In his new book, Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality, journalist David Cay Johnston assembles an impressive group of thinkers, writers, and (political) leaders who understand the possibilities — and the limits — of capitalism. Adam Smith, Paul Krugman, and Joseph Stiglitz… Mike Rose, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Robert Kuttner… Studs Terkel, Elizabeth Warren, President Barack Obama, and many others describe the societal risks of letting the gap between the haves and the have nots become too wide.
From David’s introduction:
“Inequality is about much more than just incomes or wealth…. Inequality is also about access and opportunity, which are much harder to measure. Education, health care, and exposure to environmental hazards all shape society, affecting who gets a shot at success and who gets success handed to them; who can overcome obstacles and who has those obstacles cleared away for them.
The single most important point of Divided is: keep in mind who benefits and who does not. It’s our choice. We decide. And we are free to make choices that will strengthen our society so that America, and the liberties of the people, will endure.”
Amen to that.
David Cay Johnston is currently a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University’s Law School. Prior to that, he was a reporter at The New York Times, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories that exposed loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code. From 2012 to 2014, David was president of Investigative Reporters & Editors. David is also a contributing editor at Newsweek, a columnist for Al Jazeera America, and a frequent guest on MSNBC, PBS, CNN, Fox, and NPR. And with his appearance here at Entrepreneur Explosion, David has finally reached the very top of the media food chain. Congratulations, David! (And thanks for doing this interview.)
- President Obama speaks at Osawatamie High School in Kansas (2011) [VIDEO]
- John Lee Dumas quotes Brian Tracy
- Philip Saunders & the business school at the Rochester Institute of Technology
- Citizens United
- Robert Reich: “American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their counterparts exert in their own countries. In fact, most Americans have no influence at all. That’s the conclusion of Professors Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, who analyzed 1,799 policy issues — and found that ‘the preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’”
- Club for Growth
- Zig Ziglar
- Lawrence Lessig & the MayDay PAC
- the Koch brothers
- an old Brylcream ad & an Old Milwaukee beer ad featuring the Swedish bikini team
- Adam Smith & The Wealth of Nations
- Trade unions & the American occupation of Japan: “The American government believed that establishing democracy in Japan involved change in all areas of Japanese life. … The Americans also tried to make workers in [Japan’s] industrial sector more independent by changing the laws to allow free trade unions. Before the war there were only a few small unions; by 1949, about half of all industrial workers belonged to a union.”
- Rochester, New York, tops ‘extreme poverty’ list
- Thomas Jefferson, the cod-fishing industry, and profit-sharing
- Seth Godin’s strange reading of Occupy Wall Street (begins at 6:38)
- the French Revolution
- Elizabeth Warren on income inequality
- Jeb Bush on income inequality
- infant mortality rates: Cuba (5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births) vs. the United States (5.4 per 1,000)
- David’s new book:
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