Webinar Archive

webinar-archiveHere you will find all the videos from past Webinars, Virtual Speakers Bureau, and other exciting programs. Look through the various topics including:

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Contrary to the popular myth, capitalism didn’t bring on the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt didn’t save us from it. Nor was Herbert Hoover a friend of free enterprise. Based on his widely-acclaimed essay, ‘Great Myths of the Great Depression,’ Lawrence Reed’s webinar lecture will blow away the errors and explain the real causes of the debacle of the 1930s as well as the policy mistakes that prolonged it.


Students For Liberty South Asia presents ‘Why Government Monopolies Don’t Work’ with Nalamotu Chakravarthy, as part of a bi-monthly podcast for millennials called Ideas For Liberty. Nalamotu Chakravarthy, founder of Center for Individual Liberty, discusses why government monopolies are justified on the grounds that they are necessary to protect consumer. In India, the government has a monopoly on electricity, water supply, railways and roads. Even when it is not directly producing these goods, it creates private monopolies through licenses. But does government have any role in business? Should it be providing goods and services at all, let alone assume monopoly power? Join us for a webinar where Chakravarthy argues that ‘Government Monopolies Don’t Work’.


The conventional wisdom about the financial crisis overlooks its demonstrable cause: the Basel regulations covering banks’ investments. These rules penalized banks that did not invest in mortgage-backed securities. Ironically, these regulations made sense when they were enacted. But they suppressed the heterogeneous investing strategy that unregulated banks might have pursued. An important and neglected merit of capitalism is that it diversifies an economy. This is the only safeguard against human ignorance. A regulated economy imposes one view of best practices on the entire system, and if the regulators, being human, are mistaken, the entire system is put at risk.


Intellectual Property Rights have always been a hot topic among libertarians. One of the main arguments in favor is the belief that these rights are essential for entrepreneurship. Businesses wouldn’t be able to innovate without the financial fruits of their intellectual labor. But exactly how essential is intellectual property in this regard? Would an end of these rights mean an end of commerce? Or the reverse? Find out in this webinar!


Dan D’Amico discusses the importance of modern Austrian economics and how it benefits our society.


Dr. Pauline Dixon, Professor of International Development and Education at Newcastle University, highlights her research regarding low cost private schools in the developing world. She challenges common assumptions surrounding private schools including: private education for the poor does not exist, free public education is the only way to increase enrollment for the poor, and private education for the poor must be of a lower quality than public provision.


Mark Calabria’s talk is about the current and future role of the Dollar in the Global Monetary System. He discusses what makes a global currency and evaluate the potential for both the Euro and the Yuan as competitors to the Dollar. In doing so, Calabria covers the influence of monetary policy on a currency’s value as well as the impact a reserve currency has on domestic industries.


Professor Steve Horwitz argues that the enhanced freedom with respect to family choices that has characterized the modern family and that is celebrated by those on the political left, is largely a product of the economic system, market capitalism, that they often reject. At the same time, those on the right who are troubled by these changes in the family, including the demand for same-sex marriage, need to realize that such cultural changes are an inevitable by-product of the economic freedom they claim to celebrate. Prof. Horwitz argues that it is capitalism that is the main driver of the evolution of the western family and that the wider array of family structures that characterizes the 21st century represents an increased cultural freedom brought on by the freedom to engage in capitalist acts between consenting adults.


Professor Dan D’Amico discusses his response essay to James C. Scott’s The Art of Not Being Governed


ObamaCare’s unprecedented requirement that nearly every individual purchase and maintain a qualifying health insurance plan has many Americans uneasy. 60% of Americans oppose ObamaCare and a recent AP poll showed that 80% of Americans believe that Congress cannot make citizens purchase products from a private business. Yet many “Constitutional Law Experts” are treating Obamacare like a run-of-the-mill law that is obviously constitutional. Who’s right, what will happen when the case hits the Supreme Court, and what are the ramifications of laws like ObamaCare for the philosophy of liberty?


In this webinar George Selgin explains how monetary exchange arose as “a product of human action but not of human design,” and how in the absence of government interference market forces would favor the development of decentralized monetary systems both more efficient and more stable than the centralized and heavily-regulated systems prevailing today.


It’s easy to be caught off-guard when accusations are hurled at a free-market system by students or friends. It’s hard to know how to answer when someone asks how the market works, or how it handles this or that problem. This webinar is designed to offer a few tips on the best way to approach these questions and conversations, so that you stay sane and clearly and accurately describe the ideas you believe in.


Ben Powell explains how sweatshops provide a superior opportunity for the workers who work in them compared to other alternatives available to those workers and the role sweatshops play in the process of economic development that ultimately leads to the disappearance of sweatshops.


Peter Boettke’s talk covers the role and importance of the paradigms of Austrian Economics and Institutional Analysis to gaining an understanding of the mechanisms that underpin a society characterized by sustained economic prosperity and cooperation among free and responsible individuals.


Professor Ebeling reminds us of the lessons learned from the longevity and eventual collapse of Soviet socialism, drawing on the many economic weaknesses faced by the USSR.


Traditional tools from politics, sociology, law, and other disciplines are insufficient for a complete understanding of the world. Non-traditional applications of economics have a huge marginal impact: these include institutions, the knowledge problem, public choice theory, social theory, and spontaneous order. Nikolai will give an introduction to all these fields, while at the same time synthesizing them to show their importance.


Dr. James Lark identifies and discusses some important issues involving the interpretation of data in public policy matters.



The SFL South Asia presents ‘Rules, Not Rulers’ with Atany Dey, as part of a bi-monthly podcast for millennials called Ideas For Liberty. India is a large country and like all modern economies, its development is a complex matter. Yet that complexity does not mean that the solution to under-development is complex. It can be argued that the solution can be as simple as changing some basic rules. Complexity is an emergent phenomenon which arises from the repeated application over time of a simple set of rules. The quality of the complex system that arises depends on the rules that govern the system. Bad rules lead to bad complex systems. Conversely, good rules result in good systems. It is possible to change the outcome by changing the rules. The importance of rules in the prosperity of nations is much greater than the influence of leaders. A good set of rules consistently followed is a necessary condition for the wealth of nations. Rules matter more than rulers. This video discusses the difference between rules and rulers, and how the rules, not the rulers are what lead us towards a free society.


Students For Liberty joined students from all over the world on Thursday February 27th at 8pm ET for a webinar discussion led by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Executive Vice President of International Programs of the Atlas Network and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, on the topic of “Libertarianism and Peace.”


Students For Liberty joined students from all over the world on March 5th at 8pm ET for a webinar discussion led by Alexander McCobin, co-founder of Students For Liberty, on the proliferation of millennial libertarianism.


Students For Liberty joined students from all over the world on Thursday Febaruary 6th at 8pm ET for a webinar discussion led by Jack Hunter, Contributing Editor at Rare, on “The Need for More Tolerance: How Libertarians Are Making the Conservative Movement and America Better.”


Students For Liberty joined students from all over the world on November 20th, 2013 for a webinar discussion led by “Sex and the State” Editor-in-Chief Cathy Reisenwitz on women’s specific issues in the morality of liberty.


On October 30, 2013, Students For Liberty joined students from all over the world for a webinar discussion led by Mark Henderson, author of The Soul of Atlas, on reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable philosophies of Objectivism and Christianity.


In this webinar, Professor Auer compares philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Immanuel Kant, and draws on their impact on European society.


“You didn’t build that!” say many neo-communitarian politicians. It doesn’t follow from this claim, however, that the state and the political system is the best way to instantiate communitarian ideals. Actually, politics is the opposite of community. It turns us into tribes and warriors who must fight for basic freedoms, exemptions, give aways, and dispensations from the chief. In short, politics is primitive.


This webinar discusses the “economics of state-led humanitarianism” to understand the limits of government efforts to help those in need. A wide range of humanitarian actions (e.g., emergency assistance, development assistance, peacekeeping, etc.) will be discussed. Among the questions considered are: What incentives and constraints do the various parties involved in state-led humanitarian efforts face? And, what, if any, alternatives are available to current approaches to state-led humanitarian action?


Professor Sarah Skwire discusses William Shakespeare’s influence on Adam Smith’s work.


Libertarians stand for the nonaggression principle, property rights and objective morality. How can libertarian virtues be established without reference to subjective interpretations of religious texts, or the amoral might of the well-armed state? Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio has published a free book called Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics, which details a powerful solution to the problem of modern morality. In this engaging webinar, Mr. Molyneux introduces this theory, and takes questions, criticisms and corrections from the audience.


What are rights—where do they come from—how do we know it? In this webinar, Craig Biddle will present the essentials of Ayn Rand’s theory of rights, showing how its principles are derived from perceptual reality; differentiating it from traditional theories, including “God-given” rights, “government-granted” rights, and “natural” rights; and explaining why advocates of liberty must embrace Rand’s theory if they wish to succeed in establishing and maintaining freedom.


Can libertarians find common philosophical ground with those on the political left? In this talk, Professor Zwolinski traces the historyoflibertarian/leftist cooperation (and conflict), and argues that there is ample philosophical justification for a new synthesis: a “bleeding heart libertarianism” that supports free markets and limited government while nevertheless embracing concern for marginalized and oppressed groups and an ideal of social justice.


Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain Radio, discusses how to combat the most common objections to a free society, such as: who will build the roads? Who will take care of the poor? How will the young be educated? Who will take care of the sick? How will national defense work? And most importantly, how are we going to get there from here?


Classical liberals often don’t trust the government to produce consumer products. If the government is incompetent to produce everyday goods and services, is it really competent to produce a legal regime? Professor Friedman is a Professor of Law at Santa Clara University. He specializes include economics analytics of law, computers, crime, and privacy.


Tom Palmer joins us for a special extended session to discuss how the elements of libertarian thought are neither an incoherent jumble of policy positions advanced by this or that ideologue, nor a strictly logical-deductive system of thought, but a coherent set of reinforcing ideas with a historical genesis. In his argument, the three main elements of libertarian thought are 1) imprescriptible individual rights, 2) spontaneous (or “emergent”) order, 3) limited government and the rule of law. Tom reviews their relationships both historically and conceptually (or “philosophically”) and then discusses the universalist nature and appeal of libertarianism. He concludes with a review of some very exciting developments involving libertarians around the world, including activities in Egypt, Central Asia, Africa, and East Asia.


Some people think that equality is an important (perhaps THE important) aim of government. Should it be? Mark LeBar is an associate professor of philosophy at Ohio University in Athens. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, an MA in philosophy from the University of Washington, and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Arizona. He has published papers on ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of mind, and is at work on a project exploring the foundations of political obligations and authority in Aristotelian moral theory.


Dr. David M. Hart discusses the significance of Bastiat’s work and the implications that it provokes.


The purpose of this webinar is to inform activists for liberty about some important substantive criticisms of the libertarian perspective, and to provide a brief overview of ways in which the criticisms can be addressed.


An early SFL webinar from October 11, 2010 featuring Dr. Edward Hudgins of The Atlas Society.


Dr. Bradley Hobbs of Florida Gulf Coast University discuss the “Pessimistic Bias” and historical perspectives on human progress. There is ample evidence that Americans misjudge their standard-of-living from both historical and current perspectives: they are also quite pessimistic concerning the future. People tend to engage in “The Good Old Days…” fallacy by idealizing the conditions of the past. Regarding the future, 68% of Americans believe that the “American Dream” will be “harder” for their children to achieve and 45% rated it as “much harder”. The failure to understand where we are, in terms of living standards, in both historical and relative terms feeds incorrect and biased views regarding human progress over the past few centuries. This webinar covers the speed and scope of human progress from not only an economic or material perspective, but in numerous other important measures of quality of life.





Bibek Aryal, Senior Local Coordinator in Nepal with South Asia Students For Liberty, shares his experience and insights in regards to his event, Prospects With Professionals. This event brought together over 20 proactive entrepreneurs to learn about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, learn from other entrepreneur’s stories and experiences, encourage and empower young entrepreneurs, and connect Nepalese entrepreneurs together to help identify opportunities.


Students from all over the world joined Students For Liberty on January 30th at 8pm ET for a webinar discussion led by T.K. Coleman, Education Director of Praxis, on human creativity. T.K is a philosopher, writer, lecturer, entrepreneur, and life coach living in Los Angeles, California. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy & Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University and has worked as a licensed financial adviser for American Express, a Corporate Trainer for National Seminar Group, a Director of Business Development for Rock City Films Entertainment, and an Educator for the Continuing Education Divisions at Graceland University and Rockhurst University. T.K. is currently the Education Director for Praxis and he blogs daily on self-determinism, creativity, and philosophy at tkcoleman.com


Students from all over the world joined us on Thursday January 16th at 8pm ET for a webinar discussion led by Isaac Morehouse, Founder & CEO of Praxis, on changing the way we educate. Isaac Morehouse is an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He is the founder and CEO of Praxis,an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college. Isaac previously worked at the Institute for Humane Studies and at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy where he created and directed Students for a Free Economy. Isaac holds a master’s degree in economics with a focus on the Austrian School from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Western Michigan University (though he feels the latter was a waste of time and money).


SFL joined students from all over the world on November 20th at 8pm ET for a webinar discussion led by Jeffrey Tucker, Executive Editor of Laissez Faire Books, on the role of entrepreneurship in society.


If the government had known what would happen, would the Internet have been privatized in 1995? Maybe not. It has been a zone of freedom in a world of despotism, and it has been the font of a dazzling display of human creativity. Its contribution to economic prosperity and human freedom has been mighty. And it’s not just about hardware and software. It’s about those crucial market institutions of communication, learning, and creativity. The digital world has allowed humanity to loosen the chains just enough to give us a glimpse of the wonders of liberty itself.


The popular outpouring of opposition against SOPA and PIPA early this year brought widespread attention to regulation of the Internet—an area of policy long ignored in mainstream political discourse. While the conversation focused on censorship, overzealous copyright enforcement isn’t the only threat to free speech and innovation. Will Rinehart will provide an overview of how his think tank, TechFreedom, approaches a range of technology policy issues, including privacy, free speech, and antitrust from the unified intellectual framework of cyberlibertarianism. need the attention of the exceptional students of Students For Liberty.


Matt shows why traditional libertarian tactics have failed to bring about a freer society, and how seasteading, or homesteading the high seas, can radically change that. He discusses how incentives play a large role in human behavior, and demonstrate that by altering the incentive structure of the global political landscape, we can radically improve the lives of billions of people. To help make this vision a reality, the lecture concludes with an outline of critical research projects which need the attention of the exceptional students of Students For Liberty.



Law & Civil Liberties


Michael Huemer, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, discusses our duty to disregard the law, more specifically talking about jury nullification.


How do individuals deal with risk in a free society? What if appeals to the state aren’t so good for us after all? Dr. Lark explores the lesser-known detrimental effects of government programs that are intended to keep people healthy and safe.


Dr. Stephen Davies, education director at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, discusses assumptions about law and the state drawing from the collapse of the Roman state in the Western part of the Empire.


Roger Koppl’s talk shows why the American criminal justice system is producing false convictions. Police, crime labs, and prosecutors all have an incentive to produce convictions, but they do not have an incentive to correctly distinguish between the innocent and the guilty. When you don’t care who you convict, false convictions are more likely. Public defenders help, but they do not have the resources and strong incentives required to mount a vigorous defense. We should try to improve the criminal justice system by aligning incentives with justice, rather than convictions.


America has more laws, more prisoners, and spends more money on putting people behind bars than ever before. Radley Balko looks at the frightening expansion of prosecutorial power in America, and what it means that we now use the criminal justice system to address so many of our problems.



Student Organizing 


Chris Harelson, Campus Coordinator for Students For Liberty, shares his tips and best practices for effectively identifying and engaging new leaders for liberty. In this Activists Skill Building Series presentation, Chris discusses the importance of communication, training, empowerment, and more in order to guarantee an active student organization.


Milica Pandžić, Chairwoman of Estudiantes por la Libertad, which is Students For Liberty in the Spanish-speaking Americas, shares how to effectively execute leadership transitions to ensure the longevity of your student organization as part of Students For Liberty’s Activist Skill Building Series.


Angel Lauver, Southeast Regional Director on Students For Liberty’s North American Executive Board, draws from her experience with student organizing and on campus activism to explain best practices in building a community of liberty activists as part of Students For Liberty’s Activist Skill Building Series.


Peter Bonilla, associate director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, talks about some of the challenges students face when they put on a free speech wall demonstration and what student groups can do before, during, and after their events to keep their free speech walls free.


Morgan Wang, member of Students For Liberty’s North American Executive Board, kicks of the first video of a two part series explaining best practices on how to advance free speech on your campus. This video highlights the importance and benefits of free speech, the materials that Students For Liberty provides student activists on campus, various ideas for free speech related events, and ways to measure the success of your free speech efforts.


Morgan Wang, member of Students For Liberty’s North American Executive Board, closes up the second video of a two part series that explains best practices on how to advance free speech on your campus. In this video, answers important questions regarding free speech activism such as: Is everything ready for your event? If doing a free speech wall, has space been reserved? Is the administration on board? Are you prepared for opposition? Have you contacted local media? Check out this webinar to guarantee you are prepared to effectively fight for free speech on your campus.


In this webinar, Nick Roskams, European Programs Manager at European Students For Liberty, discusses setting up, maintaining, and running student organizations for liberty. Nick highlights the benefits of creating student organizations, the importance of determining strategy and goals, how to organize events, along with a lot of other helpful tips and tricks to make your student organization successful.


Andew Falkenstein, member of Alumni For Liberty’s Board, discusses how a strong and well run student group can be a powerful force for change on campus. This webinar delves into what truly makes an effective pro-liberty student organization. Experienced SFL leaders address running events, marketing your group on campus, recruiting new membership, transitioning leadership and much more!


The best student campus club for liberty might invite the most famous speakers, hold the most interesting discussions, and attract the biggest audiences to events. Ultimately, however, the most important thing a student organization can do to advance liberty on campus is to properly transition leadership. One semester’s worth of success will have little impact in the long run unless students continue to make liberty a a part of the greater campus culture year after year. Though an incredibly important task, leadership transition is also incredibly difficult. SFL presents a special webinar panel to help you successfully navigate the process and give your organization the tools it needs to remain successful for years to come. Run by some of the most experienced SFL exec-board members and campus coordinators, this webinar is a MUST for student leaders promoting liberty on campuses anywhere and everywhere. Hear about the ins and outs of the process and ask questions. Help keep liberty on campus in the long term!



Professional Development


Are you interested in learning about the opportunities for students to travel, learn, intern and network within the liberty movement this summer? Join Students For Liberty for a webinar with Heather Lakemacher to catch the inside scoop on which opportunities are available and tips for applying. Heather will be sharing: why you should do an internship if you love liberty, stories about her own missteps and common mistakes she sees, advice on how to be both a great applicant and a great intern, and specific internships you should apply for.


Isaac Morehouse, educational programs director at the Institute for Humane Studies and former director of the highly competitive and prestigious Charles G. Koch Summer Fellows Program, provides tips on how to plan your careers and internships around liberty-oriented goals and get the insider tips to make yourself the ideal candidate in the liberty movement!


Interested in interning for liberty this summer? This webinar discusses the top internship programs for liberty–the Koch Summer Fellowship, the IHS Journalism Internship, and the Koch Internship Program. This is your chance to get advice from the internship program directors. Each panelist will give a short presentation on the program with Q&A from the audience members to follow.


Nigel Ashford, Senior Programs Officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, explains why your network is important to both you personally and to liberty.


Jeanne Hoffman, Program Officer in Law at the Institute for Humane Studies, and Samuel Eckman, 1L at the University of Chicago Law School covers the basics of law school: what it is, whether it’s right for you, and how to get in and thrive. Learn how to write a killer personal statement, tips for nailing the LSAT, and how to turn an interest in law into a successful career advancing liberty.





Students For Liberty South Asia presents “Net Optimality as Opposed to Net Neutrality” with Shashank Mehra. Mehra is a computer science graduate from BITS Pilani (Goa Campus) and works as a software engineer and blogs at IndianLibertarians.org and speaks on an alternative analysis of the internet, where we argue for why the government should stay out of regulating the internet and why it is all going to be fine without Net Neutrality legislation.


Student For Liberty South Asia presents ‘The Other Tragedies of Bhopal’ with Shruti Rajagopalan, Assistant Professor of Economics at the State University of New York – Purchase College, as part of a bi-monthly podcast for millenials called Ideas For Liberty. This video discusses the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984 was a catastrophe that had no parallel in the world’s industrial history. In the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, a rolling wind carried a poisonous gray cloud from the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Forty tons of toxic gas was accidentally released from Union Carbide’s Bhopal plant, which leaked and spread throughout the city. The result was a nightmare that still has no end, residents awoke to clouds of suffocating gas and began running desperately through the dark streets, victims arrived at hospitals; breathless and blind. The lungs, brain, eyes, muscles as well as gastro-intestinal, neurological, reproductive and immune systems of those who survived were severely affected. When the sun rose the next morning, the magnitude of devastation was clear. Dead bodies of humans and animals blocked the street, leaves turned black and a smell of burning chili peppers lingered in the air. An estimated 10,000 or more people died.  About 500,000 more people suffered agonizing injuries with disastrous effects of the massive poisoning. Government officials missed ample opportunities to create incentives for safety. The criminal courts compounded this problem with their light sentences of the Union Carbide executives, that were pronounced in 2010. But perhaps the far greater tragedy lies in the chance the Indian government spurned to compensate victims while sanctioning the company via civil tort suits. On it’s thirty-first anniversary, most of the known victims have not received their compensation, or adequate health care, and have spent three decades dealing with the state bureaucracy for their claims. This is a case where the state’s paternalistic takeover of victims’ claims and compensation, through the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985 (BGLDA), may have killed thousands because of bureaucratic delays and errors.


Mark Klugmann talks about LEAP Cities, a model to accelerate economic development by attracting international investment, creating jobs and promoting integration by optimizing Legal, Economic, Administrative, and Political elements. He describes the use of “institutional leapfrogging,” answers objections to the legal structure, and refers to the main challenges that this project faces, commenting as well on experiences of other model cities. Finally, he shows why the LEAP model is not what Friedrich A. Hayek considered to be designed societies or planned economies.


Who would have thought that Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon would have anything to do with the muddle that is the modern U.S. university? Ironically, that divorce led to the most distinctive aspect of modern not-for-profit schools — they are not owned by anyone. As religion lost its hold on the minds of trustees, and as an ill-conceived bit of federal legislation in 1861 led to numerous state schools (with the usual unforeseen consequences), control of these institutions ultimately went to their faculties. It was mostly downhill from there. In this webinar, Henry G. Manne will trace these problems and provide an analysis of property rights theory applied to non-profit organizations.


Education is over-rated. While it sharply increases the incomes of the well-educated, the reason is largely “signaling.” But the problem is largely the government’s fault: Without almost a trillion dollars of government subsidies per year, we’d waste far less time and money mastering irrelevant subjects – and young people would begin independent, productive lives years earlier.


Bob Ewing works on the Institute for Justice’s award-winning media team. In this talk, Bob shares the secrets of IJ’s success and teach you how to effectively advance liberty in your own sphere. Further, he shows that you can apply these principles to other aspects of your life, including landing your dream job.