This episode aired March 13, 2013.
The unprecedented level of economic inequality in America is undeniable. In an extended essay, Bill shares examples of the striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country, including a video report on California's Silicon Valley. There, Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires, while the area's homeless -- who've grown 20 percent in the last two years -- are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps. "A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government," says Bill, "while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole that has turned us into the United States of Inequality."
Later, Bill is joined by writer Sherman Alexie. Born on a Native American reservation, Alexie has been navigating the cultural boundaries of American culture in lauded poetry, novels, short stories, screenplays, even stand-up comedy for over two decades. Alexie shares his irreverent perspective on contemporary American life, and discusses the challenges of living in two different cultures at the same time, especially when one has so much dominance over the other. "I know a lot more about being white than you know about being Indian," Alexie tells Bill.
Bill Moyers (now retired) hosted a weekly hour of compelling conversation about the state of American democracy, featuring a range of scholars, activists, scientists, and newsmakers.