Our American Discourse, Ep. 34: The Eternal Struggle for Power on Capitol Hill

Power is up for grabs in Washington. A controversial President, an unpopular Congress, and a midterm election all make 2018 a battleground for political control. Who will win? How will they do it? And what role do you play? This is story of the most consequential game ever played, and it’s told by one of the leading Congressional experts of our time.

In this episode, Jeffrey A. Jenkins teaches us the strategy of legislative power: who has it, how they get it, what they do with it, and why we should care.

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Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Myth of Independence”

Congressional historian Sarah Binder joins neighbor and investment manager Mark Spindel in a look at the history of the relationship between the Federal Reserve and its legislative parent, Congress. The result is the Princeton University Press book The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve.

Central to the book is the notion that the two institutions are interdependent rather than independent. The authors advocate that through legislation over the years, Congress has set up the Federal Reserve to bear the brunt of blame during times of financial crisis. This blend of political science, history, and economics was a hit for our panel. Why is it important to realize the relationship between Congress and the Fed is interdependent? What roles do transparency and accountability play in the relationship?

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Our American Discourse, Ep. 33: How to Take Risks, Make the World a Better Place, and Get Paid

Think of all the public policy problems that the government hasn’t been able to solve. Now imagine that you had a solution for one of them. The government should be interested, right? If your solution really works, they should want to invest in it. They should want to encourage you to make it happen, perhaps monetarily if possible. Well, until recently, they didn’t have many avenues to do so. Enter…“social impact bonds,” and the new system of “payment by results.”

In this episode, Gary Painter walks us through some examples of these new “outcome-based” payment systems to encourage innovative risk-taking to solve wicked problems in public policy.

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Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “Radical Markets”

In Radical Markets, Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl envision new rules for markets in order to limit the tyranny of monopolies and majority rule with five revolutionary ideas to cure what they see as the most important issue of our time: inequality.

What are some of these “radical” ideas, and does our panel think they are the revolutionary ideas we need?

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