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FROM THIS EPISODE

 The Governor's in Asia, the Legislature's in recess and there's still no budget, but billions of dollars in bills keep rolling in. Most Californians can weather the fiscal storm, unless they study or teach at community colleges, do business with the state or need state-funded clinics for healthcare. And, while elected officials ignore their jobs, property values are going down, along with state revenue. Public schools and local governments are in for big trouble. Also, sailing with one hundred Blue whales between San Pedro and Catalina. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the income gap between the rich and the poor makes the US comparable to some banana republics. What are the causes? What does inequality mean for the middle class? We get some conflicting answers.

Banner image: Protestors hold signs during a demonstration outside of the California State building in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Darrell Satzman
Gary Scott

Main Topic Does the Growing Income Gap Threaten the Middle Class? 25 MIN, 45 SEC

In 1915, the top 1% of Americans had 18% of the nation's wealth. Now they have 24%.  That's despite the invention of labor unions, government regulations and the income tax.  Timothy Noah, senior writer for the online magazine Slate.com, has written a 10-part series on income inequality, its effect on the economy and what can be done to reverse the trend.

Guests:
Timothy Noah, journalist and author (@TimothyNoah1)
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former Chief Economist, US Department of Labor
Paul Pierson, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

Rebound

Stephen J. Rose

Main Topic California's New Way of Not Doing Business 16 MIN, 59 SEC

Property values are going down all over California. In Silicon Valley, where high-tech billionaires live, they've dropped for the first time since the Great Depression. Tax assessors are lowering rates, and that means the state and the counties will be getting less money.

Guests:
David Cay Johnston, Reuters (@davidcayj)
Shane Goldmacher, National Journal (@ShaneGoldmacher)
Jim Mangia, St John's Well Child and Family Center (@wellchildorg)

Free Lunch

David Cay Johnston

Reporter's Notebook Blue Whales Congregate off the Sothern California Coast 7 MIN, 26 SEC

Blue whales are the largest animals ever to live on Earth, and 40 years ago they were almost extinct. Now, about 2000 live in the North Pacific Ocean, so it's very rare to see 25 all at once, much less 100.  But that's what happened to KCRW's Matt Holzman, sailing yesterday afternoon off Marina del Rey. We hear from him and Michele Sousa, senior marine mammal biologist at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

 

Guests:
Matt Holzman, Producer, 'Press Play' and 'First Take' (@KCRW_Matt)
Michele Sousa, Senior Marine Mammal Biologist, Aquarium of the Pacific

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