Fireside Chats is a regular conversation from the Roosevelt Institute that explores the issues that can shape a New Deal for the 21st century.
On Fireside Chats, Ellen and Michelle discuss the GOP’s “war on women” and its implications for the elections. Are Romney’s recent comments on contraception a game changer? Ellen argues that contraception is critical to women’s economic well-being. Should the left thank Republicans for sparking a backlash? Michelle points to states like Texas that are eliminating healthcare for poor women. They close with a discussion of the importance of Planned Parenthood.
On Fireside Chats, Mark talks with Eric Liu, co-author of the new book The Gardens of Democracy. Eric explains how the best way to think about our economy isn’t as a giant machine, but rather as a garden—that is, a complex adaptive system. Mark asks whether Eric’s view of inequality is really very different from the consensus among liberals. Eric responds to Mark’s critique of the book’s proposal that government should focus on more on the goals it wants to achieve and less on how to achieve them. Eric wants a reinvigorated vision of citizenship, but is that possible when everyone thinks politics is corrupt? Finally, they discuss the myth of the wealthy job creator.
On Fireside Chats, Mike talks to Peter about the state of the left. Peter explains why Glenn Greenwald’s critique of Obama cuts deeper than Paul Krugman’s. Mike sees the Occupy movement as an opportunity for liberals to play good cop/bad cop. Are lefty home-schoolers bad for America? And is utopia a destination or a direction? Finally, Mike and Peter contemplate the future of work, with help from Marx, Keynes, and Star Trek.
On the first episode of Fireside Chats, Mark and William Voegeli, author of the book Never Enough, talk about whether liberalism sets any limits to the scope of the welfare state. Bill’s book inspires a series of provocative questions: Is health care the end of the liberal project, or are there always “more dragons to slay”? Are liberals willing to advocate higher taxes on the middle class to support the level of government they want? Can entitlements ever be cut? Finally, Bill hits Mark with an “ambush question”: is he trying to trick conservatives into joining a rigged game?