Robert Higgs, senior fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Crisis and Leviathan, discusses his cherished yet under-appreciated chapter 3 in Crisis and Leviathan, about the rational ideological motivation of collective action; beating back the pervasive myth that war stimulates and improves the economy; how the increase in US GDP following massive post-WWII cuts in government spending undermines Keynesian economic theory; and why there is no such thing as free money: government spending is either derived from direct taxation or by debasing the dollar.
MP3 here. (18:37)
Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Higgs is the editor of The Independent Institute books Opposing the Crusader State, The Challenge of Liberty, Re-Thinking Green, Hazardous to Our Health? and Arms, Politics, and the Economy, plus the volume Emergence of the Modern Political Economy.
His authored books include Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Depression, War, and Cold War, Politická ekonomie strachu (The Political Economy of Fear, in Czech), Resurgence of the Warfare State, Against Leviathan, The Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914, Competition and Coercion, and Crisis and Leviathan. A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, he is the author of more than 100 articles and reviews in academic journals.