Segments in this Video

Affordable Housing Crisis (01:58)


Bill Moyers discusses America's increasing social divisions. This episode will address national housing inequality through a New York City case study.

Central Park Shadows (01:32)

A middle class park user discusses a new skyscraper blocking out the sun. More luxury apartment towers are planned.

Private City in the Sky (01:54)

One57 is 90 stories high and represents New York's income inequality. Residents are the international super rich and live there part time; many apartments serve only as investments.

Skyscraper Lifestyle (01:48)

View promotional videos for 432 Park Avenue and One57. Extell bought the air rights over a historic landmark for its Nordstrom Tower—the tallest residential tower in the Western hemisphere.

Private vs. Public Space (01:50)

Shadows from luxury towers fall across Central Park. Learn about its history and function as a democratic, common space.

"Umbrella" Protest (01:13)

In the 1980s, Jackie Onassis led a civic action against a skyscraper that would shadow Central Park.

Zoning Campaign (01:16)

In February 2014, residents called for limiting tower height. Extell CEO Gary Barnett said they were exaggerating shadow dimensions, but it would affect 40 million park visitors.

Billionaire Tax Base (01:12)

Michael Bloomberg supported Barnett's luxury towers, arguing that New York City needs the super-rich, but most occupants are part time and will not pay city taxes.

Luxury Property Tax Break (02:35)

New York City tower residents will not pay income taxes to support public services. A recent housing bill cut their property taxes by $210,000.

New York State Corruption (01:02)

Low income housing advocate Jaron Benjamin found that luxury tower developers contributed to the governor in exchange for tax breaks.

Reshaping New York's Demographics (00:52)

Benjamin compares the city's real estate industry to the oil industry in Texas. The lack of new affordable housing is pushing working families out of the city.

Demanding Affordable Housing (01:43)

Mayor Bill De Blasio promised 200,000 new units; advocates ask that 50% of developments be allocated for low income families.

New York City's Future (02:27)

Development threatens to price out lower and middle income residents. Luxury towers symbolize exclusivity and erode urban common ground.

Credits: Moyers & Company: The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy (01:34)

Credits: Moyers & Company: The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy

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Moyers & Company: The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy

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3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill points to the changing skyline of Manhattan as the physical embodiment of how money and power impact the lives and neighborhoods of every day people. Soaring towers being built at the south end of Central Park, with apartments selling from $30 million to $90 million, are beginning to block the light on the park below. Many of the apartments are being sold at those sky high prices to the international super rich, many of whom will only live in Manhattan part-time—if at all—and often pay little or no city income or property taxes, thanks to the political clout of real estate developers. Broadcast date: November 28, 2014.

Length: 25 minutes

Item#: BVL66047

ISBN: 978-1-60057-702-4

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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