Alice Goffman on Fugitive Life in an American City

Alice Goffman is no Ivory Tower academic. The author of a harrowing new field study, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, Goffman spent the better part of a decade immersing herself in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Philadelphia. Once established, she began to study people’s lives in light of certain trends in law enforcement 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. While this struggle unfolds outside the view of most Americans, the conflicts and social ills being amplified by the modern criminal justice system should be of concern to everyone. Family members are turned against one another; children view arrest and detention as a rite of passage; and market forces show up in strange places as entrepreneurial energy is channeled into running from the law. Bob gets the inside scoop on Goffman's breathtaking research, as the two discuss the causes and consequences of institutionalized poverty.

Matt Zwolinski on Bleeding Heart Libertarianism

Though some use it disparagingly, the label of “Bleeding Heart” is worn by others as a badge of honor. This apparent contradiction only starts to make sense when you contrast the frequently damaging results of government policy motivated by the undeniably noble sentiment behind caring for the poor. Matt Zwolinski, Professor of Philosophy at University of San Diego, is out to reframe the debate through what he calls Bleeding Heart Libertarianism. On this show, you’ll find out what this means and how it applies to recurring policy debates about welfare and more. In a nutshell, Zwolinski and his co-bloggers at BleedingHeartLibertarians.com seek to validate the concepts of social justice and responsibility to the poor within the framework of free-market advocacy. Can the union of these ideas translate into a viable political agenda? Later, Bob looks at President Obama’s expansion of executive power, with the release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl. Bob also examines a new EPA rule to curb carbon dioxide emissions across the 50 states, and he looks at the effects it is likely to have on the cost of energy. Just who would these new regulations burden the most? You guessed it – the poor! Tune in to sharpen your thinking on how government can best help (or at least do the least harm) to the worst off among us.