Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Poverty in 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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.

Comments [6]

Vernell Junior from Phoenix, Arizona

I tuned in to C-span last night and it blessed me to know that you, Travis and Dr. West, have a burden for the poor. I can't believe what I'm witnessing today in this country. My people see that Obamo has no
plan of getting his country out of debt, he never goes back and amend
anything like our triple credit rating, etc. I listen to some of
his speech in Chicago Wes.,night and he was still on that same empty promises of the 2008. No solutions for anything. He is way over his
head. This is a perfect example that knowledge cannot stand along,
it must have wisdom also. May God bless you guys and keep the faith.

Jan. 13 2012 02:04 PM

Angel, I was going to allow The Takeaway to invite whoever they they might pick, to provide POLITICAL (not racial) balance to Tavis Smiley and Cornel West.

But since you brought race into it, I would now like to make a special request of the producers to please invite Thomas Sowell and Ward Connerly.

Sowell and Connerly were apparently not invited to Tavis Smiley's get-together on CSPAN. (How did PBS miss out on that deal?)

From Tavis' website: "Panelists include: Cornel West, Princeton University professor and author; Suze Orman, America’s leading authority on personal finance; Michael Moore, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker; Barbara Ehrenreich, prolific author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America; Jeffrey Sachs, poverty expert and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University; Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist; and Vicki B. Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America, and Roger A. Clay, Jr., President, Insight Center for Community Economic Development."

In other words, 'a blue-ribbon panel of some of the furthest left Democrat ideologues anyone could imagine.' All promoted, of course, on America's public radio network.

Jan. 11 2012 02:19 PM

Charles (below) is right, Takeaway hosts! You can't have two African-American pundits say anything without a "white conterpoint" to neutralize their verbal poison. What is wrong with you guys?

Jan. 11 2012 09:54 AM

Please let us know how, and when, The Takeaway proposes to provide political balance to Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. Take your time. Just let me know when you are ready to declare an answer.

And by the way, when John Hockenberry blithely presumes that income inequality in America is increasing, he makes that presumption in the face of serious debate, and Hockenberry disserves his listeners by ignoring that debate.

As seen in the current webpages of the Weekly Standard online:

Jan. 10 2012 02:51 PM
Susanna K. from Aiken, SC

To make our existing social safety net better, we need to reduce bureaucracy. Let's make it easier, not harder, for people to find and get the benefits they need. This will make existing programs more effective, save money on administrative costs, and make the people using these services feel like empowered citizens taking control of their lives instead of objects of scorn and victims of the indifferent hand of government.

Jan. 10 2012 10:53 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

Unfortunately, when I think about most American politicians and their views on poverty, race, equality/inequality, I think of what Kanye West said about GW Bush and extend that to most people that are not of a certain status...

Jan. 10 2012 09:53 AM

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