Was America's first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, a greedy robber baron, a generous philanthropist, or both? And did the oil tycoon exploit America's poor or give them access to much-needed energy? Historian and Hillsdale College professor Burt Folsom, author of "The Myth of the Robber Barons," reveals the truth about the Rockefeller empire.
2015 • History
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I wish I were ____"? Adjectives may have included: thinner, taller, smarter, etc. If so, you're like virtually everyone else, and afflicted by "The Missing Tile Syndrome." As Dennis Prager explains, we often focus on the missing tile(s) in our lives, which robs us of happiness. In five minutes, learn how to fix your focus.
2014 • Lifehack
In the first of this three-part series investigating consumer spending, Jacques reveals how the concept of 'product lifespan' holds the key to our ever-churning consumerism. Exploring the historical origin of planned obsolescence, when some of the world biggest electrical manufacturers formed a light bulb cartel in the 1920s, Jacques reveals how products that are essential to our modern lifestyles are still made to break. During his investigation, Jacques uncovers the process by which a crucial transformation happened and attitudes towards spending were transformed. Instead of needing new goods because our old ones were broken, we learned to want them for reasons of fashion and aspiration - awaking a consumer appetite that could never be satisfied. In the US, he visits a recycling centre where brand-new high-tech goods are destroyed before they have even come out of the box. Jacques also meets some of the companies that encourage consumers to be dissatisfied with what they have and encourage purchases as part of an ever-faster cycle of 'upgrades'. He asks a senior IKEA executive why, despite the company's commitment to sustainability, it still encourages repeated discarding and purchasing. Jacques also talks to a former senior Apple employee who reveals how the company's new focus on fashion, with its colourful iPhones, keeps us buying even when technological innovation slows.
In September 2008, the collapse of Lehman Brothers tipped the world into recession. A cast of contributors including national leaders, finance ministers and CEOs describe the tense negotiations in New York and London as the investment institution headed towards bankruptcy. Gordon Brown, Tim Geithner and Alistair Darling reveal the dilemmas they faced and the decisions they took.
'The Economics of Happiness' features a chorus of voices from six continents calling for systemic economic change. The documentary describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance - and, far from the old institutions of power, they're starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm - an economics of localization.
2011 • Economics
Part I of this three-part documentary series explores the determinants of behavior to dispel the myth of “human nature” demonstrating that environment shapes behavior. Part II illustrates how our social structures impose our values and behaviors demonstrating that our global monetary system is obsolete and increasingly insufficient to meet the needs of most people. Part III, to be released January 2016, will depict the vision of The Venus Project to build an entirely new world from the ground up, a “redesign of the culture” where all enjoy a high standard of living, free of servitude and debt, while also protecting the environment.
2015 • Economics
Chernobyl 1986. A nuclear reactor exploded, spewing out massive quantities of radiation into the atmosphere. Within days, the pollution had spread across Europe. Living on land contaminated with radioactivity would be a life-changing ordeal for the people of Belarus, but also for the Sami reindeer herders of central Norway. It even affected the Gaels of the distant Hebrides. Five years ago there was a meltdown at the Fukushima reactor, and thousands of Japanese people found their homes, fields and farms irradiated, just as had happened in Europe. This international documentary, filmed in Belarus, Japan, the lands of Norway's Sami reindeer herders and in the Outer Hebrides, poses the question: what lessons have we learned? Gaelic title: Chernobyl agus Fukushima: Na Leasanan
2016 • Economics