Catherine R. Pakaluk, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics
The Busch School of Business and Economics
Friday, October 6, 2017
Good afternoon! Pleasure to be with you as we close out this tremendous gathering.
I was asked to speak about putting Good Profit into action. I was recently reminded, at a colloquium discussion on political economy earlier this week, that economists don’t know anything about making money. I’ll volunteer of my own accord that economists are also not particularly practical people—we know little about putting things into action. So—I fear that my title may be the most misleading title for our whole conference. Also, as they say, I am standing between you and your lunch. So there are two strikes against me. My goal, then, is to provide a little material for reflection and inspiration as you leave here to put Good Profit into action.
I want to proceed then, where economists may be good—if they are good. Thus, I shall lay a first bit of groundwork by quoting one of the best-loved passages about good economists, from Frederic Bastiat’s What is Seen and What is Not Seen, published in 1848 together with other essays on political economy.
In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.
There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.
Yet this difference is tremendous; for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa. Whence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.
Your email address will not be published.
Join the Napa Institute and the Busch School of Business for the Principled Entrepreneurship™ Conference on the Dignity of Work as understood in light of Catholic social doctrine.
Through keynote sessions and panel discussions, the conference will examine such themes as the sanctification of work, growth and prosperity, innovation, and the relationship between work and human dignity. The conference will be held at both the Mayflower Hotel and The Catholic University of America and will include a tour and sessions at the recently opened Museum of the Bible.
Maryland is a site of many religious and secular historical developments from pre-colonial settlement and European exploration to territorial battles and religious conflict. While Maryland was not the
New technology is available for scientists to edit genomes for healthcare and agricultural purposes, almost at will. Many of us have thought and written about genetic engineering in the abstract for d
We find worth in our work. In part, it defines our quality of life and our existence on earth.
We are fulfilled and sanctified through work. It is one of the core qualities that differentiat
I, like many of you, have been disheartened by the unfolding scandal regarding now Archbishop Theodore McCarrick - a scandal we thought had been sufficiently handled in 2002 with the implementation of