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Benjamin Powell stopped to talk about his book that he co-authored with Robert Lawson, Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World. Their goal was to reach people, learn about socialist policies on the ground, and OK… have a good time! Beer turned out to be a good starting point, but we explore much more like what are the actual measures of socialism, capitalism, and communism? We compared hotels vs Airbnb in Cuba, Georian wine, and the more dire situations in North Korea and Venezuela. Nonetheless, this was a fun episode, with a dash of Austrian Economics. A special thank you to our sponsors, Vaultoro.com and SaltLending.com for their continued support. Be sure to share the show on your socials!

About the Guests:

Benjamin is the Director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University where he also serves as a professor of economics in the Rawls College of Business. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Independent Institute and the North American Editor of the Review of Austrian Economics.

Prior to joining Texas Tech Benjamin was an Associate Professor of Economics at Suffolk University and an Assistant Professor of Economics at San José State University and the Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute.

Benjamin became interested in economics through the writings of Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, and Murray Rothbard. He earned his Ph.D. from George Mason University in 2003 where he studied Austrian Economics and Public Choice Theory.

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*You have been listening to the Tatiana Show. This show may contain adult content, language, and humor and is intended for mature audiences. If that’s not you, please stop listening. Nothing you hear on The Tatiana Show is intended as financial advice, legal advice, or really, anything other than entertainment. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Oh, and if you’re hearing to us on an affiliate network, the ideas and views expressed on this show, are not necessarily of the those of the network you are listening on, or of any sponsors or any affiliate products you may hear about on the show.

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Meet the hosts

Hey! My name is Tatiana Moroz. I am a passionate singer-songwriter heavily involved in the Libertarian and Bitcoin movement. I have created the first ever artist cryptocurrency Tatiana Coin and also founded an activist talent agency called Same Side Entertainment. I recently launched Crypto Media Hub which is an advertising network for the Bitcoin world and beyond. It's free for advertisers and we work with almost every major media outlet in the space including Bitcoin Magazine, YBitcoin, Bitcoinist, Brave New Coin, Let's Talk Bitcoin, Coin Telegraph and many more.

discussions

  • Statism in whatever form – communism, socialism, fascism, interventionism – is the creator and upholder of a two-class system of corruption: the politically-connected and those who are not politically-connected. It is tolerated because people have been indoctrinated by State-controlled ‘education’ and State-controlled media.

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  • Dominance, Sharing, and Privacy gives us a simplified (maybe oversimplified), and intuitive way to categorize human sociality. Instead of thinking of social structures as being diverse and too complicated to be categorized, these three categories allow us to classify behaviors that address conflict as one of three types or a combination of the three.  For example, might makes right is not really a property norm but it is a dominance strategy. The ethic that the world belongs to everyone is not an alternative property norm, it is the nullification of property in favor of a sharing norm.  The violent defense of a territory is not a might makes right or dominance behavior but is the defense of privacy. The reluctance to intrude on others prior establish territory is not just a fear of retaliation but a respect for privacy.   For moe read: Dominance, Sharing, and Privacy (DSP), The Three Principles of Sociality  

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  • What if Parents Loved Strangers’ Children As Much As Their Own? Last December, the author and philosopher Sam Harris invited Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, to appear on his podcast, “Waking Up.” It was Bloom’s third stint as a guest, and, as before, the two men devoted a significant portion of their conversation to the subject of empathy. Bloom had just published a book, “Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion,” in which he drew a distinction between empathy (the ability to feel other people’s pain) and compassion (desiring others’ well-being); according to Bloom, society needs less of the former and more of the latter. On the podcast, he and Harris talked about how empathy favors people you know over people you don’t, and how this favoritism leads to harmful behaviors such as tribalism and nationalism. They advocated a cooler, more rational approach to moral decision-making. Then they asked how far such an approach could be taken. Some forms of preferential treatment, Harris and Bloom noted, are considered appropriate, as when parents love their children more than they do strangers. But they wondered whether this, too, might be a behavior that requires correcting. They cited the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer, who famously pointed out that spending money on non-essentials means valuing your comfort over the lives of people starving elsewhere in the world. Bloom admitted that he buys toys and vacations for his children, identifying this as a moral dilemma that we all face. He and Harris engaged in a thought experiment: Would the world be improved if parents cared for other people just as much as they cared for their own children…While we’ve seen some reversals of this in the past year or two—including Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the resurgence of the xenophobic right—it’s not unreasonable to believe that these are temporary setbacks, blips in a broader trend that obtains over centuries or millennia. If this trend continues in the future, it could end in a kind of species-wide eusociality, at which point the perfectly impartial affection that Harris and Bloom posit might no longer seem so outlandish.? At first glance, I rolled my eyes thinking this was a call for collective child-rearing and how individualism is evil (Although he does take swipes at Trump and Brexit).  However on the whole, Chiang’s piece for the New Yorker is surprisingly balanced, with the exception talking about Brexit and Trump, as he cites several examples like the Kibbutzim in Israel where collectively raising children was not a good thing.  How if we all adopted a guru mindset of impartial affection the world would not be a utopia. What are your thoughts? Reactions?

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  • I mean a real socialist, not a guy that voted for Obama. A guy that is every bit socialist as I am libertarian. Background: I met a guy on online. I found out that he is an engineer in SF and a socialist. He loves seeing socialist philosophers speak, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and Tumblr. I’m also a SF resident and more knowledgable and more sympathetic toward the far left than most libertarians. I also have a job that is stereotypically liberal (elementary school teacher) so we’re kind of the opposite. We’ve hung out twice so far and I think we are pretty cute together. I always say teasing things to him like, “Do you follow fuckyeahelizabethwarren on Tumblr?” He doesn’t know much about libertarianism but when I met him I was going to see Jeffrey Tucker speak on the same day and he was interested to hear about it. Has anyone ever gone down this dark path before? Any predictions on what will happen?

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  • Perhaps you will find this magnificent BBC documentary interesting. It tells the story of the ancient city of Caral, a little north of Lima on the coast of Peru, which is arguably the oldest city in and the beginning of civilization in the Americas. The Lost Pyramids Of Caral There are two points I would like to make about the story told therein of Caral which I think are relevant to libertarians. 1) The early civilization of Caral apparently arose purely out of commerce. This confirms the insights of the Austrian school of economics. And it may be an example of a commercially organized cooperative human society that antedates the rise of any state. 2) This contradicts the presumptions brought to the study by the archaeologists. For one example, at 7:20 one states the following. You can’t build … on the basis of consensus. You have to have leaders and followers. You have to have specialists. You have to have people who are in charge. People who can tell individual groups, alright, today you will be doing this. This group you are going to be doing something different. In other words, in his academic world, the possibility is inconceivable of that human cooperation could be organized by trade — the marketplace — rather than authority.

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