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FROM THIS EPISODE

With employment at nine percent, even graduates of expensive four-year colleges are finding it hard to get jobs.  Did they waste their time and their parents’ money? Are there alternatives to prepare for work in a changing economy? Also, an update on Japan's nuclear mess, and sexting by members of Congress. It may be shocking, but taking risks with the economy is a lot worse.

Banner image: Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is a Harvard dropout who made it big as an entrepreneur. Photo: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Sonya Geis
Katie Cooper

Reporter's Notebook When Flirting with Danger Extends to the Public Good 6 MIN, 16 SEC

As Congress struggles with what to do about Anthony Weiner, one Washington columnist says Weiner's "Twitter problem has more to do with the perilous state of the nation's finances than you might think…" "We'd be better off if lawmakers gambled more with their private parts and less with the public good." That's according to columnist Dana Milbank in today's Washington Post.

Guests:
Dana Milbank, Washington Post (@Milbank)

Making News Japan's Nuclear Mess Is Still Deep in Hot Water 7 MIN, 34 SEC

The melt down of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant likely released twice as much radiation as originally reported. That's according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and it has increased concern about whether the government has really come clean about the seriousness of the accident. Geoff Brumfiel is senior reporter with Nature magazine.

Guests:
Geoff Brumfiel, Nature

Main Topic Is Higher Education Really Worth It? 36 MIN, 51 SEC

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, is awarding $100,000 fellowships to young people who drop out of college. Although he's a graduate of Stanford Law School himself, he points to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as Harvard dropouts who made it big as entrepreneurs. On a campus in Northern Virginia today, President Obama touted an industry-led initiative linking companies with community colleges to create some 500,000 manufacturing jobs in years to come. Are America's most expensive schools failing to provide what graduates need to compete in the global economy? Is real-world experience a better investment, or is preparation for work the only important standard? Is a well-rounded education valuable just for itself, for those who can afford it?

Guests:
Dale Stephens, UnCollege
Vivek Wadhwa, Stanford University (@wadhwa)
William Holstein, business journalist and blogger
Stephen Rose, Georgetown University

The Next American Economy

William J. Holstein

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