Events for the week

december 12
Living on the Edge: Is America's biggest crisis one of morality--as Newt Gingrich and his Republican revolutionaries would have it--with rampant crime, drug use, and poverty the result of lapsed family values? Or has unfettered free-market capitalism--which includes a bottom line that mandates massive lay-offs, or "downsizing," and a continuing slide in wages and benefits for workers--produced a despair among blue-collar Americans that eats away at both self-esteem and family unity? As The Nation columnist Katha Pollitt puts it: "Saying that unwed mothers cause poverty is like saying that hungry people cause starvation." The peerless PBS documentary series "Frontline" offers a rare opportunity for insight in Living on the Edge, a sequel to a 1991 episode Minimum Wages: The New Economy. In this update, correspondent Bill Moyers revisits two families--one Anglo, the other African-American--who continue to struggle and remain intact under severe economic hardships. This "Frontline" airs at 9 p.m. on KERA-TV Channel 13.

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