FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » This American Life tackles the economy

   
Author Topic: This American Life tackles the economy
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
Just thought I'd share a few links to what I thought were some really excellent shows produced by This American Life recently.

The first one is from a few months ago and called The Giant Pool of Money. This show did it's best to explain the housing crisis and what caused it.

The second one was from just a few weeks ago called Another Frightening Show About the Economy. This one tackled the current financial crisis and was extremely insightful and fascinating.

I definitely feel a lot more aware after listening to these two shows. For anyone not familiar with This American Life, it's an NPR show which each week has a different theme and gives you stories on that theme from people all around the country. It's a really wonderful show. These episodes, while not the usual This American Life topics, were made in the quintessential This American Life style, which made them entertaining and engaging, yet extremely informative at the same time.

I highly recommend checking them out if you have some time to kill, or would like a better understanding of how things went so wrong!

Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
I heartily second the recommendation.
Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed. Smart program.
Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
maybe I just should've assumed everyone at Hatrack has already heard them. [Smile]
Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sean Monahan
Member
Member # 9334

 - posted      Profile for Sean Monahan   Email Sean Monahan         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
maybe I just should've assumed everyone at Hatrack has already heard them. [Smile]

Not so. Thanks for the links, this was discussed in another thread, and I couldn't find it later.
Posts: 1080 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
I've been using some of these segments as listening material for my English students this past week.

May I also recommend the new sister show to This American Life: the "Planet Money" Podcast, which is hosted by the contributor who wrote and recorded "The Giant Pool of Money." I have been listening to their daily updates.

Everyone should do themselves a favor and look into these shows- they are amazing resources.

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post 
I will look them up tomorrow, and take a listen...
Posts: 15082 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
Hey all, This American Life has revisited this issue recently with their most recent episode Inside Job.

Link

It's a detailed look at one particular hedge fund and their role in the events that led to the collapse. Great show!

Also, since I made the original post This American Life also aired an episode titled Bad Bank, from the same Planet Money team, this time with an analysis of the banking industry.

Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Whale
Member
Member # 6594

 - posted      Profile for The White Whale           Edit/Delete Post 
I've become a This American Life addict. I can't get enough.
Posts: 1711 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
hah, it happens to everybody. Don't worry.
Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
?
Member
Member # 2319

 - posted      Profile for ?   Email ?         Edit/Delete Post 
It's a great show. Thank goodness for the iphone app. All 400+ shows I can stream all day long at work.
Posts: 219 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Godric
Member
Member # 4587

 - posted      Profile for Godric   Email Godric         Edit/Delete Post 
I've heard large parts of most of the episodes linked here. My question/comment:

All the anger over healthcare reform right now feels really misplaced to me. I can understand *some* of it from a certain perspective, although personally I am glad the reform passed. But what strikes me as almost surreal is the lack of rage at Wall Street/big banking right now. Where is it?

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post 
I've got it right here. Over here, I am sitting with the ENRON people.
Posts: 15082 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
I think people are angry but, unlike healthcare where we can get mad at the congress and the president, who are we going to be angry at? The previous congress(es) and president(s) that deregulated everything? Individual brokers and bankers? Sure. But what are you going to do with that?

ETA: Honestly, I suspect that at least some of the anger at healthcare isn't about healthcare.

Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Godric
Member
Member # 4587

 - posted      Profile for Godric   Email Godric         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Honestly, I suspect that at least some of the anger at healthcare isn't about healthcare. [/QB]

Yeah, that's pretty much my theory.
Posts: 1295 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
I actually DO think there is anger with wall street, and I think financial reform should be pretty popular across the board. I just think it's taken a back seat to all the other political arguments and priorities going on recently.

As for health care, This American Life tackled that too!

Link

That's the first part of two.

Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Whale
Member
Member # 6594

 - posted      Profile for The White Whale           Edit/Delete Post 
Those two on health care are really good.
Posts: 1711 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:

ETA: Honestly, I suspect that at least some of the anger at healthcare isn't about healthcare.

Somebody get this woman 76 silver dollars.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
What? Too understated?
Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
No, you're right on.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
[Wink]
Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
I read this Op-Ed about health care rage, at the New York Times website the other week, and found it really interesting. I've been told by some conservative friends (yes I have some!) that it's off the mark, and that this all really is about big government vs. small government. But I'm not convinced. The very fact that the bill IS pretty moderate, and that similar bills have been presented by republicans in the past, leads me to believe they're wrong. Maybe the bulk of the tea party movement DO believe this a big vs. small government issue, but if that's the case it's being fueled by massive amounts of misinformation and lies from people (corporations and politicians and media) who DO know better, sprinkled in with a healthy does of ignorance.

[ April 13, 2010, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
I think that Frank Rich has nailed it. (bolding mine)

quote:
To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. Thatís because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.
If big government is so upsetting, where was the upset over warrantless wiretapping? Imprisonment without trial? And I;m sure there is some overlap with people who were upset about all of that. But not the vast, loud, majority. Though I suppose that people are embarrassed to admit it is a good sign.

[ April 13, 2010, 05:15 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
Strider, as Kmb said, point out to them the nature of the American government, under any administration. It's BIG. It's already big, and it doesn't ever trend towards getting smaller. And whatever your personal feelings about whether a big country should have a proportionally big government or not, if the argument was really over the power of the government, this would represent only one in a laundry list of contradictions conservatives have to deal with.

Because American conservatism, today, is not about protecting individual liberties, or encouraging free trade or spreading democracy. It is about keeping things the same- making sure that the people with the money and the power keep it, because the fact that they already have it is proof positive of their worthiness. It's Calvinism. It's the belief that God makes you good or evil, smart or dull, and worthy or not, and if you're able, you should be allowed to do anything you possibly can. Anything else is a burden. And everything that comes along with that priority is expressed in a thousand small ways that can be made to look like something they are not. The small government platform allows conservatives to appeal to people who would be greatly helped by a more activist government, and to people who would have their power and sway diminished by one. They are able, by selling their calvinist lie, to get the very poor and the very rich to believe in the same thing. It's amazing, really- but then it's not so surprising that it works- the rich want to stay rich, and the poor want to get rich, and if you tell people that socialism will stop those two things from happening (which it certainly can and does), people will fear it.

So it is, and intends to be, an immutable change in our identity as a nation. It's also one people voted for- by electing representatives who believe in it. I think if the argument was *really* about big vs. small government, the conservatives would just bide their time. If the people are with you, any damage done can be reversed in time. But the thing is, this reform is more than that. It is something that, now passed, cannot be undone so easily. Nobody will vote in favor of letting insurance companies swindle people. And why? Because it brought the laws of our nation closer in line with our national beliefs. It was an update- not something "shoved down" anyone's throat. In that way it's not much different from civil rights- the opposition is so mealy mouthed and out of excuses, they have to fight tooth and nail to make sure *nothing* gets done.

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post 
I would, once again, recommend Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates for those interested in how these Calvinist ideas got woven into American culture.
Posts: 11187 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
I've heard a lot of her work on TAL and other places. I have been meaning to read that book.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkKnight
Member
Member # 7536

 - posted      Profile for DarkKnight   Email DarkKnight         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I've been told by some conservative friends (yes I have some!) that it's off the mark, and that this all really is about big government vs. small government. But I'm not convinced.
So when people, your friends in this case, tell you exactly why they hold certain beliefs, you think they are either lying or have been deceived?
Posts: 1918 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I've heard a lot of her work on TAL and other places. I have been meaning to read that book.

It's a good book. Assassination Vacation is worth a read as well. I keep meaning to check out The Partly Cloudy Patriot, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Posts: 1087 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
Damnit, just lost a whole long post!

DarkKnight, I guess I wasn't clear in my post above, so I can see how you would interpret it that way. No, I do not think my particular friends are lying or have been deceived.

What I DO think is that the broader anti health care sentiment is NOT about big vs. small government...at least not really. As evidenced by the embracement and enactment of many big government principles by the previous administration (as kmbboots points out above). As well as the promotion of big government principles by conservatives in the social sphere. Add to all this the polling data of people who self identify as republicans or tea partiers who overwhelmingly think the health care bill is socialist, but who love medicare and want the government to protect it, and who think that the VA is in no way a socialist system. We've all seen the photos of elderly people holding signs that say, "don't let the government take my medicare money to support socialized medicine". It's worth noting that a significant number of these same people also think Obama is a socialist, a muslim, a racist who hates white people, and not born in this country.* Then, as I mentioned above, the bill is pretty damn moderate. Not so different from what Romney did in MA, and not so different from past *republican* proposals. So yes, I do think that much of this anti health care sentiment is not grounded in true small government principles and is fueled by a mix of ignorance, misinformation, lies, and yes, racism.

The friends who I reference above do not believe these things. My (admittedly small number of) conservative friends who I talk politics with are not unilateral in their views, but in general give me very specific reasons for why they are against this specific bill (some have said they would support a public option or even single payer if done the right way). Much of their opposition revolves around fiscal matters. They question cbo estimates, the ability and willingness of congress to enact the things needed (taxing Cadillac plans, cutting medicare, etc..), and various other issues. Their conservative friends have similar views (many of whom were just as critical of the Bush administration), so, imo, they mistakenly assume that the general population is as aware and knowledgeable about the issues. When I point them to the things i mentioned above they say that this is just a vocal fringe minority, that liberals have been guilty of it too during the Bush years, and that there is a mass amount of ignorance by the general population about all matters (science being the prime example, my conservative friends are not climate change deniers), not just politics. It is this part of their arguments that I find unconvincing, though I do think they make valid points. I believe they have valid reasons for being against the current health care bill(even I have problems with aspects of it), but much of the anti health care anti Obama rhetoric coming from tea partiers and conservatives is not grounded in the issues they have presented to me.

I do have one conservative friend who thinks Obama is a socialist and that this health care bill is the worst atrocity to ever happen to our country. When I point out that republicans in the past have promoted individual mandates, that the bill is very comparable to past republican proposals, that there are so many other aspects of our government (regardless of which party is in office) that are "big" and "socialist" and question why there is suddenly so much anger I never receive any response. I am linked to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck.

*polling data can be provided for all this stuff if need be. I just don't want to go digging right now.

[ April 14, 2010, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkKnight
Member
Member # 7536

 - posted      Profile for DarkKnight   Email DarkKnight         Edit/Delete Post 
Strider, that is much more clear.
Posts: 1918 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Jake:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I've heard a lot of her work on TAL and other places. I have been meaning to read that book.

It's a good book. Assassination Vacation is worth a read as well. I keep meaning to check out The Partly Cloudy Patriot, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
I really enjoyed Assassination Vacation.
Posts: 21898 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
quote:
I've been told by some conservative friends (yes I have some!) that it's off the mark, and that this all really is about big government vs. small government. But I'm not convinced.
So when people, your friends in this case, tell you exactly why they hold certain beliefs, you think they are either lying or have been deceived?
It's not a binary issue, DK. IT'S NOT ALWAYS A BINARY ISSUE. Tattoo that on your hand, please.

It's most *particularly* not any two binary possibilities which you choose to present, which the other person did not either state or even imply. I believe in the past I have been censured for responding when you go binary by saying: "do you still beat your wife?" Because clearly, either you still do, or you don't anymore, right?

Wrong.

I believe people are capable of greater subtlety, not only of expression but also of thought. The argument spun about big vs. small state concerns is attractive to people who are against health care because it is a more acceptable proxy for deeper motivations. That is, it is not a *lie*, but a single part of a greater issue which is seized upon by that side as the core of the issue, when in fact the core of the issue is more deeply rooted in something else. So, from where I'm sitting, that's a mistake, that's a lack of insight- it's a poor understanding that these people have for what is actually motivating them.

Now please, don't accuse me of claiming to be a mind-reader. I am supposing this to be the case, based on my perception of conservatism. It fits into what I know about these people. And I am allowed to disbelieve them when they say what their concerns really are. I am allowed to feel that they may not be fully in touch with what drives their movement, even if they individually identify their motivations differently.

It's just like you know plenty of alcoholics who think they don't have a problem, and you know plenty of good-hearted generous people who think they're crappy human beings, and you know plenty of people who only *think* they like things (art, music, food, certain people) because they like to be 'that kind' of person. People deceive themselves, or they lack insight, or if they don't, their friends might. It happens all the time. I would wager that is *exactly* what you think about liberals who make claims about what they believe in that, to you, contradict what you see their actions as accomplishing, or attempting to accomplish.

And I don't sit here and accuse you of calling strider a liar because you disagree with his conclusions. But you do it all the time. That's dicked up.

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Strider
Member
Member # 1807

 - posted      Profile for Strider   Email Strider         Edit/Delete Post 
Orincoro, DarkKnight and I disagree on many political issues, but to be fair, my statement above WAS rather vague in my wording. I can see why somebody would take it to mean that I was unconvinced by my friends' arguments in regards to why they were against the health care bill. When what I was really trying to say was that I was unconvinced by their arguments about why OTHER people were against the health care bill.
Posts: 8741 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, but his reading was unfair. He should know why. In fact, I think he does know why, and doesn't care.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Godric
Member
Member # 4587

 - posted      Profile for Godric   Email Godric         Edit/Delete Post 
Here's an enlightening, scary, angry and strangely non-commented upon article from Rolling Stone on the economy - specifically Goldman Sachs:

quote:
This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going.

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post 
Sometimes I think I'm mad at my wife because she didn't do the dishes. It often turns out that I'm mad because it's my turn and I'm tired, or because I just got off the phone with a ride customer service rep, or whatever.

Often, people don't closely examine their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Especially when someone in authority is interested in persuading them that their first instinct is what they should go with.

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stray
Member
Member # 4056

 - posted      Profile for Stray   Email Stray         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Godric:
Here's an enlightening, scary, angry and strangely non-commented upon article from Rolling Stone on the economy - specifically Goldman Sachs:

quote:
This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going.

Your link isn't working for me, but I know the article you're talking about. Matt Taibbi has done a lot of really excellent articles on the financial meltdown, I'm a big fan of his work.
Posts: 957 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2