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Posts Tagged ‘Thom Hartmann’

I’ve been a regular listener to prominent financial analyst, Mish Shedlock, ever since 2008. I find he has a lot of interesting things to say, and he makes his case very well.

That is, until I heard him call for outlawing all public unions, on Coast to Coast AM on April 22, 2010.

At 35:54 in the first hour mp3, he states: “I would be in favor, actually, of outlawing all public unions, for the simple reason no one’s taking the side of the public. These guys are supposed to be public servants. They’re not. They’re serving themselves.

Given the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of association, a constitutional amendment would be required to restrict that freedom.

I’ve never been a member of a union — public or private. Nor have I been in a management relationship with a public union. Therefore, I feel I can comment more objectively than most who have been or are.

Regardless of how one feels about unions, I believe that freedom of association is a human right, and it is certainly constitutionally guaranteed in the United States by the first and ninth amendments. It is subject to certain limitations, such as during the open commission of a crime, lawful detention, being found guilty of a crime by pleading guilty, or being found guilty by a jury of your peers. Aside from that, any infringement of it requires a constitutional amendment.

The good news, from my perspective? There have been over 29,000 amendment proposals, according to Thom Hartmann,  and only 27 have been ratified to date — a 99.9% failure rate, due to the high bar set by the amendment process.

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On Friday, October 30, 2009, Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, was on The Thom Hartmann Program, on his weekly “Brunch with Bernie” segment, and stated exactly what the American people are up against in achieving financial reform. Starting at 5:31, he states:

We need financial reform. We need to put a cap on credit card interest rates. We need to deal with this “too big to fail,” and we need to break up some of these large financial institutions, we need an audit of the Fed. We need to do all of that, and more. But most importantly, long term, this is a huge fight, because you’re taking on the most powerful people in America. They make the oil industries and the drug companies look like lightweights. But essential, that’s what this struggle is about. Do we get capital out to the productive economy, while these guys continue to live in their own world, making huge sums of money.

Despite President Obama campaigning on a platform of “change,” where is the change so far? He received more in campaign donations from the banking sector than McCain did during the 2008 presidential campaign. Even with a theoretical filibuster-proof majority of 60 Democratic caucus members in the Senate, they still haven’t got through any of the changes that Senator Bernie Sanders is advocating.

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