Skip to main content

Political Economy Project

Home >

Events Page

Tom Hazlett (Clemson)

The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smart Phone
May 9, 2017
4:30-5:30pm, 041 Haldeman Center

From the former chief economist of the FCC, a remarkable history of the U.S. government’s regulation of the airwaves

Popular legend has it that before the Federal Radio Commission was established in 1927, the radio spectrum was in chaos, with broadcasting stations blasting powerful signals to drown out rivals. In this fascinating and entertaining history, Thomas W Hazlett, a distinguished scholar in law and economics, debunks the idea that the U.S. government stepped in to impose necessary order. Instead, regulators blocked competition at the behest of incumbent interests and, for nearly a century, have suppressed innovation while quashing out-of-the-mainstream viewpoints.
Hazlett details how spectrum officials produced a “vast wasteland” that they publicly criticized but privately protected. The story twists and turns, as farsighted visionaries—and the march of science—rise to challenge the old regime. Over decades, reforms to liberate the radio spectrum have generated explosive progress, ushering in the “smartphone revolution,” ubiquitous social media, and the amazing wireless world now emerging. Still, the author argues, the battle is not even half won.



“Should the U.S. Legalize Drugs?” A PEP Debate with Kevin Sabet (Florida) & Jeffrey Miron (Harvard),
May 10, 2017 4:30-6:00pm - Dartmouth 105. Sponsored by the PEP Leadership Council

Kevin Sabet heads Smarter Approaches to Marijuana and directs the Institute of Drug Policy at the University of Florida. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Obama Administration’s Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. His areas of specialization include evidence-based drug prevention, treatment, and law enforcement (both domestic and international), as well as the impacts of drug legalization and medical marijuana. He is also a regular columnist and blogger at the Huffington Post. His book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort Books.

Jeffrey Miron is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University, as well as Director of Economics Studies at the Cato Institute. His field of expertise is the economics of libertarianism; he has advocated for many libertarian policies, including legalizing all drugs and allowing failing banks to go bankrupt. He has written four books including Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition and Libertarianism, from A to Z.


Peter Robinson ‘79 (Hoover Institution) 

“’Tear Down This Wall’” and the End of the Cold War: Personal Reflections,”
May 17, 2017 4:30-5:30pm - 312 Silsby


George Nash 

“Conservativism after Trump” 
May 23, 2017 5-6pm – Rockefeller 002


Last Updated: 6/9/17