Rank #1: Peace, Love, and Cultural Appropriation
McDonald’s in North Korea? Chinese dresses in Utah? Are such cross-cultural remixes cause for offense or celebration? Is militarism or trade the best answer to tyranny? Is cultural emulation a form of appropriation or appreciation? These questions and more are considered in this lively discussion with the whole FEEcast gang: Richard Lorenc, Brittany Hunter, Dan Sanchez, and Marianne March.
- McDonalds on streets of North Korea: Kim Jong-un wants USA to invest in Pyongyang
- Conscience on the Battlefield | Leonard E. Read
- Want Peace? Promote Free Trade | Julian Adorney
- In North Korea, Black Markets Are Saving Lives | Richard Mason
- Venezuela Proves There is No Political Freedom Without Economic Freedom
- Chinese prom dress draws rage, but Utah student said she meant no harm
- Cultural Appropriation Is Love | TJ Brown
- Cultural Appropriation Is Intellectual Property on Stilts | Pierre-Guy Veer
- How Motown Smashed the Cultural Border | Sean Malone
- What's Wrong With Wakanda?
May 04 2018
Rank #2: Hurricane Economics
Hurricane Florence was descending upon the US east coast as this FEEcast was recorded. The panel, along with guest Jon Miltimore, FEE.org’s managing editor, discuss the economics of hurricanes. It turns out economic laws still apply during natural disasters. The FEEcasters discuss the “Broken Window Fallacy,” the issue of “price gouging,” and more.
Sep 14 2018
Rank #3: Marvel Movie Economics — Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther
In this episode, FEEcast has its first guest! We welcome Sean Malone, Director of Media at FEE and creator of the hit YouTube video “What’s Wrong with Wakanda.” Sean and crew discuss what superheroes can teach us about economics, politics, and life itself.
Black Panther’s King T’Challa reigns over a sci fi paradise completely isolated from the rest of the world. But without trade, could a small country rise to prosperity, even if it was rich in a resources as wondrous as the fictional vibranium?
And in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos wants to solve overpopulation by wiping out half of all life in the universe. Many internet commenters are strangely sympathetic toward the supervillain’s scheme (one writer conceded it was “technically genocide”). But does this betray backward economic reasoning (not to mention some serious ethical problems)?
Explore the economics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with FEEcast!
May 11 2018
Rank #4: Who Helps Working Americans, Bernie or Bezos?
Senator Bernie Sanders recently proposed “Stop BEZOS” (Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies), a tax bill that doesn’t hide its chief target: Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. But would this law help low-income workers or hurt them? Find out on FEEcast!
Sep 28 2018
Rank #5: What Teachers Can Do to Raise Their Pay
Teacher pay has again been a hot button issue this back-to-school season, as unions have protested for raises and received sympathetic coverage from the media. But are school teachers really underpaid? And if so, what can they do about it? The FEEcast crew and special guest TK Coleman discuss the numbers, economics, and ethics of the matter.Show Notes:
How Media Outlets Misinform the Public about Teacher Pay
No, Teachers Are Not Underpaid
Quit Rates Suggest Teachers Are Doing Just Fine
Sep 21 2018
Rank #6: Sears Was the 20th Century’s Amazon
After 132 years, Sears is filing for bankruptcy. But it’s not necessarily over for the company which has a surprising and honorable history of disrupting racial hierarchies in the days of Jim Crow. On this episode of the FEEcast, Richard, Anna Jane, and Marianne discuss the company that was truly the Amazon of the 20th century and tackle the question: how likely is it that today's corporate giants will stand the test of time?
Oct 19 2018
Rank #7: What We Hear When Taylor and Kanye Get Political
Taylor Swift recently broke her political silence by endorsing Democratic candidates and dishing out progressive buzzwords. These words were music to some ears and noise to others. Kanye West is rarely silent (as Swift knows from experience), particularly about politics these days. Kanye recently made more waves in his MAGA hat, first on SNL, then on Twitter, where he called for abolishing the 13th amendment. Where some detected a pro-slavery message, others inferred a critique of the prison system. How do our “moral taste buds” (in psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s terminology) shape the way we hear statements from across the political divide? The FEEcasters discuss!
Oct 12 2018
Rank #8: Halloween Costume Controversies
From Kendall Jenner to Elizabeth Warren, cultural appropriation is in the news. And coverage of the topic always ramps up as Halloween approaches. Who is allowed to dress up as whom? What should we consider offensive, and how should we respond to offense taken by others? The FEEcast crew, joined by T.K. Coleman, considers these questions, as well as the economics of Halloween costumes and a recent law passed against adult trick-or-treaters.Show Notes:
Oct 26 2018
Rank #9: Why Did Amazon Raise Its Minimum Wage?
Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon will raise its minimum wage to $15/hour. This made Bernie Sanders happy, but will it lead to layoffs? And what’s up with Bezos turning around and voicing support for increasing the federal minimum wage? Is all this really about compassion or about using government to squash the competition? Tune in to FEEcast for an in-depth discussion.
*After this recording concluded on Wednesday, news broke that Amazon will discontinue monthly bonuses and stock options for warehouse workers.
Oct 05 2018
Rank #10: Libertarians in Cars Getting Tickets
Georgia recently became a “hands-free” state by banning texting while driving. Many consider this a common-sense policy, but the law of unintended consequences has a way of surprising those who assume that new laws are the way to solve every problem. The FEEcasters discuss this and share some of their own experiences on the road.
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Sep 07 2018
Rank #11: Is College Necessarily a Smart Move?
CNBC recently reported that Google and Apple, among other big companies, have stopped listing a college degree as a requirement for potential employees. But these checkboxes were always a lot more negotiable than people realize. What do employers really want? What is the value and the cost of a college degree? Is it a good bargain for everybody? Are there better and cheaper ways of getting what college offers? The FEEcasters discuss all this and more.
Aug 31 2018
Rank #12: Self-Help Vs. Victimhood Politics
Podcasters like Tim Ferris and Joe Rogan draw millions of listeners who are more interested in self-improvement than identity politics. Are these “podcast bros” (as the New York Times has dubbed them) placing too much emphasis on individualism and not enough on collective injustices? Or are they offering an empowering alternative to debilitating narratives of victimhood? The FEEcasters are joined by guest-host Sean Malone to discuss!
Aug 24 2018
Rank #13: The Scooter Revolution Will Be Privatized
If you live in a major city, you’re probably seeing Bird and Lime electric scooters everywhere. They may look abandoned, but they’re actually ready waiting for any user to pick up and pay to use with a smartphone app. They may look like easy pickings for thieves, but Bird and Lime have adopted various measures that have kept theft and vandalism to a minimum.
These companies have every incentive to innovate and implement ways to secure and maintain their resources, because the scooters are their private property. They fully benefit from such care and fully suffer the costs of any negligence. Compare this to communal/public property, which is so often overused and under-maintained.
In this episode, FEEcast explores the philosophy and economics of private property. Why is it important? Should property rights be “balanced” against other rights? Watch, consider, and comment!
Aug 17 2018
Rank #14: Voting with Your Feet
California cities have been banning things left and right. Regulations and high taxes have made living in the state an expensive and burdensome proposition. Harried residents have been fleeing to less-oppressive states. By doing so, Americans are “voting with their feet” against oppressive policies and for less-oppressive policies. This “power of exit” is an important curb on government power: not only on the state level but on the national level as well. In this episode, the FEEcasters explore the concept of “jurisdictional competition.”
Aug 10 2018
Rank #15: Environmentalists Are Grasping at Straws
Drinking straws are being banned and phased out by cities and corporations under pressure from environmental activists. Is this moral progress or just a moral panic? What is the psychology behind such campaigns? And what are the economics of their consequences? The FEEcasters have a freewheeling discussion on the matter.
Aug 03 2018