"Wag the Dog" with Dustin Hoffman and "Adventures of Baron Munchhausen" with Robin Williams show us dystopia, manipulated societies and class states.
That's a classic film. The prof in question is Glenn Hubbard. The interview with John Campbell at Harvard is even more jawdroppingly awful, as he finally "gets" the conflict of interest issue after what amounts to a painful tutorial in ethics. Martin Feldstein
just brazens it out, absolutely unrepentant, while Frederic Mishkin is completely at sea. Amazing performances from the cream of the (world's oldest?) profession.
On this theme I'd like to throw "Inside Job" into the mix.
My favorite bit is when the interviewer is speaking with an economist/finance prof and they clam up on camera - 'Oh. I see how this is going. Go ahead. You've got two minutes. Take your best shot." He does a good job of coming across as intellectually and
morally bankrupt. Vested interests, ideology, systematic smarminess. I guess he signed the waiver first.
On 9/18/2015 8:30 AM, John Watkins wrote:
A lot of great suggestions here. But if I might recommend a non-fiction movie (documentary) that is in fact phenomenal. You cannot do better than “The Smartest
Guys in the Room” depicting the downfall of Enron. I have not seen a better movie on corporate abuse, economic sabotage, and corporate greed. It illustrates Veblen’s ideas perfectly, including shutting down power plants in California to drive up electricity
rates. Be careful though: the movie briefly depicts nudity, which you might want to skip over to avoid creating a “hostile” environment.
The other video, which I am sure you are familiar with, is “Roger and Me.” A phenomenal video depicting conspicuous consumption, alienation, unemployment,
social responsibility (or the lack thereof), and outsourcing carefully showing the paradoxes involved.
Dear AFEE Members,
For several years I have toyed with the idea of creating a course that would introduce students to economic ideas and content through the use of fictional films. This term I have an introduction
to economics as a social science type course with low enrollment. A conventional lecture course seems less than ideal with a small group. As a result, I am strongly considering a trial by fire Economics in Fictional Film class.
Conceptually, I envision the course operating in such a manner that we view fictional films in class, I assign an reading from a thinker such as Veblen or Marx, and students are then asked
to write short papers relating the theoretical content with the film content. For example, the movie Pretty Woman (Julia Roberts, Richard Gere) could be shown with an associated reading content of Veblen's "The Barbarian Status of Women." I have a list of
other movies such as Office Space, Wall Street, Burn...and some reading ideas, but I am not sure I am satisfied as of yet. I am in search of some more input.
Does any AFEE member have thoughts or suggestions? I would love to hear different ideas.
Portland Community College
Eric R. Hake
Secretary-Treasurer, Association For Evolutionary Economics
Faculty Advisor, SMIF & Int'l Club
Scholarship. Character. Culture. Service.
Ketner 212, 2300 W. Innes St. Salisbury, NC 28144-2441
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