FreedomFest, An Appreciation
I’ve been invited to speak at FreedomFest this year. FreedomFest, founded by my friend Mark Skousen, one of the great economists of our time, has become the largest and most influential gathering of thinkers devoted to promoting freedom in all its forms.
It is an impressive list indeed.
I will be speaking four times at the conference. Here’s my itinerary:
Wednesday, July 21
2:00 pm MDT: The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics
3:00 pm MDT: Informed Investing: Navigating Wall Street, Washington and the Global Economy. I will be moderating a panel with Stephen Moore and Rob Arnott.
Thursday, July 22
3:10 pm MDT
How to Make Your Book Into a Bestseller. I will be moderating a panel with Michael Beas and Marji Ross.
Friday, July 23
1:10 pm MDT:
A Look Inside: Mark Skousen Interviews Top Investment Guru, Jerry Bowyer
And use promo code, BOWYER50, to get a $50 discount.
Let me share some thoughts about FreedomFest. When Mark first was thinking about this, he called me and bounced the idea off me. We chatted at length, but the bottom line is that I thought it was a terrific idea. As I look around the world of intellectual conferences, I see a few types. First, there are the Commanding Heights spots, Davos, Aspen Institute. These tend to have a heavy tilt towards ruling-classitis. The focus is on men of the state or of gigantic publicly traded corporations, which are increasingly intertwined with the state. Conservative ideas (unless you mean conserving current large institutions) are missing, and libertarian ones even more so.
There are some of these, Milken and the SALT conferences which are of better quality, but there is still the feel of basking in the great men, rather than exchanging ideas and the spectrum of acceptable ideas is pretty narrow.
Then there are the various techie versions of thought leadership world. TED Talks is the big brand, but Google has its own forum, as do many others. It’s a different branch of the ruling class. The tech thought leader industry is pretty well woke, utopian, secular, and ideologically narrow.
Some of the old school gatherings such as Chautauqua Institute avoid the ruling class, “anybody who’s anybody gets invited” elements of Davos world, but it heavily tilts towards staid, WASP content, academia and a narrow ideological range.
FreedomFest, on the other hand, is grassroots, but intellectual. Intellectual, but not academic. And it offers pretty much the widest spectrum of ideas of any major conference. May it continue to grow and prosper on its arc from being the most influential freedom-oriented grassroots intellectual conference, towards being the most influential of all grassroots intellectual conferences (without losing its freedom focus).
The future does not belong to any of the branches of our ruling class, which have squandered their last vestiges of credibility. It belongs to that restless minority of curious, engaged, self-reliant men and women who refuse to be held hostage to groupthink in all its forms.
Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of AffluentInvestor.com, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.
Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.
Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for CNBC.com, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.
Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.
Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.
Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest three of their seven children.
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