Thursday, 5 December 2019

Patents: good or bad

This podcast from Words and Numbers discusses the advantages and disadvantages of patents. The patents discussion starts around 12 minutes.
One of the few enumerated powers that the Founders granted to the federal government was the power to issue patents.

Patents are a compromise between two conflicting goals. On the one hand, we want to avoid the creation of government-protected monopolies because monopolies stifle innovation. On the other, we want entrepreneurs to have an incentive to innovate. And one way to incentivize entrepreneurs is to grant monopoly protection for their inventions.

Patent law is an attempt to balance these two conflicting goals, but the balance presents trade offs. Weaker patent laws mean cheaper goods today but a lesser variety of goods tomorrow; stronger patent laws mean more expensive goods today but a greater variety of goods tomorrow.

Daron Acemoglu on the struggle between state and society

From Conversations with Tyler comes this interview of Daron Acemoglu by Tyler Cowen.
What determines the economic, social, and political trajectories of nations? Why were settlers in colonies like Jamestown and Australia able to escape the extractive systems desired by their British masters, while colonial subjects in Barbados and Jamaica were not? In his latest book, Daron Acemoglu elevates the power of institutions over theories centering on human capital, culture, or geography. Institutions help strike the balance of power in the constant struggle between state and society, creating a ‘narrow corridor’ through which liberty and prosperity is achieved.

Friday, 29 November 2019

The case for classical liberalism

The Case for Classical Liberalism
Why classical liberals are right but always lose
Classical liberals want freedom, toleration and economic prosperity under the rule of law. Critics would argue they've got human nature all wrong. Some think Classical Liberalism is making a comeback, others think it's out to stay.

The Speaker
Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood makes a case for why classical liberals are always right and wonders why do they always lose?

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Do libertarians know how to communicate libertarian ideas?

From the Cato Daily Podcast comes this audio talking about, Disagreeing Productively
What's the audience for libertarian ideas? Do libertarians know how to communicate them? Jennifer Thompson directs the Center for the Study of Liberty in Indianapolis.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Cato daily podcast on hate speech

From the Cato Daily Podcast comes this audio discussing the question, Is a ban on hate speech a solution to any actual problem?