Open Letter to All Freedom Lovers

by Mark Skousen on June 2, 2014

From Mark Skousen, producer of FreedomFest

I woke up this morning thinking about “Why We Need to Get Together Once a Year.“  Over the years, I’ve been impressed with the proliferation of free-market think tanks and freedom organizations which are doing their part to make a difference:  publishing websites, special reports and books; holding meetings and conventions; influencing elected officials or using the court system to overturn bad legislation.

That’s where FreedomFest comes in. Our mission is simple: to bring together once a year all the freedom groups and provide a place to learn, network, socialize and celebrate liberty.  And we do it in the nation’s most libertarian city, Las Vegas. We are a for-profit organization, so we don’t compete for fundraising with all these good causes. We try not to promote one organization over another. We support them all. In Hayekian terms, it’s a spontaneous order, with every think tank and freedom organization deciding for themselves what to talk about. FreedomFest is not “my” conference, it’s “our” conference.

The idea came to me when I was president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the country’s oldest free-market organization. Why not have an annual reunion, I thought, and bring together all the think tanks and freedom organizations from around the world, to talk about philosophy, history, science & technology, healthy living, music & dance, investments, and geo-politics?  We would create an intellectual feast in a fun town, the entertainment capital of the world.

And then invite the general public, concerned citizens, business and political leaders, investors, and young people around the world to join us.  I imagined them walking into an exhibit hall full of booths of think tanks, publishers, film producers, and freedom organizations, highlighting their latest efforts.  I envisioned it as “one stop shopping for liberty.”

I was told, “It can’t be done. Libertarians are like a herd of cats.”

But the founders did it. At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “It is a singular thing in the history of mankind that a great people have had the opportunity of forming a government for themselves. We are making experiment in politics. In these sentiments, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. It therefore astonishes me to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does.”

Franklin also warned, “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

We all are doing our best to promote the principles of liberty and justice, but we must do more. We are losing the battle, slowly but surely. I’ve felt for some time that the enemies of liberty are better organized, and now more than ever, it is critical that all the movers and shakers in the freedom movement come together once a year if we are going to reverse the tide. There is strength in numbers.

Milton Friedman, before he died, wrote me a letter in which he caught the vision of this gathering: “FreedomFest is THE great place to talk, argue, listen, celebrate the triumphs of liberty, assess the dangers to liberty, and provide that eternal vigilance that is the price of liberty.” Steve Forbes and John Mackey are our co-ambassadors. They understand the importance of this “focal point” of liberty and set aside all four days in their busy schedule to attend. So do most of the other speakers.    As Steve Forbes says, “FreedomFest is where the best ideas and strategies are fleshed out.  I wouldn’t miss it.”

FreedomFest has been called many things: A Live Wikipedia for libertarians; a Renaissance gathering for free thinkers; the Trade Show for Liberty; the New Mecca for free minds; the Focal Point for freedom lovers; the Gathering of the Tribes; the Disneyland of the mind; the blow-out conference of libertarian gold bugs; the Libertarianism’s Church of What’s Happening Now; and the Greatest Libertarian Show on Earth. There’s something for everyone at FreedomFest.

And it’s catching on. We are growing every year.  Practically all the major think tanks and freedom organizations have caught the vision of FreedomFest and are making their way to Vegas every second week in July. Fox News is now coming and taping the Stossel show; other radio and TV stations are doing their shows there. Thousands of concerned citizens, investors, authors, professors, students and experts are joining us from around the world. Some even change their schedule to attend; they sacrifice to be there.

What do we have planned for this year? Check us out. For a list of all the great speakers, panels and debates, go to http://freedomfest.com/blog/2014/04/25/whattoexpect/ And don’t miss our ever-popular Anthem libertarian film festival going on all four days at FreedomFest. This time it includes a sneak preview of the new film “Atlas Shrugged 3″ hosted by John Stossel.

I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?

Spread the word.  John Galt is calling….

FreedomFest is only a few weeks away. Now is the time to join us in Las Vegas.  Go to www.freedomfest.com to learn more and register.  Or call Tami Holland, our conference coordinator, at 1-866-266-5101.  It will change your life….and maybe even the world.

Yours for peace, prosperity and liberty, AEIOU,

Mark
Mark Skousen
Producer, FreedomFest
www.freedomfest.com
July 9-12, 2014, Las Vegas
Theme: “Is Big Brother Here?”
http://vimeo.com/70558676

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Marx Madness is Back

by Mark Skousen on May 28, 2014

“Capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine democratic societies.” — Thomas Piketty, “Capital in the 21st Century” (2014)

The Economist magazine rightly called French professor Thomas Piketty the new Marx, although a watered down Marx. His bestseller (rated #1 on Amazon and the New York Times) is a thick volume with the same title as Karl Marx’s 1867 magnum opus, “Kapital.” The publisher, Harvard University Press, appropriately designed the book cover in red, the color of the socialist workers’ party.

Piketty cites Karl Marx more than any other economist, even more than Keynes. He barely mentions Adam Smith. Instead of the modern scientific name “economics,” he prefers the old term “political economy,” a favorite of radical professors. [click to continue…]

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Economist Makes Lead Story in the Wall Street Journal….Barron’s….and Forbes

April 28, 2014

I made the lead story in the Wednesday, April 23, 2014, edition of the Wall Street Journal.  The title:  “At Last, a Better Economic Measure.”  You can read it here:  http://on.wsj.com/PsdoLM The editors of the WSJ don’t allow the author to see or approve the headline or subhead, but they nailed it perfect.  And I [...]

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Steve Forbes Endorses My Gross Output Statistic

April 23, 2014

“Mark Skousen’s Gross Output statistic…will have a profound and manifestly positive impact on economic policy and politics.”  — Steve Forbes, Forbes magazine, April 14, 2014 The Bureau of Economic Analysis will start releasing Gross Output (GO) along with GDP every quarter starting on Friday, April 25.  I consider it a triumph in supply side “Austrian” [...]

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Chapman Students Are Surprised by the Answer to My Environmental Question

February 25, 2014

In January, my wife and I had the opportunity to teach at Chapman University, where I am a Presidential Fellow for 2014.  She taught a class in poetry, and I taught “Modern Political Economy:  Who is Winning the Battle of Ideas?”  I used my textbook, “The Making of Modern Economics,” now in its 2nd edition. One [...]

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A Personal Triumph 25 Years in the Making with Launch of New Macro Statistic

December 2, 2013

For the first time since World War II, the Federal government (Bureau of Economic Analysis) will begin publishing a new macro statistic Gross Output [GO] starting in spring 2014 at the same time it releases its quarterly GDP data. Forbes.com article has just published my article on this new statistic “Beyond GDP“: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/11/29/beyond-gdp-get-ready-for-a-new-way-to-measure-the-economy/ A shortened [...]

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JFK Assassination: I Remember the Day

November 22, 2013

What were you doing 50 years ago on the day President Kennedy was assassinated? I remember it well. I was a junior at Sunset High School in Portland, Oregon, and was sitting with my girl friend Mary Craner in the library when the monitor came on with Walter Cronkite announcing that the President had been [...]

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Perfect Holiday Gift – Maxims of Wall Street

November 18, 2013

Just in time for the Holidays   The perfect gift for family members, friends and colleagues interested in finance, investing, economics, Wall Street and the business of money. Maxims of Wall Street: A Compilation of Financial Adages, Ancient Proverbs, and Worldly Wisdom is a classic reference to read with delight for years to come, and [...]

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Has Government Adopted My New Macro Model?

October 4, 2013

“How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?” – Robert Heinlein For several years now, I have been advocated the need for adding a new national aggregate statistic called Gross Domestic Expenditures (GDE) that measures total spending at all stages of production and not [...]

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Last Chance to “Crash the Party!”

October 2, 2013

Come “Crash the Party,” Saturday, Oct. 19, Westin LAX: Martin Truax, a long-time friend and senior vice president at Raymond James, is organizing a one-day “Crash the Party” seminar on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in recognition of the 1987 crash and my birthday. This is an ideal location, [...]

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