In this video at Bill Moyers’ Journal, Bill Moyers and and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich rolled up their sleeves to discuss Barack Obama’s objectives regarding national health care reform, including the (potentially feasible) “public option” and (not unlikely option of) “single payor.”
The bottom line: Barack Obama has an uphill struggle against some extremely powerful (monied) interests, including the private insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and other profit-driven corporations that have each hired fleets of lobbyists yelling “socialism.”
At the 14-minute mark, listen to Reich describe how the financial sector has “pulled the wool over the eyes” of the Obama Administration. He warns that the lobbyists are enormously powerful, and that we need Obama and average citizens to start standing up to the lobbyists. As things are, nothing has fundamentally changed regarding the financial system, other than the financial sector’s new ability to paper over its scandalous practices and its ever-increasing massive transfer of wealth from America’s middle class to the financial sector.
In 1980, the top 1% of the country took home 9% of the total national income. By 2007, the top 1% was taking home 21% of the national purchasing power. Reich explains that the middle class has been drained of financial and government power. What has happened is that “capitalism has swallowed democracy.” Reich explains that when the government fails to set boundaries, we have the law of the jungle, and we then have super-capitalism, which is capitalism without democracy. The culprits were the lobbyists who made sure that there was no effective regulation of the financial sector.