Gen Con is in full swing in Indianapolis, where the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is headquartered. It’s a time when thousands of gamers come to town to witness all the new innovations in fantasy gaming.
It also happens to be Friedman Legacy Day, a time when thousands of Americans and people from around the world come together to celebrate the life and legacy of our founder, Milton Friedman. Fans of Dr. Friedman will know that very few things characterized him more than his dedication to rigor and his belief in individual liberty as a driver of innovation and achievement. One of my favorite quotes says it better than I can:
The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.
One of the wonders of the free market is that individuals work together to innovate and bring new ideas and products into the public arena. When I think about products like the iPhone or services like Uber, I am simply blown away by their effectiveness. When I think about an innovative idea like education savings accounts (ESAs), I marvel at its complicated simplicity.
But that is the incredible power of individual liberty and free enterprise: it works.
As Dr. Friedman said,
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.
We at the Friedman Foundation take this thinking seriously and are always looking for ways to innovate and bring new ideas into the public square. That is how Friedman Legacy Day came into being, with literally hundreds of people working together to determine how we could best honor Dr. Friedman after his passing.
It is also exactly how our brand new website—which you are viewing for the first time right now—came into being. Many smart, dedicated individuals joined forces to come up with a new and innovative web platform that is both interactive and engaging.
Now, when you visit edchoice2016.wpengine.com, you will have access to several new resources:
Our data center and interactive map allow you to customize your results by filtering the school choice program types you’re interested in learning more about: school vouchers, education savings accounts, tax-credit scholarships, and individual tax credits and deductions. You can click through to individual states and programs and even create and download a custom report with participation, eligibility, and funding data.
We now offer users eligibility tests for the states’ 58 school choice programs. Our eligibility test will take only a few minutes of your time, and when you complete the test, you will learn whether your family qualifies and receive options for next steps. Try our eligibility tests by selecting a state program, then clicking “Is my child eligible?”
This series of videos makes understanding school choice programs easier. Watch our five short animated videos to learn more about how school choice, ESAs, school vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and individual tax credits and deductions work for families, schools, and communities.
The new Friedman Foundation website is an achievement of which we’re proud, and one worthy of being announced on this celebratory day. This year, there are 117 events being held to honor Dr. Friedman, with 47 events in 22 countries and 70 events across the United States. As always, we are tremendously grateful to all of our many friends and partners who join in our ever-growing annual celebration.
We look forward to your feedback as you explore new ways our content can help you honor and advance Milton Friedman’s vision of school choice for all families.
Have a happy and enlightening Friedman Legacy Day!