Documentary depicts inequality in the land of equal opportunity

By Cierra Cook
Guest Writer
cdc8693@lhup.edu

February 27, 2014

A movie poster for Robert Reich’s “Inequality for All. Photo courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com
A movie poster for Robert Reich’s “Inequality for All. Photo courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Robert Reich’s documentary “Inequality for All” filled Price Auditorium with students and faculty alike when it aired on Thursday, Feb.  20.

Reich, who is a Pennsylvania native, was the former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton, from 1992 to 1996. He was brought onto Clinton’s running platform “Putting People First,” with a focus on middle class America, after the two met while attending Oxford.

This film shows examples of the large income gap in the country.

“I became more knowledgeable about taxation rates in the country,” Rebecca Bailey, a senior social work major, said.

The film points out that people in the top one percent of Americans are taxed only around 15 percent, whereas the average middle class family is taxed at a rate of 20 percent or higher.

Reich also points out that 400 people in the one percent of America make up more than half the wealth of everyone in the US.

His film shows that the widening gap between income levels is eliminating the notion that the middle class is not struggling and that the economy is not suffering because of it.

“I learned that not only a certain group of people are struggling to get by, almost everyone is,” Sheera Sprout, a senior social work major, said.

Reich speaks with President Obama. Courtesy of calibermag.com
Reich speaks with President Obama. Courtesy of calibermag.com

Reich mentions that 42 percent of people who are born into poverty will not get out of it.

This film shows that this issue affects people every day.

Reich’s overall message came across to the students.

“The video was much more interesting and relatable than I thought it would be,” Emily Sutton, a senior social work major, said.

After the showing of the film, he held a question and answer section. Students could tweet Reich questions for him to answer live from the University of California, Berkeley where he is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy.

The question and answer section of the film was interrupted early due to technical difficulties.

This documentary was sponsored by the American Democracy Project, a part AASCU; The Lock Haven Office of Academic Student Affairs and the Lock Haven Departments of History, Political Science, International Studies, Foreign Languages, Sociology, Anthropology and Geography.

Reich speaks at a rally. Courtesy of politico.co.
Reich speaks at a rally. Courtesy of politico.co.
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