by Mark Skousen
Editor, Forecasts & Strategies
Dear FreedomFest friends,
Welcome to the most HISTORIC FreedomFest ever. The challenges have never been greater, even to put on “the world’s largest gathering of free minds.”
Those of you who choose to attend are in for a never-to-forget experience.
This year we have moved over to Caesars Palace.
Every FreedomFest, the first thing I do is get the printed program and circle all the breakout sessions I want to attend. You should do the same. You can get started now by going online to https://event.crowdcompass.com/ff20, and see the entire up-to-date program. There are over 200 sessions to choose from, including my wife’s Anthem film festival.
Order the thumb drive recordings! Since I can only attend about 10% of all the sessions, the first thing I do is buy the recordings of the entire conference — contact Harold at 1-866-254-2057.
Here are the sessions I have chosen to attend this year:
MONDAY, JULY 13 — PRE-CONFERENCE EVENTS
12:30 – 1:20 pm. Milano. “Who Has 20-20 Vision? History, Science & Art of Forecasting, From Oracle of Delphi to Modern Times.” This is a wide-ranging discussion of the science and art of forecasting over time, from the Greeks, the Biblical prophets, Nostradamus, to modern times. I’ve had a life-long interest in predicting the future since starting my newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies, now in its 40th year. My talk will include lots of stories about predictions that have come true, and others gone astray.
1:30 – 2:25 pm. Milano. “Murray Rothbard as Historian: Should ‘Conceived in Liberty’ be Aborted?” Murray Rothbard wrote a controversial history of the United States, especially his volume 4 on the American Revolution and his just published volume 5 on the Constitution. Panels include Patrick Newman, and legal expert Randy Barnett (I’ll be moderating).
2:40 – 3:30 pm. Milano. “100 Years of the Socialist Calculation Debate: Was Mises Right?” with George Gilder, Barbara Kolm, and Steve Forbes (with me as moderator).
MONDAY — OPENING CEREMONIES AND COCKTAIL RECEPTION
5 – 7 pm. Opening Ceremonies in Main Stage #1 (Julius 25). Dave Smith, libertarian comedian extraordinaire and our emcee, will kick out our “emergency meeting” followed by Steve Forbes speaking on “The Two Biggest Threats to Our Prosperity Today.” Steve will then moderate a panel on “The New Normal: How the World Has Permanently Changed” with George Gilder, Dr. Drew (Pinsky), Elan Journo (Ayn Rand Institute), and Kerry McDonald (FEE). We will then have a second panel on “The Pandemic Election” led by Grover Norquist, with David McIntosh (Club for Growth), Rob Arnott (Research Affiliates), John Fund (National Review), and Tim Phillips (Americans for Prosperity). Lastly, Wayne Root will introduce our final speaker, Donald J. Trump Jr. on “Rage Against the Swamp: A Pro-Freedom Agenda to Defeat Washington’s Est abolishment.” A tall order!
7-8 pm. Gala Opening Cocktail Party in the Exhibit Hall. I look forward to greeting each other and the exhibitors, what John Mackey calls “The Trade Show for Liberty,” and join in the autograph sessions at the FreedomFest bookstore. Here’s a chance to buy one or more American eagle silver dollars from our coin dealers…and see if you can solve my daily “white mates in two” chess problem and win a silver dollar! Hopefully you will encounter our libertarian card magician, Peter Studebaker. What fun!
I’m always amazed at the buzz you feel entering the opening cocktail party as friends see old friends and make new ones. There’s nothing like it.
As the late Nathaniel Brandon said at his first FreedomFest, “I feel an electricity here I haven’t felt in years.”
TUESDAY, JULY 14
After breakfast, we’ll start the day’s session at 9 am with three main sessions (due to social distancing requirements). The MC in main stage #1 is Dave Smith; in main stage #2 Monica Perez; and in main stage #3, Angela McArdle.
9:10 – 10:10 am. Main stage #1 (Julius 25). Dr. Drew will speak on “What’s in a Virus: Understanding the History and Future of Pandemic Responses.” I’ll be asking questions after his address, and taking questions from the audience.
11:10 – 12 noon. Verona. “Bob Dylan, the Voice of a Generation.” Jo Ann Skousen brings to live the lyrics and music of Bob Dylan, winner of the Nobel prize in literature. This is what I love about FreedomFest. It’s more than politics and money.
12:10 – 1:10 pm. Florentine Ballroom. Luncheon. “Ask Dr. Drew! America’s Doctor Answers Your Questions.” Moderated by Michael Shermer, publisher, Skeptic magazine. Ticket required.
1:20 – 2:10 pm. Verona. “The Golden Age of Jazz: Celebrating 100 Years of a Unique American Artform,” with jazz drummer Luke Durham, and music aficionados Alex Green and Sean Malone. This room is dedicated to Elis Marsalis Sr. and Jr.
2:30 – 3:30 pm. Main stage #2 (Palace 1/2). “Who Will Win in November? My Surprise Prediction,” by Allan Lichtman, professor at American University and author of “Keys to the White House” (via satellite). Interviewed by Grover Norquist. Prof. Lichtman has accurately predicted every presidential election from Reagan to Trump.
4:20 – 5:10 pm. Main stage #3 (Julius 24). Tal Tsfany on “Ayn Rand and the Key to Happiness.” The new president of the Ayn Rand Institute is an entertainment and spell-binding speaker.
5:30 – 6:00 pm. Main stage #2 (Palace 1/2). Jo Jorgensen, “With Liberty and Justice for All.” Jorgensen is the Libertarian candidate for President.
6:30 – 7:00 pm. Main stage #3 (Julius 24) “The Five Arguments That Won’t Go Away,” with Tom Woods.
7:00 – 8:30 pm. Florentine Ballroom. “Anthem VIP Masterclass and Reception.” Ticket required.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15.
9 – 9:30 am. Milano. “The Great Inflation vs Deflation Debate” between Louis Navellier, Rob Arnott, and Steve Moore, moderated by Alex Green. Will super easy money policies reignite inflation and higher interest rates?
9:45 – 10:30 am. Main stage #1 (Julius 25). “Pitch Tank Finale: Your First Hand Experience to be a Shark!” with Jeff Barnes, Steve Forbes, and other judges. Always a popular session.
11:10 – 12:00 pm. Augustus I/II. “God Must be a Mathematician: The Beauty and Mystery of Math Revealed.” Daniele Struppa, president of Chapman University and a professor of mathematics, reveals the universal beauty of numbers. Daniele is a practicing Catholic.
1:20 – 2:10 pm. Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett on “100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know.” 100 seems a stretch, how about a dozen?
2:30 – 3:00 pm. Milano. Professor Harry Veryser talks about his book, “It’s Didn’t Have to be This Way: Why Boom & Bust in Unnecessary & How the Austrians Break the Cycle.”
3:00-3:30 pm. Milano. I update my book, “A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street” with a Eureka moment in Austrian Economics in my financial economics class at Chapman.
4:20 – 5:10 pm. Roman 1/3. Professor Mark J. Perry (AEI and U of Michigan) defends his passion, “Civil Rights for All – A Look at How Title IX is Being Abused Across College Campuses.” Perry is one of the most brilliant economists I know.
4:20 – 5:10 pm. Hawaii Pacific Prof. Ken Schoolland on “How to Make US Shipping Great Again: The Case Against the 100-Year Jones Act.” Ken is the author of the great book, “The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.” Pick up a copy at the FreedomFest bookstore.
6 – 7:15 pm. Main stage #1 (Julius 25) “The Response to the Pandemic on Trial.” The mock trial is our most popular event each year. This year we are putting the pandemic/lockdown on trial, with Tom Woods as judge, Catherine Bernard as prosecuting attorney, Michael Shermer as defending attorney, and star witnesses Joel Hay, Steve Moore, and Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly. The sparks will fly! Both entertaining and educational.
8 – 9:30 pm. Florentine Ballroom. 40th Anniversary Celebration of Forecasts & Strategies. A roast and toast with Louis Navellier, Alex Green, Steve Forbes, Adrian Day, Roger Michalski, and Jo Ann Skousen. Response by Mark Skousen. Limited to 200 subscribers.
THURSDAY, JULY 16
8 – 8:50 am. Florentine Ballroom. A Breakfast with Steve Forbes and Mark Skousen. “We Mean Business: How Adam Smith’s Model of Enlightened Capitalism Can Save Us!” based on Steve Forbes’s book “How Capitalism Can Save Us.”
9 – 9:45 am. Milano. “10 Stocks to Buy Now,” with Mark Skousen, Alex Green, Hilary Kramer, and Jim Woods. Moderated by Roger Michalski. I will have to leave early for the next session.
9:30 – 10:30 am. Main stage #2 (Palace 1/2). My wife Jo Ann Skousen and I discuss “What’s Better than Democratic Socialism? Democratic Capitalism!” A unique approach that converts many socialists to capitalists!
11:10 – 12:00 noon. Main stage #1 (Julius 25). I interview Senator Rand Paul and his wife Kelley on their co-authored book “The Case Against Socialism.” During this session, I will present them with the annual Leonard E. Read Book Award. Read this book!
12:10 – 1:10 pm. Florentine Ballroom. Lunch with Senator Rand Paul and Kelley Paul. “Behind the Scenes in Washington.” Time to ask questions.
1:20 – 2:20 pm. Main stage #1 (Julius 25). Closing Panel: What Have We Learned? How Do We Go Forward? With Steve Forbes and others TBD. Plus announcing next year’s theme and celebrity speaker (you’ll be amazed).
2:40 – 3:30 pm. Main stage #3 (Julius 24). “Self-Reliance: Are You Prepared to Survive the Next Global Crisis?” with Van Simmons, Gary Collins, and Captain Jim Green.
3:50 – 4:40 pm. Main stage #2 (Palace 1/2). “Modern Times Turns 200: The Truth about the Robber Barons and the Industrial Revolution.” Steve Forbes and I take a revisionist approach about the Gilded Age of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, and Ford.
6 – 7 pm. Main stage #1. Reception and gala banquet, “The Roaring 20s: FreedomFest Farewell Banquet.” MC by Dave Smith. Anthem film festival hosted by Jo Ann Skousen. Tribute to Ed Crane. Music and entertainment by The Moonshiners.
After a long four-day event, it feels great to get out on the dance floor. See you there!
This is also my opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard and put in countless hours or work and creativity to make this year’s FreedomFest and Anthem Film Festival an incredible success — Valerie Durham, our conference director; Matt Day, Autumn Bennett, Nathan Williams, Harold Skousen, our registration team, and of course my wife Jo Ann.
And see you next year! Dates are July 14-17, 2021, at the Paris Resort, Las Vegas. Both John Mackey and Steve Forbes will be there. Details to be announced soon at www.freedomfest.com.
Yours for peace, prosperity and liberty, AEIOU,