All posts tagged economy

Are Americans really that bad at math?

There’s an article out today in Discover magazine that blames the financial crisis on bad basic math skills.  Apparently people who don’t understand arithmetic don’t have good luck when it comes to paying off their mortgage.  Here’s the most interesting part: Interestingly, participants with higher IQs were as likely to fall behind on payments as those with lower IQs, but were more likely to avert actual foreclosure, suggesting greater cognitive abilities may Read More...

Episode 51: Patents

Today we discuss the Supreme Court case regarding patents on breast and ovarian cancer genes and testing.  Then we broaden our discussion to patents in general.  Nick likes patent laws, Andrew doesn’t (although, for once, Andrew admits that there is potential for the government to become involved in R&D).  Virginia thinks that patents might not even be the issue.  Click here to listen!

Partial Transcript: Episode 51: (Patents)

Nick: The Supreme Court is hearing opening arguments about patenting breast cancer genes. Andrew: They also had discussion between the judges. Virginia: Myriad Genetics discovered two genes highly associated with breast cancer.  They patented the discovery and have 20 years of protection.  A group of researchers sued. Andrew: As they should.  I understand that they put work into it, but they didn’t create these genes.  They discovered them.  If I Read More...

Episode 49: Bitcoin

In this episode, we debate Bitcoins and their impact on the world.  Nick is the skeptic, and Andrew is the zealot.  Virginia sits on the fence and watches the debate.  At the end, Nick speculates about the government’s ability to freeze the Bitcoin market, and Virginia breaks out her financial skills to discuss stock market theory. Click here to listen!

Partial Transcript: Episode 49: (Bitcoin)

Nick: Bitcoin is more like “bullshit coins.” Andrew: Why do you hate them so much? Nick: I don’t hate them.  I just don’t get them. Virginia: I’m actually impressed with the potential for another form of currency that does not involve animals feathers or teeth. Nick: The problem is it’s already an asshole to people who don’t have money.  It’s so expensive to build and run a system. Andrew: Let Read More...

Partial Transcript: Episode 44 (Robots & Jobs)

Virginia: There’s an Atlantic article out right now called “The End of Labor: How to Protect Workers from the Rise of Robots.”  There was a 60 Minutes episode this weekend about robots in the workforce.  I’m curious to know how you guys feel about it. Mike: I have a robot vacuum cleaner, and I love it. Virginia: Did you have someone that you had hired to do that for you? Read More...

Episode 44: Robots & Jobs

On today’s episode, we speculate about the role of robots in unemployment rates.  Andrew, Nick, and Mike argue that, even if robots replace humans in parts of the job market, new human-only jobs will be created in new industries.  Virginia, on the other hand, wonders whether the growth in jobs since the Industrial Revolution is sustainable.  In a world where robots do most of our jobs, how to humans occupy Read More...

Partial Transcript: Episode 14 (Social Security and Gen Y)

Nick: We’re Generation Y.  As in, why us? Andrew: That’s such a boring name for a generation. Nick: It’s better than Generation Z. Andrew: The zombie generation? Virginia: Technically, wouldn’t they be our kids? Andrew: Kids today are complete TV zombies.  Maybe that’s how the apocalypse starts. Virginia: With the TV? Weren’t the Boomers the first generation to be raised with TV’s in the house? Andrew: I wasn’t around then, Read More...