From ancient times to the present, politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups have gained resources and control over the public by playing to peoples fears of various crises and by offering solutions that often only make problems worse.
For more than a century U.S. foreign policywhether conducted by Democrats or Republicanshas been based on the assumption that Americans interests are served best by intervening abroad to secure markets, fight potential enemies far from American shores, or engage in democratic nation building. But, what is the record of such policies, including now in Iraq?
What if North Korea and Iran become nuclear states? If the United States must live with a nuclear Iran and North Korea, what policies should it adopt? Furthermore, could the U.S. change its foreign policy to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation to even more countries?
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.
Wal-Marts detractors argue that Wal-Mart reduces living standards, hurts retail trade, disrupts communities, and relies on government programs to provide healthcare for many of its workers. Is Wal-Mart a force for good or evil?
Americas most provocative humorist, P. J. ORourke, has read pioneering economist Adam Smiths The Wealth of Nations, first published in 1776, so we dont have toand the results are as entertaining as they are enlightening.
To outsiders, its initials once stood for No Such Agency. To its employees, they stood for Never Say Anything. Today the public knows that the ultra-secret National Security Agency manages the nations spy satellites, but few know exactly why the NSA is the most powerful U.S. intelligence agencyor its roles in the Cold War, the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and Echelon, the worldwide NSA spying operation that, many charge, is illegally monitoring innocent citizens. No outsider knows more about the NSA than investigative journalist James Bamford, who began to research it before most members of Congress had even heard of it. In this talk, Mr. Bamford explained why he believes the NSA is a dangerous, two-edged sword.