Introduction: Changemakers (02:11)
Backlight followed authors Thomas Piketty and Naomi Klein on their book tours as they shared their ideas for change with the public.
Thomas Piketty (02:08)
French economist Thomas Piketty talks about the reception of his book, "Capital in the 21st Century," and the power of ideas.
Wealth Distribution (02:37)
Piketty's book recommends wealth taxes to address economic inequality. Piketty addresses the Dutch Finance Committee, explaining the historical data he researched for his book.
Danger to Democracy (03:34)
Piketty notes that public access to economic knowledge is important to effect political change. He visits a 17th century house in Amsterdam and recalls the wealth inequality of the past.
Piketty's Solutions (04:13)
Book tour attendees discuss Piketty's ideas concerning the concentration of wealth and power in 10% of the population and the threat to democracy. Public debate is important.
Dialogue Rather than Pronouncements (02:49)
At a book signing, a journalist notes that Piketty opens a dialogue unlike Fukuyama, Huntington and others, using cooperation rather than competition as a model.
Naomi Klein (02:02)
Author Naomi Klein notes how Piketty exposed the neoliberal idea of trickle-down economics for causing the wealth gap. She is on a book tour promoting "This Changes Everything."
Climate Change (02:31)
Naomi Klein argues that the climate change debate is our best chance to demand a better world.
Alternatives to Economic Growth (03:11)
In Greece, Klein notes the mistaken idea of success as economic growth and rejection of other ways to avoid crisis. Factory workers try to find an alternative to closing down the factory.
Climate Change Activism (03:44)
In the U.K., Klein suggests that people are losing faith in their leaders. Some visitors to the book signing argue with her statistics; debate is important.
German Example (02:15)
Klein presents examples of actions in Germany to transition to renewable energy as cities and towns take back energy grids from private companies.
Spreading the Message (02:57)
Besides Klein's book, there is a film, a blog and a website for those interested in climate change and challenging the economic model; one person can inspire large groups of people.
A Global Movement (02:32)
Klein notes the global movement and cites Canadian activists who protest oil pipelines. Writers research and present evidence, but the public must pressure politicians with specific proposals.
Consumption of Power (03:54)
Piketty says you need tough sanctions to change benefits for the elite. Bill Gates told Piketty that he liked progressive taxes on consumption, but the rich spend on political influence, not goods.
Societal Revolution? (03:35)
Piketty discusses the possibility of revolution. He notes the need to have a plan for afterwards.
Changing the System (02:59)
Klein explains the changes needed to reduce carbon emissions and notes we have evidence of the failure of trickledown economics. She urges people to become hopeful activists.
Credits: Changemakers: Thomas Piketty and Naomi Klein (00:30)
Credits: Changemakers: Thomas Piketty and Naomi Klein
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