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Prof. Jeffrey Sachs on Our Broken Economy, and How to Fix It; Rachel Meeropol on Ending the Death Penalty

Columbia economist Jeffrey D. Sachs talks about our economic mess and his brilliant new book, The Price of Civilization; attorney Rachel Meeropol from Center for Constitutional Rights talks about the torture of condemned prisoners held in solitary for years.

Sachs is the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and one of the nation’s leading economists.  His book explains the origins of our current crisis, and a strong critique of Obama’s policies and advisors–from the perspective of someone who wants Obama to succeed.  He links important cultural issues–like excessive TV viewing–to the distraction of Americans that enables the expansion of corporate power.  Sachs dings Reagan for demonizing government and taxes, and offers his own prescription for a recovery.  He also believes that the Occupy Wall Street protests in NY and around the country reflect the activism of the Millenials, and offers clear warnings about extreme libertarianism.

At 46:42, we are joined by attorney Rachel Meeropol from the Center for Constitutional Rights.  As the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (executed in 1953), she has strong personal views against the death penalty.  She is co-author of a report on the inhumane treatment of condemned prisoners–and others–in solitary confinement, and praises the thousands of California prisoners engaged in a hunger strike to protest isolation.  We also talk about the recent execution in Georgia of Troy Davis despite strong evidence of his innocence; Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his bloodthirsty fans; and the recent state killing of Anwar al-Awlaki by order of President Obama, with no due process.