"The Morality of Capitalism"

Moderated by Chris W. Surprenant, UNO Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Tocqueville Project in Law, Liberty, and Morality, the panel will springboard off the recent comments by Pope Francis about the moral failure of trickle-down economics and capitalist policies.

Bradley Hobbs, BB&T Professor of Economics and Free Enterprise at Florida Gulf Coast university will be defending capitalism as a moral system of wealth distribution. UNO Provost James E. Payne will respond to Dr. Hobbs presentation.

Each speaker will talk for approximately 15 minutes, then there will be a moderated discussion for 30 minute. There will be 30 minutes set aside for audience questions at the end.

***** If you'd like to know more, please go to Alexis de Tocqueville Project in Law, Liberty, and Morality.

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  • Adam K.

    No offense meant to anyone who put this together, but that talk was a complete waste of time. 2 "armchair economist" professors, with only rudimentary knowledge of economics and societal foundation rehashing the same establishment status-quo discussion that you can find on any cable news network. (In other words, nothing new or original being discussed here.) Neither the libertarian nor the "counter-point" speaker really had anything to offer to the current discussion. The libertarian's position could be summed up as "capitalism works better than anything else we've tried" and the "counter-point" speaker's position could be defined as "the system seems broken, but I haven't confronted the underlying reasons enough to really determine why".

    January 23, 2014

    • Adam K.

      While the Pope has tried to engage Catholics and all Christians into a discussion of the ills of capitalism, I believe it is even more essential for secular humanists to push for a populist system that works for the majority, and not just a few. With the realization that one life is all we get, it is unacceptable to stand by and accept systematic suffering as a by-product of a functioning societal system. Just because humanity has not yet succeeded in implementing a perfect system does not mean that everything has been tried and that idealistic capitalism is the best we can do. Changing the fundamental structuring of society is difficult, especially when it has been entrenched by the very people that have consistently changed the game to suit themselves, but to continue to endorse a system that systematically and repeatedly results in the entrapment and suffering of the majority of the world's population is about as immoral as it gets.

      January 23, 2014

    • Charlotte

      This was organized by a group at UNO. Here's their description of what they are aiming for:

      "Founded in fall 2011, the Alexis de Tocqueville Project in Law, Liberty, and Morality was established to examine enduring topics in the history of Western moral and political thought."

      http://www.tocquevill...­

      I have to agree that they weren't breaking new ground and seemed to shoot for a rudimentary examination of the problem. That was very disappointing.

      January 27, 2014

  • Glen S.

    Simplification of complex issues has value, for clarification and for persuasion, but we must be aware of misuse. "Capitalist," like "Marxist," should be a bad word because it implies a rigid ideology and the followers thereof. To avoid the trap, that historic economics and philosophy is called "Marxian" by those who study and teach it today.

    The assumption that an ideal free market adjusts prices best for everyone's benefit is used to justify giving political power to "Money Talks" investment-for-profit and the profit motive is inhumane! It drives monopoly capitalism and the use of public resources to bail-out the failure of a speculative investment market, and worldwide military occupation to secure natural resources and cheap labor for absentee-owner profiteers.

    We must rediscover what everyone knew in the 1930s and '40s. Capital has value for productive investment in a prosperous economy but Power-to-the-People must serve humane purposes as well.

    2 · January 24, 2014

  • Charlotte

    Full room and it was nice to see several familiar faces to hear this interesting discussion!

    January 24, 2014

  • Jp

    I enjoyed the talk. I wouldn't call it a complete waste of time. I wish they could have tied their arguments directly to or against "morality". I sat there for 2 hours and the only thing I took away is that we are living in a "crony capatalism society" - but capatalism is awesome. Did I get that correct?

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • Michelle

    I think I'll go for an hour then head to the libertarian meeting at lakeview harbor

    January 23, 2014

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