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“Is Capitalism Moral?” with Steven Pearlstein, professor of public affairs at George Mason University, Pulitzer-prize winning economics columnist for the Washington Post, and author of Can American Capitalism Survive?
Why is it that more than half of American millennials say they don't support capitalism, a system that over the last 300 years has lifted billions out of poverty? For many, it is because this system based on pursuit of self-interest seems so ruthless and unfair that it offends their moral sensibilities.
But capitalism need not be that way. It isn't in other rich countries, and it wasn't here until recent decades, when America embraced a market fundamentalism based on a set of flawed ideas, and “greed is good” and “maximizing shareholder value” became the new mantras woven into the fabric of our business culture, economy, and politics. Here, most of the benefits of economic growth have been captured by the richest 10%, and free-market ideology is routinely cited to justify squeezing workers, cheating customers, avoiding taxes, and leaving communities in the lurch. We’re missing a key tenet of Adam Smith’s wealth of nations: without trust and social capital, democratic capitalism cannot survive.
Steven Pearlstein chronicled our descent and challenged the theories being taught in business schools and embraced in America’s corporate boardrooms in his 2018 book Can American Capitalism Survive? Why Greed Is Not Good, Opportunity Is Not Equal, and Fairness Won't Make Us Poor. “If anyone can save capitalism from the capitalists, it’s Steven Pearlstein,” Vox founder Ezra Klein wrote in response.
At Profs and Pints, Professor Pearlstein will give a crash course in free-market economics that explores flawed ideas and outlines where we went wrong. He’ll discuss a path forward that will create a more moral capitalism and the shared prosperity that will sustain capitalism over the long term.
Do you love to learn? Would you enjoy hearing scholars discuss fascinating topics in a setting where you can ask questions and be around people who share your interests? Profs and Pints is here for you!
Profs and Pints brings college faculty members into bars, cafés, company offices, and other off-campus venues to share their knowledge. They speak on subjects of broad interest, including local history, their region’s environment, emerging trends in business or politics, and the ideas and innovations transforming our society and culture. In addition, Profs and Pints instructors offer practical instruction that improves lives. They can teach skills such as how to write persuasively, plant a garden, tend to mind and body, or plan for retirement.
Profs and Pints offers you all of this without asking that you apply for admission, pay steep tuition, or worry about quizzes or grades. At most, you might need to buy a modestly priced ticket to get in the door. Depending on where the event is staged, you may be able to order tasty beers, delicious meals, or hot espresso to go with all of that knowledge you’ll take in.
You won’t earn college credits but you’ll leave knowing more.
Learning with Profs and Pints: It’s a bright idea.