In this episode, Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute joins Bob to discuss how Plan Bay Area will impact the local landscape and lives of Bay Area residents. O'Toole is equipped with the hard facts and figures that demythologize public transit, including the most romantic transportation method of all: the lofty rail. Why the seeming obsession over this outdated technology? Could the real driving force behind the fixation on rail be how well it fits in with regional planners' latest scheme for "smart growth," aka "urban densification"? As O'Toole writes, it's clear that transit has become a source of political favors to unions, downtown property owners, and rail contractors. It's less clear who else reaps the benefits.
Living with Water Scarcity - David Zetland on the Drought
Recent headlines out of California paint a picture of an all-out war against the drought. Ordinary citizens are taking to social media to shame their neighbors for watering their lawns. Governments are issuing steep fines for wasting water (however that’s defined). And now Governor Brown is calling for $7.5 billion in spending to tackle the problem of water shortages. But is all of this really necessary? Bob will try to sort this issue out with an expert who has spent years studying both economics and water scarcity in the Western United States. Read more...
Classifying Americans: Jonathan Bean on Race & Liberty in America
Every year, Americans rightly honor civil rights icons who stood up for the principle of equality enshrined in our founding documents. Few are aware, though, of the ties between the civil rights tradition and the principles of classical liberalism. In Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader, Jonathan Bean has compiled an anthology of primary documents by both well-known leaders like Frederick Douglass and unsung heroes like individualist and abolitionist Lysander Spooner, Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey, and others who helped strip government of the ability to discriminate on the basis of race.
Derek Khanna - What's Stifling Innovation
Back in April, Bob interviewed Ed Hudgins about The Republican Party’s Civil War, in which Hudgins urged Republicans to emphasize the value of “modernist achievers”—those who disrupt status quo industries and demonstrate what free individuals can accomplish. Derek Khanna is one of the youngest yet most influential thinkers leading the charge on the innovation front in Washington. He regularly writes on disruptive innovation for Forbes.com, and recently had his article, "The Party of Innovation," featured on the cover of The American Conservative. The piece argued for common sense free-market reform in technology policy, and in the broader conservative movement. If his ideas are any indication of a trend, there may still be hope for Republicans to become known as the party of dynamism and innovation.
Thriving in a Low-Growth, High-Tax Future
Conventional wisdom extols the virtues of investing in mutual funds and maximizing 401(k) contributions. Based on the size of the industry that exists to guide these decisions, one would assume there is value in the myriad options given to workers for deferred compensation. But not all savings plans are created equal, says Terry Allen, the serial entrepreneur behind 20 business ventures and the author of Coffee Can Investing: A Better Idea than Mutual Funds in an IRA or 401(k).
*The Reckoning*: Jacob Soll on Accounting and Accountability
Double-entry bookkeeping hardly has a reputation for excitement—indeed, many don't even know what it means. Is modern civilization in trouble due to the public ignorance of accounting? Jacob Soll, Professor of history and accounting at the University of Southern California, has demolished the boring accountant stereotype in his new book, "The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations," a riveting new book about how accounting changed the world.
United Iraq Falls
The debate over the United States’ exit from Iraq is back, with the new wave of violence after a brief (relative) calm. Clearly, the vision of a peaceful, unified, and democratic Iraq has not worked out as proponents of the invasion hoped. But could this relapse have been avoided if we had only stayed longer? Not according to Ivan Eland, Director of the Independent Institute’s Center for Peace & Liberty.
A Witness to Tyranny
For decades, the North Korean regime has kept its oppressive rule hidden from the rest of the world. But slowly, the truth has been emerging, as defectors like Yeonmi Park have lived to tell the stories about their escape, and the lives they left behind. Yet in spite of the horror, there are rays of hope as markets inevitably work their way into the social fabric. Bob will speak with Yeonmi about her previous life, as one of the rising "black market generation" that is experiencing the power of spontaneous voluntary cooperation.
Alice Goffman on Fugitive Life in an American City
Alice Goffman is no Ivory Tower academic. The author of a new field study, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, Goffman spent six years immersed in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Philadelphia. She studied people’s lives there in light of law enforcement trends that are shattering communities with deep existing fractures. New quotas for certain kinds of arrests, combined with increasingly efficient methods of policing the drug war, have set the stage for a real-life drama that rivals Shakespeare's darkest tragedies.
The Welfare State: Helping or Hurting?
A term of derision to the Right, "Bleeding Heart Liberal" is considered by many on the left to be a badge of honor. Could it be that the sentiment is justified, while the means chosen by those identifying with it actually do harm the intended beneficiaries? Matt Zwolinski, Professor of Philosophy at University San Diego, is a self-described Bleeding Heart Libertarian. Find out what this means on this Sunday's show!
A Conservative on Broadway?
One year ago, actor and director David Marcus wrote a piece for Narrative.ly on what it’s like to be openly conservative in the hyper-liberal realm of the arts. Having never been “blacklisted” himself, Marcus encouraged other conservative artists to follow his lead. Within six months of the article’s publication, news emerged about an who actress was pressured into resigning from a San Francisco theater production for vocalizing her conservative views. Read more...
The Sharing Economy: A Revolution in Free Exchange
In most sectors of the economy, regulation is an inevitable hurdle to doing business. Certain Internet-based businesses, however, have been left alone for long enough to flourish in the hands of enterprising individuals. Read More...
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Bob Zadek reviews current events from a purely Libertarian perspective. Small, unobtrusive government. Limited federal powers, with far more power vested in.
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Bob Zadek reviews current events from a purely Libertarian perspective. Small government • Limited federal powers • Protection of property rights • An end to victimless crimes • Personal responsibility. View the bio