I was thrilled to hear a familiar voice guest hosting Rush Limbaugh’s show today. I turned the program on a few minutes late at work. I had been listening to an old Dream Theater album, but turned it off when I realized that I was missing “the fastest 3 hours of radio”. The voice belongs to Walter E Williams, an author and economist. Not long after I started listening, Williams mentioned that the great Thomas Sowell would be making a guest appearance on the show in the 2nd hour. What a treat!
I quickly texted a friend who I know would be interested – the friend who introduced me to Sowell, and economics in general. Of course he’s a busy guy, regularly working 70+ hours a week as an outstanding recording engineer (with a number of songs actually on Billboard’s lists). Its nice when talk radio can flex its muscles and show off a bit. Talk radio isn’t just pundits rambling about the latest controversy. Often times it delves deep into America’s most troubling problems. Today, for instance, Williams talked about the social security debacle; how its going broke and won’t be around for many people in their 20s and 30s.
Williams was great. I hardly ever hear him on the radio, but when I do I listen up. The first time I heard him was when he was promoting his latest book, Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?, on the Mark Levin Show. The two of them got along wonderful, and you could hear the mutual respect in their voices. Mark is another host who goes beyond typical talk radio. Mark Levin worked in the Reagan administration, operates a law firm, and as such knows quite a bit about law and most importantly, the Constitution. He also regularly makes references to famous political theorists such as John Locke and Montesquieu.
Without a doubt, the talk radio trifecta (Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin) have helped shape my views of the world. Notable libertarian economists such as Milton Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, and Thomas Sowell have also all influenced me. None of what I know (when it comes to politics or economics) is outside anyone else’s capabilities. Let’s be very clear here – 95% of what I know about history, economics, and the Constitution I learned on my own after my mandatory public education.
But learning for myself wasn’t enough. I found that what I learned I wanted to express to my friends and coworkers. Its weird to just start up a conversation about price controls, Marxism, or the 2nd Amendment. I was willing to take on the challenge, however. While driving to the bars on a Friday night I might turn on Mark Levin’s show (which for me goes from 9pm-12am). Or I might loan out copies of Sowell books. Or, just this last week, I gave out copies of the Constitution and Declaration as gifts for the Fourth of July. That oughta get the conversation going.
I’ve also extended my thoughts to the internet, to this very blog you’re reading right now. My thoughts aren’t just for people who know me personally. I feel I have something to offer people, and its more than likely that I don’t actually know all of them. Whoever you are, I hope you’re enjoying my ramblings as much as I’m enjoying writing them!
But like many other people, I know I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. Those who I’ve learned from are far more famous and respectable than I can dream to be. The most I can do to pay homage to them is let you know where I get what I’m talking about. Most of my ideas aren’t mine. They’re Thomas Sowell’s, or Milton Friedman’s, or Mark Levin’s. They say I can’t list them all – but I’ll try. Here’s goes – Shelby Steele, John Locke, F.A. Hayek, William Buckley, Wayne LaPierre, Edmund Burke, John Stossel, Ayn Rand, Henry Hazlitt, David & Rush Limbaugh, Mark Steyn, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, John Lott, Mark Belling, Sean Hannity, Victor Davis Hanson, Burton Folsom Jr, Walter E Williams, Frederic Bastiat, and Andrew Breitbart. These are the giants whose shoulders I stand on.