Day: January 22, 2019

Background Briefing: January 22, 2019


The World’s 26 Richest People Own as Much as the World’s Poorest 50%

We begin with the alarming report from Oxfam released at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos that finds a 12% increase in the wealth of the world’s richest billionaires in 2018 in contrast to an 11% drop in the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population, resulting in the world’s 26 richest people owning as much as the poorest 50% of the planet’s population. Paul O’Brien, the Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America where he oversees research, policy, advocacy and campaigning to influence the U.S. government and U.S. corporations joins us to discuss this growing disparity in wealth indicating we are heading towards a form of global feudalism. We will look into Oxfam’s proposal for a global 1% wealth tax that would raise $418 billion a year which would be enough to educate every child not in school and provide healthcare that would prevent 3 million deaths annually. And since between 2017 and 2018 a new billionaire was created every two days, and most of the world’s richest individuals are American and the fact that $7.5 trillion in hidden global wealth exists in tax havens, indicates that it time the wealthy paid their fair share of taxes.


Our Divided Politics and Nation and Hyperconflict in the Trump Era

Then, as the impasse over the government shutdown continues with the White House insisting on money for Trump’s wall while the House Democrats insist that Trump end the shutdown before negotiating border security, we speak with Darrell West, the vice president of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of “Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust”. He joins us to discuss his forthcoming book “Divided Politics, Divided Nation: Hyperconflict in the Trump Era” and how much in common right wing populists in America have with left wing populists and how they appear to be poles apart yet little divides them.


The Right Reinterprets a MAGA Teen Smirking in the Face of a Native American Elder

Then finally we examine the reinterpretation on the Right of the viral video of a Kentucky high school student in a “Make America Great Again” hat who was in Washington for a pro-life rally, smirking in the face of a Native American elder. Jared Holt, a Research Associate at Right Wing Watch, joins us to discuss his article “Viral Video Showing Catholic High School Students Prompts Propaganda Warfare” and President Trump’s attempt to lionize the student as a victim of a smear by the Fake News.