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Following up on the Think! Book Club’s discussion of Steven Pearlstein’s book “Moral Capitalism,” our October D-Cubed and D-Squared events will have us looking more broadly at capitalism, American-style. We will consider its virtues and failings as well as how it might be improved. In addition to the concern with extreme economic inequality raised by Pearlstein, we will consider capitalism’s planet-threatening focus on economic growth and its impacts on human psychology and culture.
D-Cubed (Discussion, Debate, and Dinner) is a monthly gathering sponsored by HumanistsMN and hosted by Jerry Smith and Mark Thoson. Jerry will be moderating this month’s discussion which will take place in the live Saturday (D-Cubed) and on-line D-Squared (No dinner!) sessions. The same topics will be covered in each session and the discussions should be quite similar.
As usual, we are assigning “homework” in the belief that preparation will help participants contribute to a thoughtful, informed discussion. Please try to read some or all of the following before the event:
Last month’s Think! Book Club selection, “Moral Capitalism,” provides an in-depth discussion of the extreme economic inequality, and consequent societal dysfunction, created by our capitalistic economy. Those issues are also addressed in this Brookings Institute article.
An even more comprehensive critique of capitalism is provided by Wikipedia.
Other, more specific, concerns with capitalism that we’ll discuss include: its planet-threatening reliance on economic growth, the inordinate influence of the financial sector in our economy, and capitalism’s effects on American and global cultures.
We will consider various defenses of capitalism, including an argument that we need more capitalists, as well as Yuval Levin’s claim that capitalism makes us better people. This BBC piece predicts the “next stage” of capitalism, while a McKinsey article asks us to “rethink its future.” Specific prescriptions for change are provided by the experts on this panel.
Assuredly there are many more articles and videos of relevance to our topic. So if you aware of other online resources that would enlighten us, feel free to suggest them by posting links in the “Comments” section below.
At 4:30 PM or shortly thereafter, we will wrap up our discussion. Those who wish to continue conversing on these and other topics are welcome to join Jerry and Mark for dinner at Pad Thai, a moderately priced Thai restaurant located at 1681 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, a short drive from the library. We’ll provide directions to the restaurant and have tables reserved for our group.
This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted! Donate or join through our home page.
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