Glenn Loury invites guests from the worlds of academia, journalism and public affairs to share insights on economic, political and social issues.
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.
On a truncated edition of The Glenn Show, Glenn and Josh review Obama’s State of the Union address. Did the president bid farewell to post-partisanship? Josh lauds Obama’s efforts to help the poor, but Glenn questions the efficacy of raising the minimum wage. And were Obama’s remarks on the legality of drone warfare ultimately meaningless?
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Mark talk crime and punishment. Mark points out that few people in the larger social service world consider crime prevention to be part of their mission. They debate NYC’s “stop and frisk” policing and that city’s low homicide rate compared to Chicago. Mark reviews his research on crime prevention, where he aims to get the criminal justice system to “act like a halfway decent parent.” Mark argues that his methods, while effective, are not politically popular because they’re neither mean nor generous. Finally, Glenn challenges Mark on the moral aspects of his theory of crime reduction.
On The Glenn Show, Pat describes his work as a minister in prison. Glenn asks how Pat reconciles his support for convicts with the rights of their victims. Pat explains some of the major incarceration policy reforms he has supported. Pat explains why even sensible reforms have often been controversial to enact. What role should morality play in the political process? Glenn points out that race is also a major factor in how we think about prison populations. Finally, why did former Senator Jim Webb‘s prison reform push never gain traction?
On The Glenn Show, guest host Glenn II and David tackle the issue of marriage equality. David sees a crisis in the institution of marriage in America. Glenn and David discuss the generational divide over the public and private meanings of marriage, and explore the chicken-and-egg reasons for the declining marriage rate. Glenn asks David why he changed his mind to become a supporter of same-sex marriage. David wants conservatives to realize that family values and gay rights are not in opposition. What about the subset of gays and lesbians who are opposed to getting married? They close with a discussion of how to bring David’s conservative brethren into the fold.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn talks to Steve about his recent research on American politics. Steve explains how political parties change positions, looking specifically at conservatives’ embrace of prison reform. Is Republican leadership the only way prison reform will actually happen? Glenn and Steve debate the (de)merits of moral argument on behalf of less punitive prison policy. They next dicsuss what Steve calls “kludgeocracy“—the increasing complexity of social policies in the US, citing the Affordable Care Act as a prime example. Steve explains his concerns about the inefficiency and non-transparency of federal-state collaborations on education and Medicaid. They conclude with some reflections on Django Unchained.
On The Glenn Show, John describes the book he’s writing on how language does and doesn’t shape our view of the world. Glenn reports on the economists’ annual conference, including a caucus of African-American scholars who gathered there. John and Glenn reminisce about being declared “outcasts” by their black professional peers. Glenn remembers the work of the great and recently deceased social scientist Albert Hirschman, and they speculate on what “true loyalty” to one’s group, nation or culture might mean. Has the era of the towering public intellectual passed? They conclude by expressing their very different views about the affirmative action case pending before the Supreme Court.