David Kestenbaum http://wfpl.org en A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet http://wfpl.org/post/bet-five-metals-and-future-planet This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.<p>The biologist at the heart of this bet was Paul Ehrlich at Stanford. He wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called <em>The Population Bomb.</em> It was so popular he appeared on <em>The Tonight Show</em> with Johnny Carson.<p>He told Carson, "There are 3.6 billion people in the world today, and we are adding about 70 million a year. And that's too many. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 15:01:25 +0000 David Kestenbaum 8095 at http://wfpl.org A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet What A U.S. Default Would Mean For Pensions, China And Social Security http://wfpl.org/post/what-us-default-would-mean-pensions-china-and-social-security What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.<p>But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.<p>And lots and lots of people have loaned the government money. Those people are commonly referred to as owners of Treasury bonds. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 10:49:54 +0000 David Kestenbaum 7162 at http://wfpl.org What A U.S. Default Would Mean For Pensions, China And Social Security Why Doesn't Everybody Buy Cheap, Generic Headache Medicine? http://wfpl.org/post/why-doesnt-everybody-buy-cheap-generic-headache-medicine Why does anyone buy Bayer aspirin — or Tylenol, or Advil — when, almost always, there's a bottle of cheaper generic pills, with the same active ingredient, sitting right next to the brand-name pills?<p>Matthew Gentzkow, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth school, recently tried to answer this question. Along with a few colleagues, Gentzkow set out to test a hypothesis: Maybe people buy the brand-name pills because they just don't know that the generic version is basically the same thing.<p>"We came up with what is probably the simplest idea you've ever heard of," Gentzkow says. Fri, 05 Jul 2013 16:10:41 +0000 David Kestenbaum 6020 at http://wfpl.org Why Doesn't Everybody Buy Cheap, Generic Headache Medicine? Why Is The Government In The Flood Insurance Business? http://wfpl.org/post/why-government-flood-insurance-business There's a quick, one-word explanation for why the federal government started selling flood insurance: Betsy.<p>Hurricane Betsy, which struck the Gulf Coast in 1965, became known as billion-dollar Betsy. Homes were ruined. Water up to the roofs. People paddling around streets in boats. Massive damage.<p>This would be the time when you'd expect people to be pulling out their flood insurance policies. But flood insurance was hard to come by. You could get fire insurance, theft insurance, car insurance, life insurance. Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:39:19 +0000 David Kestenbaum 3578 at http://wfpl.org Why Is The Government In The Flood Insurance Business? What A Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Can Teach Us About The Fiscal Cliff http://wfpl.org/post/what-former-fbi-hostage-negotiator-can-teach-us-about-fiscal-cliff The tortuous negotiations involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks are like a chess game.<p>To shed some light on the kinds of negotiation techniques that members of Congress might be using during the talks, we asked two negotiators to walk us through their tactics with examples from their everyday lives.<p><a href="http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/cbs-directory/detail/7516245/Adam+Galinsky">Adam Galinsky</a> teaches negotiation at Columbia University's business school. He was recently at an airport in North Carolina, waiting to fly home. Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:44:45 +0000 David Kestenbaum 3192 at http://wfpl.org What A Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Can Teach Us About The Fiscal Cliff