Commonwealth National Podcast

Katrina, Big Government and a New Strategy for Future Crises (9/18/2006)


Marvin Olasky, Professor, University of Texas, Austin; Editor, World Magazine; Author, The Politics of Disaster

A former Bush advisor and the man known as the "Godfather of Compassionate Conservatism," Marvin Olasky, will tell us why he believes Hurricane Katrina changed the rules of how human beings must cope with disasters. Citing Katrina as a sobering example of mass-scale incompetence by the American government to protect its citizens, which resulted in thousands of avoidable deaths, Olasky will argue in favor of allowing the private sector, faith based organizations, and other community groups more control in the wake of catastrophic crises. He will also share his thoughts on how the "Katrina failure" will likely impact the next presidential election and what we should expect--and not expect--from the government in times of crisis.

The editor-in-chief of World magazine, he is also a professor of journalism at the University of Texas. He has written numerous books, including The Politics of Disaster: Katrina, Big Government, and a New Strategy for Future Crises. He has recently published a work of fiction, entitled Scimitar’s Edge. A major player in the conservative Christian movement, Olasky has served as an advisor for President Bush, and has influenced many conservative leaders, including Newt Gingrich.

Born Jewish, Olasky explored aethiesm and communism before becoming a born again Christian. He received his BA from Yale University, and his MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.

This program was recorded live on September 18, 2006.