Environmental quality has been a major public concern since the first Earth Day in 1970, yet the maze of environmental regulations enacted since has fostered huge government bureaucracies better known for waste and failure than for innovation and success.
For millennia, farmers all over the world have bred crops for their resistance to disease, productivity, and nutritional value. Today, few topics have the power to inspire as much international furor and misinformation as the development and distribution of genetically altered foods.
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.
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
Filmed before a live audience on April 18, 2002, renowned author Gore Vidal rejects the blind patriotism expected by government officials and the mainstream media, and investigates U.S. foreign policy throughout recent history, showing how it has contributed to the terrorist crisis. With his famous wit and insight, Vidal also demonstrates the ways in which the War on Terrorism is being used to curtail civil liberties and shred the Bill of Rights.
Is global warming real, imminent, and a threat to human life? Have such predictions been established scientifically? The proposed Global Climate Treaty calls for extensive government controls to reduce fossil fuel use. Yet, there is no scientific consensus to support global-warming pessimism. Would the proposed massive 'carbon' taxes and other controls put our society- especially those most disadvantaged- at great risk? Based on his widely acclaimed book, renowned astrophysicist Fred Singer will separate fact from fiction in this raging global warming debate.
S. Fred Singer
President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
First Director, U. S. Weather Satellite Service
Author, Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate.
Walter E. Williams is one of America's best known and insightful commentators on current affairs, politics, and the economy. Millions have read his syndicated newspaper columns or heard his stints as guest host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show." In this special Independent Policy Forum, Professor Williams will examine the results governmental bureaucracies have achieved when attempting to address such problems as health, education, crime, housing, civil liberties, and transportation. His analysis will show how government today is a more of a usurper of rights than it is a protector, and that innovative, free market approaches offer the best hope of solving major social problems.