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Your Call: From 1970s New York City to the nation, the rise of austerity politics


Historian Kim Phillips-Fein joins us to discuss her new book, Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics.

Organizing by labor unions and the working class yielded New York strong public institutions and democratic sensibilities. But economic and political forces pushed the city to near bankruptcy in the mid-70s. Then the politics pivoted to personal responsibility. Public services faced drastic cuts, while corporations and wealthy individuals received tax breaks. It’s a prelude to today’s fiscal conservatism.


Kim Phillips-Fein, associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and author of Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics.

Web Resources:

Kim Phillips-Fein

The Nation: The Roots of American Conservatism

The AP: Greek poverty deepens during 7 years of austerity

Democracy Now: Brazil Launches First General Strike in 2 Decades to Protest Austerity

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.