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FREE PODCAST! Thomas Frank on His New Book, “Pity the Billionaire”; Prof. Gar Alperovitz on “America Beyond Capitalism”

This interview podcast is free to all, courtesy of a generous subscriber who wants to be anonymous.  Tom Frank recaps the amazing double-down GOP strategy since 2008; Gar Alperovitz has some great ideas for a more democratic economy.Frank’s new book really nails it–Pity the Billionaire looks at the remarkable moves by right wing strategists to use hard times to transfer even more wealth to the ultra rich.  Frank is the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas and The Wrecking Crew, and is the lead essayist for Harper’s magazine.  He talks about the Right’s reaction to the election loss in 2008, fueled by the rants of Glenn Beck on Fox and Rick Santini on CNBC, big money from the Koch brothers, and aggressive chearleading for the Tea Party from Fox News and other corporate media.  Speaking from a snowed-in hotel room in Seattle, Frank talks about the bizarre positions of GOP candidates, and has plenty of criticism for the Dems, too.  We also talk about his February column in Harper’s, about Jack Abramoff’s forgiveness tour.

At 39:00 we are joined by Prof. Alperovitz, who has a strong background in advocating for workers and a fair division of wealth and income.  We talk about the fight over the payroll tax extension, the free market fantasies of the Republican candidates, and how tone-deaf they are to Occupy and the real suffering of Americans, especially the unemployed. He has some great ideas for realignment of wealth and income gaps, and defines his vision of the pluralist commonwealth.  Near the end, we get his comments on the tensions with Iran, as he has written two books on nuclear policies.