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Too Much Ego Boosting Bad for Kids? - Barbara Ehrenreich

Complete video at: Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich explains her take on positive parenting. While she supports the encouragement of self-esteem in children, she warns parents that "delusions are dangerous." ----- Barbara Ehrenreich presents a sharp-witted knockdown of America's love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism. Americans are a "positive" people -- cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity. In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to "prosper" you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits. Academia has made room for new departments of "positive psychology" and the "science of happiness." Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes -- like mortgage defaults -- contributed directly to the current economic crisis. - Commonwealth Club of California Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Harpers, and the Progressive, she is a contributing writer to Time magazine. She lives in Florida.
Length: 02:36


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