Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Poverty in 2012

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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.

This has also stretched "safety net" programs like Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and food stamps to the breaking point, withrecord numbers of citizens applying for disability insurance after other services have run out.

On January 12, a panel of intellectuals and experts will convene to discuss this concept and the emergence of a "new poor." The discussion, entitled “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity,” will air live at 6:30pm Eastern Time on C-SPAN this Thursday.

Dr. Cornel West, professor at Princeton University and co-host of "Smiley and West," and Tavis Smiley, host of the late-night television talk show "Tavis Smiley" on PBS, "The Tavis Smiley Show" from Public Radio International, and co-host of "Smiley and West" will be on this panel, and join The Takeaway to speak more about the impact this growing segment of the population will have in the future.