Tuesday, December 29, 2015

30% Off Everything in the Store!!!

The entire Free To Choose Store is on sale!

This sale has expired, but check back another time to see if we have more specials.

Which means you can purchase India Awakes or The Original Free To Choose 1980 series for 30% off!!

With great good humor, Milton Friedman often framed his economic advice in ways that everyone could understand. This centennial collection of twelve newly mastered DVDs comprises a unique tribute to the “Winning Ideas of Milton and Rose Friedman;” “Winning” because they have and continue to withstand the test of time. The Economist called him, “the most influential economist of the second half of the 20 century,” but Milton and Rose referred to themselves simply as, “Two Lucky People.” This collection contains many memories of the life they lived together, and the powerful ideas that resulted from that relationship.

The 12 discs in this collection run the gamut from stories about Milton and Rose by people who knew them best to Milton's almost prescient thoughts in disc 11 where he explains that democracies always self-destruct when government actions physically and morally bankrupt a nation.

Don't miss this opportunity to own this remarkable collection.

This entire 12 disc set is only $34.97!

Hurry this store wide sale only lasts until January 5th!!

Click here to see all our products!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

India Awakes: Now Available on Free To Choose.TV

India Awakes is now available for immediate streaming on Free To Choose.TV

India is coming alive and flourishing economically. In fact, Citigroup estimates that by 2050, India will have the world’s largest economy, larger than China and the United States. For many centuries, only the politically connected and elite prospered in India, while the rest of the population lived in poverty. However, since 1991, 250 million people have been lifted out of poverty and are finding new ways to flex their personal and economic power. “India Awakes” reveals the enormous power of unlocking human potential and ambition, and how doing so could establish this country as a preeminent world leader.

Ambrish Mehta, a founding member of ARCH-Vahini, helped the Sagai Village map out the land they farm so that they might ultimately be given a deed to their land.

The successful Chairman and Managing Director of MMR Group, Mannem Madhusudana Rao, is seen with his children outside his home.

Banwari Lal Sharma, the president of a street vendors association in India, leads a meeting in “India Awakes.”

You can also stream this full program on our Free To Choose Roku Channel. For channel details click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Climate Pledge

U.S.- Based Companies Collaborate on Climate Change 

In July the Obama administration announced a new collaboration between several major U.S.-based companies on climate change, noting that there promises to be another big push on climate change within the coming weeks.

Companies participating in the "American Business Act on Climate Pledge" include Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, and Walmart. These companies brought an estimated 1.3 trillion dollars in revenue last year. Each company to put forth voluntary commitments on climate which includes investments in renewable energy, individual emission reduction targets and reducing water use and deforestation in their operational supply chains. 

Alcoa pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emission from United States operations by 2025 to 50% of its 2005 levels. Berkshire Hathaway Energy pledged to increase its investments in renewable energy generation by $15 billion dollars. Google pledged to triple the amount of energy it purchases from renewable sources by 2025. 

The White House has posted a list of online other companies' commitments. Click here to access that list. The White House said it intends to release a second round of pledges from businesses this fall, and that Secretary of State John Kerry would host an event on the role of businesses in climate efforts on October 20-21.

During an appearance on "The Daily Show" President Obama indicated that he plans to make another large push on climate change in the coming weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release final versions of regulations on emissions from both new and existing power plants sometime within the next few weeks.

It remains unclear whether the administration will also issue a final decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which climate change advocates have been urging the White House to reject.

The Pledge states that ignoring action on climate change, will be costly in economic and human health terms and that pushing forward to a low-carbon economy will produce many benefits in terms of sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to some natural disasters, and the health of the global environment. The combined pledges can mean some major changes on this global topic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Economics at the Center of Arab Spring Ground Zero by Roger Brown

In early 2011, the Arab Spring quickly ignited in Tunisia, and within weeks its fires had spread to almost every nation in the Arab World. As massive demonstrations and conflicts ignited in city after city, Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto realized that he was witnessing what was perhaps the most important event of his lifetime. One question dominated his thoughts: Exactly why would the suicide-by-fire of Mohamed Bouazizi, and insignificant fruit peddler in a dusty backwater Tunisian town, resonate so strongly that the reaction would topple four governments?

He immediately sent a research team to Tunisia and other North African countries to find out. Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) researchers worked in the streets and souks of North Africa for months. To their great surprise, they learned that there had been dozens of similar suicides by small entrepreneurs and businessmen across the region.

ILD teams interviewed as many families and survivors as they could, and the stories they heard were all eerily similar. Few of the suicides were ever motivated by politics. All were hard workers who were not permitted to work legally. All had been abused, humiliated, ejected, and robbed of their means to make a living. All simply wanted to be left in peace, to be free of petty harassment and corruption.

As the data poured in ILD research teams in North Africa, we at FTCN realized that we had the story of a lifetime. We had access to Bouazizi's family and friends and were receiving report after report of landmark ILD statistics.

Together, they demonstrated unequivocally that the Arab Spring was far more about economic inclusion than religion or politics. The data also mirrored what the ILD had documented in over 30 other developing world communities worldwide: property rights and inclusive efficient business law are far more important factors in development than suspected.

Our production crew joined de Soto and his researchers, going to ground zero of the Arab Spring: Bouazizi's family, friends, and community. Together with them, they documented Bouazizi's last day. They also filmed other small businessmen who are hopelessly trapped outside the system. 

Bouazizi's death resonated so strongly because his experience of corruption, exclusions, daily humiliation, bribery, and bureaucratic labyrinths, specifically designed to be impenetrable to those without connections, are identical to those which over 100 million people across the Arab world would experience on a daily basis. Our documentary introduces a new perspective and critical new ideas essential to the international discussion surrounding these events.

We were exploring new ground here, and, of course, we wondered how much of our finding reflected Islam or Arabic culture. These two elements are part of the picture, to be sure, but de Soto emphasizes that this is a revolution in Arabic society, not an Arabic revolution. He sees this process as one every society must go through.

The end results is the first Free To Choose Network project to be distributed, in Arabic, across the Arab world. The program is being broadcast repeatedly via Alhurra, the network set up by the United States shortly after the Iraq War. It is being used by the ILD in meeting with community groups, and is also being screened in universities across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Arab world is realizing the incredible importance of "invisible things" - property rights, efficient business law, and truly free markets open to all. We often take these for granted, like stoplights, paved streets, or electricity. But with each project I have done with de Soto, I have witnessed how the "invisible things" make all the difference in the world between poverty and prosperity.

To stream The Unlikely Heroes of the Arab Spring, click here.

Roger Brown has been the writer and producer of three FTCN documentaries with Hernando de Soto.

*This on location report was recirculated from the 2014 Spring Winning Idea News.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Globalization in the West

"Even for the most successful multinationals profit margins in international markets are, on average, lower than margins in the domestic markets." Robert Salomon, a professor of international management at the NYU Stern School of Business states, "It's the liability of foreign markets. By virtue of the fact that you are foreign, you are at a disadvantage."

When globalization was pitched as the strategic imperative du jour nearly two decades ago, that was not the case. It was supposed to act like a rising tide, lifting all boats in poor and rich countries together. Bolstered by the thought of hundreds of new assembly line jobs at multinationals in emerging nations, the middle class was expected to swell, which, in turn, would increase higher local consumption. New factories would be needed to meet this boost in demand, further raising local standards of living and handing the largest non-domestic companies a vast and enthusiastic expanded customer base.

In the meantime, in the United States and Europe, consumers would have their selection of inexpensive items made by workers thousands of miles away whose wages were much lower than theirs. In time trade barriers would drop to support even more multinational expansion and economic gains while geopolitical cooperation would flourish.

Western corporations -- hoping to find new fast-growth revenue channels and inexpensive manufacturing opportunities to amplify mature economies at home,-- set up shop in regions like China, Brazil, Russia and India, where the greatest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) gains were anticipated, as well as in so-called second tier emerging nations such as Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Nigeria.

Despite all this activity and enthusiasm, hardly any of the promised returns from globalization have materialized, and what was until recently a taboo topic inside multinationals --  to wit, should we back out, even rein in, reconsider our global growth strategy? -- has become an urgent, if still hushed, discussion. Considering some of the failures involved with globalization, virtually every major company is struggling to find the most productive international business model. Approaches like reshoring or relocating manufacturing operations back to Western factories have emerged. This is largely due to labor costs and productivity measurements. There is still some debate about how much reshoring is actually underway, but there is strong evidence of this trend: GE, Whirpool, Stanley Black & Decker, Peerless and many other companies have reopened closed factories, or even built new ones in the United States.

One thing is for certain, there is money to be made for multinationals the world over, but they have to rethink their business strategies for creating it. Globalization is still a barely profitable, complex strategy for most companies.

Globalization at the Crossroads demonstrates how the West successfully revolutionized its legal systems, property laws, and developed the modern corporation. Other nations that have instituted private property and business reforms, such as post- WWII Japan and present-day China, have seen their economies take off and their middle classes grow. Globalization is the new civilization. But unless we include the 80% of humanity currently excluded from the system, they will bring civilization down, as they have brought down other civilizations in the past. Click here to stream the full program from FreeToChoose.TV.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

India Mourns the Loss of Abdul Kalam

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, passed away Monday after reports claim he collapsed during a lecture at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in Shillong during the evening.

Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October, was pronounced dead more than two hours after being wheeled into the ICU of Bethany hospital in critical condition. Doctors have reported, Kalam suffered a massive cardiac arrest. 

Kalam became the 11th head of the state and held the post between 2002 and 2007. He was an "everyman" which did not curry favor with the politician and, as a result, was denied a second term in office.

Arrangements were made to carry his body from Guwahati to Delhi, Tuesday morning, A seven-day national mourning will be declared. Both the Houses of Parliament are expected to make obituary references and adjourn as a mark of respect to Kalam's memory.

Avual Pakir Jainuladeen (APJ) Abdul Kalam rose from humble origins to become President, during the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government under Atal Biharia Vajpayee. As a aeronautics engineer from Madras Institute of Technology, Kalam was considered the brains of the Indian missile program and was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Vajpayee. He was also instrumental in the Pokhran nuclear test in 1998.

Prior to his collapse Kalam had been active on social media, tweeting about the lecture scheduled later that evening. Many political leaders and colleagues have expressed their deepest condolences for the former President.

During his Presidency Kalam seized any chance to address students - more importantly, young school children - suggesting they dream big so those dreams can be achieved in life.

"He had a special love for children and fought to constantly inspire the youth of our country," said President Pranab Mukherjee. "Dr. Kalam will long be remembered for his passion, science and innovation, along with his contributions which have enabled scientists, educationist, and writers. His achievements as leader of the DRDO
(Defense Research and Development Organization) vastly enhanced the security of our nation." 

"I got to work with him closely..., The country has lost a son who worked for the strength of India. He had spent every moment for the youth of India. No person will be able to fill the gap left by him. His work will inspire us to work for the development of the nation," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"He was the best human being I came across. I feel very sorry. He had good humour, had very good presence of mind and always wanted to give something to society," noted Former President Pratibha Patil.

"You have to dream before your dreams can come true." ~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

"If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
October 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015
Former President of India
Writer, Aeronautics Engineer, Scientist  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Europe's Debt: America's Crisis?

After the country's voters rejected the terms of the proposed bailout, the next 48 hours will determine the fate of the Euro.

Political leaders and central bankers must make two major, linked decisions. They must determine whether there is a future for Greece in the Euro at the heels of a No vote, and with Alexis Tsipras as a negotiating partner - and by extension, whether to press on with talks for a bailout package. Meaning, they must decide if they can maintain the emergency cash support that is keeping Greece's ruined banks from collapse. Without the maintenance of these emergency loans, the major banks could come toppling down within days - forcing Greece to introduce a new form of currency. 

What does all of this mean for America? Our banks should be fine, however the global stock market and American exports are directly affected by Greece's economic crisis. 

Take a look at this video clip from our program, Europe's Debt: America's Crisis?

Click here to view the entire program online, for free!

"The drive for the Euro has been motivated by politics not economics. The aim has been to link Germany and France so closely as to make a future European war impossible, and to set the stage for a federal United States of Europe. I believe that adoption of the Euro would have the opposite effect. It would exacerbate political tensions by converting divergent shocks that could be readily accommodated by exchange rate changes into divisive political issues. Political unity can pave the way for monetary unity. Monetary unity imposed under unfavorable conditions will prove a barrier to the achievement of political unity." ~ Milton Friedman 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Free or Equal: Following Milton Friedman's Footsteps in China

Free To Choose Network recirculated this Field Report from 2010-2011, to demonstrate the significance of Freedom and Milton Friedman's journey as we celebrated the Fourth of July.

Report from the Field by Barbara Potter, Field Producer

Every production has its challenges, but this was one we never expected. A long-dormant volcano in Iceland erupted in 2010, and threatened to shut down Free or Equal before filming had even begun.

Jim and I flew to Hong Kong in April, five days before our program host, Johan Norberg, was to arrive. Part of our mission as director and field producer was to find the exact location where Milton had stood in Free To Choose to describe the powerful Hong Kong economy of 1980. We were armed with still frames captured from the then thirty-year-old public television series. That meant taking Johan to some of the most interesting places Milton presented in 1980. Well, if we could get Johan to us. Hong Kong, you see, was our first location. Those first few days, Jim and I worked with a local production assistant named Ho. Ho was himself a producer, who was very familiar with the city and would help us on our search. The most important matching location was an overview of the impressive Hong Kong skyline. The idea was to position Johan just where Milton had been, so that the angle and size of the buildings matched the old footage, and we could see the changes. We knew that we needed to be positioned across Victoria Harbor, shooting from the Kowloon side, but we had no idea how many of the original structures would still be there. 

Once we had ridden the Star Ferry across the bay, it took a couple of hours to figure out where we needed to be, and to determine that we could walk through a large parking garage to access the second story of a cruise ship dock and get our angle. Milton had been right here. We would dissolve from Milton to Johan, standing in the same spot, with the twenty-first century version of Hong Kong appearing behind him at dusk. The new International Commerce Center would appear over his left shoulder. At 108 stories, it is the fourth tallest building in the world, and would illustrate the city's growth.

For the next couple of days, we continued with our preproduction location scouting. With Ho, we toured the city with our camera and script, deciding on what to shoot, as well as where, (and when) the daylight would be most advantageous.

In the meantime, Europe's busiest airports were in complete chaos under the giant, slow-moving ash cloud. We realized that Johan probably wouldn't arrive from Stockholm on time, or maybe even at all that week. We watched CNN, checked our iPhone weather and news apps constantly, called Sweden, and tried to figure out how to get Johan out of there and to Hong Kong. If he didn't arrive, it would be weeks before his super-busy schedule would allow him to travel to China for five days again. And we had booked other locations to go to after Hong Kong. Newspaper headlines screamed, "Ash cloud expected to linger for several days" and, "Airlines consider using buses to transport passengers to other airports." But nobody could tell in what direction the ash was moving, or which airports were likely to open. I found out online that Heathrow Airport was closed, (his flight connected there), and Johan's ticket would be refunded. British Airways was not optimistic. Trains were fully booked and there was no way out of Sweden on public transportation. 

It was now Wednesday, two days after Johan's expected arrival and six days since Jim and I had arrived in Hong Kong. We decided to start shooting scenic shots of the ferry, rush hour, Victoria Peak, and other background material. I was unable to book any new airline tickets for Johan online. 

Finally, I called the American Express international travel agency number. It seemed that Arlanda Airport in Stockholm might open at 4 p.m. that day for a short time. It looked like there was a clear spot in the cloud of ash. There was one seat left on Qatar Airways, connecting in Doha, Qatar. It was our only option. I booked the reservation, and asked Johan to go to the airport. He was skeptical, but he did. He soon emailed us a photo of the huge Arlanda schedule board with every flight listed as cancelled. All but one: Qatar was still expecting to go, and it actually did. It was one of the only flights that left Stockholm during the hour that the airport opened that afternoon. We were thrilled.

Now we only had three days with Johan in Hong Kong out of the expected five. We had chosen all of our locations, but there was a lot of material to cover. Johan and Jim had worked many hours in advance of the shoot to get the script into a "final" form, but there are always changes on location. We were thoroughly impressed by Johan. He was amazingly adept at memorizing and personalizing the script segments on the spot. After the first hectic day, we knew that we would be able to squeeze five days worth of on-camera scenes into three, with a few minor changes. The skyline shot was one of many, as we raced around the city, back and forth on the Star Ferry, from one side of Victoria Harbor to the other.

One of the most memorable things about our shoot in Hong Kong was the man we met on Ladder Street. Ladder Street is a cobblestone, pedestrian thoroughfare that has broad, shallow steps, gradually climbing through four or five blocks in the middle of Hong Kong Island. It was one of the locations that Milton appeared in for Free To Choose, and we had rediscovered it during our scouting. There are small businesses along Ladder Street, and a number of vendors with tiny stalls of clothing, paintings, and tourist items. One older man, whose sign read "Cheung Kee Copper and Iron," sold metal goods like mailboxes and pails.  As we were carrying our equipment up Ladder Street with Johan, it struck Jim that this man looked very familiar. He asked Ho to find out whether the man had been around in 1980, in the same spot. It turned out that this Mr. Cheung had been profiled by Milton as he welded metal water containers in his shop. Over the footage of Mr. Cheung, Milton had narrated, "Only the businessmen who can adapt, who are flexible and adjustable survive." Today, Mr. Cheung survives, and now makes smaller products that appeal to visitors and locals. We thought that Milton would be pleased to know that he had adapted to the market's demands. We interviewed Mr. Cheung, with the aid of our translator, and bought a little red mailbox that now hangs in Johan's home in Sweden. It was sweet ending to our adventure in Hong Kong. And Johan was able to fly back to Stockholm without any problems.

To stream the full program click here. If you want to find out more about us and our other programs visit our media website here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Milton Friedman July Bundle Sales

July commemorates Independence Day and signifies Freedom for the United States, but July is also Milton Friedman's Birthday Month! So we created TWO different sales bundles for you!!!

The first is Friedman Freedom Favorites, bursting with programs that help illustrate Freedom to compliment Independence Day!!! 

The second is the Milton Friedman Birthday Bundle packed with all our Milton Friedman media to help honor this economist's values, ideas and influence.

Click here to see all our special offers.

Milton Friedman:
Born: July 31st, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York 
Died: November 16th, 2006 in San Francisco, California
"A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

From the Founder: Between the Ideal and the Possible

The ultimate goal of our efforts can be started simply: reduce the role of government in order to increase individual freedom. The tough part is agreeing on the specifics. What's the size and scope of government that's desirable? By what means do we get there? What is the right balance between accepting the need for incremental change and advocating for core principles?

First we must establish a vision of limited government, but we have to do so recognizing the electorate will ultimately decide to what extent they'll accept that vision.

Therefore we must devise messages that are convincing to the majority of citizens and find distribution channels that reach millions. The millions on which we focus are students who are still forming their vision of a just world. 

The second challenge relates to the first. People are naturally "conservative" in their behavior; once they've formed an opinion they are resistant to change. Bring them a radically new insight and they are likely to refuse to give it any consideration. But with young people, this isn't always the case.

Consider two aspects of Milton Friedman's thought: his definition of the limited role of government and his advocacy of school choice. He thought government had only three functions: 

"The basic functions can be listed very simply. They are, first of all, to prevent one man from coercing another- the internal police function. They are, second, providing for external defense. These two are really part of the same: to prevent coercion- to prevent coercion from within, to prevent coercion from without, and beyond this to promote voluntary cooperation among people by defining the terms under which we are going to cooperate together and by adjudicating disputes." 

Providing education was not included, yet Friedman did not join Marshall Fritz's effort to abolish compulsory state-funded education. He agreed with Marshall in principle and applauded him for outlining the arguments in favor of taking education out of the hands of government, but he thought to push for immediate repeal of tax-supported education was a push too far.

Instead Friedman conceived the concept of school choice, leaving compulsory education in place. He felt that it was unrealistic to expect to counter 150 years of entrenched government control of education in one stroke. So he devised an approach that would lead to competition between private and government schools, resulting in improved outcomes- thus setting the stage for future repeal of tax based school funding.

We grapple with this kind of decision every day. Whether developing material for our prime audience of 6 -26 year olds or public TV viewers, we must decide how far we can take them on the path to awareness of the power of free markets, the effectiveness of market-based solutions to public policy problems, and the increased well-being from reducing government's role in our lives.

I am saddened when I hear someone accuse Friedman of being a statist because he put forth ideas for incremental change. We need to constrain our tendency to demonize those who opt for less than complete and immediate realization of ideal. We need both; those who set forth a vision of the ideal society and those who can formulate the steps that can get us closer to it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

India Awakes: A Report from the Field

On Location India Awakes: Report from the Field by James and Maureen Tusty

One of the three stories featured in India Awakes involves property rights. After India gained independence in 1947, the Forest Department took control of millions of acres of forestlands across the country. The local tribal people were seen as a hindrance and they were told they had no right to farm, hunt or forage. The government left them landless and impoverished, resulting in near-starvation living conditions for decades. 

A recent property rights law has allowed tribal people to obtain deeds to their land, and in this new program we show how GPS technology and Google Maps were instrumental in their property rights victory. Such a high-tech solution may not seem extraordinary at first, until one realizes that Sagai village (where we filmed) has no electricity or plumbing. One of our crew members had to drive 90 minutes each night to the nearest electrical outlet to charge our camera batteries. In a world without electricity, using a GPS unit to solve a problem was bold and unexpected. No electricity also means no television. The villagers invited us to film their story not fully understanding what a television documentary was.

One goal in our filming was to recreate how the villagers mapped their land with the GPS units. So we recruited three or four villagers to demonstrate what they did for our camera. However, our volunteers did not quite know what to expect since they knew little or nothing about television. The GPS mapping process involved holding down a button on  specially programmed GPS unit, then walking the perimeter of the land plot.

We asked one of our villager actors to plot his neighbor's land since it was more accessible and photogenic than his own land. He agreed and started walking the perimeter of the plot. After he had walked around 50 feet, we asked him to start over to get a second angle of the same scene. However, he spoke only his local language, so our English had to be translated first into
Hindi and then to his dialect. Besides wondering why we were stopping him from mapping the very land we had just asked him to map, the language barrier between us made communicating quite confusing.

To find out more about this new program, being released in the fall of 2015, visit our program website.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

INDIA AWAKES with Johan Norberg Available August 15, 2015 Nationwide On Public Television Stations


INDIA AWAKES with Johan Norberg
Available August 15, 2015
Nationwide On Public Television Stations

INDIA AWAKES release celebrates India’s Independence Day and the entrepreneurial spirit rising
from a nation embracing economic liberalization.

Erie, PA, (May 27, 2015) – India is coming alive and flourishing economically.  In fact, Citigroup estimates that by 2050, India will have the world’s largest economy, larger than China and the United States.  For centuries, only the politically connected and elite prospered in the densely populated country, while the remaining residents lived in poverty. However, since 1991, more than 250 million people have been lifted out of poverty and are finding new ways to flex their personal and economic power.  

In the new 60-minute documentary, INDIA AWAKES, releasing nationwide on public television stations August 15, 2015 (check local listings), noted Swedish author, commentator, and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explores an inherited British bureaucracy, which created layers of rules and regulations. Today’s globalization and economic liberalization have created fluidity between classes – and greater ambition.  
“Within two decades India will have the largest population in the world, and another two decades later, it will have the world's largest economy,” said Norberg. “What happens in India will have an effect on the world and on the US, and its triumphs and challenges also sheds new light on the policies we are pursuing back home.”

Norberg follows three individuals who are working to improve their lives, and in the process, breaking down the centuries-old caste system.  
  • Banwari Lal Sharma, the president of a growing street vendor association, is helping vendors in his area feel more empowered to demand their legal rights, after years of intimidation and bribes to corrupt local officials.   
  • Rama Bhai, a Sagai village leader and farmer, comes from a group called the “forest people,” who were once viewed as trespassers on the land where they have lived and farmed for generations.  Using GPS technology and Google Earth they have now obtained deeds to their land. 
  • Mannem Madhusudana Rao, who was born to what is considered the lowest rung of India’s caste system, the “Dalit,” was able to break free from the chains that have bound his societal position to a life of poverty.  Through entrepreneurial perseverance, Rao formed a thriving, major construction firm and has secured a higher quality of life for himself and his extended family, along with a new status of “millionaire.”  
INDIA AWAKES (#IndiaAwakes) reveals the enormous power of unlocking human potential and ambition, and how doing so could establish this country as a preeminent world leader.

“This story is emotional and inspirational,” said James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty, who co-wrote, produced and directed INDIA AWAKES.  “The Indian government empowered its people to take charge of their own destinies, and the result of that political gamble was cutting poverty in half in only twenty years.  More than 200 million people have been lifted out of poverty since 1991.  This is a miracle, and perhaps an example for other countries to study.”

Executive Producers for INDIA AWAKES are Thomas Skinner and Bob Chitester at Free To Choose Media.

About Johan Norberg 
International commentator Johan Norberg is an author, presenter and editor whose focus is globalization, entrepreneurship, and individual liberty. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and authored several books exploring liberal themes, including his newest, Financial Fiasco: How America’s Infatuation with Homeownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis. His book In Defense of Global Capitalism, originally published in Swedish in 2001, has since been published in over twenty different countries. Norberg’s articles and opinion pieces appear regularly in both Swedish and international newspapers, and he is a regular commentator and contributor on television and radio around the world discussing globalization and free trade. His personal website is http://www.johannorberg.net/

About Free To Choose Media 
Free To Choose Media produces thought-provoking public television programs and series, offering non-partisan, powerful stories that advocate for the well-being of every individual, as well as vibrant, fresh perspectives on a range of vital global and national issues. For more than 30 years, the Free To Choose production teams have traveled the world to explore topics such as the economic roots of the Arab Spring and the inspiring stories of entrepreneurs raising themselves and their communities out of poverty, and a look at how innovation and new technologies may be the answer to the world’s growing energy needs.  Headquartered in Erie, PA, FTC Media is a television production initiative of Free To Choose Network, a global media company. For more information, visit the website at www.FreeToChooseMedia.org. 

About WTTW Chicago
For 60 years, WTTW Chicago has introduced a wide array of ground-breaking television programming – reflecting the world’s rich and diverse arts and entertainment scene as well as education, politics, public affairs, business, and religion – to a national audience. Its landmark innovative series and original productions include the music series, Soundstage®, which features today’s top pop and rock artists in an intimate concert setting. The popular cooking series, MEXICO — One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless, is in its tenth season.   Other original productions include performance showcases David Broza at Masada: The Sunrise Concert; Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis; cultural/travel series Grannies on Safari; Vintage; Family Travel with Colleen Kelly; Dream of Italy; Curious Traveler; and the first travel series on bicycling, Pedal America; business series CEO Exchange; the documentary series Retirement Revolution; the weekly movie review series, Ebert Presents At the Movies; the transmedia online educational children's properties Mission to Planet 429 and UMIGO, and the award-winning children’s series WordWorld.  A new animated series, Nature Cat, premieres nationwide in November 2015. For more information, please visit wttw.com/national.

# # #
Press Kit & Photography available at: www.indiaawakesfilm.com. Join the conversation at #indiaawakes.
Marjory Hawkins, Hawkins Public Relations

Monday, May 11, 2015