The Daily Need

This week on Need to Know

Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal. Photo: Flickr/kuer90.1

Who the hell is Shelley Lewis? That was the question that greeted me (the aforementioned Shelley Lewis) in a posted comment on the Need to Know website.

Naturally, I fired my press agent immediately.

No, all kidding aside, I’m the executive producer of Need to Know and sometimes when I see a question on our website that I can answer, I just jump online and answer it.  Since we don’t have nice bio pages up yet, a curious person wondering why I would be in a position to know the answer to a question would not know from our website who I am.

It was a totally legitimate question. Although there is such a thing as Google

In any case, because I am in a position to know, let me mention some of the things going on Need to Know this week, on the air and online.

The TV show focuses on joblessness. We meet a Portland, Ore., couple, middle-aged folks, who suddenly find themselves unemployed and in desperate straits.  Sadly, their story is emblematic of the condition for many of their Baby Boomer cohorts. We’ll also meet some young people at the other end of the rat race — the starting line — who are having an awful time trying to get their first real jobs. It ain’t pretty out there.

Luckily we have the always insightful and well-informed Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under President Clinton to turn to after each story.  We also have Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union, who knows what it’s like as both a worker and a small business owner to struggle through a deep recession. They offer historical perspective and practical advice, and some potential solutions for the future.

I’m also excited to tell you that Peter Sagal, host of the best game show on radio, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” will be joining Need to Know as a contributor.  More on that soon.

 
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Comments

  • Anonymous

    re: Joblessness

    Great. More talk of increasing educational opportunities and being more competitive in the global economy? Not so Great.

    Get real – interview Jeremy Rifkin.

    He has been addressing this issue since he wrote “The End of Work” in 1995.
    see: http://www.foet.org/books/end-work.html

    Until we make a totally new social contract the corporate overlords will continue to suck the life out of this world.

    To begin, talk with a statistician and find out about the amount of real, necessary work [start with food, shelter, clothing] to provide for the planet’s population and then factor in the number of people [workers] needed to provide all of the necessary goods and services.

    While Robert Reich is well intentioned he can not get past the T. L. Friedman’s ‘earth is flat’, we have to be smarter and compete better, corporate driven globalization mindset.

    At least Rifkin has some ideas about what the ‘excess’ population can do for humanity other than becoming a better workforce by returning to community college.

    I know this suggestion comes very near the air date of your show and am resigned to viewing the same over-produced boosterism chasing the American dream cum nightmare – but maybe next time you will ask the hard questions and not settle for the non-answers that I fear you will be airing on Oct 8th 2010?

    But then again, maybe you will surprise me?

    JJM

  • Anonymous

    re: Joblessness

    Great. More talk of increasing educational opportunities and being more competitive in the global economy? Not so Great.

    Get real – interview Jeremy Rifkin.

    He has been addressing this issue since he wrote “The End of Work” in 1995.
    see: http://www.foet.org/books/end-work.html

    Until we make a totally new social contract the corporate overlords will continue to suck the life out of this world.

    To begin, talk with a statistician and find out about the amount of real, necessary work [start with food, shelter, clothing] to provide for the planet’s population and then factor in the number of people [workers] needed to provide all of the necessary goods and services.

    While Robert Reich is well intentioned he can not get past the T. L. Friedman’s ‘earth is flat’, we have to be smarter and compete better, corporate driven globalization mindset.

    At least Rifkin has some ideas about what the ‘excess’ population can do for humanity other than becoming a better workforce by returning to community college.

    I know this suggestion comes very near the air date of your show and am resigned to viewing the same over-produced boosterism chasing the American dream cum nightmare – but maybe next time you will ask the hard questions and not settle for the non-answers that I fear you will be airing on Oct 8th 2010?

    But then again, maybe you will surprise me?

    JJM