Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, politicians have largely ignored poverty as an issue, so Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are hitting the road to expose the problems facing the American poor.
Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley have been outspoken critics of income inequality in America. The late aughts were shaped by the subprime mortgage crisis, subsequent stock market crash, international debt problems, and record levels of long-term unemployment. Between 2006 and 2010, there was a 27 percent increase of people living in poverty across the U.S. And despite signs of recovery, growth has been slow and decidedly uneven with Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and California hovering at 12 percent or higher unemployment rates.
One in six Americans are poor, which means 50 million people are living in poverty in the United States. Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, hosts of PRI's "Smiley and West," went on "The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience," an 18-city tour of the United States in August, to speak with Americans living in poverty and get a sense of what it's like to be poor in America today. This week, PBS will air the first of five episodes of "The Poverty Tour."
Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post.com and the author of Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, discusses whether or not President Obama has betrayed his base. Then, later in the show, Dr. Cornel West, University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University; co-host of Smiley & West; and author of Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir, weighs in on the topic. Jami Floyd, broadcast journalist, legal analyst for cable and network news, and blogger at It's A Free Country, chimes in with her post on whether Obama abandoned his base.
West and Weston will take audiences through an improvised conversation that will touch on politics, race, the blues and jazz, the social condition of “the least of these” and how their personal narratives are intertwined over time and space.
Journalist and activist Naomi Klein, discusses the ten year anniversary of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Novelist Jonathan Safran Foer explains why he's not eating meat. Then, Cornel West on life, learning, and music. Plus, ...