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American billionaire Warren Buffett pledged years ago to donate almost all of his vast wealth to charity.
And one project that could benefit: the fight against concentrated poverty.
“The American dream has been very real for millions and millions of people over the years,” Buffett said. “But there’s been an American nightmare that has accompanied that.”
Buffett said he thinks the Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the best ways to level the playing field for lower-income families. And Buffett, the nation’s second-richest man, said he hopes income inequality will be an issue in the race for president.
He points out that since the first Forbes 400 list was put out in the 1980’s, the aggregate wealth of the people on it, like himself, has increased by 2,300 percent.
At the same time, the income of the bottom quintile of Americans has increased by less than one percent.
“Clearly, there’s something out of whack,” Buffett told NewsHour. “I would like to hear any candidate say they felt about that and what they intended to do about it. It’s got to be a big issue.”
Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Megan Thompson shoots, produces and reports on-camera for PBS NewsHour Weekend. Her report "Costly Generics" earned an Emmy nomination and won Gracie and National Headliner Awards. She was also recently awarded a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to report on the issue of mental health. Previously, Thompson worked for the PBS shows and series Need to Know, Treasures of New York, WorldFocus and NOW on PBS. Prior to her career in journalism she worked in research and communications on Capitol Hill. She originally hails from the great state of Minnesota and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a MA in Journalism from New York University.
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