transcript of jeffrey sachs and tavis smiley directly following obama state of union speech 2015
Tavis Smiley - state of nation speech review
Provision free access fir 2 years of community college, what impact
JS Home run: we absolutely need to ;put focus on skills , training that’s route to better jobs- education high tuition costs major barrier for kids in poor famlies- much overdue
TS reduction premiums for federal housing loans ---?
JS proposal in direction of trying to help ;poor and working class families- part of overall package- don’t see it as decisive but its good as part of a package of saying we have to give some help because the income inequalities of our country have reached historic proportion
TS notion of paid family leave for workers
JS Can you believe that usa is the only high income nation that doesnt provide this .. this is another case of american exceptionalism in exactly the wrong way, we’re exceptional in not providing this basic level of assurance to all families
TS what do you make of jamie diamond recent lobbying of congress to roll back regulations on big banking?
Js there is one world I would use- shame – when Jamie Diamond is out there lobbying for these breaks instead of reflecting on fact that his company jp morgan has paid estimated 100 billion dollar in fines for all their massive illegalities- I cant believe these CEOS are in place anymore given what their companies did, the fraud they engaged in, the fines they have paid – where are our regulators? where are basic standards of upstanding requirements to be a leading banker in this country as there are in other countries
Its not a good thing we are seeing we are seeing the bluntness of the american pay to play
TS : originally candidate obama said he would work or irradicate poverty – it took him 5 years to make a speech on that
He said poverty/income inequality is defining issue of our times—what do you make of the fact that everyone seems to be getting into this conversation –what do you make of everyone having this on lips
JS this is the issue that should have been faced many years ago- it is bit striking that even the republicans who have been nothing but ruthless in going for tax breaks for the rich are at least mouthing this – I don’t give much credence in terms of actual ;policies they are going to follow but they are acknowledging something which is that America has a shocking level of wealth and income inequality
But we have to say something else because its only true unfortunately, both parties are in this dirty business, both parties feed at the same campaign trough – it was president clinton who brought wall street into democratic party- his famous triangularisation – and wall street has been funding the republicans and the democrats
--our system is rotten because money is at the core of american politics right now
the working people and the poor do not have their say
we have problem of money driving policy in both parties
TS what do we do about that?
Js first we have to applaud the ;president proposals tonight- we have to get out and say this is the right track..
I do believe though we are going to have to go back to the basics of social movement [- we are rethinking and reliving the experiences of 50 years ago Selma
Back in 2007 obama said he wasn’t going to take money but then he flipped
He flipped in 2008 and did a lot of big budget money – he had too much wall street in white house in first 2 years – the bankers were his advisers-
We need a social movement
Our supreme court has done what it can to wreck our democracy= people all over world cannot believe what they see in America these days- the amount of money flowing is something unlike anything you would see in any hi-income democracy- we have legalised one of the most corrupted systems imaginable- the supreme court you read the opinions you cant even believe it – they say why is the public going to mind? The supreme court has been disastrous-
we don’t know how much Koch brothers put in – some say it may be over 400 million dollars –because of supreme court we don’t what they gave
Going back to poverty as it will relate to 2016 election
never seen presidential debate focusing exclusively on the issue of poverty and income equality
I will watch where the candidates go- eg when they come to new york I want see them going out to poor neighborhoods