‘Evil Geniuses’ Looks At ‘How Greed Was Unleashed’ | Morning Joe | MSNBC

by birtanpublished on August 17, 2020

CENTURY OF >>> JOINING US NOW BEST SELLING AUTHOR AND NOVELIST CURT ANDERSON. HIS NEW BOOK OUT TODAY IS TITLED "EVIL GENIUSES, THE UNMAKING OF AMERICA A RECENT HISTORY".

AND JOE, A VERY RECENT HISTORY. SO MUCH HAS BEEN UNDONE IN THE PAST FEW YEARS. >> MY GOD WE’RE TALKING HERE, CURT, OBVIOUSLY ABOUT A GENERATIONAL PROBLEM.

AND IT IS — MAN, IT IS THE PROBLEM OF OUR TIME. I’M SO GLAD YOU SPENT SO MUCH EFFORT DIGGING INTO IT BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, EVEN BACK IN THE EARLY 1990s, YOU’D HAVE WHAT 30,000

PEOPLE GOING INTO A GM PLANT, WORKING FOR GM, AND NOW TODAY, YOU KNOW, YOU TAKE ALL THE EMPLOYEES OF APPLE AND GOOGLE AND GO DOWN THE LIST AND THEY DON’T EVEN ADD UP TO JUST THE

EMPLOYEES THAT WERE ABLE TO SUPPORT A FAMILY THROUGH GENERAL MOTORS. SO A LOT OF THIS IS CONSOLIDATION, A LOT OF IT IS TECHNOLOGY, I UNDERSTAND.

BUT WHERE DOES THIS GREED PART — HOW DOES THAT PLAY INTO THE BIGGER PICTURE? >> WELL, THERE WAS THIS MOMENT AND I WAS A KID YOU WERE PROBABLY NOT EVEN BORN, BUT IN

THE ’70s AND ’80s, THIS — >> HOLD ON. HOLD ON. I WAS BORN IN THE ’70s, MAN. COME ON. >> OKAY.

YOU WERE THAT LITTLE DUDE ON THE STREET AND I WAS A TEENAGER. OKAY. >> EXACTLY. >> BUT THIS PARADIGM SHIFT HAPPENED AND, YOU KNOW,

AMERICA — THE AMERICAN POLITICAL ECONOMY, THE SYSTEM WAS WORKING REALLY WELL ECONOMICALLY. ECONOMICALLY ECONOMICALLY, LEAVING ASIDE

RACISM AND MY SOLDIERNY. AS EQUAL AS, YOU KNOW, THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES REALLY NOW. BUT THEN THIS CHANGE HAPPENED AND IT DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN.

IT WASN’T ACCIDENTAL. THERE WAS THIS WHOLE RANGE OF TWEAKS AND BIG CHANGES, HUNDREDS OF THEM, THAT WERE MADE BY THE POLITICAL RIGHT, BY THE ECONOMIC RIGHT, THAT MADE INEQUALITY

WORSE THAN IT HAD TO BE. INEQUALITY INCREASED IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AS WELL, BUT NOT LIKE IT DID IN THIS COUNTRY. AND YOU LOOK BACK, AND I DID LOOK BACK, I WAS OBLIVIOUS, I

WAS COMPLACENT THINGS WERE FINE FOR ME AS THEY WERE FOR LOTS OF PEOPLE, LIBERALS WHO THOUGHT THIS ISN’T SO BAD. IT’S GOING GREAT. BUT YOU LOOK BACK AND I STARTED

WAKING UP, I GUESS, IN THE ’90s, LATE ’90s, AND SAYING WAIT, HOW IS THIS HAPPENING? FINALLY WITH THIS BOOK, "EVIL GENIUSES" I’M TRYING TO DO A FORENSIC PLAY BY PLAY OF HOW

GREED WAS UNLEASHED. IT WAS A DO YOUR OWN THING, FIND YOUR OWN BLISS, PRINCIPLES, IDEAS OF THE LATE ’60s THAT GOT UNFORTUNATELY WEAPONIZED INTO BUSINESS AND GREED AND MARKET

VALUES OVERRODE ALL OVER AMERICAN VALUES. >> OKAY. SO HOW IS IT, THOUGH — I COME FROM, OBVIOUSLY, THE ECONOMIC RIGHT.

I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’RE LEFT, CENTER LEFT, EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE, BUT OBVIOUSLY WE GREW UP ON DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE POLITICAL DIVIDE AND WE BOTH FIND OURSELVES IN THE POSITION NOW,

CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF WESTERN DEMOCRACY, LIBERAL DEMOCRACY WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN, LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN POLAND, IN HUNGARY.

AND IN ALL OF THOSE COUNTRIES ACROSS THE WEST YOU’VE HAD DEINDUSTRIALIZATION, AND IT’S BEEN FOLLOWED BY A TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION THAT HAVE MADE THE RICH RICHER AND THE POOR POORER.

SO I’M WONDERING, IF WE HAD DONE EVERYTHING THE WAY YOU THINK WE SHOULD HAVE DONE IT IN THE ’80s AND THE ’90s — I’M NOT ARGUING THAT WE SHOULDN’T, I’M JUST ASKING HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE

WOULD THAT MAKE BETWEEN WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE ENTIRE WESTERN WORLD? >> LET’S LEAVE BRITAIN AND FRANCE ASIDE. BUT SO MUCH OF EUROPE, NORTHERN

EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA AND CANADA FOR THAT MATTER RIGHT HERE NEXT DOOR. YOU LOOK AT WHERE THEY ENDED UP AND WHERE WE ENDED UP, AND THEY HAVE IN THEIR VERY DIFFERENT

WAYS HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS THAT WORK. YES, THOSE COUNTRIES TOO OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS HAVE DEVELOPED MORE INEQUALITY BUT A TINY BIT MORE BECAUSE THROUGH GOVERNMENT

MEANS THEY BUFFERED THAT THROUGH TAX CODES AND THE REST. THEY MADE THOSE PROBLEMS NOT SO SEVERE. AND — WHEREAS WE DIDN’T. SO IT’S WHAT REALLY WE’VE DONE

SINCE. WHAT WE HAVEN’T DONE OVER THE TIME. WE LET — WE HAD PETAL TO THE METAL HYPER CAPITALISM AND ONLY THE TOP 20% GOT RICHER.

YOU LOOK BACK AND FOR 75% OF AMERICANS, MEDIAN INCOME HAS REALLY BEEN FLAT LINED. THAT DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN. NOR DID IT JUST HAPPEN THAT WE DECIDED — OR PRIVATE COMPANIES

DECIDED NO MORE PENSIONS, NO MORE FIXED BENEFIT PENSIONS, WE’LL LET HEALTH CARE GET OUT OF CONTROL, WE’LL LET HIGHER EDUCATION GET EXPENSIVE. THOSE THINGS DIDN’T HAPPEN IN

THE REST OF THE RICH WORLD. WE DID A LOT OF THINGS WRONG. IT’S GOING TO TAKE WHAT I THINK LOOKS RADICAL TO FIX IT. AS I SAY, I WAS A CENTRIST, I WAS A CENTRIST LIBERAL DEMOCRAT,

NOT VERY FAR LEFT ON ECONOMICS. BUT ONCE YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS AS I SPENT THE LAST THREE YEARS DOING, ONCE YOU LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW AND WHY IT HAPPENED, IT REALLY WAS THE RICH

AND THE ECONOMIC — AND THE IDEOLOGICAL RIGHT AND BIG BUSINESS DECIDING WE’RE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, ANYTHING WE WANT, TO MAINTAIN AND INCREASE

OUR POWER AND WEALTH.

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