Proving again that its new podcast slants left, Clarify bashed the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for current problems with the economy. Nevermind the many years since those leaders were in charge.
That’s right. No discussion of the current president’s economic policies, just old liberal attacks on deregulation, globalization and less unionization. So much for providing just the “facts” on hot button election issues.
Host Baratunde Thurston and Natasha Noman of Mic blamed the 80s political icons and argued campaign finance reform and a $15/hour minimum wage are the solutions in its Sept. 20, “economy” episode – the second in the series.
Thurston also brought on “Prophets of Rage,” a rap rock supergroup made up of “Rage Against the Machine,” “Public Enemy,” and “Cypress Hill,” to discuss their disgust with income inequality, police brutality, and war and imperialism overseas.
Noman argued that when Reagan and Thatcher “liberalized markets,” they gave the wealthy more influence over fiscal policy, resulting in the loss of the “social and economic meritocracy,” which increased income inequality.
The two complained that the concentration of income at the top is the worst it’s been since the 1920’s, right before the Great Depression, and that the “top 85 wealthiest people in the world own 50 percent of all the wealth.”
Noman also mentioned how CEO compensation has grown by 1000 percent whereas the average worker’s income has increased by only 10 percent. (Actually, according to the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation has grown by 937 percent versus the average worker’s 10.2 percent.) When Thurston asked whether or not this is because CEOs are now 1000 percent better than they were in the 70s, Noman countered that the wealthy now have “more of a handle on the system.”
They failed to speak with any conservative economists who say that income inequality is not the dire threat liberals claim it is, and that actually “the world is hugely better off” from the poor to the rich.
Prophets of Rage expressed anger with the media for its coverage of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who they referred to as a “fascist” and “socialist” respectively, although “one is outrageously more horrible than the other.” You can guess which they found “more horrible.” While discussing income inequality, they said Trump has the wrong answer to a legitimate question before calling him a “horrible, racist demagogue.”
The group also complained about income inequality and partly blamed globalization.
Of course, no one involved placed any blame on President Barack Obama’s economic policies, increased regulations, or the complex tax code. Instead, Thurston blamed fewer regulations for the growth of income inequality, claiming that as regulations have been cut back at the high end of the economy, the government has increased restrictions at the low end by de-unionizing workers thus making it more difficult for them to fight for “fair wages.”
Additionally, no one on the show felt the need to mention any good globalization and capitalism did to lift people out of extreme poverty all over the world. Nor was the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) findings that raising the minimum wage would cost low-wage workers their jobs mentioned.
“Prophets of Rage” presented their solution for the economic crisis: The “four pillars” of a decent society for them is one where everyone has a roof over their head, enough food to eat, education for their children, and “some semblance of dignity in the workplace.” But they neglected to say how that is supposed to happen, or who would pay for it.
The podcast stems from a partnership between Spotify and Mic, targeting millennials on Election 2016 issues. The first episode featured Diplo, an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter, discussing the issue of student debt also from the left.
Ironically, at the beginning of the podcast Thurston defined “facts” as “those strong irritants that get in the way of a strongly held opinion.” Hopefully future podcasts will include more than only the “facts” that support strongly held liberal opinions.