- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.
In 2010 FREE offered two conferences in our series, "Economics, Science, and Policy Analysis", to federal judges, state supreme-court justices, and law professors. The first was, “Personal Health Care Choices & Public Policy” and the second was “Terrorism, Civil Liberty, & National Security.” FREE brought economic and ethical perspectives on each of these troublesome topics to an important audience.
Two of America’s most contentious policy issues are health care and terrorism. FREE brought some of America’s most influential opinion leaders and decision makers, federal judges, state supreme court justices, and law professors to our 2010 conferences to discuss these topics with distinguished economists and policy analysts supportive of the market process.
Participants in each program agreed to read approximately 250 pages submitted by the speakers as background material in preparation for their conference. Each of the 10 formal 90-minute sessions was divided into two equal parts of lecture and discussion with a moderator.
There were approximately 25 participants in each program. All speakers attended the entire conference including informal times and meals; they didn’t parachute in or catapult out.
Health care suffers from a paucity of sound economic analysis. The negative second order effects on incentives and innovations are usually ignored by politicians and exploited by special interests. The goal of our conference was to bring fundamental economic understanding and sound science to our audience. Our speakers explained how the market process can foster constructive, innovative health care reform based on free market principles.
Terrorism poses a threat not only to lives and property but also to America’s tradition of personal and economic liberty. Our speakers, especially Nobel Prize economist Thomas Schelling, described the economic and psychic disruptions of terrorism and how they can be prudently considered and contained.
The most common comment we receive on our programs is: “…the most intellectually stimulating I’ve ever attended.” Justice Max Baer of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wrote of FREE’s terrorism conference: “I returned wiser and better informed, and cannot thank you and Ramona enough for the opportunity to discuss these important issues with such erudite and informed scholars”.
Speakers in the health care program included:
John C. Goodman, Ph.D. – National Center for Policy Analysis
Regina E. Herzlinger, Ph.D. – Harvard Business School
George H. Sack, M.D., Ph.D. – Johns Hopkins Medical Center
Sally Satel, M.D. – AEI and Yale Medical School
Speakers in the terrorism program included:
James Carafano, Ph.D. – The Heritage Foundation
Professor Charles Fried – Harvard Law School
Nobel Laureate Thomas C. Schelling, Ph.D. – University of Maryland
Honorable Richard G. Stearns – US District Court, Massachusetts
America has seen how opportunistic politicians and interest groups with a collectivist agenda use the specter of health care to demigod the market process and entirely replace it with a socialized system. Working with scholars from and with the most respected institutions, e.g., Columbia, Hopkins, Harvard, MIT, and Yale, we critiqued the political model of health care and offered incentive based, entrepreneurial alternatives.
While terrorism is of great interest to judges, there is no obvious way to deal with it. The fear of terrorism can stampede us into an abandonment of economic and personal liberties. The acceptance of demonstrably inferior and needlessly expensive energy sources is promoted by reference to terrorism regimes in the Middle East. Hobbling our economy with the mirage of green alternatives to hydrocarbons while ignoring market signals is indeed a terrorism victory.
Each of FREE’s 2010 conferences for judges analyzed a policy topic with huge economic implications. Health care represents one seventh of the American economy while terrorism threatens to destroy it.
FREE has often been blamed by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and most recently the New Yorker, for corrupting federal judges with a free market perspective. To the degree that the judges leave FREE's programs with a heightened sensitivity for the potentials of markets, our education works. The participants evaluations strongly and consistently suggest it does.
Project Link Project Link http://www.free-eco.org/agendas_judges.php
(Check sent: 6/16/2010)