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Julian Simon Remembered (Would have been 80 today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 12, 2012

“[Julian] Simon found that humanity progressed not only by solving immediate problems within the existing institutional framework but also by creatively improving the framework over time. . . . In the short run, members of society adopt localized technical and contractual fixes. In the medium range, they may explore government regulatory policies. In the longer term, they expand the scope and scale of the liberal institutions. These institutions of economic freedom—private property, binding contracts, and the rule of law—improve incentive structures that foster both economic well-being and environmental stewardship.”

– Fred Smith, “Introduction,” in Robert Bradley, Julian Simon and the Triumph of Energy Sustainability (Washington, D.C.: ALEC, 2000), p. 12.

Julian Simon (1932–98) would have been eighty years old today. MasterResource is inspired by his contributions to energy (what he labeled “the master resource”), as well as his open-ended view of human ingenuity (what he called “the ultimate resource”).