American Conversation

Hoover Video Initiative with 92Y

Working with the 92nd Street Y (92Y) in New York City, the Hoover Institution has launched a video series entitled American Conversation Essentials that feature Hoover senior fellows delving into a broad array of topics, ranging from income inequality to national security.

Long a forum for culture and learning, 92Y initiated American Conversation Essentials to offer substantive, thoughtful, civil dialogue on thorny public policy issues. Participation in this series offers Hoover fellows the opportunity to reach new audiences.

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Amy Zegart on American attitudes toward torture

In this sixth video, produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Amy Zegart, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, describes the disconnect between Hollywood portrayals of gaining intelligence, including torture, terrorism, and assassinations, and intelligence education. “People’s attitudes toward killing terrorists, detaining terrorists, and torturing terrorists are heavily influenced by the movies and television shows that they see,” she observes, which she thinks might account for at least some of the surge in the public approval of such behaviors since 2005. Zegart concludes that Hollywood must be more responsible in its portrayals of intelligence gathering and that academia could remedy this disconnect through research and writing for a popular audience.

Entitled American Conversation Essentials, the video series features Hoover senior fellows delving into a broad array of topics, from economics to national security.

George P. Shultz: On the Cusp of Two Very Important Revolutions

In this fifth video, produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, George P. Shultz, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, describes how, after two world wars, the United States built an economic and security commons that defined the world order, but now that commons is declining in power. Shultz argues that “we have a world all of a sudden awash in change. . . . Instead of the commons, we have change.” He focuses on two important revolutions: fracking and research and development of alternative energy. In fueling those two revolutions, we should also rebuild the commons; everyone has a stake in alternative energy.

Entitled American Conversation Essentials, the video series features Hoover senior fellows delving into a broad array of topics, from economics to national security.

Rice on America leading again

In this fourth video, produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Condoleezza Rice, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, describes what makes the Unites States great and how it can achieve greatness again. Rice observes, “America is the most successful economic and political experiment in human history.” Focusing on education is key to the United States’ remaining a leader, Rice believes, because the modern economy punishes those who do not have the knowledge and skills to succeed. Policies that support private-sector growth, such as lower taxes and fewer regulations, will also expand opportunity, she maintains.

Entitled American Conversation Essentials, the video series features Hoover senior fellows delving into a broad array of topics, from economics to national security.

Hoover senior fellow Shelby Steele describes how the civil rights movement veered off course

In the third video produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, describes how the civil rights movement veered off course after its greatest achievement, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965. After its initial success in securing individual freedom, the movement increasingly called for government transfer programs, which had the unintended effect of creating dependency, resentment, and an ongoing sense of victimization. Steele believes that educational achievement is the ultimate path to true equality “by merit, by performance, and by excellence.” Entitled American Conversation Essentials, the video series features Hoover senior fellows delving into a broad array of topics, from economics to national security.

Richard Epstein analyzes redistributive remedies for income inequality on American Conversation Essentials

Senior Fellow Richard Epstein analyzes redistributive remedies for perceived income inequality. It is not possible, Epstein believes, to make the poor richer by making the rich poorer. Increased taxation at the top end of the income scale, he maintains, reduces investment, which reduces opportunity and prevents real wages from increasing.

Caroline Hoxby on Intergenerational Redistribution on American Conversation Essentials

Senior Fellow Caroline Hoxby discusses the challenges posed by the intergenerational transfer of wealth from younger to older Americans. Under current financing mechanisms for Social Security and Medicare, benefits received by today's seniors exceed their contribution into the system.