Economic Freedom and Political Freedom
Date: Monday, September 24, 2018
Guest Discussion Leader: Jeffrey Hummel, Professor, Economics, San Jose State University
“Economic arrangements play a dual role in the promotion of a free society. On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means around the achievement of political freedom.” (Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom)
During this session, you will explore the relationship between economic freedom and political freedom and the reason why both are necessary. Fellows will read excerpts from two of the greatest defenders of a liberal economic order: Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek. Excerpts from two works, Capitalism and Freedom by Friedman and The Essence of Hayek which is a collection of some of Hayek‘s most influential writings, will serve as the basis of discussion.
1) How does limited knowledge pose a challenge to a centrally planned economy?
2) How does limited knowledge impact a competitive economy?
3) What role does “price” play in the economy?
4) Hayek describes how “socialism” and “conservatism” are similar in several ways. How are they similar and how is “liberalism” as conveyed by Hayek, a better means of achieving economic (& political) freedom?
5) What does Hayek mean when he calls himself an “Old Whig”?