Here at the Spherical Model, the world’s smallest think tank, we don’t do a lot of primary research.
What I hope to do is educate, so that more people are equipped with the ideas and principles that lead us to political freedom, economic free market prosperity, and thriving civilization—as alternatives to the historically more common tyranny, poverty, and savagery.
The Spherical Model framework is original, and the opinions are mainly mine. But there are many others interested in freedom, prosperity, and civilization and how we get there.
I thought it might be useful today to share some of the many resources I frequent, in no particular order.
My list keeps growing. There are many that add good information on specific issues or areas of interest. But these few are essential for economics, as well as for understanding the interrelationships of the political, economic, and social spheres:
· The Road to Serfdom—Friedrich Hayek
· Basic Economics—Thomas Sowell
· Economics in One Lesson—Henry Hazlitt
· Liberal Fascism—Jonah Goldberg
· The 5000-Year Leap—W. Cleon Skousen
Organizations and Education
These are some of the regular places I turn to, or tune in to:
· Hillsdale College online courses—These are free, and equivalent to the courses provided to students on campus, if you do the reading and work with it. Or you can just enjoy the lectures and take the quizzes (or not). They just redid their original Constitution class, and I’m looking forward to that. Others include Western Heritage, American Heritage, Economics, Great Books, The Presidency and the Constitution, The Federalist Papers, Winston Churchill, C. S. Lewis, Athens and Sparta, Public Policy, US Supreme Court, and Theology. Each course has 8-10 or so lectures.
· The Heritage Foundation—This organization has been reliably conservative for decades, some recent leadership changes notwithstanding. They offer news sources, such as the Daily Signal, There’s an activist group called the Sentinels, with a weekly phonecall about current legislative action and online and local support. And they do research and policy work.
· Hoover Institution—The organization has been around a long time, related to Stanford University, in favor of free market economic policies and prosperity, and other geopolitical issues. Their Uncommon Knowledge, an interview program with authors and experts, is a favorite source. I don’t agree with every interviewee, but it’s a good way to get clarity about their viewpoints.
· The Witherspoon Institute—This organization does research and education related to the “moral foundations of free and democratic societies.” They’ve come to my attention because of Ryan T. Anderson, their public discourse editor, who is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and is one of the clearest voices writing today in defense of marriage. This is scholarly information, and often aimed at advanced college students or professors. But they attempt to write in a way that is accessible, reasonable, and moral.
· The Ludwig von Mises Institute—This is an organization based on the Austrian school of economics, emphasizing free market policies.
· Wallbuilders—David Barton is the force behind this organization. They teach history, mainly American history, with the perspective that looks at the necessity of a moral people in maintaining our Constitution. This organization is especially helpful for homeschoolers, which is how I became familiar with it.
· Texas Home School Coalition—Speaking of homeschooling, THSC is a good resource on education and parental rights issues. While I’m not still homeschooling, I still get their newsletters and rely on them heavily for information during the Texas legislative session.
· Prager University—A collection of 5-minute videos on a wide array of topics, mainly explaining the conservative (classical liberal) viewpoint. They’re free, and easy to share. And you can login and take a short quiz to test your understanding.
News and Commentary Voices
I don’t spend much time going to main stream media sources. I prefer an admitted bias from someone seeking truth, rather than a claim of unbiased news from sources that are clearly skewed. Still, it’s a good idea to get a variety of views. Often when I use a MSM news source, it is to get more information about an issue I hear about on radio top-of-the-hour news headlines, or stories linked by friends or various sources. This list isn’t exhaustive, or even always views I endorse. And this list changes from time to time. Some I turn to daily or weekly, others only occasionally.
· Townhall—a daily collection of mostly conservative columnists
· The Blaze—and various Glenn Beck shows and resources (some parts require subscription fee)
· The Daily Signal—Heritage Foundation’s daily news source
· Fox News (if I must go to a traditional source on television)
· Hugh Hewitt radio—(archive requires subscription fee)
· Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire—the website includes pieces by various writers, but I mainly tune in for Ben Shapiro’s commentary and podcast
· Thomas Sowell—economist; he has retired from his regular column, but he still writes books and does occasional pieces or interviews
· Walter Williams—economist; I usually get his columns at Townhall
· PJ Media—I used to watch their videos, but funding for those ended a year or so ago. I still appreciate, when I find them, Andrew Klavan, Victor Davis Hanson, and others.
· Matt Walsh—culture blog, found on The Blaze these days
· Tom Woods—economic and libertarian blog, and good on education issues as well
· Dennis Prager radio—in addition to the PragerU videos
· Volokh Conspiracy—legal blog, written by Eugen Volokh and other law professors
· Greg Mankiw—economic blog by Harvard economics professor