A special programming note from Senior Writer Michael Winship:
"As you probably have figured out by now, because Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and its surroundings with such a mighty punch, the Moyers & Company production team has been – literally, as Joe Biden would say – scattered to the winds. Many of us are still without power and light and unable to get to our studio or offices (On top of which, our offices were closed because of the building’s proximity to that high rise crane collapse you might have heard about, but that’s another story.)
As Bill said via phone earlier today, “We all live at the whim of Nature and Nature always has the last word.” And so this weekend we’re airing a repeat program as our Hurricane Sandy Special Edition: the very first of our Moyers & Company broadcasts, which initially aired in January and remains as relevant and powerful heading into Election Day as it was then.
The program spotlights the book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class and its authors, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. Bill Moyers notes that right from this very first broadcast we said that our series would focus on income inequality, corruption and the undue influence of Corporate America on a government bought and paid for by big business. Together they’re the proverbial elephant in the room politicians refuse to acknowledge – “all but unmentioned in the presidential debates and barely discussed throughout this long and painful election campaign” – but the source of the dysfunction and inertia that paralyze Congress, the White House – and the nation.
If you‘ve missed this edition of Moyers & Company, we hope you’ll watch before you cast your ballot on Tuesday. And if you’ve already seen it, take another look and remind yourself as you prepare to enter the voting booth of how we’ve been maneuvered by Wall Street and Beltway insiders, politically engineered into a state of inequality and the disproportionate power of a very few."
In its premiere episode, Moyers & Company dives into one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.
Bill’s guests – 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, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.
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? Through exhaustive research and analysis, the political scientists Hacker and Pierson — whom Bill regards as the “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” of economics — detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class.
Who’s the culprit? “American politics did it– far more than we would have believed when we started this research,” Hacker explains. “What government has done and not done, and the politics that produced it, is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.”
Bill considers their book the best he’s seen detailing “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.”
The show includes an essay on how Occupy Wall Street reflects a widespread belief that politics no longer works for ordinary people, including footage we took at the OWS rally from October – December 2011.
Full transcript of the show below the fold...