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Thursday, July 28, 2011

  • Wealth Gap Between Minorities and White Americans Doubles After Housing Crisis, Recession

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    A new study of U.S. census data reveals that wealth gaps between whites and minorities in the United States have grown to their widest levels since the U.S. government began tracking them a quarter-century ago. White Americans now have on average 20 times the net worth of African Americans and 18 times that of Latinos. According to the Pew Research Center, the gaps were compounded during the housing bust and the subsequent recession, and essentially wiped out much of the economic progress made by people of color over the past 20 years. We discuss the center’s study with Roderick Harrison, sociologist and demographer, and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau. “Any hopes or aspirations, particularly based solely on Obama’s election, that we had reached some kind of post-racial state were close to delusional,” says Harrison. “This report is pointing to just how much the socioeconomic inequalities have been exacerbated by the recession and poor economy.” [includes rush transcript]

  • Richard Wolff: Debt Showdown is "Political Theater" Burdening Society’s Most Vulnerable

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    Republicans have agreed to a vote today on a budget plan they say will cut the deficit $917 billion over 10 years. The move sets the stage for a showdown against unified Democratic opposition in the Senate and threats of a White House veto. To discuss the debt talks and economic austerity worldwide, we’re joined by Richard Wolff, Emeritus Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of several books, including "Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It." "This is political theater in which two parties are posturing for the election coming next year," says Wolff. "To put it in perspective, the number of times the government has raised the debt ceiling since 1940? Ninety, almost twice a year. This is a normal, automatic procedure. Every president, Republican and Democrat, has asked for it." [includes rush transcript]