Scholars Ask Scholars: David Kelley Interviews Richard Salsman

January 18, 2023 01:02:17
Scholars Ask Scholars: David Kelley Interviews Richard Salsman
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
Scholars Ask Scholars: David Kelley Interviews Richard Salsman

Jan 18 2023 | 01:02:17

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Show Notes

Join our founder David Kelley, Ph.D. for a special "Scholars Ask Scholars" session where he interviews Richard Salsman, Ph.D., and discusses current events, Salsman's intellectual journey, and his current work.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Okay. Um, hello everyone. Uh, my, I'm David Kelly. Uh, I'm the founder of the Atlas Society and longtime c e o, uh, and now one of its Senior Scholars. And I wanna welcome everyone to the 136th episode of our weekly series, the Atlas Society Asks, um, I need to read this. Uh, the Atlas Society is the leading nonprofit organization, uh, introducing young people to the ideas of I Rand in Creative Ways. Uh, I'll remind those of you watching us on Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube to use the comments section to type in any questions you have. We're not gonna be taking live questions now, but, uh, your questions are always informative. Um, this session is part of a special series. The, uh, Atlas Society Ask is, um, our, uh, venue for interviewing many, many people. It started back in, I think, 2020 when our C E o Jennifer Grossman had a brilliant idea during the pandemic to, um, do a lot of stuff online with interesting people. Speaker 0 00:01:19 And so now Richard is a very interesting person, <laugh>. And, uh, so now, you know, we're doing the 136. 136. Yes, I can. It staggers my mind. Anyway, this, uh, one form of, of the Atlas SaaS is scholars. As scholars, over the past few years, we've increased the, uh, intellectual capital at the Atlas Society considerably. Um, our senior scholars now include professors, um, uh, Steven Hicks, Jason Hill, uh, Richard Salzman, and myself. And today I'm delighted to spend an hour with talking with my very esteemed colleague and dear friend Richard Salzman about his intellectual development, his career, and his involvement with the Objectives Movement. Uh, Richard is a professor at Duke University in the philosophy, politics, and economics or P p E program, which we're gonna talk about. Uh, he received his PhD from Duke. His books include, um, uh, the most recent one is where Have all the Capital has gone. Speaker 0 00:02:36 You can see that on, uh, Richard's, uh, shelf behind Richard's a close up. Um, and he's written, uh, four other books, uh, um, on the Political Economy of Public Debt, golden Liberty, the Collapse of Deposit Insurance, um, and Breaking the Banks. Uh, he's also published numerous articles and spoken at many conferences, uh, for the Atlas Society. He currently does two clubhouse sessions every month. Uh, he hosts a Monthly Markets and Morals, um, sent webinar, exploring interconnections, um, between ethics, politics, economics and markets. And, um, so with that introduction, um, let's get going. Uh, Richard, let me start by asking you just, um, a bit of your origin story. Um, where'd you grow up? Speaker 1 00:03:38 I grew up in Hamilton, Massachusetts, which was named after Alexander Hamilton. So, Speaker 0 00:03:43 Oh, that's your Yeah. Speaker 1 00:03:44 In a, yeah. Well, that's not the reason I got interested in Hamilton. That's a separate issue, but, but in the, in the founding days, new England was very federalist, you know, and the anti-Federalists, the Jeffersonians were in this middle and the south. Yeah. But, uh, and, and a six siblings in a Catholic family. So this is 1960s Massachusetts Catholic upbringing, but a great upbringing. Speaker 0 00:04:09 Yeah. Good. Well, there could be worse ones. Uh, yes. <laugh>. Um, you went to Boone College. Uh, was that your interest in, um, economics began? Speaker 1 00:04:20 No. Well, began, yes. I went up there to get a pre-law degree, so I was totally interested in law. I was an arguer. I was a debater. I loved reading the law. And, uh, so the first two years I was law, and I was, and I specifically got interested in constitutional law, and there was just a fabulous professor up there, Richard Morgan. Uh, and he was an absolute constitutional specialist, and actually a conservative I didn't realize until later. And, uh, however, I, when we got to the 1930s, the case studies, uh, really showed that the Supreme Court started stepping back and allowing massive intervention in the economy. And, um, we, so we know all this in retrospect, but, and, and so when I realized it was due to the Great Depression, I got obsessed with ex studying the Great Depression. So I started majoring in economics as well. I ended up with a double major, I majored in law and economics, but the economics part started with, what the hell was the Great Depression? Apparently it overthrows American principles of jurisprudence. So it's gotta be a huge thing. And maybe economics is more powerful than politics and law. So anyway, that was the origin of, uh, getting, uh, both majors at Duke at, uh, excuse me, at Bowen, which I graduated pro about 8, 19 81 or so. Speaker 0 00:05:40 Right. And then you went into banking Yeah. Uh, as a career nut law. Right. Um, and I assume you used your, uh, economic Speaker 1 00:05:50 Right Speaker 0 00:05:51 Acumen to, uh, work and for about 20 years, right? Speaker 1 00:05:57 Yes. I basically, from 1981 to the early two thousands, banking and or finance or investment consulting. Yeah, broadly finance, uh, before I went into academia. And, uh, interestingly, halfway through Boden, I read, um, I Rand's stuff. So on my father's shelf, my father was a conservative, not an objectivist, but one summer when I was bored, I looked on his bookshelf and I found a book called Capitalism, and I just started reading it. And I literally thought it had to do with how factories were organized. I don't know why I thought that, but to, that's what capitalism was, in my mind. Something happening to do with economics. So I thought I was reading a pure economics book. I don't know why a kid would do that in the summer for no reason, but <laugh>, when I opened it, my eyes were just completely open. Because it basically, if you remember, it opens with, this is not a book. Speaker 1 00:06:45 Uh, this is not a treatises on economics. It's got moral arguments at Philosoph. And I was bold over. I absolutely loved it. And, um, that is one of the reasons, ultimately, believe it or not, I went into banking. It wasn't just that I was studying economics, and then within economics, I really found money and banking. I interesting because, you know, Friedman and others had said the Central Bank had caused the Great Depression. So I thought, wow, money and banking, I started drifting in that direction. But when I read, uh, Francisco's Money speech, that really motivated me into sense of saying, this is not only an interesting field, but it's, uh, it's got moral implications. So that is literally, that is literally one of the reasons I went to Wall Street, not only to become good at finance and banking and lending, but I had, I had this love of the city. I had this love of, um, you know, Francisco's argument. I knew Iran was down in New York. So for every reason in the world, I wanted to go to New York. Speaker 0 00:07:41 And this was, uh, so you were reading these works, uh, in college? Speaker 1 00:07:46 Yes. Halfway through college. Speaker 0 00:07:47 Wow. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:07:49 Starting in sophomore year or so. Yeah. And then I would try out the arguments on the professors, and they were just, oh, okay. This kid is an idiot. He's, you know, yeah. He's, he's drinking, he's this drinking the Kool-Aid. Speaker 0 00:08:00 <laugh>, you're right. Been there, <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:08:02 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:08:03 Um, so you, um, you were at, you spent about 20 years in, uh, banking and finance. You were active as an intellectual. I, I know your early books were written a published during that time, and you, you, uh, wrote many articles, uh, right. And, um, but what, what got you, what moved you into academic life from after that career in banking? Speaker 1 00:08:34 I, whatever I did, I wanted the backstory, so to speak. I wanted the broader picture. So, for example, my first book was breaking the bank's central banking problems and Pre Banking Solutions. Now, that came out of a, a thesis that I was writing at nyu. So while I was in banking, I was getting my mba, but when you think about an mba, the b a at the time was just to advance in the, the bank. I was at the Bank of New York down on Wall Street. I wasn't yet thinking of an academic career, but I could see that I was interested in, in doing research and giving talks and lectures. And the 1990 period was the S N L collapse. So it was a huge financial crisis. And my theme was central banking had done this, that it wasn't a fault of free markets or greed or all that kind of stuff. Speaker 1 00:09:17 And it was, pub to my amazement, was published by A I E R, who I am now affiliated with. So, a long story, you know, in 1988, I sent them the, the manuscript, and they liked it and published it. So I, I got my first taste of Wow, people will publish some stuff that I write that was actually done also under a Keynesian professor, uh, at nyu. And he liked it, even though it was a critique of Keynesian economics and the manipulation of money and credit. And I was bringing in, I was bringing in bees and Hayek and Greenspan. Right? Yeah. I, I think that was the beginning of me realizing that I can work in the academic world. Here's a professor who disagrees with me, but agreeably, Paul Wael, I should name his name, Paul Wael, who, who by the way, later, David, two decades later, when I was trying to get into Duke, uh, I, I look for re references, you know, letters. Speaker 1 00:10:09 And I call Paul Wael, who hadn't seen me in 18 years. 18 years, said, would you give me a letter of recommendation to do? He remembered me immediately, which is nice, he said, of course, yes. Yeah. Wow. Uh, so also you start learning, wow. If you're a gentleman and a scholar, um, you can develop long-term relationships with people, and it, it works out that way. So, um, that's really how the first book came around. Golden Liberty was done about five years later, 1995, and I was on my way, but at the same time, I was affiliated with the Iran Institute. So they had me on their speakers bureau, and I would go around to campuses giving lectures. My first topics were on antitrust, uh, the, the evils of antitrust. Subsequently, our, uh, uh, s um, talks on mentalism. Right. And so I would do four or five campus lectures, you know, per school season, uh, in the, uh, the nineties. Speaker 1 00:11:06 So there, I also got a feel for being on campus, interacting with students mm-hmm. <affirmative> in some cases, getting hostility that the cancel culture was working even back then. But, so anyway, that's just as the answer to the question of why was I edging toward academia? Because I was publishing and I realized, you know, I'm not just a banker. I'm a banker who wants to know why there are banking crises. Yeah. How bank, you know, and how banking fits into the broader picture of capitalism and all that. So I, I think I was enormously benefited by the fact that the things got really improved in the 1980s. So you and I have talked about this before, but the Reagan revolution and supply side economics and all that kind of stuff, I totally got into, and it was reviving the American economy. And I'm down on Wall Street during all this time, and it's just a very exciting, invigorating time. And it looks like our ideas are winning plus my career, plus my career is improving. So, Speaker 0 00:11:58 So, uh, just for the audience, uh, you referred to, uh, ai, er, that's the American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, uh, right. One of the organizations, uh, promoting Freedom, um, today and, and for a long time. Um, yeah. So, um, what, what you were, um, in the banking industry, uh, but also speaking, uh, on the, after a r I was started in for their speakers bureau and writing, you know, other things. Yeah. Was there any tension with your banking employers with the banks? Speaker 1 00:12:40 Uh, yes. Sometimes, but mostly from the standpoint of, uh, I would go to a campus and the I s o, uh, that would the, be the international Socialist organization, the students socialist would call up my bank and try to get me fired. So it wasn't that the bank said, you can't speak, you know, you can moonlight and speak on campuses and stuff. I didn't have to get permission as long as I wasn't speaking on behalf of the bank. But after the bank in New York, for example, I worked for City Corp for three or four years, and one time I gave a talk in Cincinnati criticizing environmentalism. The title of the talk was Capitalism and the Environment, the Virtues of Exploitation, <laugh> <laugh>. So I was making, I was making a positive argument for, you know, rearranging the earth in, in our image. And the I s o got so upset, I, they were throwing rotten tomatoes at me on stage, literally. And they called City Corp. So I got back to New York later, and I was called up to the, uh, C-suite and asked, what, what the hell happened in Cincinnati <laugh>, because they're calling for your ouster. What? And to their credit, the senior executives at City Corp said, are you doing this on your own time? Yes. You're not invoking City Corp on your no. Keep up the good work. Speaker 1 00:13:57 And there's Speaker 0 00:13:58 Definitely that They have a little spine. Speaker 1 00:14:00 Yes, I go back down the elevator, you know, holding my breath, not having to hold my breath anymore. I still had my job, but that was my first taste of cancel culture, or the attempt at it. It was happening back. People were being yelled off the stage back then in the nineties as well. Speaker 0 00:14:15 So City Corp may have lost some customers, uh, uh, among the socialists, but probably they wouldn't Speaker 1 00:14:21 Customers. Right. Not an important group, not an important constituency. Speaker 0 00:14:25 Um, so, um, you're currently teaching at Duke and in the, uh, politics, uh, philosophy, politics and economics program. Could you tell us a little bit about P p e? Speaker 1 00:14:40 Well, ppe yeah, it's a wonderful thing from our standpoint, David, from the standpoint of philosophy matters and knowledge is integrated, and we shouldn't be, you know, siloed off into siloed, off myopically into various disciplines that don't talk to each other. So this is, this did happen at the turn of the last century where poly SAI went its own way, and economics went its own way. And even philosophy really went, not only when its own way went off the rails, yeah, <laugh>. But if we go back all the way to Adam Smith and the others, they talked about political economy. It was the principles of political economy. That was the name of all the textbooks. And, uh, the feeling was at the end of the 18 hundreds, well, uh, politics is not scientific, and economics can be. And so we should split the two. Um, long story short, by the mid eighties, um, in America at least, but this is the trend had happened earlier in Britain. Speaker 1 00:15:36 Uh, there was a group of people who said, we need to bring back political economy. And at Oxford of all places in Britain in the 19, early 1920s, they came up with the idea of pp and e and it's literally an acronym for philosophy, politics, and Economics. And it's the idea that those three disciplines should be studied together. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there were interrelationships between them. So it's an, it is what's now called an interdisciplinary approach to those fields. And in 1986, when James Buchanan won the Nobel Prize, he's what's called a public choice economist. He was a big advocate of the idea that politics and economics or philosophy should be discussed and examined together. So that gave impetus to the beginnings of pp and e programs in America. And thankfully, duke was one of the leading lights in starting these. There's about 50 of 'em all over the country now. Speaker 1 00:16:26 And, uh, but Duke's is a really like prestigious program, and it's the thought leader, it's headed by Mike Munger, my colleague at, at, uh, at Duke. We've often had a, uh, a co consultation with U N C, which is right nearby. So U n C students are involved in it, and professors are involved in it as well. And it's, it's wonderful in the sense that it has this concept of integration. And all the courses we teach, uh, have that. So is the example I'd like to give to students in introductory sessions. For example, we started this semester, just last week, I say to them, consider the following sentence, we need to enact a fairer tax code. That's a brief sentence, right? But it has pp e in it all, all pp and E is in all of. So I say to them, what part of that is philosophy? Speaker 1 00:17:14 And they think for a moment they say, fairer, more just tax code taxes is the economics of it, right? The price government imposes on the economy, and we need to enact means we need to legislate. So there's politics behind it. And I, and the theme here is there are so many issues that you could not possibly understand, uh, or provide solutions for if you were only studying philosophy, or if you were only studying economics, or if you were only studying poly sci. So the students who take this are in each of those departments. They have a major, they major in one of those, but they take our, our pp and e courses to broaden their horizons and see these integrations. That's really the idea behind it. Speaker 0 00:17:54 That's great. So, um, you get, uh, and you say Duke is a leader in this Yes. In this interdisciplinary program. Good. Speaker 1 00:18:04 Um, and about 2006, or Munger developed it around 2006 or so, and got some other colleagues involved. The standard textbook for pp and e was a joint publication of, uh, duke and U N C. So there's a reader, you know, associated with pp and e where they collected all the classic, uh, things from, you know, Aristotle, Locke, onward in PP and E. So that's used in other pp and e programs. And, and Mike Munger will go around and consult and help other universities set up PP and e programs. Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:18:34 So how, how do your students, uh, react to the, uh, the, the combination of, of, of approaches, like to your initial Speaker 1 00:18:43 Question very favorably. Now, of course, it's a self-selected thing, but we've developed a reputation enough now, uh, that they know what they're getting and they hear about it and has a kind of buzz on campus. Mm-hmm. And it, it's not a major, because when you think about it, David Majors are, you're specializing in one of these three fields. So it's, it's not a major, it's a cert, what's called a certificate. It's not even a minor, but they love it. And it kind of, I, I describe it as kind of turbocharging, their major. If an econ student gets the econ major plus a PP and e certificate, he's telling the world, and he is showing, he's had this broader interest, this broader conceptual creative ability. So it tends to attract students like that. And, you know, the students who come in, this is true of any course, if they come in and it's over their head or they don't quite get it, they'll just drop the course. Speaker 1 00:19:29 But the numbers have been growing over the years, so Mike and I, you know, monitored from that standpoint. Uh, we help them in terms of, as every professor does, helping them with letters of recommendation, with internships, getting jobs and stuff like that. So we can also track how they do subsequently. And it's, it's clear that the ones who have this integration are doing much better in the world, uh, than if they were just in one of the majors. Really, by the way, by the way, I should say also, if you think about it, David, uh, pp and e does not necessarily mean pro capitalist. Um, I mean, I would name, for example, I would name, uh, marks and Cannes as pp and E types. Yeah. You know, in the sense that they talked about philosophy, they talked about politics and economics, but they were left-leaning anti-capitalist. Speaker 1 00:20:15 So, so the key point is integration. The key point is, uh, the students learn these fields are totally interrelated. And I'm gonna know much more about whatever thing I'm studying if I know these three. But, but the added benefit of Duke is Mike and I teach both sides. So we teach not only PP and E, we will teach the Marxist ca we'll convey to them the Marxist Keynesian view of pp and e, but then also the, the, uh, free market view, uh, from Adam Smith to, you know, the usual suspects, including Ayn Rands works, including Buchanan's work, including Me's, Hayek, Basia. So you get that at Duke in a way you might not in other pp and e programs. There's other pp and e programs which are totally left wing, but, and that's all they are. But at least they're pp and e at least they're this integration, if you know what I'm getting at. Speaker 0 00:21:06 Right. And, and I'm, I'm curious because I, when I was at teaching Vassar years ago, I taught a political philosophy course, and I taught in terms of broad, uh, ideologies, conservatism, socialism, right. Political liberalism, et cetera. And, uh, I always felt I did a had at the end of the semester. I was always proud when a didn't always happen. But when a student asked me, Mr. Kelly, uh, do you, do you prefer one of these? They didn't know for my right dissertation, it was, do, do you, uh, strive for that? Something like that? Or do people know? I do. Speaker 1 00:21:45 Oh, oh, we definitely, we definitely strive for it. I think it, what's more difficult than than the seventies or eighties is they can Google you. Speaker 1 00:21:53 So that's, they can Google me or Mike or anyone else and, and almost instantly figure out whether we're pro capitas or not. So that's a disadvantage in terms of portraying to them and conveying to them a balanced approach. But I still do a balanced approach in the courses. And now, now, some people will think that's like hedging your bets and stuff, but you have to understand in academia today, if you give them a balanced assessment, an account of things they're getting half, uh, that they're not getting mo in most other colleges. Another example would be, another example of this is I teach, uh, for the fifth year now, I've taught, uh, for freshmen, although we call 'em first years now, uh, capitalism Foreign Against. So it's a seminar for only limited to 18 students, and it sells out every spring, capitalism foreign against. And I put the, I put the seminar together from scratch five or six years ago, and half the readings are trashing capitalism, you know, marks, Kanes, the environmentalist feminism, and half the readings are pro capitalists. Speaker 1 00:22:55 They include conservatives, libertarians, objective, and, uh, it's totally balanced. And the students come out of that. But many, the, many of the students will joke and say, I never knew there was a case for capitalism. So I took the seminar because apparently there are arguments for <laugh>, for capitalism, <laugh>. So, um, that is, that is an enormously popular, uh, uh, seminar. Um, we started it again last, uh, last week, but the EM semester began. And, you know, in the beginning I go around and I introduce the syllabus and I tell 'em what the expectations are, the usual professor stuff. But then I also go around and, you know, introduce yourself and, uh, where you're from and why you're taking the seminar. And the last student, she said, I'm from China. I've never heard an argument for capitalism. That's why I'm here. Speaker 0 00:23:40 Whoa. Speaker 1 00:23:41 Yeah. And I thought to myself afterwards, I thought to myself, well, at least China allows her to be here. Speaker 0 00:23:48 <laugh>. Yeah. <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:23:49 And to, you know, first of all to be in America. And then she found her way into Salzman seminar. This, you know, her head's gonna explode in about three weeks, but in a, in a good way. Speaker 0 00:23:58 She may not go back. Speaker 1 00:24:00 <laugh>, I dunno about that. Speaker 0 00:24:02 You know, I, I, this, uh, let me ask you a question that was not on our list, but, um, uh, I know some, some people teaching e economics, um, have, um, written about using Atla shrug in the classroom, right? Cause it's a novel, it's a story. Yeah. Form one, but, um, but a, as a way of conveying things. Have you ever done conveying things about the how an economy works and what happens when you intervene in it? Have you ever uh, done that? Speaker 1 00:24:33 I have done that. I've never assigned the book in its entirety, cuz it's so long. And it would take up, uh, too much of the seminar, but broad passages from it, including, uh, including not just Francisco's money speech. So that is readings in many of my courses and seminars. But, uh, also the 20th Century Motor Company, the, the account of when the STS took over and adopted, uh, from each, according to his ability to each according to his need. Now, in that, in that case, for example, I juxtapose it to Marx's actual argument in the, I think it was in the Gotha program, where he comes up with that phrase. So first they read Marks making that case, and then they read E's Uhhuh 20th Century Motor Company from Atlas. Yeah. And, uh, I've also written an essay called Economics and Atlas Shrug. And that's been republished that's very, been very well received and republished in its chapter in books. Speaker 1 00:25:31 So it was originally published, I think in 2010, the economics in Atlas Shrug, where I basically show how knowledgeable Ayn Rand was about economics. And I pick six or seven major themes of what you find in Atlas Shrugged. And then I draw, then I, you know, excerpt it and show it. So I'll, sometimes I'll assign that to students. Yeah. Cause it's a, cause it's a concentrated, you know, truncated version of her principles. And that's called the Economics and Atlas Shrug originally at, uh, the Objective Standard. But it's been republished in books, uh, on Iran. So, um, there are others like Pete Beke at G M U, who have used Atlas Shrug, who have written essays about using Atlas Shrugged in the economics classroom. Uh, I, I highly recommend it if you can do it, obviously. Speaker 0 00:26:16 Yeah. Um, uh, that's great. Thank you. Um, well you, you've been highly successful, um, in your career in both, um, chapters of it, banking and academic life. Uh, do you have any, um, advice for younger scholars about who are interested in academic work, uh, in terms of preparing for the profession, finding a position, dealing with hostility, cancellations, wokeness, et cetera? Speaker 1 00:26:48 You know, this may surprise you, but I'm not sure I do par par partly because of the unorthodox way in which I got here. Because I didn't start even considering getting a PhD until my late forties. So, you know, like in 2012, uh, I mean I was well into my late forties or so. So, but the standard approach would be, you know, get a good solid undergraduate degree from a prestigious institution like you went to Princeton, you know, and then the next thing is to get into a PhD program and then basically to get a job and try to get tenure and start your career in your twenties so that when I get students, and, and Duke is a PhD producing program. It's a research institution. So it's not just the teaching but publishing. Uh, I do interact with PhD candidates and, and graduate students and many of 'em are my TAs. Speaker 1 00:27:39 So I do advise them. I do see what they're doing. I do see how they're trying to get jobs, but it's, man, it's very difficult. It's most difficult in philosophy department, but I'm in the political science department. It's hard there too, not hard not only to get a dissertation completed, but then say, get it published, then get a job. Then once you get the job to get tenure, you know, this David, you succeeded at doing it. It's very difficult to do. And I'm not sure I'm in a position, cuz I haven't been in academia forever, but I have colleagues who have been like, Munger's been in it 30 years. So he's very good at advising. And he and I are also conscious of the kind of students who might come to us are those who are, you know, either love free markets or love liberty or love constitution or love America. Speaker 1 00:28:19 And that's a minority within the universe, right? So they have special problems of getting in and getting on that the typical PhD candidate wouldn't. So, you know, it's nice for Mike and I to know Liberty Fund and Cato Institute. You know, we try to get people the jobs there and um, that is one way to do it. But it's very difficult. My broad based advice comes down to literally, I say this a lot, but it, there's a lot of truth to it. Be a gentleman and a scholar and gentlemen, of course I include women. But by that I mean you need to be polite in this environment. You need to be collegial. It is called college after all. <laugh>, you need to be benevolent. You can't assume this is especially true for liberty oriented students. You can't, despite all the sometimes true accounts of how left-leaning, uh, academia is, you can't go in there with the expectation that you're gonna fail with the expectation that you're going to be mistreated. Speaker 1 00:29:24 It's not easy to do, but you, you know what I'm saying? You need to go in there without a chip on your shoulder and you can't be battling the man, so to speak. And the scholarship part, of course is you need to be, you need to be smarter, you need to work harder and research better and write better than your competitors who are left-leaning. Cuz they're already gonna be benefited by the fact that they're left-leaning. I think this is even more difficult in the last, uh, last five years, the transition in the last five years toward focusing much more on hiring people on the basis of gender, race, and ethnicity rather than on merit. So it, it's, it's especially more difficult. But that's the best advice I can give other than helping 'em on specific, you know, reference letters and contacts and things like that. Speaker 1 00:30:10 I would say generally, we all know David, that for some reason right-leaning conservatives, libertarians and objective is tend not to go into academia. Yeah. And part of part of it might be that they just don't want the hassle, but, um, and so the left comes off as, wow, we must be more intellectual and we must be more interested in ideas than these conservative yahoos are. That's not true. Some of my best students are conscientiously, you know, on the liberty side, but they never, almost never think of going into academia cuz they don't, they know the reputation. Uh, it's like going into a career where you know you're gonna be, um, face prejudice. Speaker 0 00:30:49 Well, I, that, you know, that's a general issue. Uh, yeah. How you deal with, uh, and tell me what, uh, situation is like at Duke. Um, you know, uh, we hear a lot of stories about the, uh, the left leaning aspects of, of campus. I mean, to the point of, you know, uh, reeducation camps, so to speak, to use a mar uh, you know, Marxist, uh, Chinese term, um, and, you know, d e i statements, you have to fill out help before you get hired. Yet when you apply we have to say, you know, what have I done for Yeah, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Um, and so, and Duke was one of the, had Liz had a while back, had a reputation for being one of the worst maybe Underst Stanley Lee Fish when he was there. Um, I mean, you remember his book. Uh, there's no such thing as free speech. And, and it's a good, good thing, something like that. I mean, he was just frank about his, uh, Speaker 1 00:31:54 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:31:54 Uh, postmodernism. Yeah. Uh, so, but tell me, tell us about your context and how, how it at all that impacts your work at the, uh, position at Duke. Speaker 1 00:32:08 I am aware of that history, and there are, you know, measures to this day. There are groups that, uh, kind of grade the universities on openness and, uh, free speech codes and things like that. It's called fire, f i r e, it's an acronym for, I forget. But, uh, and Duke does get good grades. Now, whether they would have in the eighties and nineties, the period you're talking about where there was a post-modern, they were advancing post-modernism. Uh, I don't know. But, and, and it's hard for me being there and being at the pp and e program being with Mike. And we're not the only ones. I would say, I would say in Econ and PolySci, there are 60 professors and probably 10% or 15% of us are, uh, liberals. Uh, liberals in the good sense. In the neme Yeah. In the, you know, pro prioritizing liberty above all. Speaker 1 00:33:00 Uh, now that's a small percentage, but it's not a zero percentage. And in some university departments it's almost zero. So, uh, I think Duke is more, I don't know if you wanna call it ecumenical and, uh, fair in that regard. They are not preventing the students from getting, uh, all sides of the argument. But, and, and then the student, I I actually face the issue of if the students, uh, come to me or Mike or somebody else with, uh, you know, a right-leaning approach and thinking they're gonna get a benefit, I tell them, no, no, no, no <laugh> we're, we're not here to, uh, pamper you or help you get through. You need to work harder. You, you need to be more disciplined and work harder than your compatriots. And, uh, and so, and you know, we're kind of saying, you know, the other side is actually treated badly. Speaker 1 00:33:45 And they'll say, what do you mean? I said, because they're given a pass. They're not really challenged. So they'll go in as lefties, they'll come out as lefties and they've never changed. But you come in and you need both, you, you need to understand both sides and argue both sides. You're gonna be a much more fully developed human being, uh, you know, able to withstand the, the, the arrows and slings that coming at you, uh, in whatever profession you enter. So that's kind of the way we, we pitch it. By the way, David, uh, uh, you know this from academia, but I think it's been a very funny trend. If you go back enough decades, the Marxist hung out in the, uh, economics department and then, then when they were showed to be buffoons, they, uh, headed over to the PolySci department. But then when they were, uh, shown to be buffoons in PolySci, they went over to the sociology department. Speaker 1 00:34:29 And then even there, they were found out and they went over to the literature department. I mean, that's where Stanley fish was, right? And I've always thought this is a perfect, uh, proper migration for the Marxists cuz they ended up, uh, in fiction, uh, not in, uh, non-fiction. So that's true to this day. You don't really see full-fledged Marxists or, uh, I would say even rabid keynesians in the economics department. Uh, and not just Duke, I mean everywhere. I think Amherst, Massachusetts is the lone holdout. UMass Ham Hurst is almost all Marxists, but, um, they don't really exist in, uh, pp and e anymore. They exist in these more marginal fields like literature and English and stuff like that where the postmoderns hang out. You're muted, David. Speaker 0 00:35:20 Um, it's kind the opposite of a phenomenon I've noticed, which is, uh, I call it uh, rigor envy. Um, that, uh, uh, people in the social sciences look up to economics because they actually have data and maths. Um, and people literature look, uh, and religion look up to philosophy cuz we have logic and Right, yeah. Look up to math because got the, the peak, uh, of rigor. Yeah. So this is kind of the opposite of, you know, moving down that chain. Yeah. Rigorous fields. Anyway, um, you know, I, Speaker 1 00:35:57 The other, the, I have to say, the other thing I benefited by, people often ask me, if you're an economist, why are you in PoliSci that Duke and others, the poly sci departments would increasingly take in economists. So, so Mike Munger, for example, I hate to keep bringing up Mike, I don't wanna embarrass him in any way. Uh, got his PhD in economics under Doug North, a Nobel Prize Laureate. Wow. Uh, and, and, but this was a trend also after Buchanan got the Nobel Prize in 86. He was an economist, but, you know, a pp and e guy, the PolySci departments, and thankfully Duke did this as well, realized that to get more vigor and rigger both into PolySci, it was better often to hire economists. And in the public choice school, which Buchanan was the father of, basically him and tuk the public choice school. Speaker 1 00:36:43 The whole point of it was to bring economic analysis and tools to bear, to study politicians, not just to study business people that would be economics. But they brought it in to say, well, government activity can be analyzed this way, rigorously, assume self-interest, assume politicians are self-interested, not these, uh, altruist el you know, angels. And, um, it was a, it, it totally transformed many political science departments. So that's one of the reasons, um, someone like me or others can succeed in, in academia and in PolySci because we're experts in that and not many people are. Speaker 0 00:37:21 Uh, great. Thank you. Um, I've, I wanted to touch on a couple of economic issues. Uh, I know there's a lot of interest I'm seeing in the chat box, even though we're not, um, opening it up, uh, to questions per se. But, um, you know, you've, you've written about an a a wide range of economic issues, uh, and including your thesis at Duke was about, um, debt government, uh, deficit financing. Yes. Government Speaker 1 00:37:49 Borrowing. Speaker 0 00:37:49 Right. Um, so could you give us a kind of quick sketch of the state of things today and how debt borrowing connects with economics? And of course, I, I know I'm throwing a huge question at you. So <laugh>, Speaker 1 00:38:07 That's okay. I would put it this way. Um, my theme of the last decade or so has been, by the way, it helped that I was in banking and finance and investments cuz they knew bonds inside and out. I mean, a lot of people specialize in stocks, and this is a technical issue, but bond financing, uh, is basically borrowing in a formalized way. And then of course, governments do it. They issue government bonds, right? So first of all, I had this technical background, interest rates and duration and debt ratios and default. And I knew all the technics ground up, so to speak now and then applying that to what I knew about governments. Here's been my theme when the welfare state grows, and we know it has been, and we know there's a philosophical reason for this, but setting that aside, when it grows beyond, uh, sustainable proportions in a democratic setting, uh, politicians cannot tax people enough cuz they'll get thrown out of office. Speaker 1 00:39:06 There are tax revolts, you know, though, California ones of the late seventies people remember in the Reaganomics in a way the Reagan revolution was, you know, lower tax rates. So, um, but if they're not questioning the spending and they're, uh, you know, not raising the taxes, the only way to, the only other way to fund this is to borrow. So government can only tax borrow or here's the worst part, print money. Those are the three ways that finances itself. So one of the reasons this is a hot to, I think is a hot topic and why I have something of value to add to it, is we are in this period and have been at least since we've went off the gold standard 50 years ago, where government, the welfare state is growing. I would add the warfare state too, if you wanna put it that way as well. Speaker 1 00:39:52 Uh, very costly foreign adventures and wars. It's not fundable on taxes alone. So there's a greater resort to borrowing. And then the problem is that the government borrows too much, the interest rates will go up. So then it turns to the central bank and says, will you please buy these bonds for us? Cuz we can't get the market to do it. It's kind of technical here, I don't want to get into the weeds, but this is one of the reasons why the central banks now, uh, feel pressured to print money. Cuz the only way to buy government bonds is to print money. The Federal Reserve doesn't have independent wealth there, so you get inflation. So that's a mouthful. But I specialize in, uh, public finance and public finance is the financing of government. And of course it has to start with how much is it spending to begin with and why. Speaker 1 00:40:38 And so my analysis is, um, why do they borrow, why do they sometimes borrow too much? Why do they sometimes default? A whole bunch of issues on defaulting government debt. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's an issue. And why do they resort to the printing presses when they can't borrow any further? So that's the, that's the view from 30,000 feet. And we can talk about, I mean, US debt, for example now is 32 trillion. It's hard to put these numbers in context, but it's now more than the annual G D P and that hasn't happened since World War II and World War ii. Now, wars themselves are known for massive deficit spending, but here, effectively we have massive deficit spending in time. And it's due to the welfare state, it's not really due to war so much as to the welfare state. And, uh, that's really problematic. So, um, so anyway, that's, we know that inflation has risen recently as well. So that's on people's minds that hadn't happened since, uh, not to this degree, at least since the seventies. So, uh, so there's a lot to say on this, but I'll stop there. Speaker 0 00:41:39 All right. Thank you. So, um, I know you, I, if, if we did get into the weeds, which you don't have time for, uh, I know that you have, uh, some different views about the connection between, uh, uh, the money supply inflation and recession interest rates in a recession and so forth. Um, but I really, um, in the 15 minutes or so that we have left, I really want to get into Objectivism. Okay, great. I asked you about out the shrug before, but, um, uh, tell us, uh, when and when you discovered Objectiveism and how, Speaker 1 00:42:17 Again, that was in, uh, halfway through college. So I was, uh, 20, uh Speaker 0 00:42:22 Oh, that's Speaker 1 00:42:22 Right. Yeah. 1979 or so. And it was capitalism, the own Unknown ideal. That was my first book. Uh, so I started with the non-fiction, and by the way, the chapter in that book that most influenced me, mostly due to my upbringing being in a, in a Catholic conservative family was conservatism and obituary. Ah, because, because at the dinner table, while the crazies were going on in the 1960s, and, and we were actually living in a Chicago suburb in 1968 during the Democratic Convention, I remember asking my father, uh, cuz he was a conservative and he would be, you know, pro Nixon and he would be against the hippies and against the, uh, riots and, and, and Vietnam. I think at one point I said to him, why are we losing if the arguments are so good? And he didn't really have an answer, <laugh>, I think he, I think he said something about people are rotten or something. Speaker 1 00:43:13 You know, I don't, I forget, I adore my father, so I don't want to, I don't want to speak ill of him, but, um, but so will, you know, if you read that essay, Ayn Rand has three reasons why conservatives aren't very good at defending capitalism. I mean, part of it is they base it on tradition or backward looking, you know, mere tradition or faith. And the third one was the one that sounded like my father. People are just rotten. You know, they, they are dumb or they can't get the argument. Um, and certainly in conservative circles, there's a suspicion of course, of egoism, of self-interest of the pursuit of happiness. It just sounds too secular. It just sounds too selfish. And, and, uh, so that was an eye-opener to me cuz here's I rand saying there is a defensive capitalism, but the conservatives aren't gonna give it to you. Speaker 1 00:43:57 Um, one of the things I love about the Atlas Society is we do have outreach to other groups that aren't objectives. We're not just, you know, we're not preaching to the converted, we're trying to teach the perverted. I don't, I don't mean that we're teaching pers <laugh>. I mean, I mean, we're trying to teach people who, whose views have been perverted by, uh, you know, anti-capitalist prejudices and biases and stuff like that. So, so you do need to know, well, what are the conservatives arguing? I mean, if they're trying, okay, at least they're trying, what are the libertarians arguing for capitalism? And what are their weaknesses? And let's, uh, give them better arguments. I know you've been a big part of, I mean, you have been the champion of that for years and actually very good at it. I'm late to the game, I think. But, but back to the original point, that essay really influenced me, uh, the idea of, um, it's one thing to have enemies of capitalism, but if you have allies who are weak, that could be almost more treacherous Yeah. Than outright em enemies. Speaker 0 00:44:56 That's a real phenomenon in theological life, not just in Objectiveism, but, um, <laugh>, our, our severest, uh, criticisms are, you know, directed at our brothers and sisters, not our distant relatives. Like, or the they're opposites like, right. Yeah. But, uh, how about Rens novels? Did you go on with them? Speaker 1 00:45:18 I read 'em all and my, uh, I'm trying to think in what order I read them. I pretty, I think I knew that she had done sequentially we, the Living Fountain Head and Atlas. So I read 'em in that order. I was very, I was marching through the works, so to speak, <laugh>, but my absolute favorite was Atlas. And I think, I'm glad I read 'em in that order because I think if I had read Atlas first, it might have been too much for me. Although, you know, I was, by then, I was in my early twenties the first time I went to an Objectivist conference. And thankfully I met you. This is this old date, David, but, uh, it was almost 40 years ago, my gosh, in 1985 at, uh, LA Jolla at the university. Oh, yeah. So I, I think you were definitely on the program. Speaker 1 00:46:00 Uh, but so by then I was only, I was 25 or 26 years old then, and had already read most of the work at actually in 83, taken Understanding Objectivism Alive course by Leonard Poff in, uh, the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. So that was an eyeopener just to meet Leonard for the first time. And see that course was particularly geared to people who had misused and misunderstood objectivism and treated it like dogma and browbeat others into it. And, um, I was, I think, beginning to be that way. And so that was an eyeopener to take this course and say, you know, this is really the proper way to understand objectivism. Speaker 0 00:46:36 Yeah. We could talk about whether that, how well that persisted, um, Speaker 1 00:46:41 Right. Agreed. It didn't. Right. Um, Speaker 0 00:46:43 But you have, uh, you've been involved at, uh, not going into the, um, into some of those things. Um, you've been involved in, um, a great many objectives organizations activities you published in, um, various journals including, uh, on our website. Um, so you have a, a pretty broad sense of the, the variety internal varieties among, uh, differences among objectives groups. Yeah. But, um, but also a pretty broad sense of, of, you know, what the movement as such looks like. Do you have, have anything to, um, any ideas about, you know, the future of the movement? How, how whether we can succeed? How we can succeed? Speaker 1 00:47:35 I do. I am optimistic. Uh, and, uh, I think also realistic, which is the optimism should be based on realism. The, the word movement is interesting to me because I look, as I look at the wide scope of things, it's, it seems undeniable to me that the movement really moved in the sixties. I mean, it was really moving. She had published these books and now she was in demand on campuses, and she was getting all sorts of media coverage and all the way up until the time she died in 1982, now she was on Phil Donahue. Now she was on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show, obje other objectives were getting their PhDs. I, I mean, I think it really, you, including you, you were succeeding. You were an example of people succeeding in prestigious universities and for a longtime objectives, didn't really have that. You were the first one. Speaker 1 00:48:29 Others really couldn't get jobs, uh, for various reasons. But, and, and so I, sadly, I think the movement isn't moving as much since then. It's had its ups and downs that it's had its, um, momentum and not, but, uh, why so why am I on saying all that? Why am I, and of course, schisms over the years have visted the movement and slowed it down for that reason alone, whereas if there had been collegiality, maybe there would've been a stronger movement. And, and by the way, I just defined movement as, are you seeing the broader culture being influenced by objectives, intellectuals, are you seeing objectives, intellectuals getting good positions and prominent publications and, uh, universities and things like that. So we, I think we agree on the definition of that. And, uh, you can look at the numbers and they're just not as stellar as they should be. Speaker 1 00:49:21 I think at this point. Uh, now why am I optimistic? I, I think I'm optimistic actually, because there are varieties of, of approaches. Now, I wouldn't put it as varieties objectivism, I do not believe, you know, the, not to name names, but you know, the argument that certain people aren't really doing objectivism. No, we all know there are three main groups right now, and I'm so proud to be involved with you, David, and the Atlas Society, and I'm involved because I think you're doing it absolutely the right way. And it's fun and it's intellectually challenging. And, um, and so I'm optimistic because this approach is more of an approach that's, uh, uh, call it cosmopolitan, calls it, call it outreach, call it an a, a, a concerted attempt to reach out to those who are close to us, uh, and can be con con, I hate to use the word converted, but convinced by us that they need a solid philosoph moral argument for capitalism. Speaker 1 00:50:20 I, I, I really think some of the environmentalists and, uh, Marxists are just too far gone. That, that they're just not open to the ideas. Yeah. But there's a huge universe and other groups are, you know, other objective groups, uh, not to name names, but are, are more insular. They're talking to each other. They all agree with each other. They're, uh, preaching to the converted, as we say. And, uh, I think, uh, interestingly, the kind of objective today who, if you want to challenge yourself, learn the philosophy and be able to explicate it to others who don't necessarily agree with you, our approach is the approach. Now, the other approach in a way, is easier. Like if you become an, we know this, David, you and I have both done this. If you become an expert in objectivism and then speak to only objectivist groups, they love you. Speaker 1 00:51:03 Of course they love you, they applaud and there's no pushback. And then <laugh> and, and it's all, uh, you know, like mutual admiration society, which is fine, but it's, uh, it's almost too easy. It's almost the easy way to go, you know, to become so expert in something that nobody else knows, uh, how to challenge you on it. But, um, so it's, so, uh, I'm, I'm not of the view that to have two or three and maybe more to come objectivist groups is a bad thing for the movement. I think it's a good thing because it's, uh, like competition, uh, you know, let the best approach win. Yeah. And, uh, there's another group, again, I won't name, I don't, I hate to name names here cuz I'm so pro Atlas society, but you know, there's another group that's doing interesting stuff on what I call lifestyle objectivism. Speaker 1 00:51:47 So they're not, they're not posing as objectives to, you know, experts in doing ex of Jesus on the text. They're applying objectivism to your, your, your daily life, your career choices, your entrepreneurial skills, your love of art, your love of travel. And so, and there's a place for that too. I mean, h said, uh, objectivism is a philosophy for living on earth that's really bringing it to the issue. Hey, the point here is to enjoy your life. And if philosophy can, and, and it does help you do that, um, that group is taking it in that direction, which is fine. So, but I love working with you David, and I love the approach of the Atlas society. It's, uh, it's outreach and it's benevolent and it's still very rigorously, uh, scrupulous about objectivism. But it, it, you know, as you put at one point, is this the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I mean, the philosophy, um, there's a lot of truth in it, but it's not the whole truth. And if it's gonna be a, i I want to hear more from you on this than from me, but if it's gonna be a growing living movement, uh, movement means move, move, grow, <laugh>, uh, this approach, this approach is gonna be better, other becomes dead and desiccated. Right? And so what do you, yeah, you tell me, you tell me, I want to hear from you. Speaker 0 00:53:01 Well, that the idea of the, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, um, is a great, uh, you know, uh, uh, thing that you swear to in a law Speaker 1 00:53:13 Court, right? Speaker 0 00:53:13 Right. Because the whole truth there, uh, the whole truth of what you know about this situation, but, uh, it's a bad epistemology, uh, epistemological principle because I Yeah. The truth, yes, that's our goal. We wanna seek it and nothing but the truth. You know, no lies, no falsifications, no errors, right? Absolutely. But the whole truth, come on, we're not omni mission. Um, Speaker 1 00:53:39 Right. Speaker 0 00:53:40 If I thought objectivism had the whole truth, um, I would've, I would not have been interested in being a philosopher. I, you know, I never understood when, when the issue came up, when I actually defined the closed versus open issue, I, I thought, I don't get it. Who, if it were closed, why would anyone be doing i, you know, philosophical work? Speaker 1 00:54:07 Right? And, and right. And, uh, full disclosure, when this debate first, uh, surfaced in the late eighties, I didn't get it. I, I believed in closed objectivism and I believed in this garbage about, well, if anyone is trying to extend the philosophy, apply the philosophy of new areas if necessary, correct errors in the philosophy, oh my God, <laugh>, um, that that was some, that, that was somehow fraudulent. That's not true. I, I only regret that it took me so long to get there. But, um, for those of you listening who have no idea what we're talking about, if you go to the Atlas Society and just put in close versus open objectivism, Dave is a pioneer in this. And he has, I advocated the open position, but it has nothing to do with a fraudulent, uh, presentation of objectivism. I think it has to do with a fair, honest, gentlemanly scholarly, benevolent way of growing and extending this philosophy, not just the content of it, uh, but the, uh, listeners of it or the call if, call it what you will, followers of it. By the way, another pitch, David, I interviewed you in this format, so make sure people also, I interviewed David <laugh> in this same kind of format. So that's, I it might have been a year, was it a year ago? Uh, Speaker 0 00:55:18 It's, uh, last April. Speaker 1 00:55:19 So that's very illuminating. I love that interview. You were great. Speaker 0 00:55:23 Uh, thank you. Uh, and speaking, we do have a few minutes left. Speaking of, uh, you know, open and closed, uh, you, you have some, uh, issues where you've differed from at least standard objectives, views over the years, uh, on economics. I, I think they're mostly applications but tell us some of, some of the ones that, um, Speaker 1 00:55:46 Yeah, they good. Yeah. They are applications and they're not really, you know, me questioning the fundamentals of objectivism. I, but, uh, it's been interesting to me because even in applications and differing applications, and, and you, you know, within the Atlas Society, Rob TKI and I differed on, uh, Ukraine. Yeah. So, uh, I don't consider this, uh, you know, questioning Objectivism, but it has been interesting to me because on, on fairly big issues of application when I've differed the <laugh>, the pushback I've gotten from Objectivism is really surprisingly negative. Uh, but anyway, so, so just as some examples in the early nineties, I gave a series of six lectures on the philosophy of the Austrian School. Now, up until then, Mees, not Hayek, but Mees and the, and Hazlet and others had been pushed by Objectivism. And I do consider Hazlet and Mees as really stellar economists, but Objectives did not know how bad their underlying philosophy was. Speaker 1 00:56:40 Uh, ology and Apri, I deduction Meas was a Conan in Method. Yeah. And, and, you know, it's not so much nitpicking, but I found that it affected his economics in some way. For example, the passivity of his, uh, uh, Conan approach gave him no theory of the entrepreneur. So, I mean, it showed, it showed up in some of his economics. But anyway, that was, I mean, that was at an Objectiveist conference. It was Ocon in 94, but there was a lot of pushback, like, why are you criticizing the Austrians? You know, something like that. Now, the, at the same time I was learning about John Baptiste famous for Say's Law, and actually the father of what will become SupplySide economics in the eighties. So I became a scholar of Say, and I still am to this day, Jean Baptist, say. So within the objectiveness movement, I was making a case for you guys really need to study Jean Baptist, say, but the objectives would say something like, did Ayn Rand ever say anything about Jean Baptist? Speaker 1 00:57:38 Say, <laugh>? Oh, no. Yeah, no, they would David, and I'd say No. And they would say, was he recommended at the back of capitalism then on ideal? No. So why are we, you know, that kind of stuff and say is amazing. Say is great. Another one of, another one, you know, I disagreed with her view on women can't be or shouldn't be President. Yeah. And, and so I would say, wow, even before she died, Thatcher was in office. Thatcher one in 1979 E died in 1982. I, I've scoured the record. I can't say e see e saying anything nice about Margaret Thatcher. That's surprising to me. That's amazing to me, considering how now she couldn't have known that Thatcher would transform Britain over the next 10 years, as she might not have known about Reagan. But again, that surprised me. You might have thought. Another one was, I was a defender from the beginning of Reagan and then of supply side economics. Speaker 1 00:58:30 And in the objectivist movement, Reagan was the devil. I mean, Leonard Anion while he was running, even in 76 and afterwards, said he was absolutely the devil. Don't vote for him. Vote for his opposite. So all through the eighties, I got pushed back from Objectiveness, why are you defending Reagan? Why are you defending Reaganomics? Why are you defending supply side? Why are you defending Art Laffer and the supply side? And by the time the Soviet Union fell, they weren't even willing. Peter Schwartz and others weren't, weren't even willing to admit that Reagan's policies had anything to do with it, which struck me as kind of dishonest. We also disagreed about Greenspan. I was a critic of Greenspan almost from the beginning. I thought he was kind of fraudulent once he got to Washington. I loved his essays from the sixties. Yeah, golden Economic Freedom really influenced me. Speaker 1 00:59:12 I loved that. But, um, and for many years, objectives had the view that Greenspan was this kind of inside mole, you know, preventing us from becoming cap, uh, you know, as totally socialist. But his sellout at the end was obvious, uh, to most. The last one was the last most controversial one was when I was doing the public finance research on my dissertation, and going through the history of it and studying more closely. Alexander Hamilton, who put together American Finance, it fixed American finances. As you know, in the 19 1790s. I, I, I totally dove into all things Hamilton, not just his political economy, but the Federalist Papers and all that, his history. And this was before Hamilton, the musical <laugh>, to way before that, uh, I was surprised that Hamilton, the musical was, was as popular was. It was. But if, you know, in objective circles and in libertarian circles, Hamilton is the devil. Speaker 1 01:00:07 I mean, they consider him a proto status. They consider him a mercantilist, a free, uh, central banker. And, and I found the opposite. I found Alexander Hamilton in his time, way before his time, to be the most pro capitalist founder. So I, I started, I published on this more recently. In 2017, I published something called, uh, America at Her Best is Hamiltonian. And, uh, that's controversial because, uh, Jefferson is the star among most, uh, as you know, most among. So those are just examples of over 30 years, me just researching something and coming to a different conclusion and getting some pushback from an objective, not from all of them. There are many objective who said, you make a good point here. These people are decent. These people are good. Speaker 0 01:00:52 Yeah. Good. Well, thank you. And, uh, we need to wrap. So I'm going to, uh, uh, have to sadly wrap it up. Um, we can, um, I, I know some people would be interested in, um, checking out your, uh, where, where to find more of your writings. And I think, uh, we have that in the chat box. Um, great. You have a, uh, at www richard salzman.com will get you almost everywhere. Speaker 1 01:01:26 Right. Speaker 0 01:01:28 So thank you, Richard. This has been a great conversation, uh, illuminating for me. Lots of fun. Good. And I wanna thank all everyone for joining us today. Um, and just say, if you enjoyed this video, uh, this session or the video, if you're watching it later or any of our other materials, please consider supporting the Atlas Society with a, uh, non-profit donation. And be sure to tune in next week when Jennifer Grossman, our c e o will be interviewing Peter Worl on the Atlas Society asks that will be an next installment. So look to our website for news about that. Thank you, Richard. Again. Speaker 1 01:02:11 David, thank you. David. Thank you. It has been an honor to be interviewed by you. Truly an honor. Thank you so much, my friend.

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