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Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership. He delivers leadership workshops to organizations and blogs at, and Giving up Control.

Barry Brownstein's Articles

A Lesson We All Can Learn from the Chicago Torture Case

"They weren’t exacting revenge on an enemy — they were toying with an insect."

- January 13, 2017

Commerce Points the Way to a More Peaceful World

Commerce brings out the best in human beings by providing incentives to care about others. Those who can’t rise above focusing on their short-term narrow needs have little ability to meet the needs of others.

- January 05, 2017

Roddie Edmonds's Big Love

As the highest-ranking soldier among the 1292 American POWs in the camp, Roddie Edmonds was responsible for the others' well-being. The German commandant told Edmonds to identify his Jewish soldiers. Edmonds replied, "We are all Jews here." He cared about the well-being of another group of people without thought of his own well-being, expressing a bigger love than personal love. We can call this Big Love.

- December 20, 2016

What If You're Holding a Grudge for Something That Never Happened?

Memory, Ed Yong writes, “isn’t just an act of retrieval, but of reconstruction.” Memories are built from “scratch each and every time.” Yes, we may draw on information stored in the brain, but then we reconstruct our memories in the present via our thinking.

- November 07, 2016

We the People Don't Need a President's Plan

A “change in circumstances” will begin when we change our minds about the role of government. When we no longer believe we need a president’s plan, candidates will stop offering them. We are the problem and we are the solution.

- October 20, 2016

How to Stay Resilient as Freedom Declines

Some may not understand the principles that promote liberty and prosperity; but increase your resiliency today and you'll be better equipped to help them understand those principles tomorrow.

- October 12, 2016

When Watching the Debates, Check Your Principles, Not Your Feelings

Our feelings are not a guide to a prosperous, free, and peaceful society; timeless principles are.

- September 27, 2016

The Pretense of "Thinking Globally"

Clinton, Trump, Congress, and bureaucrats know nothing of your circumstances of time and place. Lacking that knowledge, they are unable to make decisions that further your interests.

- September 19, 2016

No One Is Deplorable, No One Is Irredeemable

Actions can be deplorable or even criminal, but every human being has a core of intrinsic worth.

- September 12, 2016

Zika or Not, Don’t Ask Government to Eradicate Mosquitos

Consider the cautionary tale of Mao’s “Four Pests” campaign.

- September 08, 2016

Harmony Reigns at Costco

With the right perspective, a shopping trip can be a spiritual experience.

- August 22, 2016

Venezuela’s Road to Literal Serfdom

Friedrich Hayek’s classic book The Road to Serfdom describes the popular delusions that have led to the breakdown of civil society in Venezuela.

- August 15, 2016

Hearts at War Should Not Have the Nuclear Codes

What happens to our decision-making when we believe that other people are less than human? What happens when those with distorted beliefs have the power to harm others?


- August 08, 2016

Thomas Jefferson on American Greatness

Trump wants to "make America great again," but he is looking for it in the wrong places. Thomas Jefferson identified it from the start.

- August 02, 2016

Have We Become a Nation of Servants?

Of America's democratic system, Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote, “Citizens leave their state of dependence just long enough to choose their masters and then they return to it.” Do we do that now?

- July 25, 2016

Seeing Others as Collectively Evil Is the Root of All Evil

America seems to be in a dangerous spiral of polarization.

- July 13, 2016

Big Sugar Has a Sweet Tooth for Subsidies

The high-fructose corn syrup industry did not exist prior to the early 1970s, when the current sugar price support program was implemented.

- July 03, 2016

What Adam Smith Can Teach Us about Being Lovely

By our choices we can help to create a lovelier world where freedom can flourish. In such a cultural landscape, perhaps the demand for government to solve problems will shrink.

- June 22, 2016

Success Is More About Mindset than Skillset

Minimum wages destroy the entry level jobs that build character.

- June 14, 2016

Authoritarian Business Leaders Threaten Freedom

New models of workplace leadership offer hope for the future of freedom.

- June 13, 2016

Would You Like Steroids in Your Burger?

While government uses our resources to determine what is “healthy,” cases of fraud and deception are ignored and even actively encouraged.

- May 31, 2016

Three Popular Myths behind Trump’s Success

Arrogance is supposed to be a career destroyer. Hayek explains why that’s not true for politicians.

- May 17, 2016

Our Grievances Fuel Political Demagogues

How many people, unfulfilled because they are not using their talents, are drawn to dangerous mass movements whose leaders provide alibis?

- April 25, 2016

Why Do the Candidates Want War with China?

Economically illiterate politicians who promote trade wars threaten human cooperation, international harmony, and general prosperity. They threaten peace.

- March 30, 2016

Castro and Obama Are Wrong about "Human Rights"

Real human rights are never zero-sum; they do not elevate the rights of some while diminishing the rights of others.


- March 25, 2016

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