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Presidential Power

Mises Daily: Thursday, January 01, 1998 by

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Reassessing the U.S. Presidency


October 16-17, 1998
Callaway Gardens and Warm Springs, Georgia

The worst of the allegations against the president are alarming. But American history is littered with examples of abuses of executive power that go well beyond personal corruption.

Where can you go in the library to find the truth about the havoc U.S. presidents have wrecked on the promise of American freedom? Virtually nowhere. The official history of the presidency reads like the lives of saints.

The Mises Institute is doing something about this. On October 16-17, 1998, at Callaway Gardens and Warm Springs, Georgia, we're holding a major academic conference on the history of the American presidency. Our purpose is to set the record straight by debunking the conventional view that the more power the president has usurped, the better off the American people have been.

We'll discuss the biased methods used to rate presidents; the abandonment of the Constitution (it didn't take long); the chief executive who turned a blind eye to the Gulag; why bad presidents hated sound money; the supposed Republican good guys on Mt. Rushmore; presidential uses of anti-trust power; black-robed accomplices in presidential despotism; the bloodiest tax collector of them all; how the framers thought they tamed the executive, and how the limits can be restored.

We'll examine executive lies that foment wars; the origins of the federal robber state; the atom-bomb lobber in the White House; our third-world empire (thanks a lot, McKinley and Taft); racial agitation as a tool of executive power; falsehoods told about the framers; an actual good president; and what JFK's assassination tells us about the real nature of the executive state. And that's only part of the program.

The price for this two-day, 23-speaker extravaganza is $150 per person ($275 per couple), including a visit to FDR's nearby "Little White House." The luncheons are $20 (Friday) and $15 (Saturday) per person. The two dinners are $29 (lakeside cookout) and $45 (a black-tie gala at the elegant Sibley Horticultural Center).

We'll meet at America's greatest private park, the 14,000-acre Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, convenient to the Atlanta airport. Callaway Gardens, home to some of the rarest and most spectacular horticultural displays in the world, is also well-known for its restaurants, accommodations, butterfly habitat, 63 holes of golf, tennis center, lakes, skeet and trap shooting, horseback riding, biking and walking trails, and many other attractions. The charming small town of Pine Mountain is a famous antiquing center.

We'll begin at 8:00am Friday morning with registration, and end Saturday evening after dinner. (A detailed schedule and travel information will be sent to all participants, as well as the shuttle schedule to and from the Atlanta airport at $29 roundtrip.)

To make your hotel reservations, phone Callaway Gardens at 1-800-225-5292 (or 706-663-2281). Mention the Mises Institute for the special rate of $96 single or double. Or phone Pat Barnett at 334-844-3145 (pat@mises.org) to make your conference reservations, and she will make your hotel reservation as well.

Speakers include:

George Bittlingmayer, University of California, Davis
"Presidential Use and Abuse of the Sherman Act: Cleveland to Clinton"

Gregory Bresiger, Ludwig von Mises Institute
"FDR's Bad Deal"

John V. Denson, ed. The Costs of War
"Tricking Us Into War: The Cases of Lincoln and Roosevelt"

Marshall DeRosa, Florida Atlantic University
"The Supreme Court as Accomplice: Judicial Backing for Executive Power"

Thomas DiLorenzo, Loyola College
"Lincoln and the Triumph of Mercantilism"

James A. Dunlap, III, Limestone College
"The Warren Commission: A Rothbardian Analysis"

Lowell Gallaway and Richard Vedder, Ohio University
"From Bad to Worse: The Interventionist Bias in Conventional Presidential Rankings"

Richard Gamble, Palm Beach Atlantic College
"Woodrow Wilson's Revolution Within the Form"

David Gordon, The Mises Review
"The Use of George Washington in the Statist Offensive"

Paul Gottfried, Elizabethtown College
"Unimagined Power: The Presidency in the History of Political Philosophy"

Randall G. Holcombe, Florida State University
"The Electoral College as a Brake on Presidential Power: Its Evolution from Washington to Jackson"

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
"How Democracy Leads to Tyranny"

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Golden Gate University
"Martin Van Buren: What Greatness Really Means"

Michael Levin, City University of New York
"The President as Social Engineer"

Yuri N. Maltsev, Carthage College
"Despotism Loves Company: The Story of Roosevelt and Stalin"

William Marina, Florida Atlantic University
"Reluctant Imperialist? William Howard Taft and the Evolution of the Colonial Empire"

Ralph Raico, State University College at Buffalo
"Harry Truman and the Imperial Presidency"

JoAnn Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises Institute
"The Real Lincoln"

Joseph T. Salerno, Pace University
"Presidential Money Mismanagement from FDR to Nixon"

Joseph R. Stromberg, Center for Libertarian Studies
"William McKinley: Architect of the American Empire"

Thomas Woods, Columbia University
"Teddy Roosevelt and the Origins of the Modern Welfare-Warfare State"