The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Radio Interview with Ian Welsh by Ken Rose

Last Monday I was on the radio with Ken Rose.  We discussed the underpinnings of the US political economic system.  You can listen here.


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  1. CMike

    Well done Ian(!) and with very little assistance from your interviewer.

    Two points:

    1) While explaining that Free Trade has allowed American business to arbitrage away health care, housing and other labor costs, as well as the pollution and other regulatory costs in the U.S. to be arbitraged away by American business you did not break it down that Free Trade and Free Market theories were cooked-up, or revived, in reaction to the progressive and populist triumphs of the Progressive and New Deal (/Great Society) Eras by the political descendants of the Robber Barons. I assume you think that’s an obvious point. Our side is a little short on simple narratives and I think this would make a good one.

    2) Broadcasting dominates the media landscape, broadcasting media (and films) have an almost unique power to overwhelm an individual’s perception of reality, and, especially since deregulation, it is the nature of the broadcasting media business that they will be owned and controlled by wealthy interests. This state of affairs makes any challenge to the prerogatives wealth safer from democracy these days than it was in the late nineteenth century when print media were dominant. Any ideas on how to overcome this?

  2. Stephanie

    Very good interview. I especially liked when you brought up the issue of how schools are paid for/supported by real estate taxes, thus making education and literacy unequal. This is one of those things that could be so easily fixed, if only there was the will and moral understanding to do so.

  3. Ian Welsh

    I think perhaps the message that free trade theory was tried before and failed (19th century, early 20th) might not be a bad thing to bring up and yes, that free market theory was supported by those who had the most to gain from it…

    I don’t know how to undo the power of broadcasting, except when it becomes financial infeasible. I would note that it reaches its apotheosis in the US. Other than totalitarian states, no other nation’s population that I am aware of has such delusional beliefs as Americans.

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