Thomas Woods Inaugurates Center for Free Enterprise Lecture Series

Apr 10, 2014

by Cary McMullen | Publications editor
Exhorting his audience to emancipate themselves from “the superstition” that governments are benevolent, Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., got the Center for Free Enterprise’s Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series off to a lively start on April 9. Woods, a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala., gave the inaugural lecture in the series, based on his book, Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse.

In addition to being an author and scholar, Woods is also the host of the daily podcast The Tom Woods Show and a contributing editor of The American Conservative. He has appeared as a commentator on numerous TV and radio programs.

Woods noted that unfunded government liabilities and shifting demographics in America will make current levels of spending unsustainable and that “wrenching changes” will eventually have to occur.

“It’s not enough to hack away at the branches. We’ve got to strike at the root,” he said.

Woods called for greater suspicion of government and ran through a list of “things government is not that people think it is.” He called the notion that government is a provider of public services “a preposterous claim,” noting that in the face of threatened budget cuts, government agencies will always arouse public sympathy by cutting popular but nonessential services, such as shutting down the Washington Monument.

“The government has interests of its own,” he said.

Woods also criticized the claim that governments solve problems such as poverty, stating that the world’s rise from a primitive economy one in which most were impoverished to an industrialized economy with higher standards of living was not the result of government efforts. He also declared that government does not promote social harmony because actions to do so “create winners and losers.”

“The state pits people against each other,” he said.

Woods reiterated that portrayals in public school history lessons of the federal government as benign are false.

“Cutbacks (in government) are not a calamity to be feared but a great day for lovers of liberty,” he said.

In introducing the lecture series, Dr. Derek Yonai, director of the Center for Free Enterprise, said it is designed to highlight the three principles of good governance, rule of law, and market-based institutions “without which a free society collapses.”

The Center for Free Enterprise is part of the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College. It is a research and educational institution to analyze and disseminate the economic principles that constitute the exercise of free enterprise.