While some have criticized the MTV shows "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" for making stars out of very young mothers, a new study co-authored by economist Melissa Kearney indicates that these shows may have helped reduce the teenage pregnancy rate by nearly six percent.
While most economists are still arguing about why our economy still has such a long way to go, Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, says that when comparing past recessions and crashes, the U.S. economy is performing fairly typically. As an economist familiar with controversy, Rogoff joins The Takeaway to discuss his provocative premise.
Al Qaeda flags now fly over Fallujah and Ramadi, two of the major conflict zones for American troops throughout the Iraq War. For U.S. veterans who fought in the region, that news is hard to hear. Marine Michael Zacchea suffered severe injuries in a fire-fight in 2004 during what is known as the second battle of Fallujah. Benjamin Busch served two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantry officer. David Retske is a former UAV pilot who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. Together they reflect on Al Qaeda's resurgence.
In the annals of Jersey political history, in the myths and stories explored so well by the likes of Tony Soprano and Nucky Thompson, how does the Chris Christie Administration compare? "I am embarrassed and humiliated," Governor Christie told reporters on Thursday. The 108 minute press conference was just the start of the Governor's apology tour. Congressman Rush Holt, a Democrat representing New Jersey's twelfth Congressional district, puts Christie's latest scandal into perspective.
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and announced "unconditional war on poverty in America." Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, reflects on the 50 years since President Johnson declared the War on Poverty, and discusses the best policy solutions to eliminate poverty today.
The U.S. Supreme Court has hit the pause button on same-sex marriage in Utah. Federal Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban back in December, but yesterday the Supreme Court issued a stay on the decision. Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, considers whether this latest move is an indication that the Supreme Court is heavily focused on states rights issues.
As many as 200 million Americans are coping with extreme weather this week brought on by what meteorologists are calling a polar vortex. Joining The Takeaway to explain the science behind the polar vortex is Jennifer Francis, research professor at Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. Business owner Richard Thomas of the R. Thomas Deluxe Grill in Atlanta, GA explains how his business is coping in the frigid weather.
A hundred years ago, the Ford Motor Company instituted an eight-hour workday, but in today's world of globalization, smartphones and increasing competition, working only eight hours seems like a dream come true.
While the world saw a host of dramatic changes in 2013—an elected government replaced by the military in Egypt, a new pope in Rome, a resurgent Bashar al-Assad in Syria—2014 will likely see greater shifts in politics and the international economy. Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, a global political risk research and consulting firm, examines the top risks facing the U.S and the world in 2014.
Taxes sounded worse than environmental catastrophe in the politics of 2010, but ironically one of the more persuasive arguments that climate change is real—persuasive especially to anti-tax conservatives—is how changing, unpredictable and severe weather is increasingly exacting a tax on all aspects of life in America. Gary Yohe, professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University, explores the hidden costs of climate change.
Sunni militants in Iraq have captured parts of two key cities in Anbar Province, one of the bloodiest battlegrounds in the Iraq War. Nearly a third of all the Americans killed in Iraq died fighting in Anbar. Tim Arango, Baghdad Bureau Chief for Takeaway partner The New York Times, discusses the conflict, and whether this week's bloodshed might escalate sectarian violence throughout the country.
Brazil has faced a myriad of problems in preparing for the World Cup. Hoping to raise revenue for city infrastructure for the World Cup, the Brazilian government raised taxes on bus and train fares last summer, triggering massive protests in Rio and across the country. New construction has also proved problematic. Bruce Douglas, a Brazil-based freelance journalist, examines the country's preparation for the 2014 World Cup and beyond.
South Sudan gained its independence nearly three years ago, but as the country marks its third birthday, few have reason to celebrate. Violence erupted in the world's newest nation earlier this month. South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has accused his former vice president, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup. Jendayi Frazer, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and a Distinguished Public Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, examines the origins of the conflict in South Sudan, and how the international community should move forward.
As we look back at 2013, perhaps the most important story of this year, if not of this decade, may be the revelations of the surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency. It's a story that, thanks to Edward Snowden, has forever changed the way we Americans think about our privacy. Joel Brenner, Susan Crawford and Nita Farahany weigh in on changing norms of privacy when it comes to issues of the internet, medicine and national security.
"I can't walk down the street without people stopping me to say thank you," says the 84-year-old, who shot to stardom this year after winning the Supreme Court Case that made gay marriage legal. "It's thrilling."
The Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, the case that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, marked just one of the many milestones in LGBT rights this year. Dale Carpenter, author of "Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas - How a Bedroom Arrest Decriminalized Gay Americans" and professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, examines the state of same-sex marriage rights as 2013 draws to a close, and looks ahead at what to expect in 2014.
As Gary Walsh on "Veep" and Buster Bluth in "Arrested Development," actor Tony Hale has perfected the art of sycophancy. Gary and Buster each desperately, hilariously, seek acceptance from the powerful women in their lives: Gary is at Vice President Selina Meyer's beck and call, while Buster caters to the ultimate matriarch, Lucille Bluth. Hale reflects on his banner year, reprising the role of Buster in Netflix's reboot of "Arrested Development," and winning his first Emmy for "Veep."
The past year was pivotal for Syria. As President Bashar al-Assad fought to control the country's future, rebel groups splintered, and the West looked for diplomatic options in an increasingly complicated conflict. Mona Yacoubian, senior advisor for the Stimson Center's Middle East Program and project director for the Pathways to Progress: Peace, Prosperity and Change in the Middle East initiative, reflects on the Syrian conflict in 2013 and looks forward to how the U.S. should move forward in 2014.
Members of Congress are enjoying their first, full Christmas recess since President Obama took office. Over the last five years, the legislative branch has delayed its holiday break or returned early for major votes over Christmas and New Year's, on divisive issues like health care, the fiscal cliff and unemployment benefits. In 2013, Congress managed to fight its battles earlier in the year. Gregory Downs, professor of history at the City University of New York, reviews of the highlights of the year in Congress and looks ahead to changes in 2014.
"The Luminaries" is the fascinating new novel written by Eleanor Catton, the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner. Described by the New York Times as "doing a Charlotte Bronte-Themed crossword puzzle while playing chess and Dance Dance Revolution on a Bongo Board," the novel is wildly unique. Catton is the youngest person to win the Prize and only the second to win from New Zealand, and she joins The Takeaway to discuss the wild wave of enthusiasm for her work.