Money Talks 3: Dick Carpenter Interview

Money Talks day-Wednesday

Happy Wednesday Moneylang-ers! It’s Money Talks day and we are proud to share with you an interview with a very great author who flies airplane and loves music! You wanna know who is it? Don’t worry, as we always do, we don’t make long introduction so you can get to know this cool author right away!

Our Money Talks author of the week is Dick Carpenter, the author of Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit together with Sir William H. (Chip) Mellor (sir, we hope to get an interview from you too). And we are so grateful that Mr. Dick Carpenter accepted our interview request and we are so happy to share it to you, our dear business book readers! So, here you go Moneylang-ers! Enjoy everyone!



Name: Dick Carpenter
BookBottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit
Background: Relative to the book, I have been doing social science research in one capacity or another for approaching 20 years. After earning a Ph.D. in 2001, I started as a faculty member at the University of Colorado and then as a director of strategic research at the Institute for Justice (IJ) in 2006.
Favorite gadget: None. I am intentionally low-tech.
Hobbies: Flying airplanes, something I have done since 1995, and performing as a musician.


  1. What inspired you to write your book/s?

The idea for this book actually came from an IJ colleague—John Kramer. But first, a little context: IJ is a nonprofit, public interest law firm that, among other things, fights to protect the right to earn an honest living free from onerous and unnecessary government intrusion.

For more than two decades, we have represented people prevented from working in their chosen occupation by such government intrusion—often in the form of occupational licensing. Along the way, we have discovered that occupational licenses are rarely created to serve some demonstrable need, such as protecting consumers from harm. Instead, licenses are created by state legislatures at the request of those already working in an industry, the effect of which is to keep competitors out and wages and prices higher than they would normally be. Against this backdrop, Kramer conceived the goal of coining a new word—bottleneckers—to describe those industry insiders who co-opt government power for their own economic benefit.

My co-author and I then wrote the book to expose bottleneckers and their anti-competitive activities, illustrate the deleterious effects of bottlenecking, and highlight how people have fought back against bottleneckers to expand freedom for themselves and many others.

  1. If I am an aspiring author, what advice can you give?

Two pieces of advice: First, it sounds a little odd to say, but successful writing requires a tremendous amount of reading. As a former teacher of mine used to say, “If you don’t read, you have nothing to say.” Second, leave your ego at the door. What you write will be edited, and thoroughly so. What we think makes perfect sense in our writing may be utterly opaque to a reader. And some of the best ideas in literature have come from editors, not authors. Simply put, everyone needs an editor. (Yes, I’ve had an editor review my responses.)

  1. If there’s one chapter in your book people should have read, which one should it be, and why?

Other than the introduction—important because it concisely captures the essence of the book—chapter 8 would be one to read. It illustrates the absurd lengths to which bottleneckers will go to protect their interests.

  1. If you could give one piece of financial advice to our readers, what would it be?

Specific to personal financial advice: Assiduously avoid debt. As an old proverb says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” Preserve your freedom in every way possible.

  1. As an author, which book made the most impact on you?

I cannot name just one. The Closing of the American Mind and The Road to Serfdom.

  1. What would you like to ask the next author being interviewed?

I am interested in the processes of things, so I would ask, “What does your typical writing process look like?”


So, there we are. Check his business book (Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit) and learn lots of things about government and business as well as ethics and administrative laws.

Excited to know who will be our next week’s featured business book author? Stay tuned to Moneylang and get the latest author’s interview every Wednesday!

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