For the very first time, Free Market Road Show hits the American soil on November 11 in Lubbock, Texas. The panel discussion organized by The Austrian Economics Center and co-sponsored by The Free Market Institute focused on the European economic and political experience following the onset of the international financial and economic downturn. Each speaker addressed different aspects and what caused the crisis and the role that government fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies have played in prolonging – and, in some cases, worsening – economic conditions throughout the European Union and in countries on the periphery of the European Union.
Dr. Barbara Kolm discussed the impact of labor laws and regulations on unemployment among the general working population and, in particular, young men and women in European countries. “Overregulation of the labor market and minimum wage destroy opportunities for the young generation and lead to high youth unemployment,” said Dr. Kolm.
The next issue was the broader regulatory environment with a particular focus on how the consistent stream of regulatons coming out of Brussels impacts incentives for the creation and expansion of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the European Union. Second speaker, Prof. Collombatto noted: “Regulation is probably the main culprit for slow growth in developed economies, but it is inevitable when you have large bureaucracies, which are eager to justify their existence and expand. Regulation also brings about corruption, which is an increasingly worrying problem within the EU area.”
Dr. John Charalambakis discussed the role that fiscal and monetary policies played in precipitating the events that occurred in Greece and Cyprus that caused the initial downturn that eventually spread to other parts of Europe. Following the formal remarks, the panelists addressed questions from the audience and attempted to shed light on any lessons that U.S. policymakers can learn from the European experience. In the end of his speech, he apreciated the discussion: “It was a great pleasure to be part of the inaugural event of the Free Market Road Show in the US. By all accounts it was a great event. It’s so encouraging to see hundreds of young students eager to learn what true liberty stands for and what it can do for nations and individuals. It’s uplifting to see future leaders endeavor on the journey that calls for envisioning a better world where freedom endows the intellectual capital of an effort to create free and prosperous societies destined to achieve their full potential.”
“The Free Market Road Show has been doing a wonderful job of bringing the ideas of liberty minded academics to Europeans for the last 8 years. It was an honor for the Free Market Institute to be chosen to host the first stop for the road show in the United States. Around 200 students, faculty, staff, and members of the Lubbock community got to learn about how free markets have been interfered with in Europe and the negative consequences it has had for well being. Hopefully events like this will help inform Americans so our government can learn from Europe’s mistakes and more fully embrace economic freedom instead,” reviewed the event the director of The Free Market Institute Benjamin Powell.