Steve Soderlind: Justice and Prosperity
Expanded Description: Classes will involve brief lectures and guided discussions focused on readings. All readings will be available at no cost via the web or Email attachments. Web addresses are included in the schedule below. (TBD means to be distributed)
Meeting I. Set-up: America’s Enlightenment Roots
The Declaration of Independence and Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees (1714). TBD
The Founding: Preamble, Government, Naturalization Act (1790), and Bill of Rights
Gregory Clark, “Introduction: The Sixteen-Page Economic History of the World,” from A Farewell to Alms (Princeton University Press, 2007).
Howard Zinn, “The Intimately Oppressed” (Ch. 6 of A People’s History of the United States (New York: Harper Collins, 1980). On web at https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnint6.html.
Meeting II. Liberty and Justice
Adam Smith, excerpts Moral Sentiments (1759) and Wealth of Nations (1776). TBD
“Justice as a Virtue” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), updated in 2020.
In law: truth, scales, and enforcement
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 3-4, 11-12, and 66-70 on “original position” and “difference principle.” TBD
Kenneth Arrow, excerpt from “Some Ordinalist-Utilitarian Notes on Rawls’s “Theory of Justice,” Journal of Philosophy, May, 1973. TBD
Meeting III. Since the Second Founding
Second Founding: 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
19th Amendment, civil rights legislation, voting rights legislation, women’s rights legislation, rights for consumers and the disabled.
John Stuart Mill, excerpts from Principles of Political Economy (1848), On Liberty (1859), and The Subjection of Women (1869). TBD
Isabel Wilkerson, Caste (New York: Random House, 2020). Brief excerpt TBD
Meeting IV. Frontiers of Justice today
Distributional, Environmental, Regional, Intergenerational
Meeting V. Goals and Means
Rights, taxes, subsidies, reparations, arts, education, enforcement, information
Stiglitz, Sen, and Fitousi, Measureing our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add U (New Press, 2010). TBD
Pope Francis, “Evangelii Gaudium,” pp. 44-52 (paragraphs 52-61) (Rome: Vatican Press, 2013). TBD
Nicolas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change (Cambridge,2007). TBD
Meeting VI. Barriers
Misconceptions on capitalism and constitutional liberty, Arthur Okun, Equality and Efficiency (Washington DC: Brookings, 1975).
We will read a 16-page summary approved by Brookings. TBD.
Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), “Chapter One.” TBD
Mankiw, N. Gregory (2013). “Defending the One Percent,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 27, No 3, pp. 21-24. TBD
Solow/Mankiw exchange (2014) in Journal of Economic Perspectives (Correspondence), Vol. 28, No 1., pp. 243-244. TBD
Meeting VII. The Power of Fabrications, Lies, and Polemics
Failed Prophesies, the Wall, the Big Lie, QAnon, CRT, …
Mises, Lange, Hayek, and the Middle Way
Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), “Introduction” and Ch. VII. “Capitalism and Discrimination.” Available as pdf on web, excerpts TBD
Meeting VIII. Welfare capitalism?
Is America capitalist?
Welfare issues: membership, benefits and responsibilities, openness
The American Rescue Plan, US Budget, FY 2022, on web at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/ links to the FY2022 President’s Budget; read only pages 1-7 as grist for discussion on notion of welfare capitalism Scandinavian pattern states