I don't know about anyone else, but I feel there's something rather disconcerting about about watching four extremely rich American immigrants who were all born on third base, discussing the reasons for lack of upward mobility in the United States, but that's exactly what we got here on CNN's weekend show, Your Money.
I guess they couldn't find anyone who actually grew up as a member of the working class or a union member or leader to potentially counter the likes of Mort Zuckerman, and statements such as this one that are inevitable when you allow him on the air:
ZUCKERMAN: Let me just say I really support what Arianna has just described. I think there are huge problems in this country and a lot of it, in my judgment, stems not from capitalism but from the government.
I'll focus on the first one, which is we have done a terrible job in providing enough education for the children of this country. There's a whole mismatch in terms of the number of people coming out looking for jobs and the qualifications that people need for jobs, particularly those who are educated, particularly in the world of science and technology.
There are shortages of people, there are literally millions of open jobs because we don't train --
VELSHI: But why does the free market not solve that problem?
ZUCKERMAN: Because the education is a government function. If there ever was a public function in this country from the days it started, it's public education and we've done a lousy job. Part of it is frankly because we have lousy teachers.
Part of the reason we have lousy teachers is we have teachers union that say won't deal with those issues. So there are lots of reasons why education is not being properly handled in this country.
But to me if I could think of one thing that would change it, it would be to change our system of education and make sure that our children were properly educated.
I can think of a lot of reasons as to why we are lacking upward mobility in the U.S., like outsourcing, a race to the bottom on wages (which is what Zuckerman is really advocating for here), union busting, corporate raiders and vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney and his ilk, our terrible trade laws, lowering taxes on the rich, not regulating the financial sector, privatizing our commons, and some of the issues they did touch on during this segment. But not being able to fire enough of those terrible greedy overpaid teachers that have those damned unions representing them is not one of them that makes my list.
And Zakaria wasn't much better with basically saying we have to choose between our social safety nets or investing in infrastructure and education as though we can't do something about the unfairness in our tax structure and controlling the costs of providing medical benefits to Americans, like say, single-payer, and do both. I will give him credit though for admitting that austerity isn't going to solve our economic problems and at least bothering to mention that the people who are still employed are in the jobs you can't outsource. It would have been nice to hear the topic of the pure greed of a few and the race to the bottom that got us there though, which I don't expect from the likes of CNN. They play the same "fair and balanced" game Fox does. They're just not as blatant about it.
Full transcript below the fold.
Continue reading »