“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. My breath is sweet to me. Oh how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment”.
Henry David Thoreau
On this page you will find a wide variety of topics ranging from opportunities to learn more about liberty and economics. Please note - this page is a mix of information for 'public-use' and thus not required of Valencia College students in my classes, along with recommended material for my students. If you are a student you will be informed which material you need to review from this page. Updated - February 19, 2021 11:24am
The Real Reason College Costs So Much
Washington Could Use Less Keynes and More Hayek
Yertle the Turtle (to help children understand the value of liberty)
How a Capitalist Won World War II
Every year the Young America's Foundation holds Freedom Fest - a three day series devoted to speeches and debates on liberty, the role of government in the economy and principles of individualism. Young America's Foundation has cast as its primary mission the promotion of the philosophy espoused by President Ronald Reagan. In 2004 ABC's John Stossel (seen here to my immediate left) and I were invited to speak at Freedom Fest.
To watch his speech entitled "Enemies of Liberty" just click on this link. To hear my speech "Where have you gone, Davy Crockett?" click on this link.
Liberty and Economics in Movies and Documentaries
(the links below do not provide the entire movie, just clips or general information)
Miracle - Students of economics and liberty will love the underlying theme of dynamic capitalism triumphing over statist communism.
Jackie Robinson Documentary - The true story of a man who fought for his natural right to work in his chosen profession.
Hidden Figures - An incredible movie about the women who gave us space flight while fighting discrimination.
The Free State of Jones - During the Civil War a community of white and African-Americans started their own country in Mississippi
12 Years a Slave - A powerful movie on the economics and history of slavery in America.
13th - A stark look at the effect of the 13th amendment on millions of Americans
John Adams - an HBO miniseries with classic Libertarian dialogue
Band of Brothers - A ten-part series on the 101st airborne during WWII
Little Pink House - A great movie on eminent domain abuse
Cast Away - a lesson in scarcity, opportunity cost and cost-benefit analysis
I Want Your Money - A terrific look at the battle for your future.
A Beautiful Mind - A movie about an economist and a strange new look at Adam Smith.
The Pursuit of Happyness - A look at the difference between rights and interests and one man's capitalistic triumph
Braveheart - Perhaps the greatest movie on human liberty ever made.
Flash of Genius - Why private property rights are important...
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand's book as a movie.
Food, Inc. - An interesting look at the economics of the food industry
Cinderella Man - Not only does this movie illustrate how the welfare state was not openly embraced by Americans in the 1930s, but there is a terrific scene where the boxer's manager and a fight promoter illustrate the power of Adam Smith's views of the self-interested man.
The Shawshank Redemption - One of the greatest movies ever on the subject of individual liberty and morality.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Students of Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution will love this movie.
The Perfect Storm - Good or bad capitalism? Rational or irrational behavior?
Born Free - A wonderful movie to teach kids the difference between liberty and security
Planes, Trains & Automobiles - Filled with price elasticity of demand examples...
The Patriot - Mel Gibson's quote about tyrants early in the movie is a classic....
Open Range - An interesting look at the definition of property.
Saving Private Ryan - A terrific examination of resource use, opportunity cost and cost-benefit analysis.
Syriana - A disturbing, and relatively realistic look at the oil business - with a reference to Milton Friedman included!
You've Got Mail - For a look at the 'conventional wisdom' (i.e. wrong way of thinking) on the issue of predatory pricing.
The Rookie - This movie is one long exercise in the concept of opportunity cost.
Hoffa - For an interesting look at the labor union movement.
Wall Street - Another anti-Capitalism movie. The zero-sum game scene is typical of what Hollywood doesn't understand about markets.
'V' for Vendetta - The future?
When is TAX FREEDOM DAY in your state?
The average American worked into the month of April just to pay off the government. Depending on the state you live in, you might be a serf a little longer. I hope the news is good for you. Click here to find out...
Do you live in an economically free state?
For many Americans, liberty is jeopardy because of the state they live in. Tax rates, regulations on businesses, eminent domain abuse and other factors contribute to economic liberty - or the lack thereof. To find out if you live in a state where freedom is respected, click here. Good luck!
2020 Global Rankings of Economic Freedom - Where to live if you want liberty...
To learn more about what these rankings mean visit the Heritage Foundation website.
Why you should consider economics as your major...
What is your political philosophy? Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz to find out..
So, your answers indicate you might be a Libertarian. What does that mean?
"Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to his life in any way he chooses so long as he or she respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person's right to life, liberty and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the Libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves uses force-actions like murder, robbery, rape, kidnapping and fraud."
According to Charles Murray, What it Means to Be a Libertarian, Broadway Books, 1997
For more on Libertarianism log onto any of the following websites:
Economics from the lighter side....
Economics from the lighter side....