On Show 28 of the Mises UK Podcast, Andy Duncan speaks to Professor Guido Hülsmann about a new forthcoming book that he’s working on, based on the concept of a free lunch, or rather the political economy of gratuitousness. In a packed interview, along the way we also cover a pertinent encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI, the economic consequences of gifts, the definition of a proper gift, spontaneous gratuitousness, what defines an improper gift, the fallacy of government ‘generosity’, the implausibility of Keynesian ‘economics’, the ‘welfare’ state, intellectual ‘property’, the possible collapse of the Euro, and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. What more could you possibly ask for in a podcast on Austrian Economics?
Today, I want to look at an issue on which I think libertarian ideas, as they’re often put forward today, are a bit simplistic and weak. I refer to “intellectual property.” But I’ll begin with some scenarios involving real (or not so real) property.