First Principles: The Moral Debates that Drive Today's Politics
After the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath a great political divide emerged among many Americans reexamining the direction of our country. One side says that unleashed free-market policies led to the worst downturn since the Great Depression, and calls for effective government to foster more equitable prosperity. The other side says that government has grown too big and too intrusive, and calls for the country to rediscover the virtues of limited government and free-market capitalism.
Moderated by WNYC's Brian Lehrer, this unique debate series will examine this divide and the social, economic, and moral beliefs that underlie politics in America today.
Event is FREE with RSVP. Click here for Event Registration.
The size and scope of government has become one of the most contested issues in American politics. What is government's proper role? Should it focus on protecting individual rights and free markets? Or on promoting equality and solving society's problems?
MODERATOR Brian Lehrer is host of The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC Radio's daily call-in program, covering politics and life locally and globally. The show was recognized with a 2007 George Foster Peabody Award for Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides. Lehrer is also a commentator on local and national issues on television and in print. He has appeared on TV networks including CNN, MSNBC, Fox Newschannel, C-SPAN, ABC World News Now, and NY1. He has written op-ed pieces for publications including The New York Times, The Daily News, Newsday, The New York Sun and Slate.com. He also hosts a weekly television program on CUNY-TV, Brian Lehrer Live featuring issue-oriented web video.
Miles Rapoport has been President of Demos since 2001. Prior to joining Demos, he spent 15 years in Connecticut politics. He served for ten years in the Connecticut legislature, from 1985-1994. He chaired the Government Administration and Elections Committee, and was a leading member of the Finance Committee. In 1994, he was elected as Secretary of the State of Connecticut. As Secretary, he was an energetic advocate for a democracy with high levels of voting and engagement. His office led efforts for voter registration, youth civic engagement, and campaign finance reform, and also published two unique reports on the State of Democracy in Connecticut. His articles have appeared in national magazines and newspapers. Currently, Rapoport serves on the Boards of Northeast Action, The American Prospect, and the Paul J. Aicher Foundation.
Yaron Brook is president of the Ayn Rand Institute and oversees its operation of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, located in Washington, DC. He is co-author of Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea and a contributor to Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism. He frequently speaks on topics such as the morality of capitalism, Ayn Rand’s philosophy, business ethics, and finance. He is a columnist at Forbes.com, and his articles have been featured in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Investor’s Business Daily. Dr. Brook is a frequent guest on a variety of national radio and TV programs. Prior to joining ARI, he was a finance professor at Santa Clara University, and in 1998 he cofounded a financial advisory firm, BH Equity Research.