Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Patt Morrison for Thursday, September 9, 2010


Thursday, September 9, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:39

What is the deal with Obamanomics?

President Obama is pushing an end to the Bush Tax cuts and a $180 billion shot in the arm to the country’s infrastructure—which would include major upgrades to the nation’s roads, rail lines and runways funded by a government-run bank—as his economic plan heading into a hotly contested election season.  What would be the cold hard results of extending the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of households with income below $250,000 for couples, or $200,000 for individuals, and insisting that federal income tax rates in 2011 go to pre-2001 levels for income above those cutoffs?  Patt talks with experts on all angles of the plan, from the economic analysis to the number of jobs an infrastructure stimulus could create, to the populist rhetoric Obama is adopting in order to cast the election-year economic debate as a choice between supporting a fleeting middle class and giving breaks to the increasingly wealthy.  What do you think of the plan and are there better alternatives? Patt also talks with some naysayers who side with House Minority Leader John Boehner, calling for a two-year freeze on all federal tax rates and scaling back government spending to 2008 levels.




Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden & director of the White House Middle Class Task Force


Republican Member of Congress


Peter Orzsag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2010 and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations


Robert Puentes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, who has been working for several on blueprints for the central bank for transportation


Samuel Staley, director of urban growth and land-use policy for the Reason Foundation, a libertarian research group – he opposes the centralized government bank for transportation projects.




1:41 – 1:58:30


”If you’re not bleeding, it’s not serious” – withholding Purple Hearts

Since George Washington created the honor in 1782, the Purple Heart has been a symbol of sacrifice for soldiers injured or killed in combat. But one wound – mild traumatic brain injury - remains largely unrecognized by the military as deserving of this award. In a joint investigation, NPR and ProPublica have found evidence of resistance to awarding the Purple Heart for so-called “invisible wounds,” even though regulations clearly state that a concussion is an injury deserving of the honor. Patt talks with the investigative team about what it takes to receive the coveted medal, and why so many injured are turned down.  



Daniel Zwerdling, correspondent on NPR’s national desk for and co-author with T. Christian Miller of this report.


In late 2006 and 2007, he revealed that officers at Fort Carson, in Colorado, were punishing soldiers who'd come back from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan with post traumatic stress disorder and other serious mental health problems — even kicking them out of the Army. As a result of Zwerdling's reports, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, the Pentagon and the Government Accountability Office all launched separate investigations, and commanders at the army base vowed to treat soldiers better.


T. Christian Miller, senior reporter for ProPublica  He is the author of “Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq.”



2:06 – 2:39




2:41 – 2:58:30

Who gives more, the haves or the have-nots?

It's one of life's great ironies - those who have more give less. Research shows that the wealthy are quite a bit more, well, greedy than the poor. One study found that households earning less than $25,000 a year donated an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes while those making $75,000 or more gave away 2.7 percent. Another study found that the poor have a stronger sense of empathy and connectedness to others. The rich, by contrast, lacked compassion and tended to shield themselves from the needs of others. So are the wealthy just inherently selfish, or is there something about money that brings out the worst, but not the wallet?  



Paul K. Piff, PhD candidate and social psychology researcher at the University of California, Berkeley


  • He studies "the psychological culture of wealth versus poverty" at Berkeley's Institute of Personality and Social Research. He recently conducted experiments that tested "lower class" and "upper class" subjects to see what kind of psychological factors motivated the differences in their giving behaviors.  His study written by Michael W. Kraus was published last month by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  His study found that lower income people were more generous, charitable, trusting and helpful to others than were those with more wealth. 




Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

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