On Tuesday, NTU Foundation, the Tax Foundation, and the Washington, D.C. chapter of Liberty on the Rocks hosted a gathering to celebrate the work and continuing impact of Milton Friedman. Just blocks away from the White House, close to 200 fellow taxpayers, liberty activists, and students toasted the man who has helped shape so much of how we think about economic and educational freedom. Thank you to everyone who attended and who voted in our online poll! If you haven’t, there’s still time to vote and be entered for a chance to win $50!
We would also like to thank the Foundation for Educational Choice for organizing this world-wide celebration, coordinating with 117 individual events in 23 countries.
Anticipation leading up to the event led to its recognition as one of the “Top 10 Events in DC” by social website Time Out, and quite a few prominent figures in the liberty movement were in attendance. We were honored to hear about Friedman’s personality and philosophy from one of his former students, Tax Foundation Senior Fellow Stephen Entin. He spoke of how perceptive Milton’s views were, particularly how politics can hinder good economic policy.
Attendees also heard brief remarks by Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge, who emphasized how important it is for Americans to recognize the contributions made by Friedman to ensure a robust free market, both at home and abroad. NTUF Executive Vice President Pete Sepp explained how relevant Milton’s policy recommendations remain, even today, as National Taxpayers Union and Foundation continue to show the potential benefits of proposals such as a federal Balanced Budget Amendment and the dangers of excessive anti-trust regulations.
Other guests included Washington, D.C. Mayoral Candidate Bruce Majors (L), libertarian blogger Julie Borowski, local activist Lou Cordia, entrepreneur Jeffrey Tucker, and almost 200 others. Check out more pictures from that night at NTUF's Instagram page!
This year event was not just about toasting Friedman’s teachings but acting on those lessons, as well. NTUF staff collected school supplies for the Perry Street Preparatory School, located in northeast Washington, D.C. Founded in 1999, it is dedicated to "empower[ing] students to be college-ready and to thrive in a global society." Perry Street has 953 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, representing all eight of the District's Wards. Every member of the school's staff has achieved "Highly Qualified Teacher" status.
To add even more to the event, NTU Foundation set up our popular game Cards Against Liberty to make people laugh while educating everyone on some of Friedman’s famous quotes. The game garnered a lot of attention at the International Students for Liberty Conference and the Conservative Political Action Conference, and was a hit on Tuesday night as well.
Upon entering the room at the Laughing Man Tavern, attendees were given a card with a random noun or action phrase, which they would pin on one of four posters to complete one of Friedman’s quotes or answer a question about the economist. There were no right or wrong answers, just the freedom to be as funny, ironic, or literal as one preferred.
Examples of phrases participants came up with include:
Thanks to everyone for playing. We will announce the $50 winners in next week’s Taxpayer’s Tab!
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in New Jersey, Milton Friedman was recognized as a gifted student from an early age. He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and studied Mathematics and Economics at Rutgers University. After attaining an MA and PhD at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, respectively, he began his career as an economist for the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Treasury Department before going on to teach for 30 years at the University of Chicago. In 1976, he received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on monetary theory and history, and in retirement served as an advisor to President Ronald Reagan as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He is recognized by many of his peers as one of the most influential economists of the past century.
But NTUF isn’t done honoring Milton Friedman just yet! Not only was he a staunch supporter of reforming America’s school system, he also was one of the strongest advocates for fundamental tax reform in the United States. Now, we are asking taxpayers from across the country to tell us and Congress what type of tax system would benefit Americans the most -- and there are incentives for your input!
All that you have to do is go to NTUF’s special Milton Friedman page and vote for one of five reforms that have already been proposed in Congress. You will be entered in for a chance to win $50 and a host of other prizes like books and NTUF swag. Be sure to share this important discussion with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and remember, you can’t win if you don’t play!
The National Taxpayers Union Foundation aims to educate Americans about the impact of federal spending and how tax policies and regulations affect them. We do this by researching legislation in our unique and comprehensive BillTally project, writing media pieces for publication, and hosting events to foster discussion on the most pressing fiscal policy issues facing our nation. These activities are resource-intensive and we need the support of individuals like you to reach more taxpayers and continue to hold public officials accountable.
Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to NTU Foundation. The more that you give now, the less you’ll be forced to give Uncle Sam on Tax Day.