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Dark Money and Campaign Finance

Yesterday, NPR’s Fresh Air discussed money in politics and how recent changes to campaign finance laws have made it difficult to track money spent on elections and who is spending it.

Here is a description of the podcast from the NPR website:

Campaign finance rules allow some groups to not disclose their donors. The New York Times’ Nick Confessore says there could be “influence peddling … because we can’t see the money changing hands.”

Janet Yellen on Income Inequality

On October 17, 2014, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen voice her concerns about student loan debt and record high income inequality. Earlier this week, an hour of The Diane Rehm Show was devoted to Yellen’s comments.

Here is a description of the segment:

Earlier this month Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke of the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth and income in this country. She warned that Americans at lower income levels have relatively very little chance to advance, and she questioned whether “this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history”. Some criticized her for stepping so squarely into what many perceive to be a partisan debate. Others argue that recent Fed policies have themselves contributed to the economic divide. Please join us as Senator Elizabeth Warren and three economists discuss what’s driving economic inequality and what, if anything, we should do about it.

GUESTS

Scott Winship: Walter B. Wriston fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; formerly research manager of the Economic Mobility Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Dean Bakerco-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research and blogger, Beat the Press; author of “The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.”

Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senator, D, Massachusetts; author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, “A Fighting Chance” (2014)

Edward Kleinbardprofessor of law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; author of the forthcoming book: “We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money” (October 2014).

Janet Yellen on Income Inequality

On October 17, 2014, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen voice her concerns about student loan debt and record high income inequality. Earlier this week, an hour of The Diane Rehm Show was devoted to Yellen’s comments.

Here is a description of the segment:

Earlier this month Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke of the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth and income in this country. She warned that Americans at lower income levels have relatively very little chance to advance, and she questioned whether “this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history”. Some criticized her for stepping so squarely into what many perceive to be a partisan debate. Others argue that recent Fed policies have themselves contributed to the economic divide. Please join us as Senator Elizabeth Warren and three economists discuss what’s driving economic inequality and what, if anything, we should do about it.

GUESTS

Scott Winship: Walter B. Wriston fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; formerly research manager of the Economic Mobility Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Dean Bakerco-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research and blogger, Beat the Press; author of “The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.”

Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senator, D, Massachusetts; author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, “A Fighting Chance” (2014)

Edward Kleinbardprofessor of law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; author of the forthcoming book: “We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money” (October 2014).

Ched Evans: UK Rapist Seeks Return to Professional Soccer

The most recent episode of the BBC’s Moral Maze debated the case of Ched Evans, a convicted rapist who seeks to return to playing professional football in England.  Although the story has received modest attention in America (here is a link to a New York Times article story), it has created a national debate in England.

Here is a description of the Moral Maze debate from the BBC’s website:

The case of the footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans is a morality tale for our times. Evans, who played for Wales and Sheffield United, was jailed for 5 and a half years after being found guilty of raping a woman who was so drunk she couldn’t give her consent. Clayton McDonald, then a Port Vale defender, who was also involved, was cleared of the same charge. Evans has always maintained his innocence and has not apologised to the victim. He’s now been released on licence and there are calls for him to return to his footballing career. An online petition with 150,000 signatures says Sheffield United should not take him back. The story may read like a tawdry tabloid expose, but it actually goes to the heart of the kind of society we want and the kind of people we want to be. Should a convicted rapist who’s served his time and maintains his innocence be entitled to get his job back? Does the need for forgiveness and rehabilitation trump the need for continuing disgrace and the need to make an example of someone who for many should be a role model? Does the fact of being a high profile figure put you in a different moral category that deserves extra punished? Or does that send out a message that even though you’ve served your time you still may not be allowed the chance to rebuild your life and reintegrate in to society.

Panellists: Michael Portillo, Melanie Phillips, Claire Fox, Giles Fraser

Witnesses: Charlotte Webster, David Walsh, Dr Clare Carlisle, Dr Nina Burrowes

“The Kansas Experiment”

In recent years, Kansas has lived a conservative economic fantasy: dramatically cut taxes.  The most recent Planet Money podcast discusses this economic experiment.

Here is a description of the episode from the NPR website:

Today on the show, a Republican governor lives the dream. He cuts taxes dramatically in his state, and he promises good times ahead. But the good times do not come. Now he’s fighting for his political life.