tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 27, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
you some of c-span's coverage of commencement addresses from around the country with remarks by virginia governor terry mcaulifee at virginia tech and wisconsin governor scott walker at concordia university. but first, supreme court justice antonin scalia who behave this year's commencement at graduates at william and mary law school in virginia. he spoke for 25 minutes. [applause] . ., douglas, members of the faculty, graduate, ladies and gentlemen. i have a philosophy of commencements. it is that they are not for the benefit of the graduates, who would probably rather have their diplomas mailed to them at the beach. [laughter] but, rather they are for the
, pleasure and satisfaction of the graduates' families and friends, who take this occasion to observe and celebrate a significant accomplishment on the part of those whom they love. in that respect a commencement is sort of like weddin a baptism. the primary participants in those events would rather be elsewhere as well. since its for the benefit of the families, one of the wonderful things about graduation addresses is that you can talk about whatever you want. it really does not matter. what i decided to talk to you about this afternoon, briefly, and i promise to be brief, is whether to be blunt about it you graduates have essentially wasted one of your three years
here, and could have jumped on the job in two years. it is a current proposal for reform that law student should be permitted to sit for the bar exam and otherwise be eligible to practice law after only two years of study. to be sure, this is not a new ideas. in new york state, for example, between 1882-1911, college graduates need to complete only two years of law school, on non-graduates had to do the extra year. of course, in 1911, the new york court of appeals change the rule to three years, where it remains and where it remains everywhere. but now and again it has been a source of controversy. in the 1970s prominent educators from president derek c. bok of harvard to president
edward h. lee the of the university of chicago said publicly that switching to two years was at least worth a try. and in 1999 judge richard posner embraced the idea. i think he has written a book about it. as did the president of the united states just last year, saying that they're just it would be quote better off clerking or practicing in a firm, closed quote. finally, joining the chorus, and this was a big surprise, was the american bar association's task force on the future of legal education, which suggested in january of this year that quote bar admitting authorities could create paths for licensure with
fewer hours than the current standards require by devices such as, one, accepting applicants who have fewer hours of law school training than the standards require, or, two, accepting applicants with two years of law school credits plus a year of carefully structured skills-based experience, inside a law school or elsewhere. closed quote. i vigorously dissent. [laughter] it seems to me that the law school in two years proposal rests on the premise that law school is, or ought to be, a trade school. it is not that. it is a school preparing men and women not for a trade but for a profession, the profession of law.
one can practice various aspects of law without knowing much about the whole field. i expect that someone could be taught to be an expert real estate conveyance or in six weeks, or a tax advisor in six months. and maybe we should train such people, but we should not call them lawyers. just says someone might become an expert in hand surgery without knowing much about the rest of the human body, so also one can become expert in various segments of the law without knowing much about the rest. we should call the former a hand surgeon rather than a doctor, and the latter a real estate conveyance or, or h&r block, but not a lawyer. those of you who've walked the streets of paris may have noticed signs here and there,
jurisconsult, people who give legal of ice but are not lawyers. i frankly don't even know whether one must pass an exam or have any special training to hang out a sign jurisconsult. i suspect not. none of you who are being graduated today is being certified an expert in patent law or employment law, or anything else. you are instead receiving degrees that a test to your successful completion of a sustained three-year study of law. the mastery of that subject is what turns the student into a legal professional. this is the traditional view, well expressed by an earlier and wiser aba panel in 1921. and i quote, legal education should produce a real knowledge
of fundamental principles and a mind which thinks in terms of the common law. the process of assimilation and of myrtle grove must be orderly and comparatively slow. experience has shown that a student who give substantially all of his working time to his studies should devote at least three years to his legal education. and even three years is scarcely enough, so great have the bulk and complexity of american law be. closed quote. that was in 1921. my guess is that the bulk and complexity of american law have doubled since then. consider the areas of law that come before my court, areas that didn't even exist when i was in law school. employment law, including title vii, the americans with disabilities act, and the
employment employment recovery and time it surveillance -- nobody calls it that. several major national security statutes, including the foreign intelligeintellige nce surveillance act, the patriot act, and the aviation and transportation security act. the clean air act, the freedom of information act, the foreign sovereign immunities act, the affordable care act, sarbanes-oxley. that's just to mention only a few. state law has only grown -- has also grown and grown complex. any lawyer if he is to call himself a professional should at least be aware of all these areas and should have a fair understanding of most of them. the law schools themselves are partly to blame i think for the belief that all law you really
need to know can be acquired in two years. for starters, they increasingly abstain from saying that there is anything you really need to know. when i was in law school, harvard first year curriculum included agency, civil procedure, contracts, criminal law, property one, and towards. no electives. the second year of curriculum required accounting, administrative law, commercial law, constitutional law, corporations one, taxation and trusts. although the course catalog contain the following generous exception, the law of international transactions and relations or labor law may be substituted for commercial law by second year students. isn't that nice? those electing this substitution will normally be required to
take commercial law in the third year. [laughter] even the third year was not entirely elective. the course catalog said, third year students are required to take the course in property 2, unless they've taken it previously. and then students who took any course in the second year in lieu of commercial are required to take commercial law. there was a faculty that had some firm views about what it took to become learned in the law. contrast that curriculum with the current scene. it is something of an open secret now that the second and third years of law school offer a student a chance to study whatever strikes his or her fancy. so long as there's a professor who has the same fancy. it is also well-known that many of the courses from which the student may choose to have a distinct nonlegal flavor, to say
the least, from quote effective and sustainable law practice, the meditative perspective. and quote elegance in legal thought and expression, both offered at berkeley -- [laughter] to quote, the philosophical reinvention of christianity, at harvard, to quote, contemporary virtues -- virtue ethics, and chicago. even the contemporary first you -- virtue courses, torts, contracts and the like him seem to be going out of style. many schools now offer first your students wonder to electives to spice things up a bit. at northwestern, for example, one may choose to elective courses among options that include law and psychology,
narrative structures, and -- i'm not making this up -- a class called large law firms. [laughter] at the university of michigan law school, a one l me take a class called innocent defendan defendants. there appears to be no companion course on guilty defendants. [laughter] georgetown university law center has made the bread and butter first year courses entirely optional. the incoming student may choose curriculum a which is the set of curricular first year courses, or curriculum b which includes courses such as bargain, exchange, and liability. legal process and society, and property in time. this elimination of a core curriculum, and the accompanying
proliferation of narrow, not to say silly, elective courses has not come without its costs. in more than a few law schools, including some of the most prestigious -- the university of chicago, for example, -- it is possible to graduate without ever having studied the first amendment. talk about citizen lawyers. can someone really call himself an american lawyer who has that gap in his compendious knowledge of the law? and kenny society that depends so much upon lawyers for shaping public perceptions and preserving american traditions regarding freedom of speech and religion afford such an ignorant bar? and the problem is not just that
stings are not required to take such fundamental courses. even those who wish to take them as electives are often frustrated because the courses are not offered frequently enough. the harvard course catalog i have been quoting from included the following significant statement regarding elective courses. quote, the courses and government regulation of business, evidence, conflict of laws, and labor law, are given in more than one section because they are the ones which are most frequently elected, closed quote. how student friendly. nowadays, when i ask a clerkship applicant why he or she did not take federal courts, or evidence, or some other course that seems to be basic to a complete legal education, i often get the response, it was not being offered this semester
when i had room to take it. the faculty resources were presumably -- probably being devoted to legal process and society, or some other boutique course that was the subject of a faculty member's interest and research. some of the belief that a third year of law school can be eliminated rests upon the notion that what it provides can easily be provided elsewhere, in the words of the aba's panel that i quoted earlier, by quote a year of carefully structured skills-based experience, insight and law school or elsewhere. who, one wonders, is going to do this careful structuring of skills-based experience outside of a law school? will law firms that are in the business of serving clients in making money devote their time and resources to educating
associates who are likely to go elsewhere after a couple of years? but more importantly, it is not skills-based experience that makes a person learned in the law. legal learning is what only law schools can effectively convey. you graduates will never again have the opportunity to study systematically and comprehensively entire areas of the law, intellectual property, commercial law, environmental law, et cetera. despite harvard's extensive core curriculum that i described earlier, and despite the fact that i took the frequently taught electives, i came out with some gaps, some blindsides, that i've always regretted. intellectual property, for example, and the bankruptcy.
i never studied them systematically. whenever i've cases involving those, i'm pulling a thread, i don't know what's on the other end of that thread, except what the lawyers tell me. and what is the use of having a bar learned in the law? what is wrong with a conglomeration of skills-based experts? there are some pragmatic reasons. for one thing the skills overlap, and even specialized practice in one field requires basic knowledge of another. one cannot write a contract or settle a case in utter ignorance of antitrust law or, for that matter, the law of evidence. one cannot write a will without knowledge of tax law and trust law, or litigate a case without knowledge of the substantive fields that are involved in the case. secondly, the lawyer who is familiar with many fields can
apply the ancient learning or the new developments in one field to another, the constant interplay between tort and contract, for example, is well known and i'm sure you studied it. in this way the law becomes a more cohesive whole, and instead of a series of separate fiefdoms. but forget all that. most of all, it is good to be learned in the law because that is what makes you members of a profession rather than a trade. it is a goal worthy to be achieved as you have achieved it for itself. to say you are a lawyer is to say you are learned in the law. and to return to the point, and you can't do that in two years. now, for a less palatable part of my talk. it is no mystery what has
prompted the current calls for a two-year law degree. it is, quite simply, the constantly increasing cost of legal education. william and mary, even for out of state students, is a great bargain, but even so it is not cheap. if i may advert to my own experience at harvard, once again, in the year i graduated, the tuition at harvard was $1000. to describe developments since then, in the words of a recent article, i quote, over the past 60 years, tuition at harvard law school has increased tenfold in constant inflation-adjusted dollars. in the early '50s, a year's tuition cost approximately $5100 in $2011. over the next two decades this
figure more than doubled, so that by 1971 tuition was 11,006 under $64 in $2011. tuition grew at a relatively modest to over the course of the '70s. by 1981, it was 14,476. then it climbed rapidly rising to 25,608 in 1991, 34,484 and 20 -- 2001, and nearly 50,000 in 2011. again all in constant $2011. harvard's current tuition by the way is $57,811. this is not sustainable. given that over the past 25 years there has been a sharp contraction of the legal services sector, compared with
the rest of the american economy. which means that a legal education has become less rather than more valuable, if you value a legal education and money coming which i obviously do not, and urged him not to do. but things have to change. one solution, the worst in my view, is to shorten law school to two years. that will produce or to produce the reason prevails a one-third reduction of faculty. but if law school is to remain three years, costs somehow have to be cut. the system is not sustainable. the graduation into a shrunken legal sector students with hundreds of thousands of dollars of student debt, nondischargeable in bankruptcy, cannot continue. perhaps, just perhaps, the more
prestigious law schools, and i include william and mary among them, can continue the way they are, though that is not certain. but the vast majority of law schools will have to lower tuition. that probably means smaller law school faculties, though perhaps not a one-third cut. that's not the end of the world. again, i looked up what harvard was like when i went there. when i graduated harvard had the faculty of 65 professors, nine teaching fellows, and for lecturers, a total of 78. it now has a faculty of 119 full-time professors, 53 visiting professors, and 115 lecturers in law. 78 then, versus 287 now.
not the end of the world to cut that back. and it surely means higher teaching loads, which again would not be the end of the world. when i got out of law school the average teaching load was almost eight hours per week. currently, it is about half of that. and last but not least, professional -- professorial salaries, if not reduced will at least not increase as rapidly as they have been. to use harvard again as an example, faculty salaries have more than doubled in real terms since 1969. chief justice john roberts, in his unsuccessful 2008 in treaty
to congress to raise the pay of federal judges, pointed out that federal district judges are paid half as much as senior professors at top law schools. but to return to my main point, since the modern legal academy appears not to believe that there is a solid and significant core of courses that entitle someone to be admitted to the profession of law, it is small wonder that there are calls for shortening law school to two years. if and when that happens, the shrunken faculties will have only themselves to blame. but for the moment, for you graduate students who have had what i consider not a luxury but a necessity of soaking in the law for three full years, and for the parents who have paid
for that experience, welcome to the ranks of, not tradesmen, but men and women learned in the law. congratulations. [applause] >> c-span's commitments coverage continues with remarks from virginia's new governor terry mcauliffe to address virginia tech university students last week. the governor talked about his career before offering up some advice to the class of 2014 graduates. it is 15 minutes. >> thank you. good morning, everyone.
thank you, doctor speaker, for that kind introduction. are we ready? let's go. one more time. let's go. distinguished guests, class of 2014, proud parents, loved ones sitting in the stands, it's an honor and a privilege to be with you today. this is a place of victory and overcoming obstacles, and place of triumph and success in the place of greatness and respect. on and off the field, virginia tech has earned the respect of the nation and the world through its commitment to innovation, excellence in education, and a culture in which every student cam maximize his or her potential. virginia tech graduates are leading the way in industries and disciplines of all sorts
because of the education and values that this universe and skills in its students. each and every day. i want to commend the leadership and students are always striving to be the best, and please, don't ever let that stop. first i want to thank dr. steger for his leadership and dedication over the past 14 years as president of virginia tech. dr. steger is a true virginia leader, and the very embodiment of virginia tech's motto, that i may serve. he has led this university through good times and through some of the darkest moments in our commonwealth, in our nation's history. and i've no doubt that he will continue to serve virginians as he begins the next chapter of his life. dr. steger, i wish you well in your retirement. and on behalf of all virginia, thank you for what you have
done. and i would not ask everybody in this stadium to stand and give a round of applause for the outstanding leadership of dr. steger. [applause] >> and now to the class of 2014. first of all i want you to know that i sat where you're sitting now, and nothing is worse than a politician giving a long and boring commencement address. [shouting] >> all right. start your watches. i promise to be done in less than 10 minutes, folks. so you can get onto celebrating if you haven't already started. i'm here to congratulate each
and everyone of you for the hard work that you put in making today possible. i'm here to thank the professors, the parents, family and friends for the support each of you have offered the graduates today to help them reach this very important milestone in their lives. in fact, graduates, let me ask you once again. i want the graduates to stand and applaud all the loved ones who are in this stadium today who made today possible. [applause] >> and finally i'm here to offer you a few pieces of advice that i hope you will follow as you head out and begin to apply the things you've learned here at tech in your everyday lives. but before i get to that, i just want to take a moment to look back and see of our youth, over the last four years.
when most of you arrived here in 2010, the world looked a lot different than it does today. your first year in college was also the first year of the ipad. now you can't walk into a classroom, airport, or coffeeshop without seeing dozens of tablet computers of all shapes and sizes. when you got here to virginia tech, instagram, snapchat, pinterest and spotify didn't even exist. and now these programs are changing the way we communicate with folks all over the globe. and when most of you arrived here in august of 2010, as 18 or 19-year-olds, the number one song in the nation katie peris teenage dreams. [laughter] but over the four years all of you have left those days behind and transformed yourselves from those teenage trimmers into education adults were about to
graduate from one of the greatest universities in the world. but before you head out to celebrate, i would like to share with you a couple pieces of advice. there are three things that i tell my five children every time we talk about their future. and they have the same three things that i tell my cabinet every monday morning when we need. those three pieces of advice are simple. always think big. always take chances. and please, don't ever be afraid to fail. let's start with the first one. think big. i don't know him in of you know how i started my career. but my folks couldn't afford to send me to college. so at the age of 14, i went out and started my own business, mcauliffe driveway maintenance. i knew i had to start my business but i had no idea of
what kind until i was walking home one day and i saw an older got out in front of his house sealing his driveway. he was sweating and cursing and covered in hot, black tar. i took one look at him and i knew right away that i could do a great job of sealing driveways. so guys like him wouldn't have to. i hurried home and i typed up a flyer to pass out to the neighbors. by the end of my first day i had six jobs. i still remember that day like it was yesterday. i was now in business. i was an entrepreneur. the next number i decided that i had to go big. i had to start doing parking lots. now, i'm 15, i had a couple dozen folks working for been but i needed a truck to haul those large barrels of tar around, 55-gallon drums of tar. i'm 15. i didn't have a truck i went out to an old abandoned junkyard and
found a beat up old truck. i spent several hours in gas and oil and sparkplugs. i was good at working on engines. and, folks, when i got up in that big truck and got behind the wheel and i turned that in june and that in general word to life, i still get goosebumps to this day. i drove that truck home down interstate 801. i went back by a new substation of state troopers bring their all out having coffee. i was so jacked up, i was hitting the horn. i was waiting. i didn't have any license plates. [laughter] and i didn't have a driver's license comes to let me tell you this, folks, i was an entrepreneur. i made it. i was a success. and i knew at that time that my dream of attending college was
now in reach. little did i know that tarring driveways and bank parking lots would some day lead me to start dozens of companies, and to become the youngest bank chairman in our nation's history. and then ultimately alternating with mike or as the 72nd governor of the commonwealth of virginia. i'm not suggesting that all of you later and take a sealing driveways for a living. but i do hope that as you begin the next phase of her life that you acted boldly to accomplish your goals. if you see an opportunity, sees it. you may not always know exactly where that journey will take you but you will never regret taking a bold step to make life better for yourself, your family and your community. the second piece of advice i don't everybody is take chances. my greatest lesson of power of
chasing -- taking chances came when i was your age. i had just graduated from college. i had just begun my first week of law school when a friend of mine called and told me that he had just taken a job working on president carter's reelection campaign. he offered me the opportunity to join the campaign and become a fundraiser. i jumped at the chance. now you can imagine how the conversation went with my mother when i told her i was leaving law school, and a scholarship. i was leaving that behind to join a beleaguered political campaign. i decided this was an experience that i needed to have. over the course of the campaign, i visited over 40 states and became the youngest national finance director of a president to campaign in the history of our great country at the age of
23. taking that both chance at the young age changed my life. now i am certain that there are some parents out there now also who may not be thrilled to hear me urging their children to the law school aside to go work on a presidential campaign. and that certainly shouldn't be the lesson that you take away from today. what i hope you always remember is that there always is a difference between accepting a comfortable life and reaching for an exceptional one. taking a chance means putting comfort aside and aspiring to do something greater. knowing full well that you may fail. now, i did eventually graduated from georgetown law school. now, i'm not sure that that was the right future for me but i could see myself at this as a corporate lawyer someday, but when i look back on all the experiences i have had, the
journey that i've taken across this great nation, as a result of taking that chance as a 23 year-old kid, i'm glad that i took that chance. each of you will have opportunities to make decisions like that one as your lives move forward. taking every risk that comes your way is not wise, but neither is passing on every opportunity out of fear of risk or the unknown. finally, my last piece of advice is a follow up on the previous two. if you are bold and if you take chances, let me tell you something, you are going to fail. you're going to experience rejection at times, but please don't be afraid to fail. and that makes the difference with so many folks. because they are afraid to fail. don't. few people are more qualified to offer this piece of advice than
i am. as some of you may recall, i actually applied for my current job more than once. back in 2009 i decided to run for governor because i thought i could make a difference in the commonwealth, make it a better place to live. i had a great life. i had a career that i enjoyed, but for me it was the right chance to take. i started a campaign and brought my case to the virginia voters. if you remember back in 2009 i talked about big ideas and how we needed to move virginia forward. i talked about high-speed rail, wind turbines out in the atlantic ocean, a renewable energy standard. i said, if you don't like my big ideas, don't vote for me. and you do. [laughter] that's all right, i had a great
time. but, folks, i still remember waking up the next morning. i don't like it to fail. nobody does. but having fallen short of my goal in deciding that if i meant what i said during that campaign, if i believed i could create jobs and make us a better place for my family and families all across virginia, that i couldn't take no for an answer. so i got out of bed the next day and i dusted myself off, and i spent the next four years of visiting every nook and cranny in virginia. and i can tell you without a doubt that the things i learned and the people i met and the stories i heard and the ideas that are formed during the first time were indispensable to getting me here today and helping me on my job as governor. so, folks, it's not the issue of failure. the real question is will you do that next day? so when you take chances and you
get knocked down, and i've had in business and in life, you get yourself back up that next day. you get yourself back in that arena. as teddy roosevelt talked about those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat, don't you ever be one of those cold and timid souls. as you walk across the stage today and begin the next chapter of your life, i hope you will adopt some of these issues that i talked about today. think a big, take chances, and don't be afraid to fail. in closing, i will share a little nugget i learned along the way. there's no such a thing as a bad day. everyday that you wake up and get out of bed has the potential to be a great one. if you have a bad day, then guess what? you are in the wrong line of business. do something about it. never take yourself too seriously, and always be
positive. people want to be a round winners, not whiners -. bowl with the punches and be flexible. you may miss opportunities if you are too rigid. do what you want to do with your life. you only live once. one of my best tomatoes, sleep when you're dead. -- mottos. and, finally, if you remember one thing from this speech, and whatever you do, always, always have fun. thank you, and congratulations to the class of 2014. [applause] >> in his first commencement address, wisconsin governor
scott walker to the 2014 graduating class of concordia university about his recent zip lining experience at a wisconsin see. a governor who never received his college degree advice for graduates to focus on the horizon, take leaps of faith and help others. he spoke for just over 20 minutes. >> good evening. good evening. good evening. to you, to members of the leadership, to the board of regents, to the faculty and staff, to all the wonderful family and friends and loved ones come to the student body, it's an honor to be here
tonight, but particularly to the graduates of 2014. congratulations. it's quite a night. [applause] actually i was thinking as you mentioned that reference to my mother, i could say one thing and i will do more than that in just a moment, not much but one thing tonight if you remember nothing else, remember a lesson my mother taught me a long time ago. if you want to do well in life, you need to do good for others. remember, if you remember nothing else from that and that will be a success to me. it is an honor to be back here this evening. the last time i was in this hall for a ceremony like this was literally a decade ago. when another walker was on the stage. george walker bush, the 43rd president. that's the george w., his father is george herbert walker bush. he gave the commencement address that night.
it's an honor to be your a decade later to share with you. it really is an honor to as we came in i was trying to think about a way to kind of capture not just the moment of the night but capture all the education and training up to this point, which are feeling out and where you're headed. of all things i am going to share just a quick story with you, something at first you might think what does this have to do with the commencement. but about two weeks ago every year i love the beginning of may because eventually it gets warmer although i have yet to see that here in wisconsin, but every of the beginning of me as governor i get to go out for national travel and tourism week, i could to go around the state and do fun things. i do fun things in general but i did fun things with an to tourism. i get to drive sports cars or race cars in the dells. i get to go, i was at a roller coaster couple years ago at green bay, visit and do. i get to go to other places
around the state that are wonderful for tourism but one of the stops i made a few weeks ago was in rowan county just outside of green bay add a new suit, northeast wisconsin did what is called the news he would've opened up a new adventure park. account executive by the name of judgment a good friend and he said governor would you be willing to come and help us open up our new adventure park bucks i said sure. he said we want you to break the ribbon. my staff said he must have gotten confused because there's groundbreaking's and ribbon cuttings but he asked me to break the ribbon. the reason he said that was because the main attraction in their new adventure park is a zip line. and so he wanted me to come through the zip line with him and break the ribbon. much to the chagrin of many of my staff i said yes. i write harleys, i like to have a little fun but this made was a bit too much so tonight i want to show you for a moment about that experience and and how it
relates, so bear with me for a moment. what they're feeling out and hopefully where they're heading. there were three simple stages but the first was the training. we came a little early before the public had arrived, before the media can. we got out and we went to a little lodge that they have where these folks, even though this was the first time anyone had officially gone down to thank the us informed they had trained on this so i wasn't literally the first one. these are people who didn't involved with the zip lines before and so they can't figure out and they give me the helmet and put me in a harness and had all tightened up and they should be the hoax and the barriers and he told me about how i would climb to the top, how do we took me and doubleclick me and how it would end up at the end where we touched down at the landing platform. they gave me the training that i needed. after i was done without, i had to sign a waiver. that was a little disconcerting, but i did all that.
i went from the training part to the tower. the tower at this particular site, maybe some of the events at length elsewhere, but this one goes make our that's been there since the 1950s. it's an old look out power back in the 50s when we were worried about air power coming in to something like that. this power was up about 50 feet in the air up on the top of the really high hill overlooking all these trees. 50 feet up in the air. you climb up, go back and forth, their switchbacks along the stairwell to get up to the top, looking over the trees, there's little cut and then it goes over a pond and you end up about 1000 feet down the way to where there's this touchdown pass. so that was the tower. the last part is you get to the touchdown itself. after the nerve to jump off of that with your harness after all your training and you go and you get up the courage to jump and you go down the line and disappointed you down and you
land at a spot which i was happy to hear in my training i could have somethings to slow you down because you're going about 35 or 40 miles per hour and a slow you down right as you these in. it's about a 12-foot -- you land on a stand about the size of this podium. so that was the process. and i'm pretty fearless. i'm not afraid of heights. i've got to chill out on the train at a cut to the top of the tower there was a moment when i thought, lowered, what have i gotten myself into? i thought maybe this was a little bit too much. but yet in the end we made it. so tonight i want to share with you how i believe that experience may be in a small way relates to what our graduates have gone through, are feeling now, and hopefully where you're headed. let me give you a couple of examples. first went from the training stint we have been blessed with this great concordia university, to have a tremendous opportunity
to gain the training, the skills and education but you'll need to be able to succeed. you've got a great faculty and staff. you've been supported by wonderful family and friends, and support network and others. in a much bigger way than just my limited experience on a zip line. you have had expected training that you need. i went -- extended train. it's a nice cross-section but as i understand, five at 12 graduates tonight. you've got folks have got additional professional degrees in education, in business administration, in health care, even in church worship which i would argue is an extension of health care. it's not just taking care of the body but taking care of the soul so you kind of got it all and compass. it's in three of those big areas. as a let down you've got folks in education, folks getting crotchety greece in education, 128 as i understand. it's a great time for that because whether you will go off and use that degree at a private
school, a public strong, a virtual school, whatever type of educational opportunity is not the right now, there's a tremendous opportunity. you've got whole new opportunity in the state and around the country and around the world in terms of brand-new openings and in many cases openings that the doors open right now. you don't need to wait long-term in many schools for seniority or tenure. you can break in right away. you can have an impact right away. there are some great successes out there. in this state alone we've seen a.c.t. scores continue to be some of the best in the country and graduation rates are up for the fourth year in a row and third grade reading and math scores are up. that's a tremendous success story to be part of but we also know in december economic challenge parts of the state that are still this parity between kids doing well and kids that aren't. not only do come at a time when there's a great opportunity to do well in education, you also come with a great challenge
which i hope you'll embrace and say how can i use this education, how can i apply it in a way that will challenge me? but in terms have an update not just of the kids in my school or my apartment the challenge meet ago he on my comfort zone and find what help others who may be historically have been disadvantaged. so that the whole crew. tonight who is going to take the degree and the education and take the training and be prepared to go out and have a true impact. then there are others. i looked again and found this 120 who are in the days come getting her masters in business administration. there's a great time to be in business. it's in a state where certainly we're pleased with the fact we made some changes. i remember about four years ago when i was looking at things like this, at the time every year our statewide chamber of commerce does a survey of employers. back in 2010 only about 10% surveyed said wisconsin setting in the right direction. today after some changes we made
over the last couple of years it's up to about 95%. i think that's a great message and we want to build off that. we look at our rankings as well. four years ago we about 41. now we're up to number 14 for a place to do business in. for those of you to get your train ones, whether charter for the first advantage of a with you in a job now and your employer or so this helping that will help improve your company and approved or business abilities, it's a great time to be in business but there's so much we can do and so many more people who need the need training and expertise and education that you've got your to not just for your success but for their success because you will help create more jobs and you will create more opportunity. there's someone somewhere in the state right now as we speak was looking for jo for a job or betb who will benefit because of our mba's here tonight and expertise in the training they got and they can put to use. then there are so many of you tonight in health care. certainly the first graduating
class of the school of pharmacy that, the first as understand, the first lutheran school to have a school pharmacy in the entire country, only the second school in the state. i got a chance to do a little. i'm so excited to see it but it's probably a great team effort. a lot of folks sitting in the front helped out with that. this first class, class that started four years ago, now you're graduating. you will have an impact, you will help health care, not just with pharmacies and pharmaceutical company special an impact on real people's lives. you will help them do well. you will help make an impact out there. not only for those in the pharmacy school, 67 new graduates there but again i look down and you 149 of you, getting graduate degrees in nursing. you will be tremendous allies to those who need your help and your expertise. there's a shout out there.
i hear the nursing class. i should just keep saying that throughout the speech. how about that nursing class lacks. [cheers and applause] see? know your punchlines, that's pretty good but when it gave the state of the to address the one by the got both republicans and democrats to stand up was when i talked about initiative to put more ---going to keep bringing up the nursing again over and over again. but besides those in the graduate school i know there's at least one so that others can share for her as well but one who's getting a doctorate in nursing practice. i heard that one after. at least the family, right? there's others as well. at a whole group, 24 who were getting doctorates in physical therapy. [cheers and applause] if i leaned too far off the stage i may need some physical therapy if the chair falls off if not careful. you've got another group are getting masters in occupational therapy, 16.
cfo would've known this earlier, the education folks, you're a little behind the you can share again if you want -- then i saw there's five more were getting rehabilitative science master's degrees. as i mentioned, there are two were getting professional degrees in church music, which i would argue is not just about the others are helping to physically get well, they're helping take care of your body, those two are helping your soul get physically will as well but for all of you do much as i was in a very small comparison, getting trained to go up on that simple and you got the training you're going to need to go off, not just do well in your jobs but to do good hopefully as my mother said, for others. take your skills, teacher training, to take what is a part of who you are and what you've learned here at concordia and go out and do well for others. it's an exciting time. you probably gone through a lot. many o of you different stories. i know particularly for graduate students, or some who've gone by from undergraduate writing to
graduate school and that's all you've done and that's great and it's been time consuming and focus and they're probably the purchase okay, kid, when of the going to get out and get a job? i've got to get in college. i understand. they are than others to catch her undergraduate degree in a one off to work or start a family pleaded to come out and maybe it was full-time, maybe part-time. in each of the ways you've had your own unique experience. it hasn't been easy but you were here. to a certain degree that it is something. i think back, i'm going to reference scripture but i think back to paul's talk to romans about how suffering leads to perseverance. perseverance to character and character to hope. i hope that through all your perseverance that you build your character and you've seen that leading up to tonight, tonight's the night when he really excited with hope of what you can do not just to get a job, not just to further your job or career but again to do well by doing good
for others, how you can apply in a way that would truly make a difference. so that's the first part in terms of your training. second part is where you're at tonight. kind of like i did come you're climbing the tower about to take that first big league. in many ways your experience that you're preparing for tonight or maybe more so tomorrow or the day after, the day after that is not unlike what i experienced. i have the training and i knew that it was safe and you people have done this before. i knew these people were qualified but i've got together, as brave as i am, i got to the top of the 50-foot out and i looked down and i thought, maybe i have really overdone at this time. as the blood pressure started to go up, the heart started pumping polluted and start thinking what am i doing? him he was by some of you are like that tonight. you are thinking this is great, i got all this experience but what am going to do next? i know for me the top of the tower probably the worst part wasn't just the height. it was the fear of the unknown.
like a lot of you i like to be in control of things and so i don't want things as long as the notes would happen next. i love roller coasters because i know it's going to go up and down. this i had never done. so it was the fear of the unknown. for many of you tonight it's the fear of the unknown. is this going to lead to a job? what if i have a job, will this lead to the next that in my javaone? is this the career i wanted? is it is the path i wanted? is this, isn't going to be a family, is going to be starting a company? what are those things that are next on the horizon? so in a real way you're standing at the top of the tower tonight and you're looking out. probably for a moment like i did at the tower you're looking down and thinking, what have i gotten myself into? what's going on? am i ready? i know i've got the education, the training, the expertise.
but there's little bit of that fear of the unknown. so i go to the last part, we had training and then the tower itself, and then for me the way that i was able to feel comfortable in taking that step, i just didn't take the sticker i said detroit, with me, let's go on three, two, one, and john. i jumped on it tonight. i remembered back to something in fact it's interesting. at the tower from we were talking about this in a way, although that like that that time when paul reference is christ's in second corinthians where he talks about how my grace is sufficient for you because my power is made perfect in weakness. ..ut the unknown.
what allowed me to take that big leap of faith and step out over the edge with there was no base to hold me. i remember the devotional from years ago. a long time ago, i remember reading a devotional about a guy who have been unable with a friend of his who have been a captain in the navy. they were starting out in their boat. as they got away from the dock, started to get windy. the fumes started to pick up. the next thing you know he was leaning over the railing about to throw up. the captain's deck said stop hanging over the railing and find a stable spot on the horizon and focus on that. when i did the zipline, i did that. i thought what am i looking down at the why am i looking down on the ground? iow should look down you know, e
thousand feet this. looked where the touchdown was. i looked at the touchdown platform was a 12-foot base where youst land down there. i could see people way off in the distance of the so i sopped looking down and i ran off the end. the great part about it was, after i took that first step, it was kind of fun. so i let out a yell. it wasn't a squeal. it wasn't a scream. it was a yell. it was whoo-hoo. that is pretty exciting. the whole way down i was cheering along with my trend troy. it was a lot of fun. by the time it was done i wanted to go do it again. i didn't have enough time. it was pretty exciting. it was first step. it was only recalled that devotional, in many ways that is where you're at. it wasn't about that devotional. to me where the devotional came to life how the great story about peter, how how when the disciples were out in the boat and christ was out walking across the water and they thought it was a ghost and they
got freaked out. jesus said to peter, walk, come on out to me, come to me. and at first he said, sure. remember what happened? started to look down. and he saw the waves and he felt the wind and you remember what happened next?r started to sink. he started to sink. because he lost sight. started to worry about the things moving below instead of focusing on the focal point, that standard, that horizon out there. in that case it was christ himself. so tonight, the message i hope to leave with you is, that for each of you, you've gone through the training. you're ready. i've seen the facilities. i talked to the faculty. i talked to the staff. i talked to leadership here. you're ready. you've to the a great education. you're well-prepared. be it in education, be it in health care, be it in business, or in church music, you're ready
to make a difference. you have the training you need. life you will have towers. some will be big. some will be small. some will have an outcome known. many more times you will have unknown outcomes and you will be called upon to take that leap of faith. my message to you tonight, not just you have training and expertise and the support, but my message to you as personal, not as governor, but as one personally to tell you, that my hope for you tonight is that when you take that education, and you conquer those towers and get ready to take that leap, that you will be blessed to remember, focus on that most important thing of all. the way to conquer the towers, way to conquer that fear and take the next great leap of faith, all that you do, you focus ond the sun and the horizon. not the sun. you about if you focus on the
son, who will not disappoint, you will focus on the one who will give you comfort. the one who will give you stability, conquer the waves, conquer h the wind. conquer the fear. if you do that you will have a steady landing. you will have a safe landing. the training will be in place. the fears will be overcome. you will continue to be a success no matter what you do. may god richly bless you as you take on your next leap of faith. [applause] >> live coverage this afternoon across the c-span networks. here on c-span2 at noon eastern, a look at the fcc's new net neutrality rules that would allow content providers like netflix to pay for fast lane service. hosted by the progressive policy institute. again that's live at 12:00 on
c-span2. on c-span, remarks from donald trump. he will speak at the national press club at 1:00 eastern. on c-span3, officials from the obama and george w. bush administrations discuss the recent elections in iraq and the regional influence of iran and syria. that's live at 1:30 eastern over on c-span3. >> one of the stories that i, that resonated with me was the moment when their dithering about whether or not, they need to inject seawater into unit one. it is a matter, the clock is ticking, they're just about down to the wire and, yashida, i think that is how you pronounce his name, the plant superintendent, who in the end
would have to make the final call, knows it is desperate. they need to get water in there very quickly. meanwhile everybody wants a say. and the officials and japanese government officials are all kind of hemming and hawing and i can't she had today, gets an order from one of his supervisors at tepco, that the government hasn't signed off on this. he has to hold off. well, he already started. and so he basically calls one of his staff people over and says, okay, i'm going to give an order but ignore it. very loudly proclaims so everybody in tokyo can hear, we'll halt the seawater injection, when in fact they didn't. to me that was, to me that was a human element in that sorry in which in japan where ignoring the rules and kind of acting on your own is not rewarded, here was a moment where a guy knew if
he didn't act, things would go even worse than they were going. >> more about the tsunami and resulting meltdown at the fukushima nuclear power plant, saturday night at 10:00 eastern, on "after words." part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. the american enterprise institute think tank in washington, d.c. held a forum last week examining the conservative domestic agenda. one of the discussions included authors of a new republican policy platform titled, room to grow. conservative reforms for a limited government and a thriving middle class. the panel discussed the rising cost of health care, education, changing the tax code and job creation. this is just under an hour. [applause] >> we're not done yet. there's more to come. we have an all-star panel to discuss the things we've been talking about, solutions to
poverty. solutions to building a better middle class. the world of ideas, and the happy war for the american people. kate o'beirne will be running our next pan yell from the yg network. ross douthat from the "new york times." ramesh ponnuru from aei and "national review" magazine. reihan salam from the yg network. and peter winner from the ethics and policy center. i will turn it over to kate o'beirne. [applause] >> this panel is going to be talking specifically about the policy proposals in room to grow, the agenda that is being
unveiled today. we have both contributors to the project and observers whose reactions we would like to hear. i will very briefly introduce this panel because so many of them are well-known to you but to the uninitiated. ramesh ponnuru, senior writer at "national review," a fellow here at aei, a visiting fellow and a columnist for bloomburg view. ross douthat is with "the new york times." yuval levin is editor of national after varies, our co-host for this morning's program and hertz something fellow at ethics and public policy center. ray hand is a lam, a awful -- reihan salam. he has been advising yg network.
pete winner. --wehnerer. ethics and public policy center. i would ask our panelists and get responses and questions from the audience. let me begin with peter winner, who are the middle class and why is everybody focused on the middle class. >> pleasure to be with you. can you hear? very good. and i, people to my right are going to deal with political philosophy and public policy. i deal with the other stuff which is semantics and polling. to deal directly with kate's question who is the middle class, there is technical and there is a practical answer to that the technical answer, people making somewhere between
39,000 and $118,000 a year. the practical definition is, practically everybody is part of the middle class. everybody in the audience probably considers yourself a member of the middle class. people up here do as well. 85% of americans consider themselves as part of an expanded definition of the middle class which is lower, upper or just simply middle class. it is basically people who don't consider themselves rich and they don't consider themselves poor and they can imagine their fortunes going either way. so that is who we're dealing with. why the focus and agenda on them, because we're talking about the broad base of the country and any successful political party or political movement needs to be seen as addressing their concerns and frankly that's not happening right now. i just wanted to touch on several takeaways that i had from some of the work i did for
this book "room to grow." one the dominant mood of middle class is anxiety and security and unease and they have reason to be that way. in the last decade and a half, they're working harder, more hours, but wages are stagnant. and the cost of living, especially in health care and higher education has gone way up. so they're working harder and they're losing ground. secondly, the middle class is increasingly pessimistic. 2/3 of americans think it is harder to reach the american dream than it was for their parents. 3:00 quarters think it is -- 3/4 think it will be harder for their children and grandchildren to succeed. third, who does the middle class hold responsible for the problems that they face? short answer is the political class. fully 62% put a lot of the blame on congress. that is followed by banks and financial institutions, and
corporations. so, congress is viewed institutionally as the biggest problem and biggest obstacle to what they want. fourth, finally the news is particularly bleak for the republican party. whether you like it or not the middle class is more likely to say the democrats rather than republicans favor their interests. a few data points. 62% of those in the middle class say the republican party favors the rich. 16% say that of the democratic party. 37% of those in the middle class say the democratic party favors the middle class. 26% say the republican party does. and then this one, when asked which groups are helping the middle class, 11% had a positive response to republican elected officials. 46% were negative. so the challenge for the gop is to explain how a conservative vision of government can speak to today's public concerns.
and then to explain how that kind of vision would translate into concrete policies that would actually improve important areas of our national life. that is really what this book attempts to answer. and for some of those answers i will turn to reihan. >> let me, let me ask yuval first, before we get to specific policy proposals, conservatives, all certainly agree the government is way too big and too instrusive. so what is its proper role in addressing anxieties and ambitions of the middle class? >> well, first of all, thank you, kate, thanks to yg. i like the way you put the question because i think that thinking about it in terms of the role of government helps us to avoid the trap we often fall into starting immediately only with the size of government before thinking about the role of government. so basically ending up in an argument about how big the
liberal welfare state should be, which too often where we ended up which is certainly the wrong argument to have. i think this book shows a conservative governing vision, which would certainly lead us, among other things to a leaner and less costly and more effective government begins with a different idea of what government should be, not just of how much it should cost. and the core of that idea, in the broadest sense i think is that beyond national defense and public safety, government exists to enable society to better address its problems. which is an important role but a supporting role. supportive of the role of families, of the role of communities, of the role of civil society, of the role of markets. government exists to strengthen the space in which these social institutions can thrive. the space between the individual and the state. and to help people benefit from what they do. that means that government exists not to administer society but to empower people to meet the challenges that they face. and that is in contrast to a vision is common on the left is
a that's government exists to manage society, to run key institutions, to organize the distribution of resources, to tell people what their place and function ought to be. i think that is a very misguided idea of the role of government and also one that doesn't work very well and more and more out of step with realities of american life. it is difference between a bottom up and top down idea of american life and rather than, i mean in a sense it is rather theoretical difference but i think it turns out to translate into practical differences about how to solve problems between left and right which also get at therefore the role of government. conservatives tend to think society can not really be run from the center. that no one has the knowledge to solve big social problems in technical or technocrat i can way. instead those problems have to be addressed from bottom up, learning process that follows a series of steps we can think of as the three es. experimentation, evaluation, and evolution. what that really means is that
to meet a need or deal with a problem we first let people try different ways of addressing it. let consumers or citizens choose from among those ways. we keep ones that work. we drop the ones that fail. it is fairly straightforward but it is sort of process the way we macon going incremental progress toward solving complicated problems. that is what government should facilitate. that is often how markets work. creating huge incentives for providers, by letting consumers choose and failures fail. that is why conservatives talk about more market or remember ended solutions. not always simply markets but many times markets but always this process of solving problems. this incremental way of dealing with complicated problems. obviously that is not how government works for the most part today. options are limited by a prescriptive bureaucratic way of thinking about goals. recipients of services don't
make choices. failures never go away. a lot of what people are calling the conservative reform agenda basically involves moving from that welfare state model to more like a market-oriented model. so, that the role of government would be to enable that kind of problem-solving, to enable society to do what it does rather than try to stand in for it. sometimes that means setting goals and letting providers compete. sometimes it meets creating conditions for competition, making sure it is fair. sometimes it means providing people with information about their options. sometimes it means helping poor or vulnerable people have the resources or the market power to participate as consumers. it means rather than using bought to substitute -- government substitute process of core of what american society does so well, running things from the center, instead using government to facilitate that process which gives people more options, more freedom, more control, a better chance to find actual solutions in an ongoing way. that is lot of what
conservatives always had to offer. that is what school choice is about. conservatives approach to health care is about. the approach to higher ed is b how we think about some of the elements of the welfare system, facilitation, rather than administration. a supporting role where possible, creating a competitive system for delivering services rather than having government do it directly. and in every instance removing burdens, freeing up resources and options for families, rather than trying to do everything on their behalf. everything in this book is an example of that. given where we're starting that means a lot of what conservatives want to do is eliminating or repealing or taking away a lot of what federal government is doing wrong now. it is very important to see what we want to do instead, helping american society function the way it always sought to function. the way the constitutional system wants to function. at the core of these kind of proposals is exact way of thinking about the role of government. a way of thinking at once more modern and effective and suited
to 21st sentry but at the same time more traditionally american idea of the relationship between the citizen and the state. >> thank you, yuval. ramesh, speaking of helping people, what should conservatives be saying about inequality and is this agenda relevant to that debate? >> well, i don't think that conservatives should be saying a lot about inequality. i think that would be a mistake. that conservatives should change the subject to things that are more substantively and politically important than inequality. on the political front, the thing that always struck me about this debate is that just what a losail yen concern inequality is. if you ask people what issues concern them, gallop has done this for years and years, basically if the president has been talking about inequality for two months straight you can
get the number of people who say inequality is their top concern all the way up to 4%. and i'm guessing, i strongly suspect that that 4% is not composed mostly of people who are persuadable by conservative ideas. i think the evidence suggests that people are a lot more concerned by the kind of cost of living issues that our book talks about. if you, i mean if you look at evidence that pete lays out in his introductory chapter in the book about why people feel as though they're kind of running in place, it is because of the costs of some high-ticket items that are very important to the future of their family. the cost of raising kids. the cost of energy. the cost of higher education. the cost of health care. these are all things we can tackle with conservative reforms. some of those reforms might reduce inequality. some might increase them. a bunch of them might leave it
basically unchanged but i think what they will do is help create conditions for a broad-based prosperity. and that's what we ought to be thinking about. we should be concerned about how people at bottom of the income distribution and people in the middle of income distribution are doing but i don't think it is particularly fruitful to conceive of that in terms of economic inequality. and that, in a way, a political opportunity is opened up by the fact that the contrary left is so obsessed about this question that is just not a pressing concern for most middle class americans. >> ross a final general question. might conservatives, do you think conservatives can hope that an agenda like this has the potential to shrink government? >> first of all, thanks so much for including me since i am not one of the coauthors featured in the book, i'm free to stand
outside, attack it, and launch a schism and reform conservativism right here and right now and that is what i'm planning to do. no. i guess i will make sort of a semipessimistic case in a way, which i think, that in part this is an agenda that conservatives can look to in the hopes of substantially restraining the growth of government. and that in certain ways is, that's a obviously a more pessimistic frame than how can we have an agenda to substantially reduce the size and scope of government. you i think it is useful to recognize both as a political and policy matter that what's happened over the last 30 or 40 years in american life, has threatened, hasn't threatened, has in fact shrunk the natural constituency for conservative ideas. a lost trends inform a lot of
essays in this book, wage stagnation, family breakdown, sort of social crisis in lower middle class america that charles murray among many others written eloquently about, all of those forces tended to undercut the building blocks of limited government conservatism. the institutions yuval was talking about, mediating institutions between the state and individual, church, family, voluntary organization and so on and they have create ad situation in which many, many americans feel in their own lives as though they need, not just the existing government but a larger welfare state. that is sort of the political challenge obviously that the republican party in particular has dealt with unsuccessfully in the last two presidential election cycles. but going forward is just sort of a basic policy problem for conservatives. for limited government conservativism to persist in american life and for american exception alism, which i think
integrally bound up in limited conception of government than anywhere es in the western world, for american exceptionalism to exist you need a broad base of ideas and for a broad support for those ideas you need a large percentage of americans to feel like the system is working for them. in a sense there is element of almost triage i think. again, this is the pessimistic frame, but triage in what some of these proposals are trying to tackle, particularly in terms of how they look at sort of the struggles of families raising children, of, you know, the less-educated, downward mobile working class men who are getting dis, detached from the workforce and so on, there's a sense in which some of these policy proposals are targeted towards populations that would have been republican or conservative constituencies in the past, are on the verge of becoming democratic and liberal
constituencies for the foreseeable future. this is i think, in sort of from a traditional conservative perspective the most controversial part, i could hear in some of it the some of the skeptical questions senator lee received about family friendly tax policy and so on. there is an element of obviously, yuval talked about directing resources. there is a an element of directing resources toward, sort of intertwined area of work and family. i think in a certain way the strongest case for doing that kind of resource direction, for trying to help people who are working, helping work pay, and helping people who are trying to raise kids, if you don't do it you won't have a constituency for limited government conservatism at all in 20 years. yeah, i suppose that is sort of the grim but hopefully somewhat realistic way of looking at it which might be useful to think about.
>> thank you, ross. i think. >> we think. [laughing] >> right on, i'm going to give you an added burden, calling you what so many others do, giving you a little double duty if i might. please fee free to react to anything your fellow panelists have said, when it comes to the agenda i would love for you to react specifically to the higher ed reforms. do they really hold the promise, kind of reforms talked about here, to reduce cost, reduce debt and maybe improve quality? >> so i'll start on a personal note to say that, you know, i have good fortune to finish college and i was able to finish without too much debt because the whole time i was growing up, both of my parents worked two jobs and they, and every moment i got to spend with them was precious because they were both working two jobs. they did that because it was
very important to them i go to college and my sisters went to college and we not have the huge weight on other shoulders. a lot of you guys heard there is a trillion dollars of student loan debt weighing down americans right now. that is actually more than the credit card debt. is andrew kelly in the room, andrew kelly of aei? i think he was before but anyway, andrew kelly wrote a brilliant chapter in room to grow about higher education that is pretty disturbing. trillion dollars in student loan debt. these guys finish college, they're earning more because of it and fair enough they're able to shoulder burden. but here's the thing the college completion rate in the united states is not 100%. it is nowhere close to that i was hoping andrew was here he could tell you chapter and verse what that number is. i believe it is actually lower than half i believe. what that means a lot of people are taking on non-recourse
student loan debt and guess what? they're not even getting a degree out of it. so i was able to get out with a college degree and made a huge difference in my life, not just because it gave me skills, gave me networks and relationships. it enabled me to do this kind of job frankly would have been a complete fantasy of perspective my 16-year-old self. that meant a lot for me. there is huge number of americans that promise is not actually being realized. when you look at the way we talk about higher education generally. what do we hear about? gosh, we need more subsidies. you know what we need to do? we need parent plus loans. we need a situation where parents can take as much debt as colleges charge tuition. whether or not they can carry the debt. so you solve a liquidity problem. you let parents who love their kids take out loan after loan after loan, but frankly they can't necessarily afford to pay. and then, their kids are not actually finishing, because got higher education institutions
that are failing young americans. and so that's the thing. there is one perspective that says, well look, we got the system. let's not mention it is completely broken. let them get away with young people, again and again. no accountability or any transparency on the schools that is the way we're good guys. we'll give more money to these schools. we'll let you, the parents take on more debt. then we're the good guys. actually, think about what you've all talked about before. what we need is that middle space, between the individual and the federal government. we need to create new institutions of higher education. we need to see to it that college and universities are accountable to students and parents. we need to see to it that students have some reliable sense that you know what? getting a degree in sports management is not necessarily going to translate into a lucrative career that will get you out of your parents house when you're 25 years old, if you don't have those connections. you know, students need those
market signals. they're not stupid. they're working incredibly hard. they're working a lot harder than kids, 20 or 30 years ago a lot of the time because they have actually bigger barriers. sometimes they don't come from intact families like the one i came from. that is what andrew kelly writes about in this book. it is not just about getting more money. it is about actually rethinking these institutions. there will be a lot of people say, look reform conservative, they want to help poor people. what is the difference in what liberals want to do? what difference liberals want to do, we want a dynamic process rethinking institutions. we want choice. we want accountability. we don't want to just give more morn r money, poor more tax money failing institution. think about the people like my parents who are frankly facing a tougher time today than our equivalents now, because they're facing a wage crunch, right? there are not two parents sometimes to make these choices. that is what we've got to think about. we're not old fuddy-duddies.
this is not ozzie and harriet. this is like people like me. one 10th of people in country like me and ramesh, children of immigrants. they face a tough world. we need new institutions to help them. that is what the book is all about and you've got to read it. thank you. [applause] >> you should know that while reihan was speaking a team of assassins fanned out across the nation and assassinated all college presidents and in a "godfather" bloodbath. bear in mind. >> pete, reaction to what you heard. >> this book, policy proposals are very important. but the thing you heard up here and very important for the conservative movement which is not it is not just policies we're talking about. it is different cast of mind. it is not adally different cast of mind. i thought how you approach it and reihan was nice how you
formulate that, dynamic process of rethinking these institutions. the kind of creativity that is at the core of what i think is animating a lot of what goes under the bonner of reform conservatism. a lot of politics is disposition and cast of mind. move from conservativism backward looking and simply saying stand look from history and stop, actually forward thinking. these are the conditions facing americans in the 21st century. we've got these institutions and policies and programs. many of which were created in the middle part of the last century and they need to be reformed and updated and modernized. so i think that's an important, sort of bedrock of what we're talking about. just not a series of policies but it is a cast of mind that, that will, that will drive these reforms. >> ramesh. >> i want to make two points about the size and scope of government. the first is just a political
point which is, i think that you need to have some kind of attractive middle class agenda if you're going to be in the position to do some of the other government-limiting steps i assume everybody on this panel wants to do. so, for example, the last couple of elections, republicans have run on a reasonably bold medicare reform and it doesn't appear to have cost them anything politically but it is also, i think not itself a vote-winner. you have to build a bigger political majority if you're going to do that very important work. i think some of the policies are helpful in creating that center right majority and thus limiting government. second we shouldn't think about limiting government purely in terms of budget outlays which we sometimes do. let's say, for example that the ideas in jim's chapter on health care weren't going to cut health care spending although in fact they are if they were implemented. if you get rid of things like tax on people who don't buy
health insurance, essential benefits plan, if you reform medicare so it is much less prescriptive and much more market friendly, all of these things in very meaningful sense government limping even if they don't affect how much money the federal government is spending. i say that for a lot of other times. real run at occupational licensure, one of the positive things to come out of this book and come out of this morning would be a huge difference in people's lives comes from restraining the reach of government. >> yuval. >> let me try and in part answer ross's grim, dour, horrible pessimism. a jewish optimist is someone who says things can't get any worse than this. i'll give it a shot. i do think part of what, part of what, part of where i disagree with that view, it takes for granted sustainability of what we're doing now, which i do not think we can take for granted.
it assumes that people are drifting toward the democratic coalition because they're comfortable with some of the benefits they're being offered and alike. i think what is happening in america is something different. that neither party has done a great job recognizing it and that we've got a democratic party always think is 1965 and republican party always thinks it is 1981. i think if they came to see where we actually are in america, republicans would find themselves looking at some incredible opportunities and democrats would find themselves looking at some serious problems. i think that because, america in a way in midst of transition from a way of life built around large, consolidated, centralized institutions, big government, big business, big labor, big media, big universities, big cultural institutions to a way of life built around smaller, disperse, diverse institutions and communities where americans have a huge array of choices in every part of life.
they get to define their options and enable improvements to the choices that they make. that is happening everywhere except in government. and to me that means the government we have and the approach we have to government is becoming less and less useful to our society. these changes in a way offer some great promise and great advantages and great improvements in american life. they also offer great risks and great dangers at that are economic, that are cultural, that are structural, that affect people's lives in ways that can lead them to, to hope and to fear. i think that the left today is stuck defending broken systems that are built for that very different way of thinking about american life where big government and big labor and big business really do manage the economy. where it is possible to think that this kind of centralizing tendencies of welfare state are ways of addressing social problems we have. the left again and again finds
itself trying to build on failures and to avoid change and to insist that this isn't happening. what government can do is prevent these changes from happening rather than what government should do is allow people to benefit from the advantages and protect them from the risks. the right obviously has its own problems but i think that conservatives have a huge amount to offer the public going forward because our instinctive way of thinking about the role of government and about how to solve problems is very well-suited to the challenges that the country faces now and to the way of life that we're going into now. so i don't think we should be thinking from the stack tis place where the problem is, liberals are winning, conservatives are losing -- that is not what is happening at all. i think both parties are exhausted at same time so this moment is not like the late '70s and it is not like the late '80s for the democrats. it is much more complicated moment in a way but also much more promising moment. the way to think about the challenges that we face and thinking about policy is about
what we can offer the country given right now voters think as pete's numbers suggest, neither party is offering them anything. conservatives are much better position offering americans understand where we're head and making most of it than liberals which leaves me more optimistic than ross but that's not saying much. >> we'll bring this audience into this discussion now. the entire book is highly readable, well-documented. the individual subject matter chapters are terrific but i particularly commend yuval's opening chapter where he elaborates on the moment conservatives are in, given his conviction that the liberal progressive agenda is spent. there is nothing new and we're seeing it discredited almost on a daily basis right in our headlines, most recently the department of veterans affairs. so he talks about what a moment it is for conservatives. i recommend the entire book to
all of you but make sure you pay particular attention to philosophical case that yuval makes. we'll start with questions. we'll take two over here and then mona. >> thank you. i'm jean malet, attorney and writer and i have always been involved in politics. one of the things i remember from my early political education is that states are the laboratories of democracy and i'm wondering, if you would like to comment on that, regarding the federal government versus the states. because i think the states could really help out in the new ideas, evennenning the reins of some regulation. >> excellent point. who would like to take that on? >> i imagine other folks on the panel will have something to say about this but i do think as ramesh said before, you know, there are a lot of folks on left
talk about inequality, when really cost of living that is the issue most salient for working and middle income americans. when you think about those cost of living issues, think about this big debate we're having about the minimum wage. think about the fact that most conservatives are totally flat-footed. they do not know what to say. they prefer to change the subject when we start talking about the minimum wage. but then look at the fact, there are two states where you have big increase in minimum wage recently, california and connecticut. okay? let's reflect on that. in california you've got a state where it is pretty much impossible to find an affordable rental anywhere close to where you might find a job. okay? why is that? is that because of some law of god or nature? it is true, you have got mountains, you've got coasts but you're not allowing people to build. it is astonishing. it is so impossible to build that what you end up doing, you end up empowering people already own real estate in those places
right? basically talk about inmum wage. we talk about the minimum wage we care about the standard of living, whether or not people have money they can save. you see this big change in the united states where huge numbers of african-americans, who, by the way tend to overwhelmingly be democrats, where are they moving? they're moving from the northeast, they're moving from places like california and moving to places like dallas and houston and at lantta. they're not moving to these places because they're right-wingers. they're moving to these places because these are places where they can find affordable housing. with state and local policies about getting people in homes and seeing to it they have the disposable income they need to really make a live more themselves. that is why state policies matter a lot. we're seeing a natural experiment in this country right now where you see that conservative places, that all they're doing letting people build. and you're seeing middle class people go to those places, flocking to those places. we need to think about how federal policies can actually, kind of nudge, that is another
conceptual question we would disagree about that we need to think about that rather than one size fits all policies. >> ramesh. >> i should jump in since my contribution to the book is about the constitution and constitutional issues. i think that when we talk about federalism, conservatives sometimes overemphasize sort of abstract principles, political propriety and we need to talk a little bit more about the practical benefits of constitutional, of applying these constitutional principles. i think that, medicaid is a great example where kind of the commingling of fund, the absence of separation of spheres between the state governments and federal government have create ad situation where we get more government and we get worse government and we get less accountable government and moving toward accountable government ought to be a bigger part of our constitutional rhetoric. >> we have a second question
here and then mona. >> my name is arnold cling and i skipped through the book and had a first pass and strikes me has the strengths and weaknesses of conservatives and philosophically and diagnostically it's strong but then it gets, whenever it talks about solutions my sense it tends to be very tentative, kind of timid and not, not with a clear, you know, this is what we would do in the first six months of an administration. there is no 100 days kind of thing. is there a plan to come out with kind of a -- >> that is the next book. [laughter]. >> when you have the chance, i recommend you do more than skim. i think you will see that there are a lot of concrete proposals but i'll turn the microphone over to yuval. >> i want to make a case in
favor of timidity. [laughing] i think conservatives have to start, when thinking about government from the point of view that we do not know how to solve the big social problems and the left doesn't either. and in thinking that the left doesn't either, we're left to undo a lot of the damage they're trying to do and that is extremely important. but we should not replace that with big, bold, massive conservative legislation that says, we know exactly how to solve these problems and the problem with your technocrats is that they got the math a little wrong in subsection seven but our technocrats can fix that. i think we need a different approach how we do policy at the federal level. that didn't approach has got to think in terms of facilitating society's attempts to solve its problems. that will not look like a conservative version of the great society. it is going to look like a very
different approach to public policy. >> it will be experimental in part. >> yeah. it will create venues and platforms for people to experiment with solutions in an ongoing way. not that you will find the ultimate answer some day and we'll have done it but american society will always be doing that. it will always be incrementally solving problems. accidentally creating other problems. dealing with those. dealing with cultural change. we're not working toward an end here where ultimately we reached the ideal great society and now it is all working fine as long as everybody does what they're told. we're trying to create a situation where people can live tree lives and government exists to help them do that and deal with some of the problems that government can only help to deal with. that will be a much more modest approach to public policy than we're used to in america. think that would be a huge improvement. >> however -- >> go ahead. >> if you look attract record of sort of huge legislative initiatives of the last three administrations, no offense to pete, who may have served in some of those administrations, i
don't think politically or substantively that track record is particularly good. almost all of these things, whether talking about the clinton's health care initiative not going anywhere or president bush's social security initiative or president obama's health care has gone very well or americans look back on fondly. so i think that should tell us something and to sort ever maybe recast the point that yuval made. think we need to make a kind of a bold break with the sweeping vision. >> wait, let me speak up for the sweeping vision, as someone who didn't write a chapter and is no officially affiliated with this project. i think if you sat down and distilled policy proposals which how does, a substantial portion of these chapters, you would have a pretty sweeping, you know, we can call it a first 100 days agenda, we can call it a
first 365 days agenda, whatever you want to call it but it wouldn't maybe have the sweepingness of the new deal or the great society and obviously i agree with my colleagues on this panel that isn't sweepingness conservatives should go for. but i think that between tax reform and, higher ed reform, entitlement reform, you could go down the list and come up with a, call them bold incrementalism, i guess, would take you pretty quickly to a pretty substantial list of policies. i completely agree the lessons of last administrations passing any policy is extremely difficult and policy you tend to pass on would not necessarily hoped what you believe necessarily. at this point we're a long ways being that kind of dilemma for conservative reform agenda.
at this point i would like to stress the fact that let's say a future republican congress and republican senate were to in first 100 days, a tax reform that i personally would favor, which would be some combination of mike lee's proposals on one hand and what cave camp put out on the other. that is very broad sort of sketch but basically a sort of conservative-leaning tax reform than more family friendly than what "the wall street journal" would support. that would be a big deal. we haven't had tax reform of any substantial kind in the u.s. in 30 years. doing something like that plus one or two of the other ideas here -- >> the health care agenda would be -- >> right. if you passed jim's health care plan in your first 100 days, that would be the first sweeping conservative health care reform policy passed by the united states congress in all of american history. no, that is, that is not fair. but if, i think in terms of its
scale, it would be substantial. the same would be true if you took some version of, we don't have to look at this book. you can look at sort of ideas that senator lee and senator rubio and others sort of put together. if you passed marco rubio, a fleshed out version of marco rubio's safety net reforms, that would be most substantial reforms of the safety net since welfare reform itself. so again i think, i completely agree it is important to not sort of into the trap of revolutionary politics and so on, but it is also useful at this juncture when we're very, very far away from imagining any of this taking real form as senator mcconnell, very kindly reminded us, that emphasizing the possibility of substantial reform is useful. >> i think part of what this gets at and i agree entirely, maybe we're taking the question in two different ways. but, given that some of our public problems are functions of bad public policy, addressing them in a different way does
mean a bold change in what the government is doing. it does mean, undoing a lot of damage that has been done in the last 50 years because if you think about the nature of the public policy, what we think about are public policy problems, so many of them are function of great society programs gone wrong. there is no way around the need to change that pretty dramatically. so these kinds of reforms would involve very bold changes to what government is doing now. i think what they would not involve is nearly as bold and approach to society on the part of government. but a much different attitude about society from government. that would require a lot of change. a lot of these things would be pretty dramatic conservative reforms. >> i just wanted to add, echo what you've all said. , what we're talking about here, essentially play on different ground than we have. what required, how conservatives speak about and understand and
explain to the public the organizing principles of these reforms. too often i think son tiff irvs said, look, government is too big and we ought to spend less. not talk about purposes of government and simply talking about the size. where conservatives and republican lawmakers have to get much more fluent in their capacity to explain how we see these things different and how we view the role of government people's lives in way that helps them in their present circumstance. i would not underestimate the importance of that as a frame around these issues and in any event if ross is right in his predictions we'll not have to worry for a 100 day agenda for a long time. >> i'm trying to merge pessimism and optimism in one package. >> you had a reaction. >> no actually something -- >> good. mona sharon. question from mona. then we'll move to this side. >> in 2012 at the democratic
convention there was an opening video some of us watched because we have to. and it's, it is the government. there was a pastische of faces and different colors and ages and so on, what one thing that brings us all together. it is one thing we all have in common. now this theme is reiterated frequently by democrats when republicans make critsieves about government policy, they're kind of accusing them being anti-patriotic, unpatriotic because they're criticizing the government. so my question for the panel is, is this something that the republicans need to have a response to? and if so, what is that response? >> yuval, sound like an opening chapter question. >> well, i certainly agree with you. i think that the instinctive response that a lot of republicans had was to say, was
to say, to defend the, was to defend the place of the individual, which is very important to do. we did that also in 2012 because of the you didn't build that stuff, that rubbed us the wrong way to put it very mildly. but i think it is very important for republicans thinking about what is really wrong with that argument, the notion that government is the one thing we all do together what is really wrong with that, it misses almost everything we actually do together. that is, everything that stands between the individual and the government, which is where american society is always been at its best. where america's always been its best self. everything from the family through the community through civil society and religious institutions, to the market economy are things we do together that are not government. and in fact the purpose of government is to sustain a space where those things can be done in a freeway and a way that allows people to achieve the goals they want together. the alternative to, the
alternative to progressive system not radical individualism. those two things are the same thing of the vision of government at the core of progress sievism, society consists of individuals and the state and that is it. the purpose of state is to enact radical individualism. the conservative answer to that society consists of things we do together. one of which is the government. by no means the most important one or most central one or serves us best. the conservative anticipates to that is society. society is not at all the same thing as government. government is just one of the things society does to help solve problems is nowhere near the only one or the most important one. >> just to add one more point on it. i think that, i completely agree with yuval saying answer to kind of collectivist argument or rhetoric but i think it is also important to note it is a much better answer that the one conservatives are inclined to
give, respond to collectivism with a rhetoric of commercial individualism. that's part of what's wrong, i think with the overemphasis entrepeneur on theship that we've seen and, overemphasis sometimes tipped all the way over into randism. with implicit message and we'll cut taxes you solve your own problems. as opposed we'll help your community thrive. we will reform institutions so they are supporting you instead of trying to direct your life. we can't cede the entire field of community over to the left. >> let's take two more questions. we'll move to this side of the room. you've been such an attentive audience for the better part of the morning, we will try to end on time. we have a question back here from somebody who hasn't asked one yet. >> my name is, okay. bob, my name is bob paterson. i'm a regular contributor to the philadelphia enquiter. my question is for yuval. in our opening remarks you
pasted this contrast between a welfare state model and a market model of government. is there not a third model that maybe the conservative reformed conservatives want to think about? what i mean by a third model, one goes to alexander hamilton talks about the american school and henry clay talked about the american system and lincoln who built the continental railroad. was a real fan of clay. teddy roosevelt and parts of fdr effort. ike's efforts. jfk. that use government to do big projects, that had tremendous economic results and, dramatically raised living standards and elevated the middle class? is there not a third model we want to call the american system where the government does have a sort of, not a prominent but a trigger role that does these big projects that has huge effects, good effects on the middle class? >> yeah. would i say, this is what i mean
by facilitating the function of society, including of the markets. there is certainly a place for government to enable these other institutions to function and in fact there are times and places where only government would provide the kind of infrastructure, physical infrastructure, even social history structure that allows these kind of institutions to function. the question is, do you see government in management role or do you see government in a facilitating role? i think the facilitating role is much more friendly to this idea that you're suggest, kind of hamiltonian american system, henry clay, american system, that basically says, government's role is to enable people to thrive. it doesn't define how they're going to do it. it creates the circumstances that makes it more likely they will thrive. and i think that's very friendly to the kind of conservative notion i'm describing. and the market is not the only, the only institution that fills
that space. so in talking about market orientation i don't think we're suggesting it is about turning everything over to markets. it is about using the ways in which markets successfully solve problems, to solve problems in other arenas of life. that certainly includes creating infrastructure that allows american society to thrive. i think that is a role for government but it has to be understood in a limited way, in, as a supporting role and not in a way that defines all the goals and manages all the projects and tells people what to do at the end of the day. you know, it's a different way of thinking about fundamentally the relationship between the state and society. >> i just want to add quickly that is very vividly illustrated in book by chapters of andrew kelly and rick hess, from aei. you see education in particular of the job is to create space for innovation. >> we have one last question right here. >> i was really interested in
your comments on education and the real scam that's happening where kids are taking on debt for degrees or non-degrees that will not enable a better future. >> we'll break away with reminder you can see this in our video library at c-span.org. u.s. senate ofgavelling in momentarily for a preproforma session honorable maria cantwell a senator from the state of washington to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on tuesday, -- on friday, may 30, 2014.