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James McMurtry — We Can't Make It Here
Album: Childish Things
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1392









Released: 2005
Length: 7:00
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

That big ol' building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can't make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They're just gonna set there till they rot
'Cause there's nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don't come down here 'less you're looking to score
We can't make it here anymore

The bar's still open but man it's slow
The tip jar's light and the register's low
The bartender don't have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won't pay for a roof, won't pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can't make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it's way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore

Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
'Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can't make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the damn little war
And we can't make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore

And that's how it is
That's what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you're listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That's done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There's rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can't make it here anymore
Comments (324)add comment
Just today, the Union of Concerned Scientists announced this year's Doomsday Clock.  Still two minutes to midnight, unchanged from last year. 

Global warming and nuclear weapons - no meaningful progress on either.  Sleep walking off the cliff.
 squidish wrote:

And automation. Most manufacturing jobs haven't gone overseas, they were lost to automation. Just like the Industrial Revolution.

Evolve or die.
 

So far, it's the latter
 thewiseking wrote:

The Dems shoulda paid attention. They dug their own graves
 
Now the Repubs are throwing dirt into the hole.
Can't make it here anymore? I would argue we make the world's best crystal meth. 
This song resonates just as strongly today as it did when it was first recorded. It's also just as relevant to my own country as it is for Americans. Yet politicians of all kinds cant understand the world wide rise of extreme parties and bonkers political leaders. Perhaps instead of taking an oath of office new legislators should be forced to sing this song?
Pretty much explains how a grotesque buffoon demagogue got to the White House. Of course, those who put him there are only pawns in the game, got played and will always get screwed
 cavemanleong wrote:
So apt for the world we're living in right now.  It was like that when James released this track and it's still the same now.
 
Worse.
 
...and worse still is that the very people that he laments here have bought into their own demise hook, line, and sinker.
So apt for the world we're living in right now.  It was like that when James released this track and it's still the same now.
Hats off to a fellow Okie...McMurtry is an incredible poet.
 TomSweetwater wrote:
It's all smaltz, right is wrong and up is down, the painful truth is that we live in Hell. How do I know this? I sit it in the woods of Torrence Barrens and watch the planes fly over my head spewing chemicals to control the weather. The Sufi know something, the Toltec, dharma, Tao, Truth is everywhere but the egos are in control.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the end of the Human race, hell is freezing over while everyone fights over the almighty dollar, how long and in how many different ways does it have to be said for people to wake up? Mass enlightenment is the only thing that can save your children now, science has already killed them.

Live, Love and stay Wild my friends

#Truth

  I had to look up Torrence Barrens to understand your reference.  Wow.

Earth's other species would probably be better off without humans. Still, I'm not ready to call it all hell....but I've been a lucky one and maybe I'm just listening to music and dancing among the flames.
just gonna live in my rose colored unicorn world until the wine runs out the sun explodes...
It's all smaltz, right is wrong and up is down, the painful truth is that we live in Hell. How do I know this? I sit it in the woods of Torrence Barrens and watch the planes fly over my head spewing chemicals to control the weather. The Sufi know something, the Toltec, dharma, Tao, Truth is everywhere but the egos are in control.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the end of the Human race, hell is freezing over while everyone fights over the almighty dollar, how long and in how many different ways does it have to be said for people to wake up? Mass enlightenment is the only thing that can save your children now, science has already killed them.

Live, Love and stay Wild my friends

#Truth
 maxjboxer wrote:
It was bad, Obama made it worse by supporting the banks (Dodd/Frank)  and putting thousands of small business into bankruptcy.  Many people felt the same and now we have Trump but I guarantee this guy hates him and would never support him. Let's quit bitching and work together and come up with some solutions.

 
Delusion is a wonderful thing.  Put on your tinfoil MAGA hat and whistle past the graveyard that America is becoming under the utter lack of leadership that we now have at the top.
A terrific song.  So tired of self-indulgent, millennial navel-gazing posing as 'folk rock music.' This is refreshing. 
Don't sugar coat it James...
I'm really enjoying this song speak
Progress! It's not 5.15 an hour! Anymore. It's almost 8!  Wow. 12 years and 2.50 more. Still can't make it. And bosses rag about that. They'd abolish the minimum, until there is in fact no here at all to make it. 
It was bad, Obama made it worse by supporting the banks (Dodd/Frank)  and putting thousands of small business into bankruptcy.  Many people felt the same and now we have Trump but I guarantee this guy hates him and would never support him. Let's quit bitching and work together and come up with some solutions.
 onerb wrote:
This country is filled with people whose ancestors couldn't make it where they were living. The got on a boat with a few lira and went to a country where people didn't speak their language. They were hard-working dreamers. What happened to that spirit? Blaming DC is a pretty weak excuse IMO.

 
You mean like those Mexicans, south, and central Americans streaming across the border for better opportunities.  They have the spirit and will even do the jobs no one else wants.  They work hard AND pay taxes.

Or does your logic only apply to white people from Europe (maybe Italians?). 

Also... we have official "dreamers" of the ilk that you refer to.  Educated, striving, and bettering themselves.  Our government, in DC, is preparing to round them up and deport them.  So yes, blaming DC is not only valid but required.
This song is based in America but its message is relivant  to most of the western democracies. 
Urban decay.
Thanks to Greg Reikens for the use of this great photo.

The RPHD Flickr group invites RP listeners, photographers, digital artists and photo editors to join us in the continual improvement of the RPHD slideshow. Come visit!
 onerb wrote:
This country is filled with people whose ancestors couldn't make it where they were living. The got on a boat with a few lira and went to a country where people didn't speak their language. They were hard-working dreamers. What happened to that spirit? Blaming DC is a pretty weak excuse IMO.

 
Because in 2017 you can't just hop on a boat with a few bucks, go to a country and take it over like the Europeans did in N. and S. America. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of native peoples that were ripped off, sickened by disease, or killed in the name of imperialism.

Your "hard-working dreamers" is some Ronnie Reagan fantasy of rugged individualism/John Wayne riding off into the sunset. It works in the movies but in the real world it's kinda bullshit.

For example, Jesuit priests burned Mayans at the stake if they didn't convert (because they were "devil worshippers"), or if they simply were scribes in order to wipe out the Mayan language. Then there's the whole U.S. expansion into the continent and that genocide, with the slavery and coolie/immigrant labor that was used for much of the dirty work.

Today we have to look at the government and their paymasters (corporations), so yes, blaming D.C. is appropriate. Unless you have a boat heading for, I don't know, maybe Tierra del Fuego or New Guinea and you're ready to be a "hard-working dreamer" (imperialist thief and killer) there?
This country is filled with people whose ancestors couldn't make it where they were living. The got on a boat with a few lira and went to a country where people didn't speak their language. They were hard-working dreamers. What happened to that spirit? Blaming DC is a pretty weak excuse IMO.
 Mindahl wrote:
Hmmm...  Still relevant today.
 

 
Heck, "Inner City Blues" is still relevant today.
 Skydog wrote:
released in 2005, my how time doesn't change

 
The Dems shoulda paid attention. They dug their own graves
I was working hard and then this song totally caught my attention. Great lyrics. It very powerfully evokes the plight of towns on the downward slide into oblivion. I am fortunate enough to live in an area with a strong economy and can only imagine what it must be like to live somewhere like James describes. Great work James!
 Skydog wrote:
released in 2005, my how time doesn't change

 


Brilliant song.  Makes you think.  Need to do more thinking.
Obama shoulda listened. Maybe then we wouldn't have a cheap hustlin fraud in the White House
 hagz21 wrote:
Jesus....I hope this guy doesn't own a gun.

 
You should be more concerned about the irritable, irate, irrational gun owners who aren't nearly as righteous or as insightful as McMurtry.  And if he does own a gun...from the song it sounds like, if and when the time comes, he knows the ilk of people to aim it at. 
 SeriousLee wrote:
I like it. 

 
Me too🎵
Hmmm...  Still relevant today.
 
released in 2005, my how time doesn't change
 Grammarcop wrote:
Has the U.S. government made some mistakes with our trade deals? Absolutely. But the Americans who complain the loudest and longest about trade still have not come to terms with this one idea: globalization is inevitable. The sooner we come to terms with it, the sooner we can lead the world in building a new economy.

 
And automation. Most manufacturing jobs haven't gone overseas, they were lost to automation. Just like the Industrial Revolution.

Evolve or die.


More truth here than anything you'll find on mainstream radio, tv or print
What are you saying, Bill?
A populist!
You tell 'em James!
10 right here.
 yes, so agree
trevc wrote:
Big bad John.

 


Big bad John.
 hagz21 wrote:
Jesus....I hope this guy doesn't own a gun.

 
Do people who think about, write about and talk about the things that they understand are being done to us, frighten you? 
Why would he need a gun?  You are making quite an assumption.  He is calling attention to problems that should be addressed.
Jesus....I hope this guy doesn't own a gun.
Has the U.S. government made some mistakes with our trade deals? Absolutely. But the Americans who complain the loudest and longest about trade still have not come to terms with this one idea: globalization is inevitable. The sooner we come to terms with it, the sooner we can lead the world in building a new economy.
I like it. 
Pandering.
 
 floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
 
As if a "rightist" government would have screwed those people any less hard. Working class is fcked over by both left and right these days, no wonder they are angry.
Didn't I hear this song at the Trump rally...?
What we need to do is Make America Great Again!

(Shirts made in Singapore would be pretty expensive, I think)
Hate this!
Very fine, and to all on the left and right, I say:  read Hilaire Belloc, Servile State. It was a life changer, and I'll leave it at that.

https://archive.org/details/servilestate00belluoft 
 floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
 
It's entertaining to see an artistic expression force people to think.  Sadly, most of them choose to flail about in faux outrage in response. 

 floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.

 
Yep, the environmental laws ruined everything.

 

 

You mouth breathing luddite.


Lou Reed in disguise?
 floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
 
Boy, talk about a capitalist tool! You fit the bill to a "T."
Bernie or bust! !!!
Well ... That ol trickle down thang is not proving out ... Is it?
 
floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
 


 floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
 
Sure. Doesn't have anything to do with CEOs and hedge fund managers who make tens - or hundreds - of millions of dollars each year. God forbid they take a pay cut, eh?
 dogwud wrote:
Wow! Powerful lyrics!

 
I was listening to the voice and music, and wanted to know more because I really liked it. So I took a look on the comments here as well which were indicating that the lyrics were definitively far from insignificant. As I'm not a native English speaker, I didn't noticed the lyrics at first. So I went to take a look on them on the net. And wouaw: brilliant.

So this song gets a 8 from the first time I hear it (I start usually from a six, and increment each time I here it again if I like it more).
 floydoftherocks wrote:
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
 
 Was kinda thinking the same thing.....
Maybe schedule this for November 9th, depending.
I'd no idea J.M. was an economist! 

But seriously, leftist whining is so dumb and sad. It was the Democrats passing the environmental laws as well as giving the trial lawyers whatever they wanted, which is exactly why "we can't make it here anymore."

Not to mention NAFTA, a Clinton "accomplishment" LOL. Thankfully it is mostly the supporters of the Democrats who get exactly what they deserve.
Great contribution to the American tradition of music dealing with populist protest/social commentary.  It doesn't matter if its 'true" (- how many people are still waiting for Tracy Chapmans revolution?).  What is true and timeless is the work of an artist that is powerful and comes from the heart.  McMurtry's song is a song of truth because one senses that he truly believes it.    It rocks regardless of your politics.
 thewiseking wrote:
Yup, we can't make it here anymore and you can blame the labor unions

 
Mc Murtry is likely writing from what he saw in Texas where he grew up and still lives.  Texas is a so called "right-to-work" state, which of course is a misnomer as you have no "right" to work, particularly when factories close up shop and moved across the border or overseas just much as they did in union states.
Wow! Powerful lyrics!
 1wolfy wrote:
The profound lyrics stopped me dead and made me listen...strong stuff !

  ME TOO!!!


 1wolfy wrote:
The profound lyrics stopped me dead and made me listen...strong stuff !

 

Indeed
The profound lyrics stopped me dead and made me listen...strong stuff !
                                     Boxcar Graffiti
 
                We knew the score we're jumping on an
              Empty bandwagon intense looking to score.
 thewiseking wrote:
Yup, we can't make it here anymore and you can blame the labor unions

 
You are not wise and thank goodness you aren't the king.  This is one of the lamest and most uneducated statements I've read regarding the contents of this song.  
Let it all hang out.
 thewiseking wrote:
Yup, we can't make it here anymore and you can blame the labor unions

 
They did not get us embroiled in Afghanistan and Iraq. I believe that was the (so-called) 'conservative' right led by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and crew, marketed by Karl Rove, who also have holdings and business relationships with the subcontractors like Halliburton and Blackwater - who have profited immensely while the enlisted men earning a fraction as much pay the real price. The 'conservatives' actually spent us into huge debt - the only thing they hold back on is health care, education, social services, etc for the masses (Congress gets the best health care insurance in the country).

Not the labor unions!

Dwight Eisenhower on his way out of office said to beware the military industrial complex. Follow the money.
Kind of bleak and for one I am shit-scared we are heading headlong into this kind of dystopia worldwide. 

A world in which production is divorced from labor cause the machines do it so much better
Which might be great except that the world has forgotten to uncouple consumer buying power from the labor that it no longer needs.
Who thought up this system?

And don't think services are going to do it for you. Machines can do those better and cheaper too. 

 
 kingart wrote:

Bullshit. 
Fine.  Abolish the rest of the unions.  Then see what happens. 
Abuse of workers spike. Workplace conditions worsen.  No extra pay for o.t.  Most of the perqs, dividends and benefits flow to the execs. Hell, we see that already.  The government can't or won't regulate workplaces and workers. Without unions to do so, no one does. 

Unions may take advantage of whatever they can, verging on abuse and corruption in some cases, but that may be nullified by what they have not allowed the execs to get away with. You may have forgotten that a lot of the 19th-20th century wealth of this nation was created well before unions and pocketed by robber baron scumbags who paid no income taxes, worked people to death, reinforced a Jim Crow south, polluted without regulation, and had people killed for even speaking of unions and worker protection. 
You need a history lesson. If you have a better solution, millions would like to know. If you say corporations can police themselves, I have some dirt cheap Miami and Malibu beachfront to sell you.
 

 
I agree with you. However, I still don't like this song.
Strange phenomenom  -  my body is leaning left.  My head is nodding.  Yeah!  Power to the people!  
Revolution in a white working class song.
....and I can't listen to this anymore.......PSD
 kingart wrote:

Bullshit. 
Fine.  Abolish the rest of the unions.  Then see what happens. 
Abuse of workers spike. Workplace conditions worsen.  No extra pay for o.t.  Most of the perqs, dividends and benefits flow to the execs. Hell, we see that already.  The government can't or won't regulate workplaces and workers. Without unions to do so, no one does. 

Unions may take advantage of whatever they can, verging on abuse and corruption in some cases, but that may be nullified by what they have not allowed the execs to get away with. You may have forgotten that a lot of the 19th-20th century wealth of this nation was created well before unions and pocketed by robber baron scumbags who paid no income taxes, worked people to death, reinforced a Jim Crow south, polluted without regulation, and had people killed for even speaking of unions and worker protection. 
You need a history lesson. If you have a better solution, millions would like to know. If you say corporations can police themselves, I have some dirt cheap Miami and Malibu beachfront to sell you.
 

 

Well said. Right-to-work states are hardly earthly paradises. Unions did not cause the decline of manufacturing in America. The guy you just dismantled aka thewiseking should also read up on footloose industries and any history on the transition of the US from a manufacturing- to a service-oriented economy. 

 

countryrds wrote:

He nails it.  Unfettered and uncontrolled capitalism leads to monopolies and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few which corrupts the government and utterly destroys the middle class.  Instead of evolving to a more democratic system we are devolving to more and more authoritarian and even feudal mercantile system.  It is the poets and artists that point out flaws, weaknesses and the hypocrisy of this system.  We need more like him.

 
 Amen.
He nails it.  Unfettered and uncontrolled capitalism leads to monopolies and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few which corrupts the government and utterly destroys the middle class.  Instead of evolving to a more democratic system we are devolving to more and more authoritarian and even feudal mercantile system.  It is the poets and artists that point out flaws, weaknesses and the hypocrisy of this system.  We need more like him.
 kingart wrote:

Bullshit. 
Fine.  Abolish the rest of the unions.  Then see what happens. 
Abuse of workers spike. Workplace conditions worsen.  No extra pay for o.t.  Most of the perqs, dividends and benefits flow to the execs. Hell, we see that already.  The government can't or won't regulate workplaces and workers. Without unions to do so, no one does. 

Unions may take advantage of whatever they can, verging on abuse and corruption in some cases, but that may be nullified by what they have not allowed the execs to get away with. You may have forgotten that a lot of the 19th-20th century wealth of this nation was created well before unions and pocketed by robber baron scumbags who paid no income taxes, worked people to death, reinforced a Jim Crow south, polluted without regulation, and had people killed for even speaking of unions and worker protection. 
You need a history lesson. If you have a better solution, millions would like to know. If you say corporations can police themselves, I have some dirt cheap Miami and Malibu beachfront to sell you.
 

 
{#Clap}
I appreciate this song more each time I hear it. A precise and slow-burning expression of working-class anger, and every line true. The monotone delivery accentuates the cold anger of McMurtry well.
Lyrics and sentiments aside, the monotonous hook and vocals just don't do much for me. I'm in agreement with much of what he says... And that's the problem for me: its more spoken word to music than a song IMO. There are many more musical protest songs from Pete Seeger CSNY to Melloncamp to Springsteen to Public Enemy to The Roots: if you're going to chant/rap then make it interesting sonically. To me this doesn't fit the bill. 
 thewiseking wrote:
Yup, we can't make it here anymore and you can blame the labor unions

 
Bullshit. 
Fine.  Abolish the rest of the unions.  Then see what happens. 
Abuse of workers spike. Workplace conditions worsen.  No extra pay for o.t.  Most of the perqs, dividends and benefits flow to the execs. Hell, we see that already.  The government can't or won't regulate workplaces and workers. Without unions to do so, no one does. 

Unions may take advantage of whatever they can, verging on abuse and corruption in some cases, but that may be nullified by what they have not allowed the execs to get away with. You may have forgotten that a lot of the 19th-20th century wealth of this nation was created well before unions and pocketed by robber baron scumbags who paid no income taxes, worked people to death, reinforced a Jim Crow south, polluted without regulation, and had people killed for even speaking of unions and worker protection. 
You need a history lesson. If you have a better solution, millions would like to know. If you say corporations can police themselves, I have some dirt cheap Miami and Malibu beachfront to sell you.
 
Heard this for the first time here after Bill played a most excellent set after the results of our embarrassing election last month, and immediately loved it! Everything McMurty says about America in this song is true. Go James McMurty, and go Radio Paradise!!
 midnightoil wrote:
First time I've heard this song and this artist. I don't necessarily agree with all the sentiments expressed in the song but it is well done and brought a smile to my face. I like it.

As to views on capitalism, I think it depends on your perspective. Ask a Chinese worker what he thinks and you'll get a very different answer to that of a worker in the West. Unfettered capitalism is a disaster but if controls are in place it's probably the best system mankind has come up with so far.

Can't blame the corporates for minimising taxes - they exist to make profits. They are not charities. Blame the timid politicians for not plugging the tax loopholes that allow corporates like Starbucks etc off the hook.
 
Just because it's worse in China and Syria doesn't mean we can't still make it better here.

Yes, on the tax loopholes. If corporations are left to themselves, they will pay no tax at all. We tried that in the Golden Age and it was a disaster. Child labor, 12 hour work-weeks, rotten food, poisonous drugs, etc. That's what the muckrakers were all about.

The reason the politicians are timid is that the corporations they are supposed to regulate own the media, and own them. Until we limit corporate contributions to campaigns, there is no democracy here. The rich own the government. That's why so many policies that are supported by a substantial majority (higher mimimum wage, legal pot, universal healthcare, higher taxes for the rich) are simply not implemented.
You tell 'em James!
Yup, we can't make it here anymore and you can blame the labor unions
First time I've heard this song and this artist. I don't necessarily agree with all the sentiments expressed in the song but it is well done and brought a smile to my face. I like it.

As to views on capitalism, I think it depends on your perspective. Ask a Chinese worker what he thinks and you'll get a very different answer to that of a worker in the West. Unfettered capitalism is a disaster but if controls are in place it's probably the best system mankind has come up with so far.

Can't blame the corporates for minimising taxes - they exist to make profits. They are not charities. Blame the timid politicians for not plugging the tax loopholes that allow corporates like Starbucks etc off the hook.
 Highlowsel wrote:

Bwaaaahahahahaha......did you actually say don't tax corporate profits to the point that they are FORCED to go overseas?  I see you said that in 2011.....well....here in circa Feb/March of 2014 it's been shown that corp profits are at ALL TIME HIGHS!  They are NOT hurting....not by any stretch of the imagination.  The ever soaring Dow Jones and that ilk are "proof" of this.  Yet unemployment continues apace, and the inequality chasm grows ever larger while the powers that be float the same old tired canard you expressed back in 11.  Why is that I wonder?

For a change of pace try reading economist Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century.  An interesting, and new, perspective on Capitalism and its natural tendency (via "free" market mechanism) towards ever increasing inequality.  There may be no way out of the current economic situation without a re-think on what Capitalism actually is and how it (needs to) functions for the greater good of the many rather than for the (currently realized) good of the few. 







 
   Certainly something is way out of ballance here. Taxes simply distribute wealth. Capitalism obviously does not. By hiring the poor overseas, we are not sending our wealth there, but increasing profits here. You must then ask yourselves why are the PROFITS (as opposed to simply Corporations) not being taxed?
   Corporations are hiring overseas because they receive exemptions from (employment) taxes over there. That is, Corporations are taxed only when they hire US citizens. It should be be the other way around.
   Regardless, wealth needs to be distributed more effectively. Don't let the media and the rich fool you: Capitalusm is not working. McMurtry speaks for the rest of us. 
Sing it, Jimmy!
 Highlowsel wrote:

Bwaaaahahahahaha......did you actually say don't tax corporate profits to the point that they are FORCED to go overseas?  I see you said that in 2011.....well....here in circa Feb/March of 2014 it's been shown that corp profits are at ALL TIME HIGHS!  They are NOT hurting....not by any stretch of the imagination.  The ever soaring Dow Jones and that ilk are "proof" of this.  Yet unemployment continues apace, and the inequality chasm grows ever larger while the powers that be float the same old tired canard you expressed back in 11.  Why is that I wonder?

For a change of pace try reading economist Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century.  An interesting, and new, perspective on Capitalism and its natural tendency (via "free" market mechanism) towards ever increasing inequality.  There may be no way out of the current economic situation without a re-think on what Capitalism actually is and how it (needs to) functions for the greater good of the many rather than for the (currently realized) good of the few. 







 
Amen brother!
I would have to agree with countryroads(sic) below ... We have to care and if people with money dont care they need to pay their fair share ... Corporations and churches included ...
 countryrds wrote:
This song nails it.  Our long term survival will depend on fundamental change in our entire system from greed capitalism to a culture of caring for each other.  This includes social, political, economic and environmental change.  We can do this in a logical rational manner or it will be forced upon us. 

 
{#Clap} Yep, something the short-sighted and blinkered posters below haven't twigged. I like McMurtry's line about not hating others of different appearance for taking jobs, but rather hating those who sent the jobs away in the first place. Maybe yer man's a bit of a class warrior...
 Lazarus wrote:
 

miss you so much Cynaera...

this song is as apropos as ever...  Detroit can say goodbye to Hollywood, to paraphrase Billy Joel...

 

 
Detroit isn't saying good-bye to Hollywood. Why just last year, a location scout knocked on our front door to see if we were interested in letting his production company use our house in a cable TV show. 

Oh, wait ... I get your point.
This song nails it.  Our long term survival will depend on fundamental change in our entire system from greed capitalism to a culture of caring for each other.  This includes social, political, economic and environmental change.  We can do this in a logical rational manner or it will be forced upon us. 
 maxjboxer wrote:
The song is somewhat simplistic and naive.  We live in a world market now and we have to adapt to it.  If you want to keep jobs here, don't tax corporate profits to the point that they are forced to go overseas.  How about taking some of the blame ourselves?  You and I keep buying the cheap products built in Asia and then we bitch an whine about the bad corporations moving operations over there to compete.  Time to grow up and figure a way to help our companies compete here rather than suck them dry with an out of line tax structure and ridiculous over regulation.

 
Bwaaaahahahahaha......did you actually say don't tax corporate profits to the point that they are FORCED to go overseas?  I see you said that in 2011.....well....here in circa Feb/March of 2014 it's been shown that corp profits are at ALL TIME HIGHS!  They are NOT hurting....not by any stretch of the imagination.  The ever soaring Dow Jones and that ilk are "proof" of this.  Yet unemployment continues apace, and the inequality chasm grows ever larger while the powers that be float the same old tired canard you expressed back in 11.  Why is that I wonder?

For a change of pace try reading economist Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century.  An interesting, and new, perspective on Capitalism and its natural tendency (via "free" market mechanism) towards ever increasing inequality.  There may be no way out of the current economic situation without a re-think on what Capitalism actually is and how it (needs to) functions for the greater good of the many rather than for the (currently realized) good of the few. 






Awesome song - excellent lyrics.
Amen, brother!
 tiggers wrote:
Crikey it's like being preached college level simplistic politics by someone with a nasal problem!  Dreck!

 
Crikey it's like Crocodile Dundee dropped into the RP message board to hate on a song!
Does James realize how expensive Walmart shirts would be if they were made in Singapore?  Apparently not...
maxjboxer wrote:
The song is somewhat simplistic and naive.  We live in a world market now and we have to adapt to it.  If you want to keep jobs here, don't tax corporate profits to the point that they are forced to go overseas.  How about taking some of the blame ourselves?  You and I keep buying the cheap products built in Asia and then we bitch an whine about the bad corporations moving operations over there to compete.  Time to grow up and figure a way to help our companies compete here rather than suck them dry with an out of line tax structure and ridiculous over regulation.
   

spindrift wrote:


I agree with you.  The knee jerk suspicion of private enterprise glosses over the fact that in this country wealth comes from the private sector.



 
Let Joe Stiglitz educate you. He's got a Nobel Prize in economics, so you might want to pay attention, check your naive and simplistic over-generalizations at the door and read. 



https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/inequality-is-a-choice/?hp 

"It’s well known by now that income and wealth inequality in most rich countries, especially the United States, have soared in recent decades and, tragically, worsened even more since the Great Recession. But what about the rest of the world?" 

...

"...(S)tarting around the fall of Communism in the late 1980s, economic globalization accelerated and the gap between nations began to shrink. The period from 1988 to 2008 “might have witnessed the first decline in global inequality between world citizens since the Industrial Revolution,” Mr. Milanovic, who was born in the former Yugoslavia and is the author of “The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality,” wrote in a paper published last November. While the gap between some regions has markedly narrowed — namely, between Asia and the advanced economies of the West — huge gaps remain. Average global incomes, by country, have moved closer together over the last several decades, particularly on the strength of the growth of China and India. But overall equality across humanity, considered as individuals, has improved very little. (The Gini coefficient, a measurement of inequality, improved by just 1.4 points from 2002 to 2008.)

So while nations in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, as a whole, might be catching up with the West, the poor everywhere are left behind, even in places like China where they’ve benefited somewhat from rising living standards."
...

"But the trend was not universal, or inevitable. Over these same years, countries like Chile, Mexico, Greece, Turkey and Hungary managed to reduce (in some cases very high) income inequality significantly, suggesting that inequality is a product of political and not merely macroeconomic forces. It is not true that inequality is an inevitable byproduct of globalization, the free movement of labor, capital, goods and services, and technological change that favors better-skilled and better-educated employees.

Of the advanced economies, America has some of the worst disparities in incomes and opportunities, with devastating macroeconomic consequences. The gross domestic product of the United States has more than quadrupled in the last 40 years and nearly doubled in the last 25, but as is now well known, the benefits have gone to the top — and increasingly to the very, very top."

...

"American inequality began its upswing 30 years ago, along with tax decreases for the rich and the easing of regulations on the financial sector. That’s no coincidence. It has worsened as we have under-invested in our infrastructure, education and health care systems, and social safety nets. Rising inequality reinforces itself by corroding our political system and our democratic governance. 

...

"None of this is inevitable. Some countries have made the choice to create more equitable economies: South Korea, where a half-century ago just one in 10 people attained a college degree, today has one of the world’s highest university completion rates. 

Some countries will be successful in creating shared prosperity — the only kind of prosperity that I believe is truly sustainable. Others will let inequality run amok." 
Wow, love a song with a message, props to radio paradise for playing this!
Kind of like a modern rodriguez sugar man
 Cynaera  wrote:
 If his voice is boring and droll, at least consider the words... He's not so much known for his voice as he is for his words....

I love his music. He tells it true.

  

miss you so much Cynaera...

this song is as apropos as ever...  Detroit can say goodbye to Hollywood, to paraphrase Billy Joel...

 
Crikey it's like being preached college level simplistic politics by someone with a nasal problem!  Dreck!
the entire bush klan needs to get the red queen to take them under her management............thank you james , long live KFAT & and it's little sister kpig. wild bills  alma -mater and one of the few surviving RADIO realitys left on this planet. (altho they are about dead too)

And as jobs for the blue collared appear and disappear like smoke
the banks and the children beg for more
while the oceans slowly rise.


Utterly terrible in every way
 Cynaera wrote:

Thank you, Fred - I was starting to feel like the backward step-child, believing that McMurtry had a line on what was and is going on in the world. (Love the references to Guthrie, Seeger, Bragg, and lest we forget, Cohen, Young, Browne...) I still can't get over the words - betting a person will NEVER hear this song on the radio, unless it's censored.


 
We hear it on KPIG out here in Santa Cruz. Of course, they are some of Bill's old KFAT siblings, but there is an underground current of dissent against the "way things are". It's not just your imagination.

Like the lady said: "If you're not p*ssed off, you're not paying attention. 

Long live the folk tradition of speaking truth to power. {#Yell}
 sandyclaws wrote:


Great comment, GT66. I couldn't agree more. I don't shop at Walmart for so many reasons. The irony of it is that Walmart's low-price marketing appeals to the very same working-class folk who have suffered the most damage at the hands of corporations that have sacrificed our common welfare for the sake of cheap goods - to say nothing of the fact that Walmart is one of the worst of the worst when it comes to treatment of its own employees. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your own face - I just don't get how it's so hard for people to see the big picture, or if they do, why it is that they don't care more.

 
Because we all need more disposable stuff!
Like a modern Charlie Daniels, lyric-wise. Love it.
 fredriley wrote:

All songs are - they're not long enough for full-blown political analyses, and their intention is to arouse emotion and tell a tale, not to set out a complete politico-economic policy. What do you want, a thesis? This song tells a powerful tale of economic and social decline at the sharp end. What causes the decline and how to reverse is another, and much more wordy, matter. IMO this song is in the folk tradition of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and so many others. Kudos to McMurtry for telling it how it is. 8 from the Nottingham jury.

 
Thank you, Fred - I was starting to feel like the backward step-child, believing that McMurtry had a line on what was and is going on in the world. (Love the references to Guthrie, Seeger, Bragg, and lest we forget, Cohen, Young, Browne...) I still can't get over the words - betting a person will NEVER hear this song on the radio, unless it's censored.

 MrClean wrote:

So in other words, if we make it easier for corporate exploitation at home, they would stay here and we'd all have jobs tomorrow?

Which of you is the naive one?

 

That's easy.  You're the naive one.
We are on the eve of destruction ... oops that was 40years ago. 
 Gryn wrote:
James makes it painfully clear.  The musicians and artists always tell it like it is.
 

Painful is right.
 maxjboxer wrote:
The song is somewhat simplistic and naive. 
 
All songs are - they're not long enough for full-blown political analyses, and their intention is to arouse emotion and tell a tale, not to set out a complete politico-economic policy. What do you want, a thesis? This song tells a powerful tale of economic and social decline at the sharp end. What causes the decline and how to reverse is another, and much more wordy, matter. IMO this song is in the folk tradition of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and so many others. Kudos to McMurtry for telling it how it is. 8 from the Nottingham jury.

 maxjboxer wrote:
The song is somewhat simplistic and naive.  We live in a world market now and we have to adapt to it.  If you want to keep jobs here, don't tax corporate profits to the point that they are forced to go overseas.  How about taking some of the blame ourselves?  You and I keep buying the cheap products built in Asia and then we bitch an whine about the bad corporations moving operations over there to compete.  Time to grow up and figure a way to help our companies compete here rather than suck them dry with an out of line tax structure and ridiculous over regulation.
 

I agree with you.  The knee jerk suspicion of private enterprise glosses over the fact that in this country wealth comes from the private sector.


Scary thing is that there are a lot of movies and video games about the apocalypse. It's almost like people want it to happen because that would completely flip the balance of power. Basic survival skills would far outweigh money which would turn into highly decorated toilet paper. It doesn't seem too far off.
James makes it painfully clear.  The musicians and artists always tell it like it is.
 MrClean wrote:

So in other words, if we make it easier for corporate exploitation at home, they would stay here and we'd all have jobs tomorrow?

Which of you is the naive one?

 
Right on, right on, and right on! {#Notworthy}