While there’s a great deal of controversy around video games and their potential link to violent behavior in youth, statistics show something a little bit different. The studies done by Professor Michael Ward and other researchers argue that video games don’t make today’s youth violent. Still, law makers and congressmen are making decisions that could curb the creative liberty of video game designers.
What can The Walking Dead teach us about prosperity? A lot, according to Professor Dan D’Amico of Loyola University. While The Walking Dead has shown viewers what zombies do to society since 2010, political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about shambling, lonesome, soulless creatures and the decline of society long before the show debuted. D’Amico explores what The Walking Dead and Tocqueville’s writings have in common, and what they reveal about the key to human prosperity.
With great power comes great responsibility. But what happens when those in power are no longer responsible enough to wield it? From our ever-increasing debt to the chaos of Ferguson, MO, it’s no surprise that people with power end up abusing it. Look no further than ‘The Gang’ from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; each time they’re presented with even a modicum of authority, all hell breaks loose. While the show is clearly a comedy, its underlying themes speak to something much darker. Dr. Peter Jaworski of Georgetown University breaks down the three major ways politics is a dirty game – and offers two easy solutions for fixing the system. And it’s not the DENNIS System.
What holds women back from achieving the same level and consistency of success in the workplace as men? Discrimination, culture, and access to education are all factors which need to be addressed – but they aren’t the whole story. What’s often left out of this important discussion is an examination of the choices that men and women make for their lives. While discrimination should be fought against at every turn, Professor Lauren Hall argues that we have to look at the full scope of the story.
While it sounds good on paper, mandated maternity leave doesn’t always achieve what it’s created for. Even mandating paternity leave has its own complications. The truth is that, while women are temporarily away, their career goals and advancement opportunities can be permanently stunted. Policy mandates, in practice, can be inefficient; in the worst cases, they can impede the cultural changes they seek to encourage. Professor Lauren Hall discusses the disparities.
Is it crazy to think that making football helmets flimsy or getting rid of them altogether could reduce the amount of football concussions in the NFL? In this video, we discuss the moral hazard of football helmets. Moral hazard refers to the lessening of people’s incentive to avoid negative outcomes when they are presented with additional forms of protection. Will attempts to reduce risk in injuries actually create more?
One of the most important parts of playing a game like football is that the rules remain predictable and consistent for all players. However, this doesn’t just apply to touchdowns and tackles – the rule of law is crucial to a well-functioning free market. The question at hand is whether or not this really does exist in the US; or are the rich and powerful benefitting from hiring lobbyists to get what they want and to protect themselves? In this video, learn from Professor Steve Horowitz what happens when the Rule of Law changes. What is the impact on our society, the economy, and YOUR life?
Dirty Laws? That’s the confusing part of EPA regulations. While intended to do good, they end up doing quite the opposite. When a corporation dumps its toxic waste a few miles upstream from your tomato farm – sure, you can go to the EPA, but odds are the offending party has filed all the right permits that allow them to do their dirtiest and you’re screwed. Join Law and Economics Prof. Roger Meiners in this video as he shows how an age-old, British, free-market concept called “Common Law” may be the best remedy – without bureaucratic trash to stink things up.
What could the denizens of “Jersey Shore” possibly know about economics? In a word: plenty; at least according to Professor Dan D’Amico of Loyola University in New Orleans. Let Professor D’Amico show you how Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi display a keener grasp of basic fundamental economic concepts than you might think – like the Law of Diminishing Returns, scarcity, opportunity costs, and the role of self-interest in the economics of public choice as it applies to dating, packed dance floors, fist pumping, and tanning. We bet you never thought getting “fresh to death” would teach you so much about economic theory. Sit back, relax, and welcome to the shore, baby!
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws have sentenced people to jail for decades, sometimes for doing something as simple as selling pot a few times. Is there any reason to be hopeful that things could change? Alex Kreit, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, tells of four recent contributions to the reform of mandatory-minimum drug sentencing laws.
Attorney General Eric Holder issued new guidelines on how federal prosecutors enforce drug laws. President Obama himself granted clemency for several drug offenders sentenced under mandatory minimum laws.
Meanwhile, Senators Cory Booker and Rand Paul joined forces to advocate reform. Bipartisan action is rare, which makes this all the more impressive.
There are several organizations joining the fight against these laws as well. A group called Families Against Mandatory Minimums is leading the battle against unjust sentencing under these laws.
Are there reasons for optimism? Professor Kreit believes so, and you should too.
Brazil gained prestige in landing the World Cup and Olympics, but sometimes hosting a major global event isn’t as glamorous as it seems. For a start, it’s difficult to justify massive spending — Brazil plans to spend $31 billion between the two — for such a temporary payoff. . Many venues created for these events, including those erected for the Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing, have fallen into disrepair after the celebrations ended. Many workers die on these massive construction projects — hundreds, already, for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup. Government often evicts lots of people from their homes, as Beijing did to over 1.5 million people in anticipation of the 2008 Summer Olympics. So why are cities and countries so eager to host? Often for the international prestige. However, support can sour quickly, as it has in Brazil, when the real costs became more apparent. Economist Matt Ryan from Duquesne University asks you to consider those costs now – a country that wins the bid may lose big overall.
Our three most recent presidents have admitted to committing drug offenses in their youth, though they didn’t pay for their indiscretions with jail time. But most people caught up in our criminal justice system aren’t so lucky. Perhaps the worst aspect of the flawed system is mandatory minimum sentences. Consider Weldon Angelos, one victim — a former record producer who won’t get out of jail until he’s eighty and has served a sentence of more than twice what the hijacker of a plane would face. His crime? Selling marijuana twice.
Alex Kreit, criminal law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, explains three reasons why mandatory minimums are really, really, really bad. For one thing, the sentences can be longer than those for more serious crimes. Second, they get the wrong people, despite the intentions of lawmakers. Third, if the goal is to reduce drug use, they fail on their own terms. Among their targets in practice are people who have been convicted of such minor offenses as possession for personal use. Drugs are as plentiful as ever.
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