact assessments.

And the number of jobs to be created has been ratched down and down and down.

Now there is a vast, bleak lot where the great masterpiece was promised.

Jan. 07 2009 01:46 PM


Mr. Johnston if the Yankees move to Sandeigo, people will spend their local entertainment dollars in NY. They are not going to move to Sandeigo.

But if they move to Westchester, Long Isl, New Jersey those entertainment dollars can easily be transferred to those locals. The people can stay in their community and travel to these areas and spend the money.

Jan. 07 2009 01:46 PM
markBrown from and

Here's a real suggestion that might work.

I propose a "MMT" or a Minimum Millionaire's Tax.

the MMT would take the GROSS income of either a PERSON OR a corporation and a new MINIMUM of 1% OF gross income would be assessed against that party.

Think, millionaires might actually start paying REAL TAXES here...

It's a start..
check out blog

Jan. 07 2009 01:44 PM
Paul from Rockland

Thank you. It seems that throwing money at economy so far has not been harmful. But what is disastrous is the misconception about what fuels the economy in the first place. That the ecomony is the sum of the usefullnes of our favors to each other. Not some arbitrary monetary magic. That is why people ran and plugged their noses when Paulson started handing out money to bankers. It was a confirmation that these folks are in fact disconnected and insane. I hope Mr. Obama will trust his senses more than Goldman-Sachs.

Jan. 07 2009 01:40 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

John Kenneth Galbraith describes the close ties between the architects of economic bubbles and government in France, Britain, The Netherlands two, three and more years ago. (A Brief History of Economic Euphoria)

Jan. 07 2009 01:39 PM
e s

Didn't Smith consistently speak out against a Libertarian interpretation of his work?

Jan. 07 2009 01:35 PM
ellen from ny

Please ask Mr. JOhnston how to change public attitudes:

The mantra of “keep govt out of our lives” was repeated for decades to make us think demanding little from govt preserves our freedom and personal independence, This illusion led to public neglect and is ruining our democracy.How can we convince people of the flaw in this thinking?

Jan. 07 2009 01:18 PM

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