Featured Events

May 3

State-Based Visas: A Federalism Approach to the Immigration Impasse

State-Based Visas: A Federalism Approach to the Immigration Impasse

The idea of regional or state-based visas is not a new one. Indeed, Canada and Australia have each implemented successful variations that provide some valuable lessons and hint at the major economic benefits possible for us in the United States. Adoption of a state-based visa program in America would permit our 50-state governments to craft rules for work visa programs that are more adaptable to local economic conditions than the present one-size-fits-all system run from Washington, D.C. While state governors and state and federal lawmakers are warming to the idea, all that stands in the way here is congressional approval.

Join us as we discuss the merits of such a plan, the implications for federalism, immigration, and labor markets, and the possibility of it gaining traction in this Congress.

July 27

The Future of Surveillance: Reform, Repeal, or Renewal for Section 702?

One of the most potent and controversial tools in the American intelligence community’s arsenal is set to lapse at the end of this year. Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 allows the government to intercept the communications of foreign targets as they cross U.S. soil—including conversations with American citizens. Spy agencies claim it’s a vital weapon against terrorists and should not only be reauthorized but also made permanent. Civil libertarians, however, worry that the law’s incredible scope—targeting some 100,000 people and hauling in hundreds of millions, if not billions, of communications each year—makes it ripe for abuse without significant reform.

Among the law’s most vocal critics have been two senators from opposite sides of the political spectrum: Ron Wyden and Rand Paul. At this Cato forum, they’ll join a panel of policy experts to explore how section 702 works and whether it needs stronger safeguards to protect Americans’ privacy. Should a warrant be required to search for citizens’ communications in the vast 702 database? Is it feasible to demand an estimate of how many Americans have been “incidentally” caught up in 702 surveillance—a number that the intelligence community has said it’s unable to provide? And does the foreign backlash against 702 surveillance threaten global Internet commerce? We’ll delve into these questions in a wide-ranging discussion moderated by Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Charlie Savage.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online at www.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter using #Cato702. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

August 3

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Libertarians and conservatives alike claim to be advocates of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. In some policy spheres, these shared values lead libertarians and conservatives to similar conclusions about public policy. As a result, popular political discourse often conflates libertarianism with conservatism, and proponents of “fusionism” go so far as to regard a libertarian-conservative alliance as being both natural and politically useful.

However, the differences between the two political philosophies are at least as significant as the similarities. On matters such as national security and foreign policy, immigration, criminal justice, drugs, surveillance, marriage and the family, and the role of religion in public policy, libertarians and conservatives often clash with one another.

Despite whatever similarities they may have, libertarianism and conservatism are substantially different political philosophies—so which one provides better answers to today’s most important political questions?

We invite you to a debate about the two political philosophies and their associated policy implications. Interns from the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation will go head-to-head to answer the question: Is libertarianism or conservatism the superior political philosophy?

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online at www.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter using #LvCDebate. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

Past Events

July 17

The Three Languages of Politics

The Three Languages of Politics

Featuring the author Arnold Kling, Economist, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; introduced by Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

July 11

Ayn Rand’s We the Living

Ayn Rand’s, We the Living

Featuring Onkar Ghate, Senior Fellow, Ayn Rand Institute; Sarah Skwire, Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund and Literary Editor, FEE.org; and Cathy Young, Author, Growing Up in Moscow and Columnist, Newsday and Reason; moderated by Caleb O. Brown, Director of Multimedia, Cato Institute.

June 29

Should Every School Serve Everyone?

Should Every School Serve Everyone?

Featuring Lindsey Burke, Director, Center for Education Policy, and Will Skillman Fellow in Education in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, Heritage Foundation; A. D. Motzen, National Director of State Relations, Agudath Israel of America; Joe McTighe, Executive Director, Council for American Private Education; facilitated by Neal McCluskey, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute.