Foundation for Economic Education
|Founded||March 7, 1946|
|Founder||Leonard E. Read|
IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt
|Method||literature, lecture, academic scholarship|
|President Lawrence W. Reed, Executive Director Carl Oberg|
(FYE March 2014)
|Mission||"... to inspire, educate and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society."|
|Part of a series on|
The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is an American nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the "economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society," FEE publishes the magazine The Freeman, books, hosts week-long seminars, and individual lectures.
The Foundation was founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read Henry Hazlitt, David Goodrich, Donaldson Brown, Leo Wolman, Fred R. Fairchild, Claude E. Robinson, and Jasper Crane, which makes FEE the oldest free-market organization in the United States. Read served as president from 1946 until his death in 1983.
Perry E. Gresham followed his friend Read as president in 1983. The presidency of FEE from 1983 to 1984 was held by John Sparks Sr., from 1984 to 1985 by Bob Love, from 1985 to 1988 by a series of acting presidents, then from 1988 to 1992 by Bruce Evans. After retiring from Grove City College where he taught economics, Hans Sennholz served as president from 1992 to 1997. Before serving as Chair of the Department of Economics at George Mason University, Donald J. Boudreaux served as president from 1997 to 2001. Economist, investment analyst, professor and author Mark Skousen served as president from 2001 to 2002. Author and professor Richard Ebeling served as president from 2003 to 2008. Economist, author, and professor Lawrence W. Reed became the current president in 2008.
Murray Rothbard credited FEE with creating a "crucial open center" for a libertarian movement. During his extended graduate studies at Columbia University, Rothbard was influenced by FEE researcher Baldy Harper. Friedrich Hayek saw FEE as part of the inspiration for the formation of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947. FEE provided a financial subsidy to the Mont Pelerin Society. Hayek encouraged Anthony Fisher to found the Institute of Economic Affairs after visiting FEE in 1952.  According to the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report FEE is number 47 out of 60 in the "Top Think Tanks in the United States".
FEE first occupied two rooms on the 30th floor of the Equitable Building in Manhattan. Next the organization moved to Hillside in Irvington, New York. In 2014, FEE sold its Irvington headquarters, transferring its main offices to Atlanta, Georgia.
FEE describes its mission as to "inspire, educate and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society." FEE offers a variety of programs for high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students. Since 1946 FEE has also sponsored public lectures by various thinkers, including Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, James M. Buchanan, Vernon Smith, Walter Williams, F.A. "Baldy" Harper, and William F. Buckley Jr..
In 1945 du Pont executive Jasper Crane, along with Alfred Kohlberg, started a capital campaign for the organization. After contributions from J. Howard Pew, Inland Steel, Quaker Oats, and Sears enough funding was available for FEE to start publishing The Freeman in 1950. FEE publishes books, articles, and pamphlets both on paper and digitally that the foundation considers classic works on liberty. These include the notable publications I, Pencil: My Family Tree by Read, The Law by Bastiat, Anything That's Peaceful by Read, Planned Chaos by Mises, Industry-Wide Bargaining by Wolman, Up from Poverty: Reflections on the Ills of Public Assistance by Sennholz, and The Virtue of Liberty by Machan.
- Internal Revenue Service 2012.
- Foundation for Economic Education 2013.
- Horwitz 2013; Foundation for Economic Education 2013.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 115; Hamowy 2008, p. 217; Perelman 2007, p. 64; Schneider 2009, p. 47; Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, p. 285; Olson 2009; Lichtman 2008, p. 160.
- Rothbard 2006, p. 451.
- Dochuk 2010, p. 116.
- Heller 2009, p. 197.
- Read was the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce executive director, from 1938 to 1945.
- of the New York Times
- of B. F. Goodrich
- of General Motors Corporation
- of Columbia University
- of Yale University
- of Opinion Research Corporation
- of duPont
- White 2012 "The oldest free-market American think tank is the foundation for Economic Education, founded in 1946, which as noted was ..."; Skousen 2015 "In his eighties, he continued to lecture at the Foundation for Economic Education in IrvingtononHudson, New York (the oldest freemarket think tank, founded in 1946 by Leonard Read), and ..."; Hazlitt 2006 "The original officers were David M. Goodrich, chairman of the Board (he was then also chairman of the board of the B. F. Goodrich Company); Leonard Read, president; myself, vice-president; Fred R. Fairchild, professor of economics at Yale University, secretary; and Claude Robinson, president of the Opinion Research Institute, treasurer. [The] sixteen [original] trustees ... included H. W. Luhnow, president of William Volker & Company; A. C. Mattei, president of Honolulu Oil Corporation; William A. Paton of the University of Michigan; Charles White, president of the Republic Steel Corporation; Leo Wolman, professor of economics at Columbia; Donaldson Brown, former vice-president of General Motors; Jasper Crane, former vice-president of Du Pont; B. E. Hutchinson, chairman of the finance committee of Chrysler Corporation; Bill Matthews, publisher of the Arizona Star; W. C. Mullendore, president of the Southern California Edison Company."; Dochuk 2010, p. 114 "The job of economic education must be undertaken now while those who appreciate the value of liberty are still in a position to support it."; Schneider 2009, p. 47; Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, p. 387; Backhouse 2005; Backhouse 2009; Kashyap & Wilcox 1993, p. 384; Farrell 2011.
- Sennholz 1993, p. 185.
- Reed 2012.
- Wilcox 2000, p. 151.
- Boudreaux 2011.
- Skousen 2010.
- Ebeling 2009.
- Farrell 2011.
- Gordon 2010, p. 14.
- Gordon 2010, p. 12-14.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 86; Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, pp. 15, 19, 21, 53, 156, 190, 196, 243, 281, 284, 293, 387, 397, 410; Plehwe 2006, p. 31.
- Hamowy 2008, p. 492; Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, p. 15.
- Mirowski & Plehwe & 2009 p. 387.
- Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania
- McGann 2015.
- Dodsworth 1995, p. 2 "In those anxious moments, Thomas I. Parkinson, president of Equitable Life Assurance Company, came to the rescue. He provided Fee with two rooms in the Equitable Building at 737 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. On the 30th floor, with a magnificent view over the city, Leonard Read set about conducting the affairs of his new organization.".
- Spikes & Leone 2009, p. 26 "Hillside was sold in 1922 to Gordon Harris, a son of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad president. ... was purchased in 1946 by Leonard Read and remains the headquarters of Read's Foundation for Economic Education."; Dodsworth 1995.
- Farrell 2011 "In early May 2010, FEE opened a branch office in downtown Atlanta."; Olson 2014.
- Ashford 2011; Giannotta 2011; Foley 2010; Olson 2009.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 116; Hamowy 2008, p. 335; Olson 2009.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 52; Hamowy 2008, p. 217; Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, p. 285; Olson 2009.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 43; Olson 2009.
- Hamowy 2008, p. 492; Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, p. 21.
- Mirowski & Plehwe 2009, p. 21.
- Smith 2006.
- Williams 2006.
- Hamowy 2008, p. 492.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 40.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. ii; Hamowy 2008, p. 62; Schneider 2009, p. 47; Lichtman 2008, p. 160.
- ISSN 0016-0652; OCLC 1570149
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 115; Hamowy 2008, p. 62; Schneider 2009, p. 47; Lichtman 2008, p. 160.
- Phillips-Fein 2009, p. 52; Hamowy 2008, p. 62; Olson 2009.
- Read 1958.
- Bastiat 1950.
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- Mises 1947.
- Wolman 1948.
- Sennholz 1997.
- Machan 1994.
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The original officers were David M. Goodrich, chairman of the Board (he was then also chairman of the board of the B. F. Goodrich Company); Leonard Read, president; myself, vice-president; Fred R. Fairchild, professor of economics at Yale University, secretary; and Claude Robinson, president of the Opinion Research Institute, treasurer. [The] sixteen [original] trustees ... included H. W. Luhnow, president of William Volker & Company; A. C. Mattei, president of Honolulu Oil Corporation; William A. Paton of the University of Michigan; Charles White, president of the Republic Steel Corporation; Leo Wolman, professor of economics at Columbia; Donaldson Brown, former vice-president of General Motors; Jasper Crane, former vice-president of Du Pont; B. E. Hutchinson, chairman of the finance committee of Chrysler Corporation; Bill Matthews, publisher of the Arizona Star; W. C. Mullendore, president of the Southern California Edison Company.
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