What Did C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb Say?

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

Last night, I attended the Social Entrepreneurship Awards dinner sponsored by the Manhattan Institute. The winner this year was Brian Lamb, the founder and genius behind C-SPAN and BookTV. I was anxious to meet him because C-SPAN has been such a big supporter of FreedomFest over the years and has covered many of my book events. C-SPAN just covered my appearance at the Kansas City Public Library, where I spoke on “The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin” (to be aired soon).
At this year’s FreedomFest, Book TV host Peter Slen interviewed more than a dozen authors, including me. for my book, “The Making of Modern Economics.” To listen to the interview, click this link.

At the dinner last night, I thanked Brian Lamb for C-SPAN’s coverage of FreedomFest (see the photo above). He responded, “Oh, thank God for FreedomFest. It gives us much-needed balance at C-SPAN!”

During his acceptance speech, Lamb said that he was proud of the fact that C-SPAN has never received a dime in government funding at the federal, state or local level (unlike PBS). It is funded entirely by the cable companies.

He has conducted thousands of interviews in his lifetime, including those on C-SPAN’s Booknotes and Q&A, and is known for his refreshing interview style, focusing on short, direct questions. He recently was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I invited him out to next year’s big show in Vegas, July 10-13, 2013, when we move to Caesars Palace and our theme is “Are We Rome.” Peter Slen, the Book TV host, has already committed C-SPAN coverage. C-SPAN officials like that we have exciting new speakers and authors every year. So far, we’ve added commodities guru Jim Rogers and supply-side guru Art Laffer (of the famed Laffer Curve). See you there: www.freedomfest.com.

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Yours for peace, prosperity and liberty, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen

Mark Skousen
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You Blew It! Who Failed to Predict The Next President?

The long-awaited presidential election finally ended when Obama won a second term fairly handily. Thank goodness it’s over. The campaign season used to last only a year. (John Kennedy announced he was running for president on January 2, 1960. It was just 11 months before the November 1960 election.) Now it takes two years to run, and the media talks incessantly about the candidates and holds dozens of debates asking the same old questions. I prefer the British system, where the prime minister announced an election in two months!

Who was right and who was wrong when it came to forecasting the election? The Gallup and Rasmussen polls were generally leaning toward Romney. And several pundits predicted a “landslide” for Romney, including Dick Morris, George Will, and Wayne Allyn Root, because of the so-called “enthusiasm” factor being much higher for Romney. It turns out there was hardly any enthusiasm and they have egg over their faces. They were so adamant, yet were so wrong; it reminds of the old saw on Wall Street, “I’m often in error but seldom in doubt.”

Those who predicted all along that Obama was going to win handily included the Huffington Post, Nate Silver, and libertarian economist Walter Williams. And Romney was never close to winning in the political futures markets, the Iowa Electronic Markets in the United States and Intrade in Britain. The political futures markets have a far better track record than the pollsters or the political/economic models.

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Remember this other great saying, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king.” Many of the forecasters have been humbled and hopefully are going back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong with their models.

As Sir John Templeton said, “The most important lesson in investing [or politics] is humility.”

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