Paul Solman, host of Making $ense on PBS NewsHour, will speak on February 18 at the Camden Conference
Supply chains strained and in disarray, war in Europe, a microchip shortage driving up prices of cars and much more, and inflation at a 40-year high – what’s the impact on American communities and consumers?
Paul Solman, a business, economics and occasional arts correspondent for the PBS NewsHour since 1985, will answer that question and others at the 36th annual Camden Conference, Global Trade and Politics: Managing Turbulence, February 17-19, 2023 in Camden, Maine. The conference will focus on the future of global commerce and the interdependence of commerce, global politics and national security.
One impact, said Solman, on a recent PBS NewsHour, is “shrinkflation,” the practice of some manufacturers to shrink the amount of their packaged product while charging the same or more. “Lately,” he said, “it has been the incredible shrinking everything.” He pointed to products from toilet paper to ice cream that have cut product quantity offered to the consumer by 50 percent or more. In passing along increased costs of transportation and manufacturing, companies have increasingly relied upon both raising the price and shrinking the product.
Solman majored in sociology at Brandeis University, and as he was earning his MBA at Harvard in the class of 1977-78 he was selected as a Nieman Fellow. Soon after, he embarked on a career as a business reporter at WGBH Boston. After a few years of local PBS reporting, he inaugurated the PBS business documentary series, ENTERPRISE, with fellow Nieman Zvi Dor-Ner.
In the 1980s, Solman produced documentaries, returned to local reporting, and joined the Harvard Business School faculty, teaching media, finance and business history in the school’s Advanced Management Program. He authored a best seller, “What’s Yours: the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security,” (2016) and co-authored, with Thomas Friedman, Life and Death on the Corporate Battlefield (1983). He has won eight Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards and a Leob Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.
In 2007, he joined the faculty at Yale, where he added a dose of communications know-how and economics to the university’s Grand Strategy course for a decade. In 2011, he was the Richman Distinguished Visiting Professor at his alma mater, Brandeis, where he taught a seminar, “Economic Grand Strategies: From Chimps to Champs? Or Chumps?”
He has lectured at campuses across the country, has taught regularly at West Point, and at Gateway Community College in New Haven, having created the Yale@Gateway program. In 2016, he was a Visiting Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford University. He is also president of the new making-friends-across-the-political-divide group, “Us.”
To learn more about the 2023 Camden Conference, or to register, go to the website www.camdenconference.org The Camden Conference is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to citizen and student education in global affairs. The Conference is held in Maine venues and live-streamed to attendees in the United States and abroad.