EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Podcast episode Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules of the Game

EconTalk Episode with Bill James
Hosted by Russ Roberts

baseball%20numbers.jpg Baseball stats guru and author Bill James talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of understanding complexity in baseball and elsewhere. James reflects on the lessons he has learned as a long-time student of data and the role it plays in understanding the underlying reality that exists between different variables in sports and outside of sports. The conversation closes with a discussion of our understanding of social processes and the connection to public policy and the ideologies we hold.

Size:28.6 MB
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Podcast episode Dick Carpenter on Bottleneckers

EconTalk Episode with Dick Carpenter
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bottleneckers.jpg Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.

Size:34.5 MB
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One of these Days, Alice...

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

space elevator.jpg Asteroid mining, space elevators, and augmented reality. These are just a few of the "Soonish" technologies that are discussed in this week's episode, in which host Russ Roberts welcomes Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.

1. What did you find to be the most salient economic concept throughout this week's conversation? How did it manifest itself, and how was it significant to the conversation?

2. Which of the technologies discussed did you find to be the most far-fetched, and why? How about the least? Which one (or ones) would you be most concerned about, and why?

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Podcast episode Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith on Soonish

EconTalk Episode with Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Soonish.jpg Ecologist Kelly Weinersmith and cartoonist Zach Weinersmith--creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal--talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their new book, Soonish--a look at cutting-edge and not-quite cutting edge technologies. The Weinersmiths speculate about everything from asteroid mining to robotic house construction to the nasal cycle and how the human body and medicine might be transformed in the future. They discuss the likelihood of some really crazy stuff coming along and changing our lives as well as the possible downsides of innovation.

Size:32.3 MB
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The Mighty Amazon (and Facebook...and Google?)

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Google school.jpg In our last episode of 2017, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed Matt Stoller of the Open Market Institute to discuss his take on modern monopolies. In this lively conversation, Roberts and Stoller discussed the role and influence of technology companies in our lives- especially "the Big 3," Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

1. How great a problem is extremism on social media? Is the problem self-generated, as Roberts suggests, or inherent in social media's algorithmic nature?

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Podcast episode Matt Stoller on Modern Monopolies

EconTalk Episode with Matt Stoller
Hosted by Russ Roberts

internetmonopoly.jpg Matt Stoller of the Open Market Institute talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the growing influence of Google, Facebook, and Amazon on commercial and political life. Stoller argues that these large firms have too much power over our options as consumers and creators as well as having a large impact on our access to information.

Size:33.7 MB
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dental hygienist.jpg 21st century America has been hit by a "double whammy malaise," according to the Niskanen Center's Brink Lindsey, one of two guests joining host Russ Roberts on this week's EconTalk. Lindsey joins his co-author, Steven Teles, to talk about their new book, The Captured Economy.

Lindsey and Teles argue, in an appeal to both the political Left and Right, that inequality has been worsened in America by special interests who steer policy to benefit themselves, and that the concentration of political power hampers both innovation and economic growth to a large degree. Now let's hear what you have to say about this week's conversation. As always, we'd be honored to continue the conversation with you.

1. As mentioned above, Teles and Lindsay maintain that their argument should hold appeal for both the Left and the Right. What is it they think will appeal to each, and what what do they say are the blind spots of the political Left and Right? To what extent do you think their argument will appeal to each, and why?

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Podcast episode Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles on the Captured Economy

EconTalk Episode with Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Captured%20Economy.jpg Brink Lindsey of the Niskanen Center and Steven Teles of the Niskanen Center and Johns Hopkins University talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their book, The Captured Economy. Lindsey and Teles argue that inequality has been worsened by special interests who steer policy to benefit themselves. They also argue that the influence of the politically powerful has lowered the overall growth of the American economy.

Size:31.9 MB
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You Gotta Love Irene Triplett

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

entitlement.jpg If you're unhappy about the growth of government entitlement programs, perhaps it's time you stop harping on the New Deal. According to this week's EconTalk guest, John Cogan, you'll need to look back a lot further...a lot further.

What can the history of the federal governments role in transfer payments teach us about tax reform today? How much of a safety net should the government provide for its citizens? These are complicated questions. So take a trip back in time with us this week, and examine your own thoughts about transfer payment programs then and now.

Please share your thoughts with us...Respond to our prompts in the Comments below, or consider using these questions with your class or your friends. Let's continue the conversation.

1. How did the veterans' benefit program instituted after the American Revolution come to set the pattern for all US entitlement programs to follow? How does Cogan distinguish this entitlement trend from the one begun in the wake of the Great Depression?

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Podcast episode John Cogan on Entitlements and the High Cost of Good Intentions

EconTalk Episode with John Cogan
Hosted by Russ Roberts

High%20Cost.jpg John Cogan of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Cogan's book, The High Cost of Good Intentions, a history of U.S. entitlement policy. Cogan traces the evolution of government pensions beginning with Revolutionary War vets to the birth and evolution of the Social Security program. Surprises along the way include President Franklin Roosevelt as fiscal conservative and the hard-to-believe but true fact that there is still one person receiving monthly checks from the Civil War veterans pension program. The conversation concludes with Cogan's concerns over the growing costs of financing social security payments to baby boomers.

Size:30.3 MB
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