Keynes, Cowen & Capitalism Meets in Steitz 230

We have found a home for Econ 391, and it is in Steitz 230.  We will see you over there at 3:25 on Thursday.

We began with Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation,  and in our first meeting we took a first cut at these questions:

1. What is the thesis of the book?

2.What does “the great stagnation” mean?  What is stagnating? “Great” compared to what?  Is the title a play on another “Great” episode do you suppose?

3. How is “stagnation” measured?  Do you buy this means of measurement?

4. What does Cowen suggest is the cause of the great stagnation?  How does he support his case?  Can you think of alternate explanations?

5. What is Cowen’s remedy for the great stagnation, if any?  Does it suggest a pro-market, get-out-of-the-way response?  A more muscular federal policy response?  New institutions? What?

6. Make a list of Cowen’s arguments that you buy and arguments that you don’t buy.

This week, we take on the “companion piece” from The American Interest,  “The Inequality that Matters.” It’s hard to think about the future of capitalism without thinking a bit about what inequality is and why it is (and isn’t) important.

It seems an opportune time to point to the Financial Times’ recent in-depth debate, Capitalism in Crisis.  There is some excellent material in there, and we will take a look at some of this when we get to the Backhouse and Bateman book.