The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is a conservative, free-market think tank in the United States primarily dedicated to “the economic, social, and political principles of a civilized society.” FEE also publishes free-market journals, books, and holds occasional lectures and seminars. The current director is William Easter, who was formerly an assistant professor at the University of Chicago's economics department. According to their web site, FEE “examines the failures of the liberal state and promotes market-based solutions to problems of growing scarce resources.” According to its byline on their web site, “Friedrich Hayek was a critic of central planning.”
FEE's newsletter has also been highly praised by numerous scholars in the field of public policy. In fact, according to Business Week, “many leading economists are publishing widely read books that castigate the mainstream economics literature.” FEE also promotes a program, “The Role of Economic Education in Promoting Learning,” which claims that “a growing body of research indicates that the best way to improve economic performance is to re-educate the population about economic choices and institutions.”
The economic theory advanced by the fee's newsletter is called praetative economics. It is similar to classical liberalism in its theories regarding economic planning, but is much more radical. Rather than attempt to manipulate or direct the economy, as occurs with the classical liberal vision, this approach advocates that individuals and institutions should make the decisions for the betterment of the entire society. The foundation for economic education also conducts research studies that suggest how various economic policies could affect specific areas and provide evidence for such claims.
The purpose of a public education is to impart knowledge to the general public on the benefits of better economic policies. According to FEE president Larry Dossey in his book, “One Hundred Best Ideas,” education “has been basically reduced to a matter of attending school… The focus has been on formal education… The results have not been remarkable.” As a result, “a large segment of the population has not been aware of its own potential economic strength.”
Fortunately, the research department at the foundation for economic education has been conducting studies and collecting data on economic topics for over twenty years. Specifically, they conduct over one hundred such studies each year. Unfortunately, most of these findings are ignored by the political establishment and power brokers in Washington D.C., which has allowed the economy to become far too dependent on the whims of private industry.
The good news is that the work of this team of researchers does not go unnoticed by policy makers or those who are in business. A former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan stated, “I think the major problem is we have forgotten our heritage – that is, the freedom of enterprise. Our colleges and universities have gotten so caught up in the concept of free market capitalism, that they have lost the historic knowledge and perspective of the true entrepreneurial spirit of the free market economy.” Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. is an organization that seeks to use the knowledge of economic thought to assist individuals in developing free enterprise economic policies that will help pull the U.S. economy out of the doldrums it finds itself in currently. If you are interested in learning more about what this organization is doing to help economic thinkers develop new free enterprise economic policies, visit their website today.
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