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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors Program: A pathway to excellence.

HON 201/401 The Fed Shrugged

The book, Atlas Shrugged, was written in 1957 by Ayn Rand who espoused a philosophy that venerated capitalism and the right of individuals to profit from what they personally developed, living entirely for their own interest(s). She believed that "charity is not a virtue" and that "government has no obligation to the less fortunate" (White, 2005).

Interestingly, Alan Greenspan, who was chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1987-2007, was one of Ms. Rand's friends and an advocate of her objectivism philosophy. Of the book he wrote, "Atlas Shrugged is a celebration of life and happiness. Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should" (Rubin, 2007).

We propose to offer this class as a combination American literature/Economics course in which Ayn Rand's philosophy will be scrutinized and discussed and elements within the novel examined to see whether they are reflected in policies established by the Federal Reserve during Dr. Greenspan's tenure as chairman. Furthermore, have the policies he put in place led to or contributed to the current economic situation?

The course would be a seminar with discussion and research papers (in addition to reading works by both Rand and Greenspan).

______________ ____

Rubin, H. (2007). Any Rand's Literature of Capitalism. The New York Times (online edition) September 15, 2007,, retrieved 1/22/2009.

White, D. (2005). Explaining Greenspan -- Disciple of Any Rand or George Bush?, US Liberal Politics,, retrieved 1/22/2009.


Hon401: Eng 266, or Eng 452, 453, or 454.
Hon201: Eng 266 (contact Dr. Knopik or Dr. Weltzien for other substitutions).

Instructors: Dr. Alan Weltzien and Dr. Margareta Smith Knopik

Time: Fall 2009, Block 3, pm

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