Inequality for All
By Don McCanne, qotd editor

Yesterday, my wife Sandy and I had the pleasure of joining a group from our local chapter of the League of Women Voters in viewing the new documentary, Inequality for All, featuring former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. The lesson of the film did not escape those attending. The last couple of decades have left low- and middle-income people behind while all of the workers' gains in productivity have moved up to the very wealthiest.

This is an important issue for those who support single payer reform - improved Medicare for all. The average health care costs for the typical working family of four are now over $22,000 while the median household income is $50,000. If everyone is going to have the health care that they need, some of that wealth flowing upwards needs to be redirected to health care, and to other social needs as well.

Some of the wealthy one-percenters do understand this. Featured in the documentary was entrepreneur and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. The following link is to a six minute TED video in which Nick explains the phenomenon and why it is important to us. (For political reasons, TED removed this video from its website, but it is still available through YouTube.) [1]

In our dinner discussion after viewing Inequality for All, some commented that, though the film explained the problem well, it seemed to leave off any plan for action. It does not require much intuitiveness to think of what actions we might take, though the website for the film does help us by discussing six categories for action:

* Raise the minimum wage
  * Strengthen workers' voices
  * Invest in education
  * Reform Wall Street
  * Fix the tax system
  * Get big money out of politics

Inequality for All: [2]
Info on ordering video for community showings and listing of theatres showing the film.

For those who would like to learn more, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez, who was also featured in the documentary, has published extensively on this topic. Many of his papers  - several co-authored by Thomas Piketty - can be downloaded from his website: [3]
  [1] [2] [3]


Inequality for All

In one of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes here in Chico, CA we viewed the Bill Moyers interview of Robert Reich about his movie "Inequality For All".  Everyone in class wants to see the movie and it is not playing or scheduled to play here in Chico.  And, the limitations imposed by the alternative option to request to host a viewing are quite beyond my personal efforts.  This is a must see, I am certain, after hearing Mr. Reich elaborate on the content.  However, I think the limited access thus far is really disappointing. In the meantime, I will just keep sending the url for the Moyers interview to all my friends.

Jane Wanderer