Michele Boldrin: Against Intellectual Monopoly (1h19m)

This episode features an interview of research economist Michele Boldrin from 2009 by Russ Roberts, host of Econtalk. Boldrin argues that copyright and patent are used by the politically powerful to maintain monopoly profits. He argues that the incentive effects that have been used to justify copyright and patents are exaggerated–few examples from history suggest that the temporary and not-so-temporary monopoly power from copyright and patents were necessary to induce innovation. Boldrin reviews some of that evidence and talks about the nature of competition.

Arbitrage and Shorting Stocks

When you buy a stock, it is a good price as far as most people are concerned. Maybe the stock will go down or maybe it will go up, but given the information people have today, it is priced highly accurately to what people think it should be priced. This phenomenon is not true with most other assets.

Harvard Study: An Epidemic of Loneliness Is Spreading Across America

Loneliness among Americans has been growing in recent years, but the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically exacerbated the problem. A new report by Harvard University researchers finds that 36 percent of Americans are experiencing “serious loneliness,” and some groups, such as young adults and mothers with small children, are especially isolated.

Walter Williams: American Contempt for Liberty (56m)

This episode features a discussion with economics professor Walter Williams from 2015. Throughout history, personal liberty, free markets, and peaceable, voluntary exchanges have been roundly denounced by tyrants and often greeted with suspicion by the general public. Unfortunately, argues Dr. Williams, Americans have increasingly accepted the tyrannical ideas of reduced private property rights and reduced rights to profits, and have become enamored with restrictions on personal liberty and control by government.

COVID-19 Lockdowns: Liberty and Science

The Chinese Coronavirus (COVID-19) hit American shores — officially, anyway, there is significant evidence that it arrived earlier — in late January 2020. The American public was then told that a two-week shutdown of the economy would “flatten the curve,” relieving the pressure on hospital intensive care units and saving lives in the long run. The average American, including conservatives,…

Aphorisms in Honor of Liberty, Part Six (25m) – Episode 385

Episode 385 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following aphorisms written by Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski: “A fool believes that the market makes profits corrupting. A person of reason knows that it makes corruption unprofitable.”; “A democratic state is a device for feeding off society by pitting it against itself.”; “A fool finds intolerable the inequality of wealth between the capitalist and the laborer. A person of reason finds intolerable the inequality of rights between the state and the individual.”; “Happiness is the ability to stay intrinsically motivated to exist.”; “Aesthetic maturity is the ability to deliberately ignore the fashionable without turning it into a fashion statement.”; “A successful prediction is a mental journey to the least impossible of the future worlds.”