Competition scholar Tim Wu (previously) is one of the most cogent, accessible voices in the antitrust debate; his recent book on the subject is a must-read; this week, he debated George Mason University scholar Tyler Cowen, proprietor of Marginal Revolution and one of the leading voices for the expansion of unfettered, unregulated capitalism — he's the face of the notorious Mercatus Center, where rich donors choose the faculty and out pop arguments against universal health care and Net Neutrality.
I follow Cowen's work pretty closely because I really disagree with him and also find that he puts forward persuasive arguments, and delving into the deficiencies in those arguments is a good way to figure out what's missing from my own arguments (a friend once emailed me that Cowan "specializes in the 'hey, maybe there's some merit in this overlooked idea, I don't know, I'm just asking' presentation of appalling ideas").
Cowen's latest book is Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero and it fits in that vein, arguing that businesses might not be big enough.
I've often wondered how Cowen would fare in a debate where someone who was really knowledgeable could rebut him in realtime, and now I know. Wu runs circles around Cowen.
It makes for an entertaining hour — but also an informative one. The rebuttals are really on-point here, and make Cowan's arguments seem very flimsy by comparison.
(via Marginal Revolution)