“Thanksgiving, Ethics, and Economics” or “Why The Lesson of Plymouth Plantation Lasts Longer Than One Day in November”

On December 9, 2015, as students reconvened with E3NE following their Thanksgiving break, we decided to reflect on history, and how it provides lessons in ethics and economics. But first we needed to define a few terms, and keep our eyes peeled for a few others that would be important for the future and intellectual growth. I asked the students […]

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Gold, Money, and the Great Depression

Depression Bread Line

What caused the Great Depression? There’s no shortage of popular theories. Some say it was an inevitable consequence of capitalism. Others claim it was the big stock market crash of October 1929 that started it. Yet another hypothesis says that the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, highest in U.S. history, turned a recession into a depression. All these explanations are false. Economists […]

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Buying Local and Blocking Out the Sun

candle

This week in Ethics & Economics Challenge, we read part of Frederic Bastiat’s satirical essay, “The Candlemakers’ Petition.” In it, the French “petitioners” seek a new law forcing everyone to block sunlight out of buildings. As a result of the law, people will have to buy lots of candles and candelabras, creating a “multiplier effect” that will result in more […]

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