The Ed Show | February 01, 2013
>>> show." you like numbers? i got numbers for you tonight there is big economic news today. records are being broken. but there is still a major story of income inequality underneath all of this. first, the numbers. the nation's economy added 157,000 jobs in january, and the unemployment rate , well, it ticked up to 7.9%. but the jobs numbers for november and december were revised upwards significantly. this means more than two million jobs were created last year. the best number since 2005 and better than seven out of eight years in the bush/cheney era. . now the economy has now gained 5.5 million jobs out of the 8.74 million jobs lost in the great recession. we got a long way to go. no doubt about it. now the stock market is on a roll. it topped 14,000 today for the first time since 2007 . 100,000 construction jobs were added in the last four months of 2012 , and today chrysler posted its highest sales in five years. and there is another side of this story, of course. millions of people are still out of work. the economy actually shrank by a tenth of a point last quarter because of what? government cutbacks. 2/3 of americans are planning to delay the retirement according to "the wall street journal " because of the financial losses. income stagnation and layoffs over the past several years. income inequality in the united states actually, folks, has gotten worse. and we now rank in the middle of latin american countries , which have historically had poor economies and high levels of income inequality . we got a lot of work to do. let's turn to senator bernie sander of vermont. senator, great to have you with us tonight. thanks for joining us.
>> good. my pleasure.
>> there is still an ugly underbelly to this economy as it stands right now. this past election was themed about and focused on the middle class . what can we do, senator, moving forward here in the short-term? your thoughts.
>> well, first of all, ed, we have to do exactly what you were doing now and focus on an issue that gets very, very little attention. that is the fact that we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth, worse today in the united states than at any time since 1928 before the great depression. and from a moral perspective, moral, we have to ask ourselves whether we think it is acceptable that the top 1% owns 35% of the wealth in america when the bottom 60% owns 2.3% of the wealth. whether it is acceptable that the top 1% earn morse income than the bottom 50%. and in the last study that we saw in 2010 , 93%, 93% of all new income went to the top 1%. is that the kind of country that we feel comfortable living in?
>> i don't think so. i don't think the american people believe that. and i think that's what this election was all about. i mean, when you look at it, middle class families earned more in 1996 than today. i mean, it's absolutely amazing. the middle class are still asked to share the sacrifice with the cuts to the big three.
>> that's right.
>> we have to grab this conversation.
>> that's exactly right. and, ed, what this is also about, it's not only morality and fairness, it is about politics. because what do you think the big money folks are doing? the big corporations who are enjoying record-breaking profits? the wealthiest people doing phenomenally well. they're not sitting on their money. they're putting huge amounts of money into the political process so they get even more tax breaks , more ability to outsource our jobs, more ability to put their money in tax havens in the cayman islands . it's not only a political issue, it's an economic issue. that is if consumers do not have the money, if the middle class and working families do not have the income to spend, how are you going to create jobs? how are you going to create jobs?
>> senator, your thoughts on what policies would reduce this wide gulf of income inequality ?
>> let me just kick off a very few. i think what almost all economists recognize is that when real unemployment is over 14%, counting those people who have given up looking for work and are working part-time, we need to invest significant sums of money, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure -- roads, bridges, water systems,s that transit, et cetera . second of all, given the threat of global warming , we need to invest very heavily and create jobs in weatherization, energy efficient and sustainable unreasonable. that's one area, ed, if we are aggressive, we can create many millions of jobs rather quickly. second of all, we have got to demand that wall street stop sitting on the huge amounts of money they are and get that money out to the productive economy so small and medium-sized businesses have the capital to expand and also create new jobs. that.
>> is a plan that needs to be discussed. and americans ought to get behind. senator bernie sanders , thanks for joining us tonight. i appreciate it.
>>> coming up, geraldo rivera wants to be new jersey's next senator. we have an exclusive first look at his first campaign ad , next.
>>> and our panel will weigh in on geraldo as well as scott brown 's political future. eugene brown , michael tomasky and michelle goldberg will join me. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. we're