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Moyers & Company

On Winner-Take-All Politics (#143)

How, in a nation as wealthy as America, can the economy simply stop working for people at large, while super-serving those at the very top? This weekend, in an encore broadcast of the premiere episode of Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill Moyers looks deeper at America's economic disparity to investigate how it happened and who's to blame. His detectives: political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer - And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Through exhaustive research and analysis, Hacker and Pierson - whom Moyers regards as the "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" of economics - detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class. Moyers calls the book "the best account I've seen of how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril." "I think a lot of people know that inequality has grown in the United States. But saying that inequality has grown doesn't begin to describe what's happened," Pierson tells Moyers. Hacker says, "It's not the haves versus the have-nots. It's the have-it-alls versus the rest of Americans." The show includes testimony of middle class Americans at a Senate hearing about the impact of hard times on families, as well as an essay on how Occupy Wall Street reflected a widespread belief that politics no longer works for ordinary people. Uncovering the ways Washington helps the rich get richer. Next on Moyers & Company. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: Bill Moyers returns on-air and online in January 2012 with MOYERS & COMPANY, a weekly hour of compelling and vital conversation about life and the state of American democracy, featuring some of the best thinkers of our time. A range of scholars, artists, activists, scientists, philosophers and newsmakers bring context, insight and meaning to important topics. The series occasionally includes Moyers' own timely and penetrating essays on society and government. In a multimedia marketplace saturated with shallow sound bites and partisan name-calling, MOYERS & COMPANY digs deeper. As the Los Angeles Times put it in 2010, "No one on television has centralized the discussion of ideas as much as Moyers... He not only gives a forum to unusual thinkers, he is truly interested in what they have to say and who they are because he believes their ideas really matter. "

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