Who Do Politicians Really Represent & Do We Notice?

With Donald Trump’s approval ratings at record lows, it’s worth asking how much this one number matters…and whether the people who approve really are better represented by him than the people who don’t. If our politicians really do represent some Americans better than others, it calls into question the very foundational ideals of our representative democracy.

In this episode, Brian Newman uncovers who’s represented, who’s not, and how it affects their view of government.

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Why the Federal Reserve Is More Politically Constrained Than You Think

We’ve been having a mistaken debate, or so it would seem based on the new book The Myth of Independence. The Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank and most influential economic regulator, isn’t as independent as critics like Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders suggest. Congress created it, and Congress continues to shape it to the people’s will. This new perspective might just change your expectations about Fed policy and your appreciation for their delicate strategic work. This episode features Sarah Binder, professor of political science at George Washington University and a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

‘Parties & Partisanship in the Age of Trump’ symposium gathers scholars nationwide at USC Bedrosian Center

According to Bedrosian Center Director Jeffery Jenkins, “there are few issues more important today than partisanship. We live in a world today where partisan divisions run so deep that some of the most basic things we expect from government aren’t being done.  People inside and outside of Congress are more interested in skewering the other side rather than work together or find common ground.”

How the Senate Can Beat Gridlock—and Why That’s Not Always a Good Thing

Americans are fed up with gridlock in Congress, one of the least popular institutions in the country. You might think the solution is for legislators to pass major legislation. But what if the solution is even more controversial than the problem? If you’ve heard of “budget reconciliation,” you probably didn’t hear unanimously good things. That’s because it’s a risky game . . . a fascinating, strategic game deep in the trenches of our democratic tug-of-war.

In this episode, Molly E. Reynolds, fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Inst., teaches us how budget reconciliation works, where it came from, how it’s being wielded, and why you should care.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

Searching for solutions to SoCal’s housing crisis, YIMBYs say ‘yes’ to development

KPCC-FM quoted Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center, on why increasing the number of housing developments at any price level is a good strategy for reducing housing costs across the market. YIMBY groups around the state, such as Abundant Housing, have registered their support for the legislation, arguing that increased housing will help…

Paid Family Leave and Work-Life Balance in Today’s America

Why do both a majority of both parties want paid family leave, and when are they going to get it? Where do we draw the line between work and life in today’s America? And what does it mean for the all-American centerpiece of our society: the family?

In this episode, we explore the future of our sacred family values and the policies that affect them with Johanna Thunell.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

Federalism and the Battle for Partisan Power

We think we know how federalism works. Republicans believe in states’ rights, and Democrats want a strong federal government, right? Not so fast. New research reveals a whole different tug of war playing out on Capitol Hill. Our legislators don’t always do what they say, but they do have a strategy to design and implement our laws. It turns out that federalism is ground zero in their battle for partisan power—and now we finally know how the game is being played.

In this episode, we go behind-the-scenes with the researcher who uncovered these terms of engagement, Pamela Clouser McCann.

McCann’s new book uncovers partisanship when Congress delegates policy to states

By Matthew Kredell Ever since she worked for a state-level agency before attending graduate school, USC Price Assistant Professor Pamela McCann has been intrigued by when and why Congress chooses to delegate to the states for implementation of federal policy. In her new book The Federal Design Dilemma: Congress and Intergovernmental Delegation (Cambridge University Press),…

California Experiments with Crowdsourcing Legislation

Crowdsourcing is a familiar term in the world of fundraising, where platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have helped bring to life passion projects and dynamic new businesses. Crowdsourcing has also made its mark on the world of social enterprise and marketing campaigns. And now you can add government to that list. A growing number of governments are experimenting…