The American Enterprise Debates delve deeper into the core issues at the heart of our societal fabric. The series aims to challenge conventional wisdom and inform policy in a sequence of one-hour debates that center on simple yet provocative questions. Since the competition of ideas is fundamental to a free society, the American Enterprise Debates endeavor to bring clashing ideas between public intellectuals into a forum committed to vetting, testing, and exploring the best way to promote freedom, opportunity, and enterprise.
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AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt will argue that over the last two decades, both Democrats and Republicans have fueled a radical transformation that has created an expanding dependency culture in America. William Galston of the Brookings Institution will respond that well-functioning societies are dependent on interdependence
In the next American Enterprise Debate, Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of "The Cartel," will face off against longtime higher ed practitioner John V. Lombardi over whether the NCAA has lost the concept of "student athlete" and jeopardized education quality, student rights and the nonprofit status of both the NCAA and the schools involved.
In the next American Enterprise Debate and Election Watch event, Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar at AEI and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” will face AEI fellow and Reagan biographer Steven F. Hayward in a spirited debate about whether the Republican Party has become too extreme.
In the next American Enterprise Debate, AEI Fellow Jonah Goldberg will argue that libertarians are part of the broader American conservative movement’s push for limited government. Matt Welch, editor in chief of Reason, will counter that libertarians offer a unique understanding of political life that makes libertarianism incompatible with conservatism.
In the next American Enterprise Debate, Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, will argue that the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is an effective bulwark against tax increases. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat will counter with his claim that the tax pledge has created political gridlock that threatens to derail serious tax reform and deficit reduction.
The question of the proper size and scope of government creates many rifts, even among conservatives. In this AEI debate, both Brooks and Ryan make the case for their competing visions of America. The conversation serves as a vivid reminder that even those who often agree on most things can differ on the basic question of the government's purpose.
At the next American Enterprise Debate, held on Capitol Hill, Ruy Teixeira, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation, will argue that America's demography is shifting in a direction that permanently benefits the Democratic Party. AEI resident fellow Michael Barone will counter that neither party has a natural majority in an age of open-field politics.