Wednesday, June 6, 2012

  • Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall After GOP, Corporate Backers Rally and Dems Stay on Sidelines

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    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has survived a historic recall election more than a year after launching a controversial effort to roll back the bargaining rights of the state’s public workers. Walker outspent his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, seven to one after raising millions of dollars from right-wing donors outside the state. We’re joined by John Nichols, a correspondent for The Nation. "We always like to tell ourselves that if the people get organized enough, they can offset any amount of money," Nichols says. "But in Wisconsin, we got a pretty powerful lesson about this new era we’re entering into with unlimited cash ... It’s something we should be taking a good look at — not merely for Wisconsin, but for the whole country." Nichols also criticizes the Democratic National Committee and President Obama for mostly staying on the sidelines as Republicans nationwide rallied around Walker. "The comparison between tens of millions of dollars and an all-in effort by the RNC and by national Republicans [versus] a tweet from President Obama, I think, sums it up a little bit painfully," he says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Joseph Stiglitz on "The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future"

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    Several months before Occupy Wall Street, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%," an article for Vanity Fair. He returns to the subject in his new book looking at how inequality is now greater in the United States than any other industrialized nation. He notes that the six heirs of the Wal-Mart fortune command wealth equivalent to the entire bottom 30 percent of American society. "It’s a comment both on how well off the top are and how poor the bottom are," Stiglitz says. "It’s really emblematic of the divide that has gotten much worse in our society." On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that pay for the top CEOs on Wall Street increased by more than 20 percent last year. Meanwhile, census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty or could be classified as low-income. "United States is the country in the world with the highest level of inequality [of the advanced industrial countries], and it’s getting worse," Stiglitz says. "What’s even more disturbing is we’ve [also] become the country with the least equality of opportunity." Click to see parts 2 and 3 of this interview. [includes rush transcript]

  • Joseph Stiglitz on Occupy Wall Street & Why U.S.-Europe Austerity Will Only Weaken Economic Recovery

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    As European leaders scramble to address the sovereign debt crisis, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues the austerity measures pushed by Germany, the United States and international creditors are only "going to make the countries weaker and weaker." If European economies contract, Stiglitz predicts that "our economy is going to go down further into the hole. ... Those policies then increase the probability of our weak economy tipping over into recession." Stiglitz’s new book is "The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future." Click to see parts 1 and 3 of this interview. [includes rush transcript]

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