P.J. O’Rourke on the Daily Show

Viacom put the entire archive of Daily Show with Jon Stewart online last October. I haven’t seen many bloggers mention this, and no conservative blogger, so at least part of our readers may not heard about this yet. The Daily Show may be a bit too liberal for the taste of most Chicago Boyz contributors and readers, but there is a lot of good stuff there.

For example, there is this clip of P.J. O’Rourke presenting his new book, On the Wealth of Nations. O’Rourke has done something many eminent economists never managed or got around to, he worked his way through Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, or ‘The Wealth of Nations’, as it is more commonly called. And O’Rourke actually managed to get such a good grasp on this difficult subject matter that he was able to write a book of his own that makes it accessible to the general public.

The book is highly recommend, an excerpt from the first chapter can be found here.

(The first link to the Daily Show leads to the index page there, but it directly leads to the clip with P.J. O’Rourke, too, at least when I click on it).

1 thought on “P.J. O’Rourke on the Daily Show”

  1. > …my ability to purchase cheap China-made nails is unlikely to have worked out well for the people who once made nails in the United States. This is Adam Smith’s famous hand of the market at work: it pats specialists like O’Rourke and me on the head, while it gives unemployed blue-collar workers in the Midwest the middle finger. Maybe as a society, the United States saves money by exporting manufacturing jobs and importing so many manufactured goods — but I still have trouble believing that it’s good for us in the long run. Unlike many free-market devotees, O’Rourke and Smith don’t confuse self-interest with greed: “A recurring lesson in ‘The Wealth of Nations’ is that we shouldn’t get greedy,” O’Rourke writes. Good for them, because while it may seem a subtle point, self-interest and greed are antithetical to each other.
    > Consider Enron, where cooking the corporate books inflated the stock price, making some book-cookers hugely wealthy. For a while. Ultimately, the scheme came undone, the greedy book-cookers suffered jail sentences, capitalism got a well-deserved black eye. Greed wasn’t good — and it sure wasn’t smart.
    > I could do without some of O’Rourke’s gratuitous insults of various people, almost all of whom seem to be liberals. Despite this peccadillo — some people might say because of it — this book is well worth reading.

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