Patrick Byrne: Whom would you like to interview, and what would you ask?
Patrick M. Byrne is the CEO of the Internet retailer Overstock.com. Byrne received his B.A. from Dartmouth, studied at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University. He co-founded Overstock.com in 1997 and became CEO in 1999. In 2005, Byrne initiated a controversial campaign against "naked short selling" in which he accused a "Sith Lord" and various financial firms of sabotaging Overstock's share price. Byrne also serves as head of First Class Education, an education lobbying group that seeks to require that 65% of all educational spending be spent "in the classroom." A strong proponent of school vouchers, Byrne spent almost four million dollars in advertising for a bill that would have given Utah residents who enroll their children in private schools taxpayer-supported subsidies. The bill lost, 62-38%.
Patrick Byrne: I’d probably want to interview Jeffrey Sachs. I’d probably want to . . . When I . . . What I would wanna ask him is what he is proposing is . . . seems so clearly wrong to many other sensible people in his field that . . . and it’s . . . It certainly is divorced from my own experience. It seems to be ideas that have been tried and proven to be pernicious. What is he thinking of? Now I know that would be a loaded question and he would have to find a nice way to answer it; but he won’t answer . . . To me if we really think of international development as one of the major issues that the world faces, I’d wanna know what his . . . his . . . what can he be . . . I really wanna say what can he possibly be thinking of? But maybe there’s something in there that I’m missing. And the other one I would ask is . . . of Ahmadinejad or somebody from Iran, what is their solution on Israel? It’s a non-starter to say we’re gonna wipe ‘em into the sea. We’re gonna nuke ‘em and stuff. What is their solution? What is their proposal – a serious proposal? And if they don’t have one, you know, I . . . I would try to find that out.
Recorded on: 10/29/07
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