Free Market Road Show

#FMRS2022: THE FREEDOM VARIANT

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FMRS Zurich – Report

Li Schoolland grew up in communist China and explained why the Chinese model should be shunned, not emulated. Schoolland portrayed China from many perspectives including economics, political correctness, equality, poverty cure and pandemic management and matched her personal experience with the official news from Peking. Li Schoolland offered several revealing anecdotes about the failures of China’s central planning, not viewed as a loss of money by the government since the funds go from the government bank to the government project – as long as they don’t get into foreigners’ hands. She noted the high levels of waste. Mayors for example are expected to fulfill GDP quotas, resulting in construction projects designed to last for only a few years. Concerning Hong Kong, Schoolland believes that the West does not do enough to protect the former British colony.

FMRS Zurich Report
Dan Mitchell spoke about public policy, tax policy and debt. “One of the good things about the Western world is we’ve got reasonably good rule of law.” Without a reliable rule of law, a free market society with low taxes, low spending, and low regulation would prove difficult to achieve. The current tax and transfer welfare state is problematic due to an aging population and declining birthrates in the Western world. In the future, the workforce will not be large enough to support the healthcare and pensions of retirees. High-income taxes and the VAT are causing difficulties for Europeans, especially the lower and middle class. Considering these conditions, entitlement reform ought to be pursued.

FMRS Zurich Report
Eamonn Butler focused on supply chains. He showed how international trade and growth rates correlate and how trade thus furthers individual freedom and human benefits. Butler believes, “It promotes trust, cooperation, political freedom, understanding, and peace.” Trade increases will lead to economic gains such as economic growth, liberal values, increased choices for consumers, better quality, specialization, and productivity, and non-economic gains such as quality of life, peace, understanding, fairness, and institutions. All these advantages were thrown back by the (deliberate) breaking of supply chains during the pandemic. The best policy advice is to restore supply chains and international trade – in any case.

FMRS Zurich Report
Barbara Kolm followed with her presentation on monetary policy and inflation. Kolm stated, “In the microscale, mere operational excellence and complexity reduction are the wrong tools for dealing with systemic crises.” There is a lack of rethinking regarding the issues we face, particularly among public institutions and politics. She believes that institutions must “leave the familiar” which is a risky idea for them. In this, trust plays a key role. Kolm also emphasizes the role the government played in increasing debt. She explains that bailout agreements and guarantees can be blamed for the large amount of debt occurred by various countries from 2007-2008. When she later spoke on inflation, Kolm pointed out major inflation drivers currently worsening the situation: supply and demand effects, secular stagflation, and an increase in private consumption spending, as well as climate policy and the inclusion of owner operated housing in the Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices.

FMRS Zurich Report
Craig Biddle spoke on the foundations for liberty. Objectivism is “A philosophy for living on earth.” This is because it provides principled guidance for making life-serving choices, taking life-serving actions, and establishing a free society—so that we can make such choices and take such actions.

FMRS Zurich – Program

4:30pm – 4:40pm Welcome Words

  • Barbara Kolm, Austrian Central Bank, Austrian Economics Center
4:40pm – 5:00pm Keynote

The Chinese Model

5:00pm – 5:20pm Keynote

The challenges for public policy, tax policy, and the issue of debt

5:20pm – 5:40pm Keynote

Supply chaines – trade vs autarchy

5:40pm – 6:00pm Keynote

Monetary policy and inflation

  • Barbara Kolm, Austrian Central Bank, Austrian Economics Center
6:00pm – 6:20pm Keynote

The foundation for liberty

6:20pm – 6:20pm Closing Remarks
6:20pm Apero riche

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