An approximate transcript of the show broadcast on November 11, 2012
Brian Gongol: That's what we have learned as of this past week here on Newsradio 1040 WHO. I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean as we talk about making money and having fun. Well, no matter who is in the White House it is always going to be our objective to continue doing those things. It just might be easier or harder depending on...
Brian Dean: Oh, we'll just have to see now, won't we?
Brian Gongol: Absolutely. Well, we also have to make sure we don't go right off the much dreaded fiscal cliff that is scheduled to take place at the beginning of the year. It's coming near which, given that it was icing and snowing and whatever it was today.
Brian Dean: Oh, yeah. That was strange.
Brian Gongol: Kind of weird.
Brian Dean: You know, that heavy rain that went through here I think early in the morning, I heard it rain before I got up and it was very, very heavy rain at around 5 or 6 a.m. here in the Des Moines metropolitan area.
Brian Gongol: A good and much needed rain.
Brian Dean: Now it is apparently hitting Chicago.
Brian Gongol: Yeah. [laughs] You can tell?
Brian Dean: Watching the Bears game or hearing about the Bears game and it's a pretty good rain there and probably a little bit getting chilly there as well. There going to get some of this coolness that we have now. What did I say it was, 28? Winds are gusting to 24 miles an hour making it feel like 16 above, maybe even less than that when it's gusty.
Brian Gongol: Well, it's just practically balmy out there.
Brian Dean: So, and yesterday it was what, 77? I mean, so that makes perfect sense...
Brian Gongol: For Iowa.
Brian Dean: ...if you're from here, sure.
Brian Gongol: Yeah. If you are from anywhere else you'd go, "What? Excuse me? Do I get a refund on this"? Because you should want one after that, but no, it's been up and down. I was at the game in Iowa City yesterday. I could have used a different result.
Brian Dean: Yeah. Talk about ups and downs there.
Brian Gongol: Oh, no doubt, but I mean it was really nice. I mean the weather was nice.
Brian Dean: It was a beautiful day to be at the stadium at the game in November where you could be warm. I took my wife out to dinner. Actually, we saw that new James Bond movie.
Brian Gongol: Have you seen it? Oh, man I'm jealous. I wanted to see that.
Brian Dean: It is- my wife says it's an excellent movie, all right? I don't really enjoy the Bond films that much.
Brian Gongol: Ok.
Brian Dean: So, you know the things that the audience will laugh at and so on because of connections to Bond film number three back from 1965 or something like that, I you know, I kind of get it and I kind of don't, but it's a well made movie. It actually- it features the M character more than I ever remember that character being featured. Judi Dench plays it now.
Brian Gongol: Yeah. It's fun when Judi Dench plays.
Brian Dean: You know, she is amazing as an actress. There's no doubt about it.
Brian Gongol: She's just fun.
Brian Dean: It's an action packed film, lots of attractive people in it, lots of gun fights and so on, but that's part of Bond. Less gadgetry now, but this is sort of, but at the same time they even play a little bit on that in the movie.
Brian Gongol: Yeah?
Brian Dean: But...
Brian Gongol: Doesn't it just seem redundant now?
Brian Dean: ...the irony, that's kind of the thing. The irony is the gadgetry doesn't matter and the new Quartermaster says so.
Brian Gongol: Right.
Brian Dean: But the technology is so advanced with what can do with a laptop and a connection or a Wifi and that's even part of what the film is about. So, it's a good film. If you're a Bond fan I think you're really going to like it.
Brian Gongol: Good, good.
Brian Dean: You know, and if you're- if you really, really, really like being with a Bond fan then you'll like...
Brian Gongol: You'll have a good time.
Brian Dean: ...you'll like that your Bond fan liked it.
Brian Gongol: [laughs]
Brian Dean: It's a good film.
Brian Gongol: Well, and there's also another one coming out that I heard that's out now that I wanted to see. I wanted to see Flight as well.
Brian Dean: Yeah. It looks pretty good.
Brian Gongol: That looks good.
Brian Dean: It looks pretty exciting.
Brian Gongol: You know, and Denzel Washington is just- he's fantastic, you know?
Brian Dean: Yeah, and for the literary folks out there I think they should be very excited about, it pains me almost to say this, but they should be very excited about the May release of the latest remake of the Great Gatsby.
Brian Gongol: Ok.
Brian Dean: It may be the best movie trailer I have ever seen for a literary film. It is always scary, right? Because that means everything great is there, but it is so well made with the music and the video images that were chosen. You know, if you know the story, which I think a lot of Americans do who went to any kind of public high school because they probably had to read it or they were exposed to it. You know, they could choose to not read it.
Brian Gongol: Didn't we talk about this a little?
Brian Dean: We did. We talked about it last week and so I knew there was a film coming out, but I didn't, you know, I was like oh, you know. The movies about great pieces of literature are usually blah.
Brian Gongol: They don't do it for you.
Brian Dean: So, anyway I watched the trailer and I was very intrigued. Leonardo DiCaprio will be playing Jay Gatsby.
Brian Gongol: See, now here's the thing though. The previews that come out, obviously like you said, you worry that's going to be the best of the best?
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: And that it won't get any better than that?
Brian Dean: My bright students said exactly that. "Well this could be the best [xx] yet."
Brian Gongol: That's true, that's entirely true.
Brian Dean: They don't talk that way. They talk very intelligently.
Brian Gongol: Normal.
Brian Dean: [laughs]
Brian Gongol: That's ok. My brother with whom I work frequently uses a funny voice to describe his you know, his best friend. He breaks into this [xx] voice, but it's nothing like how he actually talks, but I know that when he is using this particular voice, he is making reference to something his friend said. So, it's a default voice even though it's completely cartoonish. So that's ok, but see because I worry because you know, the previews that came out for "Atlas Shrugged" were somewhat promising and that was a terrible movie. It was so bad. It was so painfully bad. Oh, it was awful. I mean, just read the book. Just read the book and if you don't want to sit there and put up with 1200 pages of "Atlas Shrugged", and I can understand if you wouldn't want to do that. It took me something like three years of on and off reading of that thing because I would read 300 pages of it and say oh, for crying out loud I get it [xx] and I am moving on. Then, I'd read something else. You know, I'd read several other books at the time and then I would get bored again and all right fine. I'll read it again. I'll get back into it.
Brian Dean: That's why I think it's tough to take too long for fiction and turn it into a film.
Brian Gongol: Right. So, I mean then they turn that into film and it was just the first of three, and apparently it was so bad that they are coming out with the second in the trilogy now with an entirely new cast. They literally didn't return anyone from the first one.
Brian Dean: The sequel is in a sense kind of remade.
Brian Gongol: It's a whole new film!
Brian Dean: Wow.
Brian Gongol: A whole new set of actors and actresses. I mean, just a whole...
Brian Dean: I wonder why they choose to make that movie now. It's a political statement being made?
Brian Gongol: I think so, and don't get me wrong. It's certainly a political statement that does need to be made. This, whether it was the election or whether it's the talk of the fiscal cliff or anything else, it is an important message I would say. It is important to understand at least the historical context and the background and the story. I mean, granted, Ayn Rand was a fundamentalist, let's say, in her own way, and it was a result of having grown up in Russia and coming to America and having that fear that we would become this Communist state...That we could be pushed down that road and it was not an isolated concern. I mean, don't imagine that the only person who was ever worried about Communism during the Cold War was Senator McCarthy. I mean this was- this was widespread and it was certainly possible. It was certainly possible that people might choose to go down a hard core Marxist, Socialist, Leninist route even in America if it looked like things were going to be so much better in the Soviet Union, in the Communist states and they were certainly putting out the propaganda that suggested that they were and that they were making great advances.
When it came to military spending and technology they did very well. When it came to really big mobilizations- you know, a command and control system like what the Soviet Union had works pretty well. Now, when it comes to delivering the goods on the ground for your ordinary consumers -- making sure that you have enough bread and milk at a reasonable price and delivering technology that -- things like cell phones that today are so good that they make James Bond's technology look totally pointless because you already have this magical device and everyone has one and it's called a smart phone. I mean, it's no longer magical if everybody has it. It's no longer special. It is no longer your distinguishing feature. You know, those kinds of things were not developed under the Soviet system. You don't see North Korea producing new things today. It's not happening and as China is doing more of that it's because they are trying to copy the capitalist model at least to some extent and some degree, though not completely. As they are doing it that's where they're coming up with technological advancements. You don't do it if you're just trying to keep the party in control because there is no incentive to do so. That's why it doesn't work. So, anyway yes, back to the main question. Was it time for a movie based on Atlas Shrugged? Maybe, maybe not. It's just such a long story it is impossible to compress into a book or into a movie, really.
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: They obviously didn't if they are making a trilogy out of it, but then they are doing that badly. The problem is in part that whole story line is run off the premise of a family that owns a railroad and there's really not a lot of reason to be talking about a passenger railroad in America today.
Brian Dean: Well right, but just like any time period piece, you know you tell the story and you use things as a metaphor.
Brian Gongol: Right.
Brian Dean: And so, but at the time of the writing of the book the railroad would have been the most powerful kind of industry.
Brian Gongol: Oh, certainly and if everybody had been dressed in you know, three piece suits and fedoras and the ladies had been you know, buttoned up in whatever corsets or whatever yeah, then it would have made a lot of sense, but they were trying to do the railroad, the passenger railroad crossing the country and they were trying to do it today.
Brian Dean: Oh, really?
Brian Gongol: Oh, yeah.
Brian Dean: Well, nobody rides a train.
Brian Gongol: This was a terrible, terrible, awful, horrible film.
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: Just read the book and if you don't want to suffer through you know, again 1200 pages of this again I understand. I do think it would be valuable for just about anyone, whether you agree with a strongly pro capitalist pro market, very strongly individual libertarian oriented philosophy or not, at least read Ayn Rand's "Anthem". It's a very short version of the very same thing that she wrote in Atlas Shrugged. It's more like 100-150 pages.
Brian Dean: Very short.
Brian Gongol: Oh yes, very quick and good reading. I mean, it's good to get the nuggets that are there.
Brian Dean: Is that something for a person if they had say four or five hours and they wanted to sit down and read they could do it.
Brian Gongol: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, and your eyes won't glaze over entirely and you know, you won't find yourself crying at the end of it going, "I'm only a quarter of the way in and I just read enough that would be a novel in any other book".
Brian Dean: [laughs]
Brian Gongol: Because 300 pages is kind of the length you assume of a novel, you know?
Brian Dean: Sure.
Brian Gongol: Anyway, for what it's worth it's good to read those things, but again hard to be convinced that every classic work of literature can be turned into a movie with any great success.
Brian Dean: Sometimes you can.
Brian Gongol: Sometimes.
Brian Dean: Ultimately, it requires a good movie maker...
Brian Gongol: Right.
Brian Dean: ...or someone with an edge.
Brian Gongol: So, we'll see about the Great Gatsby.
Brian Dean: The Gatsby movie is I believe directed by, produced by the Baz Luhrmann guy.
Brian Gongol: Really?
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: Of "Wear Sunscreen"?
Brian Dean: Well, or other people would probably consider Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge is a musical. It's weird, but I like it, so.
Brian Gongol: That's fine.
Brian Dean: I think he's the kind of guy who can make this film.
Brian Gongol: But he was the guy who put together Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen.
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: Ok. I wanted to make sure I wasn't totally lost on that one, a very influential 1998 statement.
Brian Dean: So, all the things that were probably- this is what I've mentioned to students- all the things that are innuendo in the book written in 1925 will be graphically displayed...
Brian Gongol: Oh, boy.
Brian Dean: ...on the screen. So no, that will not probably be one to be shown in class. [laughs]
Brian Gongol: I appreciate your discretion there. That's probably sensible.
Brian Dean: You know, anyway [xx] to be done with this class by that time anyway. So, if you all want to get together and have some kind of little reunion time go see a film and I won't be there with you, but you can all, you know have a handful of popcorn in my honor.
Brian Gongol: Well, that's very kind of you to share that idea with them. I again will make my pitch for a book from the same era. I am still going to pitch for "Babbitt" by Lewis Sinclair.
Brian Dean: Yeah, you mentioned that.
Brian Gongol: Is it Sinclair Lewis or Lewis Sinclair?
Brian Dean: I think it's Sinclair Lewis.
Brian Gongol: Sinclair Lewis is the one who did that one.
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: See, Lewis Sinclair wrote other things. That's why it's sort of confusing. [correction: Upton Sinclair, not Lewis Sinclair]
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: I get confused easily and that's just what happens from time to time.
Brian Dean: This has been pretty deep talk conversation here 20 minutes in.
Brian Gongol: [xx] here at WHO radio.
Brian Dean: Well, we've been trying to avoid the electoral outcome.
Brian Gongol: Well, you're the best and you know, having just spoken there of movies you can't show in the classroom and yet, you know still carrying the story, carrying the movement, a friend of mine just emailed me the other day about an article from the Los Angeles Times about how they are doing a really good job right now in the UK, a country with which many of our lawmakers seem to be quite fascinated.
Brian Dean: They are right now, aren't they?
Brian Gongol: Yeah, and this article basically says they are trying to find a way to come up with the right not to be offended in that country. That is a terrible, awful, horrible idea and I don't want it to catch on here. So, we will talk about that and then we will talk about something that really, really, really offended me this week.
Brian Dean: [laughs] Well.
Brian Gongol: Not anything to do with the election. This made me so hopping mad I just- I don't know that I've been this angry about something I have seen.
Brian Dean: Was that one of the pre-show things you were talking about?
Brian Gongol: Yes. The video I showed you in the pre-show.
Brian Dean: He was angry.
Brian Gongol: I can't explain how mad this makes me.
Brian Dean: Then I watched it, then he sat there and didn't talk for like 20 minutes because he was just livid.
Brian Gongol: It just makes me mad, but we'll talk about it in just a moment if you stick around here on WHO, so we'll be back in a moment. Of course, you can give us a call anytime at xxx-1040 or xxx-xxx-4295. You can text us on the American Toppers & Accessories text line. That number is xxx-1040. Back with something that really made me mad right after this on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
Brian Gongol: I just wanted to you to rock out with our new bumper music for a second that's all. 9:27 here at WHO.
Brian Dean: There's nothing wrong with an extended musical interlude.
Brian Gongol: Well, yeah and I tried to add in some new stuff here lately just to you know, freshen things up around this show just to keep it clean, keep it going, keep it moving all the time. Speaking of keeping it clean oh, man. The right not to be offended is an experiment that is underway right now in the United Kingdom, which again is a place that a lot of American lawmakers seem to think have a lot of great ideas all the time and you know, there have been some good ideas there- the idea of a written Constitution of sorts, for instance. It's a good thing. I mean, the idea of enumerated individual rights: Also a good thing! On the other hand, the right not to be offended? Not good. I frankly think that we should value in fact the occasional offense, but here's the problem. They are dealing with some folks who have said things on Twitter and on Facebook and online in many different ways that have been offensive. There was a guy who made some crude jokes about a couple of kids who had been kidnapped. There some people who said things about soldiers and on a day like Veterans Day today and of course, our thanks to all veterans you know, here in the United States. Those things can you know, be very, very sensitive and obviously it can make people mad when people say awful things whether it's about kids or whether it's about soldiers or any other way, but the problem that we're seeing there in the UK and unfortunately we risk seeing here as well, is this assumption that people can live life without being offended.
Now, this story was carried in the Los Angeles Times I think particularly as a warning in essence to America. Of course, in Los Angeles they are very interested in how there is a relationship between culture and the law and media for obvious reasons. It is at the center of a lot of production of media. That's just what they do. They get very interested in these things and these effects and especially as they cross international boundaries very easily because you can read things here that were produced anywhere in the world thanks to the internet. You can watch movies and put movies out there globally without even having a distribution network. I mean, I can put a movie up that can be seen everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe just by putting it on YouTube. I mean, it is very easy to do that, but when they talk about the offense that people take from things that are said online and they're using old laws that are just really not suited to current technology. These are things that they say you know, you shall not give offense to another and it was largely written around making sure you didn't abuse telephone operators back in the 1930s, which is understandable. You know, you wouldn't want people abusing those folks on the phone and that's not fair. So, it's understandable that those would have been there in place at the time, but to extend it into assuming today that people can go through life without being offended is a totally false assumption. It's a really bad way to do business. The only way to have freedom of speech is to have the right to say things that will bother other people.
Brian Dean: So, couldn't someone be offended by the way you are dressed right now?
Brian Gongol: Oh, certainly. Actually, I should be careful about saying that. I should be especially careful because right now I have [xx].
Brian Dean: Yeah, well see. So that could- I'm offended. So, you know I am very angry.
Brian Gongol: Ok, well.
Brian Dean: But I'm not, so. It just seems like foolishness, total foolishness.
Brian Gongol: It does, but the problem is we've heard it here in the United States. I mean, it's not like this is anything new. People here get very sensitive about things and there are certainly people who think that there is a right to go through life without being offended, but the thing is, obviously we shouldn't go around abusing the right to offend others or to bother others. Don't go around abusing that. That just makes you a jerk, but you know we do have the right to expect to say things that might offend others, and the responsibility to accept a little bit of offense in our direction once in a while from what other people say. I mean, of course that is sadly a condition that appears now to be eroding in one of the countries in which we are most closely aligned and to which we are most similar in the entire world. I worry that people will get the big idea here that we should just copy that as well because there are people who like to copy stupid ideas from all over the place, and unfortunately the internet makes it possible to share them. Hence, we have this incredibly stupid idea that I came across this week thanks to a friend who wanted very legitimately and to her credit, you know just open mindedly wanted to know. She sent an email saying, "I don't understand this. Can you explain it to me?" I didn't warn Brian Dean about this, but I actually wanted to see if I could [xx] this up and we could actually play a portion of this for you because this drives me so completely bonkers mad that I think it's worth hearing this one. I don't think they swear anywhere place here, but it does truly and deeply offend me. Just take a listen to this.
Brian Gongol: Hang on a second here. Ok, I'm going to interrupt just a second here. They just said, "We've had to make a lot of purchases on debt. We have been forced to go into debt." Just bear that in mind as you listen to the rest of this nonsense.
Video: [xx] leaving us to pick up the tab.
Video: [xx] our government, manipulate the interest rates, cook the books and fake the paperwork.
Video: Also, they can profit from our monthly payments.
Video: The debts we have are not legitimate.
Brian Gongol: Hang on, hang on, hang on. The debts we have are not legitimate is what this guy just claimed. This is part of a movement. Again, this is a slickly produced video in which they are saying we don't owe the money that people say we do.
Brian Dean: Well, I guess you know the debt I have, student loans to help my daughter go to school and everything else, wipe that out man!
Brian Gongol: Yeah, you're getting on to why this offends me so.
Brian Dean: I understand, yeah.
Brian Gongol: We'll get back to see the whole thing. I'll let us go back there again.
Video: The debts we have are not legitimate.
Video: We shouldn't be forced into debt to cover basic needs like healthcare, housing and education.
Brian Gongol: I will totally get back to that one.
Video: A cancellation of debts for the 99 percent.
Video: Here's how we're going to do it. In America, banks sell debt on the shadowy market full of debt buyers. Debt collectors then turn around and try to extort the full amount from us.
Brian Gongol: Hang on a second. Hang on. They sell the debt and then extort the full amount back from us. That's right. They keep going back to this guy in a green shirt and he's the one who keeps saying the most unpredictable stuff.
Brian Dean: Ok. Well, if the bank must not care about the debt it's not trying to get the debt back.
Brian Gongol: Yeah, ok. Well, I'll let it run all the whole way through and then I'll finish my side.
Video: In America banks sell debt on the shadowy market full of debt buyers. Debt collectors then turn around and try to extort the full amount from us.
Video: That's where the rolling jubilee comes in. It raises money to buy the debt.
Video: But instead of collecting on the debts we buy, we're going to abolish it. Poof, Shazam, wow!
Video: The math is on our side. A little bit of money goes a long way.
Video: If we can raise 50 thousand dollars we can buy a million dollars worth of debt and abolish it.
Video: If we raise more we can abolish even more.
Video: That's the rolling jubilee.
Video: We bailed out the banks and in return they turn their backs on us.
Video: We don't owe them anything. We owe each other everything.
Video: It's time for a bailout of the people, by the people.
Brian Gongol: Ok, this is- I'll let it go through now. I'm ready to go just punch a hippie. [laughs] I don't know what to do here.
Brian Dean: Yeah.
Brian Gongol: This offends me. This offends me more than anybody walking around and swearing at me. This offends me more than somebody wearing a t-shirt that is obscene.
Brian Dean: Why doesn't the bank try to collect the debt? I mean, I suppose they want to get whatever they can, but you know, so if the bank is going to loan things out and expect to get the money back then why doesn't it try to do so?
Brian Gongol: Because they've given up. Here's the thing. Here's the thing. Now, bear with me.
Brian Dean: Well, isn't that what these people want? They want the banks to totally give up?
Brian Gongol: They just want the banks to give up.
Brian Dean: If the bank totally does give up then maybe it's not going to loan out anything.
Brian Gongol: Well see, exactly. This whole thing makes me so angry. First of all, it is willful ignorance of reality on a scale that's matched only by the people in it. This is willful ignorance of reality by the left on a scale that is matched only by some of the willful ignorance of basic science that we see on the right, ok?
Brian Dean: Sure. I agree.
Brian Gongol: It's not everybody. These are extreme examples, but there are extremists on both sides who just, they take everything that is known and can be seen right in front of you and just ignore it and just say, "That does not exist in my world because I disagree with it". Well, that's not true. That's not how it works and thing is here that makes me so mad is like all great laws, lies rather, like all great huge, just magnificently huge lies, they start with just a few tiny morsels of truth, just enough that you can't say everything that's in this is just total nonsense and you'll never believe it, but they twist and contort these facts so badly that they couldn't be more dishonest if they tried, unless it is just that they are so stupid.
Brian Dean: Almost like [xx].
Brian Gongol: That's it. That's the thing. Unless they are just so completely ignorant of the way the system works that they have no excuse for making this in the first place, then they are just ignoring reality and twisting things in such a way that is totally offensive. Now, the truth of the matter is yes, banks and financial institutions do sell debt at below par rates when they have given up on trying to collect. When somebody has gone 90 days or 120 days or 180 days without paying on something they will just give up. They will write off the debt. There is always a provision for bad debt expenses and that's whether it's a private sector business or it's a company or you know, a bank or a credit union. Everybody makes provisions for loan losses, ok? You have to. You have to assume that you will have some bad debts out there. Now, what they're saying here is, you know what they'll do is they'll sell them off. They'll sell it to another creditor. They'll sell it to a collections company of sorts and they'll say, "Here's the deal. We can't get it back, but if you want to go and try we will just transfer the right to collect this money to you. You pay us some portion of money. That way we can at least get something back out of this and if you're able to get back the full amount of the debt, great. If you can't get back the full amount of the debt, well you know, you didn't pay full price for it and so it's assumed that if you don't pay full price for all of them and you eventually make back something better than what you paid on some of them you'll still make a profit as a debt collector, ok"? Nobody is saying that these people are you know, all doing the Care Bear Stare, all right? It's not necessarily a friendly industry per se or anything like that, but it is comically absurd to think that you can have this people's bailout they describe in this thing. It is- you could not be more absurd than to say this. Americans have 13 trillion dollars in consumer debt right now, 13 trillion dollars. You know how we've talked about how the federal debt is coming up to about 16 trillion dollars and how that's you know, 50 thousand dollars or so for every man, woman and child alive in this country today? Well, this is the amount of consumer debt that is out there. It is nearly the same as the federal debt and it's again divided among every American.
Brian Dean: But haven't debts been written off before?
Brian Gongol: Oh, certainly. I mean, you can go to- the reason they get the name jubilee is that it is a reference to in biblical times every seven years they would write off all debts. So, every seven years you would have a jubilee and all debts would be written off. Well, it might have worked then. It does not work today. It just doesn't and what makes me so mad here is that you could not possibly have a meaningful impact on that amount of debt, which again is equivalent to all the money that is involved in every sale of every good and service in this country every year by just collecting 15 dollar donations from a bunch of people to buy off some consumer debt. I mean, this is so comically absurd it just hurts and the problem is, it is exploiting people's lack of knowledge about money and that really bugs me. They are complaining about Wall Street taking advantage of people while simultaneously proposing to do things that take advantage of the fact that these same people still don't know anything about money. Why not educate people so they understand how the system works instead of coming up with completely false, ridiculous and unworkable schemes like saying, "Well, we're just going to buy off all of consumer debt in America on the cheap and it'll just be a jubilee. Everything will be great". I will get more into this in just a moment because I've reached like a boiling point. I need to try and calm down for a second, but we'll get into a little more of this if you stick around with us. It's 9:40 with the Brian Gongol Show on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
Brian Gongol: At 9:43 here's your Newsradio 1040 WHO three day weather forecast from TV 13. Cloudy and blustery tonight, an overnight low of 21. Tomorrow day two, mostly sunny, the high 38. Tuesday day three, sunny skies, the high 48 degrees, but again for tonight, cloudy and blustery and an overnight low of 21. Clear and 28 in Des Moines right now. Winds out of the west at 15, gusting to 24 miles an hour makes it feel like 16 outside. I have reached a boiling point here at WHO.
It's- you know, it's well over 200 degrees Fahrenheit inside my own head where I have just blown a gasket I think because I have just been talking about this supposed jubilee that people are trying to propose, the rolling jubilee. What they say is, "Just give us some money and we'll go out and we'll collect your dollars and we'll buy some debt and then we'll tell the people who owe that debt they're free. They don't have to pay it back. It's free"! And it's led off by this video in which people get things so far wrong about how debt works that it just pains me. It pains me to know they are circulating videos like this on YouTube. It was just published a couple of days ago. It was published on November 7th. It's already gotten 41,000 views. Now, of course three of those involve me watching and listening and screaming back at it. Two have versions that were not FCC compliant and then this one that we did just most recently here on WHO radio because I just wanted you to hear up front how this is being proposed. The thing that really bugs me about this, that just really tans my hide, if I have to say it again in an FCC friendly kind of way, it's that this proposal, what they are talking about is they're saying, "You know, we don't owe anything back to the banks. We borrowed this money. We were forced to do it", is some of the language that's used here. "These debts are not legitimate". Again, things that they said. Now, I personally would contest that because I'm pretty sure nobody was holding a gun to your head when you walked into the Apple store. I'm pretty sure nobody forced you to go to Chick-Fil-A or forced you to go to McDonald's or forced you to go to Subway or any of these places that are perfectly fine places to go to, but nobody held a gun to your head to do these things. Consumer spending is a voluntary thing, ok? Nobody has forced you to do this except in some extreme cases where people may have been hit by colossal medical expenses -- and I am willing to put that into a different category because I personally have had colossal medical expenses. I understand how those can be unpredictable, out of your control and certainly can put people at risk of bankruptcy and so forth. I can understand that and that is truly a necessity. I mean, if you discover you have cancer or something like that, nobody is going to say you were forced to do that. It happened to you. Now, again that's totally different from standing in line at the Apple store and spending your own money or in the case of spending, putting it on a credit card and just assuming the money will be there someday to do this. The thing is, the money lent out by banks -- and whether this is a loan that you get for a student loan or a mortgage or whether it's money that you borrowed from a conventional loan and that you just say, "Hey, I'd like to borrow a thousand dollars. I'll pay it back to you over the next year" or whatever it is, or whether it's credit card spending, all of this -- the money isn't generally owned by banks to begin with. It is money that belongs to people who deposit money in banks in things like savings accounts. So, the banks don't own that cash. It's just that they collect it, they put it in one place and then they dole it out to borrowers. The bank is simply functioning as an intermediary here. They're just in the middle and they make their profits off of the difference between the interest rates that they've paid to depositors and the interest rates they charge to people who borrow. It's a pretty simple operation, really. They're just making money through the difference and because of that, when people talk like they do in this video that we just played, the [xx] audio for you, believe me, you didn't need to see the video, there's nothing special, just a bunch of people talking heads there, but when people talk about screwing over the banks, "We don't owe those banks anything", they're not talking about the banks, even though they don't know this. What they're talking about is they're talking about screwing over that little old lady who's been collecting her pension checks every month and getting them direct deposited into a bank account. Those are the people who own the money who then lent it to you as a debtor. Now, the little old lady doesn't have time to do this. She's busy I don't know, quilting or something. She's got things to do. So, she gives the money to the bank and the bank does the work for her.
Brian Dean: Yeah, but I think where they're coming from that little old lady at the bank is getting 2 percent interest on what she has at the bank, but yet these other folks are paying 19 and 20 percent interest. So, who the heck is getting that?
Brian Gongol: Well, there's a difference there and there's a gap, but the thing is, the reason there's a gap is there are varying degrees of creditworthiness right now. If you want to go buy a house and you've got decent credit, you know you've been building a reputation for yourself for paying your bills over time, you can borrow money right now in the three and four percent range, ok? That's an incredibly low interest rate. It is lower than governments around the world are able to borrow for. Basically, you can get the same interest on borrowing for your house for 30 years that the government of Australia has to pay to borrow money for ten years, which means it's a much shorter time and thus, should be a much better risk for people. Yet, the government of Australia actually has a navy and an air force at its disposal and that they can actually send out people with guns to collect taxes. I can't do that. I don't have the power to do that. Yet, I am paying those same ridiculously low interest rates.
Brian Dean: So, are you more upset about this because it's just hokey and a scam potentially, and people trying to make money off of people who believe what is being said in this video, or does it bother you maybe at least slightly or maybe an awful lot because you're the kind of person who pays your bills?
Brian Gongol: Well, it certainly bothers me on that level. It bothers me on the level of the same kind of person who is mad that we saw the massive government bailout of General Motors, for instance and then turned around and you know, just pushed everybody who was a bond holder there under the bus.
Brian Dean: That was very frustrating, but apparently that particular action may have won the election for the President of the United States.
Brian Gongol: Exactly, which is why it makes me so mad. It's because people do not understand how the system works and that's outrageous. That's just- it's outrageous and when I know the people who are getting by on you know, twenty thousand dollars a year and they are scrimping and they are saving and they are doing everything they can to try to get by on lower incomes without getting themselves into tons of debt, I see that they forego a lot of other choices, ok? They- instead of having you know, expensive dinners they're eating peanut butter and jelly, you know? They're doing what they can and they're putting themselves through intentionally tough times. They are deliberately going through austerity as the word is used when you're talking about governments doing it and they make that choice because they understand that there is a moral obligation there to the person from whom you're borrowing money to pay it back and that's the thing here. They're trying to avoid it so they're putting themselves through that. Now, if other people choose not to do that, if other people choose to borrow lots of money and again, aside from a very small handful of instances that we can use as exceptions, like extraordinary medical costs, there are very few cases in which people got into debt without getting something that they enjoyed in the process, whether it was people who run up incredible credit card debt because you know, "Boy, I deserve a vacation every six months and an expensive one at that". You know, or it's the people who say, " I deserve the latest iPhone every time it comes out", or "I deserve to buy twenty thousand dollars in Amazon MP3 downloads". I don't what these people are borrowing, but you get something out of it and then to say after the fact, "But oh, by the way I don't owe you that back even though I enjoyed all of it in the process because you're a bank and you're a jerk". That is not an excuse and that is not acceptable and as one, this is a full disclaimer here, I sit on a board of a credit union, a credit union that is specifically designed, all credit unions are specifically designed so that you can find ways to lend money who have deserving need. You can do that at an efficient, low cost rate while simultaneously paying some interest to the people who have money in the bank that they are wishing to save for things like retirement some day. There is a reason. I believe in the system. So, when people go out and say, "I'm not responsible for those debts. Just you know, I don't owe it to you because you're a jerk", but no, you borrowed money for that car, or you borrowed money for that degree that may have no value whatsoever in the real world, or you borrowed money for those consumer goods, you borrowed money for that vacation. I don't care what you borrowed it for, but if you borrowed it intentionally, you don't get to back out of it later on just because you don't feel like it.
Brian Dean: Don't you think that a lot of people feel that a lot of these big companies and those Wall Street firms and so on were able to get away with just that? I mean, that has to be really frustrating for anybody to see that sort of thing. I know we were not advocates of that on this program, but I think I understand where those folks are coming from in some ways.
Brian Gongol: Well, and nobody is sitting here defending the folks who work you know, in investment banking who make, you know half a million dollars, a million dollars, two million dollars or twenty million dollars a year and take these absurd bonuses and you know, wander around like jerks, because some of them are jerks and I think the system itself is in some ways pretty awful, but that in no way excuses saying that "I don't owe a debt back after I've enjoyed all of the pleasantries that come with borrowing that money for whatever purpose it was. I don't owe that back just because I don't feel like it because I think those guys over there are jerks". That is just so absurd. It is inexcusable and it exploits people's lack of knowledge about money and here's the killer. I'll get to the killer, the [xx] of this whole matter right after this. Stick around. 9:54 for the Brian Gongol Show on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
Brian Gongol: It's 9:56 here on Newsradio 1040 WHO. I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean and I've been the one ranting. Brian Gongol is the one ranting. Brian Dean has been much more level headed and calm today, but I am just mad over this proposal that, "Oh, what we should do is just- we'll just write off all the debts. We'll just- we don't owe these debts because they're not legitimate because the banks got bailed out", which is just so absurd it's not even funny, but I can't, I don't know that I could even reason with the kind of people who make this video because I'm not sure they know enough about money to begin with to be able to have a very basic argument about what debt means and what debt is and how that should be changed. I think that's an indictment of the way that we educate kids in that we fail to explain to them how this works before they leave school, and maybe we do. Maybe it's gone over in one afternoon some random Tuesday, you know in a personal finance or econ class, but if it's not thoroughly understood before you leave school that a debt is a relationship between two people, that maybe a bank is an intermediary, but in reality the money comes from someone, some person, some family, and it is lent to someone, some person, some family. Whether it's going through a bank or through a credit union or through your credit cards, whatever, the money belongs to people and it's them foregoing something and lending it to you and you pay them back with a little bit of interest to acknowledge that you benefited from being able to borrow from them. That's ok. I mean, nobody is out there defending the horrible people who make tons of money gambling on stock and bond markets. I think they're awful. I think what they do is awful, but I think you don't fight back against that by just saying you don't owe your debts to anyone. That's just absurd and the problem here is, the failure that's going on here is a lack of knowledge and willpower by the rest of us to go out and learn how to be smarter than the people who have been exploiting the system and it's possible to do so. It is not hard to go out and learn how to fight back and how to know better and if we know better we don't have to be frustrated by them making lots of money doing things that we think are unethical or wrong or just kind of icky. Whatever it is, we can get around those by doing things on our own and understanding how that system works, but at least I frankly can't say that I hate anybody in the system, the slimy banker types any more than I can hate the people who can think they can just break a contract, which by the way is exactly what a debt is, just because they don't feel like doing the hard part, which is the paying for it part. You know, that's kind of the hard part of the contract. It is actually paying for it when you are done. So at least, at the very least, in this case the bankers would be providing a service. Now again, one for which I think maybe some of them are grossly overpaid, but they're overpaid because everybody else is too lazy to figure out how to do better than that. It's borderline psychopathic to think that you can just go out and say, "I don't want to follow the law or follow the rules or follow a contract just because it's not fun to follow it. I don't like it". That's borderline psychopathic. I think what really gets down to it is, is that so many people are so self righteous about money and how about how things are to be done, particularly on the left, that they just remain willfully ignorant of it because they thing they're above it. I think they could do much better for themselves and for the people they claim to be trying to help if they would get smarter about it, learn about it, and work with the system that's already there and natural and make things better. See you next week here on WHO.