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"Be Heard": 4th Street Forum | Our Slowly Sinking Middle Class

Listen: Whether it's upper, lower, or just plain vanilla, you probably think of yourself as "middle class." Almost all Americans do. However, the economic landscape has been shifting for decades and the rate of change seems to have accelerated since the onset of recession. What's the state of the middle class? And what can we do to grow it? Should our focus be short term, or do we need to think further into the future?

This week, hear from the 4th Street Forums distinguished guests panelists, including Avrum Lank (Credit Counselor from the  Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Milwaukee), Sheila Cochran (Chief Operating Officer and Secretary Treasurer at  Milwaukee County Labor Council, AFL-CIO), Eric Isbister (Chief Executive Officer and Co-owner at  GenMet Manufacturing), and William Holahan (Economics Chair, Professor, and Associate Director of the Center for Economic Education at  the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

Catch this episode of 4th Street Forum on Friday at 10PM and Sunday morning at 9am on Milwaukee Public Television (Channel 10.1).

88Nine's ace production intern, Ben Wick, got a bunch of good audio from the audience before the show (some of it leads off the piece of above) and I thought I'd share some of the out takes, unedited and uncut. Three different audience members give their personal definitions of "middle class:"

And next week, the 4th Street Forum takes their show on the road! At the Medical College of Wisconsin, they discuss "Bad Habits, Medical Costs, and Individual Responsibility." Too much weight, liquor, and smoking. We choose our lifestyles. But should everybody else pay when the medical bills come due?

More information on the 4th Street Forum is available at their website . You can also check out the embarrassment of riches that is their video archives .

Interviews: Ben Wick

Produced by: Adam Carr

Historic Milwaukee Turner Hall