WHEELING, W.Va., April 5, 2017 -- A noted educator from Flagler College will give a presentation “On the Private and Public Virtues of an Honorable Entrepreneur” at Wheeling Jesuit as part of the university's Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality (ISCM) speaker's series.
Dr. Felix Livingston, professor of Economics and Business at Flagler College in Florida since 1999, will offer his talk at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20 in Wheeling Jesuit's National Technology Transfer Center auditorium.
Livingston will explain why entrepreneurs as a group flourish when they can freely engage in a competitive process while adhering to general rules of property and just conduct. “The only way to achieve long-run success in such an extended social order is to use economic means to win a daily market election with consumers casting dollar votes for their preferred products and services. Accumulating wealth using this method, requires being productive and trading with others,” Livingston explained.
To be successful, entrepreneurs who use economic means must continually search for better ways of serving others, and when they thrive there is general human flourishing. Consumers benefit from the creation of new, improved and less costly goods, and a myriad of employment opportunities are made available that facilitate pursuit of both material and non-material ends, he added.
Additionally, he will discuss how certain firms, commonly known as crony capitalists, avoid the rigors of competition by using political means to gain unfair advantage conferred by political authorities.
“As more and more firms expend resources in pursuit of preferential political advantage that only a few will be able to attain, and as other non-preferred firms attempt to block or reverse such policies or, even worse, seek their own preferences, the social waste is immense. More seriously, as more cronies use political means to achieve their ends, they are transforming the extended order of peaceful social cooperation into a 'law of the jungle,' where the most powerful interest groups use the 'guns of government' to guarantee continued possession of their wealth,” Livingston said.
Dr. Livingston will suggest that entrepreneurs who align their pursuit of profit with the ideal of freedom and honor are guardians of the extended social order. They serve as a model for others to emulate, and they are a powerful force that can stop America's backslide from the rule of law to the rule of man.
During his tenure as chair of Business Administration at Flagler, Livingston led the department in the creation of an economics major, a marketing minor, and a minor in honorable entrepreneurship. Dr. Livingston now serves as director of the Honorable Entrepreneurship Program, which includes a minor that teaches students how to start and run a company honorably.
A long-time advocate of entrepreneurship education, Dr. Livingston launched a nationally recognized entrepreneurial studies program Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pa., where he previously served as the Joseph A. Hardy Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurial Studies. While serving as dean of the College of Business at Jacksonville University, he was founding president of the Institution for World Capitalism, Inc. He also served for three years as vice president and ambassador-at-large for The Foundation for Economic Education in New York. During this time, Dr. Livingston traveled extensively to promote understanding of capitalism and entrepreneurship and he created and managed an international network of more than 200 discussion clubs located in 43 states and 19 countries.
Livingston currently teaches a number of undergraduate economics courses at Flagler College, and developed “Foundations of Honorable Entrepreneurship,” which teaches many of the principles that he will be discussing during his visit to Wheeling Jesuit University.
WJU's ISCM was founded in the spring of 2006 thought a gift from the BB&T Charitable Foundation. The Institute is dedicated to examining all aspect of capitalism and a free society. Each year, the ISCM sponsors a series of programs to advance this mission, while supporting the growth, development and understanding of the moral, legal and economic foundations of a free society.