Thursday, October 10, 2013

Roanoke College Economics Reading Group: Discussion Questions

The first meeting of the Roanoke College Economics Reading Group will take place October 22 thanks to a generous grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Undergraduate applicants received a copy of Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom" which we will discuss in our fall semester meeting.

We will be joined by Roanoke College's Dr. Robert Benne. Dr. Benne put together a few discussion questions for participants to consider as they read through the book:

1. What is the primary reason Friedman endorses free market capitalism?   Is there a moral component to that reason? 

2.  Friedman believes the Federal Reserve made a horrendous mistake toward the beginning of the Great Depression.  What was it and why was it so horrendous? 

3.  Why does capitalism tend to correlate with political democracy?   Indeed, why is capitalism almost necessary for political democracy? 

4.  Friedman prefers temporary monopolies over government intervention to dispel monopolies.  Why does he argue that? 

5.  In which modern American political party would Friedman feel most comfortable?  Democratic?  Republican?  Socialist?  Green?   Libertarian?   Why? 

6.  One of Friedman's most enduring policy proposals was the introduction of vouchers into elementary education.   What is the nature of his proposal?

An additional resource for readers (and others) is the following interview of Friedman conducted by Donahue in 1979. A classic! The interview can be watched in five parts.


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