Glenn Loury invites guests from the worlds of academia, journalism and public affairs to share their insights on the economic, political and social issues of the day.
On The Glenn Show, Mark talks about his work helping the state of Washington to legalize marijuana. Mark explains why marijuana sales clerks might need pharmacological training. Glenn is skeptical that the state needs to control the amount of the drug sold by a firm, but Mark is more worried that a few companies will grow like weeds to become Big Pot, and hopes that smart regulation can nip it in the bud. Mark says the state might still have to do drug busts. Finally, they consider how much money Washington will be able to raise by taxing marijuana.
On The Glenn Show, Mark talks about his new book Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea. Mark explains why the austerity craze pisses him off. Glenn asks Mark how to define austerity, which leads to a discussion of who’s really responsible for the national debt and how to talk about government fiscal consolidation. Mark provides a brief intellectual history of the austerity idea. The two end with a discussion of the current sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the failures of austerity policies there.
On a special live edition of The Glenn Show, David moderates a discussion with the Glenns, father and son. Glenn shares some family history, and Glenn II shares the story of how he came out to his parents. They consider the morality of homosexual conduct and the growing support for same-sex marriage, including the effect of personal ties on changing minds. Glenn II explains why his support of gay marriage has deepened recently. David argues that, for the sake of marriage, we must leave the culture war behind. Why is marriage declining in the general population? Should children be taught that marriage is the way to escape poverty? Finally, the three debate the comparison between the civil rights movement and the current struggle for same-sex marriage.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John continue their debate about affirmative action. Glenn points out areas outside of academia where he thinks affirmative action would be appropriate. They debate the use of employment tests that show a disparate racial impact. Glenn uses his own graduate economics program as an example of how standards can be revised, not lowered, to promote diversity. Do opponents of affirmative action overvalue qualification? John quotes Zora Neale Hurston, who said that blacks must compete even if the game is rigged. They close by examining whether efforts to lower the black crime rate are a kind of affirmative action.
On The Glenn Show, the topic is affirmative action. Glenn fears the Supreme Court will issue a broad anti-affirmative action ruling. Does the kind of indirect affirmative action practiced by Texas’s top 10% system do more harm than good? John and Glenn debate whether affirmative action’s time has simply passed. Glenn challenges John on whether hiring preferences for women should be done away with as well. John cites his biracial daughter as someone who should not receive affirmative action. They close by discussing class-based affirmative action and the mismatch hypothesis.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Corey consider how gay marriage moved from an abstract rights issue to a mainstream political cause. Does equal protection under the law provide a constitutional basis for marriage equality? Do African-Americans and the LGBT community face analogous levels of discrimination? Is there any rational basis for banning gay marriage? Glenn argues that gay people have experienced prejudice, but nothing analogous to the history of slavery.
On a special in-person edition of The Glenn Show, Glenn and Bruce enjoy some libations while discussing crime and punishment. How did America become such an outlier on imprisonment? Is race the answer? Bruce argues that poverty, not profiling, is key. They examine what exactly race is, with reference to poor whites in Boston, the Roma, and Pulp Fiction. Bruce argues that in the case of most urban crime, what’s violent isn’t the person, it’s the situation—and that the “tough on crime” movement just doesn’t get it. They close by casting a critical eye on the criminology work of Mark Kleiman and the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policing.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Harold, inspired by a recent NPR series, discuss the startling rise in the number of Americans on disability insurance. They ponder the best way to define disability, and use the parable of the “dog bone economy” to examine the position of marginal workers. How should Medicare deal with the divergence in longevity between rich and poor? Glenn offers a libertarian rebuttal to Harold’s arguments about the moral claims of less productive members of society. Finally, they examine the retirement savings mess and explain why you probably shouldn’t listen to your investment adviser.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John discuss how they spent their spring breaks away from campus. John reviews his trip to Germany for a conference on creole languages. Glenn gives a report on his journey to Australia, where he discussed incarceration and social policy with academics and government officials. The two complain about the trouble with talkative but boring seatmates on long flights. Glenn discusses the fiction of Yoko Ogawa and Junot Diaz. John recalls his years at Rutgers, and reports on his experience in California giving a TED Talk.
On The Glenn Show, Larry makes the case that government debt is much worse than you realize, and says Paul Krugman is suffering from “deficit delusion.” He argues that we’re making a serious error by not using the “infinite horizon” to calculate the fiscal gap. Larry contends that he’s not making a conservative argument, but instead is defending the interests of future generations of Americans. Glenn and Larry discuss two delusions—those of supply-siders and demand-siders. Finally, Larry warns that the monetary policy pursued by Ben Bernanke will lead to hyperinflation.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Harold discuss crime in Chicago. Harold explains why more guns means more dead bodies, and why he can feel some sympathy for George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer. They discuss the difficulty of seeing people—young black men, in particular—as individuals. Are “family values” at least part of the answer to inner-city crime? Glenn and Harold deliver a harsh critique of Kevin Williamson’s recent National Review essay on Chicago. Finally, can literature help bridge cultural divides in America?
On The Glenn Show, John and Glenn discuss the role and responsibilities of black intellectuals. John stresses the importance of blacks doing intellectual work that is unrelated to race, and Glenn laments that blacks remain burdened with the need to dispel racial stereotypes. They consider the question of intellectual diversity, especially when it comes to black conservatives. John regrets the black intellectual emphasis on social justice, and Glenn confesses that he sometimes longs to be free of this particular “black man’s burden.” The two then debate whether black intellectuals have given a pass to Obama’s national security policies. They conclude by assessing the recent public activism of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.