BTS 10/20/08: Crisis and Bailout; Capitalism and Consumer Manipulation

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Consumer confidence is at an all time low as housing prices continue to fall, stock portfolios disappear and job losses mount. The pundits think socialism has arrived and the candidates talk about tax cuts. A rescue operation isn’t socialism and it doesn’t address the underlying causes, but it seems likely to concentrate the control of credit in a few giant banks newly subsidized by generations of public debt. We go beneath the surface with Nomi Prins and talk about what is ahead -- assuming the bailout plan will work.

Then, Richard Lichtman joins us for critical comment on the fascinating documentary The Century of the Self (our thank-you gift today for subscribing to KPFK). The documentary is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to engineer consent, promote consumption and manipulate consumer choices. Richard Lichtman promises to elucidate the relationship between the nature of our economic system and the structure of consumer manipulation.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Nomi Prins is a journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos. She is the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004), chosen as a Best Book of 2004 by The Economist, Barron's and The Library Journal, Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not) (Polipoint Press, Sept. 2006) and The Trail, a thriller written under her pseudonym, Natalia Prentice - selected to Forbes' CEO Book Club in April, 2008. It Before becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and ran the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London. She is a regular commentator and journalist on broadcast media and print. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Fortune, Mother Jones,, The Guardian UK, The, The American Prospect, The Left Business Observer, LaVanguardia, Against the Current and other publications.

2. Richard Lichtman is author of a book on Marx and Freud, The Production of Desire, and the Director of new innovative program in Critical Theory (for more info, email: He specializes in the relationship between the social and psychological dimensions of human life. His other books include Essays in Critical Social Theory, Dying in America, and An Outline of Marxism.