Friday, February 19, 2016

The Late 1960s ... and Now

New World Notes #416, 29:15 (February 23)
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Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Draft card burning

The deaths of musicians Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson inspire reflections (by me) on the virtues of the late-1960s "counterculture"--virtues seemingly in short supply today. Such as distrust of authority, feeling of personal power & community, belief that the people can change the world for the better, and experiments in alternative structures.

Or maybe today's situation is actually more hopeful than it seems at first glance.

The show includes commentary by Glen Ford, a poem by W.H. Auden, and music by Jefferson Airplane.

Paul Kantner, 1941-2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Economics and Inequality

Part 1: New World Notes #414, 28:46 (February 9)
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Part 2: New World Notes #415, 28:10 (February 16)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Economist Joseph Stiglitz shows that economic inequality in the U.S. is bad, and it is getting worse. Likewise, inequality of opportunity. The causes of the problem--says Stiglitz--are the U.S.'s dysfunctional style of capitalism and a political system that increasingly serves only the economic elite, not "the 99%."

The situation is not only bad for democracy, it's even bad for capitalism, Stiglitz argues. (No socialist, Stiglitz wants to reform capitalism, not replace it.)

Stiglitz's talk is short of proposed solutions, but it is an excellent, lucid, and very listenable survey of the problems we face--and their causes.

Stiglitz's accolades include the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is former Chief Economist of the World Bank and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. He gave this talk, in Washington D.C., in 2012 on his tour supporting his book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Norton, 2012).