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This edition: Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors, "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class."

Episode Details

Original tape date: March 12, 2012.

First aired: March 12, 2012.

How, in a nation as wealthy as America, can the economy simply stop working for people at large, while super-serving those at the very top? This weekend, in an encore broadcast of the premiere episode of Moyers & Company Bill Moyers looks deeper at America’s economic disparity to investigate how it happened and who’s to blame. His detectives: political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.” Through exhaustive research and analysis, Hacker and Pierson — whom Moyers regards as the “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” of economics — detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class.

Moyers calls the book “the best account I've seen of how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril.”

Pierson tells Moyers, “I think a lot of people know that inequality has grown in the United States. But saying that inequality has grown doesn't begin to describe what's happened.” Says Hacker: “It's not the haves versus the have-nots. It's the have-it-alls versus the rest of Americans.”

The show includes testimony of middle class Americans at a Senate hearing about the impact of hard times on families, as well as an essay on how Occupy Wall Street reflects a widespread belief that politics no longer works for ordinary people, including footage we took at the OWS rally from October-December 2011.

Guest List

Jacob Hacker Political scientist

Bill Moyers Broadcast Journalist, Host of Moyers & Company

Paul Pierson Political scientist

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