The Moral Imagination -  Michael Matheson Miller
The Moral Imagination
Ep. 47 Rachel Ferguson, Ph.D: Exclusion & Opportunity - Black Liberation Through the Marketplace

Ep. 47 Rachel Ferguson, Ph.D: Exclusion & Opportunity - Black Liberation Through the Marketplace

In this episode I speak with Rachel Ferguson about her book Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America, co-authored with Marcus Witcher. The book address issues of social justice, exclusion, opportunity, race and discrimination, classical liberalism, and the economic history of African Americans since the civil war.

Themes we discuss include

  • Racism and exclusion from justice, property, and rule of law

  • Classical Liberalism

  • Property Rights

  • Freedom of Contract

  • Education

  • History of Injustices post Civil War

  • Convict Leasing

  • Lynching

  • Jim Crow

  • Progressivism

  • Eugenics

  • Sterilization

  • Minimum Wage and its racist and eugenic underpinnings

  • Urban Renewal

  • Highways, transportation and the breakdown of African American and ethnic communities

  • Eminent Domain

  • African American towns and civil society

  • 1619 Project and its errors

  • Family and the Sexual Revolution

  • Contraception

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Civil Society

  • Alexis de Tocqueville

  • Applied economics

  • Criminal Justice reform

  • Black Churches as a central part of community

  • Decentralization, Associational Life, and Welfare before the Welfare State

We discuss a number of writers including

  • Fredrick Douglass

  • Zora Neale Hurston

  • Booker T. Washington

  • Malcom X

  • Friedrich Hayek

  • Anthony Bradley


Rachel Ferguson, Ph.D. is an economic philosopher and Director of the Free Enterprise Center at Concordia University, Chicago. She has published in Discourse, The Journal of Markets and Morality, and the Library of Economics and Liberty. She has a Ph.D. in philosophy from St. Louis University. She is actively involved in community building and empowering marginalized entrepreneurs through LOVEtheLOU and Gateway to Flourishing


We mention a lot of books during the podcast. See below for links. Other things discussed include:

Rachel Ferguson Essay: Let’s do Philanthropy that Actually Works

Robert Woodson and the Woodson Center

Podcast with Anthony Bradley on Over-criminalization

MMM on Eugenics is Back

Benefits Cliffs

Russell Hittinger on Technology and Contraception

Podcast with Mary Eberstadt on the Sexual Revolution

Poverty, Inc.

Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America

By Ferguson, Rachel S., Witcher, Marcus M.

From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967

By Beito, David T.

Up from Slavery

By Booker T. Washington

Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era

By Leonard, Thomas C.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

By Rothstein, Richard

Ending Overcriminalization and Mass Incarceration: Hope from Civil Society

By Bradley, Anthony B.

Black Americans and Organized Labor: A New History

By Moreno, Paul D.

Toxic Charity: How the Church Hurts Those They Help and How to Reverse It

By Lupton, Robert D.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions: Black History)

By Frederick Douglass

Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American economy 1865-1914 (Hoover Institution Press Publication)

By Higgs, Robert

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

By Jacobs, Jane

Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century

By Ekeocha, Obianuju

Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America

By Bradley, Anthony B.

The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City (A Quadrant Book)

By Avila, Eric

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

By Douglas A. Blackmon

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself

By Corbett, Steve, Fikkert, Brian

The Moral Imagination -  Michael Matheson Miller
The Moral Imagination
Welcome to the Moral Imagination Podcast.
The overarching theme of my podcast is what it means to be a human person and what makes for a meaningful and good life.
We will discuss philosophy of the human person, culture, religion, social philosophy, and many other related topics, like education, learning, economics, food, technology, artificial intelligence, and intellectual history. My goal is to interact with ideas and people whose work I find challenging, and intellectually and socially important.