free enterprise meeting

Center for Free Enterprise


Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise connects business education to human welfare and engages students in rigorous education about the principles and institutions needed for free individuals to flourish with dignity in a civil society.

In the News




Please join us on Tuesday as Dr. Williams speaks on the role of government in a free society. 


DR. WILLIAMS  earned his Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA. He has been awarded many honors including honorary doctorates from Virginia Union University, Washington & Jefferson College and University of Francisco Marroquin. Dr. Williams is the author of over 150 publications in scholarly journals and ten books. He has made scores of radio and television appearances and currently writes a nationally syndicated weekly column that is carried by approximately 140 newspapers and several web sites. Dr. Williams joined the economics faculty at George Mason University in 1980, where he became the Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics. He has been on many boards and advisory boards including the National Science Foundation and the Hoover Institution.

The Center for Free Enterprise invites you to hear DR. WILLIAMS

 Contact Karen 863.680.5069 at the Center for more information.
Center for Free Enterprise logo

The Center is a regional and national leader in free enterprise student engagement. Free enterprise exists where the rule of law, limited governance, and free markets intersect. It is based on the philosophy of individualism and freedom where individuals can utilize their inherent creativity for the benefit of themselves and others.

The Center:

  1. Educates students about the necessary conditions for free enterprise.
  2. Examines moral questions in relation to individual action in free enterprise systems and in planned economies.
  3. Communicates vital relationships between free enterprise, rule of law, personal freedom and pluralistic politics.
  4. Engages in impartial scholarship investigating the role institutions play in supporting a free civil society.
  5. The Center promotes the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, the rule of law, and economic freedom on campus and to the public at large.

Latest Publications & Speaking Engagements By Center Members

  • Joseph C. Connors, Ph.D., Whitney Buser, Ph.D.: Chapter 7:The Impact of Democracy on the Transition Through the Middle Income Range. Economic and Political Institution and Development (Editors: Joshua C. Hall, Sara Harper). Springer Nature Switzerland AG; 2019
  • Joshua D. Hall, Ph.D., Karla Borja, Ph.D.: Remittances, Institutions, and Inequality in Developing Countries. Institute for the Advancement of Developing Economies; Volume 7, Issue 1, 2018
  • Joshua D. Hall, Ph.D.: The Effects of Quality and Quantity of Education on Income Inequality. Economics Bulletin; Volume 38, Issue 4, 2018
  • Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D., James Gwartney, Ph.D.: Economic Freedon, Development and the Changing World Economy. Cayman Financial Review; Fourth Quarter 2018, Issue No. 53
  • Gordon L. Brady, Ph.D., Cosimo Magazzino, Ph.D.: Sustainability and Comovement of Government Debt in EMU Countries: A Panel Data Analysis. Southern Economic Journal; 2018
  • Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D., Author: Economics and Family Law. Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Economics and Finance: Oxford University Press US, February 2019
  • Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D., Author: The Origins of the National Banking System: The Chase-Cooke Connection and the New York City Banks. The Independent Review: Volume 33, Issue 3, Winter 2018
  • Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D., Speaker: 2018 Creative Teaching Ideas for Your Basic Economics Course. Florida State University, February 2, 2018
  • Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D., Author: Revenge: John Sherman, Russell Alger, and the Origins of the Sherman Act. Public Choice: Volume 174, Issue 3-4, March 2018
  • Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D., Author:  Principles of Law and Economics. Edward Elgar Publishing; Northampton, Massachusetts, August 2018

More Resources For Free Enterprise

Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise examines the important role free enterprise plays within the global economy.


Monday – Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


photo of doctor antony dnes

Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Free Enterprise; Professor of Economics; Lynn & Mark Hollis Chair in Free Enterprise

photo of karen persun

Karen Persun
Program Coordinator

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History is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.—Milton Friedman, 1979

Anthony de Jasay, 1925-2019

We sadly note the passing of Anthony de Jasay, leading advocate of free markets and limited government, and author of many influential books including The State. Anthony de Jasay fled from Hungary to avoid communism and eventually settled in France. In The State, he gives a penetrating analysis of political arrangements causing the state to become an “agile seducer of democratic majorities ... the welfare-dispensing drudge that it is today” and particularly influenced Nobel laureate James Buchanan and other scholars of public choice.

The Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series

politics, law, and economics lecture series logo

The PLE Lecture Series is designed to highlight the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to sustain free enterprise. International and nationally renowned scholars, journalists and policy-analysts visit Florida Southern and share their insight and experience with students. Open to the public, this series is a great opportunity to meet experts in various fields.

We are grateful for generous financial support from:

2018-2019 Politics, Law & Economics Lecture Series

All lectures will be held at 6:00 PM in the Becker Business Building - Campisi Classroom.

August 28, 2018   DR. VICTOR V. CLAAR
BB&T Distinguished Professorship in Free Enterprise - Florida Gulf Coast University.  
FAIR TRADE fair is your cup of joe?  Fair trade is an enormously popular idea - after all who would be against fairness - but is fair trade a poverty solution? Dr. Claar raises economic and moral questions about the logic and reasoning underlying the fair trade movement. He discusses that, for all its good intentions, fair trade may not be of particular service to the poor - especially in the developing world.
October 23, 2018   ROSA MARIA PAYÁ
Coordinator of Cuba Decide / Executive Director of Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana. She was PEOPLE EN ESPANOL - 25 most powerful Latin women of 2014.  A TOXIC DICTATORSHIP  In our talk we will explore the impact of the Cuban regime on multinational organizations, guerrilla movements, and its effects on the Venezuelan collapse. At the same time, we will analyze how Cubans live today: the reality of a people without rights among the cars of the 50s, and the cities in ruin. Finally, we will see what independent civil society is doing to change this in Cuba, where there is hope for Cuba, and the importance of engaging with the citizenry as opposed to the dictator.
December 4, 2018   HOWARD HUSOCK
VP for Research & Publications-Manhattan Institute; Director of Social Entrepreneurship Initiative-Manhattan Institute; Contributing Editor-City Journal.  PUBLIC HOUSING & CYCLES OF POVERTY: time for a new approach  For decades BIG CITY public housing system was held up as an example of public housing done right. Amid scandals and mass neglect - the concept of public housing confines the poor to staying poor. Mr. Husock makes the case that we need the government out of the business of housing. Mr. Husock is a former broadcast journalist & multiple Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker for WGBH Boston. A graduate of Boston University and former fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs. He is the author of Philanthropy Under Fire and America's Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy along with may published articles and editorials.  
January 15, 2019   DR. DANIEL PIPES
An American historian, writer, and commentator, Dr. Pipes is also the founder and president of the MIDDLE EAST FORUM, and publishes its Middle East Quarterly journal. His writing focuses on American foreign policy and the Middle East. With a PhD from Harvard in medieval Islamic history and has taught at Harvard, Chicago, Pepperdine, and the U.S. Naval War College. He previously served as director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and served as an adviser to Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. Dr. Pipes has written 16 books and has received two honorary doctorates, from the American University of Switzerland and Yeshiva University. Ahmed Mansour, erstwhile visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, has commented that “We Muslims need ... Dr. Pipes, who can criticize the terrorist culture within Islam.” MIDDLE EAST & THE WEST: Why so fraught for so long?  Why is the relationship between the Middle East and the West so tense? These two cultures have had interactions going as far back as Muhammad (7th century), the Muslim conquests, the Crusades, modern European imperialism, and the rise of Islamism since Khomeini. What are the tensions between developments in the region and western values? How much of a threat to freedom is present in or emanating from the region?
February 5, 2019   REV. ROBERT A. SIRICO
Rev. Sirico is the president and co-founder of the ACTON INSTITUTE and the pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish and Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A regular writer and commentator on religious, political, economic, and social issues, Rev. Sirico’s contributions have been carried by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Washington Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, and the BBC, among others. In his popular book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Rev. Sirico shows how a free economy is not only the best way to meet society’s material needs but also the surest protection of human dignity against government encroachment. Rev. Sirico holds dual American and Italian citizenship. THE MORAL CASE FOR A FREE ECONOMY  By recounting his own moral, intellectual, and spiritual development, Rev. Sirico challenges the popular political presumption that increased government intervention and welfare programs are the most moral approach to helping the poor. He argues that a dynamic free market, based on voluntary association and freedom from unnecessary regulation, is the best way not only to help the poor, but to meet society’s needs as a whole. Grounding his work in Hayek, Aquinas, and others, Rev. Sirico advocates that at its heart, the free market best supports the God-given creative nature of the human person.
THURSDAY, March 14, 2019   AMY L. WAX, M.D., J.D.
Amy L. Wax, the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, teaches remedies, political and legal thought, social welfare law and policy, and the law and economics of work and family. A graduate of Yale College, Harvard Medical School, and Columbia Law School, she served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the United States Department of Justice from 1988 to 1994, where she argued 15 cases before the United States Supreme Court. She has published widely in law reviews and journals including the Wall Street Journal and The New Criterion. She is the author of Race, Wrongs, and Remedies (2009 Hoover Press). THE PERILOUS SEARCH FOR EQUAL RESULTS  Please join us on this special Thursday PLE and listen to Dr. Wax's critical analysis of equality thinking.
TUESDAY April 2, 2019   An Evening with DR. WALTER E. WILLIAMS
Dr. Williams has a PhD in economics from UCLA; holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington & Jefferson College and Doctor Honoris Causa en Ciencias Sociales from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, in Guatemala, where he is also Professor Honorario.

Dr. Williams is the author of over 150 publications which have appeared in scholarly journals; authored ten books; has made scores of radio and television appearances and currently writes a nationally syndicated weekly column that is carried by approximately 140 newspapers and several web sites.

Dr. Williams serves as Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; is the Emeritus Trustee at Grove City College and the Reason Foundation; serves as Director for the Chase Foundation and Americans for Prosperity; also on numerous advisory boards including: Cato Institute, Landmark Legal Foundation, Institute of Economic Affairs, and Heritage Foundation.

Dr. Williams has participated in numerous debates, conferences and lectures in the United States and abroad. He has frequently given expert testimony before Congressional committees on public policy issues ranging from labor policy to taxation and spending. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, and the American Economic Association.
See list of past speakers

Center for Free Enterprise Events

The Center for Free Enterprise sponsors an active on-campus community to discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom through a free enterprise and free market system.

Adam Smith Club

the adam smith book club

The Adam Smith Club is a community of students who discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom and free enterprise. Students engage with one another through a book club and related activities. During the Fall 2018 semester the ASC read and discussed Peter Schweizer’s “Secret Empires”.  Spring 2019 the group will read and discuss Alan Greenspan’s “Capitalism in America: A History”

Meetings are held at 4:30 PM

Becker - CPS Investment Advisors Suite

August 30                January 10 
September 13          January 17
September 27          January 31
October 11               February 14
October 25               February 28
November 8             March 21
November 29           April 4
December 4             April 11

PLE Colloquium Nights

PLE Colloquium Nights

Join us on Tuesday nights in November for a look at the economic impact of socialism.

Becker Business Building - Campisi Classroom - 6:00 PM

NOVEMBER 6–Dr. Rafael Acevedo.  RICHES TO RAGS: The real success of Socialism  Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and was considered to be the first economically developed country in Latin America. But right now the people are starving, no access to medicines, no gasoline – it is an epic humanitarian crisis. Has Venezuela ever been totally free? What is the cause of the current disaster and is there any real success with Socialism if a country implements this system? Dr. Acevedo will discuss how socialism ruined Venezuela.
NOVEMBER 13–Dr. Andrei Illarionov.  RUSSIA: Puzzle or Phenomenon?  As former Chief Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and President Putin, Dr. Illarionov will discusses his direct experience with Russia's change from market reform, legal reform and privatization to the current rule of force, mischief, corruption and militarism that has led to a totalitarian regime. He will give first-hand and intellectual insight into the ever changing U.S.-Russian relations.
NOVEMBER 27–Dr. Jose Garcia.  MARIEL: Before & After  The Mariel Boatlift was an important historical event that changed Cuba and the United States in profound ways that will not be understood for generations to come. The boatlift put into question Cuban socialisms and what many in the U.S. and around the world thought could serve as a viable social and economic model for the rest of Latin America. As a survivor of this very controversial event, Dr. Garcia will bring a first-hand discussion on the effects that the Mariel Boatlift had on Cuba and on the United States.


Free Enterprise Week

Free Enterprise Week encourages us to reflect on the many benefits enjoyed through free enterprise, markets, and liberty-supporting social systems. Each fall semester the Center for Free Enterprise hosts FREE ENTERPRISE WEEK, with a different theme each year. FREE ENTERPRISE WEEK 2018 began September 18 with SENATOR PHIL GRAMM speaking on Settling America's Trade Disputes. Please find the video of this great talk on the following You Tube channel.

See Events from 2017

Contemporary Issues Research

This spring the Center for Free Enterprise will host a series of talks by faculty who will discuss their research on contemporary issues. These brown-bag lunchtime talks will consist of interesting and varied topics. We invite you to bring a sandwich and learn what is new!

Becker Business Building Room 115 - 10:50 AM

January 16: Kate Hynes, Ph.D. (University College of Dublin)
James W. Fenton, Ph.D. (details forthcoming)
Peter V. Bias, Ph.D. (details forthcoming)
Gordon L. Brady, Ph.D. (details forthcoming)
Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D. (details forthcoming)

An Evening with NIGEL FARAGE

Nigel Farage, Member of the European Parliament, spoke to over 160 people at the Center for Free Enterprise on Friday, November 3, 2017. Mr. Farage talked about the future of the nation state and the importance of people’s pride in their country. “The fact that you want to put the interests of your nation, your people, first ... that makes you normal.” He praised free enterprise and a skills-based immigration system. At the conclusion, Mr. Farage graciously answered questions posed by students from Florida Southern. A dinner with the Adam Smith Club members closed this wonderful event.



Business and Free Enterprise Major

Integral to the Center’s educational outreach is Bachelor of Science in Business and Free Enterprise. The Business and Free Enterprise major emphasizes both economic analysis and political science, helping majors understand business transactions from a broader, social perspective.



Introduction to the Philosophy of Business

Many people have preconceived notions of what free enterprise means and what role business plays in our social order. This class challenges many preconceived notions of free enterprise by examining the relationship between individuals and the state and that between individuals and society. The course uses economic analysis to examine the role markets play in coordinating individual economic activity and creating widespread gains from trade. The course shows how business is inherently socially beneficial.

Advanced Philosophy of Business and Market Based Management

This course conducts an in depth examination of the institutional structure necessary for a flourishing social order. The course examines market behavior and applies economics to understanding the economy as an informational feedback mechanism allowing social cooperation and entrepreneurial activity. The course also discusses how societies provide quality assurance in the absence of government regulation. This requires the student to apply basic economic theory, particularly supply and demand and opportunity-cost analysis, and to apply the understanding of social science to business management.

Teaching High School Economics Workshop

The Teaching High School Economics workshops, hosted by the Center for Free Enterprise, brings together High school teachers from 6 surrounding counties to show how economics can be better taught in the classroom. Sessions cover subjects such as “Gains from Trade & Exchange“;  “Property Rights & Markets“ and “Supply & Demand“. One 3 hour workshop each semester assists high school teachers as they educate their students to more fully understand the benefits of a free market economy.

The Spring 2019 workshop - TEACHING ELASTICITY & CORPORATE WORLD ISSUES TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS - was held on February 26th. Dr. Bias, Dr. Connors and Dr. Newman gave great insight on the following: Stretching Your Knowledge of Elasticity; Understanding Market Structures; and Case Studies of Monopoly, Regulations & Competition. Our workshops are open to all Florida high school teachers and students teachers and begin at 5:00 PM. Please contact Karen ( / 863.680.5069) for information on the Fall 2019 workshop and to register.

About the Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise helps students understand and appreciate the important role free enterprise plays within the American economy. A free enterprise system promotes economic prosperity by creating a favorable environment where businesses compete with minimum regulatory interference, allowing them to develop vigorously providing wider gains from trade as they do so. Through extracurricular activities such as guest lectures, luncheons and off-campus seminars, students can explore the principles and institutions that sustain free enterprise.

photo of anthony dnes

Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Free Enterprise; Professor of Economics; Lynn and Mark Hollis Chair in Free Enterprise

photo of joseph connors
Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow; Adam Smith Club Faculty Advisor
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Peter V. Bias, Ph.D.​
Professor of Business and Economics; William F. Chatlos Professorship in Business and Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Senior Fellow

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Joshua D. Hall, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow
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Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D.​
Assistant Professor of Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow

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Gordon L. Brady, Ph.D.
Center for Free Enterprise Senior Research Fellow

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José Manuel Garcia, Ph.D.​
Associate Professor of Spanish, Program Coordinator; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow

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Kate Hynes, Ph.D.​
School of Economics, University College Dublin; Center for Free Enterprise Visiting Fellow