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tv   Representative Paul Ryan R-WI on Combating Poverty in America  CSPAN  December 25, 2015 3:35am-4:56am EST

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no, i'm sorry, 92% to 94%. you have a political party, the democratic party, that needs near unanimous support from our community, and we have to climb over obstacle after obstacle to vote. african-americans are standing in long lines in the rain to vote. and we elect a party that until recently would not even break its breath to talk about the issue. in fact, was on the wrong side of the issue for way too long. i want to say very clearly, for the latino community, immigration is number one. for women, choice is number one. the african-american community has a thousand problems, but for us mass incarceration, where you stand on locking up an entire generation of african-americans for something we know kids are doing right now, is the number one issue. anybody -- i don't care who you are, i don't care what you did
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in 1963 or 2009 or yesterday -- if you grab a microphone and you say you are a progressive and you don't speak about this issue with some passion and some heart and some concern and care, as if it were your children under this level of threat, you cannot and should not count on the quiet support of african-americans. the obama era of black silence is over. it's over. [applause] [cheers] mr. jones: look, i feel horrible, personally horrible. i started my career working on this stuff for years and for
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decades, and we have failed over and over again to challenge the democrats to do better. to force the democrats to stop chasing after fear mongering and racism and support the political points off of our community's backs. that is why you are going to see more -- not less -- more african-americans asking these questions, more african murk and scholars asking these questions, and i beg everybody in this room if you hear somebody saying when your thread or anything else, what are these people doing, they are ungrateful, they are uppity, never again, we are not going quietly. this is getting worse, not better. we have been there. the african-american community has been there on immigrant rights. it was very easy for black folks
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to come out and say these immigrants are stealing our jobs. you have not heard that. the obama coalition includes latino community and black leadership. they defend immigrants. the black community could have easily been moved against the lgbt movement. our churches are not in the right place on this, but you have not seen any prominent african-american leadership attacking lesbians and gays for 10 years because the black initiative, we say, shut up, these people are part of the coalition. latinos and the environmental issue. the entire congressional black caucus voted for capping trade. we have been there for every contingency down the line. and we insist that people be there for us this time. thank you very much. judge cordell: thank you, president jones. [cheers and applause]
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ms. heuvel: very briefly, our priorities are skewed. i would say we must end endless wars as america's engagement with the world. [applause] ms. heuvel: america's policing of the world has detracted from the real security needs, tackling inequality, redefining security at home. and one thing the president could do in the first two hours is understanding the transition and close the 800 bases ringing this world. they are not going to modernize nuclear weapons. they are not going to begin to take them down to a level.
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just understand what endless war has done to damage the principles that could be deployed to end inequality in this country. [applause] ms. poo: before we close out, i just want to take a moment to recognize katrina, van. thank you so much. ms. heuvel: thank you, ai-jen. judge cordell: thank you to professor reich. [applause] judge cordell: thanks to ai-jen poo, director of the national domestic workers alliance. [applause] judge cordell: thank you to van jones, special white house advisor to green jobs. [applause]
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judge cordell: and thank you to katrina vanden heuvel. [applause] judge cordell: we also thank everyone in attendance tonight. this has been co-presented by the nation magazine. the conscience of our country for 150 years and counting. now this meeting is adjourned. ♪ >> on the next "washington journal," a look at how campaign 2016 has differed from past presidential campaigns in terms of media coverage and rhetoric. our guest is paul glastris. continuesthis week with craig shirley, author of
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"last act," the final years and emerging legacy of ronald reagan. "washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, and you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. >> sunday night on c-span, the bbc reviews the year in parliament, looking back at issues in the european union, combating isis, and the election of the new labour party leader, jeremy corbyn. politics: sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> sunday night on "q&a," the stepson of the late washington merry-go-round columnist talks about his diaries, which have an insider's take on washington, d.c. from 1960 to 1969. >> it was just remarkable, all
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the things that he did. sometimes he would criticize himself in the diary, if you read him that carefully you must have come across different places where he said i think that column was too strong, i shouldn't have said it quite that way, or lyndon will get mad at me for the way i wrote that column. what he needed to be told, i'm glad i wrote it. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "q&a." >> with congress on holiday recess, the c-span networks feature a full lineup of primetime programming. monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, laura logan, sebastian younger, and other journalists who risked their lives covering events in the middle east. tuesday night at 8:00, celebrity activists speak out on a variety of issues. wednesday night, events from the c-span archives featuring
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notable public figures who died in 2015. thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a look back at the year in congress. in on new year's day, friday night at 8:00, law enforcement officials and journalists examine the prison system and its impact on minority communities. c-span2 plus book tv monday memoirs by30, reporters, activists, and a former white house press secretary. tuesday night at 8:00 features books on economics in the economy. wednesday night, authors talk about their books on science and technology. thursday, discussions on isis antiterrorism. new year's day, friday night at 8:00, several of our in-depth programs from this year. and on american history tv on c-span3, monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of auschwitz. a congressional ceremony at the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment.
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wednesday, a debate on which president would be a better model for gop candidates today -- calvin coolidge or ronald reagan. thursday, road to the white house rewind. on new year's day, friday night at 8:00, a playwright and star of the broadway musical "hamilton," accepting the george washington book price special achievement award. >> next, the challenges of poverty, gang violence, and drug addiction. this event was hosted by the center for neighborhood enterprise and the news platform opportunity was. it is an hour and 15 minutes.
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>> the mudslinging starts. i've asked the pastor to stick around as a co-moderator of this .anel
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he is used to adaptation on the fly. i'll just quickly introduce the panel, then we will hear a little bit from glenn lowry. i'll explained that in a second. professor lowry works at brown university. -- professor lowry was one of the first academics to really write thoughtfully about the programs that we have been discussing. as long ago as 20 years ago, 30 years ago, public interest, rardzines like that, ge robinson is the resident fellow at aei and education policy. he has been there for six hours now.
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clarence worked with the chicago tribune. he has been a loyal fan of grassroots approaches to the problems of the inner-city and has written eloquently about the programs that are represented here in newspapers across the country. the editor of national affairs has writtend he too -- i highly recommend an essay he wrote called "the long way around. " "taking the long way." it is really a summary of the principles behind these programs. fred is a senior fellow at the manhattan institute, most recently the author of "revolt
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against the masses." in the context of what we have been discussing, he's the author of a book in the mid-1990's called "the future once happened here," talking about the decline of civil society in the face of the government programs and cultural changes that we have been talking about. before.met we asked him to talk very briefly, and i should we had to hold this phd status -- we are used to going on at great length, but i think we have an hour for all of this, so we will just have a free-flowing conversation right after professor larrowry talks about this in the context of a fellow named james c scott, who wrote "seeing like a state,"
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which i think would be a very valuable book for anyone interested in these questions. professor? >> thanks. it's a pleasure to be here. that earlier panel today was quite inspiring to me, the celebrity and political leaders intervention was also quite as inspiring. i want to make a point of personal privilege -- yes, i do have a phd. recovering cocaine addict and it changed my life. i was a halfway house and the men who ran it was a dedicated community worker who happens to be white. didn't bother me. me, he used to be n-word to showing your a-s-s, i could have walked. i could have certainly walked out. i'm so glad i stayed because i
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did not know the answer to that question at that time. [laughter] >> but enough about that. james scott is a net apologist and political scientist at yale. tomes,es big, weighty and this is one of them. ofthis book, he reminds us the failure of massive state-sponsored public intervention, like the collectivization of agriculture, or the mass relocation of world populations in the interest of somebody's plan. he points out how they failed. event analyzes why they failed. i've only got a few seconds. line,, some -- bottom some kinds of knowledge was our are necessary lose track of other kinds of knowledge which are essential for solving problems. systematic, regularized, bureaucratized knowledge of the kind you get when you undertake a census requires a leveling activity where you lose sight of
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all the fine details and complex interconnection that make real communities work. experts who would have their ideals applied broadly across many different venues don't have the local knowledge that they need in order to be able to solve a problem in any particular venue. people working on the ground in such places will have seen their lives come full there do have that knowledge. when the state acts, according to james scott, it pushes the letter kind of knowledge off the stage in the interest of making room for the former. sometimes that can nearly fail. sometimes it leads to massive disasters in which millions of people lose lives to famine and depression and so on. it's never a good idea. that is james scott's argument in a nutshell. i'm just here to recapitulate it as your local ivy league
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professor. a couple more things on my own account, very quickly. i made some notes as i was listening. it's not just the poverty industry standing in the way of expanding this stuff. the ideological stakes here are huge. we are talking about labor capital relations. we are talking about international trade. we are talking about how you run health care. we are talking about the credibility of diametrically opposed philosophies or ideologies about how to govern ourselves. this business is political, i'm sorry, inexcusably, necessarily. that doesn't mean it has to be partisan, but to not see that it is political, to not see that the players are not simply poor people, but to some degree the poor people and poor communities are pawns in a larger game would to make a big mistake. how do you know if something is true?
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i have already described different kinds of knowledge so i won't dwell there. spiritual doubt. well, we have a reverence so and so, ministry so-and-so, everybody talking about what god is doing. it's supposed to be secular here. it is supposed to be nonreligious. supposed to be states not going there. supposed to be separation. but in fact, to get anything done, to reach people, it would appear that you have to go in an idiom which doesn't articulate very well with the kind of neutrality and a religiosity. -- areligiosity. i'm not trying to pick a fight, i'm trying to understand the terrain. i have a young man who could steal a candy bar and he doesn't. one account is he reckons he will get caught in the price is too high. another account is i'm not a thief. which one do you think is going to keep him on the straight and narrow?
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to constant monitoring o make sure he knows the cost of violating the rules is too high, or the inculcation with a sense of who he is, so that he doesn't want to steal a candy bar because he is not a thief. we are in the latter idiom here, and that is an important thing to say, to the left and to the right, because you have got reductionist, materialist conceptions of human nature running rampant all across the political spectrum. finally, the dignity. my communities and my people, don't telly there is not know fear there. don't make these communities and these people into the subject of your charity. with the softthem bigotry of low expectations. treat them just like you would your own communities and your own people. if they neglect their children, call them on it. if they be his thuggishly, call
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them on it. don't patronize me. >> thank you. >> fantastic. a great segues into the question that i will throw out to you folks. you heard about this gap, right, between the world that many of us live in as writers, as academics and so forth, and the world that you just heard from. our challenge today is to make some statbs at building bridges across that gap, or preparing the way to move some of what we heard, some of the wisdom we heard, into the world of public policy. how do we go about that? this ishistorical note, the first time in washington that this sort of thing has happened. bob arranged one of the early versions of this back at the
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american enterprise institute in the mid-1970's, at the beginning of what became the mediating structures project. peter and richard, academics at the time, sat down with folks very much like the ones we have today, also to listen. bob was the one who arranged that kind of exchange. even went on to be one of the first to write a theoretical account of the approached, the approachssroots in philadelphia. anyway, what response do we have to this gap? how can we, as people who are knowledgeable about public policy, about the larger world of public affairs, how can we begin to bring the wisdom of the grassroots into the councils of public life? anyone? forirst of all, thank you
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extending the honor for me to participate. my takeaways real simple. matters. we hear education and we automatically assume it takes place in a school building. what i learned today is that education is ubiquitous. it takes place at home, in faith-based centers, in halfway houses, in parking lots, that takes place all over. i can tell you right now we have 41 states where education is the number one line item in the governor's budget. in 14 states it is k12 alone. we have money, and we have money to invest. the question is what can we do as administrators to make sure it is reaching the people it should meet? sometimes we have to meet people where they are and not where we want them to meet us. education matters and i need to rethink how we deliver it. >> i'll start with a confession, too. i have a phd and worked on
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capitol hill and worked for a president. i've committed all the since. one thing that struck me, why don't people see that this is working? why don't people see it and send the resource there is? i was left thinking about the great late student of the american constitution walter burns who once was asked whice is there such hostility? he said the problem with the american system is it works great in practice but it would never work in theory. in a sense we're looking at something similar. what you have to do is say what's wrong with the theory? it's not what we do enough. if we ask what's wrong with the theory i think we would find ourselves looking at a couple different sorts of education. with stories like these and incredible people, is something that a lot of people who work in social science, social work, in the political sphere implicitly don't believe, social capital, the things that
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draw us together, can be built not just destroyed. it can be gained not just spent. it's not only built and gained when you're rearing young children. every time more than one person is together they're building norms. those can be destructive, constructive. but they're always building community, always building something. so the question is what do you build? so much of our conversation about poverty is about what we're seeing destroyed, what we need to nourish, what we need to protect. as if our entire stock of social capital was created at the beginning of time. our job is to nourish it. but we're always losing it. we're always doing stooped things, destroying our inheritance. but at the same time we're always building new things. the question is what are we building? not nearly enough public policy thinks about the role that government can play in creating the space for social capital like that to be built in a
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positive nourishing way. too often we tend to think about how to manage these kinds of process rather than about how to nourish the circumstances that let it happen. we're no good at it. this is not a left-right division. this is most easily the most bipartisan fact. what we're hearing today is so a part of the question ink that does require us not to think about scaling up in the usual way, not to see what all of you are doing and think how an we turn that into a government program that would achieve this for everybody.
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the intentions are good. there is a kind of poverty industry. i think that's true. there are also a lot of very well meaning people trying to solve these problems in a misguided way and trying to figure out how to take what you're doing and manage it at a national level. when what we should be figuring out is to medicare the space to -- make the space. all kinds of communities need help. i'm not sayic we have the answer. i think that's the question and we're not asking that question. >> before fred speaks up, i would like to speaking as i think the token nonphd holder. i've got a few hon raries though. whenever my college wants a free speech they give me another one. but i am the token media member here. and there's some great questions you asked congressman
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ryan. but i really wanted to get to what i came over, you got saved by the bell over here because i want to ask him why he's not running for president. because i've been following him around as he's been with us under bob's guidance here doing a great job of actually going out and doing something i haven't seen anybody do since jack kemp. going out, and listen to them. find out what's on their minds. what, how are they dealing with these problems every day? going out into real civil society. to me is real conserveatism, shows you how old i am. if i think civil society, churches, schools, institutions at the grass roots, bob opened up my eyes to this back in the 80s when i was despairing in chicago of all the insurmountable problems we've
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got there. in many case before i go on too long, which might be too late for that already, but one thing , what abraham mazz low said. if two of you have is a hammer, all problems look like nails. and i am immensely frustrated as a long time political social journalist over how our ludges fails us. our language fails us in defining problems and diagnosing problems and coming up with answers. this is especially true of our political language. i am of a mind that i too think of scaling up and replicating the wonderful programs and policy that is i've seen in action on the grass roods. but it's difficult in conventional journalism, for
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example, an old mentor of mine said that news is what happens when things aren't going the way they're supposed to. all right? so as a result as a result, millions of kids who are not drug addictive aren't news. the ones who aren't in gangs aren't news. people like kimmy gray, who i had the honor to know before she passed, over there sending hundreds of kids to college and all, that's not news. that's a nice metro story back in the neighborhood section. and it's nice kids going on the bus going to college, et cetera. this is what i live with every day. i love ideas. i love something new. a new idea that is showing some promise of actually working. but when it does work it's not news. it's very hard to tell your city editor, how many died out there? none. this really works.
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and of course we're much too cynical in the news as to believe any program really works. there must be some corruption spoiling this. in any case, i would like to see a paul ryan or somebody else, i was hoping jack kemp could do this in 96 as a running mate, unfortunately, the way our campaigns are set up now if you've got a good idea as a vice president who cares. you're just supposed to be over there to fill in on the engagements where the top of the ticket can't appear. there's sort of a suppression of possible ideas that are outside of the normal matrixes that we set up on the political right and political left. so i would like to see some way that -- well, this is constantly a task that i have to deal with as a journalist
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trying to put a spot light on good stories out there and generate some public conversation anti-about them. it would be so much easier if we had -- if civil society had ts donald trump, its candidate who is out to promote not just themselves but actually to promote some real ideas that need to be talked about. buddy chuck my todd said love him or hate him he's got us talking about immigration. we say editorial in the newspaper where i work said the same thing. others don't want to talk about it. certainly nonon the republican side because it divides the party. if it divides the party you don't talk about it. it still has to be dealt with. and the same thing now we're talking about our cities and certainly in chicago we've had
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enough grassroots problems to deal with, the same thing here in washington. i've seem some terrific people doing some terrific things through violence reduction programs, various education programs, drug addiction programs, et cetera. and a real honest debate will come when we have people ready to champion the issues. and i'm waiting to see that happen. maybe four years from now. i'm at the age now where, it's maybe the next four years. a lot can go wrong. but thank you very much for letting me ramible on here. i look forward to more discussions here. >> one thing, i think you're right about the traditional media that people -- editors obviously are interested in the bad news. if i may raise the evil of social media though in the context of print journalism. i think one of the things that the opportunity live series has
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indicated is that -- and we heard it a bit in the earlier panel. as much as the press only wants to tell the bad news, people are really thirsty for good news and the popularity of the tapes that were made that you all participated in the fact that so many people have tuned in, it is the first time -- and bob and i have talked about this, and obviously a number of us have talked about this for a long time. the difficulty has always been in academic prose or in written prose, how do we tell your story? and the problem was converting stories into print. but with social media we have a new way of telling the story. but claire mple burns is -- has become an expert at taking your stories and telling them in a compelling way with content. right? i mean, having rewatched these
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tapes yesterday, it's not just inspiring pictures. there's real content to what you say. you all describe in some detail your approach and your capacity to change people's lives in a very thoughtful way. so i think as an intermediate platform between what we all deal with in terms of written scholarship and the stories themselves, i think we have a whole new way of conveying the good news. >> i'm glad you mentioned that. social media i keep forgetting being a 20th century guy that i am. this is why we have kids. this is what i tell my son. this is your century. i'm just lucky to be around in it. i'm learning to love twitter. now i'm beginning to understand it because i'm seeing what can happen in the last few years the tea party movement rose
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largely because of social media. occupy wall street on the left rose large by because of social media. ideas. now people can get a platform now immediately for their views. like you say there are a lot of people who do want to see some good news. they want some hopeful news. news that has an avenue out of here that has prescriptions, not just simplet thomas. and i don't know where -- simple ms. i want to be part of it. we're just beginning to learn the value of social media. >> professor. >> a couple of things. i want to start off with pastor talking about catter pillars and butterflies. at an army of catter pillars votes and votes very effectively. and the fantastic polarization is taking place now in urban america and suburban america.
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and part is the fact that in big cities like new york you get an 85% vote for one candidate as opposed to another. it creates a very difficult situation. as to what glenn was talking about materialism, i think it's right. and it's not just marxist. it's the libertarians. the libertarians on the right, the marxists on the left are both stout materialists who simply don't deal with the spiritual moral dimension of life and act if you get the mechanisms in place everything else follows. i think they're just wrong. and yes this is all political. but it's not just the question of people being pauns. what -- if you ask what organization was most important for the election of president obama, in 2008 it would have been the sciu service employees international union and the
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president of that union's name i've just blanked on said, we're the most powerful political force in the country. we, the public sector unions. right. they were and are. but this polarization -- i'll stop with this question. we are so sfantsically polarized we haven't been this polarized since right. they were and are. 18r69. i know i'm a historian and seem obvious to me. 896 was the year brian ran against mckinley. mckinley carried the cities and of the loped area country. bryan carried rural america. and the polarization was utterly dramatic. and if anybody tells you that somebody that my mayor is a pop list what they're telling you is they don't know what words mean.
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bill deblazz yo is a statist. in terms of populism, popular support, deblazz yo won -- according to the "new york times," some of the dumbest people i've ever met -- he won with the smallest percentage of the vote since women got the right to vote in 1919. smallest. that was the landslide. populism means -- it's not a useful term any more, whether left or right. might work better for the tea party but it doesn't work very well. let me say one thing to clarence about twitter. my youngest son, who is among other things an army ranger, dalely ticle at the beast on twitter fascism. and he was talking about the behind the hideous
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character, darren roof, the guy in south carolina. it turns out -- dillon roof. whatever. obviously a hideous character. it turns out he had been following neo -- not metaphorcal behind the fascism. you tell your parents they're fascists because they say you have to go to bed but real honest to good fascists. he had been following their website on redity. i don't know what that is. they tell me it's important so i accept it. this was serious. he was deeply interested in fascism and the triumph and the possible triumph of fascism based on race war. that's part of why he did what he did. so the effect of social media is not only to intensify polarization, it's to reduce our collective nfpblgts because ideas which have long and serious histories get reduced
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to comic book characters. this isn't a left or right question. i'll stop with this. when people were marching in new york, about police brutality, i went out to ask them, let's talk about this. do you know how many police -- people in new york were killed by policemen now as opposed to 1990? well, it's about 1/6th now. a very sharp reduction. the response i got was, who cares? this is not about evidence. this is about ideology. and this polarization produces these ready made ideologies that people put on and it becomes their persona. it's who they are. anyway, this is very dreary and -- >> well, the good side of it though is that twit ser a tool and you've got a dark side and a bright side.
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the dark side is that people of all types can connect with each other now including disenchanted young men, which is another issue we haven't talked about today but you grassroots folks are dealing with out there about young men in particular now who are dripping the -- drifting off in many different ways like this young dillon roof. but we are in an era of flash mob politics, as i call it, which means issues and leadership and movement ks pop up overnight. we have that ability. so we need to get in front of it and use it for positive good. >> i think glenn raised a critical question around religion. because all of these testimonies are explicitly religious but i think if you peel away any of these models you'll hear an argument that for us religion is a means and not an end. if somebody else comes up with a means that is as effective as
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religion, welcome to the party. the problem we have is that i think the religious right high jacks so much of the language. you talk about language. it hie jacked the language. so that when you say morality, there's a religious construct that comes to mind because of the moral ma majority, et cetera. but there is a moral consensus that is required for civil society. and if you don't have a moral consensus, then everybody will steal -- all of us will leave here with a chair because there's no security. the assumption of the american model is that we cannot control behavior but that rather we buy into a moral consensus. otherwise we would have a cop in every classroom. the assumption is that if i'm
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driving and the light turns red i will stop. and when i buy into that i am a part of civil society. for us, religion is what helps people come to those conclusions. does not talk about success in terms of producing clients. he talks about success in terms of producing citizens. his language embraces the idea that there's something bigger than a church member. he is not just trying to get church members. he is trying to recreate citizens and part of that model includes, i pledge allegiance to the flag. one nation under god. and that's where this movement i think can strike a cord if it can use some of these digital platforms to get into the hearts of people that already agree. this is a heart thing. see? >> it's interesting.
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i think you're exactly right. so much of the language of morality and virtue has been kidnapped and incorporated into the political dialogue as a weapon rather than -- what everyone here is talking about is recreating virtue. and as you point out, virtue isn't something that we got a big store of at the beginning of the republic and we've been living off of ever since. a lot of the discussion sounds like that. once you've abandoned certain principles, once you've abandoned certain institutions, you lose ground and you only lose ground. and all you can do is defend the receding borders of the familiar and old institutions. but what these folks have done civil society, reinstitute virtue. right?
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the matter -- the founders principles that we all talk about intellectually and in the scholarly way, those principles are absolutely vital for resurrecting lives. this is an extraordinary thing in a way. and as you say, it's producing citizens. not in just some economically productive fashion. but people who are embude with virtue, embued with a commitment to civil society and to the american experience, which is really an extraordinary thing, i think. but anyway. o congressman ryan, as you know, at one point proposed i think it was opportunity grants, which was a way of collapsing a lot of proposed i think it was opportunity grants, which was a way of collapsing a lot of categorical funding into a voucher that could then -- i know voucher is word but i can't remember
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what he called it. but -- and that would then be -- that could be taken to any group that appealed to the person who was in word but i ne was seeking some help. in other words, cashing out categorical programs, putting it into a voucher and taking it to groups not unlike these that we've heard from today. here's my question. is that a good idea? or are there other ways of bringing the ideas that we've heard about, the experiences we've heard about into the practice of public policy? that seems to be the -- and bearing in mind that it's a politically fraught exercise for all the reasons that professor seagle was talking about and that glenn lowry was talking about. is is this the ultimate goal that we should be working toward or are there other things we should do? >> let's suppose we reduce taxes. people would have more incentive to give to charity, to give on their own without
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having all this pass through the ambits of the government. lower taxes, more disposable income, more charitable giving, more civil society. the trouble with the kind of idea that congressman ryan presented, in parts of the country this would have some positive benefits. in other parts like big cities it would simply get ground -- go into the meat grinder and come out as the same old bologne. >> i think it sounds like -- i have thought of a great idea until i wrote about it and my readers told me, what's the matter with you? r but that's what's supposed to happen. that's part of the process. right? everybody agrees on nothing but we all have some area in the middle that we can come to some agreement on. of a tax your idea t so that people have more
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money for charity is a good idea. but folks on the other side would say, well, that money will just be dispersed all different kinds of places. one way to direct that money towards a laudable end would be some kind of voucher or something which would be specifically targeted. now, these are political questions. these are questions that you try to work up to a consensus. but i have found that i thought paul could have done a better sales job on it with the public because anything he says now -- because he's paul ryan, folks on the left are saying he just wants to cut taxes, hents to cut spending and this is a sneaky way to do it so it's going to be more of an uphill climb for him. but it's an uphill climb to sell any political idea. >> i want you to keep talking, and i want you to be cognizant of the gap between this political conversation, which is real, and the lack of politics discussed by the
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previous panel. >> no one talked about the mayor the city council, the district, no one -- the word politics never came up. and now politics drives this conversation. i just want to point that out. >> is that good or bad? >> it's just real. >> it's one thing to have policy and it's another to implement the policy. that's where politics comes in. >> might as well just take it on to the full conclusion. you mentioned vouchers and you were right. immediately you say it's a bad term and yet the largest voucher program in america is called section 8 and very few people would want to get rid of section 8. so there's important language. i would support the concept and the fact that you're taking state federal money giving it to people where it matters, where they live. i also say to the administer, i think there should be some rules and regulations in place. regulations isn't always bad.
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i think overregulation is a problem. i want to make sure tax dollars are invested properly. a lot of governors, where you can influence policy per se because you're not a paid lobbyist, but you can't influence a mayor. where you can is they often have governors cab nets for family and children. when i worked for governor rick scott in florida we had one. we would have meetings across the state. great opportunity for people to come and say, i live in the district. here's a recommendation for you. because you have department heads from education, from law, social science. frankly, we don't always get together at the same time. but here's a way for us to walk outside of our own lane and try to do something collectedively. so i would say at the local level, take advantage of those cabinets because we don't always hear enough there. >> i will be combreef. on the voucher question i just want to sound a cautionary
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note. unintended consequences. once millions of people are carrying around billions of dollars worth of voucher, it's going to attract a lot of people who want to provide those services. and then the need to regulate, to make sure those providers -- so next thing you know the federal government is in the business of monitoring, standardizing, whatever. and i'm not trying to predict anything here. i'm saying -- >> well, it might kill -- >> so well, anyway. >> you know what the constitutional arguments are going to be about giving money to religious organizations and so o and so. now you have to stand back from the very thing that made it work. and they're called a pell grant going to georgetown. i think part of the problem is that one reason for the great success that we've heard about today is that the work being done is happening at a scale that is a human scale.
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and that's one reason why you're always short of money. but it's also one reason why what you're doing works. and in trying to solve the problem that you're short of money, you want to make sure you do not destroy what works. and there's a problem with going to scale. going to scale means you're not at the scale of people you're trying to help. you're not standing in front of them saying i understand your problem and here's what i would do and here is why. you're saying here is what the rules say i can give you and here it is. there's a reason for that. generally speaking well intentioned reasons. people are looking at successful things. someone said before in the previous panel he wishes he had a printing press to print money. the president has that printing press. there's limits to it but he puts his name on a budget every year that's a $4 trillion budget and he thinks surely we can help people like you do what you do. i think it's a real question whether that is true or false. it's important to make sure that in helping you don't change the fundamental character of the programs that
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exist in such a way that they don't work any more. i think that ryan's attempt to make this bottom up to allow it to support things that are happening in the scale which it's happening makes sense as an attempt to solve that problem. but i think glenn is right. at the end of the day, if you're spending hundreds of millions of dollars that way o people will say how do we know if it's working? before you know it the rules are written to make sure you're back to that and you're back where you started. >> let me put this in the most radical form. i heard again and again from the groups that we were listening to that there is at the heart of these programs a human relationship. and that's way too bland a term bond ribe the intense that forms. right? between the folks that are working here and the folks that are working. i mean, this is an incredibly lose human relationship that
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has as many varieties and forms as the people that they're working with. it's almost every one of these relationships as the pastrd say, you tailor a plan for each person that you're working with. does that just simply automatically rule out any kind of useful intervention by government? question number one. and question number two. going to an area that i'm a little more familiar with, is there nonetheless a role for philanthropy and private charitable giving? on the large scale. right? we think of charitable giving as $10 to united way but we have some fairly substantial -- substantially wealthy donors who are giving a lot of money to nonprofit organizations that
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are almost indistinction wishable in form and results from government. not to name any of them. but i'm sure they come to mind. so anyway, is it -- are we talking about an insurmountable gulf here between government and are there other ways within the private sector to actually bridge this gap? >> i'm very optimistic about the private sector and government. if you keep government properly reend in. one thing. philanthropies are very good on the accountable question. they give money and take chances. but they also are -- tend to keep better track of that money in my experience than government agencies do. very often we don't hear about it as far as government, until
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the u.s. attorney steps in. and somebody should have gotten to this sooner than that. people knew that there were things going wrong but the communication, the accountability and all that broke down. with philanthropy, that's much less likely to happen. in my experience. and secondly, i think that overnment has a problem with change flexibility. you may have an idea -- well, for example, public housing just for one. public housing, a great idea initially. and then it turned out the high rise public housing was wonderful for seniors and terrible for families. in many ways. and so we had learned the hard way there. but somebody had to come along and then tear it down. i thought we would never get rid of taylor and green in chicago. but it happened. remarkably, there was more cooperation between president
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bush and mayor dalely the -- or richard the second as we call there was between the president's administration and the chicago city hall. but it got done. unfortunately, after these high rises were torn down, the street gangs that had ip habitted them had there was bet throughout communitieses and took drug trafficking and guns with them. the elder gang bangers were in prison so it was anarchy on the streets and we're still living with the high homicide surge as a result of that. so unintended consequences. and this is one of the big problems with the big government programs. but it doesn't mean that you should not try to how's people. it just means you change the program. maybe housing vouchers will work better than high rises for example for families and you do that. but i think that -- i'm optimistic on the whole. i find the best programs tend to be public private
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partnerships where you mix corporate philanthropy and government together and they all keep an eye on each other. >> let me throw in a word of caution about philanthropy. baltimore is the home of several -- three very large philanthropies. also the center of imnumerable experiments in urban reforms since the great society. and it's also the center of one failure in the nonpolitical sense after another. those philanthropies were just as unaccountable as government. it turned out that they went from failure to failure. sometimes not criminally but right on the edge of criminally. not intentionally. not because the people were mean characters. just because in order to get things done in baltimore. baltimore is the only city i've ever been in where i went to a high end party and there were drug dealers at the party. this was before the wire, by
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the way. so finally, i just want to say part of the reason the pastors are so important in terms of citizenship is that we have something in the country which i don't think people recognize and that's not just nonrelidges -- not just people not being religious but a kind of neo payingenism, which is especially prevalent in the big cities. and you can go a long way with -- neo cts of kneeo pagenism. late term abortion, et cetera. but whatever it does, it doesn't produce citizens. and without citizens, it's very hard to see how we have a nited states of america. >> brother omar mentioned u.f.l. a partnership with k-12.
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i think pastor paul said people at the church are investing money. sister here had mentioned that she's getting money in different places. there's a role already exists for public private fart nrships. the one thing -- partnerships. the one thing i would like to add is the venture capitalists because they can see what you have not only to make profits but to create the next generation of profit just marketed in a different way. >> pastor, his church in new jersey is a prime example of how an effective grassroots group can take government money and do good things with it, make government look really good in the course of that. >> and pay it back. >> yeah. sure. but i think one thing that's clear for all of us is that
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there isn't that kind of hard core libertarian objection to government programs as such. folks have done good things with government funding and that's been useful. on the philanthropy question, if i can just make a quick observation about that. what always surprises me is we ve here some of the most effective grassroots leaders in the country and i bet you could count on the fingers of one hand the numbers of foundations that have been involved with them. right? there you pointed out, are -- don't put it that way. > but there are many, many foundations. there are hundreds of -- well, there are a lot of foundations in the country. many of modest means. many of which could simply locate a grassroots group that could go to pastor and say,
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here is -- i've heard about your work. i'm going to write you a check for $25,000. and by the way, i want to be in touch with you. i want to talk with you about who else in -- you're talking about the repication program. i want to talk to you. who else in your community is doing work not exactly like yours because no one does exactly like you do. but operating on similar principles, getting similar results. maybe in a slightly different area. but the same general idea. i bet you know those people. i bet you could say to this foundation person let me give you the names of three people. i will take you to meet these folks. you can hold me responsible for their performance and their integrity. >> the foundations don't call him. the foundations call the political leaders. >> exactly. >> which comes back to glenn's point.
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when i was in state government new jersey and all the headlines covered the children in foster care who were dying, one of your foundations in baltimore called the governor and said to the governor, we want to help you. and so you direct us to the people that you think we should fund and work with. well, 99 out of 100 times a feed its is going to political organization before it looks for effective organizations. >> and just to underline that. there is no legal reason why that should be the case. foundations have almost complete freedom to do whatever they want to do. as long as it's giving money to a c 3. and yet they follow the same stale patterns. that have been tried so many
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times by others. >> it's not that they follow them. it's in many ways they create them. so i point out the difference between the political conversations here and the nonpolitical conversations there. >> right. i'm sorry. >> to indicate that as long as that gap exists, there's going to be missing resources. there's going to be lack of ability to either scale up or at least spread out because they are formal and informal political systems that impact all of these what these anecdotal kind of reports have revealed and until -- and that's why it was so important that paul ryan would not just go himself but then establish a model for policy makers to cross the divide and to begin to see the other side of their policies and how they're affected. i think that model, which has
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i think bob ced, must have at least a couple dozen requests from members of congress to do for them what he did for paul. and so i do think that there is potential to at least spread is thing out and to create some repication if not upscaling. >> every one of those congressmen have wealthy supporters back home who have charitable budgets in addition to their political budgets. and chances are they're writing their charitable checks to nonprofit organizations that are coming to washington to lobby for more federal spending. they're cansling out their political spending with their charitable spending is basically what they're doing. and i should add, speaking of the center for neighborhood enterprise, when that wealthy person starts to look for grassroots leaders who are effective to write checks to, the first check should go to
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the center. because he is the one who introduced us all to this group. pastor. >> i have a question. more of a comment. but you just said what i was about to say, and i appreciate that. i don't want -- when it comes down to where the government play as role, i don't want to let government off the hook. just saying look to anecdotal, hard to scale up. ou all think of a way. as fun and entertange and as wonderful as i can make it seem to get one, somebody else is producing four or five million little waynes.
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what i'm saying is someone else has a system to replicate that. at a level that us just throwing one end at a time cannot zpeet with. you've got to have some people who are intentionally saying let's systemically challenge, try, do demonstrations, have thought provoking ideas. something that makes it possible for us to scale. a n if we scale and it's light versus regular. at least it will be better than what we have now. because we all know. and some of us have been in this for many -- we know when grants are written for people. we already know. so we look at the grant. it's already written to the united way. we understood it when we got
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the grant proposal from the government. we know when there is language -- i remember when there was wrap around service, i remember when there was formerly incarcerated. folks need to be incarcerated. and the government found a way to systemically put that idea and fund it to the point where those who were on that particular side of the issue could be funded. but for us, what we're saying is, and we're serious. i really want -- what you just said. i guess it's late. but i really want you to understand that what we are saying is -- and i'm being very serious -- i don't think bob's cause has gotten a shot. straight up. i hate to be this real. i may not be invited back but since i'm here now, i don't think it has gotten the shot to be to fail.
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because we could be wrong. but we have not gotten a platform to see on a scaleable level can this work. and if you never get that opportunity we'll always be in the bushes hiding behind trying to do in the back yard cooking up moon shine trying to figure it out as opposed to being on the front. and it takes some governmental agencies to say what we're aying. >> the challenge that we have faced over the years is fundament elleetism from the left and the right. nd that is truth has to be clothed properly. otherwise it's not heard. most people left and right of
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center look down their noses at what we do and the people we serve. and it is a myth that when you elect a republican government, my experience is that conservatives do not know how to administer conservative policy into implementation. so you go to any welfare office in a state run by a democrat or republicans you will see money going to the same people. and so that's why it is important for those of you who are thought leaders to do what paul is doing. to go and listen and learn to try to find out how that can change. how the lesson that is -- this is not nice stories of nice people doing good things to
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somebody's people. and we just pat them on the head thank them and hope they will just go away. they need to understand that the kind of healing that has changed and transformed the brokenness in the midst of these crime ridden drug infested neighborhoods that perhaps they have solutions to the eementieness being experienced by people who are starving morally. and the ghettos of wealthy communities. because if people can find remedies in the midst of this despair then maybe they can also help people that have more means. so to me it is the brokenness -- richard's folks, fables of foretune. what rich people have that you don't want. that's a very important book. because what richard
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demonstrates is that the emptiness knows no limit. and that the real bridge culturally can be -- if my son, if i was wealthy and my son is tarving, i would send him. he didn't get it. he didn't understand that he has a problem. but nevertheless, those of us who are educated, need to derstand that there are -- that all of us have something to learn. it must be horrible to be rich and empty. because at least if you're poor you can say you don't have money all this stuff. but if you have all the resources and you still feel empty, then the only answer is is drugs or suicide.
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so i'm hoping that this forum it isn't really low income, practical versus theatrical. the challenge i have by learned colleagues and people with money is can you learn to be on ask but not always on top? are you willing to come and submit yourself to be used the way that we here as businessman, the treasure of the foundation, of companies, when he came to one of our gang conferences and sat and listened all day and his life has been transformed as a result. i remember him giving a list to one of our leaders and he said, the first time i ever rode in a car with a white man that i wasn't going to jail. but when we have -- when we're able to bring people together across the cultural racial
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divide where the common denominator is supporting resempletion and transformation, i think america has a chance at real redemption and transformation. but somehow we've got to bring people like you together with the kind of panelists like we saw so that we can come together and redefine it. we have the family, wonderful people who just started supporting us. they flew here from kansas just for this session. they came earlier and flew in and spent a whole day taking the kind of tour that paul did, trying to find out how -- and some of the blessings that god has given them, how it will be used more effectively to serve him. so these are the kind of people. i think -- i've only been wealthy since 08. we have eight children, 30
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grandchildren. we've been married 37 years, struggled through business, went bankrupt, came back, then built the business where we developed products that reduced hospital related blood stream infections by 70%. we had a patent on it until 2016 so it made it very valuable product with mrsa. so i in that time though i know many wealthy people and i know many wealthy people who are giving back. the problem is they're giving back to infrastructure. they're doing exactly -- when i heard bob say this i was like, this is what happened. they're giving -- 70 cents to the director and 30 cents to the poor. and our thing that we're doing, we have a center that we started. so we really want to investigate and say how can we make this rec center. and we would like to do as far
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as working on rye vitalization plan for the -- i grew up in a neighborhood, i was really poor most of my life. single mother. very -- and thought that was just -- i mean, i was ashamed of that. in this life, god, whatever, whether that's right to say or not, has brought me to it was such a blessing. because now i really understand. i couldn't understand if i hadn't had that background. and not only was i poor as a little girl, and -- then we went broke my husband is an entrepreneur. we went broke. so i was also broke with my children and my adult life. but we came back. now, no we don't have the race thing and we did have -- my husband had a mentor mr.
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coffman who owned the kansas city royals at one time who helped us take our 401(k) and start my little $5 million business which sounds like a lot but it wasn't at the time. but it made things and we started from there. seven of our children worked for us and we were kind of a family business and the rest is history. but anyway, my point is we want to give money, we want to give back. but we're giving it to the wrong -- when i met bob, i was like, it's got to be organic like one of you gentlemen said. it's got to be people. but we can be the foundation. we can support like bob who can then get the job done. and you know what? if washington is not going to do it we're going around washington. we're not going to stop. >> i think your comments are a prime illustration of the truth
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of what he was saying earlier. is that we're all on the comeback trail. and if wealthy people and people who are in authority and power, if they have the capacity to understand, they too are on a comeback trail, they too are overcoming things. it's not just the folks who are here. that we've all got stories like glenn's. we have to be in touch with that story in order to understand the profundty of p what these folks are doing. do we have time for just a quick -- why don't all you phd's and pulitzer prize take s -- why don't you one last shot at maybe -- >> respond to what? >> whatever anyone wants to do. >> i think when what you said is terrific.
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i think the money that will come from people like you is much better than money that gets filtered through government. i think -- and yes it's better if it's done on the state level than the federal level but still better if it's not done through government at all. >> i would just say i think one of the things we've seen and one of the things you see looking in any direction today is we're a country more divided than we're used to being. we're polarized. there's nothing more important now than bridges of the kind bob built. i leave the stage thank god for bob. he didn't exist we would have to invent him. so thank you. [applause] >> all right. >> i would agree with that. and i think for people who are looking for places to put money, to donate to, for their foundation grants, i know

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