In the West, capitalism reigns triumphant. Living standards, wealth, and technological development in the capitalist Western countries surpass anything seen before in human history. But why has capitalism so obviously failed in most developing countries? Why are some saying that capitalism is in a state of crisis today in the Third World? Does the success of capitalism depend on Western cultural values that simply don't translate to the Third World? Or can economic and political reforms, especially reform of property rights, enable developing countries to share the same fruits of capitalism and free enterprise that we enjoy in the West?
In the past century the earth's human population has quadrupled, growing from 1.5 billion in 1900 to about 6 billion today. By 2050, it is estimated that the global population will reach 9 billion. In 1968, a young biologist named Paul Ehrlich wrote a best-selling book called The Population Bomb, which sparked an ongoing debate about the dangers of overpopulation. He argued that population growth was destroying the ecological systems necessary to sustain life. So just how worried should we be? Is population growth a problem or not? And if so, what should we do about it?
Does the Second Amendment to the Constitution confer an individual right to bear arms or not? Why is there so much disagreement about the meaning of this Amendment? What does the historical evidence tell us about the intentions of the framers of the Constitution in writing this amendment? To what extent does our interpretation of the Second Amendment effect efforts at gun control today?
In New York city, Mayor Rudolph Guiliani created a special police unit to aggressively target street crimes. Their activities included stopping and searching thousands of "suspicious-looking" people on the street. Are these actions necessary to clean up the streets, or are they unnecessarily confrontational and even racist? Has Mayor Giuliani's zero-tolerance approach to street crime been responsible for the dramatic reductions in crime in the city, or have his policies done more harm than good? What lessons should the rest of the nation learn from New York?
Dr. Bhattacharya returns to discuss the results of a study testing for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, California, and one currently underway in partnership with Major League Baseball. We also discuss some signs of hope and specifics about how the economy can be restarted safely and efficiently.
In the summer of 2002, the Supreme Court will announce its decision on a Cleveland school voucher case that many are calling the most important case on educational opportunities since Brown v. the Board of Education in 1954. In the Cleveland vouchers program, 96 percent of the participating children use government-funded tuition vouchers to attend religious schools. Is such an arrangement constitutional, or does it violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which has served as the constitutional basis for the separation of church and state? Just how should the Supreme Court rule, and what effect will its ruling have on the future of vouchers in the United States?
The Cold War is over, but America's overseas military commitments remain in place. What are we defending the world against? Should we bring the troops home and let the rest of the world fend for itself? Can we create a new blueprint for international involvement that makes moral and rational sense?
Over the past year, the clashes between the Bush administration and European leaders over the best way to handle Saddam Hussein have led many observers to suggest that the half-century-long alliance between Western Europe and the United States is dead. How serious is the rift between Europe and America, and why has it emerged? Is it still in the strategic interest of the United States to maintain tens of thousands of troops in Europe, or should we pull out of NATO altogether?
Throughout the latter half of the Twentieth Century, the United States and Western Europe seemed the staunchest of allies, united in NATO in defense against the common threat of the Soviet Union. With the end of the cold war and the loss of that common enemy, however, signs of emerging tensions have appeared in the friendship between America and Europe. How serious are the spats between Europe and the United States over issues such as the International Criminal Court, the conflict in the Middle East, and the U.S. conduct of the war on terrorism? With the formation of the European Union, Europe has become an economic rival to the United States. Will it become a political and military rival as well?
Since 1995, more than forty city and county governments across the country have enacted living wage ordinances. What are living wage ordinances and how does the living wage differ from the minimum wage? Is a living wage ordinance the best way to help low-income families or are there more effective methods of helping those in need?
When the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1789, the infamous "three-fifths clause" gave the southern slaveholding states disproportionate power within the federal government. To what extent did this southern advantage help the southerner Thomas Jefferson win the presidency? And to what extent did Jefferson, author of the phrase "all men are created equal," use the power of his presidency to preserve and perpetuate the institution of slavery?
In 1990 the United Nations forecast that world population would peak at around 11 billion by the middle of this century. Now many experts believe the peak will be closer to 8 or 9 billion people. Is this slowing of global population growth good news for the earth's environment? Or do we still need to worry about the dangers of overpopulation and overconsumption? Peter Robinson speaks with Paul Ehrlich and Steven Hayward.
What’s So Funny about Corona, Politics, the Media, and the Culture? A Conversation with Andrew Ferguson and P. J. O’Rourke
P. J. O’Rourke and Andrew Ferguson on COVID-19, their wasted youth, Trump versus Biden, the state of journalism, and why they’d both bet on the United States over China any old day.
Is France America's oldest friend or its oldest enemy? Americans are taught that the United States owes its very independence to France—that if the French hadn't helped us during the Revolutionary War, we would still be part of the British Empire. Was this assistance the beginning of a long and close friendship between France and America or an anomaly in an otherwise contentious relationship? Peter Robinson speaks with John Miller and Robert Paxton Mellon.
For much of the one hundred years just past, the forces of freedom and democracy found themselves at war with two books, Das Kapital, by Karl Marx which, of course, gave rise to communism. Mein Kampf, by Adolph Hitler which gave rise to Nazism. Nazism and communism, how is it that these two totalitarian ideologies gained such a hold on tens of millions of people. If you had to decide the matter as a historical question, which one, Nazism or communism, did more damage to the fabric of our civilization?
Cities and towns across the nation are struggling with problems of future growth and the legacies of past development. Is it time to wake up from the American Dream? Has the post-World War II model of suburban development let us down? What does "smart growth" mean? Should the federal government mandate changes on a national level or only offer guidance to local governments?
Do the neoconservatives know how to win the war on terror? Much has been made of the influence within the Bush administration of neoconservatives—those who tend to take a hard line in the war on terror and who favored the war in Iraq. Recently two men close to the Bush administration, Richard Perle and David Frum, wrote a book laying out the neoconservative agenda for winning the war on terror and making America safe. Their agenda is bold and ambitious. Critics would say it is reckless and dangerous. Who's right?
In September 2002, President Bush released the first National Security Strategy report of his administration. Crafted by the president, his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and a team of experts both inside and outside government, the report lays out what some have called "the most important reformulation of U.S. grand strategy in more than half a century." Proponents say that the National Security Strategy presents the case for the responsible and justified use of American power, but critics call it a dangerous "doctrine without limits." Who's right?
Did Ronald Reagan win the cold war? It's been a dozen years since its end—time enough to look back on the era with some historical perspective. And one question that historians continue to argue about is the role that Ronald Reagan, the man and his policies, played in bringing the cold war to an end. To what extent did Reagan's cold war strategy build on efforts of previous administrations and to what extent was it new? Did the Soviet Union collapse as a result of external pressure or internal weakness?
In November of 1999, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Seattle to protest against the World Trade Organization (WTO). How does the WTO work and why did it raise such a response? Does the WTO threaten environmental laws, human rights and national sovereignty or does it provide the best framework for ensuing that all nations benefit from international trade? Were the protests aimed at the WTO in particular or at the concept of free trade itself?