Jeffry Netter was going to be an astronomer.
That was the goal until he took his first physics class, anyway.
On to the next thing: economics.
But in his Intro to Economics course, he didn’t study enough and got a C. His professor told him that he really deserved a C-minus, but Northwestern didn’t give pluses and minuses.
It all changed for Netter — Josiah Meigs Professor, Georgia Bankers Association Chair, and head of Terry’s Department of Finance — when he took intermediate microeconomics. Microeconomics focuses on how the behavior of individuals, incentives, and their choices affect and are affected by resources. A people person to his core, Netter knew he’d found his niche.
What do you wish people knew about our economic system and their place in it?
Economics is not simple. It’s complicated, and it is much easier to criticize than provide a different plan.
In my capitalism class, it is important to understand the ideas about capitalism and its causes and effects as it developed. Knowing these arguments has a practical effect today, as they can provide guidance on analyzing all sorts of business, social, and life issues.
What do you hope students come out of your class having learned?
F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as having said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
That’s my goal for students. To really be informed in their views, they have to be skeptical of what they see and hear.
I want them to see and understand — but not necessarily adopt — different views. If an individual cannot make the opposite argument to what they believe, they do not really understand their position.