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Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day 2011

July 21, 2011 J

This year is being coined a “Season of Growth” for the dramatic gains that have been made in school choice. And, indeed, it has been, with school choice programs being enacted or expanded in more than a dozen states across the county. But as we celebrate those fruits and those who cultivated them, we also must recognize their original “Johnny Appleseed.”

Although Dr. Milton Friedman died almost five years ago, his impact on freedom – and specifically school choice – continues to be recognized by freedom-loving people both in the United States and around the world.

In celebration of Dr. Friedman and the seeds of freedom he planted decades ago that continue to bear fruit, the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity Foundation will be hosting in conjunction with the Foundation for Educational Choice the annual Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day. AFPF-Kansas will be holding lunch meetings at noon on July 29, at the Topeka AFPF office (2348 SW Topeka Blvd., Suite 201) and at the Petroleum Club in Wichita (100 N Broadway St., Suite 900). There is a $10 cost for the lunch meeting in Wichita.

Today, Americans are gravely concerned about our country. They’re awaiting solutions to the debt crisis, rightfully worrying about inflation, and trying to improve public education’s performance and costs. In response, Dr. Friedman’s writings and ideas could not be more relevant. From Capitalism and Freedom to A Monetary History of the United States to Free to Choose, Dr. Friedman’s work contains many of the answers Americans are seeking today.

Dr. Friedman once said that “[g]overnments never learn. Only people learn.” How true. If our country’s current crises show us anything, it’s that the American people are learners. They know what works and what doesn’t. That is precisely why they’re opposing an increase to the debt ceiling. It’s why businesses aren’t hiring over concerns of new government regulations. And it is exactly why Americans are standing up for school choice – because they’ve learned it works for them and their children.

But with Dr. Friedman gone, his ideas need new spokesmen – individuals who can eloquently and plainly explain the theories and benefits of free markets. On this July 29, Americans for Prosperity Foundation will be searching for and empowering new “Johnny Appleseeds” who can instill in the hearts and minds of their friends, neighbors, and children the values of freedom and the fruits they can bear for us all.

Derrick Sontag is Kansas state director for Americans for Prosperity Foundation. He lives in Topeka.

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