Doug French

Going on 30 years ago Lew Rockwell had an idea. The idea was to form an institute to celebrate the works of a forgotten scholar — Ludwig von Mises — and promote the study of Austrian economics, a school of economic thought that recognized freedom as paramount if society is to be prosperous, a school of thought that had been long forgotten, a school of thought that recognized the damage that government intervention causes.

For three decades Lew's big idea has carried on with the help of donors like you. Ideas may be free; however, teaching those ideas and implementing them are not. In 2011, has enjoyed 1.2 million unique visitors each month. Lives and minds are changed by the thousands each and every day by And while the vast resources contained online at are free to its users, the cost to keep it running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is far from free.

The 800 articles, the 100 audio dailies, the 337 lectures and interviews in media, the 80 live video webcasts that were added just this year could not be created out of thin air the way the Fed creates money. Donors must forgo consumption and care enough about liberty and freedom to make all of this possible — and they have done so for three decades.

Many in the mainstream must believe that Austrian economics — Rothbard, Mises, Hazlitt, and Ron Paul — appeared from nowhere. Of course they haven't. It's taken 30 years of hard work by the Mises staff and sacrifice from our donors to elevate the ideas of liberty to the national stage.

Now is our time. Now is the time for the ideas of liberty to take hold. There is more interest in our ideas than ever before. The Institute held 16 conferences in 2011, attended not just by enthusiastic followers and students but those curious about ideas they hadn't heard about before: something other than the same old government prescriptions to solve the same old problems caused by government itself.

Doug French

Doug French is is president of the Mises Institute and author of Early Speculative Bubbles & Increases in the Money Supply and Walk Away: The Rise and Fall of the Home-Ownership Myth

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