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.
Looking back on their last diavlog, Glenn apologizes for having been rude and Harold apologizes for calling Barry Goldwater bigoted. Glenn reports on his recent trip to Nepal and the intense debate there over affirmative action. They discuss the difficulty in moving from a caste-based system towards equality and national reconciliation, and recall when whites were the sole recipients of political patronage and racial preferences in America. Harold criticizes Romney’s remarks in Israel about Palestinian backwardness. If the Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action, how will elite liberal universities respond? Harold closes by talking about the policy implications of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Harold discuss Romney’s speech to the NAACP. They debate whether Romney should have acknowledged past Republican racism. Was Obama’s race a help or a hindrance in his march to the White House in 2008? Harold and Glenn disagree about whether opposition to the civil rights laws of the 1960s was primarily motivated by racism. Glenn declares that the “black community” does not have a common political mind, and Harold and Glenn lament that there is not more competition from both parties for the black vote. They debate whether the current push for voter ID laws is anti-black. They close by connecting affirmative action in Nepal to reducing violence in Chicago.
Louis Putterman joins Glenn to discuss his new book, The Good, the Bad, and the Economy. Louis explains what China’s experience of Maoism and capitalism tells us about human nature. He describes recent experimental work that shows the limits of the selfish-rational-actor model, noting that human beings are social animals with motivations that are more complicated, and more interesting, than the rational pursuit of self-interest. Glenn and Louis explain the irrational side of reciprocity. Louis reviews his research linking the strength of a nation’s institutions with how much its citizens trust each other. They draw some surprising conclusions from South Korea’s “cram schools.” They conclude by speculating that the emergence of the norm favoring gender equality may be an instance where egalitarian human values are winning out over human nature.
Glenn and John discuss their weariness with being spokesmen on the “race” issue in America. John anticipates more demand for such “race talk” in the coming year, with affirmative action and voting rights cases coming before the Supreme Court. John invites Glenn to reminisce about “race talk” in the 1990s, and Glenn laments that this was when neoconservatives became just plain conservatives. They discuss being the only black person in a room full of conservatives, and Glenn recalls why he once apologized to Jesse Jackson. John explains why he’s tired of speaking about race before largely white audiences. Glenn and John discuss stop-and-frisk policing and voting rights from their “weary with race” perspectives. Glenn declares his solution to being trapped in the ghetto of racial commentary: he’s going global.
Glenn and Harold discuss the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. Harold objects to viewing it in terms of the political horse race, but Glenn disagrees. They debate the extent to which Obamacare is a triumph for social justice. Harold the liberal praises Justice Roberts’s “conservative ruling.” Regarding the law’s Medicaid expansion, Glenn and Harold discuss the latitude that states should be allowed under our system of federalism. They debate whether the judicial vetting of the law was a waste of valuable time. Harold wonders why the Tea Party has been so much more effective than Occupy Wall Street. Casting consistency aside, Glenn defends Bain Capital while objecting to the financial bailout of 2009.