Judge Richard A. Posner: The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy

September 7, 2012

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Judge Richard A. Posner

Judge Richard A. Posner, of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, is one of the most influential judges outside the U.S. Supreme Court as well as a prolific jurist-academic who has written nearly 40 books on topics ranging from economics and jurisprudence to terrorism and sex. 

During this talk at Elmhurst College, Posner turns what The New York Times calls his "indefatigable intellect" to the ongoing economic crisis and the efforts of the "cumbersome, clotted, competence-challenged" American system of government to respond to it. The event is part of the annual Rudolf G. Schade Lecture Series and is sponsored in part by BMO Harris Bank.
 
A judge on the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals since 1981, Posner long has been known as one of the nation's most respected legal thinkers on the right. But he made headlines last month for a National Public Radio interview in which he said he has become frustrated with the modern Republican Party. While expressing admiration for President Ronald Reagan and the economist Milton Friedman, Posner said that over the past 10 years, "there's been a real deterioration in conservative thinking. And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking."
 
Posner also is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago and has written a number of books, including Economic Analysis of Law (8th ed., 2011), Law and Literature (3rd ed., 2009), Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11 (2005), Sex and Reason (1992), A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression (2009), and The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy (2010). He has taught on a variety of topics, including the economic analysis of law, history of legal thought, antitrust, conflict of laws, the legislative process, family law, health law and economics, and law and science. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Legal Studies and a co-founder of the American Law and Economics Review.
 
The annual Rudolf G. Schade Lecture Series was created by Elmhurst alumni to honor one of the College’s best-loved professors. Dr. Rudolf Schade was an exceptional teacher and an important presence on the Elmhurst campus for more than 50 years. He passed away in November 2000.
 
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through approximately 700 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.
 
Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts college located eight miles west of Chicago. The College’s mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,400 full- and part-time students are enrolled in its 23 undergraduate academic departments and nine graduate degree programs.
 
 
Recorded Thursday, September 6, 2012 at Elmhurst College.