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Lunch with Tyler Cowen

From this interesting interview with Tyler Cowen:

I turn to politics. What does he look for in a candidate? “What I would like to vote for is a candidate that is socially liberal, a fiscal conservative, broadly libertarian with a small ‘l’ but sensible and pragmatic and with a chance of winning. That’s more or less the empty set.”

The closest to this he ever found were the Free Democrats in West Germany. This inevitably leads us to today’s Germany and the eurozone crisis. “Well I think I’ve always been the hopeful one,” he says once the kidfo is scoffed. For Cowen, it is vital to separate the euro from Europe. “It’s remarkable what a religion [the euro] can be … This is the symbol of the fact we don’t shoot at each other any more – it’s not! It’s a misguided currency area and you weren’t shooting at each other before you had it.

Two very significant claims (with which I agree) in two paragraphs.  The interview is filled with these nuggets.  One last one:

Nevertheless, he is worried about the number of people going into finance. “I think about this a lot: you’re young, you come from a smart, wealthy family, you’re somehow supposed to show that you’re successful quite quickly. Banking, law, consultancy allow you to do this; engineering, science and entrepreneurship less so. Your friends expect it, your parents, your potential mates do … So we see so many talented people very quickly having to signal how smart they are but that may not be the longest-term social productivity.”

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