Deirdre McCloskey, an American economist and long time professor, joined the Federalist Radio Hour to discuss inequality, free markets, and her latest book, Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World. 

McCloskey explained how much better off the world is now compared to our ancestors, despite our desire for the nostalgic good old days. “From 1800 to the present, world income has increased by a factor of 10 in real terms, and if you allow for a quality change, it’s more like a factor of 100,” she said.  “The scope of a modern life is dramatically larger…because the attitude toward the Bourgeois changed.”

Later in the hour, McCloskey shared her development as an economist and how her thoughts on socialism, Marxism, and equality evolved over time. “If you’re the child of a Harvard professor as I was, you have no idea where productivity or income comes from,” she said. “Economics in the material sense cannot explain the modern world, how rich we got.”