tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN October 22, 2014 9:00am-11:01am EDT
political science people and you know make sure that there's an equal balance? because conservatives have a tough time in colleges up there nowadays. >> well, steve, i think that wee have a political science department that has a worldwide track record of trying to look f at issues from a p variety of pe perspectives becausect you have know a i would also say we have a very prestigious residential college, james madison college, and you have to begin reading the federalist papers as a part of your freshman experience. >> leslie, burlington, north carolina. you're a parent. what are your questions or concern was higher education? >> caller: well, i am so grateful that michigan state university tuition hasn't gone out of this world, and i'm a graduate from michigan state university, and -- >> leslie, can i ask you what did you pay when you went there? >> caller: i don't remember. i know that i paid tuition
because it was cheaper and my dad paid room and board. i actually worked my way through college when i was there. i just don't remember what per credit hour costs were, but i'm sorry about that. >> that's okay. >> caller: i wanted to let this wonderful president of michigan state university know that i graduated from james madison college within michigan state, and it was hard, but i learned a lot. i wish i would have studied more. if there's any kids listening out there, study more in college. wul be hap you'll be happier in life. i regret some of the waste of time i had there, but that's my own issue. thank you very much this morning. bye-bye now. >> well, beverly, thank you very much, and academic rigor is something that is a partnership between students and faculty, and james madison does represent that, and right now she commented that she worked through college, and about 60% to 70% of our students would report that they work, we're
still a middle class, upper mobility kind of place with a world class education. >> edward states i hate that out of state students pay double. he thinks its ridiculous. why is that? >> because the theory is that the state is making an investment to support the cost of education for its residents, and as a result of that, out of state students that are a part of the differential between the state and tuition. >> how many out of state students do you have versus in state? >> well, we're very unusual in the big ten because we have about -- our undergraduate population is about 75% in-state students. the average of the big ten is much higher than that in terms of out-of-state students and actually we're leaving about $60 million to $70 million of
revenue on the table if we were more like the big ten, but we felt we need to be that engine of opportunity, that world-class education for michigan residents, particularly if you think about the economy in michigan so we stayed true to our mission. we do need out of state students because it provides a cosmopolitan education. >> and foreign students? do you know what the figure is on that? >> we have about 7,800 graduate and undergraduate international students. that began back in the 1880s actually with the first student from japan, and we began our international development work in china and actually in the 1980s with the rice famine, and michigan state had the first unit of international studies and programs in 1957 because people at that time believed that in order for michigan to be successful, we had to have an international perspective. >> we are talking with lou anna simon, the president of michigan state university, part of c-span
buses big ten college tour that we've been under way for about three weeks now interviewing university presidents across the big ten, and we will go next to susan in pennsylvania, a parent there. susan, go ahead, you're on the air. >> caller: hi. thank you c span for taking my call. i appreciate your program because you give us so much more information. where are these kids -- it's wonderful that they're going to get a good education. where are they going to work? their mothers and fathers are out of work for so long. my son has had a good education, but he owes over $60,000 in government loans. when are they going to discount the loans that the older people that took these programs are going to get any help? >> okay. we'll leave it there. lou anna simon? >> well, i share your concern about the high interest rates for some of these old loan
programs, and, in fact, in a conversation with business leaders from michigan yesterday as a part of our higher education workforce development talent development strategy. we need more voices to worry about the large loan interest rates that are a part of the repayment cycle. as i said earlier, about 46% of our students leave with educational debt. that averages about $25,000 and our loan default rate is very low, about 5.7%, and it's declining even though many, many of our students are from michigan that have very difficult financial circumstances over the last ten years, but this is an issue in the investment of the future if we could drop those interest rates a bit. >> "the washington post" reporting this morning that the government says that student loan default nationwide has dropped, has dipped, but they say the figure is still too high. lou anna simon, after you
graduate your students, how many of them are staying in the state of michigan and getting employment as the engine of opportunity, as you say? is it difficult for these students to stay there and find employment given the situation in detroit after the recession? >> well, i think what you're seeing is that in the period of the recession when there was such a dislocation of workers in michigan, the number of our students who had employment in michigan dropped, but if you look at our top employers right now, it's quicken loans, the auto companies, michigan-based companies. we have obviously a very large agra food footprint that's also a strong industry in michigan. and we're working very hard to around the state for students to see detroit as an opportunity for the future, a really cool city to be in and being on the
ground floor of the pioneers of the resurgence of detroit, and we're getting more and more students who want to stay in the state. >> we have about ten minutes left here with president lou anna simon of michigan state university. we've got some phone lines open, so we encourage to call in. students, parents, and educators. let me go to eric in michigan, and in armada, is that right? >> caller: yes. armada. >> go ahead. >> caller: i'm a parent of two children, one is just graduated and the other one is coming out, and i've created three businesses in my lifetime with a high school education. i never went to college, and i'm wondering if i send my child to michigan state, will they get the education needed to create a business, not become some lackey for somebody else?
>> well, if you look at a recent report from the university research quarter, michigan, michigan state, and the university of michigan, you will see that we have produced many entrepreneurs over our lifetime. there's a formal entrepreneurship program. your son or daughter could go to the hatch and get support with their business ideas. we have a new place called the hive in the residence halls where anyone can go and think about starting businesses. we have a media sand box in com arts and sciences if you're interested in sort of the gaming technology. those are really organic now as a part of our neighborhoods and very, very important for the future. >> miami, florida, jean, a parent there. hi, jean. >> caller: yes. how are you? very good. this message is to dr. simpson. i met her in miami with john saxon from nyu.
she gave a very good presentation when she was here in miami. and the question i wanted to ask her is i'm involved in providing scholarship to haitian students to attend school in the united states, and i'm very interested in michigan state and i know you have an agricultural program. is there any support that your school will do with haiti or doing anything with haiti pertaining to that? >> we have -- we've historically a program with haiti in food, food and health, and we have also a number of our faculty from the medical schools who are working in haiti periodically as is permitted given the current circumstances, but it's important for us to do. we also have included haitian students interestingly as a part of a program, a migrant program, because as you know many students from haiti migrated into florida, and we have a college achievement migrant program that also is involved
students from haiti. >> excuse me, president simon, i want to ask you about one thing you're involved in, and that's the national security higher education advisory board. what is that? >> it was formed a while ago to be advisory to the director of the cia and the fbi to try to better connect the voices of universities with national security issues that we all need to be worried about, and it's a group of university presidents that talks about everything from cyber security to how we can better understand the dynamics around our international programs. we need to be global, but we need to be smart about national security as well, and those are tough issues to deal with. we need to talk about them in a genuine way and share views about our programs and activities, and so the group is just a way of having those conversations. >> you chair this advisory
board. why was it formed? is it in response to a threat? >> well, if you think about post-9/11, it was easy for universities and the intelligence communities, the work of the fbi and the cia, to become on very different planets, so to speak, and our interests about the protection of our campuses, how we deal with terrorism, the list that you have been talking about today, have to be mutual interests, but we come at them very, very differently, and it's a way to understand different perspectives because if you understand different perspectives, you can find better solutions to difficult problems. >> we'll go on to harvey, ft. lee, new jersey, an educator. >> caller: good morning. i have a question. it's always been in the back of my mind, is how does the university handle the professional athlete on their campus? we have scholarship athletes
coming on board. how many of these scholarship students actually graduate after four years? >> well, we have scholarship student athletes who are both men and women whose graduation rates are as a whole about the same as our student body. obviously there are a few individuals who come to the university who leave a bit early to pursue their athletic interests, but we see all of our students, no matter their athletic skills, as students first and athletes second and provide academic support for them to be successful. we've also had programs to ensure that student athletes return to grade watt and stuate connected with us. currently justin abdel kater who
is playing hockey for the detroit red wings who keeps e-mailing me that he's within six credits of getting his degree because we made that possible. you can look at a person like steve smith who is a commentator on basketball making a terrific income after his professional playing career who is the finishing -- has finished his degree and has stated connected to michigan state and is a role model for almost every student athlete we have. the media tends to focus on the 1% of students who are really the student athletes who are not indicative of our set of students who receive scholarships as a part of our athletic program. we >> we >> we'll hear from chris, a parent in providence, rhode island. >> caller: it's clear you are, but you are aware you are a puppet to the globalist agenda taught out of naz za germany --
>> i don't know where you're going with that. we'll move on to norm, educator. >> caller: thank you for c-span and i am a michigan state graduate. i have a bachelor's, master's and ph.d. from michigan state, and i have -- i was on the faculty at michigan state. i went up there last summer and got the shock of my life. i went in and talked to the geology department and found out they have 14 faculty members, and i asked them how many students they graduated last year at the bachelor's level, and they told me eight. and then i asked them how many graduate students they had, and they told me three. i was absolutely appalled at what i see in higher education.
i have been essentially a dean of the largest probably oceanography, ocean engineering group, teaching group in the world, and i always made sure my students got jobs. evidently these people aren't getting jobs, and the universities, including the one that i left here many years ago, have all turned into environmental science. the geology department, i figured out there were probably about four or five at the most out of that 14 who were actually geologists. >> okay. president simon? >> well, if you look at the job opportunities for students today, including the number of what i would call classically defined geology programs around the country, we've been asked to look at reduced support and to be able to assure that all of our students are placed in the right kinds of jobs, and the
placement rate for the geology department across all of its programs is very, very high. so we'v kept a strand of the classic geology because we think that will come back, particularly as we look at energy exploration in michigan and around the great lakes, so we haven't limit ee ee eed -- ed that as a lot of universities have. so that's how you try to balance current job needs, current focus of employers with keeping a strength in place to build for the future. >> president lou anna simon, we want to thank you for your time and thank michigan state university for allowing us to come to the university today and talk with you about higher education. >> well, greta, thank you very much, and thanks to all of your people who both listen and have called in because this is an important dialogue about not simply michigan state but the future of our country, and we
appreciate everyone's concern as we try to build great value and enhance the competitiveness that all of our students deserve. >> thank you very much. wednesday on c-span3, washington journal's interview with university of minnesota president eric hailer. it's part of our special series on universities in the big ten conference. that's followed by part of this year's netroots nation conference. selections from the communist party usa annual convention and views on progressive politics from the campaign for america's future. you can see it all beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. c-span's campaign 2014 was bringing you more than 100 debates this campaign season. last night we showed you the first live debate between democrat amanda curtis and republican congressman steve daines. here is part of their debate. >> you know, when our founding
fathers wrote our founding documents, they did not ever intend for corporations to be running the show here. they absolutely intended for teachers and electricians and plumbers to be making the decisions that affect us and our citizen legislature and i have found in meeting montanans that, you know, they're a little bit afraid of being part of the process, that maybe they don't think they're quite smart enough to do it or don't have the right background, and the reason that i have stepped up to the plate is to prove that you do not have to be a silver spoon fed politician, a career politician to represent working families and that the best person to represent workers in this state is one of us. >> follow up to that just with amanda, i think we're getting to your experience. do you think you have the experience to represent the state in the u.s. senate with one year in the house of representatives and your background as a high school teacher? >> absolutely.
i am sure by now most folks have read in their local paper about my background growing up in poverty right here in billings and the adversity that i experienced. most people know that i have dedicated my life to education because it's the pathway to overcoming the adversity i've experienced. the experiences that i have had in a working class family in the state of montana absolutely make me the best person to be our voice in the united states senate. >> congressman daines? >> representative curtis and i agree we need to have more of a citizen type legislature serving us back in washington. we need more men and women who have real world experience that can bring that back, taking the skills learned in the private sector outside of washington to help lead the country. you know, growing up in bozeman, mom and dad brew up here in billings. my dad is a billings senior bro bronc. i can tell you i grew up
watching a mom and dad start up a construction business from nothing. we lived in ten different houses growing up in bozeman moving about every year and a half to stay a step ahead of the bank. i worked my summers in construction to put myself through college. but i think we need people who have had experience growing jobs, growing businesses because we talk about jobs. i'm the only candidate on this stage who has actually been out there and created hundreds of good high paying jobs right here in montana. >> quick rebuttal, amanda? >> i just have to apologize to all of the teachers out there for what you have just heard because we know that teachers are also very important job creators in our state and in our country. >> c-span's campaign 2014 is bringing you more than 100 debates this election season. you can see three of them on wednesday evening. at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the debate for new york's 11th congressional district between republican incumbent represent michael grim and his democratic
challenger, dominick recchis. then at 9:00 a new york house department with sean maloney and republican nan heyworth facing off for the 18th district seat. and finally at 10:00, illinois republican incumbent rodney davis and democratic challenger ann callas debate for the state's 13th district seat. you can see all of them beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span. c-span's 2015 student cam competition is under way. this nationwide competition for middle and high school students will award 150 prizes totally $100,000. create a five to seven-minute documentary on the topic "the three branches and you." videos need to improve c-span programming, show varying points of view and be submitted by january 20th, 2015. go to studentcam.org for more
information. grab a camera and get started today. now, a panel discussion on the future of conservatism and the republican party. you'll hear from authors, columnists, and journalists, some who advised president george w. bush and mitt romney on the economy, health care, soths policy, foreign policy, and the partisan divide. from the manhattan institute in new york city, this is an hour 25 minutes. good evening, everyone. i'm larry mone, president of the man hat an institute. i want to thank you for joining us for the discussion of the future of conservatism. what is the future of conservatism, which idea should it champion, which policies should it embrace? there are people who are well qualified to debate these questions, but with the consequences of today's policymaking falling squarely on the shoulders of the next
generation, we've assembled a number of leading edge journals and authors who come from a variety of backgrounds to engage in discussion about what the way forward could be. deeply versed in the nuances of policy they will not always agree but perhaps through a thoughtful discussion we will illuminate the finer points of the debate. in a way it reminds me of the early days of city journal when people like heather mcdone namd and george kelling and sal stern, people who would be characterized as classic conservatives managed to get together and form a conservative policy that was both coherent and very successful and i feel like in many ways we are the same kind of point in history. in any event we're glad to bring together this group despite their youth or being youth-ish as someone corrected me earlier. their resumes are very accomplished for their age is what i'm getting at. i won't go through all of those resumes but i'm happy to welcome our panelists.
josh barrow, newly with "the new york times." yuval levin, the foundingeth are of national affairs. megan mcardle. avik roy, a senior fellow and the opinion editor at forbes. reihan has shown up, reihan salam, better late than never, contributing editor of national review, and final we're very grateful to our moderator this evening, david brooks, columnist for "the new york times" whose very successful career has always been directed towards what's new and interesting in the world of ideas. so again, thank you all for being here this evening and thanks to all of you who will be watching on the internet. we look forward to the conversation. please join me in welcoming the moderator of this evening's discussion, david brooks. [ applause ] >> thank you, larry. i was thrilled when larry called to ask if i would take part of the panel on a future of
conservatism. then it was clear i was too hold to be a panelist. now i'm no longer on the leading edge. i'm just a dying ember fading on the vine, and so pleased to be joined by my first research assistant reihan salam. judging by the days when reihan and i worked together, he's just waking up. and so it's good that he rolled out of bed in time for this. i'm going to start -- we're just going to have a bunch of quick questions and hopefully not too long answers and hopefully you will cut each other off and i'm going to start with yuval. so what's the problem with conservatism. i'm going to mangle conservatism and the republican party together, so why are we here? what's the problem? >> well, i was going to say we don't know how to make an entrance until reihan proved me wrong. i guess in the most general sense i would say that the key problem at the moment is that conservatism and the republican party are not connecting with the problems of the day, are not speaking to the american public
in terms that make sense with people's experience. a lot of people are finishing sentences that other people started in the early 1980s and they forgot how the sentences started and why, so while i think that a lot of the problems we face are actually very much amenable to conservative ways of thinking and conservative solutions, the republican party is not doing the work of actually connecting their ideas to today's problems and voters know it, and voters consider it to be out of touch because in a lot of ways it's out of touch. >> megan, do you agree and if so, what are today's problems? >> i think there is a big problem with the coalition that came up in the 1960s and '70s and flowered in the 1980s, solved these specific set of problems that existed in 1979 and we've solved them, and the republicans forgot to declare victory and go home, and so there is this for a long time just this insistence, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, that was the up with thing we could all agree on even though we had cut taxes
a lot, deregulation, even though we've deregulated a lot and that's not speaking to the problems -- that isn't where the american public wants to hear solutions for their parents' generation. they want to hear solutions for the problems they have like long-term unemployment, like feeling like they are not going to move up, that they're not going to do as well, that mobility and opportunity are contracting. they want to hear the republican party speak to that and tax cuts is no longer the answer to that. >> avik, long-term unemployment, are these the issues? >> i think what you have mentioned are certainly problems but there's a antecedent problem. the antecedent problem is a lack of diversity in the people who vote republican and who represent the base of the conservative movement, not just in terms of ethnicity and race but also in terms of regionalism. so it's a southern party, it's not a northern party. it's an interior party, it's not a coastal party. it's a rural party, not an urban party. i think the democratic party today has a much legitimate
claim of being a national party than the republican party does and that's one of the reasons why the democratic party does a better job of speaking to the issues that a lot of people face today. >> how much of it is a white party -- i once heard a sentence which may have been forceful or unfortunate that it's a party looking for a white america that's never coming back. >> i think there is at least among some people there is -- you hear that on fox a lot. this is not the america i grew up in for which that is a proxy rhetorical statement. so i think that is part of it, and i think actually if we step back a minute from that, what we might understand is that conservatives have often prided themselves on thinking, well, we treat everyone as a individual. it's the other party that treats people as coalitions of race and ethnici ethnicity. i think there's a degree to which conservatism has become about older, white, southern politics. it's become a little more about the interest groups that have assembled in the republican
coalition. some of these people that don't vote republican, they're individuals, too. we treat them as democratic voters that we don't need to reach out to. >> we have the policy problem, not addressing the mobility agenda, and then the demographic problem. is it both, is there a third? is one more important than the other? >> i think the core problem is the policy problem. i think, you know -- i think the identity problem is a real thing but i think if you have the right policy that is problem becomes a lot easier to fix. democrats got past the civil war and managed to consolidate the black vote in time because they made correct appeals on policy. i think the problem on the policy side is not just that republicans are going after problems that were fixed. we deregulated the airlines, got the top rate down from 70 to 40. a new set of problems has arisen that conservatism doesn't have ideas to address. there are two main ones. one is that over the last 40 years there's been a decoupling from productivity growth and wage growth. one of the key propositions of
economic conservatism has been worry first about growth and it will raise all boats, and so we shouldn't worry too much about distribution, but, in fact, when you have returns acueing disproportionately at the top, that proposition is no longer as appealing to the middle and lower classes and we went through this severe recession and weak recovery. i think we thought to an extent we'd beaten the business cycle and we really haven't and yet conservatives have been making the same economic policy prescriptions in 2010 and 2012 they were making in 2007. what that says is there is nothing the government can or maybe nothing the government should do about recessions. two problems with that, one is that it's wrong and the other is it doesn't appeal to people who are facing very real economic pain in resethss. another one of the sort of propositions that conservatism puts out is you don't want to give in to the temptation to do too many transfer programs because while they create a safety net and reduce risk they also slow economic growth. if we are in a riskier economic
situation, that trade-off of more security for less growth can actually look pretty appealing especially if what growth we do get is accrues disproportionately at the top. the question is what can conservatives say about this new economy where families are exposed to more risk and less reward from economic growth? i think it's a very difficult policy question but it's one that needs to be addressed. >> reihan is capitalism broken? instead of the rising tide lifting all boats, growth, a, producing risk, b, as juosh sai decoupling productivity from wagings. >> i think our mental model of capital simple is wrong and we gravitate towards the wrong solutions. we tend to think of a model in which we see jobs sucked from the united states to china or something along those lines. you see companies that are kind of competing in this more vigorous way when in fact it's really the division of labor is now global in scale. yet you still have hierarchies.
you still have the more privileged parts of that division of labor where value is captured. the big change that happened after the, you know, really ever the late '80s is that you had many countries that became integrated in a specialized division of labor. so the most privileged, best places to be in the division of labor are still actually in the united states and societies like it, but actually the people who are at the top of those hierarchies are not all americans. it's not the entire country. when you look at u.s. corpses, they manufacture 40% of what is made to the world. capital simple is working extraordinarily well. globalization has been miraculous in terms of raising living standards around the world but the question is where are you situated in the hierarchies. when you think about how capitalism is impacting americans right now, the problem is that you have a chunk of the population that is exactly where you'd want to be in terms of the way this new capitalism works and you have another chunk of this population that just is not
in a very good place. i mean, they're kind of in this in between place where other people can do some of this work better than they can, et cetera, so that's a really core challenge that i think conservatives have some of the right instincts about but i think there hasn't been enough rigorous thinking about how to address that problem. >> so when facebook bought what's app the value was -- that suggests a lot of value, very few employees. does anybody disagree with that basic notion that capitalism is somehow not functioning automatically the way i think the '80s conservative model assumed it would? >> in one way that misdescribes the model a bit. i think one way to think about the problem we're facing, the change we're facing and another reason why some people say this isn't the america i used to know is our idea of what america is is shaped by a post-war america that couldn't possibly come back and that didn't exist before the war, that is never going to
exist again anywhere in the world. a country that won that war in a way that strengthened its economy while literally all of its competitors burned each other to the ground. so for decades could basically contain in itself the growth of global capitalism, and all boats did rise in a way, at least to some extent. that model defines our expectatiexpec expectations in a way that's going to need to change and it's going to be very, very difficult to change that. you can -- i had the interesting experience last year of reading charles murray's new book after reading paul krugman's "a conscience of a liberal." they both start with an introduction that's pure nostalgia for the early 1960s and almost in the same terms. and they're right, those are years we should miss. there's a lot about them to miss. but our politics is far too oriented around how can we bring that back rather than thinking about what does the world look like now and how can we make the most of america's strengths today.
i think both parties are failing that. that's not just a conservative problem. both parties are intellectually exhausted at the same time in a way that's very bad for the country. >> there is '50s nostalgia, the left for the union, the rights for the wages. >> the government was big, big labor was big, and there was a lot of economic dine nism at the same time. that's true. >> what is the future? i don't know. the '60s were pretty good for me. i know you guys don't remember. you guys were busy on that thing you call the internet. >> technically we weren't born then. >> yes. >> not just technically, we really weren't. >> that's why i enjoyed them. >> i think that one way to think about that is that an important political -- an important difference between the two parties now is that the democrats tend to think about that future in terms of large institutions, and republicans when they think about it at all, which is not enough, tend to think about it in more decentralized terms, and in that sense i think republicans might
well be better situated for offering the country a vision of that future than the democrats but they've got to think it through. they have to think through what it means to speak to a culture that's used to having an incredible amount of choices among a huge variety of options in a very decentralized space. that's what the future looks like, and there's a lot of work to be done to think through what public programs look like in that kind of world. >> i would amplify that even further by saying that the information economy is a fundamentally different type of economy than the industrial economy, and i think the political class in general having been raised on not just the '50s nostalgia but on the industrial idea just is not equipped to think about how the information economy is fundamentally different, and that leads to darch set of policy problems. for example, what you do with unskilled male workers who are left behind in the information economy and the way the college educated worker is not but it goes beyond that. it's about a pace of innovation and a type of innovation and a
type of a labor force that's very, very different from what, again, the political class -- political people and people who are intellectuals tend to be old school in the way they live their lives, they write, they read. that's not necessarily what the average person is doing, and it's just -- i think that people who are in that economy are much more attuned to that than the people who comment on it. >> you say what you want to say but i'm going to throw something at you. >> i would like to push back on that a little bit because i think the '50s and '60s were phenomenally innovative. if you look at what's happening to people's lives, their lives are changing materially with every single year with massive improvements in the standards of living. we're less innovative in many ways than we were in the post-war period. i think my who iris we'll be even less innovative in the future because of the aging of the world. when you look at older people tend to be -- as i'm looking down becoming one, older people
tend to be more conservative just sort of temperamentally. there's also a thing if you're 57 and i come to you and i say i want you to give me half your savings, i have a great opportunity in 30 years it will make you a billionaire. you will have the best upholstered nursing room in america. the calculus in risk taking radically changes as people change. as our median age is the highest it's ever been at 38 and we'ring well compared to the rest of the developed world. that's a huge challenge that no party is speaking to at all. >> i will get back to yuval. you made the point that a core distinction is centralization versus decentralization and i want to get back to that point in a minute. let's go to megan's point which reminds of "the great stagnation" which argued we are winding down productivity or at least we're in a period of clsl technological and productivity
growth and it ties into the general concern that america is sort of on the downward slope. do you buy that? >> i don't know. i'm just -- i'm not sure i really think there's that much that policy can do about that. i also -- i tend to think that the pace -- the likely long-run base of gdp growth is acceptable to the extent that it is distributed in a way that people feel like they are getting -- they're getting standard of living growth. so i think, you know -- and part of the reason i wonder about how much policy can do is i think we've been in an environment in the last decade or so where you've had a de facto weakening of a lot of intellectual property, copyright and patents. it hasn't had material impacts on which kind of ips are getting better -- >> is that a weakening over the period? >> yeah, of -- well, de facto. but there's rampant piracy in music. music has not gotten any worse.
the revenue model of television and movies have been disrupted and yet the quality seems to be improving. this is bad often for producers but it looks quite good for consumers. what it makes me wonder is does it really -- for the quantity of innovation we get, does the ip policy really even matter much? it's an interesting question whether we're going to be more innovative in the future but i'm skeptical of the ability of policymakers to influence so it so it's not where i would tend to direct my energies. >> i have great respect for tyler but i completely disagree with his thesis that the low hanging fruit has declined. we are barely in the first inning if even in the first pitch of what will be an incredible revolution in our knowledge of how cells work, how the brain works, how the body works. i think there's a lot to do in terms of innovation. that's just biology, not the internet. the thing we're missing when we're too optimistic about that
side is the potential for a catastrophic financial and fiscal crisis which is what got me into this world out of the business world that i was in before. i think that's a thing that i think a lot of us just -- we have more of an imagining -- we have more of a conception of what that could look like because of 2007 and 2008 but we're so far removed from the depression that we don't understand what a true catastrophic -- >> didn't we just go through one? >> no, that wasn't as bad as the depression. >> i think something conservatives haven't -- >> i think it is nothing compared to what could come if we don't get our house in order fiscally and otherwise. >> bond markets don't seem concerned about that. >> that's not quite -- >> the past is not a predictor of the future. >> sure it is. >> okay. well, let's get this core question of the future left/right divide in the country. yuval put something on the table, centralization,
decentralization, does that strike everybody as true? >> no, i think the core fight is the one that we've been having politically over the last few years about economic distribution, about the role of the government as a redistributor and as a protector of poor and middle class interests and i think it's not a fight we're done having but i think that's going to be -- i mean, to put it bluntly, it's sort of where is my growth, where is my piece of the economy? that's going to be the key question. >> yuval, my impression is you think there's going to be some sort of wage emilor yation. >> i think the two are closely connected. there's a real logic to the left's and the right's ways of thinking about the role of government in our kind of economy, and there's a real difference between them. where the left does tend to think in terms of managing large institutions, of seeing society as a set of systems that are disordered and that require better organization, it's a coherent, logical argument. i don't agree with it but it's not a crazy argument.
the right's view tends to be that the role of government is mott to manage society but to create the space in which society can flourish. what that means is actually very chaotic. it looks like chaos, and it is in many respects, and that's how innovation happens but it's also how problem solving happens, how people confront specific material problems in a local way, one-on-one, through markets, through local governments, through institutions that bubble up solutions, trifal and error way, not a centralized here is the technical answer. i think we're getting back to a place where the difference between those two things is becoming very apparent. and we're getting back to a place where there's something like political economy on the table rather than just the kind of technical economics where economics is subsumed by an argument about priorities which in turn is subsumed by an argument about what american life is really all about, and that's why i think conservatives could be better positioned than they now seem to be to address the public's worries in ways that make sense to voters
because people have a sense that we are living in a society that is decentralized, that offers them a huge number of options, a huge range of options, and younger people in particular like that and expect that and want that, and you see it in the health care debate. the sheer consolidation of large systems that's involved in the left's way of thinking is not appealing to a lot of people. now, the right i think has not offered a coherent alternative. conservatives don't go around saying we have a view of what government does that vows creating a space and allowing people to operate in that space. allowing competition to happen. that's what conservatism is in practice but rhetorically what conservatism is just isn't that. it's as we've been saying, a set of solutions to problems that were very prominent in the late '70s. i think that gap has to be closed. you can see it happening. i think it's imaginable, but that doesn't mean it is happening and that's some of the work that these folks are trying to do. >> i have two stories.
one story is that the left is the party of democracy and the right is the party of diversity. the other story is that the left is centrally concerned with inequality and the right ought to be concern trally concerned with inclusion. in the first story the idea is that, you know, when you're contrasting a corporation and a republic, they're both actually quite similar entities. both these legal institutional entities that own themselves that have their own kind of cultures and codes, yet corporations -- you know, they can organize themselves internally in all kinds of different ways, et cetera, and then you have one that succeeds and all the other corporations mimic that corporation until another new successful model emerges. whereas the appeal of democracy to the left is, well, we have truly egalitarian decision making within the organization, et cetera, it leads it to a different kind of decision making so that's an attractive story to tell. the story you could tell going forward into the future is we now have technology to make our societies more authentically
democratic which is how we make different decisions, and so in this framework the right is the party of diversity by vir tie of saying it's a good thing to have that trial and error process that you've all described. you can't just say what works and let's determine what worked through a randomized control trial and then distribute what works to all institutions by virtue of having it in some central line braer. it's a question of what works well. that will change because the nature of the problem will change over time. so what the right ought to be about is preserving the possible of decentralized diverse solutio solutions. but the other story i've been more interested and concerned about is the idea that so the left is very concerned about the distribution of resources within the society. whereas another story is the real problem is that there are large populations, growing populations i would suggest, that are marginalized from the pieces of our society that are working very well. when you think about civil society, we tend it think about formal institutions but there are also inform nal networks.
when you think about friendships, about how upper middle income people think about their friendships as vehicles for upward mobility, as ways to invest in cultural capital and working class people tend to not be connected to the network that is create access to upper mobility that give you access to opportunities. i think that when you think about inclusion and the goal of inclusion, it actually leads you to different policies. for example, if you're an advocate of increased minimum wage, you could say it raises household income for "x" number of people. sure it leads to fewer jobs for 500,000 people or some orb -- arbitrary number whereas if you believe in inclusion, that's a big deal. it allows people to build social connections, allows people to break out of that isolation that is really actually really toxic. that suddenly becomes a very, very big deal and that's not to say inequality is not a problem at all but it's to say that
maybe we ought to think more about this inclusion problem and then we're going to look differently at a whole host of questions including immigration policy and including integration and how we think about housing markets and zoning laws, but i really think that that's the debate that i would want to see. >> let's try to get a concrete view. i'll introduce to characters. john is 42 years old, used to work at a mill, is now working at a warehouse for 9 bucks an hour. pretty much stagnant wages when he's employed, not going anywhere. sort of falling through the cracks. jane is a waitress making $27,000 with two dakids, no dad around the household. what do republicans offer these people? >> i think that's the question, right. and i think the problem with this sort of -- this nebulous idea of, you know, the decentralized system of networks that we're not telling it what to do, we're trying to build the environment is we've had this big increase in economic --
perceived and actual economic risk over the last few years, and so what the left has is they have a suite of centralized programs to offer that are designed to mitigate those risks, and the pitch that we are proposing to offer from the right here is basically, well, you know, we will have these pilot programs and state governments will take approaches of their own and figure things out and you will have civil society and such. that creates a lot of risk that in various places this isn't going to work. the risks is compounded by the fact that when you look at actual republican politicians in place, they have not expressed a lot of interest in doing these type of policy innovations especially at the federal level and on these core economic issues i would contend also at the state level, although they have been innovative on some other issues less core to the debate today. so i think one problem is that there's a credibility issue here. but then also it's not responsive to the broad, new problem of risk, and i think the way conservatives can adjust to
th some extent is to move away from fiscal policy as be a emphasis. there are -- are occupational opportunities in planning and property where there could be -- you can unleash market forces, create faster growth, beat down rents so that you improve returns to labor relative to returns to capital. in a decentralized manner. but i don't think there's a credible way to meet those needs in a decentralized way on fiscal policy. >> i think there is a way to talk about this that conservatives haven't, and democrats also aren't, which is to talk about reciprocity. you think about -- i think of the world as -- one way to view the world is to think about what happens economically either as a forger does where you've got high risk. you know, you go out hunting and maybe there's nothing there. it's not because you're a bad hunter. it's just there's no animal there. and in society what you see as a
forger share a lot. they have a very broad insurance. or you can look at it as a farmer. you put it in the ground, you do the work, you should get the crop, right? how we judge economic policy often very much boils down to, do you think this outcome is fundamentally about risk or fundamentally about effort? here is the thing though. forager societies still have very tightly linked networks. it's not i give you stuff and you have no obligation to me. that is a position democrats are often in the place of advocating now, which is that the rich are taking too much. we need to take it from them. what obligation do these people have? none. they've been cheated. what i think that republicans can do is look at a policy emphasis on things that say, if you do the right things, i call this like the american bourgeois synthesis, if you do the right things it should be possible for you to get ahead. it should be possible for you to stay connected to the labor market. looking at policy through that
lens, things like wage subsidies which reihan talked about, i've talked about. things like trying to get the long-term unemployed back to work through tax rebates or what have you, those are things that say you are doing the right stuff and therefore we have an obligation to you. if you're not doing the right stuff, then we don't. if you're not trying to work, we don't have an obligation to support you. that we're all in this together but it has to be two-way. i don't think either party has captured that space yet and that is a very fruitful place for the republicans to go. >> tell me how wage subsidies would work. >> look, there is a problem right now is that you have americans who are not competitive with chinese workers or whatever. or they're not competitive at the level that their parents worked at. so they are downwardly mobile because what they do, what their dad did, doesn't pay what it used to. and what you can say -- what a lot of them are saying is, no, right? why should i do this? this is demeaning that i have to go and work for a pittance doing
this and this is the rest of my life and it's just all downhill from here. so they go on disability, which is a terrible program in a lot of ways. not for people who are genuinely disabled but it's becoming a backdoor trap unemployment insurance and it's not good at that role. what you can say is we are going to make up that difference. we are going to make it easier for you to support a family at the basic level your dad did it, at least, on the same kind of work. because you can't go out there and -- your labor is just not worth it. and maybe you're 55 years old, and you're not now going to go back to college and become an electrical engineer. right? that ship has kind of sailed. but we are going to make it possible to maintain what we think is a decent minimum, provided again you're going to work 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. >> we being we the federal government that's going to give you a chance? >> yes. or will tax rebates? i mean the eitc is basically a wage subsidy. there's ways to structure this
that is linked to work. you could link the eitc to work because right now you can work for a very small percentage of the year and get quite large subsidies for that. >> i want to raise a couple of points related to your original question. the millworker and the waitress are in very different situations because an increasingly wealthy society can actually have more expensive restaurants. which actually will reward the waitress. a starbucks barista does better than her counterpart did 50 years ago. the millworker on the other hand, that job is gone and not coming back. so they're actually discrete problems and i think neither party has a particularly good solution other than the eitc for the millworker. but there is one thing that we've ignored. we have talked a lot about income inequality, but we don't talk about the importance of cost of living relative to income inequality. because the fact is, if you live in a low-cost part of the country, and your wages are relatively low, you're actually not that bad off. it's trying to live on that wage
in new york city that's tough. what does that have to do with? both at the local level and at the federal level we've done a lot of things to drive up the cost of housing stock, the cost of food, the cost of all sorts of basic goods and services that a low-income person will have. so actually a message that's very free market oriented that can help that person if you can't bring his job back, just say we're going to drive the cost of your health insurance down. we're going to drive the cost of your housing, your mortgage, your rent down. we're going to do those things to make it easier for you to live your life. >> you've all -- first does everyone just let's take the wage subsidy just as a pilot as a single example. does everyone here agree it's a decent idea? >> i think it's a decent idea with the caveat that dumping it into the labor market that we have today where there are still a very large number of people looking to work relative to the number of firms interested in hiring that wage subsidy is only going to further imbalance that by drawing more people into the labor market. that doesn't mean a wage subsidy is a bad idea it just means that it's ever more important to have policies that promote full employment in a tight labor
market so that that wage subsidy actually translates into higher incomes rather than simply allowing firms to pay lower wages. >> i actually fundamentally disagree with that. what i see is right now basically we have two labor markets. we have the long-term unemployed who have been unemployed now for years and we have everyone else. this labor market looks great. leave it alone. it's fine. it's recovering. it's back where you want it. it's this labor market. so one thing that you could try doing is making that labor cheaper. so say my one proposal i've had is why don't we rebate the payroll tax, both sides of it. one month for every month this person has been out of work. it's effectively a 15% wage subsidy for hiring a long-term unemployed. it is obviously not going to take every long-term unemployed person and fix the problem, but there are ways we can redirect this and say look, we know you want to work. we know that you are trying and that you've been stuck in this terrible employment scarring situation. we're going to try to help that by making it easier -- more attractive for employers to hire you rather than some other guy. i think that this -- i think that the labor market for people
who are currently in work is basically fine. >> it's not like ideal. >> let me -- go ahead. >> fine with the exception that we have this long run trend that has been actually slightly worse in the last few years of slow wage growth relative to gdp growth and relative to productivity growth. and i think it's also -- >> -- by rising health care costs. >> but not entirely. and in 9 last couple of years we've had slow growth in health care costs and we've still had fairly anemic wage growth. and i think it's also related to a cultural problem that conservatives talk about. that there is, you know, a declining work ethic or less pride that people take in work. i would contend that part of that has to do with the fact that you had this anemic growth in wages relative -- relative to gdp. i think people would be -- >> i think you're agreeing -- >> if you sort of argument -- >> i think part of the -- i agree entirely with megan on the particular point. and i think that it's also, it points to the place of work in the larger economic debate that's been emerging in the last few years. and it's been especially
prevalent in the last few months where i think there is really a lot of room for conservatives to highlight the ways in which their ways of thinking about helping the poor and helping the lower middle class are centered around work. and have to be centered around work. and some people have been doing this. senator rubio has an idea out there now that would distinguish in a sharp way between benefits that go to people who have a job and benefits that go to people who don't have a job. he's not ending help for people who aren't working. in some ways, of course, they are the ones who need the most help. but benefits that go to them would be in-kind benefits, help getting house, help getting food, help getting medical coverage. whereas all benefits to people who are employed would be cash benefits. so that work would always be more attractive than non-work. using the same amount of money. even if it's the same amount of money a cash benefit is a lot more appealing than an in-kind benefit that tells you what to do with it. so in that sense not to even shift the emphasis or the degree of help offered to people in different circumstances, but to
make work more appealing and to make work the center of what it takes -- of what we think it takes to rise in america. i think that is extremely important. it gets to another way in which i think the debates we're seeing now are political economy debates. they're about priorities, more than they are about technical questions of how to get the economy growing at this rate or that rate. and that is healthy. that is what our politics should be about and what our economic debate should be about. i think the democrats have not worked out their side of this argument very well, and the republicans have not worked out their side of this argument very well. but it is shaping out to be a genuine difference that shows itself in the health care debate, that shows itself in the labor debates, shows itself in debates about the safety net and welfare, and it's a big part of our politics going forward. >> you have worked as a hill staffer and a white house staffer. you spent a lot of time with members of congress. how big a gap is there between this type of conversation and the conversation that elected officials are having? >> how big have you got?
i think there are a few members of congress who are in this kind of conversation, and i think it is probably unreasonable to expect there will ever be more than a few of them. the question is how influential they can be, and at this point, i don't think they are influential enough. some of them are in positions of relative prominence and leadership. i think paul ryan thinks about some of these questions. i think dave camp thinks about some of these questions, and their committee chairman. some of them are real back ventures. mike lee is talking in ways that are very interesting and constructive about these kind of issues. mike lee is not in the leadership. he is at the back of the list of the minority party at the senate. you know, i would say at this point they're not moving the party in quite this direction. there is a lot of room to go. in a way, though, the debate that is happening about that, about what the agenda ought to be is still to my mind a debate about whether to have afternoon agenda and not what it ought to be. people who are making arguments like the kinds we're trying to
advance here are in a sense fulfilling a vacuum rather than fighting against a different point of view exactly. but the vacuum is a pretty powerful thing because of inertia and actually political arguments that don't make sense to me but make sense to a lot of people that we shouldn't put out an agenda because it would be a target at election season. the country is so happy with xy or z that surely they're going to vote against it. that by default they vote for us. that's basically the logic of the romney campaign and it didn't work very well and i think it never could have worked very well. i think there's a lot of debate going on about the policy agenda. that's a debate we've got to be able to win. >> a lot of this is about to be shaped by a primary season. does anybody have a favorite candidate? that's not a right question. let me ask how one looks at the nominal candidates, and how one sees divides that will be emerging? what are the debates that seem obvious that we're about to
have? >> just to build on that question and also what you have all just said, this is why i think the demography is the anti-seedent of the policy. the reason why the policymakers and the republican party can't get anywhere and don't have enough influence is because the people who vote republican aren't especially interested in that aspect of the republican policy agenda. the key thing i think about when i think about who would be a favorite in 2016 is who can expand who votes republican the most, because that is what presidents do. josh mentioned civil rights and the democrats. well for a lot of democrats who were opposed to it. what happened? you had the iron will and incredible finesse of lbj who ran through civil rights over the objections of conservative democrats who opposed civil rights and over time, that's what helped democrats get the allegiance of black voters. so the republicans need perhaps to do something similar to reach out to a broader audience with a conservative message. not with a moderate message. but a conservative message that appeals to a broader slice. >> are you saying they won't
hear policy proposals like the ones we've just been hearing about unless immigration reform comes first? >> i don't know if i would put immigration reform at the top of the list. i would put universal coverage at the top of the list. i would say until conservatives articulate a coherent solution for the extremely unaffordable nature of health insurance in this country, for people who can't afford it, they don't -- they don't deserve to have a broader base for their support. >> reihan can i ask you about the primary debate to come? >> i think we are now at the point where it should be more a matter of us being outraged that serious candidates don't have a serious health reform agenda, don't have a serious labor market agenda. i think while those are two particularly crucial pieces but i think if you don't have something to say about wage stagnation and something to say about what is an actual, viable alternative to obamacare, then i think you shouldn't be taken seriously. i think that
the last time around, that was not the case. i mean you had a couple of candidates who had, you know, exotic tax reform proposals that were, you know, kind of exotic, by which i mean laughable. but i think, you know, this time around, i think that we have enough of an infrastructure, we have enough of a body of ideas, where i think that at a bare minimum the candidates should, you know, have some kind of serious agenda around health reform, labor market and taxes. i think that, you know, the truth is that i have found certain developments in the republican presidential field moderately dispiriting. maybe there was someone or some people that i was excited about in the recent past, and that's less the case now. but i think that actually, that's actually intellectually useful. because -- >> don't be coy. >> because it -- >> problems or what? >> it shouldn't be about characters, it shouldn't be about personalities. what we really want is a situation in which everyone who wants to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate understands that they need to
have a serious substantive agenda. they need to actually engage with these arguments. and i do think that something weird has happened. i do think that there are many ways to achieve conservative celebrity. there are ways to say outrageous things, et cetera. but i think some people are seeing that actually saying interesting, and new things about real problems that exist, that's not necessarily the number one way to get attention. but it actually is becoming a way to get attention. and i think that that's really new, and i think that's very exciting and very positive. >> i would say it's a return -- it used to be in the early part of the season of every presidential season, candidates would give a series of worthy speeches. if i'm right larry, george bush came here in 1999 and gave a speech attacking grover norquist, which i loved. so he gave that kind of speech. the last couple of cycles, they have not been giving those speeches. my impression, correct me if i'm wrong, the only person doing that is marco rubio right now. >> well of the imaginable candidates that's probably true. but i think there is more of
that kind of ferment going on in the party among elected officials than there was four years ago. part of it is that there are more ideas out there. in a sense the absence -- the policy vacuum on the right itself has been the fault for a long time of people like us. and i think that's less true now. because some of the work has been done. and some of the thinking has been done. and the working out of what it looks like as a political agenda has been done. the idea that if those things exist, they're on the ground when a politician is ready to think well at this point in my speech i should probably say something about what i'm going to do. if there's this pile of papers in front of them that helps. i think that's the way in which -- we can't think of ourselves as the cutting edge of anything. look 59 us. that's the way in which we can be useful. right? well, not everybody. some of us can. >> well -- >> look at me. just look at me. i think the ways in which people who think about policy can be helpful is by preparing the ground, making sure those ideas are out there and that these conversations are happening.
there are not separate from the political process. they prepare the political process so that when it's time for a politician to think well how do i speak to the party and to the country about the issues that people face, there are actual ideas out there rather than having to think about the only way i can do it is to get this amount of face time on fox, and that means i've got to say this, that and the other, nine, nine, nine. that's been a failure of the kind of infrastructure of policy development. i think things are better but there's certainly a lot of work to do. >> it seemed for a little while that there was a rise in libertarian wave. let's get government off our backs and rand paul certainly exemplifies that. is that still true? >> i think there is on some issues. i mean i think that sort of gay marriage is coming forward as an issue that basically i think the republicans have lost on that, and that i think that that is going to be the future of the party. is that that's going to collapse on both sides. i think that you certainly see in foreign policy a lot less
enthusiasm for invading middle eastern countries, and so forth than we had in 2003. to that extent, i think it is true. at this point it's hard to say. in 2012, and the election was interesting because both candidates seemed to be desperate to say as little as possible about what they would do. can anyone name any policy agenda that either obama or romney had other than repealing obamacare, right? the tiny, not even small ball, like microscopic ball. >> i would disagree with that. >> other than -- excellent work -- >> i wish mitt romney had noticed. >> but in general, what people did and there's a reason for that. which is that we're out of money. when you poll people, simultaneously they want to cut like our huge foreign aid budget, and they want to raise taxes, but only on people who make like $2 billion a year. they want all the social spending we are doing and everything else and they also want a balanced budget.
depressingly, apparently, even when you point out to them this is mathematically impossible, no, i want a balanced budget but only raise taxes on those four people and don't cut any but foreign aid. what i fear is that will be 2016 as well. what i hope is that that will be the way to win. obama won by not saying anything. romney could've won by not saying anything. but i hope that actually we're going to talk about these problems because they are huge. and that they really need to be addressed. and it's no longer possible to sit on the sidelines. >> i agree with megan about that. i think the one exception that proves the rule here was mitt romney's tax plan. he tried not to have a tax plan. and then, in i think february of 2012 he felt like he was backed into a corner by rick santorum and like everybody else he needed a tax plan with a headline about rate cuts. and it came back to really bite him in the fall because the numbers on it added such that you either had to raise taxes on the middle class, or it had to
be a net revenue loss. and i think the lesson people take away from that was that mitt romney got too specific on policy and would have done him well to be even vaguer. >> i think the romney campaign went through an actual process in real mitt romney style of thinking through whether they should have a policy agenda and they concluded that they should not have one. it was a very frustrating process. some of us were involved in it in ways that left us with a headache. they thought it through. it's not like they had no idea how it would work to develop a policy agenda, they thought the politics of that would be a bad idea. that calculation has got to change. >> i want to build on something that megan was talking about which we haven't really talked about this evening which is that the conservative -- the cultural conservatism is -- is fragile intellectually, and also in terms of what appeals to a broad cross-section of america. there are a lot of reasons for that. i think one thing that, we're -- we all like to talk about economic policy.
we like to wonk out. but we've left aside a lot of that the fact that younger people today grew up well after the 1960s, they grew up in this era where they put last night's date on twitter whatever, instagram, maybe some sites i've never heard of snapchat or whatever. but you know, that's a large part of what's going on in america, is that, we as conservatives have still not moved past the battles of the 1960s in terms of are we comfortable with the fact that the vast majority of americans engage in premarital sex. i don't sate that to be ironic. i think that is something conservatives really have wrestled with and don't have a good solution to. i would say where we'll end up probably is we'll be a pro-life party but we'll accept the liberal hegemony on most other social issues. but that is not where the conservative movement is today. i'm not sure i agree with that. gay marriage is one issue where republicans are going to lose. 23 you look at marriage as a whole it's in disastrous shape at the bottom of society and that really matters for economic policy, because if the families
aren't there, then the government's going to have to support the kids. but it also matters like on a very personal level that marriage makes people happier. and it makes them healthier. and it like is actually good for people. and it is completely collapsed so you have serial parenting where people have you know, multiple children by different parents, the fathers tend to invest in the kids with the mother with whom he gets along the best. this is not a stable model going into the 21st century. so while i do think that like on gay marriage republicans have lost, i actually think there's a way in which they could use the gay marriage issue to make a more robust claim for okay, we have marriage equality. now everyone get married. i'm not sure that -- >> what's the public policy that makes that happen? >> i'm not sure that like i think that some of this is -- like actually having people voice cultural policy also matters. right? like look at how influential hollywood was on gay marriage. and how much that changed what hollywood -- the positions that tv shows took on it, how much
that changed public opinion on matters. >> so we should take over hollywood. >> let me try to answer that question if i can jump out of my moderator role. like most of us here, i looked at pro-marriage policies and my conclusion is that none of them work. my second solution is that parenting skill coaching actually does work. so don't focus on marriage, focus on parenting skills, even for single moms. and doing that requires somewhat intrusive and certainly government -- active government policies. and they include things like nurse family partnerships which government could fund and other things. as a matter of curiosity, would people on this panel support those sorts of policies, government-funded, maybe if not government delivered, like nurse-family partnerships or early childhood education? >> i think when you're looking at parenting skills -- basically, what you see is that everyone is delaying marriage in this society. and yet one swath of the society
is also delaying child-bearing until after marriage, and there's another chunk of the society that's not. so i think that actually this is -- i like to think this is a more tractable problem because of that. how do you actually spread those norms. but with regard to that kind of investment i think of this as very interesting. i call myself a conservative despite the fact that i'm definitely influenced by a lot of libertarian thinking. part of that is i think i'm much more comfortable with certain parts of public maternalism. this goes back to the issue of inclusion more broadly. when you are looking at how parenting has evolved, when you look at upper middle income people, college-educated people, they are parenting not in the way that people parented in the '50s and '60s. they're parenting in a new way. it's a high investment style of parenting, and i think that this happens to be unusually well suited to a society in which you have very rapid cultural and economic change. and the question is, is high investment parenting the kind of thing that only this narrow group of people can do? or is it something that a larger swath of the population could do?
ifou need public policy, as i suspect you do, then i think that's -- i think that's something that we need to think hard about and i think that's something that we need to feel that it's appropriate for conservatives to embrace. but i think that that's going to introduce an interesting new tension. we have been in a moment that has been, if only rhetorically kind of quasi-libertarian movement among conservatives for lots of good reasons. there's a lot of exhaustion in faith in failed public institutions. but i think you're seeing a whole series of issues, including for example marijuana regulation, a whole series of things where you're actually dealing with the conflict between chaos and order. and you're seeing the need for a new public paternalism i think or even talking about wage subsidies. you have some libertarians who are saying the labor market isn't inclusive enough. minimum wage might not be the way to do it but wage subsidies might make it more inclusive. i think that conservatives need to feel more comfortable acknowledging that they are not libertarians. and i think investing in parenting skills is one part of that puzzle. >> i'm going to go to the floor
if one minute. i want to hit on that term paternalism, that is a theme. a more aggressive government. welfare reform is paternalistic. schools are paternalistic. nurse-family partnerships are paternalistic. as conservatives, are we comfortable with a certain level of public paternalism? >> part of what has happened in the somewhat libertarian turn of the last few years has been a change in our own understanding of what our fairly recent history has been. as conservatives interested in public policy. you say welfare reform, which is what everybody talks about first when they talk about conservative public policy should look like. it was very paternalistic. it was also very decentralized. and i think conservatives tend to be comfortable with some degree of government paternalism when it is relatively local. when it accepts 9 fact that things work differently in different places. and should be allowed at some level to be defined differently in different places, even if there's some centralized funding behind it. the implementation of it is going to be different based on people's understanding of how different communities function. and i think in that sense,
there's certainly room for that to help people with family formations and with other concerns. but they're always going to work at the margins. it's true, there's some evidence that helping people with parenting skills works. it helps a little. it works better than marriage promotion, which does not really seem to do anything, but it only helps relatively little. the problem here is very great. if we talk about the ways in which capitalism does not seem to be working right now, capitalism requires a kind of citizen that it does not produce. the question of what does produce it has always been a central question for conservatives who care about capitalism in a serious way. i think we are seeing now what it looks like when we fail at least in some portions of society to produce that citizen. and you can't blame the people in these situations. you can't blame the larger society, at least not in the simple sense. this is the greatest public policy problem we have. i am as a general matter very much an optimist about america but i think on the question of how to help people in those situations, i don't think anybody has any idea. >> just going to underline that
from yuval, capitalism produces the kind of citizen it does not produce. very well put. >> i will say i think even those libertarians are pretty comfortable with paternalism aimed at children. that's okay. treat kids like kids. i'm good with that. i will also say that there is public policy in wages that when you talk to people who study marriage a lot of them talk about the fact that like basically the wage situation is such right now that men cannot get steady work for 50 weeks out of the year that pays anything. and therefore they're not any use around the house. that sort of thing, yes, does marriage promotion work? no. but there are broader public policies where you can say like instead of making the state a substitute for intact families, try to do things that make it easier to form an intact family. but like things like early childhood education, i'm not convinced that you can actually scale it. i mean, i'm very convinced that perry preschool did a good job.
i'm not convinced you can reproduce perry preschools for 4 million kids every year. for things like childhood intervention, i think that's try the nurse partnerships, if it works, even if it does a little that's better than nothing for low-income kids who have very little. >> i think it's right that you want to try these things on a decentralized basis. partly because things that involve complex service delivery are done better off by state and local governments and partly so that people can choose to avoid certain patteernalpaternalistic interventions. i think doing this with a decentralized model depends on having a centralized fiscal policy layer on top of it. it's one thing to say we're going to do parenting classes and various other things to try to improve outcomes for kids and low-income families. it's another to say we are to do a bunch of these decentralized things and therefore we can cut the food stamp program. i think both in order to develop trust among voters that this is something that will be done in a way that doesn't in the mean time miserate them, and also because there are separate approaches with their own merits
that can be done together rather than substitutes, i think it's really important to pair those two things. >> question. right over here. microphone coming and a bunch over here. >> thank you. if you don't mind, i'd like to bring the discussion from 30,000 feet down to ground level. you have mentioned that it is important to create the citizen for the appropriate scales for the new age. i would put to you that any candidate, democrat or republican, who can address the problem of having the right worker, the right employee, would get everyone's vote. let me give you an example. j. timmons, president of the national association of manufacturers, said that at any one time there are 2 million manufacturing job openings that are going unfilled because of a
skills gap. why is that? certainly throwing more money at the education system is not going to close that. so we need a set of policies that closes that skills gap and cements the workers' stake in the system by giving him and her those skills that are marketable and are sought after. one other factoid. right now manufacturing is 12% of the economy. if it can be raised to 15% of the economy, we would have the same level of employment in the manufacturing sector as we had in 1980. now, will we go back to 1946, hell no, that will never happen. but there are -- so the question is, who can help create the kind of policies that will create a closure of the skills gap, to
create the employee that is sought after by the new capitalist economy? >> there are a couple of questions in that. and all of them are framed from the point of view of an employer in a way that's interesting. that's useful but i think is also probably too often the way conservatives think about questions like this. i would say it's certainly true that our education system -- the education system of any republic that takes itself seriously is always going to face the challenge of balancing its self-understanding. is your role to create a citizen that is capable of self-government? is your role to create the worker your economy needs? obviously the answer is both. but the way to balance those, the way to distinguish between what is universal education and what is specialized education for what's needed here and now is a challenge for our education system. we at this point are probably not doing either of those things very well and our education system is not great.
for many people it's fine. for some people it's absolutely dreadful. from the point of view of employers, it seems to have all the wrong priorities. i think that requires some changes in the way we think about the distinction between higher ed and secondary education. the distinction between worker training and education. those things have got to be -- have got to answer needs that bubble up from the bottom, as you're suggesting. so they've got to be a little more flexible, they've got to be capable of offering people more options that have more to do with what's needed where they are. i think there's a lot of room for improvements in the way that our public education system works, and the education system in general works. it's one of the very, very low-hanging fruits for public policy. i think there are a lot of low-hanging fruits for public policy. there are a lot of places where the inefficiency of the systems that we have is so great and their inability to deal with problems that are perfectly obvious is so great that you can really improve things quite a bit in a lot of areas.
education certainly is one of them. i think thinking about it in terms of worker training is one obvious way to do it. we do have to be careful it's not the only way to do it, because it's not the only problem with our education system. >> i want to jump on this just briefly. i think that my personal view is that the real problem is that you have corporations that have very high profits right now. you have corporations sitting on enormous reserves of cash and why is that? that's because they're not afraid. i think when you look at economic sectors in which firms are afraid that their advantage is going to evaporate, that some new startup is going to come and destroy them, those are the firms that are hiring. facebook started out as a relatively small company. they're hiring quite a lot. again they're never going to become as big as gm or what have you but they're hiring quite a lot. they're not saying gosh i don't have anyone for this particular mix of specialized skills. they're paying higher and higher wages to the people who have them and that's creating a dynamic in which more people are seeking to build those skills. when you look at the corporate tax code, the way it rewards large incumbents, if you look at all kinds of aspects that we treat business enterprises, we
are not creating an environment in which these firms are afraid. i think it's appropriate to have a safety net for citizens. it's not appropriate to have a safety net for corporations. i think an environment in which more corporations are afraid of business model innovation, i think that that would actually be very good and would be particularly good for workers. >> i almost never disagree with reihan but i have to here. corporations are sitting on cash because of political and economic uncertainty. they're very concerned about higher taxes, regulation that's going to drive up the cost of their business, cost of capital. once -- >> so you think we have just about as much -- as we ought to have --? >> let's get some more questions. >> second row. >> mike with the manhattan institute. question about cities. we talk about conservatives being a need to be a national movement. and i think to be a national movement we need to compete in cities, right? that's how we move senate races and certainly eventually presidential races. and we have the examples. we have right here in new york, indianapolis, reforms on public
labor and certainly most recently public safety. but we lose cities. the de blasio election, best example. so my question is why? is it messaging? do we need a new agenda? many of you had said that we are kind of solving the problems of a decade or two decades ago. but i think in cities we're solving today's problems. but we're not getting credit. what do we need to do? >> you know, in 2008 when obama was elected, i actually looked at this problem and thought, ok, is this true in other advanced economies? where the cities always vote left and the rural areas always vote right? and it turns out in europe there isn't a clear pattern. in some european countries the cities are actually more politically conservative than the rural areas and there are maybe a lot of different reasons for that. but that at least gives me hope that there isn't any inherent -- anything inherent about urban life that necessarily means people must vote more left than rural people.
but i do think it's a huge problem and something we need to address and we have to be willing to compete in areas where there isn't a short-term payoff. i think that's the hardest thing about the political cycle. is that the short-term payoff leads us to cultivate the voters that we can win in the near-term, and that leads people away from cities. >> thank you for being here today. this has been a very interesting panel discussion. i wanted to ask about education but you touched on that. i would like to ask about foreign policy, actually. it doesn't translate into a lot of votes but it's something that's obviously very important. the bush years could be described briefly as perhaps overreach. and now you can say that a conservative critique of obama might be that we withdraw too much and it allows a vacuum for strong men like putin. what would be the conservative response, what would be your response, your policy prescriptions for what's going on in the world right now, particularly in ukraine and syria and how you guys would think about handling that? >> i doubt we can touch on all
of those things but i'll bet that this is an area where the panel is pretty divided. i think i personally believe that, you know, joe nye has this -- you know, he said in the '90s i think it was, securities like oxygen, you only notice when it's vanished. i personally think depending on what you want to call it, u.s. global leadership, i think it is extremely important in undergirding much of the rise in global prosperity that we've seen over the last few decades. i do think it was fair to say there was overreach during the bush years. but i also think it's very important that we invest and i think the problem is that the investing in our capabilities, the benefits of that are not always clearly visible. i also think it's true that the problem is that there are big swaths of the national security state that are opaque. it's hard to tell. it's hard to have a coherent cost-benefit analysis. there are real structural problems and we might want to shift how we devote to deploy
these resources. but do i think there's a dangerous tendency on the right to give short shrift to the importance of american power undergirding global stability. but this is not a popular view. least of all among younger conservatives. >> i agree that foreign policy is important. but i think it is not going to be important in the political debates of the next decade or decade and a half. i think -- we've had very little recent time where we've sort of had a normal political environment on foreign policy because we had the cold war and then september 11th. but i think actually the best guide for where foreign policy is typically going to sit in the american politics at the period there 1990 to 2001, where it was really not very salient. and i think you can that in the way conservatives talk now about the obama foreign policies. they try to find points to sort of harp on where the president is seen as weak. i think that's behind the obsession over the benghazi attack. i think there was also a very telling statement from marco rubio about syria. when we were -- when the president was waffling about
whether we were going to intervene there, and rubio basically managed to stake out a position where he wasn't sure whether he was for or against an attack in syria, but he was definitely against whatever the president was for. and so i think i don't know what kind of foreign policy a republican president will enact if elected. george w. bush ran saying that he was going to have a humbler foreign policy and then september 11th happened and directions changed. i don't think that's going to be a key driver either of primary or general election fights. [ inaudible ] >> hi. matthew termont, open the books dotcom. first, thank you everyone and moderator, david brooks, for hosting a really interesting discussion. i have a question about health care. i'm directing it toward avik roy and josh barro. toward the end of the discussion you suggested the decentralization of service
delivery is superior. there is a segment of the health care complex called home health agencies and they take patients in a recuperative and a rehabilitative phase and bring them home, and it's a -- it suggests much higher outcomes, much cheaper delivery. the affordable care act has almost destroyed the industry. it's led to major reimbursement cuts over a multiple last two, three, four years. do you see this vis-a-vis the left-right divide, given there's a superior outcome with it, as something conservatives can reintroduce, maybe repackage, rebrand, and sell in the health care complex for superior outcomes? >> well, so i think the interesting thing that we've seen or an interesting thing we've seen with the implementation of obamacare is i think to an extent it's actually been a driver of innovation among providers. because they are faced with these reimbursement rate cuts. there have been a drive in the industry to find ways to contain costs. we've seen i think in part driven by the law a slowing of
health care expenditure over the last couple of years. actually the government turning off those taps to an extent. and remember, it's not like we had a private healthcare system before obamacare. we already had the government incurring about half the ee pensions. the government is an enormous payer through medicare. simply by paying less i think that can be a driver of a kind of decentralized innovation where the government is basically saying we're going to pay less, you figure out how to do it with less money. that's not to say it's going to work everywhere. in some cases, if you cut reimbursement rates for things too much you're just going to end up with scarcity of care. although, i would note that among the somewhat disappointing findings from the oregon health study, we did find people seemed to be consuming more healthcare if they had medicaid which suggests that barriers to access due to low reimbursement rates were not as large a problem as people on the right sometimes say. you don't want the federal government telling healthcare providers exactly how to do their jobs. but i do think
that centralized fiscal policies can be a driver of decentralized outcomes about service delivery. >> it's very simple. give consumers control of their own health dollars. then all of these things, whether it's home healthcare, retainer-based primary care, a lot of the innovations and delivery will automatically happen. why? because if the consumer is controlling the dollars, the industry works for who pays them. today it's the government and third parties that pays the deliverer of healthcare services, so the person who is important in that system is the payer, not the patient. if the patient is controlling the dollars then the system magically works to serve the patient. that's why i resist this call for conservative paternalism because i actually think the opposite is what we need. we need to actually restrict the amount the government is doing but actually get people the money. if we're concerned that people don't have the means to afford certain services or support themselves in certain ways that doesn't mean have some complex government program that tells
them what to do. give them the economic resources to pursue the people who can deliver those services directly. >> the point that josh finished with, which i very much agree with, in a certain way, the home health care question is one that shows the problem with the system we had before obamacare and with the system we have now. in the bush years there was huge pressure to increase investment in all forms of home-based health care, which was also a sort of centralized decision about how the system should work. it didn't work very well. it was probably an enormous waste of money. and now we're doing the reverse. and saying, well, then let's have a centralized decision that says no we don't do that. neither of these is the right approach. and so the medicare system we have and really that larger healthcare system we have had before was not a consumer-centered, market oriented system. the system we need is not only to the right of obamacare, it's well to the right of the system we've had for decades. that's the direction that
conservatives need to move. >> paul reuben from emory university. some of this sounds very familiar to me. the pessimism i'm hearing is very similar to the pessimism of the late carter years. i was in the reagan administration and it was amazing how quickly things turned around. i think some of the '80s solutions are still there. i think obamacare has messed up the medical markets but it's also messed up the labor markets tremendously, financial regulation. just today there was a report on some a very large number of new species being declared endangered. i think all these -- everywhere we look in the economy is increased regulation. and i think that's a lot of the unemployment we're seeing goes back to your millworker, why does he have trouble finding a job? maybe because employers aren't willing to commit to hiring because they don't know what
kind of health care expenses he's going to generate in the future. if we can deregulate some of these things, we might be able to move away from many of these problems. >> i agree. but it's also true that the policy challenges of today are very different than the challenges of 1970. just look at the tax rates in 1978 versus tax rates of today. regulation is a much, much bigger problem today than it was there. fiscal imbalances are a much bigger problem, healthcare entitlements, a much bigger problem. the diversity of global power a much more complex problem. we have to have an agenda that's tailored to the challenges today. >> hello. thank you. you guys talked about how there's no republican plan to deal with decentralization in civil society, but i'd argue that the ryan plan was conceptually about that, privatization, voucherization decentralize from the federal government and a large amount of spending cuts which would allow civil society to flourish. yet that program seemed very
unpopular with republicans, and very, very unpopular with the public. i'm curious if you think civil society decentralization sound like good concepts but if in practice they're going to be far too volatile, too far unpopular to base a coherent public policy around? >> first of all, almost no voters care about decentralization as such. so you can't build the message around that. nobody goes to the voting booth and says do i want a government and a society that is more central or less central. they care about more fundamental pocketbook issues. but the ryan plan thing goes to a distinction that i mentioned earlier that you want to decentralize certainly kind of delivery because of the value of local knowledge,. you have different preferences in different areas. bureaucrats who work for local governments are more likely to be in touch with local people or who work with nonprofits than people who work for the central government. but that doesn't mean you have to decentralize the actual fiscal flows where the federal
government has a significant advantage in its ability to tax and borrow. in fact, if you commit to those becoming decentralized, it says really, we are decentralizing to harness local innovation. this is not just a backdoor way to slash the welfare state and reduce real incomes for people with low and moderate incomes. >> i think there's a real problem that democrats and republicans are going to have to deal with. you may have noticed obamacare wasn't popular. still isn't. in fact like most things that are actually fiscally feasible are wildly unpopular. people like free stuff that is paid for by some other person they've never met. so -- and like this is the fundamental of politics and it has never been more true than it is today. because we have an aging population that is very conservative about keeping what it has gotten and because there is less money. with lower growth you face much harder fiscal tradeoffs. you can't take it out of the surplus. you have to take it out of something that people already have. and so i think that this is
going to be a big challenge for republicans, as they frame an agenda, which is that if you're going to be honest about what it's going to cost and how you're going to do this and who the losers are going to be because there's no such thing as a policy in which someone is not worse off, then you're going to have to go out and say that and to be credible that's going to make those people very upset. >> democrats didn't do that. >> no, they didn't. >> i want to get over here. >> i think the problem is that it takes us 40 minutes and a future of conservatism talk to even mention anything about social issues. we lose people flat out because we have this continuing blood letting of state by state gay marriage, yes or no, so is there some kind of way that we can
avoid a possible schism of northeast republicans who frankly, this issue is settled. right? all of us have gay friends, we are fine with it. but for southern republicans, how do we keep them from going off and causing a schism and running away with todd akin and pot robinson? >> i think there's a -- even in the south young republicans have your views on the social issues. i think this is a generational transition that's going on on both the right and the left that perhaps won't be as substantial schismatic issue in the future. that's the political element of it. i actually wish and hope that conservatives would have a coherent political philosophy around what they think culture and society should look like that would accept the post '60s reality. >> a couple questions from social media, well, i'm going to
jump in. the republican party is a pro life party. it will never not be a pro-life party. it would die without being a pro-life party. i just had to say that. and i grew up -- i'm not a pro-life person but i'm pointing out the reality. >> but there's no generational shift on abortion. >> carve out abortion from the other social issues. >> this is a question from one of our twitter followers who is watching via live stream. comes from marvin gardner and he'd like to know why not define debt selg to be the ratio of debt to gdp? >> the fundamental problem, this is just a general political thing. which is that people believe that if they could only come up with some great rule, they could stop people from doing stuff they don't like. first of all, you can never get the rule because the other side understands what you're doing so they're just like, no, you can't have the rule. but the second problem with this specific thing is that look, there's always going to be an out for an emergency.
so we declare war on iceland once a year, then we give them a marshal plan and like we have gone right back to -- there's always ways to gimmick these budget rules. the hard job is to tell politicians, no, don't worry any more money. cut spending. by the way, this is something i think the republican party really needs to do is say, when you spend money, that is borrowing it. okay. the decision to spend is the decision ultimately to borrow and then the decision to tax. and like george bush totally elighted the fact that when he spent money he was ultimately going to have to pay for that through taxation. and obama hasn't even been interested in that distinction, right? but on both sides we need to understand that they're all the the same thing and trying to focus on the debt ceiling as a way to control that is not focusing on the fundamental problem which is the stuff we bought. >> that's not the biggest problem with that. the biggest problem with that is
that the economic crisis in this country is massive unemployment, and the fact that wage growth is anemic because the labor market is slack. conservatives have become a movement of people who think that is a less important issue than government debt even though interest rates are extremely low and capital is flowing into u.s. treasuries because the market is strongly accepting of the fact that the u.s. government will pay those debts. if we continue to prioritize this debt issue over issues that are actually of economic importance to 85% of americans, we won't be able to appeal to them. >> i really disagree with this on two levels. first of all, yes, interest rates are low now. that's not a fixed law about the universe. that is what interest rates are like right now. but more broadly, politically, people hate the debt. right. like this polls incredibly well. democrats, republicans, everyone hates borrowing money. do they act on that? no. are they totally hypocritical, and irrational about it? yes. is this a political problem for republicans? no. i think this is something when they go out and talk about it
polls extremely well and does them good at the ballot box. >> it's a profound economic problem. profound. the most profound economic problem. >> a conservative is somebody who thinks every market is efficient except the treasury bond market. >> there are a lot of reasons -- if we want to have a debate about monetary policy and why bond prices are what they're that's fine. but let me tell you in 2040 when we're paying more in interest payments than we collect in tax revenue and china has twice the gdp than we do, you will be very concerned about the price of u.s. treasuries. >> we have one minute left. i'm going to ask you one informational question. each of you. since you're all young hipsters, what's the most conservative -- no, i want you to each to name either a politician or a writer who, if you had to pick someone, who will have a profound impact on the future of conservatism/the republican party. pick a person, presumably not yourself. who wants to go first?
>> i'm willing to say i'm probably the least influential writer on the republican party. like ever. all of my ideas are basically electoral death. but, so -- like david brooks. >> credibility shot. >> one person who gives me hope at this point is mike leak, who is first of all a senator who doesn't think he's running for president which is a wonderful thing in american life, very rare. but he's also a person who is shaping a conservative vision that's a kind of rugged communitarianism that makes a lot of sense to me. and i think it would make a lot of sense to a lot of people. >> i think the most important policy innovation coming from conservative politicians right now is actually on criminal justice and revisiting the idea that it is a good idea to massively incarcerate people, especially for nonviolent crime. and i think there are a number of southern governors who have been doing good things on that including in what is it, mississippi and louisiana and north carolina and so i think that's unheralded.
>> and even some in congress. yeah. >> i would say the most influential writer or politician that we will have in this generation will be the one who makes conservatism accepting of modern society and modern social issues. again leaving abortion aside. maybe that's a politician. maybe it's a writer. we'll have to see. but that person has not yet emerged. >> i hate to cater to our hosts but jim manzen is a niche product. he's not going to capture the hearts of the massives but he gets that markets are about a decentralized trial anderer. decentralized discovery process. they're actually really important, but the right really ought to be the party of experimentation. and i encourage everyone in this room, and everyone watching, to read him and follow him closely. >> he's had some major pieces. >> he's got the lead piece in the next national affairs. >> i agree. >> the masses love regression analysis. i don't know why you're --
>> charts, charts. >> thank you very much, guys. coming up later today here on c-span3, we'll bring you a discussion on the communications act of 1934. which created the federal communications commission. speakers will include former fcc commissioner robert mcdowell, and former national telecommunications and information administration head larry irving. they'll bring recommendations for updating the act to help reflect modern technology. you can see that live from the brookings institution, starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern. tonight on c-span3, washington journal's interview with university of minnesota president eric kayler, part of our special series on universities in the big ten conference. that will be followed by a portion of this year's netroots nation conference, selections from the communist party usa national convention, and views on progressive politics from the campaign for america's future. that all starts tonight at 8:00
eastern here on c-span3. with the 2014 election less than two weeks away, our campaign debate coverage continues. tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, the new york eleventh district debate between candidates representative michael grimm, and dominic recchia jr. also at 8:00 on c-span2 the florida governor's degate with governor rick scott and former governor charlie crist. at 8:30 on c-span the illinois tenth district debate with representative brad schneider and former representative bob cold. follow the by the new york 18th district debate with represent sean patrick maloney and nan hayworth. and then the illinois 13th district debate with representative rodney davis and ann callis. and thursday night live at 8:00 eastern the iowa fourth district debate between representative stephen king and jim mowrer. c-span campaign 2014 more than
100 debates for the control of congress. coming up, part of colorado christian university's western conservative summit. first, republican senator tim scott talks about school choice and the economy. then, in 30 minutes, conservative media figures debate the influence of the tea party on the gop. the group includes rush limbaugh radio producer james golden, who goes by the name bo snerdley on the air. plus author katie pavlich and mary katherine hamm. this part of the forum is just over an hour. thank you. it's so good to be with my fellow conservatives today. as many of you know, i'm the number one target for the democrat campaign congressional committee nationally, and they're going to find out that
taking on a united states marine corps combat veteran is going to be a lot tougher than they ever thought. it's an honor for me to introduce a former colleague of mine. senator tim scott is the epitome of conservative values and principles. he grew up poor in a single parent household in north charleston, south carolina. he learned the importance of faith, hard work, and family. he started from humble beginnings to build one of the most successful allstate agencies in south carolina. prior to being sworn in to the u.s. senate in january 2013, tim scott served in the united states house of representatives from 2011 to 2013. he was a member of the house leadership and sat on the influential house rules committee.
he also served in the charleston city council for 13 years, including four terms as the council chair. he was a member of south carolina house of representatives and was elected chairman of the freshman caucus and house whip. today senator scott works to promote conservative causes in congress where he has worked with senate colleagues to introduce a balanced budget amendment to strip the power away from congress to spend money that we do not have. he also was an original co-sponsor of the bill that would permanently ban the wasteful earmark process. tim scott's agenda will empower
america through economic freedom and education. he is dedicated to working with anyone committed to building a better future to develop bold ideas that break away from this country's past failures. please join me in welcoming and giving a warm colorado welcome to senator tim scott, a true conservative american hero. ♪ >> thank you. thank you very much. i'm sure that those of you who live in the sixth district will be sending mike kaufmann back to congress. and i'm looking forward to y'all sending the great corey gardener to join me in the united states
senate. corey is a good man. we need some help in the united states senate. anybody realize that? everybody realizes that. i want to just spend a few minutes talking about how we can make sure that in 2014 we take back the majority in the senate and in 2016 we have an opportunity to make sure that there is a republican in the white house. we need a republican in the white house. when i think about the challenges that we face as a nation, i always go back to the song "amazing grace." anyone know the song "amazing grace"? i like that song a lot. i once was lost but now i'm found. i was blind, but now i see. i thank the lord he saved my soul. yes, he saved a soul like me. and that's my story.
i'm not sure if it's your story, but it certainly is my story. i think about how amazing the good lord is and how amazing america is and how the combination of a strong god and an amazing nation makes a guy like me even possible. and that's the story of the grand old party. it's the story of the great opportunity party. let me share my story with you and explain how the conservative principles have made me possible. growing up in a single parent household, my parents got divorced when i was about 7 years old. i started drifting. anybody ever drifted? all drifting seems to head in the wrong direction. by the time i was 14 years old i was flunking out of high school. as a matter of fact, i flunked out of high school.
i saw some kids over there. please don't do what i did, okay? i failed as a freshman, world geography. i may be the only senator to ever fail civics. but then when i got to the senate i felt like i was very comfortable because lots of those guys on the other side have failed civics. amazing. just amazing. i also failed spanish and english. now, when you fail spanish and english, they don't call you bilingual. no, they call you bi-ignorant because you can't speak any language. that's where i found my unhappy self. but i had two major blessings. one was a strong mama. i'm a mama's boy and i thank god more strong mamas. give all mamas a hand, especially if you're sitting next to the one you're married to. please give her a hand. i saw a man up the front and
he's like praise the lord. smart man, he wants to go home tonight. i have to go back to washington d.c. so this is all the fun i get to have. my mama is and was an amazing woman. she would work 16-hour days as a nurse's aid making sure we stayed off of welfare. she believed she needed to set the example for her boys to follow. she worked hard at it. when i flunked out of high school as a freshman, she was none to happy with me. my mama believes that sometimes love has to come at the end of a switch. i know this is the west, but a switch, for those of you who don't understand what a switch is, a switch is a southern apparatus of encouragement, typically applies from your belt
line to your ankles and my mama encouraged me a lot that freshman year. and the second blessing that came my way was a small business owner, a conservative republican. i didn't know it at the time that the chick-fil-a operator was a conservative republican. all i knew was that john showed up at the right time. he started telling me some very important lessons. he started saying that, tim, you don't have to play football or be an entertainer in order to be successful in america. you can think your way out of poverty. i had never heard this before. i thought the only way out was playing for the dallas cowboys. i know this is denver territory, i understand that. let me just say, my chief of staff is from colorado. my deputy chief of staff, colorado. my legislative director, from colorado. it pains me to see all the
orange in my office. this is not a part of the speech, and i apologize for interrupting the presentation to have a commercial break. i decided during the football season last year to make one bet. not a bet that puts you in jail because betting is illegal. this is not a bet. this is simply, i made a statement that, in fact, if the denver broncos can beat the dallas cowboys in the cowboys stadium, i would wear a denver broncos tie. when tony romo threw that interception and we lost 51-48, i called my pastor. i wanted to know if it was okay for me to violate my statement. and he said, son, i know you're a politician so you guys do that all the time. however, as a man who believes in the lord, you got to honor your word. so i said, sir, i'm cheap -- i
mean, i'm frugal, sir, would you please buy me a tie, so he bought me this beautiful denver broncos tie. he, too, is from colorado. god bless his soul. so i had to wear the tie, unfortunately. the cowboys did not win that game, so now the commercial break is over. back to the presentation. that message is brought to you by the western conservative summit, sponsored by john andrews. god bless you, john andrews. let's give john a hand. john, my mentor, chick-fil-a operator, he was teaching my some very valuable lessons. he started teaching me that if you have a job, you've done well. but if you create jobs, you've done extraordinarily well. if you have an income, you can support yourself. oo but if you make a profit, you can change the life of your family and your community. and this became the very fabric
of my journey towards conservatism. as a 15-year-old kid learning these very basic business principles that the free market -- four letter word coming, please close your ears -- making a profit is an amazing journey and experience in america. i will tell you i bought it full. it took me four years to get it. and then when i was 19 years old, john was 38, he died. and it changed the course of my life. i set my mission statement to positively impact the lives of a billion people with a message of hope being my faith in christ jesus and an opportunity being john's lessons of financial literacy. i had a great successful business. he was right, it can change your life. we grew up living with my grandparents in a 1,000 square foot house. me m