Even as President Obama’s talking points champion the middle class and condemn how our economy caters to the very rich, the truth behind modern American capitalism is a story of continued inequality and hardship. Even a modest increase in the minimum wage — as suggested by the president — faces opposition from those who apparently pledge allegiance first and foremost to America’s wealthy and powerful.
Yet some aren’t just wringing their hands about our economic crisis; they’re fighting back. On this week’s Moyers & Company, economist Richard Wolff joins Bill to shine light on the disaster left behind in capitalism’s wake, and discusses how to battle for economic justice. A noted professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and now visiting professor at Manhattan’s New School, Wolff has written many books on the effects of rampant capitalism, including Capitalism Hits the Fan.
“Capitalism has a long-term tendency to polarize wealth and income,” Wolff tells Bill.
Also on the broadcast, activist and author Saru Jayaraman marches on Washington with restaurant workers struggling to make ends meet, and talks about how we can best support their right to a fair wage. Jayaraman is the co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, which works to improve pay and working conditions for America’s 10 million-plus restaurant workers.
“It’s an incredible irony that the people who put food on our tables use food stamps at twice the rate of the rest of the U.S. workforce,” says Jayaraman.
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