George Mason University economics professor Tyler Cowen rejoins The Remnant for a wide-ranging conversation on big business, liberty, capitalism, and more, inspired by his new book, Big Business: A Love Letter To An American Anti-Hero.

Show Notes:

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There are 13 comments.

  1. Henry Castaigne Member

    • #1
    • April 17, 2019, at 10:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Great episode. I’m skeptical of Tyler Cowen’s views, but he does know how to express them well.

    Regarding the discussion of email and texting versus calling someone on the phone, the thing to remember, and wasn’t discussed, is that calling someone on the phone is an interruption.

    The argument I’m hearing is that young people today find it awkward to talk to people versus email or texting. Could be true. But a consideration for me is whether what I have to say or ask is worth interrupting the person versus letting him get to the issue in his own time (i.e. email).

    I’ve read an essay or two that were written back when telephones were becoming common in the early 20th century. They wrote about the tendency of people to drop everything to answer the phone.

    And I’ve been annoyed more than once (less common now) waiting in line for service watching the provider interrupt the person in front of the line to answer the phone. I felt that the person (or people) who took the time to personally visit should get the priority.

    • #2
    • April 18, 2019, at 1:56 PM PST
    • Like
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Great interview. Cowen really does require a lot of followup to get details. For example, his response to bank bailouts of “meh, what’s done is done.” is a topic that could be a full podcast in itself.

    • #3
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:39 AM PST
    • Like
  4. dicentra Member

    I am astounded that Cowen seems to think that we should encourage CEOs to engage in pitched battle in our culture wars. Who the hell are they to decide what’s moral on issues that have nothing to do with their companies’ core competencies? Why would a CEO be better equipped to adjudicate the role of marriage in society than the average Joe? Do the top brass across the Fortune 500 proportionately represent the moral sensibilities of the populace? No, they’re a small enough group that they’re more likely to do things to impress each other, an insular faction with outsized influence while being about as likely as politicians to be sociopaths or at least malignant narcissists.

    No thank you.

    And although I don’t think we should break up Twitter, Google, or Facebook, I do think the punk-a$$ censorship and cancel culture is alarming. It’s digital brownshirting, and Nazi tactics don’t improve any venue where they’re exercised. If the political polarities were reversed I’d still be alarmed.

    This is not about whether you call people nasty names. It’s about whether foundational values such as free speech and inquiry are valued or whether the new generation has the faintest idea what they are much less how to conserve them.

    • #4
    • April 19, 2019, at 3:16 PM PST
    • Like
  5. kedavis Member

    Mostly for Jack:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rwc3VGvlRY

    • #5
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:37 PM PST
    • Like
  6. kedavis Member

    Jack’s talking about the sci-fi time travel story about tourists going to the crucifixion, reminds me of “The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” and the various time-travel stories where trying to prevent Hitler is what CAUSES Hitler, etc.

    But just saying “let’s go see the crucifixion” might be insufficient. Although if you were dealing with just a time machine that goes by numbers, it wouldn’t matter anyway. But if a genie gave you 3 wishes, for example, and one wish was “to be in the crowd witnessing the crucifixion of Christ,” it couldn’t happen unless Christianity is actually true. So would it happen if it were true, or would there be some kind of Babel-Fish like implosion because it would eliminate faith?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmpP73-SHPQ

     

     

    • #6
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:16 PM PST
    • Like
  7. John Russell Thatcher

    At time stamp 1:17:36 Jack describes a detail of an anthology of short stories, in one of which Moses comes down from the mountain with The Ten Commandments and finds the people worshipping Baal and having orgies, and all that. Moses becomes enraged and instead of delivering the commandments to them he smashes [the stone tablets] into a million pieces…” Jonah replies with the question “Isn’t that what happened?

    According to The Old Testament the Israelites, at the time Moses descended from the mountain with the stone tablets containing The Commandments, were not worshiping Baal but, rather, a golden calf that they had fabricated. Moses, did, indeed, reply by becoming enraged, and smashing the tablets on the graven image. This event is replicated in the 1956 movie starring Charlton Heston and even made it into the trailer. Yes, Jonah was right.

    • #7
    • April 21, 2019, at 12:34 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Henry Castaigne Member

    John Russell (View Comment):
    According to The Old Testament the Israelites, at the time Moses descended from the mountain with the stone tablets containing The Commandments, were not worshiping Baal but, rather, a golden calf that they had fabricated. Moses, did, indeed, reply by becoming enraged, and smashing the tablets on the graven image. This event is replicated in the 1956 movie starring Charlton Heston and even made it into the trailer. Yes, Jonah was right.

    Baal and Moloch are both Middle Eastern gods who are represents by bulls. They are believed to be fallen angels by some. 

    • #8
    • April 21, 2019, at 12:48 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Benjamin Glaser Inactive

    It is explicitly stated in Exodus that Aaron and the Israelites were attempting to worship Jehovah through the Golden Calf. Now, I happened to be a religious fundamentalist that thinks the 5 Books of Moses are true, and not retconned by a Post-Exilic writer. (slight hyperbole). 

    That discussion on the podcast was frankly embarrassing, as Jonah kind of realized at the end.

    This is an aside comment, but it is something about contemporary conservatism (with a few exceptions) which has bothered me for a while.

    Most of our intellectuals are either atheists, or at best agnostics, and seem incurious as to the details of religious matters, and yet most of our politicians are hypocritical grifter Christians (Huckabee, et al), which makes these kinds of issues so icky to hear folks talk about. 

     

    • #9
    • April 22, 2019, at 9:30 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    I’ll note that all this guy’s examples of optimistic outcomes tend to be ones I’m, at a minimum, suspicious of.

    “But corporations were ahead of the government in recognizing gay marriage” is only a point in their favor if you also assume that gay marriage was the correct point of view all along. You’ll note that he never offered a point about corporations enacting social change in a rightward direction.

    “Social media companies are relentlessly customer focused, and if those customers valued their privacy so much then social media companies would react to that” necessarily assumes that the people whose privacy is at stake are the customers. Facebook doesn’t make it’s money off of the free subscribers; it makes money by selling those subscribers to advertisers.

    “colonialism” Sorry; you’ve pretty much lost me when you start decrying colonialism. If you jump straight to that point you’ve got to swallow so many leftist premises whole that I simply can’t trust any conclusion you draw as being correct.

    • #10
    • April 24, 2019, at 9:46 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    Jonah Goldberg would be a much more interesting thinker if he stopped pretending there are real people on Twitter.

    • #11
    • April 24, 2019, at 10:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Henry Castaigne Member

    Benjamin Glaser (View Comment):
    Benjamin Glaser

    It is explicitly stated in Exodus that Aaron and the Israelites were attempting to worship Jehovah through the Golden Calf.

    But the Golden Calf was totally a pagan god according to Charlton Heston.

    • #12
    • April 25, 2019, at 2:20 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    If y’all are gonna keep arguing the point, here’s the story.

    • #13
    • April 25, 2019, at 9:27 AM PST
    • Like