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FROM THIS EPISODE

In the US, the gap is widening fast between fewer and fewer rich people and everyone else. Do Americans care? Do they believe everyone's getting their just deserts? Also, abortion and the federal budget talks, and in Wisconsin, a disputed election with shades of the recounts for Al Franken in Minnesota and George W. Bush in Florida.

Banner image: A businessman walks by a homeless woman holding a card requesting money in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A World of Wealth

Thomas G. Donlan

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis
Andrea Brody

Main Topic Wealth Inequality in America 38 MIN

Whether Washington allows a federal shutdown or not, massive cuts are being made in federal programs for the poor and the hungry. Last week, New York Times food-writer Mark Bittman and 4000 others associated with a group called Bread for the World fasted to focus on increased suffering that will barely make a dent in the deficit. They also pointed to growing inequality, with the richest 400 people now owning more wealth than 50 million American households combined. But, is it government's job to level the playing field? We hear from Bittman, an investment banker who wants to pay more taxes, economist and and others.

Guests:
Mark Bittman, New York Times (@bittman)
Michael Norton, Harvard Business School
Eric Schoenberg, Responsible Wealth
Jason Rink, Foundation for a Free Society
Tom Donlan, Barron's (@barronsonline)

Reporter's Notebook Twist of Events in Wisconsin Judicial Contest 5 MIN, 13 SEC

An otherwise obscure race for a nonpartisan seat on the Wisconsin state Supreme Court turned political as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker's assault on collective bargaining rights. Yesterday, Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg appeared to come out of nowhere to defeat the incumbent, a former Republican Assembly Speaker by 204 votes. Suddenly, David Prosser was leading by 7500. His new votes came from GOP-leaning Waukesha County, where Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said she failed to save them in her computer on election day, but waited until 5:30 yesterday to reveal the error that altered the outcome. Mary Spicuzza reports on state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Guests:
Mary Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal (@MSpicuzzaWSJ)

Making News Abortion and the Federal Budget Talks 7 MIN, 47 SEC

In Washington this morning, Democrats and Republicans prepared to blame each other if there's a government shutdown at midnight tonight. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid said it's all about cutting off money to Planned Parenthood. House Speaker John Boehner had a very different account of the stalemate. Philip Rucker is national political reporter for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Philip Rucker, Washington Post

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