The Virtue of Productivity (2 talks)

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18:30: Somebody’s Gotta Do It – Carrie-Ann Biondi
19:30: Taking Pride in Financial Services – Robert Begley

Join us for this special 2-lecture event exploring the virtue of productive work. In the first lecture, Carrie-Ann Biondi, Chair of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at Marymount Manhattan College, will examine productivity in seemingly less glamorous professions, drawing on the work of popular American television host Mike Rowe.
Robert Begley, who writes for The Objective Standard and worked on Wall Street for 15 years, will then discuss the vital role of financial services in wealth creation. Both speakers have been featured on the TV show Great American Reads, discussing Atlas Shrugged. Their segment can be seen here:

Full descriptions and bios:

Somebody's Gotta Do It

Mike Rowe has captured the American public’s hearts and minds with his wildly popular television shows Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It, his Facebook show Returning the Favor, the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, and his book Profoundly Disconnected. What the public might not realize is how consonant his views are with those of Ayn Rand. Rand is a philosopher best known for her moral defence of capitalism and her best-selling novels, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Both Rowe and Rand uphold the virtue of productivity. They understand that reality requires each of us to work for a living, and that there is no such thing as white-collar or blue-collar work, but only honest work done well or poorly.

Carrie-Ann Biondi holds a PhD in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University and is Chair of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. Her research interests include citizenship theory, virtue ethics, consent theory and political obligation, philosophy of literature, popular culture and philosophy, and the philosophy of education. Carrie-Ann teaches political philosophy, philosophy of law, ancient Greek philosophy, and ethics. She translates ancient Greek (specializing in Aristotle) and serves as the Book Review Editor for Reason Papers.

Taking Pride in Financial Services

The mere mention of Wall Street gives rise to strong emotions—usually negative. From Occupy Wall Street to the Wolf of Wall Street, we seem to get a single narrative: an evil 1% that steals from the rest of the public and should be thrown in jail.

What if the public is wrong about that? What if we look at the big picture and discover that many of the financial institutions throughout the world have lifted millions of people from poverty from prosperity?

In this talk Robert Begley traces the steps of Wall Street’s history, focusing on the ticker tape’s highs and lows. From British-born Robert Morris and Alexander Hamilton to J. P. Morgan and bond king Michael Milken, you will learn of incredible value and wealth creation.

Begley also shares some inside information gained from his 12 years of employment at Merrill Lynch. Drawing on this experience, he counters the dominant narrative by explaining the nature, purpose, and extraordinary benefits of that financial services provide. He demonstrates a moral case for it that is centred on the virtues of rationality, honesty, independence, and productivity.

Robert Begley is the President of the New York Heroes Society—an organization he founded in 2004. He leads walking tours and other activities that celebrate heroism in New York City.
Robert is a professional speaker with more than 20 years in Toastmasters International.