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Case and Phi Beta Delta lecture and discussion by Jonathan Andreas, an economics professor from Bluffton University : "Mutilitarianism: How The Ethics of Economics Enriches Elites At Your Expense”.
Date and Time:
Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event Contact Name:
Michael B. Loughlin
Event Contact E-mail:
Event Contact Phone #:
Jonathan Andreas, an economics professor from Bluffton University, will speak on February 21 in the Dicke Forum at 7:30 under the auspices of Phi Beta Delta (The National Honorary Society for International Scholars) and CASE (The Committee on the Arts and Special Events) on the topic: “Mutilitarianism: How The Ethics of Economics Enriches Elites At Your Expense”. Economists often make unpopular welfare judgments. For example, 93% of economists believe that the freedom to outsource American jobs is good for America, but 85% of Americans disagree. One reason for the difference in opinion is that economists have a peculiar way of measuring wellbeing that overvalues the welfare of economic elites. Economists call their ethical system ‘efficiency’, but it is a mutant form of utilitarianism that measures utility in money and it has escaped serious philosophical scrutiny within economics. This presentation will propose replacing the most common common welfare measurements like GDP with a simple new ethical system called medianism that is more democratic, deals with inequality more justly, and assuages longstanding criticisms of welfare economics by philosophers and measurement theorists. Economic judgments should at least benefit the majority of Americans and medianism can improve economic judgments in a way that both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement should be able to embrace. This presentation is a popular version of a research paper Dr. Andreas first presented at ONU for The Ohio Association of Economists and Political Scientists conference in 2012. Dr. Andreas had little interest in economics when he was an undergraduate in American Studies at Grinnell College, but after graduation, he spent three years working and bicycle touring in Latin America and Asia where he became fascinated with how different economic systems produce stark differences in people’s lives. To understand it better, he got his doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago researching under the direction of Joseph Persky and Deirdre McCloskey. His current research centers on how incorrect measurement theory in mathematical models of human behavior have caused problems in utility and welfare theory. Before becoming an economist, Dr. Andreas managed a welfare-to-work inner-city gardening project and served as the Information Systems Manager for the Alumni & Development offices of the University of Chicago GSB. Michael B. Loughlin is the Coordinator of the Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, the Honor Society for International Scholars, which includes outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Other Phi Beta Delta Officers include: President Khalid al-Olimat, Vice President Howard N. Fenton, Secretary Roseanna Dufault, and Treasurer Suzanne Morrison. Phi Beta Delta was founded on February 27, 1986 at California State University at Long Beach, and it became a national organization in 1987. As of 2013 there are around 200 member institutions from the USA and many other countries with more than 5000 active members. The Society hopes to integrate all faculty, staff, students, and alumni who possess a deep commitment to international affairs, education, and research. One of the functions of the Gamma Upsilon Chapter has been to create a regular forum in which international affairs can be discussed using university sources and by seeking prominent individuals with varied experience in international affairs recruited from beyond the university community. The primary objectives of Phi Beta Delta are: 1. To recognize formally the academic achievements of international students, American students returning from study overseas, international scholars, staff involved in international education, and faculty engaged in scholarly international endeavors; 2. To recognize achievement in international educational exchange; 3. To increase the recognition, credibility, and importance of the international experience; 4. To serve as a catalyst for academically-based international programming on campuses across the country; 5. To develop a network on each campus of faculty, staff, and students involved in international endeavors; 6. To extend this network to members across the country.