Course Description

This compelling lecture series will document the place of poor people in the U.S.’s $23-trillion-dollar economy (the largest in the world) and show that minorities, including the descendants of slaves, Hispanics, and Indigenous people, are overrepresented among the destitute.

The course will explore the reality of the economic system, and how such outcomes are maintained and reproduced from generation to generation. Systemic racism does not have to be intentional; racism can be covert and hidden deep in the way the economy functions. Any subtle legal or structural impediment to economic mobility, or any institution that supports the reproduction of racial inequality is considered institutional racism.  

The course will also examine the ways in which mainstream economic theory (e.g., Econ 101 taught to more than a million students annually) is replete with ideas, concepts, and assumptions that feed into structural racism.  Moreover, the most popular textbooks continue to trivialize the injustices associated with discrimination. This is not only in bad taste in the 21st century, but also provides scholarly support for systemic racism.  Join us for an informative and engaging discussion.

Course Outline

About the Instructor

John Komlos is Professor Emeritus of Economics of the University of Munich (Germany). He was a visiting professor of Economics and of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of Economics at Duke University. He also taught at Harvard University as well as in Austria and Switzerland. His Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago. His most recent book, Foundations of Real-World Economics was published by Routledge in 2019.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellation must be received in writing at least one week before the start of classes. You will be issued a refund, less a $10 administrative fee. Please contact Student Services at stuserv@unc.edu.

Alternatively, participant substitutions are welcome. If you cannot attend an event, you can contact us with the name of the individual who will take your place.



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