There are nearly 250 million migrants across the world right now. Some will be escaping war or oppression, others will be seeking out freedom or economic prosperity, but whatever the reason, the kind of life they're looking for lies across a border that's policed and restricted. What if it didn't have to be that way? This hour, we explore a world without borders.
There's a concept that's gaining ground among some economists and the idea's simple -- let anyone who isn't a criminal live and work in any other country. Economist Bryan Caplan and producer Rehman Tungekar explain how this open borders policy could end global poverty.
What would a world without national borders look like? There's a good chance it'd look very similar to the one we have today. Parag Khanna is a global strategist who believes borders are becoming irrelevant in an increasingly connected world. More than national boundaries, he believes what matters are the connections between cities.
The story of immigration is inseparable from America's history, and usually, it's told as a tale of struggle and ultimate success. It turns out the real story is far more complicated. University of Chicago historian Tara Zahra looks at the period of mass migration to America between 1846-1940. She says it was characterized by deep anxiety, both in the US and Europe.
In "The Year of the Runaways", British novelist Sunjeev Sahota tells the story of three recent immigrants to the UK, and with deft precision examines their struggles, fears, and relationships. Sahota talked about researching the novel -- which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year -- and spoke about geographic privilege.
Do you believe that the government is keeping secrets from us? That the military is hiding evidence of alien visitations? Maybe you have a hard line to the truth -- or maybe you're a sucker for conspiracy theories. Today, we explore why we love conspiracy theories and why we believe them.
Conspiracy theories are like mushrooms. They pop up everywhere -- from celebrity Twitter feeds to the campaign trail. They can be crazy, hilarious, and weirdly convincing. But even the most wacko conspiracy theories are worth taking serious. To explain why, here's Steve Paulson talking with Jesse Walker, author of "The United States of Paranoia."
There's a short story about a guy who's so afraid of other people reading his mind that he wears a tin foil hat to protect his thoughts. The tin foil part is crazy, but protecting your mind is maybe not such a bad idea. Academic psychologist Rob Brotherton says there are certain psychological traits that predispose people to believe in conspiracy theories. For example, there's an experiment done by a group of psychologists in Amsterdam. It involves a group of subjects and a messy desk.
Some of the most famous conspiracy theories involve aliens and UFOs. Remember the Roswell incident? An Air Force surveillance balloon crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, back in 1947. Some people claimed it was actually an extraterrestrial spaceship. By the late 70s, thousands of people believed that all kinds of flying saucers had landed and that the U.S. military was holding actual aliens. So what's with our obsession with UFO conspiracies. David G. Robertson is the guy to ask. He's the author of "UFOs, Conspiracy Theories, and the New Age." He spoke with Rehman Tungekar.
In March of 2000, the conceptual artist Mark Lombardi was found hanged in his studio. In the art world, speculation swirled about whether his death was suicide or murder? Why would anyone want to murder Lombardi? Maybe because his intricate drawings revealed connections between George W. Bush and the bin Laden family, as well as other connections between banking, organized crime and intelligence agencies. Patricia Goldstone is the author of "Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi." She talks about Lombardi's work and the mystery behind his death.