President And Chief Executive Officer, David Theroux, Prager University discussed on Jim Bohannon


Four six two six we are talking with David Theroux. He is the founder president and chief executive officer of the independent institute. And they're willing to give it more about his approach to reaching people who have not tended to vote who have not tend to get involved to be informed. You know, I it's remarkable that the political parties don't seem to have figured this out that are educational institutions don't seem to figure this out if you're reaching these folks, and it sounds like you have the empirical evidence to indicate that you are reaching them. How come you thought of this? And nobody else did I commend you. But I find it unfortunate that nobody else is doing this. Well, there are other. I think very good programs. I'm Prager university has a great series of videos. Others group called the institute of humane. Studies has a program called learn liberty, and there are others. But the the format that they use. I e every other group is again having someone standing there telling you what's true, and that's perfectly useful. But it usually requires having an audience that already is sympathetic or it's a captive audience. And so we specifically tried to design the loved on series for people who are not sympathetic. They were simply mainstream millennials. They had short attention span. They don't trust people and so on so we had to have a way to engage them. Which is in concert with the way, they're making their choices. Otherwise, I think that once you're able to get that trust with people, then there's all sorts of opportunities, hence, the catalysts website and other things that we're doing. But you know, it's interesting that the the trend in American political culture is that people are becoming less and less trustworthy of the political elites and government to solve problems. But it is true at the same time that the appeal of politics is usually offering people something for nothing and claiming that they have the answers to these different issues like healthcare and housing or any other it crime, you name it education, and so on so what we do at independent institute is we're a free market think tank, essentially media, lots of books we have about one hundred and forty fellows. We do lots of work in the media and the books are used in colleges and other other forums and many other ways that public policy is being debated. But the love of series is. A considerable extensions of of a marketing communications program that is not dependent on the traditional media the traditional way that people get information. It's it's taking advantage of the fact that what's grown up is an alternative way people get their information. And so we're just basically plugging into that development. And so it it's a great opportunity think to to make a difference. So our our goal basically, see how far we can push. This. Can we go from ten to twenty or thirty or forty million millennials to get them engaged, and then channel them to the catalyst site, and and other projects, and I think that there's a great opportunity, especially in a moment like now because people are revving up for the midterm elections. So they're more focused on issues. And there's obviously a number of things that are. Are becoming more assertive in high relief for people? And so I think the opportunity is just continue to grow. I do think that on the other hand the. Prevalence of the Democratic Party man respects, sort of losing sight of actual ideas. Other than simply that the government take it over is on the one hand a problem in that people think, well, we'll just go completely into socialism because they're the experts and eliminate greed and so on and so forth to be fair is the view win the track record of socialism is a total devastation. And it's not just not being able to provide things like. Affordable housing and good food and employment and some sort, but you know, the twentieth century is a century of socialists experiments that resulted in the greatest human misery and the history of the world. Yeah. So I think that it's it's there's a lot of steak and Simpson the lineal are the future of the country. We think that the timing of this couldn't be better. Well, they certainly are the the future. And I think more than a few of us who are in the process, of course, of getting older retiring, indeed dying and passing the baton to this generation, and what shapes up as a very dangerous situation and a very complicated century in a very challenging century. We're not that sanguine about the prospects. Quite frankly, we we are these people ready. I don't want to overly generalize or stereotype. But but people who who are worried about safe spaces and and places like the university of of Utah. For example, the library has a cry closet. Are these people are ready for the twenty first century? Oh technologically. Maybe. But that's about the only way. I see. I I will confess that. I am highly skeptical. I certainly applaud people like you for doing this. But I hope it makes enough difference. Well, I think that's true. And you know, we we we can't be you know, have blind. Our is and and to ignore the reality of things, but the the culture of young people picking millennials in particular is not a monolith. It's a mixture of conflicting views. So for example. It turns out that most millennials according to the surveys are very pro entrepreneurship, they are very pro the idea of having their own business. They don't as I said, they don't trust the elites necessarily to tell them how to live their lives. The in other words on the one hand they've been miseducation to understand history and the nature of an economy and so forth. But on the other hand, they're intrigued by the idea of of enterprise and innovation and so we think that all those kinds of factors should be part of the communication strategy for this generation, and those questions are not that different from other people around the world who come from different cultures. How do you make the ideas of liberty relevant and compelling for people? So the the fact that millennials are receptive in the way, we're discussing, and we understand how they've been mis educated or misguided in interpreting certain things, for example, Gleneagles have been taught. That the great recession in two thousand eight was caused by greed and the free market. And even though the reality of it is that the federal government created the recession because of the community reinvestment act that was started decades earlier that crater the gigantic housing bubble, and that was not sustainable, it burst. And of course, the usual response was taken which was to have government bail out the different firms that had gone off and took these high risk investments, which were actually either mandated by the government or incentive by the government. So. Hateful realize that these kinds of. Connick examples of allegedly the failure of free markets are fallacies and that their cynicism about political authority is even more justified. It makes a huge difference in the receptivity to the.

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