BTS 11/17/08: Minsky and the Economic Crisis; Education Cuts and Discrimination

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As we watch the continuing financial fallout fingers are pointing to find the culprits. Paulson flounders, money disappears and G20 meets to – wait for it --agree to meet again when Obama is President. Leading economists in the media, financial sector and government admit they’re all Keynesians now, even as they repeat their ‘free markets and deregulation’ mantra as a guiding theme. As easy as it is to blame Paulson, Bush and the Fed, policy and individuals can’t explain the crisis and they were the enablers not the cause. To get to the underlying fundamental cause of the crisis (and that is where Minsky comes in) – and discuss what to do next, including with the auto industry we talk to Robert Pollin and Jack Rasmus.

Plus: Education cuts and discrimination. While Gov. Schwarzenegger considers cuts to education funding, we talk to Jose Lara about discrimination in the school system, today against undocumented students, and then to Vice-President of UTLA Josh Pechthalt about what happened during the McCarthy witch hunt, when thousands of teachers lost their jobs, leaving a legacy of fear and intimidation while denying women and men the right to pursue their careers.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics and founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Among his many books are Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity (2003, Verso), The Living Wage (with Stephanie Luce) and The Macroeconomics of Saving, Finance, and Investment, of which he was the editor, and New Perspectives in Monetary Macroeconomics: Explorations in the Tradition of Hyman P. Minsky, which he co-edited. He was a member of the Capital Formation Subcouncil of the US Competitiveness Policy Council in the 1990s. He has worked with the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress and the United Nations Development Program, and was the economic spokesperson for the 1992 presidential campaign of Governor Jerry Brown.

2. Jack Rasmus currently teaches Economics and Politics at St. Mary’s College in California. He is the author of the 2006 book, The War at Home: The Corporate Offensive From Ronald Reagan To George W. Bush, and he has two books in the works: Epic Recession and Global Financial Crisis, and The Trillion Dollar Income Shift. Jack writes widely on U.S. economic and domestic policy topics, in "Z" magazine, Critique, In These Times, Amandla, Against the Current, the Dispatcher, and other periodicals. His published articles are available at his website,

3. Jose Lara is Co-Chair of the Association of Raza Educators.

4. Josh Pechthalt is Vice-President of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA).