Arianna appeared on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC show Friday to discuss the dire economic landscape facing President Obama -- and, this November, endangered congressional Democrats -- and to explain some key points outlined in her new book, "Third World America."
"The conclusion that I reached after writing this book and traveling around the country is that there is an intersection between the political and the personal," she said. "I call it 'hope 2.0.' If 'hope' was, 'we're going to elect Barack Obama, we're going to elect Democrats and then we can sit back and they're going to fix everything,' 'hope 2.0' is the recognition that democracy is not a spectator sport. We need to be involved, we need to be vigilant, and we also need to take steps in our own communities which are independent of government."
Those steps include offering -- and accepting -- external support to help overcome the negative psychological impact of hardships like long-term unemployment. "We need to tap into our own resilience and our own personal strength," Arianna said, adding later that people from all walks of life need to work on "giving back" to society.
Other critical goals, she said, include "building up people's financial literacy" on everything from mortgages to credit card contracts, as companies too often take advantage of consumers making uneducated decisions.