November Presentation

November 11, 2015

Daniel D’Amico, “Why Nations Jail.”

Daniel J. D’Amico is the Associate Director of The Political Theory Project at Brown University where he teaches and coordinates student programs dedicated to the study of institutions and ideas that make societies free, prosperous, and fair.

His doctoral dissertation, “The Imprisoner’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Proportionate Punishment,” was awarded the Israel M. Kirzner Award for best dissertation in Austrian Economics by the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. In 2011 Daniel’s paper, “The Prison in Economics: Private and Public Incarceration in Ancient Greece,” was awarded the Gordon Tullock Prize for the best paper published in the journal Public Choice by a scholar under the age of forty.

Daniel’s current research is focused upon the applied political economy of punishment and incarceration throughout history and around the world. He has been published in a variety of scholarly outlets including Public Choice, the Journal of Comparative Economics, and the Review of Austrian Economics. Daniel is an affiliated scholar with the workshop in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at George Mason University and a co-founder of the Carl Menger Essay Contest sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education.

October Presentation

October 21, 2015

J. Martin Rochester, “Fighting the War on Terror: Some Observations, Many Questions, Few Answers.”

Professor Rochester will present ideas based on his forthcoming book, “The New Warfare: Rethinking Rules for An Unruly World.”

“Backed by a treasure-trove of research, this is an important and up-to-date study of the deterioration of international rules that govern the use of force. It should be read and pondered by international lawyers, international relations theorists, and policymakers who think about how war can be restricted by law.”
– Michael J. Glennon, Boston University Law School

“This important new work suggests that the ‘new face of violence’ challenges international legal norms as much as it does international peace and security. To his credit, J. Martin Rochester eschews daydreaming of a better world in favor of practical reforms that incentivize compliance and further the United Nations’ concern to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.'”
– Robert P. Barnidge, Jr., Webster University

“The most important application of just war theory since 9/11. Rochester asks all the difficult questions – an essential book for our time.”
– John Vasquez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

September Presentation

September 2, 2015

Howard J. Wall, “Does the U.S. Economy Exist?”

Dr. Howard Wall is director of the John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise and of the Center for Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University, and a research fellow at the Show-Me Institute. Dr. Wall also served as vice president and regional economic adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; a visiting scholar at the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies at the Bank of Japan; and a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Instituto de Economia de Montevideo, Uruguay. His academic research focuses on business cycles and regional economics.

May Presentation

May 20th: Mike Munger

Tomorrow 3.0: The Sharing Economy
Dr. Mike Munger is a professor of political science at Duke University and the director of Duke’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program. His research is focused on the morality of exchange and and how legislative bodies produce policy. Many of his ideas are easily accessible at Euvoluntary Exchange or EconTalk.

Dr. Munger received his Ph.D. in economics at Washington University in Saint Louis. He has an extensive professional website where you can learn more about him.

April Presentation

April 22nd: Scott Sumner

The Real Problem Was Nominal: Market Monetarism and The Great Recession
Dr. Scott Sumner is currently in a professional transition (as of 2015-01-13). He was a professor of economics at Bentley University where he studied monetary theory and history. In that capacity he published extensively in academic journals. Now he will be the director of a new Mercatus Center program focused on monetary reform.

Dr. Sumner is an outspoken proponent of Market Monetarism and the subsequent policy nominal GDP-level targeting. He has even spearheaded a program to build a nominal GDP futures market.

Dr. Sumner received his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago. Many of his ideas can be accessed at EconLog and TheMoneyIllusion.

In addition to The Discussion Club, Dr. Sumner will present at the University of Missouri at Saint Louis earlier in the day. So buy that man a coffee.

March Presentation

March 11th: Arnold Kling

“March 1965 to March 2015: The four forces that re-shaped the economy of St. Louis (and the rest of the U.S.)”

Dr. Arnold Kling is a prolific essayist; although in the modern dialect he is described as a blogger. Dr. Kling writes on issues in political economy with an emphasis in macroeconomics, intellectual discourse, and technician-management relationships. He has experience working at the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, and as an early .com entrepreneur. His longer writings include “The New Commanding Heights”, which will be part of his talk; “Not What They Had in Mind: A History of Policies that Produced the Financial Crisis of 2008,”; and “The Three Languages of Politics”. You can catch his current ideas and interact with him on his blog “askblog: taking the most charitable view of those who disagree”.

Dr. Kling received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also graduated from Clayton High School (an important Saint Louis fact). You can learn more about him on his personal website, Cato site, or his Mercatus site.

February Presentation

“Why Can’t Most Nations Develop? The Persistence of Poor Institutions.”

Dr. John Nye is a professor of economics at George Mason University (formally at Washington University in Saint Louis) and the Frederic Bastiat Chair in Political Economy at the Mercatus Center. Dr. Nye is an expert in the history of British and French economic development and the field of New Institutional Economics. His book, “War, Wine, and Taxes: The Political Economy of Anglo-French Trade, 1689-1900” is a part of the impressive “Princeton Economic History of the Western World Series”. (I highly suggest you take the time to work through at least most of the titles in this series.)

Dr. Nye also publishes work on modern trade issues, illegal markets, and other topics. Dr. Nye received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. You can learn more about him on his George Mason University site and on his Mercatus Center site.

In addition to The Discussion Club, Dr. Nye will present at the University of Missouri at Saint Louis earlier in the day. He will discuss some of his research on biology, human capital and behavior.

January Presentation

“Just Friends: Questioning the Potential Merger of Saint Louis County and City”

Dr. William H. Rogers is an associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri at Saint Louis, as well as the president of The Discussion Club. Dr. Rogers research interests are in real estate and urban economics. His recent publications are focused on foreclosures and the impact on housing markets and household formation. Dr. Rogers is also a frequent contributor to local panels on Saint Louis economic development.

Dr. Rogers received his B.A. from Hasting College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University. You can learn more about him on his professional site.

The Discussion Club’s New Location and Format

The goal of the Discussion Club is still to provide members the opportunity to hear leading intellectuals and engage in intellectual discussion and debate. The new format is intended to expand our audience to expose more people to the ideas presented here, while allowing for members to engage directly with speakers.

The new format will begin with a presentation and end with conversation and refreshments. Doors will open at 5:30, then I will introduce the speaker at 6:00 sharp. The presentation plus one or two questions from the audience will finish by 6:45. Members are invited to complementary hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the speaker from 7 to 8.

The transition from the open presentation to the exclusive cocktail hour is new, and I expect a few hiccups along the way. In order to reduce confusion all members will be required to wear an identifying badge. Mary Ann will provide the badge at beginning of each meeting.

The presentation will be open to the public free of charge. Members will pay an annual due of $100 per person. Family and corporate dues are no longer available; however, dinner fees are no longer assessed.

Our club will move to the Racquet Club Ladue, just a little East of the Hilton Frontenac. The Racquet Club will not assess a room charge. Yet, I believe you will find the Racquet Club’s facilitates equal to or superior to Hilton’s. The Racquet Club would not be a viable option without the support of Dr. and Mrs. Jonathan Dehner. I greatly appreciate their generosity.