"American Politics in the Age of Ignorance"
David Schultz, PhD, JD, LLM
Professor, Hamline University, Political Science
March 6th at 6:00 pm (SCC 120)
On March 6th, the Center for Ethics and Public Policy will sponsor a public lecture by David Schultz. He will discuss findings from one of his most recent books, American Politics in the Age of Ignorance.
Abstract: “State and local governments are often trumpeted as laboratories of democracy, capable of significant policy innovation and expertise. Yet the reality is that states more often than not repeatedly reenact failed policies that past research shows do not work. American Politics in the Age of Ignorance contends that policy making is shrouded in many myths and that policy makers often ignore ample research and evidence when it comes to legislating on a range of issues. Examining such hot button issues as restricting immigration and welfare migration, seeking to lure businesses with tax breaks, and providing public subsidies for sports stadiums, this book catalogs a list of repeatedly enacted failed policies that public officials advocate, offering a critical and skeptical analysis of the policy process.”
David Schultz is a nationally recognized expert in government, nonprofit, and business ethics, campaign finance reform, land use and eminent domain policy, law and politics, and the media and politics who has been extensively quoted in news sources such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, Cox News Service, and National Public Radio. He is the editor for five book series with Peter Lang Publishing and M.E. Sharpe as well as author and editor of 25 books, 12 legal treatises, and over 100 articles. His most recent publications include American Politics in the Age of Ignorance (Palgrave 2012), The Encyclopedia of American Law and Criminal Justice (Facts on File, Inc. 2012) and Andromeda Galaxy and the Rise of Modern Astronomy (Springer, 2012). Professor Schultz is editor in chief for JPAE, The Journal of Public Affairs Education, and he sits on the editoral boards of The Journal of Public Integrity and Social Sciences Studies. He was the past president and executive director for Common Cause Minnesota; he has worked as a housing and economic planner for an Office of Economic Opportunity agency; helped in the drafting of the new 8th edition of the Model City Charter for the National Civil League; and participated in three amicus briefs before the United States Supreme Court regarding campaign finance reform. Besides teaching classes in government ethics, housing and economic development, privatization, and the foundation of public administration, Professor Schultz also holds appointments in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science where he teaches criminal justice and criminology, and in several local law schools where he offers classes in state and local law, legal ethics, election law, and state constitutional law.
“Making Peace with the Earth”
Dr. Vandana Shiva
April 8th (Kirby Ballroom)
Dr. Shiva will be making the argument that wars against the earth become wars against people, and that sustainable use of resources is the way toward peace and justice.
Dr. Shiva is the foremost ecofeminist scholar and activist in the world. Trained as a physicist, she received her PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 1978. She is the author of more than 20 books, including Staying Alive; Ecofeminism; Soil not Oil; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit; Stolen Harvest: Hijacking the World’s Food Supply; and her most recent Making Peace with the Earth. She is the founder of Navdanya, a national movement in India to promote the protection of native seed, organic farming, and fair trade practices. She has served on several governmental and international advisory committees, including the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Right Livelihood Award: “The Alternative Nobel Prize.”
The lecture is to be free and open to the public.
"Constitution Week Event: Voter ID, How Does it Impact Your Voice?"
September 17th at 6:00 pm (LSci 175)
The Center is co-sponsoring (with UMD’s Office of Civic Engagement) a panel discussion on recent bouts with various voter ID laws and their potential (allegedly) of suppressing the vote. This is particularly apt given the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Voting Rights Act. As some southern states now try to push ahead with such ID laws (similar to the amendment that failed to pass, here, in Minnesota), it is important to talk about these issues.
1. Ian Zuckerman (UMD Political Science) received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2012. His areas of specialization are early modern political thought and constitutional theory. He is also interested in democratic theory, and inequality. Dr. Zuckerman’s research has appeared in the journal Constellations, among other venues.
2. Jeremy Schroeder is the executive director of Common Cause Minnesota -- Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public.
3. Laura Fredrick Wang was the Executive Director of League of Women Voters, Minnesota (Jan. 2011-June 2013). Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Wang served as the Public Policy Coordinator. She was the LWV Minnesota representative to the coalition that advanced the state-wide campaign against the Voter ID amendment and served on the campaign’s executive committee. Wang is a graduate of Metropolitan State University and is currently a Masters in Public Affairs candidate at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. She has worked previously in public policy and community organizing in the non-profit sector, for federal, state, and city government, as well as managing political campaigns.
4. Dan McGrath is the president of Minnesota Majority, a conservative advocacy group which lobbied in favor of a bill to put a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo ID.
"Preferences for Health Care at the End of Life: Rural-Urban Differences"
Senior Research Scientist (Retired), Essentia Institute of Rural Health
October 24th at 6:00 PM (SCC 120)
"Health care decisions are personal decisions, reflecting individual values and goals. Or are they? Why do people from different communities pursue different health care goals? What can research on rural-urban differences in end-of-life care teach us about the care that we will want late in life?"
Dr. Gessert served on the Duluth Clinic Foundation’s Board of Trustees and has served on the Ethics Steering Committee and Ethics Subcommittee for Clinical Consultation at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Dr. Gessert also teaches ethics to medical students at the UMD Medical School.
In 2012, Dr. Gessert received the Lake Superior Medical Society’s Arthur Aufderheide Scientific Award, given in recognition of outstanding scientific achievements. He has had an extraordinary career in medical research, with more than 80 publications in professional journals to his credit.
Gessert CE, Haller IV, Johnson BP. Regional Variation in Care at the End of Life: Discontinuation of Dialysis. BMC Geriatr 2013.
Lutfiyya MN, Gessert CE, Lipsky MS. Nursing Home Quality: A Comparative Analysis Using CMS Nursing Home Compare Data to Examine Differences Between Rural and Nonrural Facilities. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013 Aug;14(8):593-8.
Gessert CE, Haller IV. Medicare Hospital Charges in the Last Year of Life: Distribution by Quarter for Rural and Urban Nursing Home Decedents With Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Rural Health Spring 2008; 24:154-160.
Gessert CE, Haller IV. Rural-Urban Differences in Medical Care for Nursing Home Residents with Severe Dementia at the End of Life. (Response Letter) J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 March; 55(3): 471-473.
Gessert CE, Haller IV, Kane RL, Degenholtz H. Rural-Urban Differences in Medical Care for Nursing Home Residents with Severe Dementia at the End of Life. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Aug; 54(8): 1199-1205.
Gessert CE. Rurality and Suicide (Letter). Am J Pub Health 2003; 93(5): 698.
"Medical Marijuana in Minnesota"
November 11th at 6:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)
This Fall the Center is conducting a panel discussion on the legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota. Twenty states and the District of Columbia already allow seriously ill residents to use medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations. The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up year one of the 2013-2014 session with the introduction of medical marijuana legislation. Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) introduced HF 1818 in the House, and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced the companion – SF 1641 – in the Senate.
1. Rep. Carly Melin is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), she represents District 6A, which includes portions of the Iron Range in Itasca and St. Louis counties in the northeastern part of the state. Melin received a B.S. in political science from Bemidji State University and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law. After graduating, she returned to the Iron Range to practice law, accepting a position with the Minnesota State Judiciary. Melin introduced HF 1818, a bill that would allow people with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
2. Heather Azzi is the political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care. MCC is a group of organizations, medical professionals, patients and concerned citizens working to protect people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses from arrest and imprisonment for using medical marijuana with their physicians' advice.
3. Rep. Bob Barrett is a member of the Republican Party of Minnesota; he represents District 32B, which includes portions of Chisago County just north of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Barrett graduated from Mankato State University in Mankato, receiving his B.A. in accounting in 1989. Active in his community, he served on the Chisago Lakes School District Finance Team, and was also a school district mentor.
4. Cody Wiberg, Pharm.D., M.S., R.Ph. is the executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy exists to protect the public from adulterated, misbranded, and illicit drugs, and from unethical or unprofessional conduct on the part of pharmacists or other licensees, and to provide a reasonable assurance of professional competency in the practice of pharmacy by enforcing the Pharmacy Practice Act M.S. 151, State Controlled Substances Act M.S. 152 and various other statutes. The Board regulates pharmacists, pharmacies, pharmacy technicians, controlled substance researchers, drug wholesalers and drug manufactures. The Board approves licenses or registrations for these individuals or businesses, and also decides when to impose disciplinary action.
"How We Ration, Value and Commercialize Health Care in the U.S."
Jennifer Schultz, PhD
Associate Professor, UMD Department of Economics
Director, Health Care Management Program
Labovitz School of Business and Economics
November 21st at 6:00pm (SCC 120)
"How we value and ration health care services in the U.S. should be a greater social concern than income distribution issues. This is because medical care can be viewed as a basic human right or entitlement. In the U.S. rationing of health care services is by ability to pay rather than by need. This is in stark contrast to other developed countries where rationing is based on need for health care services that are financed by ability to pay. The economic model of using willingness to pay to infer value is likely flawed in health care, yet economists have been very influential in health policy reform. We are now embarking on an era where the focus will be reducing the cost growth in the health care sector. The reductions of public subsidies and employer-based health insurance will likely put additional financial burdens on households. This presentation will focus on issues and ethics involved with how we value, ration and commercialize health care and what this means for working Americans."
Dr. Schultz is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Director of the Health Care Management Program. Her fields of research include health economics, pharmacoeconomics, and health policy. She is currently evaluating the effects of health insurance benefit costs on demand for full-time and part-time labor and retirement decisions; the effects of social capital on health in the U.S.; and taxation of unhealthy foods and purchasing behavior. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Schultz was a faculty member at Cornell University where she analyzed consumer decision-making in health care, use of health care information, and perceptions of quality differences across health care providers. Dr. Schultz’s previous research has also included an evaluation of consumer driven health care (a health care purchasing arrangement by large employers), an investigation of the selection of health care provider groups by employees and families to determine their sensitivity to price and quality measures, and an empirical analysis of risk redefinition. As a research consultant for Ingenix, UnitedHealth Group, she analyzed health care utilization and costs for a variety of health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, bipolar disorder, hyperlipidemia, cancer, migraine, and asthma. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her M.A. in Economics from Washington State University. She has published articles in the Journal of Health Economics, Health Services Research, Medical Care, American Journal of Managed Care, and Milbank Quarterly and has presented research at academic and professional conferences.
February 21st at 6:00 pm (Chem 200)
Due to poor weather, this event has been cancelled.
This Spring the Center (with the assistance of MPIRG) is conducting a panel discussion on raising Minnesota’s minimum wage. The Minnesota House (on May 3rd, 2013) passed the Minimum Wage Bill, HF 92, on a 68 to 62 vote. It sought to raise the minimum wage for large employers to $8.00 in 2013, $9.00 in 2014 and $9.50 in 2015. The Minnesota Senate also passed
a minimum wage bill, on a 39 to 28 vote. Under the Senate bill, however, the rate goes up to only $7.75 by 2015. Many questions remain. Should Minnesota raise the minimum wage? And if so, by how much? Will raising the minimum wage actually help the poor? The CEPP will host a panel discussion with various experts to provide information and context to this important and contentious issue. The goal is to create an open discussion in which many sides can exchange ideas/concerns in a respectful atmosphere.
(1) Ben Gerber -- Manager of energy policy and labor/management policy, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. He joined the organization in January 2012. He represents the Chamber’s energy interests at both the Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission. Gerber was an oil and gas attorney and handled Fredrikson & Byron’s government relations operation in North Dakota, focusing on mining, energy and tax legislation. His Minnesota experience includes time spent at a Minneapolis government relations office, and public policy and legal work for National Wind, LLC, a large-scale community wind developer. Gerber graduated from William Mitchell College of law cum laude in 2010 and was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar Association.
(2) Dan McElroy -- President and CE0, Hospitality Minnesota. He came to Hospitality Minnesota from state government, where he served as Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development and previously as Governor Tim Pawlenty's Chief of Staff as well as Commissioner of Finance. Dan has years of experience as an elected official, including city council member (1983-87) and mayor (1987-1995) in Burnsville, as well as a state representative (1995-2003). While known for his work in the public sector, Dan also has experience in the private sector that includes serving as CEO for Travel Agency Management Solutions, Inc., president of Mainline Travel, and Chief Financial Officer of Travel Professionals.
(3) Rep. Ryan Winkler (District 46A) -- Rep. Winkler’s committee assignments include: Civil Law, Data Practices, Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy, Elections, Government Operations, Higher Education Finance and Policy, Living Wage Jobs (Chair). He was the chief author of HF 92 (which was passed on May 3rd, 2013) which sought to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015.
(4) Rev. Nancy E. Maeker -- Executive Director at A Minnesota Without Poverty (AMWP), a statewide movement to end poverty in Minnesota by 2020. Her work with AMWP focuses on convening and leading a collaborative process to implement the recommendations of the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota, and to build the public and political will to end poverty. Previously she served as Dean of Students at Luther Seminary (1991-2000), Pastor for Community Ministries at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis (2000-2002), and Bishop’s Associate in the Saint Paul Area Synod-ELCA (2002-2008). She has degrees from Texas Lutheran University (BA), Wartburg Seminary (MDiv), University of Texas at Austin (MMus), and Luther Seminary (DMin). She is the co-author of Ending Poverty: A 20/20 Vision (2006).