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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Wonk City Lectures on Economics and Sociology and Political Science -- 11 AM - 4PM Wednesdays and Thursdays



11:05 AM -- The Equality Effect: improving life for everyone


London School of Economics



Speaker(s): Professor Danny Dorling | In more equal countries, human beings are generally happier and healthier, there is less crime, more creativity and higher educational attainment. In this talk to launch his latest book, Danny Dorling shows that the evidence is now so overwhelming that it should be changing politics and society all over the world. More and more evidence is emerging to suggest that greater economic equality benefits all people in all societies, whether you are rich, poor or in-between. The truth of this generalisation has only become evident recently, and is contentious because it contradicts the views of many in the elite. However, the elite you get in any one country now also appears to be influenced by the levels of inequality you tolerate. The UK and USA voted for Brexit and Trump; Canada, Austria and the Netherlands saw very different recent electoral outcomes. By spring 2017 it became clear that far more countries were becoming more economically equal than more unequal, putting the equality effect to work. But that is of little comfort for the minority of people who live in the few very unequal countries that still see high inequalities, rising or only slowly falling, and in which politics then become increasingly bizarre. The most economically unequal countries in the rich world are now the USA, Israel and the UK. In all three cases sustaining very high rates of inequality is becoming increasingly expensive. Danny Dorling (@dannydorling) is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Equality; The Atlas of the Real World; Unequal Health; Inequality and the 1%; Injustice: Why Social Inequalities Persist; and the forthcoming The Equality Effect. Neil Lee (@ndrlee) is Assistant Professor in Economic Geography at LSE. The International Inequalities Institute at LSE (@LSEInequalities) brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead critical and cutting edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.



12:30 PM --  Economic Update with Richard Wolff:

Economic Update - Worker Coops as our Economic Future - 05.28.17



Updates on Trump’s 2018 budget, Ford’s undemocratic decisions, US opioid epidemic, Swiss vote to end nuclear power, Harley-Davidson moving jobs overseas, Canada outlaws overbooking seats on planes. Interview John Curl, author and coop worker, on importance of worker coops.


1:15 PM -- Inside Obama's Policy Shop -- Financial Times AlphaChat

Jason Furman, economist and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, joins Cardiff Garcia to discuss the way economic policy was made and framed during the Barack Obama administration. Jason also talks about his background and the economists who influenced him, and he gives his thoughts on a few salient economic issues

2:00 PM -- Only Human--The Birth of Climate Change Denial

In this special episode of Only Human, we partnered with the folks at WNYC's podcast The United States of Anxiety, hosted by Kai Wright.

Starting with the 1925 Scopes Trial — also known as the "trial of the century" — we look at one of the most controversial topics in our time: the debate over evolution versus a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

It started with a substitute teacher in Tennessee who taught evolution in the classroom. What followed was a fiery debate that rocketed around the world.


The Scopes Trial reminds us that science has often upset the establishment.




Attorney William Jennings Bryan sits behind the microphone, in white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, during a radio broadcast of the landmark "Monkey Trial" of John Thomas Scopes in Dayton, Tenn., July 15, 1925. The controversial trial between religion and state determined how evolution would be taught in schools. Scopes, a high school biology teacher, was found guilty of teaching evolution and fined.

(Associated Press)

Then we turn to another controversy: doubt around the whole idea of climate change. And we go to that day in 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen warned a congressional committee that climate change was real. Back then, Republican President George H.W. Bush touted himself as being pro-environment.

“I’m an environmentalist... And I always will be," he said. "And that is not inconsistent with being a businessman. Nor is it with being a conservative.”

Today, President Donald Trump considers climate change a "hoax" and is considering withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. It's a radical change in 25 years. We'll tell you how we got there.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Amanda Aronczyk

Elaine Chen

Karen Frillmann

Jillian Weinberger

Subscribe to the United States of Anxiety podcast on iTunes.