Did Trump’s “get tough” rhetoric at the U.N. make us more or less safe?Read More
It’s been called Friedman’s Law, and it holds almost as constant as any law of physics:
It costs any government at least twice as much to do something as it costs anyone else.
But what's to be done when some amount of government spending is inevitable? People often bring up roads and infrastructure as the counterpoint to the libertarian injunction to “privatize it!” Chris Edwards – editor of the Cato Institute’s DownsizingGovernment.org – says that infrastructure isn't quite the exception government’s cheerleaders make it out to be. In a recent policy bulletin, Who Owns U.S. Infrastructure?, Edwards shows how the Federal Government can decrease its involvement in roads, bridges, ports and dams. The majority of infrastructure is already owned and operated by the private sector, with the next largest chunk owned by state and local governments – as it should be. “Asset ownership conveys responsibility;” Edwards says, “federal intervention diffuses it.” He joins Bob to discuss the true state of U.S. infrastructure (rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated) and the hands-off policies that can accelerate the right kind of infrastructure at the right price.
- @CatoEdwards | Twitter
- Who Owns U.S. Infrastructure? By Chris Edwards, Cato Tax & Budget Bulletin, June 1, 2017
- Will Privatizing Air Traffic Control Fly? By Chris Edwards, Newsweek.com, June 6, 2017
Some viewed the fall of the Soviet Union as the beginning of “The End of History.” Today's headlines remind us that history is not over. Russia's aggressive imperialism in Ukraine and its meddling in the Middle East have put it back at center stage.Read More
With the inauguration of President-elect Trump coming later this week, citizens of the United States have developed radically divergent expectations for the next four years. Those who enthusiastically pulled the lever for Trump see a man who can “Make America Great Again” with policies prioritizing domestic interests, while many others fear that he will roll back the progressive, big-government victories of the last eight years. However, the two camps may share more in common than they realize. Both, after all, view government as a primary force to manipulate industries and individual actions to improve outcomes. Dr. Tom Palmer, executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Network, has an alternative way of looking at things. His new book, “Self Control or State Control? You Decide,” goes beyond mere ideology to questions that every thinking person should be asking. His essays (among several others featured in the book) speak to the importance of personal responsibility to freedom, and offer both a historical and practical perspective to support the central conclusion: if you seek self-determination, then you must also strive for self-control.
After campaigning on a platform to crack down on illegal immigration, President Elect Trump is now facing a tall order. In enforcing his proposed policies, he will find himself at odds with many state and local governments, which have crafted their own policies in lieu of Congress’s failure to enact immigration reform. Although the issue could be largely resolved with Bob’s preferred laissez-faire approach – to “Let Them All In” – alas, this idea is not popular with everyone. In 1994, Governor Pete Wilson acted on anxieties in the state of California to promote and pass Proposition 187 – aka the “Save Our State Initiative – which would have prevented undocumented immigrants from accessing non-emergency state services, such as public education. Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute writes that this policy (in addition to being ruled unconstitutional several years later) had the unintended consequence of turning California “Blue” (i.e., majority Democrat). Prior to 1994, the hispanic vote split roughly 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans. Afterwards, California steadily swung to the left, as the GOP came to be known as the anti-immigrant party. Alex returns to the show to explain how Republicans went astray, and to offer a history lesson on political parties that ushered their downfall through misguided nativist platforms. They will also discuss why Trump's proposed policies would be a disaster for the Republic, if they can be implemented at all. Call (424) BOB-SHOW to speak with Bob and Alex at any time during the show.
Proposition 187 Turned California Blue | Cato @ Liberty, July 20, 2016 – By Alex Nowrasteh
The recent 15th anniversary of 9/11 came and went with little ceremony, indicating that the symbolic resonance of the events may be gradually fading. For younger Americans, including some of the "millennial" generation born between 1980 and 1997, the events can hardly be remembered at all. What looms larger in millennials' minds is the War on Terror that has been waged in the wake of the attacks – the botched foreign interventions and erosion and civil liberties at home under the pretext of national security. Trevor Thrall is a professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute's Defense and Foreign Policy Department who has a particular interest in millennials' attitudes toward foreign policy. Last year, Thrall and his colleague Erik Goepner published a paper, Millennials and U.S. Foreign Policy: The next Generation’s Attitudes Toward Foreign Policy and War (and Why They Matter), exploring the impact of events that occurred in millennials' formative years on their perception of different threats and the appropriate response to them today. Does their skepticism about using force abroad mean that we are in good hands, or have the events since 9/11 led the rising generation to underestimate real threats apart from terrorism? Find out , on this week's episode of the Bob Zadek Show.
Millennials and U.S. Foreign Policy: The next Generation’s Attitudes Toward Foreign Policy and War (and Why They Matter) (Cato Institute, June 16, 2015)
Technology is rapidly changing the way law enforcement operates, and as we’ve learned from previous guests, such as Adam Bates on StingRay Surveillance, the change is not always for the better. On the other hand, the recent adoption of body cameras by a growing number of police departments would seem to increase accountability and civility in officer-civilian interactions without much of a downside. Matthew Feeney, policy analyst at the Cato Institute, says the technology – while promising – is not a panacea. The public widely supports the adoption of body cameras, but could there be a risk that new technology is getting ahead of sound policy, and putting our privacy at risk? What appears like a simple criminal justice reform turns out to have multiple complex considerations, including whether or not police can view the footage before submitting a statement. It takes a Cato analyst to explain the nuances of best practices for body cameras. Bob and Matthew discuss how we can get the best of both worlds: keeping police accountable while keeping our privacy too.
Watching the Watchmen: Best Practices for Police Body Cameras, by Matthew Feeney
Last week, Bob examined how the United States has ended up in a situation that would have frustrated the Framer's intentions, had they seen it coming. The next president will likely hold more authority than was ever supposed to be granted to a single person, by virtue of nominating the ninth judge to a sharply divided “4-4” court. Ilya Shapiro is carefully observing the political chess game around the Supreme Court nomination, and urges Senate Republicans not to hold hearings or a confirmation vote for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. Instead, he says they should wait until after a new president is elected – making the judicial pick the paramount issue in the coming election. Shapiro joins the show this Sunday to argue that “We, the People” should make the choice of who determines the make-up of the court, with so much on the line. Later, Bob will break down a new video from Learn Liberty featuring The Free Market Institute’s Benjamin Powell on the surprising truth about sweatshops and child labor laws.