The Federal Reserve has had promoters and detractors since its inception in 1913. An arm of the government and nominally owned by the banks that belong to the system, it’s been blamed for the Great Depression, praised, and criticized for helping lessen the 2008 financial crisis. As America’s central bank its purpose is to conduct monetary policy, the pursuit of full employment and stable prices, to supervise and regulate banks, maintain the stability of the financial system and to provide services to government and financial institutions.

Left to Right: Dennis McCuistion, Danielle DiMartino Booth, and Niki McCuistion

How well has the Federal Reserve performed its role, and in today’s world does the Federal Reserve matter as it once may have?

Joining Host Dennis McCuistion, who himself is a former banker, well-versed in these issues is:

Danielle DiMartino Booth, author of the new bestseller, Fed Up… An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America. Ms. Booth quit her high-ranking Wall Street job after predicting the housing crash of 2008 and was recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Over the next nine years she and Richard Fisher, former President and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas spoke up often about the dangers of some Fed policies.

To no avail, says Ms. Booth, “On a world rendered unsafe by banks that were too big to fail, we came to understand that the Fed was simply too big to fight”. According to Ms. Booth, decisions were made based on theoretical models, the results, easy money for the well off and keeping Wall Street thriving at the expense of the average middle class just getting by.

John Tamny, Forbes contributor, Senior Fellow in Economics and author of Who Needs the Fed? also joins us. He states, “The Fed is an offense to common sense; economists who think that growth causes inflation!”He believes that prosperity can be achieved through Federal Reserve fine-tuning; however, as to its being powerful, there he differs.

Join two power houses on the issue of the Federal Reserve, its relevancy today, Alan Greenspan’s “influence” on the housing bubble, the impact the Federal Reserve has on the economy, and how this all affects you.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

2401 – 05.21.2017

Ethics, as defined by Merriam-Webster is “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation… the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group.”

  • Our experts, Marianne Jennings, J.D.: Professor Emeritus Arizona State University Ethical and Legal Studies, author of The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse; commended as a top 100 thought leader on ethics and one of the most influential people in ethics by Ethics Magazine, and
  • Richard Ebeling, PhD: Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at the Citadel, former President of the Foundation for Economic Education and V. P. Future of Freedom Foundation;

agree that ethics make for good business, yet too many businesses today do not base their business dealings on sound ethical behaviors. The glaring lack of ethics and egregious codes of conduct in more than a few financial institutions was a critical factor in the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent bailouts cost taxpayers billions.

And recent headlines of some of our major institutions, from Wells Fargo onward, show that ethics is still missing from their playbooks.

Left to Right: Richard Ebeling, PhD and Marianne Jennings, J.D.

Most companies do not take the necessary steps to create a culture of ethics that governs their decision making. Companies claim to know what they are supposed to do. Most have written codes of ethics, classes and employee training in the subject matter, yet there is a huge gap between what should be and what actually happens.

Employees comment that the codes of ethical conduct set by their companies have little impact on their making ethically correct choices. What does, it is the examples set by leadership and the actual culture followed in a company that influences their actions.

So how do you take ethics from theory to practice?

Professor Jennings and Dr. Ebeling join host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss how the lack of transparency and ethics in banks and corporations contributed to the financial crisis and what must be done to instill an ethical culture to prevent another 2008 debacle.

All agree, if there are regulations, rules and money to be made, chances are people will find loopholes. Something can be legal but not ethical. The model in some financial institutions was quantity not quality, make money… Business has a choice. Unfortunately, too many banks looked for loopholes, rewarded greed, and violated moral codes.

Left to Right: Richard Bowen

Left to Right: Richard M. Bowen, Cary Maguire, and Niki McCuistion

The program also features a short interview on ethics with Cary Maguire (Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU), who funded the National Center for Policy Analysis’ Financial Crisis Initiative. Mr. Maguire was recently honored with the inaugural “Cary M. Maguire Spirit of Ethics” award presented by The Greater Dallas Business Ethics Awards. This is a new level of recognition to a company that demonstrates and champions above-and-beyond ethical practices.

Talking about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

Did Dodd-Frank set up a tyranny in our financial system?

The failure of Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused an outcry for due process, rule of law, regulation and reform. And while the intention was to revitalize the American economy, the reverse has occurred. The 19,000 pages of regulations, $35 billion of economic impact and 72 million hours of paperwork may not have worked as intended.
Hundreds of rules later, no one is really sure about any regulation’s effectiveness. And the government is looking for ways to dismantle Dodd-Frank. President Trump has said Dodd-Frank rulings aren’t working and are making legitimate investing activity more difficult than it should be….” These regulations enshrine too big to fail and encourage risky behavior.”

Left to Right: George A. Selgin, PhD, William K. Black and C.K. Lee

Joining Host, Dennis McCuistion, are:

Our guests state that some regulations have actually caused risk, helped the big banks become bigger, small banks fewer with many closing their doors as a result because of the crippling. A Harvard University working paper released in early 2015, argues Dodd-Frank is the culprit contributing to fewer community banks.

George A. Selgin, PhD with audience members , Gerald Reihsen and FRTV Board Member, Gary Short

Regulations were supposed to unleash the market, yet we are at 2% economic growth, compared to a historic 3.5% growth. The average family has stagnant paychecks, has lost savings, have less access to credit, and we’re losing a community financial institution a day because of the volume and complexity of Dodd-Frank and other regulatory overkill.

Are we politically allocating capital in our economy? Can the Financial Protection Agency be fair regarding products it deems abusive or is it arbitrary and are we giving the so called protective agencies too much power?
While this is not a good news program, tune in to see what the experts predict. It impacts you.
Talking about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.
The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

2312 – 08.07.2016 (original airing date)

In the United States, the official poverty rate is 13.5 percent (U.S. Census Bureau 2015). The 2015 studies show an estimated 43.1 million Americans lived in poverty, a rate of 14.3 percent of the population. While the percentage of Americans in poverty fell from 15 percent in 2012, the biggest such decline since the year 2000 poverty is still an issue.

Left to Right (on platform): Timothy Bray, PhD and Brad Lips, PhD

Global Poverty Studies

Globally, based on a poverty line of $1.90 a day, World Bank projections suggest global poverty may have reached 700 million, or 9.6 percent of global population, in 2015. Globally, 1.2 billion people (22 percent) live on less than $1.25 a day.

Joining us on McCuistion to explore the solutions to global poverty:

Brad Lips says, “Should we be focused on the causes of poverty or should we reframe our thinking to use free enterprise to get obstacles out of the way so that people can create wealth which is the lasting way to alleviate poverty”? Atlas Network has a partnership with 460 organizations in 98 countries, one third of which are in the U.S.

Tim Bray, on Mayor Rawlings task force on poverty says, “Quality of life issues need to be examined- that prevent access to better employment, education and health care”.

And Robert Rector asks that we consider that “in calculating poverty the census ignores almost all the entire welfare state.” The census defines a family of four as poor if its income falls below a specified point- $24,036, yet does not count welfare benefits.

Can we alleviate global poverty? Yes. However, can we resolve the issue of global poverty once and for all?

Tune in Sunday to hear the experts on this issue.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

04.23.2017 – 2324

In today’s polarized political world, the question, “Are We Too Dumb for Democracy?”, is on point.

The votes from our three experts on this subject are mixed.

Left to Right:  Joseph E. Kobylka, PhD., Jeffrey A. Engel, PhD., and Robert Howell, PhD

Joining host Dennis McCuistion to discuss the concerns with civic intelligence and the
“right “to vote are:

  • Jeffrey A. Engel. PhD: Director, Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University,
  • Joseph E. Kobylka, PhD: Southern Methodist University, Associate Professor of Political Studies and
  • Robert Howell, PhD: Dedman Family Distinguished Professor, Southern Methodist University.

Their comments provoke some thought. Our experts remind us that the framers of our Constitution did not form a democracy and they put in place a vigorous system of checks and balances.

Today it is a civic responsibility to vote; however, voting for a candidate based on whom you’d like to share a beer with is not a basis for an intelligent vote for a governing position. And too often, too many do not have the civic intelligence and awareness to make good decisions.

Concern was expressed over our civic ignorance. For instance, some Americans do not know there are three branches of government, and only one third of our citizens can name even one of them.

Many invest almost total power for decision making in our President. Two thirds of our citizens believe if Roe vs Wade is overturned abortion is automatically illegal, 40% of citizens believe English is our official language and Christianity our U.S. religion. Our economic beliefs are predominately inaccurate, and the list goes on.

Our experts ask: On what basis can one make a qualified voting decision if you don’t have the right information to accurately evaluate a candidate’s ability to govern? Public schools are not teaching civics. Social media offers lots of choice yet may also reinforce existing biases. You can Google down any rabbit hole and find sources to back up your preconceptions.

The evolution of how we come to decisions has changed. We no longer have a common narrative, because there are so many sources of information. Fake news hurts. Political correctness hurts. And we may have made civic engagement into entertainment.

Our guests agree, “democracy” may not always be a good thing, but it is the only game in town. We need good information to make good decisions. Educating ourselves on our choices is critical. Civic ignorance can be dangerous to our continued freedom as citizens.

Tune in as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 27 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

2325 – 04.09.17

Paul David Miller, PhD. (University of Texas at Austin, Research Fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) said, “Self-government is at root a culture of public responsibility among a citizenry, that is, a widely accepted norm that citizens can and should take a role in public decision making. People must believe that they have the right, duty, and ability to govern themselves.”

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss what has become an issue in a democratic society where few people vote, are key experts in the field of self-governance:

  • David G. Drumm, J.D. – Partner, Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P.; Chair of the Board, Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, and
  • Tom Giovanetti – President of The Institute for Policy Innovation.

Left to Right: Tom Giovanett and David G. Drumm, J.D.

Addressed are key questions:

  1. Are we as Americans capable of civic involvement to the extent that we are knowledgeable about issues and can resolve most of society’s problems without excessive government involvement?
  2. Are we capable of selecting and electing honest politicians?

We ask: Can we be a self-governing nation when so many people are ignorant about civic issues? Are Americans too overwhelmed, throwing their hands up and thinking their voice does not matter?

Our founders attempted to lay out a path that allowed us as American citizens to set our own policy without oversight from an external authority and that we would be free from outside controls except those we could influence. Yet, has government and our election process become such that this is no longer possible?

They were concerned that a 51% “majority” would force the 49% into accepting its mandates, and decisions. They asked that as a society we understand that we are responsible for what occurs in government through the people we elect, and that we respect that only a responsible, educated , virtuous people can self-govern. We need to ask, are we good enough for a democracy that is personal self-governance?

An individual citizen then must be active, have an informed perspective, and self-organize for various purposes. If we as citizens are not, then voting is essentially a lottery and a spinning of the roulette wheel. People may complain about their elected officials, yet we have elected them and if we’ve done a poor job doing so then we should not expect good government or good governance.
Yet while many Americans feel the government is dysfunctional and not responsive to the people themselves, the system still works. People can change government policy if they so wish. The key is being informed and responsible.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 27 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

2.26.2017 – 2326

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss the growing dangers and spread of West Nile and Zika and the issues associated with them are:

  • Tara Smith, PhD – Associate Professor, Kent State University College of Public Health,
  • Christopher Perkins, M.D. – Medical Director/ Health Authority- Dallas County Health and Human Services,
  • Zachary Thompson – Director, Dallas County Health and Human Services,
  • Seema Yasmin, MD – Staff writer at the Dallas Morning News and Professor of Public Health at the University of Texas at Dallas, and
  • James (Jim) H. Kennedy, PhD – Regents Professor of Biological Science at the University of North Texas

West Nile virus (WNV) and Zika are infectious diseases which are primarily transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Zika can also be sexually transmitted. Contracting the Zika virus during pregnancy is becoming more problematic as it can cause congenital brain abnormalities in the fetus which we may not be aware of until the child is born.

Its symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, flu like symptoms, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. In 2016, World Health Organization officials declared the virus and its associated birth defects an international health emergency.

Most people (70-80%) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms; although about 1 in 5 people may develop a fever with other symptoms, such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. While most recover completely, fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of those infected develop serious (fatal) neurologic illness (CDC).

There are no medications to treat either virus or vaccines to prevent either infection. And the issue is growing as more people travel to countries where they can be infected and become the natural hosts and spread the virus.

So how do you protect yourself? Our experts counsel mosquito repellent all day every day as not all mosquitoes die in winter. We need to minimize breeding and their incubation as there is always a danger. Get rid of standing water, keep windows secure with screens, and be alert to bites. Even a flu shot can help. A key is public buy-in and building awareness. Surveillance and prevention need to go hand in hand.

Tune in to get advice and wisdom about this growing concern from experts in the field who understand and deal with the issues on a daily basis.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 27 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

01.31.17 – 2321

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”#middleeast #refugees” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Millions of Middle East refugees are fleeing or have fled Middle Eastern countries because of wars, ISIS and terrorism and economic crisis.[/clickandtweet] The countries they’ve turned to are torn between compassion and fear that some of the refuges may in fact be undercover terrorists. And so the borders are closing.

Left to Right: Hind Jarrah, PhD, Dennis McCuistion, Donna Duvin, Niki McCuistion, and A.J. Irwin

The outcome: Middle East refugees are having a difficult time whether they are in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan or elsewhere. Their sheer numbers have caused some European leaders to limit the number of Middle East refugees who enter their countries. In some cases doors have completely shut. While the refugee problem is not as acute in America, the refugee situation nevertheless raises concerns about national security, terrorism, health issues, disease, finances and assimilation. Concerns over fraud and welfare costs and terrorism are also very real.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss Middle East refugees are:

This is a particularly difficult issue as most Americans are by nature compassionate towards their fellow man and woman regardless of their country of origin or other unique characteristics. On this program we attempt to weigh humanitarian concerns against those of terrorism.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer, who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

The economics of climate change is becoming an increasingly critical issue and divisive issue.

President- elect Donald Trump’s pick for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , the Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney –General, State of Oklahoma, is a major change away from the previous administration’s position on climate change.

Historically, EPA chiefs have been climate change advocates. Mr. Pruitt appears not to be.

Left to Right: Bruce Bullock, Niki McCuistion, Charlene Heydinger, Dennis McCuistion and Tom “Smitty” Smith

In an article for the National Review, co-authored with a fellow attorney-general rich Luther Strange of Alabama, he said, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” he wrote. “That debate should be encouraged—in classrooms, public forums and the halls of Congress.”

Mr. Trump once tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” Mr. Trump followed up during the campaign with his “America First Energy Plan,” which would rescind the present (soon past) administration’s actions on climate change.

President Trump has stated he wants to dismantle the Paris Agreement.

So what is the future of climate change and the economics involved? Isglobal warming/ climate change responsible for everything that is wrong with our world as some advocates claim?

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss the issues from an economic perspective are:

  • Bruce Bullock – Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business,
  • Charlene Heydinger – President of Texas Pace Authority
  • Kelly Mitchell – Energy Campaign Director, Greenpeace
  • Tom “Smitty” Smith – Texas Director of Public Citizen
  • A clip from Prager University with Richard Lindzen, PhD – a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute outlines the politicians, media and environmentalists points of view on energy and climate change. Global warming alarmism- according to Lindzen provides these groups with what they most want.

Renewable energy advocates believe that clean energy for the future means shutting down coal plants, building our natural gas reserves and increasing wind and solar technology and use. The panelists agree, markets make better decisions than man does.

Various alternatives are discussed. One program, headed by the Texas Pace Authority, grants loans to business which allows them to make energy –saving infrastructure improvements, e.g., a new roof, insulation, an air conditioning system, etc… The loan is tied to the property, so risk to the lender is reduced, the company saves on utility bills, and the end result, cost savings overall.

Fossil fuel fracking, which some are against at least, have made for new deposits and less expensive natural gas reserves.

Solar energy is discussed as a more cost effective solution. India and China are starting to investigate these technologies. While China is reducing coal consumptions, one billion Chinese do not yet have access to electricity, so innovations will take a long time. Coal is still growing faster than any other energy choice, especially outside the U.S.

All energy is subsidized to a degree. The panelists discuss corporate tax deductions which could help.

Joining in by a previous interview is Robert” Bob” Durden Inglis, Sr., Executive Director, Energy and Enterprise Institute. Their goal is to catalyze a movement among ‘conservatives’ to find answers, a free market one that is eco right and eco left, for more energy for less.

With 1000 people moving into Texas each day, finding a way a way to economically look at what is happening in our own backyards is critical.

P.S.

In response to a question about his views on climate change on Science Debate, Trump implied that the US shouldn’t waste “financial resources” on climate change and should instead use them to ensure the world has clean water, eliminate diseases like malaria, increase food production, or develop alternative energy sources.

“There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of ‘climate change,'” he said. “We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous.”

***

2317 – 01.15.2017

Advocates of climate change say 97% of scientists agree that the earth is warming catastrophically, the science is settled and anyone who disagrees is just flat wrong. The issue they claim is primarily the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Climate change views though are open to interpretation and many disagree that the earth is warming – catastrophically . Essentially the warming may be business as usual with a prediction of 4-8 degrees Fahrenheit over the 21st century.

Left to Right: Cherelle Blazer, Dr. Geissman, and Dr. Michaels with Dennis McCuistion

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss what 97% of scientists really do agree on are:

  • Cherelle Blazer: Organizing Representative for Sierra Club Beyond Coal Chair, Dallas
  • John Geissman, PhD: Professor and Department Head Geosciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Past President of the Geological Association of America
  • Patrick J. Michaels, PhD: Director, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute; author of Lukewarming, Past President of the American Association of State Climatologists
  • Andrew Emory Dessler, PhD: Climate Scientist and Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University

The mainstream view of climate change is that yes, the climate is warming with the increase in temperature primarily due to carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses from human activity. With an expectation of population growth going from 7 billion to 11 billion people by the end of the century, we need to ask what is the cost of prosperity? And what do we as a society need to do, if anything to mitigate risk?

Join us as we continue the discussion on Climate Change/Global Warming. To view the first episode, please click through to our website: Climate Change/Global Warming: The History, the Threat, the Exaggeration.

And please don’t forget that for the last 27 years it is you, our viewer who keeps us on the air through your generosity.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikimccuistion@gmail.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

***

12.25.2016 – 2316