Enough about Russia and Stormy Daniels, the leaders of the progressive movement want to talk about growing income inequality in the US.
At a live-streamed town hall event on Monday night, Senator Bernie Sanders once again circumvented cable news to host a 90-minute panel discussion on poverty, the decline of the middle class and the consolidation of corporate power.
He was joined in Washington by Senator Elizabeth Warren, director Michael Moore and economist Darrick Hamilton while roughly 1.7 million viewers tuned in to watch online, according to Sanders’ office.
Speaking to the Guardian before the event, Sanders said: “We have to fight Trump every day. But we have to not lose our vision as to where we want to go as a country. We can talk about the disastrous role Russia has played in trying to undermine American democracy. That is enormously important. But we also have to talk about the fact that we have the highest rate of child poverty in any major economy of the world.”
Sanders and Moore both complained about the media’s poor coverage of inequality and working people’s struggles. Moore said: “You turn on the TV and it’s ‘Russia, Russia, Russia!’” Sanders interjected: “And don’t forget Stormy Daniels!”
Moore continued: “These are all shiny keys to distract us … We should know about the West Virginia strike. What an inspiration that would be. But they don’t show this, Bernie, because, what would happen if they did?”
Panelists were not shy to point out who they felt were the culprits fuelling inequality in the United States. Its three wealthiest men – Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet – who collectively earn more than the poorest half of Americans, were singled out as contributing to the widening wealth gap. So too were lobbyists like the American Legislative Exchange Council and major political donors such as the Koch brothers. And, of course, representatives in Congress who are beholden to corporate donors.
The event is available for viewing here.
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