The Majority Report with Sam Seder

On today's show, Joshua Specht (@joshspecht), author of Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America. The story of beef production in America begins at the cattle ranch, which was a tool of conquest in the West. In some places, cattle ranching resembled a paramilitary operation with settlers and natives fighting for land rights. Settlers looked to graze with their cattle while natives hunted what remained of buffalo populations. The federal government's decision to inter natives to reservations gave ranchers free rein and allowed them to build larger ranches with more heads of cattle. After ranching established itself, the meatpackers from Chicago and capitalists invested in the western farms, flooding the marketplace with meat and creating an oligopoly, or as the owners of the time called it, "holding both ends of the string." Sam and Joshua explore the meatpacking assembly lines in Chicago which inspired Henry Ford's auto manufacturing lines and was the focus of Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle.' While Sinclair wanted to spark a socialist revolution amongst American workers, American consumers and politicians instead regulated the industry based on sanitation, with Roosevelt's Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Given the broad implications of beef's economic history, what does it mean to us now? Specht questions the short term impacts of meat and climate change; and how consumer prices are often used to deflect criticism of the industry, like labor rights and environmental concerns.

And in the Fun Half: Larry Kudlow is enjoying the August recess, Jimmy Dore has something against Justice Democrats, Killer Mike explains why a free college option is essential for America, Jesse Watters thinks he was a slave when he did chores, Pete Buttigieg fearmongers about the national debt, Fox News contributor says the prison system is maybe the least racist American institution, Ainsley Earhardt wishes the homeless would just disappear, plus your calls and IMs!

Check out today's sponsors:
Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to right now, you can get your first refill pack for FREE.  

Embark Dog DNA Test Kit looks at over 250 breeds and 170 genetic health conditions to help you best care for your pup. Embark Dog DNA Test Kit looks at over 250 breeds and 170 genetic health conditions to help you best care for your pup.  Go to and use promo code MAJORITY to save 15% off your Dog DNA Test Kit. 

Become a member of the majority report today at

Get 10% off fair trade coffee with coupon code “majority” at

Get your tickets to the Michael Brooks Chicago Live Show, with special guest Chuck Mertz of This is Hell on August 24th here!

Check out The Michael Brooks Show at, and the TMBS YouTube channel for all short TMBS clips. And check out Year Of Lead, a new book on Brazil with an introduction by Michael Brooks!

Check out Matt’s podcast, Literary Hangover, at or on iTunes

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at, on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app.

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:







Direct download: 8-19-19-Joshua_Specht-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by


A report finds that union workers at a Pennsylvania Shell plant had to attend a Trump speech in ordered to get paid for work.

Bernie Sanders unveils a plan to overhaul country's “dysfunctional criminal justice system.”

Large numbers of salmon are dying in Alaska because the water is too damn hot. 


Politico reports that Joe Biden will skip a big DNC meeting in San Francisco where 13 presidential candidates are expected to appear.

Also from Politico, a federal appeals court has rejected efforts to block the Trump administration from banning abortion referrals by federally funded family planning clinics, including affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that each and every student enrolled in 77 schools operated under the Atlanta Public Schools district will be eligible for free breakfasts and lunches regardless of how much money their family earns. According to the paper, the students will begin receiving free meals at the start of the coming school year.

Grassroots organizers Ethan Todras-Whitehill and Catherine Vaughan of Swing Left discuss their plans to restore democratic accountability with The American Prospect.

Direct download: 081919_AM_QUICKIE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22am EDT