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Society and the State | Life, Liberty, and Your Pursuit of Happiness

Exciting interviews with famous and successful entrepreneurs, authors, activists, and others trying to make the world a better place. Join us for engaging conversation — you're guaranteed to learn something new.
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Society and the State | Life, Liberty, and Your Pursuit of Happiness
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Jun 19, 2019

With so many laws on the books, there are virtually unlimited ways that a person can become a criminal. This puts an enormous strain on our legal and judicial system. Utah County Attorney David Leavitt joins us to discuss a groundbreaking approach that he is trying that seeks to handle problems in ways other than simply prosecuting people. Learn what he hopes to accomplish and how it could cut down on the the unnecessary criminalization that bogs down our justice system.

Jun 14, 2019

What’s the best way to fight racism or sexism? Depending upon who you ask, the answer may be with even more racism or sexism. This can take fairly innocuous forms such as focusing exclusively on the rights of women or minorities rather than the rights of all. Is there a better way? Can we right authentic wrongs without giving in to the temptation to create a new double standard?

Jun 12, 2019

Taxes are a part of life but just how big a part of our lives is a question that is constantly being asked. When governmental entities need revenue, taxing the citizenry is often the preferred way to get that money. But should services be taxed in the same manner as other items on which we pay sales taxes? Connor gets some great insights from Jared Walczak from the Tax Foundation on how sales taxes have evolved over the years.

Jun 8, 2019

Each of us has opportunities to wield our influence wherever we happen to be. Wielding that influence wisely can be harder than it sounds. Do we win others to our side with persuasion or do we use a more brute force approach? In this episode, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each approach when it comes to winning supporters.

Jun 3, 2019

Unless we personally know someone who has been incarcerated, chances are that we know very little about the prison system. It’s a part of life that takes place out of sight and out of mind for many us and we seem to prefer it that way. Libertas policy analyst Molly Davis joins Connor to discuss their takeaways from a recent tour they did at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah.

May 29, 2019

Few things feed the power the state more than when we invite it to become the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong. This is particularly true regarding the topic of abortion where the moral question at the root of the dialogue is getting lost in the struggle to impose solutions on others. Is using the force of law to establish our position the best solution? Could more innocent lives be saved without appealing to the state?

May 24, 2019

Medical procedures often produce certain ethical concerns and the occasional dilemma. One of those is when pelvic examinations are conducted on unconscious women. The physical risks may be secondary to the emotional damage that can result when a woman realizes that her reproductive organs have been examined while she was under anesthesia for another procedure. Connor visits with Robin Fretwell Wilson from the University of Illinois College of Law about recent legislative efforts to protect the patient’s right to informed consent.

May 20, 2019

Is socialism gaining in popularity among younger people? For that matter, is capitalism on the outs with the millennial generation? Depending upon who you ask, this appears to be the case. But where do these attitudes originate? Do the young people allegedly embracing socialism even understand what it is, or are they just excited at the prospect of “free” stuff? In this episode, we discuss how to counter this trend and when to start teaching free market principles to youngsters.

May 13, 2019

There are many areas of our lives where regulation can be more of a hindrance than a blessing. Nowhere is this more true than when patients who want or need a particular medication find themselves stymied by excessive regulation. Do you understand your rights when it comes to self-medication or informed consent? Connor visits with Jessica Flanigan about medical paternalism and what we can do about exercising our individual rights as they pertain to our health.

May 8, 2019

 

Peer to Peer technology is opening the door to a new class of decentralized, trustworthy ways to solve problems. If you’ve ever used Uber or Lyft or stayed at an Airbnb, you’ve already encountered it. Same thing if you’ve ever purchased something off of Ebay rather than going to a big box store. In this episode, Connor explores the pros and cons of eliminating the middlemen that we regard as common.

May 4, 2019

Everyone makes mistakes. But when that mistake is a criminal one, should it follow a person for the rest of his or her life? Few of us understand the process of expungement and how it can provide a person with an opportunity for starting over with a clean slate. Rebecca Vallas from the Center for American Progress joins Connor to discuss why it’s in our interest to provide some offenders with a second chance at life.

May 1, 2019

Being summoned for jury duty is rarely cause for celebration. But it should be. It’s a pretty sure bet that those who feel inconvenienced by the prospect of jury duty simply don’t understand the essential role the jury fills in a free society. Unfortunately, this information is not something the state is going to freely share with prospective jurors. But we will! In this episode we talk about the history of trial by jury and how the jury can be the last bulwark to hold back injustice or tyranny.

Apr 27, 2019

Frustrated with how so much of the political discussion going on today consists of people talking or shouting past one another? If so, you’ll be encouraged by what Arnold Kling from the Cato Institute has to say.  This conversation is a golden opportunity to learn how to move beyond tribal war whoops and to really start communicating with others about political subjects.

Apr 23, 2019

The arrest of Julian Assange by British authorities has captured the attention of the world. As the Wikileaks founder awaits extradition to the U.S. to face charges of conspiring to reveal secrets government officials don’t want the public to know. The implications for whistleblowers, the press and truth-tellers everywhere are considerable. Is Assange the boogeyman we’re being told he is or does he deserve recognition for creating transparency where there was none?

Apr 16, 2019

Parental choice in your child’s education isn’t something to be taken for granted. Depending upon the country in which you reside, homeschooling your child may be seen as a questionable act. In this episode, we visit with the Petersen family and discuss the legal battle they’ve fought with officials in Sweden for the right to homeschool their kids. Their story should be heard by every parent who feels a personal responsibility regarding their child’s education.

Apr 16, 2019

Parental choice in your child’s education isn’t something to be taken for granted. Depending upon the country in which you reside, homeschooling your child may be seen as a questionable act. In this episode, we visit with the Petersen family and discuss the legal battle they’ve fought with officials in Sweden for the right to homeschool their kids. Their story should be heard by every parent who feels a personal responsibility regarding their child’s education.

Apr 11, 2019

Life takes on noticeably greater depth and purpose when we are actively living to make a difference. It’s not enough just to be against something, we have to know how to stand for something and how to persuade others. If you’ve reached the point where you’re no longer content shouting slogans from the sidelines, here are some proven tips to help you wield your influence wisely.

Apr 6, 2019

Think of how many public policies have been created for the purpose of helping the poor. Now ask yourself, why does it seem that none of them are working? Michael Tanner joins us to discuss the ways that the political left and right are inadvertently making matters worse with their respective approaches to bring wealth to the poor. You’ll learn what government should be doing to stop pushing people further into poverty and how the power can be authentically empowered.

Apr 6, 2019

Think of how many public policies have been created for the purpose of helping the poor. Now ask yourself, why does it seem that none of them are working? Michael Tanner joins us to discuss the ways that the political left and right are inadvertently making matters worse with their respective approaches to bring wealth to the poor. You’ll learn what government should be doing to stop pushing people further into poverty and how the power can be authentically empowered.

Apr 6, 2019

Think of how many public policies have been created for the purpose of helping the poor. Now ask yourself, why does it seem that none of them are working? Michael Tanner joins us to discuss the ways that the political left and right are inadvertently making matters worse with their respective approaches to bring wealth to the poor. You’ll learn what government should be doing to stop pushing people further into poverty and how the power can be authentically empowered.

Apr 3, 2019

A key part of the conversation regarding personal liberty and free markets always comes back to the proper role of government in our lives. One of the most common justifications for the expansion of government power is the perceived need for some type of social safety net. Is the term “social safety net” synonymous with the welfare state? What are some of the options that exist to care for the truly needy without increasing the size and costs of government?

Mar 30, 2019

The issue of digital privacy is one that should be on the minds of every person who uses a smart phone. Recently the state of Utah became the first state in the U.S. to require law enforcement to get a warrant before accessing anyone’s data on a third party’s server. Marina Lowe from the ACLU of Utah joins Connor to discuss what this law does and why it was a needed protection of our Fourth Amendment rights.

Mar 28, 2019

After a brief but productive hiatus, the Society and the State podcast is back in production and we have a lot to discuss. In today's episode, Connor and Bryan each share 3 of the books currently taking up space on their respective night stands. See what's captured our interest and attention of late and feel free to add your suggestions for other worthwhile books in the comments section. 

Dec 23, 2018

Few things are as controversial as the topic of abortion. One-size-fits-all approaches only tend to reinforce the controversy by causing their proponents to dig in ideologically. In today’s episode, Connor visits with Joe Baker from Save the Storks. Joe’s work is proving to be a creative way to tackle the issue with an eye towards furthering the protection of innocent lives. Bridge-builders are few and far between on this subject, so listen as Joe explains how it’s done.

Dec 19, 2018

When the news first hit about a caravan of refugees making their way towards the U.S. border to seek asylum, it didn’t take long to become a political football. Are they simply “dreamers” looking for a better life far away from the crime and corruption of their homelands? Or are they an existential threat to America coming here to overthrow us by signing up for welfare benefits and by voting Democratic? Somewhere amidst all the anger, fear and virtue signaling, there must be a more dispassionate way to respond to the situation. In this episode we set out to search for that common ground, if it exists.

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