Glenn Loury invites guests from the worlds of academia, journalism and public affairs to share insights on economic, political and social issues.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John consider what Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling reveal about how America talks about race. Did their comments merely spark “useless outrage“? Glenn wishes that black leaders would embrace a larger class-based or international perspective, and longs for a modern revival of Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. Next, they look back on John’s 2008 prediction that Obama’s presidency would improve race relations in America. What will the racial fallout be if Obama is viewed by history as a mediocre president?
On The Glenn Show, Larry explains his grave concerns about Social Security, which he calls a “bipartisan Ponzi scheme.” They dig deeper into Larry’s “astounding” numbers, and Glenn wonders why Paul Krugman isn’t on board. Larry sketches a progressive, fully-funded alternative to Social Security, but Glenn thinks it’s never going to happen.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Harold discuss Paul Krugman’s criticism of Paul Ryan’s comments on inner-city poverty. Why are welfare recipients, as opposed to Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries or bailed-out banks, characterized as “takers”? Is there such a thing as a culture of poverty? Would Ryan’s comments have been better received coming from a black congressman? They address Ta-Nehisi Coates‘s thoughts on the interplay of race, culture, and poverty. Glenn asks why poor immigrants are often able to advance more quickly than native-born African-Americans.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John discuss the charge that Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries might not be “black enough” to run that city. Glenn, remembering Obama’s early failed run against Rep. Bobby Rush in Chicago, asks what’s wrong with voters objecting to a candidate who seems inauthentic. John counters that judging candidates on superficial characteristics won’t help minority communities. Glenn contends that the gut is often as important as the mind in politics. Next: Is Spike Lee right about gentrification in Brooklyn? Can gentrification benefit both old and new neighborhood residents? Plus: Why the younger generation may not care about gentrification battles.
On The Glenn Show, Ann and Glenn reflect on Valentine’s Day and modern love. Ann is frustrated by Nancy Pelosi’s focus on gender politics. Glenn thinks Rand Paul has a point about Bill Clinton’s exploitation of women. They next discuss sexual relations in different industries and cultures. Is it imperialist to support gay rights abroad? Finally, Anne reminds us that there is no “up” or “down” in love.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John talk about the link between inequality and single parenthood—and why this is such a controversial topic to discuss. John is concerned about single women having more than one child. Do we know what to do to keep someone out of poverty? John thinks that by focusing on inequality instead of single-parent families, liberals are putting the cart before the horse. They discuss David Brooks’s recent column on inequality and Robert Reich’s harsh critique of it. Glenn emphasizes that when it comes to discussing poverty, “culture” shouldn’t be a dirty word.
On The Glenn Show: What does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean 45 years after King’s death? Glenn and Harold note King’s radicalism—and the resistance he faced—in the late ’60s. Harold says MLK’s view of political power holds lessons for today’s progressives. What would have happened if King had not been assassinated at the age of 39? Turning to current politics, Glenn and Harold debate the GOP’s campaign to pass voter ID laws. Harold laments that progressives are often bored by the levers of conventional political power, and offers King as a counterexample.
On The Glenn Show, Larry makes the case for abolishing the corporate income tax. He describes his economic model, and critiques the demand-side theories of Paul Krugman. So why should the corporate income tax be done away with? Glenn wonders whether there’s a better way to counteract the tax-rate “race to the bottom.” Larry’s argues that his plan would boost Americans’ incomes by 8%. Plus: Glenn and Larry debate whether technological change is hurting American workers.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Harold discuss their reflexive distaste for social justice bandwagons. For example, Glenn agrees that poverty is a problem, but thinks raising the minimum wage is an “intellectually impoverished” response. Harold has advice for the minimum wage activists: stick to the facts. Next, Glenn and Harold argue over the relative merits of incrementalism vs. radicalism. Harold is jarred by the discrepancy between Paul Ryan’s recent anti-poverty campaign and his proposed budget. They close by debating poverty and political correctness.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John consider the recent controversy over Santa Claus’s race. Why has this debate sparked such strange passion on both sides? They discuss what John identifies as a tendency by some African Americans to be seen as “serious black people.” Glenn counsels that blacks must strive to not let race dominate their lives, and recalls Amartya Sen’s prescription about the non-inevitability of identity. They consider how James Baldwin both exposed and embodied some of these issues. They close with what could be termed the Trayvon Martin counterargument.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Harold discuss the death of Nelson Mandela and why they weren’t more committed to anti-apartheid activism in the 1980s. Was the African National Congress’s use of violent resistance defensible in retrospect? This leads to a broader reconsideration of the Cold War and the savoriness of various regimes the US supported. Glenn argues Mandela has been sanitized and reduced in death, then applies the lessons of South Africa to Israel and Palestine. Is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank comparable to apartheid? Harold suggests that all national identities are based on forgetting, and that Mandela is admirable in this context.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn talks to Roland about education reform. How would an economist tackle the racial achievement gap? Does it work to pay kids to learn? Roland reflects on the hardest part of improving schools in New York City, and reveals the five habits of highly effective schools. Glenn asks Roland about the surprising results of his educational experiments in Houston. Finally: Have we found the solution to the problem of underperforming schools?