Seven times as many people lived in Great Britain in 1900 than when the Industrial Revolution began around 1750. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. World War II didn’t end the Depression either. Over that period, infant mortality plummeted, and life spans lengthened by more than they had in the previous two thousand years. These topics routinely elicit from students the firmest of conclusions. Rather than talk about a book or some topic, the official theme is: questions you would love to ask an economist but you were afraid to ask. It existed before Sinclair’s book was ever published, which prompted discerning members of Congress to ask, “If Sinclair’s novelized allegations were true, then were government inspectors asleep at the switch?” If so, maybe government is less a solution than it is a part of the problem. The one-sided message typically conveyed is this: unscrupulous capitalists were routinely tainting our meat, and the moral crusader Sinclair rallied the public and forced government to shift from pusillanimous bystander to heroic do-gooder, valiantly disciplining the marketplace to protect its millions of victims. Sinclair was a propagandist with virtually no personal knowledge of meat-packing plants, not a dispassionate investigator. From 1924 until 1929, the government’s central bank (the Federal Reserve) drove interest rates to historic lows through a massive expansion of money and credit. “That’s news to me!” is the response I get when I inform students of what their teachers never told them: The Jungle was a novel, not a documentary. If you did, that’s great. Three-fourths of the things he said were absolute falsehoods. Ok, you want to flatter your professor by asking some “cool” question? Another one says, “Thou shalt not steal.” It doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not steal unless the other guy has more than you do or if you can hire a politician to do it on your behalf.”. He was paid by fellow socialists to whip up hysteria against capitalism. Lawrence W. Reed. Jesus drove the moneychangers from a house of worship, but never from a bank or a marketplace. In my four decades of teaching and interacting with students on matters of economics and history, I’ve been routinely amazed by both how much they know and how little they know about the very same subjects. Three-fourths of the things he said were absolute falsehoods. n Why are you interested in leaving your current assignment and why do you feel that It was a triumph o… This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE. When I offer a different perspective that suggests the perceived problem is a red herring and the corrective is a false cure, the most common response is “I never heard that before!” The more discerning, thoughtful students are upset and ask, “Why didn’t my teachers (or professors) tell me any of this?” They begin to sense that maybe what they had learned was less fact and more agenda, more bias than balance. The department of economics is now offering a new web service, “Ask an Economist,” which has been designed to answer any and all questions the general public has about economics. But standards of living stagnated or fell during the war years. They “know” that unfettered capitalism caused the Great Depression. “That’s news to me!” is the response I get when I inform students of what their teachers never told them: was a novel, not a documentary. Burnish this quality to your advantage if you are preparing for an adjunct faculty position interview. But in fact, he taught personal responsibility, voluntary charity, and doing good from the heart, not from someone else’s wallet. But in fact, he taught personal responsibility, voluntary charity, and doing good from the heart, not from someone else’s wallet.”. His “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard” defends the right of an employer to pay a market wage to attract willing employees. In the minds of many students, the existence and conditions of 19th-century child labor seriously undermine any positive case for capitalism, if they don’t negate it altogether. See my essay, “Great Myths of the Great Depression” for the full, unadulterated story. It was a triumph of entrepreneurship and markets liberated from centuries of life-crushing statism. Students are widely taught a simplistic, romanticized version of the history of this Progressive-era law. They “know” that unfettered capitalism caused the Great Depression. Useful for all faculty members wanting to take up teaching positions at colleges and universities. He was paid by fellow socialists to whip up hysteria against capitalism. But standards of living stagnated or fell during the war years. For some of the remainder, there was only a basis of truth.”. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot!”, You can know the truth and the truth will set you free if you read my. The conventional wisdom of this era asserts that government saved us from an economic calamity caused by laissez-faire capitalism. Yet the average Brit in 1900 lived far better than the average of just five or six generations before. The inspiration for its passage, Upton Sinclair’s novel titled The Jungle is often required reading in high-school and college classes. Start your question with language that indicates you've done your research/you've been listening to what the interviewer has been saying/what others have been saying during your visit. Nothing could be more remote from the truth. "My most notable study was on the socioeconomic impacts of innovation investments. 42. They absolutely “know” that the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain, introduced widespread, horrible working conditions for children. Office hours play a big role in getting to know your prof, but Facebook-generation students often avoid the one-on-one because they don't know what to say (and don't want to look like an idiot not saying it). The Real Questions You Should Ask Your Economics Professor. The challenge facing students today is how to go from being one amongst the blur of hundreds to a recognizable face, especially should you plan to ask for a recommendation or career help. 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