Talking Brook: 'Yaron Brook Show: Economic Lies—Wages & Productivity'
What does Dr. Brook say about Hawaiian pizza?
After some technical difficulties, Dr. Brook outlines the show. He wishes everyone a happy Columbus Day and sets the tone for the show. He will be talking about economics, something that some people may find to be dry and boring. But not with Dr. Brook. He enlivens each talk about this subject with easy-to-follow examples, and he explains big words so that anyone can understand the arcane terms. Dr. Brook points out that if an employer doesn’t pay you for the work you do and you deserve it, then you should go to the intelligent employer or remain at the level for which the original employer will pay you.
Productivity lies at the crux of what wages will be paid out to employees. He shows a graph that displays a disparity between productivity and hourly compensation that “can’t be right.” Dr. Brook holds that the graph is a lie. With a PhD, you might expect someone to throw out random figures and seem like they swallowed a dictionary and set out to spew terminology. Dr. Brook skates past this kind of approach and allows the viewers and listeners get a more ideological understanding through clarity. Dr. Brook says that people like Trump and Krugman “are lying about economics.”
Fox News, MSNBC, and other outlets on the left and right tell lies about the economy. With just a single graph, Dr. Brook delineates the truths of the matter while knocking down fallacies. He says that you should be measuring the wage inequality, which has increased. Not only is this a fact, it’s a good thing. He finds that there exist two different measures of inflation which “make no sense.” He breaks down that once you explain the statistics, you can see how straightforward it is. If Trump had stood on principle concerning China and intellectual property, or the protesters in Hong Kong, that could be understood. American companies in China would take $200 billion dollars and invest it in other companies back in the US. Those companies then will buy items from China. Dr. Brook asks what’s the point of having money if you don’t spend it. Trade deficits on the terms of individualism are detrimental. Economically, they don’t make any sense either.
Dr. Brook doesn’t care what happens to American farmers or Brazilian farmers. Here’s where most people would raise an eyebrow. He challenges his audience to not be “America First” minded when it comes to the economy. That term should only concern foreign policy.
Dr. Yaron Brook explains that the Chinese want dollars “primarily to invest.” Still, the deficit remains static. He drops the names of some blogs that are incomplete but feature some flashes of brilliance packaged within them. The Grumpy Economist, Marginal Revolution, Money Illusion, and Alt/M(onetary Policy) are not picture perfect laissez-faire capitalist bastions, but they all provide profound and sometimes erudite and technical economic information.
In low-wage industries, such as convenience stores, department stores, casinos and other places have seen growth in wages, according to Dr. Brook. Nobody talks about it, though. The left would argue that this phenomenon is due to minimum wage hikes, but the good doctor blasts this idea away with facts. Dr. Brook comes with receipts saying that the data is out there and can be found in towering publications such as The Atlantic and The New York Times. The answer to rising wages at the bottom is to absorb more immigrants into the economy.
Dr. Brook concedes that the government spends billions of dollars collecting data. He’s not saying that this is necessarily a good thing but just a matter of fact.
Gulf states talk surfaces on the show. Dr. Brook explains that cash made from oil is channeled into skyscrapers and other structures. In another question that he answers, Dr. Brook says that the mind is the root of all innovation and invention. The “primary thing that makes innovation possible is thinking individuals.” Thinking requires freedom. Freedom is possible only when coercion is removed. Freedom permits individuals the space to come up with things from the phonograph to the iPhone. For now, at least, in Silicon Valley there exists the freedom to think and to act.
A query about America in the 1980s and 1990s concerns the idea of whether America was freer then as opposed to now. In terms of finance, the 80s and early 90s saw greater freedom. Socially, if someone were gay or lesbian, they saw little freedom within the culture. Dr. Brook admits that he likes most of his followers, but he doesn’t like everyone. He is inspired by his audience and appreciates the fact that he inspires people. The followers, not the supporters, that post horrific content remain to be undesirables. Nihilists of the right are what the good doctor really “can’t stand.” But he reaps great joy in the fact that as of this writing, he’s been involved in Objectivism for 42 years. He also allows his viewers and listeners to know that he really hates to write and that he has been able to “write” books because of his co-author Don Watkins' skills.
Dr. Brook the teacher selfishly takes pleasure in being able to interact with his audience. The trade of instructing his supporters and their actions in subscribing, liking, sharing, and Super Chatting propel him. In a question about Christopher Columbus, Dr. Brook explains that he was a mixed bag and that the idea is to consider Columbus as a “man of his times.” The ability to explore new worlds and to expand knowledge of the earth and the surroundings is the virtue of Columbus. Dr. Brook admires a risk-taker, and mainly criticizes Columbus’ “religiosity.”
His faith led to the slaughter of the inhabitants of the Americas. But that should not diminish the great import and legacy of this man who without GPS, maps, or advanced navigation tools laid the groundwork for, namely, the most moral nation in world history, the USA. Dr. Brook then delves into the fun topic of sushi and says that he’s a “foodie.” From food to sex, Dr. Brook performs a Judo Chop by stating that everyone should have some kind of “click” or care about sexual partners. Like a martial artist, he attacks this question about the young person feeling alone after sex. He promotes the idea of having sex with people before you get married. He suggests to his audience to enjoy sex and to share values with another person. Dr. Brook says that we’ve lost the “spiritual nature” of sex.
In another question, Dr. Brook says that on issues of masculinity and femininity there is wrong and right. But there’s a lot of smart work that goes into it. “Knowledge” to the good doctor, “is contextual.” And so is truth. “There is only one right answer” but to arrive at that solution, it requires mental training. To get Objectivism, it means that an individual must consume the literature and the lectures and the volumes that entail discovering, applying, and integrating this radical philosophy. Dr. Leonard Peikoff is one of the only people on the planet that it takes great effort for Dr. Brook to disagree with on given subjects.
Dr. Brook dives into the food topic again based on a question about Hawaiian pizza. To it, he says that he loves it. What is shown here is the fact that he can relate to his audience with just a discussion on what foods he likes. This gives greater understanding of Dr. Brook’s personal tastes which integrate with all of the serious topics that he fields. The lighter side of him shines through when he then discusses Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” He finds the song to be motivating and inspiring and that he would use it on his shows but it would be too obvious. (Didn’t he use it on his BlogTalkRadio shows?)
If you had fully open borders across the world, wealth would blossom in a massive way, Dr. Brook holds. He gives a concrete example of how the smartest people in Africa would be able to come to Silicon Valley and create, build, and produce significantly. The question then turns close to Dr. Brook’s home in Puerto Rico as he demonstrates that the people who moved from Puerto Rico are better off even if there are fewer Puerto Ricans on the island.
The last Super Chat question asks whether his PhD was worth it. Dr. Brook said that if he could do it all over he would have maybe earned a doctorate in history or economics. He does not regret his PhD in any way. Dr. Brook then takes a question on tariffs for which he says that such activity on exports is “stupid.” Dr. Brook then tells a questioner to go to OCON if he or she wants to meet his wife. Next, he talks about his subscriptions and how he has experienced “spikes” but the growth has not been too remarkable.
To cap the show, Dr. Brook discusses his appreciation of The Last of the Mohicans (1992) which he says is from the eighties. This is a small error and insignificant when he breaks down that he enjoys the individualism, the courage, and pride involved in the film. It’s something to consider and a selection from movie land to watch.