According to the National Retail Federation, last week Americans spent more than 19 billion dollars on Valentine's Day. Laurie Essig, author of the new book "Love, Inc: Dating Apps, The Big White Wedding, and Chasing the Happily Neverafter" says the reason for that is simple.
"Love keeps us going in pretty helpless times," she says. "There is something about hopefulness that is hard not to respond to."
In her new book, Essig invites readers to take a cynical look on love and brands our preoccupation with romance as a coping mechanism to get through the day to day where so many feel increasingly helpless when it comes to large scale societal issues like climate change and economic inequality.
"I'm not particularly romantic about romance or capitalism. They were not fated to be together, but they developed around the same time. It's not that people didn't have strong erotic longings before capitalism or that they didn't fall in love, but they didn't associate that with living happily every after."
During this Talk of Iowa interview, Essig talks with host Charity Nebbe.
Then, we hear from Kyle Munson, former Iowa Columnist for the Des Moines Register, about his new podcast Journalists Are My Heroes.