December 1 - Black Friday Demonstrations and the Wealth of the Wal-Mart Heirs; One Month later; Is the New Pope a Radical Reformer?

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the post-Thanksgiving frenzied shopping sales on Black Friday which were down over 11% and get an appraisal of this weekend’s demonstrations against Wal-Mart from Josh Bivens, Research and Policy Director at the Economic Policy Institute and author of “Everybody Wins Except for Most of Us: What Economics Teaches us About Globalization”. We discuss Josh’s research that finds from 2007 to 2010, median American family wealth declined 38.8% while the wealth of the Walmart heirs rose 22.1%, making the Walton Family’s fortune equal to the wealth of the bottom 49 million American families.



josh bevin


Part 2

Then, at the one-month mark by which the White House had pledged to fix the website, we get an analysis of how the troubled launch of The Affordable Care is proceeding and whether public confidence in healthcare reform can be restored in the remaining time left to get the insurance exchanges running. Ron Pollack, the Founded Executive director of Families USA who helped prepare the Patient’s Bill of Rights that has been enacted in many states, joins us to discuss the status of the website and the prospects ahead for Obamacare.

ron pollack


Part 3

Then finally, with many right-wing bishops alarmed and many left-wing priests encouraged by Pope Francis’ latest pronouncements, we will look into what kind of a reformer the new Pope might be with Jennifer O’Malley, a Roman Catholic woman priest, and Kenneth Briggs, who writes for the National Catholic Reporter. They join us to examine the tectonic shifts underway in the scandal-ridden church whose new leader has made provocative statements of late that are at odds with the rigid and reactionary dogma of his predecessors. 

josh bivens

ken brigs