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The Devil’s Bargain
Mark Weber, Co-producer of the award winning documentary Poverty, Inc., challenges foreign aid as the lynchpin of a global poverty industry that enriches benefactors while eliminating opportunities and purchasing power for the supposed beneficiaries. Weber advocates empowering the world’s poor through access to and participation in markets, rather than treating them as objects of charity.
Nancy Cline, co-owner of Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and award winning conservationist, reveals how she and her husband were forced to battle the EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the FBI to keep their property from being claimed as federal jurisdictional wetlands.
Dr. Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder and author of Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout, shares with pride his past radicalism to end factory whaling but argues that today’s anti-development global warming alarmists are causing more harm than good. Moore believes poverty is the biggest threat to the environment and advocates pro-development sustainable environmentalism.
Evan Baehr, Co-Founder of Able Lending, tells how federal regulations are stifling business growth by prohibiting banks from making loans to the country’s biggest job creators—successful small businesses looking to expand. Baehr’s newest startup fills this void as the world’s first collaborative lender to small business entrepreneurs.
Jared Meyer, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, decries New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s misinformed war on Uber, and discusses what he found researching a new issue brief on the ride-sharing service. Meyer details how Uber has expanded transportation options for low-income New Yorkers and increased consumer safety.
Clark Neily, Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice, discusses the rise of the administrative state—in which regulators write rather than merely execute laws. Neily advocates for future Supreme Court Justices that will practice judicial engagement—overruling rather than rubber-stamping unconstitutional expansions of government power.
Ted Frank, Director of the Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF) at CEI, shares how a class action suit against Grand Theft Auto spurred him to found CCAF to advocate for consumers and shareholders, fighting back against class action settlements structured to overly compensate lawyers at the expense of the plaintiffs they claim to represent.
Mark Stahlman, Marshall McLuhan scholar and Founder and President of the Center for the Study of Digital Life, compares the world's “operating systems”: East, West, and digital. Stahlman analyzes what communication systems say about society—from radio propaganda to democratic memes—and studies what the China Operating System for Society bodes for the future.
Robert Tracinski, senior writer at The Federalist and editor of The Tracinski Letter, shares his take on political antics of the day. Tracinski discusses how the anti-candidates became the Republican front runners, immigration policy became a wedge issue, and the Pope married Christianity with religious environmentalism.
Mid-career serial entrepreneur Shan Sinha, CEO and co-founder of Highfive, shares stories and insights of how human capital development and prudent risk taking shaped his career in startups—from MIT, Microsoft, DocVerse, and Google to Highfive and angel investing.
Investment industry veteran Bob McLalan shares his unlikely path to success—from joining the Marines to escape the hoodlum’s life to leveraging his passion for literature into a slot at Berkeley, to his rocket ride up and down the dot-com roller coaster, and beyond.
Robby Soave, Staff Editor at Reason.com, delves into how Title IX, dogmatic concepts of consent, and neo-Victorian behavior codes by college administrators are encouraging and empowering a culture of victimhood.
David Stockman, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Wall Street banker, and author, paints a dismal portrait of our economy as mired in political dysfunction and facing threat of fiscal collapse. Yet, Stockman remains hopeful a significant system shock will encourage economic sobriety and sound policies.
Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute Vice President, shares the history of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—one of the key New Deal expansions of federal power that wasn’t found unconstitutional. Murray explores the ramifications of the recent NLRB joint employer ruling—which is roiling staffing agencies, contractors, and franchise businesses.
Heather Higgins, political strategist and President and CEO of Independent Women’s Voice, advocates thoughtful repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. Higgins discusses IWV’s public opinion polling findings, her organization’s ObamaCare Repeal Pledge, and why many are still more comfortable with the “devil they know.”
Paul Ketchel, Founder and CEO of MDSave, a health care marketplace that negotiates discounted rates for cash patients with doctors nationwide, discusses the problems that have made our health care system so dysfunctional.
Emily Chamlee-Wright, Provost and Dean of Washington College and Senior Research Scholar at the Mercatus Center, discusses disaster economics on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. She shares stories from How We Came Back, of which she is a coauthor, highlighting the social entrepreneurs who have pioneered the rebuilding of New Orleans.
Adam Andrzejewski founded OpenTheBooks.com to fulfill his pledge while running for Governor of Illinois to post “every dime online in real time,” as a way to increase transparency in order to encourage greater efficiency and fight government waste, fraud, and corruption.
The Archbishop of Beirut, Paul Youssef Matar, shares the embattled history of the Maronite Church, from its refuge in Lebanon from the Ottoman Empire to its ongoing struggles for freedom of religion and equality against Daesh (better known as Islamic State) today.
Holly Harris, Executive Director of the U.S. Justice Action Network, advocates for criminal justice reform, which continues to gain bipartisan support, and has shown a marked economic and social impact in states where reforms have been implemented.
Dr. Samuel Gregg, the Acton Institute’s director of research, discusses the relationship between economic and religious liberty and the belief in building a type of world that prefigures the Christian idea of the next life.
Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, discusses his recent e-book, Was Jesus a Socialist? and the political philosophy of bible parables, including the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount.
Richard Rahn, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and Chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, recounts the last half century’s arms race. Rahn discusses how the world escaped Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and why we should encourage prosperity to promote peace.
Scott Maloni, vice president of project development at Poseidon Water, discusses the local, drought-proof, large-scale seawater desalination projects in California and how it took overcoming more than a decade of regulatory hurdles to make them operational.
Brad Templeton, internet pioneer, Board Member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and longtime Google consultant on driverless cars, paints a welcoming picture of our safer, machine operated, driverless future.
Christopher Koopman, Mercatus Center research fellow, discusses the opportunities made possible by today’s sharing economy, from home-cooked meals and housing to ride-sharing and the regulatory impediments to these bastions of consumer choice.
George Gilder, technology analyst and author of Knowledge and Power,shares his hopeful vision for the future. Gilder foresees the global economy outgrowing central banks’ fiat currencies as the wealth conferred by increasing knowledge seeks Bitcoin as its incorruptible metric.
Max Borders, editor of The Freeman magazine, director of content for the Foundation for Economic Education, and co-founder of Voice and Exit, discusses why the libertarian movement is on the rise and the state of FreedomFest
Bob Zadek, lawyer and host of The Bob Zadek Show, tells his story of how a Hearts-playing college buddy encouraged him to take the law boards, how he ended up representing lenders to New York Greek diners, and how he has become Silicon Valley lender to a number of as-yet unregulated entrepreneurs.
Gordon Wood, Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning book The Radicalism of the American Revolution, reviews some of the classic debates among the Founders both before and after the War of Independence and discusses the origins of the Constitution as an attempted bulwark against the tyranny of the majority.
Vernon Smith, professor of law and economics at Chapman University and the 2015 winner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Julian L. Simon Memorial Award takes us through his humble beginnings to how he developed and practiced experimental economics, which led to his winning the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics.
Patri Friedman, Chairman of the Seasteading Institute and software engineer at Google, discusses his approach to promoting competitive governance and how his grandfather’s and father’s philosophical paths inspired his own.
David Friedman, Professor at Santa Clara Law and author of the recently updated The Machinery of Freedom, talks of his father, Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman, whose classical liberal philosophy was the seed inspiration for his own anarcho-capitalist research, teachings, and beliefs.
Matthew Sinclair, Senior Consultant at Europe Economics, analyzes the recent UK election results and the prospects of devolution within Great Britain and the forecasts for the UK leaving the European Union.
Angela Logomasini, Senior Fellow in Environmental Risk, Regulation, and Consumer Freedom at Competitive Enterprise Institute, tempers the current honeybee colony collapse hysteria with facts about the commercial bee industry and pesticide improvements.
Phil Harvey, founder of DKT International and Adam & Eve, speaks about his 40-plus years’ experience on the international family planning movement. Harvey discusses his First Amendment battles against the 1872 Comstock laws and how he used his contraceptive and video mail-order business to subsidize nonprofit work in developing countries.
Peter Acworth, Founder and CEO of Kink.com, currently based at the San Francisco Armory, talks about his foray into the adult entertainment industry, the current cultural and political challenges, and why the industry is a self-regulated success story.
Jared Meyer, fellow at the Manhattan Institute and co-author of Disinherited: How Washington is Betraying America’s Young, explains how his generation is being saddled with unsustainable debt. The false political promises of a Social Security trust fund, unfunded pension liabilities, looming bankruptcy for Medicare, and a ballooning student loan bubble will impoverish today’s youth if left unchecked.
Elise Hilton, Communication Specialist at the Acton Institute and author of A Vulnerable World,advocates to end human trafficking—a $32 billion a year industry. Hilton shares her personal experience that inspired her mission.
Jennifer Parrish, a Minnesota self-employed family childcare provider, shares her experience defending her business against SEIU, one of the nation’s most powerful unions. Her troubles began in 2006 when a union organizer barged into her home and tried to get her to sign what he called a petition but was in fact a union authorization card. Parrish since helped form a coalition of union free providers who, a decade on, are still actively fighting compelled unionization.
Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work Committee and Legal Defense Foundation, discusses his organization’s efforts to defend employee rights against forced union membership, as well as organized labor’s huge political clout as a $20 billion a year business and political lobbying force that regularly flexes its muscle to forcibly collect dues from non-members.
William Hastings Burke, historian and author of Thirty Four, shares the story of Albert Goering, the younger brother of Hitler’s top aid Field Marshall Herman Goering, who courageously and repeatedly defied the Nazi regime to save many lives during the Second World War.
Charles Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, explains his radical proposal. Murray calls for mass civil disobedience to quell today’s overzealous administrative, regulatory state, in order to encourage a more tempered, “no harm, no foul” enforcement practice.
Bruce Yandle, professor of economics at George Mason University, dean emeritus of the Clemson College of Business and Behavioral Sciences, and former executive director of the Federal Trade Commission, explains his “Baptist and Bootlegger” theory of regulation. Yandle describes how these odd-bedfellow coalitions encourage regulatory cartels.
Bill Draper, one of the first Silicon Valley venture capitalists and author of The Startup Game, shares stories from his early days in the valley and assesses today’s opportunities for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
Lance Freeman, Professor in Columbia University’s Urban Planning program, separates fact from fiction in the gentrification debate and discusses the surprising response he found when researching two inner city New York City neighborhoods for his book, There Goes the ‘Hood.
Benjamin Powell, Director and Professor of Economics at Texas Tech University and author of Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy, defends so-called sweatshops as the least bad option for individuals trying to escape extreme poverty and a stepping stone for countries seeking to jump start economic development. Powell recommends conscientious shoppers unreservedly buy products from poor countries so that they, too, can follow the path of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Randy Barnett, Professor of Legal Theory and Director of the Center for the Constitution at Georgetown Law, pits the two prevailing interpretations of the Constitution against one another—majoritarian protection of the collective will vs. sovereign individual rights. On privacy issues, Barnett discusses his wariness of mission creep and possible future government abuses of data.
Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, discusses the threats to digital privacy from government agencies demanding greater access to our data for reasons ranging from safety and security to fairness. Rather than take government assurances at face value, O’Connor believes technology, specifically the “Internet of people,” offers a better solution to online threats.
General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and the NSA and current Principal at the Chertoff Group, weighs privacy concerns and national security decisions. Hayden argues that American success to date in stopping the proliferation of terror has made many people complacent, encouraging them to denounce blanket data collection.
Cornelia Meyer, independent economist, energy expert, and Chairman and CEO of MRL Corporation, assesses the European Union’s challenges of governance and prescribes fiscal policy alignment and deeper coordination and control across the EU to avoid the risk of sovereign defaults.
Dr. Samuel Gregg, the Acton Institute’s director of research, discusses the relationship between economic and religious liberty and the belief in building a type of world that prefigures the Christian idea of the next life.
Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), discusses his recent e-book, Was Jesus a Socialist?, and the political philosophy of bible parables, including the golden rule and the Sermon on the Mount.
Nikola Poposki, Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, tells of his country’s emergence from the former Yugoslavia into a peaceful, prosperous republic with aspirations to join NATO and the European Union, thanks in large part to the implementation of sound pro-growth policies like a 10 percent flat income tax.
David Malpass, former White House economist and president of Encima Global, appraises monetary policy at home and abroad, contrasting the discipline of the market with central bank control. Malpass’s optimism extends to Greece, for which he recommends lowering the country’s value added tax, downsizing the military, and selling government assets to encourage economic growth.
Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of Judicial Crisis Network, analyzes the oral arguments heard by the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell on March 4. At issue is the statutory interpretation of the text of the Affordable Care Act in which subsidies are only allotted to exchanges “established by the state.”
The Stakes in the King v. Burwell Obamacare Challenge
Thomas Miller, Resident Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute discusses what’s at stake in the Supreme Court Obamacare case, King v. Burwell, and its possible effects on health care and the rule of law.
Yaron Brook, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, discusses ARI’s educational outreach, his analysis of the Republican presidential field, and what he sees from the growing ranks of young people around the world interested in Rand’s philosophy and capitalism.
Erik Telford, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, talks about the transformational change in media today, caused largely by the decline of legacy media’s outdated business model, combined with the growing power of the many, varied voices online. Franklin Center’s Watchdog.org is contributing to the conversation with state-based investigative reporters exposing government abuse of power.
Brian Calle, Senior Fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, tells how he escaped a failing public school system in Chino, California, to become a passionate advocate for infusing competition into education. Calle believes Republicans could galvanize crossover and swing voters by better engaging on the issue.
Former New Mexico Governor Johnson, now Honorary Chairman Our America Initiative and CEO of hi, discusses his own divergence from the Republican party on drug policy, marriage equality, immigration, and foreign policy, among other issues, and how he continues to stay active in the political debate outside the two-party system.
Heather Higgins, Independent Women’s Forum Chairman and Independent Women’s Voice President, speaks out against Democratic politicians’ tired “war on women” campaign and shares examples of IWF & IWV’s effective campaigns encouraging free market policies—from assisting Scott Brown’s election to the Senate to challenging Obamacare in the Supreme Court.
Executive Director Gregory Angelo recounts the beginnings of Log Cabin Republicans in 1977, inspired by Ronald Reagan’s opposition to Proposition 6, the Briggs Initiative—an anti-gay propaganda law similar to Russia’s laws today.
Executive Director John Pappas discusses the Poker Players Alliance’s current campaign to stop the proposed online gambling ban, which is being pushed forward by special interests, namely casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Harvard professor, feminist, and retired federal judge Nancy Gertner speaks out against overzealous enforcement of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act and the challenge of defining rape and sexual assault due to ambiguities regarding consent, impairment, and differences between the sexes.
Marquette University professor John McAdams, whose tenure is threatened as a result of his outspoken politically incorrect blogging, discusses the speech infringements of his experience and across campuses nationwide.
John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets and of Political Economy at Forbes, discusses the challenges of using fiat money as a measurement tool. Tamny explores what oil shocks reveal about the floating dollar by comparing the more stable relationship between oil and gold.
Dr. Richard Swart of Crowdfund Capital Advisors and Director of Research at the University of California-Berkeley’s Fung Institute, discusses the history of social capital and crowdfunding. Swart recounts the entrepreneurial beginnings of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act and makes the case for extending privileges now offered only to officially designated accredited investors—those with $1 million or more to invest.
Daniel DiSalvo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and assistant professor at City College of New York, discusses his recently published Government against Itself: Public Union Power and its Consequences. DiSalvo describes the oft-ignored dichotomy between public unions and traditional democratic values. To illustrate, he points to the $3.2 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities increasingly crowding out government services.
David Boaz, Cato Institute Executive Vice President discusses The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, an update to his classic Libertarianism: A Primer, out this week. Boaz succinctly describes the oft-misunderstood classical liberal philosophy of personal and economic freedom on the rise culturally.
Chris Hernandez, former Marine, police officer, and author, provides perspective on trauma. Hernandez dismisses the “new trauma” of microaggressions and trigger warnings compared to the vital decision-making required in real conflict situations, from Ferguson, Missouri, to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Emmanuel Martin, Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Studies, comments on Paris in the month since the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. From an immigrant family himself, Martin blames France’s prohibitive regulations for many Muslims’ lack of cultural assimilation and their near-coercion into the welfare state and immigrant ghettoes.
The Future of Education II --Teacher Tenure Reform
Reshma Singh, Executive Director of the Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ), tells how century-old tenure laws give ironclad job security to teachers, regardless of performance, at the cost of children's education and rights. Many teachers and states are pushing for reform similar to the lawsuit PEJ has undertaken, representing nine New York families advocating for tenure reform as an important tool for improving failing schools.
¡Verdad! Ending Drug Violence and Colombian Prohibition
Daniel Raisbeck, Director Archivo Historico at Universidad del Rosario and founder of ¡Verdad!, discusses his Colombian heritage and what led him to organizing a coalition of citizens to end drug war violence. To Raisbeck, Colombia has come a long way from Pablo Escobar’s “bullets or money” culture and there are now opportunities for peacefully ending drug prohibition and its accompanying violence.
Wayne Leighton, Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquin and Executive Director of the Antigua Forum, takes a break from his yearly conference to discuss the founding of UFM and the beginnings of this global activist/scholar conclave. The mission of both institutions is to train future generations to promote a free and ethical society.
Garry Kasparov, global human rights activist, former world chess champion, Chairman of the United Civil Front, and part of The Other Russia coalition, speaks out against Vladimir Putin’s increasingly authoritarian rule. Kasparov discusses the global implications of Putin’s poisonous presidency and America's lack of leadership in response.
Peter Pomerantsev, British TV producer and author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, describes Vladimir Putin’s artistic approach to propaganda and authoritarian rule. From Putin’s immediate takeover of television and scripting of news to corporate raids and the “war” with America and the West that originally existed only in Russian news, Pomerantsev depicts a Russian twilight zone.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, weighs in on the minimum wage debate, the ill-effect on low skilled workers, and unions’ growing involvement in minimum wage politics in the fast food industry.
Martin Hutchinson, former international merchant banker, author of Alchemists of Loss and the weekly column The Bear’s Lair, gives a global financial rundown. Hutchinson predicts Japan’s repeated failures to spend its way out of debt will provide a lesson that will be heeded by Greece and the entire EU. He also cautions against the expansive growth of regulation in the U.S.
Michael Williams, longest current member of The Drifters, discusses their breakout R&B hits of the 50s and 60s with recordings of “White Christmas” and “Save the Last Dance for Me.” Recorded around one mic, the group’s unique vibe gave it a persisting legacy
Science Fiction—Predicting and Inventing the Future
David Brin, scientist, futurist, and Hugo and Nebula Award winning author, explores how science fiction can improve the future, by helping us chart technological dangers to avoid and promising goals to pursue.
Advancing the Future of Science by Learning from Its Past
Dr. Terence Kealey, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, debunks the call for government funding of scientific research. Kealey points to the political missteps of the eugenics movement and the space race to illustrate amoral groupthink and economic waste.
Long Island family business owner and civil forfeiture victim Jeff Hirsch and his Institute for Justice attorney, Larry Salzman, discuss how the local police teamed up with the IRS to seize $447,000 from the Hirsch business bank account—without so much as charging Hirsch with a crime. Two years on, the police have yet to file charges or return the money. Salzman details the rampant abuse of civil forfeiture laws nationwide, including egregious instances of failure to follow due process in U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s district.
Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, discusses the evolution of the National Security Agency from a focus on foreign intelligence gathering to blanket spying on American citizens at home. Guliani argues that domestic surveillance has become far more intrusive than originally intended, and that the bipartisan issue of surveillance reform will continue to stay in the political fore with the new Congress and 2016 elections.
Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, who proudly dubs himself a “Seavangelist,” describes how floating communities would encourage governments to act more like companies rather than monopolies and treat citizens more like customers whose loyalty they must earn. Using the cruise industry as a model, Quirk predicts seasteading will become a reality for “aqua-preneurs” by the year 2020.
Robert Graboyes, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, likens regulatory policy of the IT and healthcare industries to a frontier and a fortress, respectively. Graboyes argues that the Food and Drug Administration’s slow-walk drug approval process creates an invisible graveyard of people who die waiting for new treatments. Instead, he proposes allowing greater innovation, as is common in IT, to create more effective, affordable care and treatment options.
Walter Williams, author, professor, free-market luminary, and the subject of the new PBS documentary Suffer No Fools waxes political on welfare, racism, labor laws, and the modern American spirit of rebellion.
Tom Bevan, co-founder and Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics, weighs in on the Midterm results and lays out predictions for the current lame duck session and looks ahead to the 2016 presidential contest.
Jay Richards, Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute and co-author of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot, discusses J.R.R. Tolkien’s political philosophy as the underlying backstory in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, from his discussions of just war and the nature of good and evil to the all seeing-eye and the symbolism of The Ring.
Rick Green, entrepreneur and Chairman of Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, argues that better government is smaller, and explains how he seeks to engage with both allies and opponents to promote that perspective. He also tells the story of MassFiscal, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization he founded to promote transparency on Beacon Hill through its Legislative Scorecard.
“Tear Down This Wall” and the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Peter Robinson, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and host of Uncommon Knowledge, tells how he became President Reagan’s speechwriter at 26, what inspired Reagan’s famous line at the Brandenburg Gate, and the behind-the-scenes controversy over those four words.
Resistance Movements and the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, recounts stories of the anti-Communist resistance movements throughout Eastern Europe that sustained peoples’ hopes through the dark days of the Cold War and contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Victor Bevine, author and renowned Audible narrator talks about his recently published historical novel, Certainty, detailing a sting operation—approved by Franklin Roosevelt when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy—targeting homosexuals in the Navy in the aftermath of the First World War.Bevine discusses his inspiration, the culture and assumptions about homosexuality contemporary to the sting, and why it’s a little known scandal.
Tom Palmer, executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and author and editor of Peace, Love, and Liberty, discusses how we have come to live in the most peaceful period in history. He describes how and why honor cultures of the past are being replaced by dignity cultures, characterized by self-restraint, driven by commerce, and undergirded by classical liberal ideas.
Lawson Bader, president of Competitive Enterprise Institute, weighs in on a broad range of issues, including the regulatory state’s impact on economic and civil liberties, the growth of democracy worldwide, and the highest grossing film of 1984.
Louis-Vincent Gave, founding partner and CEO of Gavekal Dragonomics, provides local perspective on Hong Kong’s past, present, and future and its people’s struggle to achieve economic, civil, and political freedoms.
Michael Miller, director of Poverty, Inc., PovertyCure, and Acton Media at the Acton Institute, recounts his inspiration for his soon to be released film. In Poverty, Inc.,he makes the case for rethinking long-held foreign aid models, and to consider instead policies that cultivate entrepreneurship and institutions that enable those in need to create their own prosperity.
Bill Thomas, whiskey maven and owner of Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Bourbon in Washington, D.C., gives a short history of whiskey in the United States, from the Whiskey Rebellions of Pennsylvania and Kentucky to Prohibition to today’s thriving single malt market. Thomas talks about the lifetime of a bottled whiskey (opened vs. unopened), the difference between Scotch, Bourbon, and rye, and how to experience the full flavor of a whiskey.
World renowned chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud talks about Bar Boulud in Boston, his newest opening. Chef Daniel discusses his cuisine inspiration from the French city of Lyon, how he financed his first restaurant in New York City, and how he and his Dinex management company have built multiple award-winning, chef-focused restaurants around the world.
Zoltan Kesz, president of the Free Market Foundation in Budapest, describes his mission to educate Hungarian youth. Hungarians are fleeing their country, as the new-fascist Jobbik party has gained seats in parliament and Prime Minister Viktor Orban seeks to build an “illiberal state.”
Dr. Barbara Kolm, president of the Friedrich A. Hayek Institute and director of the Austrian Economics Center, describes the Austrian philosophy at the heart of both her organizations and why Europe must heed Austrian principles to avoid fiscal collapse.
In this live radio interview (co-hosted with Boston’s Pioneer Institute), entrepreneur and Match Education CEO Stig Leschly discusses the political challenges facing education reformers. Match Education’s success with public charter schools, graduate teacher training, and Master’s Programs in Boston is broadening the conversation on systemic school reform.
Greg Lukianoff, President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, discusses his recent Broadside, Freedom From Speech, and how that most precious freedom is threatened by the modern “care” ethic, demands for free speech zones, and trigger warnings. Instead of tolerance and discourse, he argues, institutions of higher education are encouraging victimhood.
Eminent Domain—Despotic Power for the Public Good?
Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Bob McNamara describes one of the most astonishing eminent domain abuses in recent years, his case in Atlantic City, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority vs. Charlie Birnbaum. Despite the multi-billion dollar Revel Casino's recent bankruptcy, New Jersey's CRDA continues its suit to seize Birnbaum’s family home for a supposed public use that has yet to be decided.
New York Post columnist Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses her recent account of an ongoing feminist rift on questions of transgender discrimination, “Scenes from the feminist implosion.” Naomi voices her concern over academia’s growing intolerance of dissent on social issues.
Emily Ekins, polling director from the Reason Foundation, discusses the recent Reason-Rupe survey of millennials, ages 18-29. The poll’s findings demonstrate a politically unaffiliated—socially liberal, fiscally conservative—generation, in favor of business, distrustful of parties, and confused by outdated political terminology defined by various -isms.
Penn State Professor Fariborz Ghadar, author of Becoming American, dispels several modern myths about immigration and warns that without reform, U.S. immigration policy will drive the next generation of tech industries across the border.
Entrepreneur Brandon Johnson, founder and president of Boston Microfluidics, discusses the self-administered STD test he is working to bring to market. The easy to use device is designed to enable sexually active individuals to both learn and demonstrate their status, reducing sexual risk, and ensuring their and their partner’s safety.
The State Experiment in Recreational Marijuana Legalization
Rob Douglas, columnist with Steamboat Today, reports from Colorado on the situation since marijuana prohibition was repealed in January this year. With 15 years exploring and preparing for legalization, the transition to legalized recreational use has been exceedingly smooth thus far, encouraging those in favor of ending the national drug war.
Alex Pollock, former President and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses the cyclical nature of financial crises and how legislative solutions claiming to “fix the problem forever” only perpetuate the next crisis.
Todd Zywicki, law professor at George Mason University and co-author of the recently published Consumer Credit and The American Economy, discusses misconceptions about Americans’ overuse of credit and how regulations meant to guard against abuse by creditors hurt consumers.
Pamela Ronald, University of California, Davis Professor of Plant Pathology and author of Tomorrow's Table, talks about the many uses of genetic modifications of plants. Genetically modified foods today are saving lives in developing countries with vitamin enrichment, flood, and insect resistance—complementing, rather than replacing organic farming practices.
Martha Boneta, an organic farmer from Paris, Virginia, tells how zoning regulators and local elected officials turned her idyllic dream into a long-running bureaucratic nightmare, after they shut her down for … throwing a birthday party for 10-year-olds. After more than a year in court, she's emerged successful with the bipartisan Boneta Bill, which encourages sustainable small family farming, passing in both house of the Virginia legislature.
Jeff Frazee, founder of Young Americans for Liberty—the fastest growing political activist group on campus, talks about his introduction to libertarianism in college, his job and affinity for Ron Paul, and how he started YAL with little other than Dr. Paul’s endorsement.
Sam Kazman, General Counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, highlights the two recent circuit court decisions in Obamacare cases regarding the insurance exchange subsidies. He discusses implications of the conflicting rulings and the possibility of the Supreme Court’s involvement in deciding the fate of Obamacare.
Frank Buckley, author of The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America, discusses numerous virtues of the parliamentary system and how the Founders intended Congress to more closely reflect that system. However, instead of the legislative as the dominant branch of government, increasing executive overreach seems to be the pattern of recent presidencies.
John Papola, CEO of Emergent Order, producer of the acclaimed “Keynes vs. Hayek” rap videos, and creator of the anti-corporate welfare Web cartoon series “The Kronies,” discusses his journey from cable programming at Spike TV to independent filmmaking and how he has integrated his passion for economics into film with success.
Michael Pack, President of Manifold Productions and a former Senior Vice President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, discusses the power of narrative and relates examples from his latest films, including the launch of the Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, and how George Washington’s charisma helped define his presidency and his impact on our new nation.
Dr. Alain Hakim, Lebanon’s Minister of Economy and Trade, compares the country’s Palestinian refugee crisis of the 1960s and its lasting effects to its Syrian refugee population today and offers proposals for reform.
Ghassan Moukheiber, Lebanese Member of Parliament, describes Lebanon’s complex history of conflict and 15 years of evolving civil war. Considered a confederated pluralist democracy along confessional religious lines, Lebanon continues to struggle to balance its tradition of theocracy and secularist constitutional framework.
Bad Science—Increasing Retractions Mark Misconduct
Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the academic watchdog Retraction Watch, professor of medical journalism at New York University, and global editorial director of the medical news site MedPage Today, discusses the trend of increasing fraud, falsification, and plagiarism in the scientific community and the disincentives to retracting bad science reporting.
Tom Stossel, MD, Director of Translational Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine, talks about the artificial, government-driven divide between academics and the medical and drug industries, enforced by the threat of prosecutorial extortion and debarment.
Tom Leppert, former mayor of Dallas and CEO of Kaplan Inc., discusses Kaplan’s career colleges, how they serve largely at-risk communities, and their success rates with graduation and career placement compared to those of traditional institutions. Leppert discusses why proposed rules like the Department of Education’s gainful employment regulation unfairly target for-profit schools and will eliminate access to education for those in greatest need.
Bob Metcalfe, University of Texas at Austin Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise, provides his take on the classic success story of the Internet since its birth in 1969. Metcalfe discusses his contributions in founding 3Com and inventing the Ethernet, his enduring love of startups, and his commitment to help Austin surpass Silicon Valley.
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (“Kennedy”), host of The Independents on Fox Business and former Los Angeles radio disc jockey and MTV VJ, shares stories about her colorful media career, her out-of-sync politics, and journey of self-discovery.
John Tierney, longtime New York Times columnist, science writer, co-author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, and winner of the 2014 Julian L. Simon Memorial Award, discusses how his mentor, the prize’s famous humanist and namesake, inspired his career path to challenge the preachers of doom’s stranglehold on popular media.
Norwegian Air: Fighting Congress for Customers and Affordable Transatlantic Travel
Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Air, recounts how since he took over the near bankrupt airline, essentially by happenstance, two decades ago, and how the company has grown into a competitive global fleet carrier. Kjos, who prioritizes customers and efficiency, has proposed offering flights between the U.S. and Europe for under $500, but has been stalled by pushback from unions and Congress.
Uber: The New Transportation Technology Everybody Loves. . . Except Politicians
Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager for Uber East Coast, tells the ride sharing company’s story from its early days in 2010. She notes that while Uber’s transportation model has been met with overwhelming support from both customers and drivers, politicians continue to respond to the interests of outmoded taxi cartels.
Brink Lindsey, Vice President for Research at Cato Institute, comments on the prospect and viability of Ralph Nader’s recent push for a transpartisan coalition to combat crony capitalism. Lindsey finds the problem of unchecked power a strong unifying force and, while he points out some major differences, commends Nader’s efforts to fuse an outsider insurgency of progressives and libertarians.
Ralph Nader, former Presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate, discusses his new book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, in which he calls for progressives, conservatives, and libertarians to unite against what he perceives as a common enemy: Washington’s culture of rent-seeking. While continuing his push against corporate power, Nader finds existing points of agreement across the political spectrum.
On Reform—from Prohibition to Labor to Immigration
Linda Chavez, author, activist, columnist, radio talk show host, and founder of the Center for Equal Opportunity and the Becoming American Institute, discusses her storied career—including serving in the Reagan White House—and her experience with the changing political landscape, from labor unions to immigration.
Christina Hoff Sommers, former philosophy professor and host of the video blog, The Factual Feminist, recounts the rivalrous history of the feminist movement—from Mary Wollstonecraft’s egalitarian feminism and Hannah More’s maternal feminism to Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique and Phyllis Schlafly’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. She advocates for transcending those rivalries in favor of a modern coalition of forces.
On Innovation—Defending Innovation on the Political Battlefield
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), recounts some of the political and legal struggles over technology policy he’s fought during his 30-year career at CEA—from the “Magna Carta” decision affirming the legality of VCRs to today’s innovation wars over copyright, net neutrality, and spectrum allocation.
On Innovation—How Information Technology was Born Free and Why It Should Remain So
Adam Thierer, author of Permissionless Innovation, posits that America’s success in technological progress—and the best path forward—lies in allowing experimentation, rather than curtailing it for fear of risk, otherwise known as the Precautionary Principle.
Runaway Government—The Spectacle of Homeland Security’s Raid on Gibson Guitar
Henry Juszkiewicz, President of Gibson Guitar since 1986, discusses how he turned around the iconic guitar company and his response to the federal government’s surprise armed raid, nearly destroying Gibson’s business and landing him in jail on the pretext of alleged technical import violations.
Runaway Government—How Prosecutorial Overreach Runs Roughshod over Civil Liberties
Harvey Silverglate, Boston lawyer, activist, civil liberties advocate, and author of Three Felonies a Day, warns against the increase in federal criminal prosecutions and the risk of being railroaded into plea-bargained guilty pleas under vague and selectively enforced laws. (Photo by: Elsa Dorfman)
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes Magazine, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and author of the recently published book, TheSoft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success, discusses the consistent formula of skills, values, and culture practiced by successful companies.
Lenore Skenazy, dubbed “the world’s worst mom” and author of the book and website Free-Range Kids, discusses our culture’s obsession with risk, our tendency to “dangerize” everything, and the perils of overprotection.
Bob Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and “godfather” of the local investment and neighborhood empowerment movement, discusses why the War on Poverty has failed and which solutions to poverty actually work.
James Lacy, author of Taxifornia, hopes to encourage reform in his home state of California and other states in danger of bankruptcy due to unfunded public employee pension liabilities. Lacy attributes the ever rising tax burden to one-party rule enabled by union political donations.
A Comprehensive Look at the Hidden Tax of Regulation
Wayne Crews, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the recently released 21st edition of Ten Thousand Commandments, CEI’s annual snapshot of the federal regulatory state, discusses his latest findings on the cost of regulations, which are often unbudgeted and untracked.
Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, discusses his proposal for a Regulatory Improvement Commission, which was recently introduced in the Senate. Modeled on the old base closing commissions, it would annually comb the Code of Federal Regulations and propose rules for repeal.
Venture Capitalist and General Partner at Foundation Medical Partners Michael Greeley walks through the entrepreneurial fervor in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He cites both the growing popularity of American cultural exports and the prospects for salvaging the country’s health care market.
Esther Dyson, former chairman of ICANN among many other accomplishments, relays her thoughts about the effects of the U.S. relinquishing control of the Internet and lays out her latest project: HICCup, a community-cultivated wellness program.
One-Size-Fits-All Education—Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders for Community College
Jim Stergios, president of Boston’s Pioneer Institute, compares the high standards of Massachusetts’ charter schools with the proposed national Common Core standards. He also discusses how a compliance-focused regime has promoted Common Core despite its lack of legislative support.
The Power of Learning from Failure—An American Success Story
Megan McArdle, journalist and author of The Up Side of Down, explains how preparing for and learning and moving on from failure are not only instrumental in achieving success, but part of the American character. She illustrates with examples from George Washington and Mark Twain to Solyndra and GM.
Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, discusses his experiences growing up in Massachusetts and how it helped propel him to fight for lower taxes for all Americans, how citizens enforce his organization’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and what we can expect during the remainder of the Obama presidency.
Robert Reich, University of California, Berkeley Professor and former Secretary of Labor, discusses his experiences growing up and in college and makes the case against tax cuts, which he blames for greater income inequality—a problem he claims can be addressed through tax hikes on the rich.
Devout humanist, Catholic priest, and social justice advocate Father Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, discusses his personal philosophical journey and the commonalities binding together Western civilization, the Christian tradition, and modern economic policy.
Cato Institute health policy expert Michael Cannon discusses how—and why—Obamacare continues to metamorphose at the administration’s whim, and how the resulting inconsistencies led to one of the most important challenges to the law, Halbig v. Sebelius.
Marian Tupy, editor of HumanProgress.org and Senior Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, introduces this new website, which culls the best resources on development, health, and progress—and illustrates the massive improvements in our global economic, social, and cultural situation, despite the doomsayers’ drumbeat.
Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future: Human Achievement
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, recounts the long, flawed history of pessimistic predictions and invites us to examine the facts behind our inexorable march of progress. To illustrate, he describes how agriculture is supporting our growing population at an ever lower cost to the environment. As a result, human well-being and life expectancy are improving at rates previously unimaginable, notwithstanding man-made disasters like biofuel policy.
Sameer Al Ansari, a chartered accountant and former CFO for the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and one of the few Dubai immigrants to receive UAE citizenship, discusses the history and his experience with the development of the financial center in the desert.
Walid Daniel, Managing Director of SPAN-Group, a driving force in Dubai’s growth, discusses why he came to Dubai from Lebanon to start a warehouse services and management firm, recounting some of the many ways Dubai’s enlightened economic and regulatory policies have encouraged growth.
Private Company Enables Widespread Government Transparency
Zac Bookman, Co-founder and CEO of OpenGov, explains how his citizen-friendly web platform is making government budgets, tax, and spending data accessible online, and why politicians and municipal managers are taking to it eagerly.
Have we moved beyond consensus to embrace true media diversity?
Mike Gonzalez, vice president of communications for the Heritage Foundation and author of the study, “The New Contras: Understanding the Left's Grip On Media,” responds to recommendations, such as those in the Brookings study, to restore control of the media to editorial elites.
Breaking the Mold—A Practical Alternative to College
Isaac Morehouse, founder of Praxis, a recently launched educational program for entrepreneurial young adults, discusses his firm’s novel approach, which combines a real-world education working for a start-up with an intensive online curriculum that can either complement or be an alternative for college.
Education Entrepreneur is Remaking Education at All Levels
Jeff Sandefer, co-founder of Acton Academy, explains how his academy’s Socratic teaching methods are empowering students to take charge of their own education, giving them the tools to learn to do, learn to be, and learn to know.
New Economic Era Demands Response from Millennial Generation
Bentley University President Gloria Larson introduces the PreparedU project at Bentley University in Massachusetts, a program developed in response to the global economic crisis and the new challenges Millennials are facing.
Stephen Moore, formerly a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board joined the Heritage Foundation as Chief Economist last month. He talks about his hopes for effecting policy change in Washington and the issues he will be tackling in his new capacity.
Why Society Is Better Off Tolerating Rather than Prohibiting Offensive Speech
Jonathan Rauch, author of Kindly Inquisitors, a seminal work on free speech and a persuasive response to political correctness, discusses why a free and liberal society does well to encourage disagreement.
TigerDirect, the online computer giant, is the latest retailer to accept Bitcoin. Director of Corporate Marketing Steven Leeds tells how TigerDirect expects to reap the benefits of this leading edge exchange technology.
Michael Strong, a pioneer in education and learning, chief visionary officer of Freedom Lights Our World (FLOW), and Chairman of Elevator Cities Development, Inc., tells how the LEAP Zones (legal, economic, administrative and political jurisdictions) in Honduras will allow impoverished areas to turn themselves into thriving commercial communities.
Courting Citizen Satisfaction, Averting Municipal Bankruptcy
Oliver Porter, a principal at PPP Associates and author of The Contract City, discusses the latest revolution in municipal government. Hear how American states are adopting Contract Cities, a new way of doing government business that has seen successful in Georgia and Japan.
Jonathan Downey is the co-founder and CEO of Airware, a startup that develops platforms and operating systems for unmanned commercial aircraft. In this segment, he lays out an exciting future for drones well beyond military applications, as well as the prospects for US adoption of enabling regulations.
80 years later, still working to recover from Prohibition
Fellow in Consumer Policy Studies Michelle Minton talks about the alcohol industry's struggle to repeal far-outdated Prohibition era laws. The latest opportunity was proposed by Rep. Tobash (R, Pennsylvania) earlier this year, freeing brewers from lifetime distribution contracts and encouraging competition.
Bill Frezza is a 40-year veteran of the technology industry. After graduating from MIT with training in both science and engineering, Bill spent his early years at Bell Laboratories; he has since worked as a product manager, salesman, marketer, entrepreneur, consultant, technology evangelist, and venture capitalist. Bill holds seven patents and has been investing in early-stage tech startups for the last 16 years as a partner in a venture capital firm. He's been a columnist for publications such as RealClearMarkets.com, the Huffington Post and Bio-IT World and has appeared regularly on TV and radio outlets including CNBC, Fox Business and WBAL. Bill has been a frequent public speaker for over 20 years, complementing his experience in business and media. In 2011 Bill was a finalist for the Hoiles Prize for excellence in American journalism and in October 2013, Bill was awarded the twentieth Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship.
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