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, John and Glenn discuss the role and responsibilities of black intellectuals. John stresses the importance of blacks doing intellectual work that is unrelated to race, and Glenn laments that blacks remain burdened with the need to dispel racial stereotypes. They consider the question of intellectual diversity, especially when it comes to black conservatives. John regrets the black intellectual emphasis on social justice, and Glenn confesses that he sometimes longs to be free of this particular “black man’s burden.” The two then debate whether black intellectuals have given a pass to Obama’s national security policies. They conclude by assessing the recent public activism of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.
On a truncated edition of The Glenn Show, Glenn and Josh review Obama’s State of the Union address. Did the president bid farewell to post-partisanship? Josh lauds Obama’s efforts to help the poor, but Glenn questions the efficacy of raising the minimum wage. And were Obama’s remarks on the legality of drone warfare ultimately meaningless?
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Mark talk crime and punishment. Mark points out that few people in the larger social service world consider crime prevention to be part of their mission. They debate NYC’s “stop and frisk” policing and that city’s low homicide rate compared to Chicago. Mark reviews his research on crime prevention, where he aims to get the criminal justice system to “act like a halfway decent parent.” Mark argues that his methods, while effective, are not politically popular because they’re neither mean nor generous. Finally, Glenn challenges Mark on the moral aspects of his theory of crime reduction.
On The Glenn Show, Pat describes his work as a minister in prison. Glenn asks how Pat reconciles his support for convicts with the rights of their victims. Pat explains some of the major incarceration policy reforms he has supported. Pat explains why even sensible reforms have often been controversial to enact. What role should morality play in the political process? Glenn points out that race is also a major factor in how we think about prison populations. Finally, why did former Senator Jim Webb‘s prison reform push never gain traction?
On The Glenn Show, guest host Glenn II and David tackle the issue of marriage equality. David sees a crisis in the institution of marriage in America. Glenn and David discuss the generational divide over the public and private meanings of marriage, and explore the chicken-and-egg reasons for the declining marriage rate. Glenn asks David why he changed his mind to become a supporter of same-sex marriage. David wants conservatives to realize that family values and gay rights are not in opposition. What about the subset of gays and lesbians who are opposed to getting married? They close with a discussion of how to bring David’s conservative brethren into the fold.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn talks to Steve about his recent research on American politics. Steve explains how political parties change positions, looking specifically at conservatives’ embrace of prison reform. Is Republican leadership the only way prison reform will actually happen? Glenn and Steve debate the (de)merits of moral argument on behalf of less punitive prison policy. They next dicsuss what Steve calls “kludgeocracy“—the increasing complexity of social policies in the US, citing the Affordable Care Act as a prime example. Steve explains his concerns about the inefficiency and non-transparency of federal-state collaborations on education and Medicaid. They conclude with some reflections on Django Unchained.
On The Glenn Show, John describes the book he’s writing on how language does and doesn’t shape our view of the world. Glenn reports on the economists’ annual conference, including a caucus of African-American scholars who gathered there. John and Glenn reminisce about being declared “outcasts” by their black professional peers. Glenn remembers the work of the great and recently deceased social scientist Albert Hirschman, and they speculate on what “true loyalty” to one’s group, nation or culture might mean. Has the era of the towering public intellectual passed? They conclude by expressing their very different views about the affirmative action case pending before the Supreme Court.
Josh and Glenn bring in the New Year on The Glenn Show. They discuss the larger significance of fiscal cliff showdown. Turning to a review of Campaign 2012, Glenn asks about the deeper meaning of Obama’s decisive victory. Poverty received little attention during the election—could the theory of justice advanced by philosopher John Rawls be a remedy? Next, a few of the best pieces published last year by Boston Review, the intellectual magazine Josh has edited for two decades: a forum on effective early childhood interventions, a report on the teaching of philosophy to high school students in Brazil, and an interview with author Junot Diaz.
On The Glenn Show, Ann and Glenn look back on 2012—but wait, is all this year-in-review stuff a waste of time? They discuss what the election was really about, and the inherently non-rational aspect of politics. Ann sermonizes on the response to the Newtown shooting. Glenn insists that the children killed in Newtown and young people killed as a result of drug violence in Chicago are equally innocent victims. Has the press given Obama a pass on Benghazi and drone strikes? Finally, Glenn endorses Quentin Tarantino’s controversial new movie, Django Unchained.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn asks Harold whether social science can make sense of the massacre in Newtown. Harold is disturbed by the way that gun manufacturers advertise their wares and by the “fundamental unreasonableness” of many gun enthusiasts. They also debunk some pernicious myths about guns. Looking back at the election, Harold tries to cure Glenn of his political cynicism. Glenn expresses skepticism about the triumphal narrative of immigration reform. They close with a personal discussion of the generational divide over issues like same-sex marriage.