Radio Nuggets

Jim Hightower




Bill Clinton did not

inhale. We’re clear on that, right?

But, recently, he did

swallow. It was on traveled to proclaim that his international drug war

is a tremendous success. Bill has a

tough time with Mexico on this issue, PR-wise, since their top

anti-drug officials turn out to be involved in the drug trade themselves. So who can blame Clinton for kicking back with a

beer on the trip home from his latest

song and dance in Mexico? It’s a nerve-soothing

beverage-and hey, alcohol is a legal drug. But hold your Clydesdales right there. The stewards on Air

Force One didn’t give the President a

tall Bud . . . but a Hemp Golden Beer!

This brew, made in


plant is a cousin of the dreaded marijuana plant. Even though hemp itself is not a drug and cannot make you high,

Clinton’s Drug Czar Barry grow this profitable, highly useful, and

environmentally sensible crop. So US

businesses that use hemp to make paper, fuel, medicines, clothing, food Europe or

other places that are not so paranoid.

color:black”>founder of the Body Shop, which markets several

hemp-based skin care products, heard

about Clinton’s beer experience. She wrote to him, saying "Congratulations on breaking the hemp barrier

on Air Force One." She also said,

"Don’t go wobbly with misinformation," urging him to support a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana so farmers

can begin to produce the Bill

on that, but don’t expect him to have another hemp beer on Air Force declaring it

an "inappropriate" drink for the president.





Time for another peek

[soap opera theme] into "The

Lifestyles of the Rich . . . And Cranky." Poor Michael and Susan Dell. They’re the richest people

in Austin, Texas, and meet just like your family and mine. And just like

families everywhere who build a house,

this founding family of Dell Computer Inc. needs to watch feet, has

eight bedrooms and bathrooms, 13 half baths, a conference room, a kitchen bigger than most restaurants, an exercise

room, an indoor pool, an outdoor pool,

cabanas, and a five-level terraced lawn. Their house is about size,

not taste.

The Dells didn’t skimp on

building costs, the most expensive in Texas-and I’m counting Ross

Perot’s! They only got cost conscience

when they received their property tax bill. This is the other basic

services. The Dells though whined that their $600,000 assessment was way too high. OK, that’s a lot of

money for you and me, but paying $2 a year in property taxes. You should be so

lucky. But took the county to

court-costing us taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees-and, sure enough, they got their tax bill

knocked down to $250,000 a about 50 cents a year. This is Jim Hightower saying . . . The tax


should pay more than their fair share. Everyone must be treated equally." Sure . . . as long as we all have

lawyers and appraisers and political

clout that’s equal.



It’s payday . . . do you

know where your next million is coming

from? Geoffrey Bible, like all of us, is just trying to make ends meet-though some of us have a longer stretch

than Bible does. He’s nice $1.6 million salary last year, but added a

sweet dollop of cream on top: a bonus

of $3.5 million. But his payday didn’t end there–add in and

Geoffrey totaled right at $24 million for 1998. This is not counting his limousine, country club memberships, company

jet, housing allowance, executive chef,

and a free weekly shampoo for his poodle. All this was a year in which Philip Morris didn’t do well.

Who knows, in a good year he might’ve

gotten that poodle shampooed twice a week. no limits on the excesses of these guys?

Well, yes, say the

companies, we have "executive

compensation committees" that carefully scrutinize CEO performance and allocate pay accordingly. Sure, and

the monkeys are

color:black”>Guess who heads the compensation committee

at Philip Morris? John Reed. When he’s

not keeping his hawk-eye on Geoffrey conglomerate. One reason that John Reed might have a

slightly skewed sense in salary last year, plus a $7.8 million bonus and

stock options worth $16.9 million. So,

hey, he says, if I made $26 million, how far off is it And so what that Bible’s company had a rough year?–Citigroup, under John Reed, saw its

profits fall by a hold tough times against the guy at the top.

color:black”>saying . . . For CEOs, it’s a





Is this great news, or

what? USA Today gushed that "10,000 is more than a number . . . It’s like Mark McGwire beating the home

run record. It’s like It’s being hailed not

only as a milestone for the rich, but also for the middle class, with the media reporting deadpan that

"everybody" is in the stock

market today. Time for a Reality Check

[echo] . . . check . . . check. Everybody?! Six out of ten Americans own no stock at

all-not do own stock, the vast majority have a tidbit that

gives them no sense of ownership in the

Dow, much less giving them a thrill that the thing is their pension

plans got canceled, and now they’ve been thrust into a 401(K), which is nowhere near as desirable, and

they’re not at all happy to be there.

Consider this reality that the establishment

media never percent of American families. They’re the privileged

10 percent who are giddy about the Dow

busting 10,000. The rest of us are more concerned benefits and a

real pension. Here’s another statistic

that the media, wages for average workers today are 12 percent below

the wages of workers in 1973. And guess

what? When a corporation cuts jobs and cuts wages, the Average. So

the misfortune of the workaday majority, which is seeing its income go down, is a boost to the fortunes of those

at the top. is Jim Hightower saying . . . What’s more important

for America–a rise in the Dow . . . or

a rise in the middle class?




Out in Nebraska, when

they say something is "janked"-they

mean it’s all messed up. Well, PBS the Public

Broadcasting Service-seems to be janked. The original idea of establishing a "public" network was that

it would present a non-corporate view

of the world. But in recent years, PBS has been taking more and more

color:black”>more and more of its programming now mouths the

corporate line. For example, a recent feature on public radio’s

"All Things Considered" news show

told about a new game called the "Stock Market Game." This is a olds-just

the kind of thing that PBS was created to expose and lampoon. But, no, the new, corporate-friendly public radio

network broadcast the outrage. In playing this "game," teams of

elementary school kids are right there. Who in the real world has $100,000 to

invest? Maybe five percent of

Americans-but the public radio reporter asked no embarrassing interviewed

to tell us that sometimes the kids make a lot of money with their virtual investments, and sometimes they don’t

make so much. Not a the Stock Market Game was interviewed and gushed

that it was a great way "to teach

students about the American economy."

color:black”>saying . . . Yeah, if you want to teach them



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