Free Markets 101: Spring 2013 Recruitment Drive

Free Markets 101

Spread economic freedom. Educate new students. Grow your chapter.

As we kickoff the Spring school semester, it's time for Free Markets 101.

Shockingly, most college students—even Economics majors!—have never been exposed to free market economists like Ludwig Von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, and  Frédéric Bastiat. It's an absolute shame—and a big reason why our country is a gigantic economic mess.

So this January and February, YAL chapters nationwide will take to their campuses to educate students, often for the very first time, about true Free Markets, debunking the myths of socialism, cronyism, and wealth redistribution.
We're calling this entire activism project, "Free Markets 101."

To help YAL chapters participate, we have put together three activism ideas with instructions and free resources for YAL chapters choose from:

  1. Jenga-nomics: How Wealth Redistribution Destroys an Economy

  2. Rags or Riches? Connect the Dots Between Freedom and Prosperity

  3. Crony Chronicles: Government Welfare is NOT Free Markets

Your chapter may participate in one, two, or all three activism idea(s) by following the activism instructions and applying for free resources here:

Apply Now

For each activism idea, there are two major components:

  1. An on-campus tabling exercise to recruit new members and promote your upcoming Free Markets 101 meeting/event.
  2. A large chapter meeting/event to educate all attendees and discuss Free Markets. This could be a speaker, PowerPoint Presentation, politician, economics professor, movie, and/or general economics discussion.

The YAL chapters with the best Free Market 101 activism will be awarded bragging rights and $250 activism grants for these three categories:

  • Largest turn-out at a Free Markets 101 chapter meeting or event
  • The YAL chapter which uploads the most new sign-ups to the YAL website via the "Manage Members" tool on their chapter page
  • Best overall activism based on the pictures, videos, media coverage, and documentation in the chapter report posted to the YAL blog

To enter the activism contest you must do two things:

  1. Before your event, apply to enter the contest by completing this short form. This will also make you eligible to receive a FREE, custom activism kit tailored to your Free Markets 101 project.
  2. After your event, share your story on the YAL blog. We want all the details! If you have any trouble posting to the YAL blog as a Chapter Officer, email YAL Director of Communications Bonnie Kristian at bonnie.kristian@yaliberty.org. Also, don't forget to upload your new recruits' info to your chapter page.

All blog posts are due by midnight on Thursday, February 28. Winners will be announced after all the blog posts have been published and reviewed.

Get started now! Read through all of these instructions, pick the activism idea(s), apply for resources, and get creative!

Here are five simple steps to accomplishing your activism:

  1. Reconnect with your chapter members and re-energize them for another busy semester for liberty!
  2. Decide what Free Market 101 activism idea(s) is best for your chapter this January and/or February, follow the activism instructions, and apply for free customized resources.
  3. Organize a planning meeting (or two or three) with your chapter leadership to prepare your tabling exercise and Free Markets 101 meeting/event. This can be as simple as a teleconference call or meeting at the local coffee shop.
  4. Promote your event, execute your activism, and document your results.
  5. Upload all the new sign-ups to your Chapter Page on the YAL website and post a Chapter Report to the YAL blog.

 Resources

Free market resources to improve your activism:

Use this list of resources to bolster your own knowledge of free market economics—and to make sure your activism is smart and ready for questions. You may want to use one of these videos to start discussion or preface a presentation at your follow-up event. And consider printing one or more of the articles to give to interested students who want in-depth information.

Here's a good place to start: Free Market Basics.

If you're doing the Jenga-nomics project...
  • "Occupy Wall Street and Student Loans": In this one-minute video, Prof. Chris Coyne argues that by seeking bailouts for student loans, the Occupy Wall Street movement is fundamentally no different than the banks and corporations that they're criticizing. You can download the video or watch it online, and a transcript is also available. This is perfect to start a discussion at your follow-up event.
  • "Who exploits you more: Capitalists or cronies?": In this two-minute video, Professor Matt Zwolinski discusses whether the state is the solution to economic exploitation. You can download the video or watch it online, and a transcript is also available. This is another good option to start a discussion at your follow-up event.
  • Additional videos: Sally and Income RedistributionRedistribution of WealthThe Broken Window Fallacy.
  • "Can the state reduce poverty?": In this article, Henry Hazlitt argues that government programs to redistribute wealth always hurt more than they help.
  • "Income Inequality and Fairness": In this lecture, Will Wilkinson contends that political arguments over income inequality and fairness actually obscure more important discussions.
  • "Income Distribution": In this article, the Library of Economics and Liberty discusses different topics falling under the broad category of income distribution, and provides links to further research.
  • For longer videos, check out the options at FreetoChoose.tv, an archive of Milton Friedman's Free to Choose episodes.
If you're doing the Rags or Riches project...
If you're doing the Crony Capitalism project...
  • "Is Capitalism Pro-Business?": In this three-minute video, Professor Steve Horwitz explains the difference between free market and pro-business attitudes—and why one is better than the other. You can download the video or watch it online. This is perfect to start a discussion at your follow-up event.
  • "Top Three Myths of Capitalism": In this three-minute video, Dr. Jeffrey Miron at Harvard discusses whether being pro-business and pro-capitalism the same, and much more. You can download the video or watch it online, and a transcript is also available. This is another good option to start a discussion at your follow-up event.
  • "Who exploits you more: Capitalists or cronies?": In this two-minute video, Professor Matt Zwolinski discusses whether the state is the solution to economic exploitation. You can download the video or watch it online, and a transcript is also available. This is a third good choice to start a discussion at your follow-up event.
  • Additional videos: Protectionism Vs. Free Trade; Cronyism in America.
  • "The Decline in Economic Freedom": In this article, James Gwartney, Joshua Hall and Robert Lawson discuss the recent decline in economic freedom in the United States and how it undermines productive entrepreneurial activity and instead rewards crony capitalism.
  • "Corporatism and Power to the People": In this article, Steven Horwitz explains how government power often is used to make corporations more powerful.
  • For longer videos, check out the options at FreetoChoose.tv, an archive of Milton Friedman's Free to Choose episodes.