Feb. 22, 2012 – Political Economy Book Club continues with Wealth of Nations

Building on site where Adam Smith wrote Wealth of Nations
source: Wikimedia Commons

Our Political Economy Book Club continues its discussion of Book I of Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”.  This session covers the second half of Book I (chapters 10 & 11). “The Wealth of Nations” is available for free download at http://www.gutenberg.org/. Feel free to participate even if you haven’t yet read the book and are simply interested in economics. Bob Matter leads the discussion. Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012, 6 PM, at 28 E Jackson #1004. Free, donations welcome.

Feb 11 Movie: The Cartel

Henry George School photo

This documentary on much-needed education reforms is a clear-headed, gripping indictment.  Using New Jersey as a case study, director Bob Bowdon lays out why one of the country’s most expensive school districts has one of the highest dropout rates and lowest standardized test scores.  The problem is corruption, union bureaucracy, and reactionary politics.  “Where the film really comes alive is in its giving a human face to those affected by the state’s thuggish education system” (Slant Magazine).  Bob Bowden–  USA — 2009 — 90 minutes.

This free presentation in our Curious Georgists go to the Movies series starts 2 PM on Saturday, February 11, at 28 E Jackson #1004.  More info at 312 362 9302 or bobj@hgchicago.org.

Jan 23 and 28: Two more Progress & Poverty opportunities

photo credit: Daniel Chaeh via Flickr (cc)

If you have not taken, or would like to refresh your knowledge of, Progress & Poverty, you’ll have two opportunities to start this week.

At our Loop location, a Monday night class starts January 23 at 6 PM.  This is the modern version, and Bob Jene will be the instructor

In the South Suburbs, our Saturday afternoon class starts January 28 in Blue Island. This class meets for five Saturdays, but each is effectively a double-session, 1 to 4 PM.  More about this class is here.

Like all Henry George School courses, both of these are “almost free,” requiring only a $25 registration fee to help pay materials costs.  All needed texts are included. And you’re welcome to sit in on the first session before deciding whether to register.

 

Jan 21 (Sat) 2 PM: Dr. Strangelove

Peter Sellers in one of his three Dr. Strangelove roles
source: Wikimedia Commons

Curious Georgists Go to the Movies present Dr. Strangelove.

You need to have a unique (and twisted) sense of humor to find nuclear holocaust entertaining, but director Stanley Kubrick does a marvelous job of balancing his truely bizzare humor with the gut-wrenching terror felt in the Cold War era.

The political satire stars Peter Sellers portraying three roles, including the title role of Dr. Strangelove, as well as the U.S. President and Group Captain Mandrake, a British soldier under the command of the insane General Ripper (Sterling Hayden). Believing politicians to be unable, and untrained to deal with the growing Russian threat during the Cold War, Ripper breaks protocol and attempts to initiate nuclear war with Russia.

— Neil Wertanen

Refreshments and discussion will follow. At 28 E. Jackson #1004, 2 PM Saturday January 21.  Free, donations welcome.

Thursday, January 12: Republican Presidential Candidates and their Economic Advisors

image credit: Donkey Hotey via Flickr (cc)

On  Bob Jene will look at eight Republican presidential candiates, analyzing their proposals to “fix” the economy. (Yeah, there used to be more than eight, and by the time of the talk there probably will be fewer than eight, but Bob is working with eight.) He’ll also consider the views of their advisors, and evaluate the proposals from a geoist perspective.

Thursday, January 12, at 6 PM. As always, this talk is free and open to all, at 28 E. Jackson #1004, Chicago.  Questions? 312/362-9302.

 

How I made a million dollars in Chicago real estate: I $tole it from you!

image credit: Ken Lund via Flickr (cc)

Successful land speculation is really a matter of capturing for yourself the gains that belong to the community.  George Menninger is one of many who have done it.  Far beyond any need to earn a living, George now spends some of his time explaining how the bad public policy he exploited not only made him rich, but led to continued poverty, unemployment, and even the current economic meltdown. Come to ask him why he does this and whether he is a traitor to the 1%.

George’s talk, on Wednesday January 18 at 6 PM, is also the first session of our Progress & Poverty course (modern version), which will continue on Wednesdays thru February 15.  As with all our courses, the $25 registration fee need not be paid until the end of the first session, and George Menninger will provide a personal and accessible explanation of Henry George’s ideas. You can pre-register here, or just show up.  You are also welcome to attend just this session; there is no obligation or expectation that everyone attending will enroll.

After the Crash course begins Tuesday

image credit: Todd Mecklem via Flickr (cc)

Traditional Henry George School classes, including Progress & Poverty, help us comprehend how an economy based on justice would never crash the way ours has over the past few years. But now that we’re in a mess, how do we get out?

After the Crash extends and applies Henry George’s analysis to the problem of today: How to help the economy recover and improve opportunity for productive work. The text is Mason Gaffney’s book of the same name, a copy of which is included in the $25 registration fee. Bob Jene is the instructor.   Class meets Tuesdays, 6 PM, January 10 thru February 28, at 28 E. Jackson #1004. You can use this form to pre-register, or just show up.

April 16 Monday: What has religion to do with political economy?

image credit: Fergal of Claddagh via flickr (cc)
image credit: Fergal of Claddagh via flickr (cc)

We call this course Economics as if God Cared.

The United States has no formal established church, yet matters of religion keep popping in political campaigns. What has the Judeo-Christian-Muslim religious tradition to do with questions of political economy?

One perspective is to ask how “God” advises us to organize our economic life. According to John Kelly (who created this course) and John Kuchta (who teaches it), the Old and New Testaments give clear directions about how communities and nations should treat landownership, debt, and taxes, to assure both justice and lasting prosperity. The course deals not only with religion and philosophy, but also with actual historical evidence.  This term we offer Economics as if God Cared on Fridays at 6 PM, beginning January 13 and continuing each Friday thru February 6, at 28 E. Jackson #1004. As for all our classes, a $25 registration fee covers the entire cost of the course.  You can pre-register here, or just show up.

 

Winter 2012 begins at the Henry George School

Gateway to the Beach Pere Marquette Park, Muskegon
United States Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program office, Michigan Sea Grant Extension, Carole Y. Swinehart

This term we’ll offer four courses in seven sections, including our first south suburban class in decades (Progress & Poverty at the Blue Island Public Library.) The schedule includes links to the course descriptions. As always, each course requires only a $25 registration fee, and you’re welcome to sit in on the first session before deciding to make the modest investment.

In addition to classes, we have a range of free events including Bob Jene’s review, from a Georgist perspective, of the economic proposals of the Republican Presidential candidates.  Dr. Strangelove will kick off our Saturday movie series on January 21, and there will be a number of other new and/or revised presentations during the term. These will be posted on the events list, among other places.

Wednesday: The Political Economy Book Club reads Adam Smith

Credit: Kris Krug via Flickr (cc)

An inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, it is a reflection on economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and argues that free market economies are more productive and beneficial to their societies. The book is a fundamental work in classical economics. Henry George disputed some of Smith’s reasoning, but described him as the “founder” of the science of political economy.

This session will discuss the first half of Book I.

Political Economy Book Club meets 6 PM Wednesday, December 14, at 28 E. Jackson #1004. Free, donations, welcome.