The AIER Standard is a production of the American Institute for Economic Research hosted by Ethan Yang. This is a series of conversations with leading scholars, professionals, and activists on their cutting-edge work regarding economic freedom, sound money, and personal liberty.
Regulating the Regulators: How West Virginia v. EPA Changes Everything-Todd Gaziano
On this episode of the AIER Standard Ethan sits down with Pacific Legal Foundation's Todd Gaziano, who is their Chief of Legal Policy and Strategic Research, to discuss the recent landmark Supreme Court Decision, West Virginia v. EPA. Todd is a veteran legal mind in the free market and classical liberal movement having previously served as a director at the Heritage Foundation's legal studies center. Mr. Gaziano also held positions in the federal government, including the Department of Justice and the US Commission on Civil Rights.
The conversation covers the implications of West Virginia v. EPA, which checked the administrative state's power to make rules and regulations without more explicit Congressional authorization. Ethan and Todd discuss the premise and history of the administrative state, its role today, and why limits on its power matter. Furthermore, Todd explains the legal constraints placed on the administrative state due to the decision and how they tie into a broader conversation about non-delegation, Chevron Deference, and the balance of federal power. Finally, Todd and Ethan discuss how the structural incentives before and after West Virginia v. EPA affect the way our democratic system of government functions.
A Review of Lockdown Efficacy: A Much Needed Conversation
On this episode, Ethan speaks with AIER Senior Research Faculty Phil Magness and Research Fellow Michael Makovi to discuss their academic paper on the efficacy of lockdown policies. The discussion covers the justifications behind non-pharmaceutical interventions, commonly referred to as lockdowns, their effects, and flaws in their implementation. Phil and Michael explain the methodology in their paper, how their study compares to other studies, and why they conclude that lockdowns had no significant role in preventing excess deaths. Finally, the conversation ends by discussing the dangers of combining politics with science and thoughts looking ahead.
Identity and the Law: A Critique of Racial Classification-David Bernstein
On this episode of the AIER Standard, Ethan Yang speaks with Law Professor David Bernstein about his work on racial classification in American law. Bernstein is the author of the forthcoming book Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America where he explores the origins and controversies surrounding the government’s involvement in race relations. The conversation touches on the history and politics related to racial identity in this country while emphasizing the messy nature of state classification schemes. Bernstein outlines how the individuals that are included in certain categories often disagree or take issue with being lumped into certain ethnic and racial groups. In particular, he explains the disputes and frustrations that arise from attempting to lump diverse individuals into categories for the purposes of assigning benefits. Finally, he gives insight and predictions on the sustainability of the contemporary American obsession with race and its influence on the law. Professor Bernstein received his Juris Doctorate from Yale University and teaches law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Law and Liberty Center and previously taught law at schools such as the University of Michigan, Georgetown, and William and Marry.
Tyranny of the Majority: Lessons From Tocqueville and Antiquity-Will Ogilvie
On this episode of the AIER Standard, Ethan Yang sits down with Will Ogilvie to discuss the threat of the tyranny of the majority and the upkeep of a free, democratic society as observed by the great Alexis de Tocqueville. Will is a Long Term Research Fellow at AIER and a professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. Ethan and Will discuss the benefits and dangers inherent to societies that uphold equality and collective governance. Will explains that although freedom and equality enable human flourishing, they also enable mob rule and despotism. The conversation covers a number of topics highlighted by Tocqueville's observations of 19th century America as well as the thoughts of political philosophers dating back to Ancient Greece. Throughout the conversation, Will explains how private associations help channel the forces of democracy toward productive ends and away from the tyranny of the majority.
Inflation Today: Causes, Consequences, and Lessons-Will Luther
On this episode of the newly rebranded AIER Standard, formerly the Authors Corner, Ethan Yang speaks with Will Luther on the hot topic of inflation. Will Luther is the Director of AIER’s Sound Money Project and an economics professor at Florida Atlantic University. During this conversation, Will explains the causes and consequences of today’s inflation. In particular, this interview outlines the role of the Federal Reserve in managing, in this case mismanaging, the money supply and how that leads to detrimental price increases. Next, he offers comments and criticism on the policy direction America’s central bank took during the Covid-19 pandemic while responding to competing explanations about inflation today. Finally, he outlines what optimal monetary policy looks like and how instruments like the gold standard could aid in the maintenance of sound money. Throughout the conversation, Will offers insight into the lessons everyone can take from the otherwise troubling case of inflation today.