This week marks both the fifth anniversary of the fiscal meltdown that almost tanked the world economy and the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the movement that sparked heightened public awareness of income inequality. Yet the crisis is worse than ever – in the first three years of the recovery, 95 percent of the economic gains have gone only to the top one percent of Americans. And the share of working people in the U.S. who define themselves as lower class is at its highest level in four decades.
More and more are fighting back. According to Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor: “The core principle is that we want an economy that works for everyone, not just for a small elite. We want equal opportunity, not equality of outcome. We want to make sure that there’s upward mobility again, in our society and in our economy.”
This week, Reich joins Moyers & Company to discuss a new documentary film, Inequality for All, opening next week in theaters across the country. Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, the film aims to be a game-changer in our national discussion of income inequality. Reich, who Time magazine called one of the best cabinet secretaries of the 20th century, stars in this dynamic, witty and entertaining documentary.
The great reporter Edward R. Murrow titled his 1960 CBS documentary Harvest of Shame on the merciless exploitation of the migrant farmworkers by the large growers and their local government allies. Over fifty years later, it is still the harvest of shame for nearly two million migrant farmworkers who follow the seasons and the crops to harvest our fruits and vegetables.
Oct 12, 2012 by MoyersandCompany
James Balog, one of the world’s outstanding cinemaphotographers, joins Bill to explain that “the earth is having a fever.” At tremendous risk to his own safety, Balog has been documenting the erosion of glaciers in Switzerland, Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska. His soon-to-be-released film, Chasing Ice, is a breathtaking account of climate change in action.
July 13, 2012
Bill talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers.
Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.
July 6, 2012
[…] On this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill talks to two people who can best answer the question: Stephen Lerner and Bill Fletcher, Jr. The architect of the SEIU’s Justice for Janitors movement, Lerner directed SEIU’s private equity project, which worked to expose a Wall Street feeding frenzy that left the working class in a state of catastrophe. Fletcher took his Harvard degree to the Massachusetts shipyards, and worked as a welder before becoming a labor activist.
He served as Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, and is author of the upcoming book “They’re Bankrupting Us!”: And 20 Other Myths about Unions. […]
June 15, 2012
On this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill talks with historian Thomas Frank, author of the bestseller What’s the Matter With Kansas?, about the power of concentrated money to subvert democracy. How does a society built on democratic ideals allow them to become so corrupted? Frank’s most recent book is Pity the Billionaire.
Bill also talks to Mother Jones editors Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein, who continue to throw light on what they call “dark money” — the conspiracy of cash that allows the rich to influence our most fundamental political freedoms. On the show, Bill calls out some of the biggest super PAC donors, revealing how easy it is for the wealthy one percent to sway an election.
May 18, 2012
Songs of social protest — music and the quest for justice — have long been intertwined, and the troubadours of troubling times — Guthrie, Seeger, Baez, Dylan, and Springsteen among them — have become famous for their dedication to both. Now we can add a name to the ranks of those who lift their voices for social and economic justice: Tom Morello.
Morello is the Harvard-educated guitarist who dabbled in politics, then chose rock music to make a difference. He played guitar for the popular band he co-founded — Rage Against the Machine — and then for Audioslave. Rolling Stone chose his album “World Wide Rebel Songs” as one of the best of 2011, and named him one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.