wealth

Families today are squeezed on every side from high childcare costs and harsh employment policies to workplaces without paid family leave or even dependable and regular working hours. Many realize that attaining the standard of living their parents managed has become impossible.

In her book, "Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America," Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, examines the lives of many middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children. She shows how our country has failed its families. Her subjects, from professors to lawyers to caregivers to nurses, have been wrung out by a system that doesn’t support them, and enriches only a tiny elite.

Chuck Collins grew up in the 1 percent as the great grandson of meatpacker Oscar Mayer, but at age 26 he gave away his inheritance.

He has been working to reduce inequality and strengthen communities since 1982. His new book is Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good.

In her early 20s Leanne Jacobs seemed to have it all – the perfect job with a great salary, the husband, the house; but on the inside, she felt constant pressure to work longer hours and didn’t have the mental space to take care of herself or nurture her marriage. So she took her first step on the path to creating what she would call “Beautiful Money.”

In Jacobs’ new book, Beautiful Money: The 4-Week Total Wealth Makeover, she outlines her wealth creation program, which helps us align our personal values and lifestyle with their income and career. She shows folks how to tidy up our finances and pursue their own definition of success by mindfully redesigning their lifestyle and redefining their self-worth.

Leanne Jacobs has worked in sales and marketing for several Fortune 100 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Nike, DuPont, and L’oreal.

Ray Kroc was peddling franchises around the country for a fledgling hamburger stand in the 1950s - McDonald’s, it was called - when he entered a St. Paul supper club and encountered a beautiful young piano player named Joan who would change his life forever.

Just as their relationship twisted and turned dramatically, the fortunes of Ray’s new business came perilously close to failure.  Ultimately Ray wrested control of McDonald’s from the original founders; in short order the successful burger stand in the desert of California would be transformed into a stock market sensation and international brand.

To the outside world, Ray and Joan were happy, enormously rich, and giving. But privately, Joan was growing troubled over Ray’s temper and dark secret, something she was reluctant to publicly reveal. And yet, this volatility paved the way for Joan’s transformation into one of the greatest philanthropists of our time.

Journalist Lisa Napoli’s new book is: Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away. 

  Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. 

In Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It , Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day.

2/21/14 Panel

Feb 21, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, commentator and activist, Libby Post, and Associate Editor of The Times Union, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Ukraine
Christie Town Hall
Obama Budget
City Wealth Gap
FCC 911