Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Patt Morrison for

Patt Morrison for August 23, 2011

From This Episode


Could the erosion of the American middle class be a lasting trend?

The American middle class was a hurting bunch before the “great recession” of 2008 struck—for decades the gap between the rich and poor in this country has been growing at a fairly steady pace and middle class incomes had been largely stagnant. An analysis from Citigroup back in 2005 found that all of the movement and spending in the American economy was among the top reaches of wealth: the richest 1 percent of households possessed as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent and with each passing year a greater share of the nation’s assets were flowing into their pockets. It’s not surprising that as the financial crisis spread out over the past three years the situation has become exacerbated: according to figures from Gallup, from May 2009 to May 2011 daily consumer spending rose by 16 percent among Americans earning more than $90,000 a year; among all other Americans, spending was completely flat. As politicians wrestle with job creation there is a real possibility that the slow erosion of the American middle class, once the strength of this country, will become a permanent trend that is now evidenced by persistent high unemployment among those middle income workers. The troubling trend is not just seen in the U.S. but in other developed countries as well. New research from the University of Oxford found that in the week of several recent financial crises the rich have usually strengthened their economic position while the middle class suffered depressed income for a long time after a crisis. We look at a growing body of research that paints a bleak picture for the middle class and what could be an economy that is forever changed.


The broken promise of a “green economy”: few jobs created by federal and state money

In recent years, politicians like Barack Obama and Jerry Brown have talked a lot about the potential of a “green economy” to create millions of jobs and reinvigorate the nation’s finances, but a new study by the Brookings Institution has found otherwise: clean-technology jobs only account for 2% of American employment. Though California leads the nation with its 320,000 “green jobs”—90,000 of which are concentrated in the L.A. Metropolitan area—Silicon Valley ranked only slightly above the nationwide average, with 2.2%. In fact, emerging employment figures indicate that efforts by federal and state governments to pump money into these jobs are proving dramatically unsuccessful. Two years ago, California was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to fix drafty homes, but so far about only half of the money has been spent, and only 538 full-time jobs have been created. The $59 million in federal, state and local money meant for green job training and apprenticeships has also yielded disappointing results, with 719 job placements. The number of green jobs has even declined in some areas, with a loss of 492 positions in the South Bay between 2003 and 2010. Though California’s own environmental legislation has helped create a business environment hospitable to a new green economy, nationwide declines in construction and demand have hurt the wide-spread growth of green jobs. Why have so many fewer jobs been created than originally promised? And have companies and the government overestimated how much the public really cares about energy efficiency?


Did NATO help pave the way for Sharia law in Libya?


Recent Episodes from Patt Morrison

Patt Morrison for September 7, 2012

Broadcasting live from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, we check up on how President Obama's speech checks out. And Hollywood's been at the DNC – actors Richard Schiff and Beau Bridges riff on that enduring connection. Also, Comedy Congress’ big wrapup in Charlotte – Diane Sawyer talks about her age and Mike Dukakis talks about what ifs.

Patt Morrison for September 6, 2012

It’s old home day at the Democratic Convention... that is, if your home is California. The Golden State’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, southern California Congresswoman Judy Chu, and actor Richard Schiff, he is of "The West Wing" and a new political show called "Chasing the Hill." Plus, a post game analysis of former President Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic troops.

Patt Morrison for September 5, 2012

We’ll hear the First Lady’s speech but what does her body language say? We’ll be reading it. And, what party muckety mucks are keeping away from President Obama and staying home from the Democrats’ big dance? We’ll do the Charlotte two step.

Patt Morrison for September 4, 2012

How do the conventions look to the rest of the world? And how well do foreigners understand the electoral college? We’re polyglot with the foreign press in Charlotte. And, what did Nancy Pelosi tell Comedy Congress about Clint Eastwood and his chair?

Browse the Patt Morrison Archives

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