On Monday, 4/12/21, Dr. Antony Davies was on campus at Oklahoma State University presenting a lecture to the Free Enterprise Society about Cooperation & Coercion. The event was livestreamed on OStateTV.
Here is the link to the rebroadcast (archive) of the recording. (NOTE: There was a mic problem during the start of Dr. Davies' talk; it only lasts for a minute or so.)
Only Two Ways to Influence Someone ...
There are only two ways that humans work together: they cooperate with one another, or they coerce one another (or they employ some combination of the two). Once individuals realize this fundamental fact, it changes how they see the world.
By looking for cooperation and coercion in everyday life, individuals can begin to make sense of a wide range of issues that dominate the public debate -- gaining a clearer understanding of everything from the minimum wage to taxes, from gun control to government regulations, from the War on Terror to the War on Drugs to the War on Poverty.
It turns out that coercion is necessary . . . sometimes. Even in a democracy, we all abide by rules, including plenty that we don’t agree with, in the name of getting along.
But in the end, cooperation without question is the key to human happiness and progress. The more we encourage it, the better off we all are.
Salient Quotes from Dr. Davies’ book:
Every regulation, no matter how apparently benign, comes with the implied threat of violence. Every regulation ultimately includes a death penalty.
Some people argue to increase the minimum wage because $10 an hour is better than $7. Others argue not to because $7 an hour is better than $0.
The government loves declaring war on common nouns. Poverty. Drugs. Terror. These will never end. And now you can add viruses to the list.
Remember that time you wanted to buy something but you couldn’t afford it so you put it back? That’s the biggest difference between you and the government. The govern-ment never puts anything back.
The federal government’s debt is nearly seven times its income. That’s like a person who makes $60,000 having a $400,000 credit card balance.
For the last 70 years, regardless of whether tax rates were high or low … the federal government has collected about 17% of GDP in tax revenue. Every year.
Who is Dr. Antony Davies?
Dr. Davies is an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Davies specializes in econometrics, public policy, and economic psychology.
Davies has published op-eds in newspapers and magazines throughout the country including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Forbes, and Investors Business Daily.
In addition, he is an entrepreneur, inventor, movie producer, weekly podcaster (Words & Numbers), and successful YouTuber (his YouTube videos on economics and statistics have garnered over 3 million views).
Davies earned his BS in economics from Saint Vincent College and his PhD in economics from the State University of New York at Albany.