Free Market Speaker Series

Each semester we invite speakers from the business and academic world who address the underlying principles of a market economy. Students, faculty, alumni, and the Charleston business community are invited to attend our events.

Spring 2023

Screening & Panel Discussion: "Corporate Welfare: Where's the Outrage?"

Panelist: Peter Calcagno, Robert Chatfield, John Mozena, and Russell Sobel

February, 8, 2023; 5:30pm
Wells Fargo Auditorium

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About the film

Personal stories of the effect of tax exemptions, subsidies, government regulations, and bailouts – all commonly used to help big business – are presented in the new documentary, Corporate Welfare: Where’s the Outrage?. Hosted by Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Senior Fellow Johan Norberg, the provocative documentary examines America’s system of farm subsidies, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Big Oil subsidies, government policies, and tax breaks for big business, and offers a perspective of the 2008 financial crash from the viewpoint of a banker caught in the middle. The program takes viewers across America to talk with individuals whose lives and livelihood have been directly affected by the outrages of corporate welfare.

About the panelists

Robert Chatfield serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Free To Choose Network (FTCN), a global media organization, replacing Bob Chitester, Founder and Chairman of the Board, who stepped aside as President and CEO in July 2017. Chatfield oversees all departments of the 24-person organization, and will be growing the divisions while keeping the vision and mission of the 501(c)(3) in focus.

Prior to joining FTCN, he was CFO of Fluid Imaging Technologies, a manufacturer of scientific instruments. He has also served as a merger and acquisition advisor to private companies. Chatfield previously worked in corporate finance roles with Banknorth Group (now TD Bank) and Polaroid Corporation.

Starting his career with the non-profit Pioneer Institute, a market-oriented research institute based in Boston, Chatfield has maintained a proactive role in academia for 20 years, teaching as an adjunct faculty member for many organizations. Rob is currently affiliated with Syracuse University’s online MBA program and Suffolk University’s finance department, where he earned his M.S. in Finance.

"Rob brings the trifecta we were seeking in enthusiasm, vision and professional experience. I have every confidence that he will guide and guard this organization's legacy for the next 30 years," said Chitester.

Chatfield is a lifelong learner, community servant, and an adventurer. He served a one-year visiting professor assignment at Suffolk’s campus in Dakar, Senegal and has participated in several humanitarian missions with Rotary International.

John C. Mozena puts two decades of private-sector journalism, marketing and communications experience to work in the service of economic development policy reform as the president of the Center for Economic Accountability. Under his leadership, the CEA works to advance economic opportunity for all by promoting transparency, accountability and free-market-based reform of state and local economic development initiatives across America. Mozena has had his writing published or been quoted by broad range of national media ranging from The Hill to Site Selection Magazine; from The American Conservative to NPR; from Automotive News to Baseball Prospectus, as well as local media outlets in more than 17 states. Before co-founding the CEA in 2018, Mozena was the vice president for marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan’s groundbreaking free-market think tank.

Russell S. Sobel is Professor of Economics & Entrepreneurship in the Baker School of Business at The Citadel. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University in 1994. He is co-editor of the Southern Economic Journal and is a member of the editorial boards for the journals Public Choice and the Journal of Entrepreneurship & Public Policy. He serves as a Regional Advisory Committee Member for the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office Board of Economic Advisors. He is the recipient of numerous awards for both his teaching and research and has authored or coauthored of over 250 academic journal articles and books. His recent research focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship and economic policy.

Peter Calcagno is Professor of Economics at the College of Charleston, and the Director of the Center for Public Choice and Market Process. His areas of research are applied microeconomics, public choice and political economy. He is the Treasurer of the Public Choice Society, a Voting Member of AIER, a Board Member of the Classical Liberals in the Carolinas, and has served on the board of the APEE. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters, and the editor of Unleashing Capitalism: A Prescription for Economic Prosperity in South Carolina. He earned his B.S. in Economics and History from Hillsdale College and Ph.D. from Auburn University.

Corporate Welfare: Where's the Outrage

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