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Liberty + Leadership News: May 21, 2020


We hope you enjoy these top news stories about TFAS activities, alumni and events this week. Please visit us on social media for additional up-to-the-moment TFAS news and information and sign up to receive weekly updates.

TFAS alumni, staff and faculty continue to provide coverage of COVID-19. Read their analysis, information and tips by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

Watch: Venezuelans Warn “If You Like the Shutdown … Then You’ll Love Socialism”

TFAS Venezuelan speakers Jorge Galicia and Andrés Guilarte told us the pandemic in America is giving them flashbacks to life in a socialist country. We asked them to tell us about the similarities in this new video that warns how socialist policies create a permanent pandemic-like state. In under a week, the video has gained a following online with more than 100,000 views.


Empty shelves and long lines at the supermarket … incentives to report on your neighbors … massive unemployment and economic uncertainty. In America, these are temporary symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is the everyday reality of life in socialist Venezuela. Help us warn Americans that socialist policies lead to a permanent pandemic-like state by using the buttons below.

Spanish Language Version of Video Available Here

TFAS Podcast: Health, Wealth + Globalization in the Wake of COVID-19

Economist Dr. Donald Boudreaux joins us for a discussion on how trade impacts our health. As the coronavirus outbreak creates hostility toward globalization, Dr. Boudreaux warns that protectionist policies would ultimately be more detrimental to our health than the virus itself.

You can listen to our conversation above or read a transcription at TFAS.org/PodcastEp4. This episode was released this week on the TFAS “Liberty + Leadership” Podcast. To never miss an episode, subscribe on AppleSpotifyStitcherGoogle or your favorite podcasting app.

TFAS Prague students hold copies of “National Economic Planning: What is Left?” – Dr. Adam Martin’s recommendation.

TFAS Book Recommendations

President Roger Ream ’76 joins our faculty this week with book recommendations to keep TFAS alumni, supporters and friends engaged with the ideas of liberty. Ream recommends “The Man Who Loved Dogs.” In the book, Ream says Cuban author Leonardo Padura tells the story of the assassination of Leon Trotsky through “a work of fiction that excels in presenting truths about life.”

You can read Ream’s full recommendation and those of our faculty members, at TFAS.org/BookRecs3.

Economist Scott Baier Talks Implications and Policy Response to COVID-19

FTE will be hosting another webinar, “This Is Your Brain On Numbers: Data, Statistics and COVID-19” with Dr. Russell Roberts on Wednesday, May 27 at 6 p.m. ET. Learn more and register here.

During a webinar for high school economics teachers, chair of the Clemson department of economics, Dr. Scott L. Baier, shared “COVID-19 Economic Implications and Policy Response” by exploring the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and which specific industries will be affected most. The webinar was part of a new effort by TFAS high school programming division, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE), to help teachers explain the crisis to their students through an economic lens. More than 250 attended the webinar with Scott Baier and 95% of participating teachers said that the program material improved their ability to teach students about the current COVID-19 disaster. To read more about Baier’s presentation, visit TFAS.org/FTEBaierWebinar.

Economics Lesson of the Week: Money + Inflation

As the spread of COVID-19 causes high schools across the country to close their doors, TFAS is providing resources to help our teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Each week, we feature a different lesson from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

This week’s lesson is “Money and Inflation.” In this lesson, students learn that anything that performs the functions of money can be money (even macaroni!).  As they use their macaroni to bid on items during an auction, they learn that the value of money depends on the quantity of money relative to the quantity of goods and services they can buy with that money.  Historical and contemporary examples, as well as video clips, help students understand the role that banks and the Federal Reserve play in expanding and contracting the money supply.

Downloadable lesson guides and slides provide instructions. TFAS offers a plethora of online lesson plans, readings, handouts, video demonstrations and hands-on activity guides to teach the “economic way of thinking” in engaging and relatable ways. Visit TFAS.org/FTELessons for a one-stop guide to our available resources.

Post of the Week


TFAS Alumni + Friends Cover COVID-19 Concerns

Cheryl Chumley, Novak ’08, opines for the Washington Times on how the COVID-19 outbreak has turned America more toward socialism.

Bill Wirtz ’17 opines for The American Conservative on how the introduction of coronavirus “immunity passports” could potentially violate civil liberties.

Josh Holdenried, PPF ’18, was interviewed by EWTN News Nightly about the financial impact of COVID-19 on Catholic parishes around the country.

Andrew Powaleny ’08, PPF ’11, director of public affairs at PhRMA, speaks to WPHM Radio on how the biopharmaceutical industry is working to defeat the novel coronavirus.

Jared Keller ’08 discusses the Pentagon’s plans to investigate how the Navy is responding to COVID-19 outbreaks among its warships in a piece for Task & Purpose.

Jennifer Kabbany, Novak ’02, writes for the College Fix on the California State University system’s decision to keep all 23 of its college campuses virtual for the fall semester.

Tim Carney, Novak ’03, opines for the Washington Examiner on the different ways Americans are handling the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

Tugce Bulut ’03 shares how the coronavirus pandemic has affected her startup business in an interview with EU Startups.

Abby Smith ’14 discusses job loss in the clean energy sector due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis in a piece for the Washington Examiner.

Kari Travis ’12 writes for the Carolina Journal about how North Carolina’s next phase of reopening might not help struggling restaurants and small businesses.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, opines for Reason on how the coronavirus crisis has magnified the national debt problem in the United States.

Jacki Deason ’97 discusses the costs of a prolonged shutdown due to COVID-19 on an episode of the Non-Beta Alpha Podcast.

Eric Tanenblatt ’87 moderated a Dentons panel discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on national elections.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, Novak ’09, opines for National Review on the growing need for generosity and kindness towards our fellow Americans as we navigate the coronavirus crisis.

Malena Carollo ’12 discusses the state of Florida’s economy during the coronavirus outbreak in the Tampa Bay Times.

Sienna Kossman ’13 shares which credit cards are offering limited-time travel perks during the COVID-19 outbreak in an article for The Balance.

Ken Rosen, Novak ’18, discusses slow response from European Union allies to Italy’s economic woes during the coronavirus crisis in a piece for Newsweek.



TFAS Trustee Emeritus Mitch Daniels delivered a commencement speech to Purdue University graduates, encouraging them to combat trends of isolation and community breakdown. Read the full transcript in The Federalist.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for the Washington Times on Zoom’s plans to hire software engineers across the country due to company growth.

TFAS alumna Jessica Graham ’19 will be pursuing her juris doctorate at Harvard Law School this fall.

Mollie Hemingway, Novak ’04, joins fellow TFAS alumnus Mark Levin ’76 on his show “Life Liberty & Levin” to discuss the investigation of former National Security Adviser to President Trump, Michael Flynn.

TFAS alumnus Jakub Janda ’13 is quoted in Washington Examiner article on Russian interference in the Czech Republic.

Nathaniel Bader ’18 discusses “Baseball Diplomacy” with Cuba in a lecture for the Institute of World Politics.


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