This Saturday in #nerdland, we’re keeping it classy.
This week during his State of the Union address, President Obama set the record straight: the state of our union is strong. The economy is growing. Unemployment is down to 5.6%. Gas prices are at their lowest in years. Consumer confidence is the highest in over a decade. New homes are being built. The stock market is moving along. But even with all this great news, President Obama decided to draw the nation’s attention back to the stark divide between the haves and have-nots. The president wants to talk about class. And that’s exactly what host Melissa Harris-Perry and guests will do. Guests include:
- Robert Traynham, MSNBC contributor and former Bush-Cheney Senior advisor
- Bryce Covert, economic policy editor at Think Progress
- Hector Cordero Guzman, Professor at Baruch College School of Public Affairs
- David Boaz, executive vice president of The Cato Institute and author of “The Libertarian Mind”
Check out these interesting reads about class in America:
- Despite recovery, fewer Americans identify as middle class
- Talk of Wealth Gap Prods the G.O.P. to Refocus
- We’ll Need an Economic Program to Make #BlackLivesMatter. Here Are Three Ideas.
- The Working Poor Confound the Experts
- Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity
Then, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is doubling-down on his march to zero income taxes
And state’s public school children may pay the cost. The governor’s refusal to ask the state’s wealthiest to pay their fair share has decreased the state’s revenue and has created a budgetary nightmare. Gov. Brownback’s solution to balance the budget: hike taxes on cigarettes and liquor and cut classroom funding for Kansas schools by $127 million. Chair of the Democratic Party of Kansas and former Secretary of Revenue for Kansas Department of Revenue, Joan Wagnon, joins us for more insight into how the governor’s plans are crippling the state. Check out Melissa’s letter to Governor Brownback.
In 31 states you’ll pay more to send an infant to full-time day care than to send a student to public college. That can be a big burden on many families, but particularly on low-income families who are likely to spend 30% of their income on child care. Our panel will discuss President Obama’s initiatives to help parents pay for this expense as well as the experience of everyday folks affected by the high cost of child care. Our panelists include:
- Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work
- Christopher Persley, stay at home dad and blogger at The Brown Gothamite
- Madeleine Villanueva, Family Child Care Business Specialist at The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
On the heels of the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we’re talking reproductive rights. First, we’ll discuss the politics of anti-abortion legislation —and why some politicians are still pushing restrictions even if they have little or no chance of becoming law. Our panelists includes:
- Robert Traynham
- Irin Carmon, MSNBC national reporter
- Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Then, we’ll turn our sights to Alabama where lawyer Julian McPhillips will explain how an attorney represents the interests of an embryo. And finally, Jill Filipovic will join us to discuss the construction of a new Planned Parenthood clinic that has faced fierce opposition from abortion opponents. According to Cosmopolitan.com, “Contractors and subcontractors have been intimidated out of working on the project by the threat of being blacklisted from future construction projects and targeted for harassment by abortion foes.” Jill will bring us more details on this story.
All that plus the latest on deflate-gate and the Patriots.
Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10am ET on msnbc. Join the conversation—share your thoughts about these issues on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.