April Freeman Banner 2014


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, MoveOn.org.

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 Author Thumb



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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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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