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Bastiat Society
Breakfast and Workshop
at FEEcon

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Atlanta, GA

During this workshop, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the globe gathered to have a conversation about the role business leaders play in defending capitalism and advocating for liberty.


Through breakfast, networking, and moderated discussion, participants exchanged information about their work, interests, and how the Center for the Study of Liberty and the Bastiat Society could further support their efforts to learn and advance the causes they care about.

The group discussed brief excerpts from the work of Frédéric Bastiat (links and PDFs below) and videos from the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance. We explored the following questions:

  • What do "The Petition," "The Broken Window" (from What is Seen and What is Not Seen), and the two videos have in common? 

  • What is the implied role of government in the marketplace, according to "the Manufacturers of Candles, Tapers..." of "The Petition" and the milkman, the farrier, and others in the videos? 

  • Do you see examples of "the broken window" argument in contemporary public policy? Requests similar to that of the petitioners? Requests for protection like those in the "Coalition of Obsolete Industries"? If so, where?

  • Bastiat and the creators of these videos suggest such petitions, pleas for protection, and arguments in favor of trade restrictions are absurd. But we all know intelligent people who hold such views (though perhaps not in quite such extremes). What is the most effective way to challenge such views?

A Petition

from Economic Sophisms by Frédéric Bastiat

What is Seen and What is Not Seen 

Excerpt from Selected Essays on Political Economy by Frédéric Bastiat