World Events, Minimum Wage, Greenhouses, Food Waste
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 277
- Apr 19, 2016 9:00 pm
- 1:44:11 mins
Three World Events that Matter (begins at 1:05) Guest: Quinn Mecham, PhD, BYU Political Science Professor BYU political science professor Quinn Mecham says there's been a general decline in democracy globally over the last several years, but during his monthly visit to our show he highlights a new democratically-elected government in Myanmar/Burma as a possible success. Mecham says the recent conviction of South African president Jacob Zuma by the country's highest court for inappropriate spending of public dollars on his residence is an example of the "horizontal accountability" of democracy working. Democracies work best when there's vertical accountability from the people to their leader and horizontal accountability between branches of government like the the president and the court system. Mecham's third event worth taking a closer look at this month is the new UN-backed government Libya, which has Western nations hopeful the war-torn country could be on the path to stability. Who Benefits From a $15 Minimum Wage? (begins at 23:13) Guest: Ken Jacobs, Chair of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, Berkeley So far in 2016, two states - California and New York - have passed laws gradually boosting their minimum wages to $15 in the coming years. They’ll have the highest minimum wage rates in the nation, by a long shot, and twice the federal minimum of $7.25. Since this is new territory for state wages, it’s unclear just what the effect will be on workers and businesses. Opponents fear forcing companies to pay higher wages for employees at the bottom of the pay scale mean layoffs and price increases. Supporters say the raises will lift low-income earners out of poverty. Jacobs says the stereotype of minimum wage earners as teens and college students working in fast food and retail is wrong. Making Greenhouses More "Green" (begins at 39:24) Guest: Stacy Adams, Instructor of Horticulture and Greenhouse Management at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Russ Finch, Creator of Greenhouse in the Snow A lot of the produce we buy at the supermarket has come long distances to get to our table. We like to eat tropical fruit in the winter. Oranges all year round. Berries at Christmas time. All of that cross-country and international shipping creates a hefty carbon footprint. So food growers are increasingly interested in using greenhouses to trick those strawberries into thinking it’s harvest time, no matter what the weather outside the hothouse plastic bubble. But it turns out that heating greenhouses demands a lot of fossil fuels, too. So in the long run, is it better just to bring the tropical fruit in from the tropics? "Embrace Ugly" to End Food Waste (begins at 51:45) Guest: Dominika Jarosz, campaign manager at Feedback Western countries waste up to half of their food supply – in large part because we want our produce to look perfect. All told, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says the world wastes enough food to feed every person suffering from hunger more than twice over. Campaign Signs Matter (begins at 1:21:18) Guest: Brandon Lenoir, PhD, Professor of Political Communication at High Point University We’re not even close to peak season but already you can find campaign signs popping up in yards across America. Bright red, white and blue. Bold lettering and patriotic symbols. Political campaign yard signs are weirdly ubiquitous in this era of high-tech outreach and fundraising. Are they really worth the money and effort it takes to pepper a precinct before election day? Worlds Awaiting: Great Sci-Fi for Teens (begins at 1:28:37) Guest: Rachel Wadham, Host of Worlds Awaiting Children's literature expert Rachel Wadham recommends "Railhead" by Philip Reeve and a number of other authors who write science fiction for teenagers. Wadham says good sci-fi for young people hinges on an authors ability to create a compelling, immersive world. "Railhead" hits the mark. Worlds Awaiting is a show for grownups and Ms. Wadham will help us to help those kids in our lives discover great literature and to learn to think critically about the world around them. It airs Saturdays at 1:30 pm ET on BYUradio.