90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Should The Wealthy Worry About Inequality?

Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer says he and his fellow super-rich are killing the goose — the American middle class — that lays the golden eggs.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, right, speaks with Ady Barkan of the Center for Popular Democracy as she arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.  (AP)

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, right, speaks with Ady Barkan of the Center for Popular Democracy as she arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. (AP)

Nick Hanauer is a millionaire many times over.  An entrepreneur.  An investor.  He was one of the first investors in Amazon.com.  Has started more than 30 companies.  Sold just one to Microsoft for $6 billion, cash.  He’s got a pile of fancy homes.  The plane.  The yacht.  His own bank.  And a message for his fellow American super-rich:  If we don’t figure out how to re-balance the wealth in this country and save the middle class, it’s all coming down.  The country.  The plutocracy.  The works.  This hour On Point:  Nick Hanauer, multi-millionaire, and his message for the super-rich.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nick Hanauer, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Co-author, with Eric Lui, of the book “The Gardens of Democracy.” (@NickHanauer)

From Tom’s Reading List

POLITICO Magazine: The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats — “The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

US News & World Report: Census Bureau: The Rich Got Richer — “Overall household wealth declined by $5,046, or 6.8 percent, between 2000 and 2011. But not everyone experienced the decline: While the bottom 60 percent of households saw decreases in their overall net worth, the richest 40 percent saw sizably bigger increases. The ratio of median net worth of the highest 20 percent of households to the second highest 20 percent increased by more than double, a sign the wealthiest Americans became even richer over a little more than a decade.”

Forbes: Nick Hanauer’s Latest Near Insane Economic Plan — “Nick Hanauer has gone public with another stage of his plan for the US economy. Essentially, raise wages for everyone and she’ll be fine. The problem with this is that Hanauer is simply factually wrong in a major example that he uses to bolster his case and then remarkably uninformed about the economics of the situation. So much so that it’s entirely fair of me to call this latest iteration of his plan ‘near insane’, as I did an earlier version of it. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 16, 2014
A still from Amanda Brown's documentary film, "Black Heirlooms." (Courtesy the FIlmmaker)

The documentary “Black Heirlooms,” tells the story of how inheritances, even humble ones, can tear families apart. We talk to the director.

 
Dec 16, 2014
Supermodel Beverly Johnson. (Courtesy Beverly Johnson)

Supermodel Beverly Johnson is the latest woman to accuse Bill Cosby. She joins us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment