Discussing a full tank of ideas

Citizen’s League takes a new approach to public policy with ‘Policy and a Pint.’

We’ve often wished for a more intelligent discourse in the public sphere. While narrow ideological biases, a good shouting voice and a less-than-thrilling familiarity with the concept of logic might still be the requirements to be welcomed on CNN or FOX News, there’s a local alternative that we encourage everyone to take advantage of called “Policy and a Pint.” Sponsored by the nonpartisan public policy group the Citizen’s League, the goal of “Policy and a Pint” is to engage people in the ideas and issues of the day.

Tomorrow, July 19, the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown will be hosting a session of the program on the subject of gasoline pricing. There’s no shortage of reasons why this topic is an important one. Other than the most obvious place where we notice its effect on our life – the price at the pump – gasoline prices and supplies affect our economy, national security and most certainly our relations with the oil-producing nations of the world to keep our lives putting along. With current prices leaving everyone feeling the pinch, some background on what makes a gallon of gas cost more than $3 is a worthy investment of anyone’s time, and perhaps can give us an outlook on what to expect in the future.

The Citizen’s League, based in St. Paul, has been around since 1952, and this new effort to put ordinary people in contact with experts in a field is an approach we think is ideal. It cuts out that meddlesome middleman, the politician, who we often hear commandeering this kind of public policy debate, many times for their own partisan ends.

David Strom, president of the Minnesota Free Market Institute, and Akshay Rao, a research director from the Carlson School of Business Management, will be participating in what the Citizen’s League calls more of a conversation than a debate. It’s a conversation that we’re glad to participate in.

The cost is $10, or $5 with a student ID, and will include appetizers from the Loring Pasta Bar. It begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be moderated by The Current DJ Steve Seel.