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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 6, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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part. >> doesn't matter. it's about rich kids at harvard. >> all right. you've got to get "the hollywood reporter." you've got to check out this poll. it's fascinating. janice min of the hollywood reporter, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> you can have the last word on our blog, last-word.msnbc.com. you can find my tweets @lawrence. "the rachel maddow show" is next. sitting in tonight ezra klein. good evening, ezra. >> good evening, lawrence. how are you doing? >> thanks. thanks for taking over. we're done here. >> happy to be here. and thank you to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel has a well-earned nigh off. this has been a dramatic week for the 2012 campaign but not because a lot of exciting things are actually happening. it's more because there are a lot of exciting things not actually happening. for instance, on tuesday, in a long press conference that can really only be described as epic, new jersey governor chris christie forever left his mark on the 2012 race by announcing he would not be part of it. >> in the end, what i've always felt was the right decision
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remains the right decision today. now is not my time. i have a commitment to new jersey that i simply will not abandon. so new jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me. >> then yesterday there was another big development in the 2012 race, and that one also came in the form of something not happening. this time it was former half-term alaska governor sarah palin, who announced in for her a curiously low-key way, a letter to her supporters that she too was passing on the race. governor palin wrote, i quote, "i believe that at this time i can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office." so watch out, untrue public servants. but the idea is big news. it is something not happening. again. these two events, or non-events as the case may be, are turning points in the narrative, in the story we tell ourselves about american politics. they mean some of the characters that the media was looking
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forward to covering won't be in the play. and other characters, i'm looking at you, herman cain, will have an unexpected starring role. they mean the sarah palin story has come to an end, not with a bang but to steal a line from the new republic's walter shapiro with a pimp-out. but this is the truth. those two events this week they don't matter that much not if you're asking the question of which party will ultimately win the presidency in 2012, of who will really control the white house. and that's because these questions rely on a fallacy, a mistake, a big analytical fault line that runs right underneath the way we cover the race for the presidency. we like to focus on characters and campaigns and people. we believe in ads and messaging and we believe in speeches. too often the way we understand presidential elections is really no different than the way we understood our high school elections. they're both just big popularity contests and the winner is whoever is cooler, whoever has a better campaign, whoever will buy us beer. and god bless the american voter for this. he doesn't and she doesn't get
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the credit they deserve. the american public are not that shallow. candidates matter of course and so do campaigns, but not that much. not as much as people often think. but you know what does matter thatch, what really drives these elections? the economy. the economy matters. the economy is swroerts look to understand whether the president is doing a good job or a bad one. because though campaign ads might lie, paychecks usually don't. this graph, and come on, you knew i'd bring a graph, shows the share of the vote won by the president's party against the income growth in the year before the election. except when ike was running, everybody liked ike, people liked the end of world war ii, it's a pretty strong relationship. and right up there at the top, way up there, you notice there are three elections we always think of as blowouts of bad candidates. goldwater in '64, mcgovern in '72, and mondale in '84. those were also it turns out the years in which incomes did the very best. we look back and we tell a story about candidate failure. about mondale promising to raise
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taxes and the government being supported by hippies and goldwater being an extremist. but you know, bill clinton got re-elected after raising taxes and ronald reagan, he got elected despite all of barry goldwater's opinions. so yeah, candidates matter but sometimes in their campaigns they confuse us. doesn't it seem awfully coincidental that the biggest blowouts happen in the years with the biggest income growth? doesn't that make you wonder? and then if you look internationally, if you widen the perspective, it's true there too. larry barpels a political scientist at vanderbilt university looked at 31 elections held in 26 countries after the '07 financial crisis. he found, and i quote, "voters consistently punished incumbent governments for bad economic conditions with little apparent regard for the ideology of the government. so if you were a conservative politician in charge of some european country when lehman went down, sorry, you're out. if you were a liberal leader, you didn't know better. voters didn't care that it wasn't really your fault or that
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you gave good speeches or that they had liked you a few years before. campaign ads don't trump unemployment. but now it looks like europe might be about to return the favor. if you want to know who really might decide the 2012 election don't look to david plouffe or karl rove and his super pac or david koch or even mitt romney and barack obama although i want to be clear those guys are going to be pretty important. instead keep an eye on this woman and this guy. that's angela merkel, chancellor of germany. and that's mayo draghi -- sorry, i like to say that. head of the europe b central bank. and they're the folks in charge right now of whether greece and ireland and portugal go down or not. and so they're the folks in charge of whether we go down or not. if you want to know why we in in america aren't seeing a swifter economic recovery why we're mired in the stags-nation, europe's a big part of it. they're a big part of it, bigger than even ours. we do hundreds of billions of dollars of trade with them. our banks are interlinked. and just as our financial crisis collapsed their economies can if they have another economic crisis we're going to have one
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too. a few weeks ago goldman sachs was estimating that europe's problems would estimate a full percentage point off our economic growth next year. that's a lot. that is real bad. but now it's gotten worse. now they're estimating that they'll bring us, "to the edge of recession by early 2012." that is a lot worse. and if things in europe go even worse than, that that means they'll push us over the edge right into recession in 2012. so in other words, if europe doesn't get its act together we're likely to have a global recession next year and among other things that's going to make it really hard for barack obama to get re-elected. if europe manages to make the tough political decisions necessary to solve their problems, we could see a lot of uncertainty and pressure on the economy left and a real recovery. this is for american politics and the american voter a bit of a weird place to be in. perhaps the most important decisions for our economy and for our next election are not really in our control. all we can do is try and buy insurance against the europeans screwing up. and that in fact is exactly how
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president obama described the american jobs act at a press conference earlier today. >> this is not the time for the usual political gridlock. the problems europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it's already fragile. but this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn if the situation in europe gets any worse. >> guard against another downturn. that is exactly what we're not doing. instead the number two republican in the house, eric cantor, is saying the jobs bill is dead, but he's not proposing any serious alternatives. meanwhile, republicans are trying to intimidate the federal reserve into cowering in the corner until the end of the 2012 election. you would think the republicans would be horrified at the thought of letting european leaders decide an american election. in fact, they sort of seem to be courting it. joining us now is jared bernstein, a former member of president obama's economic team, a former economic adviser to vice president biden. he's now a senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities and an msnbc contributor. jared, my friend of many
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affiliations, thank you for being here. >> my pleasure, ezra. >> so president obama described his jobs act today. and he said it was at least in part an insurance policy against what's happening in europe. if that doesn't go forward, what other options do we have? how do we prepare for this storm? >> well, it's a tough question. i mean, first of all, insurance is something you buy against something bad that might happen in the future. we've got bad things happen in the present, and part of them are very much related to the european contagion. although of course he our problems started years ago. look, fiscal policy, you know my wrap. it's really the only game in town. i like what with ben bernanke and the federal reserve are doing to try to lower interest rates to stimulate more investment. but people won't invest if there's not more customers, more orders, more projects that investors who are sitting on the sidelines would view as profitable. so i think there's a sequencing here. first you need a fiscal boost,
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and i think the president's plan is a very good one. if you tell me we're taking that off the table and ask me what's next, i don't know, patent reform? trade bimz? it's a very tough box. >> and let me stick on here for just a second here. how big do you think it might get? are you at the canned goods and ammo stage or are you just reading the "financial times" a little more attentively than usual? >> a little more on the former than the latter. >> oh, no. >> it's not that there aren't solutions to the problems in europe. just like there are solutions here. there are a set of solutions staring us in the face. in fact, markets are actually working quite well. they have interest rates very low here. so they're kind of screaming at the government to borrow and engage in temporary fiscal stimulus. in europe we know there needs to be a large liquidity injection. a country like greece needs to restructure some of its debt. it ain't going to be easy it ain't going to be pretty but my biggest worry is it's not going to happen because i was just
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reading a long article about this today. and you know, ezra, chess is like a hard game. 17-dimensional change is higher. right now you've got, what is it, malta and i can't remember another country. you've got so many different countries that you've got to agree to this and you've got electorates. you've got different governments. it's very challenging and there's a lot of indecisiveness. so i'm worried about the functionality of the leaders over there. >> right. almost any one country can veto it. it's like the senate on steroids. >> exactly. >> but talk about the senate for a minute. one of the likely scenarios is bill gets broken down a little or passed around in piecemeal. the president broached that in his press conference. in your view what would be the most important parts of the package to push, what would be the ones the democrats are really fighting to keep? >> you're asking a starving man to pick one choice on a menu but i'll try. i'm going to cheat a little bit. i think the rule -- if that's my choice, i'm just going to say economic hippocratic oath, do no harm. right now we have a payroll tax
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cut and extended weeks of unemployment benefits at work in the 2011 economy that leave the scene and december 31st at the end of this year. they're both in the jobs plan. and renewing them, which is part of the jobs plan, doesn't put your foot down any harder on the accelerator because they're already in the economy. there's no new fiscal impulses the way economists talk about it. but if you don't do them, you take your foot off the accelerator. so i'd say at least payroll tax and extend ui benefits. >> jared bernstein, thank you very much, and good luck getting the canned goods. >> thank you, ezra. moving on, chris christie, gone. sarah palin, bye-bye. rick perry, slipping. so who's left in the republican feemd? herman cain -- actually, oh, yeah. herman cain. what that means is up next. it's game day, buddy, and, boy, are we in for a doozy.
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in 2008 a democrat won the white house in a historic victory. so how did we get here where the average american feels so left behind? coming up i'm talk with the author of shock doctrine naomi
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klein about the occupy wall street protests and what's next. just ahead. in america, we believe in a future that is better than today. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams.
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they tell us what they will do. but mitt romney, to his great dismay, isn't alone on the stage this week. a new poll out shows him tied for first place with herman cain. herman cain, who used to be known to most people as the guy from the pizza company, the guy who said what about muslims in his cabinet? but now that guy, according to must silver at the must-read 538 blog, now that guy is depending on how you slice the numbers either leading or tied for the lead in polls of republican voters. now, look, one glance at the unemployment numbers is enough to get at the basic importance of this election. it is not for kicks. obama is not a shoo-in. whoever the republicans nominate might well be sborn worn in as president in japan 2013. and that means they'll have their finger on the button, they'll have to take control of the treasury department. and given the gridlock, probably means responsibility for reforming the tax code, too. so in addition to evidence that they're tied at moment, mitt
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romney and herman cain have something else important in common also. they have both released economic plans that would, among other things, reform the tax code. mitt romney's is very long. it is 160 pages. but good for him. the tax code and the rest of the economy is complicated. herman cain's plan for the economy is -- i'm trying to think what the best way to put this is. it has a title. it definitely has a title. it's herman cain's 999 plan. and to listen to cain tell it, it'll wash your car and do your dishes. but to read about it can be a bit of a mind-bending experience, actually. cain's website says it is based on the principle that, "a dollar must always be a dollar, just as an hour is always 60 minutes." okay, then. also, "the natural state of our economy is prosperity. freedom ensures that." so thumbs up for freedom. but what is the 999 plan? i mean, it's got to be more than just bottled freedom. well, it's a 9% flat tax on businesses, a 9% income tax, and
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a 9% national sales tax. that's really all we know. we don't have numbers on it. we don't have specifics. we don't have revenue estimates or information on who it will hurt and who it will help. it's sort of like going to a car dealership and getting a photograph of the car. except car dealer is running for president. fox's chris wallace seemed similarly confused a few weeks ago when he interviewed cain. sew pressed him for some specifics. >> there's no explanation on your website of how you arrived at 999 or how these numbers add up. >> that is a good question, chris wallace. how do these numbers add up? other than the rhetorical value of the title, 999 -- it's fun to say, though -- how did cain decide that 9% was exactly the right amount at which to tax people across all forms of taxation? how did he decide that was a perfect policy for freeing the economy? >> here's how we arrived at it. i had some of the best economists in this country help me to develop this plan. >> that is intriguing. who are the best economists in
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this country, mr. cain? >> now, you say that, and you say that -- and you've just repeated, that this plan was researched and developed by some of the leading economic thinkers in the country. >> yes. >> again, we looked at your website. no mention of anyone. >> no. i haven't put them on there. >> tell me the name of one of these leading economic thinkers who helped you come up with this plan. >> my -- the chairman of my economic advisers is a gentleman by the name of rich lowrie out of cleveland, ohio. he worked with a couple of other people quite frankly that are well known that i'm not at liberty to mention their names. >> why not? >> why not indeed. if it was such a great plan, wouldn't they like their names attached to it? wouldn't they like to be a part of history? wouldn't they like to be famous for coming up with a plan that saved the american economy? you shouldn't be so humble, secret economic advisers. we want to hear from you. we need to hear from you. because no one i talked to can really make heads or tails of the plan. in fact, i'm getting two completely different interpretations. when i went and looked around. the center for american progress checked out the plan, and they concluded it would raise about
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half as much as our current tax system. that's not the fiscally responsible revenue-neutral plan cain promised. infrastructure, that would create a deficit that it's impossible almost to figure out how big that would be. so i asked the non-partisan tax policy center to take another look. and they weren't sure. they thought the corporate tax would act more like a consumption tax, so all in all the plan would impose an 18% tax on everything you consume. now, let's be real clear. that's a huge move, to move from an income tax system which is progressive to a consumption tax system, which is regressive because poor folks spend more of their money. it is a huge shift in the burden. perhaps the biggest, most radical seismic shift in taxes since we created the income tax. but i couldn't get the cain campaign to tell me which interpretation was right. earlier today cain told lawrence o'donnell that the other tax changes in his plan would more than compensate every low-income american. but that's not what the tax experts seem to think.
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you can't change it this radically and everybody comes out ahead. so until cain releases a detailed analysis of his plan or at least a more detailed description so someone else can do a detailed analysis, it's not something we can check. ronald reagan once said quite wisely but in another context entirely, "trust but verify." in a primary in politics generally you don't want to trust that much at all. you just want to verify. so please, gop voters, please go heavy on the verify. verify, verify, verify. joining us now to help us verify is melissa harris perry, an msnbc contributor and a professor of political science at tulane university. melissa, it is wonderful to see you. >> hi, ezra. glad to join us. >> so do you think -- do you think this is right, what herman's cane plan do the unspeakable, raise taxes on the things we buy and move taxes from the rich to the poor? >> well, so first, deep breath. right? i suspect that the cain campaign is as surprised to be in a
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potentially front-running pohl position as the rest of us are. remember, people run for president in all kinds of different ways and for different reasons and part of -- you know, sometimes people are really running for vice president or they're really running for a cabinet position. they're running hoping that their primary bid will actually gain them status and credibility within the party. but in this particular circumstance the republicans have had such a hard time getting a candidate that is a clear consensus front-runner that all of a sudden cain finds himself out there with a plan that is certainly half baked. now, that said, if he were elected president of the united states and he were elected somehow with a republican congress that was prepared to pass any tax plan that he suggested and we somehow ended up with a 999 plan, all of which is pretty unlikely to happen, if that happened, this is undoubtedly, incredibly regressive. and would create a circumstance where middle-class,
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working-class, and poor households would carry an enormous, enormous tax burden. >> and here's the thing about that because obviously you're right in almost all of the particulars. we have a system in which it is very, very hard to make change. you can ask president obama about that. there are many road blocks. and of course cain is trying to get headlines. but i actually think it's sort of important. i think it's important that when these candidates say this is what i want to do we take that seriously because it is the only guide that we have to what they will do in office and also in particular in a crisis. and we'll talk about this a bit later in the show. we had an event in the senate tonight where the rules got changed slightly but in a fairly dramatic fashion. and so if republicans decide to eliminate the filibuster, suddenly some of the things we think are very unlikely now become in a burst of political energy with another recession and a new president much more likely. so i do think -- i sort of wonder whether or not republicans would look at this and become a little bit unnerved because people do bring up things like the value added tax and sales taxes now and they don't tend to like it. >> well, here's exactly -- i
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think that you and i are on exactly the same page with this. so you started in your last segment, we're really talking about the fact that this election very well may be decided by macro or even global economic processes. but that doesn't mean that what happens in the election itself is irrelevant because what happens in these campaigns is we really start talking about what are the things that we value. when we elect a president, we are not in fact electing someone who can just make policy however he or she would like. but we are typically sort of choosing a package of values and ideas. in this context part of what choosing herman cain for president would mean is choosing simplicity over recognition of how complex something like the faction code is, so saying look, i don't care what 999 means, i just know it's simple and i can understand it. it would also mean saying we value sort of the wealthiest americans keeping more of their money while burdening the poorest americans really on the
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consumption end. so burdening them in the sense that every, you know, loaf of bread that they buy, every pair of shoes that they buy, is exceptionally more expensive relative to their income than it is for wealthier americans. and really sort of opting into that as what our is next set of economic and political values would be. and that i think i agree with you, that is why it matters, whether or not herman cain is actually going to be president is less relevant than whether or not we buy into those things as our value system. >> beautifully put. melissa harris-perry, msnbc contributor and a professor of political science at tulane university. thank you so much for coming out today. >> nice to see you, ezra. >> you don't hear it from the media nearly enough. but the left is officially -- what's the word? perturbed. author naomi klein joins me for the interview, just ahead. than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris, to the nose. did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation?
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it's been three years now since this country's hit by the great recession or depending what you want to call it, the lesser depression. and we are still suffering from it. so you might think that addressing the predatory lending by banks that helped get us into this mess might be the sort of thing that no one in american politics could safely oppose, at least not if they wanted to keep their job. that postulate is about to get a stern testimony. richard cord raye, the president's nominee to lead the consumer financial protection bureau, cleared his first hurdle today when he made it out of the senate financial services committee on a party line vote. but republicans we're told are planning a filibuster when he
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comes before the full senate. that's not all. a few years after the richest folks in the richest sector of the richest economy in the world crashed the global financial system and left millions jobless, republicans might also filibuster. in fact, it seems like they're planning to filibuster the president's jobs bill, a bill that would give the middle class a tax cut, extend unemployment benefits, hire people to repair roads, all to keep taxes for millionaires from going up. it is a remarkable display of solidarity with the top 1%. in fact, it's a little odd. if you didn't know better, you might think the gop wanted wall street to get occupied. when we come back, we'll talk about the other 99% and the protests some of them have launched with the author of "the shock doctrine," naomi klein, who just gave a speech this evening to the occupy wall streeters today. stick around. [ female announcer ] removing facial hair can be irritating.
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movement has grown well beyond wall street and spread to cities far away from new york. and the protesters who are occupying parks and sidewalks all over the country are making one thing clear. they are, as you just heard in the chant, the 99%. which is to say they are not part of the richest 1% of america. so what's bringing them out in the streets? what do the occupy wall streeters, the 99%, want? they're not protesting because they want a revolution or communism or anarchy. listen to them. you should take a look at their stories, which they're telling online on a tumblr blog. here's one. "i moved home in august after six months in my friend's basement. between my low wage no benefits job and $70,000 in private loans i could not afford to rent. i'm unemployed and uninsured but i am in good company. i am the 99%." another. "i am 36 years old. i have my master's degree, and i work two jobs. my husband has his ph.d. and works four. we have one jchild and health care coverage.
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we are luckier than most. my parents can't afford to retire. they live week by week deciding to purchase their medications or pay their bills. what happened to the american dream?" those folks are protesting because they feel like they made a deal. you might be familiar with this deal. you work marred, get an education, maybe take out loans to get that education but you do that because it's what you're supposed to do to get ahead, to reach for that brass ring you call the american dream. but these folks, they didn't end up with the american dream. they ended up with debt, a lot of it. and perhaps if everyone was suffering that wouldn't be so hard to take. but for the top 1% the deal seems to have actually changed a little bit. you work hard, you actually make a lot of your own rules, and you end up with more thaun ever dreamed possible. 35 years ago the top 1% of income earners made 9% of all the income in this country. now that top 1% makes almost a quarter of the income in the country. 1% of americans making nearly 24% of every dollar in income paid out anywhere in the country. so you have to ask yourself, how is it that the 1% is doing so great? they haven't been playing more by the rules or getting more
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educated. and here's the really important part if you want to understand why the other 99% are out protesting and they're calling their movement occupy wall street. how come the top 1% has stopped bringing anybody else along with them? look at the relationship between the 1%, they're the red line here, and everyone else. the blue line. if you look at what everyone was making in 1945, set that as your 1, there was a while when we were all pretty near each other. there was a while when we rose and fell together. then we didn't. starting in about the '80s that just stopped. it's around the same time median wages for most most of us stopped moving too. they stopped rising. and look at what happens in the '80s. the top 1% goes way up. everyone else stays flat. if the other 99 kept rising we wouldn't be talking about occupy wall street right now. americans don't resent people's success. the 99% don't resent there is a top 1%. they resent the fact the system stopped working for them. they resent the top 1% now inhabits a different economy than everyone else, an economy with different rules, an economy with rules in fact they seem to get to make up as they go along.
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when you look at these numbers, this trend, when you see how it looks and feels to people, i can't imagine that's sustainable in the long run. that's not a political equilibrium the country can keep going with. and in fact, people have been wondering about that. timothy noah who was a writer for slate at the time, now at the "new republic," wrote a wonderful series on inequality last year, which we'll link on maddow blog so you can read it. he asked "why aren't the bottom 99% marching in the streets?" now increasingly they are. joining us now for the interview is naomi klein, documentary film producer, activist, and author of "the shock doctrine." she was at the occupy wall street protest this is evening. so we should begin, what is the mood there like tonight? last night there was a tense showdown with police. some people got pepper sprayed. how are things holding up? >> but yesterday there was a huge march as well. arguments about the numbers, definitely more than 10,000 people. so that incident with the pepper spray hasn't in any way dampened
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people's feeling that they're part of a movement on a roll. the enthusiasm is pretty amazing. their biggest problem is that the square is too small. it's hard to move. and the early organizers are talking nostalgically about the beginning when there was more of a sense of community because it's so big. so that's the kind of problem you want to have. >> new york. space is very small in new york. >> you're talking about maybe some more spaces. this is a movement that's really growing, people, their spirits are really high. and they're really proud of the fact that even though there has been police violence against the protesters, we saw those really disturbing images, the protesters are really proud that they have been really disciplined, that they have been committedly non-violent, and that this media narrative hasn't lapsed into the usual, you know, cops versus protesters fighting in the streets. there aren't broken windows to point to. there aren't street fights to point to. and it's actually just feeding their movement that we keep seeing images of peaceful demonstrators being beat up by
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cops or pepper sprayed by cops, especially because those cops have been getting money from some of the banks that they are protecting. >> now, one of the criticisms people have lobbed at the movement is that they don't have demands, they don't have a white paper. and some of the organizers called back and said, no, we don't have is that, we're building a movement, we're keeping an open tent. you were down there and you thought a lot about it. which side of this argument do you fall on? >> it isn't exactly a movement yet. it's a moment. it's a howl against inequality. it's a space that has been created that is sufficiently open that it's allowing people to find each other. it's allowing a movement to find itself, to find its footing. it would be very silly at this point to come up with a list of demands before this movement knows what it's capable of. the extent of those demands really depends on how powerful this movement is. the genius of making the slogan "we are the 99%" is the sky's the limit, really. it could include everyone except for a very small sliver of society. so why not wait and see how big
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this is? because if this is a relatively small movement then their demands need to be small. but if it's a big movement, they can dream big. we can dream big. s so the other thing is i think we have been -- i call it ngo-ized. in the sense that there really isn't an organized left in this country anymore. it's been beat up by decades of witch hunts and mccarthyism and attacks on trade unions, which are really the backbone of the institutional progressive movement. so people are really in the rubble of those decades of attacks, and they're starting the process of rebuilding. so we become used to ngos with very strict -- the media train. they've got their demands. they've got their messages. what they don't have is a base. so there's no shortage of groups that have all kinds of very specific demands about what should happen with wall street and what should happen with the
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tax system, but they are not -- they don't have power because a group that's working for income redistribution is never going to be funded by large corporations. so we have to work, as my friend billy mckibbin says, in a different kind of currency. and that is energy and passion. and that's what the left hasn't had in trying to be so slick and sort of using the methods of corporations to communicate. no offense, ezra. i don't want to offend you. >> i know. i'm all for white papers and graphs. i do a lot of those. and i can't say they get all that much done. they're good for a blog, but you need a lot in a movement. but that actually goes to a question about the other side of it, which is to say when i was down there yesterday i actually found a lot of wall streeters walking through, lingering on the edges, trying to figure out what this meant for them. did you see much of that? is there -- do you get feeling there's an interfacing there, some type of odd engagement?
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>> there was a youngish woman standing on the street corner in front of occupy wall street holding a sign. i saw her yesterday. that said, "increase my taxes." and i went up to her, and i said, you know, who are you? and she said, i work over there. and she worked in a big corporate law firm. she didn't want to say which one. and she wants her taxes to go up. and she's identifying with the social justice demands. and she said something really interesting to me. she said, in my spare time i work on immigrant rights issues. and all we ever hear about is how there's not enough in this country, there's not enough money for decent health care and decent housing, and there's not enough space to treat immigrants decently. and i just realized, it is such a stroke of organizing genius once again to counter that discourse of scarcity, which is all we hear from washington, the whole discussion about the deficit, to go to the site of
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maximal abundance. >> right. >> which just puts the lie to it. it's not a scarcity -- it is not a scarcity problem. it's a distribution problem. and it's really hard to argue against that when you're right down in the belly of the best. >> naomi klein, author of "the shock doctrine" and bearer of a truly wonderful last name. thanks for being here. >> thanks, ezra. >> coming up on "the ed show" tonight hank williams jr. versus hank williams' jr.'s mouth. ed schultz will have the latest on that saga here after the show. and here the legacy of steve jobs as seen by one of the people who knew him best. i'll talk to former apple ceo john skully just ahead. [ engine revving ]
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former ceo john sculley still ahead.
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the democrats changed the senate tonight. not a lot. not in a way you're likely to really notice or that is even likely to affect anything. but they changed it. they showed it could be done, that the rules of the place aren't written on stone tablets and hand down from a fiery mountain. here's what happened. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell wanted to bring up the president's jobs bill, which majority leader harry reid is modifying in an effort to win more democratic votes. mcconnell wanted to do that for a simple reason. the bill would fail and the democrats would be embarrassed.
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to get there mcconnell tried an arcane but legal maneuver to sustain the vote. it hasn't been done successfully since 1941. what matters, though, is what came next. reid objected. the parliamentarian, the senate's umpire, overruled him. but rather than backing off reid forced a majority vote on the parliamentarian's ruling. the vote succeeded and the rules were changed to outlaw mcconnell's maneuver. this is known in the senate as the nuclear option. it is a way to change the rules with a simple majority. it is in fact the very same procedure bill frist wanted to use to end the judicial filibuster in 2005. democrats opposed it bitterly then and republicans supported it. tonight democrats used the tactics and republicans were left in bitter opposition. it appears reid turned to the nuclear option out of annoyance, not necessarily out of principle. >> we should be able to move matters through here that have happened since the beginning of this country.
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nominations, for example. we can't do that because my friend the republican leader, as candid as he was, said his number one goal is to defeat president obama. and that's what's been going on for nine months here. let's get back to legislating as we did before the mantra around here was "defeat obama." >> but in using this maneuver reid and the democrats made it more likely that it will be used against them. again, perhaps by the republicans and perhaps for a change in the rules that will actually matter. le announcer ] l bodywashes moisturize the same? challenge that thinking with olay. ♪ there's more than a jar of olay moisturizers in every bottle of olay bodywash to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. with olay. every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee,
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even my laundry started to get a funny smell. [ female announcer ] got a bad odor in your high-efficiency washer? clean it with tide washing machine cleaner. three uses will help remove odor-causing residues and leave your washer clean and fresh. to help maintain your h.e. washer, use tide washing machine cleaner once a month. and always wash with tide h.e. detergent, specially formulated for proper h.e. performance. tide washing machine cleaner. clean laundry starts with a clean washer. . >> i want to show you something beautiful. it's just an ordinary kid on an ordinary bike, except the bike is never really ordinary, right. it may be the most efficient machine ever invented. one person, two wheels as far as you want to go. everyone can do it.
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even little kids and you never forget it. you learn by feeling it. you learn it right away. this is something beautiful. a half million people have seen this clip. people love it. it is a little kid learning to use an ipad in an stant. he is learning it because of feeling it. it was designed that way. steve jobs insisted on it. one of the people that knew the apple ceo the best, he believed the computer should be elegantly designed and perfect to use and anyone can go anywhere with them. if you are a mac fanatic like me, you watched steve jobs see keynotes where he rolled out one wonder after another and he did it with the same joke and as always he would say just one more thing. >> so, this is what we're up to today. and i'm really glad you like everything. but there is one more thing. >> but there is one more
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thing -- and there is one more thing. and we have one more thing. >> there is one more thing. >> but there's one more thing. >> but there is one more thing. >> but there is one more thing. >> but there is one more little thing. >> there's always one more thing. just one more. the world today, my corner of it any way, is mourning the loss of steve jobs at age 56 after a long fight with pancreatic cancer we wish there was one more thing. joining us is john sculley. he used to be steve jobs boss and saw him work his way up. nice to have you here. >> nice to be here. >> you spoke of his methodology and the way he approached products was different from the way other people did it. what was that? >> if you go to silicon valley, certainly in the early 1980s when i showed up there, when people talked about products
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they always talked about technology, bits, bytes, performance, metrics. steve never thought or talked that way. he always talked about what it meant to the people who were going to use it. the user experience. steve's great gift was his ability to put together technologies that could be transformed in to magic. the magic was an experience that the world fell in love with. he did it over and over again. steve used to say, i've got just one more product inside of me, and to him it was like a growing, birthing experience for a product. it was something that he didn't probably have total control in his own mind of exactly it was going to be even though he was a perfectionist but it took on a life of its own as he passionately worked toward creating it and he was totally you know neen 'nique from anyone i have net high-tech. >> you said the way, with what
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he believed the important decisions were, they weren't the ones where he had to decide what to do but what not to do. can you give an example of a decision like that? >> sure. steve was brilliant at taking complex things and simplifying them. again, he always did it from the user's point of view. i can remember one night when steve and i were late in the mac building and it was typical for us to be there around midnight, even 1:00 a.m. because that's when the software engineers really get going and a software engineer came up to steve and he handed him a floppy disk and he said, steve, i think you are going to like this and he turned to him and said is it your best work and the software engineer said it's getting there, but it is really, really good and i'm proud of it. and steve picked up the floppy disk and threw at this time at him and said do it again and didn't even look at him. he had standards that were so
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high that anything less than perfection -- so if someone said, steve, i did this particular subroutine in three steps. steve would say go back and do it in two and they'd say did it in two and he said go back and do it in one. he was a demanding task master but on top of every detail. he knew everything going on in that product. there wasn't any decision that he wasn't involved in and it was like the master artist in the renaissance with the workshop of talented people around him. each one working on a different part of the project and there's steve, orchestrating it, making the decisions. and yet, he was not a programmer . he wasn't a software engineer but he was an artist. >> do you think with jobs gone, that methodology and approach to product development can survive? it is something that can be implanted on a culture or a product of is singular mind meeting a singular personality?
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>> i think that steve worked very hard. remember, when i knew and worked closely with him for almost three years he was in his 20s. so, yes he was brilliant and had great visions and the products were great for their time. there were with technology was in the 1980s but the reality was that he was not an experienced executive at that point. he hadn't hit his rhythm yet in terms of how do you manage organizations and get a routine that's scaleable to something large and yet still control the process and the methodology. he's clearly hit his stride over the last 13 years. >> right. >> and the quality of team that he's assembled -- one of steve's great strengths is his ability to recruit outstanding people. he'd always go for people. we'd say steve you can't get that person and he would go get the best person in their field. that's how he thought about things. if you look at the executive
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team he's built around him, they have been working with him for a lot of years. they understand his methodology and have been in their position for a while. they stay in the background. take johnny ives. he was there when i was at apple. he's clearly the best apple designer in the world and yet he sits quietly behind steve while steve is making the decisions. it's an amazing team that he assembled and i think if steve left apple five years ago, before the iphone and the ipad, and before he laid the road map out as to what the post p c era was going to be like apple could have had some serious challenges, but he made it through. and the road map is clear. the team's in place. i think apple's best years are still ahead of it. i think they have got plenty of creativity and methodology in place for the next five to ten years. >> john cull sculley, former ceo

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