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Season 1 - Episode 1
The role of think tanks

Michel Kelly-Gagnon is President and CEO of the Montreal Economic Institute, an organization he built practically from scratch. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Atlas Network and was formerly President of the Quebec Employers Council. He was voted one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ in 2008.

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When individuals are allowed the freedom they need to flourish, then innovation and entrepreneurship lead to widespread prosperity, argues Michel Kelly-Gagnon in this engaging interview. In the mixed economies of the modern world, however, government has come to play too heavy a role. Government intervention distorts markets and the thirst for welfare spending leads to high tax rates, inflation and debt.

Big government seems compassionate at first glance. But as Kelly-Gagnon says, “People are not stupid, and more and more they’re starting to realize that the current system is broken. They may not [all agree] as to the specific solutions, but I think intuitively, they’re starting to understand that the path we’re on is not sustainable.” Among those trying to get governments on a more sustainable path are think tanks like the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), of which Michel Kelly-Gagnon is President and CEO.

People are understandably wary of change, however, a consideration that leads the MEI to offer concrete, specific market solutions to gradually improve our current system one step at a time. “Most people are not either left or right. They’re practical people and they want to see solutions. And the role of think tanks… is to bring those practical solutions home,” says Kelly-Gagnon.

Viewers will learn about the history of free-market think tanks, and also hear the MEI President’s views on the important role of financiers as bridges in time. In the end, although both financiers and free-market ideas have taken a hit in recent years, the failures of stimulus packages and monetary inflation have opened the door for a return to fundamentals.

Links of interest: Michel Kelly-Gagnon's full bio

Watch these related FMS interviews
- Michael Walker - The Freedom Index
- Brad Lips - Helping think tanks change the world

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