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How booze made us...civilized

Did beer come before bread? Perhaps, says University of British Colombia professor Edward Slingerland, who credits alcohol with spurring humankind's first agricultural revolution thousands of years ago. "Our drive to get intoxicated is what caused us to create civilization," he explains, adding that booze provided a "tool for helping us to cope with all the challenges of living in civilized societies." Find out more from Slingerland about the history of alcohol in the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: The (political) power of alcohol

How the social contract broke

Anyone who's seen an episode of "Leave it to Beaver" or "The Wonder Years" knows how the American dream is supposed to work: the white picket fence, the suburban home and the 2.5 handsome young children playing in the backyard. It's a sort of social contract, one that this country has built its identify around for the last half century. But is that dream dead? Or at the very least, far outdated? Few young people today can expect a stable career without an expensive college education and many older people are spending far more years in retirement than past generations. So what do we do when the social contract breaks down? And how do we patch up all the holes in the social safety net? London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik shares some solutions (hint: "free money" isn't one of them).

Watch the episode: Is modern society broken?

Podcast: The LSE’s Minouche Shafik on how to fix our broken society

Listen: It was an ongoing question before the pandemic, but coronavirus has made it all the more urgent. With global inequality and extreme poverty on the rise, how do we patch up the many holes in the world's social safety nets? The idea of governments providing all adults with a set amount of cash on a regular basis, no strings attached, is gaining attention worldwide — especially given the need to expand post-pandemic social safety nets. But for London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik, universal basic income "is like giving up on people." Shafik speaks with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World Podcast.

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