Freedom Fest offers insight for libertarians

Freedom New Mexico

Anyone curious about the direction of the conservative or libertarian movements, priorities for Tea Party enthusiasts or Republicans — or anyone generally interested in the hottest topics for right-leaning politicos — ought to pay close attention to what happens at Freedom Fest, set for July 14-16 in Las Vegas. This conference may be a bellwether for issues going into next year’s presidential election and could well help shape the debate during the GOP presidential nomination season.

Freedom Fest is dubbed “The worlds largest gathering of free minds,” where some of the most influential free-market, right-leaning intellectuals, business leaders, political pundits, entrepreneurs, activists and economists discuss and debate political and economic issues ranging from the national debt, inflation, foreign policy, public employee unions, technology, drug legalization, school choice, education reform and health care.

Last year an estimated 2,000-plus attendees filled Bally’s Hotel and Casino for the event. Organizer and founder Mark Skousen hopes participants this year will number more than 3,000.

Scheduled speakers include Steve Forbes, on “Are We Headed for an American Revolution — or a French Revolution?” The libertarian co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, will speak on “Stalled Technology in America: End of the Future?” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will talk about “Re-Branding Capitalism in the 21st Century.” Freedom Newspapers Brian Calle and contributor Steven Greenhut will speak on public-sector pensions, education reform, California government and military interventionism.

Representatives from the Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, Hillsdale College, the Foundation for Educational Choice, the Heritage Foundation, the Pacific Research Institute and others are scheduled to participate.

Last year’s Freedom Fest reflected the political mood of a large segment of the electorate, and signaled a change in sentiment nationally that ultimately ushered in to office more conservatives and Republicans. This year, we hope the session again delivers greater insights into the political winds of the liberty movement for this election cycle.