Episode 91: Economic ‘Inequality’ isn’t the Problem

Michael Schaus

Free to Offend Episode 91 | Guest: Justin Callais, Archbridge Institute  
We hear a lot about “economic inequality” as a growing problem in the nation. However, we don’t hear nearly as much about what really matters to most people: economic mobility. 

Economic mobility is the simple idea that we’re capable of bettering our lot in life – that we have the ability to build a business, learn a new skill or find a better job and start climbing into higher socioeconomic classes.

Justin T. Callais, PhD, is a research fellow at the Archbridge Institute and the lead researcher for the institute’s Social Mobility Index project. He joined the podcast to discuss why this metric should matter more to academics and policymakers than merely measuring the “inequalities” between social classes.

Read the Transcript

Justin Callais: If you just think about in terms of the ease at which one can move, right, one can move much more easily across states than one can across countries, right?

Michael Schaus: This is Free to Offend. I’m your host, Michael Schaus. I am very happy to welcome our guest, Justin Callais. He is the Research Fellow at Archbridge Institute. He’s also an Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Justin, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

Justin Callais: Yeah, Michael, thank you for having me on. I’m really looking forward to the conversation.

Michael Schaus: So, this is one of those topics that I really like because we hear a lot about like the wage gap, or the fact that the rich are getting richer, poor are getting poorer. But one thing that we don’t talk nearly enough about, in my opinion, is economic mobility.

It is this idea that if I am born in a particular economic class, and I’m able to move up the economic ladder, so to speak, that should really be where our focus is, I think, when it comes to public policy and just economic policy in general. This is something that you have studied a lot about. In fact, you guys have a new working paper, Intergenerational Mobility, Social Capital and Economic Freedom.

Talk to me a little bit about why this should be such an important part of the conversation when we’re talking about economic mobility.

Justin Callais: I completely agree with you. I think it is one of the more important topics that is probably less discussed than it really should be, in my opinion.

I think one of the major issues is whenever we speak of income inequality, like you mentioned, the rich getting richer, poor getting poorer, the reason that we really care about that is because we think it, either directly or indirectly, has some impact on mobility, right? Like the reason that we actually even focus on income inequality other than, I guess, from a sort of fairness perspective is really because most people believe that it can be a hindrance towards exactly mobility, right?

The ability for people to work their way up, both in absolute terms -so just being able to earn a higher wage over time -or relatively, in terms of people being able to jump income classes. And if you’re born in the bottom 10 percent that you’re not necessarily going to be stuck there for the rest of your life, the idea that basically the status of your parents isn’t going to determine the future that you have.

That’s really kind of all about what the American dream is really all about, right? That idea that you can work your way up and that you have the ability to. I think that’s one of the kind of key aspects that we really want to focus on as academics, as especially people in policy, particularly people who are more market oriented.

I think it’s just a topic that, at least the people that are market oriented, I feel like have not put as much focus on it as we maybe should, and that’s kind of one of the major reasons that I love this topic, and I find it very interesting.

Michael Schaus: I want to know some of the kind of staples that you think need to be applied to an economic system in order for people to have that freedom to grow economically, to have that economic mobility.

One of the things that pops into my mind immediately is entrepreneurship, a culture that rewards on entrepreneurship. And I’m speaking, of course, as a small business owner myself, but also just looking where I live in Las Vegas, we’ve got a lot of people who do have relatively poor paying jobs. And it’s surprisingly difficult if you’ve got an idea for a business or something to go out there and start that business.

So, I think entrepreneurship and kind of creating a culture of entrepreneurship is one of the areas, but what are some of the key things that you think the movement ought to focus on if we’re really going to drive home this idea of economic mobility.

Justin Callais: Yeah, I think that’s another great question. I think with respect to sort of policies or sort of ways in which governments tend to most get in the way of entrepreneurship is mostly occupational licensing. People in our kind of broader like idea circle have really been focusing on lately is this idea of occupational licensing and the burdens that it places.

Louisiana has some of the most burdensome occupational licensing’s in the entire country. We’re right there with low income jobs. I believe last time I checked, Nevada is also pretty high up.

And for example, in Louisiana, we’re the only state that requires a license to be a florist. I could see the arguments, for safety reasons, for why you would want licenses for doctors and healthcare professionals, and even certain other occupations. But it seems like florist is not one of those things that we’re really protecting the consumers. It really seems like it’s all about sort of protecting the incumbents who are already working in those fields, rather than trying to allow people to actually move up, right?

So, the actual licenses in order to actually perform these tasks are important, but also the not just the ability to do it, but how easy are you making it to actually receive a license or receive permission in order to do something.

If it costs a lot of money and it takes months or years of educational training, who are the people who are most able to afford that? The people who are most able to afford that are going to be the ones who are already in the upper income distribution.

People who are at the bottom 10 or 20 percent, who are earning just above or at the poverty line, aren’t going to be able to take off six months or a year of their life in order to get a license to be a hairdresser or a florist or any of these things that we really should just let the market figure itself out, right? If you’re not equipped at being a florist or a hairdresser, people are going to stop coming to you. And we’re letting those market forces work its way out.

You also allow people to take on risks, right? So, the idea is if you have this sort of free flowing movement of people doing the tasks that they want to try, not every business is going to work out, but you’re at least having the ideas of kind of throwing it out there and having the possibility of it working.

But you’re stifling even the possibility or the potential of those businesses forming, especially if you look at how entrepreneurs succeed over time, the first business is very likely to fail. But you know, as entrepreneurs try multiple businesses, they eventually learn things just like I’m sure we have learned things over the course of our careers, right? Well, entrepreneurs learn in the same way. They learn, they get market feedback, they get better ideas, they learn more skills over time. And so, if you look at the success rate of entrepreneurs, it’s usually not the first idea that’s the one that leads to real big success. It’s normally the second, third, or fourth idea.

But if you have regulations at each specific industry, then you’re not allowing for those chances to be taken, right? You’re making it harder for those to take those chances. And then also the ones who are able to take those chances are exactly the ones who are already doing pretty well off to begin with.

These sort of regulations, licensing or easing the easiness to start a business is really sort of, I think, one of the biggest barriers to increasing income inequality, but also more importantly, and at least in my opinion, increasing the gap in income mobility that we see in the U.S. right now.

Michael Schaus: We actually just saw this play out recently here in Nevada. I know that it’s been playing out in California as well. On kind of a very specific level talking about the food vendors, the folks that have like the taco truck, for example, or some sort of a hot dog cart or something.

A lot of these folks, especially I know out in L. A. because I’ve got family out there are not people who have gone through all the regulatory process or anything. And the city keeps on trying to shut them down rather than saying how do we create a legal avenue for them to do this easily?

Because it’s ridiculous when you look at some of the regulations. You need to have a commercial kitchen. You need to have storage for everything. I mean, you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars to run a taco cart. It’s ridiculous. Clearly somebody wouldn’t have that ability to do it.

And it’s strange to me because it’s a good example, kind of like the hairdresser example, or out here in Nevada, interior decorators need to be licensed.

Justin Callais: I believe in Louisiana as well.

Michael Schaus: Yeah. It amazes me. But all of those are examples of occupations that are generally going to be people who don’t necessarily have a whole lot of money to begin with, who are trying to go out and do something, build something of their own and climb that economic ladder. We’re making it harder and harder for them.

I guess if that was going to lead into a question, it’d be in your view, how much economic mobility do we actually have right now? Because the narrative seems to be that we don’t have a whole lot. As you pointed out, when we’re talking about economic inequality, we hear all the time that if you are born in a poor part of the city, you’re just going to be there forever. Is that really the case? Or are we just not noticing the economic mobility that actually currently exists?

Justin Callais: I believe that there’s basically too many restrictions on mobility to begin with. But I also think that, going back to your more direct question, it’s really different depending on where you look within the country. It’s not equal across the country as you might expect.

If you look at Raj Chetty and a lot of his colleagues that he has at Harvard and at Opportunity Atlas, they look at social and income mobility across all parts of the country. And they find that there’s massive differences. So typically places that have really poor, sort of social systems. That’s mainly their focus, poor social systems or what’s called social capital, basically the connectedness amongst people. They see that as a huge determinant in income mobility.

Whenever we look at income mobility, me and some of my co-authors like Vincent Joloso and Alicia Plummings, we look at the market forces in terms of in those areas. And we find that both of those factors hold. So economic freedom leads to more mobility, but also social capital matters as well. So that’s sort of connectedness between people.

So, when looking at it across the country, you really see that the Midwest seems to be doing the best in terms of income mobility, which for me at least was interesting to look at.

The Midwest and Utah seem to be the places that are really doing the best. I think Utah has made a lot of strides because they have a system in terms of kind of a no wrong door system with respect to getting social services.

If you are going to have a society that has some sort of welfare system, and most of it’s being done at the federal level, the easiness that you can access it is going to matter a lot, right?

If you want to go, in many other parts of the country, and you want to access these different services, you have to go to 25 different buildings and make sure you fill out the right forms. You’ve got to spend multiple days. And again, these are the people who really would be best suited to spend that extra time instead trying to either learn a skill or try to apply for a job and try to get their way out of their economic situation easier. Instead, they’re having to go through all these hoops and spend weeks just to get sort of the bare necessities that they need.

So, Utah has done a really good job in terms of making it easy for its citizens to access these social services. I think that’s something that a lot of other states, I believe, are even forbidden from doing. I think Utah was kind of grandfathered in.

Michael Schaus: It doesn’t surprise me that Utah is showing a lot of promise because I’ve talked with a couple of other guests just about the economic conditions in Utah. They’ve got regulatory sandboxes. So, if you’ve got a brand new idea, you can basically go and say, “Hey, look, I have this idea. Regulations don’t let me do it right now. Can I just try it?” And they’ll allow you to give it a shot. They’ve got regulatory sandboxes.

I know that they’re pretty low on regulation and taxes anyway, because they tend to be a very red state. They do, as you point out, have easy access to the social services. And most of Utah seems to be very community focused, even when you’re looking at the big city, like Salt Lake City or something.

Salt Lake City is one of my favorite cities, by the way, to go visit, cause it’s just beautiful. But there’s very much a culture of we’re all going to kind of work together and try to get this done.

So, it’s a strange mix of everything that I think. Obviously, you don’t have that in California, where every time you turn around, there’s a new tax, new regulation or a new barrier to entry into a new market if you want to do something. Nevada is probably somewhere more in the middle.

I imagine that another part of it that I consider to be pretty important is just how much we prize private property. And this is something it’s on my mind because I was talking to somebody about this out in Nevada. But the short term rentals where people wanted to rent out their homes for guests, that, of course, has been cracked down on big time by Clark County and the state of Nevada. They don’t really like that.

And it was the hotel lobby that was driving the city to say let’s not allow this. But to me, that’s such a good example of how private property rights are kind of a critical component of all this. Because if it’s your property and you’re free to mostly do what you want with your property, you’re going to have a whole lot more opportunities as your life goes on to go, as you said, take those risks. And taking risks with your own property seems like a really big first step to giving people the opportunity to go out there and build a better life.

Justin Callais: No, I completely agree. And I think the short term rentals is one of the really great example of regulators missing the forest for the trees, right?

Basically, the argument is we already have a housing shortage. A lot of people want to move to places like Nevada, right? Nevada has one of the highest in migration rates in the entire country. A lot of people moving from California to escape a lot of the taxes and regulations.

And as someone who’s been to Las Vegas a lot, it’s a very pleasant city. It’s a city that it seems a lot of people find attractive to live in. They look at all these new people coming in. They’re like, “We have nowhere to house them. Housing’s really expensive. So, we need to put these short term housing regulations in order to stop the people from Airbnb-ing it so we can use it on people who are actually going to live here.”

But that’s again looking at just the surface level, but while the more fundamental structural level is probably not allowing enough housing to be built in the first place, right? If you just allowed for deregulation of a lot of zoning laws, specifically with single family housing, then we wouldn’t have the situation, right? If the whole bunch of people want to move into a city, construction companies and builders are going to respond accordingly and are happy to build more houses in order to fill in that gap of people.

Michael Schaus: Isn’t it funny, especially their argument there. I understand the argument. They say we’ve got a housing shortage, so we can’t just have “investors” buy these up and use them in short term rentals.

It’s like you almost got it right because you recognize that supply is an issue there. But the answer, as you point out, should be build more houses and then we don’t really have to worry about this. They obviously take the regulatory approach instead.

We saw this when it came to Uber and Lyft and everything else as well. These new ideas, new ways of empowering people. And we’ve seen the same thing.

There’ve been attack after attack when it comes to “contract workers”. You know, I forget what it was. Was it Prop 5 or something out in California that basically looked to reclassify what an actual employee is. And for a little while there, it looked like every single Uber driver was going to be classified as an actual employee. The company was like, “We can’t do that. A lot of people are going to lose their job as a result.”

Again, I think the focus too often from regulators is not on how do we make it easier for people to go out there and make money. It seems to be how do we restrict people ostensibly for the greater good or what have you. But almost every regulation by design is designed to say, we are going to restrict some sort of an activity. And when you get way too many of those piled up on top of each other, you see an erosion of private property rights. You see an erosion of economic mobility.

What do you say to folks who say, “Look, maybe a big part of the problem here is that we just simply are not doing enough social services.” In a lot of poor neighborhoods, for example, the schools are bad. They might not have access to small business loans because their credit’s bad. It creates this ” cycle of poverty” that becomes intergenerational.

How do you respond to that? What are some things that you could do to put an end to that intergenerational poverty?

Justin Callais: Not to repeat myself, but I feel like, again, it’s the issue of missing the forest for the trees here. Yes, I agree and it’s a fundamental fact that there are a lot of people with bad credit that cannot afford to get loans, both to buy a house that can build up some equity over time, but also to start a business or do whatever they want.

And the main reason is you have a lot of regulations on lenders, right? You have a lot of regulations that lenders have in terms of how you can basically loan out the money and all the hoops you need to go through in order to do that.

With respect to education, I think another kind of issue is linking -and I could see where the idea came from- a lot of school funding to property taxes. Well, what’s going to happen is, the places that are most valuable are going to be the ones that receive the most funds and you’re only going to further the distribution or basically the gap between the quality of schools.

So, I think allowing for something like school choice or vouchers or a lot of other really good options that I believe are out there can allow people again to not have their most fundamental years be determined by necessarily the status of their parents.

So not only are we stifling the parents through regulations, we’re also in a roundabout way, stifling the kids from achieving prosperity in the future and making it both harder on their parents as well as on the students and the children themselves to actually move up.

I think going back to something you mentioned, regulatory sandboxes are something that I kind of recently became familiar with in the last few months. And I find that to be something very interesting. If I am remembering it correctly, it’s the idea that basically we have these regulations in place of starting a business, maybe in these specific industries, but you want to try something new and you want to take on a risk. Well, let’s just temporarily suspend them, right? Anytime that a regulation gets overthrown or thrown out, the fear is just as easy as they can get rid of it, they can add it back in.

I think you saw this in Idaho, who put on a whole bunch of deregulations. Not necessarily that they cut the regulations, but they allowed them to expire. I think at first there was this kind of pause. Are they’re going to just eventually put the regulations back in. It took time for people to realize, no, they’re not going to put those regulations back in.

This is sort of a real structural thing that Idaho is trying to do in the future. I think having something like a regulatory sandbox, which I’m not sure Nevada’s status on this, but just allowing people to take on a risk.

Michael Schaus: We’re slowly approaching it.

Justin Callais: I don’t believe Louisiana is doing too much with respect to this, but I think that’s another one. Louisiana is one of the more heavily regulated states, both in terms of the state level regulations, the ones that they put on themselves, but also, you know, most of the regulations, or a lot of the regulations, are done at the federal level now.

The Mercatus Center has data that looks at basically how federal regulations impacts states, basically looking at all these regulations across industries and asking how much is it going to impact these states. I believe Louisiana is the most heavily regulated from the federal government. So not only are they kind of hurting themselves with the regulations they put on themselves, I believe they’re in the top seven or 10 with respect to that, but they’re also the most heavily regulated that the federal government’s imposing.

And while there’s nothing you can do about that, I think some of the issues, with respect to Louisiana, is the idea that one of the reasons they’re the most heavily regulated state from the federal level is there’s a lot of regulations on oil and gas. Something I’ve looked at in previous work is that Louisiana, in my opinion, is at least overly reliant on oil and gas, not in the sense that I think there’s anything necessarily wrong with oil and gas, but just the idea that we want to allow for a diverse economy that has a lot of different industries.

As soon as you’re overly reliant on just one specific industry, anytime there’s an oil spike, that’s good for the economy. But as often there is a spike, there’s also a crash. And you know, that’s especially detrimental and you aren’t able to kind of weather the storms over time.

I think something like a regulatory sandbox is something that at least allows people to take on risks that they otherwise might be afraid to both in terms of the money that it would take to follow the regulations or also the fears of if you got rid of the regulation, you could be very concerned that they’re just going to put the regulation right back. And then you did all that investment in time for nothing.

So, I think those sandboxes are really kind of neat idea in terms of you can now sort of try this, right? We’re kind of going to temporarily let you do it. It allows the business, the consumers, and the regulators to see if this works or if the safety concerns that we had or consumer interest concerns that we had really valid. I’m always nervous that something like that would just eventually turn into perhaps cronyism.

Michael Schaus: Right.

Justin Callais: At least it’s a starting point to at least letting someone try. I’d rather at least allow someone to try in the first place and then figure out ways to stop cronyism later.

Michael Schaus: That was always one of my worries. Whenever I’ve had somebody on talking about it, I always bring that up. What concerns me is here in Nevada, for example, the casino industry is obviously huge. Are they going to get all sorts of breaks, but other businesses are going to be like, no, sorry, we’re not going to give you the break.

And the one response that I got that I really liked is it moves us towards a better regulatory framework where flexibility actually matters. It at least injects a little bit of flexibility into the regulatory framework where if Uber came along, they could say let’s do this for a little while and see what works and what doesn’t work. That’d be a huge step forward from where we are now where it’s just here’s the regulation we wrote in 1960 and it’s still here.

As far as the federal regulations are concerned, I absolutely sympathize with Louisiana because here in Nevada, we’ve got 80 some odd percent of our land is federally owned. Obviously, the casino industry and gambling has got federal implications.

And you see kind of a glimmer of hope though. You see more and more little areas where I think people are realizing why are the feds involved here in the first place. And I’m thinking specifically of, for example, the legal marijuana market here in Nevada.

It’s legal on the state level as it is in California and many other states. But federally, it’s still frowned upon, and so they can’t access normal banking services. It becomes really tricky for them to file income taxes because of that. And it creates this whole new host of problems on top of all the regulatory problems you already have on the state level.

Justin Callais: Kind of jumping in there really quick. One interesting fact that I learned pretty recently was if you’re an immigrant trying to get a work visa, they ask where you are going to go work. If you’re like I’m going to work at this marijuana company in a state where it’s legal, since immigration is done at a federal level, the federal government says, “Oh, no, that’s illegal. You can’t do it.” And it’s but it is legal in the state that I’m doing it, right, like that I’m moving to go do it.

Michael Schaus: This is where federalism seems to be a really wonderful idea as well. As you pointed out, we already have huge diversity throughout the states. California’s economic mobility is going to be very different than the economic mobility in Colorado or Arkansas or Louisiana or fill in the blank. I know the answer to this, it’s going to be very important, but how important is federalism and just recognizing the more that states can do themselves, the better it’s going to be for economic mobility in the broader scheme of things.

I’m always frustrated and granted, I’m a very libertarian guy, so I tend to get upset with both the left and the right in equal measure just over different things.

Justin Callais: Fair enough.

Michael Schaus: But on the federal level, it seems like every year, it doesn’t matter who’s in charge, we’re getting more regulations. They just might be different types of regulations.

Justin Callais: Yeah, which industry you’re regulating.

Michael Schaus: Yeah, Democrats are in charge, let’s regulate the heck out of oil and gas. Republicans get in charge and it’s going to be let’s regulate technology or something.

Do you see that trend kind of reversing as more and more states look at this issue and say, ” What can we do? Where’s federal government standing in the way of us locally?”

Justin Callais: Yeah, there’s only so much even people who are in upper levels of state policy can even influence federal regulation. I think that one obviously I wish was less regulated and more was left to the states to decide on themselves. But kind of the optimist in me is maybe if we just get the right person to do these regulations to get rid of them or at least be much more purposeful with what are they actually regulating and why. I think there’s probably just not much that could be done at the federal level, especially, like you mentioned, it hasn’t really mattered who’s been in office. It just been what things are we actually going to care about and what things are we going to regulate versus should we have more or less regulation?

With respect to the states, I think that’s one of the more interesting things about federalism in the U.S. It’s pretty much 50 different experiments going on at once, right? It’s 50 different policy prescriptions, policy kind of ideas, policy philosophies going on at once.

I find that to be one of the more interesting and probably one of the best things going on with respect to looking at how entrepreneurship and mobility matter in the U.S if you just think about in terms of the ease at which one can move. One can move much more easily across states than one can across countries, right?

If it’s really decided more at a federal level, then you’re really decreasing the differences between states. But even though we have large federal regulatory powers, within the states, like you mentioned, there’s wide differences, both in terms of the actual number of regulations, like Idaho has the lowest, but also what industries we’re regulating.

I think those differences are going to matter a lot, mainly just because you get to try a bunch of different things out at once, right? There are not very many times in the real world that you get to figure out what seems to be working and what seems not to be working.

There’s this idea of voting with your feet. If you look at places where people are moving from, they tend to be areas that are heavily regulated, heavily taxed, and are hard to start businesses.

So even California, if you look at today, it had this enormous starting point in terms of entrepreneurial activity, being the home of Silicon Valley and all the country’s and some of the world’s best innovators and entrepreneurs. Even given that starting point that they had, we’ve seen plenty of people moving from California.

We’ve seen plenty of people moving from New York, from Louisiana. So, it’s not even a red or blue thing necessarily in the sense of Louisiana is a pretty Republican state. You’re seeing this sort of outward migration that are across a bunch of different margins.

And they’re moving to states like Florida or Texas or Nevada that seem to be doing a lot better on those margins, even though there’s obviously still room for improvement in all of those areas. But it’s at least a sign that people are telling you what they care about. So, if you’re a state that people are leaving from, you need to catch up, right?

In Louisiana, we have this sort of brain drain going on in the state where the people who are moving are those typically have the highest level of education. Well, even if you’re a self-interested politician in Louisiana, you ideally want the highest educated and highest earners to stay because that means more tax revenue that you get to spend on whatever you want.

Markets are telling you something, right? If you look at the market for people moving, right? People are telling you something and those are signs of what things are working, what things are not.

Michael Schaus: Well, and I was going to say the good news, if you’re one of those people, and I know it’s really easy to be one of those people in life where you look around and you say, “Gosh, regulation’s getting worse every year. Taxation’s getting worse every year. We’re all just headed to hell in a hand basket. Everything’s horrible.”

But you look at, to your point, people moving out of states, people moving across state lines, people moving to places like Nevada or Texas or Utah. Again, that tells you that you don’t have to be an economist to really understand a lot of this. People kind of understand it intuitively.

If you’re living in San Francisco right now and you feel trapped, if you get up and you leave, you’re kind of understanding all of these components. The way that you’re seeing businesses move headquarters to various different states that are going to be friendlier to them, to me, that should be kind of a sign for optimism.

And again, looking at, for example, what’s going on with the legalized marijuana, the fact that states seem a bit more willing nowadays to tell the feds, we’re going to kind of ignore this. Even though I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t like legalized marijuana, to me, it was just kind of a libertarian exciting moment watching all these states say, ” I don’t care what the federal law is. We’re going to let people pursue a dream.”

So, I think there is reason for hope and all this. Obviously, this is the reason why we do what we do.

If people want to find out more about your work on some of these issues, especially when it comes to economic mobility, where can they go to learn a little bit more?

Justin Callais: I would first recommend going to Archbridge’s website and looking at some of the work that I’ve done, also some of the work that a lot of great people that work with the Archbridge Institute have done, like Ed Timmons, who’s at West Virginia University. There’s a lot of great work and occupational licensing and different sort of labor regulations.

I have my website that I’m always happy to for that people to come and check out. And also, I’d say, keep an eye out. Me and Gonzalo Schwartz at the Archbridge Institute have been for the last year or so working really hard on a social mobility index that looks at not necessarily the amount of income mobility that we see across states, but more of the fundamental barriers to mobility. It kind of looks at where states rank to kind of get an idea on areas have room for improvement?

I’ll give a little spoiler alert there that Louisiana, unfortunately, does come out last in this ranking, I guess sadly, but also not surprisingly So definitely keep a lookout for that.

Michael Schaus: Excellent. Well, I really appreciate it. Good conversation. And thank you so much for joining us today.

Justin Callais: Thank you, Michael. I appreciate the invitation.

Michael Schaus: Again, Justin Callais.

This is what it all boils down to. If you are somebody that believes in free markets, if you are somebody that believes in individual liberty, if you are a libertarian or a conservative, or if you’re somebody who’s out there saying I want a freer world where people are able to make their own decisions, take their own risks, this is what we’re talking about.

The result of a freer world is a world where you have more economic mobility, where you are not relegated to the class in which you were born for all of your life, where you have the freedom to take some risks and try to do some things to climb economically and better yourself.

And whether that’s on objective terms, just I made more money this year than I did last year, or relative terms saying I’m climbing into a whole new social class, the freedom to do that is intertwined with economic freedoms, with the kind of classically liberal freedoms that we fight for in the ” liberty movement.”

Thank you so much for listening today. Be sure to go to nevadapolicy.org/podcast. Not only can you sign up to get the podcast right in your inbox, but you can also let us know if you think that there is a guest or a specific topic that we had to talk about on the show. This has been Free to Offend.

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 Free to Offend:
A podcast that radically defends free speech by regularly practicing it.

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featuring Nevada Policy’s Michael Schaus.