This episode aired February 23, 2013.
Even as President Obama's talking points champion the middle class and condemn how our economy caters to the very rich, 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 seem to show 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. Economist Richard Wolff joins Bill to shine light on the disaster left behind in capitalism's wake, and to discuss the fight for economic justice, including a fair minimum wage. A Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, and currently Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School, Wolff has written many books on the effects of rampant capitalism, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It.
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 United, which works to improve pay and working conditions for America's 10 million-plus restaurant workers. She is also the author of Behind the Kitchen Door, a new exposé of the restaurant industry.
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.