Past episodes
About Uncommon Knowledge

For more than a decade the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

Uncommon Knowledge takes fascinating, accomplished guests, then sits them down with me to talk about the issues of the day,” says Robinson, an author and former speechwriter for President Reagan. “Unhurried, civil, thoughtful, and informed conversation– that’s what we produce. And there isn’t all that much of it around these days.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Uncommon Knowledge with guest Milton Friedman

September 19, 2011 | Recorded on February 10, 1999

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

In this Uncommon Knowledge classic from February 10, 1999, Milton Friedman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1976 and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, discusses, with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson, what defines a libertarian and how Friedman balances the libertarians' desire for a small, less intrusive government with environmental, public safety, food and drug administration, and other issues.

December 20, 2010 | Recorded on February 10, 1999

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

What are the elements of the libertarian movement and how does one of its most illustrious proponents, Milton Friedman, apply its tenets to issues facing the United States today? Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, discusses, on February 10, 1999, how he balances the libertarians' desire for a small, less intrusive government with environmental, public safety, food and drug administration, and other issues.

September 25, 2001 | Recorded on September 25, 2001

ECONOMICS AND WAR: The Economic Impact of the War on Terrorism

Milton Friedman

The September 11 attacks in New York and Washington have already cost America thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damages. But those are only the direct costs. How severe and how lasting will the impact be on our economy as whole? And how will new burdens on the federal government, including a military buildup and a bailout of the airline industry, affect fiscal policy? Should the government cut taxes or increase spending to get the economy moving again?

December 21, 2000 | Recorded on December 13, 2000

THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY: The War on Drugs

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

America has spent three decades and hundreds of billions of dollars fighting a national war on drugs. Has the war on drugs been an effective way of dealing with America's drug problem or does it cause more harm than good? How should we weigh the moral and utilitarian arguments for and against the war on drugs; in other words, do we need to intensify the war on drugs or is it time to declare a cease fire?

December 13, 2000 | Recorded on December 13, 2000

PAY IT BACKWARDS: The Federal Budget Surplus

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

What should be done with the federal budget surplus? Does it make sense to spend the surplus on new government programs? What benefits the economy more, cutting taxes or paying down the national debt? Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman offers his advice.

March 10, 2000 | Recorded on March 10, 2000

MILTON'S PARADISE GAINED: Milton Friedman's Advice for the Next President

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

What the next President decides to do with the federal budget will impact the lives of each and every one of us. For example, what should the next President do with the current budget surplus—pay down the national debt, set aside money to strengthen Social Security, or cut taxes? Milton Friedman answers these questions as well as addressing how the next President should approach the issues of education, health care, and the future of Social Security.

March 10, 2000 | Recorded on March 10, 2000

THE ECONOMY'S NEW CLOTHES: Milton Friedman on the New Economy

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

Internet technologies are transforming the way we communicate and do business. But, are we, as some claim, in the midst of the "long boom," a new era of unparalleled prosperity driven by unprecedented technological change or are we merely enjoying a bull market that has yet to begin its inevitable correction? What does the current economic boom have in common with the "Roaring Twenties" and how can we avoid an economic contraction as severe as the Great Depression?

February 10, 1999 | Recorded on February 10, 1999

PRESIDENTIAL REPORT CARD: Milton Friedman on the State of the Union

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution and Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences grades the achievements of the Clinton administration and evaluates the programs the President proposed in his 1999 State of the Union address.