Professor Brad DeLong on Austrian Economics

Producer Charlie Deist tries to cram a semester of economics into one hour with Professor J. Bradford Delong He continues to look at the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, (see part 1), which holds central banks responsible for creating booms and busts by “pumping” cheap credit into the economy and subsequently “slamming on the breaks” when inflation results. Brad DeLong is a former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he is chair of the political economy major. He was also an early blogger, and is one of the most respected voices in the “neoclassical synthesis”—the hybrid of classical, Keynesian, and monetarist macroeconomics taught at universities throughout the world. DeLong has criticized Austrians for putting the blame for business cycles entirely on government. However, he too was concerned by Alan Greenspan’s excessive easing, starting all the way back in 2004, and during the lead-up to the housing bust.

Tune in to find out why DeLong considers himself a student of both Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes, and learn what it means to be a liberal in both the modern and classical senses.

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Baylen Linnekin on *Biting the Hands that Feed Us*

The last time Baylen Linnekin joined the show, he had recently helped American farmers secure a major Supreme Court win in the case of Horne v. USDA, in which a raisin farmer Melvin Horne fought back against the federal government’s takings of a portion of his crops for the "National Raisin Reserve". This was a victory to all those cherish "the right of every American to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods of their own choosing." But the fight for our food freedoms is far from over, as Baylen documents in his new book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press). As it stands, agencies like the USDA and FDA often enact absurd rules that make our food supply no safer, while limiting options and contributing to mountains of food that Americans already waste each year. Case in point: rules constraining the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables in supermarkets. Furthermore, many regulations hinder small, sustainable farms, but are no hurdle for Big Agriculture, which swallows up billions in subsidies only to produce surpluses of crops that end up in landfills due to other bad policies. Baylen returns to the show to argue that while some rules are necessary and beneficial, we must be pickier when it comes to our food laws.

Christina Sandefur on the Right to Try Initiative

There's a wave of state-based reform sweeping the nation, and it's giving hope to thousands of terminally-ill patients. Since just 2014, 31 states have passed so-called "right to try" initiatives, which allow those with incurable and life-threatening illnesses to access potentially life-saving experimental treatments that have not yet been approved by the FDA. Leading this legislative cascade is Arizona's Goldwater Institute. They believe the Food and Drug Administration has been overly paternalistic in making what amounts to an incredibly difficult, yet personal decision, on behalf of all Americans. When early "Phase I" evidence shows a treatment's potential, physicians in Right to Try states are able to take the experimental treatments out of the laboratory in an attempt to save their patients. Christina Sandefur, executive Vice President of the Goldwater Institute, is a co-drafter of the Right to Try initiative and has been pivotal in getting these laws passed around the country. She joins Bob to make the case to the remaining 19 states – including California. 

Professor Bernstein vs. President Obama: Battle of the Con Law Professors

Not long ago, Barack Obama's peers knew him as a moderate. As a constitutional law professor, Obama generally subscribed to the dominant progressive ideology at Harvard Law School, but voiced a strong belief in separation of powers and other checks on the executive branch. Many hoped he might become the first civil libertarian president. Now, even liberal law professors (not to mention liberal Supreme Court justices) are questioning the legal reasoning behind the Obama administration’s increasingly brazen edicts. David Bernstein, a constitutional law professor at George Mason University, has documented the worst of these abuses power in his new book, “Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law” – drone strikes without Congressional approval are only the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of your political tribe, you must listen to Bernstein’s warning. Obama supporters should be especially wary – after all, who knows who will be wielding these expanded powers down the road? 

Links

Amazon: Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

VIDEO: 2008 Candidate Obama campaigns on promise to stop abuses of executive power

The Volokh Conspiracy

@ProfDBernstein


Seeing Through TSA's Security Theater With Jim Bovard

If you're flying home from vacation this weekend, you have one more gift to look forward to before you reach your gate: a TSA body scan. As of this week, opt outs of the invasive technology will no longer be granted to all those who ask for the alternative pat down. Jim Bovard has written for over a decade on the Transportation Security Agency’s encroachments of liberty. A frequent “opter-out” of the scanners in bygone times, Bovard has not flinched in the face of the screeners’ intimidation tactics. In addition to his repeat encounters with TSA agents, Bovard stands out among libertarian writers for his widely-read USA Today columns denouncing the climate of fear created by government to justify their privacy violations. He joins this special holiday edition of The Bob Zadek Show to dissect the carefully constructed “security theater” that we are forced to attend every time we fly. Tune in at 9am Pacific and call in with your nightmare experiences at airport security.