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.
John and Glenn express their outrage at the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. They consider the intersection of violent crime, stereotyping, and “stop and frisk” policies. Glenn explores possible reasons for higher rates of violence in black communities and extols the benefits of organized black protest against police brutality in the wake of this tragedy. John and Glenn liken the Trayvon Martin killing of 2012 to the Emmett Till lynching of 1955. John admits that this case helps him better understand the 1992 LA riots, while Glenn offers a potentially more effective alternative than civil disorder to help the black poor.
Glenn and Reihan discuss two policy debates: the economics of higher education and the wisdom of the auto bailouts. Reihan criticizes the “college cartel.” What’s driving the incredible increase in the cost of higher education? Glenn wonders whether selective colleges and universities don’t serve a useful role in bringing bright young people together. Reihan summarizes his “too big to fail” objections to the Detroit bailouts. Glenn invokes the “Samaritan’s Dilemma,” and wonders if objecting to bailouts can ever be a viable political strategy.
Mark and Glenn start off by recalling Harvard’s Kennedy School in 1980s, where they both came to know James Q. Wilson. Mark says liberals got the crime question wrong, while Glenn urges that “crime” be placed in broad political perspective. Glenn asks why the US imprisons so many—could the answer be American democracy? Glenn and Mark argue the merits of the new parole supervision policy reflected in Project HOPE. They close with a heated debate on crime, human nature, and Wilson’s legacy.
Glenn Loury interviews Gershom Gorenberg about his book, The Unmaking of Israel. Glenn asks whether the real problem is that the Israeli state is ethnic, not that it’s religious. Would empowering Arab Israelis be a smart move for Zionists? Gershom describes how government officials aided and abetted illegal settlers, and how lawlessness emerged. Are ultra-Orthodox Jews dependent on government largesse? Gershom closes on an optimistic note.