Book debates economics, politics
You don’t have to be a Wall Street nose-grinder to be informed about the economy.
As a student and teacher, Dr. William Beranek spent decades studying and analyzing the financial system.
He still tunes in daily to CNBC for its stock market coverage.
His observations are often recorded in an Augusta Chronicle guest column.
The column comes out at least once a month.
Beranek has held it for around three years.
Last year, he combined those articles for his fifth book, “Common Sense Economics.”
“I kept getting requests from people for copies of my articles,” Beranek said. “So, I decided to publish them all.”
The book contains 32 articles discussing jobs, taxes, education and politics.
“These essays predict the dismal failure of our recent costly, highly vaunted, certain-to-succeed government stimulus spending programs and the mirrored ineffectiveness of Federal Reserve stimulus policies,” as stated in the book’s description.
Beranek was raised in Los Angeles by impoverished immigrants, he said.
He had three brothers and one sister.
His interest in economics formed by chance, like so many other of his favorite topics.
“I could have been a chemist, a biologist,” the advent learner said.
Beranek remembered discussing his broad studies with his high school English teacher.
One day, after school, he brought up a new book he was reading on anthropology.
“My teacher looked right at me and said, ‘You just want to know everything, don’t you?,’” Beranek recalled.
His interest in finances did not peak until college.
His first degree from the University of Los Angeles is in accounting.
While earning that degree, he took classes on statistics, math, finance and economics.
“I got interested in all of them,” he said.
Those sparked interests lead to a Masters in Finance, a Ph.D. in Economics and a career in education.
“He has always wanted to teach and help others understand this knowledge of the financial world,” according to a release.
Beranek has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Georgia.
“Someone once said to me, ‘Can’t you keep a job?’” Beranek said, laughing.
During his time in academics, Beranek wrote two textbooks, two fundamental books and several published articles that address topics like portfolio theory and working capital management.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and as consultant for numerous corporations.
“I’ve had my share of successes, but I’ve had my share of failure, too,” he said. “I always preserved.”
One part of his life came early and never really left – his wife Virginia.
“I was 13 years old when I first entered, with some trepidation, my new high school. Looking across the class room my eyes suddenly stopped, and just lingered at the sight of a beautiful girl. ... Although at the foolish age of 13, I knew even then this is the girl I wanted to share my life with,” Beranek wrote in his book.
The two were married in 1943.
She was a registered nurse.
The tribute column he wrote “was a short love story and my first attempt I ever made at a human interest story,” Beranek said. “But, it captured my feelings.”
“Common Sense Economics” is available at the Aiken Center for the Arts, USC Aiken’s bookstore, Aiken Office Supply and Augusta’s The Book Tavern.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.