1) The difficult direction: Against the current, like Salmon. This is how Libertad y Progreso was born on May 17, 2011, when the Kirchnerists began a radicalization that would lead them to seek eternalization in power. “Favor critical thinking and dispense with absolute truths. Give deep debate on topics that swim against the current of official thinking. End the confrontation and favor a new stage of dialogue even in dissidence. Contribute to public policies that raise the quality of life of Argentines. “This was how journalist Jaime Rosenberg from La Nación presented Libertad y Progreso, in an article with a suggestive title: Three economists challenge politics. Eight years later, three economists continue to challenge politics, the establishment and the dictatorship of political correctness, to return Argentina to the land of opportunities and ideas of Juan Bautista Alberdi.
2) Ideas matter (and we have a team full of ideas): The heart of Libertad y Progreso was always focused on ideas, ideas to change things. That is why it is not by chance that the Foundation is supported and integrated by a solid team of intellectuals. The ideas, the study, the search for the truth oriented to concrete solutions to improve Argentina are the fuel that moves the Libertad y Progreso Community. Our Academic Council is chaired by Alberto Benegas Lynch (h) and integrated by José Abo Zumarán; Enrique Aguilar, Marcos Aguinis, Emilio Apud, Jorge Avila, Enrique Blasco Garma, Hernán Bonilla, Carlos Cáceres Contreras, Roberto Cachanosky, Emilio Cárdenas, Juan Pablo Couyoumdjian, Pablo Da Silveira, José María Dagnino Pastore, Felipe de La Balze, Julián De Diego , Roberto Durrieu, Enrique Ghersi, Martín Krause, Martín Lagos, Paul Leclercq, Ricardo López Murphy, Héctor Mairal, Carlos Manfroni, Diana Mondino, Carlos Montaner, Agustín Monteverde, Emilio Ocampo, Luis Pazos, Carlos Rodríguez Braun, Carlos Sabino, Osvaldo Schenone , Juan Sola, Mario Teijeiro, Jorge Tersoglio, Jorge Vanossi, Ian Vázquez, Ludovico Videla, Edgardo Zablotsky and Gabriel Zanotti. Our Business Council is also a very valuable support to develop our planning. It is chaired by Federico Zorraquín.
In addition, Libertad y Progreso is an important breeding ground for liberal leaders and professionals. They passed through the ranks of Libertad y Progreso Ivan Carrino, Matías Bolis Wilson, Marcos Hilding Ohlsson, Ignacio Aimi, Eugenio Marí, Federico Rouco, Mariano Deagusto, Florence Merino, Nelson Aguilera, Agostina Bergero, Manuela Torres Rohan, Lautaro Toller, Leticia Bontempo , Catu Bontempo, Cecilia Olive, Tamara Kievsky, Mechi Manfroni, Michel Ibarra, Francisco Arias, Dulcinea Etchebarne, Delfina Agostino, Diana and Ana Carola Torres Schvarstein. Currently integrate, Libertad y Progreso, Manuel Solanet, Aldo Abram and Agustín Etchebarne (founders and directors); Alberto Benegas Lynch, president of the Academic Council; Federico Zorraquín, president of the Business Council; Candelaria de Elizalde, institutional coordinator; Mariano Casares and Mathias Lobato, in the area of Administration and Finance; Esteban Siracusa, Pablo Abram, Conrado Etchebarne and Mercedes Colombres, in the Content and Networks area; Iván Cachanosky, Cristóbal Morales Vera, Natalia Motyl, Nicolás Luppi; in the area of Economic Analysis; María Boulin and Mercedes Richards, in the area of Fundraising and Partners. Likewise, the economists Martín Krause and Gustavo Lázzari are permanent collaborators of our community. As interns form our team of interns Tomás Castro, Michael Hindes, Macarena Nielsen and Francisco Peláez.
3) Do not wonder what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country: In times of institutional ups and downs, the team of Libertad y Progreso has promoted political activism, as was done to stop judicial reform or prevent cases of fraud in the elections. Thus, through our director Agustín Etchebarne and part of our staff we collaborated in the organization of the 2012 and 2013 marches, and we were an active part in the creation and development of the Fiscal Network. Thanks to this network, elections were audited since 2011, discouraging cases of fraud in remote locations where the scheme of prosecutors did not work properly.
4) Lack of own books is the height of misery…: Since our birth, Libertad y Progreso has a fertile journey in the realization of books and research. We publish Progresar en Libertad: proposals to get out of decadence (2014 and 2016); Nothing is Free, by Alberto Benegas Lynch (2016); Essays in Honor of Armando Ribas, compiled by Agustín Etchebarne and Emilio Ocampo; Ten Readings on Argentina, by Manuel Solanet (2017); The Reforms Necessary to Grow in Freedom (2019), edited by Manuel Solanet; and La Clave is Freedom: the road from Poverty to Abundance, by Agustín Etchebarne (for leaving). Also since 2011 we developed the Institutional Quality Index together with Professor Martín Krause, to raise awareness about the importance of institutions such as currency and justice for the progress of countries. We also collaborate and disseminate the Indices of Property Law and Economic Freedom, the latter together with Fraser. Among our research works, the most outstanding were the survey of social plans and proposal to create employment, in collaboration with Marcos Hilding Ohlsson, and our proposal to lower tariffs on technology for the benefit of the most needy (See research here)
5) Youth, power: With the coordination of Candelaria de Elizalde, from its inception the Foundation has an active youth group, which promotes reading, debate and training of young people on topics of interest to them. With monthly or bi-monthly meetings since 2014, the Alberdianos group has more than 200 adherents, who replicate and transfer our message to their areas of action. In addition, the Alberdianos group is a fundamental pillar in the dissemination work of the Foundation’s proposals.
6) Breakfasts and seminars: Designed as an exclusive discussion space for our members, Freedom and Progress breakfasts with the support of the Naumann Foundation, Relial, Hotel Feirs Park and the Darc Group are a classic that bring together prestigious figures such as the Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich, writer Marcos Aguinis, lawyers Julián de Diego and Alejandro Fargosi, economists Daniel Artana and Emilio Ocampo, Deputy Finance Minister Miguel Braun, among others. Our last breakfast for members, starring Manuel Solanet, Aldo Abram and Agustín Etchebarne had more than 100 registered. In addition, outside of the agenda of seminars, we have organized and brought to the country, together with other organizations, relevant figures from abroad such as the president of Chile Sebastián Piñera, the influencer and political scientist Gloria Alvarez. Finally, in partnership with UCEMA, ESEADE, Universidad Austral and Agrositio we promote reflection seminars that we broadcast online. The last of these, with our advisors Jorge Avila, Alejandro Estrada and Roberto Cachanosky had a thousand people participating in person or via Instagram and Facebook.
7) The medium is the message: Since we recorded our press appearances (2013) Libertad y Progreso, including its economists, academic advisers and collaborators, has received 6,000 mentions in the media. This list is led by our executive director Aldo Abram, who in 2018 also became the first economist of the Foundation to be reported by one of the main media in the world: The Wall Street Journal. It should be noted that the most successful press action in history was our investigation into the increase of the State in the Macri era, published exclusively by the journalist Mariano Obarrio in La Nación on April 17, 2017. This action, which was the daily, it led us to install the need to reform the State and reduce its dimension in the national public agenda. Since then we are the undisputed references in the matter. This work also led us to be finalists in the Templeton Prize of the Atlas Liberty Forum in 2018. The Foundation’s flagship product, the videos, have as of May 2019 4.5 million views on our YouTube channel, not counting the reproductions of them on other platforms or other users. Only the most successful video in the history of Libertad y Progreso, Populismo Versus República, by Gloria Alvarez, has 1.5 million views. The Foundation is also a pioneer in the use of social networks, with 40,500 subscribers on YouTube, 25,000 followers on Facebook, 4242 followers on Instagram, 23,000 on Twitter. In addition, on Twitter, counting the Twitter of our directors we have 100,000 extra followers.
8) The brothers should be united because that is the first law: Libertad y Progreso has made the policy of alliances a modus operandi to extend the arrival of its message. In addition to receiving active support from Fundación Naumann and Atlas Network; we are allies or work together with the Property Rights Alliance, the Fraser Institute, RELIAL, the Freedom Network of Argentina, Libertad Foundation, Acton, Ayn Rand Institute Argentina, FRI, Federalism and Freedom, Progress and Freedom, Asociación Río Paraná, Club of Liberty in Corrientes, etc. As for the universities, we work with UCEMA, Universidad Austral and Eseade.
The road that began eight years ago must continue. Much remains to be done to return to Alberdi’s Argentina. Libertad y Progreso thanks all those who have been supporting their work here and invites them to continue working for the necessary reforms to grow in freedom.