Category Archive: Government

  1. NSA Debate: Is Privacy the Price of Security? [Teaser]

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    Does NSA surveillance go too far? What is the right balance between homeland security and privacy protection? What are the true costs to our freedom and personal liberties? These are the controversial questions at the core of the biggest challenge to our sense of privacy in the 21st Century.

    This video is just a preview of the full debate—watch the full video to see Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Ronald Sievert of Texas A&M University tackle these questions and more. Discussing issues from whether government data collection has made us safer to whether this type of surveillance is even allowed by the U.S. Constitution, they will try to answer the question: is privacy the price of security?

  2. The Interactive Great American Taxing Game: Luxuries

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    It’s the Great American Taxing Game and you have chosen to tax luxury goods like yachts, fur coats, and expensive jewelry. Many people in the world today are suffering, but a small minority has plenty of money to spend on luxuries. It makes sense to tax these luxury items heavily and redistribute the wealth, right? Your host Prof. Art Carden explains that this isn’t as clear cut as it first appears. There are many substitutes for luxury goods. A heavy tax on yachts, for example, is more likely to hurt the people building the ships than the super-rich who might decide not to buy one if the price is too high. Is taxing luxury goods the best option for raising government revenue? Don’t forget to see what would happen if you taxed oil companies or cigarettes instead.

  3. An Unhealthy Alliance: Tobacco Companies and Anti-smoking

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    Why are cities across America considering bans on e cigarettes and vaping? And what do the tobacco industry and anti-tobacco groups have in common?

    Prof. Aeon Skoble looks at the motivations of the groups who want to ban e cigarettes and vaping. While anti-tobacco groups want to ban e cigarettes out of concern for public health, big tobacco companies also want to ban e cigarettes to protect their profits and to prevent people from using e cigarettes to quit smoking.

    These special interest groups, even though they have different motivations, end up lobbying for the same regulation to ban vaping and e cigarettes. Public choice economists call this type of alliance a “bootleggers and baptists” scenario.

  4. Can Bitcoin Feed a Family?


    Can Bitcoin help alleviate poverty? In developed countries with easy access to credit and banking, Bitcoin is still used mostly by criminals and early adopters–but in developing countries where credit and banking are difficult, if not impossible to access, Bitcoin helps workers not just to store their money, but also to cheaply and effectively send remittances home to help their families.

  5. Three Things to Know About Bitcoin


    Bitcoin can be a little confusing–maybe you’ve heard that black markets like the Silk Road use it, or heard stories about its ever-fluctuating market value. Jerry Brito, law professor and Executive Director of Coin Center, gives you the basics about Bitcoin, from how it works, to how many there are, to who can benefit from it. Hint: It’s not just criminals.


  6. I Can’t Breathe: How to Reduce Police Brutality


    Should we have laws we aren’t willing to kill for?

    Following tragic deaths at the hands of police, like that of Eric Garner, many are outraged over racism and unaccountability in law enforcement. But George Mason Law Professor Ilya Somin takes issue with the laws themselves, and asks whether all laws are really worth killing for. Police run the risk of injuring or killing Americans every time they arrest someone–and each year, hundreds of thousands are arrested for nonviolent crimes. The more racist and unaccountable you believe the police are, Somin argues, the more you should want to limit the number of situations where they can inflict that abusive and racist behavior on civilians.

    Can we justify killing people for nonviolent crimes? Can we justify the death of Eric Garner and countless others?

  7. Warsaw’s Blinking Lights

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    In the 1980s, an oppressive communist regime suppressed free speech, dissent, and messages of freedom in Poland. In resistance, Radio Free Poland was born: a hidden radio station which broadcast messages of freedom to the people of Warsaw. Professor Peter Jaworski and his family, who lived in Poland during this time, share their personal stories of what life was like under the communist regime, how Radio Free Poland worked, and the night when all of Warsaw blinked their lights.

  8. Should You Be Allowed to Sell Your Kidneys?


    Should we be allowed to sell our kidneys? What about sex? How about our blood?! Should there be limits on what we can and can’t buy? How can we decide what can be for sale on a market – are there things that we shouldn’t allow to be purchased?

    In this video, Professor Peter Jaworski asks students at Red Square at Georgetown University for their opinion on what should and shouldn’t be off limits – and the results might surprise you.

  9. Intellectual Privilege: Has IP Protection Gone Too Far?


    Should copyright laws exist? Do they help or do they hurt? And where did they originate? Professor Tom Bell of Chapman University provides a fresh perspective by exploring intellectual property and shedding light on the growing complexities of copyright legislation. As a response to the negative feedback on a past video, Professor Bell clarifies his position: copyrights should be considered not as a form of intellectual property, but instead as an intellectual privilege.

  10. Rise of the Mockingjay: From Ferguson to Hong Kong


    In the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen becomes the Mockingjay–a symbol of hope and rebellion for the people of Panem. In today’s world, where new technology enables government surveillance and censorship, citizens are able to fight back by using that same technology to organize and rebel against abuse of power. Both in the fictional dystopia of the Hunger Games and the real, near-dystopian rights violations faced by people across the world today, the ideas of freedom catch fire, spreading faster than governments can stamp them out.

  11. Business Cycles Explained [Teaser]

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    What causes economic crises? How can we prevent them?

    If you’re tired of drawing a blank when faced with these questions, you’re in luck. In our new program, Professor Tyler Cowen will walk you through the different theories of booms and busts, the reasoning behind major crises, and even how we can prevent them in the future. Big crises raise big questions—so join the program to get some facts, and find your own answers.

  12. Guilty Til Proven Rich – Drug War Stories (Ep. 8) with Alex Kreit


    You know what they say about assumptions, right? Well, what if our criminal justice system worked off that flawed system? Right now police officers are making wild assumptions about what a lot of money is, and what a drug dealer is supposed to look like. Listen to Professor Alex Kreit as he explains why our drug laws make no sense, and what you need to do to avoid getting hassled by ‘the man.’