July 11, 2012

America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, & Our Democracy

Gar Alperovitz, Ph.D., the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland

Host: David Inge

Back in 2005, economist Gar Alperovitz said the time was ripe for a popular movement focused on inequality. Today’s “occupy” movements have proven him right. And, he argues, this kind of activism happening at the local level has the potential to change the entire country in some very big ways. Gar Alperovitz talks about his book "America Beyond Capitalism." The book profiles citizen experiments now underway that go beyond traditional economic models to democratize wealth and empower communities.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, January 13, 2012, 11 am

July 10, 2012

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

Steven Kotler, Award-Winning Science Writer

Host: David Inge

On a regular basis, we bring you stories about how bad things are. This time, we talk with the co-author of a new book that argues that the world is getting better at a rapid rate. Our guest will be science writer Steven Kotler. His book, "Abundance" argues that over the past 50 years, global standards of living have tripled, the food supply has increased, and rates of literacy and life expectancy have grown. Overall, he says, we are living in a better world, and the book looks at the forces responsible.

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 11 am

July 06, 2012

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Why are some nations rich and others poor? Many explanations have been offered: culture, geography, even weather. But MIT economist Daron Acemoglu says what matters most are the political and economic institutions made by people. We’ll hear more about the root causes behind success and failure and talk about what might be done to build widespread prosperity.

This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, May 10, 2012, 10 am

July 05, 2012

The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter

Northwestern University Sociologist Gary Alan Fine has been studying rumors for over 35 years. He began by looking at the ways rumors affected race relations and made it so difficult for blacks and whites to get together. In his more recent work, he has looked at rumors that deal with international politics. He says rumors provide access to what people believe and the beliefs they keep hidden. Fine will share some ideas from his book "The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration and Trade Matter."

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, May 04, 2012, 10 am

July 03, 2012

Current Events in Burma/Myanmar

Burma is one of the poorest countries in Asia. A long period of military rule has kept the country from developing either politically or economically. But that may be starting to change. One sign of that change was the recent election to Parliament of the country’s leading opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi. Next time on Focus our morning talk show we will review recent events in Burma as we talk with Christina Fink, from the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 10 am

July 02, 2012

Student Loan Debt and Default, a National Crisis?

More than 90 percent of today’s students earning a bachelor’s degree borrow money to pay for school. That can leave them with a huge burden of debt when they graduate. Why have so many students turned to borrowing to pay for college? And what happens to them and to the country if they can’t repay their loans? Our guest will be Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access and Success, and we’ll explore the growing problem of student debt.

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10 am

June 27, 2012

American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

Bryce Hoffman, Award-Winning Journalist

Host: David Inge

At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was running on empty. In an effort to save the American auto industry, Congress offered a bailout. GM and Chrysler took the money, but Ford decided to save itself. The company did it by hiring an outsider, Alan Mulally. It turned out to be a very good hire. By early 2010, it was clear Ford had pulled off one of the most amazing turnarounds in history. We’ll get the story from our guest, Bryce Hoffman, author of "American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company."

June 15, 2012

The European Union

John McCormick, Ph.D., Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics, Department of Political Science; Director of Graduate Studies, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Host: David Inge

Proponents of unification in Europe have long argued that closer ties across national borders would lead to peace and prosperity. Certainly the first part has been achieved, but there are questions about the second.  We’ll talk about the ongoing economic crisis in the EU. Our guest will be John McCormick, professor of European Union Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. We’ll review the causes of the crisis, and talk about the future of the Euro.

June 04, 2012

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Ezra F. Vogel, Ph.D., Henry Ford II Research Professor of the Social Sciences, Emeritus, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

Host: David Inge

This interview was recorded on January 26, 2012

We’ll bring you a conversation with one of America’s leading scholars of East Asia, Ezra Vogel, emeritus professor of social sciences at Harvard. His 1979 best-selling book "Japan as Number One," predicted the rise of Japan as an economic powerhouse. His most recent book looks at China’s development and role Deng Xiaoping played in that country’s modernization. The first book, he says, played a role in educating America about Japan. His hope is that the new book will do the same for China.

This is a repeat broadcast from Monday, January 30, 2012, 10 am

May 30, 2012

The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change

Most of Africa’s farmers are so poor they can’t grow enough to feed their families year round. In January of 2011 a group of Kenyan farmers decided to take a chance--joining the One Acre Fund, a social enterprise set up to help some of Africa’s most neglected people. The hope was that they could feed their families for the year, and have a bit left over to sell.  Roger Thurow brings us the story of a farm community on the brink of change, the subject of his book "The Last Hunger Season."

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