Award-winning author and economist is “cautiously optimistic” about future of American economy

Image: Christopher Coyne

Christopher Coyne

Christopher Coyne, an award-winning author and professor of economics at George Mason University, spoke about capitalism vs. political capitalism during the college’s biennial symposium focused on Austrian economics, held on Oct. 27 in Bush Auditorium. Coyne said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the future of the American economy but understands how others might be pessimistic because of the global financial crisis, the Great Recession, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing concerns about international trade with China and Russia.

Coyne, who is also the associate director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advance Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center, said capitalism is a system of competition, rivalry and voluntary exchange that is the engine of personal and societal growth and flourishing. Political capitalism, in contrast, is a system of entanglements between privileged private actors and government which benefits the few at the expense of the many.

In his address to students, faculty, staff and community members, Coyne said appreciating this distinction and considering what can be done to limit the harms of political capitalism is of crucial important to the future of the American economy. His latest book, “In Search of Monsters to Destroy: The Folly of American Empire and the Paths to Peace,” was published last year by Independent Institute.