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Episodes

Trade Wars and Tariff Threats

6/20/2018
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Milton Ezrati joins Seth Barron to discuss President Trump’s tariff threats, China’s vulnerability in a trade war with the United States, and the history of the global trade order. Recent meetings with the Group of Seven (G7), trade disputes with Canada, and tariff threats against China all point to a shakeup of world trade. While the entire world would likely suffer in a trade war, Ezrati argues that the U.S. actually has the upper hand in trade negotiations with Beijing. Milton Ezrati is...

Duration:00:20:35

Identity Politics in the Sciences

6/13/2018
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Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss how universities and the scientific community are being pressured to alter the gender and racial balance in STEM disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and math—and the implications for the American future. For decades, multiculturalism, quotas, and identity politics have been pervasive in humanities departments at most major universities—but not in scientific fields. Now that’s changing, as the identity-politics obsession has...

Duration:00:26:01

Fixing America’s Crisis of Work

6/6/2018
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Business leaders, educators, and nonprofit donors across the country are intensifying efforts to revamp career and technical education in the United States. Recently, City Journal convened a panel of experts to talk about how these efforts can be applied in American high schools. Fixing America’s crisis of long-term, persistent joblessness will also require major upgrades to K-12 education, where big spending increases and centralization of control in Washington have delivered...

Duration:00:39:42

Rust Belt, USA

5/30/2018
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Aaron Renn joins Seth Barron to discuss the divide between the country’s economically-booming metro areas and its depressed suburban/rural areas, commonly known as the “rust belt.” A new report from the Empire Center released last month highlighted the disparity in job growth between “upstate” and “downstate” New York: of the 106,000 jobs created between April 2017 and April 2018, more than 85% of them were in the New York City metro area. Similar imbalances in urban-rural economic...

Duration:00:25:29

Mass Shootings and School Discipline

5/23/2018
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Max Eden joins Seth Barron to discuss recent mass shootings in American high schools and how misguided approaches to school safety can play a role in some of these massacres. In the aftermath of horrific shootings at high schools in Florida and Texas, the political debate has focused largely on the role of guns in American society. Mostly ignored is how school districts fail to take action on students with documented histories of threats, violence, or mental illness. The school district...

Duration:00:23:20

The Fair Housing Act at 50

5/16/2018
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Howard Husock joins Seth Barron to discuss the Fair Housing Act, racial discrimination in residential neighborhoods, and efforts to reinvigorate the law today. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the landmark legislation signed by President Lyndon Johnson aimed to end housing discrimination and residential segregation in America. The Kerner Commission in 1968 stated that America was split into “two societies, one black, one white – separate and...

Duration:00:21:17

America’s Crisis of Work

5/8/2018
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Long-term, persistent joblessness is the great American domestic crisis of our generation. City Journal grappled with the problem in our 2017 special issue, “The Shape of Work to Come,” and our writers continue toexplore the topic. Last week, City Journal convened a panel of experts to talk about the future of work. Audio from their discussion is featured in this episode of 10 Blocks. The panel consisted of Ryan Avant, a senior editor and economics columnist at The Economist; Edward L....

Duration:00:51:32

Shuttering Rikers

5/2/2018
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Rafael Mangual and Seth Barron discuss plans to close the jail complex on Rikers Island, home to the vast majority of New York City’s inmate population, including some of the city’s worst offenders. Violence on Rikers has spiked in recent years, despite a marked decline in the city’s inmate population. Last year, approximately 9,000 people were held on the island on an average day. According to the city’s own reporting, a larger share of inmates in Rikers are now “more violent and...

Duration:00:18:00

Storm and Disaster Relief

4/18/2018
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Nicole Gelinas and Brian Anderson discuss recent disaster-relief efforts in the United States, the federal government’s role in such assistance, and how national flood insurance and other recovery programs could be reformed. Since 2005, Washington has spent nearly $300 billion on disaster recovery, with state and local governments spending billions more. This figure doesn’t even include last year’s devastating storm season, which ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin...

Duration:00:13:36

Corruption and “Economic Development” in New York State

4/3/2018
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E.J. McMahon and Seth Barron discuss recent corruption cases in New York and how the state government in Albany is attempting to revitalize struggling areas with “economic-development” programs. Last month, Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, was found guilty on corruption charges for accepting more than $300,000 in bribes from two companies. Percoco’s conviction reinforces the perception that New York politics operates on a “pay-to-play” model. Allegations of...

Duration:00:29:30

When Family Preservation Is Fatal

3/21/2018
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Dennis Saffran and Seth Barron discuss New York City’s misguided family-reunification policies, which can have fatal consequences for children in distressed homes. In the Summer 1997 Issue of City Journal, Saffran wrote an article entitled “Fatal Preservation,” which chronicled attempts by New York’s social-services agencies to keep children with their troubled and abusiveparents. The policy proved tragic for kids like six-year-old Elisa Izquierdo, killed at the hands of her...

Duration:00:17:11

What’s Happened to the University?

3/7/2018
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Heather Mac Donald and Frank Furedi discuss the hostility to free speech that has provoked disturbing incidents on campuses across the country and the ideology behind safe spaces, micro-aggressions, and trigger warnings. Their discussion, from a Manhattan Institute event held in June 2017, was moderated by City Journal contributing editor Howard Husock. American universities are experiencing a profound cultural transformation. Student protests designed to shut downalternative opinions...

Duration:00:35:14

Public Unions and the Janus Reckoning

2/21/2018
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Daniel DiSalvo joins Brian Anderson to discuss public-sector unions, freedom of speech, and the upcoming Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Janus next week. If the justices rule for the plaintiffs, employees of state and local governments across the country will be able to opt out of paying union fees. Public unions are often powerful political players, and a sharp drop in funding or membership could deal a heavy blow to their...

Duration:00:15:07

Growth and Equality

2/7/2018
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Amity Shlaes joins Seth Barron to discuss the competing goals of economic growth and income equality, and to take a look at how American presidents in the twentieth century have approached these issues. Polls show that support for income redistribution is growing among younger generations of Americans, but such policies have a poor track record of achieving their goals. As Shlaes writes in her feature story in the Winter 2018 Issue of City Journal: “Prioritizing equality over markets and...

Duration:00:26:18

The Trump Infrastructure Plan

1/24/2018
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John Tierney joins Seth Barron to discuss the Trump administration’s plans to reform how infrastructure projects are managed and funded. Civil engineers and other experts (including here at City Journal) have warned for years that the country’s roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and rail lines are in serious need of repair. Thanks in part to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, infrastructure is now at the top of the national agenda. But does the Trump administration actually have a...

Duration:00:17:34

The School-to-Prison Pipeline

1/10/2018
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Max Eden joins Seth Barron to discuss student discipline and suspension policies, and how discipline “reform” has led to chaos in many classrooms. In January 2014, in an attempt to reduce out-of-school suspensions, an Obama administration directive forced thousands of American schools to change their discipline policies. Proponents of the new discipline rules say that teachers and school administrators have been racially discriminatory in meting out punishments, creating a massive...

Duration:00:16:10

How Gotham Saved Its Subways

12/27/2017
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Nicole Gelinas joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss how New York City saved its subway system after decades of decay and rampant crime from the 1960s to the early-1990s. This episode originally aired on October 20, 2016. Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a columnist at the New York Post. Her story “How Gotham Saved Its Subways” appeared in the Summer 2016 Issue of City Journal.

Duration:00:16:36

Securing New York’s Streets and Subways

12/13/2017
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Nicole Gelinas joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the recent bombing at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and how the city is managing the streets in midtown Manhattan to handle not only gridlocked traffic but also the threat of vehicle-based terrorist attacks on pedestrians. On Monday, December 11, New York City was stunned when a 27-year-old man from Bangladesh attempted to detonate an amateur pipe bomb during the morning rush-hour commute. The incident took place...

Duration:00:15:45

Crisis Intervention Training

11/29/2017
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Stephen Eide joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the New York Police Department's “crisis intervention team” (CIT), which trains police officers to respond to situations involving people with serious mental illnesses. In 2016, NYPD officers responded to more than 400 calls a day concerning “emotionally disturbed persons,” some of whom are suffering major psychiatric episodes. Officers receiving CIT trainingare better prepared to de-escalate these encounters. CIT...

Duration:00:15:30

When the Heavyweight Champions Ruled America

11/15/2017
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City Journal managing editor Paul Beston joins Matthew Hennessey to discuss Paul’s new book, The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring. For much of the twentieth century, boxing was one of the country’s most popular sports. Even long after the sport’s heyday, the men who dominated the ring still hold a place in American culture. The Boxing Kings chronicles the history of the heavyweight championship in the United States, from 1882 to 2002, examining the lives and...

Duration:00:20:16