City Journal's 10 Blocks

By Manhattan Institute

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City Journal's 10 Blocks, a weekly podcast hosted by editor Brian C. Anderson, features discussions on urban policy and culture with City Journal editors, contributors, and special guests. Forthcoming episodes will be devoted to topics such as: predictive policing, the Bronx renaissance, reform of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, homelessness in Portland, Oregon, and more. City Journal is a quarterly print and regular online magazine published by the Manhattan Institute.

Episode Date
A Summer of Violence?
24:43

Rafael Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss the surge in gun violence in New York City and other American cities, the impact of newly enacted criminal-justice reforms on policing, and the connection between "low-level" enforcement and major-crime prevention.

Jul 08, 2020
Navigating the Pandemic Economy
14:59

Allison Schrager joins Brian Anderson to discuss economic trends in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, how the stock market has performed during the crisis, and why expensive infrastructure projects are a risky strategy for reviving the economy.

Jul 01, 2020
“Woke” Schools
16:49

Max Eden joins Brian Anderson to discuss how America's latest culture war appears headed for public schools—the topic of Eden’s latest story, "'There Is No Apolitical Classroom.'"

Across the country, schools are preparing to reopen in September with rigorous hygiene protocols to protect against Covid-19. Now, in the aftermath of nationwide protests in response to George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, activists are making a renewed push to incorporate "antiracism" content into classrooms. According to Eden, "antiracist schools will teach very different material from the schools of yesteryear."

Jun 24, 2020
CHAZ to CHOP: Seattle’s Radical Experiment
24:07

Christopher Rufo joins Brian Anderson to discuss Seattle's activist-controlled "autonomous zone" in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of the city, established after police evacuated the local precinct building.

In the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, activists and police in Seattle clashed until the city decided to abandon the East Precinct and surrender the neighborhood to protesters, who declared it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). More than a week later, the future of CHAZ—now increasingly called CHOP, for Capitol Hill Organized Protest—remains unclear.

Jun 16, 2020
How Our Social Nature Makes Everything Contagious
18:10

Kay Hymowitz joins Brian Anderson to discuss how our social instincts, and especially our social networks, affect our behavior and choices, in areas as wide-ranging as divorce, obesity—and even rioting.

Humans are social animals, as the saying goes. Our social nature, Hymowitz writes in her new story, "The Human Network," makes nearly everything contagious, from viruses to behaviors. For example, new research suggests that people can, in effect, "catch" divorce from their friends or extended family. But while network science can be a useful tool for understanding human action, it cannot explain why some are more susceptible to social pressure than others.

Jun 10, 2020
Race, Riots, and the Cops
28:12

City Journal contributing editors Coleman Hughes and Rafael Mangual discuss the protests and riots across the United States—including attacks on police officers—and the dispiriting state of American racial politics. The unrest began last week, in the aftermath of George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis.

The disorder should not be surprising, Mangual notes, because "police have been the targets of a poisonous, decades-long campaign to paint law enforcement as a violent cog in the machine of a racially oppressive criminal-justice system." Hughes wonders whether fixing the perception that police are unfair to black Americans is even achievable.

Jun 04, 2020
Bedlam in New York
25:23

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas discuss the eruption of lawlessness in Midtown Manhattan and other parts of New York City and the inability of Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to quell the worst criminal violence.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, cities across the nation have seen large demonstrations in the last week. Many have degenerated into urban riots, with violence, looting, and property destruction, in a wholesale collapse of public order. In New York City, clashes between protesters and police in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan turned violent over the weekend, followed by fires and looting in midtown and the Bronx on Monday night. Meantime, the city’s elected officials refuse to tell demonstrators to stay home amid the escalating violence and a still-active coronavirus pandemic.

Jun 03, 2020
The Arbery Shooting: Looking for Answers
23:10

Coleman Hughes joins Brian Anderson to discuss the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, the widespread claims that his alleged murderers were motivated by racism, and public reaction to the killing—the subjects of Hughes's article, "The Illusion of Certainty."

Ahmaud Arbery's violent death at the hands of Gregory and Travis McMichael has sparked nationwide outrage and reignited the debate over racial profiling. But "while it's tempting to assume that the McMichaels were motivated by racism," writes Hughes, "the only intellectually honest position is to admit that we do not know what motivated them—at least, not yet."

May 27, 2020
Farewell, San Francisco
23:58

Michael Gibson joins Brian Anderson to discuss San Francisco's ongoing struggle with public order and his decision to leave the Bay Area for Los Angeles—the subject of Gibson's story, "America’s Havana," in the Spring 2020 issue.

"Even before the current Covid-19 pandemic," writes Gibson, "San Francisco was a deeply troubled city." The city ranks first in the nation in a host of property crimes, and its high housing costs make it prohibitively expensive for low- and middle-income families. Even tech companies are now considering relocating their operations; any significant exodus of such businesses would be a serious blow to the city's economy.

May 20, 2020
Covid-19: Regulatory Obstacles to U.S. Recovery
26:52

James R. Copland joins Brian Anderson to discuss how America's uniquely cumbersome regulatory system impeded the national response to the Covid-19 crisis and how costly litigation could damage the economy even further.

The FDA and CDC's administrative failings in the early days of the crisis proved costly. The federal process for reviewing and approving drugs and medical devices, writes Copland, still leaves much to be desired. And a wave of coronavirus-related lawsuits poses a serious threat to future business viability.

May 13, 2020
Brooklyn’s Covid-19 Response, with Eric Adams
29:17

Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams joins Seth Barron to discuss the coronavirus outbreak, as well as New York City's looming fiscal crisis, how to address homelessness, the future of the Rikers Island jail, social-distancing enforcement, and more.

With more than 45,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, Brooklyn is one of the hardest-hit sections of the hardest-hit city in the United States. As president of the borough, Adams has responded to the pandemic with initiatives such as distributing personal protective equipment to NYCHA residents and calling for oversight on the handling of coronavirus victims' bodies. Once the acute phase of the crisis passes, Brooklyn, like the rest of New York, will face a long road to recovery.

May 06, 2020
A Plan for Ending New York’s Shutdown
15:22

Arpit Gupta joins Brian Anderson to discuss how New York City can safely restart its economy and allow people to resume normal activities—the subject of his new Manhattan Institute issue brief (coauthored with Dr. Jonathan Ellen), "A Strategy for Reopening New York City’s Economy."

As the U.S. city most affected by the coronavirus, New York faces unique challenges in its road to recovery. The key question remains: how can the city's economy reopen safely? The issue brief provides a strategic blueprint for doing that, with two key components: effective measures to reduce the risks of new infection and a phased approach that protects vulnerable populations.

Apr 29, 2020
Cities and Pandemics: A Long History
17:41

Edward L. Glaeser joins Brian Anderson to discuss the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on city life in America, the connection between urban density and contagious disease, how to prepare for the threat of future outbreaks, and the economic-policy response of leaders in Washington.

As New York enters its second month under effective lockdown, Glaeser reminds us that "density and connection to the outside world—the defining characteristics of great cities—can also turn deadly." Contagious disease has always been the enemy of urban life; overcoming it in the past has required massive investments in sanitary infrastructure. The current pandemic could prove a long-run disaster for urban residents and workers unless public fear is alleviated.

Apr 22, 2020
Good Samaritans vs. Covid-19
18:47

Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and son of the late evangelical leader Billy Graham, joins Howard Husock to discuss his organization's response to the coronavirus pandemic, the volunteers behind these efforts, and how secular Americans can better understand faith-inspired philanthropic work.

In New York City's Central Park, Graham's disaster-relief organization set up a field hospital to treat patients overflowing from nearby Mount Sinai Hospital. Since the facility opened, its medical teams have treated more than 100 patients. Graham notes that he’s following in his grandfather’s footsteps, providing medical help not only in New York but also in China, where Samaritan’s Purse has donated supplies and personal protective equipment. "American civil society," writes Husock, "diverse and self-organized, still responds to need."

Apr 15, 2020
Prospects for a Coronavirus Vaccine
32:35

Virologist and investor Peter Kolchinsky joins Brian Anderson to discuss a coronavirus vaccine, the critical genetic differences between Covid-19 and the flu, and his proposals to reform the pharmaceutical industry.

As millions of Americans approach a month of living under stay-at-home orders, scientific teams across the globe are racing to find a vaccine for the coronavirus. According to Kolchinsky, several vaccines are already in development, and concerns that the virus will mutate and evade them are overblown. But until a treatment is made widely available, he warns, we will have to maintain a level of social distancing to prevent the health-care system from being overwhelmed. Kolchinsky is the author of The Great American Drug Deal: A New Prescription for Innovative and Affordable Medicines.

Apr 08, 2020
Covid-19 in New York
30:36

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas discuss the latest developments in New York City's fight against the coronavirus, the impact of the city's lockdown on future growth, and the response of state and local leaders.

As New York continues under lockdown, the effects of the coronavirus outbreak are becoming evident: the city's death toll has passed 1,000, with more than 40,000 confirmed cases. In addition to health-care professionals, essential public employees like the city's transit workers and NYPD officers are falling ill at a troubling rate. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have responded to the crisis with varying degrees of effectiveness, but the outbreak has revealed a lack of preparedness for a public-health emergency of this scale.

To follow City Journal's ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on New York, the United States, and the world, click here.

Apr 01, 2020
Covid-19: The Impact on State Budgets
17:34

Steven Malanga and Brian Anderson discuss how the economic shock resulting from the coronavirus—the closing of large sections of the American economy, the plunge of stock markets—is likely to undermine state and local budgets around the country.

Even as states are searching for extra funds to help battle Covid-19, the loss of tax revenue during the crisis will be devastating. "States that rely on meetings, conventions, and tourism, or that derive substantial economic growth from energy production, or that depend on big gains in the financial markets from wealthy individuals, will be among the biggest losers unless the economy turns around fast," Malanga writes.

To follow City Journal’s continuous coverage of the pandemic, click here.

Mar 25, 2020
COVID-19 Shuts Down New York
25:58

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas discuss the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, the drastic measures being taken to control its spread, and the consequences of an economic slowdown for the city and state budget, the MTA, and New York residents.

New York—particularly New York City—is moving toward a full shutdown. Over the past week, schools have cancelled classes for an extended period and restaurants, bars, and many other businesses have closed. The historic losses in revenue to the city's public-transit system alone will require a multibillion-dollar bailout, Gelinas believes. Read more of City Journal’s COVID-19 coverage on our website.

Mar 18, 2020
The Coronavirus: A Doctor Weighs In
23:26

Physician Joel Zinberg joins Brian Anderson to discuss the global coronavirus epidemic, public-health efforts to contain the virus's spread, America's medical supply-chain vulnerabilities, and more.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, have been identified in more than half of U.S. states. Globally, the number of coronavirus cases exceeds 100,000. "The New York experience to date suggests," writes Zinberg, "that the disruptions this new virus causes—particularly to the availability of medical care, for any condition—may be more dangerous than the illness that it causes."

Mar 11, 2020
Fathers Behind Bars
30:39

Rafael Mangual joins Kay Hymowitz to discuss evidence suggesting that children are often better off when criminal parents are imprisoned—the subject of Mangual's story, "Fathers, Families, and Incarceration," from the Winter 2020 Issue of City Journal.

A common criticism of incarceration in the United States, notes Mangual, is that it harms children by taking parents or siblings out of their homes. But recent studies show that children living with a parent who engages in high levels of antisocial behavior may be worse off than kids with incarcerated parents.

Mar 04, 2020
How the Plastic Panic Hurts Us—and the Planet
19:35

John Tierney joins Brian Anderson to discuss the campaign to ban the use of plastic products and the flawed logic behind the recycling movement—the subjects of Tierney’s story, "The Perverse Panic over Plastic," from the Winter 2020 Issue of City Journal.

Hundreds of cities and eight states have outlawed or regulated single-use plastic bags. But according to Tierney, the plastic panic doesn't make sense. Plastic bags are the best environmental choice at the supermarket, not the worst, and cities that built expensive recycling programs—in the hopes of turning a profit on recycled products—have instead paid extra to get rid of their plastic waste, mostly by shipping it to Asian countries with low labor costs. However, the bans will likely continue as political leaders and private companies seek a renewed sense of moral superiority.

Feb 26, 2020
Skid Row’s Addiction Epidemic
19:43

Christopher Rufo joins Brian Anderson to discuss drug addiction and homelessness in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Skid Row, the subject of Rufo's story from the Winter 2020 Issue of City Journal, "The Moral Crisis of Skid Row."

"They call Los Angeles the City of Angels," writes Rufo, "but it seems that even here, within the five-by-ten-block area of Skid Row, the city contains an entire cosmology—angels and demons, sinners and saints, plagues and treatments." To address the growing public-health crisis, progressive activists and political leaders have relied on two major policies: "harm reduction" and "housing first." But despite nearly $1 billion in new spending, more people are on the streets than ever—and the crime and addiction are getting worse.

Feb 19, 2020
Why Classical Architecture Matters
25:39

Catesby Leigh joins Seth Barron to discuss President Trump's draft executive order to give priority to classical-style architecture in the design of federal courthouses, agency headquarters, and other federal office buildings.

The classical style has inspired the most revered and popular buildings in the country—the U.S. Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court. But as Leigh reports, new federal rules after World War II enabled modernist styles of design, such as Brutalism and Deconstructivism, to set the tone for federal architecture. If adopted, the Trump administration's order would designate the classical and other traditional architectural styles as "preferred" for all federal buildings.

Feb 12, 2020
The Digital Economy's Voracious Energy Demand
17:05

Mark Mills joins Brian Anderson to discuss the enormous energy demands of the world's modern information infrastructure—"the Cloud"—the subject of his new book, Digital Cathedrals.

"Tech companies confront an inconvenient fact," writes Mills. "The global cloud uses more energy than is produced by all the planet's wind and solar farms combined." In fact, digital traffic has become the fastest-growing source of energy use. While nearly every tech company has pledged to transition to renewable energy sources, most data centers are physically connected to the conventional power grid, fueled by hydrocarbons. The modern economy won't be exclusively powered by renewables any time soon.

Feb 05, 2020
Parenting in the City
35:46

Karol Markowicz joins Kay Hymowitz to discuss raising young children in New York City.

"Raising a family in the city is just too hard," concluded The Atlantic's Derek Thompson last summer. But in Park Slope, one of New York's most desirable neighborhoods, thousands of families thrive. Still, parents must navigate a host of challenges unique to urban life, including pricey housing, complex schooling options, and sometimes-unfriendly public spaces.

Jan 29, 2020
How Risk Fuels a Healthy Economy
13:22

Allison Schrager joins Brian Anderson to discuss how risk propels economic growth and why government efforts that go too far to mitigate risk undermine America’s economic vitality.

“Risk, for better and worse,” writes Schrager for City Journal, “is at the heart of economic growth, and successfully apportioning it—not avoiding it—is the key to prosperity.” While government has a role to play in managing risk, the U.S. economy has thrived by trusting markets to allocate it efficiently. Overly intrusive efforts to reduce risk in the economy—such as California’s new law regulating freelance or “gig” work—may prove counterproductive to workers of all incomes.

Jan 22, 2020
Why Ban Dollar Stores?
17:52

Steven Malanga joins Seth Barron to discuss efforts to restrict dollar stores in cities across the country—the subject of Malanga’s popular story for City Journal, “Unjust Deserts.”

For nearly 20 years, “food deserts”—neighborhoods without supermarkets—have captured the attention of public officials, activists, and the media, who often blame the situation on dollar-discount stores in these areas. These stores, it’s claimed, drive out supermarkets with their low prices and saturate poor neighborhoods with junk food. But are dollar stores really to blame for bad diets?

Jan 15, 2020
Rent Control: Unjust and Ineffective
28:50

Manhattan Institute's Michael Hendrix interviews Mayer Brown partner Andrew Pincus, the lead attorney in a lawsuit taking on New York State’s sweeping rent-regulation laws.

In 2019, New York strengthened its already-strict rent regulations, while state legislatures in Oregon and California approved caps on rent increases. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders have even proposed national rent-control policies. Pincus explains what's wrong with rent control, from violating due process and property rights to shutting out newcomers attempting to find housing in cities.

If you're interested in learning more about rent control, check out a new report by Michael Hendrix from Manhattan Institute's Issues 2020 series.

Jan 08, 2020
Child Welfare in Crisis
15:27

Naomi Schaefer Riley joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the state of the American child-welfare services, and describes and what some nonprofits are doing to improve foster care across the country.

Nationally, Riley notes in City Journal, about 444,000 children are in foster-care. And in many states, "officials report a severe shortage of families to take in these children." On top of that, disturbing incidents like the death of Zymere Perkins in New York highlight the failure of local child-welfare services to intervene in the face of clear evidence of abuse.

Dec 31, 2019
Season’s Greetings and a Brief Holiday Update
04:10

Merry Christmas from the editors of City Journal. In another special episode of 10 Blocks, editor Brian Anderson extends his best wishes to all our listeners during the holiday season, reflects on a year of terrific guests, and more.

If you're interested in supporting the Manhattan Institute and City Journal, please visit our website.

Dec 23, 2019
Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice
33:41

In a special holiday edition of 10 Blocks, Timothy Goeglein joins City Journal assistant editor Charles McElwee to discuss how people of faith can help renew American society—themes explored in his new book, American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation.

Coauthored with Craig Osten, American Restoration calls for a revival of spiritual values in America and offers a roadmap for people of faith to engage with our modern culture—especially at the local level.

Timothy Goeglein is Vice President of External Relations for Focus on the Family. Formerly, he served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and as a deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Dec 18, 2019
The Great Society, Reconsidered
22:22

Amity Shlaes discusses the economic history of the 1960s and the efforts of Presidents Johnson and Nixon to eradicate poverty—the subjects of her just-published book, Great Society: A New History.

The 1960s were a momentous period, from the Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam War, but Shlaes's book focuses on the incredibly ambitious government programs of the era, which expanded the social safety net beyond anything contemplated before. Overall, the Great Society programs, Shlaes writes, came "close enough to socialism to cause economic tragedy." Great Society is a powerful follow-up to her earlier book, The Forgotten Man, about the Great Depression and the 1930s.

Dec 11, 2019
Bloomberg’s Complicated Legacy
51:58

Seth Barron talks with four City Journal contributors—Rafael Mangual, Eric Kober, Ray Domanico, and Steven Malanga—about former New York City mayor and now presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg's record on crime, education, economic development, and more.

After years of teasing a presidential run, Bloomberg has entered the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Just a week before his official announcement, he made headlines by reversing his long-standing support of controversial policing practices in New York—commonly known as "stop and frisk." Bloomberg's record on crime will factor heavily in his campaign, but his 12 years as mayor were eventful in numerous other policy areas.

Dec 04, 2019
Building Civil Society: A Conversation
01:10:23

Howard Husock interviews four remarkable leaders of nonprofit groups who were recently honored as part of Manhattan Institute's Civil Society Awards and Civil Society Fellows Program.

Manhattan Institute and City Journal have long sought to support and encourage civil-society organizations and leaders who, with the help of volunteers and private philanthropy, do so much to help communities address serious social problems. In this edition of the 10 Blocks podcast, Husock speaks with:

If you know individuals or organizations that deserve a Civil Society Award, please visit our nomination page and tell us about them.

Nov 27, 2019
A Model for Suburban Development?
25:53

Charles Marohn joins Michael Hendrix to discuss why the current approach to suburban development isn't working—the subject of his new book, Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.

"Strong Towns," notes Aaron Renn in his review of the book for City Journal, "resulted from [Marohn's] discovery that the highway projects he designed showed a negative return on investment." Marohn has dedicated his career to helping the country's older suburbs avoid such costly mistakes by founding the book's namesake organization, Strong Towns. "Whether or not one agrees with his many observations and prescriptions," Renn writes, "Marohn provides a valuable analysis of sprawl-based development."

Nov 18, 2019
One Trade School’s Path to Success
18:16

Kay S. Hymowitz joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Pennsylvania’s Williamson College of the Trades, a three-year school for young men offering a debt-free path to high-paying work—and the life skills to help them get there.

“Trade schools” have long had a stigma in American culture, but Williamson is no ordinary trade school: students wake up early to the sound of reveille and attend academic classes in coats and ties. As Hymowitz writes in City Journal’s autumn issue, “With its old-timey rituals, rigorous scheduling, and immersive culture, Williamson has a military-school feel.” But according to the students she interviewed, the prospect of a good-paying career makes the strict rules more than worth it.

Nov 13, 2019
Music: The Rebel Art Form
23:27

Music critic and historian Ted Gioia joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the 4,000-year history of music as a global source of power, change, and upheaval—topics explored in his new book, Music: A Subversive History.

The music business is a $10 billion industry today. But according to Gioia, innovative songs have always come from outsiders—the poor, the unruly, and the marginalized. The culmination of his decades of writing about music, Gioia's new book is a celebration of the social outcasts who continue to define this art form.

Nov 06, 2019
Productivity and the “Intangible” Economy
23:04

Stian Westlake joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the future of productivity and how institutions and policymakers can adapt to the new "intangible" economy.

Throughout history, as documented in the book Capitalism Without Capital by Westlake and coauthor Jonathan Haskel, firms have invested in physical goods like machines and computers. As society has grown richer, companies have invested increasingly in "intangible" assets: research and development, branding, organizational development, and software. Today's challenge is to build the institutions and enact the policies that will maximize the new economy's potential.

Oct 30, 2019
Closing Rikers: Jails, Politics, and Public Safety in New York
26:29

Rafael A. Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss New York City's plan to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island with four borough-based jails and what it could mean for public order in the city.

New York City jails currently house a daily average of about 8,000 people, in a city of 8 million residents. Under the new plan, the borough-based jails (once constructed) will be able to house 3,300 people—less than half the city's average daily jail population today. As Barron writes, the new target "will likely require a significant realignment of expectations about public safety."

Oct 23, 2019
Infrastructure Spending, Reconsidered
29:31

Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, joins City Journal contributing editor Nicole Gelinas to discuss the state of U.S. infrastructure and how federal spending could be used more effectively to improve safety and reduce fiscal waste.

The federal government spends between $40 billion and $60 billion on transportation infrastructure annually. In recent years, congressional leaders and the White House have pushed a $2 trillion plan to upgrade roads, bridges, and more. But such proposals, Osborne argues, "would throw more money into the same flawed system."

Oct 16, 2019
San Francisco’s Homeless Crisis
30:56

Heather Mac Donald joins Seth Barron to discuss homelessness on the streets of San Francisco and the city’s wrongheaded attempts to solve the problem.

"San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior," writes Mac Donald in City Journal. For nearly three decades, the Bay Area has been a magnet for the homeless. Now the situation is growing dire, as residents and visitors experience near-daily contact with mentally disturbed persons.

Mac Donald's essay, "San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless," appears in City Journal'Autumn 2019 issue; an adapted version was published in the Wall Street Journal.

Oct 09, 2019
Who Killed Civil Society?
24:43

Howard Husock joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Husock's new book, Who Killed Civil Society? The Rise of Big Government and Decline of Bourgeois Norms.

Government-run social programs funded with tax dollars are thought to be the "solution" to America's social ills. But in his new book, Who Killed Civil Society?, Husock shows that historically, it was voluntary organizations and civic society, operating independently from government and its mandates, that best promoted the habits and values conducive to upward social mobility.

Learn more about the Civil Society Awards and fellows program on the Manhattan Institute website.

Oct 02, 2019
Pittsburgh’s Latest Comeback
29:15

John Tierney joins City Journal assistant editor Charles McElwee to discuss Pittsburgh's recent resurgence.

"If you want to see how to revive a city—and how not to," John Tierney writes, "go to Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh has transformed itself from the Steel City to central Pennsylvania's hub of "eds" and "meds." But before that could happen, the city nearly destroyed itself under various misguided urban plans dating back to the 1950s.

Tierney's essay, "A Renaissance Runs Through It," appears in City Journal's Summer 2019 issue; an adapted version was published in the Wall Street Journal.

Sep 24, 2019
The Entrenched vs. the Newcomers: 2019 James Q. Wilson Lecture
38:53

Edward L. Glaeser discusses how the proliferation of unfair laws and regulations is walling off opportunity in America's greatest cities at the Manhattan Institute’s 2019 James Q. Wilson Lecture.

We like to think of American cities as incubators of opportunity, and this has often been true—but today's successful city-dwellers are making it harder for others to follow their example. In this year's Wilson Lecture, Glaeser addresses the conflict between entrenched interests and newcomers in its economic, political, geographic, and generational dimensions.

Video can be found at the Manhattan Institute website.

Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University (where he has taught since 1992), a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of Triumph of the City.

Sep 18, 2019
The Left’s Surging Urban Activism
29:17

City Journal contributing editor Christopher Rufo joins Brian Anderson to discuss an increasingly influential progressive faction in many cities—one that seeks to rebuild the urban environment to achieve a wide range of environmentalist and social-justice goals.

According to Rufo, these "New Left urbanists" rally around controversial (and often dubious) ideas like banning cars and constructing new public housing projects. While all urban residents want to improve their city's quality-of-life, radical left-wing policies aren’t the way to get there.

Check out Howard Husock's new book, Who Killed Civil Society? (available now).

Sep 11, 2019
Bernie’s Pro-Union Push
23:09

Labor unions have dramatically declined as a percentage of the American workforce over the last 30 years. A new proposal from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders seeks to double union ranks, City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga reports, which would mean adding nearly 15 million new members.

Malanga joins associate editor Seth Barron to discuss Senator Sanders's proposal, which would put new restraints on employers, limit workers' rights to opt-out of union membership, and make other changes to U.S. labor law. The Sanders plan would also give federal workers the right to strike and force states to allow government workers to unionize.

Sep 04, 2019
New York City Transit, with Speaker Corey Johnson
25:23

Corey Johnson, Speaker of the New York City Council, joins Seth Barron to discuss the state of New York City’s transit system and his plan to break up the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), allowing the city to take control of its buses, subways, bridges, and tunnels. According to Johnson, direct control of the MTA would enhance its responsiveness, accountability, and transparency.

Aug 28, 2019
Why Budget Negotiations Succeed—and Why They Fail
45:06

Brian Riedl and Shai Akabas discuss the U.S. federal budget, budget negotiations, and why Congress hasn’t addressed the rising national debt—even as it gets worse.

The case for a “grand deal” on the budget has never been more evident: within a decade, annual budget deficits are projected to exceed $2 trillion. Entitlement programs are projected to drive trillions in new government debt over the next few decades. Yet increasing partisanship and political polarization—both in Washington and among voters—have significantly diminished the likelihood of bipartisan cooperation to avoid a fiscal calamity.

Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of a new report, Getting To Yes: A History Of Why Budget Negotiations Succeed, And Why They Fail. The report analyzes the past 40 years of successful and failed budget negotiations in Congress. Akabas is the director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Aug 21, 2019
America’s Outdated Power Grid
29:08

James B. Meigs joins Seth Barron to discuss last month's power blackout in Manhattan, California's self-inflicted energy crisis, and potential energy sources for the future.

"As power outages go," Meigs writes, "the Broadway Blackout of 2019 was pretty modest." But energy reliability is becoming an issue in states across the country. California's largest power supplier, Meigs reports, recently announced that it will begin shutting down parts of the grid to help reduce the risk of wildfires.

Energy problems could get worse as states adopt strict mandates and replace today's power sources with unreliable green alternatives. The Broadway blackout and California's fire-prevention strategy illustrate the same reality: the nation's energy infrastructure is outdated, and upgrading it will require a huge investment.

Aug 14, 2019
The U.S.–China Trade War Heats Up
19:36

Milton Ezrati joins Paul Beston to discuss escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.

The Trump administration announced new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods last week, prompting China to order its state-owned businesses to stop purchasing U.S. agricultural products. Ezrati has written on U.S.-China trade issues for City Journal previously, and he maintains that both sides want a deal of some kind—and soon.

Aug 07, 2019
The New Disorder: Urban Dysfunction Returns
31:40

Steven Malanga and Rafael Mangual join Seth Barron to discuss concerns that lawlessness is returning to American cities, a theme that Malanga and Mangual explore in separate feature stories in the Summer 2019 Issue of City Journal.

Memories of the urban chaos and disorder of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s have faded, and many local leaders today have forgotten the lessons of that bygone era. Malanga's story, "The Cost of Bad Intentions" (available soon online), shows how a new generation of politicians are bringing back some of the terrible policies that got American cities into trouble in the first place. On crime and incarceration, Mangual argues that the new disorder will grow worse if progressives manage to overhaul the American criminal-justice system.

Jul 31, 2019
The YIMBY Answer to America’s Housing Crunch
01:22:09

In an extended version of 10 Blocks, Brandon Fuller and Nolan Gray join Michael Hendrix to discuss the state of housing in America and the political coalition driving pro-development policies at the local level, known as YIMBY (“Yes In My Backyard”).

Construction of new housing isn't keeping up with demand in American cities. With leaders and residents eager for solutions to high housing costs, pro-development advocates are making their presence felt.

YIMBY policy solutions typically involve lowering or removing regulatory barriers to new housing, like parking minimums and height limits near transit stops. Cities such as Minneapolis, Portland, and San Diego have already taken steps in this direction. If these reforms prove successful, more cities may follow suit.

Jul 24, 2019
Summer Reading, with City Journal (2019)
32:00

City Journal editor Brian Anderson joins Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute, for our second annual discussion of Brian's summer and vacation reading list.

Summer is upon us, and the City Journal editors are ready for some vacation. We asked Brian to tell us what books he's taking with him to the beach this year and why.

Check out Brian's summer reading list, in the order discussed:

Also discussed in the episode:

Jul 17, 2019
“Woke” Politics Over Progress in New York Schools
15:11

Ray Domanico joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza's controversial and divisive leadership of the nation's largest public school system. Domanico details Carranza's emphasis on ridding schools of purported racial bias in his recent essay for City Journal, "Richard Carranza’s Deflections."

Over the past four decades, with varying levels of success, Carranza's predecessors in the chancellor's job have launched numerous policies and programs aimed at better serving students. By contrast, Carranza has put forth no substantive plan for improving the schools, instead charging that the system is overrun by racial prejudice.

"This appeal to racial resentment is cynical and misguided," writes Domanico. Carranza seems to believe that reforming New York's public schools will require intensive racial-bias training and large budget increases. Instead, the chancellor and his team need to focus on the hard work of improving the schools academically.

Jul 10, 2019
Homelessness Strains New York’s Libraries
16:55

Stephen Eide joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss how homeless services are putting pressure on one of New York City's most valued cultural institutions: the New York Public Library. Eide describes the situation in "Disorder in the Stacks," his story in the Spring 2019 Issue of City Journal.

Homelessness has been a challenge for every New York City mayor since the 1970s. Prior to the city's revitalization, the homeless were mostly concentrated in destitute neighborhoods of Manhattan. But today, homeless single adults are an increasingly visible presence in parks, subway stations, and libraries around the city.

"All urban library systems have found themselves in the homeless-services business, with varying degrees of enthusiasm," Eide writes. The New York Public Library spends $12 million annually on security, including training for staff in dealing with potentially threatening patrons. The city needs a comprehensive strategy for dealing with a worsening crisis.

 

Jul 02, 2019
Theodore Dalrymple on Elite Medical Journals and the Criminal Underclass
22:35

Anthony Daniels (known to readers as Theodore Dalrymple) joins Brian Anderson to discuss Daniels’s quarter-century of writing for City Journal and his new book, False Positive: A Year of Error, Omission, and Political Correctness in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“Theodore Dalrymple” first appeared in the pages of City Journal in 1994 with an aptly titled essay,The Knife Went In,” which recounted conversations he had had with violent felons during his time as a physician in a British inner-city hospital and prison. Since then, Daniels has written nearly 500 articles for City Journal. Selections of his essays have been compiled in the books Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass (2001) and Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses (2005).

Daniels’s latest book, False Positive, brings a critical eye to one of the most important general medical journals in the world: The New England Journal of Medicine. Daniels exposes errors of reasoning and omissions apparently undetected by the Journal’s editors and shows how its pages have become mind-numbingly politically correct, with highly debatable arguments allowed to pass as if self-evidently true.

Jun 26, 2019
Rent Control’s Resurgence in New York
27:55

Nicole Gelinas and Howard Husock join Seth Barron to discuss New York's landmark rent-regulation law and its potential impact on housing in the city and state.

Lawmakers in New York recently passed the toughest rent-regulation law in a generation, imposing new restrictions on landlords' ability to increase rents, improve buildings, or evict tenants. The bill made permanent the state's existing rent regulations, meaning that future legislatures will find it harder to revisit the issue.

Housing experts like Husock argue that the new laws will discourage landlords from investing in building improvements, causing the housing stock to degrade statewide. And economists across the political spectrum, from Milton Friedman to Paul Krugman, have also maintained that rent regulation can be counterproductive and detrimental to housing quality.

Jun 19, 2019
Activists in the Boardroom
24:55

James R. Copland joins Rafael Mangual to discuss how activist investors are turning corporate America’s annual shareholder-meeting process into a political circus.

Most of corporate America is wrapping up the 2019 "proxy season" this month—the period when most publicly traded companies hold their annual meetings. It's at these gatherings that shareholders can (either directly or by proxy) propose and vote on changes to the company. Since 2011, the Manhattan Institute has tracked these proposals on its Proxy Monitor website. This year's proxy season has followed a long-term trend: a small group of investors dominates the proceedings, introducing dozens of progressive-inspired proposals on issues ranging from climate change to diversity.

Copland has testified before Congress on the importance of reviewing the rules developed by the Securities and Exchange Commission governing the shareholder-proposal process. The Senate and SEC are considering changes to ensure that these proposals are relevant to business and fair to other shareholders.

Jun 12, 2019
Mounting Disorder in San Francisco
16:38

Erica Sandberg joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the deteriorating state of public order in San Francisco.

The Bay Area's most densely populated and desirable neighborhoods are being destroyed by lawlessness and squalor. San Francisco now leads the nation in property crime, according to the FBI. "Other low-level offenses," Sandberg reports for City Journal, "including drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant."

With the situation growing more dire, residents are organizing to demand that the city take action against repeat offenders and strengthen quality-of-life laws. It remains to be seen whether the city will change its approach to public safety. "Meantime," Sandberg writes, "the poor bear the brunt of low-level and property crimes."

Jun 05, 2019
The Loneliness Epidemic
29:03

Kay Hymowitz joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss a challenge facing aging populations in wealthy nations across the world: loneliness. Her essay in the Spring 2019 issue, "Alone," will be released online this Sunday.

"Americans are suffering from a bad case of loneliness," Hymowitz writes. "Foundering social trust, collapsing heartland communities, an opioid epidemic, and rising numbers of 'deaths of despair' suggest a profound, collective discontent."

Evidence of the loneliness epidemic is dramatic in other countries, too. Japan, for example, has seen a troubling rise in "lonely deaths." The challenge, Hymowitz says, is to teach younger generations the importance of family and community before they make decisions that will further isolate them.

May 29, 2019
Managing Risk in Unexpected Places
20:00

Economist Allison Schrager joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss her new book, An Economist Walks Into A Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.

Risk is a universal fact of life, but some of us manage more of it than others. Schrager examined how a broad cross section of people handle it: horse breeders in Kentucky, members of an elite tank unit during the Gulf War, paparazzi who stalk celebrities, prostitutes in Nevada brothels. She lays out five principles for dealing with risk and explains how financial tools can help guide people through uncertainty.

May 22, 2019
A Catholic Crisis in the Rust Belt
19:08

Charles McElwee joins Seth Barron to discuss the decline of the Catholic Church in the Rust Belt and the impact of immigration on a working-class community in Pennsylvania.

The Catholic Church faces a crisis in an area that remains disproportionately Catholic. In 2018, a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed how clergy covered up the abuse of children by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years. Congregations continue to shrink, deepening the region’s fragmentation and leaving a hole in its community life.

McElwee has just joined City Journal as assistant editor. His writing has appeared in The AtlanticThe American ConservativeNational Review Online, The Weekly Standard, and other publications.

May 15, 2019
Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution
34:15

Myron Magnet joins Brian Anderson to discuss his new book, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution.

Magnet contends that Justice Thomas's originalist jurisprudence offers a path forward for recovering our nation's "lost Constitution" and restoring America as a free, self-governing nation made up of self-reliant citizens.

Author of The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735-1817 and other books, Magnet was City Journal's editor from 1994 through 2006 and is now editor-at-large.

May 08, 2019
How Markets Shape Cities
50:01

Urbanist Alain Bertaud joins Michael Hendrix to discuss how urban planners and economists can improve city management.

Bertaud's book Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities argues that markets provide the indispensable mechanism for cities' growth. The book is a summation of what Bertaud has learned in a lifetime spent as an urban planner, including a stint at the World Bank, where he advised local and national governments on urban-development policies.

Previously, Bertaud worked as a resident urban planner in a number of cities around the world: Bangkok, San Salvador, Port Au Prince, Sana'a, New York, Paris, Tlemcen, and Chandigarh. He is currently a senior research scholar at New York University's Marron Institute of Urban Management.

Apr 30, 2019
Inside the Academic Destruction of a University
26:35

At the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, Professor Jacob Howland writes in City Journal, "a new administration has turned a once-vibrant academic institution with a $1.1 billion endowment and a national reputation in core liberal arts subjects into a glorified trade school with a social-justice agenda." Speaking with Seth Barron, Howland describes how, in early April, TU's new administration announced a wholesale reorganization of academic departments, including the elimination of traditional liberal arts majors. Students and faculty have responded by organizing protests and launching a petition to "save the heart and soul of the University of Tulsa."

Apr 24, 2019
Congestion Pricing in New York, a New Mayor in Chicago
28:36

Nicole Gelinas and Aaron Renn join Seth Barron to discuss recent developments in New York and Chicago.

In the first week of April, both cities marked milestones: Manhattan got the nation's first congestion-pricing plan, courtesy of the state legislature, while Chicago elected its first black woman as mayor.

New York City's transit system badly needs improvement, but Gelinas argues that this congestion-pricing plan is effectively a state money grab. Meantime, Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot is a political outsider, but Renn writes that she has an opportunity to change the "Chicago Way" of doing business.

Apr 17, 2019
China's Troubled Urban Future
23:19

Joel Kotkin joins Seth Barron to discuss China's urbanization, class tensions in Chinese cities, and the country's increasingly sophisticated population surveillance.

Rapid migration from China's countryside to its cities began in 1980. Many of the rural migrants arrived without hukou, or residential permits, making it harder to secure access to education, health care, and other services. The result: the creation of a massive urban underclass in many Chinese cities. Rising tensions in urban areas has led Chinese officials to look to technology for alternative methods of social control, ranging from facial-recognition systems to artificial intelligence.

Apr 10, 2019
Reefer's Madness
31:13

Steven Malanga joins Seth Barron to discuss expanding efforts to legalize recreational marijuana use, a movement helped along by extensive misinformation about the drug's supposed health benefits.

This year, at least eight states are debating laws that would permit recreational pot. Marijuana advocates claim that the drug is therapeutic and that legalizing it will end the unjust imprisonment of casual users, especially in minority communities. But as Malanga writes in City Journal, "Even as the legalization push gains momentum, scientific journals report mounting evidence of the drug's harmful psychological effects and social consequences."

Apr 03, 2019
"Blue Wave" Hits Local Prosecutors
21:25

Rafael Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss the disturbing leftward trend among urban prosecutors in major cities and the consequences of undoing the crime-fighting revolution of the 1990s.

In recent years, cities like Philadelphia and Chicago have elected district attorneys dedicated to the principles of social-justice and the goal of "dismantling mass incarceration." The shift away from proactive law enforcement has opened a rift between police and local prosecutors and points to more trouble ahead for many cities.

Mar 27, 2019
The Civil Society Awards
15:49

City Journal contributing editor Howard Husock joins associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the Manhattan Institute's Civil Society Awards, which recognize outstanding nonprofit leaders who develop solutions to social problems in their communities.

History has shown that free markets are the best way to organize economic activity, but a healthy society relies on charitable and philanthropic enterprises to help those in need and prepare citizens to realize their potential. To support these goals, the Manhattan Institute established the Social Entrepreneurship initiative in 2001, now known as the Tocqueville Project.

At its 2019 Civil Society Awards in New York, the Manhattan Institute will honor four outstanding nonprofits with gifts of $25,000 each. Until March 27, you can submit your nominations here.

Mar 20, 2019
Victor Davis Hanson on Trump
27:03

Hoover Institution fellow and award-winning historian Victor Davis Hanson joins the Manhattan Institute's Troy Senik to discuss the presidency of Donald Trump and Hanson's new book, The Case for Trump.

Hanson argues that our 45th president alone has the instinct and energy to upset the balance of American politics. "We could not survive a series of presidencies as volatile as Trump's," he writes, "but after decades of drift, America needs the outsider Trump to do what normal politicians would not and could not do."

Mar 13, 2019
The Case for Nuclear Power
16:36

James B. Meigs joins City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga to discuss the limitations of renewable energy and the need to expand nuclear technology as a source of clean and reliable electricity.

For nearly four decades, environmental activists have opposed nuclear power in favor of "green" energy. But as Meigs writes in the Winter 2019 Issue of City Journal, "nuclear power is finding new pockets of support around the world."

Meigs is the former editor of Popular Mechanics and cohost of the How Do We Fix It? podcast.

Mar 06, 2019
Charter Schools and Teachers’ Strikes
15:00

Ray Domanico joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss charter schools in New York City, the growing protests by education workers across the country, and Democrats' weakening support for charters.

In teachers' unions protests from West Virginia to California, activists claim that the growth of charters has come at the expense of district schools.

New York City's charter school students significantly outperform their state and local peers, and minority children from struggling families benefit most: over 80% of charter students are low-income, and 91% are African-American or Hispanic. But under current state law, only seven more charters can be created in the city before a mandatory cap on their number is met.

Feb 27, 2019
Public-Sector Unions After Janus
12:07

Daniel DiSalvo joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the impact of last year’s Supreme Court decision in Janus v. ASFCME, in which the Court ruled that public-sector unions’ mandatory “agency fees” were unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Unions provide an important source of financial support for politicians—primarily Democrats—around the country. In a new report for the Manhattan Institute, DiSalvo finds that blue states are taking steps to shield their public unions from the full consequences of the Janus ruling.

Daniel DiSalvo is an associate professor of political science at the City College of New York, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and author of Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Feb 20, 2019
Barriers to Black Progress
38:51

Glenn C. Loury of Brown University joined Jason Riley to discuss the persistence of racial inequality in America. Their conversation took place at a Manhattan Institute event in New York City entitled
"Barriers To Black Progress: Structural, Cultural, Or Both?"

Professor Loury, who has also taught at Harvard University and Boston University, is a professor of economics, with a focus on race and inequality. He's published several books, including The Anatomy of Racial Inequality and Race, Incarceration, and American Values.

Feb 13, 2019
From "College Town" to Big City
25:34

Aaron Renn joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss how some big public universities are expanding their tech departments to major cities to maximize their economic impact—creating new political battles in their states.

A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal, Aaron Renn writes on economic development and urban policy in America. "The Tech Campus Moves Downtown," his article examining recent expansions of universities into city centers, appears in the Winter 2019 issue of City Journal.

Feb 06, 2019
How Trump Is Reshaping Federal Courts
15:34

James R. Copland joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss President Trump's impact on the federal courts, the appointment of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and the diversity in conservative judicial philosophy emerging today.

The director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute, where he is a senior fellow, James Copland has written and spoken widely on how to improve America's civil- and criminal-justice systems. "Toward a Less Dangerous Judicial Branch," his article (coauthored with Rafael A. Mangual) assessing Trump's court appointments, appears in the Winter 2019 issue of City Journal.

Jan 30, 2019
The "Green New Deal" and Trade with China
13:38

Milton Ezrati joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the Trump administration's trade negotiations with China and the "Green New Deal" proposed by newly elected Democrats in Congress, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Proponents of a Green New Deal claim that the plan will prevent damage from climate change. The scale of the proposal is massive: its goals include expanding renewable-energy sources until they provide 100 percent of the nation's power and eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions for industry and agriculture. To pay for it, Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested a 70 percent income-tax rate on top earners, which Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman described as "reasonable."

A March deadline is approaching for the Trump administration's trade negotiations with China. With officials preparing for the next round of talks in Washington, Ezrati discusses the implications for the American and global economies.

Milton Ezrati is a contributing editor at The National Interest, an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Human Capital at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and chief economist for Vested, a New York-based communications firm. His latest book is Thirty Tomorrows: The Next Three Decades of Globalization, Demographics, and How We Will Live.

Jan 23, 2019
Bill de Blasio: Rhetoric and Reality
30:03

Nicole Gelinas joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss Mayor Bill de Blasio's State of the City address, his aspiration to run for president in 2020, and his attempts to position himself as a national progressive leader.

"There's plenty of money in the city—it's just in the wrong hands," de Blasio proclaimed in a speech loaded with tax-the-rich rhetoric. Since his first mayoral election in 2013, de Blasio has tried to position himself as a revolutionary. But in practice, Gelinas notes, he is "more old-school, big-city Democratic pragmatist than new-school, Democratic Socialist of America."

The Big Apple mayor took to national media outlets like Morning Joe and the Washington Post to unveil his latest proposals: a "universal" health-care plan for New Yorkers and a mandate that private employers give full-time workers two weeks' paid time off. Closer to home, though, nonpartisan reporting has exposed his failures: crumbling public housing, unaddressed challenges of homelessness and mental illness, transit dysfunction, and political corruption.

 
Jan 16, 2019
NYCHA: Public Housing in Crisis
20:34

City Journal contributing editor Howard Husock joins associate editor Seth Barron to discuss problems at the New York City Housing Authority.

With some 400,000 residents, NYCHA is the nation's largest public housing system. In recent years, news reports have documented extensive corruption at the agency along with chronic problems at NYCHA properties, including heating outages, broken elevators, high lead-paint levels, and vermin.

These stories have put the agency under intense political pressure and renewed public interest in reform.Federal prosecutors launched an investigation into the environmental and health conditions at NYCHA in 2016. New York City could lose control over its own public housing: HUD secretary Ben Carson is expected to announce a decision in the next few weeks.

Jan 09, 2019
Seattle’s Homeless Challenge
21:47

Christopher F. Rufo joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss an urban struggle with street homelessness and the political fight around it in the Pacific Northwest's largest city.

Known as the “Emerald City” because its surrounding areas are filled with greenery year-round, Seattle has recently seen an explosion of homelessness, crime, and drug addiction. Municipal cleanup crews pick up tens of thousands of dirty needles from the streets, and tent-villages have become a regular presence.

Seattle's political debate on the question has been maddening: city officials who propose practical solutions to remove individuals or encampments arouse fierce opposition from progressive activists. Ultimately, courageous political leadership will be needed if the city is to solve its homelessness crisis.

Jan 03, 2019
"The Diversity Delusion," with Heather Mac Donald
23:28

Heather Mac Donald discusses the decline of the university and the rise of campus intellectual intolerance, the subjects of her important new book, The Diversity Delusion How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. She spoke at a Manhattan Institute event in autumn 2018.

Toxic ideas that originated in academia have now spread beyond the university setting, widening America's cultural divisions. Too many college students enter the working world believing that human beings are defined by their skin color, gender, and sexual preference, and that oppression based on these characteristics defines the American experience. In The Diversity Delusion, Mac Donald argues that the root of this problem is the belief in America's endemic racism and sexism, a belief that has spawned a massive diversity bureaucracy, especially in higher education.

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author.

Dec 19, 2018
Family Court Tragedy
10:54

Naomi Schaefer Riley joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss how family court in New York fails vulnerable children and how reforms could improve child-welfare.

In the New York Family Court System, judges adjudicate cases ranging from custody disputes to child abuse. As Riley reports, though, the whole system can feel like an agonizing series of hearings, trials, and meetings—often without any resolution. The process can prove detrimental to a child's emotional well-being, in addition to draining money and resources from parents.

Family court's problems may have begun with the cultural revolutions of the 1960s, but "bureaucratic incompetence, outdated technology, and weak leadership have played major roles since then," Riley observes. "These problems can be addressed meaningfully." She explains how in her City Journal feature story, "The Tragedy of Family Court."

Dec 19, 2018
Prescription Drugs and Price Controls
15:46

John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss what the debate over prescription drugs gets wrong and the cost that government-imposed price controls could have on one of the world's most innovative industries.

The business practices of the pharmaceutical industry--or "Big Pharma"—are one of the most divisive political issues of our time. Leaders from both political parties, from Bernie Sanders to President Trump, regularly denounce drug companies for profiteering and call for lower drug prices. But as Tierney notes in City Journal, "of every dollar that Americans spend on health, only a dime goes for prescription drugs. The lion's share of health spending goes to hospitals and people in the health-care professions."

America has been called the "Pharmacy to the World" because it's where more than half of new drugs get developed and tested in clinical trials. Patients in Europe and elsewhere enjoy the benefits of these breakthrough drugs. Price controls in the U.S. would significantly curtail new research and development projects--resulting in a net loss for everyone.

Dec 12, 2018
Holiday Season in New York
21:16

Nicole Gelinas joins Seth Barron to discuss the chaos that commuters and tourists endure on a daily basis in midtown Manhattan—especially during the holiday season.

Every year, city officials are criticized for their poor handling of holiday crowds and the traffic that fills the streets. This year promises to be even worse. As Gelinas has documented, tourists visiting the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center are being funneled between police barricades and concrete bollards, while cars move freely down the wide avenues.

Traffic in midtown has gotten measurably worse in recent years, even as tourism has reached record-highs. The city is considering proposals to close midtown streets to vehicles during the holidays, but officials will have to be more creative to solve a problem that grows more unmanageable every year.

Dec 05, 2018
Keeping the Mentally Ill Out of Jails
16:15

Stephen Eide joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss how America's health-care system fails the mentally ill, and the steps that cities and states are taking to keep the mentally ill out of jail and get them into treatment.

Urban areas have seen a disturbing rise in street disorder and homelessness over the last decade. Unfortunately, many of the street homeless suffer from serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Despite federalspending of about $150 billion annually on mental illness programs, individuals with the most severe diagnoses areoften thrown into a repeating cycle of jail stays, homelessness, and hospitalizations.

In response, many states and cities are developing their own methods to keep the severely mentally ill out of jail.Launched in 2000, Miami-Dade County's Criminal Mental Health Project is one of the nation's most admired and successful of these programs.

Nov 28, 2018
The Once and Future Worker
20:42

Oren Cass joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss his new book, The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.

The American worker is in crisis. Wages have stagnated for more than a generation, and reliance on welfare programs has surged. Life expectancy is falling as substance abuse and obesity rates climb. Work and its future has become a central topic for City Journal: in 2017, the magazine published its special issue, The Shape of Work to Come.

Cass's book is a groundbreaking reevaluation of American social and economic policy. The renewal of work in America will require fresh solutions; Yuval Levin of National Affairs calls The Once and Future Worker "the essential policy book of our time."

Nov 21, 2018
Amazon Comes to Queens
16:30

Nicole Gelinas joins Howard Husock to discuss the resolution of Amazon's year-long "HQ2" competition. This week, the Internet giant announced that it would open new offices in Crystal City, Virginia—near Washington, D.C.—and New York's own Long Island City, Queens.

Located just across the East River from midtown Manhattan, Long Island City had struggled for years as a post-industrial neighborhood until the early 2000s, when rezoning allowed the construction of dozens of luxury residential buildings and modern office towers. The neighborhood still faces challenges, however: it's home to some of the city's largest public housing projects, and its schools are poorly run.

New York State is offering Amazon more than $1.5 billion in tax breaks and grants to create 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. That comes out to about $48,000 per job. Since the announcement, community leaders and elected officials are already making demands on Amazon. They want to see funding for transit fixes, employment for local residents, unionization, and more. As more details emerge on the terms of the city and state's agreement with the company (one example: Amazon's private helipad will be limited to 120 landings a year), many New Yorkers are skeptical.

Nov 14, 2018
Assessing the Gubernatorial Results
12:15

Steven Malanga joins Aaron Renn to discuss the results of this week's gubernatorial elections. States such as Maine, Michigan, and Wisconsin flipped blue after eight years of GOP governance. In highly publicized races in Florida and Georgia and heavily blue states like Maryland and Massachusetts, Republicans prevailed. All told, Democrats gained seven governorships.

Ten years ago, Democrats won a host of governorships during President Obama's first election, and 2009 proved be a record year for state tax hikes. A decade later, state tax revenues have still not recovered to their pre-recession levels, and costs are rising (especially for state Medicaid programs). But if history is any guide, tax hikes and spending increases will be on the agenda after years of comparative taxing discipline.​

Read Malanga's story at City Journal about the gubernatorial elections, "A Tax-and-Spend Revival in the States?"

Nov 08, 2018
Is New York Going All-Blue?
16:38

City Journal's Brian Anderson and Seth Barron discuss New York's upcoming elections and the prospects of a state government run entirely by Democrats.

New York's local politics have long been driven by a partisan split in the state legislature. With the help of moderate Democrats, Republicans have held a narrow majority in the state senate since 2010. This year, however, many of those moderates were beaten in the primaries by more progressive candidates. As a result, Democrats are poised to take over state government in Albany next year.

Democrats in the legislature will likely pass a progressive-policy wish list: a millionaires' tax, rent control, single-payer health care, and more. Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, who appears certain to win a third term, is the wild card. It remains to be seen how Cuomo will react to aggressive leftward pressure from his party.

Oct 31, 2018
The Unbearable Sameness of Cities
16:21

Oriana Schwindt joins City Journal contributing editor Aaron Renn to discuss Schwindt's seven-month-long journey to municipalities near the geographic center of every U.S. state, and what she found there: the curious "sameness" of American cities. Schwindt chronicled her travels in a recent article for New York.

In gentrifying neighborhoods across the country, visitors are practically guaranteed to find high-end bars with expensive cocktails, coffee shops with tattooed and bespectacled baristas, new luxury housing in all-glass buildings, and maybe an Asian-fusion restaurant. "The reason so many of these joints feel harvested from Brooklyn," Schwindt writes, "is because they are."

While urban aesthetics are important, coffee shops and micro-breweries are no replacement for serious infrastructure investment and economic development.

Oct 24, 2018
Antifa At Large in Portland
16:07

Andy Ngo joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the recent outbreak of violence in Portland between far-left activists, commonly referred to as Antifa, and right-wing groups that gathered to oppose them.

Pacific Northwest cities like Portland and Seattle have long been hotbeds for extreme left-wing political movements. Recently, video emerged of black-clad Antifa activists directing midday traffic and harassing drivers in Portland's business district. A week later, street brawls broke out after an Oregon-based right-wing group called Patriot Prayer held a march in downtown Portland, purportedly in protest of the mayor's oversight of the police and leniency with far-left activists.

Political violence may be spreading to other cities: this past weekend, Antifa brawled with members of the Proud Boys in New York.

Andy Ngo is an editor at Quillette and a writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, The American Spectator, and City Journal.

Oct 17, 2018
Race Relations, with Shelby Steele
26:32

City Journal contributing editor Howard Husock is joined in the studio by Shelby Steele to discuss the state of race relations in American society, the history of black protest movements, and other subjects.

Steele is the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, specializing in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. His books include The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America (1990), which won the National Book Critic's Circle Award; White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (2006); and Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country (2015). He has been honored with the Bradley Prize and the National Humanities Medal, and his work on the 1991 documentary Seven Days in Bensonhurst was recognized with an Emmy Award.

Read Steele's latest essay for the Wall Street Journal, "Why the Left Is Consumed With Hate."

Oct 10, 2018
The Next American City
23:42

Mick Cornett joins Aaron Renn to discuss Cornett's time as mayor of Oklahoma City (2004-2018) and his new book The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros.

America is full of midsize cities that have prospered through smart governance, including Charleston, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Sacramento—and Oklahoma City. Over the last decade-plus, elected officials and community leaders have made real progress on improving these urban centers, boosting civic vitality, and creating economic opportunity for residents.

Cornett's four successful terms as mayor of Oklahoma’s largest city offer a blueprint for reform-minded mayors across the country. "The Next American City," Aaron Renn writes, "charts Oklahoma City's transformation, offers examples of similar turnarounds in other cities, and describes Cornett's personal journey from sportscaster to mayor."

Oct 03, 2018
A Landlord Tells His Story
17:30

Bert Stratton joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to talk about Stratton's experience as a member of one of the most despised but important professions: landlord.

Stratton is a musician and blogger, but he makes his living managing apartment units and retail space in a suburban neighborhood outside of his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He prefers to call himself a "landlord-musician."

Stratton's first piece for City Journal, a quirky essay called "The Landlord’s Tale," appeared in 2012. "Everybody hates landlords," Stratton writes. "Nobody paid rent as a child, so people think they should live free as adults, too."

Sep 26, 2018
Rethinking America's Highways
15:19

Robert Poole joins City Journal contributing editor Nicole Gelinas to discuss Poole’s new book, Rethinking America's Highways: a 21st-Century Vision for Better Infrastructure.

Americans spend untold hours every year sitting in traffic. And despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent by transportation agencies, our nation's roads, tunnels, guardrails, and bridges are in serious disrepair. According to transportation expert Poole, traffic jams and infrastructure deterioration are inevitable outcomes of American infrastructure policymaking, which is overly politicized and prone to short-term thinking.

Robert Poole, an MIT-trained engineer, is co-founder and director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, where he has advised numerous federal and state transportation agencies.

Sep 19, 2018
Capitalism and Millennials: The 2018 James Q. Wilson Lecture
38:44

Edward L. Glaeser addresses the challenges of convincing skeptical millennials and younger Americans about the merits of capitalism in the Manhattan Institute's 2018 James Q. Wilson lecture.

Young people in the United States are moving steadily to the left. A recent Harvard University poll found that 51 percent of Americans between ages 18 and 29 don't support capitalism. The trend is visible on the ground, too. Phenomena driven largely by millennials—such as Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and, more recently, the wave of Democratic Socialist candidates for state and federal office--are all signs of an intellectual shift among the young.

Video of this lecture can be found at the Manhattan Institute website.

Edward L. Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University (where he has taught since 1992), a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor of City Journal.

Sep 12, 2018
Chicago: Rahm's Legacy and the Future
18:57

Aaron Renn and Rafael Mangual join City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's legacy, the Windy City's ongoing homicide epidemic, and its severely underfunded public pensions.

Chicago's energetic leader shocked the political world this week when he announced that he would not seek a third term as mayor. Emanuel leaves behind a mixed record: he enjoyed some successes, but he largely failed to grapple with the city's two biggest problems: finances and violent crime.

Aaron Renn is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Rafael Mangual is the deputy director for legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.

Sep 06, 2018
The First-Year Indoctrination
12:23

John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the "First-Year Experience," a widely adopted program for college freshmen that indoctrinates students in radicalism, identity politics, and victimology.

The First-Year Experience (FYE) began as a response to the campus unrest of the 1960s and 1970s to teach students to "love their university" with a semester-long course for freshmen. However FYE programs at most schools today are largely designed by left-wing college administrators, not professors, to sermonize about subjects like social justice, environmental sustainability, gender pronouns, and microaggressions.

While freshmen could undoubtedly benefit from an introductory course to learn basic skills for college, why do they so often get a mix of trivia and social activism instead of something useful academically? Tierney traveled to the FYE annual conference in San Antonio earlier this year to find out.

Aug 29, 2018
Zero Hour for Gen X
24:16

Matthew Hennessey joins City Journal managing editor Paul Beston to discuss Matthew’s new book, Zero Hour for Gen X: How the Last Adult Generation Can Save America from Millennials.

More than a decade after the introduction of social media, it’s evident that Silicon Valley’s youth-obsessed culture has more drawbacks—from violations of privacy to deteriorating attention spans—than many of us first realized. For many millennials, though, who grew up with the Internet, there’s nothing to worry about. And to hear the media tell it, this tech-savvy generation, the largest in American history, is poised to take leadership from the retiring baby boomers.

But a smaller generational cohort is overlooked in the equation: Generation X, those born, roughly, between 1965 and 1980, and destined to play the middle child between the headline-grabbing boomers and the hotshot millennials. Smaller demographically, they are reaching the age of traditional leadership, and they grew up in a less tech-dominated time. Matthew calls on America’s “last adult generation” to assert itselfbefore losing its chance to influence the direction of the country.

“America stands anxiously on the cusp of an unknown future,” Matthew writes. “Unlike the baby boomers, Generation X’s race is not yet run. Unlike the millennials, we remember what life was like before the Internet invaded and conquered nearly everything. In that memory resides the hope of our collective redemption, the seed of a renewal that could stem the rot, decay, erosion, and collapse all around us.”

Matthew Hennessey is an associate editorial page editor at The Wall Street Journal and former associate editor of City Journal.

Aug 22, 2018
Tribute to an American Patriot
16:30

Judith Miller joins City Journal managing editor Paul Beston to discuss the life of Michael A. Sheehan, who passed away last month at age 63.

A 40-year veteran of the U.S. counterterrorism community, Sheehan served as a top official for the State Department, the Pentagon, and the New York Police Department. As a military officer on the National Security Council staff for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, he urged officials to place greater priority on the growing threat of militant Islamist groups, especially al-Qaida.

Later in his career, Sheehan focused on non-Islamist challenges to American peace and security. He warned that overreacting to terrorist threats had adverse consequences—including stoking Islamophobia that couldalienate Muslim-American communities, making them less likely to provide tips that had helped thwart and disrupt numerous plots.

Aug 15, 2018
Summer Reading, with City Journal
24:44

City Journal editor Brian Anderson joins Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute, to discuss Brian's summer and vacation reading list.

Summer is traditionally a time when Americans can catch up on books that they've been meaning to read (or reread). We asked Brian to talk about what books are on his list this year, how he decides what to read, and more.

Check out Brian's summer reading list, in the order discussed:

Aug 07, 2018
William Bratton on "Precision Policing"
24:31

Former NYPD and LAPD commissioner William J. Bratton joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Bratton's 40-plus-year career in law enforcement, the lessons learned in New York and Los Angeles, and the challenges facing American police. 

Bratton began his career in Boston, where he joined the police department in 1970 after serving three years in the U.S. Army's Military Police during the Vietnam War. He was named chief of the New York City Transit Police in 1990, where he oversaw dramatic crime reductions in the subway system. In 1994, newly elected mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed Bratton commissioner of the NYPD. From 2002 to 2009, Bratton served as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2014, he was again named New York City Police Commissioner by Mayor Bill de Blasio, before stepping down in 2016.

In the Summer 2018 Issue of City Journal, Bratton and coauthor Jon Murad (a former assistant commissioner and uniformed NYPD officer) write about Bratton's second tour as commissioner in New York and the model that they have developed--"precision policing"--that could lead to a new era of public safety and better police-community relations.

Aug 01, 2018
Garden State Blues
20:33

Steven Malanga joins Seth Barron to discuss the dismal economic and fiscal health of New Jersey, where individual and corporate taxes are among the highest in the country and business confidence ranks among the lowest of the 50 states. Jersey also has one of America's worst-funded government-worker pension systems, which led its leaders in 2017 to divert state-lottery proceeds intended for K-12 and higher education to its pension system.

When Governor Phil Murphy wanted to boost taxes on individuals earning more than $1 million, he claimed that they needed to pay their "fair share." Murphy signed a budget hiking taxes by about $440 million. But as the recent controversy surrounding a soccer team owned by the governor reminds us, it's easy to show compassion when youre using other people's money.

Jul 25, 2018
How Subways Drive New York
22:09

Nicole Gelinas joins Seth Barron to discuss her research on New York subway ridership, the future of the city's subways, and the decriminalization of fare-jumping, a reversal of a critical policing strategy that helped fight crime.

Subway ridership in New York has nearly doubled since 1977, but it's not tourists packing the trains: it's city residents. And New York's poorest neighborhoods have seen the biggest growth in annual ridership over the last 30 years.

The subway's future looks uncertain, though. Decades of storm damage, insufficient maintenance, and inadequate system upgrades have led to mounting delays and declining reliability. If city leadership doesn't address the crisis, New York's poorest residents will be most affected.

Jul 18, 2018
A Conversation with Andrew Klavan
35:35

Andrew Klavan joins Paul Beston on a special summertime edition of 10 Blocks to discuss faith, depression, and redemption--the focus of his memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ.

Klavan is an award-winning and bestselling author, Hollywood screenwriter, political commentator, and contributing editor for City Journal. But before his books became films starring Clint Eastwood and Michael Douglas, severe depression took him to the brink of suicide. 

Klavan credits reading Western literature​ as a crucial life-giving support; it eventually helped lead to his conversion to Christianity. His is a universal tale that all listeners can appreciate and enjoy.

Jul 11, 2018
Golden State "Brownout"
21:31

Joel Kotkin joins Brian Anderson to discuss California's economic performance since the Great Recession, the state's worsening housing crunch, and the impending departure of Governor Jerry Brown, who will leave office in January. After serving four terms (nonconsecutively) since the late 1970s, Brown is one of the longest-serving governors in American history.

While California has seen tremendous growth during Brown's tenure, the state has big problems: people are moving out in greater numbers than they're moving in, job creation outside of Silicon Valley is stagnant, and the state's housing costs are the highest in the country.

Read Joel Kotkin's story, "Brownout," in the Spring 2018 Issue of City Journal.

Jul 04, 2018
Anarchy in Bike Lanes--and Housing Markets
17:34

Nicole Gelinas joins Brian Anderson to discuss how cities with bike-sharing programs deal with theft and vandalism and how tech-based rental services like Airbnb are shaking up the housing market--and prompting new regulations.

Bike-sharing operators are pulling back their services as urban riders confront an old problem: nuisance crime. From Paris to Baltimore, vandalism of bikes is widespread. In San Francisco and Portland, protests against gentrification sometimes take the form of wholesale property destruction of bikes. By contrast, New York and London remain unaffected by large-scale disruptions of their bike-share programs.

In its 10 years of existence, Airbnb has transformed urban life, making it easier for travelers to book rooms on shortnotice. Yet the company has also aroused opposition, with dozens of cities around the world enacting laws to crack down on its operations over the last few years.

Read Nicole Gelinas's story, "Cycle of Violence," in the Spring 2018 Issue of City Journal.

Jun 27, 2018
Trade Wars and Tariff Threats
20:36

Milton Ezrati joins Seth Barron to discuss President Trump's talk of tariffs, China's vulnerability in a potential trade war with the United States, and the history of the global trade order.

A tumultuous recent meeting of the G7 nations, trade disputes with Canada, and tariff threats against China all point to a shakeup of world trade. While the global economy 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 a contributing editor at The National Interest, an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Human Capital at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and chief economist for Vested, a New York-based communications firm. His latest book is Thirty Tomorrows: The Next Three Decades of Globalization, Demographics, and How We Will Live.

Jun 20, 2018
Identity Politics in the Sciences
26:02

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 penetrated STEM programs, and administrators, professors, and other officials attempt to increase the number of women and minorities in the field, by almost any means necessary. As Mac Donald writes, this pressure is "changing how science is taught and how scientific qualifications are evaluated. The results will be disastrous for scientific innovation and for American competitiveness."

Read Heather Mac Donald's essay, "How Identity Politics Is Harming the Sciences," in the Spring 2018 Issue of City Journal.

Jun 13, 2018
Fixing America's Crisis of Work
39:43

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 disappointing results.

The panel consisted of Kristin Kearns-Jordan, CEO of Urban Assembly charter schools; John Widlund, Executive Director of Career & Technical Education at the New York City Department of Education; and Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. The discussion was moderated by Howard Husock.

Jun 06, 2018
Rust Belt, USA
25:31

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 development can be found in states like California, Illinois, and many others.

Struggling towns across the country are attempting to revitalize their communities by following the examples of other regions that have successfully rebounded. However, lingering local issues and global economic realities make competing with elite coastal cities a near-impossible task.

May 30, 2018
Mass Shootings and School Discipline
23:21

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 in Broward County, Florida, for example, which includes Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, created the "Promise" program to counsel students who commit minor crimes, as an alternative to involving law enforcement. After repeated denials by school administrators, it was revealed that Nikolas Cruz, who shot and killed 17 people at the school, was previously assigned to the program, rather than being referred to authorities. But that's just one example.

May 23, 2018
The Fair Housing Act at 50
21:18

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 unequal." In response to the report and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act. Half a century later, the nation is still debating whether the act's promises were fulfilled.

May 16, 2018
America's Crisis of Work
51:33

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 EconomistEdward L. Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and contributing editor of City Journal; and Kay S. Hymowitz, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal. The discussion was moderated by Steve LeVine, the Future Editor of Axios and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

May 09, 2018
Shuttering Rikers
18:01

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 difficult to manage."

The city is committed to closing Rikers and moving all inmates to county-based jails. Both critics and supporters of the plan agree that facilities on the island are outdated and dangerous--for prisoners and guards alike.

Rafael Mangual is the deputy director for legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.

May 02, 2018
Storm and Disaster Relief
13:36

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 Islands.

Federal and local authorities should concentrate the bulk of their spending on the infrastructure necessary to limit storm damage, and on immediate relief after storms have struck. Right now, however, the majority of disaster-relief expenditure goes toward repairing flooded properties after hurricanes--a task better left to the private sector.

Read Nicole Gelinas's story, "Storm Surge," in the Winter 2018 issue of City Journal.  

Apr 18, 2018
Corruption and "Economic Development" in New York State
29:30

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 bid-rigging and other corrupt practices have dogged Albany ever since Governor Cuomo launched his signature economic-development plan, which provides subsidies to private firms to operate businesses in the state. Despite these efforts, New York continues to lose residents to other states every year.

Edmund J. McMahon is founder and research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, based in Albany. Follow him on Twitter @EjmEj.

Apr 03, 2018
When Family Preservation Is Fatal
17:11

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 crack-addicted mother in 1995. Elisa's mother had regained custody of her daughter over the opposition of relatives and teachers. Too many other New York City children have met similar fates.

More than 20 years later, Saffran finds that, on balance, little has changed.  "Many in the social-work establishment, including officials in the administrations of New York City's last two mayors . . . have remained hostile to [reforms] and committed to the old family-preservation orthodoxy."

Dennis Saffran is a Queens-based appellate attorney, writer, and former GOP candidate for the New York City Council. He can be reached on Twitter @dennisjsaffran.

Mar 21, 2018
What's Happened to the University?
35:14

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 have become frequent and sometimes violent. Frank Furedi's What's Happened To The University? A Sociological Exploration of Its Infantilisation explores the origins of the anti-free speech climate at U.S. and U.K. universities.

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She has written extensively about political correctness on campus and was a recent target of student protests at several colleges, where she had been invited to discuss her New York Times bestseller, The War on Cops.

Frank Furedi is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent. He has published articles in major newspapers in Europe and the United States and is the author of 17 books on topics including intellectual culture, parenting, education, and the politics of fear. Furedi is a frequent guest on British T.V. and radio.

Mar 07, 2018
Public Unions and the Janus Reckoning
15:07

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 influence.

"The general result of public-sector unions' outsize influence in politics over the last 30 years, especially at the state and local levels, is ever-larger and more expensive government," writes DiSalvo in his City Journal article, "Judgment Day for Public Unions."

Daniel DiSalvo is an associate professor of political science at the City College of New York, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and author of Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Feb 21, 2018
Growth and Equality
26:19

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 growth hurts markets and growth and, most important, the low earners for whom social-justice advocates claim to fight."

Amity Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and serves as presidential scholar at The King's College. She is the author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression.

Feb 07, 2018
The Trump Infrastructure Plan
17:35

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 workable strategy for infrastructure? John Tierney discusses the promise of the administration's fresh approach, which breaks from past efforts in reducing Washington's role. He wrote about the plan in his City Journal article, "Trump's Infrastructure Opportunity."

Tierney is a contributing editor of City Journal  and a contributing science columnist for the New York Times.

Jan 24, 2018
The School-to-Prison Pipeline
16:11

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 disparity in suspension rates between white and black students. Their claims, however, ignore the significant discrepancies in student behavior.

"We tend to see one of two things happen as suspensions drop: Schools get less safe or school administrators cheat," wrote Max Eden at National Review Online, meaning that the schools separate disruptive students in ways that don't technically count as "suspensions."

Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Jan 10, 2018
How Gotham Saved Its Subways
16:37

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.

Dec 27, 2017
Securing New York's Streets and Subways
15:46

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 less than two months after another man intentionally drove his truck onto a lower Manhattan bike path, killing eight people.

Following a number of deadly vehicle-based attacks in Europe, large global cities have taken precautions to preventwould-be terrorists from running over pedestrians with motor vehicles. But in New York, measures taken by the NYPD and city transportation agencies have left many people wondering if the streets are any more secure than before.

Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a columnist at the New York Post.

Dec 13, 2017
Crisis Intervention Training
15:31

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 training are better prepared to de-escalate these encounters.

CIT training has become a priority for big-city police departments, but as Eide notes, even the best-trained force can't compensate for declining mental health services.

Stephen Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an expert on public administration and urban policy. His story "CIT and Its Limits" (coauthored with Carolyn Gorman) appears in the Summer 2017 issue of City Journal.

Nov 29, 2017
When the Heavyweight Champions Ruled America
20:17

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 careers of 34 champions, with special emphasis on seven legends: John L. Sullivan, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson.

Paul Beston is managing editor of City Journal and author of the book, The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Rule the Ring.

Matthew Hennessey is associate op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal and the author of Right Here, Right Now, to be published in 2018 by Encounter Books.

Nov 15, 2017
Terror in Manhattan
19:24

Judith Miller joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the most recent Islamic terrorist attack in New York City.

Shortly after 3:00 p.m. on Halloween, a 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan, Sayfullo Saipov, drove a rented pickup onto a Hudson River Park bike path in Lower Manhattan. Within ten minutes, eight people were killed and more than a dozen injured. NYPD officers responded quickly after the attack began, shooting Saipov in the abdomen before he could cause more mayhem. He is in police custody, and details from the incident are still emerging.

Judith Miller is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a City Journal contributing editor, a best-selling author, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with The New York Times.

Nov 01, 2017
The "Science" Behind Implicit Bias
27:26

Heather Mac Donald joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss the dubious scientific and statistical bases of the trendy academic theory known as “implicit bias.” The implicit association test (IAT), first introduced in 1998, uses a computerized response-time test to measure an individual’s bias, particularly regarding race. 

Despite scientific challenges to the test’s validity, the implicit-bias idea has taken firm root in popular culture and in the media. Police forces and corporate HR departments are spending millions every year reeducating employees on how to recognize their presumptive hidden prejudices.

Heather discusses the problems with implicit bias, the impact that the concept is having on academia and in the corporate world, and the real reasons for racial disparities in educational achievement and income levels.

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and author of the New York Timesbestseller The War on CopsHer article in the Autumn 2017 issue of City Journal is entitled, “Are We All Unconscious Racists?

Oct 18, 2017
Public Health, Vaping, and More
17:12

John Tierney joins Aaron M. Renn to discuss the federal government’s efforts to limit electronic cigarettes (vaping), and the corruption of the public health profession more generally.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, public health officials combatted epidemics of cholera and dysentery through improvements in water and sewage systems. In its modern form, however, this once-noble profession acts largely as an advocate for progressive causes, with trivial priorities including taxes on soda, calorie counts for restaurants, and free condoms.

In recent years, public health officials in America have even turned against vaping—the most effective antismoking product ever created“The public-health establishment has become a menace to public health,” Tierney writes in City Journal.

John Tierney is a contributing editor to City Journal. He spent more than two decades as a reporter and columnist with the New York Times

Oct 04, 2017
New York City’s Mayoral Election: The Candidates, The Issues, and More
33:21

Seth Barron and Nicole Gelinas join Brian Anderson to discuss the upcoming New York City mayoral election and some of the challenges facing the city today.

Bill de Blasio won the New York mayor’s office in 2013, pledging to take the city in a different direction from his successful predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. From policing and taxes to housing and welfare, the mayor has pursued policies in opposition to those that helped turn the city around after decades of decline and made New York a symbol of urban recovery.

So far, however, most of the Giuliani/Bloomberg achievements remain intact; the city is flourishing, and de Blasio is expected to win reelection. But problems are mounting up: the region’s transportation infrastructure is in dire need of repair, street homelessness is on the rise, and New York’s political culture remains terribly corrupt.

Seth Barron is associate editor of City Journal and project director of the NYC Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. He writes primarily about New York City politics and culture.

Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a columnist at the New York Post.

Sep 20, 2017
Reforming Labor Unions
24:25

On Labor Day, we honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers make to the strength and well-being of the country. It’s been more than 80 years since Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guaranteeing the right of private-sector workers to unionize and bargain collectively for better pay and working conditions.

Today, the NLRA still governs the relationship between organized labor and employers—but in 2015, less than 10 percent of American workers belonged to a union. That’s down from nearly 40 percent in the 1950s. With economic competition from overseas and technological innovation changing the value of physical labor in the United States, maybe it’s time to rethink how American model of labor relations.

Oren Cass joins Brian Anderson to discuss labor unions, past and present, and to offer an alternative model for organized labor. This 10 Blocks episode is the third based on City Journal’s special issue, The Shape of Work to Come. The discussion draws on Oren’s essay, “More Perfect Unions.”

Oren Cass is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he focuses on issues ranging from welfare to climate change. Previously, he was domestic policy director of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Sep 04, 2017
Generation X, Millennials, and Technology
21:12

Matthew Hennessey joins Aaron Renn to discuss the fading of the baby boom generation, the rise of tech-savvy millennials, and the challenge for those in-between, known as Generation X. This 10 Blocks episode is based on Matt’s essay from the Summer 2017 issue of City Journal, “Zero Hour for Generation X.”

While the baby boomers are finally preparing to depart the scene, “millennials could conceivably jump the queue, crowding out the more traditional priorities and preferences of the intervening generation—Generation X,” Matt writes. “If GenXers don’t assert themselves soon, they risk losing their ability to influence the direction of the country.”

Matthew Hennessey is associate op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal and the author of Right Here, Right Now, to be published in 2018 by Encounter Books. 

Aaron M. Renn is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.

Aug 23, 2017
Vocational Education and America’s High Schools
18:24

Paul Beston joins Steven Malanga to talk about the history of the American high school and making high-quality career training central in today’s high schools. This Ten Blocks episode is the second based on City Journal’s special issue, The Shape of Work to Come.

In 1910, less than 20 percent of America’s 15-to-18-year-olds were enrolled in high school. By 1940, that figure had reached nearly 75 percent. The phenomenon became known as the American high school movement, and the impetus for it came from local communities, not from federal, or even state, government.

Today, however, high school diplomas poorly prepare students for finding good jobs. Despite automation and competition from overseas, surveys of businesses consistently show that hundreds of thousands of positions in manufacturing firms go unfilled.

One thing is abundantly clear: career and technical training in the U.S. hasn’t evolved to keep up with the transformation of the modern economy—and many schools have even slashed funding for vocational education.

Paul Beston is managing editor of City Journal and author of the forthcoming book, The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Rule the Ring. His story “When High Schools Shaped America’s Destiny” appeared inCity Journal‘s special issue.

Steven Malanga is the George M. Yeager Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and senior editor of City Journal. His story “Vocational Ed, Reborn” also appeared in the special issue.

Aug 09, 2017
Gotham’s Bioterror Challenge
14:09

Tevi Troy joins the Manhattan Institute’s Paul Howard to discuss a dreaded scenario: a bioterror attack in New York City.

Gotham’s status as a cultural and financial center makes it a more desirable target than any other city in the world. Of all the threats the city faces, a biological attack may be the most terrifying. 

Due its size, density, and transportation complexity bioterror would present a significant challenge. Luckily, New York’s unmatched police and counterterror forces—along with federal agencies—remain ever vigilant to keep residents and visitors safe.

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian, former White House aide, and former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services. His latest book is Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office.

Jul 26, 2017
Reagan and the Blue-Collar Republicans
17:55

Henry Olsen joins Brian Anderson to discuss Henry’s new book The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.

For nearly 30 years, the Republican Party had defined itself by Ronald Reagan’s legacy: a strong military, free trade, lower taxes, and most important, smaller government. When Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president in 2016, many observers in the media and professional political circles asked a familiar question: Is the Republican Party still the Party of Reagan?

According to Henry Olsen, Trump’s election actually gives Republicans their best chance to “re-Reaganize” the GOP.

Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. From 2006 -2013, he served as Vice President and Director of the National Research Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously worked as Vice President of Programs at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Jul 12, 2017
Ending the "War on Work"
18:49

Edward L. Glaeser joins Brian Anderson to discuss the great American domestic crisis of the twenty-first century: persistent joblessness, particularly among “prime-age” men. This Ten Blocks edition is the first based onCity Journal’s special issue, The Shape of Work to Come.

In 1967, 95 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. During the Great Recession, the share of jobless prime-age males rose above 20 percent. Today, even after years of economic recovery, more than 15 percent of prime-age men still aren’t working. Technological changes, globalization, the educational system, and government policy have all contributed to the problem. “To solve this crisis, we must educate, reform social services, empower entrepreneurs, and even subsidize employment,” argues Glaeser in his article, “The War on Work—and How to End It,” in the special issue of City Journal.

Edward L. Glaeser is a professor of economics at Harvard University, a City Journal contributing editor, and the author of Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier.

Jun 28, 2017
De Blasio’s New York, Parading with Terrorists, and More
20:30

Seth Barron joins Brian Anderson to discuss New York City politics, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first term, the relationship between de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, and the controversy surrounding this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.  

“Surging tax revenues and the continued peace dividend from 20 years of vigorous Broken Windows policing have given Bill de Blasio a relatively easy first term in the mayor’s office,” notes Seth Barron in a recent story for City Journal. Indeed, as his first term in office winds down, de Blasio is an overwhelming favorite to win reelection this November. But for many New Yorkers who lived through Gotham’s worst days two and three decades ago, de Blasio’s election was a troublesome sign of how fragile the city’s success might be. His likely second term in office might expose more of that fragility.

Seth Barron is associate editor of City Journal and project director of the NYC Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. He writes primarily about New York City politics and culture.

Jun 14, 2017
Policing Under Trump, the "Ferguson Effect," and More
24:40

Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss the state of policing today, the “Ferguson Effect,” former FBI director James Comey’s defense of proactive policing, and the recent protests against conservative speakers on college campuses.

Since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, public discussion about police and the criminal justice system has reached a fever pitch: activists claim that policing is inherently racist and discriminatory, while supporters say that public pressure has caused officers to disengage from proactive policing.

President Trump’s promise to restore “law and order” in American cities upset many progressives, but with violent crime on the rise in cities across the country since 2014, Trump was right to raise the issue.

Read Heather’s piece in the Spring 2017 issue of City Journal, “How Trump Can Help the Cops.”

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesThe New Republic, and The New Criterion. Mac Donald's newest book, The War on Cops (2016), warns that raced-based attacks on the criminal-justice system are eroding the authority of law and putting lives at risk.

May 31, 2017
The Campus Rape Frenzy
22:23

KC Johnson joins Seth Barron to discuss sexual assault and college disciplinary procedures on campuses across America. 

In 2011, the Obama administration ordered all campus disciplinary offices to use a lower “preponderance of evidence” standard when charging a student of a sexually related crime. Today, colleges are under intense pressure from both activists and bureaucrats to punish students accused of rape. And with the political climate growing toxic on college campuses, school administrators know that there’s little to gain from defending the accused.

KC Johnson is the co-author, with Stuart Taylor, of The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America's Universities. Johnson played a prominent role during the Duke University lacrosse rape case in 2006-2007, disseminating facts about the case and calling out the media for presuming guilt of the students involved. He is a professor of history at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

Seth Barron is associate editor of City Journal and project director of the NYC Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. He writes primarily about New York City politics and culture.

May 17, 2017
Failing the Mentally Ill
19:08

DJ Jaffe and Stephen Eide join Howard Husock to discuss severe mental illness and the deficiencies in mental health services in New York City and across the country.

DJ Jaffe is the author of an important new book, Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill. He is executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., a nonpartisan think tank, which creates detailed policy analysis for legislators, the media, and advocates.

Stephen Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of a recent report, Assisted Outpatient Treatment in New York State: The Case for Making Kendra's Law Permanent. His piece featured in the Spring 2017 Issue of City Journal, Failure to Thrive, dissects New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature mental health initiative, Thrive NYC.

May 03, 2017
Reining in the Bureaucrats
19:34

Adam J. White joins Brian Anderson to discuss the “administrative state,” often described as the fourth branch of the federal government. Under the Obama administration, bureaucratic agencies were aggressivelyutilized to bypass congressional hostility to the progressive agenda.

In 2014, President Obama declared his “pen and phone” strategy: if the Republican-controlled Congress was unwilling to act on his priorities, he would sign executive orders directing federal agencies to enforce new rules or ignore existing ones. Environmental regulations, immigration reform, and Internet neutrality were just a few areas where the Obama administration directed agencies to make substantial policy changes.

Adam White is an attorney, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a contributing editor of City Journal. His story “Break the Bureaucracy” appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue.

Apr 19, 2017
Rethinking Dependency and the War on Poverty
19:27

Peter Cove joins Brian Anderson to discuss his new book Poor No More: Rethinking Dependency and the War on Poverty.

Declaring the War on Poverty in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson stated that the goal was to “cure poverty, and above all, prevent it.”

50 years later, most people would agree that the signature campaign of the “Great Society” has shown mixed results, at best: Despite spending over $20 trillion on anti-poverty programs, the official poverty rate has barely moved.

Peter Cove is the founder of America Works, the nation’s first for-profit, welfare-to-work company that has placed nearly 1 million people into employment. Peter first became involved in the fight against poverty when he moved to New York in 1965 to join the Anti-Poverty Operations Board, where he helped write federal grant proposals and managed local programs.

Find out more about Peter Cove’s book on Amazon.​

Apr 05, 2017
School Discipline and "Racial Equity" in St. Paul
15:36

Katherine Kersten joins Brian Anderson to discuss how public school leaders in St. Paul, Minnesota abandoned student discipline—and unleashed mayhem—in the name of “racial equity.”

In January 2014, the Obama administration’s Departments of Education and Justice issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to every school district in the country, laying out guidelines to local officials for how to avoid racial bias when suspending or expelling students. Equity proponents view “disparate impact”—when the same policies yield different outcomes among demographic groups—as conclusive proof of discrimination.

But nearly half a decade before that order was announced, the superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools had already embarked on a crusade to dismantle the purported “school-to-prison pipeline”—with disastrous effects for teachers and students.

Read Katherine’s piece in the Winter 2017 Issue of City Journal, “No Thug Left Behind.”

Mar 22, 2017
Portland’s Trouble with Homelessness
19:47

Michael Totten joins Brian Anderson to discuss the issue of homelessness in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.

 
Portland is often called the “City of Bridges” for the many structures that cross the city’s two rivers. Underneath many of those bridges are homeless encampments complete with tents, plastic tarps, shopping carts—and people.
 
Oregon’s Supreme Court has blocked efforts to regulate homelessness in Portland, leading the city’s political leaders and nonprofits to explore new options as the situation has worsened.
Mar 02, 2017
Reinventing the Port Authority
14:03

Robert Poole (of the Reason Foundation) joins Aaron Renn to discuss the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Port Authority was originally founded to manage the region’s transportation infrastructure, but the agency has long been plagued by politicized decision making, money-losing facilities, and declining financial viability.

Poole is the author of a new report commissioned by the Manhattan Institute, Reinventing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Check out City Journal’s coverage of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey below.

Feb 14, 2017
Trump, The Elites, and The Deplorables
17:30

Victor Davis Hanson joins the City Journal podcast to talk with Aaron Renn about the 2016 election, the divide between rural and urban America, and how a life-long New Yorker came to lead a movement of “deplorables” all the way to the White House.

Read Victor's piece in the Winter 2017 Issue of City Journal, "Trump and the American Divide."

Feb 01, 2017
The New Brooklyn
26:55

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and contributing editor Kay Hymowitz discuss her new book, "The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back," which chronicles the history of New York City's largest borough and its remarkable transformation from a symbol of urban decay by the mid-20th century to one of the most valuable and innovative environments in the world.

Jan 18, 2017
Policing the Port Authority
15:24

City Journal senior editor Steve Malanga and contributing editor Judy Miller discuss some of the issues with the Port Authority Police Department, including a secret review of the department’s security readiness and the contentious relationship between Port Authority leaders and the police union.

Read Judy Miller’s full piece from the Autumn 2016 Issue of City Journal, “The New York Police Force That Doesn’t Work.”

Jan 04, 2017
American Energy and Trump
16:57

City Journal associate editor Matthew Hennessey and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce discuss the possibilities for the domestic energy industry under Trump, the state of American nuclear power, the Left's push for all-renewable energy, and more.

Dec 21, 2016
The Left's War on Science
12:48

​City Journal associate editor Matthew Hennessey and contributing editor John Tierney (formerly of the New York Times) discuss the politicization of science and how the Left's dominance in universities and the scientific community actually threatens progress.

Dec 14, 2016
Trumping Obamacare
11:32

City Journal associate editor Matthew Hennessey and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Paul Howard discuss the state of Obamacare, Republican options for reforming the health care system​, and legislation in Congress designed to overhaul the FDA and improve drug development.

Dec 08, 2016
Trump and Law and Order
08:34

City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson and contributing editor Heather Mac Donald (author of the New York Times bestseller "The War on Cops") discuss law and order in the Donald Trump administration, how the left's anti-police narrative contributed to his victory, and Trump's choice to head the Justice Department.

 

Dec 01, 2016
The Trump Phenomenon
14:47

City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson and contributing editor Aaron M. Renn discuss Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential race, the popular discontent that led to his rise, and the future of the Trump administration.

Nov 22, 2016
City Hall Republicans
13:29

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and senior editor Steve Malanga discuss the GOP’s new generation of pragmatic, problem-solving mayors that have helped turn ​around some of America’s struggling cities.

From Steve Malanga's piece for the Autumn 2016 Issue of City Journal, "City Hall GOP."

Nov 01, 2016
Lone Star Quartet
12:25

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Aaron Renn discuss how four big metros—Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio—power the Texas economy. From City Journal’s special issue, Texas Rising.

 

Oct 05, 2016
Directionless on Homelessness
17:40

 

Manhattan Institute senior fellow Stephen Eide speaks with Professor Thomas Main, author of Homelessness in New York City: Policymaking from Koch to de Blasio.​

Sep 21, 2016
Philanthropy and Black Education
16:00

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and senior fellow Jason Riley discuss the history of private philanthropists funding high-quality educational opportunities aimed at African-Americans and the poor.​

Sep 07, 2016
The New Landscape of Labor
11:53

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and senior editor Steve Malanga discuss how public and private-sector unions have fared since the 2008 recession and the “right-to-work” states that are leading the recovery for organized labor in the United States.

 

Aug 23, 2016
Reimagining Times Square
12:51

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and former New York Times columnist John Tierney discuss recent controversies concerning the “Crossroads of the World” and how to improve the plaza for tourists and New Yorkers alike.​

Aug 09, 2016
The High Cost of Free Parking
12:36

City Journal contributing editor Aaron Renn and UCLA "parking guru" Professor Donald Shoup discuss how cities can make better use of dynamic, demand-sensitive pricing in order to ensure fair accessibility to parking.

Jul 26, 2016
Unfair "Fair Housing"
14:29

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Howard Husock discuss the Obama administration's efforts to locate affordable-housing units in Westchester County, NY and changes to HUD's mission nationwide.

Jul 12, 2016
The Sixties Roots of Today's Campus Madness
14:49

In this episode of the 10 Blocks Podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson interviews Harry Stein, author of recent City Journal article “How My Friends and I Wrecked Pomona College.”

Jun 28, 2016
Debt and Scandal Plague the Port Authority
14:29

In this episode of the 10Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson interviews Steven Malanga, author of the recent City Journal article “Bloated, Broke, and Bullied,” about corruption and mismanagement at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Jun 15, 2016
How Open Data Revolutionizes Urban Life
12:47

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson interviews Nicole Gelinas, author of the recent City Journal article “The Fourth Urban Revolution,” about the role of big data in effective urban planning.

May 31, 2016
The Great Reverse Migration?
14:18

Why are black residents leaving northern, progressive cities in such large numbers? In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson discusses the trend with Aaron Renn, author of the recent City Journal article "Black Residents Matter."

May 17, 2016
Revolutionizing City Streets
24:49

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal contributing editor Nicole Gelinas interviews Janette Sadik-Khan, former New York City Transportation Commissioner, about her new book, Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.

May 03, 2016
Reimagining Urbanism for the 21st Century
16:27

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Joel Kotkin discuss Kotkin’s new book, The Human City, and what it has to say about modern cities around the world.

Apr 19, 2016
The Untapped Potential of Data-Driven Policy
15:15

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal contributing editor Aaron Renn and Mike Luca discuss how companies and cities can work together to use data to improve their services. 

 
Apr 05, 2016
What Can We Learn from the History of Milwaukee Policing?
18:39

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson and George Kelling discuss Kelling’s new book Policing in Milwaukee: A Strategic History, and its key takeaways.

Mar 21, 2016
Ivy League Exhibits Anti-Asian Bias
14:24

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Dennis Saffran discuss how the Ivy League discriminates against top-achieving students. Read “Fewer Asians Need Apply.”

Mar 09, 2016
The Surprising Bronx Revival
13:54

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Nicole Gelinas discuss the recent comeback of New York's northernmost borough. Read “The Bronx is Up.”

Feb 19, 2016
What Big Data Means for Fighting Crime
18:37

In this episode of the 10 Blocks podcast, City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson and contributor David Black discuss “predictive policing.” Read “Big Data on the Beat.”

Feb 08, 2016
Welcome to City Journal's 10 Blocks Podcast
01:08

Brian C. Anderson introduces City Journal's 10 Blocks podcast series.

 

Feb 08, 2016