More Adventures in the Realm of Economics
I posted on the NCFCA policy topic, asking how refugee camps could be reformed or transformed to allow more economic freedom. Could refugee camps be Startup Cities. Lincoln-Douglas debaters might be suspicious of a LD post recommending a policy debate post.
Here is the thing: the lamp of economic freedom lights a large landscape. The policy post recommends Milton Friedman’s excellent and influential Free to Choose television series, now online. You can watch the first episode, The Power of the Market, here.
Friedman highlights the dynamics of economic freedom based on people being Free to Choose. People choose who they work for and employers choose who is to work for them. Employers choose what services and products to produce and consumers choose what they will purchase. Consumers drive the production process. Nothing is certain and no jobs or sales or profits are guaranteed.
That might seem like a crazy, chaotic, and uncertain world, but the entrepreneurial spirit of enough people turned once impoverished places like Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan into the wealthiest places on the planet.
Giant corporations mix with mid-size businesses, and corner entrepreneurs, all benefiting from open trade, travel, and international capital flows. The rapid success of the Four Tigers of Asia transformed development economics showing that decentralized development from the bottom-up trumps top-down planning tried in India, Latin America, and communist countries.
Milton Friedman was a highly regarded economist (and Nobel Prize winner) as well as accomplished debater. I remember my college history of economic thought textbook saying that when Milton Friedman took the floor in a debate, it was time to call for the ambulances.
Here is a segment from Free to Choose featuring a debate on role of government, posted on the excellent Cafe Hayek. Each Free to Choose episode has 30 minute documentary by Friedman followed by a lively discussion and debate among scholars and journalists of various political perspectives.
For more recent videos from the realm of economics, below is the first of Don Boudreaux’s Everyday Economics. Don Boudreaux teaches economics at George Mason University, and before moving to GMU was President of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Don hired me in the late 1990s to restart the high school (and later homeschool) debate program.
Most speech and debate students will enjoy and learn from Don’s Everyday Economics videos. And these ideas and principles will be useful in speech and debate rounds.