Munger on exchange and power

by Russ Roberts on June 20, 2011

in Podcast

Mike Munger is this week’s guest on EconTalk. It’s superb. Maybe his best ever. Full of interesting insights into why some people judge certain transactions as unacceptable even though both parties are made better off. Check it out.

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PrometheeFeu June 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

The podcasts with Mike Munger are always a pleasure to listen to. The friendship between Mike and Russ is so obvious, you can feel how much fun they are having. I look forward to listening to it even if that means I will have to suffer through baseball references that my French upbringing prevents me from understanding. ;-)

B June 21, 2011 at 2:14 am

It’s hard to overstate how enjoyable this podcast was.

Dan J June 21, 2011 at 2:20 am

Russ jumped the gun on his anecdote. I do like these podcasts. Any good suggestions on other podacsts that have such immortals like Sowell or Williams. Listened to the 2006 Friedman discussions… PRICELESS!!

indianajim June 21, 2011 at 8:49 am

Given the pervasiveness of the human emotion envy, BATNAs (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreements) will inevitably be compared. This will, of course be nothing new. The same people who have made careers out of stoking up envy via academic discussions of income inequalities and POWER will use BATNAs to make the plight of people who have the worst alternatives worst off. I’m glad Munger is bringing BATNAs to light so that the damage done by self-acclaimed do-gooders fomenting envy can be better informed via economic comparisons in absolute,individual terms in contrast to merely relative, interpersonal terms.

J Cortez June 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

This was great. Thanks.

Eric Hammer June 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Excellent podcast! I am going to let it sink in another evening then listen to it again. I was just talking with another student about these sorts of things (foreign sweat shops mostly) and the notion of arguing against the situation ever coming up instead of taking things as they are and moving forward was exactly where we were getting stuck. It seems like such a simple issue, but it really does become a sticking point where people diverge and start talking past each other.

Buckland June 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Off topic:

With the spectacular collapse of Bit Coin in the last few days it would be interesting to do an autopsy show with someone involved with what has happened. Don’t know if Gavin Andresen would be interested in doing another right now, but a look at why something that only last week seemed so interesting is now facing an existential threat.

vikingvista June 22, 2011 at 2:49 am

It is a very interesting story. All it means, is that the next versions of BitCoin, or the next virtual currencies, will be more resilient to such hacks, or will have better rules in place to deal with them. The notion of truly free trade–with government thugs nearly incapable of interfering–is too valuable to ever go away. BitCoin and Silkroad are probably just the beginning.

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