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Can Economic Recovery Plow Ahead?

Europe wobbling. Markets down. We ask if the U.S. recovery is strong enough to plow through. Plus, Kristof/WuDunn to ’10 grads.

A trader on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, May 27, 2010. (AP)

Talk about a tightrope. One minute this week, news of the U.S .economy is full of rosy forecasts, happy economists, manufacturing booming, and all systems go for recovery.

The next minute, the headlines are swamped with dire fear of a contagion from Europe, endless economic winter, a “double-dip” recession and the stock markets dropping like stones. 

So, which is it?  There is obviously no clear answer. But there is a big battle underway between hope and fear. 

This Hour, On Point: we look at the evidence, hear the cases, for hope and for fear on the US economy.

Guests:

Jim McTague, Washington editor for Barron’s.

Carmen M. Reinhart, director of the Center for International Economics at the University of Maryland and co-author, with Kenneth Rogoff, of “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.” She testified yesterday before President Obama’s fiscal commission.

Alan Blinder, professor of economics at Princeton University. He’s former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton.

Closing Segment:

Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn (Credit: Middlebury College)

In the seventh installment in our graduation season series, we listen to an excerpt from the Middlebury College commencement address by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and author Sheryl WuDunn. In 1990, the two won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square—the first married couple to win the Pulitzer for journalism. At Middlebury last Sunday, they spoke about what each graduate can do to help one individual at a time, and not to worry if he or she can’t immediately solve large-scale problems such as global poverty. Helping the individual, WuDunn said, is a legitimate way of changing the world, and can also change “you” for the better. You can watch the full address.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 4, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP)

Hillary Clinton’s week of bad headlines: about her emails and foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. We’ll dig in.

Mar 4, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

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Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

 
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
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Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

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Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
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Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

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Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

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