Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: PA businesses optimistic on jobs and raises; Keeping the anti-nuke fight up

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 6, 2015 4:20 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, October 7, 2015:

There's good news for Pennsylvania workers.  More business owners plan to hire new workers and give employees raises than just six months ago.

That's according to the latest Pennsylvania Economic Outlook from PNC Financial Services.

Continued positive economic indicators along with lower energy prices are prompting business owners to say they expect in increase in sales and their profits to grow too. 

Nationally, 26% of business owners expect to hire new employees.  That's the most since 2012.

PNC economist Kurt Rankin appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk with the numbers and an analysis of what they mean.

Also, it was common to hear daily news accounts about nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 80s.  But then the United States and Soviet Union reached agreements on limiting and eliminating nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union fell - ending the Cold War. 

The talk then turned to a terrorist obtaining a nuke or North Korea's latest attempt at testing missiles that could carry nuclear warheads. 

However that was until the last year when the U.S. and other nations have been negotiating with Iran in an effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. 

Diane Randall, who is the Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation joins us on Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss eliminating and limiting nuclear weapons.

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  • Carlisle9708 img 2015-10-07 10:58

    Your speaker today on the situation with Russia and the Iran agreement displayed a very naïve--although perhaps admirably idealistic--understanding of both Russia and the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

    On Russia, she stated words to the effect that people in Russia may come to understand that spending fairly large sums on weapons modernization is wasteful. True, maybe, although anti-Western and anti-American propaganda in Russia today is creating an environment in which people will feel threatened and will support such expenditures. Perhaps more importantly is, given that President Putin has largely recreated a highly-authoritarian regime--such as replacing elected regional governors with governors appointed by him, many of whom are former KGB or current security services alumni--that the Russian Government is very intolerant of dissent and leaves little room for "civil society" and the expression of the peoples' views. This demonstrates on your speaker's part a lack of understanding of the Russian political system and how decisions, particularly on security issues, are made.

    With regard to the Iranian nuclear agreement, your speaker spoke of a "robust" verification regime. Not quite true. Whatever benefits of the agreement might entail are likely to be eviscerated by two provisions regarding verification. The first flaw is that Iran has 24 days to prepare for some inspections. A notification period of 48 hours would be far more credible. With a 24-day notification period, Iran can go to great lengths to sanitize any facility that might be subject to inspection. The second major flaw is that Iran will have the authority to inspect itself--yes, inspect itself--as regards at least one key nuclear facility. This is not robust verification.

    To allow such statements as those made by your guest on this issue is a disservice to your listeners.

    By way of background, although now retired, I have served as a Russian specialist (not "expert," as there are few if any Russian "experts") for an agency of the U.S. Government and have been involved to a modest degree in strategic and regional arms control issues.