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This Week
December 13, 2002

This week on NOW:

The bankruptcy of United Airlines this week reminds us that the pressures on middle class wages have been relentless in recent years, and now people who thought they were secure in their station are feeling vulnerable. Economists and social critics are now talking as if the shrinkage of the middle class is permanent. No one has been writing about this more provocatively than the economist and columnist for THE NEW YORK TIMES, Paul Krugman. His ideas on the dilemma are the subject of this NOW report entitled MIDDLE CLASS SQUEEZE.

Bill Moyers interviews Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who discusses the campaign finance law that bears his name and the name of Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI). The McCain-Feingold law, which took effect on November 6, is currently being attacked from many sides including the two political parties, and in the courts.

Writer Mark Hertsgaard has circled the world twice reporting on the long shadow America casts over the world. His first book, EARTH ODYSSEY: AROUND THE WORLD IN SEARCH OF OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE, was praised by the NEW YORK TIMES for his story telling and named one of the best books on the environment by TIME magazine. Bill Moyers interviews Hertsgaard on that book and on what he learned talking to ordinary people in 15 countries, the subject of his latest book, THE EAGLEíS SHADOW: WHY AMERICA FASCINATES AND INFURIATES THE WORLD.

In this final season of soft-money giving to political parties in America, Big Oil and other energy companies gave politicians little incentive to pursue forms of energy that would free America from dependence on foreign oil. Itís different in Europe, where the power of the wind is turning a profit for companies that envision and alternative future. With politics in this country so beholden to the fossil fuel industry, wind power hasnít had the chance to show what it can do. On the plains of Minnesota, however, some people have decided that natureís own breath can contribute to an energy efficient economy. NOW goes to the land of Lake Woebegon, to see whatís blowiní in the wind.

In Depth

1950s couple in car

The Middle Class Squeeze — Is the American Middle Class Dream Gone?

Bill Moyers Talks with Senator John McCain

White Collar Unemployment Stats
Unemployment in the U.S. and Worldwide

Wind Power Now. Learn more about windmills today.

Earth from space
Bill Moyers and Mark Hertsgaard on America's Place in the World.


Talk about the news on the message boards


Behind the Blades of a Windmill

We've got more resources for teachers


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW

Read the complete transcript.


Middle Class Squeeze
Producer: Bryan Myers
Editor: Alison Amron

Wind Power Now
Producer: Rick Field
Editor: Vin Liota

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