21 Jump Street is real. Right now, young looking police officers are infiltrating high schools across the country looking to break up major crime rings. Problem is they are usually doing more harm than good. So the next time you see Channing Tatum, or Jonny Depp wandering your high school, before you ask for their autograph, make sure you know the real ways cops are taking advantage of teenagers.
Everybody knows not to buy drugs. But did you know that there is a way to buy drugs and have the cops thank you for it? In an in depth analysis of all the weird rules, strange loopholes, and loony litigation, Professor Alex Kriet takes you behind the scenes of The United States’ drug laws.
What stops women from having success in the workplace the way men do? Factors like discrimination, culture, and access to education are factors that need to be addressed – but they aren’t the whole story. Another reason are the choices that men and women make for their lives. While discrimination should be fought at every turn, Professor Lauren Hall argues that we have to look at full scope of the story.
While it sounds good on paper, mandated maternity leave doesn’t always achieve what it was created for. Even mandating paternity leave has its own disparities. The truth is that while women are temporarily away, their career goals and advancement opportunities can be permanently stunted. In the best cases, policy mandates are inefficient solutions and in the worst, mandates can prevent the cultural changes they seek to encourage.
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 key to a well-functioning free market. The question at hand is whether or not this really exists in the US–or do the rich and powerful benefit from hiring lobbyists to get what they want and to protect themselves? Watch and learn from Professor Steve Horowitz what happens when the Rule of Law changes and its 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 Learn Liberty 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.
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.
A single mother addicted to drugs. A man so desperate to pay for medical treatment that he tried unsuccessfully to sell methamphetamines. A guy busted for selling LSD and another who got in trouble for selling marijuana. One thing all four of these victims of the drug war have in common is that they’ve been sentenced to spend many years in jail, regardless of whether the judges of their cases even wanted that outcome. Listen to Alex Kreit, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, explain why people like these can face jail time more than twice as long as if they’d hijacked an airplane, detonated a bomb in public, or even committed second-degree murder.
Professor Daniel D’Amico interviews a New Orleans business owner about crime in the city after Hurricane Katrina. They observe that local businesses can play an important role in reducing crime and increasing the safety of communities. Entrepreneurs and businesses create more connections between people, offer support and economic opportunities, and provide what urbanist Jane Jacobs called “eyes on the street.”
Tired of the corruption, high crime, and poor state of the economy in Venezuela, students and other citizens are taking to the streets to protest. What kind of ideas inspire regular citizens to risk so much in the face of a tyrannical government?