Conversations with Tyler: Senator Ben Sasse

Tyler Cowen explores the world of ideas in one-on-one dialogues with today’s top thinkers.

Jun 14, 2017Jun 15, 2017
Founders Hall Auditorium 3351 Fairfax Drive Arlington, VA 22201

Event Speakers

Tyler Cowen

Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University

Senator Ben Sasse

United States Senator

Ben Sasse, US senator, author, Uber driver (for charity), and former president of Midland University, will join Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging dialogue as part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler series.

A freshman senator of Nebraska and first-time politician, Sasse won his 2014 election in a landslide, securing all of Nebraska’s 93 counties. Since taking office, Sasse has taken on a variety of for-charity jobs to better understand his constituents and the changing economy. These gigs include driving for Uber, changing tires, and feeding cows.

 Noting Sasse’s decisive stands during the presidential election, Esquire wrote, “The man has principles and the man has guts.” Sasse also drew attention for waiting a full year before speaking on the Senate floor – a once-common tradition that hasn’t been observed in decades.  A historian by training, Sasse has earned four advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. from Yale. Dubbing him “Washington’s Most Interesting Egghead,” the Atlantic noted that his experience in academia, corporate consulting, and past government appointments have given him one of the Senate’s most varied resumes. 

Sasse became president of Midland University in 2010 at the age 37, making him one of the nation’s youngest college presidents. While at Midland, Sasse observed incoming students who seemed stranded between adolescence and adulthood. This problem is the topic of his new book The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis. In it, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can't grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. An apolitical call to arms, this book identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work, travel, the power of reading--and explains how parents can encourage them.