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Moyers: 1 percent exemplifies nation’s greediness



Although his career has included stints at PBS, CBS and NBC, journalist Bill Moyers barely mentioned his industry in his “Truth of Your Life” speech Wednesday at Oklahoma City University. Instead, the Oklahoma native spoke about the state of America and how the lack of good in politics could lead to the country’s demise.

Moyers, who was born in Hugo, started his speech with an anecdote about sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, watching coverage of the January shooting rampage in Arizona. The woman next to him asked if he was optimistic about America’s future. 

“I am an optimist. We are actually hardwired to be optimistic,” he said.

But reflecting on her question later, Moyers said he believes today’s political climate has changed his initial response. Although he first thought he was optimistic because humans are intrinsically good, he now thinks his first reaction may not have been justified.

True democracy to Moyers is being able to better one’s economic circumstances and standing in life. But since the recession of 2008, there has been an increase in unemployment and less money for those who do have jobs.

“Money is a dagger pointed at the heart of democracy,” Moyers said, adding that for true good to happen, it must happen outside of a person’s family life and in politics instead.

Nothing that more than half of all income gains goes to the richest 1 percent of America’s population, he said, “‘We the people’ became ‘me, myself and I,’” Moyers said.

According to him, Americans have lost their human tendencies to sacrifice their lives for others, in favor of hoarding everything they can for themselves; greed, he said, has blinded American selflessness.

Moyers was reminded of a story of a man trying to save to drowning brothers in a flood. The older brother sacrificed his life when he told the man to save his brother first. Acts like these give Moyers optimism for the future, but this self-sacrifice represents the good in the world that he fears is disappearing.

“We have become a winner-takes-all juggernaut, all pitted against all,” Moyers said.

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