At long last, Millennials have begun buying homes. Will they ever catch up to previous generations? Or will the market continue to hold them back with high rents, lingering student debt, and opposing pressure from Baby Boomers? Believe it or not, these forces are neither inevitable nor insurmountable. There is a third way, a bridge between the generations, a new social contract that’s mutually beneficial for all…if we choose to see with enlightened eyes.
In this episode, Dowell Myers questions the fate of a generation grasping at the mantle of opportunity and projects the possible future scenarios they are rapidly approaching.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 31: Millennials Knocking on the Door of the American Dream”
It used to be that big mansions and fancy jewelry were the consummate signs of wealth, but new research shows that people are increasingly spending their wealth on less “conspicuous” forms of consumption. In today’s world, it pays more to signal your status with things like health care and education and nutrition. How did this change come about? And what does effect does it have on the rest of the population who can’t afford these new status symbols?
In this episode, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett helps us walk a mile in the shoes of today’s “aspirational class” and see how they’re spending their wealth…and how it accelerates the rat race for the rest of society.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 30: How Do the Rich Spend Their Money and Why Has It Changed?”
Diversity and inclusion sound like universally accepted ideas, but when we try to talk about how we fall short of them and how we can improve, they become two of the most controversial political sparks in the fire that rages around our American discourse. Many people believe they can’t speak the truth in their hearts, and so they see no path forward. At the USC Price School, we have been challenging this assumption and lifting up these voices to unfurl a path that had been blocked until only recently.
In this episode, LaVonna B. Lewis tells the story of this new effort, known as the Initiative on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, and she implores us to follow the Price School’s lead in our everyday lives.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 29: Speaking Your Truth — How It’s Possible to Talk About and Improve Diversity and Inclusion”
“Our American Discourse” is a small piece of a big effort. We’re not the only ones trying to raise the level of public debate in this country. Take a walk through the Price School, and you’ll see room after room of scholars who genuinely care about the public interest. Stop at the Bedrosian Center, and you’ll find the people who have taken it upon themselves to engage directly with the public. That’s where I spend most of my days on campus, and it’s where I want to take you today to meet the leader who makes it all happen…
In this episode, Aubrey Hicks takes us inside the Bedrosian Center and their never-ending mission to bust open the doors of democracy and give us all a seat at the table.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 23: Let Every Voice Be Heard! How to Elevate the Public Debate in 2018”
Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.
In this episode, we find sagacity and even humor in the hard work of ethical governing with Lisa Schweitzer.
Prof. Schweitzer is an associate professor of urban planning in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. She teaches classes in city life and structure, justice in public policy, and public transit. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She blogs regularly, provocatively, and wittily at lisaschweitzer.com.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.
“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey Hedden.