Who Has the Ear of Your Legislators and Why They Can’t Seem to Get Anything Done

We’re six months away from one of the most consequential midterm elections in modern history, and Americans are fed up with Congress. Politicians have gotten a bad rap throughout history, but today’s legislators are setting record lows in approval ratings and public trust. What gives? Why do they disappoint us so often? Are they really ignoring our needs and demands, or are we misunderstanding the challenges they face?

In this episode, Sarah Anderson shows that it’s a little of both: politicians don’t listen to all constituents equally, but they also can’t just snap their fingers and fulfill our wishes.

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.”

Radical Markets

In Radical Markets, Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl envision new rules for markets in order to limit the tyranny of monopolies and majority rule. Their aim, with 5 revolutionary ideas to cure what they see as the most important issue of our time: inequality.

What are some of these “radical” ideas, and does our panel think they are the revolutionary ideas we need?

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of Radical Markets, click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle PlayStitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

USC Price student-led forum focuses on issues of identity, resistance

“In order for us to be inclusive, we need to really highlight that representation matters and include as many people, organizations, thought processes and concerns that people may have,” said Malaika Merid, a second-year Master of Public Policy Student at USC Price who was one of the event organizers. “This is a gathering space of real diverse thought, and I think that the best way for us to move forward with that is to keep creating ways to find more diversity of thought to be included within the forum.”

Ender’s Game

When you’ve grown up thinking everything is a zero sum game … what happens when you learn it isn’t?

New episode features host Jeffery Jenkins with guests Aubrey Hicks, Matt Schauer, and Ehsan Zaffar.

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of the “Ender’s Game” episode click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle PlayStitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

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.

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.”

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.”

The importance of strong “personal touch” relationships in housing services

by Shawn Flanigan

To learn why the San Diego Housing Commission’s Achievement Academy – a suite of workforce development programs – is effective in supporting families receiving Section 8 vouchers, we continue conducting interviews in our longitudinal data collection with Achievement Academy families. Our conversations have put a spotlight on a key factor: a strong personal touch. The Section 8 recipients highly value the intensive, personal, positive interactions they have with Achievement Academy staff, and almost all of them point to positive outcomes that come from the personal investment of their “caseworkers”.

In Defense of Our Political Party System (Sort Of)”

Did the recent government shutdown cause your confidence in government to soar?

We thought not. Luckily, Anthony spoke with UC San Diego prof Thad Kousser about where gridlock comes from, what to do about it, and whether politicians really deserve all the blame they get.

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.”

Let Every Voice Be Heard: How to Elevate the Public Debate in 2018

Our American Discourse is a small piece of a big effort. We’re not the only ones trying to raise the level of public debate in this country. Take a walk through the Price School, and you’ll see room after room of scholars who genuinely care about the public interest. Stop at the Bedrosian Center, and you’ll find the people who have taken it upon themselves to engage directly with the public. That’s where I spend most of my days on campus, and it’s where I want to take you today to meet the leader who makes it all happen…

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.”

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.”