Common Good Capitalism: Prospects and Perils

Event Details

Americans are increasingly skeptical of markets and commerce. Many call for a reorientation of capitalism towards the common good. Free enterprise alone cannot give human persons their due, the argument goes, and policies and institutions must therefore be reoriented towards a substantive vision of human flourishing.

How should the public respond to the growing popularity of “common good capitalism?” What are its prospects and perils? Most importantly, what resources exist within the Christian intellectual tradition to evaluate it?

This event was co-sponsored by the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America.


Kevin Augustyn is a visiting fellow with the Mercatus Center’s Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange. Previously, Augustyn worked as a program officer at the Charles Koch Foundation. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Development, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University.

Augustyn’s work with Mercatus focuses on liberalism and pluralism in religious thought.

Augustyn has a M.Phil (Master of Philosophy/PhD-ABD) in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from The Catholic University of America, an MDiv. in Pastoral Theology and S.T.B. in Sacred Theology from Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Dr. Samuel Gregg is research director at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He has an M.A. from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford.

Gregg oversees Acton’s research program and team of scholars and is responsible for oversight of research international programing, including budgeting, management, personnel, publishing, and program development and implementation.

Dr. Mary Hirschfeld is Associate Professor of Economics and Theology in the Department of Humanities at Villanova University. A professor at Villanova since 2011, Dr. Hirschfeld regularly teaches the Humanities gateways Society and God, and honors ACS seminars (ancients and moderns). She completed a Ph.D. in economics (Harvard University) under the direction of Lawrence Summers and Jeffrey Williamson, and a Ph.D. in Moral Theology (University of Notre Dame) under the direction of Jean Porter. Her research is on the boundary between economics and theology, culminating in her book Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy (Harvard University Press, 2018).

Dr. Alexander William Salter is Comparative Economics Research Fellow at the Free Market Institute and Georgie G. Snyder Associate Professor of Economics in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Salter earned his B.A. in economics from Occidental College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. In addition to conducting scholarly research, Dr. Salter is a senior fellow with the American Institute for Economic Research’s Sound Money Project, and serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Private Enterprise.