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
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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