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            "Conversations with Harold Hudson Channer"

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         Guest For  WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2009



                            (Originally aired: Nov. 1990)

                               KEVIN PHILLIPS


             Writer and Commentator: largely on

             Politics, Economics, and History


                                                  Benjamin  Friedman

                                   BENJAMIN FRIEDMAN Ph.D


       Professor of Economics - Harvard University


  The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98AvXgbiHQs - KEVIN PHILLIPS & BENJAMIN FRIEDMAN




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kevin P. Phillips
Born November 30, 1940
Alma mater Colgate University (B.A., 1961)
University of Edinburgh
Harvard University (J.D., 1964)
Occupation Pundit, Author, Columnist

Kevin Phillips (born November 30, 1940) is an American writer and commentator, largely on politics, economics, and history. Formerly a Republican Party strategist, Phillips has become disaffected with his former party over the last two decades, and is now one of its harshest critics. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio, and is a political analyst on PBS' NOW with Bill Moyers.

Phillips was a senior strategist for Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, which was the basis for a book, The Emerging Republican Majority, which predicted a conservative realignment in national politics, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential recent works in political science. His predictions regarding shifting voting patterns in presidential elections proved accurate, though they did not extend "down ballot" to Congress until the Republican revolution of 1994. Phillips also was partly responsible for the design of the Republican "Southern strategy" of the 1970s and 1980s.

The author of fourteen books, he lives in Goshen, Connecticut, in Litchfield County.



Phillips was educated at the Bronx High School of Science, Colgate University, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Law School. After his stint as a senior strategist for the Nixon campaign, he served a year, starting in 1969, as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, but left after a year to become a columnist. In 1971, he became president of the American Political Research Corporation and editor-publisher of the American Political Report (through 1998).

In 1982, the Wall Street Journal described him as “the leading conservative electoral analyst -- the man who invented the Sun Belt, named the New Right, and prophesied ‘The Emerging Republican Majority’ in 1969.”

Ironically for someone who in later life became a virulent critic of Republicans from the south and west, Phillips in his 1969 book identified the "Heartland" as the future core of Republican votes, and the "Yankee Northeast" as the future Democratic stronghold, foreshadowing the current split between Red States and Blue States. More than 30 years before the 2004 election, Phillips foresaw such previously Democratic states as Texas and West Virginia swinging to the Republicans while Vermont and Maine would become Democratic states.

American Theocracy (2006)

In American Theocracy Phillips has come full circle, becoming a very harsh critic of the Republican Party (GOP). PBS journalist Allen Dwight Callahan[1] describes the GOP "Politics Of Radical Religion, Oil, And Borrowed Money In The 21st Century" the book's subtitle and theme, as an "Unholy Alliance."[2] Phillips' last chapter, in a nod to his first major work, is called "The Erring Republican Majority." In the book, he "presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness."

The New York Times wrote:

He identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration's policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country's immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future.[3]

Phillips uses the term “financialization” to describe how the U.S. economy has been radically restructured from a focus on production, manufacturing and wages, to a focus on speculation, debt, and profits. Since the 1980s, Phillips argues in American Theocracy,

the underlying Washington strategy… was less to give ordinary Americans direct sums than to create a low-interest-rate boom in real estate, thereby raising the percentage of American home ownership, ballooning the prices of homes, and allowing householders to take out some of that increase through low-cost refinancing. This triple play created new wealth to take the place of that destroyed in the 2000-2002 stock-market crash and simultaneously raised consumer confidence.

Nothing similar had ever been engineered before. Instead of a recovery orchestrated by Congress and the White House and aimed at the middle- and bottom-income segments, this one was directed by an appointed central banker, a man whose principal responsibility was to the banking system. His relief, targeted on financial assets and real estate, was principally achieved by monetary stimulus. This in itself confirmed the massive realignment of preferences and priorities within the American system….

Likewise huge and indisputable but almost never discussed were the powerful political economics lurking behind the stimulus: the massive rate-cut-driven post-2000 bailout of the FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector, with its ever-climbing share of GDP and proximity to power. No longer would Washington concentrate stimulus on wages or public-works employment. The Fed's policies, however shrewd, were not rooted in an abstraction of the national interest but in pursuit of its statutory mandate to protect the U.S. banking and payments system, now inseparable from the broadly defined financial-services sector.

 Bad Money (2008)

Kevin Phillips tackles the reality that America has substituted finance for manufacturing as its main focus. He also addresses America’s play in oil and its tying of the dollar to the price of oil. The tying of oil to the dollar is something that has propped up our currency and caused political dissent particularly in the middle east. The Euro and the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi are favorites to take the dollar's place in countries hostile towards America, like Iran. He then tackles the lack of control employed in the housing market and how it was allowed to get away under the tutelage of Alan Greenspan. All of this culminates in the idea that America is employing bad capitalism and extensions of Gresham’s Law of currency to suggest that our good capitalism will be driven out. [4]

Critical reception

American Theocracy was reviewed widely. The New York Times Book Review wrote "It is not without polemic, but unlike many of the more glib and strident political commentaries of recent years, it is extensively researched and frighteningly persuasive..."[5] The Chicago Sun-Times wrote "Overall, Phillips’ book is a thoughtful and somber jeremiad, written throughout with a graceful wryness... a capstone to his life’s work."[6] However, Joseph Loconte, of the conservative thinktank the Heritage Foundation labeled it a work of "irrational, fantastical, near-nativist charges."[7]


  • Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism (2007) ISBN 0-670-01907-0
  • American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (2006) ISBN 0-670-03486-X
  • American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (2004) ISBN 0-670-03264-6
  • William McKinley (2003)
  • Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002) ISBN 0-7679-0533-4
  • The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-America (1999)
  • Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street and the Frustration of American Politics (1994)
  • Boiling Point: Democrats, Republicans and the Decline of Middle Class Prosperity (1993)
  • The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath (1990)
  • Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy (1984)
  • Post-Conservative America (1982)
  • Electoral Reform and Voter Participation(with Paul H. Blackman, 1975)
  • Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age (1974)
  • The Emerging Republican Majority (1969)

[edit] Quotes

  • "Now what I get a sense of from all of this — and then topped obviously by spending all the money in 2000 to basically buy the election — is that this is not a family that has a particularly strong commitment to American democracy. Its sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution." — Kevin Phillips writing about the Bush family in American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Rev. Dr. Allen Dwight Callahan's page at Brown University
  2. ^ Callahan, Allen Dwight, "Unholy Alliance" Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, No. 1008, October 25, 2006.
  3. ^ N.Y.Times review on 3/19/2006.
  4. ^ Bad Money, 2008
  5. ^ Alan Brinkley, The New York Times Book Review, March 19, 2006
  6. ^ William O'Rourke, The Chicago Sun-Times, March 12, 2006
  7. ^ http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w061023&s=locontesullivan102406

[edit] External links


Benjamin Friedman Ph.D Harvard University - Economics Department

Benjamin Friedman

Benjamin  Friedman Address:
Littauer Center 127

E-Mail: bfriedman@harvard.edu
Tel: 617-495-4246
Fax: 617-495-7730

Office Hours:
Office hours: Monday, 3:30-5:00 P.M. On leave fall term 2008.

Staff Support:
Helen Gavel
Littauer Center 127
E-Mail: hgavel@fas.harvard.edu
Tel: 617-496-5464

January 2007
Benjamin M. Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy,
and formerly Chairman of the Department of Economics, at Harvard University. His latest book
is The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, published in 2005 by Alfred A. Knopf. Mr.
Friedman's best known previous book is Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American
Economic Policy Under Reagan and After, which received the George S. Eccles Prize, awarded
annually by Columbia University for excellence in writing about economics.
In addition to Day of Reckoning and The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, Mr.
Friedman has written extensively on economic policy, and in particular on the role of the
financial markets in shaping how monetary and fiscal policies affect overall economic activity.
Specific subjects of his work include the effects of government deficits and surpluses on interest
rates, exchange rates, and business investment; appropriate guidelines for the conduct of U.S.
monetary policy; and appropriate policy actions in response to crises in a country's banking or
financial system. He is the author and/or editor of eleven books aimed primarily at economists
and economic policymakers, as well as the author of more than one hundred articles on monetary
economics, macroeconomics, and monetary and fiscal policy, published in numerous journals.
He is also a frequent contributor to publications reaching a broader audience, including especially
The New York Review of Books.
Mr. Friedman's current professional activities include serving as a director and member of
the editorial board of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a director of the Private Export Funding
Corporation, a trustee of the Standish Mellon Investment Trust, a director of the National
Council on Economic Education, and an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In
addition, he has served as director of financial markets and monetary economics research at the
National Bureau of Economic Research, as a member of the National Science Foundation
Subcommittee on Economics, as an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office, as a trustee of
the College Retirement Equities Fund, and as a director of the American Friends of Cambridge
University. He is a member of the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity and the Council on
Foreign Relations.
Mr. Friedman joined the Harvard faculty in 1972. Before then he worked with Morgan
Stanley & Co., investment bankers in New York. He had also worked in consulting or other
capacities with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Mr. Friedman received the A.B., A.M.
and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Harvard University; during his graduate study at Harvard
he was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows. In addition, he received the M.Sc. degree in
economics and politics from King's College, Cambridge (U.K.), where he studied as a Marshall
Most recently, Mr. Friedman was the 2005-6 recipient of the John R. Commons Award,
presented every two years in recognition of achievements in economics and service to the
economics profession.   


                            Wednesday  February 18, 2009

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