This week I try to get down to basics – how do we form our political beliefs? Is government really about ethics? What political ethics do we want our society to strive towards? Are psychopaths screwing up the world? Do they make up a large percentage of the 1%?
My guests today are J. David Markham, my regular co-host on the much-loved Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast, and his friend of 35 years, a regular guest on this show, Doug LaFollette, Secretary of State of Wisconsin. They joined me this morning to discuss the recent US government shutdown and the forces at play behind it. If you, like me, have been trying to understand how something like this could happen in the world’s leading economic power, then I hope this conversation will shed some light on the issue. As David and Doug are both Democrats, I, being an Australian, try to throw in some counter-arguments into the conversation for balance.
BTW, if you’re having trouble getting the show to download in iTunes, please try deleting the feed from iTunes and re-adding it using this link.
PhD student Benjamin Walker and Business Psychology professor Chris Jackson conducted three experiments using more than 600 people from the general population. They found that people with psychopathic traits can make great entrepreneurs because they are not afraid to fail or make bold and risky decisions.
My concern, though, is that although psychopaths might make great entrepreneurs, once they get wealth and power as a result of their entrepreneurial activities, they can end up doing more damage to society than good. But what do we do about it? How do we protect society from psychopaths?
Below is Benjamin’s recent three-minute pitch about the subject of his PhD.
My guest today is Brad Heitmann. Brad lives in Utah, has a background in investment banking and start-up strategy and loves history. Today, however, he joins me to talk about his religion – The Church Of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons. To all those people asking me for years “when are you going to a show about Mormons” – you can now shut the hell up.
Brad and I discuss the life of the founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith – I especially wanted to focus on his trial for being a conman (he was found guilty), his polygamy and the reasons behind his eventual murder. We also discuss the methods by which we search for Truth.
I’d like to thank Brad for having the balls to come on the show. He was a good sport and I hope he takes me up on my offer to come back soon. You can follow him on Twitter @bradheitmann
If you’re interested in the Mormon religion, here’s a few links I recommend:
Today I’m chatting with Jenna Price, one of the key people behind the “DESTROY THE JOINT” movement to stop sexism and misogyny in Australia. Jenna talks about the success of their campaign to get advertisers to pull their funding from the Alan Jones Show on 2GB.
Australia is one of only a few countries in the world that has the facilities to design and manufacture a car from digging the raw materials out of the ground to dealer domestic sale. And in the 1970s Australia’s auto industry was ranked 10th place in the World but today? We are in 28th place.
Take this one example – The Ford Falcon, which has been manufactured since 1960 and is currently on life support. Sales last year were 74% less than its best year ever, which was in 2003.
Ford, which has about 3000 employees in Australia, has received an estimated $1 billion in government subsidies since 2000 in an effort to prop up an industry in decline.
The Labor government has committed $5.4 billion for car making from 2008 to 2020.
Meanwhile – the number of small businesses that went bankrupt last double increased by 48% – and none of them received government handouts. Why? My guess is because there aren’t any votes in it.
To explain why the government is spending billions of our dollars to prop up foreign-owned companies, I’m very pleased to be joined today on Skype, by Nicholas Gruen, all the way from San Francisco, who is a prominent Australian economist, the CEO of Lateral Economics, the Chairman of Peach Financial, the Australian Centre for Social Innovation and Online Opinion, the founding chairman of the Aussie start-up Kaggle, and a board member of Innovation Australia.
If you haven’t watched THE WIRE yet – what are you waiting for? After all, it’s ten years old this year and it has been roundly acclaimed as the greatest TV show ever made.
I’ve watched the entire series three times and it gets better with each viewing. Chrissy and I are constantly quoting from it… “Imma get dressed. We go see Bodie.”
Anyway, my guest today is Peter Honig, a high school teacher from New Jersey who actually teaches The Wire to his English literature students as well as writing The Wire Blog and tweeting from @thewireblog.