Class Distinctions (in Economics)

We've heard often about "essential workers" since the pandemic got underway -- those indispensable individuals who are, alas, in many cases under-appreciated, under-paid, or both. But such vital workers are not, of course, just those working in the medical, science, health, or rescue fields, and these workers were certainly an important part of American society **before** the pandemic ever hit. Our guest is the New York-based author and journalist Eyal Press.

The pandemic, of course, has clearly changed -- and is actually still changing -- how we think about work, play, relationships, entertainment, education, social interaction, and much more. It's also making many of us wonder about city life, i.e., what the pros and cons of living in an urban setting really are in this age of Covid. Are people still as drawn to cities as they used to be? And what does the future of the city look like? Our guest is David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.

Our guest is Adam Tooze, a professor of history at Columbia University and the author of "Crashed," which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and one of The Economist's Books of the Year. His timely new book, which he tells us about, mixes finance, politics, business, economics, medicine, and recent world history in order to trace what went wrong -- and why -- during the turning-point year that was 2020. This new book is "Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World's Economy." As was noted by Reuters: "Tooze makes a strong case for looking back and beginning to draw some conclusions....

The Peace Corps is now 60 years old. The U.S. Government-run volunteer program -- which from the start has provided international aid in the form of person-to-person social, economic, and educational development -- was established per Executive Order by JFK in 1961; later that year, Congress passed the Peace Corps Act. On this edition of ST, we speak with Randy W. Hobler about his book, "101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya." This work documents Hobler's own experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Libya in the late 1960s.

Here in the good ol' USA, a strong work ethic -- a drive to succeed through hard work -- is seen as a leading virtue, and indeed, as a necessity. We Americans have long been told that financial success and personal well-being will undoubtedly follow if we adopt a highly motivated mindset toward our job. On today's edition of ST, we look at the origins of that "highly motivated" outlook. Our guest is David Gray, a teaching professor of American studies and history at Oklahoma State University.

Library of Congress (American National Red Cross Photograph Collection)

The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 injured souls, claimed lives, ruined property, and demolished an entire community. Indeed, the damage suffered by the Black citizens of Greenwood took on many forms -- and this suffering went on for decades. Is it possible even to calculate the economic loss that Greenwood endured due to this terrible tragedy, and if so, how could such a tally be arrived at? As the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre approaches, many are wondering about these questions. Our guest is Jason Long, an economic historian at Wheaton College.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in September.) Our guest is the writer Jeff Hobbs, whose latest book closely follows four Los Angeles high school boys as they apply to college. These four teens are seniors at two very different high schools in L.A. -- one in Compton, the other in Beverly Hills -- and by telling their individual, personal stories, Hobbs reveals what our nation's young people (across all socio-economic backgrounds) are now confronting at home, at school, among peers, and throughout society.

In the first two decades of the 21st century, New York City has experienced a terrorist attack, a blackout, a hurricane, an historic recession, widespread social injustice, and, of course, the current pandemic. How has all of this affected the lives of New Yorkers? Our guest is the bestselling author Craig Taylor, whose new book draws on years of interviews with hundreds of NYC residents in order to render an indelible group portrait of the city. As per Publishers Weekly: "[This is] an engrossing, multihued 'oral portrait' of New York City as told by the people who live there....

(Note: This interview first aired back in December.) Our guest is the writer Simon Han, who was born in China, grew up in Texas, and was formerly a Tulsa Artist Fellow. He joins us to discuss his novel, "Nights When Nothing Happened." As was noted of this tender, perceptive coming-of-age saga in a starred review in Kirkus: "Han expertly shifts the ground under the narrative, constantly shaking the snow globe to nudge the reader's perspective away from the familiar.... [The book's] characters are authentic, vulnerable, and utterly convincing, delivering one dynamite novel.

(Note: This interview first aired back in October.) We welcome Sarah Smarsh back to StudioTulsa for a discussion of her latest book. It's a collection of essays that all focus on a certain country-music icon who also happens to be one of the most unifying figures in American culture: Dolly Parton. Smarsh talks with us about how Parton has, for decades now, both embodied and emboldened American women who live and work in poverty.

Our guest is Kayleen Schaefer, a journalist and author who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and other publications. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "But You're Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood." The book looks carefully at how thirtysomethings in America today are -- and aren't -- meeting the milestones which sociologists commonly cite as the five markers of adulthood: finishing school, leaving home, marriage, gaining financial independence, and having kids.

Despite the pandemic-triggered federal moratorium on residential evictions, evictions do still happen in certain cases here in the Tulsa area. Why? Our guest is Prof. Roni Amit, who's with the Terry West Civil Legal Clinic at the University of Tulsa College of Law. This clinic, per its website, "addresses access to justice for marginalized communities in Tulsa, with a particular focus on the intersection of legal needs within these communities.

Our guest is the author and doctor Michael Stein, who's also a professor of health law, policy, and management at Boston University. He tells us about his new book, which presents the many various moving, sobering, genuine, and often heartbreaking accounts of his patients about money...and about having (or not having) enough money to simply get by in the U.S. today. "Broke" gives us the words and thoughts of those now facing the reality of having to choose between getting medical treatments or paying their bills. As was noted of this book by Dr.

On this edition of our show, we listen back to an interview from 2018 about a book called "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century." This book is the basis for a forthcoming feature-film starring Frances McDormand. Our guest is the author of the book, Jessica Bruder.

Our guest is the writer Jeff Hobbs, whose new book closely follows four Los Angeles high school boys as they apply to college. These four teens are seniors at two very different high schools in L.A. -- one in Compton, the other in Beverly Hills -- and by telling their individual, personal stories, Hobbs reveals what our nation's young people (across all socio-economic backgrounds) are now confronting at home, at school, among peers, and throughout society.

Our guest is the author and foreign affairs expert, Sarah Chayes, who has worked as the special assistant on corruption to Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She's also advised David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal (commanders of the International Security Assistant Force) and has been a reporter for NPR.

We welcome to our show Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He was appointed health director of Detroit, Michigan, at age 30, and he was formerly a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. El-Sayed's new book, which he tells us about, is "Healing Politics: A Doctor's Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." As was noted of this book by Bill McKibben with 350.org: "This is a very important book.

When "America: What Went Wrong?" originally appeared in the early 1990s, the book got a lot of attention, and became a bestseller, because it documented, in a sound, thorough way, the causes behind the shrinking of the American middle class. Now, the authors of that groundbreaking book, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele -- "two of the most talented investigative journalists in U.S. history," per The San Jose Mercury News -- have put out an updated edition of their text. Mr. Steele is our guest on ST today.

On this edition of ST, a discussion from our archives. In 2017, we spoke with Richard Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Widely seen as a leading authority on U.S.

The current pandemic has brought keen economic hardship, of course, to a vast number of individials and families within various levels of American society. Given that so many folks who rent a house or apartment in our community now require extra time to acquire their unemployment checks and/or federal benefits, the Tulsa City Council voted unanimously last night to ask Gov. Stitt for a statewide moratorium on evictions. In addition to this, Tulsa County has historically had one of the highest rates of eviction in the country.

Our guest is the well-known, New York-based graphic artist, Luba Lukova. Her bold, accessible images have appeared in The New York Times, Time, and other leading publications, and her prints and posters are also in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Library of Congress. She is currently a J. Donald Feagin Visiting Artist here at TU, and an exhibit of her socially-aware work, "Luba Lukova: Designing Justice," will soon go on view at the Henry Zarrow Center for Art & Education in downtown Tulsa.

Our guest is Devin Fergus, the Strickland Distinguished Professor of History, Black Studies, and Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. He's written on politics, policy, and inequality in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Prospect, The Guardian, and so forth. He joins us to discuss his latest book, which is just out in paperback: "Land of the Fee: Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class." This book exposes the effects that fees have on wealth redistribution, from the poor and the middle class up to wealthy corporations.

Our guest is Michael Brose, the longtime Chief Empowerment Officer at Mental Health Association Oklahoma (or MHAOK). Brose joins us to discuss this important nonprofit's ongoing work to secure permanent housing for the homeless throughout our city and our state. Per the MHAOK website: "The Association's statewide work is dedicated to promoting mental health and the equity of access to mental health care through advocacy, education, research, service, and housing. Since 1955, we have worked toward this goal.

(Note: This show first aired back in July.) Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

On this edition of ST, we get to know photographer Dan Farnum, a Tulsa Artist Fellow who also teaches at the University of Tulsa School of Art. Originally from Michigan, Farnum now has a debut photography book coming out. It's titled "Young Blood," and it profiles children, teens, and young adults growing up amid the economic strife of Michigan's auto towns. Note: There will be a free-to-the-public book-release gathering for this volume at Magic City Books on Friday night, the 25th, beginning at 6:30pm.

Our guest on ST is James Poniewozik, the chief TV critic at The New York Times. He joins us to discuss his widely hailed new book, "Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America." As was noted of this incisive work of cultural criticism and American history in the pages of Bookforum: "The smartest, most original, most unexpectedly definitive account of the rise of Trump and Trumpism we've had so far.

Our guest is the journalist Sarah Smarsh, whose book, "Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth," is now out in paperback. It's a far-reaching account of her coming of age in smalltown Kansas that sharply explores matters of poverty, class, family, income inequality, Midwestern values, personal ambition, faith, womanhood, and other key social and economic concerns.

Our guest is Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, who is also a former columnist for BusinessWeek, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He joins us to discuss his new book, which argues that the 2020 presidential election will determine the very survival of American democracy. To restore popular faith in government -- and win the election -- Kuttner maintains that Democrats must nominate and elect an economic progressive. "The Stakes" explains how the failure of our economy to serve ordinary Americans effectively paved the way for a demagogic president.

Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

Our guest is James F. Hollifield, a Professor of Political Science and Academic Director of the Tower Center at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas; he's also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He recently gave an address at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations (TCFR) titled "Back to the Future: Trump's Migration Policies and the New Nativism." Dr.

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