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RealClear Radio Hour – Markets, Politics, and Women

28 Aug

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Markets, Politics, and Women

August 27, 2016

Sarah Skwire, Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund, Literary Editor of FEE.org, and poet, charts how markets have elevated and liberated women over the last century, while politics continues to disparage women—from proscriptive minimum wage laws and a tax code bias against working women to today’s rallying cries in support of Hillary Clinton based solely on gender solidarity.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Bureaucracy or Brexit?

21 Aug

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Britain’s Leave Legacy

August 20, 2016

Julian Morris, Vice President of Research at the Reason Foundation and a UK native, outlines key policies Britain must adopt to flourish post-Brexit. By liberalizing its trade policy and joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Morris argues the UK can thrive outside and alongside the EU, and that other EU member states may be encouraged to follow Britain’s route.

Julian Morris

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The Future of the Firm and Brexit

August 20, 2016

Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, channels Ronald Coase and describes the evolution of corporations as they adapt to the gig economy. A British expat, Murray shares why he remains optimistic that Britain will emerge successfully from the prisoner’s dilemma it faces vis-a-vis the EU, which it seeks to exit on favorable terms.

Iain Murray

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Food, Drug, and British Regulation

August 20, 2016

Richard Williams, Director of the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center and former director for social science at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discusses the FDA’s regulatory principles and why those who follow the precautionary principle should avoid even a single cup of coffee. Williams extrapolates these lessons to Britain’s overregulated economy and the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

Richard Williams

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FEE – Our Media-Driven Epistemological Breakdown

18 Aug

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Media’s Role in the Breakdown of Rational Epistemology

August 18, 2016

How do we know what we know? Philosophers have pondered this question from time immemorial. Julian Jaynes, in his classic book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, speculates that before the development of modern human consciousness, people believed they were informed by voices in their heads. Today, an alarming number of people are responding to voices on the Internet in similarly uncritical fashion.

As Jesuit scholar John Culkin pointed out in his seminal 1967 Saturday Review article, “A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan,” “We shape our tools and, thereafter, they shape us.” Examining history through this lens, one can identify seven great epochs in mankind’s intellectual and social evolution.  Each is characterized by the way a new technology changed not only how we think about the world, but our actual thought processes. These are:

1) Spoken language, which first led to the primacy of mythology;

2) Written language, which bequeathed to us holy books and the world’s great religions;

3) The printing press, which spread literacy to the elites who went on to birth the nation state, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the U.S. Constitution;

4) The telegraph, which transformed pamphlets and broadsheets into modern newspapers, whose agenda-setting influence goaded America to “Remember the Maine” and become an imperialist power;

5) Radio, which placed broadcast propaganda at the service of central planners, progressives, and tyrants;

6) Television, which propelled the rising tide of the counterculture, environmentalism, and globalism; and

7) The Internet, a nascent global memory machine that puts the Library of Alexandria to shame, yet fits in everyone’s pocket.

Plato's Memes

At each transition, the older environment and way of thinking does not disappear. Rather, it adopts an extreme defensive crouch as it attempts to retain power over men’s minds. It is the transition from the Age of Television to the Age of the Internet that concerns us here, as it serves up an often-toxic brew of advocacy and click-bait journalism competing to feed the masses an avalanche of unverifiable information, often immune to factual or logical refutation.

To read the rest of the column click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – Taxpayers on the Hook

14 Aug

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Ballooning Entitlement Debt

August 13, 2016

Michael Tanner, Cato Institute Senior Fellow and author of Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis, contends U.S. national debt is following the same trajectory as did Greece. Beyond the $18 trillion balance sheet debt, Tanner estimates unfunded future liabilities compound the on-the-books debt by another $70 to $140 trillion—with carrying costs poised to skyrocket when interest rates rise.

Michael Tanner

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The Beltway Crony Game

August 13, 2016

Romina Boccia, Deputy Director and Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, describes how Washington is driving corporate welfare policy. Boccia details how taxpayers foot the cronyist bill—from direct subsidies, earmarks, and pork barrel spending to hidden regulatory schemes, federal loan guarantees, and “milker” bills that threaten individuals or industries to squeeze campaign contributions.

Romina Boccia

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RealClear Radio Hour – Live from YALCON 2016

7 Aug

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Millennial Revolution

August 6, 2016

Cliff Maloney, Executive Director of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), touts Ron Paul’s political enlivening of millennial voters and inspiring of YAL’s founding. Maloney shares why campus “free speech zones” are anathema to a generation sympathetic to libertarian policy ideas and what they value in a political leader.

Cliff 2

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Kane’s Political Face

August 6, 2016

Glenn Jacobs, WWE professional wrestler known in the ring as Kane, discusses wrestling and politics. While the once-struggling wrestling business has become a multi-million dollar affair known for high-production, pioneering on-demand content, Jacobs argues that politics has turned into a low-rent sport for political elites eager to sink to new lows to gain power.

Glenn Jacobs

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FEE – One Man’s Fight against Bureaucratic Tyranny Moves On-Campus

2 Aug

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One Man’s Fight against Bureaucratic Tyranny Moves On-Campus

August 1, 2016

Beating a people into submission doesn’t happen overnight. It proceeds in stages, and requires long-term leveraging of institutions and appeals to moral authority to justify ever-increasing levels of government coercion. Fortunately, it’s not a one-way street, and there are ways to fight back.

Playing the long game against such institutions requires character, perseverance, and courage. Few exemplify these virtues as much as famed civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate, whom I interviewed for RealClear Radio Hour. You can listen to our conversation here.

Harvey Silverglate looks and sounds like a character actor straight out of central casting if you were to ask for “a rumpled New York Jewish lawyer who talks like Moses if he had gone to Harvard.” And like Moses—if he were to spend 50 years as a litigator—the fire in his belly burns undiminished. There is nothing he relishes more than a righteous fight.

Silverglate gives no quarter battling bureaucratic tyranny on two fronts—overcriminalization and campus speech restrictions.

His now-classic book, Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, lays bare the dirty tricks federal prosecutors use to railroad defendants into plea bargains without getting their day in court. These overzealous prosecutors’ weapon of choice is the growing mountain of laws and regulations emanating from Washington that turn anyone into a felon. Today, broad, loosely worded “conspiracy” and “wire-fraud” statutes serve as Uncle Sam’s equivalent of the Soviet charge of “hooliganism” used to jail dissidents.

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can use a mens rea defense to escape the consequences of her email shenanigans, others facing federal prosecution don’t have that option. Unintentionally and unknowingly breaking some vague, overly expansive, and obscure regulation can still be punished with lengthy jail terms, egregious fines, and personal ruin. Just ask Dinesh D’Souza, singled out for technical violations of campaign finance laws.

The potential for abuse is staggering. Federal prosecution is inherently selective, because the majority of the adult population would be in jail if it weren’t.

And here is where the politics come in. I asked Silverglate, given that prosecutors are human and have party affiliations, and in many cases political ambitions, how do they avoid the moral hazard of using the power of their offices to punish or intimidate political opponents? “They don’t,” he answered. “They relish the moral hazard.”

To read the rest of the column click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – Criminalizing Politics and Speech

1 Aug

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Criminalizing Politics and Speech

July 30, 2016

Harvey Silverglate, renowned civil liberties attorney and co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, scales the threat of overcriminalization, whereby unelected bureaucrats can charge individuals with crimes under a web of proliferating statutes and regulations, rogue attorneys general selectively prosecute political opponents, and institutions of higher education stifle free speech, training tomorrow’s voters to submit to bureaucratic rule.

harvey-silverglate edit

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