00:00:00 | 3:02:50




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.

Making News US Set for 2010 Census 7 MIN, 47 SEC

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

Main Topic The Negative Impact of Positive Thinking 34 MIN, 52 SEC

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


Barbara Ehrenreich

Reporter's Notebook The High Cost of Visiting Penguins in Antarctica 8 MIN, 21 SEC

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

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From To the Point



View All Events


Player Embed Code