Recorded on September 18, 2015
Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses poverty around the world and in the United States. Poverty in America, he says, compared to the rest of the world, is not severe. Many poor people in poverty in the United States have one or two cars, central heating, and cell phones. The real problem for the poor is the destruction of the family, which Sowell argues dramatically increased once welfare policies were introduced in the 1960s.
On January 11, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the requirement that government employees, such as public school teachers, pay fees to the local union even if they have chosen not to join the union. In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), the Supreme Court first upheld “agency shop” arrangements, where government employees who don’t join a union pay an agency fee for a “fair share” of the union’s collective bargaining costs. The Court determined that unions may not spend nonmembers’ agency fees on “ideological activities unrelated to collective bargaining.” In recent years, the Court has questioned the validity of Abood for imposing a “significant impingement” on an employee’s First Amendment free speech and association rights. Now a group of California teachers are asking the Court to overrule Abood, arguing that public-sector collective bargaining is political speech that cannot be distinguished from lobbying and that compelling them to subsidize it violates the First Amendment.
Syndicated radio host Mark Levin speaking at the Reagan library about his latest book Plunder & Deceit.
Henry Olsen, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center
This lecture was delivered at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington, D.C.