Michael Novak, 1933-2017
Sadly, we must note the loss of Michael Novak on February 17th. Highly respected, Dr. Novak was a philosopher, theologian, diplomat and author, who was for many years based at the American Enterprise Institute. In The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, he explored the important interplay between free enterprise, democratic politics, and pluralistic cultural institutions. One of his important insights was the need for realism in assessing economic and social systems:
“Democratic capitalism is neither the Kingdom of God nor without sin. Yet all other known systems of political economy are worse. Such hope as we have for alleviating poverty and for removing oppressive tyranny – perhaps our last best hope – lies in this much despised system.”
Early in his career, Dr. Novak understood the importance of identifying how social cooperation can be achieved as a practical matter. Many philosophers focus incompletely on questions concerning social justice and think insufficiently about the operation of economic systems. Dr. Novak saw democratic capitalism as a morally superior system precisely because it permits economic opportunity for all. Individuals are encouraged to consider where they could be next year in voluntary cooperation with others, rather than adopting a more divisive politics of envy. Michael Novak will be greatly missed, but his work will continue to encourage realistic assessment of what works best for the welfare of the ordinary person.
The Center for Free Enterprise connects business education to human welfare and engages students in rigorous education about the principles and institutions needed for free individuals to flourish with dignity in a civil society.
The Center is a regional and national leader in free enterprise student engagement. Free enterprise exists where the rule of law, limited governance, and free markets intersect. It is based on the philosophy of individualism and freedom where individuals can utilize their inherent creativity for the benefit of themselves and others.
The Center :
- Educates students about the necessary conditions for free enterprise.
- Examines moral questions in relation to individual action in free enterprise systems and in planned economies.
- Communicates vital relationships between free enterprise, rule of law, personal freedom and pluralistic politics.
- Engages in impartial scholarship investigating the role institutions play in supporting a free civil society.
- The Center promotes the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, the rule of law, and economic freedom on campus and to the public at large.
Center for Free Enterprise
The Center for Free Enterprise examines the important role free enterprise plays within the global economy.
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
The Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series
The PLE Lecture Series is designed to highlight the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to sustain free enterprise. Nationally-renowned scholars, journalists and policy-analysts visit Florida Southern and share their insight and experience with students. Open to the public, this series is a great opportunity to meet experts in various fields.
We are grateful for generous financial support from:
Spring 2017 Schedule
All lectures will be held at 6:00 PM in the Becker Business Building Room 112.
March 2 - Live Free and Prosper
Dr. Thomas R. Saving
Dr. Thomas R. Saving is an NCPA (National Center for Policy Analysis) senior fellow, and the Executive Director of the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University. A University Distinguished Professor of Economics at Texas A&M, he also holds the Jeff Montgomery Professorship in Economics. Read his full biography
His many books include:
- Money, Wealth and Economic Theory, with B.P. Pesek, Macmillan Company, 1967.
- The Foundations of Money and Banking, with B.P. Pesek, Macmillan Company, 1968.
- The Economics of Medicare Reform, with Andrew J. Rettenmaier, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2000.
- The Diagnosis and Treatment of Medicare, with Andrew J. Rettenmaier, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), 2007.
- Live Free and Prosper, Amazon, 2015
Dr. Saving has also authored over 70 articles covering a wide range of economics topics, and over 40 monographs. He was Co-Editor of Economic Inquiry for many years and has served on the editorial boards of all the major U.S. economics journals. Dr. Saving has been called upon regularly as an expert consultant by companies and by governments.
His honors include appointment by President Clinton as Public Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds and appointment by President Bush to the bipartisan Commission to Strengthen Social Security. These appointments have led to multiple expert testimony before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He is a past President of the Western Economics Association, Southern Economics Association, and Association of Private Enterprise Education, and has served on the boards of many economics associations.
His educational postings include the University of Washington, the University of Seattle, Michigan State University and Texas A&M University. His current research emphasis is on the benefit of markets in solving pressing issues in health care and Social Security.
The Myth of the Wage Gap to be presented by Diana Furchtgott-Roth has been postponed because of her appointment to the Labor Department Transition Team. This important lecture will be rescheduled at her earliest convenience.
Adam Smith Club
The Adam Smith Club is a community of students who discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom. Students engage with one another and faculty through a book club, movie nights and related activities.
Students meet with the Center’s faculty to discuss readings related to free enterprise. Books have included Matt Ridley’s “The Origins of Virtue: Human Interaction and the Evolution of Cooperation”, Jason L. Riley’s “Please Stop Helping Us”, and Frank Furedi’s “What’s Happened to the University?”
Meetings are held at 4:30 PM
Becker - 3rd Floor
January 19, January 26
February 9, February 23
March 16, March 30
April 13, April 27
The Adam Smith Club hosts a regular movie night, followed by an informal discussion about how the film’s underlying themes relate to human nature and free enterprise.
Movies are showing at 5:30 PM
January 20 - Bridge Of Spies
February 14 - Monsters, Inc
March 24 - A Beautiful Mind
April 21 - V For Vendetta
Integral to the Center’s educational outreach are two majors dedicated to the study of free enterprise: the Bachelor of Science in Political Economy and the Bachelor of Science in Business and Free Enterprise. Political Economy examines the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to support a full-functioning free enterprise system. The Business and Free Enterprise major emphasizes both economic analysis and political science, helping majors understand business transactions from a broader, social perspective.
Introduction to the Philosophy of Business
Many people have preconceived notions of what free enterprise means and what role business plays in our social order. This class challenges many preconceived notions of free enterprise by examining the relationship between individuals and the state and that between individuals and society. The course uses economic analysis to examine the role markets play in coordinating individual economic activity and creating widespread gains from trade. The course shows how business is inherently socially beneficial.
Advanced Philosophy of Business and Market Based Management
This course conducts an in depth examination of the institutional structure necessary for a flourishing social order. The course examines market behavior and applies economics to understanding the economy as an informational feedback mechanism allowing social cooperation and entrepreneurial activity. The course also discusses how societies provide quality assurance in the absence of government regulation. This requires the student to apply basic economic theory, particularly supply and demand and opportunity-cost analysis, and to apply the understanding of social science to business management.
Summer Program in Free Enterprise
This summer program addresses a contemporary policy issue with a youthful slant. Admitted students are invited to Florida Southern for an in-depth examination of a pressing issue from a free enterprise perspective. Recent topics included an examination of how to encourage entrepreneurship, and ways in which free enterprise thinking can help solve problems in the criminal justice system. The program is free to participants.
About the Center for Free Enterprise
The Center for Free Enterprise helps students understand and appreciate the important role free enterprise plays within the American economy. A free enterprise system promotes economic prosperity by creating a favorable environment where businesses compete with minimum regulatory interference, allowing them to develop vigorously providing wider gains from trade as they do so. Through extracurricular activities such as guest lectures, luncheons and off-campus seminars, students can explore the principles and institutions that sustain free enterprise.