David Stockman, President Reagan's former budget director, explores the tight connection between Wall Street and government cronies. Now a businessman who says he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about that administration’s tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”
Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.
“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” says Stockman.
Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion—divided equally among taxpayers, that means each of us owes $52,000. Stockman explains how we got here—and how warped “crony capitalism” has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.
Describing how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America, Stockman provides a nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders, showing how “liberal” and “neo-conservative” interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, he says, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big-government interventionists, and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists.
Video: Bill Moyers interviews David Stockman, March, 2012
The 6pm starting time allows for an optional Happy Hour meetup for food, beverages, and conversation at the nearby Benihana Restaurant, 1200 Fifth Ave. (map). (Link to Happy Hour Menu). We will walk the three blocks to Town Hall at about 7pm.
Talk begins at 7:30pm. Advance tickets are $5 at www.townhallseattle.org or [masked] and at the door after 6:30 pm (cash only at the door). Great Hall, enter on Eighth Avenue.
Nearby bus routes are Metro #2, 12, and 13.
Street parking is free after 6pm anywhere east of I-5 and is usually available along 7th Avenue from James St. up to Town Hall. Just be certain to read the parking signs!
There is a large pay lot immediately adjacent to Town Hall; enter the parking lot from Seventh Avenue, or Spring or Seneca streets.
The Washington State Convention Center Main Garage is located two blocks north of Town Hall on Eighth Avenue. This garage is available daytime ($8 all day) and evenings ($4 after 5 pm) with a special voucher you can get from Town Hall. Just ask a Town Hall staff member for a voucher while you are here attending an event, and you’ll receive the discount when you leave the garage. Please note: Vouchers are available for use only while attending events at Town Hall.
(Co-listed with other 50's-plus Meetup groups.)