Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government’s battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still living with the consequences. Plus: Sylvia . . .
They — along with a great many other high-achieving women — were all once Girl Scouts. So was Sylvia Acevedo. Raised in a poor, immigrant family, she was told that “girls like her” didn’t go to college. But she did, and then became a rocket scientist and tech executive. Now she’s C.E.O. of the very organization she credits with shaping her life. Acevedo tells us how the Girl Scouts are trying to stay relevant, why they’re suing the Boy Scouts, and how they sell so many cookies.
This week on Freakonomics Radio, economists preach the gospel of “creative destruction,” whereby new industries — and jobs — replace the old ones. But in this era of technological wonder, has creative destruction become too destructive?
Season 5, Episode 17
On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: there’s a huge stigma attached to failure. But should there be? Perhaps we’re not thinking clearly about failure. Maybe failure can be your friend.
Also on this week’s episode: in most countries, houses get more valuable over time. But in Japan, a new buyer often bulldozes the home. Why?
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