Former Mackinac Center president Lawrence Reed to speak Tuesday at Park Library



Lawrence Reed, a former president of the Mackinac Center and current president of the Foundation for Economic Education, will speak at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium.

The event is sponsored by University Libertarians at Central Michigan University.

Reed is best known for being the first president of the Mackinac Center, a conservative-leaning, free market think tank located in Midland. He served from the company's founding in 1987 through 2008.

Reed, who has been the president of FEE since 2008, has also worked as a freelance writer for several publications in his career. He is a self-described proponent of Austrian economics, an economic philosophy of hands-off government and self-reliance.

This is not Reed's first visit to CMU. He was a commencement speaker in 1994, where he received an honorary doctorate in public administration.

He also visited the university in 2009 when he discussed his work, "Great Myths of the Great Depression." He argued the New Deal policies adopted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt prolonged the nation's recovery from the depression, contrary to popular belief among the public and many historians and economists.

"The history books are full of errors and omissions regarding the true role the federal government played in the Great Depression," Reed said. "FDR's policies did not alleviate the suffering of the 1930s and, in many cases, made it worse – a legacy we're still trying to overcome today."

Reed has a bachelor's degree in economics from Grove City College in Pennsylvania and a master's degree in history from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. He previously taught economics at Northwood University in Midland.


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