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FROM THIS EPISODE

On this rebroadcast of To The Point: For years, General Motors ignored defects in ignition systems until deaths and injuries forced the issue of auto safety into the open. Since then, there’s been a record number of highly publicized recalls by GM and other companies, too. But sales of new cars have gone through the roof. So, where’s the backlash? Where does that consumer confidence come from? Are new cars that much safer than old ones? When the average car in America is 11 years old—how many dangerous vehicles are still on the road?

Also, income inequality at elite universities; and fortune, truth and faith in the new China.

Banner Image: General Motors automobile mural; credit: Toban Black

Producers:
Sonya Geis

Where Are the Poor Students at Elite Universities? 7 MIN, 37 SEC

For 30 years or more, America’s elite colleges and universities have promised to open their doors to more high-school seniors from low-income families. There are large numbers of poor kids with grades and test scores high enough for admission, but those elite institutions are still bastions of privilege. That’s according to a recent story in the New York Times by Richard Perez-Pena.

Guests:
Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times (@perezpena)

Why is America's Auto Industry Back Despite Millions of Recalls? 33 MIN, 49 SEC

General Motors has begun the process of compensating victims of faulty ignition systems that led to an avalanche of auto recalls. But, despite reports of deaths and injuries—and publicity over the recalls--GM is still America’s number one automaker and sales are at pre-recession levels.

Guests:
Maryann Keller, veteran independent auto analyst
Mike Spector, Wall Street Journal reporter investigating auto recalls
Jessica Caldwell, Senior analyst for automotive research company Edmunds.com (@jessicarcaldwell)
Scott Burgess, Detroit Editor of Motor Trend magazine (@AutoCritic)

China’s “Age of Ambition” with Evan Osnos 9 MIN, 15 SEC

In the past 25 years, Evan Osnos says China has transformed itself at “one hundred times the scale and ten times the speed of the first Industrial Revolution.” What has that been like for the people who live there? How have they had to change their behavior—and their thinking? How has the Communist Party survived and retained power? He speaks about this in his book Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China.

Guests:
Evan Osnos, New Yorker magazine (@eosnos)

Age of Ambition

Evan Osnos

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