Towards the end of an hour-long conversation with MSNBC host Ali Velshi at the Fitler Club this week, Philly businessman/philanthropist/author Richard Vague had some rousing words about the country he has studied and traveled across extensively: “We are America,” he said. “We can do many things.”
During the Citizen members event, Vague, most recently author of A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises, and Velshi, a Citizen board member, touched on some of the most pressing issues of our times: the economy; personal debt; political ideology; and the 2020 Presidential Election. Vague, who Citizen editor Larry Platt described as a “modern-day Ben Franklin,” delved into research he has conducted about the causes, and preventative measures, for economic downturns of the last two centuries, and into middle class Americans’ areas of concern, heading into another election. (To wit: No one cares about Pres. Trump’s tax returns; everyone cares about their employer-provided health care.)
In a time when it can be hard to feel optimistic about America, Vague provided an antidote for the simplest of reasons: “I’m not discouraged because all of the folks in our groups, Republicans and Democrats, were terrific people.”
Listen to the conversation below, and scroll down for photos from the event:
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Photos by Anthony Pezzotti