The #1 Lesson I Learned in Miami Last Week: No Free Valuables

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

I recently attended the bi-annual general meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, a group of political and economic thinkers from around the world. I’ve been attending most of the group’s meetings since 1988, when I was the guest of Milton Friedman. I’ve been a member since 2002, and I have spoken on a number of occasions.

The society was founded by Friedrich Hayek in 1947, and early members included Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman. There always has been debate on a variety of issues (money, the business cycle) between the Austrians (Hayek and Mises) and the Chicago school (Friedman), which I catalog in my book, “Vienna and Chicago, Friends or Foes?” Click here to buy on Amazon.

This year, I hosted a breakfast in Miami on “Eureka: The Feds Start Measuring Hayek’s Triangle,” featuring gross output (GO), my macro statistic. A full crowd attended. You can read more about GO at, and why it’s a revolutionary “top line” in national income accounting.

No Free Books!

We also had an exhibit booth, where I sold copies of my books. My daughter Valerie came and talked to attendees about next year’s FreedomFest (see photo below).


I learned an important lesson at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings. Of the 20 or so exhibitors at the conference, I was the only one who charged for books. All of the other organizations, all non-profits, handed out free materials and books at no charge.

I’m opposed to giving out valuable products — whether books or a college education — for free. When a valued commodity is free, it’s not appreciated. Free books are seldom read. Free education is not properly valued. That’s why I’m opposed to plans to make college education free.

I ended up selling most of my books, with the hope that they will be read and appreciated. “Vienna and Chicago” sold out. So did “The Making of Modern Economics,” the story of the great economic thinkers from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman.

After the conference, Richard Rahn, a long-time friend and geo-political commentator, wrote a column for the Washington Times recommending my book. He wrote, “the single best one-volume book on the history of economic thought — both entertaining and dense in useful information, and now in its third edition — is Mark Skousen’s ‘The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers.’”

Thank you, Richard!

I should also add that John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, has read “The Making of Modern Economics” three times and he loves it so much. It makes a major contribution by creating a running plot, with Adam Smith and his invisible hand doctrine becoming the hero of the story who triumphs in the end over Marxists, Keynesians and socialists.

For those who want to buy a copy of this book, don’t go to Amazon. It is too expensive ($47.95). It is better to buy it from Ensign Publishing, Inc., at Call toll-free 1-866-254-2057. Ensign Publishing’s price is only $35 per copy postpaid.

You Nailed It!

The Victims of Communism 90 Miles from Our Shores

I just returned from the Mont Pelerin Society meetings and the Atlas Forum in Miami last week. Since 1988, I’ve attended most of the Mont Pelerin Society meetings that gather market-friendly intellectuals from around the world.


While in Miami, my daughter Valerie and I toured the Freedom Tower, and read the tragic Peter Pan story about the 14,000 children who were flown to the United States by their Cuban parents to escape being indoctrinated in the class room by Castro and the Communists.

I saw a seven minute documentary put out by the Beckett Fund on the moving story of the Cuban poet and political prisoner Armando Vallardares. It tells about the brutal nature of the Castro regime. It is incredible that there are supporters of Castro in the United States. Castro should be arrested for committing war crimes.

We are going to show it at the Anthem film festival next year. Here is the video:

I urge you to watch it and pass it along to friends. Lest we forget! We need to remind everyone of this tyranny 90 miles from our shores.

100th Anniversary of Communism Next Year

Next year is the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the official beginning of Communism and the indoctrination of Marxism-Leninism. It is estimated that 100 million people died under communist rule in the 20th century. This evil is still alive in China, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela — and other parts of the world. Like a bad penny, it won’t go away and may be spreading.

We are planning several sessions at next year’s FreedomFest on “100 Years of Communism.” I’ve asked Richard and Anna Ebeling to be two of the speakers. Anna is a Russian who now lives with her husband in Charleston, South Carolina, where Richard teaches economics at The Citadel. They are great patriots who recognize the dangers of Marxism-Leninism.

Lee Edwards, founder of the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington D.C., will also be speaking on “The Victims of Communism, Yesterday and Today.”

To sign up for next year’s big show, go to

Upcoming Appearances


Next year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary of FreedomFest, “the world’s largest gathering of free minds” (July 19-22, 2017, Paris Resort, Las Vegas).

After FreedomFest, we’re going to be celebrating our 10th anniversary with a spectacular cruise up the fabled blue Danube River to the birthplace of the founders of the Austrian school of economics. The dates are Sept. 24-Oct. 1. It is a year from now, but these river cruises are very popular and you need to book now (already eight cabins in our group have been sold!).

Please join us as we experience the beautiful, historic destinations along the Danube River, including Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, the Wachau Valley, Linz and Salzburg, all while sailing in luxury aboard Uniworld’s river super ship, the S.S. Maria Theresa, during the 300th anniversary of her namesake’s birth. Uniworld was ranked the #1 river cruise line in 2016. You will enjoy history, art, architecture, music, exquisite food and wine, and the best of both Eastern and Western European culture, with my wife Jo Ann serving as a tour guide. (You will love her unique perspective on European art and music.)

Don’t settle for a European cruise substitute! There are plenty of river cruises to choose but ours is unique. We personally have designed this tour to highlight what no other cruise is doing — focusing on the great Austrian school of economic thinkers — such as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Joseph Schumpeter and management guru Peter Drucker.

I’ve written a whole book on the subject, “A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street: Austrian Economics for Investors” — and I’ll be giving an autographed copy of this book to every person who signs up for the cruise. I’ll also be giving several lectures on the weeklong tour on how to apply the Austrian theory of the business cycle today. I also will be speaking on “How to be Your Own International Private Investor without Getting into Trouble.”

Included in our weeklong river cruise is a special two-day seminar and tour in Vienna, Austria, to include renowned experts in academia, politics and finance in Austrian economics. The highlight will be a special Mises/Hayek walking tour led by me, Barbara Kolm, president of the Hayek Institute, and Hayek’s own great grandnephew, Dr. Richard Zundritsch. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna and is an independent financial advisor based in Switzerland and specializes in capital markets, wealth management, succession planning and venture capital. He will be joined by Daniel Zurbruegg, founder and managing partner of Swiss Infinity Global Investments, and David T. Phillips, my favorite expert in tax and estate planning, who will speak on “What Every Investor Should Know about Taxes, the IRS, and Investing Abroad.” We also will visit two private Austrian banks.

To save your money and get the best deal, we’ve partnered with the Money Show for this cruise. The Money Show was able to get us a 10% discount off Uniworld’s fees! The all-inclusive price, including all amenities, gratuities, financial summit, special tours, and taxes, is as low as $4,549 (per person, double occupancy). You only have to pay your airfare and, after that, everything is taken care of.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime. We have hosted numerous cruises over the years, and some of our very best friendships have been forged as we travel. We hope you’ll be numbered among those satisfied participants. Read this four-color brochure with all the details, and make your plans today to be part of this unforgettable experience.

To guarantee you a spot on our special Danube River cruise, you need to make a $300 deposit. To make a reservation, please call the Money Show toll-free at 1-844-225-5838. We will mail you our four-color brochure and an autographed copy of my book “A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street.”


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