On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, listen as scholars from AEI and the Brookings Institution launch “Reconceptualizing Globalization,” a joint project to address globalization, anti-globalization, and engagement.

AEI’s Neena Shenai explained that the 2016 election cycle revealed divides among US citizens regarding international trade. She recognized that while globalization has benefited the US, the current constituency for globalization has failed to communicate to the American public how trade liberalization has underpinned US prosperity.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Brent Orrell hosts Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA) for a conversation about their bill, the FIRST STEP Act. Among other things, the bill would expand opportunities for rehabilitation and vocational training in federal prisons and increase the use of risk assessment tools.

In their opening remarks, Reps. Jeffries and Collins discussed the importance of finding common ground in the midst of a polarized Congress, and Rep. Jeffries noted that criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue where some forward movement is possible. While both members conceded that the new bill does not address every issue they would like to see resolved, it captures what Rep. Collins dubbed “the art of the possible.”

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, panelists discuss whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be shrinking or expanding their activities.

AEI’s Edward J. Pinto likened government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the 1958 cult classic “The Blob” due to their continued expansion of the credit box.

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This episode of the AEI Events Podcast features representatives from Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, FedEx, and AEI discussing the future of work and its benefits for the American worker. American corporations provide valuable goods and services to the public. But such corporations also hold immense potential to improve the lives of their own employees. And in the wake of recent corporate tax cuts, the potential for corporations to improve their employees’ lives — through competitive wages, good benefits, skills training, and more — is even greater.

What do employees of large companies gain from their employment? In what areas can employers improve? And what does the future hold for the relationship between the American employee and the large employer?

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, Michael Mazza hosts an featuring a keynote address by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver, followed by a panel discussion led by AEI’s Dan Blumenthal celebrating the release of Mazza’s new report, “An American Strategy for Southeast Asia.”

Assistant Secretary Schriver opens with an overview of the United States’ strategy in the Indo-Pacific region and how the Department of Defense’s efforts were crucial to a “free and open” region. Mazza then relays the findings of his report, discussing the importance of an open, peaceful, and prosperous Southeast Asia that demonstrates good governance. He highlights ongoing security challenges in Southeast Asia, focusing on challenges in the South China Sea. While the panelists all agree that a US trade agenda in the region is important, Blumenthal notes that, ultimately, the United States will need to compete with Chinese influence in the region.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) joins AEI’s Jonah Goldberg for a discussion of our current political moment.

Drawing on Mr. Goldberg’s book, “Suicide of the West,” their conversation covered a number of topics. Speaker Ryan expressed confidence in the resilience of democracy, but agreed with Mr. Goldberg that it faces new challenges. Pressed by Mr. Goldberg about the accomplishments of the Republican Congress, Speaker Ryan asserted that it has indeed succeeded, not only in policy terms but also by extension in revitalizing the underlying principles from which the policies proceed.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Gary J. Schmitt hosts a discussion with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). They begin by summarizing the complex geopolitical challenges threatening American security, and Chairman McCaul verbally globetrotted to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Syria to analyze these threats and offer solutions to counter the nations’ competing interests.

Chairman McCaul articulated the threat Russia poses to Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Ukraine and discussed how China will be America’s largest economic and military competitor within 10 years. Regarding North Korea, he maintained a healthy skepticism about diplomatic progress following the Trump-Kim summit. He also considered the Syrian situation to be the most complex foreign policy issue today due to the refugee crisis; the involvement of Russia, ISIS, and Iran; and Turkish hostility toward the Kurds.

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In this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Aparna Mathur moderates a discussion between the World Bank’s Ambar Narayan and a panel of experts on the World Bank’s new report “Fair Progress? Economic Mobility Across Generations Around the World.” The report analyzes how economic mobility has changed over time and covers 96 percent of the world’s population.

Dr. Narayan explains that higher absolute mobility means a higher share of children in a particular birth cohort are more educated than their parents. Relative mobility reflects an individual’s chance of succeeding regardless of their economic situation at birth. The World Bank concludes that developing economies lag behind high-income countries in terms of mobility and that this gap widens over time.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Bruce D. Meyer presents a progress report on a new data set he is developing to measure income and poverty. Dr. Meyer cites several problems with the three main data sources — surveys, tax data, and program data — currently used in income and poverty calculations. While conceding that every data set has flaws individually, he argues that aggregating the sets can lead to a greater understanding of income and poverty distribution in the United States. His new data set adjusts for discrepancies in these data. He discussed early findings showing significant overreporting of the effect of Supplemental Security Income and underreporting of the effect of public assistance in reducing poverty.

During the panel discussion that followed, experts from across the political spectrum expressed appreciation for Dr. Meyer’s work, with Ben Harris of Results for America calling it a “dizzying, overwhelming effort.” Several panelists and audience members expressed concern over the ability to match the data between sets while protecting private information. The general consensus, however, was that this new data set will underscore the safety net’s important role in the lives of low-income Americans and provide a solid base from which to frame policy priorities moving forward.

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On this AEI Events Podcast, a panel of scholars from AEI and the Institute for Family Studies presents their new research on “Black Men, Making It in America: The Engines of Economic Success for Black Men in America.” The researchers revealed good news: One in two black men in America are in the middle class, about half are middle or upper class by their 50th birthday, and only 18 percent are living in poverty. The study showed that education, military service, employment, church participation, and stable marriages were all crucial to black men’s economic success. The biggest caveat to such success, however, was contact with the criminal justice system.

A second panel emphasized the importance of using the study’s data to inform policies such as widening quality childhood education for low-income children and creating more intervention programs to help formerly incarcerated individuals find work and promote psychological stability. In addition, the panelists encouraged religious communities to increase their emphasis on the importance of two-parent families.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Jay Cost discusses his new book “The Price of Greatness: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the Creation of American Oligarchy” (Basic Books, 2018) with Stephen Knott of the United States Naval War College and Luke Thompson of Applecart.

Cost argues that Madison’s and Hamilton’s rivaling republicanism and nationalism can inform our understanding of today’s politics. Madison was for too long written off as Jefferson’s lieutenant. He and Hamilton have only recently come into public focus, and, for Dr. Cost, their unique relationship — first allies, then political enemies — warranted investigation into their rivaling ideologies in the US liberal constitutional regime.

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This episode of the AEI Events Podcast features a 2016 conversation between Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot and federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the role of judges and the Supreme Court in supporting the rule of law and preserving the separation of powers in the American system of government. Judge Kavanaugh maintains that the Court has a role to play in protecting Congress and the separation of powers: while it is Congress’ task to pass statutes and set boundaries for an agency’s action, the Court should police such boundaries when the agency seeks to work outside of them. This requires a careful balance to ensure that the Court does not interfere unduly with the proper operation of Congress or the executive branch.

The panelists comment that while Madison famously called the Court the “weakest branch,” today it often plays an outsized role in the political process. Activist judges who do not hold to the text of statutes or the Constitution can contribute to this phenomenon, but it also occurs when the other branches punt difficult political policy decisions to the Court for resolution.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) joins AEI’s Paul H. Kupiec to discuss the competency and governance of the Federal Reserve System. They discuss whether an informed citizen has the capacity to understand the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy. Rep. Barr explains a bill he proposed that would require the Fed to better articulate and communicate a monetary policy, which he believes would help community members understand the Fed’s thinking and the future path of monetary policy.

Following their conversation, an expert panel further discusses the problems facing the Fed. Peter Conti-Brown of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania discussed where and how to insert politics into the Fed’s institutional space. He believes the goal should be to maximize economic performance. The Cato Institute’s George Selgin believes that the floor operating system running the Fed must be discussed. Brookings Institution’s Aaron Klein addresses the problem of groupthink within the regional banking system. He discusses trends in the selection of regional banking presidents and showed that the majority have been previously affiliated with the Fed. Alex Pollock of the R Street Institute speaks about the Fed’s inevitable knowledge problem, 2 percent inflation, the expropriation of savers, and the Fed and Congress.

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In this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit delivers the Walter Berns Annual Constitutional Day address at AEI. He argues that few justices in history have had as much impact as has William H. Rehnquist, the 16th chief justice of the Supreme Court. Serving the Supreme Court over 33 years, 15 as chief justice, Chief Justice Rehnquist was at the helm of major national events, presiding over the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton and keeping the Court intact during perhaps the single-most controversial moment in Supreme Court history, Bush v. Gore.

This event took place on September 18, 2017.

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This AEI Events Podcast features economic policy experts discussing the future of community banks. Chairman Blake Luetkemeyer (R-MO) gave a keynote address about his personal experience in banking, the upcoming bill related to community banking, and its potential to help community banks and consumers nationwide.

Following Chairman Luetkemeyer, AEI’s Paul H. Kupiec highlighted the nationwide decline in community banks, especially after the 2007–08 financial crisis. New York University’s Richard Sylla provided a brief historical overview of community banking in the United States, including the growing number of small banks from 1782 to 1920, which contrasts with trends in other advanced economies.

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This AEI Events Podcast features conservative scholars discussing the history and potential return of the welfare-reform-focused movement known as compassionate conservatism. Marvin Olasky of World Magazine began with remarks on the history of compassionate conservatism, particularly during the early 2000s, and offered insight into the movement’s missteps. He emphasized the importance of values and local decision-making in implementing welfare programs and discussed the political factors that undermined compassionate conservatism. Dr. Olasky then moderated a panel of experts, who discussed their views and experience with welfare and the compassionate conservatism movement.

AEI’s Ryan Streeter discussed compassionate conservatism in the context of a broader agenda focused on civil society and community empowerment, particularly at the state level. He emphasized the importance of understanding the conditions that allowed compassionate conservatism to succeed initially. Christopher Fay of Homestretch discussed his experience working in homeless assistance. He lamented the bureaucratic barriers attached to government grants that, he argued, held back welfare programs by preventing work requirements and housing cost-sharing. AEI’s Angela Rachidi discussed her experience working in government agencies and emphasized the importance of balancing government assistance with personal responsibility, arguing that this ethos was shared by many poverty programs but absent in other programs.

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On this Independence Day edition of the AEI Events Podcast, listen to Yascha Mounk discuss his book “The People Versus Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It” (Harvard University Press, 2018).

In his lecture, Dr. Mounk examined the growing success of populist movements worldwide. He outlined three conditions that have kept democracy stable in the post–World War II era: steady increases in living standards, largely mono-ethnic and monocultural societies, and strong public opinion gatekeepers that tempered political debate. He argued that stagnant real wages, cultural change, and social media have all contributed to populism’s rise in Europe and the United States.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, tax policy experts gathered to discuss the European Commission’s proposed plan to tax digital commerce. The commission has set forth both an interim plan and a longer-term solution, which will require unanimous consent of the member states to become law.

First, European Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici outlined the goals and major objectives of both plans. The interim plan consists of a 3 percent tax on various types of digitally facilitated commerce that meet the commission’s new “significant digital presence” standard. The long-term solution would entail harmonizing corporate tax policies among the member states to establish a uniform formula for digital taxation. Each plan rests on the principal that users are creating value and the states they reside in should be able to tax that value. AEI’s Stan Veuger then discussed the proposal with Mr. Moscovici, focusing on the goals, taxation principals, and political obstacles of the plans.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI cohosts a discussion with the Hyperloop Advanced Research Partnership (HARP) on the role of hyperloop in the future of transportation. The event commenced with remarks from Pete Rahn, the Maryland transportation secretary and the chairman of the Maryland Transportation Authority, who believes that Maryland has a congestion problem and that they must be open to any concept of innovative transportation that can help them better move people and things.

Following Mr. Rahn’s remarks, Dane Egli, the president and cofounder of HARP, introduced a panel of hyperloop experts to give their opinions on what the future of transportation holds. Sebastien Gendron, the CEO and cofounder of TransPod Hyperloop, believes that regulation is the key for commercialization, and his company’s objective is to develop hyperloop in the US.

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This episode of the AEI Events Podacst is the second of two episodes featuring a bipartisan research symposium on college completion hosted by Frederick M. Hess of AEI and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky of Third Way. The event marked the public release of five new reports in the AEI–Third Way collaborative project “Elevating College Completion.”

The final panel features an impressive group of policy experts who discussed ways that the federal and state governments can help colleges focus on completion, without spurring unintended consequences.

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