Arianna Huffington on the Death of the Middle Class

Friday, September 10, 2010

Media powerhouse Arianna Huffington thinks we're looking at the death of the American middle class.  She argues that point in her new book "Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream."

She says we're losing our industrial, political and economic might in the world and points at who's to blame.  She says we can stop the slide away from prosperity with the same can do spirit that lead us to the height of global power. Huffington also sticks around for a wide ranging discussion of today's top news including the overturning of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Guests:

Arianna Huffington

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [6]

Joseph Anthony Migliore from Portland, Oregon

Arianna, I disagree with your analysis, tormenting and publicly offending the sacred text of Islam, the Quran, has a much broader and philosophical meaning globally, then "a nut case parent in Colorado, seeking to gain attention. This is what I had to say about it: The On again, Off again Quran burning -- scheduled for Saturday, to coincide with Sept. 11th, according to Pastor, Rev. Jones, is now "on hold" and he is rethinking his decision!? I simply cannot imagine, any Imam, whether in N.Y. or in Florida, representing the Islamic community, even attempting to negotiate with a "ultra-conservative Evangelicalist", like Pastor Jones? -- he is inciting violence, in saying the least! I think Pastor Jones is attempting to "grasp the international spotlight", by portraying Islam as the "enemy" and hoping to gain a future "reality T.V. series!" Please stop this incitement of "Islamophobia".

Sep. 10 2010 03:51 PM
Jimmy from Boca Raton, FL

As our economic situation entered a period of dramatic deterioration, I would tell those around me that the hardships we are experiencing here in the US remind me of what I have seen in South America. While my family is from Ecuador, I was born and raised in the US.

What I saw in Ecuador was how people from different socioeconomic backgrounds lead drastically different lives. Economic prosperity is not a question of what you know but “who” you know.

I have heard the third world defined as a nation that does not produce / manufacture a majority of goods consumed [CHECK], a high level of debt [CHECK], and high levels of income inequality [CHECK].

Nowadays, as an investor, I am extremely bearish on our economy. I hope that the middle-class is able to pull together from our and its sake. The third world is a harsh experience that I hope we are able avoid. Based on what I see from the Washington and US business establishment, I see us creating the ‘minimum wage worker of tomorrow”. I do hope I am wrong.

Sep. 10 2010 11:36 AM
Jimmy from Boca Raton, FL

As our economic situation entered a period of dramatic deterioration, I would tell those around me that the hardships we are experiencing here in the US remind me of what I have seen in South America. While my family is from Ecuador, I was born and raised in the US.

What I saw in Ecuador was how people from different socioeconomic backgrounds lead drastically different lives. Economic prosperity is not a question of what you know but “who” you know.

I have heard the third world defined as a nation that does not produce / manufacture a majority of goods consumed [CHECK], a high level of debt [CHECK], and high levels of income inequality [CHECK].

Nowadays, as an investor, I am extremely bearish on our economy. I hope that the middle-class is able to pull together from our and its sake. The third world is a harsh experience that I hope we are able avoid. Based on what I see from the Washington and US business establishment, I see us creating the ‘minimum wage worker of tomorrow”. I do hope I am wrong.

Sep. 10 2010 11:32 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

While agree with Huffington on a number of issues (including economic deprivations leading to irrationality and personal/psychological insecurity), I think any talk of the U.S. becoming a "less-developed country" (3rd world doesn't exist after the Cold war) is premature.

Things are changing - and fast - but a total collapse to a dystopic reality ala Blade Runner. You know why? Because people like Huffington, me and many others I know are working to counter this trend.

Although we do have efficacy and agency, you are echoing D. Brooks NYT article today and falling into the same trap - not recognizing global trade and technology gains as part of what we have been part of developing for more than 30 years. Again, we can counter these trends with smart, sensible policies and a shift in our perspective for a new age.

Sep. 10 2010 09:38 AM
Kip

The middle class appears to be dying because we are busy importing about 3 hundred thousand poor people per month which is far greater than the 76 thousand jobs we created this month. We are voluntarily making ourselves into a developing country.

Sep. 10 2010 09:36 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

While agree with Huffington on a number of issues (including economic deprivations leading to irrationality and personal/psychological insecurity), I think any talk of the U.S. becoming a "less-developed country" (3rd world doesn't exist after the Cold war) is premature.

Things are changing - and fast - but a total collapse to a dystopic reality ala Blade Runner. You know why? Because people like Huffington, me and many others I know are working to counter this trend.

Sep. 10 2010 09:32 AM

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