Friday, January 23, 2015

Does Income Inequality Impair The American Dream? - A Debate

Income inequality has been on the rise in the U.S. for decades. The top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. now holds a much greater share of national income than three decades ago. At the same time, incomes for the bottom half of American households have remained virtually flat.

Some economists and social scientists argue that income inequality leads to unequal access to opportunity and resources like nutrition and education. That's left children born to poor families with little hope of escaping poverty themselves, they argue, and has made upward mobility unattainable for many in the middle class, as well.

But others say that income inequality is not inherently a bad thing. They point to research that finds that countries with greater inequality also experience more economic growth. That means that people at all income levels will benefit, they argue, even if their individual slice of the economic pie becomes smaller.

Before the debate, the audience at the Kaufman Music Center in New York was 60 percent in favor of the motion and 14 percent against, with 26 percent undecided. After the debate, 53 percent favored the motion and 37 percent voted against it, making the team arguing against the motion the winner of this debate.

Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, with Elise Gould, argues that a robust economy
 relies on large numbers of innovators and affluent consumers —
and that too much inequality prevents too many Americans from joining those groups.
Samuel LaHoz/Intelligence Squared U.S.
For The Motion: Elise Gould is the senior economist and director of health policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, where she researches wages, poverty, inequality, economic mobility and health care. Elise a author and has written for academic journals. Elise has testified before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Maryland Senate Finance and House Economic Matters committees, the New York City Council and the District of Columbia Council.

Nick Hanauer is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with more than 30 years of experience across a broad range of industries. Nick has managed, founded or financed more than 30 companies, creating aggregate market value of tens of billions of dollars. Nick is actively involved in a variety of civic and philanthropic activities and has served a broad range of civic organizations. Nick currently serves as a director for the Democracy Alliance and as a board advisor to the policy journal Democracy. In 2012, his TED talk on income inequality went viral after TED, citing it as overtly partisan, declined to publish it on their website.

Edward Conard, a former partner at Bain Capital, argues that the success
of America's top earners actually spurs economic growth —
growth that, in turn, has increased incomes at all levels of the economic spectrum.
Samuel LaHoz
Against The Motion: Edward Conard is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Edward was a senior managing director at Bain Capital, where he headed the New York office and was responsible for the acquisitions of large industrial companies. He previously worked for Wasserstein Perella, an investment bank that specialized in mergers and acquisitions, and Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, where he headed the firm's industrial practice.

Scott Winship is the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Previously a fellow at the Brookings Institution, his areas of expertise include living standards and economic mobility, inequality and insecurity. Earlier in his career, Winship was research manager of the Economic Mobility Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and a senior policy advisor at Third Way. His research has been published in National Affairs, National Review, The Wilson Quarterly, Breakthrough Journal and Real Clear Markets, among other outlets.
Source: intelligence2: Debate: Does Income Inequality Impair The American Dream?


Amazon tribes threatened by energy industry

There are still hunter-gatherer groups in the Amazon who have had little or no contact with the outside world. Oil and gas exploration brings the threat of disease and catastrophic loss of life. Rebecca Spooner is a campaigner with Survival International in London, England. Rebecca speaks with Jane Williams about the situation.
Source: Redeye Collective: Uncontacted tribes in Peru threatened by energy industry


Executive Producer James Cameron.
(Photo: The Years Project/SHOWTIME)
Years of Living Dangerously

Hollywood Director James Cameron won a 2014 non-fiction EMMY for the TV documentary, Years of Living Dangerously that he produced. With celebrity hosts, the series covered the globe and laid out the gravity of climate change. The series is now released on DVD. Cameron discussed the show and its message with Steve Curwood.
Source: living on earth: Years of Living Dangerously

Download or Play Income Inequality Part 1
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Download or Play Income Inequality Part 3
Download or Play Years Of Living Dangerously



Music includes Peter Yarrow - Have You Been to Jail for Justice, Katharine Hepburn - The Lion in Winter, The Compassionate Conservatives - White House Crock, Capitol Steps - Immigration Medley, Roy Zimmerman - Mitt's America, Capitol Steps - Hava No-Deala, Reverend Billy - Earthalujah Explained, Youngbloods - Get Together, Wizard Of Oz - The Cowardly Lion On Courage, The Midnight Special - Odetta, Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lodi, Bernice Johnson Reagon - We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder, The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever, Leo Smit / Aaron Copland / Radio Rome Symphony Orchestra - III. Allegro assai, Aaron Copland - Danzon cubano, Pink Floyd - Nobody Home

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