On November 14, as Richard J Stephenson and Tom Woods were awarded the 2019 Hayek Lifetime Achievement Awards, we also welcomed a very special group of students: the high school pupils from the Carinthian Alpen-Adria-Gymnasium had submitted their works on problems related to the state’s budget, pensions, health care and tax system – rather atypical topics considering the student’s age.

During the gala, the Vice President of the German Taxpayers Alliance (Bund der Steuerzahler Deutschland), Michael Jäger, introduced Elias Puchacher, Katharina Grilz, Christina Oswald, Victoria Fürst, Yvonne Jernej, and Angelique Mochorko. He asked them a little curiously, “how does someone at your age come to think about pension plans? And why did you start dealing with public debt?” It turned out that art teacher Miss Weinberger discussed these questions with her students and “informed us what the system in Austria looked like. Therefore, we became really interested in that and decided to participate in the project.” At this point we may proudly mention that the students also referred to the Hayek Institut’s project 100 Fragen. As one student said: “Although it can be quite overwhelming at first, I have to say that it is clearly structured and provides a lot of educational information. Furthermore, it is a great way to explain to pupils what certain words, like public debts, mean.”

For their creative works the students were awarded and received a check that will contribute to equipment for the school’s arts classes.

We are proud of the student’s use of ratingeurope.com: “it is essential for every single citizen to deal with the administration of the state’s budget because that is something that concerns all of us. Furthermore, I learned that it is easy to lose track of the budget in only a couple of minutes. Thus, having background information is important to be able to manage the state’s budget.”

Michael Jäger closed the interview by reminding the audience to “give good care to these kids, they do not only represent the future but they are our future!”

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