This edition: Restoring an America that Has Lost Its WayTweet
Original tape date: October 10, 2014.
First aired: October 20, 2014.
Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the United States. What he discovered is chronicled in his new book, “Losing Our Way,” stories of brave, hard-working men and women battered by the economic downturn. He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy and spark further growth has been broken by greed and the gap between the very rich and everyone else.
He tells Bill Moyers, “We've lost our way… We've established a power structure in which the great corporations and the big banks have allied themselves with the national government and, in many cases, local government to pursue corporate interests and financial interests as opposed to those things that would be in the best interests of ordinary working people… It's supposed to be an egalitarian society, a society of rising standards of living, a society of a vast and thriving middle class. And we are getting farther and farther away from that ideal.”
As for solutions, Herbert says, “People need to start voting against the excessive power of the great moneyed interests. But more than that, we need a movement, a grass roots movement that will fight for the interests of ordinary men and women and for this new generation of Americans that’s coming along right now.”
For nearly two decades, Bob Herbert was a columnist for The New York Times, following a notable newspaper reporting career. He is now a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the public policy and analysis think tank, Demos, and a board member of the Schumann Media Center, from which he is presently on leave working on a major documentary.
Bob Herbert Author, “Losing Our Way”; Distinguished Senior Fellow , Demos