If you didn’t catch this panel put on by Marketplace and BBC, it’s pretty exciting.

It takes the expert panel only about 10 minutes (2:00 to 12:40) to get to crucial points FPR folks have been making for years: We have to give up the myth of endless economic expansion based on overconsumption and focus on sustainability, and banks have to know their clients and take long-term responsibility for the services they render them.

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Mark Shiffman was born in north Florida to the son of expatriated New York secular Jews and the daughter of small town, pillar of the community southern Presbyterians. After spending much of his childhood in Alaska and California, he discovered in his Tennessee adolescence, first reluctantly and then gratefully, that more than half his heart belonged to the South. He occasionally rediscovers this viscerally when his body descends below the Mason-Dixon line from his northern exile in Philadelphia, where he has also brought his wife into exile from her lifelong home of Chicago. They live in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia with their two sons, having moved from one of the more successfully racially integrated neighborhoods in America (Hyde Park) to one of the most. Mark received his education from the McCallie School in Chattanooga and the surrounding mountains and trees, St. John’s College in Annapolis and the Santa Fe desert, Pendle Hill outside Philadelphia and the woods around Crum Creek, the University of Chicago and the icy prairie winds, and the Catholic Worker House and grimy streets of New York City. He is assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions and affiliate faculty member in Classical Studies at Villanova University. He has also taught at Brooklyn College, Notre Dame, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. His current projects include books on the political philosophy of Plutarch and on the meaning of modern individualism, as well as a translation of Aristotle’s On the Soul (Focus Press).


  1. A Republican Party willing to take up both of these points, while jettisoning the “party line” on divisive social issues, and abandoning neocon military adventures, would be well worth supporting.

  2. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn’t learn much that was new but I found it encouraging to hear a big bank executive speak of the need for sustainability.
    If this video had a drawback, it would be the mindless chatter and interuptions of the ‘moderators.’ “Quickly,”, I heard one of them say, sotto voce, to a man speaking in the measured tones of real thought. Must have sounded foreign and very slow to the BBC people.

  3. Of course no one was willing to go so far as to suggest that we may have to accept a lower “standard of living” in order to wean ourselves from consumption-driven hyper-growth. Maybe our slogan ought to be “higher standards for living.”

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