The Political Economy Project
of Towson University

inquiry into the causes
of the well-being of mankind

term schedule / December 2, continued discussion of the financial mess

Purpose – The purpose of this effort is to support and enrich the education of Towson students who are interested in political economy, economics, political philosophy, public policy, social philosophy and related fields—any students who are seriously interested in investigating the fundamental questions of how society can best be organized to advance the well-being of mankind.

Eligibility – The bi-weekly discussions are open to all Towson University students and faculty.  The guest lecture and faculty panel are open to the general public also.

Time and location – 4:00-5:15 p.m., every other Tuesday afternoon.  Discussions will be held in Stephens 111.  The guest lecture by Don Boudreaux and the faculty panel will be held in Stephens 310.

Activities

Discussions – These are the core of the project.  Each will be based on a short reading from some classic work of political economy and some initial questions on that work offered by the person who chooses it.  A link to the passage and the initial questions will be provided in advance.  We’ll start by discussing the reading and then let the discussion flow.  Faculty may attend—director Howard Baetjer expects to be there each time—but faculty are to guide the student discussion, not lecture or otherwise talk much at all.

Guest Lecture – See schedule below, for October 7.

Faculty Panel – See schedule below, for October 21.

Schedule for fall 2008 (all activities will be held from 4:00-5:15 Tuesday afternoons, discussions in Stephens 111, lecture and faculty panel in Stephens 310):

September 9 – Discussion; the reading (H. Baetjer's choice) is the famous “man of system” passage from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments.   The passage and discussion questions can be found here.

September 23 – Discussion of Frederic Bastiat's classic, The Law (the first third or so).  The passage and discussion questions can be found here.

October 7 - Globalization: Winners and Losers?

Guest lecture by Prof. Don Boudreaux, chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University, co-blogger with Russell Roberts at Café Hayek, author of the recent book Globalization.

What are the effects of globalization on the well-being of ordinary people?  Do some gain at others’ expense?  Does it cause job losses?  What about outsourcing?  The trade deficit?  Sweatshop labor?

Hear answers to these questions and ask your own.

Stephens Hall, room 310, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

October 21 – Obama or McCain: whose policies will do least harm?

Faculty panel on the election with:

Prof. Paul McCartney (political science) - The Presidency, Parties, and Foreign Policy
Prof. Charles Schmitz (geography) - War on Terror and US Middle East Policy
Prof. James Dorn (economics) - Economic Policy and Economic Freedom

For more detail on these topics, click here.

Stephens Hall, room 310, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

November 4 (Election Day) –  The Financial Crisis: What Has Happened and Why?

Student-faculty discussion

The goals of this discussion will be to help participants understand better the causes and nature of the crisis.

For details and links to suggested reading, please click here.

Stephens Hall, room 310, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

November 18Understanding the financial mess - continued

Student-faculty discussion

We'll discuss the role of the Federal Reserve in the housing bubble and its aftermath, relying primarily on "Federal Reserve Policy and the Housing Bubble," by Professor Larry White of the University of Missouri - St. Louis.  This paper is to be presented at the Cato Institute Monetary Conference in Washington, D.C. on November 20, 2008. We get to discuss it two days early.

For details and links to suggested reading, please click here.

Stephens Hall, room 310, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

December 2Understanding the financial mess - continued one more time

Student-faculty discussion

We'll continue our discussion of the role of the Federal Reserve in the housing bubble and its aftermath, relying primarily on "Federal Reserve Policy and the Housing Bubble," by Professor Larry White of the University of Missouri - St. Louis.  This paper was presented at the Cato Institute Monetary Conference in Washington, D.C. on November 20, 2008.

For details and links to suggested reading, please click here.

 

 Contact – Howard Baetjer Jr., Director; Department of Economics, 410-704-2585, hbaetjer@towson.edu
Anna Sykes, Assistant Director; International Studies, TU ’09, asykes1@towson.edu