In a recent interview for Vogue, Prince Harry declared to British anthropologist Jane Goodall that he and Meghan plan on having only two children, due to environmental concerns. Alarmist predictions about the results of overpopulation is nothing new, of course. Even Goodall herself said in 2010, that “[i]t’s our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet.” So, is earth really overpopulated? And will having less children save the planet? Stephen Barrows, Acton’s managing director of programs, joins the podcast to explain the economics behind the issue and how to thoughtfully approach concerns about the environment. After that, Dr. Eric Larson, Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Michigan State University, takes a look at Medicare for All, explaining current problems in health care as well as just how costly Medicare for All would be.

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A crisis in the adoption and foster system is currently plaguing the nation. With over 400,000 children in need of homes, a shortage of placements is driving some states to desperate measures, even housing children in hotels and office buildings. States should be working to support and safeguard the work of adoption and foster care providers, however discrimination motivated by anti-religious bias is posing an obstacle to some state contracted and private agencies. Kate Anderson, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, joins the podcast to explain how faith-based adoption agencies are being increasingly threatened due to their religious beliefs and why faith-based agencies are crucial in the adoption and foster system. On the second segment, President emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education, Larry Reed, speaks with Acton’s Samuel Gregg about how many trends of our day echo those of ancient Rome, making the lessons of its fall all the more relevant, even pressing, for us now.

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On July 18, the Raise the Wage Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill that would double federal minimum wage by 2025. Members of Congress who support the bill believe it will increase pay for 27 million workers and lift over one million people out of poverty, but those opposed to the bill say cause millions more to lose their jobs. Dave Hebert, professor of economics at Aquinas College, joins the podcast to dispel some of the biggest misconceptions of raising federal minimum wage and what real effects the bill would have. On the second segment, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, professor of law at the University of Tennessee and author of the new book, “The Social Media Upheaval,” joins the show to examine the benefits and drawbacks of social media. Glenn argues that social media and especially Twitter is increasingly “poisoning” journalism and politics. How can we reduce big tech censorship and the toll of social media while also respecting free speech?

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Populism is gaining traction, both abroad and in the United States. In 2017, the Swedish libertarian think tank Timbro and the European Policy Information Center released their “Authoritarian Populism Index,” showing that populist parties have gained the highest percentage of the vote in nine countries, including Hungary (65.2%), Poland (46.4%) and Greece (45.1%). Zoltán Kész, co-founder of the Free Market Foundation in Budapest said in 2015 that “Populists are especially dangerous enemies, because they are strategizing in the terms of democratic competition. That is the main principle of populism: gaining power once and never, ever letting it go, reshaping democracy and deconstructing the rule of law step-by-step.” Populism poses a threat to freedom by rejecting pluralism and classical liberalism. Where are we seeing populism take shape in America today and how is it effecting our public discourse? Ben Domenech, writer and co-founder of The Federalist, joins us in this episode to break it down.

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In a few short days, thousands of federal inmates will be returning home on “earned good time.” That’s a result of The First Step Act, a federal prison reform bill which was signed into law in December. Criminal justice reform advocate Mark Holden joins the show to discuss the new law, why these ex-prisoners should have been freed earlier and what reforms should be made in the future.In 2013, Rose Knick of Scott Township, Pennsylvania, was forced by government agents to allow public access to her property on grounds that there was a suspected gravesite on her land. Knick sued the township and the case worked its way to the Supreme Court. On June 21, justices ruled to restore property right to first class status. Patrick Garry, a professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law and director of the Hagemann Center for Legal & Public Policy Research, explains why the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Knick and put property rights on a firmer foundation.

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On June 14, an International Coalition for Religious Freedom in North Korea was launched, consisting of almost 200 activists, including Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean diplomat and defector to South Korea. President and co-founder of Acton Institute, Rev. Robert Sirico joins the podcast to talk about communism in North Korea as well as his hopes for the coalition. On the second segment, Bruce Ashford, professor of theology at Soueastern Baptist Theological Seminary, addresses the relationship between family and state, plus ways he sees the breakdown of the family unit in America.

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On June 29, violent riots between alt-right groups and antifa broke out in Portland, Oregon, leaving several people with severe injuries. Portland is becoming a hotbed for violent, left-wing groups. Who is antifa and what are they protesting? Rev. Ben Johnson, senior editor at Acton, joins the podcast to explain the events of the protest and antifa’s objective. After that, Craig Bruce Smith, professor of history at William Woods University, joins the show to bring attention to an increasing dismissal of America’s founders and how some are trying to erase the founders’ legacies from history. America’s founders were slaveholders and not without faults. How should we approach this history of slavery in the context of America’s founding?

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Last week, nearly 2 million Hong Kong residents gathered to protest a newly proposed extradition bill. Helen Raleigh, senior writer at the Federalist, joins the show to explain the current extradition agreements held between Hong Kong and China, why so many in Hong Kong are angry about the bill and how the extradition bill, if passed, would threaten Hong Kong’s rule of law. After that, Acton’s Trey Dimsdale is joined by Anne Rathbone Bradley, affiliate scholar of economics at Acton, and Adam MacLeod, professor of law at Faulkner University. Together, they break down Kisor v. Wilkie, a case currently pending in the Supreme Court.

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Romanian author and public intellectual, Mihail Neamtu, joins the show to talk about what he calls the “ghost” of Marxism. What defines Marxism and what remnants of the ideology are we seeing today? After that, Daniel J. Mahoney, writer and professor of politics at Assumption College, speaks with Acton’s Director of Communications, John Couretas, about the legacy of the 20th century Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn’s writings are said to have contributed greatly in bringing down the Soviet Union and brought wide attention to the atrocities of the Soviet Gulags.

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On this episode of Acton Line, we talk about HBO’s new miniseries ‘Chernobyl’ and the events surrounding the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine, in 1986. Kyle Smith, writer at National Review, joins us for this segment and explains how ‘Chernobyl’ is an indictment of socialism. Afterwards, Aaron Rhodes, human rights activist and co-founder of the Freedom Rights Project weighs in on the Department of State’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights and explains why he’s hopeful about the new commission.

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On this episode of Acton Line, we first cover the Equality Act, a bill recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Keisha Russell, associate counsel at First Liberty Institute joins the podcast to break down the basics of the bill and explain how the bill would threaten religious liberty. Afterwards, Charlie Weimers, a Swedish politician newly elected to the European Parliament joins the podcast to discuss “Sweden’s Dark Soul: The Unravelling of a Utopia,” by Kajsa Norman, a book depicting cultural censorship in Sweden.

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On this episode of Acton Line, Bradley J. Birzer, History professor and the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies at Hillsdale College, joins the podcast to talk about the movie Tolkien, explaining what the film got right about the life of British author J.R.R. Tolkien and what the film missed. Afterwards, Bruce Ashford, professor of theology and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, talks about his new book, “The Gospel of our King,” and how Biblical narrative relates to our understanding of vocation, culture and even the role of government.

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On this episode of Acton Line, Jordan Ballor and Tyler Groenendal break down the last season of Game of Thrones, discussing positive and negative aspects of the show as well as lessons to be gleaned, such as the role of government and the danger of power. Afterwards, Caroline Roberts speaks with Li Ma, senior fellow at the Henry Institute, about Ma’s book The Chinese Exodus. Ma explains how the current economic system in China drives agricultural workers to the city, setting them on a path for family disintegration, poverty and alienation from community.

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On this episode, National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg speaks about his latest book, “Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Nationalism, Populism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy.” Jonah will also be speaking at our upcoming annual conference, Acton University, held in Grand Rapids, and you can still register to hear him during the plenary dinner on Wednesday, June 19. After that, James Patterson, professor of politics at Ave Maria University, joins us to talk about the legacy of Fulton J. Sheen, a catholic priest in America who was primarily known for his popular books, radio broadcasts, and Emmy-award winning television show Life Is Worth Living. Sheen was also a deft and serious thinker on efforts to bring Americans in closer alignment with the Christian tradition, especially that of the Catholic Church.

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On the episode of Acton Line, Andrew Klavan, award winning novelist, screenwriter, and regular host at the Daily Wire, joins the show to talk about the new Netflix documentary, “Knock Down the House.” The new political documentary follows four far left-leaning women during their run for congress in 2018, eventually leading up to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional win. Klavan explains the ideas undergirding the movie and why he defines it as propaganda. After that, Acton’s co-founder and president, Rev. Robert Sirico, addresses religion on the left and lays out the connections between religion and liberty.

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On this episode of Acton Line, Caroline Roberts speaks with Andrew Kloster, the deputy director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University, about the student debt crisis. Kloster claims that the student debt crisis is the greatest moral hazard of our nation and explains how he sees the crisis panning out in the future. On the second segment, Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, sits down with Mustafa Akyol, senior research fellow at the Cato Institute, to address the topics of Islam and Freedom. Reformist trends in Islam reinterpret religious law by referring to the moral teachings at its core resulting in an intellectual battle going on in the Muslim world, where some believers condemn freedom as a Western invention while others praise it as Allah’s blessing. Is Islam compatible with ideas of individual freedom?

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John Baden joins us on the show. A rancher in Bozeman Montana, Baden has co-founded several organizations dedicated to free market environmentalism including the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), dedicated to harnessing the power of markets and property rights to improve environmental quality. Baden will be addressing the environmental concerns raised in the Green New Deal and show how free markets can tackle them. After that, Acton’s Dan Hugger will be speaking with Bradley J. Birzer, a professor of history at Hillsdale College, to talk about the life of Andrew Jackson.

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Host Caroline Roberts is joined by Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, to touch on the historical and religious significance of Notre-Dame in the wake of the fire that consumed much of the cathedral this past Monday. After that, research associate Dan Hugger sits down with Acton’s president and co-founder Rev. Robert Sirico to discuss current issues in education, including some of Betsy Devos’ policies.

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On this episode of Acton Line, Caroline Roberts speaks with Sarah Estelle, professor of economics at Hope College, to revisit the life and work of F.A. Hayek on the 75th anniversary of the publishing of “The Road to Serfdom.” On the second segment, Caroline then speaks with Tyler O’Neil, senior editor at PJ Media, about the film “Unplanned” and how its release highlights issues such as human rights, censorship, and more.

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