Dylan Ratigan is a former news anchor and commentator for CNBC and MSNBC, and former executive at Bloomberg News. Dylan Ratigan is a world-renowned business leader and author of a best-selling book on concrete solutions for increasing investments, jobs, and opportunities in America. In 2012, Dylan invested his life savings and founded a company that designs modern farming kits to assist military veterans in operating small farms.
"Welcome to the second edition of The Weatherman. I am Dylan Ratigan and this is an ongoing and evolving experiment in a direct conversation between all of us about anything that we want to talk about, as long as it's through the frame of The Shift.
The Shift ultimately represents complete and total change in not just our technological infrastructure, not just our communication infrastructure, even our transportation infrastructure. It's a unifying event and a completely shattering event, all at the same time, that comes with incredible darkness, loneliness and isolation, as well as incredible opportunity for creation and development, and you see it play out in personal lives constantly.
We see in our own lives. We see it the lives of those around us, and it also plays out in incredible ways before our very eyes on the biggest stage possible. The Shift is an interesting dynamic because as intimate as it may be for each of us, it is also something that we are witnessing in the global political world and the global climate situation that we're all navigating or at least internalizing, and for that matter, in the way that we both perceive and misperceive events around the world.
The premise or the theme that we talk about a lot is “Chaos and Clarity.”
The Shift creates a lot of both. In fact, you look no further than the American political system to see the complete and utter emergence of chaos. Not just in the way that this country is run, but the very basis upon which we are even attempting to run our country. I'll talk about it because it's in the center of the news cycle right now.
The criticisms that have existed from America projected into the world in the way that both American political power and American political institutions judge and condemn and shame and sanction other countries for their political behavior, their political systems, their backroom deals, their inability to seem to function in some way that is honorable, decent, has integrity or any other positive value associated with it is obviously deeply ironic, in this particular moment, as the Democratic primary caucus process, their candidate selection process, opens with the inability to count 172-thousand votes.
What could be more emblematic of the collapse and the darkness, if you will, of The Shift than what we're seeing happening in the Iowa caucus right now?
For a long time, and even as I ran for Congress myself two years ago, there has been a tremendous amount of criticism for those who have disengaged from the American political process. A lot of shaming for those who have disengaged from the American political process, and yet, when you look at the American political process, the percentage of Americans that are even registered as Democrats, 20 to 25% of the population, the percentage of the population that is even registered as a Republican, 20 to 25% population, leaves literally the largest percentage of American voters as those who are neither Democrats or Republicans.
In fact, the biggest voting block in any election is people who don't vote. When you look at the history of American politics, it wasn't always this way. There was a time when American politics actually was at least perceived to have some integrity..."
Listen to the podcast to hear what else Dylan has to say about the Democratic primary and The Shift. Several callers discuss how they are dealing with societal and personal problems in constructive ways that support their communities.
If you want to call into the show to speak with Dylan, send us a voice message here, please leave your phone number so our producers can call you to get you live on air:
The Weatherman Podcast Experiment Begins…
Welcome to this, the 1st edition of the Weatherman. I am Dylan Ratigan.
Thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. I'm actually in Italy, so it's the evening here. Our producer Meg Robertson is in New York and David DeGraw our other producer is in Los Angeles. Our callers are all coming from North America today. If you're listening to this right now, you probably read the launch email describing our objective with this call, which is relatively simple.
It's our own unique take, if you will, on the idea of a podcast.
When David, Meg and myself were discussing the idea of doing this, what became clear to us was that we all have a lot of respect and appreciation for what's happening in the podcast universe, especially those that are doing a wide variety of one-on-one interviews with various experts on specific subjects about specific things, but we were really looking at what's missing from the podcast universe.
In our opinion, we felt that there isn't a place where all of us can speak as a group. Even if it's a series of one-on-one conversations about our collective experience, in a way to create context for each of us about what we're calling The Shift. This shift is something that each of us is feeling in our own way. Some of us are very sensitive to the technological aspects. Some of us are very sensitive to the spiritual aspect of it.
This very podcast is a demonstration of the communication aspect of it. In fact, we're across nine time zones right now, but gathered together at this particular moment to have this conversation, and you know, when you look at the chaos of the news cycle, this is not going to be a podcast about the news cycle, obviously, but when you look at the chaos of the news cycle, I look at it as a series of events that are constantly without context, that are constantly without awareness, and they are basically like an open nerve ending that is in a constant state of reactivity. Even if it doesn't know what it is reacting to.
The goal with the Weatherman is to try to create some of that context to help understand why our politics are so extreme and so reactive. It is responding to the threat that The Shift represents. The threat of all of us connecting with one another. The threat of creating a system of power and solution and problem-solving that's not based on centralized command and control, enemy versus tribal enemy, in blame culture, but rather one of mutual awareness and mutual understanding that can be driven into not a world of fear and reactivity, but to an increasingly clear and calm place where we start to understand at the very least how and why our emotions and our thoughts treat us the way that they do, or why we experience them the way that we do....
I will do my best to serve as a moderator and as a literal Weatherman giving you a sense of what I'm hearing as I move around the world and have the benefit of talking to so many of you. Ultimately, in the spirit of the relay radio of the past, my ability to serve as the Weatherman will only be as good as your willingness to report in what you're feeling, thinking and experiencing, so that everyone else that is gathered around this broadcast can not only hear my perspective but can get a sense of your thoughts and your perspective.
It is our collective experience that will potentially create a way for us to move through the chaos that is being created by an unprecedented global paradigm shift and start to move us incrementally, moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath, day-by-day into increasingly longer periods of clarity.
If you want to call into the show to speak with me, send us a voice message here, please leave your phone number so our producers can call you to get you live on air:
Thank you for tuning in, hope to hear from you,
~ Dylan Ratigan
The world is rapidly transforming at a scale that is without precedent.
We are experiencing a paradigm shift, which affects everything at the same time - technology, transportation, communication, economics, production, distribution, governance, culture, spirituality and socialization among individuals across generations, demographics and countries worldwide.
While the old paradigm collapses, a new one is being born before our eyes. This shift is the biggest risk and biggest opportunity in human history.
Our fate rests on the urgency with which we understand our changing circumstances and help each other adapt. For all of our critical problems, the resources, time, talent and capital to solve every problem that exists in the world today is at its highest potential it has ever been.
Unfortunately, there's not much overall context for what's happening, which can create an incredibly untethered experience and a feeling of utter chaos. Each one of us is so close to our own specific set of experiences, with our own personal fears, needs and concerns. Whether it is outside of ourselves, or emotionally inside of ourselves, or both.
The crucible of this chaos can also create clarity, as we are forced to make decisions, adapt and evolve in the face of dramatic change. Chaos and clarity are something that is caused by this shift, and at the same time accelerates the very shift itself.
The idea behind this podcast is a simple one. We are in uncharted territory, riding over quickly shifting terrain with no maps to guide us. We need a higher resolution GPS to help us navigate the chaos that is spiraling around us.
We need to connect and align around our shared interests to find solutions.
As the pace of the shift quickens, I am reminded of the time that I raced the Baja 1000. Each race car out on the track in the Mexican desert has their own isolated experience, with their own set of problems, disconnected and unaware of the experience of anyone else who is participating in the same race.
Each of us were just at different points on the track. In order to coordinate and understand what was happening to all of us collectively, there was a single relay-radio man named, “The Weatherman,” who gathered, analyzed and reported on all the critical information that came into him from every different point on the track.
The Weatherman then relayed the information back to everybody else in the race. That's the goal of this podcast; to create a context for each of us collectively and individually, so that we have a better sense of where we are and what we're experiencing.
However isolated we may feel, we are actually part of a larger collective experience. Think of how isolated you might feel, or how I felt at 3 AM in the middle of the Mexican desert, broken down on the side of the road, oblivious to all the other issues and challenges that faced other participants in that race. That's how so many of us feel each day as we navigate the chaos of our own lives and feel a sense of disconnection that amplifies the fear and makes it more difficult to get any clarity or make any decisions, which only accelerates the chaos.
My hope with this podcast is to create a community dialogue, for all of us, in a way that helps to calm the chaos and connects our experiences, to help us find clarity and move forward in a way that allows us to help each other, without having to be so concerned all the time about our own well-being or so obsessed about what might be happening or who is to blame.
It is in the context of this unfolding shift that we look at the race track of all of our lives and seek to reconcile our experiences, individually, with each other, through shared information, shared experience and dialog, in a way that can help all of us make it down the track, in a way that's more fun, less scary and less upsetting for each and every one of us.
Send us a voice message here, leave your # so we can call you: https://anchor.fm/weatherman/message
Edith Leung is among the millions of women that have led the protests in Hong Kong, of which a third of the protesters are women. Edith is also a member of the incoming class of recently elected pro-democracy politicians.
Sitting in a cafe in Central over a pot of jasmine tea, Dylan Ratigan interviews Edith. The newly elected district representative sees change perpetuating and sustaining the two-systems-one-country protocol in Hong Kong, which is seen as at risk.
"It is a warning to the world that China is growing,” says Edith, who’s friend lost her right eye in a protest earlier this year. “An autocratic country like China, a Communist Party, being so large, being such a populated country, growing up. It is a threat to the world."
It’s overly simplistic for us to see Hong Kong as a frontline in the culture war between Chinese interests and Western interests. Of course, Hong Kong is the door to China and the rest of the world. It is easy to explain away Hong Kong’s protests as just issue between the Cantonese of Hong Kong and the Mandarin of China.
But there’s a lot we have in common.
Protestors are voicing the global issues around consolidation of centralized power – like we have in America, or the centralized power in places like Madrid at the expense of Catalonia, or similar issues that we are seeing in India, in La Paz, in Beirut and around the world.
What we are seeing in Hong Kong is just one of more than a dozen locations around the world. Whether it is in Barcelona, Beirut, La Paz or Paris where people are stepping into the street, sometimes with violence, frequently with non-violence.
So, what needs to evolve? The young people I spoke to in Hong Kong have changed the culture of protest since 2014. They now to try to move towards solutions with clear requests, based around a culture of non-violence and learning from past missteps.
“We had a failure after the Umbrella movement and we know why we failed, because we had separation of camps, so many different factions. At the end of the day, it turned out we got nothing” said Leung.
She says that she doesn’t want history to repeat itself. “We have solidarity and we have to go together and achieve all the things. We have failed in the past, so we cannot fail again. We think this is the last chance to fight for real freedom and real justice."
As millions of people take to the streets of Hong Kong to fight for their freedom and independence, a wave of young pro-democracy candidates were recently elected to District Council. From the frontlines of protest to political office, Dylan Ratigan interviews three leading members of a changemaking movement that has featured an unprecedented number of “women warriors.”
With Hong Kong as the gateway between China and the rest of the world, it is easy to see their fight for independence as a battle in the culture war between Chinese and Western interests. However, what we are witnessing in Hong Kong is also unfolding in more than a dozen nations around the world. Whether it is in cities like Barcelona, Beirut, La Paz, Paris, Madrid or Delhi, people are taking to the streets in record numbers.
While each nation clearly has its own complex cultural and political dynamics at work, there is a global trend and thread that links the whole: old established centralized systems of power, which consolidate wealth and resources at the expense of local populations, are under attack and clinging to power, as technological breakthroughs are decentralizing power and spreading pro-democracy movements throughout the world in unprecedented fashion.
In this new three-part series, we get a better understanding of what is happening on the ground in Hong Kong right now. Why are millions of people taking to the streets? What exactly is happening? Who is involved? Why is it relevant to America and people around the world?
Student loan debt is crippling our economy. We've seen an entire generation of students held down by crushing debt.
45 million borrowers are struggling with monthly payments, predatory and aggressive bill collectors and confusing repayment terms.
Nationally, student loan debt just behind mortgage debt in the United States. It accounts for a stunning 10 percent of debt balance – that's a total of $1.48 trillion nationwide.
According to New York state statistics, the average student loan debt in our state is $30,000.
The system is broken, and we have to fix it. If a student is trying to pursue higher education to better themselves and their future, they shouldn't be saddled with loans that take years, and sometimes decades, to repay.
Student loan debt doesn't just hurt borrowers. It's holding back our economy on a larger scale. Borrowers are often saddled with so much debt that they can't even begin to think of purchasing their first home, secure an auto loan, or fully participate in the banking system. Many have to delay saving for retirement for years, just to try and find the cash to pay their student loans off.
I spoke with Natalia Abrams and Cody Hounanian of Student Debt Crisis, a non-profit group advocating for a better structure for student loans. I originally met Natalia at the founding of Get Money Out over a decade ago. Since then, she's become a leading voice advocating for change in the student loan industry.
In a 15 minute clip, WATN host Jeff Graham talks with callers, including labor leader Ernie Labaff, about why Dylan Ratigan has the best shot of winning against incumbent Republican Representative Elise Stefanik.
WATN host Jeff Graham discusses why Dylan Ratigan is the only Democrat in NY-21 with the best chance to beat incumbent Republican member of Congress Elise Stefanik. "I think he's got kind of a different message," says Graham. "The only Democrat who can win in November -- I think that's true."
My campaign is running to reform broken politics that have completely disconnected the voter from the government. Not only disconnected the voter from the government, but allowed the government to become entirely beholding to these monopolies.
Whether it's in the tech sector, the banking sector, or the health insurance sector, an increasingly small group of concentrated entities have incredible influence over everything that happens in the lives of billions of us around the world. It's the natural progression of the economic cycle but, it also harkens back to Teddy Roosevelt in the end of the last Industrial Revolution. Then, we saw the consolidation with Carnegie and Rockefeller and others around railroads, oil, and banking.
We are there once again, and the stranglehold on our government is real. It is abusing the people of this country and the people of Upstate New York.
I've asked Steve Faktor to join us who is the CEO of IdeaFaktory, author, writer for Harvard Business Review, writer for Forbes, and formally the head of innovation and running innovation funds at a number of financial services firms including American Express and CitiGroup.
We’ve all experienced it: one-bar cell signals, calls that suddenly drop, or driving through “dead zones” without access to data. And it’s not just inconvenient lack of coverage or dropped calls that we have to deal with. Thousands of residents live in areas where they don’t have access to reliable high-speed internet at home.
North Country economic growth will go hand in hand with expanding data access. It’s one of the most foundational aspects to growing our economy. We will catch up to the rest of the country by getting broadband access up to date. In many ways, we’re being left behind.
But, we can fix this!
I spoke with Kevin Lynch, COO of Nicholville Telephone Company and Slic Network Solutions. They are one company providing greater connectivity across the North Country, with a focus on expanding the fiber optic network in the North Country. He spoke with me about how wireless and wired coverage go hand in hand, and the future of fiber and data access in the North Country. Listen to our podcast here, with the full transcript below.
How can you “Represent” people in a Congressional District, let alone improve it, if you haven’t defined where you are? It is long past due that all our Congress people are held to account for working with those they represent. Introducing the NY21 District Dashboard, a metric to hold our leaders accountable to the people they represent.
The U.S. decision to pull out of the Iran deal is just another example of failed leadership. If the deal is bad, a true leader should make it better. Anyone can walk away from a "bad deal" for a worse deal.
For more on my campaign for Congress in NY-21, visit dylanratigan.com
Everyone’s paying close attention to the latest scandal out of Washington – this time, it’s a question of who is going to lead the Veterans Administration. What’s getting lost in the noise is real service to our veterans. These are individuals who have devoted their lives and efforts to a mission larger than themselves.
The opportunity we have right now is to invest in creating pathways, opportunities, and investments in enrolling that population. We must help our combat and military veterans in taking a leadership role in this country in order to help all of us move in the direction we all need to go.
I am encouraged and inspired by the children and young adults leading a push for changing our broken political system. It is broken to the point that we are incapable of having even a sensible conversation around guns that would benefit everybody in this country. We need to fix our political system and discourse so we can have the sort of common sense conversations we need to have around guns.
Who am I, why am I running, and what are we doing? In short, I grew up in Saranac Lake, and eventually moved to New York to work in journalism. During my time at CBNC and MSNBC, I was privileged to have had a bird’s eye view of our financial and political system. In 2011, I observed a frustration, albeit an impassioned one, with both political parties and the entire political process. Here's a deep dive into what we're going to do about it.
Facing a rigged and broken political system, we’re at a very specific point in history. The world is shifting when it comes to the way things are done. We collectively feel a “shift” all around us – whether it’s in our jobs, in our communities, and even in government. This fast rate of change means opportunities for using new tools and build new ways of operating for our future. Check out this podcast where Dylan dives into “the shift” and what it means for NY-21.
It's true: there's no such thing as free trade. And even though so called "free trade" is at the forefront of political discussions right now, we can't forget the heavy cost for trade which has been paid for the last four decades by America's working class.
I'm Dylan Ratigan and I'm running for Congress in NY's 21st District. Learn more about the campaign and get involved at www.dylanratigan.com
I was honored to receive a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa from my Alma mater, Union College, yesterday during their Commencement for the Class of 2012. Union College was the first institution to issue an honorary doctorate to Thomas Edison in 1878, and I am humbled to be included now among the ranks of those receiving an honorary degree from Union.
Dylan stops by WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss The 30 Million Jobs tour and people who are creating innovative jobs around the country. He also shares his thoughts on NY Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, our country’s fundamental ideals, and the idea of an agreed culture of aligned interests through collaboration to solve our country’s problems.
After our TV show today, we decided to do a quick outdoor "Parkcast" under the shadow of the Texas State Capitol building. Here's Dylan's conversation with Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots and David DeGraw of AmpedStatus.com, and one of the original organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
On Wednesday, February 8 2012 Dylan Ratigan joined AM970 The Apple's Curtis Sliwa for a conversation on Greedy Bastards, the 2012 election, and the state of the U.S. economy. Curtis is one of our favorite NY radio hosts, and we always love having Dylan on his show. Take a listen!
Dylan Ratigan and Paul Blumenthal of The Huffington Post continue our "Auction 2012" series with a discussion on the bought nature of our health care system in America.
Paul Blumenthal is a reporter for the Huffington Post covering money and influence in politics. He previously worked as the Senior Writer for the Sunlight Foundation covering influence, lobbying, and transparency issues. His work has been featured in many different outlets including PBS' Frontline, CNN, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and National Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter @PaulBlu.
Dylan talks to Dan Froomkin, senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post, about the hidden costs of energy in America.
Dan describes the latest big lobbying victories for the industry, and how lobbyists focus most on making enormous tax breaks and subsidies politically untouchable. In addition, he describes what may be their greatest success -- stifling any attempts to assess the industry for its carbon externalities.
Paul previously spent 12 years working for the Washington Post, and is also deputy editor of NiemanWatchdog.org, a website that encourages more accountability journalism. He began his journalism career as a reporter at the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, the Miami Herald and the Orange County (Calif.) Register.
As part of our Auction 2012 series with The Huffington Post, Dylan talks to Paul Blumenthal about "Bought Banking." Paul is a reporter covering money in politics the editor of the HuffPost Fundrace newsletter, a daily newsletter about campaign fundraising and advertising. He previously worked as the Senior Writer for the Sunlight Foundation covering influence, lobbying, and transparency issues.
This country, now more than ever, needs passionate debate and smart policy, a brazen willingness to scrap what doesn’t work, and the entrepreneurial spirit to try what does. Ratigan has compiled brash and fresh solutions for building a new and better America, and with this book he has started the debate America deserves. Visit GreedyBastards.com to learn more about why and how we need to Get Money Out to restore our republic.
It's another episode of Greedy Bastards Antidote. Today, we're talking about credit default swaps -- Greedy Bastards' favorite financial innovation of the past ten years. Think of a swap as an opportunity for financial companies to sell insurance on credit. In this podcast, you'll learn exactly what credit default swaps are, and why they're dangerous to our economy.
Our guest is Gretchen Morgenson - Gretchen is a business reporter/columnist at the New York Times where she also serves as Assistant Business and Financial Editor. She is co-author with Josh Rosner of the bestselling book Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon.
It's another episode of Greedy Bastards Antidote. Today, we're talking about credit default swaps -- Greedy Bastards' favorite financial innovation of the past ten years. Think of a swap as an opportunity for financial companies to sell insurance on credit. In this podcast, you'll learn exactly what credit default swaps are, and why they're dangerous to our economy.
Our guest is Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics, contributor to Ritholtz.com, and editor of the Insitutional Risk Analyst, a weekly news analysis and commentary on risk and the global political economy.
In the first of our podcast series "Greedy Bastards Antidote," Dylan talks to David Banks, educational "hot-spotter" and founding principal of the Eagle Academy for Young Men, which runs schools for young men in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and Southeast Queens.
Director and Co-Founder of Free Speech For People John Bonifaz joins Radio Free Dylan today to discuss his organization's mission of overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Is there precedent for this sort of action? Is it even possible? Our system of American democracy may depend on it.
Are our judges as bought as our politicians are? One of the people most concerned about this is Landon Rowland, Janus Capital Chairman Emeritus and the 15th president of the Kansas City Southern Railway. Dylan had a chance to have an extended conversation with Mr. Rowland about the importance of independent judiciaries in sustaining economic development and encouraging investment, the corrupting effect of money in judicial elections, and the danger of letting "the rule of cash prevail over the rule of law."
We get emails, lots of them! In this one, Chris from Fairbanks, Alaska wants to know: Why hasn't there been an investigation into the Federal Reserve and party-interest transactions? I think knowing how the Fed really works would be instructive on the influence of money in politics.
We get emails, lots of them! Here, Johnny in Texas wants to know: You mentioned our oil advantage in the victory of World War II. Could our strategic interventions abroad in the name of oil be classified as defending America?
We get lots of emails -- here, a question from William in Baltimore: How can Federal, state or municipal governments circumvent the First Amendment with so called "permit requirements?" It seems like these new regulations on protest, voting, and the right to assemble don't really line up with the First Amendment.
We get lots of emails -- here, Mike in Alabama wants to know: When will the fallacy known as FINRA finally be exposed for the sham it is? Getting assistance from them is about as likely as a personal meeting with the Pope.
We get lots of emails -- here's Dylan's answer to Phil's question: Is the Occupy movement here to stay? Do you think it is movement that is going to successfully change the system or is it just a flash in the pan?
From Dylan's Inbox: Martha wants to know -- Who in the media and the government are willing to stand with Occupy Wall Street to support and provide information being withheld from the general public? The attention and coverage being given them by the mainstream media is embarrassing so far.
Glenn Greenwald answers email questions from listeners of Radio Free Dylan.
Casey – Mansfield, Texas asks: Is there potential for freedom of speech via the Internet being taken from the general public through censure and regulations? The Wiki Leaks obstruction makes me believe it can and will.
Glenn Greenwald answers questions from listeners of Radio Free Dylan.
Don from Portland, Oregon asks: What is the one central message you would suggest for the Occupy Wall Street movement that you believe would truly galvanize supporters still hesitant to embrace them?
Glenn Greenwald answers questions from listeners of Radio Free Dylan.
Lee, from Hamilton, Ontario asks: In light of police brutality amidst peaceful protests, especially in Oakland, why do Occupy critics keep up the ad hominem attacks & shaming? Isn't it time to stand up for free speech?
Glenn Greenwald answers questions from listeners of Radio Free Dylan.
Sue, who didn't give her city, asked: What steps can we take to fix American government NOW? What laws do we need to repeal, improve or legislate to create justice, freedom and democracy for all?
Glenn Greenwald takes questions from listeners of Radio Free Dylan.
Alex from Milwaukee,WI: Who specifically should face criminal and/or civil charges in the direct lead up to the 2008 financial crash? Could you talk about the influence that private prison systems play in the expanding corrections market? What are some of the negative ways that Private Prison Systems like CCA have on the taxpayer who ultimately foots the bill?
Author Stephen Leeb says that we're in a "war to acquire resources, not just for the sake of depriving the rest of the world of these resources, but to have the resources that they need to build out a new energy infrastructure."
With Washington stuck in neutral on any significant energy policy, how do we address this challenge? Dylan believes it's through "quantum growth" -- the principle by which significantly fewer resources can be used for significantly higher outputs.
As resources (oil, water, and rare minerals) become more and more limited, challenges have to be solved efficiently with aligned interests -- getting more output for vastly less resource consumption.
Dylan and author Stephen Leeb discuss how this applies to our "war" with China for rare minerals and development of a more sustainable, less oil-dependent energy policy.
A few weeks ago at Zuccotti Park in New York, Dylan had the chance to speak at length to two Occupiers who seemed to, on the surface, come from opposite ends of the spectrum: Goldi is an activist and a musician from the East Village, and Calvin is a recent NY'er who originally hails from the heart of Texas. Joining us in the conversation with the Professor today are two individuals who have taken it upon themselves, as literally millions around the world have, to declare their own grievances and their own rejection of the status quo systems by virtue of their participation in Occupy Wall Street, Occupy New York, and really, ultimately, their support for the Global Occupation Movement
In this episode of Radio Free Dylan, Goldi and Calvin have a conversation about the big issues facing this country with Prof. Bill Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a white-collar criminologist, serial whistle-blower, and former financial regulator. He is also the author of the book, The Best Way To Rob a Bank Is To Own One. You can check out his blog at NewEconomicPerspectives.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter @WilliamKBlack.
Randi & Dylan have both been focused on this subject for years now: how can we tackle so many of the smaller problems in politics if we don't get money out of politics first? Their discussion is here.
Alone, each of us is nearly useless in tackling the problem of how money has corrupted our political system. TOGETHER, we can make a difference. That's why you need to sign the petition for a constitutional amendment at GetMoneyOut.com
Both Randi and Dylan have seen the corruption firsthand, from K Street in DC to Wall Street in New York. Ninety-four percent of the time, the winner in major U.S. Congressional elections is whomever has the MOST money in their campaign coffers - and THAT MUST STOP.
Listen to Randi and Dylan's complete interview, so you can find out what this Amendment could do. Then SIGN IT. Then tell your friends. Use Facebook. Use Google+. Tweet it - and use the hashtag: #GetMoneyOut
It's time to Get Money Out of politics in America.
Money in politics -- it's not AN issue, it's THE issue, according to our guest today.In this episode of Radio Free Dylan, we talk to Tom Ferguson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, he’s a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
Says Tom, "Look, everything is for sale, that’s the logic of the new Congress there.Since the ‘90s, everything’s auctioned, and that’s what the bulk of the population doesn’t understand this. The insiders know it but everybody else is still in the dark.There was some columnist in [The New York Times] who an ex-Congressman about what was going wrong in Congress.And finally the guy mentions towards the end, 'Oh, yes, there’s this terrible money problem. 'You know, look, that’s the problem. You’re selling everything."
Tom concludes with a statement that we couldn't agree with more -- "You probably can’t fix much in the United States if you’re going to allow the policy to just continue to be sold in every dimension."
For more coverage of the issue of money and politics, visit http://www.dylanratigan.com
Jimmy Williams, a frequent contributor on The Dylan Ratigan Show, sits down with Dylan to talk about the launch of our effort to get money out of politics as the first step to reviving and taking back America.
As Dylan described it on The Huffington Post, "Every politician out there is going to rail against special interests, except, ironically, the ones who are honest about working in a corrupt system. It's up to us, to we the people, to claim this government as ours. It's not going to happen because we placed our trust in a class of people who repeatedly betray us. It's going to happen because of people who put their bodies on the line, like those at the Wall Street protests. Like them or not, they have decided that enough is enough. And I think I've decided the same."
Is anyone in government willing to observe the scale, magnitude, and nature of the challenges that America faces? It seems like we’re stuck with elected officials playing a short-term game while being blind to the long term effects of their decisions. Meanwhile, our government puts the sovereignty of our nation at risk by not dealing with our debt issues and trade imbalances.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), a physician prior to his work in government, says on Radio Free Dylan that he is concerned that the lack of effective decision-making in Washington — specifically related to our debt and economy — could lead to us giving up some of our sovereignty to other countries. He says an adult discussion in America about the seriousness and severity of our economic problems (rather than Democrat vs. Republican mudslinging) is the first step.
We recently got a lot of great emails in response to our wanting to write a constitutional amendment banning money from politics. Here is Dylan's response to an email:
Do not allow "pork" to be added to ANY legislation (including this amendment), make every congressman put his name on all spending that he introduces. Adding pork to a veterans bill is disgusting.
Here's Dylan's audio response to an idea we got in regards to our constitutional amendment banning money from politics.
Kashann wrote: I'd like to see the exact language: "Now that we know corporations are people too, my friend, we should subsequently hold them to the same donation limits as the rest of their fellow citizens."
Here's one of Dylan's responses to community ideas for our constitutional amendment. Here's Dylan's audio response.
Dylan, any amendment to the Constitution has to address both the absolute dollar amount spent on campaigns and the length of time that candidates can legally campaign for. It sounds like Canada has a pretty good handle on this problem. I think the most effective way to differentiate between candidates is head to head debates which cost the candidates almost nothing compared to endless TV ads. - Don W.
We were flooded with emails after Dylan's "rant" on MSNBC.Chuck from Pleasant Hills, PA wrote in and thinks there's nothing we can do if we are "mad as hell" because our politicians won't listen.Dylan recorded his response to him on SoundCloud for DylanRatigan.com.
CHUCK, PLEASANT HILLS, PA
Dylan, Caught your call-in to your own show today. When the host asked, “what can you suggest people do if they’re mad as hell?" you said they can call their Congressman or Senator, or they can learn more about this situation in regards to tax reform, debt, etc.Sorry to be cynical, but the only phone call that a Senator or Congressman cares about is a call from their campaign contributors.It does NOTHING anymore to lodge a complaint with your representative.And, educating the public about policy and money is fine, but there is nothing actionable that will result from that.People feel powerless these days because there is NOTHING they can do as individuals when they’re "mad as hell."
We were flooded with emails after Dylan's "rant" on MSNBC. Parrish is a small business owner in Oxford, Mississippi who is struggling to keep his restaurant open in a tough economy. Dylan recorded his response on SoundCloud for DylanRatigan.com.
PARRISH, OXFORD MS:
I am a restaurant owner in an SEC college town. Without Ole Miss, we'd have 15,000 residents. Last year, 20 restaurants closed in this little town. Only by hook and crook did I survive! I pay more than half of all my revenue in taxes of various kinds. At the end of the year, after expenses and payroll, I make nothing! I don't know how much longer my business can tread water. I was very successful for 8 years, but the last two have been murder! The states of our country and Congress are infuriating! Billionaires pay nothing while I struggle each quarter to pay thousands in taxes, to the detriment of my own family's well being. It makes me so sick I can hardly keep typing.
We were flooded with emails after Dylan's "rant" on MSNBC. Peter from Buffalo wrote in about family members who agree that the system is flawed but don't want to do anything to fix it. Dylan recorded his response on SoundCloud for DylanRatigan.com.
PETER, BUFFALO NY:
I have a cousin who runs a global insurance company, a brother-in-law who is a well known Wall Street investment banker and I'm unemployed. Both my cousin, brother-in-law and I agree the system is structurally flawed due to corruption via money in politics. Yet, both cousin and brother-in-law hope to protect the system for as long as necessary to guarantee their check, while i desperately yearn for radical change in the hope of garnering a check. When those with power ever find a truly patriotic bone in their body and think bigger than themselves?
We were flooded with emails after Dylan's "rant" on MSNBC. Like hundreds of others, Pam from Olympia, WA wrote asking how we can take our country back. Dylan recorded his response on SoundCloud for DylanRatigan.com.
PAM, OLYMPIA WA:
I happened to have the TV on yesterday when you reached your breaking point and went into a rant about what has been happening in the US. Thank you for saying what you did. You are the first media person to have expressed my feelings so thoroughly and so well. My question now is where do we go from here? How do we, the disenfranchised majority, get control of our country back?
We were flooded with emails after Dylan's "rant" on MSNBC. Joe from Texas wrote in about his frustration with jobs being shipped out of the USA. Dylan recorded his response on SoundCloud for DylanRatigan.com.
JOE, AUSTIN TX
Only a couple of times have I been angry enough to write someone in the media about an outrageous situation. I was a child's birthday party yesterday and one of the parents works in marketing for AT&T. He told me that they just opened a call center in Columbia (and another Latin American country) to handle calls FROM THE USA. Everyone is talking about "jobs, jobs, jobs" and these guys have the nerve to open a call center in Latin America when our unemployment rate is as high as it is?
I own a call center in this country and just knowing that companies like AT&T still off-shore work that can be performed in the USA really makes me upset. We can compete financially with off-shore companies but these people just don't get it and I really wonder if anyone really cares or just gives lip service to the issue because they think they should.
Here's Dylan's epic rant on the financial crisis from the August 9, 2011 Dylan Ratigan Show. (It gets really good about 2 minutes in.)
We’ve got a real problem…this is a mathematical fact. Tens of trillions of dollars are being extracted from the United States of America. Democrats aren’t doing it, republicans aren’t doing it, an entire integrated system, banking, trade and taxation, created by both parties over a period of two decades is at work on our entire country right now.
Here's the link to the video:
Whether you consider yourself a progressive or libertarian, an atheist, an agnostic, we need to consolidate around a core problem: massive corporations having purchased control of the government that is profitable for them and destructive for us.
On this episode of Radio Free Dylan, we're joined by George Goehl, Executive Director of National People's Action.
Dylan speaks with Rep. Alan Grayson, former Representative of Florida's Eighth Congressional District, serving from '09 to 2011.
Grayson is one of the most vocal and aggressive critics of the crony capitalism, corporate communism and large institutional interests perpetuating their existence at the expense of an increasingly large percentage of the American people.
To many, Saudi Arabia the Wahhabi branch of Islam is a bit of a mystery. To get some perspective on a country with which we have an incredibly complicated political and financial relationship, we talk to Prof. David Commins, author of "The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia."
As shocking as the WikiLeaks documents may be, even more shocking is the U.S. media's decision to punish and criticize the leaker. Listen in on Glenn and Dylan's talk on the push by the U.S. government to reclassify WikiLeaks as a "terrorist organization," the fates of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, and what the media's reaction to the WikiLeaks release says about them.
Glenn Greenwald is a columnist at Salon.com and previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in NY.
Yves Smith and Josh Rosner are the single best analysts of the financial crisis and the now-criminal nature of our financial system. At the indispensable financial blog NakedCapitalism, Yves has detailed the collapse of the housing market and the market rigging by big banks and hedge funds to blow up the bubble. Josh predicted the collapse before it happened, and has been on the trail of accounting fraud since the late 1990s.
Think of it as the cheaters ball. It's the American tax code. If you have the right amount of money and the right number to dial, it's the best way to get rich.
Special interests utilize the tax code in America as one of the primary favor-trading venues for extracting wealth from the average taxpayer. Why is this? Why is the code structured in a way that it discourages investment, and encourages reckless speculation?
David Cay Johnston is author of Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With the Bill, Pulitzer prize winning reporter with The New York Times and blogger on tax policy at Tax.com and at Reuters.com.
Dr. Christine Fair, Asst. Professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS) at Georgetown University, discusses the U.S. relationship with oil, politics and religion in the Middle East, and what she thinks we need to change.
He started what is now the most watched independent news channel on YouTube, and launched the first nationwide liberal talk show when it aired on satellite radio starting in 2002. As host and co-founder of The Young Turks, Cenk has not only been successful as a broadcaster, but groundbreaking and innovative way he has approached the very concept of getting news from one place to another.
(Orginally recorded in November 2010)
How do we start to eliminate the myths about Islam and the Middle East to get to a basis of reality from which to make decisions? What about the often strained oil-based relationship between the U.S. and the Middle East, and the massive blurring of the lines between an ancient religion and the politics of the region?
Dylan recently spoke to Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and author of Engaging the Muslim World. His blog Informed Comment is a detailed look at the politics and culture, history and religion of the Middle East.
The Chinese have seized the high ground from the U.S. in the 21st century digital information war.In fact, we may be in the middle of a new Cold War-style race — one based on technology and information instead of nuclear warheads and tanks.
Joseph Menn is reporter covering technology security and privacy for the Financial Times and author of Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet.
Why have there not been any prosecutions in the financial crisis? Lawrence McDonald is as intimately familiar with how badly you’re being screwed by the American financial system, and how corrupt the governments decision making is to address not only reforming the financial system but servicing justice inside the financial system.
He is the author ofA Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers. Larry is currently with McDonald Advisory Group and DC Tripwire, specializing in both research and asset management.
There has been little significant discussion of the need for real debt restructuring, either in the U.S. or in Europe.Additionally, American taxpayers may be more linked to the European financial crisis than they realize.We talk to Sean Egan of Egan-Jones Ratings Company for insight into the U.S.'s risk profile in the global financial market.
Is capital intended to be invested in innovation and development to solve problems, or will it continue to be intended to be used merely as a speculative device in the casino of the U.S. economy? To get answers, Dylan spoke to Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, the CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO, a global investment management firm and one of the world’s largest bond investors.
"I want the government to live up to their promises." It’s a short statement, and a simple one — but coming from Congressman and Presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul, it’s a definition of a movement. The doctor from Texas attracts a tremendous, highly engaged and often passionate following, but there are many who find that they have a hard time figuring out where he fits into the current “status quo” political debate. A debate which so often rewards those who can spit out soundbites versus those who want to engage and wrestle with the fundamental questions regarding the direction of our country.
An update on three troubling U.S. trade deals with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia.
Dylan talks to Lori M. Wallach -- she has been director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch since 1995. Wallach is an expert on the operations and outcomes of trade policies such as NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA and more. She is steeped in the domestic and international politics of current trade negotiations and disputes.
You’ve heard the demands from DC insiders. “Cut this! Cut that! Cut the war! Cut health care!” The truth is, there is no cut big enough to solve America’s problems, which means only growth will save us.
“It’s easy to sit around and talk about what needs to be chopped up. It takes courage to talk about what you’re going to build,” says Dylan.
How would you like to be the most sued company in all of America? That’s an honor most of us would hope not to achieve, but Bank of America has come in first place in that category. Chris Whalen, co-founder of Institutional Risk Analytics, once again joins Dylan to highlight the latest problems with Bank of America.
"The power shift did not start with Obama, but his tenure confirms and completes it." Whether or not you agree with that statement, don't miss this incredible interview with William Greider of The Nation.
Andrew Jenks, host of MTV's World of Jenks, discusses the plight, aspirations and ambitions of his generation. We had the opportunity to talk to Andrew about what inspires him, and what he plans to do with his ever-expanding television and social media audience.
100 years ago, the monopolies took over this country, and it took a man by the name of Teddy Roosevelt to break them up and restore fairness. We’re looking for some more politicians like that -- we'd like you to meet Rep. Brad Miller.
What goes on behind closed doors never ceases to amaze us. Quietly, discussions between Obama administration insiders, advisers and NY’s financial elite have focused on next step for the federal government’s role in the mortgage market.
We talk to Zach Carter of the Huffington Post.
What is the current state of the justice system in America? The Department of Justice, the federal bank regulators, the state attorneys general, the SEC, the entire complex that is theoretically there to supervise relative to the activity that did happen and still in some cases is happening in our banking sector?
To get some answers, we talked to Shahien Nasiripour. Shahien a business reporter at The Huffington Post, previously at the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Egyptian protesters in Cairo and around their home country have been putting their lives on the line while fighting for regime change. Some have been camped out in Tahrir Square for weeks, afraid to leave because of threat of violence and retribution from the Mubarak regime. To get some answers, we spoke to Steve Clemons. He’s a founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation where he’s also a Senior Fellow. He’s also an active author and policy advocate on foreign policy defense and economic policy.
Glenn has found himself at the center of yet another emerging controversy, this time involving WikiLeaks, major internet security firms, the DOJ, well-connected D.C. law firms, the Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America.
Just how much are taxpayers being ripped off by businesses that can’t compete, and so they go to the government for subsidies while the government tries to annihilate teachers? There are strong efforts underway to take food and bargaining power away from the poorest of those in Wisconsin while 2/3 of the corporations in that state don’t pay a single penny in taxes.
David Cay Johnston. He’s a columnist at Tax.com and Reuters, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, and a professor of law and business at Syracuse University.
Stanford University President John Hennessy speaks with Dylan about the innovative culture at one of America's top schools. "A place where people with interesting ideas" can take their ideas to the outside world, often the fertile land of Silicon Valley.
While he was on the most recent west coast leg of the Steel on Wheels Tour, Dylan caught up with the first ever Chinese-American mayor of a major American city, Jean Quan. As the mayor of Oakland, CA -- a city facing dire financial challenges, she is unwavering in her commitment to two things in her city: first, maintaining and growing a diverse economic base, and keeping Oakland a diverse city, both ethnically and financially -- a place for the middle class to thrive.
Juan Cole who is a history professor at the University of Michigan and author "Engaging the Muslim World." His blog "Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East History and Religion" is worth the visit at juancole.com.
Specific to what we're discussing today, obviously, is the observation of the unknown. The Middle East in a state that virtually no other person either in those countries or outside of them can truly anticipate what will happen but for in the broadest terms, which is that the winds of change are clearly blowing, and what was is unlikely to continue to be, but what will be we do not know. But it has all sorts of things going on right now from oil to corn. The food and energy supplies of the world are influenced greatly, at least in the short term, by how this happens almost regardless of what happens.
And Juan has been talking a lot about that as well, and it's a pleasure to welcome you to the conversation. How does it feel to observe the unknown happening in real-time?
Mike Konczal, a Fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, works on financial reform, structural unemployment, consumer access to financial services, and inequality. He blogs for New Deal 2.0 and the Rortybomb, and his work has appeared at The Atlantic Monthly's Business Channel, NPR's Planet Money, the Baseline Scenario, Huffington Post, and The Nation. He was formerly a financial engineer and mathematical analyst.