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tv   Lanny Ebenstein Chicagonomics  CSPAN  October 7, 2017 4:16pm-4:31pm EDT

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>> or reach out to me at margot lee >> really appreciate your attention. we ran out of time, wrap it up, i want to thank our esteemed guest, author american dream and the untold story of the black women mathemeticians who helped win the space race". please enjoy the rest of the festival. [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching booktv on c-span2, the top nonfiction
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books and authors every weekend, booktv, television for serious readers. >> now on booktv we want to introduce you to professor lanny ebenstein, also the author of this book, "chicagonomics: the evolution of chicago free market economics". talking about the chicago school, what are we talking about? >> a long history of economics at the university of chicago and the most significant economist at the university of chicago have been the free-market tradition, what "chicagonomics: the evolution of chicago free market economics" is about is the history of economics at the university of chicago, starting with guys like frank night and henry simon, moving on to milton friedman, friedrich hayek who taught at the university of chicago and
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others. >> host: why did they come up in chicago? >> once there was a nucleus of oriented economists, it attracted other economists of similar perspective, the center of classical economics in the 20th century. >> we talk about classical economics what we talking about? >> really good question. one of the things i try to distinguish in the book is classical liberalism to contemporary libertarianism and classical liberalism is the ideas that there is a place for government in society and a place for a strong private-sector. the same way the private sector shouldn't be over encompassing nor should government be over encompassing.
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it is a position that sees a role for both government and the private sector. by way of comparison, contemporary libertarianism tends to the view there is very little role for government, almost no role for government but only a job for the private sector. the difference between the two is the relative emphasis on government and the private sector in classical liberalism versus contemporary libertarianism. >> host: who do you consider it contemporary libertarian economist? >> classical liberals friedman and hayek in their younger years but as they age particularly friedman became more of a contemporary libertarian when he was younger, he thought there was a significant role for government, tax policies, taxation, suspect of government
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but didn't universally condemn it, in san francisco governmen the same extent as friedman. >> host: what is it about friedrich hayek that he became the high priest of classical liberalism? >> guest: his virtues were several, an extraordinary literate philosopher and economist, his reading, broad areas of economics, politics, history, philosophy, psychology, he is informed by wide reading in many disciplines, if one were only
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and economist, he advocated that multidisciplinary approach. is great contributions are more in the realm of what might be considered philosophical economics rather than pure economic. 's ideas in areas like the division of knowledge, that knowledge is divided among all the mines of humankind, the purpose of the system is to overcome the division of knowledge, a brilliant contribution to undercut ideas of socialism or complete government control or management of an economy. hayek in his earlier work advocated a significant role for government and social welfare functions. he was more of a classical liberal earlier in his career, the road to surfed in, liberty,
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legislation and liberty rather than that. >> host: we hear about him being of the austin school which -- >> the austrian school was another free-market school, a variety of economists in it. in the 19th century, friedrich -- significant economists who tended more with varying degrees of emphasis to the classical liberal review of a significant role for government and significant role for the private sector. some members of the austrian school very much of the contemporary libertarian school the government can do almost no good. it too was a leading economic school in these areas of
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free-market economics. >> who is around today that would fit this? >> very good question. i feel there really isn't the same sort of advocacy of classical liberal view that there was historically and many of the successors of friedman and hayek at the university of chicago and elsewhere adopted contemporary libertarian views that there is almost no role for government. it isn't that robust advocacy of limited but important role for government. the classical liberal view today is more upheld by econ a musts who would be considered on the left like paul krugman, they really are the true successors of friedman and hayek in the 1950s and
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contemporary libertarian this are different offshoot. >> you think paul krugman would agree with you? >> guest: i think he might. he wrote a complementary review of friedman after friedman's death and pointed out friedman's contributions to economics were very significant and spoke highly of him, larry summers would be another individual who would come to mind. it is not like in the 1950s, 60s in 70s, you economist on the left advocating socialism, the government should run the economy. friedman in the 1950s thought society should be more equal than it was at that time and society at that time was more equal than it is now. friedman would be in the far left at this time. that is a reflection how much
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society has changed. with his they would themselves or not, nonetheless larry summers would be another example too. related to paul samuelson and other leading economists. the market is won by many respects. the issue isn't as it was in the 50s, 60s in 70s, should we have the market or socialism? market has won that argument. nobody in the world argues for command socialism. should be have no government or significant government role? the odds are on the side of we will have a significant government role for some time. >> host: we talked to another economist earlier at freedom fest who would jokingly cross herself every time she said the sainted adam smith. is he still a sainted person in the economic world? >> adam smith?
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i have done a fair amount of research on smith and some writing, he was more the classical liberal view for the time he wrote, he was in favor of progressive taxation, in favor of emerging welfare state practices, government, some of his students and others became leading supporters of the french revolution and advocates of early government activity in government, in england, government including utilitarians, john stuart mill, i would say adam smith was definitely of the vehicle liberal school rather than contemporary libertarian school. smith saw that society was not desirable when it was divided between a few rich and many poor and that is what we have in the united states, different
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from society that our founders envisioned and advocated, no question if george washington and thomas jefferson and john adams, james madison and thomas paine, benjamin franklin, were here today, they would be advocating -- wouldn't say society in which the top 1% have 42% of the wealth on their way to 50% in the bottom 50% have 1% of wealth, but that was a good society, that wasn't their view at all. they thought government too often became the service of the wealthy and powerful and that was opposition to government. it wasn't that in government the portended to take the resources of the rich. the problem in government was the rich tend to take the resources of the poor. that is the situation we face in american society today and that is why true conservatives, true libertarians should work
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for change in our society where the strong, private-sector, guiding the economy, but at the same time with significant public sector providing public goods and ensuring extremes of any quality don't become too great. the founders favored wealth taxation, progressive taxation, those are the ideals we should return to. >> host: the us economic system is macro, basically like that today? >> absolutely. we have been more successful in funneling income and wealth to the top few in our society than any society in history. if you look at the average well in the top one 101% the average wealth has gone up from $40 million in the 1970s and 1980s, $400 million now, the top 400
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people in the united states have more wealth than the bottom half of americans. the notion those 400 people are producing more than the bottom half of americans is false, a matter of market failure, institutions that are not resulting in rewards that are appropriately being distributed on the basis of their marriage. the market is established by government and we have a system of crony capitalism, casino capitalism, that directs resources to the rich and powerful and away from people who are working and producing. it is not a function of those who are at the top, hundreds of thousands of times more productive. the system and institutions are not what they were decades ago and what they should be again. >> host: the book is called
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"chicagonomics: the evolution of chicago free market economics," it is by lanny ebenstein. this is booktv on c-span2. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with our nonfiction books and authors every weekend. television for serious readers. >> on this columbus day weekend we have three days of booktv. on afterwards -- >> he is interviewed by tammy bruce. tonight, others on education and educational reform. you will hear from pbs news hour education correspondent john barrow, talkshow host whose book is they are your kids and cathy davidson on the
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futures initiative at city university of new york and author of the new education. nobel prize winning economist talks about solving global poverty. and the change. he is in conversation with jeffrey sachs at columbia university. the brennan center for justice at nyu school of law examines the second amendment and the atlantic's frank 4 looks at the influence of tech companies like amazon, facebook and google on news, politics and free will. on columbus day we have all the finalists for the national book award presented in november. 3 days of c-span2's booktv. television for serious readers. visit


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