Streams

This Albany Life

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This past weekend This American Life set its lens on New York State's financial crisis with Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch.  Host Ira Glass and the Lt. Governor join us to talk about possible budget fixes.

Tune in at 8pm tonight to hear a re-airing of This American's Life's original segment!

Guests:

Ira Glass and Richard Ravitch

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Comments [4]

Gene from Manhattan

I would like to second the above comments. As a professor of economics, I would also suggest that the current reluctance to tax the wealthiest citizens and push the burden of maintaining our infrastructure on to the majority of society through various sales and service taxes and borrowing, actually eats at the foundations of a healthy market society.

If we, the general public, are left with an increasingly smaller portion of the total income of our economy, we cannot be the customer. Who do you sell your products to now?

Jun. 24 2010 11:28 AM

Heard the segment on the weekend, it was great. Maybe if there's a bigger spotlight on Albany will get things moving.

Jun. 24 2010 11:23 AM
kp

Hedge fund managers make billions of dollars a year and you try to tell me there isn't enough money for the rest of us....I don't buy it.

Jun. 24 2010 11:18 AM
jacob from Brooklyn

As a long time fan of This American Life, I was deeply disappointed by the narrowness of political vision and perspective that appeared in last week’s show on Albany.

The current crisis would not be nearly so bad if Pataki had not slashed taxes for the wealthy in the 1990s when the wealthiest New Yorkers were making ridiculous profits. Nationally, rabid free market fundamentalists (e.g., Grover Norquist) along with the “new” Democrats of Bill Clinton’s ilk have systematically eviscerated the ability of the US national and state governments to provide the kinds services that this nation’s most vulnerable rely on. This method was described as “starving the beast.” When the inevitable budget crises occur, working people—most incomes have basically stagnated since the 1980s in terms of real wages during the “booms” of the 90s and 00s—are asked to shoulder the burden of the sacrifices while any demand for the wealthy folks that have made out like bandits to sacrifice as well is met with dismissal and derision. “We don’t want to drive investment out of NY State or to China” is the argument usually proffered.

This state of affairs is a moral catastrophe. The neoliberal economic agenda of Thatcher/Reagan was supposed to deliver the goods (i.e. full employment and trickling down wealth) better than Keynesian social democracy. We now see the results of 30 years of such polices exemplified by crises like the current NY state budget impasse and the 2008 economic meltdown. These polices have only enriched a few while making the rest of us more vulnerable. If we abandon a vision for a fair and just society, if we decide we cannot collectively deliver on those ethical commitments, we are in deep, deep trouble. This evinces a systemic failure of our collective moral imagination.

Jun. 24 2010 11:13 AM

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