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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  September 17, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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and we'll go through the details, which are extraordinarily hilarious and and sad. but he been arrested already that people are taking bribes from him and wondering his money as if somehow is not wired by the fed. >> let me stop you there because they've got to get into it. ..
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>> host: thank you for joining me to talk about your book that have so eighth days and-- fascinates me over the last couple of hundred of years. why did you decide to write the book now? >> i didn't decide now but about 10 years ago. now is a great time because when things are going really
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well people outside the economics profession 10 not to be interested in economics. and people like that used to be like somebody who read novels and not know what was happening in the world. this is a good moment. and because of the financial crisis and the recession in the united states. it is also an important time to take a long-term perspective. and also writing about a
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first of all, i don't have a ph.d. in economics. but i felt that i learned about it in a very different way because economics is so history brown in so driven. so the way they set out to become day ballet dancer or pianist. they may want to be a physicist or mathematician part of and something makes the action go to the economic issues and that is how the characters of a book are drawn and.
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because that is where the action is part of that is where they could you fact what is going on. >> host: one of the things that fascinates me people think economics is about numbers, complex computer calculations and complex ideas but yet you bring it to life why do they do that? it is the unusual tactic? >> it is. i think because my background is in and literature, i come at everything through novels. when i did. [applause] and -- a beautiful mind that
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is what makes economics a sensible and it may be women like up liking this book better than men who read top science which usually is a beautiful explanation. that it is too abstract for me. i wrote it as the way i read and i hope that some i know economics feels alien as it always has by the way including too many of the people like dr. marshal or
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john maynard keynes or beatrice webb who took it up. it is a science and most of us need to come to its zero history and people because that is really what at the end of the day where they've economics? because they are interested in getting some control over the material circumstances. >> during the financial all crisis many people felt very angry with economic economists that they did not see the problems coming in 2008 and could not fix them. but actually a story of great hope can you explain
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that? >> guest: part of that is looking long term. and it turns out that if you think about it, at the peak for the depth of the 2009 recession, in the united states, per capita income personal and come were higher than any year of the clinton nor bush blew out. >> it doesn't feel that way. >> 30% higher and the 1990's a. >> and for the simple reason
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that one-tenth of the work force was out of work that makes everybody feel i could be next. it cranks of material wealth actually it is the disparity between the long term trend which is shins for higher and higher a at a dramatically higher levels of living standards and the periodic crisis that makes everybody feel insecure. >> this simple point* one from the economic profession to make sure the world around it and could not control it. when jane austen was alive
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alive, around the 1800, 910 s of humanity was destitute. 90% of the world population equivalence of $1 per day. not to obey was it meant to be poor but in jane austen's time, which of course, was the period of tremendous opulence, that and high society, the people who were not only poor but there was a sense that the world is the way it was a nobody could measure it. that was the point* that not
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all they were nine parts of commanded the condemned with the shore and miserable lives but to even then the most liberal in my in individuals thought this was it a thing about the human condition. >> and then to thing we don't need a face lift and then 50 years later you have charles dickens writing the christmas carol which is an attack on that kind of fatalism. what is the difference? in the middle of the 19th century, the modern economic miracle begins. for 2000 years, the average
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human being lives not like a roman slave. a condition that comparable to livestock. one-room with a lot of other people and animals. couldn't read, and no medical care, inadequate food, , etc.. by the time dickens comes along in the hundred days hungry forties, that is another possibility. and then so productive in in
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no longer necessary but in then with the inevitability of what was accomplished the cut is there was a finite number of resources to people began to appreciate the fact you could include the resources by becoming more productive. >> host: what happened to that never before you have a sustained rise of productivity? just or the of benefit, productivity is the amount that is produced per worker. so what it means if a country has high productivity it means they take the same resources, as saying he human beings in
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resources but accomplishing more. and productivity gnash your -- naturally determines what is available for consumption. with the wages and living standards and 2000 years through the rise and fall of great empires the romans, and rubix, a chinese, nvidia voyage makes a great inventions and discoveries for a great artistic achievement, and none of that he mentioned our progress in science or philosophy ever change the way the average person lives. and then in the middle of the 19th century, write about the time that marxist
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says what time you can increase misery until now there was a tenfold increase in the standard of living. it is a world average including the poorest some of this is not a few good years but i take off from the human condition. so the theory said a few good years with rising wages would simply result in earlier marriages and more children than actually was a poignant description until a
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few decades after the death. i thought a lot about why is the first society on earth to have abstained permanent productivity average living standards, why is victoria england the horrors of the industrial revolution? and those who learned from a period of of what i think is one is that you'll and knowledge that mankind could
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control, then poverty was a problem instead of being inevitable. but when people began to rely that they are controlled and it is incumbent to think about ways to respond to that and to alleviate that. then that is the radius of the welfare state which we take for granted but in the 19th century they were very noble? >> that's right. this is another area where the preconception was overturned because i always thought the welfare state was either the invention of the new deal of ground fdr and the great depression or
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a 1925 labor government. >> low and we hauled and lo and behold the idea of the welfare state were products of the world for one and the invention of the woman. >> not only inside and outside the economic profession. what were the concerns? >> weir beatrice potter was
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a rich and beautiful heiress, and the daughter of a railroad magnates all sisters married rich and powerful and influential men. for those child day shall have other ideas. it turned out her mother had written a novel and was an activist of the free trade campaign. coming from of family of manchester and was best friends so beatrice had to invent yourself.
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spending 15 years what to do in was terribly torn between her own family and society's expectations for a rich and powerful man and hopelessly infatuated with the best looking and best dressed politician in england, joseph chamberlain who fy i is neville's father. >> and you never really reciprocated the affection? >> and it was on top of not knowing. should i forge my own career
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as the middle class women were doing as a bohemian circumstance but beatrice was not sure how she wanted to end up in then on top of that it protected her. so then her father got ill and she had to care for him. in so many ways, keeping in mind if you had read portrait of a lady but comment to epitomize the first generation of women and who had enough of a choice to talk about what will she do with her life? because that may not be the
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conventional way. but in the end, beatrice was very lucky because she married a short not very hand some but very smart a socialist and went from being the free-market purists to the point* of view that is popular in england which was one of social reform. and focused on focusing on the government's role in preventing not only alleviating by preventing poverty.
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she wrote of book called poverty and destitution in. which is an analysis of poverty in the 1880s and that period people should read that today. at that time, until her death in 1941 of the most famous when then in new york. considered the first major female economist. she was active with the labor party. >> nobody knows who she is our responded. that is a brilliant analysis of poverty that it makes it
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clear in contrast to say the net and -- the other analysis that it would be a kind word but showing many different reasons for poverty and preventing poverty house to be based on understanding the reasons. and the argument for a government role was very sophisticated and picked up something that marshall had identified that there are some kinds of poverty that are caused by poverty and that is the generational stuff. she developed a rationale for government activism you could not have called her a modern-day liberal because
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in many reset-- respect she was quite conservative but she had the idea is that winston churchill with a young and rising politician discovered poverty in the early 1900's, she was the inventor of the think tank and supplied churchill and the political partner with of policy vision and that they implemented with a liberal government 90 no a. >> but it is a great testament. >> host: you bring it to life some of the other characters in your book are
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all better known and try to explain how that benefits the idea. >> i have a lot of fun with ingalls because again, all of the people that i write about, there are dozens of biographies and i don't pretend to come up with great and new original sacks are insights. but, i never realized that carl marks and never dark into the red door of a factory. >> that led is shocking that he was entirely cut off literally. the one job he was also the world's biggest slacker because the one job he held in england which is
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constantly being described is he was a columnist supposedly and until the civil war, it turns out there is a ghost writer for every single one. now, the other thing that blew me away is that marx's and come which came largely from inheritance this and a guardian angel put him in the top 5% of british households. these are all revelations and i am sure in fact, i know that some scholars have
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discovered the facts but they never and the science and then made enough in to explain to alleviate tapestry through the 20th century but one thing i found fascinating is hijack in is often tragic life of the catch the big pension being torn apart. >> guest: i was very, very absorbed by hijack because he was a mad generation, young men who had grown up 101 world then just as they were getting ready to leave, in a war that's then the economy in
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which made it more interdependent. and also witnessed the rise of totalitarian socialism. one i find so interesting about him is that by the time he died in 1992 i wrote the obituary for a him for "the new york times", he was a great figure right famous with re again in stature.
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almost seeming like any ideologue but in learning about his early work very begin today is eager to understand the global position say and the tendency to see the world apart. >> and also while hayek was really wrong about some things comment namely the great depression would cure itself but was right about other things went to zero new york 1923 studying economic forecasting. that was the golden.
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and could not predict the economy. and now when people say they did not see this coming, i guess what? it is not about prediction but it is about figuring out how you can have a successful economy your portfolio abroad that was hayak. and extreme forms of socialism was extremely popular and the soviet union was exporting revolution, in then to figure out a very
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modern reason that it could not work. why? for the competitive economy as an information system. when socialism collapsed, most people think one of the reasons was because of what he pinpointed. and then paygo zinn one direction and goes too far. because people like hayek had a radical vision of free-market economics that then paved the way for keynes to be much more intellectual going forward for the role of the state
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leading to the welfare states. >> host: i was fascinated fascinated, i age should not be the first person to pointed out but keynes who was at the versailles peace conference at world war i but could not convince by neglecting economic recovery according disaster but after world war ii, keynes was instrumental to said that day international monetary system. if you think about it, that what we have now both after world war i and world war ii , that is one of the
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reasons, the economy economy, especially europe was frozen. the conventional wisdom was it would reconstitute itself. and canes took the opposite view that britain would goods and the effort of the allies to make sure the in then for the very best biography station ended in the british embassy and when high akkad written of the people who could not participate in the war effort wrote to books am prophetic books and hayek was about the danger of
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totalitarianism free-market democratic societies saw all of these republicans were just waiting to raychem the poster child when he turned around to support the cause that they hated most of all which was bretton woods. that was another thing that's these people are not ideologues'. but because they are champions by the right and left, you often don't hear of the positions that they took. >> host: but that intellectual tapestry going
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this direction is one of the most interesting things as all hold? if i do have one redraft is that the last character who of course, was a towering figure, and some ways tries to sympathize. >> guest: other lourdes than the fact would then 1,000 pages, the idea that the court of the book, mankind, in the saddle or in control of those circumstances but what it did was trace that idea from london 84 days out words as
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it ripples out words. and by this time coming from india, that journey, that realization it could have been anywhere. how much research since you have for what you do with it. yes, people make terrible mistakes but they can be charged to mandate to their affairs. that idea has spread around the world. >> so it seems like a natural stopping point*.
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it is the key question where is that the profession been going now? who could you pick day supply and? what is the next phase of the intellectual tapestry? >> hall look. one thing is very clear is economics as a science as the applied as a profession to try to get into a top graduate program was absolutely at the top of the glass. academic economists are pulling down high salaries. >> much like the life as a
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journalist to go in the opposite direction. last year i was invited to be on a panel from the american and economics association somebody told me there was 500 and the number of books from economics is staggering this is a fiber profession. is like that is where the action s -- is in since the 1840's have been repeatedly declared saw to do fine.
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>> but do you think the problem now is it is a draw for so many people that it may prominence too much to improve the wealth? >> that din of psychiatry, with irving fisher in the 1920's with the greatest american economist in the 20th century with the inflationary boom they stem from the same club pro.
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>> yes. but that is true. talk to eighth visited-- physicist or medical research -- researcher. as my friends in england when say. [laughter] >> with the cacophony of different voices it will be hard for one single to come out if you look today look at wondered to keep people i would use a theorist that is an area that is bribery in -- firebrand with all the
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stuff that's came after, that is a very vibrant area. a lot of that stuff between psychology and economics economics, but what i would say it is the basic insight that what we really need to know about probe is conduct our lives. >> we could knock off the last 30 years with the breakthrough of medicine that affects our
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lives may not be the most in financed techniques of today. that is the humbling thing for the economics profession to hear today. but the other is saying is how as economics gone into insights? it has only been because of the existing model and existing theory it was downright wrong. that did talk of i suppose i don't know enough about natural science to know if that is difficult but both ganes and fischer when turned into the great to depression, i did not right
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itself with monetary policy as they thought it would would, they went back to the drawing board. that is when the hits when don. the cap is people are looking for what was missing? >> a good question to leave it on. >> have you read the book are you marbleized of the economic profession now? >> [laughter] >> that is encouraging note to end on when many people have questions. the book is an interesting insight so thank you very much.
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>> march 25th, 1931 month to people a hobo on the trains headed toward the south.
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the black swan the fight and expelled most of the white hoboes. they were of raged and reported is the attack. it to went out on telegraph wires and there was a posse waiting they gathered nine young black men passe search the train they found two white women dressed in overalls as was common, and shortly after they were accused of rape. >> host: they became known as? >> the scottsboro boys and one of the most celebrated racial spectacles of the 1930's and i would add no
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others oppose it crime has been the subject of so many trials, retrials, convictions and reversals and two major supreme court decisions. >> host: we will walk through that. where was this picture taken? >> guest: shortly after the boys were arrested in alabama. it is and iconic photograph that was the most widely circulated in the united states. >> host: why is it iconic? >> because it captures so many aspects of the case even when it was not written about. for the expression of the boys themselves, there
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poverty, the militarization as those that surprised and the total abjection. >> host: if they were arrested how did they become known as scottsboro boys? >> guest: because scottsboro was the town in alabama where the first trials were held. the boys were arrested march 31st, 1931. within two weeks, all of the boys had been tried come at eight convicted, at eight sentenced to death. >> host: that happen within two weeks? >> guest: all-white jury? >> host: that was the basis of one supreme court decision. >> guest: who defended them? >> host: good question.
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>> guest: in some respects nobody in town wanted to defend the boys. a lawyer was appointed named stephen. he was a lawyer of suspect credentials and widely known to enjoy his liquor. not particularly well known for his judicial competence and was distinguished by his general reluctance. >> host: who is the judge in the first case? >> guest: a good question. i forgot. [laughter] >> host: what is the town of scottsboro like? >> then and now, a very small town in northern alabama. now it is known because it is the site of the place
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where luggage supplies are often bought and sold. it is a sleepy town. and then talking to those young people of scottsboro who still talk about it in those terms to do nothing of the case. >> host: how many trials happened? >> guest: they were separated and tried in batches. clarence, who emerges as one of the major voices was tried at least three times. another defendant was tried and convicted at least three times. it is a variation because of the legal history and the ways in which they were separated summer tried and convicted more than others. >> host: than what
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happened after two weeks? >> they were tried in batches if in four different trials the first time rhine. >> after that case, how does it get to the supreme court? >> through a series of finding procedures. there were debates of various groups who was best qualified to represent and defend the scottsboro boys. there was sharp contention between an organization called the international labor defense which was the low the gold wing of the communist party and naacp. and they run and -- won that right and got the approval.
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they also hired a competent criminal lawyer from new york, a san leibowitz, who played a critical role to lay the groundwork on the case as it went to the supreme court the first 11932. >> how did it said to have a court case tried by a common is funded jewish? >> not well and alabama and all of the facts played a central role the way the case was perceived and tried. leibowitz himself at one point* had to have an armed guard to escort between when he was off duty during the trial. >> host: going through the
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second series of trials, what happened? >> this was the dictator trials. >> host: why did they move it? >> it was simply a the most available for saying but the judge in that particular case after hearing in the testimony declared a mistrial. and who did a retrial. and then another said it would to again go to the supreme court that ruled on behalf of the defendants 731933 and 1835, there was a
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period of wait until well legal issues were resolved. >> host: were they all in jail? what were their ages? >> ranging in age 13 through early 20s, 22 or 23 but collectively all nine of the blaze assert over 100 years in prison. the first four were finally released after a series of legal maneuvers and behind the door conversations and bargaining and deals but others were held until the early forties and beyond. >> host: they all ended up with convictions. >> i argued does not legally come to an end until 1976 when clarence, one of the boys paroled in the 1940's
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fled parole in the south in wound up living and working in new york under different name, finally given a pardon by the governor george wallace of alabama as a result of the pleas made from the naacp. clarence was the only surviving boy to actually receive some form of legal redemption. but for me to a great satan of the story which is the cornerstone she was again
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relenting of the assistance that she was not a victim of a sexual assault. ruby bates my eight impression was a more gentle person who'd joined in two victorious story but who was much more ambivalent yen fact was recanting of the charges of the 1933 trial that led to judge horton saying we must bring the circus two and 10. >> host: were they prosecuted? >> guest: that is a loaded term in the context of social economic circumstances that they lived and and and what they inhabited.
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they were known in their communities for exchange of sexual favors but also factory workers. and also looking for work. after ruby recanted, she was immediately embraced by the communist party and went on speaking to or about gaining freedom for the boys. >> host: importance of the racial issue? >> of some of the central and inflammatory if you go look back at some other day newspaper reports. some montgomery advertiser advertiser, every single stereotypes that you can imagine with black men and white women sexually
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predatory behavior of rape and racism is at work and the headlines. >> host: how widespread is the coverage? >> very, very widespread for several reasons. also it turns out as part of their own program the communist party was at work and they cover the case immediately and also said dispatchers to their own propaganda and communications networks. this became them nationally and internationally known case. >> david paterson wrote the buck.
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and then escaping from the 1940's and looking at the attitude because of the refusal to submit himself to the stereotypical roles that they should adapt and for some became particularly those on the left to see the potential for young black people for change of racial oppression. >> host: what is that painting or drawing on the cover? >> guest: it was drawn by
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a a helper of lanston hughes and his last name was taylor and one of those who was most deeply engaged in the publicity campaign about of the scottsboro boys and road to a famous book of forgery called scottsboro ltd. in doing the illustrations for that to and it comes from that particular collection. and the executor at -- executor happen to live in georgetown and they kind leave gave us permission to put in this book. >>


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