Airs Sunday, January 11 at 6 p.m. Income inequality has been on the rise for decades. In the last 30 years, the wages of the top 1% have grown by 154%, while the bottom 90% has seen growth of only 17%. As the rungs of the economic ladder move further and further apart, conventional wisdom says that it will become much more difficult to climb them. Opportunities for upward mobility—the American dream—will disappear as the deck becomes stacked against the middle class and the poor. But others see inequality as a positive, a sign of a dynamic and robust economy that, in the end, helps everyone. And contrary to public opinion, mobility has remained stable over the past few decades. If the American dream is dying, is it the result of income inequality? Or is disparity in income a red herring where more complex issues are at play?

Arguing for the motion: Arguing for the motion: Elise Gould, Senior Economist and Director of Health Policy Research at the Economic Policy Institute; and Nick Hanauer, Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist.

Arguing against the motion: Edward Conard, Visiting Scholar with AEI & Former Partner with Bain Capital; and Scott Winship, Fellow with the Manhattan Institute.

You can now hear the Morning Report during each hour of Morning Edition at 4:51, 5:51, 6:51, 7:51 and 8:51 a.m.

Airs Sunday, December 29 at 6 p.m. While gridlock and division in Washington make it difficult for either party or ideology to set the policy agenda, single-party government prevails in three-quarters of the states. In 24 states Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, and in 13 states Democrats enjoy one-party control. Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out? The debaters are Hugh Hewitt, Gray Davis, Stephen Moore, and Michael Lind.

Commentator Archie McDonald laments the loss of the Made in America label and what it means for our future.