September 25, 2016

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Jared Meyer, and Linda Whetstone

The Manhattan Institute has been awarded this year’s $10,000 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for the book Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young (Encounter Books, 2015), by Manhattan Institute scholars Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer. The award was presented at Atlas Network’s 2016 Liberty Forum in Miami.

“We are grateful to Atlas Network for choosing to grant their Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award to Disinherited,” said Lawrence Mone, president of the Manhattan Institute. “Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer have both worked tirelessly on behalf of America’s younger generation. Their book puts in clear relief the plight of young Americans who have been burdened by our government’s vast system of debt, entitlements, and crippling regulations.”

It’s more difficult today than it has been in generations past for young people to enter the workforce and achieve success. Tens of millions of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 are struggling to find their places in the world — and politicians at every level of government have made that process more difficult for them than it was for their parents and grandparents. Disinherited explains how millennials are just as hard-working, energetic, and innovative as the young people of generations past, but they are stymied at every turn by restrictive and rapidly proliferating regulations.

Jared Meyer and Diana Furchtgott-Roth

“Some think that if government were larger and gave more handouts, and taxes were raised to fund these goodies, then young people would do better,” Meyer said. “Extensive data from European economies show that this argument does not hold water as youth unemployment is even higher in Europe than in America. This is not a case of generational warfare. Rather, though the betrayal of America’s young is real, it is the result of the unintended consequences of countless government programs that favor the old over the young and make it more difficult for young people to achieve the American Dream.”

Disinherited aims to foster a widespread public realization that young people are being left behind and that government action is the primary reason for this betrayal. Righting this wrong is the real “defining challenge of our time,” Meyer said. Government programs like Social Security and Medicare take from the young to enrich the old, failing public school systems prevent students from receiving a quality education, minimum wages and other labor laws make it more difficult for low-skilled youth to gain their first work experience, and a wide array of licensure and other regulatory restrictions prevent young people from launching new entrepreneurial ventures.

“The book has received widespread media attention,” Meyer said. “Since its publication in May 2015, it has received 30 favorable reviews. Over 50 of our op-eds and columns have been published in a broad range of online and print media. C-Span has featured Disinherited on its Book TV program, and has replayed the program several times.”

The authors have also discussed Disinherited on Fox News, Fox Business, EWTN, Al Jazeera America, NPR, and BBC Worldwide. They also elaborated on the book’s themes in publications like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Real Clear Policy, and Forbes. The widespread coverage has led to opportunities to testify in front of congressional committees about the book’s essential topics and bring them further into both public and policy discourse.

About the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award

Established in 1990, the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award recognizes the organization that published a book, magazine, report, monograph, or study that, in the opinion of a panel of external judges, has had demonstrable impact and made the greatest contribution to public understanding of the free society. The award commemorates Fisher’s ideals and achievements. In addition to the $10,000 prize, the winning organization will be recognized at this year’s Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner, Nov 11–12, in New York City.

Previous Award Winners

Previous winners of the award include the Fraser Institute (Canada) for its book What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity (2015 award winner); Institute of Economic Affairs (United Kingdom) for its book Foundations of a Free Society (2014 award winner), authored by Eamonn Butler with a forward by Ali Salman; Ronald Coase Institute (United States) for its book How China Became Capitalist (2013 award winner), authored by the late Nobel laureate Ronald Coase and Ning Wang; the Centre for Development and Enterprise (South Africa) for its book The Case for Business in Developing Economies (2010 award winner), authored by Ann Bernstein; and the Cato Institute (United States) for its book The Beautiful Tree (2009 award winner), authored by James Tooley.