Glenn Loury invites guests from the worlds of academia, journalism and public affairs to share insights on economic, political and social issues.
Glenn and Tim talk about the problem of increasing inequality in the US, which is the subject of Tim’s new book, The Great Divergence. Tim and Glenn debate international comparisons of inequality between the US and other countries. Tim explains why some common explanations of American inequality—race, gender, and immigration—don’t hold water. He argues that education, skill-based technological change, and globalization play a much stronger role. Glenn asks about the role of unions—good for equality but, perhaps, not so good for productivity. Tim recommends a less antagonistic culture of labor-management relations as a possible antidote to rising inequality.
This week on The Glenn Show, the topic is political correctness. Amy and Glenn agree that it’s a problem, and Amy stresses its bad affects in the university. Glenn asks what’s wrong with ostracizing people who incite bigotry or hurt the feelings of others with their words. Amy illustrates her argument with the example of “food deserts.” Glenn’s concerns reach far beyond the college campus—he stresses that there’s PC on both left and right. Even if some professors are politically biased, won’t accurate research and data ultimately win out? And is political correctness the weapon of the weak or the intellectually lazy?
This week on The Glenn Show, John and Glenn talk about their personal and professional lives. Have professors abandoned engaging with the broader intellectual world? John announces his new position at Columbia University and Glenn explains why he so loves teaching at a place like Brown. John and Glenn make the case against political correctness in the classroom. John waxes eloquent about the joys and sorrows of fatherhood. Glenn relates his existential crisis in the wake of his wife’s recent death, and John gives him some sage advice.
On The Glenn Slow, David argues that the fight against economic inequality should move beyond taxing the rich—excessive executive compensation and restricted admissions at elite colleges contribute to the problem as well. Glenn wonders why the US is so averse to raising anyone’s taxes and notes that he sees nothing necessarily unfair or inefficient in economic rents. David and Glenn discuss how unions can promote inequality within the working class. They debate whether elite colleges are artificially limiting the number of highly trained graduates, thereby enhancing inequality. They end on a point of agreement about the moral imperative and political difficulty of achieving genuine equality of opportunity.