34 episodes

Building a New America: Law, Politics & The Constitution reconsiders the laws that shape our lives today, even though they were created centuries ago.

Building a New America with Jonathan Arias Jonathan Arias

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Building a New America: Law, Politics & The Constitution reconsiders the laws that shape our lives today, even though they were created centuries ago.

    #29 - What is Socialism?

    #29 - What is Socialism?

    • 59 min
    #28 - Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and The Guilty Go Free

    #28 - Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and The Guilty Go Free

    My discussion with Federal District Court Judge Jed Rakoff on his new book Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and The Guilty Go Free.

    • 59 min
    #27 - Investing in Public Safety

    #27 - Investing in Public Safety

    If you viewed the mass demonstrations of 2020, you might have the impression that the majority of the country supports police reform. 
    If you thought so, you may want to think again.
    Polls from the Pew Research Center indicate that, while approval for police has declined slightly over the past five years, Overall support for police still remains high 
    But despite this support, ….most people polled regardless of race – about 90% – agreed that police should be better trained in nonviolent alternatives to deadly force.
    This leads us to the political slogan “Defund the police” … a slogan that has been intensely debated over the past year.    But how many people really know what it means?
    Will defunding the police lead to chaos and disorder as some voters fear?   And Is this fear being used by certain politicians to prevent serious reform?
    On the other hand …. Does the slogan mean that funds should be diverted away from police departments and, instead, reallocated to non-policing forms of public safety? 
    Activists use the phrase with various intentions: some want modest reductions in police funding; others want a full divestment away from police – a full abolition.  But what they all demand …. Is change.  
    As I think deeper on this topic, I’ve realized that Police reform extends beyond forcing officers to wear body cameras and preventing them from using chokeholds.  
    Reform requires that we examine societal ills at large and determine who exactly should resolve them. 
    From economic inequality to homelessness
    from healthcare to mental health, 
    from education to public safety.
    Whose responsibility is it to resolve these growing public needs? 
    Is it the police?  Is it Government?  Is it private business?  Or a combination of all. 
    And as a former public defender with first-hand knowledge, I can say with confidence that along with an overhaul of our criminal legal system ….police across America desperately need top-to-bottom changes – changes to their internal cultures, their training and hiring practices, their unions, and how they are governed.
    In this episode, we take a deeper dive into the movement for police reform.
    In doing so, we explore some of the issues you may not have considered, …. that indeed may have a direct correlation to police reform and public safety.  
    Today I have the wonderful opportunity to speak to professor Alex Vitale again. We were fortunate to have Professor Vitale interviewed for our first episode when we launched the podcast 2 years ago.   He’s a sociology professor and coordinator of the policing and social justice project at Brooklyn College.  
    He has spent the last 30 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally.  He’s the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and also the author of the book The End of Policing. His academic writings on policing have appeared in Policing and Society, Police Practice and Research, Mobilization, and Contemporary Sociology. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have been published in The NY Times and the Washington Post.   He’s also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

    • 50 min
    #26 - The Cost of Health

    #26 - The Cost of Health

    The infamous fact is that we in the US spend vastly more on healthcare than any other country without necessarily getting better services or outcomes.  The last time I checked, we spend about 20% of our national GDP on healthcare.  Anecdotally, I know tons of people, including myself, who have dealt with outrageous and unpredictable medical bills. In fact, in a 2009 study in the American Journal of Medicine, 62% of bankruptcies were caused by medical issues.  
    With that said, how should we view healthcare?  As a commodity like anything else that we consume?  Or as a social good, as a right, where any and everyone receives proper and affordable healthcare?   
    With the complexity of this issue, we could only do it justice by covering it in 2 parts. 
    In part one, we dive into the area that most concerns us: cost.  We discuss the role that insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies play in cost.
    In part two: we compare the US system to other systems around the world.  You may be surprised but there’s a lot that we can learn.  
    We hope this series sheds light on the mystifying world of the US healthcare system while helping us understand the pressing need for us to reform it.  When we say that it’s time to build a new America, we mean that.  
    I got the amazing opportunity to speak to Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal.  She's the author of the New York Times Best Selling Book  An American Sickness - How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. 
    Dr. Rosenthal was for 22 years a reporter, correspondent, and senior writer at The New York Times before becoming the editor in chief of Kaiser Health News, an independent journalism newsroom focusing on health and health policy. She holds an MD from Harvard Medical School, trained in internal medicine, and has worked as an ER physician.

    • 52 min
    #25 - Political Obstruction - Part II

    #25 - Political Obstruction - Part II

    Most people know that our country attempts to separate political power by dividing it amongst three government branches: legislative, executive, and judiciary.  Regarding the legislative branch, political power is further divided into two parts:: the House of Representatives and the Senate.  
    Lately, the Senate has been in the news for multiple reasons, most prominently for this raging debate over the Filibuster.  It’s a debate that’s been raging for decades but has returned because Democrats have a unique opportunity to pass sweeping voting rights legislation and a tremendously $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus relief package.  
    Democrats made huge promises to their voters during the 2020 election.  And when people vote, they expect those promises to be fulfilled.  Why else would you vote?
    Democrats, however, are at grave risk of disappointing their base largely because of this quirky filibuster rule.  
    Today we’re going to learn more about how the Senate operates, about the filibuster, and how it affects you.  And with so much information to cover, this will be a 2-part episode.  
    I’m happy to welcome Professor Gregory Koger.  He teaches political science at the University of Miami and specializes in legislative politics and political parties.  He has a BA from Willamette University and a Ph.D. from UCLA.  He’s worked as a legislative aid in the House for two years and served as a liaison to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  
    He’s also the author of the book ‘Filibustering: A political history of obstruction in the House and Senate, and he’s also authored another book: Strategic Party Government along with Matthew Lebo.

    • 27 min
    #25 - Political Obstruction - Part I

    #25 - Political Obstruction - Part I

    Most people know that our country attempts to separate political power by dividing it amongst three government branches: legislative, executive, and judiciary.  Regarding the legislative branch, political power is further divided into two parts:: the House of Representatives and the Senate.  
    Lately, the Senate has been in the news for multiple reasons, most prominently for this raging debate over the Filibuster.  It’s a debate that’s been raging for decades but has intensified because Democrats have a unique opportunity to pass sweeping voting rights legislation and a tremendously $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus relief package.  
    Democrats made huge promises to their voters during the 2020 election.  And when people vote, they expect those promises to be fulfilled.  Why else would you vote?
    Democrats, however, are at grave risk of disappointing their base largely because of this quirky filibuster rule.  
    Today we’re going to learn more about how the Senate operates, about the filibuster, and how it affects you.  And with so much information to cover, this will be a 2-part episode.  
    I’m happy to welcome Professor Gregory Koger.  He teaches political science at the University of Miami and specializes in legislative politics and political parties.  He has a BA from Willamette University and a Ph.D. from UCLA.  He’s worked as a legislative aid in the House for two years and served as a liaison to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  
    He’s also the author of the book ‘Filibustering: A political history of obstruction in the House and Senate, and he’s also authored another book: Strategic Party Government along with Matthew Lebo.

    **Book mentioned by Prof. Koger** - Julian Zelizer, On Capitol Hill.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

LA Clarke ,

Brilliant

If I was able to give more than five stars I would. This podcast is not only extremely informative, but delivered in such a strategic manner you leave with a greater, more in-depth, understanding of the topic.
Thank you.

Whtnylw ,

Extremely Informative and Accessible

The podcast is well researched but not overly formal allowing the listener to learn and enjoy the process.

DBrownSr. ,

Take the time to listen to these podcasts

Jonathan is taking to time to break down what’s going on in our current political and legal systems. It’s explained in a way anyone can understand without needing a law degree of their own. Inviting experts to speak on issues and propose real solutions is definitely one of the best ways to impact our community for the better. Keep it going.