Featured Events

August 8

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Libertarians and conservatives alike claim to be advocates of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. In some policy spheres, these shared values lead libertarians and conservatives to similar conclusions about public policy. As a result, popular political discourse often conflates libertarianism with conservatism, and proponents of “fusionism” go so far as to regard a libertarian-conservative alliance as being both natural and politically useful.

However, the differences between the two political philosophies are at least as significant as the similarities. On matters such as national security and foreign policy, immigration, criminal justice, drugs, surveillance, marriage and the family, and the role of religion in public policy, libertarians and conservatives often clash with one another.

Despite whatever similarities they may have, libertarianism and conservatism are substantially different political philosophies. So which one provides better answers to today’s most important political questions?

We invite you to a debate about the two political philosophies and their associated policy implications. Interns from the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation will go head-to-head to answer the question: Is libertarianism or conservatism the superior political philosophy?

September 11

The Human Costs of War: Assessing Civilian Casualties since 9/11

On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children in four coordinated attacks, the deadliest such incident in history and the bloodiest day on American soil in over a century. Since that time, the Pentagon says more than 7,000 Americans have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Greater Middle East, as well as in other military operations associated with the War on Terror.

Many Americans still recall the trauma of 9/11 and are aware of the scale of death and destruction wrought that day. Some have a sense of the numbers of U.S. troops killed in wars since. Very few, however, are aware of the others who have died in these wars. For example, the Costs of War Project counts at least 244,000 civilian deaths in just three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Much higher estimates may be derived from episodic reporting of incidents involving noncombatants killed as a result of U.S. military action worldwide.

At this special policy forum, a distinguished panel of experts will explore the nature of these casualties, why the U.S. military’s efforts to limit harm to innocent men, women, and children sometimes fail, how and if recent congressional oversight has helped to shed light on the issue, and whether the U.S. media’s inconsistent coverage of noncombatant deaths is a symptom or a cause of the public’s relative ignorance of the true costs of America’s ongoing wars.

Cato Policy Forums are free of charge. To register to attend this event, click the button below and then submit the secure web form by Noon EDT on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. If you have any questions pertaining to registration, you may e-mail events [at] cato.org.

(Luncheon to follow)

Attend in Person

Live Webcast

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online and join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoFP. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

September 9

Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool

Economist Emily Oster’s new book, Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool, cuts through the alarmist rhetoric and fearmongering that surrounds modern-day parenting with a cool-headed look at the data. Oster’s book argues there is no single optimal set of child-rearing decisions. Rather, she applies economic thinking to help parents evaluate the available choices for themselves. She also shows that many widely held views and official government recommendations for parents are not backed up by evidence. Join us to hear Oster and Julie Gunlock discuss the ”dismal science”, statistical literacy, and how to make parenting decisions in the face of an alarmist parenting culture.

Cato Book Forums are free of charge. To register to attend this event, click the button below and then submit the secure web form by 12:00PM EDT on Friday, September 6, 2019. If you have any questions pertaining to registration, you may e-mail events [at] cato.org.

(Luncheon to follow)

Attend in Person

Live Webcast

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online and join the conversation on Twitter using #EconParenting. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

Past Events

August 8

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Featuring Cato Institute Interns and Heritage Foundation Interns; with an introduction by Neil Saul, Student Programs Coordinator, Cato Institute; moderated by Charles C. W. Cooke, Editor, National Review Online.

July 31

Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way through the Unfree World

Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way through the Unfree World

Featuring the authors Robert Lawson, Director, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University; Benjamin Powell, Professor of Economics at Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University; and Matt Kibbe, President, Free the People; moderated by Ian Vásquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

July 19

What’s Next for Venezuela?

What's Next for Venezuela?

Featuring Luis Almagro, Secretary General, Organization of American States; joining by Skype, María Corina Machado, National Coordinator, Vente Venezuela; Pedro Urruchurtu, Political Science Professor, Universidad Central de Venezuela; moderated by Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Policy Analyst on Latin America, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

July 14 to July 18

Sphere Summit: Teaching Civic Culture Together

Featuring Ibrahim Anoba, Mark Davis, Annie Duke, Emily Ekins, Chelsea Follett, Sherry Glied, Peter Goettler, Donald E. Graham, Clark Neily, Tom G. Palmer, Jonathan Rauch, Jeffrey Rosen, Kerry Sautner, Nadine Strossen, Michael D. Tanner, Darrell M. West, and Hayne Yoon.