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Fed Interest Rates, Mexican Migration, Dying, Consumer Rage

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Dec 14, 2015
  • 01:42:10

Fed Interest Rates (1:03) Guest: Christian vom Lehn, PhD, Professor of Economics at BYU  This is the month when the Federal Reserve is likely to finally raise the benchmark interest rate from the rock bottom level it’s been at since 2008.  Of course, analysts have said a rate increase would definitely happen before, but this time, US employment and new job growth are robust enough that it would be hard for the Fed’s Open Committee not to follow through when it meets tomorrow and Wednesday.  Mexican Migration (21:48) Guest: Leo Chavez, PhD, Professor in the University of California Irvine’s School of Social Sciences and Author of “The Latino Threat”  There’s another Republican presidential debate tomorrow and immigration will probably come up. While the focus has shifted to Syrian refugees, it will undoubtedly circle back to Mexico before the race is over. We may yet hear renewed talk of mass deportation and building a wall on the US border. But new analysis by the Pew Research Center finds that since the recession, more Mexicans have left the US than have come here. The tide seems to have reversed.  Conversation About Dying (38:45) Guest: Karl Lorenz, MD, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and Section Chief for the Veterans Health Administration-Stanford Programs in Palliative Care  Here’s a stunning fact to consider – back when Medicare was signed into law 50 years ago, most people died in their homes and the life sustaining treatments we’ve come to consider standard procedure hadn’t been invented yet. Technological advances have helped us live longer. But are we living better? We’re definitely not dying better, according to the doctors and researchers who focus on end-of-life care.  Consumer Rage (51:17) Guest: Mary Murcott, President of the Customer Experience Institute and Chief Strategy Officer of DIALOGDIRECT  “Your call is very important to us.” If hearing that empty declaration of your importance while on hold for an eternity makes your blood boil, you’re in good company.  A new study by Arizona State University found two-thirds of respondents reported feeling consumer rage at some point – often brought on by a frustrating encounter with customer service - 35 percent said they’d actually yelled, 15 percent admitted to cursing. Customers are getting angrier and the biggest culprits are – wait for it – cable and satellite TV companies. Phone companies are high on the list, too, and internet providers.  Parent Previews: In the Heart and the Sea (1:11:56) Guest: Rod Gustafson, Film Reviewer at ParentPreviews.com  Time now for our weekly look at new movies: The real-life encounter of a whaling ship that encounters a whale of mammoth size – and sinks because of it. This is the maritime tragedy that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. It opened in theaters over the weekend.  Tech Tranfer: Better Quinoa (1:20:09) Guests: Rick Jellen, PhD, Professor in the Plant & Wildlife Sciences Department at BYU; Mike Alder, Director of BYU’s Technology Transfer Office The past couple of years, quinoa has been by popping up on the organic aisle at the grocery store and appearing on the menus for those hip soup and salad places that are so popular. It’s a grain, in case you were wondering. And now it’s become so mainstream that you can buy it in your Cheerios cereal.  A couple of researchers here at BYU are tinkering with quinoa’s DNA to see if they can make a better version – better for growing in certain places, not necessarily better tasting.  More information about technology developed at BYU is available at techtransfer.byu.edu. Show More...

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