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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg


Jun 18, 2020

@claudiacragg speaks here for @KGNU with James B. Steele about the updated and expanded edition of his book with Donald L Bartlett, a New York Times No. 1 bestseller - America: What Went Wrong? The Crisis Deepens [Mission Point Press: June 15, 2020]. Long before COVID-19 ravaged the economy, millions of middle-class Americans were struggling with another crisis — stagnant earnings, unaffordable health care and the prospect of an impoverished retirement.

In this work, Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele explain with human stories and authoritative statistical findings how specific actions by Washington and Wall Street are systematically dismantling the middle class., 

Steele is the co-author of eight previous books, including two New York Times bestsellers and has extensive experience in reporting and writing about the most important issues of our time. 

Topics covered include;-

  • Income inequality: How government policies have created the most unequal society in America in 100 years, and why the wealth gap is widening.
  • America’s middle class: How government policies are shrinking the middle class and why the percentage of Americans in the middle class is smaller today than at any time in more than half a century. 
  • Poverty: Why more and more Americans are trapped at the bottom, unable to provide basic necessities for their families.
  • Wages: How federal policies have intentionally held down wages for millions of working Americans –  long before COVID-19 decimated jobs.
  • Trade: How global trade has eliminated millions of good-paying jobs, and  how  Trump’s trade policies are making things worse.
  • Retirement: How millions of Americans face a bleak old age because of federal programs allow corporations to eliminate pensions and replacement measures don’t come close to providing a secure retirement.
  • Taxes: How tax policy has consistently rewarded the wealthy and created the most unequal society in the last century.
  • Covid-19: How the U.S. response to the virus illustrates the weakness of the U.S. health care system which relies on the private market to manage health care, when an overall authority is needed.
  • Health care: How corporations and private insurers are shifting more costs to families.

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele are the nation’s most honored investigative reporting team. Their work has received two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Magazine Awards and upwards of 50 other national journalism awards. They began working together at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and their writing has appeared in Time, Vanity Fair, The New York Times and The Washington Post. The American Journalism Review has called them “almost certainly the best team in the history of investigative journalism.” They live in Philadelphia.