Economic Forum held at UM-Flint

Luis Martinez, Writer

The economic forum held at UM-Flint highlights macroeconomic trends that could have important implications for the campus.

The economic forum held by the UM-Flint School of Management and the Flint Rotary Club was the first in-person forum since the Covid-19 shutdowns. Returning after all this time, they focused on inflation

Professor Chris Douglas, who heads the economics program, explained the general macro trends. In summary, Douglas proposed that the conditions of the consumer receiving a lot of money from the federal government lead to inflation occurring. This follows the quantity theory of money, which says that more money leads to an overall rise in prices. 

Douglas does mention that the other conditions, such as supply shocks, could also provide an answer. Supply shocks are unexpected changes in the supply of a product that affects the price of the item. But from these conditions, Douglas thinks that a recession in the short term is possible. 

However, much of the economic explanation can be confusing to many. A speaker at the forum discussed the perception of economic science as a “dismal science.” In an interview with Douglas, we discussed how important understanding the various components of economics is in being part of a community and a university. 

Douglas stated that the usefulness of economics is using it as a way of asking “how can I best position myself?” when the market enters into a recession. To accommodate these changes in the macro economy, the person in the micro has options to best position themselves. Douglas continued to state that a college education is one solution for people to position themselves better. 

However, the institutions themselves must also provide a sense of community with Douglas stating “colleges have to be student-focused.” The focus on students could improve the overall quality of the institution and its relation to the community.