Thursday, January 20, 2011

On Proffessor Frank Granack

This semester, I have the privilege of being in Dr. Frank Granack class on economics. He is a great teacher and an excellent speaker, not to mention the fact that he frequently digressess in the tangential turf of politics. Its like listening to talk radio.

So far he has gone over the concepts of opportunity cost and scarce resources. From the start he has made it clear that he is a capitalist and opposes Keynesianism by espousing Neoclassicalism. This is great.

I don't agree with him on everything, so I am interested in sparking a few conversations with him. Currently I am trying to piece together his beliefs to see how well they fit. He seems to be a political libertarian, even if he may not call himself that (I don't know yet). I have made one interesting observation so far about a perceived dichotomy.

1. He rejects the Keynesian worldview, ditching it in favor of the ideas of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman (Milton is his favorite economist).
2. As well has getting an economics degree, he majored in psychology, a field largely influenced by Sigmund Freud, whose psychoanalysis formed the basis of John Maynard Keynes's "animal spirits". With this information after the first lecture, I resolved the dichotomy by convincing myself that Granack either didn't make the connection between Freud and Keynes or simply rejected the Freudian worldview.
3. In the second (and latest) lecture, he recounts his dismay at one economist who claimed that consumer confidence "was overrated." Now this makes things interesting. [note for the uniformed reader: consumer confidence and "animal spirits" are practically synonymous]

Is Professor Granack saddling a massive contradiction? I can't answer that at this point. Moreover, it seems to me to be entirely possible that one cannot accept the major role of "animal spirits" while rejecting the efficacy of Government spending and stimulus packages. I don't know, and my knowledge of the subject is far from complete, so I could be voicing an unmerited concern. But I am definitely looking forward to this class, whether or not I resolved this dilemma.

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