Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news of a “blackout: at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, and whether Israel is behind it or not, they’re glad to see it. They also unload on President Biden who is unconcerned about inflation following his massive spending binge because someone else will likely be in office when it gets really bad. They also call out Vice President Harris for apparently doing nothing about the border crisis since she was put in charge of it and the media who refuse to demand answers. Finally, they offer their well wishes to Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw in the wake of concerning medical news.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Sandro Catanzaro, who started several businesses in his native Peru but had no idea he’d end up helping NASA go to Mars, or that he’d use that same technology to plan and buy video ad campaigns. Now Head of Publisher Services Strategy for Roku, which acquired the company he founded, dataxu, in 2019, Mr. Catanzaro is an emblem of ingenuity and inventiveness. His demand-side platform, device graph technology and analytics platform help accelerate Roku’s ad tech roadmap and ability to serve a wide array of advertisers. But he’s not done yet!

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Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for thus far refusing to kill or even “reform” the Senate filibuster – despite immense pressure from the left. They also shake their heads as New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tries to argue that paid leave, child care, and caregiving fall under infrastructure. And the California recall spectacle may already be underway as the first celebrity hints at running for governor.

Giveaways Disguised as Infrastructure

 

This past week, President Joe Biden unveiled his new $2 trillion infrastructure plan, scheduled for implementation over the next eight years. He delivered a pep talk about it before a union audience in Pittsburgh: “It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America. It’s big, yes. It’s bold, yes, and we can get it done.” One central goal of his program is to tackle climate change by reaching a level of zero net carbon emissions by 2035. Many of Biden’s supporters gave two cheers for this expansion of government power, including the New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo, who lamented that the program is too small to work, but too big to pass. Huge portions of this so-called infrastructure bill actually have nothing whatsoever to do with infrastructure.

In one classic formulation by the late economist Jacob Viner, infrastructure covers “public works regarded as essential and as impossible or highly improbable of establishment by private enterprise.” Classical liberal theorists like Viner believe it is critical to identify a limited scope of business activity appropriate for government. And even here, while government intervention may be necessary to initiate the establishment of an electric grid or a road system, oftentimes the work is completed by a regulated private firm, overcoming government inefficiency in the management of particular projects.

Biden’s use of the term “infrastructure” is merely a rhetorical flourish, the sole purpose of which is to create an illusion that his proposed menu of expenditures should appeal just as much to defenders of small government as it does to progressive Democrats. A quick look at the proposed expenditures shows that they include large transfer payments to preferred groups that have nothing to do with either infrastructure or climate change. Consider this chart prepared by NPR, which breaks down the major categories of expenditure:

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the Biden administration’s grudging concession that there needs to be upgrades to our physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. They also groan as the Senate parliamentarian, as expected, will allow the Democrats to pursue one more bill by a simple majority during this fiscal year. That means the $2 trillion “infrastructure” bill can become law without a single GOP vote in Congress. And they get a kick out of President Biden trying to pretend he wasn’t a major catalyst in getting the all-star game moved out of Atlanta.

Jim is back! Join Jim and Greg as they cheer Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for speaking the truth about the new Georgia elections bill and contrasting it with the hyperbolic lies of the left. They also examine the bizarre effort of what Jim calls the “Democrat outrage complex” to get the Major League All-Star Game moved from Atlanta. And they welcome the news the Democrats are no longer trying to steal an Iowa congressional seat but the excuse for giving up the effort is truly pathetic.

Join Greg and Chad Benson as they cheer a very good March jobs report, showing more 900,000 new jobs added last month. They also wade through the sordid allegations emerging against Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and his counter-allegations that he the victim of an extortion attempt. And they react very strongly to Dr. Leanna Wen saying states should not open up yet because opening up should be conditional upon people getting vaccinated. She says, “Otherwise, people are going to go out and enjoy these freedoms anyway.”

Chad Benson is in for Jim today. Join Greg and Chad as they discuss corporate America’s spineless response to yet another political controversy. They also take a deeper dive into Joe Biden’s effort to boost labor unions by crushing freelance work. They fume as Dr. Fauci and others suddenly decide kids now have to be vaccinated before life returns to normal, and they remember the fascinating and controversial life of the one and only G. Gordon Liddy.

Immigrants and refugees are a net economic benefit to host countries like the United States. Research has consistently shown they help create jobs and add an important dynamism to our economy. This is the case even when there is initial investment on behalf of the state, through education, English classes or welfare. Immigrants pay more into the system than they get out.  For Christina Qi, who started a hedge fund at just 22, the welfare she was on in her early years in Utah after moving from China helped stabilize her youth and pave the way for her to attend MIT. She went on to co-found Domeyard, a quantitative trading firm, in 2013, among the longest running high-frequency trading hedge funds in the world, and was trading up to $7 billion dollars a day. In 2019, she founded Databento, an on-demand data platform for asset managers and quantitative analysts. Being an immigrant, Asian and a woman in the cutthroat, male-dominated world of Wall Street didn’t deter her. Nor did she forget those who helped get her to where she is today. As you’ll soon learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast.

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Rob Long is in for Jim today. Rob and Greg react to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing exactly what Rob said he would do to distract from his many scandals. Then they’re glad to see President Biden’s poll numbers sinking on immigration policy. They also explain how Biden’s “infrastructure” bill appears to include a bunch of Green New Deal provisions, guts freedom to work. And they call out the left’s refusal to acknowledge basic biological reality when it comes to determining a person’s sex.

Rob Long is on for Jim again today. Join Rob and Greg as they cheer states expanding their school choice programs as unions continue to keep public schools closed. They also discuss New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordering faster, preferential COVID tests for family and friends while the rest of New York waited much longer for results. They also shake their heads as San Francisco lefties state that whites and men will not be receiving welfare benefits. And they wrap up with their memories of the assassination attempt again President Reagan 40 years ago today.

Rob Long is in for the vacationing Jim Geraghty. Join Rob and Greg as they welcome the rescue of the massive cargo ship Ever Given from the Suez Canal and highlight some important lessons that ought to be learned from this episode. They also discuss the coming reality of vaccine passports that will require you to have a COVID vaccine or a negative test to gain entry to various events and businesses. Is this the right of private sector businesses or a major blow to whatever privacy we have left? And we discuss the hysterical reaction to the new election laws in Georgia, with Rob explaining that recent elections prove that voter suppression isn’t actually a problem.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome analysis from a Johns Hopkins University expert that we are much closer to herd immunity against COVID than Dr. Fauci will admit. They also shudder as President Biden is planning to ram through an aggressive, far-left agenda rivaling the New Deal or the Great Society. They shake their heads as the Suez Canal is effectively shut down because a ship has gotten stuck there. And Greg shares a family story in connection with the bicentennial of modern Greek Independence.

Welcome to JobMakers, a new, weekly podcast, produced by Pioneer Institute and The Immigrant Learning Center. Host Denzil Mohammed explores the world of risk-taking immigrants, who create new products, services and jobs in New England and across the United States.

In the debut episode, Denzil talks with Herby Duverné, CEO at Windwalker Group, an award-winning small business with more than 25 years of experience in physical and cybersecurity solutions that protect and prepare companies through custom learning and training solutions. Herby shares his background as a Haitian immigrant, and some of the challenges of moving to America, working through college to support his family, and embarking on a career path. They discuss what inspired him to start his own business, how he prepared for success, lessons he has learned along the way, and how he gives back.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. They discuss his research, cited by The Wall Street Journal, on learning loss due to the pandemic, especially among poor, minority, and rural students, and its impact on skills and earnings. Dr. Hanushek has projected that school closures will result in $25-$30 trillion of lost economic output in today’s dollars over the next century, and a 6-to-9 percent reduction in lifetime household income. He shares with listeners how he arrived at these estimates, their wider financial implications for America’s competitiveness, and how we can address it. They review the realities of K-12 education before COVID-19, with flat and declining NAEP reading and math scores over the last decade and persistent achievement gaps. Given that troubling trend, he recommends more effective use of our teachers’ specific talents and offering more individualized instruction to address variations in student preparation. He offers suggestions for how best to direct the influx of federal stimulus funds to school districts, and thoughts on the relative success of many charter and private schools in pivoting to ensure high-quality remote learning and in-class instruction.

Stories of the Week: School budgets have not suffered nearly as much as predicted due to the pandemic – in fact, some state revenues have even slightly grown thanks to federal relief funds and higher than planned sales tax collections. In Education Next, Christensen Institute cofounder Michael Horn laments school districts’ timid response” to remote learning, and opportunities to engage students in active learning and other innovative practices.

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Mary Z. Connaughton about the value of transparency and Pioneer’s extensive work to provide greater access to legislative and policy information to hold elected officials accountable and build trust in our state government. Read Pioneer Institute’s Sunshine Week Transparency Resolutions.

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Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Chris Dempsey, Director of Transportation for Massachusetts, about road and mass transit innovations that could address traffic challenges in a high-growth, post-pandemic economy.

Guest:
Chris Dempsey is Director of Transportation for Massachusetts. He was formerly Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In that role, he co-founded the MBTA’s open-data program, which was named Innovation of the Year by WTS-Massachusetts in 2010. Chris has also worked as a consultant at Bain & Co., on a number of local and statewide political campaigns including that of Congressman Joe Kennedy III, and at a transportation technology startup that provides mobile ticketing for transit systems in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. Chris is a graduate of Pomona College (B.A., 2005) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A, 2012). Chris has taught transportation policy at the graduate level at Northeastern University. In 2015, Chris was named Bostonian of the Year by the Boston Globe Magazine for his volunteer work leading No Boston Olympics.

Join Jim and Greg as they note the New York Times and other liberal media grudgingly admitting that Florida did better than lockdown states in fighting COVID and in keeping its economy alive. They also dig into immigration and border policy as the Biden administration finds out governing is a lot harder than coming up with misleading slogans.  And they tee off on dictionary.com as it adds “supposably” as a real word instead of trying to teach people to use “supposedly.”