Friday, April 25, 2008

Atlas Unleashes Sir Antony Fisher Award on West Virginia

We're happy to report that Unleashing Capitalism has won the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for Best Traditional Publication! The award is given annually by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is actually awarded to the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia. Two of your bloggers, Justin Ross and Matt E. Ryan, contributed to the effort.

All in all, it has been an enjoyable process introducing and furthering the concepts of a free market society into West Virginia. We're surprised just how much latent free market support there actually is here! West Virginia is the benchmark example of what happens when government gets involved in a state's economy. On every conceivable margin-- economic performance, health, achievement, wealth, etc.-- West Virginia ranks at or near the bottom of the country. We have legislators that regulate every aspect of the economy and congressional representatives that shovel pork into our state. The results are crystal clear. It's not working.

Sadly, some people feel that the solution to too much government in West Virginia is...more government. Like many in the foreign aid community believe, it is not foreign aid-- or government, in our case-- that is the problem, just that it hasn't been done correctly up until this point. It's bad economics, blind of the simple economic litmus tests of incentives and information.

The bulk of the resistance to Unleashing Capitalism and the benefits of a free market economy have not come from those with an admittedly brief understanding of economic reasoning; these individuals have been genuine in their intake of the ideas, thoughtful in their challenges to them, and from our end, a joy to interact with.

Instead, the opposition has come from those with little economic clarity to speak of, yet are convinced otherwise. I am now certain that no worse harm can be done in the public arena than by an individual claiming economic scholarship when they have none. It is those that can write with the illusion of economic rationality, that can twist economic dead-ends into plausible solutions to our state's very real problems, that cause the most damage. Without a base level of economic rationale across the population of West Virginia, I feel this will be a battle that will continue to be fought. I am pleased, however, that Unleashing Capitalism is fighting the good fight to help educate West Virginians in proper economic reasoning.

Nearly 5,000 copies later, we couldn't be happier.

EDITED: The press release is here.

1 comment:

Justin M Ross said...

Yes, the bulk of the opposition has been from those with little training in economics and demonstrate a flagrant misunderstanding of both human behavior and the market process. Their insistence on formulating such a strong opinion with limited knowledge makes them enemies of the poor.