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Freshman Wins Third in International Essay Contest

September 29th, 2010

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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The Independent Institute recently announced the winners of its 2010 Sir John M. Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest, including Patrick Henry College freshman, Alicia Constant, who tied for third place. Contestants were asked to consider the following quotation from 19th century French economist Frederic Bastiat:

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”

. . . And address the following question:

Assuming Bastiat is correct, what ideas or reforms could be developed that would make people better aware that government wants to live at their expense?

Patrick Henry College freshman Alicia Constant

“This year’s winners thought long and hard about a problem often considered intractable—namely, the problem of government predation over the citizenry,” said Carl Close, Academic Affairs Director of the Independent Institute. “Fortunately, with their insights and eloquence, this year’s contest winners give us hope that the upcoming generation of thinkers will continue to fight the good fight for liberty and dignity.”

Third Prize and a $1,000 grant was awarded to two people: Alicia Constant (Patrick Henry College) for “A Matter of Incentives: Public Choice and the Great Fiction”; and George Hawley (University of Houston) for “Leviathan’s Greatest Deception: Exposing the False Promise of Life ‘at the Expense of the State.’”

In addition to the prize money, winners in both divisions will receive assistance in getting their essays published and a two-year subscription to The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy. The Independent Institute will attempt to arrange for some or all of the winners to deliver their prize-winning papers at an academic conference.

The 2010 contest drew applicants from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Macedonia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Administered by the Independent Institute and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the contest encourages college students and untenured college professors around the world to study the meaning and significance of economic and personal liberty. A panel of judges reviewed each submission. This year’s judges were professors Jonathan Bean (Southern Illinois University), Benjamin Powell (Suffolk University), and Aeon Skoble (Bridgewater State University).