From ancient times to the present, politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups have gained resources and control over the public by playing to peoples fears of various crises and by offering solutions that often only make problems worse.
For more than a century U.S. foreign policywhether conducted by Democrats or Republicanshas been based on the assumption that Americans interests are served best by intervening abroad to secure markets, fight potential enemies far from American shores, or engage in democratic nation building. But, what is the record of such policies, including now in Iraq?
What if North Korea and Iran become nuclear states? If the United States must live with a nuclear Iran and North Korea, what policies should it adopt? Furthermore, could the U.S. change its foreign policy to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation to even more countries?
Richard K. Vedder and Ken Jacobs debate whether the rise of Walmart and similar big box retailers have been beneficial or harmful to the US economy.
Richard K. Vedder is Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate, Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University. Professor Vedder is co-author (with Lowell Gallaway) of The Independent Institute book, "Out of Work," the recipient of both the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award and Mencken Award Finalist for Best Book, and the Institute monograph, Can Teachers Own Their Own Schools?
Ken Jacobs is Chair of the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center, and a former member of the Mayors Universal Health Care Council in San Francisco. He is the Co-author od Declining Job-Based Health Coverage for Working Families in California and the United States, and Hidden Costs of Wal-Mart Jobs.
David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute and Publisher of The Independent Review.
Wal-Marts detractors argue that Wal-Mart reduces living standards, hurts retail trade, disrupts communities, and relies on government programs to provide healthcare for many of its workers. Is Wal-Mart a force for good or evil?
Americas most provocative humorist, P. J. ORourke, has read pioneering economist Adam Smiths The Wealth of Nations, first published in 1776, so we dont have toand the results are as entertaining as they are enlightening.
With his numerous books, articles and essays about politics, war and social disorder under his belt, it was only a matter of time until P.J. O'Rourke found his way to the subject of his new book, "Eat the Rich." In "Parliament of Whores," he lampooned the entire U.S. government. "All the Troubles in the World" attacked the pandemic worries of the politically correct; and this time it's the economy, stupid! What is wealth and how do we get it? Or as he asks, "Why do some places prosper and thrive while others just stink?"
As most people (along with many "experts") try to fathom the volatility of financial markets and the complexities of global economies, the man who Time magazine has called "one of America's most hilarious and provocative writers" brings it all into perspective. Who else but P.J. could provide this primer on Wall Street: "In order to understand the stock market we have to realize that, like anything enormous and inert, it's fundamentally stable, and like anything emotion-driven, it's volatile as hell."
But he doesn't stop there. Embarking from Wall Street, P.J. takes us on a hilarious and enlightening worldwide tour of the foibles of governments from Russia to Tanzania, from Albania to Shanghai, and from Hong Kong to Havana, and revisits college economics courses, counteracting them with his own version of Econ 101.
The result is the world's only astute, comprehensive and comic presentation of the basic principles of economics that will truly make you laugh on purpose.
P. J. ORourke
Bestselling Author, Humorist and Political Satirist