tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 11, 2016 6:45pm-7:01pm EST
>> final comments? >> final comments, i want to just say because my wife is here and i talk about this in the book and this would be reflected in the book and that's the importance of family and support of family. i could not have done what i did without the support of my family. and i talk about the difficult times that we went through in washington and how it affected my family and becky was always there for me. she was a rock and i'm very, very grateful for the service that she provided. i'm also grateful for the opportunities in america for someone like this, grateful to george w. bush and work people like clay johnson and other dedicated individuals who really care a lot about america and work every day to do the right thing.hi >> al, thank you so much for being here. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. al, the signing tent is right down here.
al will be there by the books that you want the buy by the dozens. so thank you so much. [inaudible conversations] >> here is a look at five finalists for this year's book award for nonfiction. african american history professor ibram kendi provides history of racism in america in stamped from the beginning. sociologist reports on the alienation felt by many on the political right in strangers in their own land. in nothing ever dies, prize winner viet thanh recalls
vietnam war. andrés resendez in the other slavery and blood in the water, reports on 1971 uprising at new york's correctional facility. the winners of this year's national book awards will be announced on november 16th in new york city. many of these authors have or will be appearing on book tv, you can watch them on our website booktv.org. >> this is book tv on c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend. and from time to time we like to visit college campuses and talk with professors who are also author who is were on the campus in michigan today and we are visiting with professor gary who has written a book called capitalist manifesto understanding the market economy
and defending liberty and, professor n your book you write that capitalism are so ancient that they predate even language in the development of civilization. >> well, yes, i mean, people have been exchanging goods and services for a long time and people have been making things that they then exchange for other things that other people have and so that's really what capitalism is about, it's really about voluntary exchange between two individuals or a group of individuals and so i would say that market accounts is the fundamental aspect of it which is really a system of voluntary exchange for everybody is better off predates many roots of anything else, certainly perhaps government as well. >> would you say it's -- >> certainly. all you have to do is look at a
couple 2-year-olds and see if they trade stuff and i will tell you, you will find that they will. they may trade something 24-year-old trading to another 2-year-old for something that they really shouldn't be trading it because it's a 50-dollar book because they're trading for a 3-dollar pokemon. people exchange. ic they have -- i think they have that ability and instinct to do that. >> on the purest level, where are we on the capitalist today? >> well, we have been moving in different directions. we, for example, if you look at the index of economy freedom that the united states is on, it's now 12. if you look at how many things the government comes in and tells you you can't make this trade, you can't make this exchange, we are going tell you how you're going to produce, we
really have moved in the wrong direction for a long time. part of it is because people don't really understand how the system works. they don't realize why they are so wealthy. we could -- adam smith wrote causes of wealthy nations and was looking at capitalism when it was first starting. wow, why is it that we are so wealthy here and the rest -- but he knows that we are wealthier than we ever were. and he started to write about how the system works and part of the problem is i don't think we cover that very well in school and i think people just don't get why they're so wealthy. occupied wall street was an example of that. if you really thought about how the system worked or understood how it worked, then you wouldn't be out there saying, oh, my gosh, they shouldn't tell us what we should have.
>> you write about this as well. i want to get it explained. a student said, well, we have a lot of austrian theory of economics which is what? >> the austrian theory is really to look at how markets work and how markets are efficient and really what -- look, this thing ain't going to work out for you. the reason -- remember in 1920's, socialism in great britain and he was saying, look, there's going to be a big problem because the central planner can't possibly know all the information they would need to know to make sure that resources went to please consumers and that's what the austrians focused on, is how does the market system work and how it works to please consumers and then what sort of political
philosophy in need to be consistent with that and the philosophy is going to be government protect life liberty and property and that's what the focus should be and let the market allocate resources among people and across nations or whatever. >> there is no real freedom other than the kind a market system provides, you write. >> yes, that's correct. because if you started looking through, okay, let's look at the -- let's look at the bill of rights, okay, oh, my gosh, we have to do the right to peaceful assembly. if the government owns the law how are you going to get the right? that can only happen if we own it? how can we have the right to bear arms if the government owns everything? free speech, how does that work if the government owns all the
media and, of course, when you look at countries, some of the audience might be old enough to remember the soviet union, what happened, they controlled all the media. government-agency that controlled the media and had an iron curtain to keep people from finding out about other things. you can't have liberty that is we enjoy without a system where you own the property and you have to right to use the property and unless it conflicts with other's people's rights to own property, the government should stay out and protect your property rights. >> why do you call this a manifesto? >> because it's a take on communist manifesto and it really needs to be discussed that this is why markets are beneficial to the poor, this is why markets are the only way that you can have individual freedom. this is why we are so wealthy
and this is not been really discussed much, certainly in the k-12 education system. how does this thing really work? suppose that i was running for president and i said, gee, i want to make it so that no one that no one could get a job in america unless they can produce $15 an hour worth of product. if you can only produce $15 worth of product, you can't work in america and i want to make sure that that's what happens. you say, wow, that doesn't sound very good. gee, i want a 15-dollar minimum wage, that sounds good. so that's what the book is really about. to get the basics -- look, this isn't rocket surgery. it's not hard. it's making the connections. it's seeing and observing. i love the story about bohemia
and see watson on the stop of the stairs and he walks up the stairs and he says, how many steps are there coming up from the ground floor? he says i don't know. how many times have you come up, like hundreds of times. there's 147 steps coming up from the ground floor, the problem can s you see and do not observe. that's what the book is about. trying to get people to observe. if somebody tells you we need a 15-dollar minimum wij, you need -- wage, you need to observe there are people who never get a job. that's what we have. i don't know if you're old enough when we had service stations. that was some kid to learning to get first job to show up, learn how to interact with the public, those jobs aren't there anymore.
that is a real problem, why aren't they there? we have asked public policy to give us results that no one had expected. >> who is this book targeted to? >> to the average person that wants to learn a little bit about how the system operates that they are living within. it's not designed to be academic piece that people are going to read and publish in american economic review. this is somebody that maybe had an economic class in college and said, oh, my gosh, this was boring, i didn't understand any of it, they are drawing curves around or if you're a home-schooler or if you're a teacher in k-12 system and it's really for the average person
that's interested and it's not -- it's not -- if you read it, you can see it. it's not complicated. [laughter] >> it's not complicated. it's a matter of just taking the time to sit down. you know, ci spend -- i can spend a few minutes a day looking at this thing. >> all right, i want to read two political statements that have been made during presidential campaign and get your reaction as an economist. quote, and this is a headline on cnn. hillary clinton promises to remedy excessive drug prices. >> well, yes, that's a question of how can she possibly do that. does she know what the price of a drug should be? what we really ought to be doing is looking at why drug prices are the way they are and one of the reasons drug prices are the way they are is because you have a government agency, food and drug administration that
requires all sorts of things to happen before you can sell a drug and cause billions of dollars and so you if you're going to make a drug, you have a very high fixed cost, you to spend $4 billion before you sell the first. if we had a system that said, gee, we have done this much study and you can sell this product but you have to let people know it hasn't been completely tested and you decide, gee u i'm willing to try that, you know, i'm willing to take on the risk, then you would have a lot or innovation in drugs and competition in the industry. the reason that you get drug pricing the way you do is because you have all the barriers to entry. some of which are necessary. we don't want people going out and you don't tell people that this is going to cause cancer or asthma or anything like that. that would be fraud. if you alert people and say, hey, this is the way it is and
let them make the choice and let them decide what the risks are and you get more innovation. for her to think that somehow she can know what the price of the drugs are going to be and how it's going to affect innovation in new drugs, how can she probably know that? >> donald trump, quote, we will renegotiate nafta and tpp. >> yeah, the problem with the position that donald trump takes on trade is if trade is between countries. trade is not between countries. twaid is between individuals. just as we were talking about the 2-year-old swapping with another 2-year-old, if i want to trade with someone in china or someone in brazil or germany, i should be able to do that. the government shouldn't come along and do that, no, you can't trade. he has a point that we tend to act like trade is between countries and then we might say, well, gee, if you're going to trade with us, you have to do x, y and z, well, that will restrict the amount of trade
that happens. but if a trade is going on, then both parties were better off, no one forced me to buy, you know, that chinese noodles that i might have or no one forced me to buy the german car that i have. i must have said, yeah, i'm better off giving up my money and the german car manufacturer must have said, we are better off giving gary wolf from the car and unless we start thinking of trade as individuals then it will affect a great deal about how we do our public policy with regard to trade. ..