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Capitalism, Crony Capitalism, and the Common Good

Liberty & Ethics Center Annual Spring Conference, “Capitalism, Crony Capitalism, and the Common Good," March 19–21.

Many people are confused by the distinction between policies that are “pro-business” and those that are “pro-free market,” and would be surprised to learn that favoring free markets means being in direct opposition to policies that are pro-business. Many government interventions into the economy that are called pro-business are anti-free market in that they are designed to favor one business or group of businesses over others, or to favor businesses over the consumers they are meant to serve. Crony capitalism is a system in which the economy has become so riven with government interventions of this sort that politics and business become almost indistinguishable from one another.

Thursday, March 19, Keynote Event: Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Ralph Nader, author of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, 4 p.m., J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on Lindenwood's St. Charles campus. The event will be emceed by radio host Jamie Allman, and moderated by former Speaker of the Missouri House Tim Jones. Presented by the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise and FM NewsTalk 97.1. 

Friday, March 20, Dunseth Auditorium in Harmon Hall 

  • 9:45 a.m.:    Dr. Donald Livingston on “The Prescience of David Hume’s Objections to Public Debt”
  • 11:00 a.m.:  Dr. Howard Wall on “Cronyism as a Driver of Public Debt”
  • 4:30 p.m.:    Dr. Carey Roberts on “The History of Progressivism and the Tendency for Cronyism to Win”

Saturday, March 21, Dunseth Auditorium

  • 9:45 a.m.:    Dr. Howard Wall on “Creeping Contemporary Crony Capitalism”
  • 11:00 a.m.:  Join us for brunch in the Spellmann Dining Hall ($9 for brunch (tax not included)).
  • 1:00 p.m.:    Dr. Eugene Heath on “The Role of Business Ethics Under Crony Capitalism”
  • 2:00 p.m.:    Dr. Gregory Beabout on “Success, Excellence, and the Common Good:  Character, Corruption, and Crowding Virtue In”
  • 3:00 p.m.:    Closing panel with Drs. Livingston, Roberts, Wall, Heath, Beabout, and Douchant

The Liberty & Ethic Center would like to thank the Charles Koch Foundation and the Earhart Foundation for their generous financial support for this conference.

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301