EconTalk
Russ Roberts

You Are What You Eat

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

chicken farm.jpg How much do you think about where your food comes from? What concerns drive the choices you make? In this week's episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes Washington Post food columnist Tamar Haspel for a fascinating conversation about the food we eat, the trade-offs we make, and the judgments about others that seem to follow.

Now it's your turn. As you know, we're all about conversation here, and there's a lot to talk about this week! So share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and/or start your own conversation offline. (Though of course we'd love to hear about that, too!)

1. What does Roberts mean when he says we don't want to think much about our food? To what extent do you think that's true, and why? What implications does this have for our diets? Our culture? The environment?

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Podcast episode Tamar Haspel on Food Costs, Animal Welfare, and the Honey Bee

EconTalk Episode with Tamar Haspel
Hosted by Russ Roberts

honey%20bees.jpg Tamar Haspel, who writes "Unearthed," a column on food and agriculture at the Washington Post, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a wide variety of issues related to the cost of food and how it's produced. Topics discussed include why technology helps make some foods inexpensive, how animals are treated, the health of the honey bee, and whether eggs from your backyard taste any better than eggs at the grocery.

Size:28.4 MB
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Hercules's (and Hamilton's) Choice

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Hamilton.jpg Fans of the hit musical Hamilton must have been most excited to find this week's EconTalk episode. Host Russ Roberts welcomed University of Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum to talk about Hamilton and an essay she wrote for the Boston Review in January, "Hamilton's Choice."

According to Nussbaum, Hamilton presents us with a retelling of the Choice of Hercules, the choice to live a virtuous life filled with hard work and risk, or a life of happiness and worldly renown. In the musical, Nussbaum argues Lin-Manuel Miranda portrays a more subtle version of this choice for his protagonist's life in politics, a life of service versus a life of preeminence. What can this smash musical teach us about politics, philosophy, and how to live a good life? We'd love to hear what you have to say. Let's continue the conversation.

1. Roberts, quoting Adam Smith, argues that "Hercules Choice" may be a choice we all face, though Nussbaum counters that the choice is starker in some careers than others, and especially in politics. What makes this choice so difficult in politics, and why might it be even more difficult in democratic versus autocratic regimes?

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Podcast episode Martha Nussbaum on Alexander Hamilton

EconTalk Episode with Martha Nussbaum
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Hercules.jpg Martha Nussbaum, Professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Alexander Hamilton. Nussbaum talks about the tension between acquiring power and living a life of virtue. Topics discussed include Hamilton's relationship with Aaron Burr, Burr's complicated historical legacy, and the role of the humanities in our lives.

Size:28.4 MB
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Hey, I Know What You Need.

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

help Africa.jpg This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed back Chris Blattman to continue an ongoing conversation about the best ways to help alleviate poverty in places like Africa. Blattman recently penned a letter to Bill Gates to challenge his idea that the best way to help the poor in Africa would be to give them all chickens. In May, Roberts talked with Lant Pritchett about his response to Blattman's open letter to Gates. Are you with me? I promise, the chain isn't as confusing as it sounds...

In any case, the real question under consideration here is what's the best way to help raise people out of extreme poverty, and how do we know what the best way is? Is there a way to conduct experiments to help discover the best means? Let's hear what you have to say. We love continuing the conversation.

1. Why does Blattman think Gates is wrong about giving chickens to the poor? How does Blattman's view compare to Pritchett's? What about Roberts? And of course, what about you?

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Podcast episode Chris Blattman on Chickens, Cash, and Development Economics

EconTalk Episode with Chris Blattman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

poverty%20chickens.jpg Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor Africans cash or chickens and the role of experiments in helping us figure out the answer. Along the way he discusses the importance of growth vs. smaller interventions and the state of development economics.

Size:29.2 MB
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Simplification and Sunshine

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

sunshine.jpg Why do prescription drugs cost so much, and who's to blame for their continued high prices? This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed Robin Feldman to talk about her new book, Drug Wars. Why don't we see more generic drugs on the market? Is it for our safety...or something else? Who's watching the henhouse?

1. What does Feldman mean by "weak patents," and why do they make it harder for generic drugs to reach the market?

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Podcast episode Robin Feldman on Drug Patents, Generics, and Drug Wars

EconTalk Episode with Robin Feldman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Drug%20Wars.jpg Robin Feldman of the University of California Hastings College of Law and author of Drug Wars talks about her book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Feldman explores the various ways that pharmaceutical companies try to reduce competition from generic drugs. The conversation includes a discussion of the Hatch-Waxman Act and the sometimes crazy world of patent protection.

Size:30.0 MB
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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.

Size:30:2 MB
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