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ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Anne-Marie Slaughter was best known for her adamant views on Syria when she accidentally became a poster girl for modern feminism. As it turns out, she can be pretty adamant in that realm as well.

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00:00:00Freakonomics radio is supported by rocket mortgage by quicken loans home plays a big role in your life and that's why quicken loans created rocket mortgage it lets you apply simply and understand the entire mortgage process fully so you can be confident that you're getting the right mortgage for
00:00:14you to get started Go to rocket mortgage dot com slash freak freakonomics radio is supported by progressive here's a lesson on car insurance drivers who switched to progressive khun save an average of six hundred sixty eight dollars a year on their car insurance bundling home and auto khun
00:00:32save money to get a quote online and start saving visit progressive dot com before we get on with this week's episode let's follow up with something from last week that episode was called how did the belt wind We asked why so many people wear belts even though they
00:00:53don't do such a great job of holding up pants here's how that episode ended working headline this episode wass belts are stupid out of respect for belt lovers we ended up toning it down but i'm not willing to let go with sentiment and i'm curious to know what
00:01:14else you think is on some levels what something you counter users think about all the time that could really use a makeover email inbox quickly filled up with your stupid suggestions the address is radio at freakonomics dot com by the way there was so many good ideas about
00:01:35stupid things that i'm sure will turn at least a few of them into future episodes but in the meantime we just wanted to share some of the things that freakonomics radio listeners think should be put to death or at least made over the most popular suggestion wass umbrellas
00:01:50on the grounds that they don't work very well break too easily and are a menace to other people Several of you also suggested that bicycle tires are overdue for improvement also the toilet toilet paper in favor of the today and the toilet paper holder because it's over engineered
00:02:09quite a few of you think that our procedure for boarding airplanes is idiotic others feel the same way about democracy especially the electoral process many of you critiqued with standard classroom model of education by the way we've talked about that a lot on this podcast you might want
00:02:26to start with an episode called how is a bad radio station like the public school system one e mailer suggested that what we really need to make over is the brasserie and i thought really i think brasseries they're kind of perfect steak free salad niece woz then i
00:02:43re read the email it's the bra's ear that needs that makeover indeed there are many calls for a new better bra also smartphone keyboard and the cordy keyboard the tv remote and cable companies themselves also the u s postal service we were quite a few emails about everyday
00:03:01activities that are very resource intensive maintaining lawns for instance and washing and drying clothes all the time A listener named amanda hall had a fascinating suggestion eyewitness testimony should be eliminated from the legal system Why is it considered at all credible She wrote human memory is notoriously awful
00:03:23malleable and colored by personal bias couple that with the incentive to deliberately misrepresent the facts and testimony seems to doom or harm than good in the search for truth and justice And rich speakman of yuba city california nominates birthday cake for elimination I may only be thirty three
00:03:44he writes but i've been to enough birthdays to realize that no one really eats it Most adults say no thank you Even kids hardly touched the cake Birthday cake is stupid a waste of money and not even all that tasty I vote for birthday pie instead Thank x
00:04:01two rich amanda and all of you who took the time to look for this stupid in your lives And now moving on to this week's show united american feminist anne marie slaughter of amory slaughter created a storm stoller reaction a lot of pushback a lot of enthusiastic supporters
00:04:22well why women still can't have it all is causing quite the big ten women really have it all when it comes to career and a family women still can't have it all Her article published in the atlantic monthly started a conversation that continues still to this very day
00:04:39you know it was misunderstood i'm still introduced as this is anne marie slaughter the woman who says women can't have it all In july of two thousand twelve anne marie slaughter wrote an essay for the atlantic called why women still can't have it all subtitle red it's time
00:04:58to stop fooling ourselves says a woman who left a position of power The women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman rich or self employed If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women here is what has to change it quickly became
00:05:16one of most widely read articles most widely dissected articles in the atlantic ce more than one hundred fifty year history It was overwhelming it really was overwhelming It was like a tsunami and i'm on the front page of the new york times juxtaposed against cheryl sandberg my mother
00:05:34calls up and says what have you done Part of the issue was that slaughter herself is sort of superhuman or at least a very high achiever also pretty rich at least in relation to the rest of the world's women but she was definitely not self employed she worked
00:05:51in the u s state department in washington under secretary hillary clinton until she quit that job her dream job because your family needed her and then she wrote about it I was suddenly a public figure you know with my views being distorted with all sorts of people writing
00:06:08very unpleasant things but with lots of people saying wonderful things and it really changed my life up to that point slaughter was a highly regarded if not highly visible academic and foreign policy wonk If she got a media request it was to talk about her views on the
00:06:24middle east the revolution in libya or the war in syria but overnight her more than thirty years as a foreign policy scholar were trumped for this one article about work life balance and to this day i'm better known for that than anything i've done in foreign policy and
00:06:42it created a new set of opportunities but it also created a new set of obligations where i felt like well now i have to continue this conversation i can't just walk away from it So today on freakonomics radio we continue that conversation We hear why not everyone believed
00:07:04her reason for leaving the state department in washington if you say you're leaving to spend time with your family it's a euphemism for being fired we talk about her early warnings on syria and what she'd suggest if she had the white house is here today i think the
00:07:18white house is tired of hearing me on syria but there are two things that we can dio end we hit her with a few of our frequently asked questions the really hard ones let me think for a second from w n y c this is freakonomics radio the
00:07:43podcast that explores the hidden side of everything Here's your host stephen dubner anne marie slaughter's resume is beyond impressive I am currently the president and ceo of new america which is a think tank in a civic enterprise is that focuses on trying to solve america's problems in the
00:08:11digital age And i have been for much of my life professor ah law professor originally at chicago and harvard and then a dean of the woodrow wilson school at princeton And then i was director of policy planning from two thousand nine to two thousand eleven at the state
00:08:31department under hillary clinton I'd love you to just describe thatjob i assume it's a it's a position that had been around if not let us know and what was your actual portfolio there Yes so it's it is one of the great foreign policy jobs it was a job
00:08:45that was created by george marshall for george kennan and you can't get a better depictions Bena great That on george kennan then created the marshall plan Meaning if you had done something similar it would have been the the clinton plan Yes Not this lot of panic It's Just
00:09:03exactly So what procedure You know what you are You You're really running the state department's internal think tank I mean what it is are that the longer term thinkers at the state department for whatever the secretary of state wants when i was their secretary clinton wanted a massive
00:09:23review of our diplomacy and our development to think about how we could shift our foreign policy to include more development And it was a huge report I worked on it for eighteen months but we did everything else to sew My portfolio included everything secretary clinton was working on
00:09:42or wanted us to work on and that extended from running the ah annual strategic dialogue with china to working on different parts of sanctions in the middle east to thinking about latin america and we report directly to the secretary So it is a really wonderful job Slaughter took
00:10:06the job with a reputation for arguing that american values are not only part of a national identity but a strategy and that means i have taken a strong stand on things like intervening in libya where i thought we had to prevent a massacre i where i've been incredibly
00:10:26strong on taking action in syria because it was predictable that the country was coming apart in what is now the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time there are people who see me as they call me a liberal hawk i don't agree with that i am a liberal but
00:10:46i would say i focus on people i focus on american values and i'm a realist in terms of the things we can't do but i am i'm definitely somebody who stands for doing what we think is right in the world and how that should be done is informed
00:11:02by slaughters academic work as a scholar i'm known for really thinking hard about what it's like to try to solve problems in a networked world i've spent studying network since the mid nineteen nineties and it did a great deal of work on you know how central bankers network
00:11:27with each other or justice ministers how do we basically come together and solve problems in an intensely interconnected world when a lot of the institutions that we created after world war two are just not good enough when i hear that very much resonates with me i can imagine
00:11:44other people hearing that however and saying wait a minute what's the difference between a network and a cab all well so yes you know the positive way of thinking about this is government officials of all kinds from central bankers to justice ministers to environment ministers to judges are
00:12:02talking to each other and trying to solve problems that are affecting all of our nations and that's a good thing because the un's just not enough for the imf is not enough The flip side is that looks like a cab All that looks like global tech knock krissy
00:12:18right that looks like the elites meeting in secret places and making decisions and both of those things air right They are great potential tools but the people who are getting left out of those networks are the citizen's rights So within the country we have ways of checking our
00:12:37central banker But when our central banker meets with other central bankers that's much harder to do so Part of my work has been to say this is a fact it can be used for good but we need to make a lot of changes if that's the way we're
00:12:51going in part govern the world to make sure citizens voices are heard When slaughter and i spoke in the middle of september the syrian war and refugee situation were on the front page of just about every newspaper She was an early advocate of american intervention in syria and
00:13:08made her position known on a variety of news programs are we going to do nothing really nothing is possible to have a no fly zone or tow have safe zones what we need first of all it's just end the killing the next thing we could do is we
00:13:20could take out their air force what's it like for you to be sitting here to have wanted to intervene much more directly in syria not been part of a team that took that direction and seeing the aftermath intensely frustrating it is just agonizing to see the paper every
00:13:39day because this was so completely predictable on dh it has been predictable you know that we've got a government that's been using chemical weapons that's been dropping barrel bombs on its people now what's happening is even the syrian government supporters are fleeing but this goes to a point
00:13:59that i have made over and over and over again that the divide between strategic interests and humanitarian interests is a false one that you could see that where a country's population is you know being driven out of their homes and being massacred by their governments sooner or later
00:14:20very bad things will happen extremists will move in and people will move out and then that becomes a national security interests and that's what we're seeing right now but it was pretty indictable and we could have done something to stop it and we didn't and now the problem
00:14:37is so much worse considering what has happened and considering where we stand today let's say you were back in the state department say your secretary of state today what do you do What is it not too late to do assuming that the white house is susceptible teo your
00:14:55suggestions and maybe even have some leverage Well i think the white house is tired of hearing me on syria but but there there are two things that we can d'oh it is still not too late to create a no fly zone on the turkish border possibly the jordanian
00:15:13border creating a no fly zone basically says to the syrian government you have to stop dropping barrel bombs on your people and if you you know use helicopters or fixed wing aircraft to do that we will take them out and we can do that from ships so we're
00:15:28not even talking about risking american planes we need to do that because there has to be some safe place for syrians within the country to go There is no safe place in syria we have to do and not just we the united states it's wee in turkey and
00:15:46other states in europe and in the region collectively have got to create safe space within syria or we will continue to see people flee syria the second thing and this is what we're trying to dio is ultimately the only solution is to reach a political compromise in syria
00:16:05that will end the civil war and that requires russia and iran and turkey and saudi arabia and jordan and lebanon and european countries at sitting round a table and brokering a political solution We have been trying to do that for a long time i argue that unless you
00:16:25make clear to assad that you are prepared to use force at least to stop him for massacring his own people he will not come to the table So i think these two things are connected but this is just going to get worse and worse and worse unless we
00:16:38can find a way to create a political solution and then we still have to fight isil so that's just a piece of the larger puzzle a lot of your e mails to and from your boss your then boss secretary of state hillary clinton been released lately in the
00:16:53big release i'm gary's what What we've gone through them we can't find anything remotely salaciousness Um you have to say i was a little bit disappointed you seem to be quite an upstanding citizen but what's the experience been like for you to see your work correspondence has become
00:17:09public in a way that you perhaps had intended well you know i have to say i haven't gone through all of them i've seen some of them you know i clearly did right thinking i was writing only to her but i would say in general that i'm not
00:17:27upset at having my correspondence public i mean i don't think it's a good idea as a general matter i mean you know any government official depends on being able to receive advice from people and if you're constantly worrying that it's going to be made public what will happen
00:17:46is you know you'll trim your sales in the end you'll get she'll get less advice because you will only give her advice when you ca n't talk too you're and you're not talking to her is often a cz you can write to her so i don't think it's
00:17:57a good public policy to publish all of this but mike i'm willing to stand by anything i wrote in to explain that you know i knew she was getting lots of other advice on dh that i often i felt like you know you should hear this point of
00:18:12view i'd love to read you part of one of your e mails to secretary clinton just cause it's it's interesting about the relationship between state and the white house and i'm curious to know maybe some further thinking from you and maybe some forward thinking from you on what
00:18:27you think the relationship should be between those two you wrote to secretary clinton you did a great job on meet the press the only thing i would add is when they ask you about the relationship between you and the white house you khun say not on ly that
00:18:40you are the diplomat in chief and the implementer but also the architect of the strategies we need actually to achieve the objectives and the visions that the president lays out So talk to me about what Why I mean presumably she's the secretary of state she she knows this
00:18:56what's what were you trying to communicate either just below the lines or maybe way below the lines there Well this is something i thought a lot about as the national security council expends the state department consistently and use a i d a and the pentagon the other agencies
00:19:15really are constantly trying to make sure they still play the role they're supposed to play which is the president sets the direction right he's here george w bush he's the decider so on syria good example i may really disagree with his decision but he gets to call the
00:19:38shots but if he says okay here's what we want to accomplish in syria you know we want to do everything we can to protect the syrian people and to protect our interests in the region and we want to do that by engaging iran or you know working with
00:20:00turkey he ought to be setting policy at that level and then the state department because the state department is the place that has the expertise and of course the people the national security staff is really small This data barbeque is big then the secretary of state should then
00:20:17say okay how were we going to accomplish what the president wants us to do So when i said that she could say she's the architect of the strategy it's we should be the place that is then creating the strategy to accomplish what the white house wants us to
00:20:33do and of course you know the national security council should be involved in that but they shouldn't be actually creating the strategy they don't have the band with they don't have the expertise on and they don't have the depth Do you think it's also part of this general
00:20:49philosophy of the american presidency and not all presidencies air like this to create the appearance that you know all power runs through the president You know we were kind of devoutly anti technocratic in this country We don't like tio Present the image that there's a department that does
00:21:06this in a department that does that and the president kind of you know has a hand in it we tend to prefer the image of the great man theory of history with the the one all powerful you know Was it of ozzy guy or gal there Do you
00:21:18think that's part of the assured is it mohr ah just a typical political leverage issue or neither Yeah it's interesting i think it's just you know once you've created a white house bureaucracy because that's what you're talking about the old executive office building is the white house bureaucracy
00:21:39it inevitably power starts to flow to the center and i think it's very bad for american government because you actually are disempowering the very people who have the expertise and to engage with congress remember it all those departments are the ones that engage with congress a daily basis
00:22:00of the american people are are represented but i think it sze just once you start creating a staff inevitably they think well you know we want to do it and then the president thinks why want to control it But the real problem is the president and even the
00:22:19national security council lt's after the national economic council staff given the complexity and the enormous range of issues they cannot replicate the government coming up on freakonomics reveal why anne marie slaughter left one of the great foreign policy jobs after just two years our elder son was making
00:22:41some bad choices really bad choices and he was a middle school also in order for women toe have it all do men need to be re socialized I think i prefer expand choices and rules to re socialize which does sound vaguely orwellian and i propose of nothing if
00:22:59you happen to be a soccer fan and are looking for a new club to support maybe a low tear sunday league club in england well we've got just the club for you freakonomics radio is now a proud sponsor of done cal football club in shrewsbury england You can
00:23:16find them on twitter at dun cow fc proudly wearing their freakonomics radio kits and the cow as they're known have begun the season with three wins against just one loss after two years as director of policy planning in the u s state department and marie slaughter announced that
00:23:49she'd be returning to princeton I had succeeded in my job and i was i could have been a candidate for promotion i don't know if i would have gotten a higher job but but secretary clinton made clear you know i could i put myself up for promotion so
00:24:06the decision i made wass i can stay here and try to get an even higher job and this is something you know i've wanted all my life or i can go back to being a professor and i would not have done that If i didn't have children at
00:24:21home i would have stayed in washington let's just take one minute and set the stage Your family was had been living in princeton Yes you'd moved down to d c for the job and you were commuting back on weekends essentially yes yes i was leaving at five a
00:24:35m every monday morning and i was coming home sometime late on friday on dh So i was on ly home on saturday and sunday and my husband who is a professor at princeton was you know being the lead parent the only parent at home during the week But
00:24:53our elder son was making some bad choices really bad choices and he was a middle school He wasn't doing his homework he was failing math being disruptive in class By eighth grade he was suspended from school he'd even been picked up by the local police and i realized
00:25:11that you know i just needed to go home that i didn't know that going home was goingto turn everything around I mean my husband had been doing his best and this was a real challenge but i felt like he needed all hands on deck Did it turn everything
00:25:24around How much did your coming home change the situation with your son your family well so this is uninterested questions so my son i am happy to report just started college last weekend at northwestern university and he s relations wear thrilled and he's thrilled so he's in a
00:25:41great place i do not want to say you know i came home and everything was great i mean that is just not fair to my husband and i don't think it's true what i will say is i think it definitely made a difference i think it was important
00:25:54to my son to know that i was willing to put him first but i can't say that he might not have kind of you know grown out of that face plenty of teenagers go through that phase and they grow out of it i know that it was the
00:26:06right choice for me and for my family on dh and i think my son is happy about it although there is at some point about a year after i'd come home he was reading about syria and eternal vitti said mom if you'd stayed in the state department could
00:26:23you have fixed syria or it could do of save syria and i said no no look i know it's not that simple you told him that because it was true or you told me because he didn't want to feel guilty i told him because it was true the
00:26:38atlantic essay that slaughter wrote about her dilemma produced a vigorous response Some people thanked her for pointing out what should be obvious that when it comes to family obligations we expect mohr of professional women than professional men But some people thought that she was a traitor to the
00:26:54feminist cause that if a woman is well credentialed and well situated as anne marie slaughter had to put aside her dream career what did that mean for the average working class woman And that was just the public response It was what she heard from people she knew that
00:27:10really surprised her what they thought dependent on what i said and this is really what i learned because if i said to people my two year public service leave was up and i came back because otherwise i'd lose my tenure People were fine with that Larry summers did
00:27:26that right lots of mean giving up tenure at an ivy league university you know most people understand why you wouldn't want to do that so if i said that there was no problem everybody was like great you know you had a great job in government and and you've
00:27:40um you know served and now you're back it in a greatjob but i deliberately said two people as part of my overall philosophy which i had when i was a dean and i had in the government if i said i came home ah you know my leave was
00:27:57up and you know i have two teenagers at home and i i didn't want to miss you know their time at home and it was important for me to be here now i got a very different reaction and that was fairly shocking to me and i deliberately would
00:28:16raise that because i all my life i've believed you know i i'm a foreign policy professional i'm an academic i'm a scholar i was a dean and i'm a mother other and a wife and a daughter and that part of my life is justice important So i would
00:28:31deliberately say this i would just say you know my kids were a huge part of the reason i decided to come home and when i said that i would get a very different reaction and i would get a kind of either what a pity which was like the
00:28:47opposite of what i was trying to say which was was no this is a very important choice i'm also a mother or i would get a kind of i could see this kind of reassessment like whoa i guess you know either they didn't believe me and they thought
00:29:03i hadn't i must not have succeeded which is i say you know in washington if you say you're leaving to spend time with your family it's a euphemism for being fired eso you could see people thinking maybe she didn't do so well or you could see people just
00:29:16thinking she must not really be you know a player she must not be the person i thought she was because if she woz she clearly would still be in d c you know because you you couldn't come back and really legitimately make this choice to be back because
00:29:32your children need you or you want to be with your children even if they don't need to slaughter had written several foreign policy books including the idea that is america and a new world order but now she set out to write a very different kind of book it's
00:29:50called unfinished business published just this week it's a call for making the workplace a truly equitable opportunity for women and men the book grew directly out of the atlantic piece the book is about okay we're stuck i mean it's unfinished business women men work family and the unfinished
00:30:07business is the unfinished business of the movement for full equality between men and women and you know in a nutshell what i'm arguing is that if we're going to get to really equality between men and women we have to focus less on women and mohr on elevating the
00:30:30value of care and expanding the choices and roles for men and that's sort of counterintuitive right Because what we've been doing is we measure our progress in the women's movement by how many women ceos we have women leaders of all kinds women politicians and i'm all for having
00:30:54more women in high places don't get me wrong i'm i'm all for it we need it but that metric and that focus is not going to get us there because it's leaving a huge number of women out all the women at the bottom and it's assuming that you
00:31:14can get to equality between men and women by changing women's roles but not changing men's roles right The phrase uses that we need to re socialize men which as a man sounds vaguely threatening but not really but what But but but you're right about it not only adult
00:31:33men who were in the workforce and you know maybe those those ceos were talking about but also young men boy is he and how they should think about the future work world in the future Ah family world as well So talk for a minute just talk to the
00:31:48men for a minute so this show this program is probably i'm guessing now roughly seventy percent male listeners so there's a great platform and say you know what are some of the kind of basic sign posts that we need to rearrange or get rid of or maybe the
00:32:06new ones we need to have written that's great So let me start by saying how i got to this realization that that we have tio i think i prefer expand choices and rules to re socialize which does sound vaguely orwellian So here's what I realized i looked at
00:32:23my i have two sons and i looked in my sons and i thought you know if i'd had a daughter we'd be raising or one hundred percent differently than the way my mother was raised and even differently than i was raised although my father was very progressive and
00:32:36he raised me to have a career but if i looked at my son's i thought you know i'm raising my sons pretty much exactly the way my father was raised I mean we're raising them tow have a more active role iss fathers you know my father never changed
00:32:48a diaper Certainly my husband changed plenty and i expect my sons too but we're still saying to men your worth in society is a function of your bread winning it's a function of how much money you can make and how high you can rise in your career and
00:33:05that is a very limited set of choices It's the flip side of saying to women when when my mother was raised you know your worth in society depends on can you get married And can you have children And my point is all of us should have access to
00:33:21both as a woman i absolutely want to be able to compete I want to have a career that's been fabulous but i sure don't want to do that at the expense of also being a mother and a wife and a sister and a daughter And so two men
00:33:35what i now say to my sons is you know if you believe inequality and you marry a woman or a man of whatever and you believe that you're going to support that woman's career then it may require you being the lead parent and your spouse to be the
00:33:58lead breadwinner and that's been the situation in our marriage and they understand that i couldn't have a big career unless andy played that role So that's the place where i'm really saying to men you know if you believe in equality it it can't be ok i believe in
00:34:17equality but i'm going to take every promotion i get and you know if you get a promotion i'm not going to move for you in the book you acknowledge the criticism that this work life balance conversation often becomes kind of upper class conversation and you acknowledge that you
00:34:36look you're you're from you have an elite position currently you grew up in very comfortable circumstances you had great schooling yet great educational and job opportunities and you've taken advantage of them You've worked hard don't mean to disparage him at all but how can someone very much on
00:34:52the other end of the it's called the opportunity spectrum on let's say it's a single mom How can that population think about this issue Divorced from you know all the trappings of privilege i talk about the competitive mystique or the you know the bias against people who are
00:35:10giving care it hurts women at the top with they take time out or work part time or stop working it hurts thumb it hurts their career It hurts women at the bottom so much more because a single mom who's child is sick can lose her job because she
00:35:29doesn't have paid sick days So the fact that we don't accommodate care and the fact more importantly that we don't provide affordable quality daycare for her to put her children in or early education or after school programs or paid maternity leave all of that means that the woman
00:35:52at the bottom single moms are the poorest people in our society so i point out that we have too few women at the top but we have far too many women at the bottom and if you focus on care you confined solutions that helped the women at the
00:36:10bottom as much as the women at the top and that's what the women's movement has to be about When it started it was about all women and now it is far too much on ly about elite women It was time to move on to a few of our
00:36:28frequently asked it's the same questions we've asked people like nate silver One of most profound pleasant's to me about adulthood is that everyone is kind of weird and more recently drew gilpin faust the president of harvard i would like to go to the period that i've written about
00:36:46and so did i get it right Did i get wrong Who wass i kind of have a may know the answer this question already but i may be wrong Who was the best boss you've ever had and why Oh goodness alright there too i put you in a
00:37:05position didn't i put you Did it so surely tillman and in both on they both taught me different things but surely tell me this president princeton was just phenomenal female leader first woman president for instance on secretary clinton you know was somebody i learned from every day what's
00:37:25the best possible future discovery or invention might be medical maybe political ish might be financial i don't know yeah let me think for a second whistle the jeopardy music if you like well you know honestly the single best invention i can think of right now that would make
00:37:46the biggest difference in the world would be rapid and cheap desalinization because water crises are one of the biggest threats we face not only for climate but also for security for the quality of life if we don't have you know clean cheap water all sorts of bad things
00:38:09happen so it's less important maybe for the united states over the folks in california thinking about this but globally that would make a huge difference we can do it but we can't do it cheaply and efficiently and universally it's a good answer and it actually may be the
00:38:24answer to the next question is well what will eventually lead This is obviously speculative and just your opinion but what will eventually lead to humankind's demise eins top so i think i am more worried about disease and pandemic then i am wars although they're connected because bio weapons
00:38:52could could do ascend right we could we could well somebody invents a pathogen that cannot be cured or they think they can control it and it goes out of control or naturally like ebola if you imagine ebola and think that it could have been communicated by aerosols so
00:39:12anybody on a plane who's breathing it every time you get on a plane many of us get colds because we're sitting extra people who have no cold virus if that's a lethal virus like a bird flu that could kill you given how fast that could spread that could
00:39:28effectively certainly decimate us if not wipe us out completely you know as much as that's a horrifying thought i'm kind of glad to hear you particularly give that answer as opposed to envisioning the war because you know the scenarios of the wars as well i didn't know i
00:39:46actually we've gotten safer on wars we really have no s o i am weirdly mildly comforted by your horror story So thank you and finally this is a this is a question just for you let's pretend for a moment that hillary clinton is elected president two thousand sixteen
00:40:02what are the odds that you are back in d c with a government job And and what would that what job would you like I mean would you want to be secretary of state I can't imagine that wouldn't be a blast so i've been watching did far too
00:40:18like to answer that question i mean i have made no secret of the fact that you know i love foreign policy and i'm committed to ford policy but there are so many imponderables partly on the home front and partly in terms of the organization i run you know
00:40:36i would say i would love to be in a high foreign policy position again at some point in my life but i'm not i'm not expecting or anticipating any immediate changes all right We'll just have to keep our eye on you then well i've enjoyed the conversation thank
00:40:53you for coming up on the next freakonomics radio imagine you're a kid who grows up to become a professional athlete and now your mom thinks she's entitled to a share of your new riches she just had over a million dollars you know because i had you i raised
00:41:12you it shocks us because parents and children are not supposed to have a contractual obligation like if it were any other kind of business but who says we're not supposed to have an obligation Maybe kids should pay back their parents for raising them or at least commit themselves
00:41:28to taking care of their aging parents I asked my kids if they'd make that commitment at this point i definitely ask at this point she's thanks a lot son that's next time on freakonomics radio freakonomics radio is produced by wn my c and w productions today's episode was
00:41:55produced by urban gun gia and greg was all skin our staff also includes christopher worth j cow it merit jacob cash a mihailovic caroline english and allison hockenberry Starting this fall you can hear freakonomics radio on public radio stations across the country Make sure your station will be
00:42:11carrying it And if you really want even more freakonomics books the blob side projects et cetera Come see us at freakonomics dot com You can also find us on twitter and facebook And if you subscribe to this podcast itunes or wherever you get your podcast we'll deliver the
00:42:30next episode in your sleep Not in a creepy way but in a nice podcast tooth Very kind of way Sweet dreams

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