As America grapples with a deepening recession, white-collar workers are now losing their homes in increasing numbers. Paul Mason travels the country down the same road as John Steinbeck’s migrants in The Grapes of Wrath. Visiting homeless shelters along the way, he unexpectedly finds a growing number of middle-class people who have ended up on the street.
Plain-speaking Northern bloke, Mason finds uncomfortable parallels with the Great Depression, not only a distressing replay of Depression-era America, but increasingly bitter and angry groups along the route: Tea-Party Republicans, old-time County Sheriffs, various colours of ‘patriots’ and disaffected middle-class groups. That anger, fuelled by ‘unfettered’ immigration and right-wing radio ‘shock-jocks’ isn’t yet coalescing into any unified programme of action, however.
This is a half-hour re-cut of Mason’s Newsnight report previously broadcast; a worthwhile thumb-nail portrait of America from the deep South along the road West. AJS
Available in BBC iPlayer until 11:59PM Sun, 2 Oct 2011
First broadcast BBC News Channel, 5:30AM Sat, 24 Sep 2011
Duration: 30 minutes