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Dylan Ratigan is mad as hell. Infuriated by government corruption and corporate communism, incensed by banksters shaking down taxpayers, and despairing of an ailing health care system, an age-old dependency on foreign oil, and a failing educational system, Ratigan sees an America that has allowed itself to be swindled and robbed. In this book, his first, he rips the lid off our deeply crooked system—and offers a way out.
This country, now more than ever, needs passionate debate and smart policy, a brazen willingness to scrap what doesn’t work, and the entrepreneurial spirit to try what does. Ratigan has compiled brash and fresh solutions for building a new and better America, and with this book he has started the debate America deserves.
With you, he wants to take back the country from the six vampires sucking this nation dry:
· A political system in which lobbyists write legislation, lawmakers place “secret holds” to create more pork for their districts, and money drives the whole process.
· A banking system that uses capital for speculation and debt creation, rather than productive investment.
· A “master-slave” relationship with our Chinese bankers, making our corporations and politicians complicit in a system that rigs our currency and leaves us with permanent joblessness and massive trade deficits.
· A health care system that is among the priciest and least sustainable in the industrialized world.
· An educational system that prizes prestige but produces mediocrity.
· An addiction to foreign oil that has sapped us of our willingness to innovate, made us reliant on inefficient technologies, and left us supportive of corrupt governments.
To combat these vampires and to isolate the systematic ways in which our once productive industries and our government have been breached, Ratigan does not offer a grab bag of flimsy suggestions or useless hot air. Instead he provides readers with a set of values that together form the answer for how each of us can not only understand what has gone wrong—but join together to make it right.
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Dylan Ratigan is the host of MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show, one of the highest-rated, daytime shows on the network. This make-versus-take, analysis-driven daily broadcast fearlessly takes on the world of politics, money, and the unholy alliance between big business and government.
The former global managing editor for corporate finance at Bloomberg News, Ratigan has developed and launched more than half a dozen broadcast and new media properties. They include CNBC’s Fast Money and Closing Bell, as well as DylanRatigan.com, which is home to his podcast, “Greedy Bastards Antidote.”
Ratigan left as host of Fast Money in 2009, provoked by outrage over the government’s handling of the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, he has dedicated his work to launching platforms that engage and debate the U.S. government on policy, while opening the door for millions to learn more about money’s often poisonous role in our democracy. His first book, Greedy Bastards, which will be released on January 10, 2012, details this broken system, and more importantly, illustrates how fixing these problems will release a renaissance of growth and innovation.
Since late September 2011, more than 300,000 people have pledged support, millions of dollars have been raised, and an organization with a staff of a dozen people has been formed under Ratigan’s leadership to pursue the singular objective to pass a 28th Constitutional amendment to separate business and state.
Imagine an ordinary man so desperate that he decides to rob a bank. For years, he’s worked a steady job, but when he loses that job, the only work he can find is as a part-time clerk in a convenience store. Still, he makes do. He cuts his expenses and relies on a little help from his family, though he hates to do so. Then he starts to develop health troubles. He’s nearly sixty years old, and he needs foot surgery. He develops crippling back pain and a frightening bone protrusion sticking out of his chest. He can no longer lift the stock he is supposed to load onto the shelves at the store. Although he could move in with his sister, he doesn’t want to be a burden, and he knows that she can’t afford to pay for his health care out of pocket any better than he can. So what choices does he have? He goes into the local bank and slips the teller a note. It demands $1—and health care.
This is not a fantasy, and the man wasn’t crazy. He was thinking clearly about a crazy situation. Jail, he realized, was the one place where he could get health care without bankrupting himself and his family. “Because he only asked for $1,” Yahoo! News reported, “he was charged with larceny, not bank robbery. But he said that if his punishment isn’t severe enough, he plans to tell the judge that he’ll do it again. His $100,000 bond has been reduced to $2,000, but he says he doesn’t plan to pay it.” Jail, he said, was the best of his bad options.
That true story is one glimpse of a country going seriously wrong. Our unemployment is stuck near Depression levels, prompting outcries on both the left and the right. “We’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless,” wrote economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times. “One-sixth of America’s workers—all those who can’t find any job or are stuck with part-time work when they want a full-time job—have in effect been abandoned.” In the National Review, Rich Lowry wrote, “The statistics tell a dire, but incomplete, story. We were built to work. When we want to and can’t, it is an assault on our very personhood.” But even as the assault continues, our politicians seem not to notice, or not admit, how this country has changed. As Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, asked in the Wall Street Journal, “Do our political leaders have any sense of what people are feeling deep down? They don’t act as if they do. I think their detachment from how normal people think is more dangerous and disturbing than it has been in the past.”
If jobs are a bad deal, housing is worse. More than one in four houses are underwater, and that figure obscures how bad it’s gotten in the hardest-hit states. According to data from CoreLogic, a private research company, 63 percent of all mortgaged properties in Nevada are worth less than the owners paid for them. In Arizona, it’s 50 percent. In Florida, 46 percent. Lacking jobs or stuck in low-paying ones, unable to sell their homes and move somewhere more promising, many Americans find that now is truly the worst of times. The US Census Bureau says that 43.6 million of us are now living in poverty—that’s more poor Americans than ever in the half century since records have been kept. Talk about a bad deal.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the US infant mortality rate is nearly twice as high as those of France, Japan, and Australia. In 2011, as food prices around the world continued to rise, the New York Times reported that 16 percent of Americans answered yes to the following question: “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” Compared with over thirty other “advanced economy” countries, New York Times columnist Charles Blow found that the United States now ranks among “the worst of the worst” on measures such as income inequality, student performance on math tests, average life expectancy, and the percentage of our citizens in prison. No wonder that in a CBS News poll, 70 percent of Americans surveyed felt that the country was going in the wrong direction.
Even people who are used to feeling good about their lives are sensing the changes: the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey found that in 2010, only 29 percent of men and women reported being “very happy”—the lowest level of very happy people since the poll was first conducted in 1972.
But if this is the worst of times for many, it is an explosively wealthy time for a fortunate few. While jobs, investment capital, and confidence in the future drain away, there is good cheer in corporate boardrooms. According to a 2011 survey by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers from leading US companies, American CEOs felt more confident than ever before. And why shouldn’t they? A survey by Equilar, a private research company specializing in compensation, found that median pay for CEOs in 2010 had risen to $10.8 million: an astonishing 23 percent pay raise compared with just the year before. How about you? Did you get your extra 23 percent last year?
The fact is, the very rich are doing very, very well, as they have been for two or three decades. Journalist Robert Frank, the Wall Street Journal’s first full-time correspondent about the very rich, found that “the United States is now the world leader in producing millionaires—even if it lags behind China and India in other kinds of manufacturing.” Their demand for servants has raised butlering, once a dying career, into one of American’s fastest growing trades, along with maids, nannies, personal assistants, and private security guards.
Butlering is one of our notable growth industries. It’s not supposed to be like this. The United States is still a wealthy country. Wealth in a capitalist country is supposed to be invested, making new ventures possible, turning our ingenuity into new industries, creating jobs, and helping the economy grow. In the phrase that President John F. Kennedy used often, a rising tide lifts all boats. But something has gone wrong in America. For the last few decades, the rising tide has been lifting only the yachts.
Almost anywhere you look, if you just open your eyes, you will see ordinary, hardworking people struggling. Not far away, you’ll find a few greedy bastards making out like bandits. What defines greedy bastards? It’s not merely that they’re rich. I’m a capitalist; I am in favor of making lots and lots of money, as long as it comes from creating value for others. Americans have a long tradition of getting rich by making a great product or service that contributes to the growth of our country. But greedy bastards have given up on creating value for others and instead get their money by rigging the game so that they can steal from the rest of us.
Do You Suffer from Greedy Bastards?
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1451642229
Book Description Condition: Brand New. New. Seller Inventory # DH29pg1to676to1061-1631
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1451642229