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Jorge Castaneda On The U.S. Middle Class45:54
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Mexico’s Jorge Castaneda says the U.S. risks destroying its middle class and becoming more like Latin America has been.

Former Foreign Secretary of Mexico Jorge Castaneda talks with reporters after an appearance before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Washington Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. (AP)
Former Foreign Secretary of Mexico Jorge Castaneda talks with reporters after an appearance before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Washington Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. (AP)

Jorge Casteneda, high-placed son of Mexico, has a warning for the United States.  A warning born of long, bitter experience in Latin America. And this is it:  do not, warns Casteneda, let your middle class die.  The American middle class, he says, has been the envy of Latin America.

Latin America had rich and poor and a canyon between, and all the problems that flow from inequality.  The United States had a proud middle class that brought cohesion and optimism.  Don’t let it go, he says.

This hour, On Point:  former foreign minister of Mexico Jorge Casteneda, and his call to save the American middle class.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jorge Castaneda, a professor of politics and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University, who served as foreign minister of Mexico from 2000 to 2003.

Jacob Hacker, professor of Political Science at Yale University and co-author of “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.”

From Tom's Reading List

The New York Times "IN a Bertelsmann Foundation study on social justice released this fall, the United States came in dead last among the rich countries, with only Greece, Chile, Mexico and Turkey faring worse. Whether in poverty prevention, child poverty, income inequality or health ratings, the United States ranked below countries like Spain and South Korea, not to mention Japan, Germany or France."


CNN
"Where Free Soilers and slaveholders had once done violent battle, where Teddy Roosevelt called for a "New Nationalism," Barack Obama presented this challenge: "(W)hat's at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.""

This program aired on December 14, 2011.

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