The decline of liberalism and the rise of illiberal ideas necessitates an informed critique of current events through the lens of traditional thought. Trad Dads Podcast focuses on economic, cultural, political, and family issues and provides traditionalist commentary on the big issues to an audience of traditionalists, libertarians, liberals, socialists, and people of other political identities.
A smattering of topics related to cars: economics, personal finance, emissions, quality, durability, and the future for electric cars.
Why did cash for clunkers fail?
Edmunds report on used car purchases and financing
Recent events have radically shifted the purpose and activities of the Federal Reserve. Does America now have a central bank?
This episode is a response to a request by a listener! To suggest an episode topic, leave a voice message on Anchor, a YouTube comment, or contact me @Traddads on Twitter or /TradDads on Facebook!
Does economic theory dictate that we shouldn't employ anti-price gouging laws? How else can we think about this issue?
This topic is a response to a listener request. Please leave a voicemail on the Anchor app or hit me up on social media to request an episode!
Price Gouging During the Pandemic
Can prohibitions on price gouging reduce deadweight losses?
I discuss the CDF's 2018 document "Economic and Financial Issues" and provide my view on their fundamental principles and the application of those principles in the worldwide financial system.
Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones
I discuss the notion of the just price according to the School of Salamanca. Specifically, I use an article from the Distributist Review to respond to some libertarian critics of price controls and add some economic meat to the article.
Corporation Christendom - Dr. Peter Chojnowski
Though it's not published yet, Trent Horn's forthcoming book on socialism will likely spark a lot of discussion on Catholic Social Teaching. As a preview, I provide here a critique of a talk he gave on the subject at Benedictine College late last year.
Horn's talk at Benedictine College
Trad Dad's episode on Labor Economics & Policy
Is economics a reliable guide for morality? How should we respond when we are told our policy views are incoherent because we "don't understand economics?"
We're All Utilitarians Now? - Levi Russell
Vix Pervenit is, in my view, the most important encyclical on usury. Its admonitions against usury are applicable to all of Christendom, so we should all understand it very clearly. I hope I have provided you with some clarity in this episode!
Vix Pervenit - Pope Benedict XIV
Ethics and the National Economy - Fr. Heinrich Pesch, S.J.
"Extrinsic Interest" - Wikipedia on Vix Pervenit
Usury FAQ - Zippy (RIP)
Interview with Anthony Stine of the Return to Tradition podcast. Anthony gives a personal perspective on minimum wage work, the gig economy, and the reality many face in today's workforce.
Dept of Labor Tip Info
Recently, California's legislature passed a law effectively banning so-called "gig work" and requiring companies like Uber to treat their contractors as employees. The law went into effect on January 1, but in December controversy around businesses' response to the regulation flared up.
In this episode, Levi R addresses the conservative and left-wing responses to the controversy and proposes a more traditional solution to the underlying problem.
Dan Bongino's Response to the Controversy (time stamp 46:00)
California's gig worker law went into effect; these groups are fighting it - Fox Business
In the various policy debates over trade and industrial policy, the framing is very important. I discuss the tradeoffs between manufacturing employment and output given the trends we've seen in these two data series over the last 20 years.
Manufacturing Employment Graph
Annual Growth in Manufacturing Employment Graph
Manufacturing Real Output Graph
Annual Growth in Manufacturing Output Graph
Andrew Yang vs Tucker Carlson - Episode 5
Levi B joins in to discuss several important reasons for homeschooling. Levi B was homeschooled for 8 years and he and his wife homeschool their children. His experience is enlightening!
7 Reasons School is Not An Option for My Homeschooled Kids
Home School Legal Defense Association
Levi R responds to a short video clip by Johan Norberg on atomistic individualism. He then responds to an article in Reason Magazine that attempts to spin Catholic Social Teaching as really just an application of libertarian political theory!
Norberg on Atomistic Individualism
Slade on Catholic Social Teaching
Levi R addresses 4 objections to Distributism or CST-consistent economic policy. The primary issues are definitional: what is "concentrated power?" How should Catholics build their politics around the principle of subsidiarity?
Levi R discusses some important issues with labor economics and popular policies that many believe will solve some of our economic problems. What are "breadwinner jobs?" How do we get more of them? How do we raise wages?
Definition of "breadwinner jobs"
Breadwinner jobs data
Deep State Declassified with David Stockman
Levi R presents some of the strongest arguments in favor of cooperatives and responds to a few common criticisms. We'd like your feedback! Please hit us up on Twitter (@traddads) or in the comments on YouTube.
Family vs Rugged Individualism | Trad Dads
Social Security | Trad Dads
Levi R interviews a trained philosopher and former Twitter Thomist. Is liberalism necessary or sufficient for the material prosperity we now enjoy? What about the problems we face in modern society? Sortes sorts it out for us!
Many on both the right and left advocate mandatory paid parental leave. The left likes this policy for women's empowerment and redistributive purposes. Some on the right like it because it sounds pro-natalist and pro-family. The question is, does mandatory paid parental leave actually accomplish its intended goals? Is it an effective pro-family policy or is there something better?
Ship of Fools by Tucker Carlson
The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
Levi R discusses the concept of economies of scale in policy and political discourse. Do the left and right view economies of scale differently? Is economies of scale an immutable law of nature that cannot be violated by policy?
Levi R gives a brief primer on tariffs and other trad policies. He then provides a discussion of the U.S. / China trade ware and gives an update on the latest action. Don't miss it!
Primer on tariffs ends at approximately 11:55
Get Economics for Helen from IHS Press. They are in a transition period and you can call for your copy!
U.S. vs China Trade War Timeline
Levi B and Levi R discuss social media platforms. Should we be expected to just build another social media platform or are there barriers to the creation of new platforms? Do we have alternatives to Twitter and Facebook now? Why aren't they bigger?
Levi R discusses the economics and politics of international trade as if communities mattered. Yes, unlimited trade makes many of us wealthier, but at what cost?
IHS Press - Economics for Helen (order by phone or email)
In this somewhat unusual episode, Levi R has some harsh words for the Anti-Distributists. Distributism was an attempt to apply the social teaching of the Church to the problems of the early 20th century. It has a ton of great ideas, some of which are very useful today. The most important thing is that you form your economic policy perspectives around Church teaching, rather than the other way around. Unfortunately, there are far too many Catholics who insist on doing the latter. This episode is a response to them.
Levi R and Levi B discuss agricultural policy, specifically tariffs and subsidies designed to benefit agricultural producers. Should countries protect their domestic agricultural industries? Do some policies go too far? The Levis discuss.
You can order "Economics for Helen" from IHS Press
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin
Levi R interviews John DeRosa, host of the Classical Theism podcast on the problem of evil and suffering. We talk a lot about the need for sacrifice today, but what are the intellectual and theological foundations of sacrifice? Why do we have to live in a world with evil and suffering?
Classical Theism Podcast Website
NOTE: I made an error regarding Fr. Pesch's book. The IHS book is a direct translation of Pesch's Ethik and Volkswirtschaft.
Levi R lays out a few definitions of usury and speculates about possible effects of banning usury today.
Usury in Christendom - Hoffman
Usury FAQ - Zippy Catholic (RIP)
Ethics and the National Economy - Fr. Pesch (kindle)
Vix Pervenit - Pope Benedict XIV
Catholic Economics: Debt and Usury - Levi Russell
Compound Interest Video
Levi R interviews Charles, an autodidact theologian on the issue of God and fatherhood. Can we know God if we don't know what a good father is? Can we be good fathers without knowing God? Charles answers these questions in a compelling, Thomistic fashion. This is a must-listen!
Levi R replays a lecture he recently gave via YouTube livestream to the Canis Society. He lays out a positive case for economic policies based on Catholic Social Teaching.
Original lecture stream
Within the small group of commentators and prospective politicians who question the liberal economic consensus, there are some significant differences. In this episode, Levi talks about the differing perspectives on automation using Ben Shapiro's interviews with Andrew Yang and Tucker Carlson.
Yang and Shapiro
Tucker and Shapiro
Levi and Levi discuss how they manage their own children's use of devices and screen time. They provide advice on goals and the key component of screen time management. In their discussion, they separate device management for young kids from device management for teens.
Tucker Carlson on Young Teens' Use of Cell Phones
The Light Phone
In this episode, Levi Russell discusses the economics and ethics of the "buy local" movement. Though many economists oppose this idea on theoretical grounds, there are good reasons, even theoretical ones, to buy local.
Article - Criticisms of "Buy Local" Don't Make Economic Sense - Levi Russell