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In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter interviews Hoover senior fellows and members of Hoover's Task Force on KÐ12 Education Paul Peterson and Rick Hanushek on education in the United States compared to the rest of the world. The authors of Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of American Schools, Peterson and Hanushek explain that the United States, in the latest international test, is now in thirty-second place, with only 32 percent of students scoring as proficient in math. Currently, Shanghai is at the top of the list of countries, with 75 percent of its students proficient in math. Nevertheless, Peterson and Hanushek offer an optimistic perspective on what could be done to improve AmericaÕs education system. Watch the full episode here: http://www.hoover.org/research/uncommon-knowledge-hoover-fellows-rick-hanushek-and-paul-peterson
Rumor has it that newspapers will inevitably disappear, but according to Uncommon Knowledge’s interview with Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp, that doesn’t need to happen. Thomson discusses how newspapers have always created a community and how that can be done better now than ever before. Thomson became CEO in January 2013; before that he was editor in chief at Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. News Corp, often called the New News after it recently separated from Twenty-First-Century Fox, is a network of leading companies in diversified media, news, education, and information services.
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Joel Klein, Amplify CEO and former chancellor of the New York City department of education, discusses technology, school choice, and the challenges facing the US educational system. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, with huge implications for the United States; the way to reduce the gap and create knowledgeable, skilled, problem solvers is through education. For the past two hundred years we have had the model of one teacher and thirty plus children, but that model is not working for many students. With less than one-third of students ready for college, Amplify is reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn to build a better Kó12 educational system and thus a better society.
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles discusses Catholicism, Mexico-US relations, and immigration, which, as a prominent issue in the United States, provokes a wide variety of opinions as to how it can best be addressed. Gomez argues, both in the course of the interview and in his book Immigration and the Next America, that those who come to the United States from Mexico are honest people looking for work. He points out that this pattern is consistent with the role of immigration in the historical relationship between the United States and Mexico and that, historically, immigrants do not supplant the existing culture but integrate within a generation. (Playing time: 29:17)
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson mediates a discussion between PayPal founder and Stanford Professor Peter Thiel and Velocity Capital Management founder and journalist Andy Kessler on the state of technology and innovation in the United States over the past four decades. Thiel argues that, outside of computers, there has been very little innovation in the past forty years, and the rate of technological change has significantly decreased when compared to the first half of the 20th century. In contrast, Kessler asserts that innovation comes in waves, and we are on the verge of another burst of technological breakthroughs. Industries covered include education, medicine and biotechnology, as well as robots and high tech. (Playing time: 45:20)
John O'Sullivan discusses the unique and memorable career of the late Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. (Playing time: 44:12)
From members of Congress more concerned about reelection than debating the real problems to a president espousing post-constitutional ideas, Americans need a renewed understanding of the Constitution. Senator Sasse discusses the issues plaguing Congress and how the current president ignores the Constitution when it suits him. However serious the challenges that America is facing, Senator Sasse believes it is not too late to restore the Constitution and thus Congress.
John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general for President George Bush and now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and Hugh Hewitt, former Reagan administration official and now a talk radio host, discuss the Constitution and current events in America. Topics range from Obamacare to the Middle East, the future of the United States, and how the Constitution applies to today’s problems.
Recorded on July 29, 2015 - Part 1: Stalin was born in a small town in Georgia in which he was educated to become a priest. After succeeding in school and becoming a devout follower of the faith, Stalin left the priesthood and became a communist revolutionary. World War I and the revolutions of 1917 set the stage for Stalin and the Communists to take power in Russia.
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter sits down with Liam Fox, member of Parliament and former secretary of state for defense, who also remains on every journalist’s short list of those most likely to one day become leader of the Conservative or Tory Party. Fox discusses many themes in his new book, Rising Tides, as well as current issues regarding the purpose of NATO, Scotland’s move for independence, and the conflicts in the Middle East.
In this Uncommon Knowledge interview, Peter sits down with House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) to discuss what the majority leader does and what it takes to be one. McCarthy also gives his opinion on the future of California, actions taken on the border, and what changes the next congressional election might bring. McCarthy began his own business at age nineteen, eventually went on to work in the California State Assembly, and was elected to Congress in 2006, and on June 19, 2014, he was elected to replace outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor. (Playing time: 43:30)
Steve Wynn, founder of Wynn Resorts, in the second part of his interview, discusses further his life as an entrepreneur, what he does to motivate his employees, and how he creates experiences that keep customers returning. Wynn also expresses his views on Obamacare, America’s fiscal policy, and the future of his business. “I take sides only on the issues that pertain to the health of my workforce,” explains Wynn. He has resorts in Las Vegas, Macau, China, and hopes to soon begin building another in Massachusetts.
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter sits down with David Kelley, author of Creative Confidence, professor of Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, and founder of IDEO, one of the world’s most prestigious design firms. Kelley offers a profound perspective on everyone’s innate ability to be creative and the need to encourage the use of creativity in every aspect of today’s society. “The United States is particularly well suited for being innovative,” says Kelley; “when we grew up everyone knew who invented the cotton gin and who invented the telephone, they were our heroes. This will continue to drive us to innovation.”
Hoover Institution fellows Terry Moe and Peter Robinson have a lively discussion on whether the Constitution is outdated and thus incapable of dealing with societal and structural problems facing government today. For example, immigration has been broken for decades, yet Congress has been incapable of passing new laws to keep up with the reality of the needs in the twenty-first century. So we have an immigration policy that does not make sense and laws that are not being enforced. To solve this, Moe would shift power in the direction of the president so the president could make a proposal for fast-track legislation: Congress would then vote up or down, thus expediting immigration reform. This shifts legislative power to the president so he or she can participate in passing laws that make sense for a functioning and productive society.
Recorded on September 21, 2016 Although Americans have great respect for the military, most civilians have lost touch with it. This means that US citizens are not attuned to what the military needs because so few American volunteer to serve; this lack of understanding reduces not only battlefield effectiveness but the military's role in American life. Schake talks about the effect of high levels of public support for the military combined with low levels of trust in elected political leaders. She also reflects on whether American society is becoming so divorced from the requirements for success on the battlefield that not only do we fail to comprehend the enormous responsibilities of our military but we also would be unwilling to endure a military constituted to protect us.
General Jack Keane briefly describes the history and rise of ISIS and its aim in the Middle East. Keane then discusses the concrete steps America should take to defeat ISIS, including partnerships with Sunni tribes and a more comprehensive air war.
Recorded on January 25, 2016 Hoover Institution fellow Michael McFaul and John O'Sullivan discuss the many problems Europe is facing including an aggressive Russia, Brexit, NATO and the asylum crisis in Germany. McFaul and O'Sullivan give their analysis of these problems and what it means for the future of Europe.
Each branch of the federal government has strayed from its original purpose and no candidate for president will be able to fix the underlying issues that plague it. Governor Abbott makes his case for proposing a Convention of States to make amendments to restore constitutional order.
Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses poverty around the world and in the United States. Poverty in America, he says, compared to the rest of the world, is not severe. Many poor people in poverty in the United States have one or two cars, central heating, and cell phones. The real problem for the poor is the destruction of the family, which Sowell argues dramatically increased once welfare policies were introduced in the 1960s.
Senator James Buckley discusses the transformation of the federal government and the challenges we face after the 2012 election. (Playing time: 28:30)
This week on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell discusses why the glacial pace of deliberations and decisions in the Senate is a feature, not a bug. "Once it was clear the president was going to try to turn us into a Western European country as rapidly as he could, about the only strategy you have left when your opposition has a forty-seat majority in the House. . . . We knew we couldn't stop the agenda. But we thought we had a chance of creating a national debate about whether all of this excess was appropriate. And the key to having a debate, frankly and candidly, was to deny the president, if possible, the opportunity to have any of these things be considered bipartisan." (Playing time: 37:42)
In this Uncommon Knowledge interview from November 24, 2008, Thiel argues that a book published in France in 1968, Le Defi Americain (The American Challenge), has a lot to say to us in 2008, including why the United States has failed to rise to the heights predicted by its author, J. J. Servan-Schreiber. In explaining what’s wrong with the US economy, Thiel points out that, although we have benefited from growth that is both extensive (e.g., free trade) and intensive (e.g., technology), we have not featured enough of each. He asserts that the credit crisis of 2008 had nothing to do with the failings of the free market but rather is a by-product of government entanglement, nurtured by the motors of economic growth, working less well than expected. (Playing time: 38:56)
Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell, UCLA, and Amherst. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books. His most recent book is The Thomas Sowell Reader. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
Charles Moore is a former editor at The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, and Spectator Magazine. He is the authorized biographer of Margaret Thatcher. (Playing time: Duration not specified)
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Richard A. Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, discusses inequality, taxes, globalization, free markets, politics, health care, and gay marriage. Epstein states that the central theme of his book The Classical Liberal Constitution is to develop sufficiently stable government structures and individual rights to raise everybody simultaneously when the government has to regulate or tax. The prevailing politics is ÒI win, you lose,Ó and the Supreme Court has done nothing to slow this trend. Epstein notes that a shrinking economic pie is always a losing proposition. He refers to the famous quote concerning his philosophy, ÒMay justice reign even if the heavens fall.Ó Epstein also discusses other Supreme Court decisions, including the constitutionality of gay marriage.
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Podcast Details

Started
Aug 8th, 2011
Latest Episode
Apr 19th, 2018
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
137
Explicit
No

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