Who Is Transit For? Randal O'Toole on Bay Area Planners

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 Why the seeming obsession over this outdated technology?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.

Farming Subsidies

In this episode, Bob is joined by Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute to cover farm subsidies and agricultural price supports.  This is a huge federal budget item and ripe for total elimination.  It is important economically but difficult politically.  Let’s get rid of ethanol and sugar subsidies and all wealth transfers from lower income food buyers to middle and upper income farmers; from city dwellers and suburbanites to what is left of American Gothic.  Bring back free market pricing.

Truth in Advertising

As the FTC cracks down on online ads; Bob wonders why more regulations need to be put in place to protect consumers who are perfectly capable of making decisions about purchases that are right for them. Let’s end expensive and unnecessary government oversight and wipe out nannies once and for all. The Cato Institute’s scholar Jim Harper joins Bob to discuss this topic.