The George Mason University economics department is known for developing new ideas into influential ideas. The Virginia-based bastion of free market thought has been producing groundbreaking scholarly work for decades, and shows no signs of slowing down. Last month, GMU PhD Candidate Mark Lutter defended his thesis, “Three Essays on Proprietary Cities.” His committee included Donald Boudreaux, Tyler Cowen, and Richard Wagner. Lutter’s academic interest in proprietary, or free cities is part of a trend among scholars and thought leaders studying the incentives that drive government decision-makers. If politicians respond to rewards and punishments just like you and I do, shouldn’t we consider giving them a larger stake in the profits and losses of the underlying jurisdiction? A proprietary city, Lutter argues, could achieve this, with tremendous benefits for both the developing and the developed world. He makes a convincing case on his blog, FreeCitiesInitiative.com, and joins Bob to defend the idea that the time for free cities has come.
“[T]he future has arrived, well in advance of the policies needed to support it,” says Arun Sundararajan, Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Nowhere can this phenomenon be seen more clearly than in the rapidly-expanding "sharing economy," made up of digital platforms like Uber and AirBnB, which must battle with regulators in some locales to keep their innovative services running. Sundararajan's new book, The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism (MIT Press), contains everything you need to know – both cause and effect – about the radical disruption that is underway. An academic by trade, Sundararajan blends sociology, economics, technology and political science with a keen intuition to highlight the many tensions of the sharing economy, or as he calls it, "crowd-based capitalism." The sharing economy, he notes, is both capitalist and socialist, market-based and gift-based, and largely unregulated yet governed by complex rules and norms. Arun joins Bob to help listeners think about their place in the emerging landscape. Will we manage to harness these changes to become an "empowered entrepreneurs," or is technology turning us into "disenfranchised drones"?
John Chisholm has 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, CEO & investor. The founder of two successful internet companies, CustomerSat & Decisive Technology, John has some surprisingly simple yet powerful pieces of advice for the aspiring entrepreneur. His new book, Unleash Your Inner Company: Use Passion & Perseverance to Build Your Ideal Business, instructs would-be entrepreneurs to live below their means, favor people over possessions, and find positive feedback loops by affirming their teammates' best qualities. But John's book is more than just an entrepreneurship how-to book – it's a thorough roadmap to the new economy, where nearly everyone will have to be an entrepreneur of one kind or another. Lastly, Unleash Your Inner Company is a manifesto for the independent thinker who wants to create positive-sum value.