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?