Note: PBS as Pro-market

My son-in-law sent an e-mail link to Fareed Zakaria’s interview with de Soto, a show with a moment’s open window at PBS. I suspect the argument will seem less like “a novel way to address global poverty” to most of the readers of this blog than the only way that has worked. Nonetheless, it is pleasant to see such an argument on PBS. The series, Foreign Exchange: Where America Meets the World was developed by Azimuth Media and Oregon Public Broadcasting. (We don’t get it locally but some of the largest markets in the state do.)

4 thoughts on “Note: PBS as Pro-market”

  1. Digression: The American Airlines magazine recently published an interview with DeSoto in its Spanish-language edition, but apparently not in the English edition. They seem to have framed him as a Hispanic intellectual rather than as someone whose ideas have universal appeal. Pity. Also a pity that PBS tends (at least it seems that way to me) to become interested in the likes of DeSoto mainly during pledge drives and funding hearings. I suppose that’s better than sending the police around to enforce payment of television tax, however.

  2. I think my local station is running a show on Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel” tonight.

    I think people underestimate how much the intellectual foundations of socialism have been undermined by the events of the last 20 years. There is a lot of hunger for new ideas within the demographics that in earlier eras would have been hard core socialist.

    A lot of support for PBS comes from people with entrepreneurial experience but with very liberal social values. Call it the gay venture capitalist demographic. These are people willing to accept more market driven solutions to world problems as long as they aren’t marketed as being a product of the socially conservative thinking. I have seen several PBS shows that seem to tilt in that direction. “The New Heros” seems to be about people using warm and fuzzy entrepreneurship to address the problems of the developing world.

    PBS’s new willingness to think outside of the traditional Leftist box is a good thing. I guess the only question is whether they did so on their own or as the result of political pressure.

  3. See also the PBS series “Commanding Heights,” a fairly pro-market exposition about globalization and economic history. It includes a lot of material about Hayek, and also about the Chicago Boys. I rented it from Netflix.

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