Strategic Notes from FEE—Reaching New Audiences


Dear Friend of FEE,

If we want to grow as a community of freedom-loving people, we need to reach out to people who don’t already share our world-view.  We need to resist the natural temptation to speak in ways that appeal primarily to people like ourselves.

FEE’s seminars are designed for young people who’ve heard little, if anything, about our ideas.  Such students are not hard to find, given the state of education and the media today, but what motivates any of them to give us a listen?

To attract these newcomers, we speak to what they’re emotionally invested in, wherever they’ve gotten to on their own personal journeys.  By definition, they’re not emotionally invested in free-market economics!

Our seminar line-up this summer speaks to themes that resonate with a broad spectrum of thoughtful young people, such as success in the “real world,” economic development, and questions of justice and fairness.  We discuss with them how the principles of freedom apply to these common concerns.

We reach beyond the usual “econ” and “poli sci” majors, because the physical sciences are often home to future entrepreneurs and the humanities to future shapers of popular culture.  We offer programs where students discover how free markets reward creativity and foster innovation in science and the arts.

In short, we exploit the fact that FEE’s “freedom philosophy” isn’t dry-as-dust economics, full of mechanistic models.  At its heart, it’s a philosophy of life, society and culture, of how people flourish.

Within the freedom-loving community, we don’t just take ideas seriously, we take them personally.  If our students can feel a connection between the ideas on liberty that we cherish so deeply and the ideas that THEY take personally, then the FEE seminar can be a truly life-changing experience for them.

As we always have, we teach “the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society.”  Regardless of its title and its theme, every FEE seminar will address free-market economics, the ethics of capitalism, and principles of law and public choice.

However, we don’t assume that our students arrive on our doorstep eager to study the works of Frederick Hayek.  Instead, we focus on helping our students to take a fresh look at the world they’re passionate about, through the lens of free-market principles.  THEN they can’t get enough of Hayek.  They ask us, “Why hasn’t anyone ever told me this before?”  Music to our ears.

Questions or comments?  I’d love to hear from you at


Wayne Olson

Executive Director



Wayne is FEE's Executive Director.


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July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
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