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Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society
Recorded: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

September 29, 2004

Oakland, CA

What is fundamentally wrong with government today? Since 2001, despite low inflation, federal spending has increased by a massive 28.8%, creating the largest deficits in U.S. history and the highest rate of government growth since the "guns-and-butter" presidencies of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. At the same time, federal agencies have been given new powers to secretly search anyone's property and intercept phone, Internet, and other communications, as well as inspect health and financial records. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, economist and historian Robert Higgs alone predicted this explosion of government power, as politicians have again taken full advantage of a frightened American public.

At this special Independent Policy Forum based on his new book, Against Leviathan, Dr. Higgs will present an unflinchingly critical analysis of the abuse of government power, including pork, the welfare state, protectionism, trampling on the Bill of Rights, and governmental responses to a continuing stream of "crises," including foreign wars, both hot and cold. Dr. Higgs combines an economist's analytical scrutiny, an historian's respect for the facts, and a refusal to accept the standard excuses and cruelties of government officialdom.

Robert Higgs

Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute's quarterly journal, The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy

Author, Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society

David J. Theroux

Founder and President, The Independent Institute

Experts: Robert Higgs
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Democracy, History (U.S), Political Ideology and Philosophy, Politics


Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Global Marketplace
Recorded: Wednesday, April 21, 2004

April 21, 2004

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, San Francisco, CA


Peter A. Thiel, Co-Founder, PayPal, Inc.

Daniel J. Edelman, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide

Robert W. Galvin, Chairman Emeritus, Motorola, Inc.

David J. Theroux, Founder and President, The Independent Institute

Reception and Dinner

Presentation of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award

Experts: Daniel J. Edelman, Robert W. Galvin, Peter A. Thiel
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Business, Free Market Economics


John Stossel | Confessions of a Media Maverick
Recorded: Friday, January 30, 2004

When pioneering television journalist John Stossel joined ABC-TV's "20/20" in 1981, his peers and an admiring public hailed him as a crusading consumer reporter. His hard-hitting, in-your-face exposes of con artists and corporate liars and crooks won him 19 Emmys and an avid following. But, could the use of government power and the Nanny State be the biggest scam of all?

In his new book, Give Me a Break, Stossel takes on a herd of sacred cows and examines how in the name of the "public interest," ambitious politicians and bureaucrats, intellectually lazy and opportunistic reporters, scaremongers, and predatory lawyers make life worse, especially for those most disadvantaged.

In this event John Stossel explained how his investigations of government waste, fraud and abuse; welfare for the rich; victimless crimes; self-serving interest groups; and sensationalist-media hyping (while ignoring real risks) reveal the crucial need to protect the civil and economic liberties of all people.

John Stossel, author of Give Me a Break. is co-anchor of ABC's "20/20." He also hosts ABC's "John Stossel Specials" for ABC television and radio, and In addition to having received 19 Emmy Awards, he has been honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club. Among his other awards are the George Polk Award for Outstanding Local Reporting and the George Foster Peabody Award.

David J. Theroux is Founder and President of the Independent Institute.

Experts: John Stossel
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Business, Culture/ Society, Entertainment, Free Market Economics, Government Power, Government Waste/Pork


Ivan Eland on CNN on Airport Screenings and Terror Alerts
Recorded: Monday, January 5, 2004

Ivan Eland discusses the weaknesses of the Department of Homeland Security’s terror-alert system and the effects of airport screenings in an interview with CNN.

Experts: Ivan Eland
Type: Television
Issues: Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Terrorism and National Crises, Transportation


Ivan Eland on CNN on the Color Coding Alert System
Recorded: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Ivan Eland takes a critical look at the Department of Homeland Security’s color coding terror-alert system in an interview with Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN.

Experts: Ivan Eland
Type: Television
Issues: Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Terrorism and National Crises


The Patriot Acts I & II: The New Assault on Liberty?
Recorded: Thursday, November 13, 2003

The recent unveiling of White House plans for PATRIOT Act II has raised concerns nationwide about the state of American civil liberties in a time of crisis. Since the attacks on September 11 and the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bush administration has clashed with civil libertarians over allegations of constitutional violations and the excessive use of government powers. With an expansion of the PATRIOT Act now before Congress, what do the American people stand to gain or lose from its passage? Is the increased power of law enforcement a necessary response to terrorism or a reckless assault on our constitutional protections? Please join the Independent Institute’s Center on Peace & Liberty and our panel of distinguished experts as we examine the key issues in this crucial national debate.

David Cole

Professor of Law, Georgetown University, and author of Enemy Aliensand Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security

Margaret Russell

Member, ACLU National Board, past Chair of ACLU Northern California, and Professor of Law, Santa Clara University.

James Bovard

Journalist, Policy Analyst, and Author of Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil and Lost Rights

Experts: James Bovard, David Cole, Ivan Eland, Margaret Russell
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Defense and Foreign Policy, Terrorism and National Crises


Alex Tabarrok on Organ Donors
Recorded: Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Alex Tabarrok on CSPAN’s Washington Journal discusses how to increase the amount of organs available for organ transplant surgery.

Experts: Alexander T. Tabarrok
Type: Television
Issues: Free Market Economics, Health Care