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This Week: Mortgage Due
This Week
March 25, 2005

This week on NOW:

Controversial new bankruptcy legislation almost certain to become law could make it harder for regular Americans to protect themselves if they fall on hard times and can’t pay their debt. Credit card companies are hailing the proposed law as reform of a system rife with abuse, but does it unfairly favor the rich and target the working class? NOW goes inside the debate, examines the causes for bankruptcy filings and looks at a loophole in the bill that allows the wealthy to protect assets from creditors. The report tells the story of a Connecticut family forced into bankruptcy by expenses from a catastrophic medical emergency and contemplates what the new law could mean for families facing similar situations.

Some statistics suggest that income inequality--the gap between rich and poor--in America is wider now than it has been for 70 years. What does John Kenneth Galbraith, a chief architect of the American economy in the 1960s, think about America’s economic direction today? David Brancaccio gets insight from economist Richard Parker, author of the biography JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH: THE MAKING OF AMERICAN ECONOMICS. “His ideal of what he called ‘the new class’ has not turned out to be nearly as public-minded as Galbraith hoped it would,” says Parker. A Lecturer in Public Policy and Senior Fellow of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard, Parker has worked as an economist for the United Nations Development Programme and as cofounder of MOTHER JONES MAGAZINE. His books include: THE MYTH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS and MIXED SIGNALS: THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL TELEVISION NEWS.

In Depth


The Bankruptcy Bill Debate

Americans and Credit

Past Due
Bankruptcy Expert Elizabeth Warren

The Financial State of the Union

John Kenneth Galbraith
Richard Parker on John Kenneth Galbraith

NOW's Reading List


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Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video

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Payment Due (16:55)

Richard Parker on John Kenneth Galbraith (6:28)


Payment Due
Producer: Kathleen Hughes
Correspondent: Michele Mitchell
Editor: Andrew Fredericks

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