As our masthead declares, the Minnesota Free Market Institute is dedicated to preservation of and education about free markets. We do so not because we have a partisan political ax to grind, but because, quite simply, history has proven free market capitalism, with all its flaws, is undeniably the most effective form of organization for providing the greatest good for the greatest number.
Unfortunately, education about free market economics, the binding relationship between economic liberty and the personal freedoms Americans cherish is substantially lacking in our schools. That is not a lament that the education system is “too liberal” or that it has a bias against “conservative political views.” It is a statement of fact. Our education system, in general, does not provide students with the background in fundamental economic principles with which to make sound, principle-based judgments about economic policy.
Economics in One Lesson
Henry Hazlitt in his classic little book ‘Economics in One Lesson,’ wrote that “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but also at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” Whether the underlying issue is climate change, education, health care or transportation policy,free market economic principles, like the laws of physics, are a given. Government intervention, for better or worse, changes conditions, but it cannot defy the laws of economics anymore than the intrepid Commander Scott of Star Trek fame “can defy the laws of physics.”
Free market economic principles ought to be a part of a basic public education. Literacy in the principles of economics is as important today as the ability to read and write, balance a checkbook or understand it’s not just a cliché that you shouldn’t throw gasoline on a fire.
On this website you will find commentaries and papers published by the Minnesota Free Market Institute that will stimulate classroom discussion and provide what in all likelihood is a new economic perspective for your students on issues of the day. You will also find a continually updated list of online sources that, if you are a teacher, will be valuable additions to your classroom instruction, and if you are a student, will provide you with a perspective you might not be getting in class – a great source for essay and research paper assignments. Check back often.
Thank you for visiting the Minnesota Free Market Institute website. Check out the site, and feel free to leave comments or direct questions to our staff. The Minnesota Free Market Institute is happy to supply classroom or home school groups with speakers on the free market and application of free market principles to the issues of the day.