Episode 25 – Money (Podcast)

What is money? For thousands of years currency was tied to a commodity, if the commodity itself wasn’t actually exchanged. Today, that relationship has drastically been altered. Money, as a human institution, has evolved from having a real value to only having a perceived value. Milton Friedman traces it back to one specific date. “It’s seldom that you can date precisely when there’s a major change in a human institution let alone in a monetary institution. But you know it’s an interesting fact that you can date precisely a really drastic change in the character in the monetary system around …

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Episode 24 – Science and Religion (Podcast)

Are science and religion incompatible? It’s a conversation that tends to get heated very quickly. Science has answered several of our questions about the universe, but the theological debate keeps returning to one point, the beginning. As you could expect, a balanced discussion on the topic eventually leads to more questions than answers. “How the earth formed, how life arose from the earth, how man evolved. All of that is explainable in a very satisfying way. Does that prove that God does not exist? The trouble with drawing that conclusion is that when you step back to look at the …

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Episode 23 – Monetary Revolutions (Podcast)

What effects did world events, such as world wars and depression, have on the economies of nations such as Germany, and the former Soviet Union? As hyperinflation raged, the real value of currency in these nations became a question mark. Countries today are still ravaged with the same problem. As revolutions erupt and regimes change, the effect on purchasing power is hard to ignore. How can the problems of “out of control” inflation be solved? As Milton Friedman describes the issue, “Country after country has seen its monetary system blow up in its face, and subsequently, it’s had to do …

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Episode 22 – International Movement of Wealth (Podcast)

Money, wealth, and capital can move around the world in mere seconds. Within any economic structure, capital is the building block of prosperity. With relatively new ease of access to resources, how has that changed our society? Developing nations no longer need to start from scratch, or wait long periods of time to meet demand for certain items. This has fundamentally changed what is considered capital along with the way our world and our governments function. Author and Professor Richard B. McKenzie puts it in these easy to understand terms, “The big difference is not so much the need for …

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Episode 21 – Why Economists Disagree (Podcast)

Despite general agreement on the academic theory behind economics, the implementation of those findings into society usually leads to disagreement. There are simply too many variables within a society to achieve a consensus. So with the unpredictable nature of individuals, how can economists even begin to predict the results of their theories? Milton Friedman reflects on his process, “What we insist on is that you’re not able to predict random, irrational behavior. And therefore, the only kind of behavior that you can hope to predict is behavior that has some regularity. One individual may behave any way at all. But …

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Episode 20 – Charles Murray (Podcast)

Welfare programs are often touted as the saving grace of those living in poverty. But, as with any governmental program there tends to be unintended consequences despite noble intentions. How have welfare programs changed the overall culture of those living in poverty? It’s a question that most people have never posed to themselves. Social scientist Charles Murray has researched that very question for years. He poses that these programs have changed the perception of those who have money and those who work hard. “One of the most tragic things that you encounter are the stories of the 16-year-old who goes …

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Episode 19 – Healthcare Reform (Podcast)

Reforming healthcare is something that only gets more complicated with time. Rising costs, increased government involvement, and complex insurance policies only compound the problem further. These are problems that have been going on for decades with no clear resolution. But, what about looking at healthcare from an economic standpoint? Can market forces solve the problem? Noted economists Milton Friedman and Alain Enthoven once sat down to discuss exactly that. The start of the problem, they found, came when employers became primarily responsible for providing healthcare. What started off as government price controls has evolved into the system we have today …

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Episode 18 – James Buchanan (Podcast)

What is the most basic unit of our society which our values and norms are built around? For James Buchanan, that unit is the individual. It was his view that individual liberty should be the fundamental building block of a society. Laws and systems should be built around the protection of those individual rights in an effort to preserve liberty. His research and ideas won him a Nobel Prize in 1986, but underwent a transformation over the years. “I didn’t understand- had no understanding at all- of how the economy works or how the market works. I’ve often referred to …

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Episode 17 – Perspectives on Judicial Activism (Podcast)

The court system of the United States is supposed to protect and uphold the Constitution, regardless of personal beliefs. Increasingly, over the past few decades more and more rulings seem to fall on the side of those individual beliefs, rather than what is written under law. This type of judicial activism is in direct conflict with what the court system is meant to be. Our government is founded on a system of checks and balances, but when a court has the final decision, who holds them in check? After decades on the bench, Former Solicitor General of the United States, …

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Episode 16 – Walter Williams (Podcast)

Join American economist and columnist Walter Williams as he discusses what influenced his unique, and often controversial, perspectives on economics. Williams is a unique thinker. Despite being African American he opposes the minimum wage, affirmative action, and believes the welfare state has done far more harm than good for those living in poverty. Although those views are major parts of his philosophy now, he didn’t always hold those views. As Walter Williams says about one of those revelations, “I thought that the minimum wage like many, many other Americans who have not really thought about it, was a really good …

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