If the old saying is true that “life is a journey, not a destination,” then it stands to reason that the way we travel matters a great deal. In fact, that’s what the latest evidence has shown: Transportation choices and systems play a crucial role in our economy and our environment. You may think that your car or bike or walk or train ride is only about you, but it’s really one piece of a giant moving puzzle, in which we’re all trying to access the American dream in the same urban landscape at the same time — and that means it’s imperative to do it smartly, justly, and sustainably.
In this episode, Marlon G. Boarnet weighs the pros and cons of different transportation modes and shows how the infrastructure we build now will shape our quality of life for generations to come.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 35: It’s Not Just Where You’re Going, It’s Also How You Get There”
Anyone who reads or watches the news might feel like we are in a news assault. The news happens so fast, technology helps us disseminate and consume with speed, and media outlets are in a relatively new competition: a competition for relevancy. As “papers of record” are being attacked as “fake,” the question of how to communicate with fairness about important issues has never been more relevant.
John McPhee has had a long, storied career in writing for magazines “of record” using in-depth long-form journalism. Draft No. 4 is McPhee’s 32nd book of nonfiction. It is a series of essays on his writing process.
In today’s episode, we use McPhee’s thoughts on structure and nonfiction to discuss some of the difficulties of communicating policy and research in today’s frenetic climate of news and propaganda and anti-elitism. Policy communication should be nuanced and deep, how can we do this in an age of immediate consumption and tribalism? How do we know what we know, and how do we tell others how we know what we know?
Continue reading “Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “Draft No. 4””
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.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 34: The Eternal Struggle for Power on Capitol Hill”
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?
Continue reading “Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Myth of Independence””
“Our American Discourse” is a small piece of a big effort. We’re not the only ones trying to raise the level of public debate in this country. Take a walk through the Price School, and you’ll see room after room of scholars who genuinely care about the public interest. Stop at the Bedrosian Center, and you’ll find the people who have taken it upon themselves to engage directly with the public. That’s where I spend most of my days on campus, and it’s where I want to take you today to meet the leader who makes it all happen…
In this episode, Aubrey Hicks takes us inside the Bedrosian Center and their never-ending mission to bust open the doors of democracy and give us all a seat at the table.
Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 23: Let Every Voice Be Heard! How to Elevate the Public Debate in 2018”