Sunday, April 21, 2013

A great visit by Timothy Sandefur

On Wednesday, April 17 Susquehanna University hosted Timothy Sandefur, from Pacific Legal Foundation.  It was a great visit.

On his schedule: 

He met with two sophomore legal environment classes (mostly business students) in the morning, and pre-law students in the afternoon.

Wednesday night he gave a public lecture .  He gave a talk to between 80-100 people.  His talk was titled "The Right to Earn a Living", and it was loosely based on his book.

He finished with a Thursday morning visit to a political science class.

Here are some things I learned/liked:

* The origins of the phrase the "dismal science".  It was by a racist who objected to the fact that economist John Stuart Mill thought "all peoples on Earth, from all races and colours, were basically the same".  Economists can rightfully be proud that their profession has usually been on the right side of arguments over discrimination.  

* He made the claim (and I agree) that one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that poor people need to be protected from free markets.  In fact, as he said, poor people are the ones who need free and unrestricted markets the most. Crony capitalists often try to prevent the poor from earning a living to make themselves wealthier.  The poor need the freedom of purely capitalist market much more than the rich.

* I learned a great new term: "Demand-Supply Deniers".  He coined it (to my knowledge), and it's obviously a take on the left's use of climate change deniers.  Unfortunately, there are many demand-supply deniers out there.

Overall, students and non-students alike all were impressed.  My students loved his energy and his ideas.  I enjoyed chatting with him and learning some new things myself.  For those looking for a good speaker to talk about issues of freedom and the right to earn a living, I highly recommend Timothy Sandefur!

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