Texas Tech University

Upcoming Events

FMI Public Speaker Series

February 20  March 26  April 9  

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero

Dr. Tyler Cowen


This event is free and open to the Texas Tech University community and the general public.

About the Program

We love to hate the 800-pound gorilla. Walmart and Amazon destroy communities and small businesses. Facebook turns us into addicts while putting our personal data at risk. From skeptical politicians like Bernie Sanders who, at a 2016 presidential campaign rally said, "If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist," to millennials, only 42 percent of whom support capitalism, belief in big business is at an all-time low. But are big companies inherently evil? If business is so bad, why does it remain so integral to the basic functioning of America? Economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen says our biggest problem is that we don't love business enough.

Prof. Cowen puts forth an impassioned defense of corporations and their essential role in a balanced, productive, and progressive society. He dismantles common misconceptions and untangles conflicting intuitions. According to a 2016 Gallup survey, only 12 percent of Americans trust big business "quite a lot," and only 6 percent trust it "a great deal." Yet Americans as a group are remarkably willing to trust businesses, whether in the form of buying a new phone on the day of its release or simply showing up to work in the expectation they will be paid. Prof. Cowen illuminates the crucial role businesses play in spurring innovation, rewarding talent and hard work, and creating the bounty on which we've all come to depend.

About the Speaker

Tyler Cowen is Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and faculty director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. With colleague Prof. Alex Tabarrok, Prof. Cowen is coauthor of the popular economics blog, Marginal Revolution, and co-founder of the online educational platform Marginal Revolution University.

A dedicated writer and communicator of economic ideas, Prof. Cowen is the author of several bestselling books and is widely published in academic journals and the popular media. His latest book is Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Antihero, which Cass Sunstein described as "iconoclastic, charming, [and] wise" and as "essential reading."

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Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century

Speaker: Bart Wilson, Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University
Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Time: 5:30-6:30 PM
Location: Rawls College of Business, Grand Auditorium (CR 105, First Floor)

About the Speaker

Bart J. Wilson is the Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University. He is a founding member of the Economic Science Institute and founding member and Director of the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy. His research uses experimental economics to explore the foundations of exchange and specialization and the origins of property. Another of his research programs compares decision making in humans, apes, and monkeys.

Prof. Wilson has published papers in the American Economic Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, and Nature: Human Behaviour. His research has been supported with grants from the National Science Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission. In 2019, he co-authored with Prof. Vernon Smith (2002 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) a Cambridge University Press book titled, Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century.

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The Economics of Drug Legalization

Speaker: Jeffrey Miron, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University
Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020
Time: 5:30-6:30 PM
Location: Rawls College of Business, Grand Auditorium (CR 105, First Floor)

About the Speaker

Jeffrey Miron is director of economic studies at the Cato Institute and the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. His area of expertise is the economics of libertarianism, with particular emphasis on the economics of illegal drugs.

Dr. Miron has served on the faculty at the University of Michigan and as a visiting professor at the Sloan School of Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and the department of economics at Harvard University. From 1992-1998, he was chairman of the department of economics at Boston University. He is the author of Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition in addition to numerous op-eds and journal articles. He has been the recipient of an Olin Fellowship from the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Earhart Foundation Fellowship, and a Sloan Foundation Faculty Research Fellowship.

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For more information about these events or if you would like to receive notice of upcoming programs and events, please email the Free Market Institute at free.market@ttu.edu or call 806.742.7138.


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