Apologizing for Capitalism

  • W. H. Locke Anderson
Keywords: Political Economy


Like most graduate programs that train economists for the academic mainstream, the one at the University of Michigan has a very rigid and abstract curriculum in the first year or two. Although students understand that they need to learn mathematics, statistics, and conventional economic theory to enter the profession, they cannot seem to see why their courses have no apparent bearing on the social problems that led many of them to study economics in the first place. Instead of changing the curriculum in response to student complaints, the facuity decided to set up a seminar on "the usefulness of economic theory" to teach their students how good their foul-tasting medicine really is.