The New York Meeting this month features Daniel Hannan, MEP — who was the keynote speaker at CEI’s 2011 Annual Dinner — RealClearPolitics founder Tom Bevan, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, among others. You can watch the stream, beginning at 6pm EST, below:

Post image for Ronald Coase, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist, Dies at 102; CEI Releases Interview Footage From 2004

Ronald Coase, the University of Chicago economist who won the 1991 Nobel “for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy,” died on Monday at the age of 102.

CEI Founder Fred L. Smith, Jr. interviewed Coase on April 28, 2004. During the conversation, Coase explained the nuances of his work, answering questions about market pricing, antitrust, healthcare, intellectual property and more.

Some key Coase quotes from the CEI interview:

“All my arguments are simple, and it’s very difficult to get them accepted.”

“Economists don’t study what goes on in real world, they live in the imaginary world; and in the imaginary world there weren’t multi-part tariffs.”

“If you take national health services, where services are provided by the government for nothing, this is universally applauded. The only difficulty is, if you go to countries where this system is in operation, many of the services which are provided for nothing are not available. And so on the one hand you can say how nice it is that people don’t have to pay very much, on the other hand, how unpleasant it is that you can’t get them.”

“What has happened in antitrust is that antitrust lawyers are anxious to bring cases, and they find cases in almost any circumstance.”

Watch the full interview below.

Meet Julius.

Julius is an African American man living in modern-day America. Julius is a fictitious character, but the problems he faces are real problems that real people face every day. He wants the American Dream. He wants prosperity and opportunity. He wants his kids to have a better life than he did. When he retires, he wants to know that his years of hard work have meant some level of comfort in his old age.

In other words, Julius wants what all of us want.

Unfortunately, his economic hopes are continually frustrated in ways both large and small, both obvious and subtle, by a powerful force: labor unions.

In a new CEI video production, an animated film called “The Life of Julius,” we see how he is affected by the laws and regulations supported by unions at every turn of his working life.

As a young man entering the job market for the first time, for example, Julius finds the job pool artificially shrunk in part by minimum wage laws (vigorously promoted by unions for decades), laws that drive up the cost of business and kill thousands of entry-level jobs.

Later in life, as a homeowner in his 40′s, Julius is faced with the imminent prospect of sending one of his children to college. But for a whole host of reasons, labor unions have conspired to leave Julius with less take-home pay, limiting his ability to pay for his daughter’s education, as well as provide for food and vacations.

And on and on it goes, right up to and including his retirement at age 64 (I won’t spoil the end for you).

The point is this: people may not realize it, but labor unions have a stranglehold on the economy in hundreds of ways that affect every single worker, whether they are union members or, like Julius, never belong to a union in their entire life.

Julius just wants the best for him and his family, like all of us. Unfortunately, the best that Julius can do is not nearly as good as it could be, thanks in large part to the pernicious influence of labor unions.

Please come see Julius’s story at, and share with your friends and family. After all — you are Julius. And so are we all.

On November 15, CEI hosted a premiere party for “I, Pencil: The Movie,” our animated adaptation of Leonard E. Read’s essay. You can watch the film and extended educational commentaries at

See photos of the premiere party below.

Photographers: William Yeatman and Evan Banks

Have a listen here.

Nick Tucker, producer and director of the new CEI short film “I, Pencil,” discusses the importance of Leonard Read’s classic essay, how the project got started and how ideas such as spontaneous order and connectivity are genuinely inspiring.

“This is the modern world. It’s miraculous, it’s intricate, and it gets better every day so long as people are free to interact with each other. If we can leave the creative energy of humankind uninhibited, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.”

Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute launches the first in a series of videos inspired by Leonard Read’s classic work I, Pencil. In it we attempt to illustrate the classical liberal concepts of connectivity and spontaneous order, and how they come about, in the absence of a controlling mastermind, to deliver the wonders of the modern world. We have also released two follow-up videos with academics that explore these concepts further. St Lawrence University professor Steve Horwitz commented, “I do not have words for how beautiful and inspiring and perfect this is.”

Here are the videos:



Also of note at the movie’s dedicated website are the curriculum/lesson plan by Art Carden of Samford University and the comprehensive list of educational resources.

In this latest episode of “Fred Weekly,” CEI President and Founder Fred L. Smith, Jr., discusses advancing free markets in an increasingly politicized world. Watch it below:

CEI President Fred L. Smith, Jr., discusses how businesses respond to assaults on the free market in the latest episode of his vodcast.

In the spirit of encouraging free markets, limited government, and individual liberty, we at CEI present the following for your viewing pleasure:

In this installment of “Fred Weekly, CEI President Fred L. Smith, Jr., discusses the importance of applying technical concepts to commercial development and vice versa. Fred explains that the feedback loop between science and commerce has been one of the greatest forces for improving human life in all of history. Watch it below: