Business & Economics

Money, Business, Media

David Høgsholt / The Atlantic

American manufacturing has long been on the decline. It was known as a “sunset industry” when the journalist James Fallows covered the subject in the 1980s. Increased globalization and the rise of China made matters worse. But now Fallows sees hope for manufacturing in America. New tools that greatly speed up development from idea to final product are encouraging start-up companies to locate here, not in Asia. Fallows joins us on Monday to explain why global trade winds may again be blowing in America’s favor.

In our latest Through the Lens documentary, Doug is joined by trial lawyer-turned-filmmaker Susan Saladoff. Her film “Hot Coffee” uses the infamous 1994 lawsuit against McDonald’s to reveal what Saladoff sees as big business’ influence over our civil justice system. Though the McDonald’s case became a symbol of frivolous lawsuits, much of what the public thinks about the case is inaccurate. We’ll talk to Saladoff about justice for the average person and why she decided to use film to tell the story.

Looking for financial independence? Part-time work from home? In the August issue of Harper’s, Virginia Sole-Smith puts Mary Kay cosmetics under the microscope, and she says it’s a business that preys on desperate housewives with the promise of glamour and extra income. The reality of network marketing though is often sub-minimum wage, escalating debt and the pressure to recruit more people. Tuesday, Sole-Smith joins us, along with Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones, for a look at the high price of “easy” income.

Paper Promises

Jun 28, 2012
<i><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoliblog/3198088960/">Zoli Erdos</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

For the past 40 years western economies have splurged on debt, but it’s hardly a new phenomenon. Financial journalist Philip Coggan says that economic crises have a time-worn place in history. Governments fall, currencies lose their value and new systems emerge. In his book Paper Promises, Coggan traces our attitudes towards money and debt through history. He joins us to explain what these debt cycles can teach us about our current situation and how our attitudes might be about to change again. (Rebroadcast)

Paper Promises

Apr 20, 2012
<i><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoliblog/3198088960/">Zoli Erdos</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

For the past 40 years western economies have splurged on debt, but it’s hardly a new phenomenon. Financial journalist Philip Coggan says that economic crises have a time-worn place in history. Governments fall, currencies lose their value and new systems emerge. In his new book, Coggan traces our attitudes towards money and debt through history. Monday, he joins us to explain what these debt cycles can teach us about our current situation and how our attitudes might be about to change again.

Making It In America

Apr 6, 2012
<a hyref="http://library.loganutah.org/archives/historicPhotos/HistoricPhoto.cfm?Title=Logan%20Sugar%20Factory%20Workers" target="_blank">Logan Library Special Collections</a>

In the last decade, almost 6 million manufacturing jobs in America disappeared. Still, the U.S. remain either the number 1 or 2 manufacturer in the world. The journalist Adam Davidson went to the factory of Standard Motor Products in South Carolina to find out how the U.S. has remained a global leader in manufacturing even as fewer and fewer of us hold factory jobs. Davidson wrote about what he learned in the Atlantic magazine, and he'll join Doug to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

Making It In America

Jan 16, 2012

In the last decade, almost 6 million manufacturing jobs in America disappeared. Still, the U.S. remain either the number 1 or 2 manufacturer in the world. The journalist Adam Davidson went to the factory of Standard Motor Products in South Carolina to find out how the U.S. has remained a global leader in manufacturing even as fewer and fewer of us hold factory jobs. Davidson wrote about what he learned in the newest issue of the Atlantic magazine, and he'll join Doug on Tuesday to talk about it.

When Patents Attack!

Sep 30, 2011
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kyz/3690234544/">Stuart Caie</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

A new cold war is raging in America. Patents are the weapons and “trolls” are the soldiers as tech and software companies battle for market supremacy. That’s according to an investigation by NPR Planet Money cohorts Laura Sydell and Alex Blumberg. They join Doug on Monday to talk about the billionaire-backed company that’s one of the most intimidating patent trolls out there, the battleground town of 24,000 people in East Texas and how patents became the tech industry equivalent of a broadsword.

Courtesy <a href="http://harpers.org/" target="_blank">harpers.org</a>

In a new article for Harper's Magazine, journalist Chris Lehmann argues that Mormon economic life is everything the GOP could hope for and has been since the early days of the LDS Church. Lehmann calls Mormons "free-market apostles," pointing to their distrust of debt and government, their respect for self-reliance over welfare and what he calls a tendency to fetishize precious metals over currency. Lehmann joins Doug to explain why he says when it comes to the economy "We are all Mormons now."

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/42931449@N07/5299199423/">photosteve101</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

There's been a lot of talk since the economy stumbled about how to get it back on track. Should the government cut taxes or spend money to get things flowing again? This debate isn't new; it's been raging since the Great Depression, when economists Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes developed theories that get to the heart of this fundamental question. Tuesday, we're talking about supply-side and demand-side economics and asking what each approach could do to make a difference today.

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