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Law, Politics, and the Coming Collapse of the Middle Class: Conversation with Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard University; March 8, 2007, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Elizabeth Warren, who is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University, and the 2007 Jefferson lecturer on the Berkeley campus. In addition to her legal publications, she has written two books, The Two-Income Trap and All Your Worth, both co-authored by Amelia Warren Tyagi.

  1. Background ... Oklahoma ... Depression-era parents ... importance of family ... teachers ... debate ... working with disabled children ... law school ... Harvard ... natural-born contrarian
  2. Law and Politics ... many ways to make a change ... studying families and bankruptcy ... unexpectedly entering the policy realm ... enrichment of scholarship ... political agenda of belief structures ... the blame game ... family values ... a law written by lobbyists
  3. The Two-Income Trap ... bankruptcy bill ... Senator Clinton flip-flops ... ultlimate passage of the bill ... skyrocketing bankruptcies ... conservatives begin to recognize the problem ... women in the work force keep families afloat ... rise in prices of basic goods ... vulnerability of the two-income family ... more work for less financial freedom ... zip codes, schools, and housing prices
  4. Implications for Democracy ... democracy's need for a strong middle class ... two-tier society ... importance of education ... the burden of student debt ... write your congressperson

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