Over the past four terms, we have focused on books that focus on the dynamics of the capitalist system. We started with Schumpeter’s biography and followed that up with Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. These really gave us a 10,000-foot view of where Schumpeter thought the system might head coming out of World War II. Schumpter seems sanguine about the “inevitability” of socialism, while Hayek gives us a much different, quite chilling vision of the meshing of politics and the economic system. Certainly, I would attribute part of this to Schumpeter and Hayek’s respective views of the importance of the price system — Schumpeter asserting that it is overplayed, whereas Hayek underscores its importance.
Next term, we will continue to sponsor an economics read, though our focus will likely shift to the future of the system coming out of the current crisis. I will be posting those books shortly in the event that you want to get a head start over break.