For those of you keeping score at home, it's N.C. State's EC305. There will be ongoing, irregular posts about my preparation.
I plan to gather an eclectic set of the most seemingly powerful arguments against capitalism. (The quality of a defense should only be measured against the best offense.) One such piece I've run across and will probably assign the students to read is "The Parable of the Shoe Salesman".
What John's story reveals is that capitalism does not reward people who create wealth. It rewards people who own wealth. It does not reward initiative and hard work and productivity - unless by the ownership class. It rewards owners as much as possible, and employees as little as possible.
Leaving aside at least three basic questions--1) Was John really fired because he was making too much money?, 2) If he was as productive as described, why didn't some other greedy, money-grubbing firm hire him?, and 3) "Owners" usually bear more risk: why shouldn't their rewards be higher (and lower, though we don't typically hear as much about those instances)?--I will present some evidence that contradicts the claim that employees are rewarded "as little as possible". Consider, for example, the estimated 10,000 "Microsoft millionaires".
I plan to assign a number of eloquent defenses of capitalism. I've got a bunch, but one really fine piece--fine both because it focuses on four really relevant points and because it is concise--is George Leef's "The Four Mistakes of Nonlibertarians".
(Googling it, I see that E. Frank Stephenson at Division of Labour linked to it about a year ago. To folks who read both blogs, I apologize for the repetition. But if you don't read Division of Labour--I suggest that you do--or FEE's publications--I suggest that you do--Leef's piece may be new to you.)