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Monday, Jan 26, 2009, 11:54 am

‘If you’re going to do nationalization, do nationalization’

By Jeremy Gantz

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Bill Moyers had our boy David Sirota on his show Friday, along with Thomas Frank (historian and new Wall Street Journal columnist), and the three dove into the $700 bailout passed last fall and its opaque/grisly aftermath and how Obama/Dems should govern to properly seize this troubled political moment.

Watch their discussion here, it's worth it. Sirota on our great ongoing transfer of public money to private coffers:

We've gotten all of the bad stuff and none of the good stuff of nationalization. Nationalization in other countries means that the government has control over the banks with that money that they put into the bank.

What we have done is simply handed the money over with no mandate to actually change the behavior, change the structure of the banks, change the management of the banks. So my take is pretty simple.

If we're going to throw this much money — remember, $350 billion is half the bailout. That's $1,100 for every man, woman, and child in the country. If we're going to put that kind of money into the banking system, we should get much more leverage.

And on Obama:

I think in a more broad kind of way, people want him to be more embracing, which he is, of the role of government in addressing issues like economic inequality, in addressing issues like income stagnation.

Yes, and yes. Again, the video clip is here.

During Sirota's introduction, In These Times gets a silent shout-out - as a newspaper. Well, close enough.

Jeremy Gantz is a contributing editor at the magazine. He is the editor of The Age of Inequality: Corporate America's War on Working People (2017, Verso), and was the Web/Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012.

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