do much in Minnesota politics: I’m kind of disappointed herndidn’t come back and campaign against Humphrey, althoughrnwe didn’t have a primary so there was no real showdown.rnWhat happened to the party is that it accepted the GreatrnSociety, which was really quite foreign to the tradition of thernNon-Partisan League and the Farmer-Laborites. They werernnot a welfare-directed political movement. It was more like thernNew Deal; they were going to change the structure and letrnwelfare disappear because people didn’t need it. Johnsonrnsupposedly thought he was completing the New Deal, butrnactually the Great Society was an abandoning of the New Deal,rnwhose main thrust was to provide work and a decent income.rnThe emphasis in the Great Society was we’re going to havernmore Food Stamps and more help for the poor and more rentrnsubsidies and more Medicaid provided by the government: Irnthink that’s where they lost it.rnQ: Do you feel a kinship with an earlier generation of Midwesternrnand Western Progressives and Populists: the LaFollettes andrnBorah and Wheeler and Nye?rnA: In Minnesota it was Ignatius Donnelly.rnQ: The Prince of Granks!rnA: Yeah, he got a bad reputation. It’s sort of like Ibsen’s AnrnEnemy of the People. I have to watch that: I can be for anythingrnor against anything now and be irresponsible, and I think Donnellyrngot caught in that. He had to be for or against things automatically,rnespecially if they were bucked mainstream politics.rnQ: As far as I can tell, no major American politician writes hisrnown speeches, let alone his own books, anymore. Should thisrnconcern us?rnA: I think it’s a serious matter. I can see where Presidents needrnhelp, because they’re writing for history. I never thoughtrnKennedy’s speechwriters were well-chosen: Sorenson, ArthurrnSchlesinger. When Biden’s plagiarism was exposed, I was criticalrnof him because he didn’t plagiarize anything from me: thernultimate insult! He had a quotation from Bobby Kennedy, andrnAdam Walinsky went public and said Biden hadn’t plagiarizedrnKennedy, he’d plagiarized Adam. It’s like a surrogate mother:rnif the kid turns out well, she says “it’s mine!” For scholars of thernfuture, it’ll be like reading T.S. Eliot and asking, “Where did hernget this? Who was the ghostwriter?”rnQ: You’ve run for President both within and without the twopartyrnsystem. Where do you prefer to be?rnA: John Adams said the worst thing we could have under ourrnConstitution was politics controlled by two strong factions.rnThere are three or four things on which the Progressives oughtrnto be committed, but they seem indifferent. One is the federalrnelection law, which they should have opposed in ’74-’75rnbecause it actually legalized the two-party system. You forcernpolitics into two parties, then you force it into confrontation,rnespecially when you have an administration that can’t be overthrownrnexcept every four years. The federal election law deniedrnpolitical freedom and set up the process by which the corporationsrnand corporate PAGs have become the dominant force inrnAmerican politics.rnQ: How do we break the two-party stranglehold?rnA: I don’t think we can get Congress to do it. Jim Buckley andrnI and a few others took the federal election law all the way to thernSupreme Court: the New York ACLU joined us, but the liberalrnDemocrats didn’t support us. We’ve got a case pending in NewrnYork on my exclusion from the debates by the networks in 1992rnon the grounds that this has been an assumption of politicalrnpower by the networks. Television operates between two poles:rngreed and fear. Greed is obvious, but they’re afraid of Democratsrnand Republicans: they may lose their licenses or be regulated.rnQ: Newspapers and television and radio stations are ownedrntoday by chains and faceless conglomerates. How do we breakrnup these concentrations?rnA: Newspapers are privately owned—you run into freedom ofrnspeech—^but there’s nothing to keep us from limiting the ownershiprnof television and radio licenses. Newspapers probablyrnshouldn’t be allowed to own a television station, or at least notrnmore than one, because then they’re dependent on the government.rnQ: The Washington press corps never tires of boasting howrnfearless and independent they are. Did you find them so?rnA: The Washington Post is practically a house organ for any administration,rnand it’s big into telecommunications. The onlyrnway you can have freedom of speech is to have more peoplernspeaking, and I suppose that is the most serious threat tornpersonal and political liberty in the country: the concentratedrncontrol over television and telecommunications.rnAnd there are other things we ought to be concerned aboutrnin a free and open democratic society: the redistribution ofrneconomic power. The way I see it, the way to progress is to gornto a six-hour workday.rnQ: How do you do that without massive intervention by thernfederal government?rnA: We did it in 1938, when we went to the eight-hour day, fivedayrnweek, and retirement at 65. What you’ve got now is a modern-rnday enclosure movement. Every time AT&T lays offrn10,000 people, the market goes up. It’s like Adam Smith: throwrnthe serfs off the land and you’ll be more productive. Old SamrnGompers in 1893 said if one man is out of work, you ought tornhave a redistribution of work until he’s absorbed. Now we say,rnwho cares? Put ’em on welfare.rnIt’s unrelated, but we’ve come to accept the protection ofrnincome which comes from capital rather than income producedrnby labor. So we have to pay for government out of taxesrnon income and on wages, while we’ve progressively exemptedrncapital. The old Progressives, the Henry George people, saidrnthe only things you should tax are land and capital gains.rnWe ought to have a capital levy on accumulated wealth. It’srna better plan than taxing the next generation and the one afterrnthat: let’s tax the two that are gone. Paul Mellon, in a recentrnbook, said he didn’t know how much wealth he had; he didn’trneven know how much was accumulated every year. We oughtrnto call people like Paul Mellon and say, “Paul, we worry aboutrnyou. You don’t know how much wealth you’ve got: you mightrnJULY 1996/15rnrnrn