this video highlights dr. cornel west speaking at the remaking america: from poverty to prosperity talk at george washington university in washington dc on thursday, january 12, 2012.
other panelists included majora carter; barbara ehrenreich; michael moore; suze orman; vicki escarra and roger clay, jr.
the event was moderated by tavis smiley
(the audio on this video is off slightly for the first 48 seconds only. please forgive the quick edits at 4:05; 7:58; 12:16; 13:20; 15:19; 17:25 and 20:06, between dr. west's talks)
watch the full uninterrupted, unedited 150 minute discussion with tavis and all the other guests here:
the following is from Tavis and Cornel's Solution to Poverty
Number 1, which answers your question, is that poverty has to be made a priority in this country. At the moment it is not a priority, not just for our government but for the American people. Now one out of two Americans are either in poverty or near poverty — that's half the country — so we are hopeful that our government and the American people in this election year will get more vocal about demanding that poverty be a priority.
Number 2, there must be a plan to eradicate poverty. We keep coming up with these short-term Band-Aids, like the president's payroll-tax cut. A payroll-tax cut is a decent idea, I guess, but it only works if you're on the payroll in the first place. That's just one example; there are all kinds of presidents who, in years past, have tried to come up with these in-the-moment solutions to poverty. There's got to be a real plan.
We're calling in this text for a White House conference. The White House has a conference on everything but poverty, so we're calling to bring all these experts together. Marian Wright Edelman has a plan. Jeffrey Sachs at Columbia has a plan. Catholic Charities has a plan.
Thirdly and finally, whoever the next president is needs to get serious about selling the process to the American people for how this will happen. When the numbers are as significant as they are, I am certain that the American people are interested in a plan to get them out of poverty. The more serious that Republicans and Democrats get about that, the better off we're going to be.