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The Hillsdale College Clas­sical Liberal Orga­ni­zation hosted junior Cal Abbo to host a pre­sen­tation on Tuesday regarding the flaws of the neo­clas­sical eco­nomic argument. 

Abbo, who was invited to speak after writing a number of articles for the Col­legian regarding similar issues, addressed a club that encourages dis­cussion from all sides of the political sphere. 

“We are extremely open to dis­senting opinions,” Senior Calvin Zabrocki, vice pres­ident of the Clas­sical Liberal Orga­ni­zation, said. “I would say this almost goes to the point of actively seeking them out for our events. An echo chamber is never good for an intel­lectual ecosystem. The free exchange of ideas requires two dif­fering opinions.” 

“I would agree that CLO is probably one of the most open to outside opinions,” senior Christian Betts, pres­ident of the orga­ni­zation said. “I don’t agree with Cal’s argu­ments but I think it’s important to have a dia­logue between dif­fering view points as to avoid an echo chamber.” 

Abbo argued that con­ser­v­ative eco­nomic theory on paper is not always a viable option in the real world. He pointed to a lack of expe­rience in most the­ories that he said was detri­mental to the soundness of their argu­ments. 

“The central problem with the­o­retical eco­nomics will always be applying the the­orems to the real world,” Abbo said. “After making certain assump­tions about human nature and how people act, it becomes imprac­tical to reapply that the­o­retical system back to the real world.”

Zabrocki was one of the club members to invite Abbo to speak. 

“We noticed the back and forth of the Col­legian articles between Cal and critics so we wanted him to be able to artic­ulate his position in a long-form atmos­phere,” Zabrocki said. 

Abbo authored a number of pieces for the Col­legian earlier in the semester in which he pre­sented his argu­ments for healthcare reform in the United States. 

Abbo was delighted to receive an invite to voice his views on a majority con­ser­v­ative campus and believed that it was a great oppor­tunity to produce dis­course on topics that are some­times viewed as taboo. 

“Hillsdale is a great place for stuff like this because we want to emphasize diverse opinions in the pursuit of real, actual truth,” Abbo said. “I was so happy when Christian and Calvin invited me to give a pre­sen­tation, and the dis­cussion afterward was very fruitful.”

The dis­cussion between stu­dents fol­lowing the talk was cordial and pro­ductive. Abbo responded to stu­dents who voiced con­cerns with his premises while the audience seemed excited to engage in lively debate. While it seemed that almost all of the lis­teners dis­agreed with Abbo’s argu­ments, they gleaned what they could from his lecture. 

“I’d say where we dis­agree most is the use of eco­nomics in the way we talk about health,” Zabrocki said. “There seemed to be a major dif­ference in the role of eco­nomics in viewing human action.”