Film Screening: Inequality for All

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The DAUK Film Committee screened  Inequality for All on June 20th, 2014 with an after-screening discussion led by Professor Peter Kingstone, Co-director of the International Development Institute at Kings College, University of London

 

In this award-winning documentary, Robert Reich analyses our country’s widening income gap with entertaining visuals and engaging humor.  See this important film which examines whether the consolidation of wealth by a few is a threat not only to economic recovery and growth and the viability of the USA middle class, but also to our democracy itself.

From President Obama, to Elizabeth Warren and Bill de-Blasio, Democrats are talking about these issues and debating economic policy.  Join our lively discussion afterward to get ready for debates which will be central to the November mid-term elections.

A passionate champion on behalf of the middle class, Robert Reich (professor at UC-Berkeley, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, and best-selling author) demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy.  He argues that:

We’re in the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, and we can’t seem to get out of it. Why? Because, exactly as in the 1920s, so much of the nation’s income and wealth are going to the top, that the vast middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to keep the economy going.

He explains economics with a light touch and is a favorite on shows such as The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and With Bill Moyers. As Bloomberg Business Week puts it:  “As a narrator Reich is engaging and endearing…and presents complex economic in information in a way that neither confuses nor condescends.”

For more information and videos from Robert Reich: www.robertreich.org

Peter Kingstone (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. B.A. Swarthmore) is Professor and Co-Director of the International Development Institute at King's College London. Prior to coming to King's, he taught Political Science at the Universities of Connecticut and Vermont (where he  won the Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Outstanding Teaching). Before getting his Ph.D., he worked in the Canadian government as Parliamentary Advisor to the Honourable Jean Charest, Minister of State (Youth).

He is author of  several books on Latin America, including  Crafting Coalitions for Reform: Business Preferences, Political Institutions and Neoliberal Reform in Brazil , The Political Economy of Latin America: Reflections on Neoliberalism and Development , as well as co-editor  of Democratic Brazil: Actors, Institutions and Processes, Democratic Brazil Revisited  and the Handbook of Latin American Politics. He has published various articles and book chapters on the subject of democratisation and the politics of neoliberal economic reforms.

Alongside his research focus on  Latin America, Professor Kingstone has had a continuing interest in the debates on American political economy and its relation to increasing inequality in the US. He has taught this subject to US undergraduate students for over 10 years.

About the Film

For more information about the film, go to the Inequality for All film website

Join discussions about the film on Twitter and on Facebook

To read more from Robert Reich, go to his website, follow him on Twitter

Film Reviews

Carole Cadwalldr,  "Inequality for All – another Inconvenient Truth?" Observer Saturday 2 February 2013

 

Democrats talking about inequality and related policy issues:  send us any other links you can recommend to pancoordinator@daukpan.org.uk

  • President Obama.  See the December 2013 White House Blog discussion of his speech on "Making Our Economy Work for Every Working American"
  • Bill deBlasio made his successful campaign theme for Mayor of New York city "the Tale of Two Cities" -- see his speech at the New School in August 2014. 
  • Elizabeth Warren has recently published a book A Fighting Chance, Metropolitan Books, 2014 and has often spoken on these issues. 

Information on the issues raised in the film

Two recent  books are provoking a lot of discussion:
 
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance, Metropolitan Books, 2014
Reviews and discussions
John Cassidy, "Elizabeth Warren's Moment," New York Review of Books. May 22, 2014.
 
Thomas Picketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Belknap, 2014.
Reviews and discussions of Picketty's work
 
Paul Krugman. "Why we are in a New Gilded Age."  New York Review of Books. May 8, 2014.

 

Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics) discussed Capital in the Twenty-First Century at the Graduate Center of CUNY on April 23 2014

:
 
The Economic Policy Institute and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth hosedt a presentation by Thomas Piketty of the findings in his new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. His presentation was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Heather Boushey, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, with Josh Bivens, Research and Policy Director of the Economic Policy Institute, Robert M. Solow, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Betsey Stevenson, Member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, serving as discussants.
 

 
To see Paul Krugman in discussion with Bill Moyers about Picketty's book and the issues it raises go here.
 
More debates:
 
On the Equality of Opportunity Project website are papers analyzing the trends in inter-generational social mobility over time and according to geographical location.  They also compare the USA patternswith other developed societies. 
 
Nick Hanauer,  "The Ptichforks are Coming for Us Plutocrats". Politico.com, July/August 2014. A plutocrat speaks out!
 
Quoctrung Bui, 40 Years Of Income Inequality In America, In Graphs.  NPR: Planet Money: the economy explained. 

Kate Sheppard, "Income Inequality and the Fracking Boom" Mother Jones. July 23,2013. Linking these issues with some very interesting maps.

David Leonhardt, In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters. New York Times. July 22, 2013. Highlights the geographic patterns of opportunities for social mobility.
 
 
How US politics has changed to deepen inequality:
 
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned its Back on the Middle-Class, Simon and Shuster, 2011
 
David Cay Johnston, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig our Tax System to Benefit the Super-Rich and Cheat Everybody Else, Portfolio Trade, 2005
 
Simon Johnson, “The Quiet Coup.”  Atlantic Monthly, May 2009
 
Some classics of American politics:
Robert Dahl, Who Governs?  Democracy and Power in an American City, Yale University Press, 
Charles Lindblom, Politics and Markets: The World’s Political Economic Systems, Basic Books

 

Disclaimer:

The information we provide is intended for educational use and offered as a public service.The views expressed do not  reflect the views of Democrats Abroad UK or of the Democratic Party of the United States.Links to other organizations or publications imply neither endorsement of their policies nor association with the Democratic Party or Democrats Abroad - UK.