Yaron Brook opens the Tallinn panel by saying “The great abundance that we have today is actually a product of entrepreneurs… People who are willing to take risks and work hard to create something that didn’t exist before. People who are willing to go out there, out on a limb, and take an idea, try it, and often fail. Try again. Hopefully succeed.” Tallinn really drives the idea that we undervalue these people who innovate. Brook contributes to the ability for individuals to add value to society through the “individual freedom of going and doing things in the world without asking for permission… We guide our own life, we decide how to act, and what to do.” It is the 19th century when times became permissionless that we have seen a boom in entrepreneurialism according to Brook.
Meelis Kitsing, the second panelist focuses his presentation on public goods. He takes for example the idea of the police. In concept, a great idea for the government to provide for the public. Kitsing mentions, however, a study that showed that police forces work better in communities with neighborhood watches. Kitsing concludes “In a way, the delivery of a public good depends on the individuals, how they collaborate, how they cooperate, and so on. So in a way they become semi-private or semi-public. It’s not so clear.” Kitsing draws the ideology that public and private goods are a construct. They are not black and white, and many times involve a grey line.
Martin Gundinger of the Austrian Economic Center next spoke on the environment. He mentions the two issues of the energy crisis and Carbon taxes. He acknowledges that the majority of people blame Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war and the steep increase in prices. That being said, Gundinger does not believe they are the main reasons as he states “In my opinion, the energy crisis results from the destructive energy policies that are based on wishful thinking unfortunately, and I’m talking of course about the political interventions aimed at the Clean Energy Transition.” He also finds Carbon taxes are very destructive because of opportunity cost not being as great as expected. Overall, Gundinger finds issues with government regulation and rules. He states, “Here [In Europe] government interventions were the most extreme unfortunately, and those made us very very vulnerable.” Gundinger informs us that “The market is the best tool we have to make sure that there are many different ways to deal with problems. That is why we need a free market to deal with energy. Let the market work.”
The final panelist, Mitja Steinbacher, points out that in today’s world, we are constantly thrown massive amounts of information. He attributes that to the centralization and involvement of governments into educational systems. Steinbacher states “The centers of political power have joined forces with the centers of intellectual power to get ahold of some general issues. One of these issues is the environment.” Like Gundinger, he speaks out against an overreaching government. Steinbacher calls for a so called partial “separation” of government from education and intellectual power.