American industry has been gutted, with wages and benefits stagnant or reduced, thanks to disastrous trade deals, outsourcing, and the crippling of unions, according to researcher Donald Jeffries. He joined Richard Syrett to discuss the widening income disparity in America, how more and more people are struggling economically and realizing that the system is rigged against them. We've witnessed a massive transfer of wealth into the hands of the people at the top, along with them getting all the perks, benefits, and freebies, even though they don't need them, Jeffries pointed out. The average salary in America is about $44,000 a year, whereas CEOs make around $22 million, and there is nothing in their work performance, he commented, than can justify this gross imbalance. Even CEOs that fail miserably are given huge "golden parachutes."
The effect is global, with the 62 richest people in the world having more wealth than the bottom half of the world. America was insulated from this effect for a long time, he remarked, but now that factories and manufacturing have disappeared, there are fewer and fewer good jobs for those without college educations, and the skyrocketing costs of college have made attendance difficult for all but the wealthy. People get more upset about the poor getting welfare than say a wealthy sports team owner getting city funds to build a stadium. They just don't see the big picture, he added.
We talk about companies and banks that are "too big to fail," but the mass of humanity has been resigned to being "too small to succeed," said Jeffries, noting the lack of opportunities for people to earn a living wage. We hear that raising minimum wage will cause the price of products to rise, but why don't they apply that argument to the exorbitant CEO salaries and corporate pay outs?, he pondered. Jeffries cited the career of Louisiana senator Huey Long as someone who tried to turn things around. A genuine populist, his motto was "every man a king, and no one wears a crown," and his 'Share Our Wealth Society' had 10 million members at the time of his assassination in 1935.
The John Titor Mystery
In the year 2000, a man calling himself John Titor introduced himself to the Internet as a time traveler from the year 2036. He weaved a rich tale of being sent back to 1975 to retrieve an IBM 5100 computer. In the years that followed, select details would emerge to help further legitimize John Titor but the question of whether or not Titor was a real time traveler remains a subject of contentious debate. In the first hour, author and investigator Mike Sauve talked about the veracity of the case, and who might be behind the original postings. One theory posits that Larry Haber, an attorney who claimed to represent John Titor's mother, instigated the posts, and one of Haber's two brothers, who both have IT backgrounds, contributed the science/computer material.