Debate and discussion became the center of an economic lecture held by Omid Furutan in the President’s Dining Room on Monday.
The lecture, “The Networks of Economics,” centered on economic theories and held them against the standards of today’s struggling economy.
“The major point of the lecture was to show that our system of economics is unsustainable,” said Furutan, assistant professor of management. “How do we create a whole new understanding of economics?”
Furutan explained economic networking, which is a relatively new field of economics. It is the study of the economy through a new perspective of networking information and statistics.
Furutan then summarized the work of Adam Smith in his phrase, “Individual greed leads to collective good.”
In his lecture Furutan elaborated on the phrase taken from Smith and compared it to information taken from neuroeconomics, the study of how people make decisions.
His conclusion countered the idea from Smith’s writing, which explains that individual greed only creates a duel economy and does not lead to collective good.
After his point on greed, Furutan began to elaborate on Pareto’s Curve – a graph that shows that in an economic system a small group of people will become very wealthy, a small group will be very poor, and the rest will be in the middle.
Furutan engaged the audience with causes to the small percentage of the wealthy, citing reasons like inheritance, circumstances, the ability to take risks and even plain old luck.
“I thought the lecture was dead on,” Benjamin Jenkins, a junior history major said. “I was familiar with some of names he referenced.”
Another point that Furutan touched on was the “83 – 19 split.” The two numbers in the titles represent the percentage of the wealthy and poor.
He said that studies show that the number reaches 95 and 5 and in most cases, revolution will then occur in that country.
Furutan even touched on social issues with neuroeconomics.
Using systematic games based on choice and calculated judgment, Furutan asked the audience to imagine a world without racism.
By only creating two standards of rules, Furutan calculated that segregation can occur by human nature, rather than racism.
The theory sparked several discussions and interests.
“One thing that I found most interesting about the lecture was that even though people attempt to eradicate segregation, we always end up becoming segregated,” Michael Quesada, a senior history major said.
His presentation sparked many arguments within the room. Questions based on ethics of the wealthy were asked and many professors that attended the event placed their input on the topic.
“I’ve been to many of these lectures,” Brittany Lokar, a senior education and theater major. “I think this was the most conflicted presentation.”
Michael Escañuelas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.