The key to achieving the American dream is often said to be positive thinking, but Barbara Ehrenreich's new book argues that “Positive Thinking has Undermined America.” For example, was the current financial collapse the result of self-delusion from the top to the bottom? Also, the 2010 census, and tourism in Antarctica is expensive, but the real costs are to maritime safety and the environment.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Constitution requires a census at the beginning of every decade, and the Census Bureau has already projected that the total population of the United States is now 308,400,408. That projection allows a look ahead at the political future, because the number of seats a state has in Congress depends on population. Richard Cohen is Congressional reporter for the National Journal.
Richard Cohen, Congressional Reporter, National Journal
Since the 19th Century, it's been an article of American faith that positive thinking leads to health and prosperity. In recent years, positive thinking's become a "minor industry," promising favorable outcomes in the real world. But has it made American business blind to reality? Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, Dancing in the Streets, and Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, calls it a "mass delusion" that helped cause September 11, the war in Iraq and the current financial disaster. What about the Science of Happiness and research on the brain waves of successful people? In this conversation, first broadcast in October of this year, we speak with Ehrenreich and others.
Barbara Ehrenreich, author, 'Bright-sided'
John Assaraf, life coach and motivational speaker
Adam Michaelson, former Senior VP of Marketing, Countrywide Mortgage
Robert Biswas-Diener, Instructor in Psychology, Portland State University
Last year, a cruise ship hit an iceberg and sank, leaving 154 people in lifeboats for hours in the waters of Antarctica's Weddell Sea. Remarkably, nobody died. Other ships touch land in the world's largest natural reserve, allowing passengers to go ashore to disturb wildlife, trample rare plants and leave rubbish behind. Now 47 Antarctic Treaty nations are trying to impose what's called a Polar Code. Alan Hemmings is Professor at Canterbury University in New Zealand. He is also an appointee to Australia's Antarctic Science Advisory Committee.
Alan Hemmings, Appointee, Australia's Antarctic Science Advisory Committee
More From To the Point
The Jewish State of Israel: Democracy or Apartheid? Israel’s recent “national unity” law calls the country “unique” to the Jewish people. But 21 percent of Israelis are Arabs. Do Jewish values conflict with pluralistic democracy? Jews in both countries are sharply divided over a question that goes to the founding of the “Jewish State.”
Is ‘socialism’ dividing the Democrats From Bernie Sanders to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,“socialism” is having a hot summer. Is it the future of the Democratic Party or an easy Republican target? Prominent liberals and conservatives describe the history--and possible future--of a term loaded with many meanings in America’s political history.
Cartoons, Comic Strips and Opinions Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is the latest editorial cartoonist to lose his job. Fired for harsh portrayals of President Trump. We’ll talk with him and look at another kind of cartooning: comic strips. Even when the kids don’t realize it, they’re political, too. They’re a highly sophisticated artform and a barometer of social change.
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