Episode from the podcastThe John Batchelor Show

The Divide: 4 of 4: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap Audible Audiobook – Unabridged. Matt Taibbi (Author), Ray Porter (Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)

Released Saturday, 8th February 2020
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Photo: Phoenix in May 1972, with South Mountain in the background. Keyes, Cornelius M. (Cornelius Michael), 1944-, Photographer (NARA record: 8463989) - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
General notes: Aerial view of Phoenix, Arizona in 1972. Towers are in the Central City Villagedistrict, in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. With other Urban Villages of the City of Phoenix, in 1972 stages of development.

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Twitter: @BatchelorShow

The Divide: 4 of 4: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged.  Matt Taibbi (Author), Ray Porter (Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)


A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis. 

Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: 

Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world's wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. 

In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime - but it's impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side. 

In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice - the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights. 

Through astonishing - and enraging - accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide's punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.

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