Is money the key to happiness or the root of all evil? If growth and prosperity don't provide a sense of wellbeing, what will? With a fiscal crisis already under way, we take a new look at the way happiness is measured and how it's achieved in the US and other parts of the world. Also, the inventory glut on store shelves and at frozen ports, and coping with numbers in the news, politics and real life.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Just the way bad weather backs up the airlines, a decline in consumer spending leaves inventories in place and backs up supply lines. One sign of the effort to get things moving is that post-Christmas sales this year happened before Christmas. Diane Mollenkopf is associate professor of marketing and logistics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Diane Mollenkopf, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
In a put-down of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway once wrote, "The very rich are different from you and me… they have more money." But ever since Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations in 1776, western economies have been based on growth and prosperity as the keys to happiness. On the day after Christmas, with the US heading into a major recession, it's worth asking if that’s really true. One study says Puerto Ricans are happier than Germans or Japanese? How come? Is a simpler, more frugal life more satisfying after all?
Ed Diener, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Princeton University
Vicky Robin, Co-author, 'Your Money of Your Life'
Daniel Kahneman and Ed Diener
Why is "average" a stupid idea? What does the "risk" of dying really mean? Is the national "debt" as big as it sounds? The BBC Radio program, More or Less, got a big enough audience to become a book. Now it has crossed the ocean with a new title, The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, Politics and in Life. Co-author Andrew Dilnot, the Principal of St. Hugh's College, talks about taking the mystery out of the numbers.
Andrew Dilnot, co-author, 'The Numbers Game'
More From To the Point
Special: ‘Trump Baby’ flies over Big Ben… President Trump flies to Europe this week for meetings with NATO, the Queen and Russia’s President Putin. But the president won’t be the only Trump flying when he lands in the UK. An enormous, orange “Trump baby” balloon, complete with a diaper and cell phone is set to float just above the streets of London, for all to see. What else do British protestors have in store?
On the road to SCOTUS: Politics trumps the law Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation looks highly likely, but crucial issues won’t go away. The Supreme Court may see cases involving abortion, health care and the limits of presidential power. Can Democrats use upcoming hearings to dramatize what’s at stake--before November’s elections?
Politics and ‘incivility’ One Democrat wants Trump aides confronted in public over separating immigrant families. But her party’s leaders call that “incivility.” The question is: does moderation accomplish real change -- or is it a smokescreen for the status quo? When it comes to achieving racial equality, what’s worked and what hasn’t?
Family migration and the politics of incivility Separating immigrant families at the border may be something new, but the US has never extended the “Good Neighbor Policy” to Central America. Clinton and Bush discouraged newcomers, and Obama was called, “Deporter in Chief.” We’ll provide context ignored in mainstream media coverage.
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