Sheldon Richman


Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses his article “9/11 and the National Security Scam;” why top government officials must know their policies provoke more terrorist attacks, rather than prevent them; hearty cheers at the GOP debate for Rick Perry’s record-setting execution pace as Texas Governor; the cynical use of 9/11 casualties to justify an increasingly ruthless foreign policy; why “macro measures” like GNP and the unemployment rate are poor measures of national wealth and success; and why we must press the fight against the common perception that war is good for the economy.

MP3 here. (41:45)

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, and serves as senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the author of FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families; Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and FFF’s newest book Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State.

Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling. Separating School & State has become a landmark book in both libertarian and educational circles. In his column in the Financial Times, Michael Prowse wrote: “I recommend a subversive tract, Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman of the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank… . I also think that Mr. Richman is right to fear that state education undermines personal responsibility…”

Mr. Richman’s articles on population, federal disaster assistance, international trade, education, the environment, American history, foreign policy, privacy, computers, and the Middle East have appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, American Scholar, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Washington Times, Insight, Cato Policy Report, Journal of Economic Development, The Freeman, The World & I, Reason, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Liberty magazine, and other publications. He is a contributor to the Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics.

A former newspaper reporter and former senior editor at the Cato Institute, Mr. Richman is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia.

10 thoughts on “Sheldon Richman”

  1. You know what? The Mafia is more powerful than Al-Qaeda. In fact the Russian mafia is more powerful. And the Chinese. The Mexican, the Columbian, the Japanese, the French, the Italian, the Romanian, etc. all the way down to the 'Appalachian mafia'. Yes, even the Appalachian mafia is more powerful than A-Q. But those people don't commit suicide you may object. No, of course not, suicide is the ultimate option of weakness, not strength. Japan started the kamikaze attacks when they were desperately losing in WWII. We have spent $trillions to fight A-Q.
    Who do you believe wields power in our society – the politicians- representatives or the police-military-security establishment? Even before the President is sworn in he or she is 'briefed' by the security people and told exactly what he can do and what lines he must never cross. Our democracy is paper thin and the security state is a mile deep.

    1. There are three things that each president-elect does:
      1- Pledge allegiance to the state of israel
      2- Pledge allegiance to the Bilderbergers
      3-Lie to the American people over and over.

      That's all. It's a legal mafia that you have in DC.

  2. The US has one of the world's most inbalanced economies with 71% made out of consumption and only about 12% made out of manufacturing. It has one of the most unequal societies with capitalisme for the poor and socialisme for the rich. With 40% of the wealth in the hands of just 1% of the population. For year's in America poverty and inequality has being masked due to the availability of credit. When people cannot afford something they just take out there credit cards or there are other forms of credit available to them. The result is that most Americans are living beyond there means for year's. The problem in the US but also in Europe as well is the fact that all the consumers are there but the product they buy are made elswhere and this disequilibrium have being able to be sustained because of the artificially low interest rates set by the central banks.
    Which is destroying the value of the currency and eroding people's income and living standards. In the US real income for the average worker has dropped nearly 25% adjusted to inflation since 1980.
    What you have today on the top is a symbionic and paradoxical relationship between the banks and the government. The banks are dependent on government guarantees to stay in business and the government needs the banks to finance the trillions of dollars of deficits spending. So if the banks where to collapse the government will be liable for trillions of dollars and if the government is unable to pay off it debts the banks are looking at trillions of dollars of losses. If the one collapses the other will go automatically. The whole thing is keeped rolling with the FED printing money out of thin air. This is a one way ticket to hyperinflation.

    1. The power of reason always prevails at the end of the day. The only problem is that it always prevails after the empire collapses – not when stupidity is governing the empire. The history of the Mongol, roman, Dutch, Caliphate, Japanese, French, Brutish, Portuguese, Spanish, Ottoman, Soviet etc… empires is there to prove that empires are doomed to disapear one way or another because being an empire means violating the natural law.

      You can print money to wage wars but there is a physical limit to your debt level that will deal a deadly blow the same way it happened to other empires. They did not die because they wanted to die, they could no longer afford using debt to subdue other nations and just disapeared!!

  3. Scott Horton discusses economics again, and gets it all wrong again. Maybe he should actually read Keynes before he dumps all over him. Like most simple minded libertarians he doesn't know, or fails to mention, that Keynes recommended that governments SAVE money during economic expansions, as well as spending it during bad times. The problems is not Keynesianism; the problem is that governments don't follow his prescriptions.

    1. Keynes never explained how to distinguish the good times from normality. Keynesian credit-fuelled boom was perceived as the new normal, with no need to save. Now Keynes is dead and the impoverished long run has arrived.

  4. Just read his latest article, I tend to agree with Richman a lot on his foreign policy arguments but not so much when it comes to the economy. Nevertheless a very interesting interview. Thanks Scott.

    1. This is what I am talking about; that it is possible to agree to work together for peace, while agreeing to disagree on other issues. I went to Nader's roundtable discussion at Busboys & Poets last Monday. I met a lot of nice people there. On the issue of economics, I knew I was probably the odd man out in the crowd. That didn't matter; I went because I love peace and hate war. Simple as that.

  5. AXIOM
    People who love darkness more then light, they do so because their deeds make them feel guilty, and are afraid to come into the light for fear their deeds will be exposed.

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