Category: Public Affairs

A Side of Exploitation With That…

8232Though Democrats and Republicans alike just voted to increase the minimum wage in some states, the raise won’t apply to most restaurant workers who must still depend on customers, through tips, to make a living.

Saru Jayaraman of UC Berkeley brings her passion to the table as she criticizes the disparity between the “tipped versus non-tipped” staff as unfair and argues that raising the pay for all would benefit everyone in the food system, including employers and their patrons.

Watch Behind the Kitchen Door for more.

Browse more programs from the UC Public Policy Channel.

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China: Our Partner in Spending

8232So, is it a good thing that Chinese consumers are becoming more like Americans in their pursuit of Barbie Dolls, iPhones and designer clothes? Will their drive to acquire products boost the global economy? UC San Diego’s Karl Gerth offers a compelling analysis of how China’s embrace of consumerism is changing the world, but not necessarily for the better.

Watch “Do We Want China to be More Like US?” with Karl Gerth.

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In the Living Room with Henry E. Brady: UC Public Policy Channel

8232We’ve always loved Henry Brady, the dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, for his wit and intellect. But when we went to talk with him about developing a theme channel on public policy for UCTV, we discovered something else.

He is equally passionate about the building that houses the GSPP, so much so that he held his own wedding there. After one look around, we could see why. It’s an old English-style house built in the late 1800’s with wood-paneled public rooms filled with natural light, Craftsman lamps, Stickley-style furniture and energetic graduate students. That became the setting, minus the students, for the new interview series, “In the Living Room,” featuring Dean Brady in conversation with UC faculty and other leading analysts of public policy.

28511Check out the premiere with economist Sol Hsiang detailing the economic risks of climate change on the new UC Public Policy Channel, a platform for, as Dean Brady says, policymakers, critics, and innovators to come together and debate solutions for the good of all.

Watch Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change with Sol Hsiang

Visit the new UC Public Policy Channel to browse more programs from The Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley.

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Submitted by Shannon Bradley, UCTV Executive Producer

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Economic Growth or the Environment? A False Choice

8232The Industrial Revolution ushered in fundamental change. The global economy and prosperity grew exponentially, primarily through the use of vast amounts of fossil fuels.

Science, particularly climate science, has shown that our current course of a fossil-based economy is unsustainable but our society is often presented with a dilemma. Should we continue our exponential economic growth based on fossil fuels and ignore the environment, or should we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at the cost of our economic growth?

Arun Majumdar, who once held the title of Vice President for Energy at Google and is now a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, argues that this is a false choice because it is based on extrapolating the past and does not account for the capacity of research in science and engineering to create a new industrial revolution for a sustainable energy future.

Majumdar was the founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012. He looks at some of the research going on around the country that will allow us to support both the undeniable coming population growth and the economic growth we all want. Where will our energy come from in the future and how much will it cost? Solar, wind, biofuels, or something entirely new like tobacco oil? Storage may be the key but we still need to get the cost down and the scale up. And, when we are making the necessary energy what will need to happen to our aging power grid? As Mujumdar says, “If it does not violate the laws of science, we give it a shot.”

The future is upon us. See how we might power it.

Watch Energy and the Industrial Revolution: Past, Present and Future, with Arun Majumdar.

Browse more programs from the Institute for Energy Efficiency.

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Playing Solomon: How Much is a Life Really Worth?

8232Placing a dollar amount on a life or an injury may sound heartless, but such is the work of Kenneth Feinberg, and very few of us envy him the job. By the time an organization calls him, the tragedy itself is oftentimes long over with. Its victims, however, remain. And it is Feinberg’s job to figure out a way to quantify their loss.

A man well-versed in tragedy, Kenneth Feinberg is the go-to attorney when it comes to compensation funds. He mediated the 1984 class action lawsuit brought by 250,000 Vietnam War veterans against the manufacturers of Agent Orange, and oversaw the compensation funds for 9/11 victims, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the 2012 Aurora movie theater mass shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Currently, Feinberg is working with General Motors to vet the claims that are now being made as a result of a defective ignition switch that has so far been blamed for at least 13 deaths. In January, Feinberg spoke with UC Hastings law professor Evan Lee about the challenges he’s faced in the UC Hastings College of the Law and California Lawyer presentation “Legally Speaking,” a series of in-depth interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics.

Tune in and watch Playing Solomon: How Much is Life Really Worth? with Kenneth Feinberg

Watch other Legally Speaking programs.

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