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Exploring EconTalk: Thomas Sowell (2008)

I’m late to the podcast parade. Although Russ Roberts is my dear friend – and despite Russ starting the immensely popular EconTalk 15 years ago – I listened to only a tiny fraction of the EconTalk podcasts. I didn’t even listen to the ones in which I appear as a guest. My preference is to absorb knowledge by reading (and even then by reading ink pressed into paper).

But Juliette Sellgren’s excellent Great Antidote podcast, which hit the scene at the height of Covid lockdowns, got me hooked on this medium. For the past few months, therefore, I’ve dived into the deep EconTalk library to listen to episodes featuring guests or topics that most caught my fancy. Happily, I still have many, many more to go!

And so, arrogantly pretending that readers of this blog give a hoot about which podcast blasts-from-the-past I happen to find especially enjoyable and enlightening, I’ll here occasionally link to ones that I find to be just that, as well as still relevant.

Note that the order in which I’ll mention these EconTalk episodes is determined chiefly by the rather random order in which I choose to listen to them.

I begin with Russ’s early 2008 conversation with the great Thomas Sowell. (This podcast was released on February 25, 2008.) Thomas Sowell’s many important insights haven’t been refuted by “Progressives”; these insights have simply been ignored. The political left largely behaves as if Sowell doesn’t exist. If we classical liberals and libertarians were afflicted with the same annoying tic that is so prominent in “Progressives,” we’d explain the left’s habit of ignoring Sowell as being the result of racism. In fact, though, I’m quite sure that racism has nothing to do with the matter. “Progressives” simply have no good responses to Sowell’s core arguments.