A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Local Food Ordinances: Fair to all?

  • What should the role of the Federal, state and local governments be in regulating food safety?
  • Should local jurisdictions be able to supercede Federal or state regulation?
  • To what degree does relaxing the rules for small farmers’ local sales put food safety at risk?
  • How will the general population “know” whether less-regulated local products are safe until there is an issue?
  • Assuming support for local farmers is a key objective, are such ordinances fair to those farmers who follow the rules?
  • Does this issue cut across traditional ideological lines, aligning “conservative libertarians” with “organic liberals?”

Education: Is it successfully preparing the next generation?

This topic was discussed on August 5, 2013

  • Who needs to be better educated?
  • What does “better educated” mean…college, vocational skills, critical thinking, practical “life skills?”
  • How do we emphasize more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, which seem to be in high demand from employers?
  • What is the role of, and outlook for, social studies, foreign language, English?
  • Is this an issue that should be dealt with via Federal policy (regulation, mandates, etc.) or at the state and local levels?
    • How should Federal, state and local input be coordinated?

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Related Materials:

As a registered Beyond Labels participant, consider the following resources:

The $4 Million Teacher (WSJ 8/3/2013)




The Media: Are we well served by it?

This subject was discussed on September 16, 2013.

  • Is the line between “news” and “opinion” blurring and becoming increasingly problematic?
  • Does the availability of right- and left-leaning “news” outlets exacerbate the partisan divide in the country?
  • Given the constitutional protection of “freedom of the press,” is there anything we can really do about any issues?  (Other than not buying the newspaper, reading the blog or watching the TV news?)
  • What is the audience for today’s news media…does it address only a small and skewed (by age, education, economic well-being) portion of the population?
  • Is the general population sophisticated enough to critically evaluate what they read, hear or see on the “news?”