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tv   Charles Koch and Brian Hooks Believe in People  CSPAN  August 5, 2021 3:25am-4:27am EDT

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>> good afternoon everyone and welcome to cato. or we rather welcome to virtual cato. we are delighted to have everyone with us today or they hope you are doing well many of
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you have been able to get shots in your arms over the recent days and weeks or that you have an opportunity to do so soon. many like to possess over the problems and challenges facing our country and the world. i always counter this by saying there has never been a better time to be alive as a human being. this is the optimistic message in perspective cato delivers in a variety of ways. such is her human progress that our platform and our 2020 at one of our best sellers at ever 10 global trends every person should know. it may not seem to many that it's a great time to be alive given what we have been dealing with over the past 12 months but even a pandemic is a prime example of this is true. the development effective vaccines as well as a host of other treatments happen in record time and in the context of history really is nothing short of miraculous. this is the empowering message for young people that yes we face challenges and problems but
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look at the state of the world and humanity and look at what we have accomplished and overcome. when he do that who can doubt the ability of human ingenuity and efforts to solve the challenges we face today. the book will discuss "believe in people" bottom-up solutions for a top-down world shares its optimism regarding what empowers human beings but also communicates a genuine significant concern, the concern that we are increasingly trying to solve our challenges with top-down approaches that don't work in more and more we are abandoning the bottom-up approaches problem-solving at the local community and individual level like empowered people with the most relevant knowledge. in other words we are abandoning the paradigm and the stunning progress of humanity installation of the past 300 years. i don't think the authors of
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"believe in people" charles koch and brian hooks need an introduction. charles is one of the greatest businessmen of our lifetime. with his father's help he returned to wichita and early 60s to help run a family business. rock island oil and refinery and coke engineering. since that time these enterprises have been transformed and have grown by more than 7000 times. today koch industries is one of america's largest privately held companies operating in 60 countries and employing more than 130,000 empowered individuals. under charles leadership koch industries has outperformed the s&p 500 over those decades by more than 30-1. just as noteworthy is as his business success charles is one of america's foremost philanthropist with efforts to focus on investing in organizations and civil society exemplify the bottom-up problem-solving approach presented in believing in
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people. while these dedicated to resources to a free and open society where every person can rise and every individual can lead a prosperous and meaningful life. along the way he's established nonprofit enterprises to help accomplish these goals including koch cato institute in 1977. >> a long time since charles is spoken at cato so it's a particular honor for me to welcome him back. the primary vehicle for the philanthropy and social change stand together as a community of social entrepreneurs led by charles koch and brian hooks. brian served 10 years as executive director of the premier research center for market-oriented ideas advancing knowledge of how markets work to improve people's lives and applying economics to offer solutions for society's most flexing problems. brian shares his first-hand knowledge of the joys and
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frustrations and the joys of managing a think tanker brian has been a good and longstanding friend of cato. charles o'brien have recently written look "believe in people" autumn up solutions for a top-down world. it a face serious challenges but insists a top-down approach to solve these problems is failing and will continue to fail. the message i heard reading the book is a dramatic change in approach wherein we trust people on an individual and community level and in particular the people who are closest to these problems and have the most infinite knowledge of them to drive solutions. to recognize a special ability would have to contribute to investing a challenges and to not underestimate the impact each of us as individuals can have in solving them. we are delighted brian and charles have joined us to discuss the book in detail. charles when he wrote your last book five years ago i heard you
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say on tv that your wife and his sisters would never let you write another look yes you are here discussing your substantive look "believe in people" so i assume the reasons for doing so are pretty important. why did you and brian wrights "believe in people" and what are you hoping to accomplish with this book? >> as you know my wife you know what she says will little more severe than that. she set in fact because i had a day job so most of my effort in writing the book was in the evenings and on the weekends which interfered with her family at two goodies. she said just remember your next book will be with your next life. she obviously didn't mean it
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that i koch industries and write a book on how i couldn't seem to get really
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you talked about changing the world through paradigm shifts and some of the big ideas out
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there. what are some of those ideas? >> that's right and we will go further and say we think we need many paradigm shifts. anybody who is paying attention is looking around at our country and saying this isn't going well. there's got to be a better way and so we are not talking about small, we are talking about leaning in and more fully applying these principles of human progress as charles has mentioned and i think about those principles that are enshrined in the declaration of independence and the principles at the cato institute has founded to advance in many of us are working towards. these are at north stars and so to really get their we need to take them seriously and we need paradigm shifts. the book puts forward three big ideas for the first is one that charles just described the assertion that the solutions to our country's problems are going to have to be different and
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specific in the problem but the effective ones all have one thing in common and that is they start with the deep belief in people. it really is a paradigm shift because if you look around at how we are doing a lot of things in the country right now our systems are behaving as though most people don't have much to contribute so that's lost and if we continue down that path we are going to see the progress we need to see. we have shipped their paradigm. we have to start with a belief in people. the second big ideas the solutions that will work best are going to be those that empower people from the bottom up rather than a one-size-fits-all approach from the top down. again that's going to entail a pretty big changes in our thinking in the third big idea that we will talk about is a tremendous result is the idea that we will unite with anyone to do right and we get a lot more done when we focus on the common ground we have with people who bring different perspectives or appear to be in the different than we are rather
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than what we typically do as a society right now look at those things were read different just focus on that. we are going to solve the problems we have today with the same ideas that were used to create them and they have got to take that seriously. we need a paradigm shift and we need to rally the country around the ideas that are going to help guide us forward to solve our big problems and we think that those are going to have to be guided by that northstar those principles. citi hits really an affirmation of really the liberal principles that really gave rise to the great enrichment with progress we have seen over the last 300 years. i'm always taken by what you said in the last part brian uniting with anyone. i know that is taken from an great quote from frederick douglass and charles leno frederick douglass, he's really
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a great example of the paradigm you are talking about in self-actualization and empowering the individual. >> that is right. ps i write in the book i wrote in the book that he is a role model for social entrepreneurs and not only because he overcame so much and in spite of that of what he had to overcome the accomplish so much. as he described his ah-ha moments, what caused him to do that and so there is a lesson for all of us, not that we are going to be frederick douglass or accomplish what he did but we can learn from bad and if i could just mention a few of them, i think it's important. the first one was when he was eight years old.
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he learned that he wasn't a slave although he was warned in slavery, he wasn't a slave because he was inferior, he was a slave because he was being kept ignorant and so he was determined to change that and he threw ingenious methods taught himself to read in the next ah-ha moment for him was when he was 16 he got the opportunity to teach sunday school to others who were enslaved and of course he had to surreptitiously teach them to read as well. he said okay he has all these problems and horrors of venus slave but what he said at last i found a way to contribute so he from the start was contribution motivated. he was looking for ways to contribute and then of course he was punished brutally for
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violating those rules that say you are not allowed twos teach slaves to read. he couldn't take it anymore and so he beat up his slave breaker that they sent him to. he finally said i don't care if they kill me, i'm not going to take this anymore and he said that last i am a man. so he fully began to believe in himself and he said i'm going to leave. i if they kill me i don't care, i'm going to escape. he escaped any got a job in the north and his first one he earned a dollar on and he said i'm not just a free man, i am a free workingman. once again he wanted to produce and contribute and then he started to go to a abolitionist rallies and garrison and the top
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abolitionists were speaking and they called on him to speak and they found he was the best speaker of the mall. so he found his guest and he use that gift not to get vengeance against the horrors done to him and his people but to eliminate injustices against them and not only them but against all of their peoples who were suffering , women, immigrants and so on. so to me that is a guide for all of us, that all of us can become social entrepreneurs and anybody can be a social entrepreneur no matter how bad your conditions are. and that, if you can do it by following and developing your gift, this will help you become successful. >> they are message about anyone
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being able to contribute is an important one. one of the challenges we always have is that when you look at someone like frederick douglas he's an inspiration but i think many people didn't feel hey i can't measure up to that so it makes them feel like they don't have an individual contribution to make. one of the things that i think is interesting in the book brian is a vibrant civil society. we have been in a cycle now where we have seen it encroaching on more areas of our lives. so we think civil society, the storyteller and the book innovations are helping people with poverty addiction or to get themselves on the right or he are showing that individual
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feelings. can you tell us more about some of those and what you really feel the state of civil society is? >> while i think you are right. what we try to do in the book is to tell stories that are applied a guide for people who are looking to contribute and looking to find a role in helping to move our country closer to those ideals that we talk about in the northstar. you look at frederick douglass nisei wow thank goodness for incredible people like him and i think that is right but the wrong thing to conclude is it's only going to be exceptional people like douglas that are going to move the country forward because the history of our country is a history of struggling to address injustices that move us closer to that northstar and the social entrepreneurs who have done that our people who, if you were a panel of expert, blue ribbon
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panel of experts to choose they would never choose the people who turn out to be the virtual entrepreneurs. frederick douglass was an enslaved individual yet he finds his gift and he finds a way to literally change the course of world history. so that's where we tell the story in the book the people that are closest to the problem are often those that are in the best positions to address them so if you look at a problem like you know like poverty in the country for instance, we open the book with the story about a group that we work with called the family independence initiative and it's an extraordinary that everyone has a gift in these bottom-up solutions make a huge difference. it works to address poverty in a country and they were founded by a guy named parrhesia who grew up in poverty and he was closest to the problem he's addressing and run by a guy named jesus
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with the same life story. what they do is they don't tell people in poverty how to change. they say look the answer to your challenges are within you. you need help just like we all do, help in the form of financial capitol and resources as well as social capitol that we all rely on to be successful in our lives so they put families in poverty together and cohorts in a given $3500 over couple of years, not a ton of money but enough to make a difference and they support them and helping them to discover there had gift and apply them in a way that helps themselves and their families to overcome poverty. that approach is seen throughout a these organizations that we found her being tremendously effective in the face of tough odds. if you look at the war on poverty, the top-down alternative to program like family independence initiative swear blue ribbon panels of experts tell people in poverty
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what to do differently and we spend trillions of dollars to do that in the results speak for themselves. the rate of harvard in this country is the lunch for six years but with the family independence initiative the bottom-up solution the family that works for two years on average will improve their income by 27% which is huge relative to that race line but more importantly it's enough to put them on a trajectory not to just get out of poverty but to stay out of poverty which is a real challenge with programs like this. they double their savings and they realize a way to contribute to get on the right pass of this bottom-up approach we talk about is not just for extraordinary people, it really is something that everybody can get engaged in and that's how you scale this approach. when everybody finds a way to apply what they have got to offer and follow these principles that we can accomplish what otherwise might be an impossible challenge. >> could imagine another one?
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that is and he's someone identify with a totally different background but we had similar ah-hah moments. he grew up in south dallas in a tough neighborhood so probably out of self-defense he founded the bloods in dallas and of course got into all sorts of trouble and went to prison i think when he was 19. there he met somebody that had been in prison for over a decade and he said anton you are a natural leader. all these young prisoners and others want to be associated with you, follow you and the problem is you've been leading for bad and you can also lead for good. if you want to lead for good, i will help you and you can
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transform your life. anton said wow i didn't know i could do that. like me, he went to the library and started reading all of these books to figure out how he did it and he read plato's republic about the cave and the people in the cave kept in the cave only saw shadows. they never saw a reality and he said that has been my life. i am just living in shadows. i'm going to go out and deal with reality and try to help people rather than her people. he heard on the radio bishop omar who was running urban specialists about how to keep kids out of gangs, how to get the police and communities to
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work together and he said i'm going to join them and he joined them and became the leader there and then at one of our offense, we offer our management framework to all these social entrepreneurs as they believe it will help them. so i said how is that coming and he said first we were skeptical because we were running urban specialists like we ran a gang and he did some good but it was kind of limiting. and then he went through applying all the dimensions of market case management and the success that they were having. i said anton you have learned market-based management quicker than any executive of any company we have ever acquired. talk about autumn up, but people do not know the potential of
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people who have never been empowered and what it can do to transform them. >> i think it's an important point and when we try to get across in the book. this is not a new idea for people who have been working in these principles of human empowerment and use even adam smith and de tocqueville and people that we cite in the book like did cornell and over the years the role that the voluntary and civil society including these community organizations and business play with free and open society empowering people to deal with what charles is described in what i described as the family independence initiative is absolutely essential to the progress that we have made. it's critical that we tell the stories and we offer them as a guide for people who are positioned to take action on these principles.
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he is a great guy he says we are making the right argument in economics. he's an economist. this is than his life. people are not sitting around a campfire singing songs about the work we are doing. the stories in this book and the people that wing counter people like anton or people like cereno these are people that can really inspire others and say wait a minute this is the right way for our country to go forward. i think that's a big part of what we are trying to get across is you have to celebrate the application of these ideas and demonstrate how nixon difference in people's lives because this is the answer. some of those others are awfully scary. >> and if we recognize that we need a paradigm shift in
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people's thinking like culture appreciates politics. if you don't get anywhere in politics until people change their paradigm and you've got to go from top-down to bottom up. what is involved in somebody changing their paradigm? well what is the paradigm? it's a worldview where you tend to only except the facts that set your paradigm and reject those facts or evidence that doesn't fit your paradigm. so this is heavy lifting to change your paradigm. i mean it's like a weightlifter wanting to become a marathon best. it takes effort, strenuous efforts and desire over time. our job is to give enough
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evidence and enough motivation to people to make that effort. so is brian said we have got to show the stories. this works in that doesn't and this will make your life better and those you care about. it will eliminate the injustices that you are worried about. but then we have got to celebrate. we have got to get the word out so it got to scale and get this enough into people's consciousness so they are willing to make that effort. >> it's a interesting and you've mentioned how the enrichment the hockey stick that's occurred over the last 300 years and an introduction charles i mentioned mentioned -- and it does occur
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to me reading the book if you apply them to they become so powerful. the challenge is getting people to adopt them do you think this is the best way to tell these stories and people get inspired by what they see in ordinary folks like anton or the family independence initiative? >> you kind of sold me. making that paradigm shift in society seems like a heavy lift. seen at the thing to do is experience it. hopefully it's enough to get people interested to pique their interest to say wait a minute we don't have to settle for the options on offer. there is a better way and then people have to take action and see for themselves that these
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principles are a better way for them to accomplish the goals that matter the most to them and ultimately to help those around them that they care about. we talk about the need for transformation in those key institutions that we rely on as a society to empower people to realize their potential. we talk about the role that education plays a, strong communities, businesses that people work for that. value in our society and public policy plays a critical role. if you or somebody who's interested or working in any one of those areas and that describes almost everybody in our country you are likely working in a top-down varmint because that's the way things are right now and it's frustrating to the data shows it's frustrating. if you're a student by the 12th grade 70% of students say they are completely disengage from their studies. it's not going to work.
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education is not going to do its job. if you're working in business unfortunately you are probably experiencing a similarly stifling environment are those of most data shows and nobody trusts the government these days and for good reason. they don't have policies to empower people if you are working in any one of those areas take the first step. do as anton did as someone who is making his community stronger. stop waiting for bad and start reading -- start leaving for good. once you start to get the experience of having his say wow this is working not just for my students but for me that's when you start to be open to the paradigm shift that charles is talking about. fortunately there are tons of options, practical options ways for people to take that first step that can begin to turn these principles into a habit than something that you look at from afar.
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>> a good friend of high acts's friend wrote like a personal knowledge. an essay of his inner public of, those are some of the principles that we apply here at koch and what we find in applying these principles, for example what has made us successful at koch industries is focusing on creating value for all of our constituencies and that is the first thing. what capabilities do we have that will create value for the people and organizations that are important whether it's our customers or suppliers and then empowering our employees are committees and so on and why do we do that? because they are wanting us to succeed in helping us to succeed and critical to our succeeding
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long-term. we find as we do this and their employees get in the habit and this is going back to the concept of personal -- it's not just conceptual knowledge, this knowledge and these habits become a part of yourself. not while they are still working here but after they leave they call me or write me or come in and see me and tell me this whole approach of empowering others and focusing on how do i. value for others in a mutually beneficial way has changed my life and now i'm in my church or my synagogue. i'm able to help them be more effective in reaching their parishioners. it's improved my family life. it's improved my philanthropy and its transformative. you look at what portion of the population is working in businesses. every business would apply this
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and that alone would transform a society. >> when i was reading the book i saw the message in their for folks who aren't familiar on the principles so we have a message for people who aren't liberals but when i think about it and i hear you discuss this it sounds like there are some important lessons for those of us who believe in those principles. we tend to get focused on policy arguments. the government does a lot of harm by it focusing on all the bad things the government is doing and it's pretty bad marketing because we are not locusts on all the great things that real people are doing out there. we are telling the optimistic side of the story. >> we have really focused on
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this and stand together and the koch industries and partnering with all sorts of people and really applying this republic of science to building a knowledge networks and sharing knowledge and trying to help others and it is truly transformative. you may want to talk a little about the gains we have made since we really started focusing on this on following frederick douglass uniting everyone to do right and know what to do wrong. >> you are right, to paradigm shifts. you talk about in the book the partisan politics and the book you say it was a mistake and it created a mess and now -- will you talk about it. >> your first question about how does policy balance into really trying to make sure that we have
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a society that is characterized by or norstar by this notion of equal rights and mutual benefit where everyone can succeed and realize their potential by contributing in society. in a lot of ways this has gone back to -- the whole point of a social theory or classical liberalism or the rants of those of human progress is to discover how people can live well together. it's a holistic vision of the good society and public policies of critical component of that. it's not that you don't focus on policy. you do and of course we do a lot of work to help pass policies that can empower people but if you only focus on policy is like trying to advance a good society with two hands and what blake tied behind your back. you are not taking advantage of all of what really is important towards that vision. we say alongside policy you've
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got to be concerned about of iran's voluntary sector and you've got to be concerned about out businesses contributing and community organizations are working and it have to be focused on are we helping people discover their gifts in the education system collects when you put all that together that's when you start to really see the opportunity for everybody to get engaged and that leads into your second . you have to make sure you are consistent in the obligation of those principles across each one of those areas. when we are looking at how we are working to improve education we want to make sure we are backing those principles. are those empowering people from the bottom up and finding common ground to grow the coalitions that can really push progress forward.
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that's what we discuss in the book. in three election cycles as we have gotten engaged in politics we got involved in partisanship so that's how everybody does it. rather than partnerships. and we learned quickly while we can accomplish stuff that way you'll never actually be able to take on the really big challenges in society and public policy and so we change. we said we have to practice our principles and as soon as we started leaning into it doesn't matter if you're republican or democrat if you have a policy we have got your back man we started accomplishing things. that's the track we are on and we talk in the book about what it means to do that in a principled way and how that can help us to accomplish things that other people look at and say we wanted to touch it because it looks too hard. >> criminal justice is a great example of that.
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we are equally engaged as democrats and republicans on an issue. we will go to some questions in a minute that but we want to follow up on this a little bit. what are the -- what of the challenges i find in colas and building and trying to constructively engage is that folks you are aligned with sometimes conflate being principled with being combative or being outraged and they think if we are not outraged you are not standing by your principles strongly enough. and i just think that's a real mistake because we are always open to reassessment but we haven't reassessed on many policies. you know we have kept the same principled view on policy issues
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for decades. we haven't changed through political cycles. i just think there's too much outrage out there and i want to be friends with everybody because that's the way to constructively engage and persuade but right now the zeitgeist is not wired that way. everyone wants to see you fighting and yelling and you get pushback from some of your supporters were people who again are equating -- we aren't owing to abandon matters of principle but that doesn't been to turn down the volume and be more persuasive than engaged. >> i think the major problem today is we have got the wrong paradigm in here. it's left versus right and your
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tribe is left or your tribe is right and then you see it's the leaders in these tribes change their opinion on policies and what to do then the whole gang flows with them. so they are abandoning it to both and the real contest is going to make a difference is do we have a bottom-up society that empowers people that gets power over people? this is very dangerous because you look at the history of a good part of the 20th century and it was a struggle between left and right in country after country. and the more people felt threatened by the left than they would join the right and the right would get more extreme and pretty soon would become a tyranny.
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those who are more threatened by the right joined the left and that turned into a tyranny. and so we have got to change that paradigm and get people to realize that don't just follow whatever strong man comes up and says they can get rid of the evils on the other side because the more they act that way, the way they are going to abandon these principles of human progress and fall in the same trap are not -- for their people. >> you mentioned swan men. how concerned are both of you about just be the attacks on liberalism. there has been a lot of talk globally.
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when you look at some of the government and political movements in europe something i find very concerning is to get to exactly what you were just discussing. for example what is going on in poland they say i like the social policies are alike the tax policies and so how concerned are you about the threat to liberalism not just a new asp and around the world? >> i will be very clear and think it's the greatest challenge of our time. i think those of us who have studied history and has worked as you have peter and i've mentioned i'm imagine many people that are watching right now those of us who work towards a free and open society for our whole lives, now is the time
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state -- to stand up to these ideas and make the case based on the evidence that this is a path that's going to help people to realize their potential, to live their best lives and contribute in a way that helps others to improve their lives because right now there is certainly never been a more urgent moment than today in my life and when you see so many people in our country feeling like the american dream is no longer a possibility for them and for many people they feel that way for good reason because these institutions are failing them, that's when people start to turn to failed ideas. call it nationalism or call it socialism there all different versions of the top ground -- top-down approach that excludes people from being part of society because i don't feel like they have much to offer. they promise them these impossible promises that sound like quick fixes but ultimately
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lead to terrible places and liberalism is a different way. making the case that you don't have to settle for the choice between two failed approaches but there is a better way and it's something that a lot of different people can get on board with because it's the best way to accomplish what you care about predicting gets the most important thing that anybody could be doing right now. >> and i put this in the context of one of high acts's great insights and for those interested in the second volume of legislation and liberty in which he said what you call perhaps the greatest discovery of mankind and that is that people can live in peace and to their mutual advantage and to paraphrase here, if they are
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only limited by abstract rules of conduct. so what does that mean? that means the government rules should only be general and not specifically controlling people and limiting what they are doing but empowering them and therefore the government's role is to set these basic rules which would in our view, would be equal rights and mutual benefit where people succeed by helping one another so you get rid of cronyism corporate welfare and all of those things where the government breaks the system work inspires with businesses or other groups to rig the system so everybody truly has equal rights. and then when that happens when
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government acts in that way then that enables all the other kids into since in society, community education and business to focus on empowering people rather than one-size-fits-all top-down approach. >> we have another subseventeen quote written in big letters the idea that we must once again make the building of a free and open society and intellectual example in the deed of courage and it's more important than it's ever been before and that's ultimately what are book is trying to contribute to his helping people who feel that same concern to see a path forward to how they can contribute and act on that courage to help to bring about a better society. >> one of the questions that came in actually concerns a
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question about whether someone can make a difference. sometimes i meet with folks who despair that we are moving away and not towards society and some say we are doomed but it's an issue of despair and the situation is dire in people feel fatalistic and giving up. it's not anything any one person can do so is there a basis for optimism is really what is behind the question. >> i think maslow said that very thing. he said the problem and having society where people are empowered and can self-actualized and become contributions rather than negatively motivated is the
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problem is that they say that, i'm just one person and what can they do? >> says that's all there is. each of us are just one person so what do we do? >> we join together. we partner with people who we share vision and values and particularly those who have -- with whom we have complementary capabilities so together we make each other much more successful. that's how movements are built. if you look at all the great successful movements in the history of this country the abolitionist movement the women's rights movement the civil rights movement, the movement, it all happened that way with just one person at a time joining together to create this movement. that's what we need to do today to create these movements and
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the way we do it is to join together and that's what stand together is. the reason we have had some effect is altogether we would have thousands who work directly with us and hundreds of thousands who were activists and work with us on different issues. >> that's exactly right and peter you did a great job in framing the challenge in the opening of this talk. we have real problems and we have to address these problems and if we don't we will have severe problems in the future of our country but the trend of liberalism is positive. today is the best time to be alive today. hewitt had steve think or talk about this. we talk about extensively in the book. when we see don he says look we have to make sure people realize
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that these ideas are working. we have a long way to go before re-realizing them but they are empowering people across the world to the extent that was not even imaginable two or 300 years ago so the trend is positive or the challenge is real but they have got to make sure we bring more and more people to recognize what actually works in solving these problems. >> i think two with the same problem as in business. so many are concerned about short-term problems or short-term profits rather than okay how can i be successful over a long period and then you become focused on building capabilities and that's what we need to be focused on, building capabilities and appealing to a broad range of people. when i see all the people across the ideological spectrum who are attracted to ideas i think you can see them and all the people who have endorsed our book
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"believe in people." they are across the ideological spectrum and that is because we are offering a different way, better way. they are sick of this tribal warfare people are trying to hurt each other rather than succeed by helping each other. >> one of the questions that came in was related to, you mentioned philosophers a few times now charles and the question is isn't is largely a matter of philosophy and a collectivist opportunistic and are at their life-affirming philosophers who celebrate the individual that we should be using as a counterweight i would say rather than collectivist i would say top down.
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i mean because it isn't the collective comets a few people get power and they get people following them because they convince them that the other side will make it worse and rather than being a virtuous cycle it becomes a start to spiral. and so the only way we change that is to find a way to have everybody participate in the progress and that is what we are trying to do. as we do that things get better. >> one question that has come in and says we stressed it boards of addressing basic needs like food shelter etc. to create a mutual benefit. could this in some way be turned on its head and used as an argument for top-down planning
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to provide those things? >> no but as i said in the beginning and we have been talking, the key is to have people believe in themselves. and if you give people more and they don't believe in themselves , they will have a negative attitude and somebody is getting more goodies than i am or i don't like what they are doing whereas if you focus on, on finding your gift, using it to contribute and that making you successful in enabling you to believe in yourself than you are going to want to partner with others because you see you are not good at everything and if you partner with others who are good at things you are not you'll be more successful. so, that's what changes it.
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maslow had it, to help people self-actualized, to develop their capabilities and realize their potential and what people do that they become contributions motivated rather than negatively motivated. >> i think we are getting close to the end here. i want to thank both of you. i think this is really provided a great overview of what the book is about and your comments again and again as a call to action to people as individuals that we all can make a difference and we can't just point fingers at institutions that aren't functioning. we have to take responsibility for changing things and obviously as we have discussed is very consistent with classical liberal principles. we talked about the challenge of
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getting people involved and getting them to believe they can make a difference. i think one of the best stories i have ever heard in that regard is justice clarence thomas. the first time i ever met him he was speaking to a small group of us few dozen people and he said that whenever he is traveling or he's in an airport or a public place he's giving a discussion about why it's so important to defend liberty and defend the principles we have been talking about in the principles of liberalism. whenever he's in a public place like an airport someone will come up to him and thank him for his service and thank him for defending liberty and thank him for the work he's been doing and he said his response always is okay what about you? and it sounds like that's the message that you guys are giving here that individuals who win power can make a difference and that's where the changes got to
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come from and we are not going to get there if we just indulge and whining and complaining about these challenges are pretending that they are intractable or something we are not capable of overcoming. >> it's too important to be left to somebody else. the calgary is not coming. this is all of our role to make sure we involved these principles further in our country so we have a better future. >> i think we all need to recognize if we are not helping make things better we are part of the problem. so if you want to feel good about yourself and you want to be optimistic about the future do something about it. and what you guys are doing at cato it's so important and you and i have talked about this. it's always been a critical organization. i can't tank of a more important time for cato to be doing what you guys are doing and doing it
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so well so thank you for what you are doing and everybody that is involved. >> ryan thanks for that. a little mutual admiration here, thank you for you guys charles is played a big role in building the classical liberal ecosystem and cato is an important part of that and thank you for your role in founding cato and all the work you guys are doing. >> you all are making me proud. thanks so much. when people say we are doomed i say look around. things are great and i don't believe we are doomed but if we are we are going down swinging. >> i am 85 and i'm working harder at it than ever. it's great. it keeps you young. i couldn't think of anything i'd rather be doing. thank you both very timed it and thanks everyone for joining us and we look forward to being
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back before too long i hope doing events. all stay safe and
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