On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, authors Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff discuss their new book, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure”, and their take on the new guiding philosophy in America’s educational system that students are fragile and need to be protected from invading ideas.

Dr. Haidt and Mr. Lukianoff highlight in particular the three great “untruths” that are taught to children, leading to an overprotected, safety-obsessed culture, and discuss how the coddling of youthful minds poses a threat to a sound polity and present remedies to derail the growing trend.

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This AEI Events Podcast features the address by former secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs Boris Johnson, delivered during AEI’s 2018 Annual Dinner at which he was awarded AEI’s Irving Kristol Award.

To hear introductory remarks from AEI President Arthur Brooks or Bill Kristol, visit the event video here.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, Commissioner Brendan Carr visits AEI to discuss the importance of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to make sure the US is ready for 5G from a regulatory perspective.

In a discussion with AEI’s Shane Tews, Commissioner Carr explained the FCC’s work on reducing regulatory costs and barriers to deploying small cells and 5G wireless networks and its efforts to work with state and local governments to speed 5G deployment in urban and rural areas. He discussed infrastructure challenges facing the US in the global race with China (and others) to 5G, and he expressed his belief that a combination of reducing regulations, making the most spectrum available, and using America’s free-market system would allow the US to reap the benefits of winning the race.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) opens up about congressional trepidations in the wake of the crisis and discussed the politics of financial regulation. He is interviewed by AEI’s Peter Wallison as part of a day-long conference (video of the other panels at this conference can be found here).

This event took place on September 14, 2018.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Jason Delisle is joined by Urban Institute scholars and policy experts to discuss factors that predict if borrowers are likely to default on their student loans and what happens to them after the point of default. The conversation reveals that some of the common narratives about default are incomplete. Panelists also discuss possible ways that policymakers can help borrowers avoid and address their defaults.

The first panel, moderated by Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal, starts with brief presentations by Delisle and the Urban Institute’s Kristin Blagg that highlighted how the current set collection fees can be unfair, inconsistent, and counterintuitive. The panel continues by discussing the possible effects of underwriting federal student loans and the consequences that underwriting loans through credit checks might have on reducing access to college and the risk of default.

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In 2015, more than 190 countries submitted greenhouse gas mitigation pledges for the Paris agreement. With biannual progress meetings beginning this December, the International Monetary Fund published a report titled “Mitigation Policies for the Paris Agreement: An Assessment for G20 Countries,” which provides a quantitative framework for understanding different mitigation actions and why policies and their impacts differ across countries.

On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, listen to panel of experts, introduced by AEI’s Aparna Mathur and moderated by the Brookings Institution’s Adele Morris, discuss their insights on the feasibility of carbon pricing in light of this report’s release. One of the report’s authors, Ian Parry, talked about his work and the spreadsheet tools to help policymakers of G20 countries understand the impacts of carbon pricing and the trade-offs with other instruments.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, a panel from the American Family Diaries Working Group presented on their new paper, “American Family Diaries: An Ethnographic Approach to Understanding Barriers to Opportunity.” The panelists discussed the logistics of ethnographic research and the ways in which it differs from traditional qualitative studies. Rather than presenting a list of preset questions for participants to answer, ethnographic researchers seek to understand the motivations, behaviors, and challenges that the interviewees face through in-depth interviews.

The American Family Diaries research team chose to focus their research on able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS). These individuals receive little government welfare and are significantly understudied. The panelists hope to use ethnographic research methods to better understand the barriers to work that are keeping so many ABAWDS in poverty and out of the labor force.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, an expert panel examines the legal history of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provide a forecast of future areas of conflict as changes continue under the Trump administration.

Thomas Miller of AEI began by framing the issue within broader political and policy realities. Seth Chandler of the University of Houston Law Center attributed many of the ACA’s shortcomings to flaws in the statute’s original architecture, noting that, for several reasons, Congress has done little to address such ills. Timothy Jost, formerly of Washington and Lee University, explained that much of the law’s design involved deferring to future administrative action, which resulted in a complicated and contentious system as the law evolved under diverging political interests.

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On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Robert Doar and Bruce Meyer lead a panel discussion on reexamining the data on extreme poverty.

Dr. Meyer presented his new Comprehensive Income Dataset, which aggregates several different types of survey and administrative data to provide a more accurate picture of the conditions of low-income Americans. He noted that many studies pointing to high amounts of extreme poverty in the United States — characterized by individuals living on less than $2 per day — fail to account for important benefits such as in-kind transfers, public assistance, and unreported earnings. After adjusting for these discrepancies, he finds that extreme poverty is nearly nonexistent in the US. Additionally, Dr. Meyer noted that many families previously counted as poor have actually risen out of poverty entirely.

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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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