EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Just the Facts

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

1984.jpg EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed historian Thomas Ricks to the program this week to discuss his new book, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. While these two figures might not seem to have much in common at first glance, Ricks persuades otherwise, and that both played an important role in the post-War preservation of individual liberty. Ricks initially saw Orwell as a "left-wing parallel" to his hero, Winston Churchill, but he soon discovered they had much more in common than he had thought. How much do you think the two share? Help us continue this week's conversation, and share your thoughts with us.

1. Why does Ricks place such emphasis on "facts" and "truth" in his comparison of these two icons? How does he think they connect the two, and how does this shape his view of the political landscape today?

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Podcast episode Thomas Ricks on Churchill and Orwell

EconTalk Episode with Thomas Ricks
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Churchill%20%26%20Orwell.png Author and historian Thomas Ricks talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Churchill and Orwell. Ricks makes the case that the odd couple of Winston Churchill and George Orwell played and play an important role in preserving individual liberty. Ricks reviews the contributions of these two giants whose lives overlapped and whose legacy remains vibrant.

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Podcast episode Don Boudreaux, Michael Munger, and Russ Roberts on Emergent Order

EconTalk Episode with Don Boudreaux, Michael Munger, and Russ Roberts
Hosted by Russ Roberts

baker.jpg Why is it that people in large cities like Paris or New York City people sleep peacefully, unworried about whether there will be enough bread or other necessities available for purchase the next morning? No one is in charge--no bread czar. No flour czar. And yet it seems to work remarkably well. Don Boudreaux of George Mason University and Michael Munger of Duke University join EconTalk host Russ Roberts to discuss emergent order and markets. The conversation includes a reading of Roberts's poem, "It's a Wonderful Loaf."

Size:33:8 MB
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Here's to Your Health

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

helth insurance.jpg In this week's EconTalk episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes historian Christy Ford Chapin to discuss her new book, Ensuring America's Health. Lots of difficult questions were raised, most left unresolved. For example, how has the American health care system become so expensive and so fragmented and hyper-specialized? To what extent health care be subject to market forces? What should the role of the state be in ensuring adequate health care for its citizens?

I know I felt like I was left with more questions than answers at the end of this episode, and we wonder if you felt the same. Either way, we'd love to hear your reactions to these thorny questions! As always, we love to hear from you.

1. Among the problems with the US health care system as it is today, Chapin says a big one is that "nobody really owns the patient." What does she mean by that, and why does she consider this such a significant issue?

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Podcast episode Christy Ford Chapin on the Evolution of the American Health Care System

EconTalk Episode with Christy Ford Chapin
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Ensuring%20Health.jpg Historian Christy Ford Chapin of University of Maryland Baltimore County and Johns Hopkins and author of Ensuring America's Health talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book--a history of how America's health care system came to be dominated by insurance companies or government agencies paying doctors per procedure. Chapin explains how this system emerged from efforts by the American Medical Association to stop various reform efforts over the decades. Chapin argues that different models might have emerged that would lead to a more effective health care system.

Size:30:2 MB
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What Hope for Liberty?

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

half full.jpg Is the future of liberty in America bright, or in peril? A special live episode filmed at the Cato Institute, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes David Boaz, PJ O'Rourke, and George Will in this week's episode. While some see the glass as half full, you'll definitely hear some pessimism from this week's guests as well. What do you think? And regardless of your own level of optimism, what can be done to ensure liberty remains valued in the United States?

Let's hear your thoughts...We love to hear your reactions to our episode, how your own experience(s) bear on the conversation, and the questions you're left with at the end. Let's continue the conversation!

1. David Boaz opens the conversation suggesting that American may be nicer today, but not necessarily freer. What does he mean by that, and to what extent do you agree?

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Podcast episode David Boaz, P.J. O'Rourke, and George Will on the State of Liberty

EconTalk Episode with David Boaz, P.J. O'Rourke, and George Will
Hosted by Russ Roberts

future.jpg What is the state of liberty in America? Is liberty increasing or decreasing? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? This week EconTalk features David Boaz, P. J. O'Rourke, and George Will discussing these questions and more with EconTalk host Russ Roberts in front of a live audience at the Cato Institute.

Size:29:8 MB
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Piling On the Problem of Poverty

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

gravel pile.jpg What's the best way to help the world's poor? Should we give them cash or chickens? Or is the best way to eradicate poverty something else entirely? This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed back Lant Pritchett, of Harvard's Center for International Development. Their starting point was a series of "letters" attempting to answer these questions, each initially responding to Bill Gates's plan of providing chickens to the global poor.

Just how bad is the world poverty situation today, and what's our best approach to reducing poverty in the world's lowest productivity areas? Pritchett has his ideas, and Roberts is on board with some of them. What about you? We'd love to hear from you.

Why does Pritchett object to giving cash- or chickens- to people in poverty-stricken countries? What does he mean by making an analogy to a cancerous tumor?

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Podcast episode Lant Pritchett on Poverty, Growth, and Experiments

EconTalk Episode with Lant Pritchett
Hosted by Russ Roberts

cash%20chicken.jpg How should we think about growth and poverty? How important is the goal of reducing the proportion of the world's population living on less than a dollar a day? Does poverty persist because people lack skills or because they live in economic systems where skills are not rewarded? What is the role of experimental methods in understanding what reduces poverty? Author and economist Lant Pritchett of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions and more in a wide-ranging discussion of how best to help the world's poorest people.

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Podcast episode Cass Sunstein on #Republic

EconTalk Episode with Cass Sunstein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

#republic.gif Author and legal scholar Cass Sunstein of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, #Republic. Sunstein argues that the internet has encouraged people to frequent informational echo chambers where their views are reinforced and rarely challenged. In addition, there is a loss of public space where people might have to encounter dissonant ideas or causes they might wish to champion. Sunstein considers this a threat to democracy and discusses a variety of ways the situation might improve.

Size:30:9 MB
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