Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Professor William Julius Wilson On Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics

StoryNovember 08, 1999
Watch iconWatch Full Show

President Clinton and House Speaker Dennis Hastert joined Friday to embrace a plan to steer investment to poor rural and urban communities that have been bypassed by the nation’s economic boom.

The rare bipartisan accord, highlighted by Hastert’s plan to join Clinton at a Chicago high school, stood out at a time of rancorous debate between Democrats and Republicans over the federal budget. A draft statement prepared for the event pledged to "responsibly and effectively empower impoverished communities with new equity, capital, tax incentives and other tools." Hastert and Clinton were announcing a merger of Clinton’s "New Markets" initiative with the GOP’s "Renewable Communities" proposal. Both supposedly aim to spur investment in America’s neediest communities.

Today we are going to take a look at race, class, poverty and the US electoral landscape with a man who has been writing about these issues for decades.

He is William Julius Wilson, one of the nation’s leading sociologists and an authority on the issue of poverty in the United States. He is a University Professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a former professor at the University of Chicago. He is also a past president of the America Sociological Association, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. In 1996, Professor Wilson was selected by Time magazine as one of America’s 25 Most Influential People.


  • Professor William Julius Wilson, University Professor at Harvard University and author of "When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor," "Power, Racism, and Privilege," "The Declining Significance of Race," and "The Truly Disadvantaged." His latest book is "The Bridge over the Racial Divide: Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics."

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation