Earlier this evening, I (and a great many other people) attended the 19th Hayek Memorial Lecture:
Photo 1: I got there very early, hence all the empty seats.
The Official Photographer was Jean-Luc Picard. Not really, but photo 3 makes him look a bit like the noted space voyager.
Photo 4: The (large) room fills up.
Photo 5: Celeb sighting. Dominic Frisby. And is that his dad Terence he’s talking with? I think it just might be.
Photo 6: Syed Kamall, a recent IEA appointment. He gave someone a prize.
Photo 7: IEA boss Mark Littlewood does the intro.
Photos 8 and 9: Professor Bryan Caplan gives the lecture.
Photo 10: The first questioner was Vera Kichanova, one of the very few people in the audience whom I recognised.
Photo 11: Someone else photoing from the audience.
So, what did Caplan say? Briefly: poor country governments are often to blame for their bad economic policies, rich countries are often to blame for their bad immigration policies, and poor people, especially poor people in rich countries, are often to blame because they make bad decisions, especially bad decisions which hurt their children. That last one is the one you aren’t allowed to say, but most people still think this. When questioned about this, Caplan pointed out that refusing ever to blame poor people for their poverty is often a cause of bad policies. Instead of doing nothing (because it should be up to many poor people to help themselves), governments often do bad things. To “help”.
Another interesting thing about this lecture was that big multi-national enterprises came out of the story very well, basically for doing very well in poor countries, thereby proving that lots of people in poor and otherwise badly governed and badly managed countries could be doing far better, if they got the chance. That being why restrictive immigration policies do so much harm. They are keeping people who could do far better out of well governed countries.
There was also a guy videoing everything, so you won’t have to rely for ever on me to learn what Caplan said.