February 3-4 — Is American Democracy Broken?
March 23 — Prospects for Freedom and Prosperity: A Panel Discussion
April 18 — The Future of Food
August 24 — The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier
October 5 — Are Americans Liberty Lovers?
October 26 — How Economists Helped End the Military Draft
February–03 and February–04
Is American Democracy Broken?
The Free Market Institute (FMI) and the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University co-hosted an IHS On-Campus Education Program as part of their Weekend Exploring Liberty series. The program, titled Is American Democracy Broken?, brought together students and faculty from Texas Tech University for lectures and discussions on topics such as:
- The institutional evolution of American political economy;
- Philosophical perspectives on the nature and operation of participatory democratic systems;
- The relationship of the electoral college to the American federal system;
- The political economy of secession; and
- Economic perspectives on domestic and international policy issues that were prevalent during the election.
The program featured keynote remarks from Randall Holcombe (DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University) and Jason Brennan (Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University), as well as remarks from several faculty members affiliated with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University.
Prospects for Freedom and Prosperity
The Free Market Institute (FMI) at Texas Tech University (TTU), with financial support from the John Templeton Foundation, has undertaken a three-year sponsored research program titled Research on the Origins of Economic Freedom and Prosperity. On the dates of March 23-24, 2017, the FMI hosted a panel discussion and research conference focused on the program themes.
The research conference featured remarks from distinguished scholars, whose research has contributed to academic discourse on the program themes, as well as presentations of working research focused on the program themes.
The panel discussion was originally intended to feature remarks from distinguished scholars – William Easterly of New York University, Douglas Irwin of Dartmouth College, and Deirdre McCloskey of University of Illinois at Chicago – whose work has influenced academic discourse about the panel theme. Illness prevented Profs. Easterly and McCloskey from traveling to Lubbock to participate in the program.
The panel discussion proceeded with remarks from Douglas Irwin (John Sloan Dickey Third Century Chair in the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College) addressing his research in the theory and history of international trade, as well as the prospects for changes in public policy in these areas under the Trump administration.
Alex Nowrasteh (Immigration Policy Analyst at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at Cato Institute) offered remarks addressing his research on the impact of immigration in the United States, as well as his evaluation of current proposals for immigration reform.
Finally, Peter Boettke (University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University) offered remarks on the substantive challenges that Americans face from a broader political economy perspective.
The Future of Food
The Free Market Institute (FMI) and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) at Texas Tech University (TTU) co-sponsored a public lecture featuring remarks from Jayson Lusk (Regents Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University) on The Future of Food: How Science and Technology are Serving Up Super Foods to Save the World. The event was a featured program for here.
Dr. Lusk's remarks addressed what we eat, why we eat it, and how what we eat is produced, which form the basis of many questions driving both popular and scholarly debates about food and food policy in the United States and around the world. Drawing on his academic research in agricultural and consumer economics, as well as his writing for popular audiences, particularly his most recent book (Unnaturally Delicious), Dr. Lusk provided an overview of the fundamental historical and contemporary debates concerning the sustainability of population growth and food production, as well as a number of issues ranging from health problems to the efficacy of buying local.
The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier
P.J. Hill, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wheaton College and Senior Fellow at Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) visited Texas Tech University to deliver a public lecture based on his research published in The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (co-authored with Terry L. Anderson).
This program was co-sponsored and hosted by the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University and coincided with the Free Market Institute's research program, Governing Natural Resources in the American West.
In The Not So Wild, Wild West, Anderson and Hill presented a historical framework that emphasizes how individuals
on the American frontier developed both formal and informal institutions to promote
cooperation rather than conflict. Prof. Hill's remarks focused on several examples
from his research that bring the theory to life.
Are Americans Liberty Lovers?
Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University, as well as nationally syndicated columnist (including in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) and author, delivered the keynote public lecture about the role of government in a free society. Prof. Williams reflected on current events and recent developments in public policy debates while examining the question, Are Americans Liberty Lovers?
Similar to his previous visit to Texas Tech University in September 2013, Dr. Williams' visit was very well received. Video of his remarks from his 2013 visit is available here.
How Economists Helped End the Military Draft
David R. Henderson, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Naval Postgraduate School, delivered remarks on his research investigating the role that economists played in making the intellectual case for ending conscription in the United States, which lasted from 1948 to 1973. Prof. Henderson emphasized the findings of the Gates Commission, highlighting the arguments that many prominent economists made to demonstrate the significant human and economic costs associated with the draft.