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Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Jerry Seinfeld, wearing a graduation cap and gown, gesturing behind a podium that reads 'Duke'
Screenshot of commencement
The comedian Jerry Seinfeld received an honorary degree at Duke University’s commencement, where he gave a speech about comedy and life. While Seinfeld talked about the importance of having a sense of humor, dozens of students walked out chanting “Free Palestine,” protesting Israel's actions towards the territory. Others chanted Seinfeld’s name during the walkout.

First hour: Exploring comedian Jerry Seinfeld's advice for Gen Z

Second hour: How can we measure the economy in a way that assesses the well-being of everyday Americans?

In his recent commencement address at Duke University, comedian Jerry Seinfeld told graduates that their generation needs to preserve a sense of humor to deal with life. Seinfeld expressed concern that Gen Z’s quest for progress could injure its ability to see the humor in the world. We explore those comments and the reactions with our guests:

  • Anna Eggleton, comedian and member of Gen Z
  • Ana McCasland, comedian
  • Kseniya Kalaur, digital strategist for WXXI and member of Gen Z
  • Tom Proietti, media scholar at St. John Fisher University

Then in our second hour, how is the economy doing? That question opens a recent essay in the Wall Street Journal. Despite polls showing Americans of all political parties are dissatisfied with the economy, the data proves otherwise. As the Journal reports, “Despite fears of a recession, the economy has looked strong: Though [April 25’s] surprisingly weak GDP rise spooked investors, overall GDP has increased in 13 of the last 15 quarters, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has reached record highs, the unemployment rate is a paltry 3.8% and inflation has slackened.” The essay’s authors argue it’s time to include new ways of measuring the economy – methods that assess the well-being of everyday Americans. We discuss it all with our guest:

  • Eric Morris, Ph.D., staff economist for Alesco Advisors
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.