The Power of Independent Thinking

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Drug War Crimes
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

Each year, the U.S. government spends over $30 billion on the drug war and arrests more than 1.5 million people on drug-related charges. Currently more than 318,000 people are behind bars in the U.S. for drug violations—more than the number of people incarcer-ated for all crimes in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined. Have current drug laws deterred drug abuse and reduced crime? What are the real costs of this country’s war on drugs? Is there a link between the homicide rate and the amount of resources given to drug prohibition? Please join us as Boston University economist Jeffrey Miron (author of the major new book, Drug War Crimes) and former San Jose police chief, Joseph McNamara, examine these questions and explore real alternatives to America’s “War on Drugs.”

Jeffrey A. Miron

Boston University Professor of Economics and author of the new book, Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition. His articles on Drug Policy have appeared in Social Research, Boston Globe and the London Observer. He received his Ph. D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joseph D. McNamara

Research Fellow, Hoover Institution. Former Chief of Police, San Jose, CA and Kansas City, MO. He has published articles in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications. He has been a commentator for NPR and has appeared on Meet the Press, Good Morning America, Sixty Minutes, and other programs.

Ethan A. Nadelmann

Founder and Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the War on Drugs. Dr. Nadelmann received his Ph.D. and J.D. from Harvard University and a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. His speaking and writings on drug policy have attracted international attention and appeared in Science, American Heritage, National Review, and others.

Recorded: Thu. May 6, 2004
Experts: Joseph D. McNamara, Jeffrey A. Miron, Ethan A. Nadelmann
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Crime, Criminal Justice/ Prisons, Drugs (Illicit), Government Waste/Pork, Law Enforcement

The Patriot Acts I & II: The New Assault on Liberty?
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

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

Recorded: Thu. November 13, 2003
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

John Stossel | Confessions of a Media Maverick
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

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 ABCNews.com. 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.

Recorded: Fri. January 30, 2004
Experts: John Stossel
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Business, Culture/ Society, Entertainment, Free Market Economics, Government Power, Government Waste/Pork

Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

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.

George Gilder

Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute

Author, "Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise"

David J. Theroux

Founder and President, The Independent Institute

Recorded: Thu. February 24, 1994
Experts: George F. Gilder
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Antitrust, Competition, and Monopoly, Business, Free Market Economics, Privatization

Entrepreneurship and the High Technology Revolution: Honoring David Packard
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

A luncheon to honor David Packard, co-founder of The Hewlett-Packard Company.

Recorded: Thu. June 8, 1995
Experts: William R. Hewlett, David Packard, George P. Shultz, Edwin V. Zschau
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Business, Technology

Free Markets and the Economics of Life
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

Economics is never the "dismal science" when discussed by Nobel Laureate economist Gary S. Becker and his wife, the historian Guity Nashat Becker. In this Independent Policy Forum and based on their book, The Economics of Life: From Baseball to Affirmative Action to Immigration, How Real-World Issues Affect Our Everyday Life, the Beckers will examine the "war on drugs," healthcare, education, marriage and divorce, the homeless, immigration, corporate leadership, religion, baseball, affirmative action, the minimum wage, Social Security, crime, and much more.

Recorded: Thu. March 18, 1999
Experts: Gary S. Becker, Guity Nashat Becker
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Economic Policy, Economists, Free Market Economics

Fixing America's Cities: Privatization and Community Empowerment
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

Stephen Goldsmith

Mayor, City of Indianapolis, Indiana

Author, "The Twenty-First Century City"

Recorded: Tue. April 6, 1999
Experts: Stephen Goldsmith
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Land Use, Property Rights, Regulation and Deregulation, Transportation, Urban Issues

The New Path for Africa: Establishing Free-Market Societies
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

Why has Africa, despite its rich history, cultures, and abundant resources, largely remained in the grip of dictatorship, starvation, genocide and war? How can this tragic legacy of colonialism, socialism, and plutocracy be replaced with the welfare of economic liberalization, individual rights, and the Rule of Law? Based on his new book, "Africa in Chaos," award-winning economist George Ayittey will examine the record of American statism and the revolution for free-market societies.

George B. N. Ayittey Professor of Economics, American University Author, Africa in Chaos and Africa Betrayed

David J. Theroux Founder and President, The Independent Institute

Recorded: Wed. April 28, 1999
Experts: George B. N. Ayittey
Type: Independent Institute Event
Issues: Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Defense and Foreign Policy, Economic History and Development (International), Free Market Economics