Monday, Session 1: Economic Freedom

Questions for further exploration:


A. Methodology

  1. Is the growth of government adequately represented in economic freedom indices if improvements are relative?
  2. In what ways is the process of improving the index kept honest to avoid changes that improve the desirable correlations? Can that process be further improved?

B. Application

  1. In addition to identifying the consequences of economic freedom, what can be done to better identify the causes? Why did some countries manage to achieve more economic freedom than others? Can those lessons be replicated?
  2. What are the best ways to use the economic freedom data to influence specific public policy issues and debates happening now?
  3. What do we know about the time lag between institutional changes that increase economic freedom and the improvements they cause?

Monday, Session 2: Rule of Law

Questions for further exploration:

  1. How do we establish or re-establish rule of law? What are the lessons from the past?
  2. Are there legal efforts now to counteract erosion of the rule of law that are working?

Tuesday, Session 3: Welfare State and Redistributive Factions

Questions for further exploration:

  1. What can be done to regain the moral high ground in advancing efforts to roll back the welfare state?
  2. What is the appropriate safety net that should be established?

Tuesday, Session 4: Government Spending

Questions for further exploration:

  1. Are there examples where reforms built around the principle behind conditional cash-out have succeeded?
  2. As a political matter, what conditions or arguments have worked to constrain government spending in times of low private spending?

Thursday, Session 5: History as the Fulcrum of Liberty

Questions for further exploration:

  1. How important is it that today’s economics students read Hayek and Mises? Is it sufficient if they are exposed to more recent scholarship that benefits from their insights?

Thursday, Session 6: Moral Foundations of the Free Society

Questions for further exploration:

  1. How well developed are the moral arguments for consumer capitalism?
  2. Are faith and reason reconcilable and, if so, does faith support the free society?

Friday, Session 7: The Security of the Free Society

Questions for further exploration:

  1. Are the same types of inefficiencies that plague bureaucracy in domestic settings just as prevalent when government operates abroad militarily?
  2. Is the perception of security (in addition to actual security) also an important part of the institutional integrity of the well-functioning free society?

Friday, Session 8: The Battle for the Free Society in the Academy and in the World of Think Tanks

Questions for further exploration:

  1. Is the appropriate way to think about the role of think tanks more akin to a network model?
  2. Are think tanks in danger of blurring the lines of their role in civil society if they adopt the latest marketing best practices?