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Moyers & Company

Stiglitz On Tax Reform to Save The Middle Class (#334)

This week, in an encore presentation of Moyers & Company (check local listings), the Nobel Laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz says he's infuriated by America's growing inequality and at how the tax code has been manipulated and abused to place the burden on the earners of ordinary income -- instead of the rich and powerful most able to pay. "We already have a system that isn't working," he tells Bill Moyers. "... That has contributed to making America the most unequal society of the advanced countries... But he has a solution. Joseph Stiglitz recently published a call to action, a 27-page report for the Roosevelt Institute on how to reform our tax system and rebuild our country. "We can have a tax system that can help create a fairer society," he says. "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." Stiglitz believes that taxes can be used as incentives: "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." Now a professor at Columbia University, Joseph E. Stiglitz served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton White House, as chief economist of the World Bank and is currently president of the International Economic Association. He is a best-selling author with a worldwide following that includes presidents and prime ministers. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

PBS Video

Series Description: Bill Moyers returns on-air and online in January 2012 with MOYERS & COMPANY, a weekly hour of compelling and vital conversation about life and the state of American democracy, featuring some of the best thinkers of our time. A range of scholars, artists, activists, scientists, philosophers and newsmakers bring context, insight and meaning to important topics. The series occasionally includes Moyers' own timely and penetrating essays on society and government. In a multimedia marketplace saturated with shallow sound bites and partisan name-calling, MOYERS & COMPANY digs deeper. As the Los Angeles Times put it in 2010, "No one on television has centralized the discussion of ideas as much as Moyers... He not only gives a forum to unusual thinkers, he is truly interested in what they have to say and who they are because he believes their ideas really matter. "

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