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The Pope & The Caring Society With Dr Robert Whaples

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Jason Hartman starts the show looking at current headlines surrounding real estate. As a 10th episode, he goes off-topic with Dr. Robert Whaples, Professor and Chair in the Department of Economics, Wake Forest University, and co-editor and managing editor of The Independent Review. They discuss Catholicism and the current Pope’s worldview.

Announcer 0:02

Welcome to the creating wealth show with Jason Hartman. You’re about to learn a new slant on investing some exciting techniques and fresh new approaches to the world’s most historically proven asset class that will enable you to create more wealth and freedom than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who’s actually been there and done it. He’s a successful investor, lender, developer and entrepreneur who’s owned properties in 11 states had hundreds of tenants and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to your financial independence day. You really can do it on Now, here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the complete solution for real estate investors.

Jason Hartman 0:52

Greetings from Germany. This is your host Jason Hartman with Episode 1031 030 Thank you so much for joining me today. It is about 11pm here, and I am on a cruise ship. Yes, I’m just about to embark on a river cruise for the next week or so and I will let you know about it along the way, gives me a good time to study and just do a little research and all this stuff I like doing for you. Because I am here to provide you with information to make good investment decisions. And maybe more than good investment decisions, hopefully maybe just good decisions in general. Today is the 10th episode show where we talk about something of general interest in our guest today we’ll be talking about the Pope and the caring society. Hey, we’ve never done a show before about the Pope. Right? There’s a new one for you. And no, I am not Catholic. But yeah, we’re gonna talk about the Pope. This Pope that we have now is pretty modern kind of dude. Boy, you’re describing The Pope is a dude. Huh? I don’t know if I can listen to the show anymore.

Jason Hartman 2:06

Well, anyway, we’ll get into that in just a moment. We’ll let our guests cover the the pope in the caring society and talk a little bit more about that. But before we do, there are signs out there, folks, there are signs, signs. And what do those signs tell us? What do they indicate? Well, you know, there are some signs that there may be some trouble ahead. And I talked a few weeks ago about preparing for the next recession. Yes, preparing for the next recession. I’m not saying that there is trouble ahead. I think it’s a little early to be predicting trouble ahead. However, we are going to have one of our former investment counselors come on the show here, either the next episode or maybe the episode after that and talk about The high end real estate markets in Orange County, California, where I’m from and I spent many, many years is a very successful and very well respected, I might add real estate agent brokering properties in beautiful orange county orange on the Riviera, as they call it. Sometimes I don’t know if anybody calls it that anymore, but I’m still gonna call it that. Glad I don’t live there, I must say because, hey, I don’t want to pay the taxes and put up with all of the other problems California has but I know a lot of you still live there. And you want to know about the market just I think it’s an indicator of the market in general. You know, you look at what’s going on in Orange County. That’s the one example we will talk about that here very soon. You look at what’s going on in New York City. You look at what’s going on. Hey, I just left Italy, right Italy. What a disaster that country is. Oh my god. Boy, you know Spain, Italy. Portugal, of course, Greece all on the verge of collapse, and now these Italian bonds may indicate some significant impact on the global economy. We’ll see. And you know, when you look at the higher priced real estate markets around the country around the world, are we seeing a real indicator of a problem? Is it just a temporary thing? There is a slowdown I mean, inventory is stacking up, time on market is increasing pretty dramatically in many places. Now, does this just mean maybe they just overbuilt that market? There’s just too much high end stuff out there. Or are the high end buyers just kind of saturated? They don’t need any more high end houses. Are they resisting because of the prices the prices are just too darn high? Remember that crazy guy the rent is due damn I, you know, I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll explore that and we will see but you know, interesting. Speaking of Well, this isn’t the real high end market. But hey, you probably saw it in the news. But the Brady Bunch houses for sale. Yes. The Brady Bunch houses for sale. Now instantly. you’re skeptical host your consumer advocate host, your cynical host, your legal activist host, your let’s out the centralized banking system host when he saw this thing about the Brady Bunch house being for sale. What did he do? Well, he instantaneously went and did the inflation calculation on the Brady Bunch house. Yes, this is the house that was in the show. The Brady Bunch. A lot of us grew up with a Brady Bunch, right. All of them had hair of gold like their mother, the youngest one in curls. Hey, Cindy, that was the youngest one right? Yeah. Cindy and then there was Mark And who was the oldest one? I can’t remember. And there was Yeah. Anyway, whatever. Who cares?

Jason Hartman 6:09

See we get on these crazy tangents. Okay, so the Brady Bunch houses for sale. So check this out. Now, the problem with this house is it’s such an iconic house that you really can’t calculate the inflation rate. But I think you can calculate a little bit of it. Because this house Okay, back in 1973. The last time it sold the last time the household and by the way, it has not sold yet. So remember, a list price represents what fantasy land, the sales price represents and appraisal, because the best appraisal you can have is the meeting of the minds of a ready, willing and able seller along with a ready willing and able buyer. And when those two minds meet, you have what they call them in real estate comps, you have comps, you have an appraisal, you have the best real estate appraisal you can possibly get. Forget about what those appraiser say when they come out and do their inspection. That doesn’t mean anywhere near as much is what a ready willing and able buyer and seller will do. When they meet their minds. That is the ultimate appraisal. So in 1973, The Brady Bunch house the iconic Brady Bunch house sold for $60,000 Okay, 60 grand, and then now it is listed for $1.9 million. What’s the problem here? Well, a few problems. The number one problem is it’s an iconic house. So what’s the premium for that right? But you’re skeptical host here instantly went and calculated the inflation rate Because you’ll hear those liars Liar Liar Pants on Fire like Jim Cramer out there, or hate even Shiller. Robert Shiller right, Nobel laureate, behind the Case Shiller index, right. You know, wrote the irrational exuberance books. They don’t tell you the whole story. These guys, they just don’t tell you the whole story. But I’ll tell you the whole story they don’t acknowledge income property is the multi dimensional asset class that it is. They want to just say, Hey, you know, real estate keeps up with inflation or it outperforms inflation a little bit. Right. But Hmm, not in the case of the Brady Bunch house, that’s for sure. Because guess what, $60,000 in January of 1973, has the same buying power in January of 2018, according to the official stats as $349,000 349. So clearly, this house has appreciated quite a bit faster than inflation. But, you know, you could put a lot of other factors when it hasn’t sold. That’s the first problem. So maybe it’ll sell for, I don’t know,

Jason Hartman 9:19

million 6,000,005. Maybe it’ll sell for 1,000,009 million eight. I don’t know, you know, who knows, maybe they’re crazy. And it won’t even sell for a million bucks. Who knows? Right? But it’ll probably sell somewhat close to list price, right? So let’s assume that now, you take into account all of the other factors that have happened in these high end areas that have pushed these prices beyond the beyond. But remember, you’ve got this situation where over time and I know this is very hard to stay, it’s very hard to keep your eye on the ball when things are crazy when you’re in the middle of it. tulip mania, or Bitcoin mania? Hey, listen, I was not recommending buying Bitcoin at any price ever. Right? I watched it go from When did I first learned about it? I think it was about $80 I watched it go from $80 to an I bought my half a Bitcoin for about 400 bucks up to close to $20,000. And now it’s back down what under $6,000? Right? Do you know how many people lost fortunes Imagine if you bought at the peak of whatever the peak was near 20 grand right? And now it’s worth less than six, I mean you would have been killed. The same is true with the cyclical versus linear markets over time. Over time, you’ll always get the good solid performance in the linear market, because you’ll get the cash flow. And then you’ll also get the more consistent yeah The more consistent appreciation, because you don’t give it all back in the down cycles, you give a little bit back, you just don’t give back nearly as much as you do in the super high end markets, right, the cyclical markets that whipsaw, and you get whiplash in those markets. And hey, if you time them, right, you’re going to do great, but I’m not going to pretend to be able to time them. So that’s the deal. But that’s just kind of interesting. I thought I’d share that little pop trivia with you. And, gosh, we got a lot of other stuff to talk about. But you know what we got to do our 10th show today, we got to talk about the Pope and the caring society. But while you’re listening to this interview, if you are not driving, jogging, walking the dog, or anything like that, and you are at your computer or your mobile device, you need to go to Jason Hartman calm and you need to buy your tickets for upcoming Hawaii. conference prophets in paradise? Yes, that conference is going to be awesome. It’s a totally new conference. And we haven’t launched our new event. Really since j HQ in 2015. Jason Hartman University, our first one of those was in San Diego, back in 2015, a little over three years ago. And this is a new event. So make sure you’re there in beautiful, gorgeous Hawaii, the first week in November, and I think you’ll like it very much. You’ve got super early bird pricing right now. He who hesitates is lost, as they say, join us be their two day conference in Hawaii. And if you like, join us right after that for the venture Alliance retreat in beautiful Hawaii. So it’s going to be great time, and we’ll look forward to seeing you there. Let’s get to our 10th show and talk about the Pope and the Karen society.

Jason Hartman 13:00

It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Robert Weebles to the show. He is book review editor for the end of the economic history Association, research fellow at the independent Institute, managing editor for the independent review and professor of economics at Wake Forest University and editor, the new book, Pope Francis and the caring society.

Dr Robert Whaples 13:20

Robert, welcome. How are you? Thanks for having me. I’m doing great today.

Jason Hartman 13:23

It’s good to have you on Good to have you on. So Pope Francis Saad, this is quite a really a new direction, isn’t it for the Catholic Church. I mean, sort of a very modern

Dr Robert Whaples 13:34

Pope, right. In many ways. He’s moving the church into some new directions. But it turns out that the church’s history is, you know, long and rich. And so especially when it comes to what the pope saying about the economy, and also the environment, those kinds of things, actually not that groundbreaking, just maybe moving tacking the church back over an eternity. That’s some of the earlier Pope’s would have had maybe a little less friendly to the market than his most immediate predecessors would be.

Jason Hartman 14:08

Good. So what does he think about, you know, give us some of maybe his worldview on capitalism, charitable giving, things like that?

Dr Robert Whaples 14:17

Yeah. So I think the best place you can find him talking about this is in the encyclical that came out a couple years ago, called laudato. Si, on the care of our common home. And well, a lot of people think of it as his environmental encyclical. It’s as much about the economy as it is about the environment. It’s as much about the rich and the poor as about the earth itself. And so I think one way to frame the Pope’s view on these things is to think about his background. Until just five years ago, he was living down in Argentina. And I think that gave him a little different view on the economy than we would have here. He’s described himself as kind of allergic to all things economic And, you know, you just don’t see him being as supportive of a market system as some of his predecessors were. And I think that has a lot to do with his Argentine background. Argentina, if you went back a century, a little more than a century ago, was one of the most successful economies in the world. It was up there in the cop handful, in terms of standards of living.

Jason Hartman 15:22

It’s amazing what decades of corruption will do.

Dr Robert Whaples 15:25

Yeah, their standards of living have gone up as they have all over the world, you know, because we have better technology and all that but you’re exactly right. The corporatist model, the, you know, one Perowne, the parent Easter’s, which is a model where, you know, the government is totally intertwined with business and to be successful in business. You need to be in league with the government. And so we would call that crony capitalism around here. I think that’s what Pope Francis views as capitalism. So, you know, I would consider that kind of a misperception on this part, but you can understand why Coming from where he does, we always have to be worried about crony capitalism having the government be the one determining the winners and losers. But it isn’t really the rule and a better functioning economy has one where, you know, firms really do compete for customers to deliver the best products at the best prices. And then much more of the benefits go along to the consumers there. And standards of living are a lot higher and you solve tough problems like absolute poverty so much more quickly, which adopt a more free market oriented economy.

Jason Hartman 16:30

Okay, so I just want to make sure this is clear for myself, and then of course, the listeners. So you’re saying that because he has this

Dr Robert Whaples 16:38

somewhat like tainted view of capitalism, because of the Argentine model where it’s much more I mean, it’s you know, they we complain about crony capitalism here in the States, but you know, God, it’s worse there. So that would make him less capitalistic in his statements in his worldview, right. I think that’s exactly right. That he just kind of has a natural gut. reaction to this thing that a market economy isn’t going to solve your problems very well, because I think he’s seen a market economy that just wasn’t a strong market economy. It was one that had handcuffs on. And so one thing to compare him with is john paul, the second, who grew up in Poland under communism. So he saw how bad communism work that he said more supportive things of a democratic capitalist system than like just about any other Pope ever has, then you can see how their backgrounds would have affected that. Now, one thing that economists would say if they had a chance to sit down and chat with Pope Francis is that, in fact, the various types of economies around the world that are moving toward the free market have generated so much economic growth in recent decades, that it has wiped out a much absolute poverty that exists around the world. The World Bank calculates That over a billion people in the last few decades have been lifted out of absolute poverty. And they define that people living on less than $1 90 a day. And so as China has moved to market mechanisms in the countries in Africa, Indonesia, and you know, big places all over the world have done this. We have seen, you know, they copied what we did in this country and other countries did, capturing the power of a market economy, people working together, and they’ve seen just absolute poverty melt away. And so that’s a wonderful success that I don’t think the pope acknowledges as much as you would like him to. Yeah,

Jason Hartman 18:39

definitely agree with you there. So connect the economy with the environment, if you would, of course, it’s extremely connected but connected in the Pope’s worldview, if you would,

Dr Robert Whaples 18:48

I guess in the worldview, business can be a noble profession if directed to the right ends, but he worries that in fact, it gets directed toward wrong and you know, people trying to just line their own pockets and earn big profits. And in the process, maybe just putting their costs off onto other people if they can get away with it. And that obviously happens. And when you see that happening in the environment, it can be very destructive.

Jason Hartman 19:19

Absolutely. And then in so many other ways, if I may interrupt you for a moment, I just want to bring this up to the listeners, because I think this word that I’m about to say, of course, you know, the word is not used enough in our dialogue about the economy, the environment, or many other parts of life, and the word is externalities. externalities, we really need to start talking about externalities more often. So in the kind of context, we’re using it, of course, you know that the company goes out and they do their manufacturing and they pollute the river, right? polluting the river is not a cost of doing business directly to the company, but it’s an externality and a cost that we all bear. Because the river is polluted, right, and someone has to clean it, hopefully. But there are externalities in so many other areas of life. I mean, you know, the little pet peeves that I have in my life like leaf blowers, one of the worst inventions in human history, I believe is winding down for a half an

Dr Robert Whaples 20:17

hour and the way you like,

Jason Hartman 20:20

dust in the pollution, it’s terrible. Yeah. And loud motorcycles and loud cars. These are externalities. Other people bear the cost of them. So back to the Pope. I just wanted to go on that little tangent for a moment.

Dr Robert Whaples 20:35

Yeah. And so I think that Pope Francis is entirely right, that many individuals, many businesses will push their cost off onto other people if they can get away with it. But what a successful market economy does is make sure that they don’t get away with it. Right. And so, we pass laws that say polluters have to pay. And you know what, it turns out? I’m a polluter too. I’ve got lights on in my office. And there’s a place not too many miles away from here that’s burning coal to create the electricity, right. And luckily, they’ve got scrubbers and things in their smokestack. So there’s not too much that that that comes out. But I’m the one paying them to do that. Right. And so when an economist says the solution to this problem is to make the polluter pay, they don’t just mean the businesses. I mean, the consumers as well, they share those costs. And it will, you know, depend on the forces of competition who bears those costs. But in fact, what you need to do to solve an environmental problem like that, is sit down and make polluters pay. That can be through a tax if there’s no other way. But another way that usually works much more successfully is to create a property right, so that somebody owns something and then has an incentive to take care of it. Now, owning the air that’s a hard one. Yeah, but you know, land owning Water, those kinds of things. And so here’s an example that one of the authors in our book brings out, you can see from hundreds of miles up in space, a difference between one end of the island of Hispaniola and the other end, that’s the island in the Caribbean that’s got Haiti on one end, right? And the Dominican Republic on the right, the Dr. Is Greener on one side of the island than the other? Yeah. And the reason goes back to decades of corrupt governments in Haiti, where nobody had a secure property, right, you owned your land, sort of but the government could come on and grab stuff, their cronies could come in and grab stuff, they could clear cut your land or something, you know, what did you do? You cut the trees down before they got a chance, or maybe you didn’t cut the trees down before they got the chance, but everything just kind of gets cut down. And then there’s all this erosion and you know, the whole environment is out of whack because they didn’t have an honest government that defined it. enforce property. Okay, so

Jason Hartman 23:01

I’m so glad, Robert, you brought this up. Let me let me let me ask you a couple questions about this. I agree with you, philosophically, no question. And I remember reading a Greenpeace magazine. And it was, you know, you’re several years after the Soviet Union had finally collapsed, you know, and it just profiles and the pictures were astonishing. They were just terrible. The birth defects the pollution, that

Dr Robert Whaples 23:27

the air was more mental degradation within the Soviet Union and has been in communist countries than any other place.

Jason Hartman 23:35

And the thesis being what is what you say is that when people don’t own something, they don’t care about it. And I agree, you know, how well do you take care of your own car versus a rental car? How well do you take care of a rented house versus your own house? Of course, that’s true. But but but, you know, if Monsanto or Dow Chemical, they want to buy a big plot of land next to their factory and You know, polluted, I mean, that might actually be a good equation for them, you know that even though they own it, the ownership society concept is true. And philosophically valid. It just might be an expedient business decision, you know, it, it does seem like and as much of a libertarian as I think I am, you know, it seems like we do have to have some, some tax or some kind of regular regulation as a tax. But, you know, what are your comments on that?

Dr Robert Whaples 24:29

I think you’re right, that there are times when it makes sense for if there’s a product we really want. And it’s messy to make it, the mess has to go somewhere. And so it makes sense that you would give them a place that they could put it on their own land rather than dumping it on somebody else’s land. But what’s really interesting is if you just look at the most basic measures of Environmental Quality, you know, how much junk there isn’t the air that you breathe, how clean is the water that you actually get to drink those kinds of things. What economists have discovered is a distinct pattern that you see for just about every pollutant. And that is as economies grow from a very, you know, low agrarian kind of level, the pollution levels start to go up, but then they peak and they start to go down once countries get rich enough. How do they get rich like that? Well, they’re the market economies. And so the market economies get richer and richer, and then we can afford to clean things up, we demand to clean things up. We have the spare resources with which we can clean things up. Right. And so we’ve got about the cleanest air in the world around here in this country. It’s far cleaner than it was a few decades ago when I was growing up. I remember before there were catalytic converters on. I remember two things like that. Just feeling it in my lung. Oh, yeah.

Jason Hartman 25:48

Well, the leaf blowers don’t have catalytic converters. You know, when these these dumb little golf carts running around bullies and, you know, I mean, I’ve been to 81 countries and it’s just disgusting how they are Yeah, but in a sense I couldn’t want to argue that the US through its trade policy, which is we’re seeing that reverse now, through its trade policy has exported the pollution to China and created an externality, you know, as Kennedy said, we all breathe the same air, right? It’s I don’t know, you know, have we just moved the pollution to Beijing.

Dr Robert Whaples 26:21

You know, there is, you know, a degree of validity to that argument. But of course, what also needs to be brought in is that sometimes people are willing to make trades like that with you. China receives money for the products that we buy from them raising their standards of living, and they have, I guess, collectively said that we’re okay, getting dirtier air, at the same time that we’re getting richer. But even if they’re not collectively saying that even if it’s kind of forced on them from above, China is now at the level basically of a mid income country. The rich areas along the coast are now above the world average and moving up toward first world standards. And in fact, the environment and the environment in many Chinese cities is now getting cleaner, right? By eating intentional, objective measures of this, right? There’s just the total amount of sit in the air and those kinds of things is going down. And so they’ve turned that corner in an important way.

Jason Hartman 27:20

Yeah, yeah. Good point. Good point.

Dr Robert Whaples 27:24

And I have been, I’ve been binge watching lately, old Mission Impossible episodes. I watched them. So you know, they’re from the late 1960s and early 1970s. And you see a car driving off and there’s all this stuff that comes out of the tailpipe. You see planes taking off and there’s all this junk coming out. It’s such a change in you know, the 40 or 50 years since that happened. It’s just you can spot it with your eyes. My mom

Jason Hartman 27:48

used to tell me about how businessmen would go to work in the morning with a white shirt. Yeah. And at the end of the day, it would be great in many American cities.

Dr Robert Whaples 27:57

They had detachable collars back in the old days, you know, that’s the part sticking out above your vest or whatever. And you just take the collar off and put a new one on through the day or something like that. So you could have a clean collar. That’s just,

Jason Hartman 28:12

yeah, so the point being and, you know, we agree on what capitalism is good for the environment. But the folks on the left listening would argue that that’s because of government regulation. And I remember when I was in a group called leadership tomorrow in when I lived in Southern California, we spent an entire day at the aq MD, the Air Quality Management District in, I believe, Yorba Linda, California, or Diamond Bar. And I remember the person speaking to us, she proudly got up and said, she spoke to our group and said, you know, we don’t take any taxpayer money here. And they had these gorgeous offices with brand new, you know, beautiful furniture and I thought, wow, this place is pretty posh. And she’s probably said, we don’t take any taxpayer money. And I said, Well, where do you get your revenue and she said, by assessing levying fines against companies that don’t comply with things like making it a longer walk. If you don’t have a fuel efficient car in the parking lot, you have to park further away if you don’t carpool if you don’t have a fuel efficient car, etc. So, you know, they would find big companies, you know, thousands of dollars a day, like exorbitant fines, of course that passes through to the conclusion

Dr Robert Whaples 29:22

of mine is attacked by another name.

Dr Robert Whaples 29:28

And so the point is that there are sometimes we do need to get together and act collectively. Right. Okay. And so, yeah, I mean, government needs to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. What economists have generally found, though, is that government has had a track record, especially the federal government, when they put these regulations in place. They do so in a very inefficient way. They could have had other regulations, other rules that reduced the pollution the same amount at a much much lower cost, right because they Want to call the shots on everything rather than just give you the incentive to reduce the things and you find out the cheapest way to do it? Right, like the walking from the parking lot example. And so, you know, I think that’s very important to realize that government is part of the solution. But maybe not a perfect part of the solution. If you look at the trend in many of the levels of pollutants in the United States, before and after the federal government passed their clean air or clean whatever acts. The pollution levels were already coming down. And the trend didn’t really change too much when the federal government got into the game. Interesting. Interesting. Yeah,

Jason Hartman 30:37

yeah. Yeah. I can’t imagine government being inefficient. That’s just really, I’m joking. Of course, you know,

Dr Robert Whaples 30:44

that the incentives just aren’t there. It’s not part of your bottom line. And you know, bureaucrats have a hard time I’ve talked with bureaucrats about issues like this and then I can empathize with them. They just don’t have the same incentives. They have to please higher ups in different ways. People in business who please them by earning more profits and things like that. And so you can see why they often end up implementing rules that aren’t going to work that.

Jason Hartman 31:10

Well, speaking of bureaucrats, I’ve just, you know, let’s wrap up with I want to ask you about one other chapter in the book, the uneven playing sealed markets and oligarchy. What about that? And where does the Catholic Church in the pope come in on that?

Dr Robert Whaples 31:24

Yeah. And so that’s a interesting chapter in the book. That’s by Gabrielle Martinez, who’s done it Ave Maria college down in Florida. And so, I would say of all the chapters in the book, it’s kind of the one that that goes out of its way to take Pope Francis on his own terms and not trying to be the outsider economist being critical and kind of showing him what we can teach him. And I think, a number of the other places in the book, the authors, including myself in the introduction, point out that we have a lot of things that we can do. Learn from what Pope Francis says. I think the most important one of them, in my opinion would be this. Fans of the free market. Many economists often take a completely materialistic view of things as though spiritual matters are of no concern whatsoever. And that especially comes through when you kind of open up an economics textbook. And it just gives you a blunt assertion that we’re going to run with from now on. more is better. more is better. And Pope Francis says, You know what, I just don’t buy that. The fact more can be very bad for you. You know that you could eat too much food, you know, the chicken, right? You could consume too much. He points out that so many of us have kind of traded God in for Mammon. And we’re caught up as he says in this whirlwind of consumption. You know, we’ve got to have the latest thing and then this phone is two years old and you got to turn it in or get rid of it and get even newer spiffy, or one We just like, turn our lives over to these things, the lesser lights of the world drown out the eternal light. And that is such an important point that we people in prosperous societies are not using our economy to its greatest potential. We don’t have to be using the economy to just be getting more and more junk that we don’t really need. We could be using it for higher purposes. Yeah, well, that’s

Jason Hartman 33:28

a great point and I’m glad that you you kind of closed on that note because what’s interesting about it is the way the consumer society was created in America you know, it goes back to who the torches of freedom guy What’s his name? I can’t think of it right now. That really created modern PR and advertising and Madison Avenue before Mad Men. Gotcha. This name is gonna come to me right after this interview, but you know, with one in smoke the cigarettes and you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure before that Americans like other people around the world We’re not into they didn’t always have to have the newest, better thing. The consumer society really you can see, like, right where it changed it was, you know, it was within a decade it it just there was this shift this growth at all costs. That’s the way the economy is set up. You just got to sell more widgets and more widgets, no matter how much of a steward of the environment you are,

Dr Robert Whaples 34:25

you’re not Janita.

Jason Hartman 34:26

Yeah, you’re gonna create externalities. And what do we do about that? Is there even a solution?

Dr Robert Whaples 34:32

If there is a solution? It’s not a top down solution. You know, it’s not like somebody would get elected office on a platform like admin be able to implement some policies. It’s from the subtle, loud, right? It’s a person at an individual level saying, I don’t need this extra stuff. I don’t need to work this extra time to get this extra thing or maybe if I am going to work more, I don’t need to take it and buy something to show up my neighbor. Catch up with my neighbor. I could use it for more noble purposes, I could donate my excess funds to somebody who needs them far more than I do. I could just reorient my life so that I don’t need to use all the resources. And I’m not in this giant rat race with other people. And so really, it’s one that you’ve got to do. You got together rather than you and Uncle Sam together, you know, huh,

Jason Hartman 35:24

by the way, the name I was looking for was Edward Bernays, who really invented modern public relations in 1929. And that’s when they look it up, folks, if you have not read about this or watched any of the documentaries about Edward Bernays and torches of freedom, it’s quite fascinating that there was this shift, you know, right at the Great Depression when companies had to figure out how to get people to want stuff didn’t need and boy, have we doubled down on that one more than

Dr Robert Whaples 35:54

a lot of human creativity and intelligence that was harnessed for that project and He could have been harnessed for that. No

Jason Hartman 36:01

question. No question about that. No question about that. Well, hey, it was great talking with you about the book. I wish you a lot of success with it. give out your website and tell people

Dr Robert Whaples 36:12

you know where they can find you go to the independent Institute’s website. So it’s www.independent.org. And you will find this book there and all sorts of other wonderful things that the institute does.

Jason Hartman 36:24

Excellent stuff. Robert, thanks for joining us.

Dr Robert Whaples 36:26

It was my privilege to be on Thank you so much.

Jason Hartman 36:31

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