December 1, 2008 Around the Web

The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity

Featuring the author Russell Roberts, Professor of Economics, George Mason University; with comments by Nick Gillespie, Editor, Reason.tv and Reason.com. Moderated by David Boaz.

George Will writes in Newsweek, “Improbable as it might seem, perhaps the most important fact for a voter or politician to know is: No one can make a pencil. That truth is the essence of a novella that is, remarkably, both didactic and romantic. Even more remarkable, its author is an economist. If you read Russell Roberts’s The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity, you will see the world afresh—unless you already understand Friedrich Hayek’s idea of spontaneous order. Roberts sets his story in the Bay Area, where some Stanford students are indignant because a Big Box store doubled its prices after an earthquake. A student leader plans to protest Stanford’s acceptance of a large gift from Big Box. The student’s economics professor, Ruth, rather than attempting to dissuade him, begins leading him and his classmates to an understanding of prices, markets and the marvel of social cooperation.” Roberts will discuss his novel way of teaching economics at a Cato Book Forum, with comments by Nick Gillespie, a literature Ph.D. who is surely the only journalist to have interviewed both Ozzy Osbourne and the 2002 Nobel laureate in economics, Vernon Smith.