Richard K. Vedder and Ken Jacobs debate whether the rise of Walmart and similar big box retailers have been beneficial or harmful to the US economy.
Richard K. Vedder is Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate, Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University. Professor Vedder is co-author (with Lowell Gallaway) of The Independent Institute book, "Out of Work," the recipient of both the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award and Mencken Award Finalist for Best Book, and the Institute monograph, Can Teachers Own Their Own Schools?
Ken Jacobs is Chair of the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center, and a former member of the Mayors Universal Health Care Council in San Francisco. He is the Co-author od Declining Job-Based Health Coverage for Working Families in California and the United States, and Hidden Costs of Wal-Mart Jobs.
David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute and Publisher of The Independent Review.
Although comedian George Carlin's infamous routine, "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV," has become outdated, today many ideas are considered too 'politically incorrect' to discuss in polite society. According to popular Los Angeles talk-radio host Larry Elder, many sacred cows- about racism and sexism, health care, welfare, education, the family, drug laws, the media, crime, gun control, and more- are soft-headed distortions that have worsened America's social problems. If "the truth shall make you free," then, says Elder, these myths need a serious reality check- before we forget what truth and freedom look like. Larry Elder discussed what's really wrong with America and how a free people, rather than an intrusive government, can fix it.
In 1989, during a large peaceful student demonstration in Beijings Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government deployed its military to massacre hundreds of unarmed students and other civilians in order to stop a growing movement for democratization and individual freedom. Since then, tens of thousands who have spoken out have been imprisoned, tortured and killed, and the government has refused to even admit that such atrocities have occurred. This special Independent Policy Forum will feature three outstanding experts, including two of the leaders of the original Chinese student movement. They will discuss the events then and since, the current movement in china for freedom, and the implications of current Chinese government policies for Americans.
With California's current economic despair, how will we get the economy out of its rut? With compelling portraits of those who defy convention to originate the products that fire a growing economy, George Gilder will deliver an ardent message: People must be free as entrepreneurs to innovate and create new wealth through market-based enterprises which benefit everyone.
More than any other nation, America has benefited from entrepreneurial freedom. But whereas in the 1980s, the "Forbes 400" of wealthiest people experienced it's biggest turnover ever, going into the 1990s, our growth and prosperity appear to have stalled.
High tax rates, regulations, and runaway liability today are stifling such progress, especially for the very poor. Chosen not by blood, credentials, education, or service to the establishment, entrepreneurs succeed by performance alone. for service to consumers. Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Steve Wozniak, Soichiro Honda, William Hewlett & David Packard, Sony's Akio Morita, and Bill Gates all began in the "skunk works" of their trades. All had to stoop to conquer, and they embody the entrepreneur whose worth is retained only through constant work and satisfying the customers.
George Glider will demonstrate how we can recapture this essential spirit of enterprise. If entrepreneurs are freed and allowed to rise up and meet the challenges of the future, America and California will once again become first by serving others.