Probing Shikha Dalmia's Brain

I got to sit down with one of my favorite writers, Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation, to discuss issues of wealth and want.


I got to sit down with one of my favorite writers, Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation, to discuss issues of wealth and want.

In this segment of our conversation, I asked Dalmia what she would want to put on the table if she were asked to hammer out some grand political compromise with the likes of, say,

Her answer suggests to me that she was not interested in much of any compromise. Rather, her prescription for poverty alleviation starts with curtailing rent-seeking--that is, collusion to craft policies that tend to benefit the wealthy and connected (at the expense of the poor and middle class).

And she's right. Anyone who claims to care about the poor (and even those hostile to the rich) should be interested in starting out by changing the policies that rig the game for the rich, as James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock describe.

Interestingly, she picks out higher education as an example of such rent-seeking. I found that fascinating, not only because we have been wrestling with such issues at The Freeman, but because higher education is the first example that came out of her mouth (even before green energy, the military-industrial complex, and big agribusiness).

In any case, please enjoy this food for thought from one of the brightest columnists working today.

For more of our Superwealth interview, see parts one, two, and four.



Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

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July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
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