Jagdish Bhagwati, Sr. Fellow for Int’l Economics, Council on Foreign Relations

Of all the issues that stand in the way of a country’s ability to reach its full economic potential — and there are so many — few are more globally pervasive, and harder to solve, than poverty. But how does the path that connects economic potential and personal poverty get not just identified, but solved? What role can a pro-growth policy play? And, as we consider yet again how to address economic growth and poverty in the US, what can and should we learn from international examples.  Few think through the pros and cons of international economic policy more cleverly or deeply than Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics at Council on Foreign Relations, and University Professor at Columbia University. And his book “Why Growth Matters” will be published in the US in April. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)


Yann Martel, Author “Life of Pi”

With just a month to go before the biggest movie night of the year, I want to talk about a book. And not just any book, but the thoroughly compelling story of a boy and a tiger and, if not the meaning of life, then at least a reflection on the existence of a higher being. A story that captured the world’s attention, winning the Booker Prize and selling more than 9 million copies. It was made into a movie, earning an astonishing 11 Academy Award nominations. What makes Life of Pi so popular? Why does this tale of a boy from a faraway land speak so clearly to so many of us? Few should know better than the author, Yann Martel, and he joins us now from Canada. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dave Girouard, Founder & CEO, Upstart

It’s a story we hear every day. Student debt is rising out of control. At graduation — and with jobs so hard to find — our best young minds, the ones with the newest and shiniest ideas, immediately move back home with their parents and then take the first job they can in order to start paying down their loans. It might not be the best job — but they take what they can get. Many of us hear these stories and think nothing beyond how lucky the new grad is to have a job. Dave Girouard heard these stories and thought: Market Opportunity. Dave is the founder of Upstart, an online marketplace that lets financial backers invest in individuals. The backers give recent graduates immediate funding in exchange for a predetermined percentage of the grad’s future earnings. Can an online marketplace for human talent really work — and what might it mean for the way our future grads think about their first jobs? Upstart founder Dave Girouard joins me now. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Kelly Hoey, Start up Advisor & Founder, Women Innovate Mobile

When was the last time you watched television alone? And by alone, I don’t mean with no one else in the room — I mean, without a digital device at the ready. I mean your smart phone or tablet or laptop. How are mobile, universal connectivity and the good old TV merging to once again change our lives? Here to help us understand: Kelly Hoey, a start up advisor and Founder of Women Innovate Mobile, the first startup accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Martin Charnin, Broadway legend & Creator and Lyricist of “Annie”

She may be the most famous little girl in America. With her red curly hair and cute dog Sandy, she never fails to remind us that no matter how bad today might be, there’s always tomorrow. Even better — she never ages. But for all her dimples and curls, Annie would have never existed beyond the comic pages — would never have sang a word, much less performed tens of thousands of times across stages big and small — without my next guest, Broadway legend Martin Charnin. He brought Annie and its songs and words to life. The awards have piled up for Charnin — Emmy’s, Tony’s, Grammy’s — but it seems impossible to measure the impact his show has had on theater in America. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication

If you heard President Obama’s Inauguration speech last week, it was as surprising to many as it was unmistakable: Climate change is back on the front burner. But why, after laying low as policy talk turned to tax increases and debt ceilings, is climate change hot again? And how do Americans really feel about it? Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz can give us a hint. He is Research Scientist and the Director of the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication, and among their various projects is “Global Warming’s Six Americas” that analyzes Americans’ interpretations of and responses to climate change. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Ben Smith, Editor, Buzzfeed

You blinked, and the world of media and content has changed again. That’s right — it’s once again the next new age of New Media. Online display ads? Forget’em. Sponsored content is the new way advertisers earn your trust — and your spending dollars. Total unique users? Talk today is about each individual piece and its Likes or Tweets or mentions. Corporate ownership? Online media stars are saying enough of that and going direct to readers for financial support. One media group driving this new age: Buzzfeed. The social news web site recently earned new financial support of their own, closing a nearly a $20MM round. Ben Smith is Buzzfeed’s editor, and he joins me now. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow, Brookings; Author, “The World America Made”

As President Obama’s second term begins, he — and we — find ourselves yet again at foreign affairs crossroads. A possible nuclear rise in Iran. A so-called Arab Spring that has morphed into crises from Syria to Egypt, Mali, Libya, Algeria and beyond. In Asia, continuing questions about what role China will play regionally — and globally. And now, a change at the top of the US State Department comes while many Americans are turning ever-more inward. How to navigate these challenges, where the stakes cannot be overstated? Dr. Robert Kagan is a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in Foreign Policy at Brookings. He serves as a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and his most recent book is “The World America Made.” (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Taegan Goddard, Founder of Political Wire & Editor-at-Large at The

For many of us — perhaps even President Obama — it felt like his second term political honeymoon didn’t last much beyond the start of his Inauguration Speech. Thanks to the real-time Tweets and online commentary, we saw right away that his declaration of governing for the next four years was not going to be quietly accepted. So if you were feeling a bit sad that the election was over and we’re now destined for the quiet and serious business of governing, don’t look so down. It’s as if our US political motto has become: The campaign is dead; long live the campaign! So which way is forward? Few follow US policy and politics more closely than our good friend Taegan Goddard, Founder of Political Wire and Editor-at-Large at The (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Juliette Kayyem, Former Asst Sec. Dept. of Homeland Security

It was the military announcement of the week, if not the last 25 years: One of the last barriers in US warfare will come down — Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta announced the Pentagon would lift the ban on women in combat: A move that should open thousands of new roles to women. What are the impacts — immediate and long term — from such a policy change? What are the risks? Or, looked at from another view, what took so long? Few have thought and written about the potential for women in combat and their role in the military more than Juliette Kayyem, Boston Globe National Security columnist & Former Asst Secy, Dept. of Homeland Security. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Bill Roggio, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

As the US begins the process to nominate its next Secretary of Defense, there is no shortage of military threats that we face — From a nuclear Iran to a more bellicose Russia to continuing questions about China’s ambitions. But beyond these sponsored states, there is terrorism. Often loosely organized, these threats are continual and growing. And it’s nearly impossible to determine where they’ll hit next. Bill Roggio is Editor of The Long War Journal and Senior Fellow Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

David DeSteno, Northeastern Univ. Social Emotions Group & Author, “Out of Character”

This conversation is for the most rational among us. You know who you are: You collect the data. You even assign probabilities. Guess what — all that thinking, science and math can come undone in an instant through your emotions. But the impact of emotions on our decision making can be awfully hard to measure. From the simple choice to tell a harmless white lie to larger transgressions of love or money that play out on the front pages, connections among emotions and social behavior — in short, our character — often feel like an unsolvable mystery. Mystery solving exactly the mission of Dr. David DeSteno, Director of Northeastern University’s Social Emotions Group and co-Author, “Out of Character: The Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us.” (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Ward Wilson, Center for Nonproliferation Studies; Author: Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons

As America faces real threats from an increasing range of enemies — some organized nation states, others rogue loosely-affiliated groups — the calls for weaponized response capability continue. And the debate largely centers around recent developments: Are drone attacks the right way for us to eliminate bad guys? How can we disengage as quickly as possible from Afghanistan? How should the process work to fully integrate women into our frontlines of battle? Seldom do you hear an even more basic question: Why do we have nuclear weapons and are they actually useful? That’s the question and argument from Ward Wilson, Senior Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and author of “Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons.” (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)