In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer interviews Rob Tarr, an expert on economics, about how Ayn Rand’s philosophical approach to economics can help us understand the nature and causes of inflation.
Among the topics covered:
- Whether inflation is an increase in the price level or in the money supply;
- Ayn Rand’s explanation of the epistemological causes of inflation in “Egalitarianism and Inflation”;
- How Rand’s economic views contrast with the Keynesian view;
- How Rand’s economic views compare to those of various free market economists;
- Different ways of measuring inflation;
- The causes of the current increase in prices;
- How the Federal Reserve manipulates money supply and interest rates;
- The impacts of Federal Reserve policy on productive activity;
- Why proposed remedies like price controls, increased corporate taxes and antitrust prosecutions only make matters worse;
- Whether mainstream economists have learned or will learn anything from their failed predictions.
Mentioned in the discussion are Rand’s lecture “Egalitarianism and Inflation,” her book Philosophy: Who Needs It (in which the lecture is reprinted), the bound volume of her periodical the Ayn Rand Letter (in which it first appeared) and Tarr’s essay “Economic Theory and Conceptions of Value: Rand and the Austrians versus the Mainstream” from the book Foundations of a Free Society, edited by Gregory Salmieri and Robert Mayhew.
The podcast was recorded on March 19, 2022 and was broadcast on March 30, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.