Capitalism Colloquium

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By Andrew Lenz, lenzan@mnstate.edu

Dr. Steven Bolduc gave a talk titled “Is Capitalism Inherently Problematic?” on Oct. 26 in the Women’s Center.

Professor Dana Bisignani, Women’s Center coordinator, started off by welcoming everyone to the women’s center and introducing Dr. Bolduc.

Bolduc, 54, is a professor of economics, law and politics at MSUM. In his talk Dr. Bolduc defined several terms, explained basic economic theory and discussed how they applied to capitalism. He then offered some solutions to possibly fix capitalism.

The talk started with several definitions of terms like market system: economy with fluctuating prices, capitalist system: means of production are owned by capitalists who get interest, and free enterprise: a market where the government plays a small role in the economy.

He then went on to explain how a capitalist system should work and the conditions in which it work best: including voluntary trade for both goods and work of power, and for trade to be voluntary both for goods and work.  He also explained how the rules and laws get made and how they can be changed.  He then opened up the talk for questions and discussion.  One topic discussed was whether or not the economy was self-regulating.

“The economy doesn’t operate without legal intervention,” said Dr. Bolduc.

Another issue within capitalism that was brought up was how it focused on producing enough goods and doesn’t seem to worry about distribution. The response by Bolduc was big business came about to help material progress, and “The economy we have is the one we created.”

“The way capitalism is done is problematic, but it is not inherently problematic,” Boulduc said. “Capitalism is a source of a lot of oppression, though you have to try and look at how it is practiced. There is now the opportunity for it to be less oppressive, and capitalism is not inherently bad.”

The final slide to his presentation was the word VOTE in blue uppercase.

“If you don’t like capitalism how it is here and now you can change it, just as others have changed it to be the way it is,” Dr. Bolduc continued. “the solution will not be simple, voting matters and that is something we can all do.”

Professor Kandace Creel Falcón, the director of the women’s and gender studies program, explained in an interview that they do one colloquium annually related to issues having to do with gender and race along with many other topics.  They reach out to the affiliated facility and listen to ideas for talks.

“They provide a reason for campus and community to relate how scholars are thinking about feminism,” said Creel Falcon.

On Nov. 30, the Women’s Center will hold their next talk with a speaker to be announced at a later date.

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