#113 America's Male Unemployment Crisis: Ed Glaeser

Here's a paradox. While the U.S. unemployment rate is near a 16-year low, the percentage of all American adults in the workforce remains stuck at well below pre-recession levels.

Men are much more likely than women to drop out of work. In the 1960's 95% of adult men between 25 and 54 were employed. Today, after 7 years of an improving job market, only 80% are in the workforce.

People who don't look for a job are not counted in the official unemployment statistics compiled by the Labor Department. 

Harvard University Professor Edward Glaeser says "there's a war on work." Taxation, housing, regulatory and social policies aimed at improving the lives of low income Americans, he says, often remove incentives for people to get a job. We based our episode on the findings and solutions suggested in Ed's article for City Journal-- "The War on Work and How to End It."

#108 Big Data & STEM, Overrated? Scott Hartley

In our age of big data Liberal Arts smarts are undervalued. Our guest, Scott Hartley, argues that the most valuable jobs skills in the future will belong to people who can think creatively, using emotional intelligence and adaptability.

Scott is a venture capitalist and author of "The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World." At Stanford University, where he studied political science, fuzzies majored in the humanities or social sciences. Techies took computer science or STEM courses. Many in the business world still believe that it's the techies who drive innovation.

In his contrarian book (we love contrarians!) Scott reveals the counterintuitive reality today: it's actually the fuzzies - not the techies - who are playing key roles developing the most successful new business ideas. Corporate leaders, educators and thinkers are starting to realize that to tackle some of the world's biggest technological challenges, we need people who understand human emotions and behavior.
 
We unpack Scott’s argument, looking at examples of innovative fuzzy thinking, from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg and beyond. Our solutions look at new ideas for business, universities, government and parents.

#10 Fix It Shorts: What We Learned in Our First 100 episodes

For Jim and Richard "How Do We Fix It?" has been a great big learning experience.

From how to switch careers to the search for meaning and the importance of speaking to strangers, our guests have proposed many smart, practical solutions. And they've also challenged conventional wisdom.

Our podcast invites listeners to get into their discomfort zone as a way of being more receptive to change.  

Jim starts this show revealing what he learned from David McRaney, host of "You Are Not So Smart," - a podcast about psychology.  David told us about our deep attachment to confirmation bias - where most of us try to confirm our views, rather than challenging ourselves with an opposing hypothesis.  

As someone who admits he knows little about science, Richard says he has learned about the scientific method from several guests, including Ainissa Ramirez and Michael Shermer. In the lab, scientists routinely test and try to disprove a theory before they embrace it as fact.

Some Fix It episodes were ahead of the curve. John Gable, Joan Blades, Geoff Colon and other guests raised the alarm about filter bubbles and online information silos well before Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley executives voiced their concerns.

Last year, Megan McArdle, a columnist at Bloomberg View, spoke to us about the tangled problems of fixing Obamacare months before President Trump and House Republicans realized how hard it be to "repeal and replace" without a massive fight. 

We also heard from Steve Hilton, former personal advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron.  He made the pro-European case for Brexit in a surprising and enlightened way.

Richard tells Jim: "I've learned a lot from you," declaring himself to be a "thorough convert" to Jim's conviction that we romanticize the past and catastrophize the present. Richard has also come over to Jim's view that the challenge to free speech on college campuses is a much more serious problem than many believe.

Now on to the next 100 shows.