We moderns take pride in the fact that we no longer burn witches. But can we be so certain that we’ve emerged from the dark ages to a new enlightened state of mind? Lenore Skenazy joins the show of ideas, not attitude, Sunday, 2/11, from 8-9am PACIFIC.Read More
Reading recent headlines, one might start to think the world is unraveling at its seams. But dig beneath the surface of attention-grabbing press, and a different picture emerges. Consider a few surprising truths the media rarely reports: The cancer "epidemic" only appears as such because of longer lifespans. As countries get wealthier, they are able to afford a cleaner environment. GMOs have saved billions of lives. All three of these facts run counter to the doomsday narratives, so loved by sensationalist media and environmental-activists-in-scientists'-clothing alike. Award-winning Reason science correspondent Ronald Bailey has made it his mission to look honestly at the ecological impact of civilization, and correct the dire predictions of environmentalists which consistently fail to materialize. Bailey joined Bob for the full hour to discuss his new book, "The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century."
Freedom-lovers everywhere are lamenting the recent Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell – perhaps the final blow to the constitutional challenge to ObamaCare (or as it may soon be known, SCOTUSCare). There is a silver lining, however, in the form another recent Supreme Court decision, in Horne v. USDA, which upheld the constitutional protections of raisin growers' personal property from takings by the USDA. Baylen Linnekin is Executive Director of the Keep Food Legal Foundation, an adjunct professor at both American University and George Mason Law School, and a frequent contributor to Reason Magazine. Linnekin submitted an amicus curiae brief in the Horne case, and his arguments were mirrored in the majority opinion – authored by none other than John Roberts – arguing that the USDA cannot require raisin growers to surrender a portion of their crop for the "public purpose" of stabilizing the raisin market. The ruling is a victory to all of those cherish "the right of every American to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods of their own choosing." Bob and Baylen also look at the many ways our food freedoms are still being restricted. You won't leave hungry after this episode of the show of ideas not attitude.
Sixteen years ago, Virginia Postrel published The Future and Its Enemies, a manifesto for her personal philosophy of "dynamism." Dynamists like Postrel favor the spontaneous, evolving forces of free markets over the "stasist" philosophy common to reactionary conservatives and government technocrats. Even more than left versus right, Postrel argues, politics is a battle of the "stasists" versus the "dynamists." Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the debate over compensation for kidney donors. Postrel, the editor of Reason during most of the 1990s, is a spokesperson for a new charity, the American Living Organ Donor Fund (ALODF). She also once donated a kidney to a friend in need. But many people with failing kidneys are not as lucky as the beneficiary of Postrel's altruism. Markets and financial incentives could save the lives of thousands of wait-listed patients on dialysis, but the National Kidney Foundation has resisted even marginal reforms at every turn. Postrel will join the show to reflect on her manifesto and its relation to this vital issue.
In his new book "Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court," Reason Magazine Senior Editor Damon Root takes up a central question to our Constitution: Should the courts exercise restraint by allowing lawmakers to craft a wide range of legislation, or should they more actively defend individual rights from being overridden by majority rule? In fighting for the latter position, libertarians find themselves opposed to a long line of legal giants, from the progressive champion Oliver Wendell Holmes to conservative icon Robert Bork. Complicating matters, "judicial activism" has developed a reputation for abuse in the hands of politically-motivated judges. But in recent years, a libertarian legal movement rooted firmly in the Founders' vision of individual rights has grown to challenge the legacy of judicial restraint. Root will join Bob for the full hour this Sunday to discuss how a small "elite core of frontline fighters" has overcome the odds in numerous cases – from gun control to occupational licensing – to persuade judges to overrule government overreach.
It is clear that Obamacare (and Medicare before it) will precipitate the decline in the quality of medical care in America. It will cause talented doctors to leave the profession, reduce the number of health care professionals available to provide us with the services we have come to expect and it will ultimately give us “post office” quality medicine with “IRS quality sensitivity.” Are we ready for that? Or will Obamacare self- destruct, leaving us with a totally free market system of health care the likes of which we have not seen since before WW II? In this Sunday’s encore episode, Bob is joined by Jeff Singer: surgeon, writer and libertarian. He has seen the erosion of medicine from the inside. His Reason Magazine article titles tell it all – “How Government Killed the Medical Profession” and “The Depressing Future of American Health Care.” This is so important that Bob spends the full ninety minutes of his show with Jeff. They will tell what you don’t want to hear, but must. They even see a light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel. It will surprise you.
Everything begins in California. Fresh air comes from the Pacific Ocean and we are the first ones to foul it for the rest of the country. We were the first state to institute “right on red” as Woody Allen famously pointed out in Annie Hall. We started the tax revolution with Prop 13. We also loaded our prisons with our “three strikes law,” which puts a person in prison for life for stealing a slice of pizza. More recently, we’ve decided to build a high- speed rail from nowhere to nowhere and we’ll spend $39 million to save the delta smelt, a tiny fish that few people have ever seen. Finally, the California legislature is considering a Homeless Bill of Rights, which was not based on anything James Madison has drafted. A word of caution to non-Californians – “this could (will?) happen to you.” In this encore episode, Bob speaks to Steve Greenhut, vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity and a frequent contributor to Reason Magazine. California’s going down. Will your state be next?