Continuing Education... Ohanian, Kling, and Cochrane on the Future of Freedom, Prosperity, and Democracy
By Amy Willis
If the Magna Carta sowed the seeds of freedom and prosperity 800 years ago, what should we look forward to in the next 800 years? This week’s episode, recorded before a live audience at the Hoover Institution, asks three EconTalk favorites to offer their thoughts.
And now it’s time to share yours. Are you more of an optimist or pessimist about the future of freedom?
1. After listening to the opening statements of each guest, which guest do you find most compelling? Explain.
2. The speakers were critical of the role of regulation or the size of government in holding back the US economy. Yet as Russ Roberts pointed out, the economy has grown fairly steadily in the post-WWII United States. How might defenders of regulation or those who support larger government answer critics of regulation and the growth of government?
3. If you had been a member of the live audience, what would you have asked during the Q&A? (Please note if your question would be a general one or directed to a particular speaker.)4. What do the speakers mean by “political entrepreneurship,” and how does it differ from other sorts of entrepreneurship? What type of entrepreneurship do you think we will see the most of in the future, and why?
5. Just after the halfway point, Kling suggests that “people fear other people’s liberty.” What does he mean by this, and to what extent do you think it’s true?
6. It seems it would be easy to discern whether productivity in the United States is growing or not. Yet this week’s guests suggest that may not be the case. How can there be such debate over whether productivity is increasing or decreasing? And which is it?