Bernie Sanders Economic Inequality Town Hall Draws 1.7 Million Live Viewers

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Bernie Sanders ’ televised town hall on financial inequality drew about 1 . seven million live viewers during an internet broadcast Monday night.

The panel-discussion-style event, called “ Inequality in America: The Increase of Oligarchy and Collapse from the Middle Class, ” exceeded the viewership of Sanders’ first live town hall upon single-payer medical care in January.

The particular broadcast provided the Vermont 3rd party with an opportunity to expand his brand new alternative media revue beyond “ Medicare for all” to the wider issue of economic inequality, which usually he maintains that commercial mass media outlets frequently ignore.

“ The things i would say to our friends within the corporate media: Start paying attention to the truth of how many people in our country are usually struggling economically every single day ― plus talk about it, ” Sanders announced at one point during the debate.

Not content to wait for the cable tv channels and newspapers to take your pet up on his advice, Sanders joined with The Guardian, The Young Turks, NowThis and Act. tv to carry out just that for about an hour and a half upon Monday night.

Three co-hosts assisted Sanders in his efforts: Sen. At the Warren (D-Mass. ), New School economist Darrick Hamilton and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Jointly they interviewed three guests along with specialized knowledge of the economic plus political structures suppressing economic flexibility and funneling wealth upward. Catherine Coleman Flowers, a founder from the anti-poverty Alabama Center for Non-urban Enterprise Community Development Corp., talked about the destitute poverty of the non-urban black community in Lowndes Region, Alabama, where exposure to untreated sewage prompted a rare outbreak of hookworm .

Cindy Estrada, the vice president of the United Car Workers, addressed the role associated with organized labor in raising residing standards ― and how its decrease has lowered them. And Gordon Lafer, a political scientist from your University of Oregon, explained exactly how corporate interests neutralized public resistance through campaign donations and substantial lobbying efforts.

An target audience of about 450 people attended the city hall in person in the U. T. Capitol auditorium. An additional 100 individuals viewed the event on monitors within an overflow room.

More of what Sanders’ staff estimates had been 1 . 7 million live audiences saw the event online. (HuffPost’ t back-of-the-envelope tally from the social media web pages of Sanders, Warren and the different digital partners produced a similar find. )

Billed as a workshop on the causes of, and solutions to, increasing income and wealth inequality, the city hall often doubled as a modern pep rally for social democratic reforms.

During Estrada’ h appearance, for example , Warren’ s respect to labor unions elicited thunderous applause.   “ Unions built America’ s middle course. It’ ll take unions in order to rebuild America’ s middle course, ” she said.

Regarding his part, Moore focused on the particular failure of the Democratic Party, which usually fashions itself as the party associated with working people, to stand true to the mission. This line of inquiry got Moore first into a discussion from the ostensibly Democratic leanings of the 3 wealthiest men in the country ― Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Shaun Bezos ― and later right into a riff on the Democrats who identified to authorize the Iraq Battle exactly 15 years earlier.

Moore appeared to be saying that letting Democrats off the hook had contributed towards the collapse of the middle class.

“ It’ s so important that people hold the people who say they’ lso are for the people ― hold their own feet to the fire! And if they’ re not going to do the job they say they’ re going to do, let’ s i9000 get somebody else, ” he determined to loud ovation.

The particular origins of American inequality that will Sanders and his allies sketched upon Monday are by now familiar in order to left-leaning activists immersed in the functions of Robert Reich and John Hacker, among other progressive thinkers.

In this history, former Leader Ronald Reagan ushered in a brand new era of corporate domination together with his symbolic decision to fire striking surroundings traffic controllers in August 1981. The proceed was the opening salvo in a extented war against organized labor that will steadily diminished unions’ ranks plus reduced their clout, according to numerous generous scholars .

A host of taxes breaks, deregulatory measures, corporate-skewed industry agreements and safety net reductions supported by members of both parties within subsequent decades served to increase the inequality generated in the eighties. The result, Sanders said in his preliminary remarks, is a country where “ the top 10th of 1 percent possesses almost as much wealth as the underside 99 percent.

“ Recently, we have seen incredible growth within the number of billionaires, while 40 mil Americans continue to live in poverty and have the highest rate of the child years poverty of almost any major nation on Earth, ” he continued.

A prominent feature from the evening’ s analysis that Sanders’ critics have sometimes accused your pet of downplaying was an specific breakdown of the racial roots associated with American poverty.

Flowers, that invited the United Nations Special Rapporteur upon Extreme Poverty to witness the squalid problems in Lowndes County, argued that will state authorities have failed to tackle the issue of inadequate sewage systems due to entrenched racist views.

Some of those same types of behaviour that existed prior to the 1960s, the particular structural racism that was reinforced simply by racial terror, is still in existence nowadays , ” Flowers said.

Hamilton suggested that the universal applications Sanders favors would not erase the particular racial inequities that follow black Us citizens at every level of socioeconomic and academic attainment. He noted that a dark household headed by a college graduate student has, on average, less wealth than the usual white household headed by a senior high school dropout.

“ So when Sen. Sanders proposes that we should have tuition-free public education ― absolutely, yet as an end unto itself. We all exaggerate the returns from education and learning, particularly to marginalized groups, ” Hamilton said.

Sanders, Warren and Moore all endorsed fairly well-known left-leaning solutions to inequality, which includes a $15 minimum wage, more powerful unions, free college education plus paid family leave policies.

Perhaps in keeping with his intersectional concentrate, Hamilton embraced more radical actions. His preferred solutions included the particular creation of trust funds for each American at birth, a federal work guarantee, the replacement of private pay day lenders with postal banking plus an end to academic tracking in quality school, which he argued usually replicates racial segregation, even inside relatively integrated schools.

“ To really get beyond our competition problem, when we’ re prepared as a nation to come together, we have to come to grips with reparations, ”   Hamilton concluded, prompting regards from the crowd.