ECON 28000-31: CAPITALISM: WHAT IS RIGHT?

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Oct 28, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Capi talism: What is ri ght?

Page
1


H
IRAM

C
OLLEGE

ECON

2
8000
-
31
:

CAPITALISM:

WHAT

IS

RIGHT?


Spring
3
-
week, 20
1
2


INSTRUCTOR:

Dr. Uğur Aker

(To remember the first name,
think of SEWER and dro
p the
“S”; to
pronounce the second
name, say “I CARE” with a
southern accent!)


TIME and
PLACE:


M
TRF

1:00
-
4:00



Hinsdale
120


OFFICE:

Hinsdale 113


OFFICE HOURS:

After class

and by appointment.

If it is important, please make an appointment.


Please
feel free to stop by my o
ffice to clarify concepts, argue
against my opinion, glorify or condemn economics, etc.


PHONE:


330
-
569
-
5142 office

330
-
977
-
7202

cell

(Please no calls after 10 PM)


INTERACTION:



My

e
-
mail is:
akerus@hiram.edu
.


This syllabus will be
posted in my web site:
http://thehiramcollege.net/econ/
.

.



I communicate through e
-
mail.


If yo
u don’t check your e
-
mail, make
sure your friends convey to you any important messages, for example
change of a test date.


Have a network that transmits information.


“I
didn’t check my e
-
mail is not a legitimate excuse!”





I.


COURSE DESCRIPTION:




This is a one
-
time course built on the books I chose. If it works well I
might offer it again. The two books are not necessarily
complementary. They are, however, thought provoking. We use the
ideas about “capitalis
m” or “justice” in our everyday lives even though
we might not use those labels. Whenever we say, “But it is not fair!”
we imply a certain framework of justice.
What do we really mean?
Does our sense of justice apply in every situation the same way?

Whe
never we
complain

about prices

we have to pay
,
the low
wages

we
are paid
, how the economy should be organized,
or
what should be the
role of the government
,

we have an implicit view of the ideal system.
Capi talism: What is ri ght?

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2


The Baumol book will present an alternative framewor
k than the
regular economic textbooks. The course will hopefully clarify

some of
our own ideas and terminology

while enriching our understanding of
the context in which certain frameworks operate.



II. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES




This course is

a
n elective

for Economics majors and minors
.




The main objective of this class is to question one’s comfort
in his/her
beliefs of justice and economic truths. As we read and discuss the
terms, definitions, the slippery quality of the terms in different

contexts, we all will have a sense of unsettled discomfort and a
healthy skepticism. That is the goal. As Andre Gide once said, “
Follow

those

who

are

seeking

the

truth;

avoid

those

who

found

it.”



III. COURSE EXPECTATIONS


1.

TEXTS:



Baumol, W.J., R.E. Litan, and C.J.Schramm.
Good Capitalism Bad
Capitalism and the economics of growth and prosperity.
Yale
University Press (New Haven, 2007).


Sandel, M.J.
Justice: What is the right thing to do?
Farrar, Straus
and Giroux (New York, 2009).


2.

ASSESSMENT:



Participation every day in the discussions, presentations and
written work will comprise the work to be graded.


3.

ATTENDANCE:



You are required to attend all classes.


If you miss a
n hour of class
,
your g
rade for the course
will be

reduced by 0.33%.


Missing a day

would lower your grade, say, from 87 to 86, or, from B+ to
B!


Knowing that some
--

maybe all
--

absences can be the
consequence of unforeseen circumstances, I do allow you to make
-
up absences.


Talk to me as soon as possible.


Remember, College is not just going to classes and doing the
assignments.


Please utilize as many opportunities available for you
here as you can.


Once you are out of college
,

working and raising a
family
,

your options for grabbing opportunities will be severely
curtailed.


Go to as many convocations, concerts, plays, etc. as you
can.





Capi talism: What is ri ght?

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3



IV. ASSESMENT AND EVALUATION


1. GRADE DISTRIBUTION:

95
-

100


A


91
-


94


A
-

87
-


90


B+


83
-


86


B

79
-


80


B
-


75
-


78


C+

71
-


74


C


67
-


70


C
-

63
-


66


D+


59
-


60


D

55
-


58


D
-



0
-


54


F



2.

TESTS

There
will be no test.


3.

ASSIGNMENTS

Every day each participant will submit
3 questions per chapter
assigned for that day. There are 16 chapters assigned: 48
questions total. The questions can be about a central idea
of the
chapter or a concept you want discussed.


Each person will be responsible to give an oral summary of the
chapter assigned to them before we begin to discuss. The
summary can be 3
-
5 minutes long.


4.

PAPER

The Final will be a paper due on Wednesday May

9
th
. The subject
of the paper
can be any one of the following (other suggestions
may emerge in the future):

(a)

Take notes every day during the class discussions. Write a
summary every day for future use. At the end of the course
edit your notes to create
a paper on the subject matter of the
class.

(b)

Explain your idea of justice using the insights you gained from
the course.

(c)

Explain how capitalism works and how it should work.

(d)

Give examples of “Bad” and “Good” capitalism as they are
observed and practiced.



5.

ATTENDANCE

Attendance is mandatory.


Each absence will cost you 0.33% of
your final grade.


See III3 above.



VI.
RESOURCES

The Michael Sandel book has a very helpful website:
http://www.justiceharvard.org/
.


Watch the

interview
by

Tom Ashbrook on

National Public
Radio's

On
Point

(
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2007/07/11/good
-
Capi talism: What is ri ght?

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4


capitalism
-
bad
-
capitalism
)
with the authors of
Good
Capitalism.

Watch Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm:

(1 hour)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRyjYAcB
J5k


V
I
I.


SCHEDULE:





V
I
II. DISCLAIMER


Plans are wishes.


Not all wishes do come true.


Those with the
wisdom of ages warn us about the curse of wishes that do come
true.


We may change parts of this syllabus as we see fit in
the course
of the semester. For the sake of participatory democracy, I promise to
include the class in the decision
-
making before I make any changes.