Getting Right with Thorstein Veblen
Carleton's Economics, American Studies and History departments welcome Dr. Richard R. John, History and Communications Professor, Columbia University
Dr. John will give an illustrated presentation on the enduring significance of one of America's most trenchant social critics, Thorstein Veblen (Carleton, 1880). Best known today for his caustic analysis of consumerism (he coined the term "conspicuous consumption"), Veblen was much admired by his early twentieth-century contemporaries as a visionary economist who combined a soaring faith in human creativity with a savage indictment of the wastefulness of big business. What made Veblen's ideas so compelling? How might they speak to us today?