RealClear Radio Hour – Entrepreneurial Hustle

31 Jul

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Entrepreneurial Hustle

July 30, 2016

Catherine Hoke, founder and CEO of Defy Ventures, shares how her entrepreneurs-in-training program is trailblazing criminal justice reform at the local level and reducing recidivism across the country. With executive mentoring, Shark Tank-style business competitions, and personal and leadership development classes, Defy coaches former inmates to transform street hustle into successful entrepreneurship.

Catherine Hoke

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FEE – Progressivism’s Parade of Horrors

26 Jul

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Progressivism’s Parade of Horrors

July 26, 2016

On the flight out to the recent FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas, I read a horrifying book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era by Thomas C. Leonard. It’s a bold attempt to restore our national memory, to explain how we strayed from our nation’s classical liberal founding heritage and embarked on building today’s welfare/warfare/regulatory state. Central to the story is the misuse of science. And it carries an important warning for us today.

Leonard meticulously researches and documents the march of the Eugenics movement, from its roots in the German Historical School of political economy during the Bismarck era to its near-universal embrace by American Progressive intellectuals at the end of the 19th century, to its re-importation into Germany, which culminated in the Nazi holocaust. Eugenicists identified themselves as Progressives—an association their fellow Progressives didn’t deny. Their goal? To “improve” the human species through policies aimed at selecting out the “unfit.” See where this is going?

You will find this book shocking, not just because so many prominent American scientists, economists, journalists, theologians, statesmen, activists, and trade organizations bought into this poisonous ideology, but by this having been expunged from our national memory, much like the Belgians have blanked out their memory of King Leopold. It’s a story well worth retelling.

The pivotal historical figure in this long and sordid tale is Princeton professor-turned-President Woodrow Wilson, who helped the burgeoning Progressive movement translate philosophy into action. Wilson’s publicly articulated vision for America was to scrap the intricate constitutional checks and balances that limited the power of the federal government and replace it with unbridled rule by technocratic elites. These elites would be informed not by an ethos steeped in the American tradition of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, manifested in a freewheeling laissez faire economy, but by “settled science” that economists, sociologists, and central planners would use to create an efficient utopia. And the settled science of Wilson’s day was … Eugenics.

To read the rest of the column click here.

RealClear Radio Hour – Freedom Rising

24 Jul

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Political Crackup

July 23, 2016

Steven Horwitz, economics professor at St. Lawrence University, analyzes the presidential candidates’ increasingly fragmented coalitions and suggests why the electorate, and millennials in particular, have become disengaged from the political process. A self-described “bleeding-heart” libertarian, Horwitz reimagines a two-party system of cosmopolitans and populists—the former coalescing around internationalist free trade and the latter being the successor to today’s Trumpism.

Horwitz

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Sordid Science Policy

July 23, 2016

Jeffrey Tucker, Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education, describes the Progressive Era legacy and its overturning of America’s founding laissez faire tradition at the beginning of the last century. Tucker reveals the shameful history of eugenics and how that supposedly settled “scientific consensus” powered racialist agendas, serving as the precursor to many harmful policies that are still with us today, from immigration restrictions to labor regulations to marriage laws.

Jeffrey Tucker

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Conscious Capitalism

July 23, 2016

John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, refutes the historical condemnation of business. Mackey celebrates business’ higher purpose and the fundamental morality of capitalism—or innovationism, as he calls it—explaining how it creates value for all stakeholders, contrary to the failed Marxist theories still promoted by many intellectuals and politicians.

John Mackey

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FEE – Ma Bell Suppressed Innovation for Thirty Grueling Years

21 Jul

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Ma Bell Suppressed Innovation for Thirty Grueling Years

July 21, 2016

By Bill Frezza

“Oh, for the days of Ma Bell!” is not a lament we’re likely to hear. And for good reason. Before the breakup of AT&T, America’s telephone system was a government-sanctioned monopoly characterized by stagnant service offerings, high costs, and a glacial pace of consumer-facing innovation.

So it was distressing when a federal appeals court engaged in a bit of 1970s nostalgia last month by upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ill-conceived net neutrality rules. Under the new FCC rules, Internet service will increasingly be regulated like a public utility, rather than a competitive market.

The likely result? Reduced investment in online communications infrastructure, reduced competition, and innovation slowing down to a crawl.

Technology companies in the United States are our economy’s drivers—making things better, faster, and cheaper while creating new jobs and economic growth. Nothing could be worse for American competitiveness, or for consumers, than returning to the ‘golden age’ of Ma Bell.

Take it from me. I spent the early years of my career toiling for Ma Bell’s crown jewel, Bell Labs, which gave us technology breakthroughs like the transistor, the laser, the solar cell, and scientific advances in radio astronomy that provided the first direct confirmation of the Big Bang. While these are impressive achievements, they are not the whole picture. To see that fuller picture, we need to apply the most basic test for assessing economic policies, which is to examine not only what is seen, but also what is not seen.

Americans under the age of 30 never experienced our telecommunications system when it was a statutory monopoly. That’s fortunate for them as consumers, though it deprives them of some important historical perspective.

For seven decades, Bell delivered the world’s most advanced, reliable, ubiquitous telecom network in the world, spitting out ample profits that funded what many called a national treasure. Problem was, it was the exact same phone service for most of those seven decades.

To read the rest of the column click here.

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RealClear Radio Hour – Soviet Apparatchik Turned Dissident

18 Jul

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Soviet Apparatchik Turned Dissident

July 16, 2016

Dr. Yuri Maltsev, Professor of Economics at Carthage College and former senior economic advisor to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika reforms, reveals the brutal and bizarre realities of growing up in the Soviet Union, including the myth of socialism “with a human face.”

Yuri Maltsev

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RealClear Radio Hour -Scalia’s Originalist Revival

17 Jul

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Scalia’s Originalist Revival

July 16, 2016

Dr. John Eastman, Founding Director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, touts Antonin Scalia’s restoration of originalism. Eastman analyzes the impact of Scalia’s absence on the recent docket of Supreme Court cases.

Eastman 2

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WATCH (on YouTube)

FEE – Fear Not Malevolent AI Robots

11 Jul

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Fear Not Malevolent AI Robots

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by Bill Frezza

I’ve recently become hooked on Michael Solona’s new podcast series, “Anatomy of Next: Utopia,” a fascinating analysis of our most advanced and rapidly developing technologies that attempts to debunk the tech-gone-wrong dystopian nightmares that dominate much of the public imagination.

You all know how the story goes. Man invents an artificial intelligence (AI) smarter than himself. AI goes on to invent even smarter AIs. Smarter AIs exponentially become godlike and turn on mankind and either reduce us to slaves or drive us to extinction.

Implausible and Impossible

It ain’t gonna happen. The reason is something called the distributed knowledge problem. Although Solona hasn’t yet addressed it in his series, the Nobel Prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek explained it years ago in his last book, The Fatal Conceit. In short, it is a practical impossibility for anyone to capture and assess the sum total of information generated from countless millions of economic decisions made by independent agents distributed around the world, each seeking to maximize his or her own well-being.

The root of the error, made by all central planners, is the belief that the world is some sort of Newtonian clockwork mechanism. If science could only deduce its operating principles, enlightened rulers could guide humanity toward utopia, or something approaching it. More sophisticated versions of this view add the proviso that effective planning requires the collection of enough data to inform central planners where to apply their wisdom, and adapt their plan as conditions evolve.

Well, aha! What if that evolution spun out of human control, as superintelligent AIs deduce the operating principles of the world and Big Data tell them everything they need to know to control it? If they turned against us, how could we humans stand in the way?

To read the rest of the column click here.

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