That is the question.
At least it will be the question during my Fall 2013 course, Business, Government and Society. Inspired by the work of Steve Medema, I plan to cover five main reasons for government interventions in the economy. (I have added two to the three that I heard Steve list.) A famous spokesperson for each type of intervention will have their say, followed by a famous spokesperson arguing against the particular intervention, and finally we will look at a contemporary issue demonstrating that the debate is still live. (Here I plan To have students debate each side of the issue, using the arguments previously discussed.) Here, then, are my current ideas for the typology of interventions, the "pro" spokesman, the "anti" spokesperson, and the contemporary issue. (The readings will naturally be relevant excerpts from the entire works listed below, when the work is large.) I seek your advice as to how the below might be improved.
I. The Common Good
Pro: Plato, The Republic
Anti: J.S. Mill, On Liberty
II. Economic Growth
Pro: Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Anti: F.A. Hayek, "The Use of Knowledge in Society"
Issue: STEM education
Pro: A.C. Pigou
Anti: Ronald Coase, "The Problem of Social Cost"
Issue: Global Warming
Pro: Paul Krugman, "Baby-sitting the Economy"
Anti: Mises? Hayek? Lucas?
Issue: The Great Recession
Pro: John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
Anti: Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia
Issue: Public health care
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