tv After Words Chris Hughes Fair Shot CSPAN May 6, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
question about bobby. of text on "after words" facebook cofounder chris hughes discusses plans to reduce poverty by offering working people a guaranteed income interviewed by democratic representative john mayer of virginia. "after words" is a weekly program of philip and guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their
latest works. >> host: welcome to this wonderful book discussion thank you for joining chris hughes and me. let me jump right in. you talk about the color of unrestricted cash transfers to transform the lives of people. i know you can do this slowly but surely that when i ask others about this idea they say why should we trust people of this make the dependent lazy? how do you answer that from your own experience? >> guest: thank you for having me i'm looking forward to having the conversation on this important topic. i think that you know, i wrote the book to make the case i want to ground it in my own personal experience. i grew up in a small town in north carolina at the foot of the appalachian mountains and my mother was a public school teacher and my dad was a traveling paper salesman, very
stable middle class an and in my own life i got financial aid to go to a fancy boarding school and we started facebook in 2004 and rocketship rise of facebook is a pretty well-known story that in my own case i ended up making quite a bit of money at a young age and it forced me to think about what is the most powerful way we can help rebalance the economy so that the plaintiff 1% keep getting so lucky is actually not getting lucky at the expense of everybody else that took me on a journey of looking at the most powerful way to help people get ahead and it turns out the evidence is pretty clear on this point if you provide people with cash no strings attached they invest in themselves, families,
communities and their kids do better in school, health outcomes are better and they work just as much, if not more so i think to answer the question, the reason to empower people with cash is not only to make the case that we can wipe out poverty but also pragmatic that people want to invest in themselves and there's no more efficient way to do that in providing people with the cash to do so. >> host: what do you say to the skeptics have argued to spend m more money on tobacco or alcohol tax is there any research to support or oppose that? >> guest: we know a lot about what people do when they get cash and have an opportunity to invest in themselves. there's quite a lot of studies that show providing people with the resources more often than
not invest in themselves and their families and there will always be one or two people out of 100 who don't use money in the way people would seem responsible for that people don't spend my money on alcohol that they don't smoke anymore in fact the opposite happens when you are ablthey are able to have financial stability is every reason to believe people eat healthier and invest in their families and their health outcomes improve so when people ask the question is everybody just went to spend the money on booze and cigarettes are asking a question that is fundamentally about trust and it's about what we consider to be the right thing to do and the right way to help the poor and there's the sense that we should build more government programs and more regulations to help people do this or that when in reality if we can just ground ourselves in
the data and challenge challengf those fundamental assumptions then i think we would do well but by th either way this is jua sort of left and right kind of issue. the earned income tax credit which is the world's largest cash program decisive 70 billion here in the united states has been supported by people on the left and the right despite the concerns about do people use the money effectively and that is because there is an immense amount of evidence to show that people are responsible with money when they are providing it and it's the most efficient way to lift people out of poverty and provide economic opportunities. every president since gerald ford republican and democrat alike has invested in expanding your income tax credit. there's a good case to be made that there should be a
bipartisan appeal. >> host: wasn't this originally a milton friedman idea among the most conservative economists? >> guest: it came out of the last big debate we had on the a guaranteed income in the united states back in the 60s and early 70s it was widely accepted that it could be the most powerful way to ensure no one lived in poverty in america and the most efficient way economically to provide economic opportunities like dalton friedman who was an early proponent of the idea talked about and wrote about it extensively in that era ended the same time the they one makig the same case from a moral perspective but at the same moment in history richard nixon
supported the idea and even pass the house and it went underground for several decades the earned income tax credit was one of the policies that came out of that so it was a stepping stone that has been expanded. so now we having a moment in a new opportunity to do that the changing nature of work when it is at a historical level and he would do well to ground that conversation in a conversation about how cash can be the most powerful way to combat and provide economic opportunity. >> host: how do you address the irony that mcnulty becomes
the head of the office of management and budget suggests instead of making food stamps relatively unrestricted we should ship people boxed meals. is this moving directly the opposite direction? >> i agree i think that would be a move in the wrong direction. i think that ironically that kind of outlook that would drive somebody to design a boxed meals rather than provide people with cash is a kind of paternalistic view of the government which ironically on the right many people particularly on the libertarian right have been skeptical of for a very long time so any kind of movement to tell people what to spend the money on the war even do cynical moves the benefits that exist today to the work requirements
as a way to throw people off are moving in the wrong direction but i think it is a part of the pattern of economic thinking that comes from this administration that is more focused on doubling down on the triple down economics which the past 40 years have created record profits for countries to meet with companies that kept median wages flat while the cost of living has increased. instead of working on that problem they are doubling down on the fury and corporations today are very happy about it. the stock market is near a record high and it's my view that may feel good to some in the short-term but it's a sugar high. the bubble is going to burst and
what's more from an ethical perspective the idea that we should be cutting away some corporations and telling people specifically what they should be eating both of those things seem fundamentally out of line with where the country is today politically and in the long-term value that we want to share expecting the dignity of everyone to make their own choices and responsibility to ensure america to become no one in america in 2018 lives in poverty. >> host: tell me the original proposal in your book was $500 per month for families making less than 50,000 a year. so 6,000 a year. how many people would be lifted out of poverty through this and how many would receive payments? what is the overall structure?
>> where we want to go in the long term is income that ensures nobody in america is in poverty so a lot of people too talk abot the universal basic income as that big idea and there's a lot of ways to slice and dice it and a robust debate. to create the first major step towards the eradication of poverty. to take the earned income tax credit and expanded in size and make it easy to understand the gravity that makes less than $50,000 in the united states is working in some way for their families or communities to
benefit for the income of $500 a month every month per adult. those who very much need not only a post to the bottom line is the kind of stability to count on the $500 a month in the background so it is i think a powerful way to begin the work to establish an income that could potentially be even bigger but in the here and now today to me this is a place we don't have to worry about or talk about where the robots are kind of jobs. we know that this kind of policy
could be massively impactful in the here and now. >> host: talk abou about that .-full-stop the idea that they know how to solve their own problems. there is a sense in the country particularly among the elites on the left and right that we can engineer the progress we want to see. and i became pretty skeptical of that myself the way that i became skeptical of it was from the perspective of philanthropy to the end so faced with public and my husband and i made a commitment to give the vast majority of the wealth over the course of our lifetime and yet i'm taking on that challenge we
begin to look at all the nonprofits that are out there we doing good work. over the course of several years highlighting a couple of moments in the journey of the book where i spent time with one nonprofits working in africa to try to engineer progress so this idea was if he could just invest enough in education and healthcare and roads, sanitation, fertilizer, agricultural training, just all these different benefits and build all the administration and bureaucracy around all of a sudden we could lift everyone out of extreme poverty and on a trip to visit some of the
villages i became pretty skeptical pretty fast. we went on a walk and this was on a village we went into some dormitories that had been built to house students and there wasn't really anything in the dormitories, sheets on the bed's, pencils and books into the kind of things you'd expect kids to have and it felt a little wrong. we went to the health clinic and it also is very clean and orderly just no one was using it.
this. is. to petition the government to push out the nonprofit that was administering this. i mentioned this story because it is indicative of the idea to engineer progress and that is a direct contrast to the idea that we can use cash to enable the beneficiaries themselves to choose what they want and to invest in themselves to create their own lives and stories and so another nonprofit i got involved with that of the
different approach provided cash, no strings attached and what's more an independent group ran a trial to measure the impact. they found results that are in line with hundreds of studies that show dollar for dollar, cash is one of the most if not the most effective policy that is out there. so i think in the united states context right now there's a big question about who do we trust more to who should we invest in at this moment in time more complex government programs that lecture the poor on how to spend their money and how to behave etc. or the poor and those in
the middle class that haven't habut haven't hada raise in dece know when provided with cash and invest in themselves and their families and this is a big debate i don't want to oversimplify this goes to the core of who we want to be as a country but i think that it's time we had a conversation that puts the emphasis on what we know already about how people use money and bring more people to the place they feel they can trust in one another to be the masters of their own destiny. >> host: in your book i was fascinated by the examples he pointed out around the world of people trying this, but there's one close to home. there is a state that had an unrestricted cash transfer for a while. which state and how has that
worked out? >> guest: up in alaska, they have a small kind of guaranteed income and the story behind the dividend is in some ways unexpected so a republican governor back in the 70s when alaska was enjoying a huge amount of economic abundance decided he would place a small royalty on oil and gas companies and they would pay a few percentage points of their profits into a college fund every year and it would distribute 2.5% in the dividend checks to every man, woman and child and the idea was put up for a referendum and passed overwhelmingly so for the past
30 plus years, every 700,000 americans have benefited from the permanent fund $1,500 every year that comes in october and if you are a family of four you are getting a check for $6,000 every four which is a meaningful amount of money. it's not so much people can put up your feet and play video games or drop out of the workforce but it is enough to help people make ends meet, just a little more easily so some of my coffee and i were in alaska last fall talking about with a do with the dividend and empirical research about what people do and it backs up the stories we heard of people using it to cover a month or two of rent.
some folks were using it to prepare for the winter to buy heating fuel and others are saving for their college education. upper middlupper-middle-class wt to fund a vacation in january, february when it's pretty bleak and cold up there. the biggest learning i think we can take away from the fund and how it is used is not only do people love it because it provides them with a little bit of breathing room but it's also one of the powerful factors to the deck against the poverty rate in alaska to lower their rates significantly and to contribute to the fact alaska is the most equal state in the united states of america and i
think there's a lot we can learn from that. and the idea that people when you go to alaska this is the welfare, it isn't a handout from its something that each benefits from and can use as they see fit. we know culturally that it is possible to create this income with security to have it be massively popular and effective. and i think it's great for how we could create a kind of alaska for america. she did not end up advancing it in the book she made the case that it is one of the small set of ideas she wished she had gotten more about because of the boldness and the power of it to
combat poverty and provide mobility to the middle class. >> host: how do you argue that it's not a small idea that we struggle so much on capitol hill help to overcome income inequality. we realize now as you write about to takread aboutto take te inequality is the largest it's been since the market crashing 1821829 something very much in e wrong direction. your example shows that this guaranteed income may be the single biggest step we can take towards creating income inequality without the massive other changes in the structure. thanks for pointing that out. alaska is dead last with at first in terms of its income quality. >> guest: i think that's right and it's important to say that cash is not a silver bullet. i wouldn't want you or any of
the viewers to think that i'm sitting here saying that's going to solve all of our problems. i think that we need good schools, we need a healthcare system that provides affordable accessible health care to all americans. we've got to think about smart skill building and training. however we jump to these systemic solutions first and we noticed that sometimes the best solution is the simplest. and so i think we would do well to think about cash and the creation of the income, the kind of guaranteed income in america in conjunction with other benefits not instead of them, but i do truly believe that it could be the most powerful tool in the toolbox to accomplish the goals i think you and i share.
>> host: in a book of fascinating ideas i want to read one on page 155 where you see small amounts of regular cash produced a feeling of living on the brink of which research unsurprisingly shows causes immense amounts of stress and poor decision-making. you talk about the ted talk people are not poor because they make bad decisions, they make bad decisions because they are poor. can you expand on that idea? >> guest: as you mentioned there'there is a whole body of psychological research that suggests plan people fuel and live in scarcity and they are on the brink with a limited amount of resources and they don't know how they are going to be able to make ends meet, it makes them
more stressed so one study that is indicative of a whole set of others was done in a mall in new jersey. you ask people what would you do if you had your car break down and the cost of repairing the car is $300 so they asked these groups of people, wealthy people are middle-class people and poor people that question and immediately after words have them do an iq test and unsurprisingly they had th havee same iq even after being asked this question with what you do if your cawith your car broke dt would cost $300 to fix it. immediately after they said okay what would you do if it cost
$3,000 to fix it and they then had each group take another iq test. what's useful is in the second scenario than middle-class people, the folks with financial security could just as well as they did five or ten minutes before. the group that was moving closer to the edge of solve their iq points drop by about 12 points which to give some context which is about what you see when you test people after they've pulled an all nighter so what that demonstrates. when it's from financial security and you begin to ask people to think about how will you be able to cover a kind of
cost you cannot cover it introduces a whole new level of stress and distraction that when they then move on to other tasks that doesn't just immediately go away, it stays in place so if we then zoom out and think about what's going on in america, we know half can't find $400 in the case of an emergency like a car breaking down or a healthcare emergency. half of americans which as many people in the middle class not just the poor are living on the brink. so when we talk about the stress that comes with it is a human cost and there's also an economic cost because they are constantly thinking about how they will be able to make ends meet. so the power of a guaranteed
income isn't just to combat income inequality as you mentioned that is at record levels, it's also to create a semblance of stability. $500 a month but you know what is going to arrive in your bank account every month by direct deposit or by debit card that you know you can rely on and back stability is as important particularly with the changing chair of work into his income inequality the guaranteed income but also combat. >> host: so we are talking about giving this to people that are working. what about folks that can't work because they are staying home taking care of an elderly parent or they are raising kids what they have a disabled brother or sister they are taking care of. how do you deal with those folks
clicks >> guest: i have a whole chapter in the book dedicated to this we need to expand the definition of work that you and many other people in government use and connect it and working e the family, most americans work, similarly you have an aging parent if you are involved in elderly care and you are at home taking care of your parents that he iis in my view work. stephen ..
they are disability and if it's for much of his life. he could not have survived without social security disability. those kinds of benefits need to be supported, reinforced and expanded and not cashed in to pay for any of the other guaranteed income. it's only when those things work in concert with one another can we create to security and financial stability for every single american. i think that's a key value of
how the guaranteed income should work and it's important to know. i very strongly believe this should be added and built on top of the existing benefit so that we can make sure everyone in america is provided for. >> when our children were young and my wife was staying home, she pointed out she was working much harder than she was working in the outside world. the unfairness of the homemakers, the people who are rarin rearing children, not having any social security contribution has always bugged me. i look at the difference between what i get what she gets at the end of our career and it's very unfair and very different. >> it structurally disadvantages women and people of color who are those most likely to be in those roles.
those are groups we've often overlooked with social policy. the idea that we have to ask a mother of kids to go leave her kids and take on all the childcare expenses to go work at burger king in order to qualify to be doing real work in order to qualify for many benefits. i just think that stated. i think it's indicative, it's prescribing behavior to people than what we want is to recognize the words that's already happening ensuring that we can make good on the promise that if you're doing something for your family or your community you shouldn't live in poverty. >> estimate numbers you talked about, lifting 20 million people directly out of poverty, affecting 60 million overall, those include those
homemakers, the caretakers. >> yes. >> one of the fascinating statistics in your book was that black mothers have a 76% have a 76 work force participation rate and men only 62%. that's against the popular myth. >> i think there is this pervasive myth of this class of people who just want to not work and that's left over from the reagan area but we should be clear that many bought into that frame. i think that's just fundamentally wrong. the data shows if you
highlight workforce participation is lowest among white men who historically we viewed as being the hard-working folks who are headed out to the factories every day. those of the folks were working the least today and there are big questions about why that is and i think a guaranteed income would invest in many of the folks who are suffering from the structural changes in our economy today but it's so key for us to understand that the myth is out there.
>> there may not be any research on this yet and i didn't see it directly addressed in your book, but we are all very familiar with the opioid crisis and 60 or 70000 lives that it took last year in america. it's the same folks that are living on the brink that are most affected by the opioid crisis. can you speculate about the impact this would have heard. it has no magical solution. i think that's why as a country in a culture with should spend time paying attention to what's happening. only thing about what's causing it, the growth in prescription painkillers, some of the unfortunate innovations in drug delivery that came out
of the past 15 decades, cell phones making it easy for people to access drugs more conveniently, and the fact that a lot of the country is suffering from the industrialization and that particularly in many of the areas that are the hardest hit by the opioid crisis. i think that there are a lot of very smart people talking about what are the solutions to that problem, everything from reforming prescription painkillers to substance abuse clinics, et cetera. i do also think that we need to provide economic opportunity to the individuals who want to work. it is effectively, in my view, every american. the issue is, in many of these
communities where there is industrialization, there's the idea that people should just take care of themselves and it just doesn't line up with the expense of a comparable give you an example. last summer i was in ohio talking to a young woman who was the mother of a couple kids, she had a job in retail, and i asked any questions, but one of which was do you want to go back and get retrained for another job and what she said to me was of course but let's talk about how i'm going to do that. i said okay and she said the local community college where those classes are his 45 minutes away. it's just outside of youngstown in ohio and the
campus was about 45 minutes away. the cost of the annual tuition was $8000. she could get financial aid and by her rough estimate it would cost about a thousand dollars to enroll for a year. then we got onto the logistics of how she can be able to go to these classes, classes meet every tuesday and thursday at 10:00 a.m. or monday wednesday friday at 7:00 p.m., but she has to get into a job where she's going to be able to tell her boss i need off every tuesday and thursday morning and i need you to schedule around me, which anybody who's familiar with scheduling, particularly in the low-wage retail sector, workers don't have any idea how many hours are going to get this week or next week, let alone specifically which days are going to need to work. in addition to all that, the
cost of childcare to cover her children for when she's in class and the gas money to get there and get back, not to mention the lost wages from the time itself. the point is, there aren't so many barriers that we should give up, the point is we could have the most incredible education system ever. we could have fantastic programs at that local community college, but if people don't have the basic foundation of financial stability to be able to pay a babysitter, to be able to have negotiating power to get into a job where there is some predictability around the shifts, to be able to afford the lost hours, then they're not able to take advantage of many of these opportunities. i think it's so critical when
we talk about all of the reasons that the opioid crisis has happened in all the economic mobility solutions that many people, that we don't lose sight of the fundamental lack of financial security that people need to be able to take advantage of many of those opportunities in the first place. >> chris, so far we've talked all about the good this guaranteed income would do him a but where's the money come from? we pay for this? in a federal budget that's already very upside down. >> think there are a lot of ways to finance a guaranteed income. my view is that the clearest way is to ask those who have done the best in the new economy to pay their fair share and that is people like me.
specifically, to bring tax rates on income above 250,000 back up to where they were historically, at 50%, and close some of the most egregiously poles in our tax code that allow people like warren buffett to pay a lower tax rate than his executive assistant. if we do those two things i think would bring balance back into the tax system overall and it would raise revenue to be able to lift 20 million people out of poverty overnight. the tax rates of that level are what we had for the decades following the second world war when we had immense economic growth and that economic growth was broadly shared. we had broad-based prosperity
so for me this is not about pitch forks coming for the rich, it's about what we know one another. i think we should all invest in an america to provide economic opportunity to all americans, and what's happening right now in our economy because of the way we structure it, it just becomes egregiously unfair and the gains are consistently going to the top 1% into the top .1% rather than to everyone else. this is bringing it back into line. you mentioned the upside down tax cut that we have, the cost of what i'm talking about, over the next decade is just a little bit more than the cost of the trump tax reform bill that was passed at the end of last year. so, anybody who's out there who thanks this is like such a
far-fetched idea, that it's far too expensive, i think the question really is what are our priorities of the country. it's so easy to think about one and a half trillion or $2 trillion tax cut on corporations, why can't we think about that when it comes to working people. i very much think that we should and it is doable. it is expensive, to be clear, and i think it would be a very meaningful change in how the tax code is structured, but i think it's the movements repeal and replace last year's bill gross and we move into 2021, hopefully we can see opportunities to do something. >> i've been very impressed with the idea that the people living in poverty, the people on the edge would be the beneficiaries of this $500 a month are likely to spend
almost all of it. it's a very high margin to spend and consume more as people at the top 1% are not. you would think from a dynamic scoring perspective, the economy would grow more quickly or more robustly. >> there some research that suggests that. the roosevelt institute did a study last year that modeled out what would happen if we created a guaranteed income of about $500 for every american finance through progressive taxation. what they found is it would boost overall economic output, it would boost gdp by about 7% over the next eight years. nearly a point of extra gdp growth. year. the reason that wasn't all that surprising to a lot of economists was because exactly what you mentioned, you give
an extra $500 to family struggling to make ends meet and they're going to invest that money in housing, healthcare, childcare costs, whatever is the most urgent need they have. you give a guy like me next to $500, i'm in a put that in the bank. i may spend a couple dollars, but it's not going to be used in the productive economy, and given that our economy is driven by consumer spending, for the most part, spurring consumer spending with a guaranteed income would create meaningful economic growth and i think it's worthwhile to say that anybody who thanks about how that would affect the wealthy with all the new taxes, the economic growth is good for everybody. it's good for the middle class and the poor and it's good for the wealthy as well. >> chris, you put your finger on what is one of the more effective and true criticisms of the trump tax reform and that is that they were saying
hey, were the cut corporate tax rates from 39 down to 21 will cause the economy to grow faster but in fact what were seeing happening is are spending more than 80% of that on stock buybacks and dividends so the money is going to exactly the people who are going to spend it. and put it in the bank. >> that's exactly right. >> the effects are pretty clear, your political approach, the wall street journal have a series of pieces covering the fact that the corporate tax cuts, at least thus far are going into r&d and outside of some symbolic small wage increases, do not seem to be, at least so far, going into raising wages. they're going into stock buyback and dividends and a small group of americans own a
lot of stock, and those are the folks who are benefiting disproportionately and that's going to reinforce the income inequality that we have and make it worse. >> is an old employer trick that you give your play a 1000 hour bonus and is done for me too three about it next year or the year after year after. it's not an ongoing thing. >> chris, you laid out three principles for guaranteed payment. one was regularity that you get it every month. the second was expanded definition of work including students and stay-at-home moms and dads and those who care for elderly but the third was overcoming complexity. one of the challenges we've had with earned income tax credit through the years as people don't know how to apply for, they don't really know what it is, it sounds complicated, how do you address the complexity piece. >> i think it's a large issue with the current structure.
i was in detroit last spring and had a conversation with folks who are struggling to make ends meet and there is a moderator and the facilitator asked questions, what have you benefit from the earned income tax credit. you go around the group and people were confused. one of the criteria that they used to bring the group together was income level. the facilitator a new several people in this group were likely. [inaudible] do any of you get a check in the spring after you file taxes. several people in a group say oh yeah, i get that. one woman in particular said i
got that last year. she was in her 20s, she was a waitress. she said she got that check last year. you may mistake. you sent me a check for $1500 and i just want to let you know because i can't be depositing this money in my account. this was an earned income credit and you earned it on your taxes and it's your money to spend. she said okay. she bought school supplies for her kid, she paid a month's rent in advance or she had a little bit more security and she was good to go. the follow-up question was, do you think you will get that next year? she said i have no idea.
it's true that many people have no idea because the current structure depends on so many different factors, how much money you made this year, how many kids you have, whether or not you're married, what that state, there are so many different factors that it's not a predictable source of securit security. i think the power of an expanded earned income tax credit is in the stability and security of knowing, that every month you're going to get $500 as long as you're working in some way to take care of your family or your community and you're going to be able to rely on that consistently. it's a flat amount so you know much it is and it comes every month like clockwork. as we think about modernized
income tax credit, i think the key is to adapt it to the instability that has become synonymous with the modern economy for so many people to make sure it has the real effect that people want. >> people don't need to apply for, it will be more automatic from the previous year. >> i think there's a lot of policy details like what's the form like, right now it's extremely complex and we know the most critical pieces of data already on the tax reform. another big policy detail is exactly how do you phase it out. with any social policy you don't want to create some kind of cliff where people only want to make $49000 and not go dollar over. there are really important policy designs and decisions
that the experts that i worked with to form a lot of the big picture designs are anxious to work on. we need to go even deeper but these are the kinds of problems that we can figure out. it's the political will to say we can be the generation that ends poverty in america and we can use cash as the way to do it. >> on the political will, do you have sponsors in the u.s. senate or the u.s. house, is there a champion for this plan? >> there's a lot of people interested and we would love it.
there are a lot of people who are intrigued, a lot of people who really understand the power of cash and the stability, there's people like the congressman who are leading the way with the big proposal of the earned income tax credit, however were seeing a lot of momentum, little bit closer in the levels of government. the mayor of california is this one name name michael, he's the youngest mayor of the city in the united states and it's a challenge city. it's 300 people who live there under different leadership and
he decided that stockton will be the first city to demonstrate the power of a guaranteed income. they are working with him and with a group called stockton demonstration to pilot the idea and provide with a guaranteed income. i think it's an opportunity to bring more attention to the issue and build the momentum so there is a sense that this is doable. there'll be more these conversations around what are the big ideas when it comes to
income inequality. i very much hope the idea of a guarantee will be at the center of that debate. >> i have about two minutes left. i want to take a couple seconds to read one paragraph from your book in which you quote doctor king who in just a week or so we will celebrate and remember the 50th anniversary of his death. doctor king wrote in his final book that the dignity will flourish when the concerns are in his own hands. and they have the assurance that his income is stable and certain and when he knows he has the need to's seek self-improvement. sounds like your book and your ideas fulfill this vision very well. >> i was certainly inspired by the writings of doctor king. in many ways that passage that you read in many of his other speeches became almost scripture to me in this work
over the past few years because he talked extensively about how too do their guaranteed income but at the end of the day he is making a moral case, the case that no one in america should live in poverty and that cash is the clearest way to respect the fundamental dignity and provide his or her freedom to figure out what kind of lives they want to lead. doctor king read on this and the sermon he gave just before he was assassinated was on many of these same things at the national cathedral in washington, the challenge i will say is that when he wrote those words, 40 million americans lived in poverty and
now 50 years later, 40 million americans live in poverty. it's a stark reminder that the work that he began and led continues and we need as broad and diverse coalition of people as possible to rise up to say we are going to be the generation that takes us on and that for once and for all ensures that no one in america lives in poverty. it's a big idea and it may take another 50 years and hopefully it doesn't, but i think we have to roll up our sleeves and continue the fight. >> thank you very much for sharing many of the most important ideas in your book, you have certainly challenged
this boldly to continue to fulfill the vision of doctor king and many others. >> all of you are watching tonight, thank you for watching. go by his book and read it carefully. thank you chris. >> cspan, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, cspan was created as a public service by america's cable television company. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington d.c. and around the country. cspan is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> book tv is on twitter and facebook.
we want to hear from you. tweet us at twitter.com/book tv. or poster, on our facebook page. >> all right. good afternoon everyone. thank you so much for coming out to politics and prose. had my name is jenny. on behalf of the staff and owners, welcome to our store. we are excited to welcome eileen to talk about her new book, just a couple housekeeping notes, if we could all take a second to silence our phones, that would