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The Heartland Institute was honored on November 15 to host Steve Forbes, the iconic editor in chief of Forbes Media, and Elizabeth Ames, coauthors of Freedom Manifesto. Ms. Ames’ excellent presentation will be posted soon. Steve’s was outstanding, and can be seen below.
After opening with a joke about the paltry number of protestors that night outside the Union League Club (scores were promised; a handful showed up), Steve talked about how Americans today are at a turning point.
Are we a country founded on the values of freedom and limited government, as envisioned by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Or do we want to become a European-style socialist democracy? What best serves the public good—freedom or Big Government?
In presenting their book Freedom Manifesto, Forbes and Ames offered a new twist on this historic debate. Today’s bloated and bureaucratic government, they argue, is anything but a force for compassion. Instead of assuring fairness, it promotes favoritism. Instead of furthering opportunity, it stifles economic growth. Instead of unleashing innovation and material abundance, its regulations and price controls create rigidity and scarcity. Not only are Big Government’s inefficient and ever-expanding bureaucracies ill-equipped to deliver on their promises—they are often guilty of the very greed, excess, and corruption routinely ascribed to the private sector.
The only way to a truly fair and moral society, the authors say, is through economic freedom—free people and free markets. Throughout history, open markets have helped the poor and everyone else by unleashing unprecedented creativity, generating wealth, and raising living standards.
If you missed this great event, frequent Heartland’s events page to make sure you don’t miss our next one with Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks on December 6. You can also watch all of Heartland’s excellent “Author Series” presentations at this channel on our YouTube page.
And if you were lucky enough to be in attendance on November 15, it’s worth it to watch Steve’s great presentation again.