Glenn and Louis discuss the causes of economic inequality among nations, based on Louis’s recent book, The Good, the Bad, and the Economy. Louis describes the different hypotheses explaining global inequality, contrasting them with his own focus on cultural attitudes propagated across generations within ethnic groups. Glenn wonders whether a history of conquest, colonization and enslavement and/or possible genetic differences between populations might explain some of Louis’s findings. Can the countries left behind ever catch up? Glenn suggests that modern communications technology is making cultural differences across nations less relevant. So is foreign aid a waste of money? And does democracy follow economic growth, or vice versa?
Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and economist Richard Wolff debate the relative merits of planned economies and free markets, as well as the rights of workers to determine the fate of the companies they work for.
Glenn Loury and physicist Stephon Alexander, author of Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider’s Guide to the Future of Physics, discuss the racial achievement gap in quantitative fields and how it might be closed.