The Weekly Wonk






February 2014
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Sure, no one wants their kids to end up barren and exploited like the Giving Tree. But most parents do want to instill generosity in their progeny. Wharton Business School Professor Adam Grant, author of the bestselling book Give & Take, tells Slaughter how parents can help nudge their kids towards more caring behavior – and ultimately, more career success. Later, as President Obama kicks off his trip to Asia and dusts off the administration's 2011 "pivot to Asia" strategy, Slaughter discusses the challenges and opportunities in this new rebalancing act with Anish Goel, former senior director for South Asia on the White House’s National Security Council, and Sheila Smith, a senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_Nouveau_Asia_and_Giving_Kids.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 3:35pm EST

It may seem like the only way to the corner office is by working 18-hour days and sleeping with your smart phone. It's not – but it's definitely the path to misery, says Arianna Huffington. The President and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post lays out a new path forward in her new book, Thrive, and tells Slaughter all about how we should really be defining success. And later, ahead of Earth Day, a conversation with New America Fellow Steve LeVine and Russell Gold, the senior energy correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, about the economics of fracking and renewable energy – and the plausibility of a scenario in which we don't eventually extract all fossil fuels from the earth. In other words – will renewables ever win the economic energy game?

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_The_Real_Way_to_Succeed.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:41am EST

Today, we put our information into the "cloud." Soon, we may get our Internet from real clouds. Facebook and Google make Internet connectivity ubiquitous by streaming it from hot air balloons and drones. Of course, it's not that easy. Alan Davidson, director of the Open Technology Institute, helps us understand some of the biggest terrestrial issues that could effect aerial Internet aspirations. Later, 2012 New America Fellow Brigid Schulte and Oxford Economics CEO Adam Sacks make the case for booking that trip to Puerto Rico as soon as possible: They tell us why skipping vacation is bad for us, our employers, and our economy. 

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_Facebook_Drones_and_Vacation_Starvation.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:55am EST

The Weekly Wonk: The Other Africa & Afghanistan's Big Vote

Journalist and former New America Fellow Dayo Olopade exposes the West's big blind spots when it comes to development policy in Africa; we've been looking for solutions to the continent's biggest problems in all the wrong places. Later, New America Fellows and Afghanistan experts Omar Samad, Faiysal AliKhan, and Anand Gopal tell us what we can expect before and after Saturday's presidential election in Afghanistan – and explain why there's a silver lining to the violence leading up to the vote.

Direct download: 4-3-14-WW-dayo-omar-faiysal_FMx2.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:15am EST

Good news for all you F-students out there: You, too, can be president. Well, kind of. This week, journalist Megan McArdle’s big idea is that failure is actually the key to success – if you know how to properly harness your fumbles. Later on, Political Reform Program Director Mark Schmitt and Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative Fellow Zephyr Teachout talk about the implications of an imminent campaign finance ruling and a new bill.

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_Failing_Up.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:08am EST

Hey, are you busy right now? If you live in America, the answer is probably “yes.” We’re busier than ever. Or…are we? New America Fellow Brigid Schulte, the author of the new book, “Overwhelmed,” challenges our basic assumptions about leisure time, and explains how the culture of busyness is changing our brains. Later, New America Fellows Meredith Wadman and Kathryn Bowers dissect the president’s science research budget and explore what the plateauing funding levels tell us about our curiosity, national priorities and the future of innovation.

Direct download: 3-13-14_Weekly_Wonk_FMx1.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

Emily Parker talks about the strange underworld of online activism around the world – and her new book on the subject. Later, New America Fellow and Foreign Policy columnist Rosa Brooks joins Breadwinning & Caregiving Program Director Liza Mundy and New America Fellow Brigid Schulte for a conversation about Rosa's recent "Lean In" rebellion, and what we're all misunderstanding about the work-life balance conversation.

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_Lean_Back.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:57am EST

Chris Leonard talks about how farmers are the losers in today’s consolidated agriculture industry, and how your chicken can go from “egg to McNugget without ever touching a market where there’s a transparent price.” Then, on the eve of the Oscars, Peter Bergen and Liza Mundy talk about whether movies can move policy.

Direct download: 2-25-14_Weekly_Wonk_FMx2.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:27pm EST

Unlike a classic Hitchcock film, our 1950s-era measurements for progress haven’t aged well. Numbers like GDP, consumer price index and the jobless rate “obscure more than they illuminate,” economist Zachary Karabell tells Slaughter, exploring the argument in his new book, The Leading Indicators. Later, New America Fellow Hao Wu and Early Education Initiative Director Lisa Guernsey talk about the unlikely pre-K race between China and the United States, why China is poised to win, and what it could mean for the future of our relationship.

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_Deceptive_Numbers.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:24pm EST

It's official: After a five-year legal battle, Europe has ruled that Google is not being evil– or at least not entirely – when it comes to the search giant's treatment of competitors overseas. But what does this major antitrust decision tell us about why global policymakers are so eager to dismantle monopolies? Lina Khan, a policy analyst for the Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative and Daniel Kurtz–Phelan unpack the underreported benefits and controversy around trust-busting. Later, New America Fellow Gabe Sherman shares his bleak prognosis for Fox News' future – and what he learned from writing a 600-page biography of Fox News Founder Roger Ailes.

Direct download: The_Weekly_Wonk_2-13-14_FMx3.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:02am EST