Russ Roberts

June 2016

A Monthly Archive (10 entries)

First Class Fissures

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed back New York University's Richard Epstein. The focal point of their conversation was a recent New York Times article by Nathan Schwartz , describing a "money-based caste system" in the travel industry. Does tiered service such as that Schwartz describes make day-to-day interactions between classes less frequent, and perhaps less comfortable? Should we be concerned about the new segregated luxuries the wealthy can enjoy? Should the rich be taxed at higher rates to reduce this segregation? What are the incentive effects of higher taxes?

Conversations with Professor Epstein are always a whirlwind, and this one is no exception. So how did you experience it? As always, we'd love to hear from you.

1. Two economics-related points both Epstein and Roberts come back to are the notion of such "luxury guests" sharing the fixed costs with their fellow passengers and the distinction between competitive and political markets. How do each of these concepts inform your reading of the Schwartz piece?

first class.jpg


CATEGORIES: Extras , Income Inequality

Podcast episode Richard Epstein on Cruises, First-Class Travel, and Inequality

EconTalk Episode with Richard Epstein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

cruising.jpg How should we feel about cruise lines that offer special amenities for top-paying travelers, or first-class sections of airplanes? Do such consumption inequalities harm the social fabric or is there more to the story? Richard Epstein of New York University and the Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these issues arguing that these kinds of unequal treatment provide benefits beyond those who receive the top-of-the-line option. The conversation then moves on to a general discussion of inequality, taxation, and redistribution.

Size:29.2 MB
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Constructing our Truths

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Russ Roberts's enthusiasm for technology and optimism for the future might only be outdone by this week's EconTalk guest, futurist Kevin Kelly. Their conversation ranges over the human need for communication, developing techno-literacy skills for The Inevitable future, and the very purpose of humans in relation to the digital world.

How do you interact with technology? Are you seeing a transition from the technology of information to the technology of experience? Has the Internet shortened your attention span? Sped up your brain? As always, we love to hear from you...So please share your thoughts with us in the Comments, and share our posts with your friends.

virtual reality.jpg

1. What does Kelly mean when he says, " a very real way our inventions assign us our jobs?" How has your work changed with technology, and to what extent do you think technological advance is a net positive for people in your line of work?


Podcast episode Kevin Kelly on the Inevitable

EconTalk Episode with Kevin Kelly
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Inevitable.jpg Futurist, author, and visionary Kevin Kelly talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Inevitable, Kelly's look at what the future might be like and the role of the human experience in a world increasingly filled with information, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the connecting of the planet's population.

Size:28.7 MB
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Curating Our Cultural History

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

How will our memories be experienced by future generations? How much of our cultural memory is "owed" to them? And why on earth would the Library of Congress be interested in preserving years worth of tweets??? These were among the topics of conversations in this week's episode in which EconTalk host Russ Roberts talked with archivist and historian Abby Smith Rumsey about how we experience memories of the past, and how we might preserve them for the future.

This episode got me thinking a lot about what my grandchildren might make of EconTalk, among other memories and experiences I hold dear. Can I ensure that they will experience them? How do I know they will find any value in them? As always, we'd like to hear whay you took away from this week's conversation. Let us know; we love to hear from you!


1. What sorts of memories (personal and/or cultural) are you most concerned with preserving for the future? How will you ensure they are preserved?


You're a Poet...We DID Know It!

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Special thanks to all those of you who submitted poems in response to last week's EconTalk Extra based on our episode with Jason Zweig...You exceeded our expectations in your thoughtfulness!

While we loved them all, two especially stood out to us... And we post them below.

The first is from Andrew Beauchamp:

If you save a large part of your earnings
for something you don't yet need;
If you find the lightest jockey
to drive your investment steed;
If you understand your tolerance for risk
and think about allocation;
If you spread your bets among the rest
and know we're not the only nation;
If you keep your head when things go south
and do the same on a bull run;
If you insure your risk and spend a little less
you'll be a great investor my son.

The second is from Ken Simpson:

If the madness of the crowd
brings you last to the game,
If the yearning that haunts you
is finding fortune and fame.
If you find that the glisten
was ne'er more than a bubble.
You'll try again later,
but for now, you're in trouble.

Money is a store of value, they say
A tally of debts one is owed.
Like a karma that's earned by your service to others:
Three duckets per row that is hoed.

Invest it at 6 per centum per annum
In 12 anni hence 'tis worth twice.
Chase the seduction of higher returns,
And find this temptress mayn't play nice.

For this karma is tied to the whimsy of fortune,
And great fortune often brings risk.
Don't be astrayed by the smiles of the winners
Whom by fate of the wheel have been kissed.

For hidden from view are the tears of the others,
The many who lost or were cheated.
They chased the allure, the promise, the riches,
But found the money was gone when 'twas needed.

High risk for the excess, the rest much more safely.
Sleep soundly and dream of great things.
From safe returns time can do magic,
And from paupers often makes kings.

What do you think??? Are these great or what?

Thanks again to all of you (and happy reading!). We always love to hear from you...And stay tuned for our Extra on the Rumsey episode coming up next!


CATEGORIES: Extras , Finance

Podcast episode Abby Smith Rumsey on Remembering, Forgetting, and When We Are No More

EconTalk Episode with Abby Smith Rumsey
Hosted by Russ Roberts

WhenWeAreNoMore.jpg You might think your tweets on Twitter belong to you. But in 2010, the Library of Congress acquired the entire archive of Twitter. Why would such a majestic library acquire such seemingly ephemeral material? Historian Abby Smith Rumsey, author of When We Are No More, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about this decision of the Library of Congress and the general challenge of how to cope with a world when so much of what we write and read is digital. Subjects discussed include what we can learn from the past, the power of collective memory, what is worth saving, and how we might archive our electronic lives so that we and those who come after us can find what we might be looking for.

Size:29.0 MB
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You're a Poet, But We Don't Know It

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

It's easier than ever to be an investor...but is this "democratization" of investing a good thing for all involved? This was among the issues explored in this week's episode, in which EconTalk host Russ Roberts chatted with The Wall Street Journal's "Intelligent Investor" columnist Jason Zweig. As usual, I'd like to suggest a few questions for thought for you...

And this week, we're also offering you a literary challenge...At the very end of the interview, Russ mentions Rudyard Kipling's poem, "If." He challenges Zweig to create a poem of financial advice modeled after Kipling's. Now we're extending the same challenge to you... We'd like to publish some of them on EconTalk, and we've got plenty of Liberty Fund books for those authors selected! So commence poetry-ing, and post yours in the Comments!

kid money.jpg

1. What about the "democratization of finance" and the profusion of information bothers Zweig? Is this an issue you struggle to deal with?


CATEGORIES: Books , Extras , Finance

Podcast episode Jason Zweig on Finance and the Devil's Financial Dictionary

EconTalk Episode with Jason Zweig
Hosted by Russ Roberts

DevilsDictionary.jpg Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal and author of The Devil's Financial Dictionary talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about finance, financial journalism and Zweig's new book. Zweig discusses rationality and the investor's challenge of self-restraint, the repetitive nature of financial journalism, and the financial crisis of 2008.

Size:29.7 MB
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Russ Roberts's Federal Reserve Time Machine

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

This week's EconTalk episode was recorded before a live audience at the Cato Institute in conjunction with its Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. Guest David Beckworth, a Cato adjunct scholar and professor at Western Kentucky University, offered his perspective on the causes of the Great Recession and the Federal Reserve's role in it.

1. What was the Federal Reserve's biggest mistake in its response to the 2008 financial crisis, according to Beckworth? What evidence does he provide for his claim?


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