This video from ReasonTV features an interview with Robert Pollock.
Tags:Wall Street Journal's Robert Pollock,economy and politics,randy barnett libertarianism,ReasonTV,robert pollock political influence,wall street journal robert pollock,wall street journals robert pollock
Grab video code:
Wall Street Journal's Robert Pollock
I’m Robert Pollock. I’m the editorial features editor of the Wall Street Journal that means up ed editor. I’ve been the editorial features editor of the Journal since I guess the end of February 2007 so a little over year right now. I first came to the journal way back in the summer of 1995 party on the strength of flips of I had for being in intern at Reason Magazines so.
I don’t know probably liberal and European sense of the word. I don’t mind the term libertarian either if it’s understood in a sort of wide sense. I call myself a Randy Barnett kind of libertarian maybe i.e. what I mean by that is some people define libertarian as to me to entail isolationism and foreign policy and I guess like Randy I would say that you can interpret the right of self defense in a more broad way if it means you don’t have to wait for people to come at you necessarily that to act on it by self defense.
Where do your politics come from?
It’s hard to say certainly it has something to do with influence of my father who was a libertarian philosophy professor at Buffalo State College for a long time and he wrote a couple of books so the freedom principle in the free society. He never spend a lot of time trying to indonctrinate me but I suppose when you grow up for someone and talk to them a lot it’s they’re bound to have some kind of influence on you and so certainly that played a big role. I was exposed to publications like reason magazine at a young age so that certainly was an influence and you know in college I fell in with some libertarian groups some few main studies and others.
What are the most important issues in the 2008 election?
The tax debate is still very much alive as it always has been. I think both of the democratic candidates are quite clear about the fact that they want the bush tax cuts to expire and I think that there is going to be whether it’s Barrack Obama or Hillary in the end there is going to be a big debate about that as there should be because if they do lapse you will have as a percentage of GDP the government taking in revenue pretty much an all time high so that’s something we definitely want to talk about.
Well it was really interesting to me and the reason democratic debate is maybe see us that you had Charles Gibson of all people sort of cornered Obama in capital gains taxes and pointed out to him that based on the evidence we have that when you raise capital and gains tax she gets less revenue and when you lower them you get more and Obama was and Gibson came back and then again in a sort of just asserted as fact which it is that high capital gains rate is economic productive so it is interesting that the main stream media at least parts of it are starting to accept this argument that we were making up the journal you know 30 years ago or more.
What do you think of McCain’s economics?
Well you know he kind of drags Fil Gram around with him which helps him a lot because Gram talks pretty convincingly about economics from my point of view and look I mean if you had McCain administration with a Gram Treasury Secretary and McCain actually decided to differ to Gram on economic issues I suppose for the most part that would be good. McCain has a lot of credibility as a sort of a spending hog so that’s a good thing. You know the downsides for McCain in my mind are mostly not economic although I obviously I’m concerned about his willingness to impose taxes on the economy over global warming but for the most part I’m not worried about the economics.
Do the Republicans have any chance in the fall?
Well I mean I think if the republican party specifically wants to appeal to voters I think it has to be a party of small government. It has to control spending and it has to be a party that people can count on to keep their taxes reasonably low. I think this has always been the sort of core that unifies the elements of the party of a different and other issues and I think that’s why the party is done poorly in congress lately is that they were terrible on spending even in many ways worse than the democrats that came before them.
I think the presidency is more open for them strangely even though bush is not a very popular president at this point. I think McCain has so far done a pretty good job of selling himself is something different from Bush that people are entertaining him and the democratic candidates are obviously have increasing problems of their own and they may just self destruct and as long as McCain can walk to the finish line without offending too many people he may take it.
Explain the journal’s stance on immigration?
Take you know very much we adhere to very much in open borders policy and we take a lot of heat from a lot of top radiologists and what not for doing so one of my colleagues Jason Riley has a brand new book coming out called let them in about immigration and I’m sure he’ll take a lot of heat for that.
Human beings are always you know unbalanced plus that you know our motto has always been actually very similar to reasons and free people free markets. Yeah I know it’s clear that you know at the high end it’s so many of the advances in technology and business and elsewhere in the U.S economy where the decades have been driven by the fact that bright people from the rest of the world want to come to a place where they will be rewarded for their talents and we should continue to be that kind of place and I think we’ll be very complacent to us to assume that we will continue to be of a destination of choice for the smart people whole.
How will Iraq affect elections?
Unless things were to turn drastically worse you know if civil war were to erupt between now and November yeah I think that would be a big issue I think if it sort of continues along mildly better I mean people have the you know the random car bomb sort of factored into people’s understanding of the situation and then I think most people realize that even there is progress you’re not going to stop acts of terrorism. The question is, is the general law in order situation improving you know I’ve been over to Iraq a number of times in the past few years and I saw it when it was good and I saw it get worse and you know main question basically if Americans think that either that Iraq is our you know safe to go to work in the school and for the most part I don’t think that’s going to be the main issue and I think Americans also understand that we’re going to have a true commitment there no matter what Obama says they’re going to be some level of American troops there for some time to come.
Are we winning the War on Terror?
I mean suppose it’s going well in a sense that there haven’t been any major attacks in the United States since 9/11 so why is that. How much of that is due to our anti terror policy it’s hard to say I don’t think there’s any doubt that people have tried and then of course they have to get in Europe and elsewhere and this very example when you’re talking about the wire tapping controversy that you know our view is that you know frankly instead of having some unelected judge who’s name nobody knows sign of on these wire taps why not let someone who is actually politically accountable elected i.e the president authorize these things maybe have a reporting requirement to congress every so often and then if people think that he’s overstepping his bounds they can punish him and his party at the polls and next time that seems to me to be a fairly effective deterrent.
Who is the journal’s closest competition?
You know pretty much. I would say the Washington Post would be in my opinion or mixed our biggest competition in terms of quality and then certainly the New York Times has a great deal of info and so they really run a different model from us in so many ways I mean they’re much more columnist strip and on many days they just have two columnist and only one outside contribute their and a lot today we mean what we have may have 45 outside contributors and one columnist a day that’s a very different model and you know the times for example you know there’s a very big different model of editorial writing when you look at the unsigned editorials there’s there are very much to be frank I find them sort of factoring in tone they don’t really do any reporting and the journal is always private as itself on doing what we call the reported editorial. We break news in the unsigned editorials. You know we go get our own fax. You just don’t take what the reporters are giving us.
Does print have a future?
Ultimately, the written word I think is going to continue to be king in whatever form it’s delivered I mean whether it’s on the web or on paper. You know frankly broadcast news whether it would be a radio or be it television attempts to take it’s cues and still does from print I mean great majority of broadcast television takes it’s cues from the New York Times but I think an increasing number is starting to look more what we do with journal.