AirTalk for June 21, 2010

Mercer 8337
Lakers fans are turning out in droves for today’s victory parade – and the LAPD says they’re prepared. KPCC’s Corey Moore joins David live from the parade route.
Mercer 8336
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. citizens may not advise or aid certain organizations designated by the State Department—even toward its nonviolent ends. The challenge was brought by Ralph D. Fertig, a civil rights activist prosecuted for advising Kurdish militants in Turkey on peaceful ways to meet their goals. The group is among thirty or so designated groups that include Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Khmer Rouge. Should prosecutors draw a distinction between support for peaceful and violent activities of these organizations? Did the Court unfairly violate citizens’ 1st amendment rights? Or, is any support for known terror groups tantamount to advocating violence? And, what if a supporter has no knowledge of a group’s other activities?
Mercer 8334

Comparison shopping for health care

When it comes to plumbing fixes or home redesigns, it makes sense to shop around for the best price. But what if you need hip replacement surgery or a colonoscopy? Would comparison shopping for health care be a good idea? Advocates say it’s a great way to control health care costs for both providers and patients. And now, there are multiple services aiming to make that easier, such as Castlight Health. This newly proposed search engine that would allow consumers to search for nearby doctors and, based on their insurance coverage, compare the prices of certain procedures. According to a recent study conducted by Mercer, a human resources consulting firm, people who are more aware of health care costs, spend less in the long-run. But how workable are services like this? And does it make sense to treat health care like other goods and services?
Mercer 8333

Oh, I HATE when the restaurant does that!

Isn’t it annoying when you’re out to dinner and everybody’s food comes…except yours. Or when you order tuna on rye and get salami on sourdough? Or when the waiter brings food out to the people at the table next to you first—even though you arrived an hour earlier? What annoys you most about dining out?
Mercer 8335

The Rational Optimist – is that an oxymoron?

If you believe author Matt Ridley, life is getting better. Not only that, but it’s getting better at an accelerating rate. There’s more food and cash - and less violence and disease. And we’re all living longer. Sure, the world isn’t perfect. But all those pessimists who dominate the public discourse, warning that all hell is about to break loose - blah blah blah - they’ve been saying that for 200 years. In his new book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Matt Ridley does more than cheer. He explains why we have more reason to hope, than despair about the future. Do you buy it? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Find an archived Episode: