Students get lesson in free markets

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Written by Gabrielle Pack, intern at The Messenger

Troy University students on Wednesday received an economist’s insight into the country’s free enterprise market and increasing financial crisis.

Economist and author Stephen Moore, who is a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, spoke to more than 500 students about “The Keys to Prosperity.” The presentation was sponsored by the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.

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Moore just released his latest book, “Who’s the Fairest of Them All: The Truth About Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.” He said the book explores which system is the fairest and best suits the tax policy needs of the country.

Moore, a strong proponent of capitalism and free enterprise, said the question is whether stimulus plans will be offset by “lower tax rates and attacking the financial crisis head on,” Moore said. “Or will (the government) just take the back seat and watch?”

Moore said government involved already has interfered with the development of education and healthcare, as well as affected efforts to control spending.

Moore said he still believes America is still the land of opportunity. He said the cliché, “the rich become richer, and the poor become poorer” is the exact opposite.

“If anything the poorer, in most cases, are becoming richer and the dreams of becoming more than what you were given, can come true” Moore said.

During his talk to the students, Moore discussed in depth America’s dependence on foreign oil and how it affects the economy. “The U.S. imports billions and billions barrels of oil from other countries,” Moore said.

However, the country could tap its own reserves. He cited Williston, N.D., which he visited. Because of new technology techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fractioning, the small town of just 30,000 discovered it has more oil than Saudi Arabia. The Bakkan Shale oil boom has spread throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and New York.

Moore said if the United States would begin searching on its own soil and use those oil and gas reserves, the country could become an oil exporter within 10 to 15 years.

“I honestly enjoyed the presentation and Moore’s personal incite about the economy’s actual downfalls,” said Joanna Stern, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice.