Charles Steele traverses mountain tops. Courtesy | Charles Steele
Charles Steele tra­verses mountain tops.
Courtesy | Charles Steele

Dr. Charles N. Steele is a pro­fessor of eco­nomics at Hillsdale College. 

What is some­thing you want remem­bered about you when you die?

I would want it to be remem­bered that I ran Le Grizz 20 times, and com­pleted it. It’s a 50-mile race in Montana. I’ve only run it 19 times so I’ve got one more on Oct. 9. If I get the 20th, I will be inducted into the Le Grizz Chiefs. 

What is your favorite place you have traveled to based on culture?

Ukraine. Russia was also very inter­esting, but Rus­sians are too depressing and Ukrainians some­times get a little more upbeat.

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Grilled elk steaks with broccoli, pre­pared by a recipe that I have, which is steamed with a sauce of bal­samic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic and red hot pepper flakes, Russian mashed potatoes, which are mashed with a raw egg, cream, butter, and crushed garlic, and the last thing is a bottle of Argentine Malbec.

Do you play any instruments?

Yes, I play the didgeridoo. I have one made by a guy from Tucson, and it’s handmade out of some kind of a desert plant from around Tucson.

What is your favorite color?


What is your favorite place you have traveled to based on geo­graphical beauty?

Probably the Wind River Range in Wyoming. I climbed the highest peak in Wyoming, which is Gannett peak, totally blown away by that place.

If you could live in any time period, excluding the present, when would you choose?

When human beings first came into North America and had atlatls and they hunted woolly mammoths.

What is one of your all time favorite pieces of literature?

“Drawing of the Dark” by Tim Powers

If you could make one change to America’s eco­nomic policy, what would it be?

Do we have an eco­nomic policy? It looks to me like we just have total chaos. We don’t have a thought-out policy.

Do you know any lan­guages in addition to English?

I have studied a number of lan­guages, but the ones that I have been any good at are Russian, French and Esperanto. Esperanto is an arti­ficial lan­guage developed by a pro­fessor by the name of Zamenhof in the 1800s who wanted it to be a second lan­guage for everyone which would function as an inter­na­tional language.

What is your favorite holiday?

Either Thanks­giving or the fourth of July.

What gets you excited as a professor?

I love eco­nomics and when I walk into a classroom full of people who take it seri­ously and actually want to know some­thing about it, what gets me excited is digging really deeply into what seems like a super­ficial or simple model.

If you could dis­cover the answer to an unan­swered question, what question would you choose?

I would really like to know, and nobody really does, what drives eco­nomic business cycles fun­da­men­tally? Another choice of mine would be to under­stand why people can know some­thing isn’t true, and yet con­tinue to believe it, because they’re somehow wedded to it. Why would anybody do that?