Deirdre McCloskey on Why Rulers Should Treat Us As Adults
Play • 1 hr 5 min

Professor Deirdre McCloskey is one of the most interesting thinkers in economics today. In this interview, conducted at FreedomFest 2021 in Rapid City South Dakota, near Deadwood, we push past a number of frontiers and traverse an open range of topics. That’s McCloskey in a nutshell – ignore the artificial fences between academic specializations and let the conversation go where it goes. In this case it goes through such territories as: the astonishing rise in standards of living since the rise of capitalism; why capitalism shouldn’t be called capitalism; what it should be called; why Bourgeois values have enriched us (and in more ways than economically); what the difference is between virtues and values; what Christianity had to do (and didn’t have to do) with the rise of modern human betterment; why theoretical economics has been wrong to obsess over “Maximum Utility” (a sociopathic form of economic modeling); the cult of statistical significance and its addiction to the p-value, and an upcoming book on Christianity and economics. Enjoy!

0:00 – Intro
9:40 – Why “virtues” rather than “values”?
14:09 – The meaning of Jesus being born in Bethlehem
18:54 – Eurocentric economics, why some minorities are successful
27:07 – Free speech and the rich young ruler
32:11 – A party of Liberty, politics for adults
40:16 – How art can affect politics
43:35 – Bettering Humanomics
47:48 – The new atheists
50:16 – God in Mammon
59:17 – The Bible on slavery

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