Leaders of liberty must sometimes take a step back and reflect on the best ways to use their limited resources and local knowledge to reach their ultimate goals. Students For Liberty’s mission is “… to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty.” To strive for this goal as efficiently as possible requires applying certain economic concepts, specifically marginalism.

The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility states that every additional unit of a good consumed yields less utility to the consumer than the unit before it (assuming all other factors are held constant). This is important when considering the nature of value and helps to resolve apparent paradoxes.

Why does water, which is necessary for survival, cost so much less than diamonds, which only are only valued for their aesthetic appeal? Given the option of a single bottle of water or a diamond, a human being would choose the water since they could not live without it, but by thinking on the margin it’s obvious that eventually, if you keep giving them the same option, they will have enough water to survive and be healthy, at which point they will choose to take the diamond since the the utility of the diamonds outweighs the utility of that unit of water at the point of that decision. 

Water isn’t very expensive because most of us have plenty of it. The vital role it plays in our lives has already been filled, and then some, by previous units of water. However, we don’t have many diamonds so an additional diamond will provide us with more satisfaction because the satisfactory functions of a diamond have not yet been fulfilled by previous diamonds. This law is crucial to understanding and explaining economic decision making because it means that individuals consider the utility of the marginal unit of a good when making trade-offs, not the utility that type of good provides them in general.

peace-love-liberty-This principle is important to activists because just as there are decreasing marginal returns from goods consumed, there are decreasing marginal returns from activism. If we think of activism as a market, in which the public and future leaders consume education, development and empowerment in the ideas of liberty (utility), and activists supply materials, events and information (goods and services) which yield that education, development and empowerment, then we can see how marginal thinking matters when trying to accomplish our ends. The public and future leaders gain less education, development and empowerment from each additional unit of a type of activism they “consume” than they did from the last unit. (more…)

LIYANamed one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Liya Palagashvili teaches economics at SUNY-Purchase, focusing on entrepreneurship, markets, and regulatory environments for start-ups. She will be speaking about the market for affordable housing — a topic no one seems to be talking about in these elections, but is probably the biggest concern for citizens of the tri-state area (shout out to all the New Yorkers out there still looking for an apartment). You will not want to miss her talk!

SFL Freedom Con NEW YORK is going to be the comic con for politics because — let’s face it — what’s wrong with getting a little crazier? Come on down to New York University and enjoy (and discuss) key election issues.

  • What: SFL Freedom Con New York
  • When: Saturday, October 29th, 2016
  • Where: New York University

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The following is a special message from the NRA-ILA Grassroots Staff for students who want to get involved with the fight for gun rights.

NRA-ILA invites you to attend the Second Annual Youth Leadership Conference on Saturday, May 21st at 3:00 p.m. This special event is being held in conjunction with this year’s NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Louisville! At this FREE event, NRA-ILA Grassroots Staff will provide in depth training for student leaders that will focus on current issues we are facing, how to effectively combat anti-gun myths, and opportunities to get involved with the NRA. The event itself, and all associated materials and food, are FREE!

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This conference is designed for current college students and recent graduates who are interested in becoming more active in the fight to defend the Second Amendment. Student activists from across the country will gather to discuss ideas, earn free swag, and learn about volunteer and employment opportunities with the NRA. Attendees are encouraged to bring a current résumé to this conference.

Exclusive giveaways will be reserved for students attending the Annual Youth Leadership Conference, including a limited number of free tickets to the Toby Keith concert on Saturday night!

Reserve your spot now to make sure you don’t miss out!

We hope to see you at this fantastic event in Louisville on May 21st!

– NRA-ILA Grassroots Division

That’s right! This is your last chance to register for the upcoming Focus Series conference on guns, weed, wages, and everything else at stake in this year’s vote on ballot initiatives.

Taking place on Saturday morning (11:00am – 2:30pm), the conference will include free breakfast and a post-conference social lunch for all attendees. We’re looking forward to a fun and informative day with three great speakers from around California. Here’s the lineup again:

  • Minimum Wage Laws – Glen Whitman, Professor of Economics at CSU-Northridge, Screenwriter, and Editor of Economics of the Undead: Zombies, Vampires, and the Dismal Science
  • Gun Regulation in CaliforniaDaniel Palm, Professor of Political Science at Azusa Pacific University and Secretary of the West End Gun Club
  • Regulation in the Cannabis Industry – Donald Kochan, Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development and Professor of Law at Chapman University

I hope you’ll join us this weekend to hear from these three brilliant thinkers and discuss California Ballot Issues with fellow pro-liberty students. 

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Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 1.51.06 PMSFL’s California Ballot Issues Conference is coming up soon!

Why the focus on local issues? The ballot process is a culmination of the democratic process and a method that can be used to advance liberty. From the many proposals that seek to legalize marijuana to a proposal to lower the drinking age, libertarian issues can be advanced through ballot initiatives. Even though the ballot process can be used to advance liberty it can also be used against it. A proposal to increase firearms regulation in a state that already has excessive restrictions on firearms is in the process of going on the ballot in California while a proposal to raise the minimum wage is also making rounds.

The conference will have three esteemed academics who speaking on several different issues behind some of the ballot proposals. The speakers include Glen Whitman, a Professor of Economics at California State University, Northridge who will be speaking on minimum wage, Daniel C. Palm, a Professor of Political Science at Azusa Pacific University who will be speaking about gun rights and finally Donald Kochan who is the Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development and a Professor of Law at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. Dean Kochan will be speaking about marijuana legalization.

The location and time is April 30th from 11:00 am-2:30pm at California State University Dominguez Hills in the Loker Student Union, Room 324-325. Conference registration is free and includes a light breakfast and post-conference social lunch.

Register Now