WBEZ | Economy http://www.wbez.org/tags/economy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en No Comment From Grinning Martin Shkreli at House Hearing on Drug Prices http://www.wbez.org/news/no-comment-grinning-martin-shkreli-house-hearing-drug-prices-114734 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/drugs.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res465557408" previewtitle="Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles beside Nancy Retzlaff, Turing's chief commercial officer, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles beside Nancy Retzlaff, Turing's chief commercial officer, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/04/gettyimages-508357106_wide-5bdb51c7a02e95576bc7d2952a642b40ed4eb70e-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles beside Nancy Retzlaff, Turing's chief commercial officer, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who inspired wrath <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-09-22/drug-used-cost-1350-tablet-now-costs-750-can-be-justified-113032">when he raised the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent</a>, appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday for a hearing on prescription drug prices.</p></div></div></div><p>But his testimony was far from fruitful.</p><p>You may remember that Shkreli, the founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, became infamous last year. His company bought the rights to the drug Daraprim, which treats a deadly parasitic infection, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/09/23/442907028/turing-pharmaceuticals-retreats-from-plan-to-raise-price-of-daraprim">raised the price from $13 a pill to $750 a pill</a>. The company later backed off that increase, but Shkreli defended the decision as simply a good business decision.</p><div id="res465557843"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>Separately, he&#39;s been&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/17/460092620/reports-fbi-arrests-turing-pharmaceuticals-ceo-shkreli-on-fraud-charges">arrested for fraud</a>&nbsp;over a hedge fund he managed from 2009 to 2014. In December, he&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/18/460288856/martin-shkreli-resigns-as-turing-pharmaceuticals-ceo">resigned as Turing&#39;s chief executive</a>.</p><p>Shkreli appeared before the House committee on Thursday to discuss drug pricing. The hearing also featured testimony from Dr. Janet Woodcock and Keith Flanagan of the FDA, Howard Schiller of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (which also&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/09/458976680/senate-questions-egregious-price-hikes-for-specialty-medicines">has been criticized over its price hikes</a>), Nancy Retzlaff of Turing and Mark Merritt of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.</p><p>In Turing&#39;s defense, Retzlaff said that two-thirds of patients receive Daraprim at a steep discount through government programs, and that the company funds an assistance program for uninsured, low-income patients.</p><p>Shkreli was much more tight-lipped. His lawyer had advised him to plead the Fifth. And Shkreli followed that advice to the letter.</p><p>After Shkreli declined to give an opening statement, here&#39;s how the first exchange went:</p><blockquote><div><p>Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the committee:&nbsp;&quot;What do you say to that single pregnant woman who might have AIDS, no income, she needs Daraprim in order to survive. What do you say to her when she has to make that choice? What do you say to her?&quot;</p><p>Shkreli:&nbsp;&quot;On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question.&quot;</p><p>...</p><p>Chaffetz:&nbsp;&quot;Do you think you&#39;ve done anything wrong?&quot;</p><p>Shkreli:&nbsp;&quot;On the advice of counsel,&quot; (pausing for a moment) &quot;I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Shkreli confirmed the pronunciation of his name, but otherwise refused to answer all questions directed his way &mdash; even one about his exclusive hip-hop album. (Shkreli bought&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/09/459059359/sole-copy-of-latest-wu-tang-album-was-sold-to-pharma-bro">the sole copy</a>&nbsp;of the Wu-Tang Clan album&nbsp;Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.Months after he bought it,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-martin-shkreli-wu-tang-clan-album/">he said</a>&nbsp;he still hadn&#39;t listened to the album, but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vice.com/video/drinking-wine-and-playing-chess-at-martin-shkrelis-midtown-apartment">he did play it for a Vice reporter</a>.)</p><p>Shkreli isn&#39;t usually so reticent. He has been&nbsp;<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/12/03/what-martin-shkreli-says-now-i-shouldve-raised-prices-higher/#298d30321964">outspoken</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/12/03/what-martin-shkreli-says-now-i-shouldve-raised-prices-higher/#298d30321964">unapologetic</a>&nbsp;in his conversations with reporters &mdash; and his&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8gjB1PSXv_oAUSAQ16S0fA">live video streams</a>&nbsp;from his apartment.</p><p>In fact, his new lawyer has said he agreed to represent Shkreli on one condition: The 32-year-old had to stop granting interviews with the press.</p><p>A visibly frustrated Rep. Trey Gowdy pointed out that Shkreli could answer a wide range of questions without incriminating himself.</p><p>&quot;I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours,&quot; the former pharmaceutical executive said with a tight smile.</p><p>&quot;Well, Mr. Chairman, I am vexed,&quot; Gowdy said, pointing to Shkreli&#39;s readiness to talk to the press, but not to Congress.</p><p>Rep. Elijah Cummings, for his part, didn&#39;t even attempt to question Shkreli, and instead pleaded with him &mdash; arguing that Shkreli could use his position, and his influence over his former company, as a force for good. Cummings said Shkreli could use his influence to advocate for patients&#39; rights and could &quot;make a difference in so many people&#39;s lives.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I know you&#39;re smiling,&quot; Cummings said, &quot;But I&#39;m very serious, sir. The way I see it, you can go down in history as the poster boy for greedy drug company executives, or you could change the system.</p><p>&quot;Yeah,&nbsp;you.&quot;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="437" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BPPerZLjp4M" width="777"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/04/465548279/no-comment-from-grinning-martin-shkreli-at-house-hearing-on-drug-prices?ft=nprml&amp;f=465548279"><em>&mdash;via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/no-comment-grinning-martin-shkreli-house-hearing-drug-prices-114734 How Low Oil Prices Are A Drag on the Economy http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-01-25/how-low-oil-prices-are-drag-economy-114589 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GettyImages-505885942.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It seems pretty simple, right? Cheaper oil means lower gas prices, which means consumers can spend gas money on other stuff. A nice little economic stimulus. But&nbsp;<a href="http://iedtexas.org/" target="_blank">Thomas Tunstall</a>,&nbsp;&lrm;senior research director at University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, said it&#39;s not cut and dry.</p><p>&quot;I got tired of hearing people say, &lsquo;Yeah, oil prices are going down but consumer spending will make up the difference&rsquo; and I thought, I don&rsquo;t think so,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>David Goldwyn, president of&nbsp;<a href="http://goldwynstrategies.com/Content/David.aspx" target="_blank">Goldwyn Strategies</a>, said consumers aren&#39;t driving that much more, anyway.</p><p>&ldquo;And the amount they&rsquo;re saving is a pretty modest impact on the economy,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Goldwyn said the damage to the oil industry is much greater than the benefits to consumers. Those hardest hit were the oil field service companies, like Halliburton.</p><p>&ldquo;What happened when the price of oil dropped is the price that producers were willing to pay for their services dropped dramatically,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>And that means cutting jobs and dropping wages.</p><p>Baker Hughes, another drilling services company which Halliburton is buying said this week it would be laying off 11 percent of its workforce &ndash; 7,000 people.</p><p>That hurts the whole economy.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://cms.marketplace.org/2016/01/22/world/halliburtons-2016-might-not-be-looking-so-great"><em> via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-01-25/how-low-oil-prices-are-drag-economy-114589 Analysts: Markets May Be Underestimating U.S. Economic Resilience http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-01-25/analysts-markets-may-be-underestimating-us-economic-resilience <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_143530056502.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the old saying goes, the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions. In other words, sharply falling stock markets are crying wolf about half the time.</p><p>Dyke Messinger, who runs a small manufacturing company in Salisbury, N.C., thinks stock investors have been overreacting during this sell-off.</p><p>&quot;It is bizarre to me when we see what we believe is good core strength in the U.S. market,&quot; he says.</p><p>Messinger&#39;s market is the construction industry. His company, Power Curbers, manufactures machines that contractors use to build curbs and gutters for housing developments and commercial buildings.</p><p>&quot;Everybody is a bit on pins and needles due to the changing world economy, but there&#39;s still pent-up demand for housing and commercial construction,&quot; he says.</p><p>Those sectors performed weakly in the U.S. coming out of the recession but are doing much better now.</p><p>Messinger&#39;s business is actually a good reflection of the situation many U.S. manufacturers face. He exports a lot of his machines. About 30 percent of his sales are to international customers, including oil producing countries in the Middle East. The plunge in oil prices has hurt his business; his international sales have fallen sharply. So he knows the global economy can hurt U.S. growth.</p><p>&quot;I know a lot of what happens in the United States depends upon what&#39;s going on in China and other countries, but if I had some spare money, I think I&#39;d be buying U.S. stocks,&quot; Messinger says.</p><p>He says for his company, growth in the U.S. economy will more than offset lost business abroad.</p><div id="con463991179" previewtitle="Related links"><div id="res463978088"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>Economist Sara Johnson also believes the U.S. stock market is not accurately predicting the U.S. economy in 2016. &quot;I think financial markets have overreacted,&quot; she says.</p><p>Johnson, senior research director for global economics at IHS, points to strong U.S. job growth as evidence the domestic economy remains on track despite global weakness. And she says concerns that the U.S. is vulnerable to the slowdown in Chinese growth are overblown.</p><p>&quot;While it certainly is creating some turmoil in financial markets, the real economic consequences for the U.S. are limited,&quot; she says.</p><p>For one reason, total exports represent only about one-eighth of the U.S. economy, and less than 10 percent of those exports go to China. So the vast majority of U.S. economic activity is generated inside U.S. borders.</p><p>And Johnson sees a positive picture for this year, helped by the deep decline in oil prices. She acknowledges that plummeting oil prices hurt the U.S. economy last year, decimating energy companies and sparking huge layoffs. But, she says, 2016 will be different.</p><p>&quot;The U.S. is a net importer of crude oil, so the drop in prices is a substantial gain to U.S. consumers,&quot; she says.</p><p>That&#39;s been the conventional wisdom, but some economists have begun to doubt that low oil prices are a net positive for the U.S. economy. After all, because of the shale revolution, the U.S. has become the world&#39;s largest producer of oil and natural gas. That means energy price drops have a bigger negative impact on American companies and workers than before.</p><p>In fact, Goldman Sachs now predicts that those negatives will offset the benefit to U.S. consumers, so lower oil prices won&#39;t be a boost to the economy this year.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/25/463968800/analysts-markets-may-be-underestimating-u-s-economic-resilience?ft=nprml&amp;f=463968800"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-edition/2016-01-25/analysts-markets-may-be-underestimating-us-economic-resilience Looking To Invest? Buy a Birkin Bag http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-01-25/looking-invest-buy-birkin-bag-114590 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GettyImages-476947418.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1453743475-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//mp_20160114_seg_21_64.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In this troubled investment climate, it can be unclear where to put your money to keep in safe and hopefully get a good return.</p><p>So, what should it be? Bonds? Gold? Berkshire Hathaway? Or maybe a purse.</p><hr /><p><a href="http://qz.com/594492/whats-the-better-investment-the-sp-500-gold-or-an-hermes-birkin-bag/" target="_blank">Quartz reports today</a>&nbsp;that the average annual return rate for the exclusive Hermes Birkin bag&nbsp;has beaten the S&amp;P 500 and the price of gold over the last 35 years.</p><p>That&#39;s a legit data set.&nbsp;</p><p>The bag costs $60,000 new, they&#39;ve sold for $200,00 at auction.&nbsp;</p><p>That&#39;s an average annual return of 14.2 percent. Unfortunately, if you&#39;re trying to keep your Birkin bag pristine enough to auction, you probably can&#39;t be seen with it.</p><p><a href="http://www.marketplace.org/2016/01/14/business/looking-invest-buy-birkin-bag" target="_blank"><em>&mdash; via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 11:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-01-25/looking-invest-buy-birkin-bag-114590 Economy Adds 292,000 Jobs in December http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-08/economy-adds-292000-jobs-december-114431 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0108_job-fair-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_99508"><img alt="Job applications and information for the Gap Factory Store sit on a table during a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami, on Oct. 6, 2015. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2016/01/0108_job-fair-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Job applications and information for the Gap Factory Store sit on a table during a job fair at Dolphin Mall in Miami, on Oct. 6, 2015. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)" /><p>What&rsquo;s been a turbulent week on the stock market ended with a positive jobs report.</p><p>The Labor Department reported today that the economy<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/us-economy-added-robust-292000-jobs-december-114720"> added 292,000 jobs in December, </a>better than many expectations.</p></div><p>The unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent, but average hourly wages were flat.</p><p>This comes weeks after the Federal Reserve decided to raise its benchmark interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.</p><p>Michael Regan&nbsp;of Bloomberg News discusses the December jobs report with<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/01/08/positive-december-jobs-report" target="_blank"><em>&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em></a> Peter O&rsquo;Dowd.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-08/economy-adds-292000-jobs-december-114431 Study: On AirBnB, Asian-American hosts earn less than white ones http://www.wbez.org/news/study-airbnb-asian-american-hosts-earn-less-white-ones-113643 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/6072576166_7aacce14e7_o-dae27e5cfa47102686b584cf90e7159fd6563bd4-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res454582995" previewtitle="Asian American hosts earn about 20% less than white hosts on AirBnB."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Asian American hosts earn about 20% less than white hosts on AirBnB." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/04/6072576166_7aacce14e7_o-dae27e5cfa47102686b584cf90e7159fd6563bd4-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Asian American hosts earn about 20% less than white hosts on AirBnB. (Chelsea Marie Hicks/Flickr)" /></div><div><div><p>In 2012, Harvard Business professors Benjamin Edelman and Michael Luca launched a study to look at whether black hosts on AirBnB earned less than their non-black counterparts. Edelman and Luca examined the pricing strategy of all AirBnB hosts in New York City and found that,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/14-054_e3c04a43-c0cf-4ed8-91bf-cb0ea4ba59c6.pdf">on average, non-black hosts charged 12 percent more than black ones</a>.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;These differences highlight the risk of discrimination in online marketplaces, suggesting an important unintended consequence of a seemingly-routine mechanism for building trust,&quot; they wrote.</p><p>Earlier this year, some students at Harvard, David Wang, Stephen Xi, and John Gilheany, picked up Edelman and Luca&#39;s study and wondered whether there would be a price disparity for Asian-American hosts. &quot;There&#39;s been a lot of studies on African Americans and how they&#39;ve been discriminated, especially in the marketplace, but not much has been done on Asian Americans,&quot; says Gilheany.</p><p>The resulting study,&nbsp;<a href="http://techscience.org/downloadpdf.php?paper=2015090104">published in the Harvard-affiliated&nbsp;<em>Journal of </em><em>Technology</em></a>, analyzed 101 AirBnB hosts in Berkeley and Oakland and found that, on average, Asian hosts earned 20 percent less per week than white hosts, usually around $90.</p><div id="res454241944"><aside aria-label="pullquote" role="complementary"><div><blockquote><p><em>No matter how respectable you may be acting, your performance isn&#39;t undoing the very real systematic ways in which our world operates. - Zach Stafford, The Guardian</em></p></blockquote></div></aside></div><p>The researchers scraped data from a neighborhood on the border of Berkeley and Oakland, California &mdash; picked for its socioeconomic and racial diversity &mdash; and adjusted to account for rental type and occupancy. They also categorized hosts as Asian or white based on profile pictures. (Pictures that didn&#39;t clearly indicate whether the host was Asian or not were eliminated). They then created an equation to estimate the difference in room prices between white hosts and Asian hosts, and ran the numbers.</p><p>Their model predicted that Asian-Americans, on average, earn $89.72 less per week than their white counterparts for a bare minimum setup of a one-bedroom rental for occupancy of one person. If the rental were for two bedrooms for one person, their model predicted that the difference would be even greater, with Asian-Americans making on average $144.45 less per week than white hosts.</p><p>There may be many different explanations for this, said Wang, including the fact that Asian Americans lower their prices to compensate for an inherent discrimination against Asians. &quot;It&#39;s interesting to see this extreme difference, especially in a peer-to-peer network,&quot; Wang said.</p><p>Ellen Wu, associate professor of Asian American studies and history at Indiana University, says that this study might also point to historical issues of discrimination. Americans have a long history of valuing Asian labor more cheaply than white labor, she says. &quot;Consumers come to expect paying Asian people less,&quot; Wu says. &quot;We&#39;ve come to expect cheaply priced products in places manufactured in places in China.&quot; She points to the &quot;cheapness&quot; of Chinese restaurants as an example.</p><p>I contacted several of the Asian AirBnB hosts used in the study and asked them if they felt like race played a factor in the way they priced their rooms. Almost everyone who got back to me said that they didn&#39;t feel like that was the case. One host wrote, &quot;Please don&#39;t quote me in the story, I never talk about race.&quot; But Luca, one of the professors who conducted the study on black AirBnB hosts in New York City, says to take that with a grain of salt.</p><p>Oftentimes people who are discriminated against don&#39;t have anything to compare it to, he says. &quot;They only have one data set&mdash;themselves. Also, many people don&#39;t fully understand the role that subconscious discrimination plays in decision-making.&quot;</p><p>This most recent study suggests that no matter how much a minority appears to have assimilated into the mainstream white culture, they are not necessarily treated as equals. Asian Americans have spent years cultivating an image of respectability, going all the way back to post-World War II. At the time, in an effort to quell xenophobia, groups like the Japanese American Citizens League&nbsp;<a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/chua-changelab-nakagawa-model-minority/">encouraged members to act like model American citizens</a>&nbsp;and engaged in marketing campaigns to extol the virtues of Asian values. Since then, Asian Americans have successfully cultivated an image of the &quot;model minority.&quot;</p><p>However, studies like this one suggest that &quot;respectability&quot; isn&#39;t a solution to discrimination &mdash; it merely hides it. As Guardian writer Zach Stafford&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/12/respectability-politics-wont-save-black-americans">wrote</a>&nbsp;in the wake of Ferguson, &quot;No matter how respectable you may be acting, your performance isn&#39;t undoing the very real systematic ways in which our world operates.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/11/04/454052270/study-on-airbnb-asian-american-hosts-earn-less-than-white-ones?ft=nprml&amp;f=" target="_blank"><em>via NPR&#39;s Code Switch</em></a></p></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/study-airbnb-asian-american-hosts-earn-less-white-ones-113643 Hesitant to increase wages, some employers add perks instead http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-03/hesitant-increase-wages-some-employers-add-perks-instead-113608 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1102_gyms-biz-e1446480067207-624x356.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_95344"><img alt="Employers are providing perks, such as gym memberships, to their employers, while showing reluctance to raise wages. (E'lisa Campbell/Flickr)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/1102_gyms-biz-e1446480067207-624x356.jpg" style="height: 354px; width: 620px;" title="Employers are providing perks, such as gym memberships, to their employers, while showing reluctance to raise wages. (E’lisa Campbell/Flickr)" /><p>Unemployment may be at its lowest level in seven years, but wages for workers<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/stuck-place-american-economy-113519" target="_blank"> have not been increasing</a>.</p></div><p>It appears that a number of companies are hesitant to increase wages, but are adding other benefits, such as signing bonuses, more paid time off or gym memberships.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/DKThomp" target="_blank">Derek Thompson</a>, senior editor at The Atlantic, joins <em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em>Peter O&rsquo;Dowd to discuss why the trend.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/02/perks-wages-employers" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Tue, 03 Nov 2015 10:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-03/hesitant-increase-wages-some-employers-add-perks-instead-113608 Why do we even have borders anymore? http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-21/why-do-we-even-have-borders-anymore-113449 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/A member of Egypt&#039;s security forces stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 1, 2015.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/border.jpg?itok=hWiYv2Cy" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A member of Egypt's security forces stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 1, 2015. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)" /></p><div><p>As Philippe Legrain, former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/how-migrants-could-boost-europes-economy/">told The Takeaway</a>&nbsp;last month, &quot;These asylum seekers and refugees can also play a very valuable role as workers, as taxpayers, very often also as innovators and entrepreneurs who can boost growth and help cope with an aging society.&quot;</p></div><p dir="ltr">Alex Tabarrok, a professor of economics at George Mason University, takes Legrain&#39;s argument one step further. Tabarrok, author of the forthcoming book &quot;How to Save Humanity,&quot; says the world should do away with borders altogether.</p><aside><div id="dfp-ad-pri_ros_atf_300x600-wrapper"><div id="dfp-ad-pri_ros_atf_300x600"><div id="google_ads_iframe_/1009951/PRI_STORY_ATF_0__container__"><div dir="ltr" id="ebDiv34065191028639674">&ldquo;Borders are fine for controlling governments; I&rsquo;m not against different places having different rules,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But they&rsquo;re bad for controlling people. I&rsquo;d like to see a much more open world&nbsp;&mdash; a world in which people are free to move about.&rdquo;</div></div></div></div></aside><p>Tabarrok says that the world should do away with borders for both economic and moral reasons.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Some people in the world, through no fault of their own, are born in an economic desert, or they&rsquo;re born in a place where there&rsquo;s a civil war going on,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We have imprisoned them there by building walls, barriers&nbsp;and sending people with machine guns and saying, &lsquo;You can&rsquo;t move.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Though no serious leader of a nation-state would earnestly suggest the dissolution of national borders, Tabarrok says there is historical precedent for such an idea.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you go back to the 19th century in the United States, for example, we had virtually completely open borders,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Anyone from anywhere in the world could come to the United States and make a home here with almost no paperwork whatsoever.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">At the time, the US&nbsp;government was trying to encourage settlers to move to its vast and newly-acquired Western territories, something that helped to push out existing residents, like the Native Americans. But Tabarrok says the American West still has plenty of land to offer newcomers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There is still plenty of room to grow in the United States, and in the developed world more generally,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We have lots and lots of room, and we could have a lot more people.&rdquo;</p><p>As technology breaks down barriers between communication and commerce, Tabarrok argues that it&rsquo;s time to fundamentally rethink the nation-state.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s quite amazing when you look around,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Ideas flow freely all throughout the world, and capital &mdash; money &mdash; flows freely throughout the entire world. The only thing which doesn&rsquo;t flow freely is labor. And yet, the right to vote with one&rsquo;s feet, the right to migrate, and the right to move &mdash; this is one of the most fundamental human rights. And yet, in our world today, we&rsquo;ve divided it, we&rsquo;ve separated it, and we&rsquo;ve created a system, really, of global apartheid.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">According to Tabarrok, economists have calculated that a world with completely open borders could double global GDP. And not just for one year, but for every year going forward.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Even if we allowed, just in the developed world, our labor force to increase by say, one percent, that alone would be worth more than all of the world&rsquo;s foreign aid combined,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">It seems like a nice idea in theory, but the political will for such a plan doesn&#39;t exist. But Tabarrok says the tide may one day shift.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We feel now today that it&rsquo;s wrong to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, gender, or sexual preference. And yet, we discriminate against people based upon where they&rsquo;re born,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I think when people realize this is a moral issue, they&rsquo;ll change their feelings about borders.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-21/argument-taking-down-all-worlds-international-borders"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-21/why-do-we-even-have-borders-anymore-113449 The History of Our Love-Hate-Love Relationship with Leftovers http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/history-our-love-hate-love-relationship-leftovers-113368 <p><div><img 1908.="" a="" alt="" asparagus="" book="" collections="" creation="" from="" in="" leftover="" michigan="" published="" s="" special="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Asparagus%20Shortcake%2C%20a%20leftover%20creation%20from%20The%20Cook%27s%20Book%20published%20in%201908..jpg" state="" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" the="" title="&quot;Asparagus Shortcake,&quot; a leftover creation from The Cook's Book published in 1908. (Special Collections/Michigan State University Libraries)" university="" /></div><div><p>From floating old food in Jell-O molds to casseroles to cold pizza, the way we reuse and eat leftovers in America is special.</p><p>And it turns out that if you track our relationship with leftovers over time, you will understand a lot about our economy and how we live.</p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cover%20of%20leftovers.jpg" style="height: 347px; width: 260px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="The cover of Left Overs, or Economy in the Kitchen, published in 1918. (Special Collections/Michigan State University Libraries)" /><p>Historian Helen Zoe Veit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/an-economic-history-of-leftovers/409255/">wrote about this</a>&nbsp;for&nbsp;<em>The Atlantic.</em> As she tells&nbsp;<em>All Things Considered</em><em>&#39;s</em>&nbsp;Kelly McEvers, it all started when she spotted a book called<em>&nbsp;What To Do With The Cold Mutton.</em></p></div><p>&quot;It acknowledged that leftovers were something that people were dealing with, and, in fact, what that made me think was how rare it was to be acknowledged, precisely because it was so normal,&quot; says Veit.</p><p>As Veit writes, Americans&#39; enthusiasm for leftovers really started during World War I, with people hearing about starving kids in Europe. Then, in the Great Depression, reusing food because a necessity.</p><p>&quot;That was really a time when leftovers were held up as a special culinary category for the first time,&quot; says Veit. &quot;For one thing, it&#39;s something you had to do to stay within the family budget, but also as something that could be a realm for art and creativity &mdash; that clever housewives could use to show off their skills, in a sense.&quot;</p><p>The &quot;Golden Age of Leftovers,&quot; according to Veit, were the 1940s and &#39;50s. Some highlights: ham banana rolls with cheese sauce, leftover carrots pureed and then shaped back into carrots, which were an &quot;amazing example of leftovers elevated to art,&quot; Veit says.</p><p>But by the 1960s, Veit says, &quot;Americans were less desperate for calories than they had ever been. And for a lot of Americans, waste became a prerogative of financial security.&quot;</p><p>Eventually, she says, leftovers receded from the &quot;avant-garde of culinary trendiness and became this very second-rate culinary category &mdash; something that you might reheat for lunch, but that would never, for example, be served to guests.&quot;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/A%20leftover%20recipe%20from%20the%20early%2020th%20century..jpeg" style="height: 466px; width: 350px;" title="A leftover recipe from the early 20th century. (Special Collections/Michigan State University)" /></div><p>But now, Veit argues, we&#39;re in a bit of a leftovers renaissance. &quot;Although Americans spend even less on food than they used to (just over 10 percent of our incomes on average), Americans are newly aware of other costs that go into food production.&quot; And, she adds, that means we are increasingly unwilling to toss edible food.</p><p>As for Veit&#39;s own leftovers, she perceives that pot of soup she made over the weekend and finds on Tuesday is &quot;awesome.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/14/448427811/how-americas-leftovers-went-from-culinary-art-to-joke-to-renaissance?ft=nprml&amp;f=448427811" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 14 Oct 2015 16:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/history-our-love-hate-love-relationship-leftovers-113368 Will the next leader of the UN be a woman? http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-26/will-next-leader-un-be-woman-112736 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/221023835&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">New campaign targets a female UN Secretary General</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon&rsquo;s term as UN Secretary General will end in December 2016. He&rsquo;s said he will not serve another term. The process for selecting the secretary general has generally been done behind closed doors. There are lots of calls to reform the way the position gets filled. Along with calls to change the process, there&rsquo;s been mounting pressure to make the next head of the UN a woman. Many UN observers say it&rsquo;s unclear whether a woman has ever even seriously been considered for the job. Jean Krasno is chair of the &ldquo; Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General.&rdquo; She&rsquo;s been a vocal advocate of having a woman lead the UN. Krasno joins us to discuss her campaign and the reason she believes it&rsquo;s time for a woman to have a leadership role at the UN.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a62d090-6ba5-d653-1492-a9a518088ebe">Jean Krasno is a lecturer at Yale University and a tenured lecturer at the City College of New York. She is also </span>chair of the &ldquo; Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General.&rdquo;</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/221024932&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Venezuela&#39;s crisis continues</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Venezuela is facing a serious economic crisis. There are long lines for basic foodstuffs and with oil prices expected to stay low there is no recovery in site for the resource rich country. The government has declared a &ldquo;state of exception&rdquo; that suspends human rights guarantees. Nicolas Maduro&rsquo;s socialist party government wants to maintain its dominance in the National Assembly with elections scheduled for December 6th. They&rsquo;ve disqualified opposition candidates. We&rsquo;ll discuss their strategy to maintain power and the country&rsquo;s ongoing economic problems with Javier Corrales, a professor of political science at Amherst College and co-author of the book Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the political economy of revolution in Venezuela.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a62d090-6ba9-c95c-afb1-9ffa8e49c1a0">Javier Corrales is a professor of political science at Amherst College and co-author fo the book </span>Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the political economy of revolution in Venezuela.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/221026385&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Notes: Modern indigenous and aboriginal music</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>On this week&rsquo;s Global Notes, music journalist and host of Beat Latino, Catalina Maria Johnson, will play some us some of her favorite tunes from indigenous and aboriginal artists around the globe- ranging from everything from Inuit throat singing to First Nation Canadian hip-hop.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a62d090-6baf-f403-a2f2-fdd84f4fa32a">Catalina Maria Johnson is a music journalist and the host of Beat Latino on Vocalo. </span></em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-26/will-next-leader-un-be-woman-112736