Freeman

ANYTHING PEACEFUL

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.

MARCH 14, 2013 by MAX BORDERS

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.

ABOUT

MAX BORDERS

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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