Episode 39 – European Markets (Podcast)

European countries in the Eastern Bloc were faced with a dilemma after the fall of Soviet Russia. They were tasked with transitioning from a centrally planned economy to a market-based one. That proved more difficult for some than for others. How quickly those countries should make the transition was also a hot topic of debate. Gently nudge the economy along, or rip off the bandage and change everything all at once? Nobel laureate Gary Becker lays out his main reason to fast-track the process, “In any country when you experience rapid change, the window of opportunity to make major changes …

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Episode 38 – Constitution Crisis (Podcast)

What is the legitimate role of government in a free society? Most agree that there is one, albeit small. The Constitution lays out these roles, but they are ignored and trampled on year after year. Laws are passed, programs are implemented, and taxes are collected all in the name of progress. Yet most conflict directly with the liberties granted and restrictions imposed by the Constitution. The problem is not going away and seems to be getting worse. History is on our side. When governments have overstepped, the results have not been kind. Dr. Walter Williams puts these concerns in an …

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Episode 37 – Ed Crane (Podcast)

Is there a more market-based approach to government? Regardless of the outcome of elections, there seems to be a growing number of Americans who are dissatisfied with the result no matter which party is in control. Congressional control flips at a rate you can nearly set your watch to. What are Americans looking for? They’re looking for another way. They’re looking for a solution that the two-party system cannot provide; a choice of candidates that doesn’t force them to sacrifice a portion of their principles. Former CATO President, Ed Crane sums it up, “In my view, there’s a huge disenfranchised …

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Episode 36 – Science and Culture (Podcast)

Where do science and culture meet? The rise in popularity of science fiction has shaped popular culture as of late, but remains a source of controversy in society as a whole. This divide traces back to the days when religion, not necessarily evidence, ruled the day. Still, after all this time, science is treated as an evil by some as opposed to a basis of rational thought. Why? With how far we have come since the days of Galileo and DaVinci, why is science still treated with disdain or indifference by some? Gregory Benford, Professor of Physics at UC Irvine …

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Episode 35 – Gary Becker (Podcast)

It’s impossible to predict the behaviors and actions of any one individual. So how can economists ever hope to understand the effects a shift in policy will have on the consumers within the economy? While individuals behave irrationally, groups give us more insight into understanding behavior and the impact those decisions will have on economics. For economist Gary Becker, one of those fundamental groups is family, “One of the things that families do is to care for their children, to invest in their children, to teach their children morals, skills, and other forms of behavior. Human capital deals with the …

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Episode 34 – Julian Simon (Podcast)

With a human population larger than any point in history, we are consuming more natural resources than at any point in history. So, how can we ever expect to maintain this pace without running out of resources? As it turns out, the people who seriously sound these alarm bells are forgetting one thing. Throughout history, bigger problems have produced bigger solutions. Had those initial problems never arisen, neither would have the solutions. As noted scholar Julian Simon put it, “We need our problems. In some fundamental way we need bigger and better problems. That’s not to say we should run …

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Episode 33 – Culture War (Podcast)

What is liberalism? What is conservatism? The divide between the two opposing ideologies has widened recently, but why? It may have to do with the two sides not only believing that they are right, but believing they have the duty to impose their views on the other half. We’ve moved from an era from which politics and religion were separate. Now, we are walking the border of politics becoming religion. Will that shift result in a culture war, or are we already there? As theologian Dr. Kenneth Craycraft Sr. puts political ideology in terms of religion, “The problem is that …

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Episode 31 – High Cost of Bad Science (Podcast)

The vast majority of people agree that we should be doing what we can to help protect the environment, but are we doing it the right way? Regulations may be based in science, but they’re created by bureaucrats with only one singular focus. Whose job is it to look at the impact of these regulations on a larger scale? And is the situation being presented in a way to intentionally scare the public? Dr. Walter Williams would say so, as well as professor of environmental science Dr. Fred Singer, “We have in the federal government, agencies that look at things …

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Episode 30 – The Federal Reserve Myth (Podcast)

The Federal Reserve was originally created to bring stability to our financial and monetary system. However, despite multiple failures, it has widely escaped criticism. There is a myth that the Fed is there to protect us. But upon closer inspection, does it? If you ask Nobel laureate Dr. James Buchanan, the answer is clear, “The Fed more or less just inherited this legacy of being a monopoly in control of a monetary institution. It’s not a constitutional body. It has never been explicitly examined legislatively. And yet it gets away with all this without any criticism because the criticism is …

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Episode 29 – Privatization Trends (Podcast)

When the Soviet Union collapsed, countries in the Eastern Bloc were faced with a huge challenge. They needed to take their socialist societies and convert them into capitalist ones. How did they change a country where most property was state-owned into something that was based on private property? Each country handled it differently and the results are not surprising. Despite these challenges in the early 90’s, Milton Friedman remained optimistic, “The hopeful thing about this is that the inefficiency of the former system is so great that the new system can make great progress even though they have very inefficient …

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