Joel Engel on *Scorched Worth: A True Story of Destruction, Deceit, and Government Corruption*, 6/3

Hollywood loves to dramatize stories involving corporate bad guys – lawyered up multinational behemoths who plunder the land just to make a buck. Bestselling author and screenwriter Joel Engel could have taken this well-worn path, but instead he flipped the script.

Read More

Vít Jedlička on Founding Liberland

When was the last time you heard of a “pioneering” new movement in the literal sense of settling unclaimed lands with hope of a better future? For generations, virtually all land has been claimed and controlled by existing governments, making such efforts difficult. Excepting parts of Antarctica, international waters, and a few other so-called “no-man’s-lands” speckling the globe, there is nowhere left for modern-day pioneers to endeavor. One unfortunate consequence of the “closing of the frontier” has been an end to new political experiments – the landscape of existing countries represents an oligopoly, with little competition from small “startup” countries.  Vít Jedlička, however, took a magnifying glass to the atlas, and found a small (7 km sq.) unclaimed region between Serbia and Croatia. This historical accident of boundary drawing created a unique opportunity for Jedlicka, a Czech politician and libertarian activist, to build his dreamt-of Free Republic of Liberland. In April, Vit and his team officially launched the new country (timed to coincide with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday), and since then, Liberland has been steadily accumulating interest, diplomatic recognition, as well as tens of thousands of applications for citizenship. Find out what comes next in Vit’s vision and strategy to turn the tiny, thick-wooded gem on the Danube into the first thriving micro-nation of the 21st century. 

Lawson Bader on *I, Whiskey* & Curtailing the Regulatory State

What does whiskey have to do with encroaching regulation and bureaucracy? Fortunately, for most of history, the answer has been "very little," as the two domains have remained relatively separate. Distilleries have cooperated peacefully, at least by proxy, with millions of other intermediate producers to yield a variety of complex end products, each with distinct tastes, undertones, and trademarks. The Competitive Enterprise Institute seeks to keep these entrepreneurial energies flowing, unimpeded by regulators who know little about the underlying industries and transactions they seek to control. Lawson Bader, whiskey aficionado and President of CEI, thought this point should be made even more clearly, in documentary form – continuing a video series originally based on Leonard Read's classic work, I, Pencil. Lawson joins Bob to talk about a new crowdfunding campaign to support the I, Whiskey project: a full-length documentary to bring the spontaneous order of the free market to life, through the story of a simple bottle of whiskey. Sit back and listen with a tumbler of your favorite spirit.

Bonus topics include CEI's current lawsuit against the TSA, strategies for rolling back the administrative state, and how to stay sane in a regulation-obsessed area like the Bay Area.

Ilya Somin on the Grasping Hand of Eminent Domain

Perhaps you remember the story of Susette Kelo, the owner of the "Little Pink House" in New London, Connecticut that was condemned to make way for an economic development project led by Pfizer. Maybe you were even a part of the public backlash – larger than any other stemming from a Supreme Court decision in recent memory. Ten years after the Justices voted 5-4 to uphold city's abuse of eminent domain, we can start to look at the impact of this major precedent with implications for all of our property rights and individual sovereignty. The question still remains: If the government can take your house to provide land for another party's private economic benefit, what can't it do? In his new book, *The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain*, Ilya Somin offers the definitive account of the case as it has impacted broader trends in American jurisprudence. Somin joins Bob this Sunday to expose the special interests that are preventing effective eminent domain reforms at various levels of government. He also reveals how pivotal groups like the Institute for Justice have been in raising awareness about this issue, and how their efforts have translated into genuine change. Our property rights are at stake – Somin's message is an important one if we are going to resist the grasping hand of eminent domain.

Rand Paul and Principles or Politics with Walter Block

If Rand Paul makes it past the Republican primaries, criticisms are sure to resurface regarding an obscure comment he made on CNN in 2010 about the libertarian principle of free association. Specifically, Paul took issue with the portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act limiting business owners’ freedom to discriminate (against their own economic interest) – a comment he has since walked back. Alas, pure libertarian principle often dictates seemingly indefensible positions, such as the right of bigots to refuse customers on a superficial basis. One man, however, has had the courage to consistently argue that the principle of freedom involved in these cases should trump our uneasiness about specific outcomes. That man is Professor Walter Block. Block has caused many a stir with his iconoclastic defenses of the seemingly indefensible. He joins Bob to discuss his recent endorsement of Rand Paul for President, in spite of the Republican candidate’s recent moves away from the principled libertarian positions of his father. Should libertarians get behind a lesser of two evils? Find out where you lie on Professor Block’s scale of libertarianism (where 100 is a “Perfect Block”).

Derek Khanna - What's Stifling Innovation?

Back in April, Bob interviewed Ed Hudgins about The Republican Party’s Civil War, in which Hudgins urged Republicans to emphasize the value of “modernist achievers”—those who disrupt status quo industries and demonstrate what free individuals can accomplish. Derek Khanna is one of the youngest yet most influential thinkers leading the charge on the innovation front in Washington D.C. Khanna regularly writes on disruptive innovation for Forbes.com, and recently had his article, "The Party of Innovation," featured on the cover of The American Conservative magazine. The piece advocated for common sense free-market reform in technology policy, and in the broader conservative movement. If his ideas are any indication of a trend, there may still be hope for Republicans to become known as the party of dynamism and innovation. Bob and Khanna talked about obstacles to forming new small businesses, and Khanna explained some recent reforms that may foreshadow more sweeping victories down the road.

Remember the A&P? It’s the True Story of Capitalism in America

Marc Levinson’s book “The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America” has it all: rugged capitalism, crony capitalism, big time rent seekers using political power to kill competition, and the defense of the “little guy” against the feared chain stores. It also outlines the destruction of the free market by the New Deal, gives details of the precursor to Walmart (Sam Walton did not invent the business model) and exemplifies some very nasty politics. A history of this iconic brand is a history of American business from the middle of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. In this Sunday’s encore episode, Marc joins Bob to put the attack on free enterprise in a fascinating historical perspective. The mistakes of history keep on repeating themselves and resilient businesses overcome these obstacles. This topic, this book, is simply great stuff. You’ll love it.

Driverless Cars Are The New Horseless Carriages

Some older Americans are having trouble adjusting to social media and iPhones. That change is minor compared to the shift in perception they will need to get used to a country of driverless cars. This is not fantasy. They are in production; soon to be on the showroom floor and their arrival will portend nearly incomprehensible changes in our lives. Your garage will house a smart phone on wheels. Forget privacy, it will know whose home you’ve stopped at, your driving patterns and much more. This information will be tracked by Google, probably the government, and perhaps everyone else. So long to chauffeurs, bus drivers and taxi drivers. We’ll still have the cabs, just no drivers. Speed limits will be a thing of the past. The only cause of accidents will be humans. Mothers Against Drunk Driving will become Mothers Against Human Driving. Greg Beato joined Bob to discuss this topic. Greg has written for dozens of publications, including SPIN, Wired, Business 2.0, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Driverless cars will change your life… but for better or for worse?