EconTalk
Russ Roberts

To Tip or Not to Tip

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

kids tip.jpg Is tipping a relic of the past that has outlived its usefulness? Should restaurant servers work for tips or a living wage? This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed back political scientist Anthony Gill to discuss his recent piece on teaching about tipping.

Now we'd like to hear more from you. Use the prompts here to share your reaction to this week's episode, or to spark your own conversation offline. Feel free to post your own questions here, too. We'd love to converse with you.

1. Did your parents teach you to tip for service? If so, what was their rationale, and was there a guideline for how much to tip?

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Podcast episode Anthony Gill on Tipping

EconTalk Episode with Anthony Gill
Hosted by Russ Roberts

tipping.jpg Why does tipping persist? Despite the efforts of some restaurants to stop tipping, it remains a healthy institution and has recently spread to Uber. Political scientist Anthony Gill of the University of Washington talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why tipping persists and what it achieves despite there being no formal way of enforcing this norm.

Size:30.2 MB
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The Infidel or the Professor?

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

letters.jpg Longtime EconTalk listeners have had much occasion to consider the influence of Adam Smith. In this week's episode, discussion of Smith takes an interesting turn as host Russ Roberts welcomes political scientist Dennis Rasmussen to the show. Rasmussen's new book, The Infidel and the Professor, explores the deep and enduring friendship between Smith and philosopher David Hume, twelve years Smith's senior. How did their friendship and works influence each other? What circumstances of time and place have made their influence so profound? And how were the two men able to sustain such a meaningful friendship when they spent practically no time together?

As usual, we'd love to hear your own musings and Smith, Hume, philosophy, and friendship. Share your response to any of the prompts here below...Or use them as prompts in your classroom, at the dinner table, or even at Happy Hour. We'd love to hear about your conversation.

1. We're used to thinking of Adam Smith as a champion of commerce and exchange. Yet Rasmussen argues that Hume may in fact be the greater champion. Have a look at Hume's essay, "Of Refinement in the Arts" On what moral grounds does Hume make the case for commerce? To what extent do you find his case convincing, either on its own or in comparison to Smith?

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Podcast episode Dennis Rasmussen on Hume and Smith and The Infidel and the Professor

EconTalk Episode with Dennis Rasmussen
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Infidel%20and%20Professor.jpg How did the friendship between David Hume and Adam Smith influence their ideas? Why do their ideas still matter today? Political Scientist Dennis Rasmussen of Tufts University and author of The Infidel and the Professor talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--the intellectual and personal connections between two of the greatest thinkers of all time, David Hume and Adam Smith.

Size:32.9 MB
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The Dance

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

English dance.jpg Mike Munger, "the Tom Brady of EconTalk, returned to EconTalk this week to talk with host Russ Roberts about what he deems the most important concept in political economy, permissionless innovation. Should innovators ask permission first or forgiveness later, and under what circumstances? And why aren't economists generally any good at predicting innovation?

1. While Munger claims permissionless innovation as the most important concept in political economy, he dubs opportunity cost the most important in economics. What do you think is the most important concept in economics, and why?

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Podcast episode Michael Munger on Permissionless Innovation

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

innovation.jpg Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about permissionless innovation. Munger argues that the ability to innovate without permission is the most important concept of political economy. Munger defends this claim and explores the metaphor of emergent order as a dance, a metaphor coming from the German poet Schiller.

Size:31.1 MB
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Podcast episode Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand and the Goddess of the Market

EconTalk Episode with Jennifer Burns
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Goddess%20Market.jpg Jennifer Burns of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market. They discuss Rand's philosophy, her influence, her relationship with the conservative movement, and the intersection of her personal life with her philosophical principles.

Size:29.7 MB
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Podcast episode Megan McArdle on Internet Shaming and Online Mobs

EconTalk Episode with Megan McArdle
Hosted by Russ Roberts

shaming.jpg Author and journalist Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how the internet has allowed a new kind of shaming via social media and how episodes of bad behavior live on because Google's memory is very, very good. McArdle discusses the implications this new reality has on how we behave at work and how people protect and maintain their reputations in a world where nothing is forgotten and seemingly little is forgiven.

Size:34.2 MB
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Thinking the Unthinkable

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

future start.jpg Given the scale of the digital revolution thus far, we can be reasonably sure that technological advances will continue to enhance our lives into the future. But how widely will such advances be shared, and why is it up to us? This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed author and Silicon Valley guru Tim O'Reilly to talk about his new book, WTF: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us.

O'Reilly argues that we shouldn't look at technology as being labor-saving. Instead, we should focus on how it lets us do more. Today's companies are "infused with the digital," creating new platforms and redesigning themselves all the time. (Amazon is O'Reilly's prime example.) Now we hope you'll share your reactions to this week's episode with us. We love to hear from you.

1. Is new technology more likely to replace workers, or make existing workers better? To what extent will workers' lives be equally augmented by such advances?

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Podcast episode Tim O'Reilly on What's the Future

EconTalk Episode with Tim O'Reilly
Hosted by Russ Roberts

WTF.jpg Author Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and long-time observer and commenter on the internet and technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us. O'Reilly surveys the evolution of the internet, the key companies that have prospered from it, and how the products of those companies have changed our lives. He then turns to the future and explains why he is an optimist and what can be done to make that optimism accurate.

Size:28.8 MB
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