Liberty on the Rocks is pleased to be teaming up with the Liberty Empowerment Institute to host it’s 5th Free Market Workshop in Tampa, Florida!
How do you respond when someone declares, “war is good for the economy”? Or that women get paid less than men for the same work?
What about the guy who lists stats proving everything from the benefits of unions to how guns promote violence? Can you respond to these statements in a way that would appeal to those listening, or even the person you are conversing with?
If we are to plant seeds as liberty activists we must take consideration of the statements we make.
To learn important concepts related to Austrian Economics, the Liberty Philosophy and how to best communicate free market ideas, join the Liberty Empowerment Institute and Liberty on the Rocks for a fun, interactive liberty-workshop.
Through group discussion, activities and short presentations, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of economics and philosophy in addition to how to utilize these arguments when communicating with others in today’s battle for liberty.
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided and the seminar will be followed by a networking happy hour next door. Get your tickets online or pay at the door, but be sure to RSVP by emailing email@example.com!
When: Saturday, March 9th | 9-5 PM Where: The Datex Center | 10300 49th Street North, Clearwater Cost: $5; includes light breakfast and lunch
Join Liberty on the Rocks DC for fellowship and networking at the 2013 ISFLC! We’ll be at the Capitol City Brewery (1100 New York Ave NW Frnt 1, Washington, District of Columbia 20005-6173). It’s right across the street from the Grand Hyatt. Everyone is 18+ is welcome, but you must be 21+ to drink. Come mingle with your friends at one of the liberty movement’s most talk about social groups!
In addition, we will be exhibiting during the entire conference so that you can learn what Liberty on the Rocks is all about and how you can start a chapter in your hometown. Stop by our table to talk to staff and enter to win some free giveaways. As always, our best buddy Big Government Gary will be at the conference for photo opportunities and for you tell to tell him what you think about the ever increasing size of the government.
When: Saturday, February 16th from 9-11 PM Where: Capitol City Brewery
Are you a liberty activist who loves free markets, capitalism and limited government – but have a difficult time describing its myriad benefits and merits when talking with others?
Would you benefit from one to one contact with “liberty experts” in a setting where you can ask them all the questions you’d like about free market economics, current policies or communicating the ideas of freedom?
Then this is the educational seminar for you!
On Saturday, March 9 from 9-5pm the Liberty Empowerment Institute will team up with Liberty on the Rocks to host a full-day discussion and activity-driven liberty-workshop. Through group discussion, activities, and short presentations, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of economics and philosophy in addition to how to utilize these arguments when communicating with others in today’s battle for liberty.
The seminar will be immediately followed by a networking reception. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Facilitators: Jeff Proctor of the Charles Koch Institute & Justin Longo of the Independence Institute
Location: The Datex Center | 10300 49th Street North, Clearwater
Liberty on the Rocks is pleased to host author and professor Ryan McMaken for an evening of thought-provoking discussion along with cocktails, great company and a fabulous meal cooked by Chef Ken Wyble of A Man for All Season Catering.
Ryan McMaken is an economist and writer living in Colorado where he has taught political science since 2004. He has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and is an Associated Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. His writings have been published on LEWROCKWELL.COM, a popular libertarian website, as well as within THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE magazine, THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, and the publications of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
I share James Taranto’s unfavorable assessment of Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman’s political ideology (“20th Century Man,” Feb. 1). Ackerman’s “Progressivism” is a reflection of the atavistic attitude that the economy performs best when it is consciously guided by the firm hand of a sovereign – a sovereign that, if elected democratically, can be trusted with nearly boundless powers.
But Ackerman deserves praise at least for his honesty regarding the written Constitution. In his 1991 book, We the People,* Ackerman admits that the vast powers that Uncle Sam has exercised over the economy since the New Deal are far greater than any such powers envisioned by the Constitution’s 18th-century framers. To that point Ackerman also concedes that Uncle Sam’s current vast regulatory reach is at odds with the actual Constitutional text. But, says Ackerman, the “constitutional moment” that allegedly was the 1930s mobilized the electorate and top government officials to amend the Constitution in fact if not formally. It is the Constitution informally amended that Ackerman relies upon to justify Leviathan.
Of course, one is entitled to question Ackerman’s thesis that the Constitution can be amended informally (that is, without going through Article V procedures) – especially when that thesis celebrates and sanctifies formally unchecked majoritarian passions of the very sort that the Constitution’s framers feared.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
* Bruce Ackerman, We the People (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1991).
Roosevelt and the New Deal Congress had not chosen to codify their new constitutional principles by enacting a few formal amendments, of the sort contemplated by Article Five. Instead, the President and Congress left it to the Justices themselves to codify the New Deal revolution in a series of transformative judicial opinions, threatening to pack the Court unless it accepted this novel constitutional responsibility. When the Justices executed their famous “switch in time” in the spring of 1937, they began to execute the task Congress and the President had assigned to it.
Why bother with formal amendment procedures when a popular president can bully the judiciary into reading the Constitution in the way that that president wishes? The remarkable fact here, for me, is that Ackerman applauds this development. I reckon that’s progress!
In sum, the white man who wished to indulge successfully his taste for discrimination was well advised to join together with his fellows of like persuasion. Only as a group would they possess the power to resist competitive forces. Where individual employers or workers attempted to extract discriminatory premiums in the market place, their efforts generally met with failure. A unified group, especially if it possessed some legally enforceable sanctions against recalcitrant members, stood a much better chance to gain from discrimination. And finally, the strongest and most forceful group of all, the occupants of public office, met with little or no resistance in discriminating against blacks. Free from competitive counterpressures and strongly equipped to enforce compliance, public officials could discriminate pretty much as their pleasure or caprice might dictate. Under these circumstances it was a definite blessing for the blacks that the governments of the post-bellum South were still quite limited in the range of functions to which they attended. Such salvation as the black man found, he found in the private sector.
The popular belief that private-enterprise markets encourage and enforce racial discrimination feeds the equally popular beliefs that (1) government is required to break down discriminatory barriers, and (2) government in fact reliably does break down those barriers. But as Bob documents and argues in his book – and as other scholars also have shown - the actual history reveals a much-different reality. Private market forces channel the self-interested, profit-seeking actions of business owners away from making and acting upon invidious distinctions that reduce firms’ profits. And governments are much better equipped and willing than are private-market actors to institute unjustified discriminatory practices.
Never lose sight of the fact that Jim Crow was legislation – government dictates. These top-down commands would have been wholly unnecessary had the patterns of racial segregation and discrimination so desired by southern bigots emerged naturally in the market. One of my favorite letters in my book is this one from 2010 to the New York Times:
Reacting to Rand Paul’s remarks about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, you say that his libertarian philosophy “is a theory of liberty with roots in America’s creation, but the succeeding centuries have shown how ineffective it was in promoting a civil society…. It was only government power that … abolished Jim Crow” (“Limits of Libertarianism,” May 22).
You’ve got it backwards. Jim Crow itself was government power. Jim Crow was legislation that forced the segregation of blacks from whites. Research shows that people acting in the free market that you apparently believe is prone to racial discrimination were remarkably reluctant to discriminate along racial lines. It was this very reluctance – this capacity of free markets to make people colorblind – that obliged racists in the late 19th century to use government to achieve their loathsome goals.*
Had Mr. Paul’s libertarian philosophy been followed more consistently throughout American history, there would have been no need for one government statute (the Civil Rights Act) to upend earlier government statutes (Jim Crow) and the business practices that they facilitated.
Donald J. Boudreaux
* See especially Robert Higgs, Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American Economy, 1865-1914 (University of Chicago Press, 1976); Jennifer Roback, “Southern Labor Law in the Jim Crow Era: Exploitative or Competitive?” University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 51 (1984); and Jennifer Roback, “The Political Economy of Segregation: The Case of Segregated Streetcars,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 46 (1986).
If you have a liberty-oriented group or event that you’d like to promote, we’ll set aside a couple of minutes (literally two!) for your announcement. Following that, everyone else will get the same amount of time to stand on the soapbox and speak out about an issue or current event.
Same place, same time, also on a Wednesday, let’s get together and exchange ideas in a comfortable atmosphere with great food and exceptional company.
February 6 from 7-9pm
Where: Casey’s Irish Pub
613 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017