Alex Tabarrok is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He joins the podcast to talk to Richard Hanania about his involvement in Operation Warp Speed, a uniquely successful federal government project. Richard asks how broadly applicable its lessons are, whether or not we could do something similar for cancer, and why economists and public health officials had such divergent opinions on the need to speed up the process of approving and distributing a vaccine.
Alex also discusses the Baumol effect, which he argues can explain much about rising costs in healthcare and education. Richard pushes back on the theory as a sufficient explanation, and asks whether a simple libertarian story better fits the facts, arguing that government support for these industries also plays a role.
The conversation then goes on to talk about the rise of crypto, why America is severely under-policed, and how recent years have seen the collapse of challenges to liberal democracy.