Israel:Libertarians Explore Intersection of Markets, Religion, State,-Religious-Tensions-.html

Israel’s Free Market Economy Amid Political, Religious Tensions

(Thursday, May 17th, 2012)

A delegation of leading economic thinkers and influencers from the United States, Europe and Israel will gather in Jerusalem next week for a high-level conference to be held on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the renowned American economist Milton Friedman. The conference, organized by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS) entitled “Religion and Economic Liberty: A Match Made in Heaven?”, will be held at the David Citadel Hotel from May 20th through the 24th. The event will open with a gala dinner to be addressed by Israeli Deputy Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee Ayoub Kara.

According to JIMS Director Corinne Sauer, the four-day gathering will introduce some of the world’s most influential economic minds to Israel and help address the pressing questions facing the nation. “Naturally, much world attention regarding Israel focuses on political turmoil in the Mideast, the shaky peace process and so on, but not so much on what works best in this country, its economy with robust hi-tech horizons, low unemployment and growing GNP,” she says. “This conference will allow leading economists to address these issues from here in Jerusalem and help design solutions for the betterment of Israel’s future.”

Among the personalities who will be appearing are:

• Randy Barnett- A Professor of Law at Georgetown University, Barnett is the key individual behind the effort to dismiss President Obama’s health plan as unconstitutional. As was described in a recent profile in The New York Times, Professor Barnett’s efforts are responsible for bringing the case to the United States Supreme Court where it is currently being deliberated.

• Sam Pelzman- Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, he is responsible for developing The Peltzman Effect which argues that when safety regulations are increased, people are more likely to embrace risky behavior. A commonly used example of this effect is how when people wear seatbelts they are more likely to drive recklessly. This theory can be adapted to many different fields of thought including national security.

• Russ Roberts- A professor of economics at George Mason University, Roberts has been a harsh critic of the Obama Administration’s handling of the economic crisis and is the producer of a highly-popular YouTube channel which uses popular media formats to explain complex economic issues to the general public.

• Charles Murray- Professor Murray is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of The Bell Curve. This controversial text argues that certain groups are more likely to be intelligent and have a greater impact upon society. In particular, Murray overtly argues that Jews have a greater representation in elite sectors of society because they have been proven to be genetically more intelligent than other ethnic groups. Professor Murray will be prepared to discuss how this has impacted upon Israel’s modern development.

• Barry Chiswick- A Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois, Chiswick has written extensively on the impacts of immigrants and religious groups on the economy. Professor Chiswick would be uniquely positioned to provide an expert analysis on the role of chareidim in Israeli society and the potential impact of reforms to encourage increased chareidi cooperation in the workforce.

• Ángel Martín Oro is a Spanish PhD student in economics, research fellow of the Instituto Juan de Mariana and contributor to He has written extensively on proactive solutions to the current Spanish economic crisis and is prepared to discuss the ongoing challenges confronting his nation.

• David Friedman- The son of Milton Friedman, Professor Friedman lectures at Princeton University and has written extensively on the convergence of law and economics. Milton Friedman is largely credited with abolishing the draft in the United States and his son would be able to speak to the potential of doing away with the draft in Israel and how that would impact on the national economy.

Additional speakers who will be in attendance include Jonathan Medved, Daphne Netanyahu and Zev Golan. The full conference program listing all presenters can be viewed by clicking the hyperlink

The conference is being jointly sponsored by, The Acton Institute, The Atlas Foundation, The Becket Fund and Maraah Magazine.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


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