Skip Young on The Wisdom of 76: Young America's Way to Wealth

When video surfaces featuring scores of Yale students signing a petition to repeal the First Amendment, “hope” seems to be the hardest word to say. Sadly, the Bill of Rights appears to be on life support, and the up-and-coming generation of Ivy-educated citizens seems less than enthusiastic about resuscitating it. At the same time, the ideas of individualism and free enterprise are still alive and well in the general population, and it’s difficult to imagine anything replacing them. This Sunday, Bob will be embracing this silver lining with Skip Young, a SF-based entrepreneur and author of The Wisdom of 76: Young America’s Way to Wealth. In his debut book, Skip aims to inspire young audiences to the magic of the “invisible hand” – an idea which Adam Smith first put into print the same year that the Declaration of Independence was written. In just 10,000 words, Skip leads readers on a poetic journey of hope and discovery through the Declaration, The Wealth of Nations, Common Sense, and the “Way to Wealth.” A mix of engaging history and hypnotic monetary metaphors, Skip’s tract makes a compelling case that everyone can share in the American Dream with modest effort and a bit of bravery. The Wisdom of 76 may just hold the secret to saving the next generation before they are indoctrinated by the educational system.

Sally Satel: The Case for Compensating Organ Donors

There are many reasons why patients end up needing a new kidney, but only one reason why 12 of them die every day from their treatable illness: the shortage of willing donors. Compensating organ donation remains highly taboo, and federally illegal, even as we rely on monetary incentives for everything else we need (from hamburgers to heart surgery). 10 years ago, AEI Scholar Sally Satel, M.D., nearly succumbed to the long wait for a healthy kidney. She now fights for those who are still waiting, and who will continue to suffer until an educated public demands change. Sally is author of When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Organ Donors, and has brought her case to Congress, along with the readers of the New York Times & the Washington Post. Bob and Sally explore the pitfalls of using political correctness and “gut feeling” as the compass for rational policymaking when so many lives are on the line.

Virginia Postrel on Stasis vs. Dynamism

Sixteen years ago, Virginia Postrel published The Future and Its Enemies, a manifesto for her personal philosophy of "dynamism." Dynamists like Postrel favor the spontaneous, evolving forces of free markets over the "stasist" philosophy common to reactionary conservatives and government technocrats. Even more than left versus right, Postrel argues, politics is a battle of the "stasists" versus the "dynamists." Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the debate over compensation for kidney donors. Postrel, the editor of Reason during most of the 1990s, is a spokesperson for a new charity, the American Living Organ Donor Fund (ALODF). She also once donated a kidney to a friend in need. But many people with failing kidneys are not as lucky as the beneficiary of Postrel's altruism. Markets and financial incentives could save the lives of thousands of wait-listed patients on dialysis, but the National Kidney Foundation has resisted even marginal reforms at every turn. Postrel will join the show to reflect on her manifesto and its relation to this vital issue.

Update: Charitable.com giving campaign to raise money for compensating organ donors.

A Vital Issue: Sigrid Fry-Revere on Iranian Kidney Markets

If given the option of receiving a medical procedure in the United States or in Iran, which would you choose? Would you believe that it is far easier for Iranians to receive a life-saving kidney transplant than it is for Americans? It’s not a miracle of Iranian technology or medicine that makes this so, but rather the miracle of a functioning market for kidneys – one which Iran allows and supports, albeit in a restricted form. Compensated organ donation (also known to the less squeamish as the sale of body parts) has been a federal offense in the U.S. since the 1980s, shortly after transplants first became viable. Dr. Sigrid Fry-Revere, founder of the Center for Ethical Solutions, began to look more closely at these markets when her own son suddenly needed a transplant. Her work took her to visit six regions in Iran, where she studied how the Iranian regime eliminated the country's kidney shortages more than a decade ago – a change that benefitted both donors and recipients in the process. On this show, Dr. Fry-Revere talks to Bob about her book The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran, and her work building a bridge of communication and understanding to the American public and medical ethics community on this issue.

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Rent Control

It’s back in the news.  A policy that’s seventy years old, robs from the rich to give to the poor ….. AND the rich! Sounds confusing?  It is!

It’s supported by the middle class but they don’t even benefit. What is it?  Rent control.  A “temporary fix” for a problem that hasn’t existed for over 7 decades. Why do 92% of all economists consider it seriously flawed?  Why do citizens  in San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Monica and New York support it?  Bob takes a fresh look at the issue from a Libertarian perspective.  Explaining and defending rent control is expert Ken Carlson (ken@caltenantlaw.com), a long-time tenants rights attorney and advocate. If you’re a tenant, a landlord or a free-marketeer, you won’t want to miss this show.