Wealth Matters, The American Worker, and the Power of Music with Morley

GRITtv is away this week and we’re airing some of the best shows of the last three months. We’ll be back August 4, with all new episodes.  

When it comes to the gap between the rich and poor, we’ve all heard the numbers. The richest one percent of US households own 34.3% of the nation’s wealth. In 2006, according to Forbes, the top 20 private equity & hedge fund managers took in $657.5 million, 22,255 times the pay of the average US worker. CEOs earn roughly 364 times the average full and part-time worker. But who’s counting anyway?

Tonight on GRITtv we examine why wealth matters with Chuck Collins, Director of the Program on Inequality & the Common Good at the Institute for Policy StudiesDorian Warren a professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Maureen Lane, Co-Director of the Welfare Rights Initiativeand a fellow of the Drum Major Institute. And an unexpected guest: Phil T. Rich, a member of Billionaires for Bush and the newly minted organization, Lobbyists for McCain. He tells us why trickle down economics works…as long as you’re patient. A hostile takeover of GRITtv’s studio? Find out here.

Also in this hour, an interview with Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times, one of the few reporters who still covers workplace issues for the mainstream press. His new book, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker is a recent Progressive Book Club selection, described as a manifesto for change. In this interview Greenhouse discusses why American-style capitalism is out of control and what can be done to create a fair and equitable system for workers.

Finally, an interview with singer/songerwriter Morley. She has been dubbed the Nina Simone of her age. She writes songs of protest but also possibility. Today on GRITtv she discusses her new album SEEN, what it means to be a subject in your own life, and how protest music can be a force for change.

Also in this episode of GRITtv: A tax loophole for yacht owners in California? Find out why the Courage Campaign thinks it’s a bad idea. And the War on Greed, starring Larry the Loophole.