Economists Louis Johnston and Chris Farrell on money, work and life

Johnston, Farrell
Louis Johnston (left) economics professor at St. John's University and College of St. Benedict, and Chris Farrell, economist and author, at Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul in January 2012.
Tom Weber | MPR News 2012

Louis Johnston is a professor of economics at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. He hosted American Public Media's Chris Farrell earlier this month on campus in Collegeville, Minn.

Chris Farrell is American Public Media's chief economics contributor and is the author of several books, including his new book titled, "Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money and Happiness in the Second Half of Life."

Farrell spoke about earning a living and finding meaning in life. He said, "our changing work patterns and consumption habits are going to affect our economy and our society more generally."

Entrepreneurship is not just for the young, Farrell pointed out. Older workers have a lot to contribute to the workplace and the economy and society, Farrell said, because "creativity is based on experience and wisdom." Entrepreneurship is all about "solving a problem."

One of the good things happening in our economy right now, Farrell suggested, is the rise of "social entrepreneurship."

Traditional companies need to recognize the value of experienced employees and come up with ways to keep them working, with more flexible work hours, and a "boomerang" situation where employees can bring their expertise back for short periods of time.

And a good personal finance strategy involves saving for transitions over a lifetime — not just for "retirement," Farrell said.

The event was recorded at Willie's Pub on the campus of St. John's University on April 2, 2019.

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