Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 7:09am

The discussion can be heard at dinner tables across the United States: When will the state of America's struggling lower and middle classes improve and why do the rich keep getting richer?

Economist and author Jeff Faux will discuss the findings in his latest book, The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class, during a talk at 4 p.m. Sept. 18 in Webb Auditorium, James E. Booth Hall, Rochester Institute of Technology. A book signing immediately follows. The presentation is free and open to the community. A book discussion will be led by Vincent Serravallo, associate professor of sociology, and William Johnson, distinguished professor of science, technology and society/public policy, both of RIT.

According to Faux, founding president and a distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, neither political party has a plan to remedy America's unemployment, inequality or long economic slide.

"The U.S. no longer has the means to fulfill the dreams of Wall Street, the Pentagon and the middle class," Faux believes. "At least one dream must die and despite partisan differences, both political parties have agreed to sacrifice the people. An economic recovery will eventually create more jobs but most will no longer pay a middle-class salary. As a result, even if we avoid another recession, real incomes by the year 2024 will be dramatically lower than they are today."

However, Faux is certain that he knows the solution.

"To create a different tomorrow, we must today abandon the false hope that the next tax cut, stock market boom or election will bring prosperity. True hope lies in citizens, mobilizing to attack the central source of our unresponsive democracy-the tsunami of money in politics that is flooding out the American Dream. And if the Supreme Court's Citizens United campaign finance decision from 2010 is not reversed, we will drown in it."

Faux is a long-time writer about the global economy for The American Prospect and The Nation, and has written or co-authored five books including The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future-And What it Will Take to Win it Back and Reclaiming Prosperity: A Blueprint for Progressive Economic Reform.

"Jeff Faux is one of the leading voices of the Progressive movement, and his new book, The Servant Economy, is a brilliant analysis of why the economy isn't working for the middle class and why it isn't likely to get any better no matter who gets elected in November," says Ron Hira, associate professor of public policy at RIT. "This book is a must-read for anyone who is wondering what's wrong with America's economy and what people need to know about why so little is being done to correct it."

For more information about Faux, go to www.jefffaux.com. For details about the RIT event, contact Hira at 585-475-7052 or rhira@mail.rit.edu.

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