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Defining Libertarianism and Austrian Economics with Walter Block

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Welcome to Capital Account. The US Treasury declined GM’s offer to buy back 200 million of the 500 million shares the US currently holds, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2009 GM received a $50 billion dollar bailout from taxpayers. Now, GM executives upset over pay restrictions and the stigma of “Government Motors,” want to buy back shares at a price that would cause taxpayers to lose billions of dollars in the deal. Can anyone argue we still live in a capitalist society?

Also, today marks the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Organizers planned nonviolent civil disobedience actions around the issues of ‘Corporatocracy.’ A year later the issues seem just as relevant. We talk with Walter Block, libertarian philosopher, professor, and Austrian economist, about how address the points brought up by the Occupy movement.

On this show we have guests from both sides of the political spectrum who agree with the complaints of the Occupy movement. Investors who hail from ranks of the 1% have identified with protesters over issues such as corporate welfare, bailouts, and too big to fail. Post-Keynesian economist, neoclassical debunker and economic professor Steve Keen spoke to protesters about the failings of the economics profession, occupying the classroom, and he advocates QE for the masses. Our guests do not all share the ideological framework. We do not all have to agree with every tenant of an ideology or belief system in order to adopt some of its principles, or at least to understand them. It is important for people to keep an open mind.

As discontent with the established political parties intensifies, we see growing interest in alternative frameworks and ideologies, such as Libertarianism. We talk to Walter Block, Chair of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and author of Defending the Undefendable, about the difference between Libertarianism and Austrian economics and how free enterprise has been misunderstood.

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