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10/07/2007

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neuroeconomist

Everyone, STOP irrelevant emotional reactions. Becker's main point here is:

************************************************
[Assumption]Intellectuals in academism are more removed from the real world (than non-academics).
->Academic intellectuals tend to ignore real world evidence on govermental failures.
->Academism has a leftism bias.
************************************************

This is Becker's new account here. Things about Rumsfelds etc. are NOT the central issue.

Please focus on discussion about these two "logical arrows(->)" and the assumption.

Do you think Becker made mistake in the assumption? Or one of the arrows (or both) are wrong?

(Prof. Klein, whether Becker is "small" or large is not the issue at all. Do you CARE whether Keynes was homosexual when you critisize IS-LM analysis and/or Keynesian policies? Probably no. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

R Rainey

The demand that you often see for empirical data supporting the notion that academia leans drastically left is only an attempt to distract or distort a real consideration of its effect, because such lean is so stunningly obvious as to require no debate. Yet in order to get past this needless distraction from the real analysis the data is developed and consistently shows this leftward lean, we then have to debate whether the data is good or not and the conclusions to draw from it. This is all a delaying tactic by those in academia who would do whatever is possible to stave off the day of reckoning. How hypocritical to purport to be open to intellectual arguments of all stripes yet to do all that is possible to avoid facing up to one that might shed light on embarassing truths.

Chester White

My wife is a professor (at the University of Chicago, as it happens). I was an entrepreneurial businessman for years. So I have deep knowledge of both ends of this.


The faculty there is OVERWHELMINGLY leftist/left/Democrat/socialist/communist/dreadlocked-Drum-Circle/whatever. To argue the contrary is to enter flat-earth-land and embarrass yourself. I lived in Hyde Park for years and walked the campus daily. Whether it's 75% or 80% or 90% lefties is irrelevant; it's overwhelming and pervasive.


University types tend toward government/state solutions because they have not worked in the real world for the most part. They have never employed anyone, they have never fired anyone, they have never borrowed money to run a business (and had to pay it back with interest), they have never had to worry about efficiency or getting a job done on time, they have never had to please or placate a customer or some government bureaucrat, they virtually never have to negotiate, they have never had to make a sale, they have never had to produce anything of real value to another person, they have never had to fill out tax form after tax form after tax form, they have never had to weigh economic options, they have never taken risks, etc.


Experience with all these things tends to pull people to the right, to an understanding of how markets function and why they are absolutely necessary for things to work well.


I have known more academics than I can count, and most of them don't have the sense to run a hotdog stand, regardless of how brilliant they may be in their individual fields (and in the humanities it's often not too brilliant indeed).


But you can NEVER NEVER NEVER persuade them of this. You can point this stuff out until you are blue in the face and you may as well be talking Kant to a cat. They take their foundational beliefs on faith as surely as any "Bible-thumper."


Take them out of their cushy, often overpaid jobs and some of them would literally starve to death in two weeks.

Jack

Chester: Perhaps you're overlooking the product created by our college staffers.

"they have never had to produce anything of real value to another person"

............ and now you have me wondering how to estimate the added-value created by them.

I suppose we could start by crediting them with some percentage of the million dollars of increased lifetime earnings. Then we could consider that company's gross and that of our GDP is increased by more than what is paid to them. But there's more yet; today most of our high tech entrepreneurs owe much of their success to their college education. Then, with fair frequency the US military turns to academia for answers to its problems. Well, you get the idea.

I've produced quite a bit in the private sector and have been fairly well paid for my efforts, but at times look on somewhat enviously at what is produced by educators. The product is shipped only once a year, often late in the day wrapped in cap and gown and constitutes about 25% of our workforce, though that number is well short of our needs.

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