I appeared on the final panel at this past summer's Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. Freedom Fest is the planet's largest annual gathering of libertarians and free-market types, pulling together 2,000-plus folks to discuss and debate every possible topic under the sun, from Bitcoin to drone strikes to laissez-faire history. The theme for this year's event was "Are We Rome?"
Here's the writeup for the final panel, which was originally posted at Reason.tv on November 1. Go here for more links and downloadable versions.
The final panel at Freedom Fest 2013 was titled "Are We Rome?" and featured Reason's Nick Gillespie, publisher Steve Forbes, Tea Party Express head Jenny Beth Martin, writer Wayne Allyn Root, and investment guru Jim Rogers.
At one point, Rogers noted that about half of Americans lived in households who were getting direct payments from the federal government, a situation he felt made real political change next to impossible.
"Fifty percent of the country is getting a free lunch, said Gillespie, "but nobody wants a shit sandwich anymore. And that's what you're getting in terms of education, health care and retirement."
Moderated by conference organizer Mark Skousen, the panel discussed a wide variety of topics including government spending, regulation, foreign policy, the drug war, and more.
Held each July in Las Vegas, Freedom Fest is attended by more than 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians. Each year, Reason TV talks with dozens of activists, speakers, and authors such as David Boaz of the Cato Institute, economist Peter Boettke, publisher Jeffrey Tucker, journalist Gene Epstein, legal scholar Randy Barnett, and tax advocate Grover Norquist. For a playlist of 2013 videos, go here.
About 45 minutes. Video courtesy of Mark and Jo Ann Skousen.