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Podcast episode

Price controls to fight inflation a bad idea + infrastructure lessons from POTUS 21 – EP125

Price controls are being suggested by some commentators as a way to fight inflation. But price controls would be a really bad idea, as Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed, President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), explains in Economics Explored EP125. Larry also chats with show host Gene Tunny about whether Jesus was a socialist, why banks and the state should be kept separate, and why President Biden would benefit from lessons on infrastructure from the 21st President Chester A. Arthur. You can listen via podcast apps including Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher or via the player below.

Here’s a video clip of Larry discussing the Parable of Vineyard Workers and whether Jesus was a socialist:

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About this episode’s guest – Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became President of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. He previously served for 21 years as President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan (1987-2008). He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

In May 2019, he retired to the role of President Emeritus at FEE and assumed the titles of Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty. 

He holds a B.A. in economics from Grove City College (1975) and an M.A. degree in history from Slippery Rock State University (1978), both in Pennsylvania. He holds two honorary doctorates, one from Central Michigan University (public administration, 1993) and Northwood University (laws, 2008).

Reed has authored nearly 2,000 columns and articles in newspapers, magazines and journals in the United States and abroad. His writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Examiner, Christian Science Monitor, Intellectual Takeout, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, The Epoch Times, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, among many others. He has authored or coauthored eight books, the most recent being  Was Jesus a Socialist? (a major expansion in 2020 of an earlier essay) and Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction.  Additionally, he co-authored and edited five e-Books. See the “Books” section of this web site for more info. He is frequently interviewed on radio talk shows and has appeared as a guest on numerous television programs.

Larry’s article “Price controls: killing the messenger”:

Larry’s article “Why I wish we could put Chester Arthur and Joe Biden in a room together to talk infrastructure spending”:

https://fee.org/articles/why-i-wish-we-could-put-chester-arthur-and-joe-biden-in-a-room-together-to-talk-infrastructure-spending/

Larry’s article “The World’s Oldest Republic Reveals the Secret to Peace and Prosperity”:

https://fee.org/articles/the-world-s-oldest-republic-reveals-the-secret-to-peace-and-prosperity/

Larry’s article “Why the Separation of Bank and State Is so Important”:

https://fee.org/articles/why-the-separation-of-bank-and-state-is-so-important/

Leonard E. Read’s article “I, Pencil”:

https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil/

Article on “Is It Wrong for Christians to Raise Rent on Tenants? Dave Ramsey Sparks Controversy With His Answer”:

The parable of the vineyard workers:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zd76rj6/revision/5

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. 

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Economic update

Price controls aren’t a solution to inflation

Regular Economics Explored guest Darren Brady Nelson has republished some of his papers strongly criticising price controls, which some commentators are now suggesting as a solution to the accelerating inflation we’re seeing in advanced economies. Great points that Darren makes include the following:

The imposition of price controls to deal with inflation does not stop inflation. Rather it combines with inflation to produce a different and worse set of consequences than would inflation alone…

…Politicians have cited a plethora of reasons for introducing price controls – ie price ‘ceilings’ and ‘floors’. At the end of the day, whether they believe these reasons or not is irrelevant to economic outcomes. The outcomes are always bad. Price ceilings always lead to shortages and price floors always lead to surpluses, which often then lead to further government interventions such as rationing and subsidies as well as more taxation, regulation and money printing. Artificial government laws of price controls cannot overcome natural economic laws of supply and demand.

Check out Darren’s papers via the LinkedIn posts below.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/darren-brady-nelson-702746a3_2016-literature-review-part-1-activity-6890767705268387840-nisu

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/darren-brady-nelson-702746a3_2016-literature-review-part-2-activity-6890768207213330432-HDqa

Regarding inflation, I spoke about the UK’s highest recorded inflation rate in three decades in my latest livestream last Friday:

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP64 – Adam Smith & Margaret Thatcher with Dr Eamonn Butler

First, I should say that Gillian Anderson nailed Margaret Thatcher’s voice and mannerisms in season 4 of the Crown, but she had to work with some pretty dreadful scripts at times. Thatcher was cast as the villain responsible for high unemployment and social dislocation in 1980s Britain, but we weren’t reminded of crisis-ridden 1970s Britain which Thatcher inherited and needed to repair. There was the 1976 IMF Crisis and the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent, among other debacles. During the latter, with council workers on strike, Leicester square in London’s West End was turned into a temporary garbage tip. The country was literally a mess, and the heavy state intervention, which Thatcher partly wound back in the 1980s, was to blame. Certainly, the Iron Lady had her flaws, but she deserved a much fairer portrayal than was given her in the Crown.

I recently spoke about Margaret Thatcher, and Adam Smith, too, with Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute, and our recorded conversation is now available as Episode 64 of my Economics Explored podcast. We spoke about the lessons of Adam Smith, why Thatcher’s economic measures were necessary, why the Adam Smith Institute is unashamedly neoliberal, and finally about the deleterious consequences of wage and price controls which have been observed since Babylonian and Roman times. I hope you enjoy our conversation.