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Make economics ethical

By the end of winter quarter, I will have completed the economics core. Completing this six-course sequence has taught me a great deal about concepts such as optimization, efficiency and cost analysis. What I have not been taught, however, is how to analyze the moral questions that economics raises. To what extent is inequality acceptable in an economy? Is it necessary to interfere in an economy to aid individuals who are deprived of sufficient resources? To fill this vital gap in economic student’s education, the economics department should not only design ethics electives but also make an ethics of economics course mandatory for all undergraduate economics majors.

An open letter announcing a new Humanities Core

The humanities have always stood at the center of a liberal education. To study the humanities is to acquire or hone valuable skills in thinking, researching, and writing, as well as to probe the mysteries and marvels of human experience and aspirations in their diverse forms. These are vital skills. Many of the world’s greatest problems — climate change, inequality, poverty, and conflict — involve questions of value and meaning that the humanities explore. What do we owe to future generations? Is there an obligation to remember the past and if so, how? What is a fair way of distributing benefits and burdens? What does it mean to be — or not to be — a citizen?