Me on the Economics of Imperialism
In this radio interview, Scott Horton interviews me about various current economic issues including: the Obama budget, the Bush-Paulson-Bernanke bailout, why most of the Republicans in Congress have zero credibility in pushing for small government, the economics of imperialism, Adam Smith’s early use of public choice to explain British imperialism, why we don’t need to go to war for oil, why I think we are nowhere close to another Great Depression, why I think Ron Paul is wrong in predicting a world fiat currency, and Robert Byrd’s objections to Obama’s continuation of Bush’s aggrandizement of Presidential power.
One of the things I highlight in the interview is a marvelous line from Friedrich Hayek that fits Bryan Caplan’s view of “rational irrationality.” A friend of mine, Michael Walker, the former head of the Fraser Institute in Canada, once asked Hayek why it was so hard to convince people of the value of economic freedom. Hayek smiled and said:
One of the forms of private property that people cherish most is their ideas. If you convince them that their ideas are wrong, you have caused them to suffer a capital loss.