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BILL MOYERS: While Republicans are still fighting the culture wars primary by primary, and caucus by caucus, President Obama is campaigning rather feverishly to win back the votes of the Millennials. Who are they? Well, the Millennials are the generation of young Americans born roughly between the years of 1978 and 2000. They are coming now to political maturity.

Two-thirds of Millennials voted for Obama in 2008, but a new Harvard study shows that in the last two years his approval rating among them has dropped 12 points. That's enough to decide a close election in November. And that may be why the President recently threatened to cut federal aid to schools that, quote, “jack up tuition.” Many of the Millennials are coming out of college with big loans to repay.

Yet another study describes their enthusiasm for him as “substantially depleted” so his reelection campaign has been wooing them recently through what Obama himself calls this “new fangled” thing, social media.

This week, we’re going to talk with one the Millennials’ most thoughtful advocates. Her name is Heather McGhee. Listen.

HEATHER McGHEE: I turned 30 last year which puts me at the very start of the Millennial generation. And we are known for our sense of entrepreneurship, our volunteerism our tolerance of diversity and for being the first generation in American history to not do better than their parents. And that was clear before the Wall Street banks crashed the economy and left our generation to graduate into the worst job market since the Great Depression.

BILL MOYERS: As we’ve been reporting in our series on winner-take-all politics, the Millennials grew up in the years when crony capitalists and powerful officials in Washington rewrote the rules of the economic game to favor the relative few at the top over everyone else. That collusion brought devastating results, from the financial crash four years ago, to the greatest inequality in America since the great depression of the 1930’s. Our economy stopped working for everyday Americans.

So this generation of young people faces a stacked deck. They will find it tough to make their way to the middle class. And as you heard Heather McGhee say, Millennials are the first generation not-likely to do better than the one that came before them.

There are 80 plus million of them, 60 percent are white, 14 percent black, 19 percent Latino, five percent Asian, and a smattering of others. Here is something of what they’re up against:

Unemployment among our youngest adults is almost twice the national average. 25 to 34 year-old male high school graduates are earning 25 percent less than they earned in 1980. Almost 40 percent of young adults say their personal debt increased in the last four years, a lot of that directly related to student loans.

Back in 1980, college tuition averaged three thousand dollars, adjusted for inflation. Today that average has almost tripled.

Back then, pell grants covered more than two-thirds of the cost for low income students. Today it’s down to just over one-third. And those who graduate are in debt an average of 25 thousand dollars.

And yet, despite the dire statistics, almost 80 percent of young people say they still believe in the American dream. That’s true across race and ethnicity. Hope, fortunately, springs eternal.

Heather McGhee graduated from Yale and the law school of the University of California at Berkeley. She now runs the Washington office of the research and advocacy group Dēmos. She was active in fighting for financial reform in Congress after the crash of '08 and for new measures to protect consumers.

Heather McGhee, welcome.

HEATHER McGHEE: Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: You know, the facts and figures paint a very dismal picture of your generation. But let me ask you this. Is it something of a myth, this upward mobility in American life? Because I could take you to the hollows of West Virginia, to the back streets of our big cities, to small towns throughout the country, where poor kids never got up and out.

HEATHER McGHEE: Absolutely. I mean, I think it's a myth that every kid is going to have that opportunity. And that's one of the great myths that's been quite destructive, actually, to our willingness as a country to make sure that there are those ladders of opportunity in place, through policies like universal education, child care, and early child care and development.

But the truth has been that over the course of our history, every generation as a whole has done better financially. And in fact, up until a few generations ago, has been able to do better financially by working even less, by being more productive and having more time for home life and for civic life.

BILL MOYERS You know, other generations have faced severe problems. They've experienced depression, recession, war. What makes this different?

HEATHER McGHEE: I think what's different about this generation is that all of the external changes that happened, globalization, technological change, the information age. All of that happened, and yet it happened at a time when we lost our social contract. So America could have weathered all of the economic storms that happened over the course of our lifetimes in a much better way that did not decimate the middle class, if we had a social contract in this country. If we had not, at the same time, decided that, in fact, the economy would work better if everybody was on their own. So that's what's different.

BILL MOYERS: Well, do you and your peers get together and say, 'What hit us?'

HEATHER McGHEE: Most of my friends, who are not political and don't have an economics background, who are starting out their lives right now, having children, getting a house don’t even think about the fact that these are common problems that could have public solutions. They don't think there could be financial aid for childcare. They don't think that health care could be portable and go with them and be guaranteed.

They don't think that there could be a pension that is more solid and durable than a 401(k). That's actually been sort of the most pernicious effect of the Reagan revolution is to take the horizon of public policy solutions that could really help people sort of off the radar entirely.

BILL MOYERS: But if your peers, don't think they have a problem, do they have a problem?

HEATHER McGHEE: They know that they have the problems. They just don't know that there could be public solutions.

I think that's one of the major projects that we have to do is really to create a generational comparison. Where we say, for example, 'My generation-- my grandparents were able to go to college, go to higher education, have a middle class life, save for the future, retire comfortably because of public investments that were made, like the G.I. Bill, because of the federal highway system, because of the retirement system that labor and union jobs were able to provide.'

BILL MOYERS: How did you get a start? What were your-- who were your parents? What did they do?

HEATHER McGHEE: I'm the descendent of American slaves. I'm from the South -- Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana. My grandparents and great-grandparents moved up to work in the steel mills of Chicago.

My grandmother and grandfather both had public sector jobs at a time when there was rampant discrimination in the private sector. They became, you know, leaders in the police force in Chicago, a social worker in the Chicago public schools. And they were able to retire comfortably. And they were able to help my parents out. And my parents were able, in turn, to help me out. But the idea that I'm going to be able to do that for my children, given the amount of debt that I have is something that I think I've just had to let go of.

BILL MOYERS: Well, that's what can happen in the public sector. That the public sector over the last 50 years has created a very large middle class for people who would otherwise never have gotten into it. And now with the assault on public unions and public sector, that ladder's being taken down, right?

HEATHER McGHEE: Absolutely. It's been so shocking to see the demonization of public servants. It's really part of this 40-year attack on the public. And I think the fact that we're seeing right now that teachers, public janitors, school workers, bus drivers, cops, firefighters are the new welfare queens in our public life.

I mean, really they are. I mean, if you think about the stereotype that's being trafficked right now. They're talking about these lazy, you know, bloated pensions that are just, you know, cheating the system. I mean, that's the welfare queens of the 1980s. And what has been-- what's the same between the welfare queen and this image of the postal worker who doesn't really deserve the benefits they're getting? These old shop worn stereotypes of race and gender.

BILL MOYERS: Does it seem to you that inequality is sort of the bequest your generation has been handed.

HEATHER McGHEE: Absolutely. I mean, our generation is, you know, the most diverse generation in American history. Half of young people under 18 are children of color. But we are also the generation that is experiencing this record inequality, inequality in our economy and inequality in our democracy.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean inequality in democracy?

HEATHER McGHEE: Well, let's take, for example, the fact that since I was born, there's an entirely new industry that didn't used to exist. That of corporate lobbyists, for which there are now 24 for every member of congress.

I mean, if you think about who people in congress spend their time with, who they listen to, who they spend one out of every three minutes that they're in office fundraising around, it is people in the top one percent. It is their lobbyists. It is the corporate CEOs. And so much of the policy decisions, whether they are the decision to keep the minimum wage low.

I mean, if we-- the minimum wage was at its peak in 1968 and has lost nearly half of its purchasing power. I mean, just think of that one policy decision that is a number one target for the Chamber of Commerce, year after year, to make sure that the minimum wage stays low. That absolutely benefits people who are invested in big corporations and the executives of big corporations. But the American worker has seen their buying power erode and erode.

BILL MOYERS: So is this what you meant in that speech when you said that what has happened to your generation was the consequence of a social experiment? Is that what you mean?

HEATHER McGHEE: Yeah, it's been a really grand experiment that has-- in, sort of, neo-liberal economics, the trickle-down experiment. The experiment that said that, in fact, the best way that we can shape our economy is to make sure that the most gains are amassed and kept at the very top. And then that somehow those would trickle down.

That's been an experiment. It's been-- it was a theory that was tested. My generation were the guinea pigs. And that experiment has absolutely failed if the aim was to produce greater prosperity for America. That means American people. If the aim was to actually stop at the top and just create greater corporate profits and greater G.D.P. growth, then it's been a success. But I think most Americans would not have bought in to that kind of experiment.

BILL MOYERS: I read just the other day that only 29 percent of Americans have college degrees. Is college still a way up and out?

HEATHER McGHEE: It is. And you would think-- I mean, this is one of those great ironies. At the same time that we had the globalization, the transfer from the industrial age to the information age, and so the premium on higher education became so high. At the same time that we decided to reorder our economy so that those with information and with knowledge would be able to gallop ahead, we also made it less affordable and more difficult for people to get that new golden ticket to a middle class life.

It doesn't make any sense. At around that same time, around when I was born, we shifted our federal support for higher education. It used to be the majority of it was grants, grants like the G.I. Bill that put my grandparents to college, grants like my parents had, to loans, which is what the majority of my generation is now taking on in order to basically pay government and the banks for the privilege of having a middle class life.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, what does it say that many of you have to pay Wall Street to go to college today?

HEATHER McGHEE: It's amazing, isn't it? And not only do we have to do that, but particularly with these private loans, which are just galloping, galloping away, in terms of how quickly they're becoming a share of the market, it's like 18 percent interest on some of these private loans. It's like putting your $10,000 tuition on a high-interest credit card.

And if you think about that, if you think about the fact that the next generation has to pay an 18 percent interest rate to get a college education, whereas the very banks and financial companies that they're paying that interest to are getting basically a zero interest loan from the government every day, it's shocking.

BILL MOYERS: We have a video clip of a young man who's speaking at a rally objecting to tuition increases. Let's take a look at it.

PROTESTER: Me myself, I’m in debt $70,000 and when do I expect to be free of this? Possibly never. I actually got a letter from Sallie Mae, saying that if I don’t start paying today, $900 a month, they are going to have more aggressive attempts at collecting my debt […] And so I refuse to pay this student debt, for this ball and chain that will follow me the rest of my life. And so I’m going to burn this right here and now.

BILL MOYERS: How do you respond to that?

HEATHER McGHEE: Honestly, it really does breaks my heart, Bill. If you think about what young people are facing when they know that they have to play by the rules, go to college, get a good education. And yet, they know that the price of that is going to be tens of thousands of dollars of debt on the other end, what options are young people supposed to have? I really don't think that we can say as a country that we are a middle class nation, that we care about recreating a middle class for the future generation, and have an entire generation indebted. And have so much money diverted from more productive uses in the economy simply to pay off loans from a really flawed financial aid system.

BILL MOYERS: He quoted a letter from Sallie Mae. For the benefit of my audience, who's Sallie Mae?

HEATHER McGHEE: Sallie Mae, other than being one of the most profligate contributors to Washington and one of the biggest lobbies, is a massive financial company that is, their entire business model is on student loans, private and federally subsidized.

BILL MOYERS: As you know, the Obama Administration tried to do something to clean up that student loan business, and got a piece of legislation through that was promising. But then lobbyists from the industry, including many who belong to the Democratic Party swarmed all over it, and have, in effect, throttled it. What does that say to you?

HEATHER McGHEE: It says that the financial industry is an equal opportunity employer of Congress people, unfortunately. We've really seen an incredible explosion in the amount of financial contributions from the financial sector, including Sallie Mae, Wall Street banks, real estate, insurance over just the period of my lifetime. And the result has been that any time there are any kinds of steps forward, there's always a desire to sort of erode the progress.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, you're sympathetic to that young man and to all of them like him. But do you think refusing to pay is a solution?

HEATHER McGHEE: You know, I think the right solution would be for us to undo what Sallie Mae and other lenders got slipped into that terrible 2005 bankruptcy bill. Which is that private student loans and student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. I mean, think about it, bankruptcy, which, you know, huge, multi-billion dollar corporations are-- seem to be filing every day and move on, just as if nothing happened.

And yet, regular, middle class families, the average American family, the two most important loans in their life, the two most onerous loans in their life, for education and for their primary residence, they can't be relieved of in bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy code says to the American people, "You don't have any second chance when it comes to those two major primary loans." We're just making people give up so early on, because it's impossible to get out from under debt like that.

BILL MOYERS: What's the answer to the high cost of college and the loans that kids have to take out?

HEATHER McGHEE: Yeah. We need to fundamentally shift back to a system of grants, not loans. I mean, we cannot indenture a generation just to pay for the ticket to the middle-- to a middle class life. But we also need to do something for people who are not going to get bachelor's degrees, which are still-- it's not the majority of young people who have a college degree.

So I think we need to raise the wage floor. We absolutely have to get back to a place of embracing unions in this country. And we have--

BILL MOYERS: Why?

HEATHER McGHEE: Because unions created the middle class in this country. Because the jobs that were the steelworker jobs that so many of the people in my family had weren't good jobs. They were made into good jobs, because the people who were working those jobs had a voice on the shop floor, and had some power when it came to setting their wages. Which makes all of the sense in the world. That the people baking the pie should be the ones who get to have a decent slice of it.

BILL MOYERS: What are the racial dimensions of this? I just read the other day that 30 percent of all young African Americans below 24 are out of work?

HEATHER McGHEE: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that this is what I think is, in a way, the great unspoken disaster of our lifetime. When we saw the rapid de-industrialization of our cities, where we saw the jobs that used to be able to create decent working and middle class lifestyles for people who went to work every day, but didn't have a college degree. When we had that deindustrialization from the inner cities, who greatly, greatly was damaged by that economic policy, essentially, were particularly people who were trapped in inner cities.

And that generally speaking throughout our history, people as economic flows have changed, people have been free to move and follow jobs. But because race is so pernicious, because segregation is still very real, because of the redlining by the F.H.A. that went straight in through the 1980s, we did not see that flow. And then we haven't seen the kind of commitment to evening out the pockets of privation in our country. That we need to see in order for us to have a strong middle class that's diverse and that looks like America.

BILL MOYERS: How do you have a new social contract if we don't have a sense of community?

HEATHER McGHEE: I think that is the great question of our time. Because if you look at this sort of hostility and anxiety around public solutions, at its root, it's anxiety around who the public is. And I think that that's happened, because of the real explosion in diversity.

But I think it's something that there is an answer to. It takes leadership. I mean, you have to think about the same system that allows people based on their physical appearance to be valued so differently, to create this hierarchy, is at its root, in terms of cognitively, the same system that allows, for example, the CEO of Walmart, who makes about $16,000 an hour. Whereas his coworker, the associate on the shop floor, makes about seven dollars an hour. And then the woman or man in Malaysia or India, who actually is making the product on the shelves makes pennies an hour.

And yet, they're all in the same enterprise. You have to think about what that says to us as people, when we value the labor of three people who are in the same enterprise, essentially, so differently. I mean, when you and I walk into a store and we see a phone on the shelves. And one is $30 and one is $300, what do we decide about the more expensive one? That it's better.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, automatically, right?

HEATHER McGHEE: Automatically.

BILL MOYERS: Something about it.

HEATHER McGHEE: Exactly. If it's more expensive, it's better. And the logic of applying that same logic to human beings, which we do all the time in this free market with no fundamental values of human dignity is really dangerous. But it's the same kind of logic that leads us to have racial hierarchies and gender hierarchies, as well.

BILL MOYERS: Which leads me to a political question. In 2008, millennial, your generation, voted for Obama by a 34 point margin compared to a nine-point margin, four years earlier, for John Kerry. I mean, they came out -- you came out, your generation, and were a decisive, if not the decisive factor in Obama's margin. Will your generation come out for Obama again?

HEATHER McGHEE: I think it's a really difficult question. I think the Millennial generation still is showing preferences for Democratic policies for Democratic values and ideals and for Democratic candidates over Republican candidates. But you have to realize that just like with all other kinds of voters, young voters are voting on the economy.

And as the Dēmos report "The State of Young America" has shown, this generation, my generation is really feeling the brunt of the recession that capped off 30 years of widening economic inequality and insecurity. And so young people can't say that they're better off financially than they were four years ago. I really believe that given the levels of unemployment in the young adult generation, the president needs to call for-- and I understand it would be difficult to pass through Congress.

But on the campaign trail, he needs to call for a WPA style, generational jobs program all across this country. And it would be a transformational generational experience. It would be something that would expose people to different Americans from different walks of life. But it would also be something that would say, finally, for once and for all, 'Yes, your American Government is on your side, young people. We're not always going to leave you to the mercy of the banks and selfish employers and the vagaries of the so-called 'free market. We're going to say that your future matters to us as a country.'

BILL MOYERS: You're calling for more and more government help. You just asked Obama to take a more aggressive position with using the government to put people to work. You're up against, of course, the predisposition of people out across the country that, 'I don't want to pay taxes to those folks who haven't been spending it well, fighting wars, passing the cost on. Extending benefits to Wall Street, bailing out the banks. I don't want to support government anymore.'

HEATHER McGHEE: Absolutely. I mean I think that in order for us as Americans, who want to see public solutions to our common problems, to really achieve what we want to achieve, we are going to have to clean up Washington first. It is absolutely important. For example, why would the American people trust Washington to do what's right when they know that so much of their energy is focused on rewarding the people who brought them to the party, which is the wealthiest people in the country and the organized corporate elite?

And so we've got to clean up the money in politics problem. And it's time to take that incredibly personal issue of your own personal finances and make them political.

BILL MOYERS: Doing what?

HEATHER McGHEE: I think we need to stay politically involved on policy issues. We need to, as a generation, really be the generation that calls for and holds leaders accountable for cleaning up Washington, for addressing the political inequality that is perpetuating economic inequality. We need to become a very politically engaged generation. We need to run for office, debt be damned.

BILL MOYERS: Heather McGhee, I’ve enjoyed this conversation. Thank you for joining me.

HEATHER McGHEE: Thank you so much for having me, Bill.

Heather McGhee on the Millennial Generation

February 10, 2012

“Millennials”, the 80-plus million Americans who were born roughly between 1978 and 2000, are getting hit hard by economic circumstances created over the past 30 years. They may be the first generation of Americans who cannot count on doing better than their parents. How have these realities affected their outlook? And how will it impact Barack Obama’s future? Millennials turned out for him by huge margins in 2008, but their enthusiasm has waned. In this Moyers & Company segment, Bill Moyers talks with a Millennial who has dedicated herself to tackling these issues. At 31, Heather McGhee directs the Washington office of the research and advocacy group Demos, and is fighting for financial reforms and consumer protection.

“Our generation is the most diverse generation in American history… But we are also the generation that is experiencing record inequality — inequality in our economy and inequality in our democracy,” McGhee tells Moyers. “We need to become a very politically-engaged generation.”

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  • Anonymous

    Yes to all Heather says Obama should do, add to this the breaking up of the largest banks and successfully prosecuting  the elites just as William K. Black did in the savings and loans debacle. This must precede everything else or, the economy will be brought down with full intention by these Masters of the Universe. Obama must NOT give these criminals immunity from prosecution. If he does, than he must go. Period.

  • Chascates

    How wonderful that there are people such as Heather McGhee! Seeing someone so hopeful and energetic I feel there is a future for all of us in America, not just those of her generation.

  • Julogue1

    Loved Heather’s analysis.

    Here’s an idea to save money on college – a law stating that anyone can test out of a course, at any school,  at any time for the reasonable cost of administering the tests and or grading the required papers.  (Students would be supplied with class materials, if desired,  at the same cost, as those attending class.)   There might be a legal precedent that would support this “equal access.”

    Just this possibility would encourage schools to control costs for everyone.    

  • Anonymous

    Heather McGee, sister, daughter!  I am a 58 year old white woman,  and I share your view that the purpose of our government is to care and to show that it cares equally about the well being of all its citizens equally and to see, as best it is able, that all have the same opportunity to thrive and contribute to the goodness of our nation.

    For a thirty year old woman to show more wisdom, both practical and compassionate,  than the executive and legislative branches of our government have over the last many years is both spirit-raising and horrifying.

    Thank you for applying your energy and your intelligence to the problems of this nation.

    I do believe that many, many boomers, we who feel we have allowed the nation to go down many bad roads, are willing to follow and to support the young who are inspired to strike out anew.  We still have some energy left.

  • Mike74.

    A lovely lady with the right kind of progressive passion  to prevent us from slipping into a nation of corporate slavery.   However the roadblocks are many and can only be solved by the 99% demanding answers and changing the way the system works.  

  • Pama73

    Wow, she’s amazing. Makes me really, really THINK. We have to clean up D.C. – $ in politics – stop perpetuating FINANCIAL inequality. Reaganonics/trickle-down/supply-side economics CAUSED this recession. What an eye-opener! If you aren’t familiar with Heather McGhee, familiarize yourself with this Yale and Berkeley Law graduate soon. Thank you, Bill Moyers for bringing her to us. And thank you PBS for bringing Mr. Moyers back…I found it jaw-droppingly shocking when I first learned you were canceling his show. So glad he’s back.

  • http://twitter.com/autumn_hays Autumn Hays

    I am so happy someone is talking about this. The only thing I’d like to add is we have faced war and a depression. We just called it war on terror and a recesshion to make ourselves feel better.

  • Landscaper

    Wow,  just watched your show with Heather McGhee and Bruce Bartlett with much dismay.  You blast Fox News for stating opinions, then just repeating over and over.  Then you have two guests blast Republicans, followed by your monologue doing the same.  I must have missed the segment with the opposing view, a courtesy Fox News does extend.

    I also must have missed the segment that states how much the vast majority pay in taxes.  You blast the top 1% (I’m not in this bracket) for paying less and less.  I agree.  But how do we make the people who pay nothing pay even less?!?  I know families who, because of the child tax credits, will be receiving substantially more of a refund than they paid in; AND they receive welfare.  One of those families will be going to Cancun this month!!!  Kind of hard to feel sorry for those millenials.

    The other part you fail to mention is who comprises the top 1%.  If you want to show the top 1% you are fed up with them: quit going to the movies, quit buying music CDs, quit going to pro sports games, and cancel your subscriptions to cable TV.  Think about it.

    We as a country will not get back on track  until we quit promoting victimhood.  I didn’t start succeeding until I quit feeling sorry for myself and started making better decisions in my life.  None of those decisions involved me taking government handouts. 

    We live in the greatest country on the face of the Earth, count your blessings!!!

  • Mbp333

    Moyers is on one hour a week. Fox is on 24/7.

    Thank God for Bill Moyers.

    We need to get some balance

  • Ma

    Heather McGhee for President!!

  • Smsgibs

    Why don’t we have her as our representative in Washington, DC?

  • Smsgibs

    Have you looked at the new ruling in Florida where students will be told that their career choice will not be a money maker. So if you, choose to be a teacher, a horticulturalist, a chef, an artist, some who wants to be a member of the creative class or public interest workers you are not worthy.

  • Emj

    Fox does not report true facts. They make up stories. Moyers is presenting the otherside of Fox with facts. Go to fact checker.com. We are a country that will not get back on track until we quit promoting greed. We must all work for the common good and not for the good of the corporations.

  • Norman t

     The larger issue suggests your way of looking at the world has failed. And, by my metric you haven’t “succeeded”, for you still hold a backwards thought process. You admit to watching Fox news. Do I need more proof.  FYI. The “greatest country on the face of the earth” is an illusion held by those with a stunted intelligence, perhaps, mild retardation.

  • Landscaper

    Ever hear of MSNBC or CNN?  I’ve tried to watch MSNBC on a few occasions, but was disappointed because they, too, did not have any differing views.  Also, much of the media in my area is definitely left leaning.  I used to watch Fox as a way to get “balance”. 

  • Karl Hoff

    Heather McGhee is truly right on in describing the problems with student loans, but some how the World has not come to grips with the real story in regards to who is really creating the wealth of knowlege of new ideas that have stoked the fires of our industrial and information age.
    This is a short list of the giants of new inventions and industry: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, Marconi (radio) amd Farnsworth (television).  None of these had any college degrees and the list is huge. This list goes back to a least Leonardo da Vinci, who was probably the greatest genious of all. I think that the reason that we get a distorted view of why higher education does so little in creating new ideas at the top level is because all new creation are born out of observation, ruled by a philosophical idea rather then education, which is primarily memorizing a lot and I mean a lot known, but too often unneccessary information. We have only so many brain cells and the one’s that don’t memorize a lot of known ,  unneeded information, will be able to concentrate on one single problem with the greatest amount of concentration. It is easy to see that today because most corporations make you sign over your rights to the company, resulting in the company getting credit even if the idea really came from one sweeping the floors. The other thing that is often done, is for huge companies to just use the idea of someone without permission, like the man that invented the intermittent windshield wiper. I remember when he won a judgement againist a major car company and  as he said, “I was rob”, because by stealing it they only paid ten cents on the dollar of what it was worth.  WOW! What an investment for the corporations………….bet the share holders love that!
    PS.  If college graduation make you more money, then why is Bill Gates the richest man in the World???

  • Landscaper

    My “backwards” thought process suggests we should reward people for good behavior and hold people accountable for poor behavior.  If that makes me “mildly retarded”, then so be it. 
    Unfortunately, the new American Dream is to find your victim status and collect your government check.  Then blame the rich person down the road for all your problems.  
    By my metrics, anyone who resorts to name calling as a debate tactic has nothing important to say.

  • Anonymous

    Ditto the kudos for Heather McGhee.  And count me in on what is likely to become The Greatest InterGeneration.

  • Patriokat

    Cutting through this enchanting young woman’s argument, I find she is not giving any new insight, but simply cloaking the argument for “sameness” in carefully chosen deceptive words.

    Sameness has been tried over the milleniums and only has only accomplished poverty for all rather then poverty for some as evidenced in communist countries where “sameness” last ruled. 

    Problem is it’s extremely hard to raise the bottom up.  Therefore to achieve “sameness” the top is brought down and everyone if equally poor.

    Sameness can only be accomplished by destroying individualism which destroys the creativity that evolves into an upward movement of society as nothing can change (which is why you can still see people clothed as in biblical times) as change is a movement of individualism. 

    Taking Wisdom from God who destroyed the Tower of Babel which was built with brick (all the same)  God builds with stones (indicative of people) as all are individual but alike as they are all stones, but individual as they are all different in shape, size, composition, etc.

     

  • m.r.

    Mrs. McGhee, my sentiments exactly. Well spoken, the issues public policy is with the preception of who it serves.

  • Landscaper

    I am familiar with factchecker, but I do appreciate the info.  Don’t worry, I watch ALL news channels with my ‘agenda filters’ on.  Not all Fox stories are made up, and they do at least give time to both sides.

    I agree that greed is a bad thing, and that is why I give heavily to charities.  The only expectation I have of those charities is they spend the money wisely.  Unfortunately, our government wastes enormous amounts of money due to bureacracy and fraud.  Money that can better be spent by actually helping those in need.

    Greed is a condition of the human heart, not a condition of government.  It would exist if we had a socialistic, communistic, or capitalistic approach to economics.  Our social safety nets were set up to help those in need.  Unfortunately they are being used for trips to Cancun.  That is the epitomy of greed.

  • Landscaper

    Well put, Karl.  Did you know Albert Einstein didn’t know his own phone number?  He said true knowledge is knowing how to find information.

  • Anonymous

    This is a part of the “brain washing” that goes along with the “government is the problem” ideology.  I believe it is held mainly by right wingers who, unlike many left wingers, believe their tax money is going to the “undeserving poor” and fear they will be made poor as a result .  Yes, government wastes money; yes, some people are lazy, or broken down, or hopeless with bad attitudes, but to have as a major issue the irresponsible poor rather than the crony capitalism that has kept us  from addressing ALL our major problems, from unjustified war-making to crumbling schools, is to my mind mistaken.  (This may be one left-right divide:  lefties fear our tax money is going to the rich and for war; right wingers fear their tax money is going to the lazy poor.  WWJD?)

  • Chio Saephanh

    Love Heather McGhee!  Great interview Bill Moyers.  Thank you!

  • Aengus

    Saw the show. Absolutely on target. I love Ms.McGhee for her insight, beliefs, wisdom and courage. She is part of the awakening of how our political system has been bought and run amuck. Much as we went through in the 60′s and 70′s. Also, as she stated how persons with home and education debts are not excused and allowed to file for bankruptcy I flashed back to around 2001/2002 when the credit and banking industries got G.Bush and the congress to rapidly declare new bankruptcy laws, which would make it more difficult for the average citizen to take this route. This I remember myself stating that the finacial industry was all to aware of the financial train wreck they were about to unleash on the world.

  • Dennis

    This is straight and to the point. Will politicians get this, will America get this and will the world get this. I doubt it. No matter what Quantum Physics class or economics class you take, all denominators, have a common denominator. Meaning: “UNLESS, YOU SOLVE POVERTY, YOU HAVE NOTHING”. Meaning: “MOSES” told Pharaoh, “LET MY PEOPLE GO”. If working class poor people was to have wealth, we could fix our homes, buy a better car, etc., etc. ”DUH”. “WoW”, I amaze myself.  

  • Dennis

    No my friend, “JESUS” SAID, “TEAR THIS TEMPLE DOWN AND IN 3 DAYS, MY FATHER WILL RAISE IT AGAIN”. He wasn’t talking about the bricks.

  • Phyllisott

    Searching bio for millennial light heather McGhee. Thanks to Bill Moyer, she is presented. Why has she not been an appointee in this government?

  • Anonymous

    Heather C. McGhee is Director of Demos’
    Washington office,where develops and executes strategy for increasing
    the organization’s impact on federal policy debates in Washington.
    Previously, she was the Deputy Policy Director, Domestic and Economic
    Policy, for the John Edwards for President 2008 campaign, and a Program Associate in Demos’ Economic Opportunity Program. She apparently knows nothing about economics.  Which makes her perfect as a spokesperson for Obama.

  • Sergio

    Ms. McGhee I have no doubt of your sincerity in
    wanting to relieve the world of suffering through higher wages, education, relieve
    poverty, est. But, to expect the Government to do away with suffering and
    improve our standard of living is not even utopian it is unrealistic and
    unjust. Frederic Bastiat said it best, “Government is that great fiction,
    through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”

    P.S. This country is in debt!

  • fedupwithpoliticians

    I worked in U.S. manufacturing plants for 14 years. The G.E. Schenectady plant had 40,000 jobs in 1974. That plant closed in 1996. There were plenty of jobs that required college educations within them. I agree with the WPA program for a generation of U.S. jobs. This Congress and Senate let young people put themselves through college while they knew that they were investing their money in China! That is a betrayal.

  • Way Off Base

    Bible quotes aside, we’re not talking about “sameness” in some abstract sense, but economic inequality.  There are reasons inherent to capitalism which account for the bottom remaining huge while the top gets more and more narrow and vertical.  Nobody’s advocating that everyone become poor!

  • Landscaper

    Our local food bank pays $1/LB of food.  The food bank’s expenses consist of fuel & ins. for the truck that was donated.  All labor & facilities are donated.  If I lovingly donate $100 to the food bank (I could have it there in 15 min.), most of it will be spent on helping the hungry.

    Send the same $100 to Washington and the hungry could starve before the donation makes it through the bureaucracy.  Subtract the cost of government (buildings & utilities, employee comp., etc), earmarks, waste,  and fraud, and a small % goes to the hungry.

    So, to answer your question:  WWJD?  I believe He would feed as many hungry people as He could with the resources available.  Then maybe have a talk with Mr. Bartlett about his comments on Christians.

    On another note, I am disappointed with the replies stating I am “brainwashed” (cg9) and “mildly retarded” (Norman t).  To assume anyone who has a different view than yours must be inferior is to assume you are always correct.  That is the same closed mindedness that led to Repubs signing the Nordquist pledge.  It is also the same elitist, superiority ideology shared by such groups as the Nazis and KKK.

    On the left-right divide:  unfortunately both have valid points.

  • Ncm3088

    My daughter has her masters degree in education obtained in 5/2011 despite difficult odds. The value of education has been stressed to her since her toddler days and today she is in debt for $60,000. She is the farthest thing from lazy and the only government handout she accepted were student loans. She is of the milleneum generation and the only employment she has been able to secure is a part-time teaching assistant. In order to eat and pay her rent she has deferred payment on her loans. The interest accrues daily on the loans she is deferring. She is 30 years old, has no car, no house and is lucky if she can afford a plane ticket to come home at Christmas. Yes, Mr. Landscaper there are abuses in the government “handouts” but not all those in the milleneum generation take trips to Cancun. Heather McGhee should be applauded for bringing such an outstanding job of bringing to light the plight of the majority of the forgotten milleneum generation.

  • Yvonne

    She doesn’t want sameness- her arguement was for equality of rights for people of different classes. One point she made is that if a business claims bankruptcy, why is all their debt erased, but if I were to claim bankruptcy, all my dept is not erased. how is that fair? there is inequality among our society that has nothing to do with race or gender, it has to do with which economic bracket you fall in, and until it is fixed the gap will keep growing. If you listen closely she does not argue for sameness. She wants equality among the social classes. She wants the little people to have a voice and to have thier rights, even if they only make minimum wage.

  • Pcelli

    Keep Bill Moyers show.  I agree with Miss McGhee except one cannot run for office because one has to have loads of money and there is the stumbling block. Right away one has to OWE another for the money given to run…and the cycle keeps going around and around to destruction of our country. It is a shame that one has ato be a multi-millionaire to run for office. Maybe they should give an alloted air time to every canidate and nothing more. Air their views and plans across the country and get rid of the state to state trips etc. Free air time and nothing more.  Maybe that would get rid of the need for millions to run for office.

  • Laijala

    Well said, and I totally agree with you. I was truly impressed with Ms. McGhee; an interesting and thought provoking interview indeed.

  • Anonymous

    Who do you trust more – your government or CEO?

    Did government create the recession or the CEOs?

    I would not trust any CEO.

    Jobs should be created by government also and not by the CEOs only. We want to see that CEO can compete with government. If any corporation fails government should take it over and run it. Just like Obama did it for GM.

  • David F., N.A.

    There once was a millennial from Mantucket
    With way too much hope to say “ah phuket.”
    But along came The Man
    Holding a [Congressionally approved student] loan in his hand.
    Changing all hope into ah phuket the multinational-corporation oligarchy just tucket.

  • Terry Pritchard

    I sat my 14-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son down to watch this video.  Not so much to hear what she was saying (although I agree with much of it), but how she was saying it.  I can’t imagine a better example of an articulate, thoughtful speaker who argued with equal measures of passion and supporting facts.

    I am not an American, but I cannot help but be optimistic about your country’s future if you are raising smart cookies like Heather McGhee and getting them involved in public policy.

  • IdPonDC

    Timothy Geitner, Pres. Obama’s Treasury Secretary, stated it was the collapse of Fannie & Freddie that caused the recession.  They are government sponsored entities.  The government started the unpaid for wars and made all the unsustainable promises. The government robbed all the reserves in the social safety nets to prop itself up.  The government is $15 TRillion dollars in debt, and counting. 

    I am not defending “the CEO’s” by any means.  Nor do I solely blame our government leaders for the recession.  But, given the government’s record, I would hardly place my faith in them!

     

  • IdPonDC

    Timothy Geitner, Pres. Obama’s Treasury Secretary, stated it was the collapse of Fannie & Freddie that caused the recession.  They are government sponsored entities.  The government started the unpaid for wars and made all the unsustainable promises. The government robbed all the reserves in the social safety nets to prop itself up.  The government is $15 TRillion dollars in debt, and counting. 

    I am not defending “the CEO’s” by any means.  Nor do I solely blame our government leaders for the recession.  But, given the government’s record, I would hardly place my faith in them!

     

  • Landscaper

    Would love to reply, but these boxes are getting ridiculously small

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, IdPonDC; I did forget to say that  we lefties are somewhat brainwashed, too.   I would prefer the poor be given  good educations and all find living wage jobs.  I also do not want those of us with money to decide who among the poor gets food.  CA’s Governor Schwarz. swore to go after “waste, fraud and abuse” in government to save money.  He found so little it made no difference.

    Your name calling hardly sets a higher standard for us to follow, but I do appreciate your attempt to be even-handed.

  • http://twitter.com/GrandmaJSilver j silver

    The Schweitzer book/Throw them all Out was a great companion to Reckless Endangerment.So much for icons,  But the  facts need light. Keep spreading the word.Thanks.

  • Dusty Hinz

    Hey Bill, I appreciated the interview. Nice to see you back
    in the game. I suppose your plan was to take the interview exactly where it
    went, which is cool, no doubt, I enjoyed the discussion and I thought Mrs.
    McGhee was very insightful. However, I feel like most of the people in this
    country that will actually watch the interview are aware of most of the things you
    guys just spoke about. These are certainly the defining issues of our time and
    should be brought up and discussed constantly, no beef there. But my critique
    is this: after talking at length about the problems we are facing and how we
    got to this sad state of affairs, it is only at the very end that Mrs. McGhee
    brought up the her truly radical, forward-thinking, and concrete idea for some kind
    of modern day new deal jobs plan. Take that conversation further! This is
    exactly what we need to be talking about in the here and now. Myself and just
    about everyone that I have spoken with at Occupy Minnesota, Occupy Philly,
    Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy DC are completely aware of how messed up things
    are and why. We need big ideas and a bold vision for where this country and the
    world are going, and this discussion requires a deeper
    nuance.

     

    I would have asked her at end: What exactly would this
    modern new deal look like? Specifically, what kind of jobs are we talking about
    here? Would this plan try to conform to the dictates of the current globalized
    economic paradigm? Or might it try to blaze some kind of new, resilient,
    localized, and truly environmentally sustainable path? We currently devote a
    huge share of our national resources to maintaining the American Empire and all
    of its manifestations: with the scope of the plan you have in mind, how does
    the American Empire fit in?

     

    It is apparent to me that some kind of big visionary plan is
    needed for the entire world, and now is the time to start discussing these imperative ideas.

     

    Lastly, I caution this whole axiom about “how we are the
    first generation in American history to not do better than our parents.”
    Civilization and capitalism are similar in that they each boom and bust. So if
    our generation were doing better than our parents did, would we be making
    $100,000 a year and have even bigger houses and cars than they do? The question
    then becomes not only what defines “better,” but should the notion of every
    increasing generational growth even be desirable (or is it even possible)? There is an inverse
    relationship between what conventional wisdom defines as progress and the real health
    and sustainability of the environment. I will gladly take a cut in the standard
    of living if it means my decedents will actually be able to inhabit the planet.

    Follow me on twitter @DustyHinz or check out my blog (which I am still developing) at dustyhinz.com

  • http://twitter.com/CosmicChuck Chuck Denk

    Heather gives me hope. We just need to be able to hang on until her generation becomes old enough to qualify for elective positions in government. I can trust Heather and the best of her cohorts to have much more wisdom in how to govern and who to listen to than the overwhelming majority of  those in office now. Far too many members of Congress spend too little time representing their constituents and far too much time running to be reelected when they don’t deserve to get reelected because they didn’t do their job well enough to start with.

    Getting the money out of politics and placing much tighter constraints upon when a corporation can validly be treated “as if” they were a person are a couple of things that must be accomplished. Hopefully, that won’t have to wait until Heather’s cohorts become our representatives.

  • McKenzie Dickens

    As a 23 year-old college graduate with a daunting wall of debt facing me, this interview really hit home. Since I am also unemployed I cannot afford to begin to pay off these loans. I am hounded daily by phone calls from Sallie Mae, which I continue to ignore because I don’t have any solutions.

    It’s depressing that this is what America has come to. It’s a shame to say, but nearly everything we have been told as a generation has been false, and in the end, we’re being turned into quasi-indentured servants; the debt seemingly inescapable. 

    At this point, I am apathetic towards politics. it’s difficult to even want to participate because I look at the game and realize no one has my best interest at heart. 

    A couple of weeks ago, I was video chatting with a friend of mine who lives in Paris. She is enrolled in University, of which French students pay a meager sum (compared to American universities) to attend. I explained to her, the common financial predicament that a large portion of American youth face just to receive higher education. How we anticipate being in debt until our hair turns grey. Due to disbelief at the absurdity of the situation, she laughed and laughed.

  • Barbsuewilli

    As a 21 year-old college graduate with a daunting wall of debt facing me, this interview really hit home; of course, I graduated in 1973, and it took me several years to find a job that paid barely more than minimum wage.
    My daughter is unemployed; she’ll lose ten years of income right out of college, just like I did.
    The boomers did not expect to do as well as their parents, and many of us have not.
    I know that is no comfort to the millenials, but this is the way life is.  Chances are you will be able to catch up later, at least to some degree.

  • OtterBill

    The student loan culture we have forced on our Millennials is a scandal at least equal to the financial collapse of 2008. 

    The ignored part of the scandal is the skyrocketing cost of colleges and universities. Why the sudden increases?  I think the reason schools are exploding their fees is because they can…the huge pot of student loan money is available and the schools are draining every cent they can get their hands on. 

    Instead of blaming lenders, how about turning the light on the greedy schools? I’d like a probe into the relationship between the rocketing costs of tuitions and the relationship (if any) to equally rocketing costs of doing business.

    I wonder if student loans were capped, at say $20,000, we would see costs start to come down.

  • Yehuda

    One of the best interviews! A very articulate expression of  the challenges facing America and larger global inequality. This being said, we need someone’s to rally and rally behind, to lead the charge, the changes, aggressively. Nothing less will do. i want to hear from, and throw my support, behind them, Bill. You’re doing great important work but lets get tough like the unions of old.

  • Nancy McKenney

    Mr. Moyers, I think your programs are excellent.  I would like to suggest that you do an investigative program on what is happening in the Harvard University Library.  Library staff are being threatened with mass layoffs and the administration is trying to bully them into taking early retirement packages.  There have been demonstrations and protests on campus and even an Occupy group in the the library cafe.  As an academic librarian I am appalled at what is happening.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Anyone would be lucky to have vivacious Heather McGhee as a spokesperson for their advocacy organization. The facts she stated on your show are accurate. But something bothers me about the very lucky and articulate Heather McGhee, not that there is anything wrong with her per se, but maybe the feeling that she is a substitute or a placeholder for the genuine article. At Demos she seems to endorse all the halfway measures the President proposes from a work-study program that will never be passed to the recent inadequate mortgage fraud settlement with the biggest banks and Allied (GMAC). Either she has no moral undepinnings or she believes the corrupt and dysfunctional electoral contest being publicized incessantly before us is the only option. Too good girls like Heather are at core  careerists content to err barely to the humane side of any conflict. If she weren’t she’d have engaged more directly in opposing what has been happening over this last half- decade instead of attending law school. If she weren’t she’s admit that the mortgage fraud settlement is another gift bauble to the same corrupt bankers driving student loan debt.

    I don’t blame Heather for doing her job and coming on to talk about a real injustice. I blame Moyers&Company for not getting down to the nitty-gritty. Occupy WallStreet diffused this fall just as educational quality, educational access and the student loan bubble were coming into serious discussion. The issues were diffusing into the general discourse, critics of these systems were being allowed to speak, and the doubt about the wisdom of mortgaging one’s mind for a piece of paper were beginningto match the doubts about enlisting in an adventuristic military. I was an Occupy critic then because I thought isssues of acute poverty deserved priority, but now I can see that the Establishment (The Lord Proprietors, the Owners of USA, Inc.) were panicked by even this mild and small nip at the heels of their extraction. They unleashed a co-ordinated militarized police response and hurried bogus court orders to silence dissent at that time. And Bill (Moyers&Company) then missed a timely opportunity to bring us inside a general assembly and hear open discussion on solutions to our higher education crisis.

    When a farmer starts grinding and boiling his seed corn to eat its pretty plain he might be selling the farm to condo developers in the spring. American corporations know they will not have a need for the bumper crop US universities and colleges can produce and so they have converted from farming to milling. They don’t need talent and knowledge so they plan on grinding out the last pennies from knowledge seekers who find themselves between the stones of stunted careers and accruing unforgivable education debt. Obama was acculturated as a corporatist just like poor Heather McGhee.
    They are clipped wing birds who’ll never fly. They can talk about the “free range” but can never lead us there. Even the Purgatory they were engineered to maintain is collapsing.
    In short, I’m angry at the covert partisanship and half-truth Bill Moyers must resort to in order to keep a watered down show. He claims to be a screech owl but sometimes he seems like a rooster who slept too long and is now crowing at the sunset. Now there is this Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, Bill Moyers, and he swears the Pentagon and the Executive are lying to us about Afghanistan. He’s risking his good name and his pension. It’s published for all to see in “Rolling Stone.”
    As you well understand Bill, issues of Empire versus Peace are the paramount injustice. If you can’t get off campaigning for the lesser of two (and always only the big duopoly) evils and cut to the chase I’m gonna spend my Friday evening listening to and reading about the guests you should have booked if you weren’t still a hostage. No offense to you or Heather McGhee, but you’ve preached the same funeral several times these last weeks.

  • Anonymous

    An excellent reference to ‘what was’ versus ‘what is’ as concerning the Cost of Education today: the Student Grant versus the Student Loan. It was also during this time (the 1970′s) that Compound Interest was introduced to the Mainstream, and Oh what a Debt we have NOW!

    It’s all part of that Supply Side theory: Bankers are now allowed to levy Extortion Rates for the privilege of borrowing their money. It was sold to us as a way to get “your money to work for you” through Interest Bearing Savings Accounts, what we didn’t know was that it was going to be applied to ALL outstanding debt regardless of it’s source (even my utility bill).

    The George Bailey Savings and Loan did NOT charge Compound Interest Rates to their customers on “It’s a Wonderful Life”. If they had, that entire generation of working-class poor would have NOT known the prosperity that they did; you cannot buy a House, one or more Cars, and your children’s Education with Compound Interest dogging your tracks.

    I signed my name to a $60k house: put down $20k and borrowed $40k using a good old-fashioned 30 year fixed rate mortgage (fixed income: I needed the monthlys to be small). Making every payment as per contract, by the end of it I will have payed $100k for a $40k loan. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see this as being a ‘public service” of any kind (which is supposedly integral to ANY bank’s charter), rather, it seems wholly Parasitic an/or Predatory……and it’s the only game in town.

    Why? Because WE keep supporting/enabling them. The Occupiers had the right Idea about pulling your monies out of the Big Banks (because that’s the only REAL money they have to work with), they simply didn’t go far enough.

    You notice the S&P showed zero growth for 2011…

    Savings and Loans people….hunt up them George Baileys and their little banks: Community Banks!

    Ask them up front if they are playing the Wall Street game of Vulture Kapitalizm, or if their primary Assets and Investments are in your Community. Look up their Charters! Learn who is and who ain’t playing the Game. With the Visa system on internet, even the tiniest bank is accessable around the world through your debit card; none of the old worries about ‘no one accepting your checks’.

    Playing the Fool to their Lies only makes Them stronger.

    The European market, as well as the market of the Western World, hangs on a $150 Billion loan for Greece…and we’re sitting on our hands. We spent $700 Billion to bail out the crooks that just Defrauded the Entire Planet, and helping out Greece sounds like a BAD investment?! We could buy Greece’s debt (in it’s entirety) and spend the next thirty years making Stupid Money on a fully developed Tourist Industry…but no. A project like that just takes so much…..work.

    The “Job Creators” are not interested in creating jobs (except, maybe oversees); their not interested in creating anything at all. All our rates keep going up while quality of Product or Service goes down. They invent new charges out of thin air. My monthly service fee for my Mortgage went up $3 this year…for no reason whatsoever. Every Statement or Tabulation I recieve from them is REQUIRED BY LAW, I’m not asking for anything extra but they keep charging me as though it WERE something extra. (That $3 bump is also nearly 10% of my Social Security Cost of Living Increase for this year.)

    It is, after all, a marketplace based on endless (unpaid) debt, compound interest, and Virtual Reality Notional Values.

    It takes Real World dollars to make real world change (no pun intended). Stop giving your money to the Parasites and they will swiftly run out of Political Power. The only reason the S&P showed ZERO growth was because of some mad number jugglin. We ARE having an impact, we just need to rediscover the tools already available to us.

  • Pamela Canyonrivers

    Kudos! Extremely well-thought, well presented interview   !  Where does McGhee work?  Please close interviews with on screen caption. Thanks for all that you do.
    Pamela Canyonrivers
    Pecos,New Mexico

  • Danconsul

    You  are  so  right,  and  your  best  chance  to  succeed  is  to  keep  Obama  and  the  democrats  in  Power  so  they  have 
    4  more  years  to  clean  up  after  the  desasterous  Bush administration. Obama  does  a  very  good  job  but  there
    are  many  forces  trying  to  block  him. Your  generation
    should  give  him  a  hand  tp  improve  your  situation.

  • Anonymous

    Nancy asks that Moyers take on a very narrowed focus. Librarians are invaluable professionals but Moyers is not Superman. It would seem a good opportunity for making an appeal to the ratepayers at Harvard (tuition payers and borrowers, students) that the product they purchase is being adulterated by management. If the other service providers (faculty, staff) and the ratepayers (students) are not astute enough to come into solidarity with librarians this would seem to indicate one of the wealthiest and most prestigious institutions in the world is degenerating into a fraud and a diploma mill. To ask Bill Moyers to reach his hand into this Elite Toilet to snare a worthy smidgen from the Big Flush already in progress is both a futility and an insult. Moyers is not the servant nor the savior of Harvard. If Harvard fashions itself a slimy foo-fish orbiting a swift vortex that would seem to be it’s own corporate policy (choice).

  • Anonymous

    But they’re trained to be careerists and serve their funders just like the compromised operators we have now. Why would they be any different? Heather seems groomed to be the Obama after next, a smooth game show host compromising with Oligarchs.

  • Anonymous

    Heather is the fartherest thing from an Occupy visionary. Bill would have done better to seek out an Occupy General Assembly group than entertain a spokesmodel.

  • Anonymous

    Paraphrase: To be among those able to run for office one must be a sellout who shares no public interests.

  • Anonymous

    Sergio’s new plaque at the Statue of Liberty: “Abandon all hope; Ye who enter or exit or casually pass by here.”

  • Anonymous

    Tim Geithner is a FED banker and a demonstrated liar. He’ll say anything to protect the other banksters.

  • Anonymous

    Senator Hillary Clinton was also instrumental in tightening consumer bankruptcy, not unusual for any Congressperson from New York.

  • Anonymous

    It’s been longer than 3 days.

  • Anonymous

    Well, those jobs usually go to Oligarch cronies, and she’s still in training.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe in 2024 or 2028 when it’s purely a ceremonial post in a corporate ruled monolith.

  • Anonymous

    Well…. considering Obama’s inaction, I guess he must go.

  • Vanessarickerby

    McGhee brings home directly and sadly the point that we had some faith in institutions like banks.  Because of their size, they could look after us better than we could alone (“take care of” was the implication).  So when we signed for student loans, we assumed that the banks and schools  had bargained for the best rates on our behalf… the trust was there, the counselor pointed to the line to sign…
    I recently cleaned out documents from my student loan days and saw that I paid outrageous interest rates.   I never connected those rates to the rates that the banks do NOT have to pay til McGhee made the point… and that of course made me furious.   I was an immigrant who could not question the system… no way.  How could I ask anything about what banks might have to charge or pay on every $ they make?

    On it goes.  Gouging?  Mistreating?  The yoke our founders sought to avoid is now so entrenched that only lobbyists really understand the game.  Game it probably is to them.  To the rest of us, it’s so sad to see a country set to waste, while most of the nation somehow celebrates their rapacious greed./

  • Shag9y

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/133065  Announcing: FREE ebook, Occupy The Bathroom, about individual empowerment versus the takeover of health and wellness by food and drug corporations/gov’t agencies.  Ties farming issues to “regular people.”  Simple diagrams documented with links and references to experts like Bill Moyers and Weston Price.  Takes about 15 minutes to absorb a lot of information quickly. 

  • Anonymous

    Very good questioning from B. Moyers as usual and very bold and articulate responses from the very beautiful McGhee. Your generation, McGhee, needs you and other activists like you. Millenials have to be woken up from the slumber that has been systematically programmed into them. By the way, all the other generations have toed footstep with the agenda of the powers that be.

  • Group 4

    Her convictions are admirable, but she doesn’t offer any real or tangible solutions to any of the perceived problems. Pay students to go to college? Raise the pensions for public workers and unions? HOW! America simply doesn’t have the money to pay for these things. We need a balanced approach, both raising taxes on the rich, but also reigning in some unions that are bankrupting the nation.

  • UofOJ412Students

    As college students, we thought the video was fairly
    accurate. The millennial generation faces a great deal of issues when it comes
    to education and the pursuit of a better future. It is common for us to see our
    fellow peers struggling to figure out how to pay for higher education. The idea
    of higher education is one that seems to be harder and harder to attain.

  • J-412 Group 8

    Heather McGhee is pretty much spot on here. However, I disagree with the fact that that the Millenials will be going into an economy with fewer jobs because advancements in technology are creating new avenues that had not previously been explored.

  • Nicole

    We believe everything Heather said is correct with what we’re all thinking. It’s good to hear her going through the same thing as we are concerning our tuition and education; it’s something we go along with because that’s what we’re supposed to do and we don’t essentially know why we pay so much.

  • J412_Group 7

    We as a group thought that it was interesting when Heather McGhee stated that we as Americans
    are unable to file bankruptcy for the two most important loans: student loans
    and home loans. Another interesting fact
    that was stated how we as a generation understand the most about not being able
    to reach the American Dream anymore, but we are still hopeful and still strive
    towards it. It was hard to hear that she claimed that she will not be able to
    provide for her family the same way her parents were able to due to these
    problems, even though she is a Yale Graduate with a Masters from Berkeley.

  • Sasha&Felix

    In a time where education is essential to pursue a comfortable lifestyle, the financial support for our generation is nonexistent. This vicious cycle of loans, debt and the unsecure job situation creates a mixture of fear and intimidation towards our future.

  • UO J412 Group 5

    McGhee’s interview makes many valid and thought-provoking points. The financial statistics in regards to student debt are staggering, especially for those of us who are students and face debt after college. The government does carry some responsibility for taking care of its own, but this can be a very scary concept for many people. Race and gender have an unfortunate role in debt and unemployment. It was nice to see McGhee reflect upon the Millennial generation as the victims of the financial crisis, instead of the ones at fault. Rather than referring to the youthful generation as lazy and technology-obsessed, she describes it as diverse and open-minded.