11 votes

Audio: Matt Taibbi On Unequal Justice In The Age Of Inequality

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi makes us look at what we might want to avoid, ignore. And he does it with a rage that compels us to keep looking. He’s gone after the lords of Wall Street as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” This time out, he’s going after a great skewing, he says, of American justice. In an age of great inequality, says Taibbi, our rule of law has been subverted. Divided into two tiers. Free passes for the rich. Criminalization for the poor. This hour On Point: Matt Taibbi on separate and unequal American justice in the age of inequality.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Matt Taibbi

These are just my personal observations. I could be totally wrong.

I appreciate Matt's attacks on Wall Street cronyism, but his rabid progressivism and anti-free market rhetoric are a bit too much for me. It appears to me as if he is so filled with hate that he would not be willing to even listen to pro-market arguments.

I contrast with another liberal: Glenn Greenwald. Glenn seems very passionate about justice, but he has a certain reasoned calm about him that I find reassuring. I feel like it would be possible to have a rational discussion with Glenn.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Common ground

Here is one area where there actually might be cause for some common ground with some progressives in the future. A good point made by Paul Craig Roberts is that economic activity is a social activity and we don't expect just any social activity to be tolerated. From a liberty perspective, those activities that actually harm others ought to be restricted.

Fractional reserve lending is a great example of something that shouldn't be tolerated. For banks to be able to create money out of thin air is nothing but theft from those that actually produce. The selling of naked shorts is another example of a non-acceptable activity. It's used to manipulate markets, not the least the price of gold. You should only be able to sell what you actually own.

As liberty minded people we must recognize that it's not only through government that non-liberty bent people try to dominate. An under-regulated economy is at least as an effective tool through which you can subdue a nation, look how the oligarchs raped the Russians during the Yeltsin era. Too lax restrictions on media ownership is yet another road to disaster as all North Americans citizens reasonably awake should have realized by now. The corporate media monster of today didn't emerge out of nowhere.

The guiding principle of government should be to serve the cause of liberty. Not letting it over-extend its reach certainly is important and on this issue all are alert. However, the simultaneous under-extension on certain specific critical areas gets little to no attention. This can be improved.


I can't listen to the audio at work.

What does Matt say is the cause of inequality?

The destruction of the rule

The destruction of the rule of law is one of the most disturbing changes of my lifetime. I grew up believing in the justice system. Today it's completely discredited - beyond discredited actually, it's more like it's been turned completely upside down.

Consider; not only were there no high level prosecutions for fraud originating from the financial crisis, THEY WERE BAILED OUT! Not only did the government not go after the bad guys, they ADDED to the crime by thieving, again, from the victims to save the butts of the criminals!

This historical moment that Taibbi writes about is an open sore that's festering. Unless it's treated, the patient, our republic, will die.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

Cyril's picture

More Confucius...

"When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of.

When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of."

-- Confucius (551–479 BC)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Michael Nystrom's picture

Very interesting quote

Thanks Cyril.

He's the man.