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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2018 10:30 am

CBS Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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July 29, 2018 10:30 am

Universal basic income; Co-working: Revamping the way we work; Rescuing destroyed cash at the U.S. Mint's Mutilated Currency Division; The story of the My Pillow king; Animal influencers: How pets earn big bucks as Instagram stars; Real estate to die for; Selma Hayek; Can money buy happiness?

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Jane Pauley is off this morning. I'm Kai Risdahl, the host of Marketplace on Public Radio, and this is a special edition of Sunday Morning, our money issue. Let's start with the basics. You need money to spend money. For people with low incomes or no income at all, that's a problem, and that's led to calls for a guaranteed minimum income, a promise that the check is in the mail.

Lee Cowan will report our cover story. It's a radical economic theory. What happens if you give people cash to better their lives?

No strings attached. You give people the dignity, essentially, of making decisions for themselves on their own about how they're going to utilize the cash assistance they get. Universal basic income.

An old idea gaining new currency, especially in one California city, ahead on Sunday morning. A pet project is providing a pretty good income to one enterprising young woman. With Richard Schlesinger, we'll meet her clients. This monkey has millions of followers on Instagram. This hedgehog has a hundred thousand plus, and they both share Lonnie Edwards, agent to the animal stars. So you invented this industry? Essentially, yes.

That's coming up on Sunday Morning. Salma Hayek is an actress who isn't satisfied with financial success. She's committed to improving the lives of the world's less fortunate, as she'll be telling John Blackstone. What has made you such an activist?

Was it talk with actress and producer Salma Hayek? And you soon understand that she wants nothing less than to change the world. It's hard to decide who should get money. So many people need it.

How should we spend? It's the best question. I am a dreamer. I want this world to be great.

So I try to have my own contribution. Ahead on Sunday morning, the dreams of Salma Hayek. A product to die for is the stock and trade for the businessman Luke Burbank's been talking to. What's the 150,000 get me? Great waterfall.

It's well manicured. Baron Chu doesn't just sell property in Los Angeles's eternally hot housing market. He sells eternity. My nickname with my friends is the subterranean condo king.

That's right. Baron Chu is a cemetery plot broker. You are going to be close to all the rich and famous. It's the real estate purchase of a lifetime later on Sunday morning.

We'll have those stories and more when Sunday morning continues. The check is in the mail. Technology is changing the kinds and number of jobs that we have in this economy. So there's a push to give people who lose out a guaranteed minimum income.

But how big would that check be and who would it come from? Questions for Lee Cowan to answer in our cover story. Sometimes a sign in a window can be a sign of the times and the one in my mind is the one emblazoned outside cafe X in San Francisco says it all. Robotic coffee bar. Now we've heard for years that robots are coming for our jobs eventually and maybe that's why no one here seemed particularly surprised at being handed their machine-made macchiato.

That said it is pretty remarkable. This one-armed barista can crank out about 120 drinks an hour with few if any mistakes. If you're lucky you might even get a wave. It's not a bad-looking future unless you're a human barista that is in which case this all might have you feeling a little insecure about your job. The best estimate is about 30 percent of all jobs that people now do will be lost to technology but most of those will be lost to technology but most of those will be replaced by new jobs. The real problem is that the new jobs won't pay as much as the jobs that are lost. Robert Reich was the labor secretary under President Clinton. Just like he says even at cafe X there are humans being paid to work alongside technology but a seismic shift is coming warns Reich that will force us to look at work in a whole new way. Work gives structure and meaning to people's lives and if we don't have to work are people going to become philosophers, painters, artists? Are they going to be involved in their communities, do voluntary work or are they just going to sit around watching television? And we really don't know that answer right?

We don't know. What we do know is the income disparity in this country will likely only grow and that has some suggesting a radical idea universal basic income a guaranteed wage for everyone working or not no strings attached. There are all kinds of mysteries and potential flaws with regard to universal basic income but it's inevitable we're going to have to seriously consider universal basic income.

It's nothing new. Thomas Morsod is part of his fictional utopia as early as the 16th century. Richard Nixon once flirted with the idea but perhaps its most eloquent spokesman was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Now one of the answers it seems to me is a guaranteed annual income a guaranteed minimum income for all people and for all families of our country. On the face of it this notion of just giving people free money it sounds pretty simple and it sounds pretty attractive.

The problem is it's not free there are trade-offs in order to finance something meaningful as a basic income for truly poor people would require us to find a significant amount of additional revenue where would we find that? Professor Laura Tyson teaches economics at UC Berkeley and says even if every other social safety net program was cannibalized to pay for it the math still won't add up. Let's just take a simple example ten thousand dollars a year three hundred billion people that's three trillion dollars. Three trillion? Three trillion. The budget is about four so that's three fourths of the entire federal budget. A number of places have tested the idea on a much smaller scale mind you but so far economists say none of those tests has been scientifically rigorous enough to determine much of anything. Which is why a lot of people are now looking at Stockton California.

Growing up my goal was to leave Stockton and never come back actually. There's a new mayor here Michael tops just 26 when he was elected having gotten the job based in part on his promise to improve the economy. 25 percent of our population lives in poverty but I would argue that another 25 to 30 percent are just one paycheck away. He thought what if he could provide that one extra paycheck a payout not generous enough to encourage people to stop working but big enough to give some financial stability. I'm not saying give everyone Mercedes Benz or give everyone a yacht or give everyone a private jet to travel to meetings to I'm saying give everyone an income floor so they're able to make decisions to provide for themselves and their families. He partnered with the economic security project an organization chaired in part by Chris Hughes one of the co-founders of Facebook who's written extensively about the basic income idea. Starting this fall his group will underwrite an 18-month experiment in Stockton that will give $500 a month to about 100 families and see what they do with it. Tubbs knows it's not without its risks.

It's no strings attached you don't know and have no control over what people will do with the $500. Luisa CastaƱon has a pretty good idea. It would put a little bit of relief on our stress you know let us breathe a little bit um I don't even remember the last time I took my kids to the movies.

Have a good day. She works for minimum wage at a Stockton elementary school as both crossing guard and playground monitor. She's not sure if she'll be one of the ones getting the money but she hopes whoever does will take the experiment seriously. Don't go blow it on something dumb. Use it to get yourself out of debt. Use it to get yourself ahead. The plausibility of the basic income idea is still a matter of some pretty basic debate. It's a big investment with big unanswered questions but for people like Mayor Tubbs the economic challenges that lie ahead may be even bigger.

I want answers to these questions. I want to really be able to say like no I tried this in my city and this is what happened. Good or bad.

Good or bad but I being an internal optimist and knowing the folks in my city I'm very confident that it's going to be good. A day at the office is anything but just another day. At least it is at the office Tony DeCopel takes us to. Hold on so we have a barista here. We do have a barista here. We've got foosball tables over there. We do have foosball tables over there. If you want a glimpse of professional paradise or at least one vision of it look no further than WeWork. There's a juice bar can't miss the fruit water.

I just had some fruit water this morning because I haven't had for some time and I was like wow I love fruit water. Co-founder Adam Neumann presides over an empire of free goodies. Yes including free beer. An office is designed to encourage interaction. After you. Oh no after you after you.

Okay okay. But to be clear most of the people at WeWork's 283 worldwide locations are not Neumann's employees but his customers. Renting workspace in a booming field known as co-working. You can think about it as like you would think of as a gym.

You pay a membership. You get to share all the equipment. It's really a shared infrastructure for business. Steve King studies co-working and says the industry has grown from as little as 70 people in 2007 to 1.5 million worldwide a decade later and are projected 5 million by 2023. The independent workforce continues to grow. Every year there are more freelancers than there were in the last year and then a growing segment is large enterprises. The large corporations also see the advantage of having flexible workspace. And Neumann says many larger companies including some in the fortune 500 have invited WeWork to redesign their existing offices too.

About two years ago enterprise large corporations larger than a thousand employees start coming to us say hey we want this energy we want this nice looking space but we don't want just that we want the technology we want our employees also to be this happy. And speaking of happy WeWork founded in 2010 has become one of the most valuable young companies in America worth an estimated 20 billion a sum that begins to make sense when you hear from members like food safety consultant Laurel Cudden. Number one they fill my soul. I feel happy being here. They fill your soul. They fill my soul.

I'm happy. There's this magic that happens when you're in a community. Supporting these new communities is the real mission of WeWork and a growing number of competitors. A mission that goes way beyond the office.

Sometimes it feels like we've discovered the secret of the universe you know that if if people knew this way more people would do it. Last year Michael Jensen and Brett Hartinger were bored freelance writers working out of their house in Seattle. That's when they heard about this place Rome. So this is it.

Not bad. Yeah. They recently co-lived here co-worked in a space on the same property and co-relaxed the rest of the time along with a constantly changing crowd of roamers. For a daily fee Rome members can work and live in outposts in Miami London Tokyo and Bali with eight more properties planned all for people looking for a sense of home but not a permanent address. So fill in this sentence for me. Home is where the blank is. Oh home is where he is. So you're going to come in and you're going to find your time slot. Of course for another co-working demographic home is a little more complicated.

We have looked into 10 ways to Sunday. Entrepreneur Sarah Bagley is a mother of three and a member of Playwork or Dash a combination co-working and child care space outside Washington DC. Did you go through a period where you were trying to make do without a space like this? And you can ask me how well that went but it's amazing what you can do when you are not having your brain divided between what is my toddler doing and trying to focus on what's being done. You're gonna build it?

Yeah all right. For a few hundred dollars a month parents get a desk plus up to three hours of child care. I'm imagining people coming in my gosh this is what I've been looking for. Oh we get a lot of that. We do. We're like this is amazing.

It's better than a spa visit. Founder Nicole Dash says what she's really building is a movement. A movement of what? I don't think that having children and being professional are mutually exclusive so that's part of the movement. I think it's also that it's also allowing parents to find and decide their own balance for their own family.

Energy and color create feelings. Back at WeWork, Adam Neumann is also hoping to change the balance of modern life adding apartments called WeLive, schools called WeGrow and in the future whole cities powered as he puts it by we. The most precious resource we have is time. If we're going to just be in a place and work for only the sake of making money and pass on everything else and then go home to live we give up half of our life or maybe even more. So every waking hour is partially work which is no longer really work and well and partially play and all life coming to one.

Now the subject is dirty money and we do mean dirty. Ripped, torn and damaged but not worthless as Rita Braver explains. This is the famous Tess. That is her.

That is the famous Tess. It was the dog ate our rent money story and it started when Mark Bunn of Greensboro, North Carolina walked into his bedroom one afternoon. I just happened to glance down at my bed and I saw a piece about maybe the size of my thumb of a twenty dollar bill and another little piece. That's when he decided to call housemate Scott Reinike. And Mark says did you leave out rent money? Yeah, I left out four hundred dollars in increments of twenties and tens.

I put two and two together and came up with Tess. That's when Mark remembered hearing about a U.S. government agency that might come to the rescue. You put in a call and the dog ate my money?

Yeah, actually a person answered. He was like if you feel like you would have the patience and the time to follow your dog around for the next two to three days you will find your money. Yes, since the 18th century the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing has had a program that replaces severely damaged money. A lot of people store money in their house.

They store it in the drywall, they put it in their attic and mice will get into it, termites will get into it. Eric Walsh is the assistant manager of the Mutilated Currency Division. We typically process about 23,000 cases a year and doing so we're somewhere between 30 to 40 million. Wait a minute, 23,000 people send in damaged currency and you send out 30 to 40 million dollars?

Correct. Our most common are burn currency through fires, water damage either through floods or being buried. In fact, the man who sent this package, one of about a hundred that arrived each day, wrote that water had leaked into a money-filled jar buried at his deceased parent's home. This is one of our worst cases. Does he say how much money he thinks goes there?

Sixty-three thousand. 12 full-time examiners piece together the bills. Some have been accidentally shredded and Sharon Williams still remembers recovering one thousand dollars for a woman who stored her purse in the oven. The husband ended up turning on the oven and it was like, oh what is that smell?

What is a file holder? And the wife was saying, oh my purse is in the oven. Many packages arrive with detailed letters but often examiners like LaJuan Ellerby are left to guess how money got destroyed. Wonder what happened to that wallet? You can tell it was water damage.

They buried it somewhere and it just, the water just got to it, deteriorated, got it real stuck together so I'm trying to pull it apart. What makes you do this? I like to help people though. When you talk to a customer and they're crying like this was my life savings, just I don't know what else I can do and you feel really bad so you try to do the best you can. As for Mark and Scott, they dutifully followed Tess the dog around for a few days and sent in a bag full of, well let's not go there. But a few weeks later they got back a check for four hundred dollars. I think it enhanced my view of government. It actually was something by the people, for the people, you know that it actually had a direct effect on my daily life. Did you learn a lesson from this experience? I clearly learned a lesson. I still don't own a dog to this day. Before there were podcasts, there was television. Remember, see what's new under the sun every Sunday morning. Who better to share some pillow talk with than a pillow tycoon?

Martha Teichner does the honors. Looks like you're not sleeping well. Mike Lindell spends a million and a half dollars a week on commercials to make sure that you know about his pillow.

I personally guarantee that my pillow will be the most comfortable pillow you'll ever own. He sold more than 41 million. An incredible success? You bet.

Astonishing considering the backstory. I actually had a dream, which I believe is right from God, about my pillow and I dreamt the logo first actually, the name my pillow. The dream came true.

Sometimes I pinch myself, are you real? But before any of this could exist. Back in 2004, Mike Lindell, a man with lifelong sleeping issues, had to invent the pillow of his dreams. It took about, oh, about a year.

I kept trying different things. My youngest son would come home, we'd tear up different foams. Their eureka moment? When they combined different sized foam chunks.

All three sizes are in every pillow and wherever you move it they interlock together and you have the most amazing adjustable pillow in history. At first Lindell sewed the pillows himself. The big box stores had no interest. We were right over here back in December of 2004. So he set up a table at his neighborhood mall. Like a lemonade stand only pillows.

It was exactly like that. And then we sold only about 80 pillows in about a month. Sales picked up but Mike Lindell had a problem, a big one. I was a cocaine addict since the mid 1980s and that switched to crack cocaine in the early 2000s. What kind of dollar a week habit did you have?

You know anywhere from 500 to a thousand dollars a week probably. You know down to nothing living day by day and then we were losing our house and my wife for 20 years she left. This picture was taken the night his crack dealers, yes his dealers, staged an intervention in the spring of 2008. The one guy says Mike's been up for 14 days he said we're shutting you off you're not getting anything. The following year he quit cold. Do not change that channel because the next half hour is going to change your life. It changed his life.

That infomercial launched October 7 2011 at 3 a.m in the morning. Now at that time I had about five to ten employees and 40 days later I had 500. Wow. He has around 1600 now.

He knows instinctively how much to put in. Most of them working in two huge factories outside Minneapolis. But wait, as they say in infomercials, there's more. Lindell says at any one time 20 to 30 percent of MyPillow's employees are second chancers or like him former addicts.

Among them Chelsea Frenshoe. So I was a heroin addict for about eight years and I was in and out of jail. All I did was call here and right away they said you're hired.

Most places won't even give me a chance because of my background. Mike Lindell considers his business a vehicle for a greater calling. His success a gift from God. And that light is?

That's set right from heaven. He's proud that his pillows are made in America. When I get behind something I'm a hundred percent all in.

And is an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald Trump. How's the pillow business okay? It's awesome. When the Better Business Bureau dropped MyPillow from an A plus rating to an F claiming that a long-running buy one get one offer was really a regular price. Lindell dismissed the demotion saying he was targeted because of his political views. They brought the level of MyPillow fame up up here so they helped me.

Thank you BBB. About politics Mike Lindell is unapologetic. About pillows he's passionate. If you make every pillow like it's your only pillow and every customer like it's your only customer I mean that's an amazing concept. One woman's pet project has turned into a project with legs. Here's our Richard Schlesinger. Lonnie Edwards is an unusual agent with peculiar clients. So Ella Bean is one of our clients. She travels all over the world. She recently did a campaign with her in the Ritz-Carlton. It's not about which people Edwards will represent.

In fact she doesn't represent any people at all. This is Ella Bean. She's the fashion blogger in dog form so she's always traveling that's her in Paris. Lonnie Edwards owns The Dog Agency.

The name is a little misleading. She represents all sorts of animal stars of Instagram. This is Atticus the Hedgehog. Lonnie Edwards has gotten Atticus the Hedgehog starring roles in Instagram ad campaigns for Stainmaster Carpet Cleaner and Olympus Cameras. When each one of the 117,000 people who follow Atticus logged on they saw these pictures.

He's like camera shy. And Stephanie Zhang and her hedgehog were in business. There were definitely a lot of benefits to getting an agent.

The biggest thing is the fact that they can read over the contracts for you and negotiate on your behalf. Tens of thousands sometimes hundreds of thousands and sometimes more than a million people follow some of the animals whose pictures are posted on the social network. A popular animal becomes what's called a pet influencer and few pets have as much influence as Diddy Kong and Yeti Kong, two monkeys from Miami. Gabriella Katia and her boyfriend Matt Crown started posting pictures of their monkeys for their friends. And then the monkeys went viral. We had no idea they were going to become so famous and it's exciting. I mean we've never seen a famous monkey like this on Instagram.

Laugh if you will but sponsors are willing to pay for pets and the eyeballs they attract. Turns out Edwards has the perfect pedigree to figure out how to make good money off of them. So I went to Andover for boarding school, Cornell for college and Harvard for law school. Is this what you envisioned doing when you were in Harvard law school?

And I don't mean any disrespect it's just so unusual. Nope not at all. At the end of the day I wanted something more fun and more creative. I got the entrepreneurial bug. This business is not just creative it's lucrative. Just ballpark numbers influencers with millions of followers are getting around ten to fifteen thousand per piece of sponsored content. Some campaigns have many pieces of sponsored content. That's a lot of money. It is a lot of money. A few months ago the Miami monkeys became paid spokes primates for two hats beer. It is their first sponsorship and it could be the start of something big.

Campaigns definitely with Diddy Kong could go into the hundreds of thousands for sure. So this is Maxine and she has about 47,000 followers. Lani Edwards had a party recently at her office in Manhattan. So this is Pistachio and she has 290,000 followers. It was a raucous affair for some of her more popular less exotic clients. This is Walter Cronkite and he has 90,000 followers. And that's the way it is for Lani Edwards who's doing just fine a world away from her roots at Harvard. The law school fellow students are jealous? Probably.

Think they're laughing? Uh not anymore. Luke Burbank has been shopping for status symbols to die for. You can immediately feel like when you go into a nice neighborhood you're like you get that feel like wow the trees are nice everybody has manicured lawns. Uh-huh. What's the 150,000 get? Great waterfall.

Charming is a great word for it. So that makes a real impact on price. It's a great investment. Baron Chiu is like a lot of real estate brokers in Los Angeles.

This is well over six hundred thousand dollars. There's just one difference though between Chiu and the others. My nickname with my friends is the subterranean condo king. Baron Chiu is a cemetery plot broker helping folks buy and sell space in LA's rapidly filling cemeteries. Well it is in a sense property it's just smaller. Small but not cheap with some family plots being listed at over a million dollars. Would those be the most expensive pieces of real estate in all of California?

Yeah I would say so wouldn't you? I mean it's pretty high. And it's real estate you don't even own once you've bought it. It still technically belongs to the cemetery.

However you do have the right to stay as long as you want. The cemeteries own the grave but you're buying the right for burial. Other than that cemetery real estate works a lot like other real estate. It's location location location.

People are looking for views. People are looking for peaceful sceneries and you know believe it or not we're so busy in Los Angeles some of the busiest cemeteries in the world that traffic in cemeteries can determine price as well. Wait so in LA the traffic is so bad there are traffic jams in the cemetery?

Absolutely yeah it's crazy. Oh and one other major factor that drives prices which celebrities are buried in the cemetery? This is after all southern California. There aren't that many cemeteries in LA.

Baron Chu says he doesn't use dead celebrities as a selling point. He thinks it's disrespectful but for fans of those celebrities LA's cemeteries have always been a big draw. We're all movie buffs we like to come and visit the old movie stars. Larry Trujillo makes the trip to LA from Albuquerque each year.

The highlight? Visiting Marilyn Monroe. We like to clean her gravestone up if it's dirty and put you know fresh flowers of fresh water in there. John Roker and Lynn Williams came to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for Judy Garland. She was in New York and Liza took her and brought her back but under one condition could she be here that she could be as far away from Mickey Rooney as possible.

Garland was known to have carried a torch for Rooney a feeling alas he did not share. Just another reason for Roker to invest in his little slice of eternity. Oh yeah I got my plot when I was a kid. Oh really? Smart thinking. Yeah because it ain't cheap these days. No it's not.

Not cheap at all. In this cemetery you are going to be close to all the rich and famous and if you can't do it while you're living you might as well do it while you're dead. Baron Chew showed me one of his properties.

It's for sale for about a hundred and sixty thousand also in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Can I try this out? Yeah go ahead feel free. So from about here down to here. Yep. You know what they say if the shoe fits.

I gotta say it's very relaxing. All right I'll take it. Coming soon Mobituaries a podcast on matters of death and life from Mo Rocca. Salma Hayek was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as the artist Frida Kahlo in the movie Frida back in 2002. These days she's winning notice for her roles on behalf of charity as John Blackstone tells us. Last April in Los Angeles UNICEF the United Nations Children's Fund honored Salma Hayek with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award. And it takes so little to make big big changes.

It's recognition for all that she has done for more than a decade on behalf of women and children around the world. It's hard to decide who should get money and how it should be spent. So many people need it. Exactly.

How should be spent? It's the best question. It is finding who can you help the most, how can you help the best, and through who can you be the most effective? How did you become an activist? It's a very strange question.

My head thinks why don't you? She helped raise more than $700,000 for relief efforts after the earthquake in Mexico last September. In 2015 she visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon and in 2008 here she is in Sierra Leone where tetanus was a leading cause of death among mothers and babies. During the trip a 15-year-old mother approached her with a hungry baby just a few days old. I have no milk. I have no money. I have no food to give him. I have nothing. And she was sobbing and I said I've got milk because I had left my child for the first time and I was weaning her from breastfeeding and I had milk and there was a lot of people that were upset I did that.

But there were many as well who said, thank God, you may have saved a life, right? Yeah. Salma Hayek was born in Mexico in 1966. Her father of Lebanese descent was an oil company executive.

Her mother, Mexican and Spanish, was an opera singer. At the age of five, Salma would sit in front of the pink window in her home. Sometimes I would just look out this window and come up with stories and come up with scenarios of what my life would be and make myself cry on my own.

It was my place where I would play with my imagination. When did acting enter your mind? Acting entered my mind and then I was embarrassed to say I want to be an actress. But she says she somehow found the courage and after appearing in popular Mexican soap operas telenovelas, she came to Los Angeles at the age of 24 and studied acting.

But after being a big star at home, she got work only as an extra. At the time, it seemed like there was no chance to succeed, especially because I was Mexican. It didn't exist, this possibility. People would laugh at me It's a different time, but you have to understand, it really didn't exist, this possibility. It didn't exist.

It's not that it was small, it didn't exist. But in more than 50 movies, she became one of those actresses, as they say, the camera loves. Coleman, stop the train. Miss Escobar is getting off. Who the hell is Miss Escobar? I'm a frightened, starving, hot-naked young woman who only wants to find her father. It may be that her portrayal of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo created the most attention. If you think I'm going to sleep with you just because you've taken me under your wing, you're wrong.

She produced the movie and also earned an Academy Award nomination as best actress. I just, something even happened to me. I just, something inside of me just knew I had to do that one. It was an obsession, it was an obsession. So you had to work for eight years?

Eight years. To get it off the ground. Yes. She made headlines in December with the New York Times op-ed piece about the price she paid to work on Frida with producer Harvey Weinstein, which she wrote involved many inappropriate sexual demands, charges Weinstein has denied. But that essay helped to propel a movement. And the most exciting part for me is that when the world saw all these women that are so visible, because it's Hollywood, coming together and saying, hey guys, this is not okay. We take the power in our hands to say this stops now. I think that it's a beautiful time for men because it gives men an opportunity to redefine who they want to be without their fear and the pressure also, even the peer pressure of being like, you have to be this way.

Hey, I get to be the best version of who I think I can be. But I do think that women will start to feel a little bit safer in all walks of life. Certainly in Hollywood. Safer in Hollywood for women.

You think? In 2009, she married Francois Henri Pinot, the French billionaire whose company caring includes such luxury brands as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney. Her name is Diva. Diva. And today Salma Hayek Pinot is busier than ever.

Her production company, Ventana Rosa, named for that rose window she sat in front of as a child, is developing four new movies and five new TV shows. I like to wake up every day and work, but I think I would die if I didn't have that in my life. It's one of life's eternal questions. Can money buy happiness?

Susan Spencer went looking for answers. In 2000, fresh out of college, Christian Hinojosa took a juicy job as an investment banker, getting paid big bucks. You're making six figures at 21 years old. You have a car service at your disposal.

You're flying all over the world. Think he was happy? I was miserable. I remember having the thought, all I'm doing is trying to make money for my clients, my bosses and myself. And I said, I don't know if I could do this anymore. He stuck it out for five wretched years, then decided to chuck it and applied for a different job, a very different job.

While I was actively employed as an investment banker, I submitted an application to the Dallas Fire Department and a few months later got in. You went way out on a limb. 13 years later, Captain Christian Hinojosa lives modestly in a two bedroom rental making, well, let's just say a lot less than the seven figure salary he would have been making. You left a ton of money on the table. But my quality of life went through the roof doing what I do. Do you feel proud of him for having made this decision? I do.

I love it. People who are happier are also healthier. Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson was Christian's undergraduate advisor. She says his decision was especially tough in our money grubbing culture. There was this assumption always that if I just had a little bit more, if I just had a little bit more, then I will reach this happiness. But to that ultimate question, can money buy happiness?

Sanderson's emphatic answer is no. The key to contentment, she says, is not how much you earn, but how you feel about earning it. When you talk to people who love their jobs, overwhelmingly what they say is not I love my paycheck.

What they say is I find the job meaningful. It's something she's trying to teach her own college age son. I remember being at a brunch with some of his friend's parents and I said, I think my son Andrew would make a wonderful high school teacher.

And another parent at the table said, oh, he's very bright. He could do so much better than that. Because of course he would want to do something that made more money.

Of course. Research shows that once you are above the poverty line, making more money won't necessarily bring more joy, especially if you spend it on more stuff. The reason is what psychologists call the hedonic treadmill. Like hamsters on a wheel, we keep running after new stuff, never satisfied with the stuff we just got. There's a cartoon that I show when I give a talk on this with somebody lying on their death bed and the person says, I should have bought more crap.

That's ridiculous, right? Because no one at the end of their life is thinking my biggest regret is I wish I had a nicer car. So if spending money on stuff won't make you happy, how should you spend it? Even spending as little as $40 to buy ourselves out of a negative experience like cooking or cleaning can have significant benefits for people's happiness. Harvard Business School professor Ashley Willans and her colleagues handed out cash to two groups of people, telling one to go buy themselves something and the other to pay someone to do a hated chore, like the laundry.

Guess who was happier? Participants who bought themselves time reported more joy and less negative emotions. So money in fact can buy happiness if you spend it in the right way. Yes, that's right. Just don't tell that to Christian Hinojosa. Does money buy happiness?

I don't believe it does. I'm Kai Risdahl. We hope you've enjoyed this special edition of Sunday Morning and that you join Jane Pauley here again next Sunday morning. The best way to protect the good people is to convict the bad. So here's to us. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 17:24:04 / 2023-01-26 17:39:28 / 15

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