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Bill Moyers
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A broadcast journalist for more than four decades, Bill Moyers has been recognized as one of the unique voices of our times, one that resonates with multiple generations. In 2012, at the of 77, Moyers began his latest media venture with the launch of Moyers & Company on air and online at BillMoyers.com – providing “conversations on democracy” and explorations of contemporary culture, making sense of what matters to us all.

With his wife and creative partner, Judith Davidson Moyers, Bill Moyers has produced such groundbreaking public affairs series as NOW with Bill Moyers (from 2002 through 2005) and Bill Moyers Journal (from 2007 through 2010). Since the company’s founding in 1986, other notable productions have included the landmark 1988 series, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, as well as Healing and the Mind, The Language of Life, Genesis, On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying, Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home, America’s First River, Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, Faith & Reason, and Moyers on America.

Moyers began his journalism career at age 16 as a cub reporter for his hometown daily newspaper in Marshall, Texas. He was a founding organizer and deputy director of the Peace Corps and special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Moyers served as Johnson’s press secretary from 1965 to 1967.

As publisher of Newsday from 1967 to 1970, Moyers brought aboard writers including Pete Hamill, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Saul Bellow, and led the paper to two Pulitzer Prizes. In 1976, he was the senior correspondent for the distinguished documentary series CBS Reports and later a senior news analyst for The CBS Evening News.

For his work, Bill Moyers has received more than 30 Emmys, two prestigious Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University Awards, nine Peabodys, and three George Polk Awards. In the first year it was bestowed, Moyers received the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he also received the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association and has been honored by the Television Critics Association for outstanding career achievement.

Moyers was elected to the Television Hall of Fame in 1995. A year later he received the Charles Frankel Prize (now the National Humanities Medal) from the National Endowment for the Humanities “for outstanding contributions to American cultural life.” In 2005, Moyers received the PEN USA Courageous Advocacy Award for his passionate, outspoken commitment to freedom of speech and his dedication to journalistic integrity. He has also been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications calls Moyers, “One of the few broadcast journalists who might be said to approach the stature of Edward R. Murrow. If Murrow founded broadcast journalism, Moyers significantly extended its traditions.”

Moyers’ books include such bestsellers as Listening to America, The Power of Myth, Healing and the Mind, The Language of Life, Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times, and Moyers on Democracy. His most recent book, Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, was published in May 2011. He currently serves as president of the Schumann Media Center, a non-profit organization that supports independent journalism.

Married for more than 55 years, Judith and Bill Moyers have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Entries by Bill Moyers

Watch: Maya Angelou on Facing Evil

(3) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 9:58 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

In this second of two programs celebrating the life and work of the late Maya Angelou, I revisit a 1988 documentary in which Angelou and I attended a conference on "Facing Evil," held in the Hill Country of central Texas. Evil was a topic about which Angelou, the victim of childhood rape and virulent racism, had a lot to say.

Rape caused her to retreat into silence for five years, she said, and was:

"a dire kind of evil, because rape on the body of a young person more often than not introduces cynicism, and there is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. In my case I was saved in that muteness, you see, in the sórdida, I was saved. And I was able to draw from human thought, human disappointments and triumphs, enough to triumph myself."

She recites the lyrics of a song she wrote for Roberta Flack about Angelou's crippled Uncle Willie, who made sure she and others knew their lessons and "left for our generation and generations to come a legacy so rich. " She reads from the poetry of African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar as well her own: "There in those pleated faces/I see the auction block/The chains and slavery's coffles/The whip and lash and stock./My fathers speak in voices/That shred my fact and sound/They say, but, sugar, it was our submission/that made your world go round."

She tells the conference:

"We need the courage to create ourselves daily, to be bodacious enough to create ourselves daily -- as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as thinking, caring, laughing, loving human beings," she says. I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable."

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: Going Home With Maya Angelou

(3) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 11:23 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

Over the years and on several occasions, I interviewed Maya Angelou, the legendary author who died in May. In this first of two programs celebrating her extraordinary life and legacy, I revisit an episode from his 1982 series Creativity in which Angelou and I returned to the small town of Stamps, Arkansas, where she spent much of her childhood.

Walking with me, she remembers a place where she was "terribly hurt... and vastly loved." Stamps, Arkansas, was deeply segregated, and divided by railroad tracks that split the town into black and white.

"This was more or less a no man's land here... If you were black you never felt really safe when you simply crossed the railroad tracks," she says. "... And I used to have to walk over here. Oh gosh, I hated it. I had no protection at all over there. I had an idea of protection on this side. I had my grandmother on this side. I had the church, my uncle, and all my people were on this side. So I had an idea of protection, but there I would be all alone and I loathed it, crossing those railroad tracks."

It was the great writers she read, the music she heard in church, and the scars of racial discrimination in Stamps that guided Angelou toward her passion for writing.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: John Lithgow, King Lear and Our Uncertain World

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 11:34 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

As violent, disturbing images on the front pages confront us daily, reminders of the uncertain times we live in, we're surrounded by productions of Shakespeare's King Lear, the story of an elderly monarch losing strength and sanity, seeking order in chaos.

Why are we so drawn these days to the tale of Lear and his dysfunctional family? John Lithgow, the award-winning actor and writer, is playing him right now in The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park production. This week he talks to Bill about what it's like to perform the monumental role and its significance in a time of so much unrest.

"When we talk about King Lear, where he fits in our time, we are in a very strange moment. I look around and 50 percent of the big-budget entertainment you are seeing these days is dystopian," Lithgow tells Moyers. "This is the era of Hunger Games and blasted landscapes and The Walking Dead. The zombie is the new, sort of, archetype of our times."

After the broadcast interview ended Bill also talked to Lithgow about the new film he stars in, Love is Strange, about a newly married gay couple who are forced to live apart.

All performance images of John Lithgow as King Lear are courtesy of The Public Theater Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: The Conscience of a Compassionate Conservative

(12) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 2:44 PM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

Politicians in Washington, D.C., seem to have stopped talking -- and listening -- to their colleagues across the aisle, contributing to our virtually deadlocked Congress. While Washington appears to have stopped their conversations, I decided to start a new one.

This week I speak with the American Enterprise Institute's president Arthur C. Brooks, whose political views in large measure differ from my own, on how to fight America's widening inequality.

Brooks says that despite the heated rhetoric of the far right, the compassionate conservatism once touted by George W. Bush isn't dead. It's alive and well at the conservative AEI, where Brooks became president in 2009. Residing now at the top of the conservative pecking order in Washington, Brooks advises Republican leaders in Congress and spreads AEI's message to a wider audience. His specialty, as Newsweek describes it, is "translating ideas from policy speak into soaring moral prose." One of his key ideas: The endgame of free enterprise is not to preserve wealth but to create opportunity for the poor.

"Republicans could come screaming out of the gate going forward and say, 'We're the ones who will fight for the poor. We're the ones who will fight for workers,'" Brooks tells me. "You might not agree with what we're gonna -- how we're gonna do it, but let me tell you, you will not doubt what's on our hearts."

I press Brooks on why companies like Target, McDonald's and Wal-Mart don't pay a living wage to their employees who then have to rely on public programs to support themselves -- in Walmart's case, about $4,000 per worker. Brooks argues the market doesn't support higher wages and agrees that the country needs public policies that make work profitable for workers.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: The Crusade Against Reproductive Rights

(12) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 9:58 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision establishing a woman's right to an abortion, was issued 41 years ago. Despite consistent public opinion to the contrary, conservatives and the religious right have patiently and relentlessly campaigned against it for decades. And recently, their efforts are finding some success. Two major rulings by the Supreme Court this last session limited health insurance coverage for contraception and gave protesters increased rights to demonstrate outside abortion clinics. Several states -- especially in the South -- in the name, legislators say, of women's health, have passed regulations that creatively use technicalities to force clinics to close.

I talk about the politics of reproductive freedom with Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. For nearly a century, Planned Parenthood has been the leading advocate for reproductive health care in the United States, with 69 affiliates nationwide, operating more than 700 health centers.

"It's better to be a corporation today than to be a woman in front of the Supreme Court," Richards tells me. "I think that the Hobby Lobby decision is just the beginning of giving corporations free license to obey those rules and laws that they agree with, and not ones that they don't."

Richards has been an organizer of low-wage janitors, hotel and health care workers, the founder of the Texas Freedom Network, which defends civil liberties and religious freedom in her native state, and a deputy chief of staff to the Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: Is the Supreme Court Out of Order?

(8) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:46 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

The latest session of the US Supreme Court was especially contentious, with important decisions on the separation of church and state, organized labor, campaign finance reform, birth control and women's health, among others, splitting the court along its 5-4 conservative-liberal divide.

On the other hand, nearly two-thirds of the court's decisions this term were unanimous -- the first time that's happened in more than 60 years. But there's more to that seeming unanimity than meets the eye: In some instances, conservative justices went along but expressed their wish that the court had gone even further to the right, and many believe that some of the decisions might simply be a preliminary step toward a more significant breaking of legal precedent in years to come.

This week I speak with Linda Greenhouse, a New York Times columnist, and Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate, about the latest rulings from the Supreme Court, a beat they've both covered for years.

"You can't look at the Roberts court and say that they've done anything other than systematically unravel voting rights, women's rights, workers' rights [and] environmental progress," Lithwick tells me.

Greenhouse adds: "I think it's hard for anybody looking at this court objectively to come away not thinking that it's a court in pursuit of an agenda."

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Celebrate the Revolution -- And Keep It Going

(38) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 11:56 PM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

This post is co-written by Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger.

The Glorious Fourth is a day to let 'er rip, be as red-white-and-blue as you like, hang out the flag, join the parade, keep an eye on the sky where those...

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What We Can Learn From Lawrence of Arabia

(15) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 11:02 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

As fears grow of a widening war across the Middle East, fed by reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) envisions a region-wide, all controlling theocracy, we found ourselves talking about another war. The Great War -- or World War I,...

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Watch: Andrew Bacevich on the Chaos in Iraq

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 11:13 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

The escalating bloodbath in Iraq has triggered renewed debate on how muscular America's foreign policy should be. Speaking about the crisis on Thursday, President Obama said that the US is ready for "targeted and precise military action" against advancing Islamists if needed, adding that "American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq."

This week, I speak with combat veteran and historian Andrew Bacevich about the events unfolding in Iraq and what they say about America's role in the world.

While some neoconservatives lament that our "world order shows signs of cracking, and perhaps collapsing," thanks to Obama's inclination to engage less in other countries, Bacevich sees things differently.

"We have been engaged in the Islamic world at least since 1980, in a military project based on the assumption that the adroit use of American hard power can somehow pacify or fix this part of the world. We can now examine more than three decades of this effort.

Let's look at what U.S. military intervention in Iraq has achieved, in Afghanistan has achieved, in Somalia has achieved, in Lebanon has achieved, in Libya has achieved. I mean, ask ourselves the very simple question. Is the region becoming more stable? Is it becoming more democratic? Are we alleviating, reducing the prevalence of anti-Americanism?"

After the full broadcast interview, I so enjoyed my conversation with Bacevich that we kept talking, delving topics such as the Vietnam War, our evolving relationship with Iran and neoconservatives views on US foreign policy. Watch the extended interview.


Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: Wall Street's Secret Weapon: Congress

(2) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 10:35 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

Why haven't any big bankers been prosecuted for their role in the housing crisis that led to the Great Recession?

These finance executives took part in "scandals that violate the most basic ethical norms," as the head of the IMF Christine Lagarde put it last month, including illegal foreclosures, money laundering and the fixing of interest rate benchmarks. In fact, banking CEOs not only avoided prosecution but got average pay rises of 10 percent last year, taking home, on average, $13 million in compensation.

These "gentlemen" are among the leaders of the industry's efforts to repeal, or water down, some of the tougher rules and regulations enacted in the Dodd-Frank legislation that was passed to prevent another crash. As usual, they're swelling their ranks with the very people who helped to write that bill. More than two dozen federal officials have pushed through the revolving door to the private sector they once sought to regulate.

And then there are the lapdogs in Congress willfully collaborating with the financial industry. As the Center for Public Integrity put it recently, they are "Wall Street's secret weapon," a handful of representatives at the beck and call of the banks, eager to do their bidding. Jeb Hensarling is their head honcho. The Republican from Texas chairs the House Financial Services Committee, which functions for Wall Street like one of those no-tell motels with the neon sign. Hensarling makes no bones as to where his loyalties lie. "Occasionally we have been accused of trying to undermine aspects of Dodd-Frank," he said recently, adding, with a chuckle, "I hope we're guilty of it." Guilty as charged, Congressman. And it tells us all we need to know about our bought and paid for government that you think it's funny.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: How Tax Reform Can Save the Middle Class

(4) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 12:30 PM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

A report out this week finds that over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies use offshore tax havens to avoid paying US taxes.

In the second part of his interview with me, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz says that such lucrative loopholes are contributing to America's inequality problem and persistent unemployment rate. In fact, corporate greed, combined with a tax code too biased toward the very rich, is hurting our economy and reducing public investment at a time when we really need it.

Stiglitz says it doesn't have to be this way. He has a new plan for overhauling America's current tax system, which he believes contributes to making America the most unequal society of the advanced countries.

"We can have a tax system that can help create a fairer society," Stiglitz tells me in the second part of our conversation. "Only ask the people at the top to pay their fair share. It's not asking a lot. It's just saying the top 1% shouldn't be paying a lower tax rate than somebody much further down the scale - [they] shouldn't have the opportunity to move money offshore and keep it in an unlimited IRA account."

Stiglitz believes that taxes should incentivize corporations to act in ways that benefit our country. "If your taxes say we want to encourage real investments in America, then you get real investment in America... But I also believe that you have to shape incentives and that markets on their own don't necessarily shape them the right way."

The economist concludes that the barriers to solving our problems are political, not economic, and we can change what's wrong if enough of us insist.

Watch part one of Bill's interview with Stiglitz.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: Joseph E. Stiglitz Calls for Fair Taxes for All

(2) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 10:34 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

A new report by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz for the Roosevelt Institute suggests that paying our fair share of taxes and cracking down on corporate tax dodgers could be a cure for inequality and a faltering economy.

This week on Moyers & Company, Stiglitz tells me that Apple, Google, GE and a host of other Fortune 500 companies are creating what amounts to "an unlimited IRA for corporations." The result? Vast amounts of lost revenue for our treasury and the exporting of much-needed jobs to other countries.

"I think we can use our tax system to create a better society, to be an expression of our true values." Stiglitz says. "But if people don't think that their tax system is fair, they're not going to want to contribute. It's going to be difficult to get them to pay. And, unfortunately, right now, our tax system is neither fair nor efficient."

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Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at
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Watch: Facing the Truth: The Case for Reparations

(287) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 9:55 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

Signs of overt racism still are all around us, be it a New Hampshire police commissioner's use of an ethnic slur to describe President Obama or an NBA team owner's disturbing remarks about black athletes and fans. By now, we all know the drill, the media call these people out for their ugly words and we play our parts, shaking our heads in sad disbelief -- then return to our daily lives.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, thinks it's time for a bold step to change the way we talk and think about race in America. This week, I speak to Coates about his June cover story for the magazine, provocatively titled "The Case for Reparations." In it, Coates argues that we have to dig deeper into our past and the original sin of slavery, confronting the institutional racism that continues to pervade society. From the lynching tree to today's mass incarceration of young African-Americans, he says we need to examine our motives more intently and reconcile the moral debt and economic damage inflicted upon generations of black Americans.

For one, Coates points to a century of racist and exploitive housing policies that made it hard for African-Americans to own homes and forced them to live in poorer neighborhoods with unequal access to a good education, resulting in a major wealth gap between black and white. In fact, the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households, according to a Pew Research Center study.

"There are plenty of African-Americans in this country -- and I would say this goes right up to the White House -- who are not by any means poor, but are very much afflicted by white supremacy," Coates says. By white supremacy Coates says he refers to an age-old system in America which holds that whites "should always be ensured that they will not sink to a certain level. And that level is the level occupied by black people."

Coates explains to me: "I am not asking you as a white person to see yourself as an enslaver. I'm asking you as an American to see all of the freedoms that you enjoy and see how they are rooted in things that the country you belong to condoned or actively participated in the past."

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at BillMoyers.com.
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Watch: The War on Climate Scientists

(80) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 9:03 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

Climate change is increasingly making mainstream media headlines and this week was no exception.

On Tuesday, scientists said that the long-feared collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun, kicking off what they believe will be a centuries-long, irreversible process that could raise sea levels by as much as 15 feet.

News reports like this show that climate change is serious, but corporations and even some governments seem recklessly determined to minimize or deny the reality of global warming, as well as undermine the authority of scientists.

In the second part of his conversation with me, Canadian scientist and environmental activist David Suzuki says killing the messenger is a 50-year-old strategy ripped straight from big tobacco's playbook: "This is a very effective thing that we know has been done by the tobacco industry [and] it's being done by the fossil fuel industry... You attack a person on the basis of their trustworthiness, their ulterior motives, anything to get away from dealing with the issues."

For Suzuki, it's a tactic he's personally confronted as a result of his outspoken views on climate change and government collusion with the petrochemical industry. Although he's considered Canada's most admired figure, Suzuki has been the target of relentless attacks from his nation's prime minister, corporations and right-wing ideologues.

"The fossil fuel industry knows that fossil fuel use is at the heart of climate change," Suzuki says. "But the problem is their job as CEOs and executives is to make money for their shareholders, and they'll do it."

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Watch: Time to Get Real on Climate Change

(16) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 5:10 PM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

As the White House issued a landmark report detailing the frightening affects of global warming on our country and President Obama took to the airwaves to drive home that message, I talk with a scientist who has sounded the alarm for decades.

For nearly 35 years, David Suzuki has brought science into the homes of millions on the Canadian television series, The Nature of Things. He has become a godfather of the environmental movement, and in a poll of his fellow Canadians last fall he was named that country's most admired figure. Nonetheless, his outspoken views on climate change and the government's collusion with the petrochemical industry in developing Canada's oil-rich tar sands have made him the target of relentless attacks from his nation's prime minister, corporations and right-wing ideologues.

"Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness. ...I think that we are being willfully blind to the consequences for our children and grandchildren. It's an intergenerational crime," Suzuki tells me.

Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at

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Don't Let Net Neutrality Become Another Broken Promise

(26) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 10:16 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

Barack Obama told us there would be no compromise on net neutrality. We heard him say it back in 2007, when he first was running for president.

We have to ensure [a] free and full exchange of information and that starts with an open...
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Watch: Putting the Freeze on Global Warming

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 1:28 PM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com

The Archbishop of South Africa, Desmond Tutu, has called for an international "anti-apartheid-style boycott" against the fossil fuel industry in response to global warming. "People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate wrote in an essay earlier this month. Tutu's call to action also urges a strategy of divestment, the selling off of stocks and other investments in the name of an urgent cause.

This week, I talk with two leaders who helped inspire the new fossil fuel divestment movement that Tutu is encouraging. Ellen Dorsey is executive director of the Wallace Global Fund and a catalyst in the coalition of 17 foundations known as Divest-Invest Philanthropy. Thomas Van Dyck is Senior Vice President -- Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management, and founder of As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy foundation.

They are urging foundations, faith groups, pension funds, municipalities and universities to sell their shares in polluting industries and reinvest in companies committed to climate change solutions.

"The climate crisis is so urgent that if you own fossil fuels, you own climate change," said Dorsey. Van Dyck adds that reinvestment is needed to create "a sustainable economy that's based on the energy of the future, not on the energy of the past."

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Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent

(260) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 3:57 PM

The evidence of income inequality just keeps mounting. According to "Working for the Few," a recent briefing paper from Oxfam, "In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer."

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Watch: What the 1 Percent Don't Want You to Know

(43) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 5:11 PM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

The median pay for the top 100 highest-paid CEOs at America's publicly traded companies was a handsome $13.9 million in 2013. That's a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new Equilar pay study for The New York Times.

These types...

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Watch: America's Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy

(2) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 10:35 AM

Previously published on BillMoyers.com.

A new report shows that top CEOs were paid 331 times more than the average U.S. worker in 2013. At the same time, the poorest fifth of Americans paid an average tax rate of 11 percent while the richest one percent contributed half that...

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