The essence of the MEI’s work is based on economic research that revolves around data and its interpretation. However, I strongly feel, and increasingly so, that those whose goal is to disseminate a better understanding of the institutions conducive to a free and prosperous society must also explore and explain the philosophical foundations that form the basis of their arguments.
Indeed, I often have the impression that we make it too easy for our detractors to paint us as “efficiency zombies” who would willingly sacrifice their own mothers on the altar of the free market if it produced even marginal GDP growth. This of course is not true, but if we want to sell people on our ideas, we must also sell them on classical liberalism as a philosophical tradition that rests on some genuinely valuable ethical foundations, and not just on a narrow or caricatured vision of economic growth. Hence the impetus of this essay.
President and CEO, MEI