With 11 propositions on next week's ballot, there's plenty of room for confusion, and two of them -- Propositions 30 and 38 -- are both about education. Prop 30 would prevent major cuts this year in the public schools by raising the sales tax and taxes for high-income earners. Prop 38 would raise more money in future years by raising income taxes on a sliding scale. Prop 30 is the work of Governor Brown. Prop 38 was placed on the ballot by civil rights attorney Molly Munger, with more than $30 million of her own money. We hear how they compare. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, income stagnation: a crucial issue that's not being addressed by Obama or Romney. Will a new generation of self-made plutocrats help restore the American Dream or pull up the drawbridge?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Education is the subject of two propositions on next week's ballot. Proposition 30 is supported by Governor Brown. Yesterday, he delivered a campaign speech in support of his "temporary tax for education" at Town Hall Los Angeles in the Biltmore Hotel. "It's either money into the schools, or money out. And we're asking those who have been most blessed, who are most successful, to help us out in our time of need. That's really what it's about. It's almost third grade arithmetic."
Proposition 38 focuses exclusively on K-12 education. It was put on the ballot by lawyer Molly Munger, co-founder of the Advancement Project, a prominent civil rights advocacy group in Los Angeles, who's put more than $30 million of her own money into Prop 38. Her father, Charles Munger, is Vice Chairman of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. Her brother, Charles, Jr., has contributed to the "No on 30" campaign.
Before the Governor's speech yesterday at Town Hall, KCRW's Avishay Artsy asked a random group of audience members about the two propositions.
You can see all our election coverage at KCRW.com/californiaelections.
James W. Ceaser
As Obama and Romney argue about taxes and spending, healthcare and immigration, they're "obscuring" what is "arguably the nation's biggest challenge." "For the first time since the Great Depression, middle-class families have been losing ground for more than a decade." David Leonhardt, Washington Bureau Chief for the New York Times, calls it, "income stagnation."
Middle-class income stagnation is the result of many factors, including the digital revolution, globalization and educational attainment. That's meant a decline in upward mobility and "the American dream" -- but not for everybody. There's a new generation of people as rich as the so-called "robber barons" of the late 19th century. Journalist Chrystia Freeland has profiled them in her book, Plutocrats: the Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.
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