Business & Economics

Money, Business, Media

In the wake of the Great Recession, large Western governments have tried to keep their economies afloat by imposing austerity measures. The hope is that by reducing wages and spending they could bail themselves out of budget deficits and jumpstart global economic growth. The political economist Mark Blyth says that plan hasn’t worked out. He says austerity has led to sluggish growth and increasing inequality, and not for the first time, either. Blyth joins us Thursday to explain why austerity, like a zombie, is a dangerous idea that just won’t die.

Salt Sugar Fat

Jul 1, 2013

Salt, sugar and fat are the most prevalent ingredients in the processed foods that now dominate American appetites. According to investigative reporter Michael Moss, food manufacturers cram as much of those three ingredients as possible into their products in order to make them irresistible. But high levels of salt, sugar and fat have also made us obese and unhealthy. Moss has written a new book investigating the food science and corporate scheming that have distorted the American diet and put our health at risk, and he joins us Tuesday to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

Salt Sugar Fat

Apr 16, 2013

Salt, sugar and fat are the most prevalent ingredients in the processed foods that now dominate American appetites. According to investigative reporter Michael Moss, food manufacturers cram as much of those three ingredients as possible into their products in order to make them irresistible. But high levels of salt, sugar and fat have also made us obese and unhealthy. Moss has written a new book investigating the food science and corporate scheming that have distorted the American diet and put our health at risk, and he joins us on Wednesday to talk about it.

The increasing cost of a college education concerns people regardless of their income level or politics. It’s the subject of congressional hearings, protests and everyday conversation. But why does higher education cost so much? Are our universities simply dysfunctional and inefficient? Or is it more complicated than that? Wednesday, we’ll explore those questions in front of a live audience at the Hinckley Institute of Politics. The scholars Robert Archibald and Nicholas Hillman are our guests. And we hope you’ll join us, too.

Tuesday on RadioWest, we continue our discussion about innovation at colleges and universities with Dr. John Warnock. Warnock was a student at the University of Utah in the 1960s. After graduating, he and colleague Charles Geschke founded one of the most successful software companies in the world: Adobe. Warnock’s education at the U laid the groundwork for the ideas he helped pioneer at Adobe. So here’s the question: how can today’s universities stimulate and encourage a new generation of innovators?

Monday, we begin a weeklong series of shows, in partnership with the Hinckley Institute of Politics, about the future of higher education. Pressures from all sides are forcing traditional universities to drastically reform. Henry J. Eyring, an administrator at BYU-Idaho, says reform should include changes people wouldn't expect, such as reducing costs, allowing students to customize their degrees and taking classes online. It's called “disruptive innovation,” and Eyring will join us to talk about it.

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)

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