Cornell University economics professor Robert Frank will offer a libertarian perspective on national financial issues today during a campus talk.
“The Libertarian Welfare State,” part of a lecture series hosted by UCSB’s S.A.G.E. Center for the Study of the Mind, will focus on wealth and the cost of competing for status in America. The event will be held at 4 p.m. in the Mosher Alumni House.
According to UCSB’s Young Americans for Liberty — a loosely libertarian club that recently developed an active executive board — the lecture will present a look at the often underrepresented independent political party.
YAL President Carlos Cruz said he hopes the lecture will introduce libertarian principles to the largely left-leaning university.
“It’s good to have people who are libertarians come to campus,” Cruz said. “We can associate with them and line up what they believe in with our views.”
According to Cruz, the libertarian school of thought emphasizes the values of laissez-faire economics, classic liberalism and civil liberties.
“[Libertarianism is about] having as much freedom as possible without taking it away from others,” Cruz said. “Our long-term goals include letting people know what libertarianism is and getting people to understand it, as well as having an alternative viewpoint out there.”
According to S.A.G.E. Center Program Director Andrew Mansfield, the center’s lecture series strives to integrate humanities, social science and scientific research and host distinguished lecture discussing the resulting scientific conclusions.
“Our primary goal is to study what it means to be human and [part of] human culture,” Mansfield said. “We bring in speakers and distinguished fellows who can relate between the mind and brain.”
The event is already drawing interest from the student body.
Despite the several politically divided protests that preceded Republican politician Karl Rove’s appearance at UCSB last spring, the majority of students remain open about differing political leaders coming to campus.
In fact, according to Jeff Christensen, a second-year political science major, familiarizing one’s self with a range of political perspectives is fundamental to attaining a well-rounded college education.
“I remember people protesting Karl Rove coming here last year, but I think it’s good to have as many groups and views represented as you can,” Christensen said.
In addition to his position at Cornell, Frank is also a Henrietta Johnson Louis professor of management. He has served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps, economist for the Civil Aeronautics Board and professor of American Civilization at Paris’ l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.
Frank has also contributed opinion pieces to the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Monthly.