Homeownership and the American Dream
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Homeownership and the American Dream

President Obama wants big money to forestall foreclosures. Is that a sound public investment? Why is homeownership equated with the American Dream? What's wrong with renting? Also, eight Wall Street CEO's get a grilling on Capitol Hill, and new technology means that artificial arms can be controlled just by thinking about them. We hear what that means for amputees.


Banner image: An eviction team carries out a family's belongings during a foreclosure eviction in Adams County, Colorado. The bank foreclosed on the property and called the Adams County sheriff's department to supervise the eviction. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Making News

Eight Wall Street CEO's Get a Grilling on Capitol Hill ()

For the first time since Washington's $350 billion bailout, the CEO's of eight major banks appeared before Congress today. Democrat Barney Frank was among those who picked up on public anger. “There has to be a sense among the American people that you understand their anger, their frustration, and that you willingly cooperate and in fact are willing to make some sacrifices so we can get this whole thing working.” Phil Mattingly is economics reporter for Congressional Quarterly.

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Main Topic

What's Wrong with Renting? ()

recession_guide.jpgSix years ago, George W. Bush declared that, "owing a home lies at the heart of the American dream."  Yesterday, President Barack Obama said that home foreclosure means losing a "foothold in the American Dream," an idea that dates back to the Great Depression. Politicians virtually equate homeownership with patriotism, and government subsidies include the mortgage-interest exemption. But there's a downside, and it's come to a head in the current recession. Millions of homeowners are in big trouble. Why should tens of billions of taxpayer dollars help people get back into housing they can't afford? As the author of Don't Get Caught with Your Skirt Down: A Practical Girl's Recession Guide asks, what's wrong with renting? 

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Reporter's Notebook

Moving Prosthetic Arms Just by Thinking ()

Until recently, the different movements of prosthetic arms — bending the elbow, turning the wrist and opening and closing the hand — all required separate motors. They were capable of very limited movement, and each to be separately activated. But that's not so any more. Gerald Loeb, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of Medical Device Development at the University of Southern California, says there are now artificial arms that people can move by just thinking about it.

Guests:
  • Gerald Loeb: Director of the Medical Device Development Facility, University of Southern California
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