February 20 — Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero
September 9 — Forget 2020: The World Is Getting Better, but We Remain Pessimistic
October 5 — Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration
October 26 — Economics, Freedom, Health, and the COVID-19 Pandemic
We love to hate the 800-pound gorilla. Walmart and Amazon destroy communities and small businesses. Facebook turns us into addicts while putting our personal data at risk. From skeptical politicians like Bernie Sanders who, at a 2016 presidential campaign rally said, "If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist," to millennials, only 42 percent of whom support capitalism, belief in big business is at an all-time low. But are big companies inherently evil? If business is so bad, why does it remain so integral to the basic functioning of America? Economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen says our biggest problem is that we don't love business enough.
The Free Market Institute hosted Tyler Cowen as part of the spring 2020 FMI Public Speaker Series program on February 20. Prof. Cowen delivered keynote remarks based on his book, "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."
It is safe to say that 2020 has not panned out in a way that most of us had hoped or expected. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc upon the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. From Washington, DC to London, young people have taken to the streets to protest a plethora of wrongs—some real and some imagined. Despite all of this, there is plenty of evidence that the state of the world in general and of humanity in particular are for the most part getting better.
The Free Market Institute hosted Marian L. Tupy to present a public lecture on September 9 based on research that explains why the world is getting better, but the majority of people remain pessimistic. More information about this research can be found at HumanProgress.org, or in Dr. Tupy's recently co-authored book, Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.
American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens. Dr. Bryan Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy—greatly benefiting humanity.
The Free Market Institute hosted Bryan Caplan to present a public lecture on October 5, based on research from his recently published book, Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, where he makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny.
On October 26, The Free Market Institute hosted a panel discussion featuring FMI scholars to examine how the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic relates to our economy, freedom, and health.
FMI Executive Director and professor of economics, Benjamin Powell, Ph.D., talked about the economic rationale for the government imposed lockdowns and whether they are sensible policies. FMI Comparative Economics Research Fellow and associate professor of economics, Alexander Salter, Ph.D., explained how the Federal Reserve engaged in radical new programs that were ineffective. Then, FMI Faculty Affiliate and associate professor of internal medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Gilbert Berdine, M.D., explored the health consequences of lockdowns and whether a case can be made that such lockdowns actually cost lives overall.