Seventeen comments include a lot of economic knowledge bicep flexing with ONLY
one disparaging the acceptance of funds from the Koch brothers. The ideology of
David and Charles Koch should make every American shudder. Their massive
polluting, union destruction, buying and selling elections, and efforts to
racially segregate our nation makes their money tainted. Shame on any
institution of higher learning that accepts their money and condones their evil
addendum: my phrase surplus capital should read surplus value.
I love it when conservatives who have never set foot on a college campus tell us
graduates what our schools teach us. Hilarious!
2 bits:The U never indoctrinated anybody with Marxism, much less
taught it exclusively or crammed it down anybody's throat. If there was any
truth to that the program wouldn't even be accredited. I majored in Econ at
graduated from the U in 93. I took one optional course in Marxism, and that is
the only place where I even heard the name Marx mentioned. Even in that one
class the professor wasn't dogmatically saying that Marx was right--the
focus was on understanding what Marx's arguments actually were.The real truth is that by even acknowledging that Marx had some ideas that
were worthy of being understood and providing students with the opportunity of
exploring them if they wanted to include that in their education, the U. has
offered a balance that lacks in most other colleges. You said,
"Capitalism has brought more people out of poverty than any system," as
if that somehow contradicts Marx. Marx agrees with that point and was a huge
proponent of capitalism. That's what Das Kapital is about! Of course he
also studies why the "invisible hand" really doesn't prevent
workers from being exploited, but he argued that a fair society had to first go
through a phase of capitalism.
Any good economics program should include a balanced reading of economic
philosophy before training in econometrics. For me the reading of Marx and
others made me appreciate the problems Marx tried to solve, but not his
solution. Mussolini stated, “Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception
of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in
so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the
conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity.” That
hardly sounds like the libertarian Charles Koch. In fact Mussolini’s
definition of Fascism sound’s a lot like Marx’s crude communism with
the state acting as the supreme equalizer. (see Marx’s Economic and
Philosophic Manuscript 1844) Thus politically (not economically) Marxism is
identical to Fascism. It is also interesting that with all the lists of great
economists the Austrians are conspicuously absent. By dropping capital as a
factor of production and including time in its place, Austrian economics solve
the capitalistic dilemma begun by Smith and exacerbated by Marx in the form of
Marxist,I know we get on you now and then. It's mostly to show there
are other working philosophies besides Marx's. And expose flaws we have
observed in world history when tried (with tragic results).Great
theory. Bad reality so far in human practice.In theory Marxism
protects the proletariat. But Capitalism has brought more people out of poverty
than any system. Marxism has not been a bed of roses for working class people
when put into practice in Venezuela, Cuba, USSR, East Germany, etc.===Re: "Marx is the third and best of the 3 great classical
economists: Smith, Ricardo, and Marx"...---That's your
opinion. The opinion of a hard core Marxist. But that's not the list I
got when I googled "10 greatest economists"...The list
was:1. Adam Smith2. David Ricardo3. Fukuzawa Yukichi4.
Karl Marx5. Amartya Sen6. John Keynes7. Milton Friedman8. Joseph Shumpeter9. Daniel Kahneman10. Hyman MinskyI'm glad to see you didn't throw Adam Smith (an advocate of free
trade, market competition and the morality of private enterprise) out of your
list. He's #1 on every list I've seen.IMO We should study
Marxism. But not adopt it.
@2bits " Every student should study the theories of Carl Marx. I did. In Jr
High Economics. But I don't think it needs to be taught exclusively,
indoctrinated into kids brains, or crammed down their throats like at the U.
"I don't think you likely got much out of Jr High
economics. It's K(not C) arl Marx. Sorry, I know it was just a typo, but
I couldn't resist. Marx has never been crammed down student
brains at the "U." Like I said before the economics dept emphasized the
reading of ORIGINAL (not text book) economic literature. In that department I
read the original works of many economists, especially Smith, Ricardo, and Marx.
BTW, I also received a pretty healthy dose of Milton Friedman.Marx's masterpiece is "Capital." It is of enormous importance.
But most people, even if otherwise well educated, know nothing of it. Joan
Robinson was right. Without Marx economics is stalled. Without Marx even the
esteemed Piketty can't breath life back into it. And for the
record at the "U" economics dept I studied econometrics in great depth.
I doubt the new curriculum is any better.
Re: "some philosophical balance to the university’s educational
offerings and scholarship on economics"...---Finally... we
won't have to subject our kids to indoctrination by Marxists and Socialists
if we send them to learn economics at the UofU. This is a great change IMO.
The U has been famous for generations for teaching Marxist dogma. It was well
known when I went the back in the early 1980s.IMO Every student
should study the theories of Carl Marx. I did. In Jr High Economics. But I
don't think it needs to be taught exclusively, indoctrinated into kids
brains, or crammed down their throats like at the U. Just presented as one of
many economic theories.They should also focus on the calculus and
the logic that influences economies more than the Social and political (which
was overly emphasized at the U in the past).This should be a good
thing for the UofU economics dpt.Not only the money... but also the
balance it may bring.
Well. I'm not sure the author could have gotten his description of UofU
Economics more wrong.I went to graduate school at the Dept of
Economics at Utah. I got my masters degree at University of Chicago (usually
thought of as a conservative institution). I have done M&A, private equity,
and spent a lot of time with investment bankers.Yes, I learned about
Marx at Utah. I also learned about Polyani, and Keynes, and Ricardo, and Smith,
and Schumpeter, and Mill, and Marshall, and Walras.I took a class
from a Marxist - and a neocon, and a post-Keynesian, and non-denominational
profs. I was nearly overcome by the mainstream micro course math. I took
econometrics, learned about health economics, and learned about the history of
economic thought.In short, I STUDIED ECONOMICS. I wasn't
programmed to believe one particular school of thought - I was presented with
the full scope of human thought on economics, and I was encouraged to make my
own conclusions. Utah economics is one of the last places in the
world where you can get a true education in economics, rather than a blindered
view of the world.This article couldn't be more inaccurate.
@strom thurmonI read the Samuel Moore translation of Das Kapital,
since you asked. Translating books is a scholarly thing, not just a religious
one.The new program will teach students how they can use the
Black-Scholes formula to price derivatives and make obscene profits for the
traders. I'm sure it will also talk about the systematic risk to entire
economy that such leveraged trading can cause. But it probably won't
address the more fundamental question about *why* derivative traders deserve to
make obscene amounts of money when they aren't actually producing useful
goods or services.I'm sure this change will enhance the
prestige of the University. But changing the focus to number crunching
isn't going to provide "philosophical balance."
"The institute plans to hire seven new faculty members. This should bolster
the business school’s scholarly stature and support its ability to offer a
new degree in Quantitative Analysis of Markets & Organizations —
essentially an economics degree with a focus on data analysis and practical
business application."I don't doubt this will help some
students in their careers. Where this curriculum will fit in the job market can
be grasped by watching any version of Ferguson's "The Ascent of
Money." On the down side this will probably lead to yet more
alchemy in the form of exotic financial derivatives which Buffett called
"weapons of mass destruction," as in the 2008 collapse, which the
"quants" with all their sophistication couldn't see coming. But
for the record, I could.
The Kochs already bought Utah state. Time to buy off another Utah university.
SadThe Kochs are some of the worst people on the planet.
Letting anti-American fascists exert influence over our educational institutions
is going to be a big big big mistake.
@Strom Thurmond "Hopefully future students will be spared the mandatory
sojourn into Marxist madness."In addition to Marx that
department allowed me to read ORIGINAL economic literature of all types - Smith,
Ricardo, Keynes, Quesney, Malthus, Friedman, Senior, Robinson, Marx etc. Strom, Have you ever read any Marx?
a bit..."Those skills are valuable, but are also dry math and
don't offer a "pluralistic perspective" on anything. Also, they are
the direct cause of the 2008 financial crisis. I hope we don't lose our
bearings by chasing those dollars."Interesting. I recall siting
in class that semester (the first few months of the Obama admin) and being told
by one of the prominent marxists in the Econ. Department that, as a result of
the stimulus package, unemployment would not rise above 8%. Yes,
friends, I paid for that course, and it was mandatory.So much for
Keynes.Did you ever read the professor's own translation of
Capital? Yes, he translated it himself, like a religious monk.
"David Eccles School of Business will provide some philosophical balance to
the university’s educational offerings and scholarship on
economics"This is long overdueAnyone familiar with
the economics department at the U knows it is an extremely left-leaning
institution. Professors during the red scare McCarthy era came to the U to
essentially hide. Their students now run the place. One well known
faculty member even named his child after a radical left wing domestic
terrorist. The place is nuts."The school of economics is not
part of the DE School of Business", we were expressly told during graduate
school orientation. Hopefully future students will be spared the
mandatory sojourn into Marxist madness.
People here are often confused by my "handle" marxist. Often it is
assumed I am an uncritical defender of systems which have been pleased to call
themselves "Marxist."Such is not the case. I identify with
Marx the man because of his enormous potential and actual influence in
economics. Most so-called mainstream economics is static, that is the analysis
if performed "per unit time." Marx's economics is by contrast
dynamic, operating through time. Rightly the late great Keynesian Joan Robinson
said if economics has a future it will be via the dynamic analysis roughed out
by Marx.BTW, much of Marxian analysis made it into Keynesian
economics via Piero Sfraffa and Joan Robinson.Marx explained for all
time why in capitalist economies, even with all the innovations capitalism
creates, things don't get better for labor. The reason is most profit
comes from surplus value, the increment of value added by living hired labor for
which it is not compensated. Marx is the third and best of the 3
great classical economists: Smith, Ricardo, and Marx. Marx completes the first
"David Eccles School of Business will provide some philosophical balance to
the university’s educational offerings and scholarship on
economics"No bias there. So now the fresh scrubbed
faced students can actually learn the theory and academic justifications for tax
cuts for the rich and how it has enriched us all since the 1980's.The timing here is impeccable. There is a new plethora of studies and books
coming out showing the failure of neo liberal economics, and how the mantra of
competition is a farce.You can draw all the charts you want and
theoretical formulas but when wealth accumulates in a few hands you might as
well wall paper your den with them, because they are worthless.
As a graduate of the U's Economics department who now does quantitative
analysis professionally, this is great news. But it's misleading to imply
that in the past we weren't even "exposed" to an "academically
vibrant suite of economic ideas" or to "pluralistic perspectives."
The truth is exactly the opposite--we learned the same things taught in Econ
courses everywhere, with a bit of Marxism thrown in if you chose that elective.
It was a fine liberal education.The failings of states that
attempted Marxism in no way invalidates Marx's analysis of capitalism. The
freshest and most academically vibrant voice in the world of Economics right now
is Thomas Piketty and his book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century."
It explains what we see in the world now better than anything else and has a
distinct Marxist feel to it.The new program at the U will focus on
predictive analytics and arbitrage-free pricing of derivatives (e.g. the
Black-Scholes formula). Those skills are valuable, but are also dry math and
don't offer a "pluralistic perspective" on anything. Also, they
are the direct cause of the 2008 financial crisis. I hope we don't lose our
bearings by chasing those dollars.