Is Sweden a Socialist Utopia? @DrMaxham with @CarlSvanberg

The latest episode of the Yaron Brook Show has been hosted by Amanda Maxham, a speaker which I happen to know already from her speeches on GMO and past hosting of the same show, during the frequent travels of Yaron Brook.

Amanda was also a guest of Alex Epstein’s “Power Hour” podcast when Alex Epstein slightly changes course from energy to cover GMOs, one of Amanda’s topic of research, which she covered also in this paper, also referred to in the podcast object of this post.

Today’s show topic was the myth of socialist scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Denmark, which are mistakenly used by the left as proof that socialism works, and that it brings wealth and good lifestyles in the countries where socialism is applied by the ruling coalition.

The discussion is quite interesting, and focuses on the many memes which circulate on social media, falsely portraying a mythical socialist society where things work well.

Except that neither Sweden nor Denmark are socialist countries.

They are very much mixed economies, with a high social cost due to fairly high taxation, which has rendered being an entrepreneur in such countries almost a nightmare.

This is confirmed in many different ways by the guest of the show, Carl Svanberg, who is a Swede, so he knows a thing or five about his country, and about the many companies which have fled or shut down since the country turned more toward socialism in the 1980s.

IKEA was mentioned a number of times during the show, but I should add something which was probably not known to Amanda not Carl.

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, has lived here in Switzerland from 1976 until 2014, and at age 88 he decided to return back to Sweden. And IKEA’s holding company, Inter IKEA Holding SA, is based in Luxembourg, a famous tax haven in the center of Europe.

This is yet another proof of the fact that rich people “vote with their feet” and are able to have a better life in freer countries such as Switzerland, and can move the center of their assets in other countries where the fiscal burden is lower.

The final part of the show is also very much worth listening to, as it’s focused on Amanda’s strongest topic, genetic engineering.

If you like flowers, you have to listen to it. And if you like research on plant genetics and some history, you’re in for a treat.

Sometimes it’s not too bad to be missing Yaron during his travels!


Power Hour with @DrMaxham guest of @AlexEpstein

The latest episode of “Power Hour”, the weekly podcast hosted by Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of the must-read book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” does not talk about energy, for a change.

The topic discussed with his guest Dr. Amanda Maxham, an author which I had already covered in a previous blog post, is genetic engineer, which is the correct term that we should all be using now that GMO or genetically modified organism has been so badly vilified by those technofobes who are scared about anything new that they do not know much about.

Why would Alex Epstein have Amanda Maxham on his energy show?

There are main reasons I see:

  1. Both Amanda and Alex, and their common friend Don Watkins, have been or are working at the Ayn Rand Institute in California.
  2. The technofobia which is preventing genetically engineered products from the markets where they could be accepted by the consumers has strong parallels with the same trend in the energy sector, particularly in nuclear energy. As a matter of fact, Greenpeace is scaring people off on both GMOs and nuclear energy in much the same way, by using a similar approach based on the “precautionary principle”, something which works very well with the many people who have little or no knowledge on genetic engineer or nuclear energy, as Alex points out in the final part of the interview.

As a type 1 diabetic and technology enthusiast, I have always been very much in favor of genetic engineering because I need to use insulin multiple times every day of my life, and I am extremely thankful that very smart people have used their brain and ingenuity to create a safe and extremely modern product such as genetically engineered insulin.

Over the past 18 years as a type 1 diabetic, I have seen many new types of insulin being researched and introduced on the market, and knowing that they are all based on genetic engineering, makes me want to scream “Thank You!” to all those who have been using their own time to work on such amazing projects.

On a side node, I have discovered Amanda Maxham’s work thru Alex Epstein’s friend and former Ayn Rand Institute colleague Don Watkins, when I discovered that they had been guests on the Yaron Brooks Show in the past. Amanda and Keith Lockitch were hosting the weekly Yaron Brook Show on Earth Day in April 2015. That show is quite fun, and Keith and Amanda covered aspects related to global warming and GMOs, but most importantly for me they referred to an amazing 1970 speech by Ayn Rand when Amanda said that she would give

a hearty Earth Day “thank you” to “the nearest, grimiest, sootiest smokestacks” they can find.

I then did some research and discovered that Ayn Rand used this very term during a speech she did in 1970 titled “The Anti-Industrial Revolution”, a speech which is a must-listen to, as it goes into a lot of details on the roots of modern day environmentalism and the dangers posed to society by the awfully wrong concepts and ideas which are so commonly heard these days by people who know nothing more than propaganda coming from the likes of Greenpeace or the Sierra Club.

As usual, the podcast is very much worth listening to, and can be found here:

@CatoEvents GMOs and the Future of the Global Food Supply and Medical Innovations

Last week The Cato Institute hosted a very interesting event dedicate to genetic engineering, event which I have yet to watch, but I am convinced that it will be a very interesting discussion.

Here is the link to the event:

Why GMOs Are Good

I have always been convinced about our need for GMOs, both in medicine and in the food and agricultural field. There are many examples of why this is the case in this great presentation from Dr. Amanda Maxham of the Ayn Rand Institute.

In this 45 minutes presentation Dr. Maxham makes very good points on why innovation in genetics and genetically modified organisms is important for us and for our children’s future, knowing full well that you cannot stop the advancement of technology. Very much worth watching.