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Gordon Brown lectures on economy at Laurie Auditorium

Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave a lecture Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 at Laurie Auditorium free of charge for students, professors and staff, as well as the San Antonio community.

Before becoming prime minister, Brown was a professor and television journalist.  Brown entered the political sphere in 1983 when he became the member in parliament representing Dunfermline East, a borough of the United Kingdom.  He held this position in parliament until 2007 when he was appointed prime minister.

Brown was prime minister of the United Kingdom beginning June 17, 2007 until May 11, 2010, ending with a resignation of power.  He is widely credited for his assistance in counteracting an anticipated second “Great Depression,” as well as for other influential changes in the world economy.

Framing his lecture around praise toward San Antonio, the United States, military troops and humorous anecdotes about Albert Einstein, Robert Frost and Edward Thomas, Brown focused on the recent discourse relating to the global recession.

“I was really excited to hear Dr. Brown speak at Trinity,” said first year Imogen van der Werff. “It was nice to hear another British accent on campus.”

Brown explained the shift of production from the United States and Europe to China, India and Brazil, just to list a few, with a rise of middle class.  Proposing many statistics and scholarly assumptions, Brown mentioned the future of production with lessen significantly as the years progress.  In doing so, Brown expects for a rise of consumption and a shift of wealth and income.

Brown also mentioned a few issues that Europe is currently struggling with.  Some of which include, but are not limited to, unstructured banking, lack of fiscal cliff and unceasing opportunities relating to production in new markets and environmental sustainability.

“The economies that do well will be those that recognize their interdependence… and have contact with different countries across the world,” Brown said. “You can no longer isolate yourself from the rest of the world.  You have to play your part in what is an increasingly interdependent world.”

He continued to explain the importance of globalization with an emphasis on the cooperation of the United States and Europe.

“The most interesting part of the lecture for me was hearing about why we should be optimistic about the future of the economy,” said sophomore Marek Bruckner. “Economy and optimism aren’t really associated these days, but I liked his perspective.”

Brown began to make a point relating to the company Apple in order to express the importance of innovations.

“The Apple iPad, lets say it is selling for $400, only $5 of that is the profit going to the manufacturer,” Brown said.

He continued to explain the shift of innovation and its importance to the economy.

“One thing I got out of the lecture was to be inventive and creative,” said Bruckner.  “It’s not the person that makes the product who gains the most, it’s the person who invents the product.”

Nanette C. Le Coat, associate professor of modern languages and literature and director of international programs, was also enthusiastic about Gordon Brown speaking to the Trinity community.

“His messages for American students were extremely positive,” Le Coat said.  “One thing that Dr. Brown talked about…is a need on part of people all over the world to develop an ethical code, to have principles shared and agreed upon.”

Brown’s final words contained advice for the overall Trinity student community.

“There are huge opportunities ahead,” Brown said. “Those who have the inventive skills will make all the difference.  Those who also recognize we live in an interdependent world are the ones who will make the world a better place.”

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