Can We Dig Ourselves Out of this Hole? Confronting Our Economic Choices and Challenges

Nobody should envy the list of imperatives that a new U.S. administration will face in 2021: a shocking national debt (at the same relative level we faced fighting War II); increasing demands for action on climate change; exorbitantly expensive healthcare; a large and growing inequality in income; and a battered system of international trade, just to mention the most important. In all previous times, we have had a group of reigning economists to provide intellectual structure for proposed policies. Paul Samuelson and J.K. Galbraith guided us through the 1950s and 60s, Milton Friedman and his “Monetarists” through the 70s and 80s; Bill Clinton’s “neo-liberals” through the 90s and effectively up to the present day. But, who will steer us through the current mess? Journalist Zachary Carter has just published a wonderful, approachable book on, of all people, John Maynard Keynes. Keynes, thought by some to be Britain’s most powerful thinker since Sir Isaac Newton, may be much more relevant today than we think. We will use Carter’s book to examine the issues mentioned above within the concepts Keynes developed. The name of Carter’s recent book is The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes. If, at the end of our discussions we believe Keynes, there is hope.


Group Leader: CARROLL PERRY
Meets on: Tuesdays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 2/2/2021
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 24
Teaching Style: Seminar
Weekly Preparation: 1.5 hours
Group Leader Biography:

Carroll Perry taught economics at Phillips Andover for the last twelve years of his career. Prior to that, he spent 25 years as an international banker with BankBoston. He has lived extensively in Latin America and Asia and, after college, he and his wife served in Brazil as Peace Corps volunteers. He is a graduate of Williams College and has an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins.